Newcastle, NSW, Australia


Our stay in Newcastle from Friday 28th June to Sunday 30th June, 2019

Before I forget to mention it, very early on Sunday morning we had some great coffee and breakfast and a lovely walk at Newcastle Beach! That was just a perfect conclusion to our stay in Newcastle for the 21st birthday celebrations for Martin’s daughter Lauren.

Newcastle is actually blessed with quite a number of beaches:

Here now is where our trip started:

We left our home in Dapto with our son Martin early on Friday morning, A taxi took us to Dapto train station. So, we went by train to Sydney Central Station where we had to change to another train going to Newcastle.  I liked the train journey very much! On the train I even started reading a novel by LIANE MORIARTY. It goes by the title “Nine perfect Strangers”:

Nine Perfect Strangers

I had bought this book at Central Station. (We had a lunch break at Central Station. In the meantime I am already close to finishing the book!)

So, we arrived at the Newcastle-Interchange on Friday/afternoon, that is the interchange to the light rail.

There had been an incident, that is why the light rail was out of action for a while. So we decided to travel on by bus (towards Newcastle Beach). We got off near the Old Newcastle Train Station. Opposite the Old Train Station was our apartment that we had rented for two nights. The two bedroom private ground floor apartment had a livingroom and kitchen and was exquisitely furnished. We really liked it a lot. However we joked about it, that it was like a jail because of the bars at the entrance and in front of the windows!


Opposite from the old heritage railway building was our groundfloor apartment that was very well secured with bars in front of door and windows!



The following picture shows some beautiful park reserves that belong to the foreshore near the Old Railway Station building:


Our family have been coming to the Railway Carriage Shed regularly for gatherings over the last 15 years. Plenty of room for the kids, sheltered in all weather, and well-maintained BBQ facilities. A great meeting place.

Date of experience: April 2016″
I think this is actually the place where we were in Jan.1999 for Lauren’s Name’s giving ceremony.

Foreshore Park


Our son Martin, Peter and myself having a little rest at the foreshore.


Newcastle has quite a busy harbour!






This was our closest light rail stop:


The birthday party was at the Honeysuckle Hotel:

We had pizzas and wine for supper at the hotel:



Lauren, the birthday girl, and friend Jeremy were great dance partners!

Sunday morning we caught the light rail to the interchange. Then we went by train to Sydney Central Station where we found out that because of trackwork we had to catch the railway bus to Dapto. In Dapto we did then catch a taxi back home.

We worked out that on Sunday going home we had caught four different modes of public transport, namely:

Light Rail, Train, Railway Bus and last not least a Taxi!

My Friends in 1947

I’m surprised that Franziska isn’t in that birthday photo from 1947, when I turned thirteen. Dr Petzel used to give Franziska ‘preferential’ treatment because her father had a doctor title. I remember I used to climb with her and her younger brother on chestnut trees to pick nice ripe chestnuts. This must have been in autumn of 1946.

So Franziska is not in the picture. Gisela (16), Jutta (14), Lilo (14) and Irene (still 13) are in the picture from right to left.

Cordula had turned 12 on the 20th May of that year, whereas Eva would turn 12 in December of 1947.

There are four school-friends in the birthday photo. Gisela was already sixteen and seemed very mature to us. She had to do all the housework at home because her mother had died.  Her father worked as a truck-driver.  Gisela was an excellent reader. When a teacher had to leave the class for a while,  Gisela was usually given the task to read something to us. Everybody listened to her reading. She was a very good a reader!

Second there is Jutta. I always loved her beautiful naturally wavy long hair. I think you can’t see it much in the picture. Where she lived, there was a perfumery in the basement. The scent of perfume was always quite overwhelming! After school I would often walk with my friends in the direction where Lilo and Jutta lived. We always talked a lot on the way. I think very often it was a lot of philosophical talk. When we arrived at the house where Jutta lived, we would not part straight away but keep on talking for a bit longer.

I think instead of taking fifteen or twenty minutes to walk home, I often took nearly an hour! The family’s daily program was such, that we couldn’t have lunch together anyway. The way I remember it, my classes in high-school usually lasted till close to 2 pm. But then we never had any afternoon schooling except when we wanted to learn something extra curriculum as for instance typing on a typewriter or stenography.

The third girl, Lilo (Liselotte), you may know already from some other blog. Cordula, Lilo and myself we had formed this circle. For a while we saw each other often and did lots of things together. We had studied in English a story about an English governess and her two charges. I made the story into a play. Lilo played the governess and Cordula and I we were the two teenage girls. We performed the play at home in English in front of an audience. This was great fun!

Lilo’s mum was a war widow. She had to go to work to sustain the family. There were three very much younger siblings.  Lilo was often responsible for them when her mother was at work. They lived in what I would call abject poverty. I’m not sure whether I remember this right or whether I’ve been dreaming it, but I think some one from the church did at some stage give a helping hand to the family.

Right beside me in the middle of the picture is Irene. I remember her from my piano lessons because she had the same teacher that I had. I think back to one birthday party at Irene’s. I think we were only about four girls at the party, Jutta was one of them. Irene’s mother was a medical doctor. I think her father did not live any more. Her mother had a partner who looked rather scary to us. He was very much the artistic type. Everything about him looked a bit wild, his hair, the way he moved and talked. He came out to entertain us with some piano playing. I think he played well.

On the way to the bathroom I had to pass the bedroom of Irene’s parents. And the door stood open. The bed had been left in a wild state. Today I think this is quite natural that people don’t always make their bed straight away. Anyway at the time this was really something new to me. I had never come across something like this before, in the middle of an afternoon in an apartment where they had a kid’s birthday party! Not that it upset me, on the contrary, I found it rather interesting to see how there were people with totally different values to what I was used to. And after all, the door had been left open totally accidentally. I just knew this instinctively.

I think Irene went on to become a doctor like her mother. Maybe not a medical doctor. But she went to university, that’s for sure. At the class reunion meeting in 1980 I was told about a lot of class-mates what they are doing now. The meeting was held in Franziska’s apartment, and she had invited me to it because she had found out that I was in Berlin at the time. Only about half a dozen women were present. I had my youngest daughter with me who wasn’t quite two yet. At the last minute it turned out that Peter couldn’t look after her and so I had to bring her along to the meeting! They were of course rather surprised that I had such a young daughter. There was one woman present, who had a five year old son at home. Every body thought she’d be the last woman in the group to have another child. And there I turn up from Australia with an even younger child!


This picture was taken on the 21st September 1947, my thirteenth birthday. From right to left are:

Gisela, Jutta, Lilo, Uta, Irene, Inge (a friend of Eva’s), Cordula, Eva, my brother Bodo (9).

And in front my brother Peter Uwe (nearly 6) and Ruth (Krümel, nearly 4).

The following picture shows my high-school class of 1947. At the bottom from right to left you see Irene, Lilo, Uta, Ingrid, Gisela, Jutta, Else, Marianne. Behind Else in the second row from the top is Franziska. You can see she wears her hair in a roll on top of her head! Our class teacher, Fräulein Theissen, is the second one to the right of Franziska! The teacher was really much older than what she looks like in the picture. She taught English, which I loved.

Marianne is the one who came to Franziska’s class reunion meeting in 1980 and who had then a son of five years, whereas I had a daughter of not quite two! I think Marianne was born in 1934 the same as I. And they told me everyone thought she had her last child pretty late in life. They were all very surprised when she had another child. I wonder what they thought of me having a daughter at age 44.

Uta’s Birthday 1940

In 1940 I turned six, brother Bodo was a cute two. I was allowed to invite all my friends to a birthday party, boys and girls. I was so fond of all of them. The older girls were both ten. One is my cousin Sigrid, the other my friend Sieglinde. I think Sieglinde’s brother, who is also in the picture, is only eight. The younger girl with the huge bow on top of her head is five year old Eva. (I mentioned her a lot in my blogs.) Apart from little Bodo there are adorable Jürgen and very friendly Heinz in the picture, who both lived in the same building where we lived. There was a huge chestnut-tree opposite, which still stands now. It grew a lot more over the years. I believe it is about as high as the surrounding five story houses!

In the photos we are gathered under this tree and also in front of one of the sides of our house. Tante Ilse’s gift to me for my birthday were two Käthe-Kruse-Puppen, a boy and a girl. Of course they had to be in the pictures too. And of course Mum took all the photos which she always did on our birthdays.

About two years later during summer we had a dressing up party. Mum took a picture of us on Tante Ilse’s balcony. I think my brother Bodo looks lovely in the picture dressed up in long pants. I wear one of Mum’s dresses. Friend Eva is in the centre of the picture. The lovely young lady in the long dress is my sixteen year old cousin Renata. My friend Sieglinde on the right side is twelve and friend Inge with the blond hair probably ten. I think I wouldn’t have remembered the dressing up party if I hadn’t this picture. Pictures like these are truly a great memory boost!

50th and 55th

Last Saturday we were invited to a 50th birthday party. I took a few pictures, but unfortunately they are not ready for publishing yet.

It so happened that at the party all of our daughters and quite a few grandchildren were present. And we did get the good news, that another great-grandchild is on the way! So that means our daughter Monika is going to be a grandma first time around. She was thrilled about the news. I think she had been longing for a long time to become a grandma. She’s going to be 53 next week. Her partner is the one who turned 50 and in his honour the big party had been organised. They did not have a barbecue this time, but Monika had prepared lots of delicious finger-food. There was enough to eat for everyone. And Mark, the birthday-guy, had engaged a disc-jockey, who had set himself up in one of the big garages. In the other connecting garage all the food was later served. The disc-jockey played nearly non-stop from 7 pm to midnight!

When we arrived towards 8 pm Monika very enthustically let me know that she had ordered a couple of songs especially for me. It nearly blew me away when soon after ‘Rock around the clock’ was played. Nobody danced. Young and old were scattered around the backyard, sitting on garden chairs around huge garden tables or standing with drinks in hand,  talking to each other. Mark had shown me before  where the music was and he and the disc-jockey had obliged to pose for me for a picture. When I heard the sounds of ‘Rock around the Clock’ I immediately found my way back to where the music was. As I said, nobody danced. So I had the dance-floor all to myself!

Later on I danced with Peter to the sounds of Glenn Miller music. Still nobody else danced. Anyhow, I had had my fun. After that my old bones needed a rest. Not so Peter. He continued dancing with a few younger women once a few people had finally appeared on the dance-floor. The music was beat, beat, beat and extremely loud. I found a conversation was impossible! I enjoyed the balmy night, taking some pictures here and there, resting for a while on a chair outside; then getting up again and making a few movements to the music. The noise was easier to bear when I was able to do a few dance movements by following the beat.

I watched the dancers in the garage from outside and took pictures. Mark’s slim, tall, blond daughter and her boyfriend were by far the best dancers. It was a joy to watch them. I saw none of Monika’s three daughters dancing. The youngest one and her girlfriend were giggling a lot when they saw me dancing! We went home soon after 10 pm, after all the birthday-cake ceremonies were finished. Maybe some more people, who hadn’t danced before, started dancing later on.

Our youngest daughter, who turns 33  a few days after Monika’s birthday, went home with us, feeling quite sick. Her partner stayed overnight at our place too. He had to leave early on Sunday morning to go back to Sydney to work. Daughter Caroline still felt too sick and couldn’t go to Sydney with him. We took her back to her place in Sydney on Monday morning when she felt a bit better. Sunday night, when she still hadn’t felt all right and hadn’t been able to eat anything for twenty-four hours we took her to our Medical Centre at half past nine, where a doctor was still in attendance. He advised her not to eat anything till she felt better and then only eat dry toast with honey. He told her to drink plenty of water, but only boiled water. He said he had a few people seeing him that evening with similar symptoms. Apparently it was a virus.

After having delivered Caroline back home we went on to a newly opened IKEA shop for lunch. We had Swedish meatballs. Simply delicious! Then on to Fairfield, one of the Western suburbs of Sydney. Gaby, our eldest daughter, was to meet us there. Gaby had managed on Saturday night to get two of her carers to take her to Mark’s party. By the time she got back home with her carers and put to bed, it was close to 3 am!

Now to the 55. This refers to Peter’s and my wedding anniversary. We invited the family to have lunch with us in Parramatta (another Western Sydney suburb) on Sunday, 18th December. This is not just for the wedding anniversary but also a pre Christmas celebration. This year the family cannot come to our place on Christmas Eve.They are all upset about this. To spend Christmas Eve at our place has been a long held tradition. It saddens them that this year is going to be different.

On the 23rd of December Peter and I  are off to Melbourne to stay with our son, Martin. On Monday the 26th of December we’ll be off  to the holiday cottage at the beach. This is were we’ll be celebrating the start of 2012.

This year is coming to an end. It has been a very eventful year again.