Uta’s Diary January 2019

Summer in Australia

The apricots and cherries were very good this summer! We had plenty of fruit for Christmas.

We are in Dapto, New South Wales, in the Illawarra of Australia. So far we had a very warm, but not too warm summer, whereas in lots of places of Australia the temperature went well over 40C for days on end this. Where we are, I think the highest temperature so far has been about 37C, and then going quickly down to maybe 35C so that the temperature in our house never went above 30C. When it is very humid, this sometimes feels quite hot. Then we have the ceiling fans going all the time.

With a very balmy temperature and no wind it is very pleasant to romp around in our beautiful Dapto Public Pool! Our Council provides a lot of Public Pools. You can see it here: http://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/facilities/beachespools/pages/pools.aspx#gref

For extreme heat days we do have an air conditioning set that is portable. We can set it up in any room that we like to cool. Usually we do not need to set this thing up. Only when the outside temperature goes above 40C we resort to it, for then the inside temperature might go well above 30C and a respite is very welcome! Sometimes the nights are quite hot too. Then of course we cover ourselves only with a sheet. Luckily, the last couple of nights were very much cooler after we have had some extremely hot nights. So we could use our blankets again! To have only 20C feels rather cool!

Dapto Pool on Sat 5th Jan 2019

I am in the water with red cap!

These are the surrounds of the Dapto solar heated Pool

Our Walk on Friday, 20th of January 2017

A Walk in Toe-Shoes!

It had been a long time since we ventured for a walk in our toe-shoes. But we found out that they still did fit us all right. Surprise, surprise,  on that Friday morning we actually got ready quite early for our little walk. We thought it would be important to walk before it got too hot!

Actually, some clouds were to be seen already.

Would it perhaps rain later on? Anyhow, we started walking across the grass in our toe-shoes. Our destination was the little playground in Lakelands Park. We had not been there for a while.


Of course, the playground was still there!



Then it was my turn on the swing. What fun for an 82 year old!

On the way home we ended up among some trees. I published the tree pictures here:


“Ich bin hier!”


“Ich bin hier!” – I’m here! – Peter called out. I had just been shooting a few pictures. Camera ready, I took a snapshot of sneaky Peter. He had actually sneaked up on me. I hadn’t noticed at all that he was that close to me!

These pictures were taken during our early walk on Friday, the 20th of January 2017.

Welcome 2016

DSCN0429Early in the morning of December 24th our son Martin had arrived in Moss Vale by train from Melbourne. His connecting railway coach to take him down MacQuarie Pass had not waited because his train was one hour late in Moss Vale. However there was another railway bus a bit later which went through several highland towns to pick up passengers  to Albion Park Rail, Dapto and Wollongong. So Martin arrived in Dapto a bit later than expected. It was good to have Martin here for breakfast. A bit later Caroline and Matthew arrived from Sydney to spend the Christmas days with us.

On Christmas Eve we had also all our local family at our place for our Christmas Eve celebrations. I think we were 16 people in all, our two little darling great-grandsons included. Martin, Caroline and Matthew were with us at our house till Monday, the 28th of December. Martin, Peter and I left early on that Monday morning to travel in our car to Martin’s place in Essendon (Melbourne). Martin and Peter could take turns in driving the car. That meant we had some smooth travelling. After having had Christmas Day on Friday, and after that Saturday and Sunday, the Monday when we left for Melbourne was actually a public holiday, the so called ‘Boxing Day’.

Here I mentioned our stop at YACKANDANDAH on our way to Melbourne:


We had of course other stops too. For instance we stopped near here:


This is the place where grandson Ryan and Ebony stopped with their children on the same day on their way to Adelaide. We knew that they would stop there, but we were not sure what time they would be there. So we did not see them. However Peter received pictures of them on Facebook later on. During their whole trip to Adelaide Ebony sent some lovely pictures of the boys. These pictures told us, that the little ones were enjoying the trip very much.

While we stayed with Martin in Essendon for the last few days of the year, Caroline and Matthew stayed at our house in Dapto. On New Year’s Eve we had a very good dinner at an Indian restaurant near where Martin lives.

Martin, Uta and Peter at an Indian Restaurant on New Year's Eve 2015,
Martin, Uta and Peter at an Indian Restaurant on New Year’s Eve 2015,

On Wednesdy, 30th of December,  we had visited grandson Tristan and Stephanie and their daughters Kia and Jakie:


This visit was last year’s highlight! We also did get to know Stephanie’s brother on that day.

We had planned on resting on Friday, which was New Year’s Day. We thought if we started driving back on Saturday, we would be arriving back home on Sunday. But before year’s end we had decided changed our mind about leaving on Saturday.  We wanted to leave instead already on Friday. We were planning on staying overnight somewhere on the way home.

After Martin had made us again a lovely breakfast and helped us to pack our things in the car, we departed already Friday morning. I must say,  it had been great to stay with Martin for a few days. He always looks after us beautifully. We very much like visiting him. But we knew, he had to go back to work soon. So it was just as well that he had a bit of time without his parents before going back to work.

We had packed a powerful drink for our trip with some caffeine in it. Martin had also packed us some hot coffee in a thermos.  Peter was the sole driver since I do not have a driver’s license any more.  Soon Peter’s homing instinct took over. He did not get tired during the whole trip back home. He decided we did not need to stay overnight somewhere. He wanted to drive straight back home instead. So it happened we arrived home already Friday night and Caroline and Matthew were still at our place. Matthew stood outside when we arrived. He was quite a sight in his comfortable sarong from Bali.  They had prepared dinner  Both Caroline and Matthew were very happy to see us. There was lots to talk about. It looks they are planning to help us quite a bit in the New Year. More about this later.

Our Christmas Tree has not been packed away yet. We usually leave it up till the 6th of January. I always think of the song: Twelve days of Christmas! I found today Pam’s blog about the Epiphany:


She writes:

” . . . . .   For western Christians, Christmas carries on until Epiphany, which is when we remember the arrival of the magi at the nativity.   . . . . .”


I also spent some time with what Gerard Oosterman had written  He is about to publish all his writing in a book and is looking for a title. So far his decision is to call the book: Vignettes. I tried to find out a bit more about it by googling the word ‘vignette’.


Autobiography and Truth
“All autobiographies are lies. I do not mean unconscious, unintentional lies; I mean deliberate lies. No man is bad enough to tell the truth about himself during his lifetime, involving, as it must, the truth about his family and friends and colleagues. And no man is good enough to tell the truth in a document which he suppresses until there is nobody left alive to contradict him.”
(George Bernard Shaw, Sixteen Self Sketches, 1898)

Examples of Vignettes

Here is a bit more about the function of vignettes:


Function of Vignette

We often find vignettes in creative writing, as it provides description to achieve an artistic effect. However, we also see its usage in prose and poetry. Writers use this device to explore a character, and describe the setting of a scene, etc. Vignettes give deeper understanding of texts, as writers densely pack them with imagery and symbolism. Besides, it increases writers’ language proficiency, as they use their language to its fullest by employing imagery to get a certain color and mood. Hence, the nature of vignettes is evocative and put an impact on the senses of readers















december 20 our place We had arrived at our son’s place o

On a Property outside Melbourne

Peter enjoys a walk round the property.




Our two Great-Granddaughters with their Mum.
Our two Great-Granddaughters with their Mum, Stephanie.

A big bubble is being produced by Kia.
A big bubble is being produced by Kia.

Our son Martin with his two granddaughters.
Our son Martin with his two granddaughters.

The horses are being fed green apples.
The horses are being fed green apples.

The girls with their granddad and great-granddad.
The girls with their granddad and great-granddad.



Jaki looks on as her Dad cuts up some meat for dinner.
Jaki looks on as her Dad cuts up some meat for dinner.

Tristan with Grandmother Uta.
Tristan with Grandmother Uta.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year 2016.


Kiama Harbour on Saturday, 19th of December 2015
Kiama Harbour on Saturday, 19th of December 2015

Yesterday, When the temperature in Dapto reached close to 35 Degrees (Celsius) Peter suggested we could escape to Kiama for some ice-cream. Well, in Kiama they catch fish, don’t they? And at Kiama Harbour is a fish-cafe where one ought to be able to get fantastically fresh fish. We set off before lunch to try our luck for getting some yummy, fresh fish.

The climate in Kiama was much to our liking. Our car told us, the outside temperature was ‘only’ 30 Degrees. When we got out of the car, there was a lovely sea-breeze. This was just perfect weather for a summer holiday. Lots of tourists and visitors were around in Kiama. When we cued up at the fish-cafe we noticed quite a few Asian tourists. Peter says, they did not hesitate to spend 70 Dollars on a basket of fish and chips! But you could of course also get smaller portions. Ours was only thirteen Dollars.


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Peter fed the rest of my fish to the seagulls. Here they've had already their fill.
Peter fed the rest of my fish to the seagulls. Here they’ve had already their fill.




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Kiama Harbour was just beautiful on a day like this. We spent about an hour there. By one o’clock we were back in Kiama’s main street and were looking for a parking spot. Peter found some parking near the police station and got out of the car to take some pictures of the surrounding buildings. I took some picture from inside the parked car:




Then Peter found another parking spot closer to the shops. It was close to some shops, but the ice-cream shop was still quite some distance away. Where we had parked, we could smell some coffee. And there was a nice sitting area under umbrellas outside. We noticed a display of yummy cakes. So we sat down outside and a friendly girl came to take our orders. Apart from flat white coffee and cake we also asked for some water, which arrived in a beautiful blue bottle.


This is our car.
This is our car.



We ended up driving home without having had any ice-cream. Well, we can go back to Kiama some other day for that yummy ice-cream in Kiama. I am sure the great Australian Ice-Creamery is still going to be there when we go there next time.  

Uta’s Diary, December 2015

I took this picture well before Mass started on that Sunday.

Third Sunday of Advent 2015
Third Sunday of Advent 2015

I took some more pictures on that Sunday on the way home from church:





The other day we bought some Bratwurst. I had cooked some red cabbage. So we had the Bratwurst with red cabbage and some boiled potatoes. This makes a good meal. It is a German meal I do not mind having from time to time. Even in our summer this meal is rather welcome. We also had some German beer with it. I love the beer that has malt and hops in it and is devoid of chemicals!


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Peter loves to eat raw slices of Kohlrabi. The other day we bought one Kohlrabi, which was quite large and, if I remember right,  cost just three Dollars. Cut into very thin slices it tasted delicious.

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Sorry about the quality of the Kohlrabi pictures!

Towards the End of November 2015

Last Wednesday we went to Merrylands.

25th Nov.2015 in Merrylands
25th Nov.2015 in Merrylands



It was a very hot day. We had lunch in Stockland Merrylands and a cup of coffee later on.

We found a seat in the shade in the open air cafe.
We found a seat in the shade in the open air cafe.

View from the terrace at Stockland Merrylands where we had lunch.
View from the terrace at Stockland Merrylands where we had lunch.

Many things had changed since we last had been in Merrylands with Gaby. But we noticed that the Heart to Heart Cafe was still there.

Next to the upstairs eating hall we found this mosaic.
Next to the upstairs eating hall we found this mosaic.






We found a picture of Gaby in this huge mosaic.
We found a picture of Gaby in this huge mosaic.

This is a picture of Gaby's dog.
This is a picture of Gaby’s dog.


Sunday, 22nd of February 2015

Today, after lunch, we drove to Forest Grove Estate, a gated community with some well kept garden areas, a pond, lots of water birds and a cafeteria near the water. We walked around the area for a little while after we had parked the car. Peter took a lot of pictures with his camera which he has given me so I can publish some of them.

At the cafeteria we had some coffee. Peter also ordered some cake with the coffee. It turned out to be a beautiful desert on an extra large plate. The cake was surrounded by caramel sauce, ice-cream and cream. They provided two spoons in case we wanted to share. However I decided to have just the coffee. I did not feel like having anything that sweet.

When we went to the cafeteria it was only a bit after one. A lot of people – mostly pensioners – were still having their lunch. Since it was Sunday, there was a guy playing the guitar and also singing. On a notice it said that Sundays from 12,30 to 2,30 there was always some live music. The staff were all young and very friendly. Really, a beautiful place for having Sunday lunch! We plan on going there for a bite some time soon.























Picking up Rubbish

Picking up rubbish – I guess Americans would call it trash. During my past few morning walks I had noticed that someone had dumped some rubbish in the park. I took a picture of it the other day. Today the rubbish was still there.


On my walks I had noticed some other rubbish near a street where probably a box had fallen off a truck. Pieces of foam, large and small, were to be seen along the footpath. Today I looked whether there were still any pieces left lying around. I had one large plastic bag and a rubber glove with me. And sure enough, I was able to fill my plastic bag with the left-over foam pieces to discard them in our rubbish bin at home. On the way I also happened to see a couple of discarded glass bottles which I took along too to dispose of them in our recycling bin.

Here now are a few more pictures I took already yesterday.

Yesterday, Friday, I took another picture of this seat which I love.
Yesterday, Friday, I took another picture of this seat which I love.

This drainage pipe to the creek is not far away from 'my' seat.
This drainage pipe to the creek is not far away from ‘my’ seat.

In the past some huge rainfalls must have caused this drainage hole which was then covered somewhat.
In the past some huge rainfalls must have caused this drainage hole which was then covered somewhat.



A tree in the vicinity of the creek
A tree in the vicinity of the creek

Some of the lantana and wild fennel that grows near the footpath.
Some of the lantana and wild fennel that grows near the footpath.







There are still some puddles left from the rain.

There are a lot of forest fires in California at present. This is surprising for it is winter there, isn’t it? I just heard on the news that California has at present a very serious water shortage. Some farmers are already in danger of going out of business. We here in Australia live on the driest continent. We know about the desirability of having adequate amounts of water. These dry spells can be horrific. Let’s hope that California is going to get some good rainfalls soon and also that some neighbouring states can help out with some water where needed.