Uta’s Diary April/May 2017

The last few weeks passed very, very quickly! So that, really I do have a lot to catch up on as far as some writing is concerned.

I think I already started on writing about some of the things we did with my brother Peter Uwe and sister-in-law Astrid. While Peter and Astrid were here the days were filled to the brim. Now, five days have passed already since they left to fly back to Germany. And still I did not get much of a chance to write anything!

I just want to start with a picture I took the other day of our ‘tray of happiness’. It is really Peter’s ‘tray of happiness’ for I do not think I depend on it for happiness. If I remember correctly, Matthew used to give Peter’s tray with all the different jams on it the above name. This name shows indeed how important for Peter is this tray. There need to be five different jars of jam on it. If only four jars are left. it is time to go shopping for another jar. It is very, very important for Peter that at all times there is an adequate selection of jams on that tray!

Only four jars of jam left? Well, it must be time to buy a bit more jam!

To the left of the tray is Peter’s mug that he likes to drink his water from. He needs to drink at least two litres of water every day. So every morning a big two litre glass jug is filled with water. That means Peter’s mug to drink out of has to be refilled on a regular basis. The large blue cup on the right side in the picture is Peter’s coffee cup for breakfast.

For old people that we are, it is good to have a daily routine. The difficulty only is that my routine overall is often slightly different from Peter’s. For instance instead of buttered toast with four or five different jams, I prefer to have a cooked breakfast. A good breakfast for me is vegetables and an egg sauted in some butter and served with some green salad leaves. But I usually have for breakfast the same sort of coffee that Peter has. I do not always manage to do some cooking for breakfast. Then I might just have a slice of buttered toast with vegemite and maybe some yoghurt.

In conversation with family we often mention Peter’s ‘tray of happiness’. I think this is why I just did find it easy to write about it. I actually enjoy writing best when I can do it in a conversational way.

The last few weeks were filled with German talk in our house, for Astrid has a very limited knowledge of English. Peter Uwe understands written and spoken English somewhat better and can say something in English if he has to. However he prefers to say everything in German. When I talked to Peter Uwe and Astrid I tried to speak strictly German without any English words added to it. This was at times rather difficult. Sometimes I was lost for the exactly right German word. When I asked Peter to help me out, he often could not find the right German word straight away either!

Yesterday afternoon I joined four other ladies for our Friday games which I had missed while our visitors were around. One of the ladies asked me, whether our German visitors had liked it here in Australia. And I said, that they had enjoyed their stay in Australia very much, and that we had done a real lot of things with them. And we had very much loved to have them here.

Yes, it was a terrific time with them here. When we have visitors from overseas they are always astonished how beautiful the area is we live in. For us it is marvellous too, when we can go to all the different places that we did get to know and love over many years.

Some bloggers that looked at some of my previous posts might remember perhaps a bit about the Illawarra area and beyond. To mention all the interesting places makes really a long list. Even though we could take our visitors to a lot of places, there was in the end not enough time to take them to the Blue Mountains, or to Berry on the South Coast. Also a trip to Canberra or Melbourne could not be fitted in. Peter Uwe had Queensland in good memory from a previous stay in Australia some eighteen years ago. Astrid had never been to Australia. Peter Uwe and Astrid decided to book a one week holiday up in Cairns, Queensland. They did fly to Cairns and stayed in a hotel there. They were lucky with the weather. It was good for swimming and snorkeling.

They also loved our solar heated swimming pool in Dapto and went there twice in a row. They were also happy to meet our extended family several times.




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Stopping at Goulburn

From Gundagai we travelled on the Hume Highway towards Goulburn.


This fruit salad was absolutely delicious!

We stopped at Belmore Park in Goulburn:

We always love to have a toilet break there when we travel past Goulburn along the Hume Highway. Opposite the park in Montague Street is the Courthouse and the Roses Cafe:


Peter took pictures of the courthouse. Then we went to the Roses Cafe for some tea and fruit salad.

Our next stop was Robertson where we bought some pies at the pie-shop to take home. One hour after that we arrived home in Dapto. It was still early afternoon of Tuesday, the 3rd of January 2017. We had left home for Melbourne on the 27th of December 2016. It was good to be back home. First of all we had to open all the windows in our house and put some ceiling fans on because the air felt rather humid.

We had had a very good time on Monday, the 2nd of January, with our grandson Tristan and his family. And it had been great that we could spend some time with our son Martin, getting to know a bit more about Melbourne again and celebrate the arrival of the New Year in Melbourne. It is summer in Australia. So we had had some pretty hot days in Melbourne, and strangely enough, also quite a bit of rain!

Our next Stop: “Dog on the Tuckerbox

Tuesday, 3rd of January 2017

Monday evening we had arrived at Holbrook feeling very tired. We stayed in Holbrook in a motel and had a good rest The next morning we got up early and went for breakfast to the Holbrook Bakery.


Soon we travelled on along the Hume Highway until we reached the “Dog on the Tuckerbox” near Gundagai. (Tuckerbox means Lunchbox.)


From Wikipedia about the Unveiling in 1932:

“The monument of the Dog on the Tuckerbox was unveiled in 1932 by the then Prime Minister of Australia, Joe Lyons, on the 103rd anniversary of Australian explorer Charles Sturt’s 1829 crossing of the Riverina’s Murrumbidgee River.

The monument was the creation of Gundagai stonemason Frank Rusconi, another of whose works, the Marble Masterpiece, is on display in town.

Gundagai, 386 kilometres from Sydney, lies along the Hume Highway which runs inland from Sydney to Melbourne.”

“Moses’s poem, Nine Miles from Gundagai, was first published in 1938, several years after the statue’s unveiling. Jack O’Hagan’s song, Where the Dog Sits on the Tuckerbox (5 miles from Gundagai), was published in 1937.”

And now to another link in Wikipedia:


The above link leads to an interesting article about
The Origin of the Pivotal Word ‘Sat’
The Original Writers of the Fable
and the many different versions all ending in:

… for Nobby Jack has broke the yoke,
Poked out the leader’s eye
and the dog shat on the tucker box,
Five miles from Gundagai.

Brief Stop at Benalla, Victoria

Uta’s Diary, January 2017

After we left Melbourne, Benalla was our first stop. We were on the way to a farmstead near Wangaratta to visit our grandson Tristan and his family.

Peter took the following six pictures during a brief stop at Benalla, Victoria.


We were lucky, nothing bad happened to us. We just enjoyed the beautiful sight of it.





From Wikipedia:
“Weary Dunlop Memorial Located within the Botanical Gardens and clearly visible from Bridge Street is the Weary Dunlop Memorial, a powerful statue depicting two Australian doctors (Dunlop being the standing one) helping a wounded and emaciated comrade. Cast in bronze and over 2 metres high it stands on a granite plinth with the words “compassion, integrity, forgiveness, humility, courage, leadership, friendship” engraved on the granite base. It was created by sculptor Louis Lauman to dramatically depict Dunlop’s work helping wounded and dying POWs. The sculpture was unveiled in 1996. Dunlop was both the commanding officer and surgeon for over 1,000 POWs on the Thai-Burma railway. You can read more about him singular life at http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/dunlop/bio/. The statue at Benalla is much better than the one depicted at the Australian War Memorial. There is also an excellent Visitor Guide available at the Visitor Information Centre. – See more at: http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/benalla-vic#sthash.owRJLzR1.dpuf”

Uta’s Diary

A recent picture of our Bogainvillea
A recent picture of our Bogainvillea

Many months ago we booked our trip. It is exciting that our departure time is getting very close: We’re going to leave for Berlin on Friday, the 3rd of June. So, only three more weeks to go!

Today, Peter, Caroline and I are going to Wollongong. I have an appointment with Dr. Pearson for 9 o’clock. Friday mornings there are always markets in Wollongong. We plan to go to these markets after I’ve seen my doctor. We might be able to buy some fresh vegetables at the markets. In the afternoon I meet my lady friends for our games of Scrabble and Rummy Cub.

On this coming Sunday we’re going to meet the family for Peter’s birthday lunch, and on Monday Peter takes our old car to Warrawong to get it inspected for re-newel of registration. Caroline and I want to go with him to Warrawong to visit a nice cafe there where we’ve been before.

It seems we are busy all the time. I am sure the next three weeks will be gone in a flash. And then it is going to be only four more weeks and we will be back in Australia. We arrive back on the Saturday, the 2nd of July, which is going to be Election Day in Australia!

We talked to Peter’s sister Ilse the other day. She reckons for our family re-union we are going to be some 25 people! We also talked to my brother Peter Uwe recently. He wants to come to Berlin to see all of us. But we can also visit him and Astrid at their place in the country.

Reflections on Travel

Recently I reflected a lot on our past two overseas travels. One trip to Berlin we did five years ago and another one two and a half years ago. When we travel we always try to economise, meaning we are not out to stay in expensive hotels or visit restaurants that are well above our budget. The greatest extra expense we consider to be the air-travel ticket plus insurance. Since both Peter and I are going to be past eighty when we travel next time the insurance is going to be sky high! We usually book a flight well in advance and look for special offers. The last two times we did fly with Malaysian Airline from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and from there we had connecting flights with KLM. We thought these flights via Kuala Lumpur were pretty good. Soon we want to find out what’s on offer for next year.

2016 is going to be a huge family reunion in Berlin. Our Australian family is already planning for all this.  Some members in our family have never been to Berlin yet and are very keen to get to know a bit about the city and the German family members who live there. Especially Peter’s sister Ilse is very hopeful that a large family meeting can take place next year in Berlin. She and Finn are already thinking about all the arrangements that can be made. One of our grandsons is busy making plans about all the destinations where he and his family intend to travel to. He worked out that a nine day stay in Berlin could be included. They also want to stay for a few days in London and maybe some days in Switzerland, and I think there was also talk about Paris.

When Peter heard that they plan on staying for nine days in Berlin,  he  soon thought about a number of places he could show them in Berlin. Peter knows Berlin very well, partly from personal experience but a lot he knows because he keeps himself always up to date on the internet about what is going on in Berlin. When it come to history, he can tell you a thing or two about Berlin’s history as well. The past few days he published memories about the last days in Berlin before the end of World War Two. You can look it up under:


The memories start already here:


There are diary entries of Peter’s mother which he translated.  Also, Peter’s own comments about these eventful days continue for several days.

It is amazing how much Peter remembers about this time seventy years ago. This was just a few days before he turned ten! He also likes to read up on official records about the last days in Berlin before the end of the war, and he is also always looking for relevant pictures from that time.

First Sunday after Easter 2014


Yesterday, on Sunday the 27th of April, Peter and I travelled from Dapto Station to Redfern Station. We had a good tasting Hamburger Lunch close to Redfern Station. My Hamburger was made with a chickpea patty, which was delicious. 🙂 For desert we had some yummy ice-cream. We finished our lunch early. Our plan had been to go to a seminar in Redfern. It was about a subject that we find very interesting. However it had turned out to be a miserable very wet day. We were dressed for a sunny warm day. And we had not thought of taking an umbrella along.

When our daughter Caroline messaged us from Waverly we could come to her place to warm up and Matthew would make us a nice cup of coffee, we could not resist. We decided there and then to give the seminar a miss. We just did not feel right any more to go there. We thought relaxing with Caroline and Matthew was the better option at that instance. We had not seen them since before Easter. They had been away for a little holiday.

So off we went to their place in Waverly. We arrived there quickly by train and bus. We were lucky. A train to Bondi Junction came straight away. And at Bondi Junction we immediately did get a bus. to where we wanted to go. Really an excellent connection! We knew where to get off the bus and from the bus stop it was only a very short walk for us. It did not rain very much, that meant we did get only a little bit wet. Caroline had some heaters on. That made us feel all right very soon. Being able to talk to Caroline and Matthew was great.

They made sure we caught the right bus back to catch our train to Dapto from Bondi Junction. By half past seven we were back home, had some supper and started watching our movie on ABC TV at 8,30 pm. We saw “Parer’s War”. It showed what Australians and Americans experienced in New Guinea towards the end of WW II wich is really quite mind boggling.

It is a pity that we did not feel up to it to go to that seminar. A very interesting speaker from the University of Canberra was to give the talk which in a way was to touch on the subject of “the crisis of democracy”. A few times we have been to other very interesting seminars at this place in Redfern. They often send out invitations we find worth taking notice of. However quite a few invitations we missed out on over the years, for it is not always convenient for us to go all the way to Redfern for a two hour talk. Maybe it would make a difference if we lived somewhat closer. I don’t know. We always seem to be running out of time!