Brisbane, QLD

Sunday, August 29, 2021


My Story Continued:

We were still living in Wenlock Cr Springwood. Our back fence which was a creeper growing over a low wire fence needed to be replaced with a fence to keep our big German Shepherd dog in our yard. So Bill took on the job with two little helpers one a bit grumpy.

"Carol and Sonya helped"  painted on the fence.

In his spare  time, Bill made "Swiss News" programs for Radio 4EB in our converted garage to a rumpus room. It was a very hot summer so no shirt.

We often went camping when the girls were in primary school when it was school holidays. This time we went to Bribie Island off the coast of South East Queensland. It is a great place for a beach holiday with kids.

We tried our luck at fishing, but we weren't very successful. Carol wasn't interested at all.

She did love swimming but it was a bit cold for me.

Sonya always loved beach combing .


Thursday, August 26, 2021


My Story Continued:

At the end 1982, I was happy that we had got through the year okay. I got used to teaching again and juggling the family chores as well as coping with Bill having a heart attack. It was time to visit Bill's parents and have a holiday in Switzerland. It was tricky packing for the family as we were in summer clothes but we would arrive in Switzerland in winter. So layers it was. Summer clothes on, with winter jumpers and jackets in our cabin luggage.
Needless to say the kids were excited and we were too.
We stopped in Singapore to change planes. We wandered around the airport shops for a few hours before our next flight to Frankfurt.
We stayed with Bill's parents in Durrenast a suburb of Thun on the lake of Thun. It is a lovely town at the other end of the lake to Interlaken. It was cold.

A friend of Bill's parents lent us skis and took us up in the mountains. See them in the background of Thun Railway Station. We caught a train to Aschi.

Making snowballs in Aschi.

Bill remembering his childhood but he doesn't like skiing, much to my amazement. 

The girls didn't have skis so I gave them a ride on mine.

It wasn't long before I lost one off the back.

 During the time we were there, Bill was interviewed about living in Australia. The photographer took this photo.
Bill and the girls in the main town square in front of the Thun Castle built in the 12th Century. Bill had bought a new movie camera so I didn't take many photos but later I realised it is best to take both movies and stills.
After spending Christmas and New Year with Bill's parents, visiting friends and going sight seeing it was time to return home to work. We stopped in Sydney on the way back to Brisbane so that we could visit my mother and dying father. It was a sad time.
My dad was in palliative care in hospital. It was the last time we saw him. He died three months later.

We took the girls to see the city, the bridge and the opera house. They are standing on the forecourt of the opera house. Little did we know that one day Sonya would work at the opera house as a production manager.

Thursday, August 19, 2021


 My Story continued:

The girls were getting older and starting to enjoy extra curricular activities in their spare time, which also took up my spare time driving them everywhere, like mum's do. Carol had joined a Saturday Morning netball team. I enjoyed going and cheering her on.

Carol first on left in front row.

My beautiful brown eyed babies now ten and eight.

Another activity they liked was going to Brownies one evening a week.

But it wasn't all smiles and fun. My dad had been diagnosed with bone cancer and he was dying. My mother cared for him for two years but sometimes he went into Calvary Hospital for respite care.  I used to fly down to Sydney every school holiday with the children because Bill was at work. I would help Mum at home caring for him and I would drive him to and from the hospital. My mum didn't drive, she had to visit him by train. The following year he entered the palliative care ward in the hospital full time.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Bill came home from volunteering at 4EB Radio Station not looking well. He slumped over the steering wheel as he parked in the carport. I went out and helped him inside. He lay down and complained about pain in his chest. I thought it can't be a heart attach he is only 39. The doctor had a surgery at 2:00pm on a Saturday. We waited two hours until it turned two and I drove him to the doctor's. The doctor examined him and said he has had a heart attack and needs to go to the hospital.

We set off for the hospital when I realised it was voting day, which is compulsory or you get hit with a fine, so I drove into the next polling booth and we went in to vote. By now Bill felt better and didn't have any pain. (To this day I can't believe I did that.)

Bill stayed in hospital for a week and had lots of tests and X-rays. One of the heart arteries had blocked and caused the attack. His heart was scarred and damaged. He came home and had to take it easy but doing little walks each day and increasing the distance each week. He was off work for some time but luckily his company paid him sick leave pay. Bill was very depressed at this time and I kept trying to divert him with doing things like going to art galleries and going for drives but it wasn't until he showed interest in computers that his mood changed. So I encouraged him to buy one. Sonya was learning to use a computer at school and she enjoyed helping her Dad to use the computer. His zest for life returned and he went back to work and happy to come home to his new toy. Computers were very basic in the eighties but Bill has kept up with them. He still loves learning new skills in computing.
Brisbane won the right to hold the Commonwealth Games in 1982.  Brisbane got a facelift and new sporting facilities were popping up all around the city. My friendly neighbour, Moira and I and the four kids went to the opening ceremony. It was quite well done but it was a cold windy day which didn't make the day perfect. We didn't go to any other events but watched it on TV.

We were very proud of our marathon runner who won the event. Robert De Costella, who was of Swiss descent.

Later in the year my friend and I took the children to Dreamworld, an amusement park on the Gold Coast. 

Carol and her friend ready to go to their first disco held at their school.

Finally, professional family photos for 1982. We were so lucky to have Bill still with us after having a heart attack. So now he was on a quite a few medications.

Monday, August 16, 2021


 My Story continued:

In 1982 I started full time work again after being a stay at home mum for ten years. I went to night school  to upgrade my qualifications. Bill had to come home from work and feed the girls and put them to bed while I went off to lessons. I was really nervous about standing in front of a class again and hoped that it would all come back but teaching methods had changed. Luckily, I had volunteered at the girls' school so I watched keenly what was happening in education.

I was posted to Marsden State School, it was a new school in the outer suburbs of Brisbane where the population was growing rapidly. Already the school was too small. There were not enough classrooms so my first class was a Year 7 Class squashed into a withdrawal room, a small room between two normal classrooms, used for teaching a few children, not a full class of 30+ in those days. 

It was a trying time. Soon new classrooms were built and I was given a Year 4, which I was happy about. It is my favourite year level. I soon got into the swing of teaching again. It was when team teaching was all the rage and I shared a double classroom with a male teacher. His style was different to mine but we did get on okay. I can't believe how many kids were in the class then 34! When I retired we were down to 25 thank goodness

I had to balance working life with family life. I tried to switch off work and turn on family life as I drove home from school quickly so that the girls weren't home by themselves for too long. They used to walk home from school just a few blocks away. It was at this time that Bill took over cooking duties so that I could help the kids with homework and get then bathed.

We also entertained overseas visitors at the beginning of the year. My Uncle Gil and Aunty Win visited us from England. It was the first time they had been to Australia.
First, they had spent some time in Sydney with my Mum, Dad and Aunt Ada. Gil was my mum's younger brother and Ada was their older sister. It was the first time they had been together for many years. 

Mum (Florrie) 76, Gil 72, Ada 92 in 1982.

Florrie 6, Ada 22, Gil 2 in 1918.

 There were eight siblings all together. Ada was the second eldest and Florrie and Gil were the youngest two. Ada trained as a nurse and she helped her mother look after the younger children.
We took Gil and Win to Lone Pine Sanctuary, where there were koalas, kangaroos, emus and other animals.

Not long after, we had visitors from Switzerland, Eddie and Erica. Eddie was from Swiss Radio International and was a friend of Bill's through his volunteer work at Radio 4EB in Brisbane.
So once again we were off to the Koala Sanctuary.

Saturday, August 14, 2021


 Since I have had a sore hip, I sometimes walk around the village instead of the longer walk in the forest. I realised there is a lot of interesting things to see close to home.