Journaling in July Week #3

#JournalinginJuly – Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of my #JournalinginJuly posts. I’m joining Sue at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond, for a month of writing daily journal prompts. Sue and I will be linking up our weekly posts each Saturday throughout July. Feel free to join in – the link is open to everyone.

So without further ado – here are my responses for the third week of #JournalinginJuly

This week had lots of fun answers 🙂

14. Best Holiday

Sunday 14 July

This was a very hard one!! Our life seems like one big holiday at times, especially as we’ve both been retired for over 2 years! We’ve had some amazing adventures over the years but I think I can honestly say that it all started back in 1992…although it wasn’t so much a year-long holiday, as a life-changing moment in our lives.

We had never travelled overseas as a family before accepting this yearlong teacher exchange from Australia to England. Oh and by the way our 3 girls were aged 8, 6 and 3 at the time.

Yes we were mad!!

I didn’t choose the holiday life,

the holiday life chose me!

This describes me perfectly!

The Cheddar Connection

What sort of connection does an Australian family living in a small rural and quite isolated town, have with a small English village called Cheddar?  Back in 1992 The Mathematician participated in a year-long Teacher Exchange program which effectively meant we swapped houses, jobs, cars and lives with a family from Cheddar, in Somerset in the southwest of UK. The English family travelled to our town of Tumbarumba in New South Wales Australia, and took over the Mathematician’s job at the local high school. It was an education for all concerned!

We moved with our three small daughters to the other side of the world for what turned out to be the experience of a lifetime – for all of us.  The Mathematician drove to Bath each day to work in the adult education sector and we took every opportunity to see as much of England and Europe as we could during the year.

It wasn’t always easy but we managed to make it a year full of fun and adventure. In fact at the end of the year the girls didn’t want to return to Australia, they were more than happy to stay in Cheddar where they’d enjoyed school, friends and travelling!

Our eldest daughter returned to Cheddar for a gap year after finishing high school and again after finishing her university course. And she has since stayed on and made her life there. It’s a case of life coming full circle!

We’ve been back to visit many times over the years, to visit our daughter as well as the many friends we still have in the village.  We’re always welcomed like long lost friends and pick up where we left off since last time.

It always feels like coming home to all of us, and it’s a place we all love. It opened our lives up to travel and we have all since gone on to travel the world. As I mentioned in an earlier response for Day 7 Favourite quote , our family motto is To Travel is to Live – and this story is one of the reasons why.

I often stop and wonder how different our lives would be had we not taken that huge momentous step to go on the exchange.

15. View from my window

Monday 15 July

It’s winter, it’s wet, it’s cold outside and it’s trying hard to snow as I look out my bedroom window. We have a busy and emotional day ahead.

Today we took Anna, our Hungarian Rotary Youth Exchange student, to Canberra to catch her flight home. She has had a year in our small town and now it’s all over. Rotary Exchange students have a saying – it’s not a year in your life, it’s a life in a year.

I took this photo from the window at the airport – the plane, the moon and mixed emotions.

From the window
From the window

16. My family

Tuesday 16 July

Together we make a family.

My family are a very important part of my life – my husband, my daughters, my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my nieces and nephews, everyone!! I was so lucky to wake up today and have cuddles with my baby granddaughter. As we don’t live close to most of our family, we always make the most of our time together 🙂

Grandma cuddles
Grandma cuddles

This photo says it all to me and I’m so happy to be able to use it, especially as it was so perfect for the day’s prompt of family! I have another grandchild on the way and can’t wait to meet another little person who will steal my heart.

Of course it goes without saying that my three daughters stole my heart many years ago! And the Mathematician years before that!

17. What makes me laugh?

Wednesday 17 July

I often make myself laugh and when I laugh I usually snort, that’s when you know something is really funny! I can’t tell a joke to save my life as I start laughing well before the punch line and totally ruin it. I love nothing more that a big belly laugh and often I’m the only one laughing!!

I love clever comedy and realise that comedy is very different for each and every one of us. What I find funny may not be your cup of tea and vice versa.

What did the fish say when he swam into the wall? Dam wall! 🤣

I shared this today on my Deb’s World Facebook Page and it says it all! I am someone who will smile when I see a flower growing through the cracks, I snort when I laugh….

18. My favourite way to relax

Thursday 18 July

What a fabulous relax I had today! I have had a facial booked in for a few days now but due to illness, the date was changed a few times and it ended up being today!! How fortuitous!

It was an hour long, relaxing Vitamin C facial and oh my goodness was it good! My skin feels so refreshed and bright and I enjoyed the quiet relaxing time being pampered.

That’s how you relax! It doesn’t happen very often but when it does it’s absolutely fabulous!

19. My home

Friday 19 July

My home is a very special place! I live in Tumbarumba, a very small rural town of about 2000 people in NSW Australia. Although I love travelling to amazing places I always enjoy coming home to the mountains, the four distinct seasons, the space, the big skies and the quiet lifestyle.

20. My ancestry

Saturday 20 July

I seem to have one of those faces that fits into many countries, as I am often asked where I come from – Italy, France, Spain or Greece – are the main contenders. Do you see a theme here – the Mediterranean area seems to be the expectation. I do remember telling people I was Japanese at one stage when I was quite young, but I don’t know why!!!!

It’s interesting to note that I do have some French blood, as well as English and Indigenous. My husband has been doing our family history for years, my mother has as well, and they often compare notes and share information. It’s such an interesting, and time-consuming, exercise.

It wasn’t until I was 21 that I knew for sure where my dark colouring came from. I was always the girl at school who won the sun-bathing competitions by getting the best tan in a short amount of time (I was always tanned), who had the big brown eyes and was a bit ‘different’ looking to everyone else. But that was what made me ‘cute’ at the time.

Through family history records it was traced back that my Great-Great-Grandmother Mary, (on my father’s side), was an Aboriginal woman from the North Coast of NSW. Everything fell into place after finding out this news! My father never really wanted to know much and in those days I suppose having Aboriginal heritage wasn’t something to celebrate. I am happy to know of my heritage!

My mother on the other hand is from English stock and emigrated with her family from Birmingham UK to Australia back in 1955 as a 16 year old. Her name, can you believe it, is Sheila 🙂 Mum was not impressed about leaving England, but soon after arriving she met my father and as they say, the rest is history. Mum’s blonde hair and colouring has jumped a generation, with two of my daughters being very fair haired but so far the blue eyes are missing.

What is #JournalingInJuly?

Sue and I are looking at this month as a challenge to extend our creative writing and get into journaling. Having a daily prompt helps to get me to focus and I’m enjoying the process. Here are the daily prompts.

What I have found works for me, is to set a time to write my responses and a time limit. I usually have some idea of what I want to write and I try not to overthink my responses. Once my time limit is up I quickly edit the writing and I’m done.

I hope you enjoy my Week 3 recap post and if you’re keen to get involved leave a comment or linkup with Sue and I using the link below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Here are my posts for #JournalinginJuly so far, in case you’ve missed them:

Journal ideas in July

Journaling in July Week 1

Journaling in July Week 2

Next Saturday I’ll be responding to the prompts for Sunday 21 July through to Saturday 27 July.

I’ve shared a few personal things here in these responses, some of them could have been whole posts on their own! But I just wrote what came to me at the time.

What did you enjoy the most , I’m interested to know!

Have a great week ahead and happy journaling 🙂

Deb xx

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50 Replies to “Journaling in July Week #3”

  1. You were born for journaling and storytelling Debbie. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses to the prompts. What an interesting life you have led and I think you should write a book about your adventures . I would buy it! You have such a way of writing that makes me experience your adventures with you. I don’t laugh often but yes I start laughing before I finish telling a joke and I’ve snorted a time or two in my life! I have some indigenous ancestry on Mums side but basically I’m a good old Anglo Saxon. Thanks for taking the journaling journey with me and I’ve enjoyed the challenge with you. Only a week and a half to go.


    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words Sue! I really am enjoying the prompts and telling stories for each of them. I probably should have written a daily post as my weekly warp-up seems to be getting longer each time! Some of the prompts are harder than others, but that’s good for the brain 🙂
      I have been told I should write a book before – we seem to have led an interesting life by some people’s standards!! To us it’s just what we’ve done and how things have turned out. I enjoy sharing these snippets on my blog though and hopefully it’s of interest to others. Enjoy the week of prompts ahead and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


    1. Thanks Jennifer, it’s been a fun week of journal writing as I’ve not able to get out of the house much, it’s given me a real direction and focus. I was amazed at how personal some of my responses were but that’s what poured out of my head at the time!! Yes my ancestry is very interesting – it took a while to find out some of the info but it was well worth knowing and things really fell into place for me!! I’m thoroughly enjoying the daily prompts and am glad you’ve been joining in with us! Your post was great too 🙂


  2. How have I missed these journaling prompts they are great. The exchange would have been great – seeing/living different places such good experiences for you and your girls. Beautiful pic of your granddaughter she made me smile. Creating memories/experiences that is what it is all about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amelia, the prompts have been great fun and it’s not too late to join in! Yes the exchange was brilliant for all of us, I’m very partial to that photo of our Emilia looking up at me 🙂


  3. Deb, exchanging lives with another family sounds like a ‘made for TV movie.’ How adventurous of you to have done that and what an experience for your children. Loving to laugh is something we have in common; the usual object is myself, when I have done something mindless, but I also love ‘warped comedy shows’ as my husband calls them. It has been fun getting to know you and Sue better through your responses to her challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Suzanne the exchange was an amazing experience and really changed our lives for the better. Our whole family loved it and looking back I don’t know how I was brave enough to do it! We are very alike in that we laugh at ourselves 😂 and the more warped comedy the better!! It’s been a fun challenge to take and I’m really enjoying it! Thanks so much for your comment and support.


  4. I’ve been enjoying your journal entries Deb – and it’s nice to see Tumbarumba getting a plug 🙂 Loved the grandbaby pic and here’s my dumb joke for you: What do you call a fly with no wings? …….. A walk! 😛 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful post! I loved your journaling for the entire week. It would be hard to pick which day was my favorite to read – but I have to say that your entry about your year in Cheddar & how its affected your families life is probably tops. What a wonderful year that must have been! It must have been great, seeing as your daughter is back there now!
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed reading your posts and related to the teacher exchange. We did the same in 2004 to Staffordshire. My family had grown up but my daughter was working in London so we could catch up. She met a man in England and later married him but they live in Sydney now as he is also Australian. My son had just finished university and lined up a job in Canberra, my husband was newly retired so I felt now was the time to do what I had planned to do since I was 18, that is, teach overseas. I what a challenging and rewarding experience that was.

    I really enjoyed your writing. Tumbarumba is a great place. We called in with our caravan for a festival a couple of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh no, I wrote a long comment on my phone and then lost it trying to log in. Maybe it was a way of saying I wrote far too much. I loved reading your journal. The story of your heritage is fascinating. I found through DNA my father was not the one I grew up with. The teacher exchange was interesting as I did the same in 2004 to Staffordshire except my husband was retired.
    Finally I love Tumbarumba. We took our van their to a music festival and had a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got your comment Linda! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me not one, but two comments!! How amazing that DNA showed up that result. I am so pleased to hear you also have great memories of your exchange to Staffordshire and love that you’ve actually been to Tumbarumba for Tumbafest!! Thanks again.


  8. I’m not participating in the JIJ thing but like reading the posts as I’m forced to ponder my responses anyway.

    The teacher exchange sounds amazing and what a great opportunity for you and the kids as well.

    As for the facial – I’m with you… I love me some pampering.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deb, I’m glad the prompts are giving you some thoughts, it’s been fun responding to them. Yes the exchange was amazing for us all, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Lovely to have you reading along with us.


  9. Tumburumba-I love it! I’m from a small town,Scappoose, so I know what it’s like to have to spell your home town.
    I enjoyed both yours & Sue’s Journaling in July! It’s fun to learn things about both of you! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I so enjoy your journaling prompts, Deb. It’s a nice way of getting to know you. We are also expecting a new grandbaby in February. It was interesting to read about your ancestry. I am also English, Irish and German. I’ll be back with you all soon. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your Cheddar story and how it turned you into a world traveler. It is so interesting reading all these journal prompts and learning more about you and your ancestry. And I’m a snorter, too! You know something is really funny when the snorting starts to happen. But I smile, laugh, and giggle (sometimes just to myself) all day long.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am your twin in joke telling but I love a good laugh. How fascinating that when you made a part of Britain your home all those years ago, one daughter came back and stayed. Your stories are always of interest.

    Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

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