Come in for a cuppa and a chat as we travel from July into August

It’s still quite cold here but there are signs of the imminent arrival of Spring and that makes me smile 🙂

I invite you to get a cuppa, make yourself comfortable and settle in for a chat! Are you cosy enough? Let’s take a break and look back over the month of July together.


As you know, TIME is my word of the year (WOTY) and I still can’t believe how fast it goes! Especially this year – the months are racing by! But where does it go?? This quote says it perfectly don’t you think?

Alice: How long is forever?

White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.

Lewis Carroll

My monthly wrap-up posts for 2019 all have a similar flavour, taking into account the TIME theme.

Last month was full of road trips and this month has again seen more days away than at home, and lots of family time.


July was the month we said farewell to Anna, our beautiful Hungarian Rotary Youth Exchange student. We first met Anna back in August last year shortly after she had arrived in Tumbarumba Australia, from her home, a large Hungarian city called Debrecen, population 200,000. She was on a year-long youth exchange with Rotary, and based in our small, rural and quite isolated town in the Snowy Mountains of NSW, population approximately 2000. That means her city is a thousand times bigger, population wise, than our little town!!! Yet she coped brilliantly with all the changes in her lifestyle.

Anna our Rotary Youth Exchange daughter
Anna our Rotary Youth Exchange daughter

Anna was fortunate to be hosted by three families, us being one of them, in Tumbarumba. Only one of her host families had children still at home, so she was, in effect, an only child, and she loved it!

My husband and I hosted Anna from December 2018 until the end of April 2019, and over the Christmas/New Year period she went away on a camping road trip with her first host family, which she enjoyed immensely. We took Anna with us to various places, a dolphin cruise on Jervis Bay was one of her highlights.

Anna also went away on a group Safari with other Rotary students and leaders for three weeks in April, seeing parts of Australia I still haven’t been to! As part of her visa conditions Anna had to attend the local High School and found many differences in the Education system. It was hard to believe at times she was only a 16 year old student when she arrived, as her levels of maturity and resilience were very high. She returned home a very different girl than when she left – as is always the case with exchange students!

Anna thanked our local Rotary Club members and the whole community for hosting her and invited everyone to visit her in Hungary, claiming she will return to Tumbarumba one day, hopefully with her family.

We were with Anna as she bid farewell from Canberra airport and we hope to visit her in Hungary sometime soon! Here she is wearing her Rotary blazer with her many pins all over it!

Anna leaving on a jet plane
Anna leaving on a jet plane


My now not-so-new Friday Feature, is where I share various bits that have made me laugh or cringe during the week, and they’re always fun posts to compile. I can’t believe I’m up to #22 this week! Where does the time go? See point one above!!

I had a great month joining Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond, as a co-host for #JournalinginJuly – with a monthly journal prompt each day and a compilation post every Saturday throughout July. You can read my posts here – Journal Ideas in July, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Final days. Thanks again to Sue for having me.

I was a guest on Sue’s blog with my response to #JournalinginJuly Day 24 – What I don’t want in my life.

I was also part of a collaborative post with Kathy from 50 Shades of Age. She invited midlife bloggers to talk about how they keep busy in retirement and what a great post it was! So many women keeping busy in different ways – well worth a read! Keeping Busy in Retirement

I’ve managed to keep up with my self-imposed timetable but I have let a few blogging groups fall by the wayside, as I just can’t keep up with it all. There I’ve said it!!


In the bush

The Aussie bush is always a calming place to be and finding such beautiful flora, like banksias and wattle, make it a real delight! I’ve enjoyed walking in the bush at home and on the NSW South Coast.

At the beach

I loved spending a few days at the beach at Huskisson on the NSW South Coast and managed to capture some sunset and sunrise shots. I rediscovered the joy of early morning beach walks and although I usually I like to listen to podcasts or music when walking, I can’t do that with the gentle sound of waves hitting the shore. There’s nothing more relaxing to listen to! These photos show the sunrise and sunset – I just loved trying to capture the rays of the sun coming through the clouds.


I’ve just counted up the books I managed to read in July and was very surprised that I’ve read 13 books! I’m now well over my 55 goal for my reading challenge for 2019! It seems all I do is read books and blog – to which my husband would nod and agree!

After mentioning Hope by Terry Tyler last month, I went on and read lots of her other books and really enjoyed them. Tipping Point, Lindisfarne, UK 2 and Legacy are all part of a series and were fabulous page turners, set in the future, a genre I always enjoy.

I also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, but although a good read in some ways, I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much. I’ve never been a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan though to be honest.

This was my best read for the month, I couldn’t put it down:

Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

Six Minutes - a great read
Six Minutes – a great read

Goodreads blurb:

An unputdownable thriller for fans of Liane Moriarty and Caroline Overington. If you were gripped watching The Cry, you’ll be hooked on Six Minutes.

‘Impossible to put down and full of twists and turns you won’t see coming! I loved this fabulous debut novel.’ Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of Nine Perfect Strangers 

How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums? 

One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.

Six minutes later, Bella is gone.

Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear. 

Is Bella’s disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House? What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge-room?

What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?

The clock is ticking…

This gripping novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist.


It was a HUGE time family wise – we had a visit from my brother, his daughter and her partner and their three children for morning tea during the school holidays, where I surprised my brother by baking some scones in honour of their visit! They were keen for it to snow, and it was definitely cold enough, so they could go skiing!

We visited our daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter in Canberra on the way back and forth from the coast – well it’s sort of the on the way!

We spent 10 days with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law over on the coast, as it was the five years since my brother-in-law, Cliff, had suddenly passed away and just days later it was a year since my father-in-law had passed away unexpectedly. Although we didn’t make a big deal of these special days, we enjoyed being together, supporting each other and reminiscing in our own unique way. Our daughter, son in law and granddaughter joined us for a few days and we shared an apartment at the beach with them, which was fun but not without its issues!

What was nice, was that my husband and I got to go out for lunch with Cliff’s work colleagues – apparently they have been doing it each year but this was the first time we’ve been able to join them. It was lovely talking about him and sharing memories with his friends and workmates.

Although our other two daughters couldn’t be with us in person as they were five years ago and again last year, they were messaging us and thinking of us. They were going through their own grieving process. This is a great photo of my family, from five years ago – just enjoying being together!

Family favourite
Family favourite

Other stuff got done in a timely fashion

Just like most months I managed to get to movie club and regular Saturday morning tea catch-ups with friends. I had a facial, a massage, a hair appointment, went to Chi Ball, a first birthday and naming ceremony for a young friend and on the other end of the spectrum we travelled to Kiama to attend a friend’s 60th birthday and retirement party and I met up with an old school friend too. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to book club or Rotary this month. Some months there’s not enough days to do everything! I think I usually push the envelope quite well, fitting in all I do!


If this your first time reading my monthly wrap-up posts or even the first time you’ve read my blog – a huge welcome to you.

To all my regular readers, it goes without saying that I am grateful for your continued support and encouragement, through your comments, likes and shares. I love our blogging community and I’m a very Grateful Blogger!

Thanks for the chat and the cup of tea, I’ve enjoyed your company as always 🙂

Wishing you all the best for August. Let me know what you’re up to!

Tea drinking Debbie
Tea drinking Debbie

Deb xx

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46 Replies to “Come in for a cuppa and a chat as we travel from July into August”

  1. Spring. Hah. You are a world away! We had such a long and crappy winter and then such a long and wet spring, I am so happy to be sitting in sunny, hot and dry weather right now here in Canada. But I understand you… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Debbie – That was time well spent and lovely photography in July. I’ll add Six Minutes to my ‘to read’ list and visit the links that I missed. Thank you for your chat and cuppa 🙂 #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great catch up Deb – I’m actually drinking my cuppa as I read and it felt like you were chatting with me at a cafe. So glad you fitted all that family time in and still managed to accomplish all the other stuff. I think retirement has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for you (as it’s becoming for me!) because how did we ever fit a life in when we were tied up with all that work palaver?
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to hear Leanne! I honestly don’t know how I managed to fit all that work palaver into my life 😂 it’s great to have time to do all these great things – even though they aren’t earth shattering they make me very happy! I so enjoyed our cuppa together and thanks for sharing. 😊


  4. What a full July you have had Deb and sometimes I wonder how you fit it all in, especially as you seemed to be away for most of July 🙂 It was such a pleasure working with your for #JournalinginJuly and look forward to our August project. I was running through bushland on the weekend and just had to stop occasionally to take in the natural beauty surrounding me. We are very luck aren’t we living in Australia. Have a fabulous August, my friend and thanks for sharing your life with us at #MLSTL. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another busy month for you. I’ve enjoyed the Saturday link-ups – and I always love your Friday features. We arrived home late last night to find that Spring has unexpectedly sprung. 28 today…seriously? Here’s to August…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can’t believe you managed to do all that in a month’s time! I loved catching up with what you are doing and looking at your photos. I’ve added Six Minutes to my reading list. Now I just have to find the time to read! We’re at the tail end of a very hot summer here–at least July and August have been. It’s been strange weather this year. Summer was slow in coming. It was wet and cold into June. Then BAM 100 degrees F. for days on end. Here’s to a pleasant August for both of us! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christie! Yes it was a busy month in many ways but good at the same time. Talking of strange weather we’ve just had a massive dump of snow and yet the daffodils are starting to shoot for spring!! Enjoy August 🙂


  7. For me, in July I was out of touch with my blog pals and fave blogs since my laptop wasn’t getting connected to the Internet. Now it’s ok.
    Last month I went to my school for the golden jubilee of the alumni association and met with classmates, schoolmates and teachers.
    It’s rainy season here. Hopefully, there won’t be flooding as it happened last year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad your laptop is back working again, it’s hard being out of contact isn’t it? Reunions are such fun! I hope there won’t be flood for you too 🙂 Thanks for your visit and comment.


  8. Great review, my friend. Anna was so fortunate to be able to be in your home, as well as the homes of the 2 other families who sponsored her. Hope you do make plans to visit her in Hungary. Bravo to her for adjusting so well to small town life.

    The photos you shared from the ‘bush’ and the beach are marvelous. You have a good eye. I like seeing the different vegetation you have. Of course, here, on the desert, we have a lot of scrub bushes and cactus. I miss trees!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leslie, it was a fun month and Anna really did make the most of her time here. Thanks for your kind words about my photography, I really enjoying capturing what I see and sharing 🙂 I’d love to see you desert one day. Thanks again for the linkup, I always enjoy seeing everyone’s month!


  9. What a joyous and action packed month! I especially love how you captured the colours on your beach walks and I bet Anna had a magnificent time. I have such fond memories of being an exchange student (although I only hopped across the channel from the UK to France!) I have heard such great things about Six Minutes, I must add it to my To Read list!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Time certainly does go quickly and I can hardly believe the year’s almost over. Huskisson is such a beautiful part of NSW. We’ve been on a few family holidays there. How lovely to welcome an exchange student into your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your comment Bella, we love Huskisson too. We’ve had a few youth exchange students over the years and always enjoy the connections and they become part of our family forever!


  11. I am guessing from that post that “not a lot of time” is spent at home in your retirement…and why not. I too love some time in the Aussie bush but I am not an lover of the various fauna so tend to be a winter only venturer. I take some time to walk near a part of the Wyong River and reflect on the past users of the river and give thanks for all they did back in the day. Love noticing nature and for me it can be a simple as a weed looking like a mandala. Warm wishes
    Thanks for linking up and I hope to see you next week for Self Care stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you Denyse, in that I too love noticing nature and what’s going on around me. We aren’t home very much but I do enjoy my time when I get to sit and relax in our lovely town. I am planning on taking a break from blogging while I am away in England with my daughter, so I’ll miss your linkups for the next few weeks, unless I get a free moment when I feel like posting! Take care and thanks for your comment.


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