Sunday, 13 December 2015

In Memory of a special friend.

When we lived on the coast, my next door neighbour was a very dear friend and great support to me .
Hubby worked away a lot and with three young children and later teenagers she was  wonderful to have  right next door. I can not put into words  how appreciative I was  for her being there for us, she kept me sane I am sure. !!
After her lovely husband died she would pop over almost daily for coffee and a chat or I would pop over to her.
We used to go on outings, to lunch, to the movies and  sometimes her lovely daughter would accompany us and we also started to become good friends.
Then just over 6 1/2 years ago, she became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. She fought a very brave and hard battle but eventually passed away on 20th June 2009.
Her daughter  stayed in the home( she had moved home temporarily to care for her Mum) for a while and we really  had a lot in common and grew close just like sisters.
That bond still remains and as our  special lady would have celebrated her 90 th birthday this year, in November  we decided to do it for her ( she was with us in spirit),We always refer to her mum as "The Girl"
So I took a road journey to my other sisters' home
It was a long drive down through  the valley which is  known for its mining activity, and several times along the way I had to be pulled over by police patrol to let these big fellows pass by, there was a convoy of 4 of them.
I slipped straight to Newcastle and got myself a haircut,did some shopping( a real luxury these days), and met another friend for lunch, then  headed up to my friends home to stay the night.
She lives in a lovely tree studded area on a small acreage and the next morning there was a gorgeous family of wild ducks  hanging around her pool( she didn't think they were lovely as  they are causing a lot of  pool pollution problems with their droppings)

We were then taken to the train station by  a neighbour and caught the train to Central in Sydney.
We had booked an apartment for two nights  in the centre of Sydney, we were on the 29th floor ( I am
not great with heights, so I didn't even venture out onto the balcony the entire time)
We then had  our traditional wander past the David Jones Christmas windows( which were a massive disapointment  this year) , a roam through the  very expensive clothing section just to dream and then on to  "The Girls'" favourite birthday  treat of all High Tea at the Queen Victoria Building.
I must say they outdid themselves ,it was delicious and we ate every morsel, it was a lovely afternoon Birthday tea. While at the Queen Victoris building we  also checked out the gorgeous christmas tree that  is located under the central dome. The tree takes up three floors and is  beautifully decorated  with swarovski crystals.
And finally me at the base, unless you see this tree, you truly cannot imagine how large it is.
The queen Victoria building is a beautiful old lady, saved from  certain demolition at the last minute and  has been faithfully and lovingly restored.
They had a lovely spot where the kiddies could meet Santa and get photographs,

We headed back to our apartment, got ourselves all  gussied up and headed off to a place called "The Blue Bar" up on the top floor of The Shangrilah Hotel, from here you get a real  birds eye view of Sydney. We purchased one and only one coctail( as they were very expensive) and sat and enjoyed our stunning view.
From here we headed to the Opera house as we had scored last minute tickets at half price for a supposedly great  show.

The show we saw was called "Velvet" it was  a burlesque style show with Marcia Hines as the star, it was amazing, one of the very best stage shows I have ever seen.
We left the show on a total high, and came back outside to this  wonderful night time  view of the Harbour bridge on our way back to the apartment.
Next morning we were up and off, the plan was to go to Watsons  Bay on the ferry,
Over at Watsons Bay is a seafood restaurant called Doyles'  and "The Girl" used to always talk about her trips there , so in honour of her we went, but not to the flashy expensive  part,
We just did the cheapie take away part and ate it  in the nearby park .
When my friend was about to place a calamari ring in her mouth, this cheeky fellow swooped through and grabbed it right off her.
We then went for a walk up to the Gap lookout, stunning views, took this panorama, but not a great photo unfortunately.
The day passed all too quickly and we returned back to circular quay on the ferry  and on the way saw this lovely sail boat.
We once again returned to the apartment and  got ourselves all spruced up and headed off to see the stage show "Matilda"
What a great night, I have always loved this book, and then the movie and now the stage production.
we walked back to the apartment  and  collasped into our chairs and talked half the night, were were both on a high from our great weekend.
We had  a great night view from our apartment, life in the city just doesn't stop.
Next morning we had a wander around  the shops, saw this lovely old building reflected on the new and  thought how  lovely that was.
  We  were mainly window shopping , as we normally arn't big spenders, this trip was a huge expense for the shows and the apartment, so we walked EVERYWHERE, ( all my blisters will verify that) and caught trains when we couldn't , brought our breakfasts with us and just bought salad and fruit from the nearby supermarkets for meals, we saved where we could to allow for the extra treats.
We then caught the train  back to Newcastle,  were once again  picked up and returned to my friends house where I gathered my car and then  travelled to  another friends home to stay the night.
Next morning I returned home  thoroughly tired and exhausted but  feeling  great.
I think "The Girl" would have enjoyed her birthday treats and  she was in our thoughts and actions the whole weekend. We honoured her memory I think exactly as she would have liked us too and I hope that we get to repeat it again one day .
So, there is only one thing left to say... "Happy 90th Birthday Rita , Hope  it was a good one"
Treasure all those that are special to you, you never know when they may suddenly disappear  and leave a big void in your life,
Take care everyone,


  1. What a wonderful tribute to your friend, I am certain that she was with you every step of the way.

    1. Thanks Pam, I am sure she was there too,

  2. wow what a treat! i think your friend would've approved too :))
    hope your blisters heal quickly
    thanx for sharing

    1. I think Rita would have loved it, and thankyou my feet are all better.City walking is so much harder on your feet than country walking.

  3. My goodness, that was some weekend trip. You certainly lived life to the full in Sydney town. The Girl would have thoroughly approved, me thinks.

    1. We really did, and we even squeezed in a few hours roaming in "Peters of Kensington" another favourite of The Girl's, She would have loved the whole thing.
      Take care Lynda
      Jane.:-) :-)

  4. What a lovely tribute to a lovely friend!! She would have loved it! You have had a fab few days. And thank you for taking us with you, so to speak, so that we could see all the beautiful sights, and imagine we could be there.
    The christmas tree is impressive. As are the views from the Shangrila hotel Blue Bar. I loved the photo of the Harbour Bridge.
    I hope your blisters heal soon (that with all your other injuries....)

    1. Thankyou Lisca,
      We had a truly lovely whirlwind couple of days, even though i had been to Sydney many times in my life I saw things through different eyes this time and have a new appreciation of it..
      My blisteted feet recovered , makes me aware to be more selective with what shoes I take away next time I travel..
      Sydney truly does have some very lovely sights...

  5. It looks like you did Rita proud and had a wonderful time too. Love all the pictures.

    1. Thanks Janice, she would have loved it. :-) :-)
      Take care

  6. I think you deserved a trip away after all the hard work you have been doing and what better way than this to honor your very special friend. I'm sure she was with you:)

  7. It was a lovely break, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Rita was definately there with us every step of the way.