Story Challenge: I is for Instruction

Travellers all over the world are given instructions on safety every time they board a flight. We all hear, over and over again how to fasten our seatbelt, how to brace in case of an emergency landing, how to inflate our life vest and blow the whistle, what to do with the tubes that drop from the ceiling to supply oxygen, and so on. Some flights have a video, some have multiple demonstrators, some like the small plane to Lord Howe Island have only one flight attendant and she also gives all of the instructions and demonstrations. There is a card in the seat pocket in front of each person that includes diagrams and information to make sure it is all clear.

We are about to travel for five weeks from Australia to Europe and Ireland, and home via Singapore, so we will have many opportunities to hear the safety instructions, on different planes and in different countries! I expect they will all be the same. Check out other I stories at

Until our return I wont be visiting your blogs, I will miss you and look forward to catching up in October. I wont be posting on Heartfelt Images, but you might see some travel photos on dadirridreaming if you look.

PS This is my 100th post on Heartfelt Images 🙂

Sunday Post: From a Distance, Sydney Opera House

This long shot of the Sydney Opera House was taken from the north-western side of the Harbour Bridge, at Milson’s Point near Luna Park. Looking past the colourful ferris wheel ride and the fluted towers at the Luna Park gate, past the ferry coming into the wharf, and still further looking beyond the northern pylons of the bridge and beneath it’s steely structure, across Sydney Harbour we see the Opera House on Benelong Point.

Anyone can join the challenge, pop over to Jakesprinter to see how it works!

Story Challenge: H is for Henna

French Dolly looks as though she has been using henna in her hair, but the baby she is nursing is still quite bald.

Henna is a commonly used reddish brown dye, made from the leaves of the henna plant. It has been used for thousands of years to dye fabric, as a hair colouring, and for body art.

Our host-mother in Nepal applying henna to my head!

Personally I used henna for years as a hair colouring, since it added lustrous lights to my dark hair, and seemed to improve the texture and quality of the hair. Now that I have some white hair I stay away from henna as the result is rather too startling!

Traditional hand decoration in Rajasthan

During a trip to Rajasthan I had my hand painted with traditional patterns using henna. This was lovely fun! For more H stories and photos pop over to Frizz’s site ….



Sunday Post: Black and White

baby, 1972

Jake’s challenge this week is Black and White! Great chance to hunt through the old photos and find just the right one, thank you Jake. Backstory to this photo: my parents had a little business selling lambskins as baby bedding which involved sourcing them at tanneries here and importing sheepskins from New Zealand.  Of course they needed a model for their images, and their first grandson was just the right age! Our children loved their sheepskins; when we were out visiting at night we just put a sheepskin on the floor in a corner and the baby would go to sleep happily.In this photo the basket is part of a 1947 Truby King cane bassinet, the rattle is wooden, the nappy (diaper) is cotton … all natural materials for that sweet natural boy.






Story Challenge: G is for Guide

Travelling in Bhutan was an unforgettable experience, made possible only because every visitor is accompanied by a guide. Perhaps we were lucky but we had a very experienced guide, Karchung, who took care to discover our interests and planned our trip perfectly. From the time we arrived at the airport in Paro until our departure 10 days later he looked after everything. This story is also about a different kind of guide, a spiritual guide if you like. We had been attending a festival in the east of Bhutan, and our guide wanted to show us something special. He waited until all the other guides and their vehicles had left the area, then stopped by the road and encouraged us to climb up the mountainside. There was a secret cave where some of the great Buddhist teachers of Bhutan had meditated.

Understanding our weak western nature Karchung did not actually tell us how far we had to climb, we always understood it was only over the next rise! At the top of one ridge we rested near a row of prayer flags. Three large dogs appeared, walking on the trail. There was no need for concern, they were dogs used by wandering herders to guard the herds, and now it seemed they came to guard us. The dogs fell into step with us, one in the lead, one in the middle and one at the rear. I was walking behind our driver, who turned and said smiling, “Now there are seven of us!” … an auspicious number. So we all continued, the guardian dogs taking care of us on the trail to the secret cave. When we reached it they vanished, their job done.

Thank you Frizz for the Story Challenge! Pop over to read some more G stories.

Story Challenge: “F” is for Finding Family

About ten years ago I began investigating our ancestors, and soon became hooked on genealogy. My mother had done a lot of work, and so had my husband’s mother, but very little was known about my husband’s father’s side of the family. Through my research I discovered that Stuart’s great-grandfather was the second son in a very large family born   near Glasgow. His mother had died after the birth of her seventh child, and his father had remarried and gone on to have another fourteen children. I made a little website and posted stories about the ancestors, with photos, really very modest but engaging.

Ian and Isabella who learnt what the internet was good for

Shortly after the stories were published an English son was taking his Scots mother for a drive in the Highlands. She asked “What good is the internet?” and he explained that you could find out anything you wanted to know. She replied that the only thing she wanted to know is what happened to her older brother who had gone to live in Australia. She had never met him and had always longed to see him. They entered a wee hamlet where there was a post-office/store with one computer for internet access. Within minutes they entered his full name and my page popped up, much to Great Aunt Isabella’s astonishment. There was the whole story of his origins and his choice to live in Australia, with photos of his wife and children.

We received a phonecall from a lady with a strong Glaswegian accent ….. “Hello Stuart, this is your great-aunt Isabella speaking!” We were astounded that Isabella was still alive, long after Stuart had lost his parents and his aunts and uncles. She was born 42 years after Stuart’s grandfather! Isabella came out to Australia to visit us, and we visited her in Sheffield where she was living in 2006. She was at peace knowing what happened to her big brother after all those years of wondering.

Stuart with his great-aunt in Sheffield 2006

We learnt a lot too, including all about her childhood memories of the house and large family she was born into. Here is a drawing Stuart did with Isabella of the house they had in the Silk Factory where her father was employed. We were fascinated with where everyone slept, and Isabella’s tales were warm and wonderful, imparting her love of the rich life she shared with her parents and all the siblings who remained in Scotland.

For other fabulous tales of the letter “F” see here!