Tinka, High Jump Champion, NSW, Australia

This is my granddaughter Katelyn's dog Tinka. They won the 'Little Dog High Jump' in the Dog Trials held at Ellerston recently.She is forever trying to leap over the fence, even when there is another open gate nearby! She deserves to be a champion with all that practice! 

(Music by http://www.purple-planet.com)

Elizabeth Coughlan


Family Fun in NSW Australia

A creek by Suzi and Neil's house

The best thing about our trip to Australia this time, was the fact our whole nuclear family was together. Our three daughters and their families, all met together in the Upper Hunter Valley, NSW.

We visited Glenbawn lake together, and had a great lunch in the small cafe there.

We relaxed and had fun together

From the left: Suzi, Clare, Jessica, David, and Jane

While we were waiting for the meal, some of us played football, 
and then had to retrieve the ball from the roof

Jane, Suzi and Brandyn strolling down the hill to the creek

All the grandchildren had an absolute ball playing in the creek by Suzi and Neil's house.

Jessica, reflected in the creek

Katelyn, playing by the creek

Hugo, digging in the creek

A very tired Katelyn is carried home by her Aunty Janie.

What a wonderful time we had, hopefully one that will be repeated through the years to come.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Ellerston Public School, NSW, Australia

Katelyn's beautiful cake

While we were in Australia, we got to celebrate Katelyn's 6th birthday. She had a magnificent cake,
made by Katherine McLoughlin of Frosted. We took the cake to Katelyn's school, where the whole school celebrated Katelyn's birthday. I must add that there are only 22 pupils in total, so there was more than enough cake to go round!

"Hurry up, everybody!"
Katelyn's brother, Brandyn,was anxious to get to school.

Katelyn was delighted when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

Katelyn with her best friend, Emily.

Ellerston Public School may not be large in size, but it is huge in achievement!

David and I were really impressed with Ellerston Public School. It is a tiny school, but the children
are motivated, and happy. We attended two other events while we there. One was the school's paper
plane competition, and the other was the public speaking competition against other country primary

Did you know that there is a world paper plane making championship? I had no idea, but strangely, the movie, "Paper Planes" was showing on our flight back to Istanbul! In Katelyn's school, all the children had to decorate their piece of paper, fold the plane, and then throw it, to determine whose flew the furthest.

Before the competition began, the children told us about their heroes. 
Katelyn's hero was her Daddy!

Katelyn decorated her piece of paper, before folding it into a plane...

...she then launched it into the air, while the Headmaster waited to mark its landing place.
The children had such fun!

We also marvelled at the Public Speaking Competition. Every child in every year group is expected to take part in this, and then deliver their prepared speech to a panel of adjudicators. We were delighted when Ellerston Public School won most of the awards, and thrilled when Katelyn got "Highly Commended". We were such proud grandparents!

Katelyn, delivering her speech about horses

Elizabeth Coughlan


Glenbawn Lake, NSW, Australia

Glenbawn Lake, NSW, Australia

This beautiful lake, and surrounding area, is a result of damming the Hunter River in the Upper Hunter Valley, NSW. The dam wall was originally built between 1948 and 1958, with a later raising of the wall in 1987. It is very near to where our daughter, Jane, and family live, so they are able to visit here regularly.

These sunken trees reminded us of lake Kariba in Zimbabwe

It is now a state park, with amenities for fishing, many forms of water sport, picnic areas with BBQs, children's playgrounds, and even tennis. There are also camping sites with fire pits, and numerous cabins and bungalows, so it is a perfect place to stay. It is also a nature-lover's paradise, with over 100 species of birds, and extensive woodlands with numerous kangaroo, and other Australian wildlife.

Waiting to greet new arrivals!

Sean looking for fish

Peaceful views across the lake

A perfect camping site. You can see the fire pit on the grass

A peaceful little backwater

When we visited, it was winter, so there were few other visitors; even though the sun was shining and it wasn't particularly cold.

A walk beside the lake

There is something wonderful about walking in the countryside, with only the sounds of nature surrounding you. It always makes me feel happy.

Even the road out was picturesque

I think this park needs to be on our itinerary, every time we visit Jane, Sean, Shannon, and Jordan, in their new home in Australia.

Elizabeth Coughlan

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I couldn't resist this one!