The passing of a beautiful, loving, kind and generous lady.

It is with a heavy heart that I write this very belated post, after the passing of my cherished and much loved wife Sonia. She passed away peacefully on the 4/11/2017 at the Newcastle Mater Hospice, surrounded by close family.

I know that I (Mr OZ) as Sonia referred to me in this blog, could never do justice to this wonderful lady, but I felt there should be something added to this amazing Blog, and to include a small tribute to my loverly wife. Thankyou also to the many followers of Sonia’s blog over the years.

Sonia was an inspiration to family and friends, as she stayed positive through this horrendous ordeal, coping with the crippling disease, the big “C” as she referred to it.

During the last 18 months of Sonia’s life, cancer caused her endless pain and suffering, however she always put on a brave face, continued to smile and never complained. She was/is a very, very tough lady with a heart of gold and was always thinking of others first before herself.

As many of you would have noticed Sonia was very passionate about photography. Her love and incredible flare in photography meant that her camera was never far from her grasp. This passion and eye for that perfect shot, ensured there were always an abundance of amazing images capturing all aspects of our adventures, whether at home or abroad. This passion was later put to use when she formulated and voluntarily ran a beginners digital photography course for the U3A. Many of her students commented to me about her easy to understand teaching method, expert knowledge of the subject and patience with assisting everyone in the class. Sonia also took on the role of web master for the local U3A and did an excellent job of giving it a fresh new look and keeping it up to date with activities over several years.

There are many many wonderful things I could write about Sonia, that it would take copious reams of paper (or many pages of digital text). She had many hobbies and interests, but her family always came first. Her grandchildren were extra special and always brought a smile to her face. Her daughters, sisters and their families meant the world to her. Sonia has been a wonderful loving and caring wife to me, that we often said we could imagine sitting in rocking chairs together, chatting away the hours in our old age. I miss Sonia immensely, as do her family and friends. Sonia you will always be in our hearts and minds. Bless you Sonia.

Signed. Mr OZ  (Not actually my real name as I preferred to stay anonymous)


Posted in Travel | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Michelle Weber has challenged us to share our version of windows,

The one I’m sharing here is called Nature’s Window and its at Kalbari National Park in Western Australia.

Have a great weekend guys!

Posted in Australia, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

This week, Ben Huberman has challenged us to share our version of layered.

Here is a collection of layers mostly from nature. I love the different textures that are within some of the photos!

Reddell Beach, Western Australia

Marble Bar, Western Australia (banded jasper)

Bungle Bungle, Western Australia

Rickshaws waiting for fares in Beijing

The Blue Grotto, Malta

Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Have a great weekend guys 😊

Posted in Europe, Malta, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge

For this challenge, Cheri Lucas Rowlands asks us to interpret the theme “bridge.”

Below is a small selection of bridges in Australia, all different – just like all of us!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, New South Wales, Australia

De Grey River, Western Australia

Forster – Tuncurry, New South Wales, Australia

Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, Australia

Have a great end to your week! 😊

Posted in Australia, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient

This week, Andrea Badgley challenge us to show our perception of transient.

Life itself is transient and when you think about it, so are most things in life.


Posted in Australia, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Danger!

This week, share a photo that says Danger! to you.

These colours were amazing, but never the less, they have the potential, to destroy if not properly contained.

Posted in Australia, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match

This week, Ben has challenged us to share a Good Match.

I think the outback and a windmill are a perfect match!

Have a great weekend folks 😊


Posted in Australia, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

This week Cheri has challenged us to Hunt for shadows.

Here is my contribution for this week. Have a great weekend. 😊

Nostalgia Festival, (10 of 148) March 2016-2



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Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

This week Ben’s challenged us to share something Graceful.

A few years ago, when we visited Malta, we spent a day in the beautiful island of Gozo. On this particular day, we were looking at some beautiful sea caves. As we approached this one, the boat slowed down and entered the cave with the ease and grace of a bird. Years of practice have these men manoeuvring boats as easily as we drive our cars!!


Have a magic weekend – what ever you’re doing!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Ambience

This weeks photo challenge is Ambience.

Unlike the northern hemisphere, we’re getting record breaking heat! Last night was the hottest night on record for 159 years. In parts of Australia, they were still at 30 degrees Celsius at mid night 😡

So, the best place for us folks to be is the beach! In fast we stayed there until the sun set all the while creating an awesome ambience! 

Have a fantastic weekend! 😊

Posted in Australia, Photography, The Daily Post, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Hump Day Post: The Year that was!

Well, another year almost over, how did we get here already?

This will probably be my last post for 2016. I’m very happy to say that this Christmas is going to be a very special one. I have my daughter visiting from Europe and my sister from interstate, so I know it’s going to be a fun time 😊

Sorry I haven’t been as active with the blog as normal, but, there’s a perfectly good reason for it and you’ll find it here.

Sending a couple of wishes out there:

Cape Range NP, WA, July 2015, (13 of 216) July 2015

May most of your days be sunny, but if not, remember there’s blue skies above the grey clouds

Wenonah Head Beach, Urunga NSW

LOVE to the world

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Festive Season or a Happy Holidays – which ever one resonates with you and I’ll see you next year.


Posted in Hump Day Post, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chaos

Ben has challenged us this week to share our own version of Chaos.

Whilst travelling around Australia last year, we stopped at De Grey River in Western Australia for an overnight camp and it became quite scary when at dusk, hundreds of bird swooped and squawked in a frenzy for about an hour before the sky became clear once more.

This was nature creating chaos!

chaos-1 chaos-2 chaos-3

Posted in Australia, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Hump Day Post: Believe it or not…

So, my last post was back in August and during these few months my life has been turned upside down and changed for ever…

You may recall that I had a very painful right leg since April and try as they might, the doctors could not come up with the cause. It was diagnosed as Arthritis, Bursitis, a pinched nerve and finally after months of incredible pain, the REAL cause was revealed.

I have cancer in numerous places and the prognosis was not good!

Once I was diagnosed, my life has been a wind whirl!

I’ve been Scanned, X- rayed, had Nuclear Imaging, surgery to have a Gamma Pin placed on my right femur, a biopsy of my L5 vertebrae, had two lung biopsies, a short course of radiotherapy on my back and right thigh, all through a thick fog and blurred vision created by pain killing medication.

So far, I’ve sported a walking frame, crutches and a cane along with a grimace of pain – not a pretty site 😗

Ironic to think I named this blog ‘Retired2Travel’ as that was our intention and we did a pretty good job for a several years.

I even ventured out to China in June with a friend through incredible pain that I was led to believe was a pinched nerve – it turned out to be that one of the tumours had eaten away my femur leaving the bone as thin as a finger nail – hence it flexed with every step I took. Lucky, that was operated on as soon as it was diagnosed!

Smiling through the pain 😐

I need to say a BIG THANK YOU to my incredible family and friends for their support. During this time, I’ve felt very loved and cared for.

Mr Oz: has been my brain, eyes and ears. He’s taken everything on board, has been my guiding hands, my shoulder to lean on, my mouth piece when I was too foggy to comprehend or reply. All in all he’s shown his love with myriad gestures of gigantic proportions. Thank you Hon, I would not have liked to take this journey without you. You are an amazing and adorable man. I love you!

My daughter Siân: who’s living in Germany, got on a plane as soon as she heard the news to stay with me for a month (thanks to her very understanding company which allowed her to work from a remote location), during her visit, she was my physio, cook and researcher. Thank you so much for your huge effort, E!

My daughter Catherine: who lives around the corner from me with a very young family was part of my research team and as well as bringing my beautiful grand daughters with her for me to get my Angels Fix on a regular basis. My grand daughters have given me so much strength – it’s unbelievable. Thank you so much for your effort, Cath!


My Angels Fix ❤️❤️

My sister Manuela: who lives interstate has made a couple of trips to be my personal assistant, keeping my medication on check, making sure I took vitamins / supplements on time, helping me with daily injections after the operation and not to mention the moral support she has always given me. Thank you, so much. You are such a special sister to me – I know you know that!

My sister Ana: who lives in Wales, (UK) came so that us three sisters could share some laughter, talk about our younger days, swap thoughts and ideas and be my personal shopper together with my sister Manuela. Thank you for creating so much laughter – it’s the best medicines I’ve taken!

Friends: who ordered meals, cooked meals, brought meals, flowers, cards, good wishes and added me to their prayer group.  Thank you all so much – I know many times you guys made me cry with your kindness. I’m forever in your debt!

They say, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. I’d never realised, ‘It takes a village to care for someone!’

This, by the way is not an obituaryon the contrary!!

These things have given me love, strength and courage to take on the big ‘C’.

It has given me a greater purpose in life than I ever had before!

I want to sit beside Mr Oz on the proverbial rocking chair holding hands;

I want to support my daughters and be part of their lives;

I want to read books, play with my grand daughters and watch them grow;

I want to see my daughter in Germany getting married;

I want more catch up times with my sisters;

I want to be a better friend to my friends;

I want to be a better person and return love and kindness a thousand folds;

And I want to live to see many more sunsets!


What greater reasons could there be to live?

Posted in Hump Day Post, The Daily Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Frame

I love old style lamp posts! This one was nicely framed by foliage and the combination of both aspects caught my eye.

WPC- Frame 2

I don’t know about you, but if I was this pelican, I’d be feeling ‘framed’, a bit intimidated and outnumbered! What do you reckon?

WPC- Frame

Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Posted in Australia, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Hump Day Post: Postcard from Somersby Falls

This week’s postcard is from the beautiful Somersby Falls in New South Wales (NSW) Australia.

We went there at the beginning of the year and were thrilled with the amount of water there was. For the local families, it’s a favourite spot to visit when our summer gets too hot and some beaches may become crowded.

It’s a haven seldom thought of by those who live near the coast, but I’ll keep them in mind for this summer!

HDP- Aug 2

HDP- Aug 1

I trust your Hump Day is going great! 😉

Posted in Australia, Hump Day Post, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments