End of NaGenWriMo

Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Well today is the 1st December and the end of NaGenWriMo – month of November

How did I do in writing 50,000 words in my posts?

Not too well as I only wrote 18 posts – that means I would need to write nearly 3000 words in each post. I certainly didn’t do that. In fact I only wrote 6506 words in total – this probably included captions under photos as well.

The longest posts were those about mum (892) and dad (1106) in Guides and Scouts. These were the longest as they had already been written by mum and dad and were kept on dad’s computer as memories of their lives.

So I needed to write another 43,500 words but there is a saying about

a picture paints a thousand words.

How many pictures did I include?

I counted 65 pictures so maybe we could say I included 65,000 words by using pictures. But no, that is not how NaGenWriMo works.

Good try though, Sue.

Where I have lived and taught

I often heard about children who had changed schools 6 or 7 times and families who had moved house often. But I am very lucky in that I only changed high schools once.

The first 13 years of my life was spent in Glenorchy at 6 Brent Street. I attended Glenorchy Primary School and then my first year of high school was at Cosgrove High. Whilst we lived there, I joined Brownie Guides, then Girl Guides. We also travelled around Australia during this period of time.

6 Brent Street in 2021

As a family, we then moved to 7 Cedar Street, Lindisfarne on the eastern shore of the Derwent River. Wherever we moved, we needed to see Mount Wellington. I then went to Rose Bay High School for the next three years. Two years spent at Elizabeth Matriculation College and then four years at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education (TCAE). During this time the main bridge over the Derwent River was hit by a ship and partially collapsed. Travel to and from Lindisfarne was via ferries then a bus up to TCAE on Mount Nelson. Otherwise I would be driving from Lindisfarne up to Bridgewater and then back down the western shore to Hobart.

My first teaching job was at Cygnet Primary School. I lived in an Education department rental for $10 per fortnight if I remember correctly. I visited there recently to take the photo and it hasn’t changed much since I lived there about 40 years ago. The house was directly opposite the school and only once in my three years there did a child knock on the door asking if I was coming to school. The only time I overslept.

Education residence at Cygnet

In 1980 I moved to Rokeby Primary School and bought a two bedroom unit in River Street, Bellerive. This was my home for the next 10+ years. It was also in 1980 that my parents moved to 41 Mt Stuart Road on the western shore – still a view of Mount Wellington. I never lived at this house but in 1990 I had my only operation in a hospital for gallstones so had to recuperate at mum and dad’s house due to complications in healing incorrectly.

In 1990 I spent one term at Lauderdale Primary School, then went travelling overseas for second term as my first Long Service Leave, and finally came back to teach at Sorell Primary School in third term. It was at the end of that term that I ended up in hospital.

I taught at Sorell for 21 years and in 1996 I moved to Seven Mile Beach and bought a 2 bedroom house there. This made it easier travelling to Sorell and also closer to my brother and his wife and their children who I would babysit some evenings. It is also where I am loving my retirement, growing some fresh vegetables and fruits like strawberries, rhubarb, peas, tomatoes, kale, sweet potatoes and capsicums and continuing with my family history research.

Strawberries from my garden

Readers: How many times have you moved house or school? What was the reason for the move?


There are some great places to meet your cousins. Weddings, family reunions, birthday parties and picnics at the beach.

The first photo today of cousins are some male members of the Davey, England, Boxhall and Stirling families. The Stirlings are actually double cousins to me as they are related through both England and Davey surnames. They are being serious in this photo but I also have one with them making faces and mucking around with the photographer at my aunty Margaret’s wedding in 1949.

Davey Stirling and Boxhall cousins
  • Back row: Len Davey, Ted Stirling, George Boxhall, Jack and Bill Stirling (twins) and Trevor Davey
  • Front row: Frederick Davey, Henry Lewis England (my grandfather) and Les Moore (husband of a Boxhall)

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, I helped organize family reunions with my cousin Hilary Birchall nee Davey. I would organize the family tree to be displayed, while Hilary would book the venue and invite the relatives she knew. We would also put an advertisement in the local papers in Tasmania for people to ring us to find out more about the reunion.

Many of the cousins from the south of the state would come up to Evandale where the reunion was always held. They would make a day of it, with the kids and grandparents, bringing a picnic lunch to share. These reunions also involved visiting the local church where many of the Davey and Colgrave ancestors were baptised and buried.

Whenever cousins from interstate arrived in Hobart we would have a get together. This particular one celebrated birthdays of the cousins from Western Australia.

Four young cousins from the Ryan family who are now adults

Dad has one favourite cousin from the Smith side of the tree, Ruby Blyth. He is pictured here with Ruby at her 21st birthday according to the information on the picture. I recently met Ruby again when I visited Flinders Island on a trip. This is where many members of the Blyth family live and where Ruby worked at the local hospital.

Finally, get togethers with visiting cousins could also be held on the beach especially if in summer. Our favourite beaches were Long Beach at Sandy Bay or we would drive down to Snug area and the beach near Coningham Nature Reserve.

In the first picture Raelene is our cousin as her grandmother (Aunty Glad) was the sister of my grandfather Henry Lewis England. In the second picture Michael is the grandson of Frederick Davey (also seen in the background) who was my grandmother Hannah Davey’s brother.

According to my DNA test, I have thousands of cousins but the main ones I know live in Tasmania.

Readers: Do you often get together with cousins?