You know you are getting old when you have the following happen to you. We were sitting in the car at traffic lights when my wife innocently asked me “How do you feel about dying?”. I thought about it as we travelled through the intersection and then blurted out “I’m quite looking forward to it really”, a response that nearly caused my wife to run off the road. Continue reading “Beyond?”


I was surprised to receive a message from WordPress recently in which they congratulated me on passing the 100 posts published mark. This was not something I had been monitoring nor setting a target to reach but I was both pleased with myself on one hand for having reached that number and a little annoyed on the other that I hadn’t posted more by now. That is the problem with milestones, they come in many flavours. I thought to myself, interesting things milestones, so here are a few of my views on milestones. Continue reading “Milestones”

What did I say?

I was trying to type “That’d be right” in reply to a humorous photo our daughter had sent to me. But my iPhone spell check wasn’t having that and tried to substitute all sorts of alternatives. I practically had to beat it into submission to accept the “that’d” concatenation of “that” and “would” which I realised at that point was a particular expression I use quite frequently. Continue reading “What did I say?”

The Odd Thing About Willow

Willow stands silent and still in a front yard at the end of the main street. Obviously once a model, but her black dress, changing with the seasons, her pointed hat, broom, and a wand grasped lightly in her right hand suggest another occupation now, perhaps touching on the occult. Her presence always attracts attention, sometimes with approval, sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a little superstitious fear and trepidation, sometimes a lot of superstition and judgement leading to complaints and requests for her removal. Mostly though curiosity. Why? Why is she there? What does she represent? Continue reading “The Odd Thing About Willow”

The Little Things

It was just a small gesture or as they say, it’s the little things.

We were just warming up with hot cups of coffee, tea and hot chocolate after braving the first chilly, windy, morning of Auskick* this season. Appropriately as it was Mothers Day our daughter was treating my wife, our granddaughter the Auskicker, and myself to some warm drinks at Moss Bros in Rouse Hill. We were just starting to thaw out a little when I noticed the young mother at the next table who was sitting alone while her partner was queuing to place their order. The mother was cradling in her left arm a baby, a newly arrived in this world baby judging by the size alone. Continue reading “The Little Things”

Ho Hum

I have lost many people, pets, clothing, little treasures of all sorts over the period of my life to date and I dare say I will lose much more in what is still to be lived. The most recent significant one of these was about two months ago when my dear old aunt, the last of what I call “my grownups”, passed away peacefully. I cried a lot during the writing and reading of her eulogy but in amidst this grieving, there was a great sense of relief for her, a joy that there was now an end to her physical suffering. Knowing that makes it easier for me to move on without further pain as it has done with all of the people and pets in my life who have passed on. It was for whatever reason their time to go and they are now at peace, as should I in knowing that. The memories will live on in my mind for as long as I have access to that. Continue reading “Ho Hum”

Coral’s Eulogy

Sadly, we interred my dear old aunt, Coral O’Hara, today, Friday 20th February 2015.  Here is the eulogy I gave as part of the funeral service.

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Michael Stacey and I am proud to be Coral’s nephew. I would like to say a few words to farewell Coral and to honour her life.

For me, Coral was one of the five most important people in my childhood. They were my grandparents, Frank and Vi Stacey, who raised me from about the age of two, and their three children, Max, Coral and Reg, my father. I was Frank and Vi’s only grandchild and Coral looked out for me from the very start. I think Coral treated me almost as her de facto son and was always there for me. She was the constant in my life. A never failing, endless source of love and affection even though we were separated by the tyranny of distance for most of my adult life.

Continue reading “Coral’s Eulogy”

The Barnes Boys

This is a very rare picture of my mother’s four sons. Her name was Bettine Barnes, hence the title. Bettine married twice, firstly to my to-be dad Reg Stacey who she met and married while he was serving in the UK during the Second World War as a RAAF bomber pilot. Her second marriage was to Stewart Bainbridge in New Zealand and with whom she had three sons, Sean, Adam and Nigel. Continue reading “The Barnes Boys”

An open letter to Aaron and Joshua

I love you.

I also love being your Dad.  It is the proudest achievement of my life.  Nothing I have done before or may do in the future, can surpass being part of the creation of the two wonderful human beings who are Aaron Francis and Joshua David.  I also treasure the relationship that has developed between us as adults and which is equally attributable to the three of us.  It is rare and priceless.

I wonder however if my father, Reginald Francis, could rightly lay claim to that title, “Dad”, or to the same feeling of pride that I have articulated above.  Through the work, I am doing on my mastery and service course I have come to a fuller realisation of how selfish my father was.  How little affection and respect he was able to give me throughout the course of my early life when so much depended on that.   Here are some of the recollections and details that I doubt you are aware of and which has only just resurfaced for me. Continue reading “An open letter to Aaron and Joshua”

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