Halloa Below There!

Halloa Below There and Happy New Year!


I have to be one of the few people in the world who doesn’t enjoy going out on New Year’s Eve. I’m not a fan of fireworks and not being a believer of chronological time, New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean a lot. My idea of a terrific New Year’s Eve is to drink champagne and watch a good BBC ghost story, which is what I did this year – Charles Dickens’ The Signal Man, which I can highly recommend. That’s where the ‘Halloa Below There!’ come from. The Signal Man is the highlight of a BBC Ghost Stories For Christmas DVD. The remaining two are weaker 70s ghosties that contain all the worst elements of that particular era.

The Signalman

The Signalman

I have recently joined Instagram. Not sure if I’ll be posting on there a lot. I am not the world’s biggest techo when it comes to mobiles (I hid my last antique one deliberately and lost it). I’ve only ever had one mobile which was the size of a brick and all the letters had worn away. But I shall give the new spaceship I-phone a rather dubious go as I do love Instagram. You can find me HERE. I have yet to figure out how to attach the badge to this page. One day I might master my computer but it doesn’t seem likely at the moment.

Fab Christmas read of chirpy teacher in English village in WWII

Fab Christmas read of chirpy teacher in English village in WWII

dusk in our street

dusk in our street

Daisy Angel

Daisy Angel

At the time of writing this we are facing heat-wave conditions. Tasmania, my home state, has been battling bushfires for days. So many stories of courage coming out of the state. They do breed them tough in Tasmania but this one in particular really caught at my heart. You can see the video HERE of the amazing Walker family in Dunalley who really embody fortitude and pluck. Grandparents Tim and Tammy Holmes really inspired me as did all the Walker children. I can’t imagine how agonising it must have been for the mother of the small children, Bonnie, who was trapped on the other side of the flames not knowing her children’s and parents’ fate. All the firemen and volunteers who selflessly put their lives on the line every summer to protect the homes and lives of total strangers are heroes. I’ve been involved in bushfires years ago in the Blue Mountains and I remember how terrifying it was and how everyone would cheer when they saw the fire trucks for quite awhile afterwards.


And another of my personal heroines is the Pakinstani young girl, Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban when she campaigned for girls’ education. Malala is the manifestation of strength, grace and power for women around the world.


I have so much news but no time at the present and so I’m heading back to the humid, garden writing shed as my deadline is next Tuesday.

Where have all the lovely garden orb spiders gone this year? Last year the graceful orbs were everywhere in our garden. This year they have been replaced by larger huntsman spiders.

Scooter the sun Daisy

Scooter the sun Daisy

My resolution or my word for the year is Serenity. I’m going to be working with Serenity all year in different aspects of my life. In my serenity pursuits this year I plan to curtail some of my internet activities as much as I can. I crave for things such as:

hand-written letters, stamps and cord-cursive writing,

the smell of book shops

the glossy sheen to a new fashion magazine,

silence, mystery, absence

the weight of paper and pens scratching on paper

ink, pencil, paints

Happy New Year to you all. xx

7 Responses

  1. jen storer January 9, 2013 / 4:42 am

    Ah, I feel replenished. It’s been so long since I’ve dropped by your beautiful blog, TP, and I’ve missed you. Happy New Year to you, too. xx

    • josephinetalepeddler January 9, 2013 / 4:54 am

      You always say the loveliest things Jen. I look forward to your posts and Facebook musings in 2013. Thank you for all yoru Jenness. xx

  2. Heather Quenneville January 9, 2013 / 11:27 am

    Hi Josephine, what a wonderful New Years Resolution you have. We could all do with more serenity in our lives. I think my new year will be a year of change. I’m thinking about a change of address and a change in career.. I’m just putting it out to the Universe and hopefully it will guide me to where I’m meant to go. I watched the Signalman last year and thought it was fabulous, although it certainly is spooky. Good luck with your deadline. Hope it all flows smoothly for you. Heather xx

    • josephinetalepeddler January 9, 2013 / 12:04 pm

      Hi Heather, I also want a change of address as well. I’ve been putting that one out for ages so hoping 2013 will be the year of the move. So many people have been going through big changes that I know so wishing you all good fortune and lovely change. Thanks for your good wishes on my deadline. Yes, the Signalman was very spooky. I also found the other stories spooky as well but not quite as elegant and chilling as Signalman. xx

  3. Karen Brooks January 12, 2013 / 10:40 pm

    Gorgeous blog, Jo. I know you will find the serenity. Funny, I already associate that state of grave with you. Happy New Year, lovely!

    • josephinetalepeddler January 13, 2013 / 9:59 am

      Karen Brooks you gorgeous woman. You of course will be an exception to me cutting back on internet time. I cherish our email conversations. Thanks for popping in darling and I am very nearly at the end of this stint of Currawong Manor (been doing shifts of 1am and 2am hours because of school holidays). As soon as I put this book to bed, I will reply back to you and Ms Katherine. Hope your writing is flowing.xx

  4. pinry January 13, 2013 / 10:47 am

    Happy new year, lovely. As you know I share your lack of enthusiasm for nye, and I’m also a bit of a luddite when it comes to technology. Serenity is a perfect pursuit. Who knows, I might even write you a letter with a stamp one day …. Which reminds me, thank you so much for your card, and apologies for not sending one as I intended, I was struck down with chicken pox (!) just before Christmas. As well as serenity, I’m aiming for “not getting sick for a change” this year! J xxx

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