Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 18 January 2016

2016 Reading challenge

I recently came across this 2016 reading challenge through Facebook. It came along various paths from its original creator Anne - Modern Mrs Darcy - over on her blog at Modernmrsdarcy.

It is an interesting list so I've decided to give it a go and have already earmarked a few books for my challenge.

I've already ticked off my first book recommended by my sister -  In Love and War by Liz Byrski published in Western Australia by  Fremantle Press in 2015.  Please click on the links to read more. 

in love and war  

Liz's personal memories and experiences as a young child in the final years of World War 2 in the English country town of East Grinstead, and her trip in 2007 to find the England of her youth, are interwoven with the stories and memories of "The Guineas Pigs"  and their nurses. Cronically burned airmen were brought to the East Grinstead hospital where Archibald McIndoe rebuilt their faces, hands and bodies while the nurses and townspeople helped rebuild their self-esteem and lives. In the process of walking familiar paths, interviewing airmen and nurses and writing the book Liz made peace with her memories and banished some of her own personal ghosts.

It was a fascinating read and highlighted how we harbor in the background experiences from our childhood that have a profound subconscious effect on our lives. I recently met up with an old friend who has been battling in the last few years a horrific part of her childhood that had remained buried in her subconscious until her later life. 

However this post is not about that. But this reading challenge list did take me back to my childhood and memories I have of laying on the cool lino of our passageway at home reading during the hot school summer holidays during my Primary School years. In our wood and fibro house it was the coolest spot I could find. 


In those days my Mum had a travelling library van come regularly to our house. In the school holidays were were allowed to borrow a book. I remember the excitement as the man opened up the back of his van and slid out the children's books. I probably then lay all afternoon in the passageway being transported to other worlds of the Far Away Tree, The Wishing Chair, the England of Milly Molly Mandy, or the latest mystery of The Secret Seven and Enid Blyton. The book would be finished in a day or two at the most, and I would have to wait another week for the library van to come again. 
Later I would spend hours looking through a particular art book that my Dad had bought through Reader's Digest - Great Painters and Great Paintings. I still have it. 

So this memory started my husband and I talking of other things we did through those childhood summers to keep cool during the 1950s and 60s..... playing under the sprinkler on the back lawn, sucking on cordial iceblocks, swimming in the river, playing in a bathtub of cold water, laying out on a calico sheet on the back lawn in the evenings. My husband said they sometimes slept on their front veranda, and I know my father said they did this too when he was a boy out in the wheatbelt. 

Sometimes as a special treat we could walk down to the shops and buy an icecream. My favourite was a strawberry push-up. It came in a cardboard cylinder; vanilla icecream at the top, and as you pushed up from the base you came to the delicious strawberry syrup at the bottom. Delicious.  My mother used to make icecream with a tin of evaporated milk, and I did this too for years during my early married life when bought icecream really was an expensive luxury to us. 

Sometimes my sister and I were allowed to fill up the bath to play in. We must have made a terrible mess as I remember sliding down the slopy end of the bath into the water. There would have been lots of shrieking and giggling no doubt and water all over the floor. 

For a few years Dad rented a cottage at Palm Beach, Rockingham or Safety Bay just south of Perth and we stayed there for two weeks or so during the summer holidays. I had my first swimming lessons in the ocean at Palm Beach and I remember being too scared to take my feet off the bottom. Later we had swimming lessons at Como in the Swan River in Perth. The Como swimming area was full of huge jelly fish. Ugh. 

My husband's family had an above-ground swimming pool at one stage so no doubt a lot of time was spent out there. Their uncle also had a beach house at Rockingham and they often went down there to stay and walked to the beach from his house. 

The top two photos below here were taken in 1958 at Palm Beach when I was 3. Below are photos taken in 1961 and 1962. I'm the little blondie. Don't you just love our shirred bathers?

 Anyway, I have gotten away from my original idea for this post, the 2016 Reading Challenge.  Here is the list again. I would like to add "a historical novel - fiction, nonfiction, memoir or biography". 
 A few books I have already earmarked to read are - Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, Graham Greene's Travels with My Aunt, and Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange - I've never read this last book, it has sat on our shelves for over 40 years, and I think it will be a book that intimidates me. 

Do you have a favourite book? What are you reading right now? Will you take up the reading challenge with me? I hope you will. Let me know in the comments, keep a record and we can come back at the end of the year to see how we went. Happy reading! 

It's mid summer here in Western Australia, make sure you slap on some sunscreen, pop on a hat, cover up, and sit under a sun shelter if you decide to sit on the beach to read.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

 Here's a little challenge I did a year or so ago, making a sentence from book titles.....
Rebecca, whatever you do don't run sinning across Spain. Eat pray love in the hands of providence under the Tuscan sun. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard
You might also like -
Walking down memory lane 
Went down to the beach to play one day 
On Anzac Day we will remember them 


  1. your stacks of books remind me of the "spine poems" my granddaughter does:

  2. I love books!
    I've read a lot of those in your photos
    Have a wonderful week!

  3. Hello Jill, great post and images. I love the stack of old books and reading about your childhood memories. Cute photos of you and your sister. I love to read and must try to make more time for reading. Thanks for sharing the challenge. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  4. I enjoyed reading this and seeing all the books. That's a great reading challenge to take on!

  5. We have here also a reading challenge with about 50 subtitles. The challenge is by the libraries in the Helsinki area called Helmet-lukuhaaste. If you are interested you see my list at the top of my blog.

  6. I love seeing your photos of when you were little...so sweet! And I'm tempted to try this reading challenge. I love to read and have books that would work for the challenge. Happy reading! Hugs, Diane

  7. PS I'm reading a Desperate Fortune by one of my favorite authors, Susanna Kearsley. Hugs!

  8. Lovely photographs of you when you were young. that is quite a book challenge

  9. Happy reading! I read a lot and have many to get done, so not sure I could do the challenge. I also recall childhood days and how different it was from now. A lot of change!

  10. Loved running under the sprinklers when we were kids....and this is a great challenge. I downloaded the pic. I do a Goodreads.com challenge every year, but this would be a fun addition to it. Good luck and I love the books you have chosen.

    Donna Donabella@GardensEyeView
    and LivingFromHappiness

  11. What a fabulous idea. I think I might join you.The book you have read "In Love and War" sounds interesting so I will have to look out for that one. I just read "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr and I can highly recommend it. I love your childhood memories Jill, as they pretty much mirror mine. In particular the cordial iceblocks, running under the sprinkler, Mum's homemade icecream and the shirred bathers!How we survived without electric fans nor air conditioning in the stifling heat is a miracle!!

  12. Great trip down memory lane.

  13. Ooo - lots of great books!

  14. I remember well reading like crazy as a kid...the library, the book-mobile, the school library, and books from our own shelves. I loved every minute of these lazy dips into other worlds! I still do. The reading challenge looks great. Check out our book club blog, Springtime in Magnolia by finding it on my sidebar. Come by and see what our little group has been reading! Have a great day!

  15. I seem to go in spurts reading lots of books and moreso in the winter when I can't be in the garden. The book challenge list is interesting and you should have fun accomplishing it.
    All my reading is on my ereader these days, most borrowed from our library but a few purchases to be saved while on vacation next month.

  16. I'm with Kathy on this one Jill. Your memories are my memories! My shirred bathers were white with blue flowers which of course were all scrunched by the shirring. Running through a sprinkler is the coolest thing to do in the heat. It happens unplanned sometimes nowadays and it's always thrilling. We were allowed library books all years around changing them once a week. We went "to town" to the then old Council building that housed the library. It had huge ceilings so everything echoed and us kids were always admonished to "be quiet". It was worth being quiet just for the chance to choose our own books. I remember some of mine being put back on the shelf because they were too old for me. (I bet Mum thought she would have to read them to me lol). I can't commit to the book challenge but I do challenge myself to read more outside of my genre (travel memoirs).


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