Category Family Reflections

Dianna, Dianne and Di

What’s in a name?
‘Sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you’.  have you heard those words before? My guess is a resounding yes.

True words don’t break bones, but they can have a massive negative impact on a person for days, years or decades.

When I was 4, it was my grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary. It was a big dinner and my Dad was a man around town and thought he was pretty good. As he was speaking he said something that was not true. I don’t remember what it was. What I do remember is getting a humungous hiding.


old times, grandparents, austere, celebration

What my four-year-old mind took from that was –
  • What I have to say is not important
  • It is not safe to speak up
  • He told a lie and I got into trouble for pointing it out.
A big burden for a little girl to carry, and she carried for decades.
My birth name is Dianna, then I was Dianne, today I am Di.
Is that significant? Ye,s it is! As a child,  I detested Dianna and never knew exactly why! That is not exactly a smile you see on my young dace.


ages of Di, sulky child, confident woman and compassionate in maturity

I grew up in a violent alcoholic household and grew up keeping quiet, staying out of the way with no self- confidence, no self -esteem and no self- worth. At 15 I was a victim of pack rape and a pregnancy and adoption followed. The welfare workers told me I was a disgrace to my family, my town, country and Universe and I should go nursing, get out of society’s way as no decent man would ever want me. So I did and became officious and efficient, after all, I thought that would be my future.
Despite their dire predictions, I met a wonderful man, gosh he was a blind date. That’s what happened in the 60’s guys would ring the nurse’s quarters looking for a date. As the self-appointed officious one, I would send them off with a flea in their ear, until that fateful day I answered the phone. This polite male voice said he was in town for a Conference and was looking for someone to accompany him to the opening dinner. Before I could think, I had said yes. I think partly because it was whoppee a free meal! Nurses were poorly paid back then.
Nurses also have a wicked sense of humour. When someone was going on a blind date we would turn off the verandah lights, sit on the floor and peer through the railings and watch the circular driveway. Our observation included – was it a decent car, could he drive straight, when he got out of his car was he well dressed,  could he walk straight and what was his manner when asking for you. Based on those criteria we said a yes or no and either we dated or we didn’t. for me, it was a yes and off I went.
The rest is history, we married. He had 4 children aged 10 – 16 and I was 24 and I had a past. What a combination, yet it worked. We had a wonderful 31-year marriage until his death in 2002. Was it all roses? Noooooooooo but I kept him on his toes and we had many a spirited discussion on our differences and life was never dull.


love, respect, relationships, caring

He encouraged me to join Toastmasters. There was a time when I found looking after 4 teenagers and out baby took more time and effort then I expected. Learning to entertain and be the corporate wife gave me plenty of scope for self-improvement. My confidence plummeted and Toastmasters was my answer to moving forward.

Our adventures are too many to mention but it was good…

In 2002, the unthinkable happened. Les passed away. Life then challenged me after his death. I ran myself into the ground and dropped to 51 kgs.  I was like a match stick with the wood scraped off it. A health scare put life into perspective. Then began an amazing, crazy, challenging fun and a not so fun self- development journey which will continue till I leave this earth.
Some of those things include joining Al-Anon, Wildly Wealthy Women, Wealth Dynamics, Toastmasters, National Speakers. Doing amazing workshops and learnings from books like Michael Rowlins, Louise Hay, Brandon Bays, Julia Cameron and Sark.  I loved great activities like mind mapping, meditating, vision boards and journaling. Each thing I did opened the door for me to go deeper and deeper.


learning, doing, susceeding, confidence,

As I dealt with my grief, my past came bubbling up, journaling became a way of life. And it evolved, taking parts from the journals,  writing to become serious writing and that culminated in my writing and self-publishing my story ‘Beyond Abuse’ in 2006. I wrote about it, ran programs about it and took on  speaking gigs about it
Other things started happening creating a website, blogging, interviewing and having fun for 6 months as host on a blog radio show and creating videos maybe even a web TV will happen. Something like ‘Uplifting Humanity…one person at a time.’
6 months ago I became a Christian and realisation of the power of the Divine Hand that had my back all along while giving me challenges that would put me in the place I am in today. . Did I mention I have that special man in my life Pete… he’s a great guy.


2nd relationship, fun, caring, trust

Now, my updated book ‘Beyond Abuse – a recovery guide for men and women in an era of me and all of us , too is published on and Amazon. The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind.


Beyond Abuse

Do pop over and take a peek…

Now about those names… it has clicked how my name has had an effect at different stages of my life.  All the bad stuff happened to Dianna. I matured into Dianne the productive, active, energised community-minded bombshell. Today I am Di, and have mellowed into a caring, compassionate and confident woman. It is my mission to uplift humanity one person at a time by demonstrating how to find hope and possibilities through before, during and beyond challenges.

What’s in a  name? Everything. The first thing you learn about someone is their name and from that moment we start making judgments and forming impressions… I am often asked ‘what would you know about not having confidence Di?’ the Di of today bears no resemblance to that scared 15-year-old.
Let’s support each other, build up not tear down, support not hinder and love… starting with self-love.


Love, self love, self esteem, sef worth

If the book touches your heart and you would like more information email at
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Our Grandparents…reflections on how confident were they?


Today is Grandparent day….The word grandparent conjures up the image of a little old lady (I use this phrase in jest about myself, the most common response from friends and family is a snort of laughter). OK back to business… a little old lady sort a Miss Marple type…all sugar and spice and softness.

I don’t know about you but mine were not like that. My paternal Grandmother was in fact a little old lady 5 foot nothing and like a matchstick with the wood scraped of it. She and Grandfather lived on a farm…not my scene nor my Mum’s and I had little to do with them.

My maternal Grandmother was tall, slim, erect, strict and straight as a dye. No way was ‘spoiling’ on the agenda. She was however loving, kind and I thought the sun shone out of her as a child. There was no shortening of the word Grandmother, I would never have asked her anything personal and the only time I saw her not fully dressed was when she was going to bed or when she first got up.

My amazing Grandmother…


grandmother, confidece

I now reflect and wonder if they had insecurities, if they too saw a changing world, if they too lacked confidence in life? My grandparents seemed to have it all together, be so sure of who they were and what role they played.

Fast forward 50 years to my Grandchildren. I first became a Grandma at the age of 35 as I had married a man with 4 children aged 10-16 and I was 24…so they arrived sort of by default.  I now have Grandchildren aged 3 to 33. They all know they can ask me anything, I am down on the floor with them (not the 33 year olds of course)…it is such a generational and societal change.

I love the openness, the warmth I have with them especially the adult girls. Maybe it is my age but I have been reflecting recently on the youngest Miss 3 and Miss 7 and what a different world they are growing up in.

And the role of Grandparents has changed with society many families have both partners working and there are many stresses around that were not there 20, 30 or 40 years ago. With the high relationship breakdown to day I think a grandparent can provide stability and a sense of continuity in today’s fast paced world regardless of the relationship status.

My beautiful granddaughters…


grandmothers granddaughters, confidence,


Many Grandparents are taking full time care of their grandchildren for a variety of reasons. Others are part time and then the once in awhile Grandma’s.

Whatever your role as a grandparent I feel you have an incredible opportunity to:

  • Be a role model for your grandchildren.
  • Be a go to person that the children trust
  • To support your children as they raise their children your grandchildren
  • Create a bond that lasts a lifetime
  • Spoil them a little.

I leave you with 2 questions to ponder:

  • What are your special memories of your Grandparents?
  • What memories are you creating that your grandchildren will remember you by?


I would love to ear your stories…cheers Di


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Would You Like To Hear A Story…. It’s About Creating Memories.


The flames flicked slowly and seductively over the glowing embers, the soft warm light and smell of the wood permeated the room. In her pink flannelette PJ’s the little girl sat there entranced, excited, her book on her lap waiting…waiting for her Mum to read her a story.

This is one of my fondest childhood  memories sitting in front of the slow combustion stove  in winter snuggled up waiting for Mum to read to me. To lose myself in another world, one that would help transport me to an exciting make believe world.


Confidence Story telling creating memories


Years went by, I grew up moved away and while I did not think my childhood experiences, I had developed a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. It was until my son was born that I reflected back  Every night was story time…and any other time he could manage to get me to sit down….  we spent many hours pouring over books, reading, looking at pictures, lost in a world limited only by our imagination. It was a time full of intrigue, fun and closeness. Many books passed through our hands and he had his favourites. ‘The Little Red Hen’ was one.


Story, imagination, reading, confidence


Today I have my granddaughters aged 2 and 7 and they love having stories read to them. It is my belief that children who are read to develop the habit and joy of reading and it helps them with English and their ability to express themselves throughout life.

I don’t know about you but I love reading, it gives me such pleasure, It stimulates the imagination. The joy of reading to my grandchildren is a precious gift, one that I cherish.

This week is designated as National Book Week. Many schools and public libraries from all over Australia spend the week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading. To see more check out…

Children’s Book Council Of Australia  Website:

My story is as usual, more personal. Even though the sentiment of this blog post comes from Book Week and my love of reading.

I mentioned closeness a moment ago… there is something so special in cuddling up with a child to read, to feel their softness, their trust in you and they conveniently forget all about how to count how many books there are on the bed!


 story time, reading, imagination


When Amy now aged 7 was little she was enthralled by the Night Garden series. of books. As a TV series it is described as a theatrical spectacular for toddlers.


As creator and writer  of this series Andrew Davenport has delighted children and mystified parents and grandparents . Yep…he got that right.

It was a challenge where I met Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy. Makka Pakka, The Tombliboos, The Olly Bolly Dob Dob Flower, the Ninky Nonk and the Pinky Ponk. At least there were a series of about 9 to choose from.


story reading imagination


Then along comes Pippa, Miss 2. she absolutely adores ‘Spot’. ‘Spot Goes To The Farm’ ,’Spot Goes Shopping’ ‘Spot Goes to a Birthday Party’. Any mention of stories brings forth a request for Spot.

Spot for those who don’t know is a mischievous yellow puppy who delights children when he plays with his friends Helen the hippo, Tom the Crocodile, Steve the monkey and Tina the elephant.


Story imagination reading book week


What a co-incidence in Goggling the author Eric Hill this morning – I found that he passed away today aged 86.

Children’s books Eric said are based heavily on fabulous visuals. He said, “I wanted to acknowledge from the start that children have far more intelligence and style than many adults credit them with. I wanted children to experience, through my drawings, ideas which were just outside their experience yet were basic enough to be understood. In ‘Where’s Spot’ I thought it would be fun to draw a chair in a period style rather than a straightforward type .A grand piano instead of an upright – pink rather than brown. Tables with cabriole legs and other decorative details. All to broaden the visual scope that a book can bring a young mind.”  

I think he did it perfectly RIP Eric Hill.

Soo working on that assumption…children are more intelligent and have more style… back to Pippa. Here we were Pippa, Amy and Grannie Di sitting on the bed ready for story time. I sent the girls off for 2 books each to read. I may add here Pippa can count.

Amy goes quietly, Pippa hops off the bed chanting ‘2 books, 2 books, 2 books’… Amy comes back with 2 (one of which is gi-normous, she is clever). Pippa struggles back with an armful.

In total concentration she just makes it to the bed and her Mum Sally arrives. ‘Let’s show Grannie Di how you can count, let’s spread them out.’ We did.  Sally started with one… total silence, in fact the silence was deafening.

No amount of encouragement would entice Pippa to utter a word. Her lips were sealed as she stood head bent just enough so we could not see her eyes. I could hear her little mind saying “I am not going to fall for that…If I own up there are 5 books,,, I will only get 2. if I am quiet Grannie Di might just keep reading…

 story reading imagination


Don’t be fooled by the photo we already had 2 Spot books on the bed!

And yes.. I read them all…I always read them all. And next morning Pippa rocked up for a repeat on the lounge.


story, reading imagination


For now the memories for the girls are the characters in their books, later in life I hope they will reflect back to the closeness, the memories and wonders of being read to by their Grannie Di… and that may not happen until they have children.

The looping repetition in a child’s book, the love of repetition in childhood leads to the repetition of going back to reading at any stage of life… one where you feel entranced, your imagination is in full flight and you remember back…back to when you were read to as a child.

The phrase comes to mind They may not remember what you said,,, but they will remember how you made them feel.

What comes to mind when you think of reading a story? I would love to hear your thoughts.

From my heart to your heart Di xx


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If Only I Could Talk To Her… My Mum Today Or Any Day.


My Mum passed away in 2001, no matter what she was always my greatest champion. She was not a confident lady in the outside world, nor even at home due to family circumstances. Yet no matter what she was there for me, interested in everything I did, celebrated every achievement…and she was the most humble woman.

How I would love to talk to her today…. I do so in meditations but her warm smile and her hug would be soo, soo much better!


Mum not confident but a lady

Born in 1909 Mum had more than her share of hard knocks in early life and throughout her marriage…yet she remained a soft, caring and loving person throughout…ok except when I got a hiding for losing my shoes or skipping school ooh , almost forgot and when I slipped away to where I was not supposed to be when nursing.

Would you believe when I was training in the 60’s, we were allowed 2 sleep outs  a week? Not just to anywhere mind you – only to home or to a residence that was ‘parent approved’. I think I conveniently forgot the ‘parent approved’ bit a few times and got caught once!

Whatever happened Mum would scold me yet forgive me.

What I never understood was that she made me…yes made me.. take piano lessons for 4 years. I spent one hour every afternoon at that dratted piano…muttering under my breath about how ‘when I stopped lessons I would NEVER touch a piano again as long as I lived’.. and I haven’t. Did I mention I have a teensy stubborn streak?

There were many things that Mum did for us that was a financial strain for her yet she persevered. All it did was add to her angst, and yes, I do know she did it with love to give us opportunities that she never had.

Mum was the lynch pin, the family gravitated to our place, because she was there. Aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, outlaws, grandchildren and family friends…even the ones we did not like you remember the ones… There was always a cuppa. oopps (she would never have said that),  a cup of tea and pumpkin scones, a lemon jelly tart and a listening ear.

She showed her love through her basic and heart warming cooking.

Nothing spectacular in that, she stayed at home, she cared for and loved her family. The time came when she was unable to care for herself and into a retirement village and eventually a nursing home.

How my heart lurched as her health deteriorated and her became the child. How did a lady with such love and dignity become that shell that eventually remained.

If that loss was not enough last year my beautiful daughter Kathy passed away suddenly. An even bigger hole developed. Unexpected, no last goodbyes, and Kath was an earth angel. One of most loving gentle and caring of women.


Di and Kath confident hugs

As I look down today I see Mum’s hands, I look in the mirror and am often surprised to see Mum looking back at me. Where have the years gone?

Is this a tale of woe? No it is a beautiful trip down memory lane, thinking back on 2 fabulous women who influenced my life greatly.

I sincerely hope I have left a legacy of strength, love and support to my 5 amazing granddaughters, but that is their tale to tell.

My granddaughters young and confident

If you are lucky enough to have your Grandmother, Mother and Daughter still living do love and spoil them not only on Mothers Day but every day. I am so grateful for the beautiful Mum and daughter  I had and the Granddaughters that I have.

I am sure you also have beautiful Mum memories to share …please do!


                                               Happy Mother’s Day to all


Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?

I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

Do you feel, look and speak with confidence? If not…my skill lies in developing your style… your mind and body… so you can shine and be your best… in your business..

If that is not happening for you…let me help you…or call for a chat and tell me about yourself…

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A Penny For..Just What Were They ‘Thinking’ In That Moment

A Penny For… Just What Were They ‘Thinking’ In That Moment?

I think all brides have a multitude of thoughts rushing through their minds…on their wedding day. Brides are all beautiful, confident or sometimes not, thoughtful, pensive…and my question is …a penny for their thoughts?


Family weddings...the girls courtesy Larry Mann

This collage came from Creative Pictures by Larry Mann (feel free to check him out on Facebook). Even though they are my family photos and I had already had this group of brides together…seeing them in this image…what popped into my mind was… a penny for your thoughts.

Maybe I am feeling nostalgic today…I am spending reflective times as I am embracing a new area in my personal life.  Today I asked myself…a penny for your thoughts Di! Noooooo I am not ready to share that bit yet!

An interest in family history started with me about 252 months ago …OK I will ‘fess up…when I was about 45 years of age. Over the years I have collected photos, documents, trinkets, letters, jewellery, crafts and now have an incredible cache of family ‘stuff’.

Last year when my son turned 40 I created a pictorial selection through power point (because I did not know any other way)…and at that time started creating a collage of family members at different ages across the generations.

Starting with baby photos, then about ages 5-6, young adults, marriage and into maturity. It fascinated me see differences and similarities, fashions and changes in clothes and hairstyles.

If only photos could talk. What is a brides confidence level on her wedding day?

Di asa bride


Today I got to thinking…what were they thinking?  I think back to 1971 when I was married…how sure I was I had it all mapped out… with all the confidence of a 24 year old…marrying a man with 4 children aged 10-16.


OMG if I knew what we were going to face…would I? Would I really have?


Yes! I would…because travelling my journey has made me the woman I am today. Going through the ‘tough stuff’ developed me, my partner and our relationship… losing him 11 years ago developed me in a whole new, different and very challenging way.

Starting out on your journey in marriage you are all excited, you know it all, you have the world worked out. What a magical place to start from.

1908  Margaret bride



My grandparents married in 1908…they had a hard life, he was a coal miner and died in 1925 leaving Grandmother with 4 children, a little shop to run and taking Wards of the State to supplement her income. What was she thinking on her wedding day? Were her dreams fulfilled?





The photos bottom left and right were both 1928, my Mum and my mother in law. They came from very different backgrounds…what were those brides thinking on their wedding day? Were their dreams fulfilled?

1928 weddings

Centre bottom in 1971…I have covered me.. and yes I am fulfilling my dreams…they have unfolded and been manifested in very different ways to what I expected…watch this space for updates…

Kath as a confident bride



My beautiful step daughter with 2 images. was married in 1981.. those who have been following me will know that Kathy aged 55 passed away suddenly six months ago. Kath lived for and adored her family…I feel that was her dream to see her children happy.





Bec 2012 beautiful bride




Kath’s daughter my beautiful granddaughter Bec is the smiling cherub in the top right. Bec has already travelled a journey, how she has grown and how proud of her I am. A thoroughly modern confident bride she was… what were her inner thoughts? I shall have to ask her!





The thread I see and feel is that love and protection of family, through the fabulous times and the challenging times… those reflective thoughts of life might get re-arranged, adapted…sometimes thrown out the window….

Whatever time or stage of life you are at …a penny for your thoughts…

If those thoughts take you to you to dark places…remember ‘someone or something may take a moment or more of you’…it is your choice whether you allow them to take any more or you choose to move forward remembering the lesson. My services may be able to assist you…slip over and check them out

If those thoughts take you to happy places fantastic….love and enjoy your incredible journey.

In fact I would love you to share the beautiful, confident or not, pensive thoughts you had on your wedding day?


Warm regards Di…and what …you are asking… does this woman do?


 I am passionate about mature women having the confidence and personal presentation to support their life choices.

If that is not happening for you…let me help you… with one on one coaching, small group activity or workshops…

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