Category Archives: Joining a Club



Since Ken joined the Wonthaggi Movie Makers Club he has sourced different events which he considers are worthy of filming, one of which was an open day at a Gippsland Printers  celebrating  the power of print.   The effort put into the day by the owners and staff was absolutely amazing.  It gave a real insight into the processes of printing and the changes that have taken place over the past 120 years.  Of course Ken was in his element chatting to the staff involved in the different processes likewise all those who attended had a great time as you were given the opportunity to have your photo taken by a professional photographer, which was then printed in large format, you could choose a design and have 250 business or personal cards printed, children could have their photo on a Wanted Poster and there was an over-supply of pads, shopping lists, booklets and calendars;  everything was for free.    It all culminated in a sausage sizzle and a raffle for a laser printer.

Here’s the photo Ken and I had taken:

Janice and Ken at Gippsland Printer Open Day

Janice and Ken at Gippsland Printer Open Day

It’s wonderful the enjoyment that can be had by checking out local events and going along to see what’s on offer.  I had a thoroughly enjoyable day.  Whilst Ken was off looking at the printing machines I met up with a lady called Jean who told me about her interest in Scrap Booking.  I must admit I have never thought about undertaking that activity, but it really sounds as if it could be a great hobby in retirement.  Jean was a really interesting person to talk with and we covered quite a bit of ground in a short time.  Enjoying good company can be so rewarding.

Joining a club has opened up a lot of opportunities for Ken to make the best of his retirement.  Through research on the internet he has found  there are at least three printing museums with working machinery that we can visit.  He now has his map book out and is planning various trips.


Learning another language is a real challenge but it broadens your mind and gives you insight into other cultures.  For me it has become part of my everyday life.  Each Monday I have a lesson with a teacher in Lima, Peru, who shares various topics with me including typical recipes of her region which I like to try out.  Last week it was a wheat salad which sounds really different.  Learning a language is also a stepping stone to visiting a country where the language you have chosen is spoken.  The Spanish Cat is a language school in Melbourne and they have put out a blog:  10 BEST THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PERU.  Here it is for you to enjoy.  I am sure you will be tempted to visit Peru.  I know I am:



As a volunteer with the Community Visitors Scheme, I visited Josephine in a local aged care facility today.  Sometimes these visits can be quite confronting and sobering which is the case with Josephine as she is just one year older than myself and is suffering some short term memory loss due to a growth in the brain which can’t be operated on.  However, she is always pleased to see me and I try to chat about things we did as young women which she can recall  with clarity.   It is so important for people like Josephine to have contact with the outside world and for a short time be part of that world with me.  When I leave the facility I count my blessings and know I have to make the best of each and every day.



Can you remember enjoying Candy Floss.  I used to absolutely love it and remember it was part of the joys of town and village fetes.  This was brought home to me on the weekend when I saw two mature ladies laughing whilst they ate candy floss  with the floss well and truly stuck to their lips.  I looked for a picture on Pinterest and came up with this great fun postcard.  Some of you will have seen it already because I posted it on my Retire and Enjoy Facebook Page.



All for now from Retire and Enjoy.  Enjoy each day.  Until next time



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Looking back over past achievements and getting together with those who shared those times can create many hours of enjoyment. I would like to relate one such story with you of how music became our lives.

During the 1960’s my brother, Ted (Vocal, Lead Guitar, Organ), got together with a group of friends, Alan, (Bass guitar), Colin (Drums), Peter (Vocal and Rhythm), Andy (Lead Vocalist and Song writer), to form a Rock Band. Ken, my husband, who had been an avid jazz fan up until that time, took to the music and became very involved, eventually performing the task of Manager touting for venues at which the group could perform and going out one day with our little Vauxhall Viva and returning with a Bedford Utilabrake van for the purpose of transporting all the equipment.

It was a heady time filled with hard work, ambition to succeed and purchasing of equipment to create better sound quality. The group first practiced in a room adjacent to my parents house and then in our garage and later in a room at the Red Lion pub at Northchurch (UK)  One of their first big opportunities came when they won a Beat Group Competition at Hemel Hempstead (UK) with the name THE ASSOCIATES.   What excitement. The boys were always supported by their girlfriends who travelled around to the venues with them putting up with late nights and lots of just sitting around.

Over the years the group supported many well-known bands one of whom was Bill Hayley And The Comets at a venue in Dunstable. Once they were booked as top of the bill in Llandudno, North Wales and another time in Newmarket where their PA amp blew up. The other group performing that night were The Idle Race who allowed them to use their equipment. The lead singer and guitarist was Jeff Lynne who went on to front ELO and write their songs. He was also in the Travelling Wilburys after being producer for Tom Petty, George Harrison and Roy Orbison. Now I realise that many of my readers may not be aware of these names, but it could be of interest to some.

The group continued for many years until the music scene changed. Alan (Bass) is the keeper of the Groups history and has been in contact with us over the years sharing stories, photos and a copy of a record The Associates made. He has maintained his interest in all things musical, likewise my brother Ted, who still has his Fender and Gibson guitars plus others I believe.

Though Ken and I are unable to meet up with the members of the group due to tyranny of distance, we were so happy when Alan sent a photo of a get-together they had recently at a birthday party. I wonder if you can spot which is which now, but first Ken and I toast them with this photo from those days  (venue unknown).  Just look at that hair-style!


Janice and Ken in the 60's

Janice and Ken in the 60’s


and here they are now:

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Listen to Virginia Water (written by Andy) from their record.



I have so enjoyed preparing this Blog;  I hope it will inspire you to remember your special times.

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Hello everyone

Sitting in the shade of a beautiful palm, which incidentally I bought in a small pot many years ago, I have been enjoying the glorious autumn weather and reflecting on the 101 ways in which we can enjoy retirement.  There are so many opportunities to be explored whatever our interests and abilities.

I hope by sharing my ideas, reading about what other retirees are doing and deciding what you have always wanted to do but never before had the time, you are really going to RETIRE AND ENJOY.

Today I want to tell you about Lesley who visited recently.  Some of you may recall an item I posted a while ago about how Lesley, who had been recently widowed, had been knitting the most amazing and colourful scarves which were being worn by friends and relations travelling around the world.  Lesley has now realised her dream of starting to paint and without receiving any formal training, has found her talent.  Her aim is to steadily improve so that she can paint and do justice to a picture of her late husband, David, though I am sure she already has the ability.

Have a look at some of her work:



Ken has been continuing with his short film making activities and enjoying every moment.  Recently he attended a Working Horse and Tractor Rally and from that has, in his own words, produced his best film ever.  Joining the Wonthaggi Movie Makers was certainly a good decision and has provided many hours of occupation.  He’s now called himself:   KENNYBOY PRODUCTIONS.  


I’ll be back with more ideas and achievement tales soon.


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Hello all – thanks for continuing to read my Blog.  It has given me immense enjoyment so far and I hope to continue sharing my ideas and projects with you.

Today I thought I might share with you the progress of one of Ken’s video projects.  In a past post, under the category  ‘Joining a Club’,  I talked  about how Ken had joined a movie makers club and had the idea for a video story which traced printing methods back to the time 60 years ago when he was an apprentice.  I have to say, this is still a work in progress, as it has proved to be a bigger challenge than at first thought but he has been laying the ground work and it will be produced in the future.  In the meantime making films/videos has certainly been an unimaginable  learning curve for Ken which has kept him occupied for hours.  So if anyone out there really wants a project to get involved in, I can recommend joining a film and movie makers club.

At club meetings films are submitted for critique by participating members.  One of the most difficult things is to keep the movie within 6 minutes as apparently this is the time frame you have to maintain viewers interest.    Ken’s first effort was far too long.  Other problems include  subject matter so now he is on a quest looking for ideas.  Tomorrow we are going to a Swap Meet where there will be vintage cars and the following weekend to a dahlia and quilt making show.  Just goes to show how many opportunities there are for enjoyment when you decide to join a club.

I thought I would include one of Ken’s short movies which is of our garden.  Have to say that caused heaps of complications because the film has to be converted into the correct format.  After many false starts and disappointments, we found that the format that best suited being added to a Blog was the YouTube format.  Ken’s not that happy with the colour quality, which on the original is perfect, but I think it does give an idea of what he is trying to do.

He says he has many more skills to master but the opportunities for enjoyment and learning will certainly keep him occupied.  You can find Wonthaggi Movie Makers Club on Facebook.

Looking forward to hearing from my readers.


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Joining a club is a good way of getting out of the house, pursuing a hobby or idea that you haven’t been able to do when your time was limited. Your local Shire or Municipality usually puts out a booklet with a list of clubs and activities; likewise the local library has similar information. Also neighbourhood houses provide many great opportunities.

Ken has always been interested in taking video but has never had guidance in the art of producing a good end product so when a club started up recently he took the opportunity to get involved. Chatting about what his first project would be he came up with the idea of a story identifying the changes that have taken place in printing methods over the past 60 years. Ken did a 5 year apprenticeship in London as a compositor, a job no longer in existence due to the progress in technology. Here he is at the time:

Ken as an apprentice compositor

Ken as an apprentice compositor

It transpired that I mentioned Ken’s project in one of my regular e-mails to a friend in the UK, forgetting that she used to do some printing as a side-line business. From our conversations her story has emerged and I am going to share it with you now as it’s an example how our memories can be jogged, our experiences recounted, topics of conversation ignited. In this way we can enjoy our past endeavours, joys and failures from the comfort of our armchairs.



Joan looking through the window of the shed that housed the Print Shop

Joan looking through the window of the shed that housed the Print Shop

We first took up printing in 1955 because a friend in the Young Farmers Club who did the printing for them wanted to give it up so Keith and I bought his machine (Adana) and type. Keith used to go to Tring market in those days and one day he dropped into some shops saying ‘we do printing’. We received a letter from one shop asking about 5000 letterheads. Great excitement, but panic! The little Adana was no way capable of that so we decided to buy a large electric one. We went to London and looked at an Adana we had seen advertised and bought it with loads of print and trays. When we got home we re-read the letter we had received from the shop enquiring about letterheads and realised it wasn’t an order but merely asking for a quote. Glad to say we quoted and were delighted to get the order.

We installed the printer in the farm kitchen and got started. At first it went too fast for me to control. Each sheet of paper had to be taken out after printing and the next piece put in before it came down to print again. This caused panic because we weren’t quick enough so Keith adapted the speed with a different cog. The actual printing job was left to me and I soon had to have it adapted again back to normal speed. Before long another adaptation took place to make it go faster.

Our first job took hours and we made £88. That was a triumph and Keith calculated that it worked out at 6d/hour. Of course there were no wages to pay.

Eventually Keith built a special shed which was a vast improvement from having to work in the kitchen. To do this he cut down a Horse Chestnut tree for the walls and we bought new boards for the floor. When completed we invited friends to join in a party of celebration with plenty of music.

I eventually closed the business after the birth of my fifth child; there just wasn’t enough time in the day and Keith was far too busy on the farm.

Font trays as they were left when Joan terminated her business.

Font trays as they were left when Joan terminated her business.

Recently my youngest son Grainger took me out to the shed, which stands lonely and neglected, but still has the power to bring back all those memories of hours spent working with the equipment. I was sad to see all the print trays dusty and neglected but at the same time I have enjoyed this look back into my past. Fortunately, to help me remember, I have one of the print trays on the staircase landing in my house displaying lots of trinkets.

Font tray containing Joan's trinkets

Font tray containing Joan’s trinkets


Joan and I have enjoyed e-mailing each other and chatting about her time as a Printer. I would like to thank her for sharing her memories. If anyone is interested here is a YouTube link, The Letterpress Revival. Machines are still being restored and used around the world.

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