How to Talk and Save Lives, and Can I Mention the Weather?

I ponder a few questions in this week’s podcast:

Is it okay to talk about the weather or should that topic be avoided if you want to have an interesting conversation?

Is it important for our children to have good conversational skills? How do they get such skills? 

We know bushfire fighters are heroes as they battle to save lives and property, but can school teachers also be heroes? 

Should we all know how to do CPR just in case? And what about our children? Should they learn too?

Do the youngest children in the family miss out? Should parents make the effort to give them the same experiences as their older siblings?

And should we brush off other people’s thanks? (Hey, it was nothing!) Or is it necessary for us to be gracious and accept them?

I hope you’ll listen to this week’s podcast to find out my answers to all these questions and much more!

Program Notes

Blog posts about the weather

Man Bites Shark

Wondering Weather I Should Iron

Never Talk About the Weather

Blog posts about bushfires

At the End of a Bushfire Day

Day 4 of Our Out-of-Control Bushfire

What Would You Take if You Had to Evacuate?

Out of Disaster Comes Love

A blog post about my university days in Aberystwyth

XXXXX: Love Letters

The Art of Conversation Course by Ethel Cotton Monahan

I found a number of cheap copies of this course on ebay. It’s also available from many secondhand bookshops.

Volunteer organisations

St John Ambulance for children

Juniors for children 8 – 12

Cadets for children 13 – 18

St John Ambulance for adults

Rural Fire Service

Newspaper article about Andy and his fellow school teacher

(They saved a woman’s life!) Daily Telegraph

The Angels of Abbey Creek

The above photos were taken 10 years ago. They show that, even though we live in a warm part of Australia, we sometimes get snow!

You can find more podcasts on my podcast page.

And the photo to the left is of my hero husband Andy. When he’s not doing CPR, he’s reading my children’s novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek Did you know there is a bushfire story and a snow story in my book?

You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!

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  1. Reply

    Oh, a picture of your house with snow. Indeed the weater is a subject to talk about. Everybody has expeirencded it, most have an opinion, and it does not frighten the shy. I'm off to suck in a bit of Sunshine 😀

    1. Reply


      Oh I agree! Most people can find something to say about the weather. It influences so many aspects of our lives, it must be interesting!

      These photos were taken at one of our former homes. We lived for 6 years in an old cottage surrounded by paddocks of cows. It was a beautiful location and very quiet. We only had one neighbour. That's actually the neighbour's house in the photos. Our house was down the driveway and at the back of that house. The garage next to the washing line was ours. The first photo shows the view from the back of our house. No cows at the time the photo was taken. Perhaps they were sheltering somewhere trying to keep warm!

      Our snow is nothing like yours but it's still very exciting when we get a few sprinkles of it. It's a big novelty. Enjoy your sunshine!

    • San
    • November 27, 2014

    Aberystwyth was Dave's old patch when he was a civil engineer with the railway! He worked with that office from 1988 til 1992.

    You were very brave studying so far from home and family.

    Weather for sure is an interesting conversation topic!! Especially if you live in the UK!!!!

    San xx

    1. Reply


      How interesting that Dave lived in Aberystwyth too! It's a beautiful place, isn't it? I wonder if it has grown much since I was last there. Probably as that was years ago.

      I wasn't that far from 'home' while I was studying because my family was actually living in Birmingham at the time. I did have the option to return to Sydney to go to university but I decided not to go as I'd met Andy by then. We married on the last day of our final semester and then travelled back to Australia. Andy and I haven't visited England since we got married. Perhaps one day we'll make the trip. Of course I'd love to pop in and see you if we did that!

      We talk about the weather a lot here too. Usually we're complaining about the drought and the possibility of bushfires because of the hot and dry conditions. If only we could share a bit of your rain! xx

    • Chris
    • November 28, 2014

    Hey..congratulations ! Wow, good for Andy and his colleague! Great story, too! How wonderful that the paper picked up on it! We need heroism stories out there….!!

    I FINALLY picked up a copy of your book, Sue. I'm so happy you inc it in your post. I've been meaning to for some time and was able today to just click over thru your link…how convenient! Looking forward to reading!! Can't wait. We are getting all set for advent to begin and starting to decorate the house too, today ( we always start the day after Thanksgiving….) and I'm so eager to get your book in hand!

    Great post….."See" you soon, Sue!
    Happy 1st weekend of advent!

    1. Reply


      It's lovely the newspapers picked up on this good news story. It has spread a lot of joy in the local community. We do indeed need heroism stories!

      Thank you so much for buying a copy of my book! I am happy I will be able to share my stories with you. There's an Advent story in the book, as well as a Christmas one.

      It's Saturday afternoon here. First Sunday of Advent tomorrow! It's an even busier time of year for you than for us, for of course we don't have Thanksgiving. I hope you had a wonderful celebration with your family. I shall watch out for some Advent photos on your blog. I'd love to see your decorations.

      I hope you enjoy the weekend. Happy 1st week of Advent to you too! xxx

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