About Woolly

After spending over thirty years as a wool classer, in Australian shearing sheds.  Read my Wool Classing post for a brief outline of what Wool Classing entails.

During the mid 90s I had the opportunity to gain teaching qualifications. A career change was imminent! And after nearly a decade of honing my computer skills and attending university lectures that change occurred.

My career change was only made possible by the purchase of our first computer which disguised my terrible writing. Distance education, perseverance and a patient and helpful wife also were beneficial…. particularly the latter.

Little did I know, at the time, that I would be making a career change which would, after completing two university degrees, see me teaching all age groups from five to ninety-two. A far cry from the first fifty-five years of my life ‘chasing’ sheep and wool for a living. Although my role as a wool classer saw me managing shearing sheds and training staff, formalising my training/teaching qualifications opened many doors.

The last four years I have spent teaching adults basic computing skills.

My posts will be varied and hopefully interesting, although I am not sure just how regular my posts will be. Time will tell.


156 thoughts on “About Woolly

  1. Pingback: FOWChallenge-Classify – WoollyMuses

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  3. I like the name of your blog, and it all makes sense now. I too, changed careers to become a teacher, when I was age 40. looking forward to your blog – beth


  4. I too can relate to change of career half way through life. I went from Housewife/mother to teaching assistant, university degree, teaching (computing) and finally retirement. Has all been good fun, rewarding and worth the hard work!


    • I hear you loud and clear Sue. There was not much encourage for tertiary education in my world in the 1960s. And my writing is so bad (shaking hands) that I think I would have been an instant fail. I have a school mate friend who turned to teaching out of school, retired at 45 only to run a service station. After working physically all my life I know which direction I preferred to be and taking and have never asked him “why?”.
      As you said, fun, rewarding and worth it. And I often found that the most rewarding experiences came from the toughest nut in a class…the one I never thought was paying attention etc.


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    • It’s funny, I don’t think of myself as inspiring, however, I thank you for your kind thoughts. One day I may write a few lines about the last six years of my working life. To answer your question…I don’t mind if you share with your friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for sharing your diversity! Also, the ping on the danger post. What a great career change you made. Working with animals is a blessing, but so is working with people who actually respond with words.


    • Not necessarily. You can reason with people some of the time but cannot reason with a sheep at any time. Besides at 0630 it has been raining solidly since 2300…am I worried about the welfare of people? People will find shelter….sheep run with the rain and their newly born lambs freeze if it turns cold or they do if they are freshly shorn.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate to the change of careers as I too took the plunge later in life (at age 40) and got an adult teaching degree. Nice to meet you and I look forward to following your blog. Thanks for the follow.


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  9. Hi Woolly Muses- Thank you for following my photography blog, Jane’s Lens. I hope you are inspired. Love your bio and your description of your former job. Reading it reminded me of my one-time sheep shearing experience in New Zealand. I will never forget it and I have great respect for people who have that skill!


    • Thanks for your kind comment Jane. Looks like I may be beginning another phase of life this year…forced retirement. With that in mind I am going to put my photography to better use. I spent about ten years photographing wedding in late 70s and 80s. Without the restriction of 36 shots per roll of film….well, one can only try. As for shears I have respect for the good ones also. I could shear 100 per day, but it was really hard work. Bit like say I could run a mile. 🙂 Woolclassing was my trade.


  10. Hi. A bit off topic but maybe you can slip back into your previous life and give me some wool related advice. 🙂 I purchased a rug in India that is apparently raw? untreated? wool. I didn’t know it at the time. Unfortunately, it smells like a barn (very strong odor) and I can’t get ride of the smell. I even had it professionally cleaned. Any suggestions? Thanks.


      • Okay. Before being made into apparel all wool is washed to remove all impurities such as lanolin, sweat, dirt, etc. Sounds like you may have purchased a genuinely raw wool product, which even I would find hard to tolerate. I love woollen garments but do not like the ‘woolly’ smell outside a wool shed.

        It may have been made of course wool which is used mainly for carpet or external garments. This type of wool can appear to be greasier than finer wool. It could also be made from ram’s wool as many rams fleeces had a rank smell to them which only a good wash will remove. Rams fleece was supposed to be kept separate from all other fleece wool. You could wash it, but would need to be careful as wool can shrink in hot water. You could also try airing (hang or leave it out in cool air) it until the smell eases…which may take some time. That would be a bit like taking a pair of sweaty socks and cleaning them by hanging them outside. May get rid of the smell but not really clean them.

        Hope that has been of some help.


  11. Life changes! I wrote 3 books about processing of wool, methods of testing of wool, yarns and fabrics in the USSR. Then I was a fabric cutter, a clerk, an accountant, a stock broker, a programmer, a system consultant in the USA. After retirement the best years started (writing, travel, time for loving people and yourself). Best to you!


    • Nice to know someone else who is familiar with wool processing. I am usually greeted with a blank expression, a shrug, or similar. I have not work internationally but have had my fair share of jobs and although I am still closer to sixty than anything else am finding time for traveling , relaxing and just enjoying life. Looking forward to more contact. All the best to you too.


  12. Thank you so much for stopping by at my blog. I hope you liked your visit.

    Such an inspiring about me, a big change in career, such a bold move and you are doing great n loving it. That is what matters. Glad to know you 🙂



  13. HI, I have nominated you for the new Virtual Blog Tour. I was nominated by Wandering Iris. I just love your posts and your quirky sense of humour – for an Aussie of course.Anyway if you do accept there are four questions to answer.
    1. What am I working on at the moment?
    2. How does my work differ from others of it’s genre?
    3. Why do I write/create what I do?
    4. How does my writing/creating process work?
    I hope you will accept and your post is on August 4th.
    Cheers 😀


    • Hi Raewyn, this has come out of the blue, so it has taken a day or so to respond. Thank you for the nomination which I will gratefully accept. It may take me sometime to respond to the questions and I gather find others to pass it on to. Oh! I have just seen the deadline for my post///should be able to do it. In the middle of some study for work at the moment which would be nice to have completed by then. Cheers


    • Thank you for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I never thought of my blog, as ‘inspiring’ and am therefore grateful to receive this award again.


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  15. I like what you said about your wife. It brings a smile on my face. I always admire people like you who “dare” to made a big career change . It takes a lot of courage, I think.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a great day.


    • Thank you…the comments were/are true. Without help I probably would not have made it. I did not complete high school And really only wanted to see if I could have survived at university…..which I did, then went back for seconds.


  16. Congratulations on making the big career change! Most people will not have the perseverance to muster enough courage to make such a big leap. Have a great week ahead.


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