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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ANZAC Memorial Heritage Park, Albany...

On our recent Western Australian holiday, we stayed in Albany for 2 nights and crammed in as much exploring of this city as we could in that time. The ANZAC Centre in the large Heritage Park was one attraction that really impressed us.
We had arrived in Albany mid afternoon and after checking into our motel, we made our first visit to Heritage Park. (Finding it impossible to see all that was on display meant that we would return the next morning.) 
This memorial is all about the First World was from the port of Albany in November 1914 that the first Australian defence personnel set sail for the war zone in the northern hemisphere; a long way from home!
The walkway up the hill has boards listing  the ships in those first 2 convoys...

A lot of reading to do...😉

And the view looking downhill...

The walkway went up to a lookout over the port area, but there were a couple of interesting places we stopped at on the way up the hill.
Growing up in Brisbane I had always been fascinated by the 'igloo' buildings scattered throughout the city, including the buildings at our old airport.  These buildings had been built by the US forces who were in Brisbane during WW2. Well this Heritage Park in Albany was an ' igloo lover's paradise'! Lol. Americans call them Nissen huts but Aussies had nicknamed them igloos. ( and there aren't many left in Brisbane any more)
So when I saw this igloo, I just had to stop and explore. The anchor out the front certainly indicated the naval connection. 

And behind the Nissen Hut, the remains of an old building...

The next little detour we took on the way up to the lookout was a gun emplacement. 

We walked through where the missiles (fakes of course!) were stored and then walked down a passageway which led out to where the gun was...
After these 2 little detours, we walked up the path to the lookout...
The view of the Harbour was wonderful...and VERY windy. 
This board pictured below, showed the line up of ships of the First Convoy all ready to sail off to the battlefields. The ships were quite an eclectic lot; many were non naval vessels which had been pressed into service because of the war. 

From there, we walked downhill (and out of the wind) and wandered around this historical site. 
There was a garden area that honoured women...but Spring hadn't really come to this area when we were there but I can imagine what this garden would look like when the warmer weather arrived.
In the next post I'll continue sharing our experience at this wonderful and historical site.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Wool on Sundays...

Joining in again with Rainbow Hare blog's Wool on Sunday. This week Janine's post featured crocheted squares using autumn colours.
Now to what yarn-related things I've been up to.
Firstly a blanket made from those donated knitted squares that I showed last week, is now finished.
 The variegated yarns that the donor used are so pretty and I'm in awe of anyone who could sit and knit all those squares! ( there's enough squares left to make 2 more similar sized blankets!)
Next is another finish. I made this rug quite a while ago but it still needed the ends on the border to be neatened sat for quite a while on a shelf waiting for this. And then I had a 50th birthday lunch to attend and I realised that this rug would be perfect for the birthday I spent the 30 minutes or so needed to finish it! Lol
And lastly, a new project started in this last week; the baby blanket using yarns leftover from other projects. 
The pattern comes from an old publication which I think is out of print. I'm not sure of copyright restrictions but I'm adding a photo of the pattern to this post.

I use more than the 3 colours suggested by the pattern. For the baby blanket I'm using an 8 ply acrylic as the main colour and an 8 ply cotton for the colours. I cast on 215 stitches on 4.5mm circular needles. When I make this pattern up in a 12 ply yarn ( such as mohair) for a throw, I cast on 205 stitches...this is a good size for an adult blanket. If I make a throw for an adult in 8 ply, I cast on 245 stitches...or thereabouts. 
Sorry to overseas readers who probably haven't a clue what 8 or 12 ply yarn is. But there are comparison sites which help with this. Such as this website.
So that's all my yarn-related news for this week.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Margaret River...

My posts on our recent holiday on Western Australia got a bit sidetracked. But because my blog is like my journal I will backtrack every now and then and write more about our travels, even though it all happened early last month! 
We spent 2 nights in the town of Margaret River; an area known for its wineries and food production...especially cheeses, chocolate and olives' products. 
Our accomodation featured lowset villas, set in lovely gardens. And each villa was named after a type of wine; ours was Cabernet Franc. ( I'd never heard of it and had to look it up; a black grape variety that is used in blends) 
Again the accomodation was spacious.

Margaret River town centre is quite compact and we enjoyed walking around the streets. While DH got brochures etc from the Information Centre, I 'played' with some of the stuffed toys in their big display. 

On the footpath adjacent to the Information centre, I was intrigued by this vending machine. I'd never seen one of these before.
On our full day in the area, we set off early to explore...
Another stop was at a chocolate factory....Temper Temper Fine Chocolates.  We bought 2 sugar free chocolate bars which were surprising nice and 2 single chocolates, rum and raisin flavour which were absolutely divine! ☺️

The lovely Vasse Virgin shop with lots of products made with locally made olive oil.

There are sooooo many wineries in this district, but we only visited a few. We stopped at one called the Cheeky Monkey at lunchtime. The grounds behind the main building are filled with lovely gardens, a playground and lots of undercover seating area...just so inviting for the visitors to the winery. 
It looked to be very popular with families, so we thought that probably indicated that the food in the cafe was good...and it was!!
My salad was huge...and delicious with a few slices of DH's pizza! 

Even though we don't usually add salt to our food, I was impressed by the salt containers on the table...salt from my dad's homeland. 
After lunch we found the Woody Nook Winery as my brother had asked us to buy him some of their port.
A lovely woodland type garden near their car park...

On our second night we went to an Italian restaurant in the town...the ravioli was delicious! 
Before we headed off from Margaret River, we visited their markets on the Sunday morning...
Lots of beautiful fresh food, including an Italian bakery stall. And that dog was getting lots of attention of market goers. 
And then we were back on the road again; this time we were headed for Albany. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Veggie Patch...

My last blog post was about our quick visit to Toowoomba's Queens Park to look at this year's display there for the annual Carnival of Flowers. 
In other years that we've visited Queens Park, I was delighted to see the use of ornamental kale in the garden in these next 2 photos copied from blog posts in 2010 and 2012. 

A very clever use of vegetable plants in decorative gardens! 

Back home here, I've worked steadily away in my modest veggie patch this year, encouraged by the slightly higher rainfall during Autumn and Winter. No kale though, this year; instead I'd planted herbs, tomatoes, capsicums ( green peppers), eggplant ( aubergines), round zucchinis ( courgettes), sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. 
In the subtropical climate here in Brisbane, zucchinis can often be plagued by powdery mildew which usually kills off the plant if not controlled. I sometimes wonder why I 'torment myself' trying to grow really is a 'battle'.  😒 But Nanette, a fellow blogger suggested placing crushed egg shells ( I put them in the little mini food processor and ended up with a nice fine white powder) in the hole when planting out the zucchinis...which I did. The calcium is meant to make the plants stronger to resist disease. 

I did find I had to use the 1:10 milk spray as the dreaded mildew did 'rear its ugly head', but I did have the mildew under control. Then we spent 2 weeks in WA and DsD3 was house sitting. Instructions and demonstrations of how to spray the milk solution on the leaves were given. When I came home, the veggies were all still alive unlike after our previous holiday...but...
Yep! A terminal case of powdery mildew I fear....but...there was one rather large zucchini that the girls had missed whilst it hadn't been picked...and had just kept growing. 
It was healthy...
And rather large. It weighed 400 grams. 
So all was not lost! And the good news continued. The Tommy Toe tomato bushes were covered with fruit...
But best surprise of all was the eggplant. For weeks before we went away it had been covered with flowers, but they would never ' set'. But when we came home it was a different story...
I counted 15 eggplants! 
So in the last few weeks I've been enjoying picking fruit/veggies and using them.

Some cooking...
That one zucchini was enough to make a zucchini slice...
Some of the eggplants were used in a family favourite, moussaka...
And my niece was thrilled when I visited her last Sayurday and handed over a bag of tomatoes and eggplants from my garden. Yesterday she sent me a photo of what she made with them.
So we will continue to enjoy the crops from the garden this year, as next year might not be as productive. 
Regular readers would realise that the bush turkeys have graciously not trashed the veggie patch this year, but I keep my fingers crossed that this state of affairs should continue. 😉

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Carnival of Flowers...

Remember how DH and I spent the last weekend of September in Wandoan? 
On the Sunday morning we awoke to this view....
And then it was time for a shower, some breakfast and repacking our bags, ready to head home. On the trip to Wandoan we had had a very short stop in Toowoomba. But by leaving Wandoan fairly early we would be able to have a longer stop to check out some of the Carnival of Flowers displays on the way back. 

We arrived in Toowoomba early afternoon and went straight to Queens Park. As usual, Toowoomba didn't disappoint...this annual display of gardens always have the wow factor! 

Queens Park is only one of the many places with magnificent garden displays for the Carnival of Flowers. DH and I have been to this event a few times and it's quite exhausting trying to see everything the city displays have to offer. But this time we were content just to visit this one venue.