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Sunday, August 18, 2019

It’s Book Week in Australia!

Since 1946, the Children’s Book Council of Australia has run a Book of the Year competition. Find more information here
Couldn’t resist inserting this meme! 

I don’t remember having Book Week activities when I was at school, but then again, in those days, primary schools did not have teacher librarians on staff. Libraries in schools were a bit of a ‘hit or miss’ situation, depending on parent organisations to provide books and a teacher to volunteer to run the library.

I started teaching in 1971 and I can remember how excited the staff was, when a teacher librarian was appointed in last!! So from then on, I was involved in Book Week activities organised by a TL. Some schools had grand affairs; others had more modest celebrations for the week. 
Here’s a photo of DD2 ( on the right) dressed up as a book character for Book Week. Neither she nor I can remember who that character was...but it was in the early 90s.

Now as a teacher, my classes expected me to dress up as well...I didn’t need much urging as it was always lots of fun. Here I am as Mr Biffy ( a clown) from the book ‘Mr Biffy’s Battle’...probably 1999. 

This year my granddaughter Holly is dressing up as a book character for Book Week celebrations at her Daycare Centre and DD2 asked for my help. My daughter said the character would either be the witch in ‘Room on the Broom’ or Edwina the Emu...I thought the witch would be a better idea/easier and DD2 agreed 😆. 

I was tasked with making the skirt, cloak and the plait. DD2 bought the hat, broom and wand online.  Last Friday Holly helped me finish her costume 😉. 

Ta dah! 

So a bit more fabric from my largish stash has been used...and that’s always a bonus! Lol

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Same outfit; two Fridays

Since retiring I rarely ‘dress up’ these days so some of the ‘posh’ clothes languish in the wardrobe. But recently a favourite jacket got an outing 2 Fridays in a row! 
First Friday was to the opening of the parish art and craft show in the evening. And talk about luck, DH and I won the lucky door prize. 

The basket had really lovely foodstuffs in it and had been donated by the local Federal Member who also opened the show. 
And of course he circulated after he opened the show and chatted to guests. 

The following Friday I had been invited to a Memorial/Wake. I mind at least one grandchild on Friday afternoons and had sort of decided that I wouldn’t attend as that day I had 2 to mind; one in the morning as well. I should mention here that the deceased was a former student of mine who died suddenly while holidaying overseas and was only 49. 
Here’s a class photo of Mandy in my Year 7 class in 1981

(Thanks to Facebook we had reconnected in the last 10 or so years.) 

Another former student contacted me on the Wednesday on behalf of one of Mandy’s sisters asking whether I would be attending as the MC planned to mention me. 
Long story short...lots of reorganising etc but I got to the Treasury Hotel at 4.10 pm, joining former work colleagues of Mandy’s plus many, many friends of hers,  to celebrate her life. 

So glad I did make the effort to attend, especially seeing the lovely reaction from Mandy’s partner when he was introduced to me. Apparently she spoke about me a bit and it may have been some of my influence that made Mandy a ‘grammar pedant’ 😄!   I was very proud of her achievements. 

A number of my former students also attended and it was lovely catching up with them. They are very polite darlings refusing to believe I’m 68! Lol. 

I used to be taller than this lovely lady who looked after me so well during the evening and also insisted that she and another friend walk with me the few blocks to my bus stop. 
And here’s an old photo from 1979 when the school celebrated its 75th Anniversary and most of us dressed up. The lovely Sharyn in the previous photo is the student in the white bonnet beside my male colleague. 

A lifetime ago it seems 💕

Monday, August 5, 2019

Wool on Sunday...

My goodness, this last month has flown by so quickly and here I am writing a Wool on Sunday post for August. And of course linking back to Janine’s blog, The Rainbow Hare here where Janine shares a pattern for knitted and crocheted ice cream cones. 
I was able to donate 2 knitted throws to be sold at the annual parish Art and Craft Show. Both were sold prior to opening night, 2 weekends ago. 
One was a garter stitch chevrons rug that I had finished a few months ago and put aside until it was needed. 
I wrapped this throw around the shoulders of its new owner...

The second throw that I donated was in a honeycomb slipstitch design and seemed to take ages to finish ( but it was probably only 3 1/2 weeks work) and it was finally completed the weekend before the show. 
I took a photo of it in the sunlight...

Inside it looked completely different! 

I want to share with you a very special story about the sale of this throw. The lady who bought this, asked for it to be put aside for her when she saw it a few days before the show opened. She didn’t know the price but insisted that she had to have it, no matter the cost. N had bought one of my donated throws last year, so I was surprised when I was told that she’d asked to buy this one too. Sadly, a few weeks before this, N had lost her 18 year old son to an accidental overdose. 

The organisers of the show explained that N wanted to buy this new throw to give to her teenage  daughter on the day that would have been the deceased boy’s birthday. The 2 siblings had been very close. 
But the story gets even more poignant. A former teacher of both siblings ( Year 1), who heard the story insisted on donating a quarter of the price so that when N came to collect and pay for the item, it would be less of an impost for her at this sad time in her life. Such a wonderful act of kindness. 
With that knitting commitment out of the way, I’ve now gone back to joining donated squares into blankets for charity. ( a number of the granny squares have been made by me at Knit and Natters) 

So my next month’s Wool on Sunday post should contain photos of these completed blankets. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Uh oh...

My mother in law from my first marriage lived in Melbourne and especially after the girls were born, would come to stay with us here in Brisbane for a number of weeks every few years.
Many afternoons during her stay, she and I would sit and craft in front of the TV; I would mainly knit or sew and Elsie would crochet. 

When the girls were napping I would often play recorded shows such as Taggart. Elsie would complain that she couldn’t understand a word that the star of Taggart Mark McManus would utter and she would get quite cross about this. This didn’t make sense to me as I could understand him perfectly. ( oh the arrogance of youth!) 🙄😬

Well for quite a few years, I’ve been ‘translating’ accented English on TV shows for DH. But recently something has happened. Watching episodes of the show Shetland, I’ve realised that I don’t always understand what the character of Jimmy Perez says. We’ve used the rewind function and I’ve still had occasions where I couldn’t translate what the characters have said...shock horror! Then one day I had a brainwave! 

Yep! Closed captions! 
Sorry for not really understanding, Elsie. 🤭
( And now the show Hinterland taxes my hearing and brain too with those Welsh accents so closed captioning could come in handy for that too) 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

That Moon Landing...

All the 50th Anniversary celebrations etc of the first manned lunar landing are now behind us but I thought I’d write a post about ‘what I was doing when Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the moon’s surface’. 
I was a student at teachers college in 1969. It was almost the end of lunch time and my friends and I noticed that the televisions ( black and white of course) from the science block were being brought out of the classrooms. The TVs were set up around the open space of the quadrangle and we were encouraged to find a spot to stand and view history in the making. 

The fact that this event from so far away, in space no less, and we could watch it happening, was amazing and despite the grainy nature of the film, we were all enthralled. I remember becoming a bit anxious as Armstrong got nearer to actually putting a foot on the moon’s surface. Despite the lunar module sitting in a stable manner on the surface, I had this irrational idea that when Armstrong stepped down, he would fall into a big hole...a bit like quicksand. I remember my relief when that didn’t happen! 
But the best was yet to come for those hundreds of college students there that day...

When the TV coverage was finished, the college Principal Mr Growder, spoke to us all over the PA reminding us of the momentous event we’d seen...and then gave us all the afternoon off. Being let off attending lectures was unheard of usually and I can still remember how we grabbed our bags/briefcases and surged out the gates and down Victoria Park Rd; all in high spirits. 😀😆
That college is now part of the Queensland University of Technology ( QUT) but that quadrangle is still there although quite beautifully landscaped these days, as these photos from the website show...

3 sides of that quadrangle were surrounded by the beautiful A block...possibly heritage listed these days?
The front view... 

The evening paper, the Telegraph had the following headlines that afternoon...

Now apparently I’m not the only one who imagined ( wrongly as it happens) that the moon’s surface was a bit unstable. I found a cartoon online which shows two astronauts sunk up to their chins in the surface of the moon. To use this cartoon on my blog would cost me €40 so here’s a link instead 😄. 
It was years later that I heard all those conspiracy theories that what the world watched that July Day was all a hoax...staged by Hollywood...pllleeeaaase...really??? And of course the 50th Anniversary prompted dozens of memes about this purported hoax...

Or what about this one from last year? 😉

My favourite Moon Landing meme is this next one...

So do you remember the moon landing in 1969? 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Wool on Sunday; July

Once again I’m joining Janine from the Rainbow Hare blog here, in posting about yarn related activities in the last month. Janine has been working on a sweater but also writes about the building project in her garden. I’ve managed to work on a number of projects during the last month which probably explains the dust that has appeared on wooden furniture...and other housework neglect. 
I was determined to finish a rainbow throw that I was making for DsD3 and I did. 

She is so busy with her work that finding a good time to hand it over became problematic so the handover happened when she dropped in to a Trivia night that DH and I attend, on her way home from work. She needed a ‘joy boost’ and I like to think my efforts helped with that. 

In the last month I got to work on my usual contribution to our parish art and craft guessed it...a knitted throw! 
Here’s the progress so far with just over 2 weeks to go until the show...all good for a finish on time. 

At Knit and Natters and Trivia Nights I’ve been crocheting squares...15 to be exact as that’s the number  of squares needed to add to the 15 squares made by Susan W, from Sunday Stitchers. 

Susan also gave me 2 balls of this variegated yarn and I used these 2 with gold/yellow and red yarns. The colours in the variegated yarn look a bit like the indigenous colours but it’s actually a navy or ink blue not black. ( it’s the colours of the Adelaide Crows footy team) . I think a needy indigenous person will love the blanket that Susan’s and my squares will make. 

These squares plus the bundle I wrote about last month have still got to be joined but it’s comforting to know that that will be done quite quickly when the knitted throw is finished. 
Years ago ( probably the 1980?) I knitted some kite shapes from a pattern published in a booklet in the Australian Women’s Weekly. The shapes came out very small so I experimented and made them larger. It was an on off project for years and I trialled various ways of sewing them together; eventually crocheting around each shape in black and then sewing them together. 
This photo has to have been taken before I had my cataract operations in 2009 but I suspect it’s possibly 5 years before that. 

I gave the blanket to a friend’s young daughter who had lost a finger in an was a perfect gift as E loved it. ( she’s just recently had her 21st birthday) 
After I gave that blanket away I started making another lot of shapes; every ball of 8 ply that I’d buy, I’d make one shape. Then for whatever reason, I put the project away. And came across it a few years ago.

But I couldn’t find the pattern and for some reason I struggled to work out the pattern from the pile of shapes...very disappointed with myself! 

And then last week on the K4BN Facebook page someone posted a photo of a throw made with those same shapes in that rib pattern. A few people commented on the photo and I wrote that I’d lost the pattern. Within half an hour I had a copy of the page of that booklet from another member of the group. I was so happy and grateful that someone had kept a pattern published in 1972!! 

I hope it doesn’t breach copyright rules to share it here ©?

Monday, July 1, 2019

A Seventies Night...

My friend has a cafe in suburban Stafford here in Brisbane and each month organises a dinner. The cafe is usually only open for breakfasts and lunches so these dinners are an extra. Last month the theme was The Seventies. Diners were urged to get out their ‘flares and platform soled shoes’ and come along to dine on popular 70s dishes and to take part in Trivia questions too.

Now it’s no secret that I lived through the 70s and I know that the fashions were quite varied through that decade. I also knew that platform sole shoes for me are now definitely OUT as would be most of the fashions of that era.

Despite big culling sessions last year, I knew I still had some 70s artefacts that I offered my friend to add to the evening’s decor. 
A tablecloth made by my mother’s friend in 1971 for my ‘glory box’, 2 Oroton coin purses, a pottery vase featuring the red, orange and browns of the 70s, a crocheted knee rug I made my mother in the mid 70s using a Women’s Weekly pattern and a pottery box which the staff at my school gave me as a wedding present in 1972.

When I dropped off these items to my friend, she showed me some of the 70s recipe books that she had trawled through to come up with the night’s menu. Aussie readers will recognise some old favourites. 

But what to wear to the 70s night? 
I’ve certainly not kept any clothes...they had all shrunk...wink wink 🤣! 
I went to lots of balls in the 70s...

My favourite ball dress! 

( Note the handbag and the earrings...)
In the 70s I wore sundresses and even halter necks...and then there was the shirred dresses too! 

( top right you can just see a pair of platform shoes ...but not the 6 inch cork ones that I owned and had a spectacular trip and fall walking down the street one day 😬) 
All of those outfits in those photos proved that I once had a waist; the operative word is ONCE. My outfit for the night would have to be something that skimmed my figure! Lol.
Then there were the hairstyles of those times. In some of those photos you might have noticed that I had long hair which for special occasions my hairdresser had teased up and then swept up into a mass of curled loops at the back. Most of the time I wore my hair out but did often tie it back into a bun. 
Remember those Alice bands?

In the early 70s here in Australia, wigs became popular. I had a short wig which I tucked my long hair into and thought I looked cool 😎. I also had a ‘switch’ which was a long length of hair ( synthetic like my short wig) which the hairdresser would arrange in curls ready to clip to my own hair. Later in the decade, I also had some terrible perms. 
So eventually I decided on my outfit...a kaftan and a wig resembling a terrible 70s perm. 

(Note the earrings; they still fit!) 😆
My friend’s husband is wearing a South’s footy jersey as that team won the premiership in 70 and 71. 
My Oroton handbag was borrowed back for the night from DD1. It had been a gift to me in 1973 and I gave it to her for the something old at her wedding 2 years ago. 

My shawl for the evening was one my late mother in law made for me in the early 70s.

The short wig I own now came from the Reject Shop but the one I owned in the 70s was bought from David Jones. In the late 1980s that wig found its way into my girls’ dress up box and I found a photo of them wearing it! 

And there’s that very uncool me wearing it in the early 70s...oh dear! Lol
So what would be a 70s night without food? 
Nibblies...remember those loaded up toothpicks stuck into fruit? There were also little vol u vents with asparagus and ‘devils on horseback’. 

Entree was prawn cocktail...

Main course was an alternate drop of Apricot Chicken and Steak Diane. 

Dessert was Bombe Alaska and chocolate mousse...

I took along a bottle of Mateus Rose as it’s a wine that is still sold ( unlike Cold Duck, Blue Nun, Ben Ean Moselle) and in the 1970s it was too expensive for young marrieds with a mortgage to buy. 

During the meal we also had trivia questions to answer...

As you can imagine, we had a wonderful evening with lots of laughter and sharing memories with our friends.