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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!) πŸ˜†
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.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Looking back...

It’s funny how an inanimate object can spark a whole lot of memories. 
And so it was recently in country Victoria. Apparently the woman who was employed to service the rooms at the motel we were staying at, had given notice and left the day before we arrived. The young couple running the motel were trying to get the rooms ready as we drove up. By the next morning it became obvious that we were running out of toilet paper. A walk down to the office drew a blank as there was no one there. So I rang the mobile number on the door and left a message asking that toilet paper be taken to #16! 
DD1 had some in her room so gave us half a roll. But when we went into town, just in case it was needed, I bought a single roll of paper; something you don’t see often in a supermarket these days.

Well we ended up not needing it as our room’s supply was replenished, so I brought it home.
So what about this memory? First of all, I’ll share another anecdote.

A few years ago, a friend in her early 90s gave me a written piece to read. After her great grandson had asked her whether she had had a pet dinosaur when she was a girl, she decided to write about her childhood and what life was like then. 
She wrote of lots of things that are so different to life today but one particular memory concerned ‘toilet paper’. I’ve used quotation marks because this paper bore little resemblance to what comes to mind at the mention of toilet paper πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ
Firstly Ailsa wrote about the backyard outhouse. These were still around here in parts of Brisbane when I was a girl. 
Here’s a photo of a tract of public housing in Norman Park, Brisbane, in the 1950s...note the outhouses all in a row! 

They weren’t flushing toilets though...

Yep! Those tins/pans had to be emptied and there were men and trucks who took the filled cans away and replaced them with empty ones once a week. 
Now the quality of the paper didn’t matter as there weren’t any pipes that could get clogged. My friend wrote about how people used cut up sheets of newspaper as toilet paper; I kid you not! The cut up sheets would hang on a nail. 
But as suburbs were sewered people had to stop using newspaper as it caused blockages in the system. Even when my parents had the outhouse before our suburb was sewered, because my dad was a fruiterer, he brought home bags of tissue paper which apples had been wrapped in and that was our toilet paper. So we had a hessian bag of screwed up tissue paper on a nail. 
How embarrassing to be a kid whose family used tissue paper!! Wink wink!! 
Maybe my mum was embarrassed too as when we were having visitors, she would put out a ROLL of toilet paper which she had purchased; just the one roll no multi packs then! 
When the visitors left, she would remove the roll and put it away in a cupboard until the next time we had visitors. And our family would use our tissue paper from the apples again! Lol
When I related that story to my friend Ailsa, she laughed and laughed! And apparently she’s been sharing my story with lots of her friends. Life was tough when Ailsa was a girl in the late 1920s and I guess in the 1950s life still could be tough for my parents who were also growing up in the late 1920s. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A special gift!

About 6 weeks before DH’s birthday, his daughters contacted his friends, work colleagues and family asking for memories, stories/anecdotes or photos of their father. I was recruited to help them with obtaining lists of people who could help and of course find email addresses of these people. Might I add there was a fair bit of detective work on my behalf finding ways of contacting friends from school days and also from the years DH was involved in the Brisbane amateur theatre scene in the 60s and 70s. πŸ˜†

The girls hoped to get 70 items but of course not everyone wrote back...but at least 50 people did reply. And on the Saturday night at Bribie a box of memories was presented to DH. We’d kept the secret really well as did those people the girls had contacted and it was a big surprise for the birthday boy. 
So on the night, DsD3 is ready to hand over the memories box but first she presented DH with a special golfers’  watch. 

DH needs to remove his glasses to read so that’s the first step after the box is handed over πŸ˜‰. 

In 2 sessions during the evening he read out the messages. Some made us laugh especially those from friends from his teen years and definitely those from former work colleagues.

Here’s one from a theatre days friend...

Here’s one from a work colleague of mine...

From my brother...

One of Bruce’s school friends who now lives in Melbourne went to card making classes to learn how to make a special card...

Her message...

A friend of mine for many years wrote if the first time she met DH...and at the time she thought that she might have frightened him off! 🀣

DH’s former wife wrote a lovely excerpt.

My anecdotes πŸ˜‰

And with some detective work I found Diane a former childhood neighbour of DH. She wrote about the band that DH was the lead singer for...

And here’s a photo of our 60s pop idol in action at the Enoggera Memorial Hall in lieu of a photo on the boat! Lol

One of DH’s former bosses sent along some photos of when the cast of the Rocky Horror Show came into their office πŸ˜€
Now who is DH looking at...not being sure of the copyright of the photo, I’ve done a bit of cropping and masking...

So who was behind that voting screen? 
Why Frankenfurter of course! 
DH didnt look the slightest bit fazed by having Frankenfurter sitting down behind a voting screen. 

Psst! It’s really Marcus Graham 😍.
So there you have it; a selection from DH’s Memories Box. It was certainly a very special gift indeedπŸ’•

From 3 very special young women.

It all got very rushed at the end to get it all finished so we are all ignoring spelling and punctuation mistakes aren’t we? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜œ

Friday, June 7, 2019

Birthday Bash at Bribie...

A year ago DH started planning a holiday in May 2019 for the immediate family as part of the celebration of his 70th. Each year his 3 daughters, their partners and children spend a long weekend away with his first wife to celebrate her birthday, and DH thought that sounded like a good way to celebrate this special birthday. Finding a property to rent for our blended family of 11 adults and 5 children turned out to be quite a challenge. But we found a large house for rent which overlooked Pumicestone Passage.

Lovely views from the balcony on the first level as well as from the lounge room on street level.

The family went on lots of beach walks...the beach was just over the road...

The sunsets were gorgeous! 

A few group photos were taken on the beach...

Getting up off the sand after this series of photos was ‘interesting’ to say the least! Lol
One morning the family all walked up to the museum and we spent nearly 2 hours looking at the exhibits. On the Sunday we drove up to where the mini trains run...

How’s this for the cutest little steam engine?

We had visitors one day and we went to the Bribie Island Bowls club for lunch as I’d had enough of cooking for a crowd by then, lol. 
The photo shows the meal one of our sons in law ordered πŸ€ͺ

This was my more modest whiting, chips and salad lunch...

That same afternoon DH and I met 2 friends for afternoon coffee at the same club. These 2 sisters were at school with DH and I so our friendship goes back a long way. 

On the morning of our last full day, DH’s cousin and her husband visited us for morning tea. By then the young people had all gone home so it was just DH and I. 

I did mention in passing just before, that I’d spent a fair amount of the week cooking meals for a bit of a crowd. But I had a lovely kitchen in which to work. I particularly loved these corner drawers and wished I had them at home instead of those difficult to get into corner cupboards that my kitchen has...

Bribie was a perfect venue for our family gathering as where else would you find a main road named in honour of our family? 🀣πŸ€ͺ

Now the back story of this blog post.
The house he found that we eventually rented was very large...but not large enough. It was meant for 8 adults and 3 children. We thought some family members would be happy to sleep on mattresses for the nights of the weekend when it was planned for the whole family to gather...nup, all expected queen size beds. Some stayed many nights and felt that they should have the 3 extra bedrooms. That meant that the other family members with work commitments felt slighted and one couple would only come for the day as a result. I discovered that adults with young children are hampered from being able to offer much help and meals are delayed by baby needs. 
Every day some of the granddaughters had mega ‘meltdowns’ when it came time for bath or bed. And it wasn’t only the grandies...siblings sniping at each other was also observed. 
My 70th might be different! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„