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Thursday, January 29, 2015


Before I launch into this post about my 'pin up boy', William McInnes, I thought I'd better check if we have some visitors to the blog looking for that 'Grow Your Own Blog Party''ll find that post here...Don't forget to leave a comment on that post so you can be in the Giveaway Draw. 

In November 2013, DH and I went to a book launch of one of our favourite Australian actors and writer, William McInnes. I wrote about this hilarious night here.
And so it was in early December 2014, that William had yet another book launch in Brisbane with his latest offering, 'Holidays'. But DH and I couldn't attend that, because we were already committed (and paid for) for a fundraising book launch for the Royal Queensland Historical Society.
My brother and DH had their photo taken at that event with one of the authors of the book when they lined up to get our copies signed. A friend found this photo on the RQHS Facebook page! lol

If we had have attended the William McInnes evening, I would have bought Bill's book, but as we didn't, we waited until it was available from the library(big waiting list!). DH read it first, then it was my turn...

In the early chapters of the book, I found myself laughing out loud (and almost uncontrollably) at William's descriptions of his childhood holidays. He grew up in Redcliffe, just north of Brisbane, and our family holidays were spent at nearby Scarborough, so I knew a lot of the places he described about his years growing up in that area. 
The book went on to describe holidays (and general mischief he got up to) that he went on with uni friends as a young adult, through to holidays with his family, through to holidays he now takes with his children only, as sadly his wife Sarah died a few years ago. 
I enjoyed the book, but to be honest, it is not his best. But that's only my opinion. Aussie readers though would enjoy the familiarity of his experiences, comparing them with their own family stories and anecdotes, especially those driving holidays! Lol

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If only he could talk...

If you have dropped by for the Grow Your Own Blog Party, you'll find that post here...

But this post is about the recent misadventures of Master Eduardo, our cat. Last week this little fellow went missing for 36 hours or so. He was originally my DD2's cat but circumstances have seen him living with DH and I for the last 12 years. And of course, we have become very fond of him and consider him our cat!

Monday of last week, my neighbour noticed Eduardo walking through the yard of a house in the next street back from us...quite out of character for this little homebody. But I was at work (just a temporary job in the run up to the state election) so he might have thought that it was just the right time to go exploring...except he didn't come home that night...and he wasn't meowing at the door, the next morning. We had walked around that evening looking for him and calling out his name
:-/ , but with no success.

On the Tuesday morning I headed off to the office with a 'heavy heart' thinking the worst had happened...I was the first home from work that afternoon...and still no Eduardo. But just as I started dinner preparations, I heard him meowing...he was home...very dirty and dishevelled...and very, very jumpy! He didn't appear to have any wounds thank goodness. So he wolfed down some food, and then jumped up on his favourite chair and proceeded to clean his fur. I was so relieved that he was home safe and sound. 
His first meal in 36 hours....

Whatever had happened to him , he had become very nervous and timid, jumping at the slightest sounds. We had a rainy day last week and I put an old towel down on the floor in the doorway to protect the floor...this scared him...he wanted to come inside but this green 'monster' had him bluffed.

Those 'lumps' and creases in the towel had him flummoxed! 

But as the week went on he has relaxed a bit, but he sure doesn't want to go outside...
Neck scratches and ear tickles are good...

He's even not really happy about going out on to the veranda, which has been a favourite spot for years. I've been taking him out into the garden, but staying close to him. So our thoughtful neighbour, Judy, brought across an 'indoor loo' for him to use while we're at work.

A few years ago a friendly tabby cat called Lewis moved into a townhouse a few doors from our back gate. But Lewis is a bully boy in spite of his cuteness...and he steals Eddie's food if we are not vigilant and he also fights with Eddie, as my boy tries to defend his territory... Lewis comes, not only into our yard, but up on to our veranda, and even into the house! 

Lewis, Eduardo's nemesis...waiting at our side door, hoping to be let in so he can steal food...

So we don't know if Lewis is involved in this latest misadventure or whether it's something else completely different. Ed may have got locked in somewhere...and that would have been a scary experience for sure.

So, if only he could talk...? But then again if he could talk, it would be non stop, 'When's dinner, I'm hungry?', lol

So glad we have him back with us! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oh! -_o, _o, _o....All those 'o' s ! (Australia Day) .

Now some readers may have arrived looking for the Grow Your Own Blog Party post, well it's here, and a big welcome to you! 

Today is January 26 which is celebrated as Australia Day. It marks the date  in 1788, when the first boatloads of Europeans arrived to set up a British Colony, which had been named New South Wales by Captain James Cook in 1770. There of course had been people already living in this land; the Aboriginal people...what must they have thought? Their descendants now consider Australia Day as Invasion Day. 

But I'm going to write a different sort of post to celebrate Australia Day...Australia was a British colony but we pretty soon developed our own slang, sayings, idioms, colloquialisms etc. Some of these have their origins in UK too of course. Having had training in TESOL/ESL, (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and English as a Second Language) I try not to use too many colloquialisms in blog posts as it can made it difficult for readers whose first language is not English...and of course the online translation programs can't handle these sayings. 
But a few times I must have used the term, 'arvo' and have received emails asking what an arvo is. 
I realised that Aussies love to shorten words and put an o on the end of the shortened 'afternoon' is shortened to 'arvo' :-/. DH and I sat down one day and we thought of all the other shortened words with an o added on the's our list. 

Ambo...ambulance officer
Smoko...a break from work for a cup of tea...and a smoke
Garbo...the rubbish collector
Journo...a journalist
Aggro...describing someone's aggressive behaviour
Johno...the surname Johnson
Jacko...the surname Jackson
Robbo...the surname Robinson or Robertson, as in 'mind your own business'
Bottle-o...nowadays, the liquor or bottle shop...old days, the men who came around the streets collecting empty bottles from residents and paying a few pence to people
Servo...Service Station where petrol/gas is sold
Thingo...thing, when you can't remember the name of something. Sometimes used when a person's name has been forgotten.
Metho...methylated spirits
Nasho...A person called up for National Service in the conscription though nowadays.
Rego...registration as in 'My car rego is due'...

There are many other slang words ending with o...such as 'drongo'and 'yobbo'...Can you guess what they mean? It's tricky because they aren't abbreviations with an o put on the end :-)

I will finish off with one of DH's favourite greetings that he likes to use...
'Gidday, Ocker, Digger, Cobber, Mate! How ya going?' ( basic translation, 'hello my friend, how are you?' The words Ocker, Digger, Cobber are all Australianisms meaning mate/friend) land DH uses them all at once! Lol

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Own Blog party

Once again I'm joining in this event which is hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full. The idea is that each blogger writes a post introducing themselves; their interests, reasons for blogging etc.

I am a retired primary (elementary) school teacher, who loves to knit, stitch, garden, read and travel. I am Australian and live in Queensland, a state on the east coast. I have a 'blended family' of a lovely DH, 2 daughters and 3 stepdaughters. DH and I are 'empty nesters' now but over the years, all of these young adults  have lived with us at one time or another.

When I retired I joined a knitting group that provides knitted, crocheted and sewn items to the needy in the community. Believe me, it is not just the homeless who are needy. Originally I knitted beanies, children's jumpers, throws etc for the group,but over the last few years I have volunteered to join up some of the thousands of squares that are donated to the group each year. This certainly keeps me busy! The photo shows a number of blankets made with donated squares that I've joined...
I also knit throws that I give away as gifts, or to groups to sell or raffle to raise funds. I try to do a few of these each year.
The photo above shows me working one evening on one of my 'signature' projects, a garter stitch chevron/ripple throw, using a variety of yarns. 
A throw knitted in mohair yarns for my DD2 to celebrate her 30th birthday...

Like a lot of crafters, I have far too much fabric and yarn in my stash...but I still find more that I 'can't do without' and purchase more :-) Like this Christmas fabric that friends were using last year...couldn't find any in Aussie stores, but finally tracked some down in an Etsy store in the US!

I enjoy blogging and even though there is no real theme to what I write about, I share my everyday adventures in living life to the full. 
Over the years, for me, 'writing' was all about the academic aspects of writing ....I wrote to inform...I wrote to persuade, but I rarely had the chance to write to entertain. With the latter role, I can be relaxed in both the style and the language used and that's what my blog has mainly entertain but with some elements of 'informing'.
Last year I wrote posts while we travelled in the UK, France and Hong Kong.
A beautiful scene taken from high on the hill in Whitby, UK...

With my DH after the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day at the Australian War Memorial outside Villers Bretonneux, France...

The view from the window of our hotel room in Hong Kong...a quite swanky hotel overlooking some not quite so salubrious apartment blocks.

Later this year, we are planning to visit Canada, where DsD3 is living and working for 2 years.
My stepdaughter took this very Australian 'onesie' to Canada...oh and the neck support cushion! Lol

Many years ago I loved to embroider but had not worked on any such projects for quite a while. Through blogging, I have signed up for swaps that required stitching and once again I've discovered how much I enjoy it. 
I stitched this mini quilt in a Summer themed swap...

I have also 're-ignited' my love for English paper piecing (EPP) and always try to have a project on the go using that technique.
A Christmas 'ornie' made with small hexies...

A Dillybag (designer is Judy Newman) was a favourite project last year...also hexies!

 The next photo shows my current EPP project, a cushion cover for a friend's mother who is celebrating her 90th birthday. I still have a long way to go with this project!

As well as chronicling our travels, I also write about changes to the suburb that I live in. As the city grows, single houses in my suburb are being replaced by multiple townhouses...I have it all documented if it's in my street! lol

I could go on and on, but just one more thing about me...I love purple! :-)

Regular readers would know that I have just passed the 1000 posts' milestone, so somehow I've found lots to write about over the years:-).

In conjunction with the Grow Your Own Blog Party, I am having another small (but very nice) Giveaway. It's one of Gerhard's lovely fabric patches
I've used the photo from the NaturesFaceArt website so that I didn't have to take the patch out of its packaging. The design features masses of gum blossoms, framed by gum leaves with a beautiful butterfly in the centre. Gerhard's patches are suitable for all kinds of projects, especially patchwork. To enter, just leave a comment on this post...

Vicki, the organiser of the Grow Your Own Blog party has requested that all bloggers who run a Giveaway in conjunction with their post, that February 15 is the date to draw the winner's name. So lots of time for people to visit and leave a comment. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Work...a 4 letter word...

In my last post, I mentioned that DH is running the election office for one of the electorates in the coming state election. And guess who is the Election Assistant in that office? Yep, it's yours truly. While DH has been busy organising polling places, training booth staff, sorting out resources for the polling booths and a 'million' other tasks, I've been taking pre poll votes and working on personnel records. 
So no crochet hooks, knitting needles or sewing needles for me at the moment...more likely to be these...
And this...
But yesterday morning I was using these...
A mop and bucket! We had had a fair bit of rain overnight and due to a blocked down pipe, our office flooded...and most of the water pooled around the entry...:-(

But it was all fixed by mid afternoon and no voter slipped...which is what we were concerned about. 
It is 3 years since I last did this temporary job, and what a difference those 3 years make! I'm exhausted at the end of the day...just enough energy to feed the cat and us...and not long after that...I'm asleep! Lol. 
My next post will be for the Grow Your Blog party, linking up with Vicki Boster...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Update on DH...

Regular readers would know that DH collapsed on Boxing Day and ended up in hospital with a suspected heart attack. The angiogram showed no blockages or damage to the heart which was wonderful news. The cardiologist introduced some new medications and increased the dose of another med that DH was already taking. For a few weeks DH was unwell, possibly due to his body getting used to the new meds, but he has since recovered well and has even been given the ok by the doctors to work on the state election here in Queensland.(DH is the returning officer for one of the electoral districts; a part time  position every 3 years and involves about 5 weeks of work)

It seems that uncontrolled Diabetes 2 is the likely culprit for DH's collapse. So now appointments are being organised for him to see a Diabetes Educator, an Exercise Physiologist and a nutritionist. More importantly he has found a new GP, as his former GP of over 30 years had not considered the high sugar levels for the last 5 years to be be indicative that more investigations were needed. While we wait for those appointments, I've been doing a lot of reading on the subject and it's so scientific how these nutritionists etc work out what the suitable foods are...and the combination of foods is important too. We don't know yet whether DH will take tablets to help the pancreas to 'do its job'. 

Another problem that DH has had, is stopping breathing during the night. There have been a few times when I've become quite worried and shaken him awake during the night when his breathing has stopped. Sleep apnoea has been implicated in various health conditions including heart disease and obesity. So DH went on a 'sleepover' last Saturday night at a 'Sleep Centre', so the doctors could find out what was going on.
Thinking that I might want to write a post about his 'sleepover', DH got some photos for me...

All wired up...

We got the report today...despite all those wires etc, DH fell asleep in 10 minutes and slept for just over 6 hours. As expected, he had a number of times during the night when he stopped breathing...often 58 secs and frequently. He definitely has sleep apnoea and the report recommends a number of things including a CPAP machine. He has a follow up appointment with a sleep specialist doctor, in mid February. 
So by collapsing on Boxing Day, we have become aware of a number of issues that were not being addressed. He would have just gone on blissfully unaware that all was not lucky are we then? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Winners...

Firstly thank to everyone who left a comment...using the custom random number generator, these are the winners...
The pattern was won by Kerrie a.k.a. Creations 1. Congratulations Kerrie!

 The Christmas decoration is heading back to the UK as Una won her. Congratulations Una!

The fabric square was won by Maureen Clare; congratulations Maureen, I'm sure you will have lots of fun using Gerhard's beautiful design.

The Patons Lace yarn was won by Lyn...enjoy, Lyn :-)

 And lastly the winner of the Art Cards by Susan, is Lin from France! Congratulations will have a little bit of Australia over there in France.
Now if all the winners could email me with their mailing addresses, I will organise to send your prizes on to you.
Thank again, everyone who visited and commented.
Now, along with the Grow Your Blog Party post coming up on January 25, I will have another Giveaway, so stay tuned as they say! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Good morning everyone. Last week my email account was hacked and at least one email was sent out purporting to be me. One email had the subject heading 'Document'. But it appears that some people received an email from me saying this first email was safe. I sent neither. I tried to send emails to all contacts, but I realise that some people didn't get my warning. 
Now I have been told that some of you have written comments on the blog saying that you were concerned about suspicious emails...but those comments are not showing in my feed or in the stats. 
Please be wary of any emails with links but no message.
Sorry for the confusion and fear that this debacle must cause. 

One more day to enter the Giveaways...

To celebrate 1000 blog posts, I've organised 5 Giveaways. To enter the draw, readers just have to leave a comment on those posts. It's not too late to leave a comment. The draw will be tomorrow night, starting at 7 pm, AEST.
A recap...
Day 1; A table runner pattern from QuiltersCorner... You can leave a comment here.

Day 2; A felt Christmas decoration from the UK... one of Henry viii's wives, Kateryn Parr. That is the spelling on the label but an internet search revealed alternatives, Catherine and Katherine. Comments on this post can be made here

Day 3; a lovely cotton square from NaturesFace Art...that post can be found here...

Day 4; 2 balls of Patons Lace yarn. That post can be found here.

Day 5; 2 Art Cards from Sue H.... If you haven't already left a comment, there's still time to do so, here.

Thank you for all the lovely comments and congratulations on my reaching 1000 plus posts...I would never have thought that I had that much to write about! lol. And I suspect that I will continue to keep posting about the  everyday things I get up to! Life is certainly an adventure to be lived...both the highs and the lows.
So that just leaves me to say...Good Luck in the Draws!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

That garden bed beside the fence...

Long time readers might recall the 'saga' of one of the garden beds in the front yard...the one that DH and I allowed to be dug up to enable the firm who was redeveloping the site next door to us, to lay the stormwater pipes. It had been a tale of mismanagement, firms going out of business and reapplications to council, which caused the townhouses to be almost completely built without the stormwater drains being laid and connected up. DH felt that we should display good neighbourliness and give our permission for the tradespersons to dig up our side garden to allow them to access the property next door. The 2 young men who did all the work were polite and well mannered and their boss, and  the obsequious project manager of the building firm (yes I'm referring to Brad!) had promised that all would be restored after the work was finished.

 The remnants of this particular garden ...

I had even furnished Brad with a list of plants that had been dug up and which I reasonably expected would be replaced. Then DH and I went on our 7 week holiday to the UK and France...
When we arrived back, there had been a fair bit of progress on the build next door...and the fence had finally been replaced. The engineering firm had turfed alongside the fence on our property and soil had been brought in to replace all that which had been taken away...and my edging had been replaced. More plants had disappeared though, and despite digging into that mulch, I couldn't find any trace.
How barren it all looked and I started my campaign of ringing the project manager to see when he would be dropping off those promised new plants...yeah right???

That termite monitor box in the above photo, is actually a replacement...the landscapers made the previous one disappear along with a few plants...pine bark mulch on wooden fences isn't a good idea in Brisbane either. From the base of the fence, I removed enough mulch to spread around 2 other garden beds. 
One plant purchased from Bunnings and several cuttings from friends, became my replacement plants...
We've had quite a bit of rain here in the last month and what a difference it has made!

Even the tired old pentas is doing well...

 I like this garden bed now, as the plants remind me of those friends who provided those cuttings...and the replacement soil is very good quality, so that has to be a bonus :-)