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Monday, August 21, 2017

A fun night out!

In the last few years our parish has put on a dinner as a social event to bring everyone together for a night of fun. The last 2 dinners have had a Theme and so it was about a month ago that I was wondering whether I would ever be able to organise 1920s outfits for DH and I!!! I'd had no inspiration which is unusual.
Any way a month ago we met up with some much loved  in laws  from my first marriage. They had travelled from Melbourne to the Gold Coast for a week, so DH and I met up with them there over 2 days and a night. It was after dinner and we were sitting down listening to a 60s band and enjoying coffees/tea when I voiced my fears/problems to my former SiL of not knowing what we could wear.

I had asked the right person; M's 70th Birthday had been a 20s Theme. M said, just think Glamour! Within 10 minutes, I'd decided that I'd wear my wedding outfit, dressed with feather boas from the cheap shop, pearls, gloves and I'd wear that fascinator that I had worn to the wedding in July...but worn like a tiara. I would see if DsD2 still had the fake fur cape from her wedding and add that! (Turns out she'd given it away a while ago!)
By this time I was on a roll and imagined DH as a golfer; I would see if my 'Hat collection girl', DD1 had a cloth hat...and she did!
Last Friday I bought a few supplies from Spotlight to complete our outfits. The dinner was Saturday night and on Saturday morning I thought perhaps I should try on my outfit...after all, the wedding had been 13 years ago. Oh dear...a problem 🙁

So! A change of plans obviously! No longer the 20s movie star...my Plan B outfit was black...clothes that fitted! Lol
Ta dah! DH! The sweater had been bought on our last trip to Scotland and the argyle patterned socks were bought from a fundraising sock drive a while ago.

In the previous photo, DH looks like he's smoking a pipe. We are both non smokers but it's amazing what you can buy at Spotlight! 😉

My persona wearing the black outfit now became more 'gangster's woman' than movie star and during the evening I found a few gangsters I could pal up with! Lol. Some even complete with violin cases!!!!

That tough looking bloke on the left is our parish priest and the stern looking one on the right is my friend's husband and a sweet guy really.
Here's a pic with another two friends who I've known since the mid 1970s. C arrived looking a bit upset as her husband had said she looked like her grandmother!!! I told her she looked like Tilley Devine, ( an infamous Madam in Sydney in the 20s and 30s; one tough cookie!) but she didn't mind that!!!

We had a lovely roast dinner for the meal...here is our table just starting on the bread rolls...

As part of our ticket, we all got a complimentary mocktail. I find such drinks are usually too sugary, but my pear flavored one was just all natural fruit...delicious!

Some of us brought along dessert; DH and I brought along a pavlova and I'm pleased to say there was none left to bring home!
After dessert, we had a murder mystery game. Our MC was in charge of this and handed out parts to people.


DH was given a character to play...

Yes! He was that ubiquitous character...the butler...but he didn't do it! Lol
Myself, and a few others guessed who the murderer was...it was a gut feeling for me; the clues didn't really help me!! Lol. I got a chocolate horse as a prize!

Another activity was the toy roulette game...

Or having your photo taken in the 'old car'...one of our parishioners is a talented artist!

There was also a sheet of questions on 1920s slang words and their meaning, for each table to fill out. Our table got 17 out of 25 and came second to the winning table who had 21!
And my friend C won the raffle which was a basket of cheeses, wine and other yummy stuff.

And these three lovely ladies were the organisers of the night; a job well done!
Edit
And I had been forewarned by my SiL that the feather boas moult...this is just a small number of feathers I left in a trail that night, both at home and at the church hall.

Some of us in costume got a group photo too...

A Visit to the Sydney Powerhouse Museum 

In early August DH and I took a short trip to Sydney. The main reason for the trip was to catch up with family, but we fitted in some 'touristy stuff' too.
One morning we visited the Powerhouse Museum. Our last visit to this museum was way back in 2003, so we suspected there would be lots of new things to look at.
In this post I'm going to write about is the exhibition of wedding dresses through the years.
Here's  the 'blurb' about this exhibition.
'From the simple to the stunning, Love is: Australian Wedding Fashion features more than 50 wedding outfits plus accessories covering nearly 200 years of Australian weddings. The exhibition includes Australia’s first surviving wedding dress from 1822, gold rush fashions, elegant 1920s gowns, unconventional sixties styles and spectacular contemporary designer fashion, as well as garments reflecting Australia’s culturally diverse communities. Memorabilia, photographs and letters reveal the stories and traditions behind the outfits within the context of the social, economic and political changes in Australian society. The exhibition showcases examples of exquisite contemporary gowns from well-known Australians at the vanguard of international wedding fashion.'
Firstly a look at some of the dresses from the early days of British settlement in this country...unfortunately I found the labels very hard to read because of the low light levels which protected the fragile and precious gowns. So I can't tell you which outfit was the one from 1822 😕



The work involved with the stitching of these gowns and the embellishments were amazing.



Moving into the early 20th Century...
 
Moving on to the 30s and 40s...


And on...

Some of the different styles of the 1960s...

The 1980s?

Continuing on...

Designer gowns...

And designer gowns worn by celebs...

I took a closer view of Tara Moss's ( the author) red gown which is at the far right of the previous photo...


Some 'ethnic' traditional wedding outfits..


And my favourite was Nicole Kidman's dress for her marriage to Keith Urban...the lace and the exquisite stitching really made this dress impressive.
Her dainty wedding shoes are included in the exhibit...

Photographing through glass isn't the best but you can make out the pleated detail of the coat and see some of the lace...

I had a very enjoyable time walking around this exhibition. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

An Encore post from 2012

Thank you for all the comments on my last post which described this year's misadventures with the wildlife in my yard, specifically the bush/brush or scrub turkey. In 2012, we had a male turkey who had decided that the larger raised garden bed would be just a perfect place for him to build his nesting mound. When I suggested to DH that maybe we should move the bed to the front yard, he thought that that sounded like a lot of work...so he rang a company that is licenced to relocate wildlife...for a price! (It was $180 in 2012 but I suspect it might be more now)
Here is the post that I wrote 5 years ago!

Let's talk turkey...a bit of a drama in the vegie patch...

Bush or scrub turkey to be exact... Recently I wrote about having to put some trellis plastic around a garden bed to stop the bush turkey digging out the plants. Well, at that stage he was leaving the raised beds alone, but all of that changed in the last week or so. Each morning I would find at least one plant uprooted in the larger raised bed, and soil heaped up in mounds.

Then. on Tuesday morning of this week, this is the scene that greeted me when I went to water the vegetables. What a mess! This had been a garden bed with zucchini plants, thriving silverbeet plants and tomato plants. The turkey had 'raked' up leaf litter that was under the trees and shrubs on our back boundary and heaped it up in the raised bed. I tend to leave the litter under those trees as it forms a mulch for the trees but also provides cover for the lizards that live in our yard. 

The leaves were also mounded up at the end of the bed...in the photo below you can see the tradescantia plants that have been uprooted. These also grow under the trees at the back. DH and I picked up all the leaves mounded up outside the bed but it was a losing battle...when we weren't in the yard the turkey resumed mounding up leaves. He even started raking up leaves from my neighbour's macadamia tree  as well as scratching out any fallen leaves in amongst my bromeliad  bed under the jacaranda tree. DH and I decided that next morning we would buy some chicken wire to protect the garden bed.

pots, plants, twigs, fallen branches...all got raked towards the vegie garden bed
In the morning though, DH announced that he was going to contact 'Peter the Possum Man' a company that has permits to trap turkeys and relocate them to bushland. It was expensive but DH had decided that it was the way to go... So a young man came with a cage...which he placed on the 'mound' built by the turkey

He showed us how to 'set' it and explained how the trap was to be used. It had to be monitored at all times...if we went out we had to shut it. Now I wondered HOW the turkey could be enticed into the cage...what 'bait' for example??? But it was simple and ingenious how it all worked. The young man showed us how to slide a mirror in the back end of the cage...

Lol! Look there's another Maria !
The turkey sees another turkey and goes to investigate...and as he steps towards the mirror, the door slams behind him. We were shown how to take the mirror out when the turkey is trapped and turn it to the blank side and slide it back in. Then to help the bird calm down the young man left a knotted sheet to cover the cage. The young man then headed off to his next job and we went inside so the turkey would come back to his frantic raking. Within 10-12 minutes he was caught. Unbelievable!


We rang to say that the turkey was in the cage and eventually he was collected. His new home is bushland out Ipswich way...he should find plenty of leaves to scratch up there. I've lived with bush turkeys all my life but one had never chosen my yard for his mound before. It's said that that once they do that, you can never get rid of them or their mound. (The males build the mounds for the lady turkey to lay her eggs in. The heat of the mound incubates the eggs for eventual hatching, so we could have ended up with dozens of them next year !!!) 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

They're Back!!!

Over the years of writing this blog, I've written a few posts about my battles with the bush turkeys. They love my garden; especially my veggie garden beds...many readers from around the world have commented on previous posts about the turkeys, telling me of their battles with wildlife...deer, rabbits, birds, kangaroos etc
this was last year...

Last year and the year before that, I didn't have many issues with the turkeys....lulled into a sense of false security eh? My 'fake turkey' made by a friend has been pretty good at discouraging the male birds but maybe the turkeys are getting smarter?

The use of wire and plastic netting and wooden stakes is an integral part of gardening; this is the veggie bed adjacent to the raised 'sweet potato' bed...

Last month I was so proud of my 'sweet potato' garden bed. The plants had grown thickly and completely filled the raised bed that I use for growing them. I was looking forward to digging up a bumper crop in October. A male turkey had dug up some veggies in my larger veggie patch but the smaller sweet potato bed had been left untouched. I had put plastic mesh over that bed though, just in case.
Then one morning I came out to the garden and found this...

Silly me thinking that the plastic mesh would keep the turkeys out of the bed. It was just flung aside!
I replanted any plants that had been left and we got out the wire mesh. I put one layer over and then decided to put another layer over; all weighted down with pavers.

While we were away in Sydney, the plants didn't do very well but since we've been home, with some TLC the plants are gradually 'coming back'.
Knowing that a lot of friends who live nearby have their own battles with the turkeys, I posted photos on Facebook. One friend wrote this comment...I realise that I really shouldn't whinge/complain about the turkeys in my yard, after reading this! But maybe just a bit of a grizzle now and then! Lol


But I haven't lost my sense of humour!