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Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Here in Australia we are just a few days away from Spring. Here in subtropical Brisbane, we don’t tend to have much difference between the seasons unlike the southern states. 
My garden does tend to get a bit neglected but in the last few months I’ve put a bit of effort into it. I’ve divided up bromeliads and re planted them in pots as well as directly into garden beds. Possums don’t seem to eat bromeliads or succulents so I’m extending their presence in the garden. 

DD1 gave me some dracena cuttings and I’ve potted those up too...and yes, the possums don’t seem to find them tasty either 😀. 

Some petunias have escaped being eaten by the possum gang too...

( I use the plastic forks to protect the plants when they are seedlings) 
The faithful nasturtiums that come up every year are putting on a bright display...

Some of the succulents have also flowered...

Not many veggies at the moment as DH and I will be away during September.
A self-sown pumpkin is doing nicely at the moment but will probably succumb to powdery mildew when the humid weather arrives. Or the vine and any pumpkins could be chomped on by hungry possums like my last few vines. 

Some tomatoes have come up in the compost that I put around the frangipani/ plumeria. Should take them out...but at least they are crowding out weeds perhaps! 

Months ago my cousin gave me a clump of eshallot seedlings. I planted them in a pot with a few inches of compost at the top. They’ve grown beautifully as had a whole lot of self sown plants. I did weed these plants out to start with but it looks like some more weeding is needed. 

Just 2 tomato plants which have been planted especially so far this season...

This meme is just so appropriate 🤣

Even though we Brisbanites reckon there isn’t much difference between the seasons, the king orchid that grows neglected in the back corner of the garden can always be depended on to ‘know’ exactly when Spring is looming...

Hope those drought ravaged rural areas of Australia get some rain soon 🤞🤞. 

A new life for an Iconic Icecream Factory in West End

Each month a group of us, who call ourselves the Newmarket Mums, meet for coffee on the last Sunday. We usually frequent cafes in the general vicinity of the Brisbane suburb of Newmarket where many of my friends in this group still live. I’m one who has moved suburbs but only about 3 kms away but one lady sold her large house and moved into a unit in the inner city suburb of West End. 
The old West End consisted of quite a bit of industry as well as residential and commercial enterprises. After WW2 it became popular with immigrants and developed into a delightful cosmopolitan suburb. In more recent years the suburb’s industrial areas have started to be redeveloped with masses of apartment blocks replacing factory buildings. So now I’ve got the background story out of the way, I’ll continue on to tell you about the Newmarket Mums’ August gathering. 

Yes, we all met up near Sandra’s unit at a cafe called Jo Jo’s...

It features unusual decor as noted in the top left of the collage, cups with the logo of the owner’s  brother ( well known Brisbane hairdresser who made his fortune  by developing a huge franchise of salons) and an enormous photo board wall showing Stefan with a whole lot of celebrities. 
 After a lukewarm coffee and a wander through the attached gift shop with its overpriced ( hey it’s the new West End what did I expect?) items, we left Jo Jo’s. Our friend was very excited about what she described as ‘a new park’ a short walk away, so off we set to have a look. 
It was amazing; no wonder Sandra was so excited. The site was the old Peters Icecream Factory. 
First some old photos...

In 1996 Nestle bought out Peters Icecream and closed the factory at West End. The building would be used for a number of purposes over the years but a fire on the ground floor in 2013 forced it to close. In 2014 it was bought by developers Payce and Sekisu House.

And this has now been redeveloped as West Village...

The front of the former Factory is now the most amazing tropical garden...

There are cafes along the right hand side and lots of tables and chairs for alfresco dining. At night the place is like a wonderland with lights throughout the gardens.
Then inside the old factory there are galleries full of art...

This elephant sculpture had me intrigued...

Apparently the plans are that gradually more apartment blocks will be built around the old building. I took a photo of the blocks already built.

I loved the gardens; all those bromeliads, gingers, dracenas, cordylines  etc planted in huge drifts...stunning! 

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 were, 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.