About Me

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Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The bit in the middle

I have always liked this week between Christmas and New Year.

Because its summer here they are what I call lazy days, days when I don’t get caught up in anything stressful.

Calming down days after the Christmas festivities and all that.

What I do depends a lot on the weather. Gardening sometimes has to take a back seat cose if the weather’s too hot I do some clearing out – too wet I might do some baking.

Most of the time I sit and read and do very little. As I say these are days to rest and recuperate and contemplate what’s been and what's coming ahead.

Little things have pleased me this year, like after years of not growing any we have eaten home grown vegetables this summer. And how we finally had some rain - not enough - but it eased the pain for some of the farming community.

Seeing one grandchild start high school and thinking about how quickly the years have gone since the day I nursed her straight after her birth.

Thinking of the new people I met during the World Swimming championships, the craft items I finally finished, of aging and how it has affected family members, of the travel we did and grandchildren we don't see regularly.

Watching with pride DH march in Adelaide's Anzac Day Parade.

This group of ex Englishmen enlisted in the boys service of the Royal Air Force at about the age of 15 and for 18 months they had schooling as well as trade training. At 18 they then moved up and became regular airmen with most of them serving a minimum of 12 years in the men’s service.

Most of these men are in their 60s and 70s and haven’t been ‘on parade’ for quite a lot of years yet see how well they march and keep time. After the March they laugh over a beer and say ‘after all that initial square bashing they went through there’s no way they would forget.’

Most of them would have seen active service in one conflict or another and there is a comaderie amongst them that others in civilian life don’t understand.

Anyway back to the present. Just ike the past few days its going to be HOT (41c/about 105f) so I don't plan on doing much. Sit in the shade on the back deck with a book sounds like a good idea :))

New Year is just around the corner, hopefully our life will be peaceful and happy. Happy New Year to you all.

See you in 2008

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day

Boxing Day in Australia is a public holiday - it is the day when we recuperate from the day before. Christmas Day for us was as we expected, quieter than other years but nice just the same.

As there wasn't as much recuperaton needed than in other years we (DH and I) had an easy morning then took a drive to one of our nearby resevoirs - Maroondah Dam. Click on the link and see what the park is like.
Lots of families there in the grounds having picnics and bbqs. We climbed the steps to the top of the dam wall and then walked down the other side.
I learned that because I gave up on the exercise during the year I have become very unfit and feeling this way today has made me realise I have to start all over again and do something about it.
Other hardy folks line up at department store doors at ungodly hours to be first in line for the sale items - others take it easy and watch to listen to the cricket test match. This year Australia plays India and it should be closely contested.

All in all for us a quiet peaceful day

Monday, December 24, 2007

It's what we do

Only one more sleep :))

It will be a fairly quiet day tomorrow - just the way it's going to be this year.

One son and family will drop by in the morning and then we'll walk round to a daughters in the afternoon. Oh and depending on the weather we'll have a meal inbetween. After the hot humid days a cool change and even more rain has come through and its turned quite cold. We even thought about putting the heater on the past couple of nights as my feet were frozen.

If it warms up (prediction now is for 20c/about 68f) we may have a BBQ but if its anything like today its going to be cooked lunch followed by Christmas Pud. Of course in other parts oF Australia it could be sweltering hot so cold lunch is the only way to go.

There are a few traditional things we do here that carry on each year regardless of what is going on in the world.

The Boxing Day Cricket Test Match is one. Have a look at this humorous article about our Melbourne tradition. We'll be watching the first session from the comfort of the lounge chair and listening to the rest on the radio. As its being played in Melbourne we don't get all the game on tv unless its sellout - to protect the gate they say - and the profit they make I say lol

Another would be taking Christmas Songs from the Northern Hemisphere and parodying them.

cossies = swimming costume
barbie = bbq
total fire ban = really really hot day when no fires are allowed in the open - declared by fire authorities and punishable by law now.
bangers = sausages
stubbie = small bottle of beer
Rusty Holden Ute = a car based pickup truck made by Holden
Esky = portable cooler
Kelpie = Australian cattle dag
thongs = flip flops
swaggy = very old term for what would now be called travelling out of work itinerant workers
Wattle = Tree with yellow flowers Australia'a Floral Emblem

Summer Wonderland

Cricket’s on, are you listening
On my brow, sweat is glistening
Crackin a beer, we’re glad to be here
Christmas in a summer wonderland

Come around, bring your cossies
And some spray for the mozzies
We’re havin a lark, in the caravan park
Living in a summer wonderland

In the afternoon we’ll have a barbie
Even in a total fire ban
Marinate the bangers with a stubbie
And give a glass of sherry to your nan

Later on, we'll perspire,
As the temperature gets higher
(Santa) looks out of sorts
He should be in shorts
Christmas in a summer wonderland.

Jingle Bells Australian style

Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden Ute
Kicking up the dust
Esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side
Singing Christmas songs
It's summer time and I am in
My singlet, shorts & thongs



Engine's getting hot
Dodge the kangaroos
Swaggy climbs aboard
He is welcome too
All the family is there
Sitting by the pool
Christmas day, the Aussie way
By the barbecue!


Come the afternoon
Grandpa has a doze
The kids and uncle Bruce
Are swimming in their clothes
The time comes round to go
We take a family snap
Then pack the car and all shoot through
Before the washing up


This is a fun one sung by kids

Deck the shed with bits of wattle
fa la la la la la la la la
wax and gum leaves in a bottle
fa la la (etc)
all the shops are open sundays
fa la la (etc)
Buy your dad some socks and undies
fa la la (etc)

Have to go, enjoy tomorrow and I'll see you all in the New Year

Friday, December 21, 2007

Water is music to the ears

The day that the rains came down Mother Earth smiled again;
Now the lilacs could bloom; now the fields could grow greener.

The day that the rains came down, buds were born, love was born
As the young buds will grow, so our young love will grow -
Love, sweet love.

A robin sang a song of love, A willow tree reached up to the heavens
As if to thank the sky above For all that rain, that welcome rain;

We looked across the meadowland, And seemed to sense a kind of a miracle
Much too deep to understand, And there we were, so much in love.

The day that the rains came down, mountain streams swelled with pride.
Gone the dry riverbed; gone the dust from the valley.

The day that the rains came down, buds were born, love was born;
As the young buds will grow, so our young love will grow -
Love, sweet love, rain sweet rain.

Words & Music by Pierre Delanoe & Gilbert Becaud; English lyrics by Carl SigmanRecorded by Jane Morgan, 1958 (#21)

How many of you reading hummed along as you read these lyrics??

Growing up in the 50’s in England we had our own pop singers but most of the music came from ‘The States’ as in United States and like most teenagers of that time I loved rock and roll (Bill Haley and the Comets were a favourite as well as dear Elvis aka ’The King’). I was also happy to listen to ballad type songs, country, blues, skiffle, trad jazz, - you name it - I tapped my toes and sang along.

And danced.

I loved to dance and suffered many ghastly partners ('cept for my friend Anne) so when I met my DH and we ‘clicked’ the first time we jived I thought I’d died and gone to heaven lol ……………………We still have a go if there’s a band and he’s had enough to drink lol………………….. But these days its usually a slow waltz.

And even tho I hadn’t met him when that song was recorded it’s just the right tempo for a slow walk so I might just hum it to him later and see what happens :))

Yesterday and today here in Melbourne it has been very hot and humid and very very wet.

Storms to rival monsoons – just like last week – have come in the afternoons and for some reason this song kept going through my mind.

We do so need the rain, after so many years of drought Australia needs water. Melbourne needs water to fill its dams and my garden certainly needs water. .

I’m not sure all those who will be camping at Rosebud foreshore over the next 2 months will agree and even tho I love our long hot summers I for one won’t be upset if we have a long hot humid wet one if it means we get some water from up above

DH made this cupboard for the back deck a couple of years ago - its a great asset and we use as a bench when we BBQ - see below at one of our Christmas gatherings.

It holds a lot of my gardening bits and pieces including my wellie boots - well today the guttering above it leaked, water poured down over it and I discovered its not waterproof as instead of keeping the water out the boots were filled with the stuff lol

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Why do we have to age

These are some photos of my Aunt taken this time of the year 3 years ago. It was at our family Christmas get together and she is with some of my grandchildren ( her Great Great nieces and nephews) and one of my Sons in Law. See what a stylish young thinking 81 year old she was.
It has broken my heart to see her decline with the onset of Alzheimers Disease - the change in looks and personality are so hard for us to cope with and for her it is horrendous. She knows things are not as they should be and when she is thinking clearly she will talk about having seen what the disease did to a dear friend of hers and how it preys on her mind. This episode of the broken arm and having 2 weeks in hospital followed by 3 weeks respite care has not helped and we feel she will take a while to settle back into her previous way of life now she is home again.
This is a horrible disease that is not curable but is 'managed' - hopeful scientists will find a means of prevention in the future. Keep your mind active is the standard thought at the moment, taking Omega 3 fish oil or Ginko Biloba is another.
I am not a blood relative - she was married to my Uncle, my Mother's brother. Dementia has not been evident in my family history but they are now saying Alzhemiers Disease is the most common form of dementia in people over 65 (guess who turned 65 last birthday) and the second most common form is Vascular Dementia (guess who's family history is filled with raised blood pressure and heart disease eventuating in the inevitable coronaries and strokes)
Didn't realise when the picture of the grandchildren was enlarged it wasn't suitable for showing on the internet. (One of the girls underclothes was showing)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Wanderer Returns

I am here again – just.

Having to think in list form at the moment.

Thoughts were entering my mind and leaving so quickly I found I was forgetting even the most usual of daily tasks. I seem to have written countless lists this past week or two.

The house has been cleaned and the tree is up along with other decorations. No pre - Christmas family gathering for us this year which is a shame, I really look forward to having them all here together on that one day. Eldest DD flew out yesterday to spend a few weeks in England visiting friends and in laws. Her DD is the only Grandchild on the partners side so its only fair they get a lend of her now and again lol

Others have had such busy time there was no day we could all arrange a time so its going to be seperate visits now over the Christmas festival.

All the pressies and other gifts are wrapped and under the tree waiting to given with love.

I had to go to a shopping centre today and couldn’t get away fast enough. What is it that makes people act crazy at this time of the year? Couldn’t blame it on the weather, as it wasn’t even hot but cool and wet. Yeah for wet rain lol.

We had a torrential storm the other Monday, reminded me of our days in Singapore and Penang when it was the monsoon season. I was driving to the station to pick up DH and down it came, roads flooded in an instant. I had to laugh tho’ as a couple of days later I got an email from a cousin in Nova Scotia asking if we were ok – it had made the news over there. The ground is as dry as a bone again so hopefully today’s little drop will be a help.

Nearly all my break up lunches are over now, just one on Tuesday to go. Had a great time with my Red Hat Ladies at the Club Kilsyth, which won’t be the same after our visit there last week. Lots of groups lunching that day so we had lots of enquiries from ladies of a certain age as well as younger ones asking what all the fun was about. Some Mums going to be directed our way I think.

My aunt is still incapacitated with her broken arm, and most of my time over the past few weeks has been looking after her needs After spending a couple of weeks in hospital the medical staff said she was too frail and shook up to go home so as beds are at a premium in public hospitals she has now been in special accommodation trying to build up her strength.

She’s been there for 2 weeks now and is so bored she doesn’t know what to do with herself.

One good thing about this place is that I have been able to take her dog to visit, couldn't do that at the hospital unless she stood out in the street so this has calmed her down a bit – she was becoming quite frantic in the hospital thinking her dog had been given away.

Then we had to deal with her thinking we’d sold her house and put her into a nursing home – this respite establishment is actually part of a retirement village complex that has a hostel and nursing home so all she saw were old people some of whom had dementia that was far more advanced than hers. . In the beginning she just would not accept that it was the Drs who said she had to stay there and not us.

One of my Granddaughters sings with Choir Victoria and I was able to take the Aunt to their carol service last weekend at the Police Academy Chapel. She could only be out for 3 hours, which was just long enough for her and gave her the chance to feel normal.

I was so worried about her that in the end I asked if she was allowed to go out for most of a day and this past week I collected her one morning, drove up the hills to the kennels so she could to actually pick up the dog herself, drove back down to her little unit and spent some time there.

After a cup of tea she seemed a lot better and more herself. So then we left the dog asleep in the courtyard and went out to lunch. Couldn’t have the drink I fancied, ‘cose I had to drive back up the hills to the kennels and then take her home and then take my self home. Lots of Booze buses out and about with lots of nice policemen manning them but I didn't want to take any chances :((

She was able to take him up to his run and see where he’d been for the past few weeks and meet all the other dogs there, which really pleased her and meant I didn’t drive home feeling so bad. Mind you it was about a 120km/ 75.5 miles journey round trip from my house and back but she was happy and that’s all that mattered.

She’s coming home on Monday, and will be benefiting from a government aged care package designed to keep older people in the community, which somehow has miraculously appeared even tho we had asked for help before and were denied as she had relatives who could do all those things for her.

Rant over – new day tomorrow. Hopefully it will rain again and I’ll have more green beans and tomatoes on my plants.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Apron Swap

Try as I might I just couldn't get a good photo of the lovely apron Jen sent to me for the Down-to-Earth swap.
The close-up does show the green bias trim and the ric-rac braid tho - thanks Jen


Look up and read about POSSUMS

Here in my garden I have both ringtail and brushtail possums so love them or hate them we can do nothing about them as here in Australia they are a protected species. Catching and killing is prohibited - we just live with them. They are territorial so they will die or be killed by others if moved to another place.

Most years they are just a minor nuisance that takes a fancy to the new green tips of next doors huge oak tree and then sleep all day long in the boxes the neighbours have provided for them. We know they are around as they yell and hiss at each other during the night and have the most atrocious table manners and leave half of the tips on the ground above where they were grazing.

This year they are taking advantage of my good feelings and seem to have invited most of the local population to their all night parties. There have been a few fisty cuffs along with a good amount of bad language thrown in for good measure outside my window most nights recently.

It also appears that the short cut to these all night raves is via the trees adjacent to us, over our roof, and then via the trees on the other side of our house to goodness knows where.

How do I know that – well to begin with I thought something had fallen down in the house during the night and went back to sleep, then there was a rustling in the trees followed by more and more thuds and what seemed like size 10 boots running over the roof finishing off with more faint rustling on the other side of the house.

They also have been taking advantage of the power lines from the street to the house, which is a lot quieter but not quite a fast and devil may carish than the rooftop route but they seem to stop and natter half way. Going by the poop and pee on the boot of my car DH thinks it must be a couple of females ‘cose males only say G’Day and then are on their way whereas females stop and want life histories each time the meet.!!

SO it’s back to the Frisbees on the power lines, parking the car in another spot and accepting the population has grown this year. One good thing we are thankful for is that they haven't fouind their way into the roof and use it as a bedroom during the day.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Postie came today

And brought me a new apron :))

Yes my apron from Rhonda Jeans Apron swap arrived in the mail yesterday - my partner was Jen who lives up in Queensland.

Not only did she make me a very pretty vintage style half apron in a material featuring green and yellow flowers on a brown background trimmed with green bias and also green and yellow ric-rac but she added some other little goodies to the parcel.

There was the loveliest large white felt star set off with a very festive bright red button on each side which will look very nice on our big tree when it comes out of hibernation in the garage this weekend.

There was the dinkiest little naive type tree decoration made I think from fleece. It was formed into a sort of angel with net wings and tied very niftily with embroidery thread.

Then she included the one thing I'm always looking for - a tape measure. I must have about half a dozen but do you think I can find one when I want it??

This is a nice long one using both inches and centimetres.

Another lovely little touch was that she'd made a really neat little purse for it from felt finished off with a clasp utilising a neat white retro type of button. I fell in love with it when I saw she'd personalised it be embroidering my first name initial C on the front.

And Then there was the prettiest little miniature scrap quilt in soft pastel colours complete with hanger. I have lots of small craft things hanging around the walls of the laundry near the back door and that will be the perfect spot for it.

Thank you Jen. You made my day :))

There is just one problem today - the camera is still not working so I can't take photos.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A little thought for the day

Dust if you must

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind,
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Remember a house becomes a home when you can write “I love you” on the furniture


Todays mystery

How do find the reel of cotton that was in your hands just the other day?

No you don’t go and buy another one – well at least not just yet.

First you wander round the house muttering about how could it grow legs when you were sure you put down in the sewing basket.

Then you clear / sort out all the bits and pieces in every corner and every other thing capable of collecting bits and pieces. No cotton reel but lots of things going back to the places they usually live.

Then you check the old sewing machine – called the old one because last week when it finally gave up the ghost and wouldn’t even go and was rendered useless – it then gained the company of a new much much younger version courtesy of the sale the Janome shop was having. No cotton reel there either.

So after much wandering and clearing and finding things lost you decide maybe you’ll just nip up the supermarket and get a new reel. Grandma in Belfast would’ve a fit if she knew shops were open a Sunday but I just say thanks goodness for 7 day trading.

THEN you get home and drop something on the bedroom floor. What do find when you look under the bed.

The reel of white cotton – plus several other things and an awful lot of dust.

Jen - if you are reading this I promise your apron will be in the post SOON

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Times - they are a changing

Well after my pity party recently I really took a long hard look at myself and life in general and decided I just had to take things as they come.

Haven't had time to blog as I've had some really busy days and on top of all that my elderly very independent but senile (85year old ) aunt who won't go into a shared care place was feeding some local ponies over a fence and what I call a proper horse came over and nudged her. They have a longer face and neck and seem to be stronger (sorry for my description - even tho one son has horses (racing kind) I never know how to describe them) so she stumbled and was pushed backwards ending up with a trip to hospital with a broken arm.

That was a week ago and because of her age and frail state has been there ever since. Which means I've been up and down the road every day since. She won't be going home straight away but will go into some sort of convalesce care possibly tommorrow which will help to get her back on her feet again and able to cope with one hand.

This is a funny time of the year in Melbourne, often the weather is very changeable, if you asked me the other day I would have said summer had just begun - well thats what it semed like the other day! We've had several very very hot days that sent me indoors and reaching for the air con switch.

Recently DH and I thought that even tho they aren't that bad we'd try and economise on some of the energy bills next year ( thinking of another overseas trip later in 2008 so will need any cents we can save) but temps in the high 30's, humidity and strong northerlies are not my idea of fun and like the food situation all the good intentions went out the door.

Don't laugh but after thinking I was finally going to expire on Tuesday evening the cool change came through yesterday and it poured nearly all day and I went shopping in jeans and a long sleeved top and even thought of turning the heating on last night. I washed the big wool blanket on Monday and packed it up not thinking it would be needed again. Had to close the windows during the night and was rummaging in the cupboard for something to put over the bottom of the bed as my feet were frozen :)

Its cool again today, the garden is revelling after all the rain - its far too early for to have those high temps - they usually turn up in the New Year. But as I say this is Melbourne, that could mean 4 seasons in one day sometimes :)

I have most of the pressies wrapped and ready to go in the post or under the tree. No toys as such this year, lots of books and I gave in and found some of the 'games' the grandchildren are all interested in.

ipods, xboxes, DVDs, CDs,PS2s, DSs,PPSs, and now Wiis - sounds like double dutch and code names to me - well not really some of them are fun, but why do they have funny looks on their faces when I talk about cassette tapes, LPs, EPs, singles or 45s and if we mention 78s it really puts a weird look on their faces. Generation gaps are fun aren't they.

The other day I was teaching some of the girls how to play what I called five stones, also known as knuckles from using small bones shaped like knuckles and also jacks but you use a small ball with that game. They had never heard of the game and thought I was really past it when I tried to explain that you would have more luck not throwing the stones high in the air but to keep them down close to your hand. It came about because I was clearing an area of the garen where there were some small pebbles and hey presto my mind went back nearly 60 years to a game I played at school. Look at the links and see if you recognise the game.

I belong to several groups and over the next few weeks we will have our end of year functions where we bring a plate and a small gift. I laugh everytime I get asked to bring a plate as its not an expression I'd ever heard before coming here.

Shared meal, pot luck, casserole lunch - thats what I'd been used to - so you can guess what happened the first time I saw that on the invitation - yes one plate for each of goes to the BBQ.


I thought it was 'cose they were short of crockery so thats what we took, crockery and also cutlery in case there weren't enough knives and forks to go round:))

For those gifts this year I've been busy using up some of my stash of beads making tree ornaments and also some of the book marks similar to the ones I made last year to take overseas as gifts .

Some are called book thongs and are like a lace with beads at each end and just goes between the pages to mark the spot with the beaded bits hanging down at each end of the book.

The other sort I've made are my own creation - meaning I've never seen them in books or on the web - using stretchy beading thread they are joined like a bracelet but don't have beads all the way round,

Hard to describe but it goes over and round the pages like the wrist does with a bracelet, the beads are along the front cover of the book. I have seen some actually attached to books at the covers (means you have to make a hole in the cover and attach them) but these are seperate and can be used over and over again. Unfortunately the camera has gone on the blink so I can't show you what I mean.

Must go now, thanks to those who popped in and left comments. Nice to see you all - I promise I'll not down the despair path again. Thanks for tip Lynette, I'll look in on your friend and see what she has to say.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Feeling low

I am overweight

I am 157 cms / 5’2” tall. This is not very tall.

I weigh 69kgs / 151lbs. This has been rising gradually over the past year.

My BMI measurement is 28.

Several web sites say that’s a healthy weight for an older adult -

I say Rubbish – I feel and I’m sure I look like a little pork pie. Fat round the middle and very bloated. Nothing fits me. I am ashamed to say I have a waist measurement of about 100cms / about 39”.

All that talk for the past few months about getting myself back into exercise mode has come to nothing. I’d psych myself up and be full of good intentions and there’d be the occasional walk and maybe a visit to the gym but for some reason my heart hasn’t been in it. Because I have been wasting my monthly subscription to the Leisure Centre I have cancelled it.

Not making any excuses but it seems this lack of enthusiasm has been more obvious since I was diagnosed with hypo – thyroidism. With my thyroid gland not functioning to best of its ability I have had to take Thyroxin (as do thousands of other people mainly older women) and yet the weight has still piled on.

So what am I going to do about it??

Maybe behave sensibly and not think it nice to have ‘sweet’ things in the house for company when they drop in would be a start.

Walking and Water go hand in hand also. The better weather will be a help where those two are concerned.

Thinking out loud doesn’t seem to make it any easier either lol

Friday, November 9, 2007


Its funny how some things change and others stay the same.

This evening I’ve been thinking about some of the roads here in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I like living out east and even tho’ I have buses and trains available almost on my doorstep I like the freedom of driving. We are a big city and often its impractical to take public transport to where I want to go.

Last Monday DH and I took a drive to Ikea, which is on Victoria Street in Richmond near the old Skipping girl sign. We decided to go into Box Hill, take Mont Albert Road and then Barkers Road, which is the way we would have driven to the city many years ago before the Eastern Freeway opened. Of course the other alternative would have been Whitehorse Road, trouble with that is you run the risk of catching every traffic light all the way to Kew Junction.

I really had forgotten what a pleasant road Mont Albert Road is. Lined with huge trees that have that visual effect of meeting in the middle of road, flanked on either side with huge houses and so many private schools it is the epitome of wealth in the leafy green eastern suburbs. From memory there are only 2 sets of traffic lights along the way from Elgar Road to Burke Road and even tho its 60kph we seemed to move along at a splendid pace and were there in no time at all.

Today I had to drive to Ringwood along Mt Dandenong Road and met up with all the road works where Mt Dandy Road and Maroondah Hwy meet. Across the intersection is the start of the Ringwood Bypass which goes round the back of Eastland to Ringwood Street.

Well I haven’t been there for a while and was surprised to see amidst all the road works at the end of this road another one stretching ahead. This is where the start of Eastern Freeway will be now its been extended from Springvale Road to Ringwood and it is such a shame and quite confronting to see the concrete and bitumen so close to houses in that area - but will I think about that when it opens next year and we won’t have to drive all the way to Mitcham along that dreaded traffic light infested Whitehorse Road to get to the ‘quick’ road to the city.

Edited: I didn't copy/ paste the last sentence

Don't get me wrong, I walk to local shops and do use the public transport. Seniors here are able to get a ticket lasting 24hrs for $3.10 and travel on all trams trains and buses which is fantastic value but there are times when the car is a necessity.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hello again

Hello again,

I have finally found a moment to sit down without being interrupted. So many times over the past week I’ve found things to blog about, something has happened and the moment has passed and the thought forgotten. Thank you to all the visitors this past few weeks, I’ve noticed you dropping in but never seem to say thank you.

Remember that old saying – A stitch in time save nine.

I discovered how true that was the other day.

Do you know how much time is used up when the car has a puncture?

Most of a morning as I found out last week.

In a tearing hurry and all ready to go out, I stepped outside and discovered one tyre had a very large nail embedded in it and was flat as a pancake.

I can’t understand how they stay inflated while you are driving and then go flat whilst the car is standing still overnight? My luck that day DH had gone out for a walk (a long one he said as he went out the door) and there sitting on the side was his mobile phone. I contemplated calling the RACV but thought about how long they take to turn up and reasoned DH would be back in that time.

Now I’m strong but not that strong – meaning there was no way I could get the tyre off and the other one on. I emptied the boot and got the spare out ready for when he got home and guess what I found.

Yes you guessed right – that was even flatter than the other one. Words are going to be said to the mechanic next time it goes in for a service as he is supposed to check that for me. (Stitch in Time)

DH gets home and raises his eyebrows the way they do and huffed and puffed at the wheel nuts. He then looks me in the eye and says ‘put both tyres in my car and tootle off down to Bridgestone Tyres nearby, look at the man nicely and ask him if he could fix it for you – quickly’ Not my normal behaviour but I gave it a shot:)

Drove in and am trying to get one of the tyres out of the car when a lovely young mechanic comes over and says ‘Can I help you?’ I thanked him and let him take over, sat down in the waiting room with the morning paper and in no time at all was driving back up the road to home.

Had to cancel my morning out but I can always catch up another day. And even tho’ I had to wait till DH was ‘ready and in the mood’ to fit it back on I saved myself the agony of being embarrassed when the flat spare tyre was discovered by the RACV man.

Melbourne Cup Day here and its turning into quite a pleasant day. Cool this morning but is warming up so all the Ladies in their posh frocks and hats shouldn’t be too cold.

Now if it had been the big day on Saturday or Sunday it would have been a different story. We had some rain over the weekend, lots of rain. More rain than some places wanted with some areas of the state flooded.

We got loads in our area and my veggies seem to have grown inches overnight, they appear to be saying ‘Thank You very much we have enough to go on with at the moment’ but we only need a few warm days with northerlies and the soil will have dried out again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Back home again

Heres a few pictures from our time away - but because I always forget Blogger loads them backwards they aren't in the order I wanted them lol but never mind.
Last 2 show a couple of canoing events at the Australsian Masters Games in Adelaide. This took up the first week away as DH was officiating along with a couple of friends. They weren't the only officials, there were quite a few there but they had a good time as I enjoyed the days there as well.
Very windy and chilly so I was glad that at the last minute I put in some 'heavy weight' clothing along with some lighter stuff.
Went for a few walks down at West Lakes and also on the seafront where it really blew the cobwebs out of my head; each day of competition we (myself and the wife of one of the fellas) took hot coffee down for them and ended up drinking most of it ourselves as we were so cold. :)
I was told the white house with the shutters on the ground floor belongs to Lleyton Hewitt - the shutters are the front for a full length gymnasium and as they weren't up he wasn't home :(
We drove to Mildura via Morgan and took the little punt over the river - one of the few remaining ones on the Murray - Theres another one at Tailem Bend and also at Mannum. I love seeing the cars and everything else drive on and make their way precariously across and the drive off on the other side.
Great value for the traveller as they are free and are open 24hrs - someone is on duty all the time and it saves miles of travel not having to find a bridge. We stayed in a caravan park right on the river and with all the school hols over it was so quiet there. The weather was fabulous but still very windy and I just didn't want to come home lol.
I have a few busy days coming up so may not be back here till next week.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Short and sweet this evening

Its been a busy 2 weeks - so haven't been on the computer much. Lots of 'things' took precedence over blogging and as we are going interstate on Sunday morning I think this will be it for a couple of weeks or more.

I have just got in from meeting up with some of the children for a little birthday get together at a pub close by. I'll be in Adelaide next week and won't get to see them on my special day so we had a meal at Daisey's in Ringwood.

I came home complete with my new project - a Can o Worms.

A while ago I happened to mention to one of the girls about seeing mice around the compost heap and that I didn't think I'd put any vegetable peelings out this summer as that may be the cause. That I was thinking of starting a worm farm to use all of that up and lo and behold thats what she carried into the Bistro lol And then with lots of smailes one of the boys gave me a gift voucher for Bunnings so I'll be able to get my first lot of worms when we get back into town in a couple of weeks.

Rhonda at Down to Earth had a good post recently about starting a worm farm so I'll be spending some time reading it when we get home.

After we leave Adelaide we are going to take another week and drive home via the Riverland and spend some time in Mildura - up on the big River Murray.

Clicking on the links will open new pages

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

All better now

Well I'm not sure what the name of the bug was that I've had but I really am glad its left my body now.

I've been feeling a bit 'Poorly' over the past week or so and couldn't raise the energy to sit here and tell you so and as we were told as children that 'Coughs and sneezes spread diseases' I stayed away from others and suffered in silence at home. Some days I did a bit of web surfing, read a few blogs but didn't comment on any.

It was a good job DH was fit and I didn't pass it on to him as we had arranged for a couple of the granddaughters to stay this weekend past as well as look after another one yesterday.

One set of parents were out of town for the weekend and weren't getting home till late Sunday and as school holidays started here in Victoria last Friday those girls stayed till yesterday (Monday) evening as both Mum and Dad weren't getting home from work till late.

The other little one has parents who both work fiull time and to break the monotony of going to vacation care each day of the week we agree to look after her for one day each week of the break.

Funny how it wasn't till it was all arranged I realised it mean't I'd have the 3 girls in the house for the whole day. For me thats a worry as even tho they all 'love' each other and usually get on well together I still believe that old saying. You know the one that goes: Two's company - three's a crowd.

One of these girls can be bossy and I often have to sort differences of opinion out when she's with some of her cousins.

Thankfully by Friday I was feeling lots better and we had a good time with them all.

We went to the swimming pool in the morning and had a meal out on Saturday night.

The weather man had made promises of a good day for Sunday and it turned out that way. It was a beautiful day and we drove into Melbourne and down to Elwood beach.
The fresh air and sunshine gave me a new lease of life and it was fun walking along the sands looking for shells and other things. I found lots of green sea glass to add to my collection.

It was quite windy and the tide was on the turn and there was the occasional wave that came in a bit further than the others which mean't lots of squealing but Grandad was making noises about not wanting wet clothing in the car so even tho' it was sunny I drew the line at paddling.

Yesterday I drove the 3 of them up to the top of Mt Dandenong to the maze.

School hols often means free entertainment and there was a man up there called (click on his name) Didgeman and here also who was talking about playing the didgerdoo and teaching children how to go about it. It was hit with the girls and all the other kids there.

Got them home in time to go to a session at the local cinema. We saw Hairspray which they loved for the music and the young actors and dancers but the the actual 'meaning' of the movie went right over their head.

So last night after taking 2 to the other side of the city in peak hour traffic - via the Westgate Bridge route - DH driving so his choice (thought it would be nice for them to look back at the city in the twilight) and then droppping the other one off at her home five minutes from us (DH thought she'd like to take her cousins home with us) I was pleased to get home and pout the kettle on.

My cup of tea tasted so good and it was so quiet in the house and and I went to bed early and thought about being retired and not having to be responsible for anyone and anything............................'cept for DH - but he's a big boy and can make his own cup of tea lol

Normal programmes will resume in a few days time :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Past frugal ways

Making the bed up fresh yesterday I remembered something that happened the other day.

Like lots of women when we get together we chat about putting the world to right then go on to talk about trivial things; so last Friday when some friends and I were chattering one laughed about taking 2 flat sheets from the cupboard instead of 1 flat and 1 fitted.

We then spoke about when there were only flat sheets; a fitted bottom sheet was a luxury or something you fiddled around with trying to make for yourself from your flat ones. Of course they now are a way of life, no more trying to do neat hospital corners and not have it all fall out as you pushed it under the mattress along the sides.

Not sure if it was laziness on her part or we didn’t have that many sheets but in my house Mum only changed the bottom one, putting the top one on the bottom making sure the part that had been a the top was also at the top and not down the bottom of the bed. Even tho it was underneath you on the bottom with pillows on top of it you didn’t want the cheesy feet part near you face for the next week. :)

Then when they started to wear thin in the middle the sheets were given a new lease on life by being sewn sides to middle so there were almost like new pieces in the middle but if they were sewn on a machine that wasn’t crash hot (like my mothers was) there was also a big ridge down the middle meaning you slept on one side or the other but never directly in the middle of the bed.

Over this past weekend I wanted something to tie up a plant so tore a strip off some old sheeting we have in the garage. Remembering which daughter used to have it on her bed made me think about how old it actually was and noticed it had been sewn ‘sides to the middle’.

So it looks like my Mum passed down to me her frugal habits or was it that we (DH and I) were really hard up when the kids were little and somehow or another I had to make things last a lot longer?

Any thoughts from anyone

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Grey skies are gonna clear up

Have to tell you about 2 things that happened yesterday that haven't happened for a while.

One thing is that it rained - yes you heard me right.
The skys have been grey most of the day here in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and the ground is exceptionally wet.

We had rain for the best part of the evening yesterday. It also rained for the best part of the night, poured in fact and has also rained for most of today.

Now that makes me feel better.

I planted some green beans on Saturday and pottered around the garden most of Sunday so it is a great time for the rain to fall. It will help those plants settle in and give them a good start.

Had to run out first thing this morning and sprinkle the snail bait I forgot on Saturday. The wet weather will bring the little blighters out to see what's on offer at the deli in Cathy's garden and devour the seedlings in no time at all.

The other thing to happen is that I finally foound some oomph and motivation and went to a body pump class yesterday evening.

Yeah for me - it was so good to be in that room with 30 other people lifting those weights in time to the music.

I didn't realise how much I'd missed it until I got up this morning and found there were some muscles in my body feeling like they had really had a good workout. Its been a few weeks since I have done anything physical, not even walking, and I have no idea why I lost interest and sat on my bum.

The scales at the Leisure Centre told me the end result of all this laziness - I have gained quite a few kilos. This time last year I was almost at the goal weight the doctor set for me - since we returned from overseas I have put on 6 kilos - over 13lbs - nearly a stone and most of my clothes are letting me know as well.

So as of last evening I am off and running again, well walking to begin with :))

I have to start thinking again about the healthy lifestyle I aimed for last year. Up until we went overseas I was going great guns but since we got home last October I certainly have gone off the rails. Food and exercise don't seem to have the priority that they had before, my enthusiasm has not been the same even tho I tried hard at times and if I go on this way I'm going to have the GP giving me the rounds of the kitchen as well. I well remember his warning about the connection between waist measurement, BP going up and risk of heart disease and stroke. I also remember my father being fat round the middle, haveing very high BP and having several heart attacks and finally dying from a stroke. so its not a sif I haven't been warned.

Well now - after the cool change we are having at the moment goes we'll be back to the lovely spring weather we had these past few weeks and then summer will be arriving and I certainly don't have cash or the need to shop for new clothes 'cose if I sort myself out and go back to the active sensible eating lifestyle I was living I won't need to buy new ones as the ones in the wardrobe will fit me again.

Water bottles to the ready, am off to set the alarm for an early rise and a walk - even if it is in the rain.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Not a happy chappy - sort of

Well the Netball team lost, good game but the better team on the day won. So its on to the other attraction in Melbourne during the month of September.

AFL (Australian Football League) football used to be called VFL (Victorian Football League) 'cose this where this code began but as other teams in other states joined the league it is was changed AFL
Commonly called Aussie Rules it was a game we'd never come across before we arrived in Australia in 1972 but it was a game all the family took to quickly. It definitely is a contact sport and I don't profess even after all this time to know the rules but can see some fouls and other things that aren't supposed to happen. Taking a mark (jumping high to grab the ball) is a skill some players achieve with ease and others just don't too well at.
The finals of this code for season 2007 are in progress now and for the next few weeks Melbourne will be alive with what they call Footy Fever.

Now as Catherine asked in a comment last week I never mentioned AFL Footy - well its a long story but I'll just say that with 5 adult children all barracking for different teams and lots of grandchildren all barracking for different teams sometimes Grandma keeps quiet about some things :))

We have supporters of Hawthorn, Essendon, Richmond, Sydney , North Melbourne (now known as the Kangaroos), Footscay (now known as Western Bulldogs) and Collingwood.

Unfortunately in our house over the years the game and team loyalties have been known to cause some friction between some of the diehard fans especially if they happen to be a Collingwood supporter and nobody else except one of said person's daughter is :(

Me - well as I mentioned I stayed clear of the weekend conflict, it was bad enough years ago when all the games were played on Saturday afternoons but now its Friday Saturday and Sunday and on occasions Monday. If I chose a team to follow I think it would be Port Adelaide, a new team on the block as they say. We lived in Adelaide for a few years and when we arrived only Adelaide Crows were in the league and then Port were admitted and oh the fuss that went on in the city and even out in the bush.

There is a certain rivalry between South Australia and Victoria so when the chardonney set at the Adelaide Football Club got their knickers in knot over Port joining I decided if I ever had to name a team that would be the one for me.

Besides the colours of their strip was really nice and their nickname is Port Power and it sounded good. And they are doing well in the finals so I may get the last laugh after all:)))

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Green Drought

The news at the moment is about what they are calling The Green Drought - the paddocks look green and promising as a result of the rains earlier in the year but there is no moisture underneath to sustain the crops to harvest time.

I have noticed the same thing in the garden here at home.

Grass is a fabulous green colour, roses are starting to shoot, early spring flowers are out

When I was digging around the other day it was really noticeable that below the surface the ground was dry and going hard. So if there is no more rain for a while we are in for a testing time.

Did a bit more tidying up down by the back fence today, dry and sunny again and just the right temperature to be working outside. I found a big bag of potting mix from last year in the shed so spread it over the spot I have in mind for some veggies, next job is to see what's in the nurseries that I can grow easily. Green Runner Beans are about $12 a kilo at the moment so maybe thats the one to start with. I'd describe the spot as long and thin so probably woud be good with a bit of trellis rigged up as support for them to climb.

I also planted a Blood Lily given to me yesterday by an old friend - have a look at the retail price and see why I gave her a big hug when she mentioned she had divided hers and would I like some. Hope it takes to its new spot.

Have to be out early tomorrow so I'm off now

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Broken Link

Looks like my link didn't work


Finals time

Its that time of the year when the talk is all about Finals.

Winter sports are coming to an end and the 'top' teams are about to play off for the honour of winning the flag.

Like lots of girls and women all round Australia several of the grandaughters play what could be classed the Australian Women's favourite sport - Netball.

In most places the local Football and Netball teams are part of the establishment and in real country areas the life blood of the towns.

The aim is to pass a round ball similar in size to a basketball to each other up and down a court and score goals through a hoop that to me always seemed to be about 10 foot in the air.

Unlike basketball, players are not allowed to run with the ball, so once its in your possesion one foot has to stay on the ground as you move on and pass to someone else just hoping not to hear the whistle being blown and the words 'stepping' coming out of the umpires mouth.

Often it means you swivel around desperately try to fathom out whose hands in the sea of waving hands and moving bodies jockying for a position in front of you belong to your team.

Its also supposed to be a non contact sport - meaning you cant hang on to, push or shove any other player - try telling that to some of the ladies I've played against in years gone by tho :))

Played at its highest level its a joy to watch - The Australian Netball Team versus the New Zealand Team or even the Jamaicans are games to savour and enjoy.

Anyway - This past couple of Saturday mornings I have been up at the Netball courts very early to watch my budding athletes because their teams have qualified for the Finals.

Now remember this is a Winter sport and its a very enthusiastic family - 'cose for some there could be more than 1 girl playing - that braves outside Netball courts at that time of the morning and I have to admit that even tho' I love them very much and want to see them progress and (kill the opposition - did I say that :)) I don't go to watch every week but maybe every 3.

Because of the amount of girls that play on Saturdays during the season the games begin at ungodly hours like 8.45am and go on right through the afternoons so like the weekly games the finals are spread out over the day according to age grouping which has mean't we have been there from early morning until lunchtime and then its been home for soup and sandwiches and to give lots of cuddles and hugs to the ones who have been eliminated.

The Grand Finals in Mooroolbark are on this Saturday and there is one team left in for us to go and cheer for.

This game isn't till 12.45 lunchtime so I'll be able to get to the gym first and then go and holler like any good supporter for the SPJ Under 15 Netball team!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

All is forgiven

Days of moaning and groaning just showed me how reliant I have become on this machine :((

Yes we are back on line and the household is running as smooth as usual. This episode did prove to me I have a problem and made me see how much I had missed out on other things.

I did lots of knitting during the few evenings DH tried to fix the machine and I also read a new book; these two things were just ordinary run of the mill happenings a few years ago and unless I make a special effort I never get round to doing them. I used to say our new technology wouldn't make a difference to our household - oh was I wrong.

Anyway the book I read was by Jacquelyn Mitchard - Cage of Stars, and I haven't read anything that moved me so much for a very long time. Tears rolled down my face at times and I couldn't wait to get to the end.

A while ago I read another by her called The Deep End of the Ocean and that also was something I couldn't put down till I finished.

Will have to check the library for others.

Lovely day today, good gardening weather. Has been very cold overnight this week about 4-5c/40f but its been going up to 16-17c/60f and so I ghave managed to get a lot more done in the garden. Still no rain tho and none forecast either. Sounds like a broken record doesn't it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Off line

Will be gone for a little while Dh has really 'stuffed things up' and we have 'nothing'

No computer No nothing

Hope its not too long

See you

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Helping Hands

Another dry day today so I have been emptying the last of my compost heap onto the garden. Kiera our brown Burmese follows me most places and she thought she'd check out the almost empty space - about the same time as Mr Magpie.

This area is tucked away down the side of the garage but close enough for me to get to when I need something.

That big blue drum is where I'm starting the next load - we haven't mown the grass for months so its been slow going. Theres been loads of leaves and weeds but because I saw some mice I've been wary of putting food scraps (peelings etc) there. The possums have been hungry so I've left fruit in another place for them. When we get more things to add I'll roll it over and spread it on the heap area and well go from there.

I've been turning a spot over and adding to the soil as this year I've decided to go back to growing Tomatoes in the ground instead of the big tubs I used this past couple of seasons. Even tho they need sunshine and warmth they didn't fare well as the tubs got really hot in the sun (I tried wrapping them in a wet sack but it didn't work as we were wasting water ) plus the fact it was impossible to keep up enough water to them.

Kiera wandered off so Mr Magpie came down onto land and looked off to see if anyone else was around

All clear so he set to looking for goodies in amongst what was left of the black gold on the ground.

You can see bigger photos by clicking to enlarge.

Home again

Yes we are home again

Had one granddaughter to stay overnight on Friday - after being a very meek little girl who whinged and whined about everything she has now developed into a very confident, out there nearly 9 year old We never know what to expect with her hence the picture above of her with our 2 cats.

Could I have a picture taken with Leroy and Kiera was was what she actually asked - not can I frighten the life out of them:)

Good job Burmese are the best family cat you could ever get. They just lay back and take all the surprises that come their way.

Later after breakfast it had warmed up so she went out onto the deck to say "Sorry" to Leroy. The word is that Melbourne is having an early Spring as so many blossoms are out and I spied snowdrops in my garden the other day. You can view a larger picture by clicking on the image

I don't mind the sunshine and warmer days as it means I can get out and do some gardening but please may we have some more rain.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Home on Wednesday

Yes only 2 more sleeps till I'll be flying home.

Its been a trying time this past few days, trying to look after the children whilst their Mother is in the house has been a challenge.

Instead of resting upstairs in her bed she has insisted on being down in the lounge on the couch which has mean't both boys have wanted to climb all over her and then get very upset when told (by her) not to.

Enough said - and of course with the Father running a business from home but coming in and out of the office every now and again and carrying on at them its been a 'lovely' few days.

One really great thing however has been that the weather in Sydney has been just what I needed. Dry and sunny and WARM.

Yes WARM - up to about 24c yesterday and I spent a lot of it just sitting reading and watching the boys in their shaded sandpit. Eat your heart out Melbourne :))

I do miss my own bed and can't wait to get back to it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Where do the years go

Well I wonder where they do go as it only seems like yesterday since this old black and white photo was taken.
August 1960 to be precise - I had just met DH and we really comfortable with each other.
It was taken in Cyprus, DH was there as a serving member in the RAF and my father was also in the RAF.
We only knew each other for about 6 weeks before he popped the question and we were engaged on my 18th birthday.
As they say a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

And here we are 46 years on - September last year on a cruise ship in Alaska Still comfortable with each other.
Hasn't all been love and kisses as a few sharp words have been spoken during that time but I guess we now know where to draw the line these days and have learn't that we are both individuals who sometimes need space and time alone.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Melbourne Sky in August

We are going to have an eclipse of the moon towards the end of the month - look here (Melbourne Planetarium site) scroll down the page a bit and there is all the info.

Something unusual to look forward to so I will have to mark the calendar but I'm sure it will be in the papers and on the news.

Look further down and you'll see the sunrise and sunset times - it becoming really noticable that the days are lengthening and when they are sunny and dry its a pleasure to be outside.

It been a lovely day today so I managed to get some more gardening done, went to the Big Green Barn (Bunnings) for some more cow manure and taking them out of the car managed to catch one of the bags on the window handle.

Well its smells quite 'country' in there at the moment, took ages to vacuum it all up - thank goodness we have an ald one we use to clean the cars out. It would have meant a trip to a car wash place if I had ot use the one from inside - I may well have to do that anyway if the 'healthy' smell doesn't go away. :))

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The windy city

Yes its been rather windy here yesterday and today. DH and I spent a long time yesterday cutting up a large branch from a Banksia Spinulosa that had come down overnight and was all over the driveway. Bit of a shame as it has the most beautiful huge great candles on it at the moment.

I had an inkling something would happen as I thought there had been a drop in the foliage during the evening - noticed the end of the branch was closer to my car when I was going to the rubbish bin so as it was dark and raining just moved the car out of the way and hoped it didn't fall too close if it did come down overnight.

Yes I know but there wasn't much we could do at that time of the night, it was blowing a gale and pouring and the Banksia is 25 years old and if its going to lose a branch so be it.

Its in the driveway chopped it into smaller pieces and now all I have to do is persuade one of the sons to load it into his trailer and take it to the tip for me.

Found out today we'll be off to Sydney again next week.

Daughter in law is going into hospital for a cholecystectomy (lap- choly) in other words removal of her gall bladder so we are needed to mind the two boys for a few days. This operation is nothing like it used to be - no big long incision these days its done by the laproscopic technique through small incisions in the front of the body. So she will be in and out in a couple of days, resting afterwards is the most important thing, hope the boys realise that and don't want her attention all the time.

Lovely clear day today, got the washing dry outside which is good as the forecast is for temperatures going down very low ( been loads of snow again up in the ski resorts ) and also lots of rain over the weekend.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What do you eat for breakfast

Me - well these days its usually porridge oats (oatmeal) but it could also be cold cereal like weetbix along with fruit or toast. Hot toast with vegemite or ginger marmalade Yum.

Sometimes when we are away we will indulge in a full cooked breakfast - but nothing like the Ulster Breakfast my granny in Belfast would put on the table. I wish I could find soda bread and potato bread here that tasted the same as hers did, maybe if we go to Ireland next year I'll see if one of my cousins will do it for me just for a treat. I can't remember the last time I had fried bread either.

Anyway, look at this blog called surprisingly 'The Breakfast Blog' and see the breakfasts this fella in Melbourne comes across. One day I'll look up some of the places when I'm in the city but I'm not sure I'll be on the 7am from Croydon so lets hope they serve brekky till maybe 11am :))

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Times they are a changing

The days seem to be getting longer, its still quite light at 6pm now and the past few days have been beautiful - almost Spring like - Sunny and dry and even quite warm. Well warm enough not to have the heating on during the day but we aren't going to fooled as the forecast is for cooler days for the rest of the week.

For the first time in weeks I've been out in the garden tidying up and planning what to do when the ground starts to warm up and DH even managed to cut the grass. I can now restart the compost heap - have lots of leaves from next doors Oak tree and now the grass clippings to mix in with them and some manure.

We don't have a posh lawn in the back just grass and it is so good to see it green again and not a khaki brown it went during the summer. These are some not too good photos taken at Christmas time showing how awful it looked

Some of the grandchildren enjoying a game of Backyard Cricket at our family BBQ and you can see how brown the grass looks.

This is all of the Melbourne grandchildren later that day pleasing me by sitting still long enough to have a photo taken :))

And of course we know things are changing all the time but things certainly changed here in Melbourne today.

Kevin Sheedy and The Bombers (also known as The Essendon Football Club) Aussie Rules that is, will be parting comapny at the end of this season - read all about it here.

They haven't been doing that well this year and after being in the position of coach for 27 years it really did look like his contract wouldn't be renewed so I don't think it came as a shock today when the anouncement was made that he would be finishing up in a few weeks. He has done so much for the club and football in general it will be strange not to have him around and I'm sure he won't be far away from the game he loves.

My eyes are a lot better now, the eye drops worked a treat - one was an antibiotic and the other contained prednisilone for allergy relief. All swelling went down by Sunday morning and the itchyness and stinging by Monday. Dr was pleased, so was I and now we are happy campers again. No idea what caused it tho.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Reading my 'Bird' entry again I realised I hadn't actually provided any information on the birds


If you follow these links you will be able to 'read all about it'

Yellow tailed Black cockatoo

Australian Magpie

Rainbow Lorikeet

Eastern Rosella

Crimson Rosella

Hope all the links work

I woke yesterday with red itchy eyes which got worse and worse as the day went by, they were really painful during the night so had to get an appointment with the GP this morning. As he's just round the corner I took a chance and fronted up as they opened at 9am and was really lucky in that the receptionist addeed my name and slipped me in first. She probably didn't want me sitting in the waiting room looking like death warmed up, with red bloodshot eyes and big dark circles under the eyes.

Anyway I now have 2 sets of eye drops, am not allowed to drive (what a pain thats going to be) and have to see him again on Monday morning. Bang goes my plans for Monday as he made mention of seeing an eye specialist if it hadn't improved. The other cruncher is I have to stay away from the computer - so this will be it for a few days

Going to be -1c here this evening - I think thats about 30f. I may not even get out of bed tomorrow:))

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Look below

Below the winter post is another I started then put on hold and finished a day later

Seems Blogger published in the order you start

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Winter hits hard

I mentioned the other day taking a granddaughter up to Mt Dandenong which is just a short drive from our place, in fact I took this picture of the view of the Dandenongs from the local footy oval last year.

Those 3 TV transmission masts are a well known landmark and no matter where we are if we see them we know we aren't far from home :)

This was the same place yesterday - yes it has been so cold here it actually snowed.
We get lots of sunshine and hot days in the summer and we have cool winters here but this is really out of the ordinary It really was exceptionally cold and turned out to be the coldest July day in Melbourne for 10 years. It didn't actually snow in my backyard (we had hail and sleet) but lots came down in other parts of the state with roads closed because of black ice and school cancelled today in those parts worst affected.
I didn't go far from home but stayed inside snug and warm, today has been cold with a some rain but I was very good and managed to get a quick walk in between the showers. Thats something I haven't managed to do for days as the rain has been so heavy and constant.
Found another news story - read here

BIrds in the garden

With the wintery weather and family issues this week I've been a bit down so I thought I'd think about something that makes me smile.

Now for some reason whenever I see or hear a bird preferably in the wild my mood changes.
So I thought you would like to see some of the birds I have seen locally and that have also visited my garden this past week

This is the yellow tailed black cockatoo, one of my DD's who lives close by took this photo in her garden recently and I also saw a couple close to home when I was on a walk the other day. They don't normally come this far down the mountain so we were lucky to see them.
We do get the big white Sulphur (yellow) crested Cockies in great numbers in our area - noisy things that they are they remind me of where I live - Australia

This cocky fella is our Australian magpie, this is the male with a white back, the poor female has to do with a mottled grey coloured back and isn't as big as him either. There must be something about him tho' as he usually has a harem of several females close by and can be very tame even to the point of hanging around and following after me when I am weeding.
They don't seem to have a fear of humans - but can be a problem when the females are nesting. The male swoops down from the trees trying to get you to move on so some parks and gardens put up warning signs at that time of the year.

The next ones are Rainbow Lorikeets and then Eastern Rosellas. We took these a couple of years ago when the LillyPilly was laden with lots of berries. Both these breeds fly around in pairs so if we spot one we usually look for the second one. I definitely perk up when I see these flitting about in the trees and on rare occassions we get the next ones in the trees as well

Unfortunately Blogger seems to think the picture of the Crimson Rosella should go at the the top of the page and each time I try to insert it last it goes right where it is now. Have never managed to get an actual photo but this is a good representation

There just talking about them has made me feel better:)) Now wheres my knitting.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Family feelings

Quiet day yesterday and then had a great evening with all (well nearly all) of the family.

We decided to get together at a local Bistro because it mean't that even tho I would love to I didn't have to 'entertain or cook' and could sit down and enjoy all the company also with all those grandchildren coming (total of 10 ranging from 2yrs to 13yrs), and it being winter and really cold and them not being able to play outside this venue was perfect as they have a kids play room - complete with indoor equipment and computer games plus entertainment (a modern clown) to keep young ones entertained - which meant that all the oldies and wrinklies as the 13yr old one said could chatter and natter in peace.

Bit annoyed with our oldest son who didn't come but his partner drove over with their 2 girls so as not to dissapoint me which I thought was lovely on her part because during the time they were seperated she decided to let her feelings be known about her defacto inlaws.

His reason for not coming was as they had an hours drive over here and the same to get home it meant a late night and he would be tired the next morning and that he had to be at work by 7am which meant getting up at 5.30am to leave home at 6am and the last time he saw the visiting brother there were things said about the football team he follows and he wasn't prepared to put up with that again.

Honestly - hes 45 years old and I still have to put up with the silly behaviour :((

Families - who'd have them.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Are the stars out tonight

Hundreds and thousands of them in fact - not a cloud in the sky - it looks like you see forever if it was possible. Its been the first day for ages with no rain falling in our area and the sun shone most of the day and it was glorious. Cold during the day and going to be colder still overnight.

School holidays and I had babysitting duties for one granddaughter today so Dh and I took her out for lunch at her favourite spot (no, not a fast food outlet) and then later in the day I drove up the mountain and took her into the new maze at a park at the top. It was freezing up there but she was happy and we had a good look at the city from there.

We are so lucky to live close to the Dandenongs - we are in the foothills and its only a ten minute drive from our place to this particular park. Great place to take overseas visitors and good if we want to escape the heat in summer. Can be a good ten degrees C cooler up there on a really hot day.

Another good thing happened today:)))

Our son who lives interstate is in Melbourne on business for a few days with wife and the two little grandsons as well. Hes staying with one of his brothers who lives close to us so Dh and I popped down there late in the afternoon so we would then get to see more of all of the grandchildren together. The 2 whose home we were at, the 2 who are visiting and the 1 we were babysitting.

Those boys are still as happy as before and were not fazed by the plane ride even tho with storms in Sydney this morning they were delayed by over an hour and a half - some of that actually sitting in the aircraft on the tarmac. Granddaughters mother came there to pick her up so I had 3 of my children together at the same time also. With their busy lives thats quite an achievement these days.

Going to bed a happy chappy this evening.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bubble wrap

I keep bubble wrap to use in parcels but have to hide it from the grandchildren.

The reason being they like lots of other people, me included, think its great fun to pop all the like bubbles of air.

I found this site - and all my worries about losing my cache are over

Try it - its fun

I actually did it

I think I've said here before that I'm a fair weather walker - which is strange because I was raised in England where the weather can be pretty ordinary at times.

I prefer walking out in the open air but with this winter being so wet and me not being enamoured with walking in the rain I have been treading the boards at the gym. When I manage to go to the Leisure Centre I try to do some walking on their treadmills as well as use some of the other equipment.

Last year I had a go at jogging and after the initial shock of realising I was actually moving faster than a quick walk have been trying a little more each time. Some times I get puffed quickly and give it up as a bad job but recently its become easier and easier. Not sure why as I don't seem to have lost any weight, but having said that my clothes are hanging better so maybe theres been a rearranging of the fat and a tightening of the skin :))

Today I jogged for a kilometre - yes thats right - one whole kilometre. One kilometre is equal to 0.621371192 miles approx. and yes that may not seem like a long distance but for me it is huge.

I started off walking and raised the speed to my jog rate and then seemed to find some sort of rhythm where the legs and feet moved in time with each other and I just kept on going. I kept watching the distance figure go higher and higher and I was determined to see just how far I could go so as I said I just kept on moving. When I got to the magic figure I decided to pull it back to walking pace and not get too excited as I feared I'd lose my footing and fall off the treadmill.

I could just see the headline in the local paper next week:-

Newsflash - 64 yr old Granny says - No she hadn't had a drink before signing in for her daily exercise programme.

lol I'd never live it down :))

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Where does the time go

This past couple of weeks we've had cold wet days and dry sunny days as well as gales and storms. Parts of the state are flooded which isn't good tho and locally this week looks wintery . We do still need the rain and even tho' the levels are rising there is still talk of tougher water restrictions. Time will tell I suppose so all we can say is 'Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain'

This winter I've tried very hard to stay away from 'sickies' those with coughs and colds but it didn't work and I've spent part of the week feeling like death warmed up, coughing and sneezing and moaning about a headache.

Luckily one of the daughters has a Lemon Tree so I dosed myself with fresh lemon juice, honey, boiling water with a dissolvable aspirin every few hours. Its an old fashioned remedy that I enjoy.

I also have a favourite cough mixture that no one else likes - unfortunately I cant find the one I used for years called Medallion (black and tasting of camphor and methol that took your breath away) but recently discovered a similar one called Irish Moss.

As I say its similar and seems to work as well and when I'm feeling crook thats all I ask.

With those two and Eucalyptus Oil on a tissue to open the stuffed up nose I was set to kill any of those rotten germs. I spent a lot of time resting and finishing off a teddy I'm making for one lucky granddaughter for Christmas.

Before 'the cold' struck I had a trip into the city to go to the theatre with my Red Hat group and we laughed ourselves silly at 'Menopause - the Musical' Fun fun fun and we all had a great time. Lots of questions about our clothing and I feel there will also be lots of searching for chapters near to those questioners.

July 1st is Victoria Day (the day Victoria was granted seperate statehood from New South Wales in 1850) and so this Monday I went to the Victoria Day Award Ceremony in the city. One of our granddaughters sings with the Victorian Girls Choir and they were there to sing the National Anthem so I went along with her mother (one of my daughters) and the other children.
The historical society had their enactmant first outside the Town Hall - complete with old fashioned uniforms and muskets and the reading of the Seperation Proclamation and then we all went inside for the presentions and speeches.

The youngsters sang the Anthem beautifully and gave a good rendition of Happy Birthday Victoria as well. Another fun day as we went on the train so I didn't have to wonder about parking etc and we wandered round some of the big stores and came home with a few bargains as well.

Things happen again - like DH stuffing up the computer.
Never mind he likes tinkering and checking out sites - nothing as bad as 'catching a virus' - its such a shame it takes him ages to get it back to normal again

I am going to have an early night, the cold might be gone but I'm still feeling drained.