Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wishing for fireworks

It is New Years Eve. Lots of fireworks displays are scheduled for tonight here. We planned to go to the waterfront for the nine o'clock display. Just a short walk. The Weather Bureau suggests caution.

The monsoon has arrived. It's been raining for part of the afternoon. The rain comes from the south east, and the cloud in the north has already struck. Not really heavy, but rain nevertheless. Not good for fireworks.

Monday, 29 December 2014


In some families there is a strong physical resemblance. In others it might be more about personality or athletic interests or something else.
Children, parents, an uncle, and grandparents

Today one of my nephews arrived in Australia on a visit, bringing his daughter. One of his aunties collected them from the airport and took this photo.

As soon as I saw it I remembered how the nephews and nieces in that part of the family looked as children. I am lucky enough to have four nieces and ten nephews.

Here are two photos. The modern day Dad is one of the boys in the older photo.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

BBQ Invitation

I am trying something new to me.
I have had this powerpoint presentation stored on my computer for years. I do  not know where it came from, who made it, or anything. I am happy to acknowledge the owner, because I value copyright of intellectual property. I suspect some of the images are actually from other sources anyway.

To watch this I think you need to download the ppt rather than watch from the link. I hope I have done this correctly.

BBQ Invitation

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas greetings

It is hot and humid today. Lots of dark clouds and thunder. Patchy rain. Usually it rains on Christmas Day here, but not usually in the morning.

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner with my daughter. So good. She and Kevin are both excellent cooks. Ham. Barramundi. Mango salsa. Potato salad. Cheese board. Champagne. Coffee. Great conversation.

I am very lucky to have received sewing gifts. Brilliant! And I have already begun a new project.
Yesterday we went to a Christmas party at the Herbarium where my husband volunteers two days a week. One of the botanists and his wife are expecting their first baby in ten days. Ah! A quilt is needed. I have started already.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Apron strings

Vintage bias binding
This should look straight
but I am a poor photographer.
I made a new apron for Christmas cookery. I am a messy housekeeper and need a big serviceable apron if I am to stay clean. One for general cleaning and another for cooking is the best plan.

The result is satisfactory but not fabulous. Why? The curve on the apron base needs to be much more pronounced. When I wear this apron it seems to droop a bit. A more curved base would have eliminated that problem.

I recycled an old red tablecloth that had a hole in it. The fabric is rather heavy gabardine. The frilly lacy has been hanging about for years. I found the vintage check bias binding at an op shop.

By not having any specific Christmas image on this apron I am hoping it will do double duty for Valentines day celebrations too. Two special occasions in our home.

My mother liked to dress us in red during the winter when we were children. She made us some lovely outfits. We looked well-dressed and loved.

Now, when I see a red fabric I recall my father-in-law delivering a lecture about wearing red. He informed me in no uncertain terms that only prostitutes ever wore the colour red. (Perhaps he had some personal experience in this area.) I was very upset at the time because I was wearing a red dress that I had made. I was a new bride and it was only the second time we had met. G was of course completely wrong, as he was about many things. I immediately threw that dress in the bin and I have rarely sewn anything red since. It has been more than 35 years. Some cuts are deep. I certainly never made anything red for my children to wear. Last Christmas I stepped over this emotional scar and made myself red pantaloon pyjama pants. This year the apron.
I wonder how G would react to the Santa Fun Runs?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Oh no! She looks so like me!

Yes, I am attempting to exercise more. And this cartoon looks amazingly like me.

I don't know who made the picture, but I thank them.

So I looked for some more, just to keep me in the mood of course.



Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Hot night

Photo from NT News
I will be quite pleased when our air conditioning is fixed. No cross-flow ventilation in the bedroom. But we do have a ceiling fan.

Last night was hot here in Darwin. The minimum was 29.5 degrees Celsius recorded just after five o'clock this morning. For those living with Fahrenheit that is about 85 degrees. Luckily the humidity was only around 70%.
That was the warmest night ever recorded here.

The highest minimum ever recorded in the Northern Territory occurred on 5 January 2006, when Jervois Station. east of Alice Springs, recorded an overnight low of 33.7 degrees Celsius.

Without a good night's sleep, tempers can be frayed around here. Irritable people. Violence. You can guess.

A nice thunderstorm late this afternoon will make everyone feel better. A few clouds, but ...

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sitting pretty

I had not attached the little laptop table when this was taken.
It clips to the frame and folds away when not in use.
We have new chairs. Just two. One size for me and a larger size for my husband who is much taller than me. Goldilocks will not find a baby one though.

Our old lounge suite, a Tessa, was bought in 1980 and the chairs had been reupholstered once. It was nice when it was new, but not any more. One day we will replace the settee too. Tessa is a good Australian furniture manufacturer.

So we decided on these chairs which we saw advertised on TV.
The brand is Stressless and we chose leather because we deserve something luxurious now we have weathered small children and puppies.

Of course this furniture is not available here, so my husband found a shop that sells this brand when he went to Melbourne in September. These chairs were not in stock at the time so we had to wait for them to come from Norway. Then the shop staff assembled them from a flat pack and freighted them to us. Wonderful service. They really were very easy to deal with, even from far away.

Funny. I am not yet game to get any perspiration on my chair so it is covered in an old sheet for a while. Very bogan. Very senior citizen. I won't show that sight to you!!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Good friends make life worthwhile

Yesterday I had morning coffee with my dearest friend. Lots of chit-chat, although it is called de-briefing these days. Of course we never gossip! We have seen each other through some shocking times and some good ones too over more than 30 years. Isn't it lovely that good friends can just trot along like that. I know secrets about her and she knows secrets about me and they remain completely confidential.

J works in a socially disadvantaged area with children who face huge challenges. She has never gone for any promotion due to her political values. J receives lots of criticism for devoting her life to such work and is accused of wasting her high IQ. (It's really high.) Her attitude is that these children really really need someone smart and highly skilled, more than a lot of other children do.
J is glamorous. She wears size 8 clothes still, in her sixties. Always lovely shoes, always the same brand, which you cannot buy here. Hair care and skin care are high on her list or priorities too. And cook! Yes, this is the person who taught me to use cognac in my Christmas cake instead of rum.

So we had really good coffee from beautiful bone china cups as we sat among her orchids. Total luxury.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Busy, busy

Feeling as if I am accomplishing very little, yet I am rushing about like a dervish. Tomorrow I promise myself I will be very lazy and relaxed.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A little bit of fun

I have developed a rather strong habit of wasting time on Facebook. (Frown) One of my favourite feeds is Grammarly. Yes, my grammar is improving as a result. (Smile)

Here are two photos Grammarly posted today. You can see that the alligator joke originates at a different website.

Amusing, you'll agree.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Another baby quilt

I have finished another baby quilt and it has already been received by the future parents of a much anticipated baby boy.

I felt I could not share a photo until the baby shower was over.  My contribution of a quilt is the standard gift our family makes for new parents. More children? No, no more quilts; just one per family is my limit.

For this quilt I used a tropical jelly roll for the top, described as batiks but really prints. My wonderful sister had sent this as a gift one year. The backing is a tan print of little leaves and flowers. The wadding is bamboo. Very serviceable, but not too warm. My quilting is improving, although those corners still annoy me.

My family is like a straggly garden plant, a rambler rather than a bush. Branches everywhere in all directions. New directions, sometimes crossing sometimes just enjoying the sun and breeze. This little boy will be a first cousin twice removed.

Yes, we really do organise our family relationships this way. Baby's grandmother is the first cousin of my husband. This means that my husband Michael and Cathy share a whole row of aunts and uncles and they also had two grandparents in common. This is where the first cousin part comes in. The new baby will be Cathy's grandson. So, two generations down the family tree are expressed as twice removed. First cousin twice removed.