Friday, July 24, 2009

Yesterday was a day of much enlightenment for me.
Twas my introduction to the real world of avid quilters...
Mind, having been around Lizzie for so long I have had some understanding of the painstaking diligence and dedication to such a craft not to mention the beauty, but never before yesterday have I seen such incredible artistry and imagination.

Some of the creations I saw were, to my mind phenomenal. I understand that what was there is only the tip of the iceberg and there are many women who devote almost their whole lives to such a craft. I find it amazing that there are so many themes worked upon. There are names commonly known to many 'quilters' who design and create from their minds....all this many of you already know, so, if I sound a little gushy, I can only apologise.

Below are a few of the favourites I selected to photograph (with permission of course).

I hope you can appreciate them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Once upon a time there lived a little girl with long blonde hair.

This little girl lived in a house with her mother and father, her big brother Chris, Aloyisius the dog, numerous goldfish, and a canary called Dudley.

Once day the little girl went to school for she was 'a big girl now', and her BFF at the time told her that her dog had had puppies. Consequently, when our heroine arrived home from school that day, she nagged and nagged at her mother to bring one of the puppies home. She promised faithfully, she would look after 'it'...she would bathe the puppy, feed the puppy and generally love the puppy within an inch of its life and so like many other times, the mother acquiesced.
Mother only had to coerce father into allowing yet another canine into their household. One look at her dad with her large greeny blue eyes was enough for him to lose his control over the family issues...and the dog was hers.
We shall call this dog Jack, for that was his name. Jack lived a full and productive, happy and inquisitive life. He was labelled 'Hyperactive Jack' early in the piece but that nom de plume later became 'Jacky Boy.
Jack saw the comings and goings of two other dogs in this family. First as mentioned before was Aloyisius...a gorgeous short-haired/long-haired terrier who stood as high as a full grown labrador. The second dog, Elroy was mainly labrador and fortunately there were never any squabbles between the dogs. There were enough squabbles between the children of the household (as there invariably is) and the dogs were well fed and given free reign of the house on occasion, plus the big backyard.
Did I mention that Jack was a fox terrier...with something else in him to make him a bit stockier than the usual foxie... He kept up with the other dogs, who unfortunately, and through no fault of their own passed away early in the piece due to illnesses that are beset upon dogs from time to time.
As like in other families, the novelty of caring for Jacky Boy quickly wore off, and it was left to the little blonde haired girls mother and father to feed the dog, bathe the dog and take this dog to the vet for the odd check up.
Time went on...seasons changed with regularity and the dog experienced many adventures in his own mind both inside the property and outside the gate when allowed.
He went for drives with the family and never knew the protocols of self control. To be allowed in the car meant excitement plus for Jack and he would scamper all over inside whilst the car was travelling in search of a new view and fresh air.
Eventually, Jack became an old dog. The son by now had passed away...gone to be with the dogs that were earlier in his life. The canary had long gone as had the fish. Mind, they had been replaced by more fish and more canaries but it was difficult to work out when the chain of domesticed other animals began and ended.
Jack continued on his life in a suburban backyard, hankering for the evenings when he was welcomed into the house by the mother and father. He would bee line for the kitchen for this was the place of the wonderful smells. Many an hour was spent sniffing around hoping for a tasty morsel (which, I might add was given) by either the mother and /or the father.
He was a well fed and basically content dog and enjoyed his later years also.
Jacks fur began to turn grey after a while. He developed selective deafness, especially when called from the front yard. He never missed a meal time though I might add, even if he was on the other side of the property!
Jack developed some tremors to add to his deafness and the mother and father were pretty sure his sight was failing also for he had now reached the status of 'Old Dog'.
The mother took him along to a vet for various ailments one day. The vet told the mother Jack had a heart murmur but it was mild and would not cause any problems. as far as she was aware.
About a week or so later, the mother arose one morning found Jack lying on his side outdoors which was unusual at that time of day. On investigation the mother found the beautiful old boy well and truly gone to where all good dogs go when they are longer of this life.
This beautiful boy lived (as we worked out) a whole 18 years of life.... Not bad for a hyperactive jack russel. He outlived his two canine companions as well as a human pal. He never once bit or growled at anyone...Jacky Boy was a very special dog and I am so glad to have been a part of his life, even if I, the mother, did turn out to be the primary feeder.
Rest well Jack.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not had much chance, to write stuff today,

So many things just get in the way,

What with sick mothers and jobs to be done,

And daughters with problems that won't be outshone.

Life is sure busy with no time to stop,

Just running and running, I feel on the hop.

There's beds to be made, and floors to be washed,

And clothes to be ironed and teeth to be flossed.

Bills to be paid and food to be bought,

No wonder this woman is feeling quite fraught.

They say that anxiety's on the increase,

And quite understand why I feel caprice.

We won't even mention the job I perform,

Where stress and high pressure seem to be the norm.

There's always demands from the others at work,

This working in charge is not a great lurk.

So there you have it, that's my excuse,

I long for the day when I can refuse.

To do all these things, have time for me,

And write, read and dally and pretend like I'm free!

Time waits for no man...

The previous post was made a few days ago, but it seems I had some trouble amending some changes and its taken me till today to get stuck into it again and sort out the issues.
No matter what I do, I have this problem with enormous gaps (as you can see) between photographs and anyone able to instruct me on how to eradicate those rather large gaps in my posts before posting?
Its a little bit frustrating to say the least but the post certainly looks better than the original, at least when I view it anyhow.

Work has been somewhat ordinary over the weekend. All the doings are supposed to quieten down over the weekends, when we have no elective inductions or caesarians to deal with, just the aftermath of a busy week. Unfortunately, hand in hand with that goes the redeployment of my staff that renders us overworked on weekends like this just gone when I don't have enough midwives to meet the number of labouring women...
I'm afraid I have been quite angry as a consequence and have made a formal complaint as I feel we have to work in an unsafe environment which leads to risk taking as we haven't the time to nurture our mothers and babies as we like and are supposed to do.
Now that might make me Little Miss Unpopular by some but I am old enough and big enough now (55!) to take it on the chin.

Tomorrow sees yet another adventure with Dear Lizzie, as we return to a bygone era and check out Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.
Be prepared for yet more photographs detailing our gold panning attempts...just as long as neither of us fall into the creek. Hmmm, might even trip down a gold mine or two providing the kids are back at school and we don't have to join a mile-long queue.
Its icily cold here tonight and I suspect it'll be even more so tomorrow. All the better to have another road trip up to Ballarat!

Just three more images taken down at Anglesea (seaside town in Victoria) a few months ago.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Three and a half hours north.

I feel it is time to change my settings perhaps, this evening. So, be prepared!

It is raining here tonight which is a pleasurable change.

I am currently home alone, whilst husband is at the MCG watching an over-sized pigs bladder being kicked around. I believe I am the sensible one as it's far too cold to be in the great outdoors this evening. Whats the bet he'll arrive home complaining of the cold and taking ages to warm up.

Last weekend, that of my birthday, saw he and I up at our respite centre, also known as Porepunkah, where we have a little cabin in a holiday park that overlooks the gracious Mt. Buffalo.

As you can see, the vista is glorious from our back door and I love the time we spend up there just rambling throughout the different towns in the Alpine Region.

Porepunkah is at the foot of the High Country, so called because it is a mountainous region in northern Victoria and is the playland for ski enthusiasts come winter time.

On the odd occasion, it does snow where our cabin is, but I do believe the last snow of any merit fall occurred in the park some eight years ago.

Here is a view of Mt. Buffalo with snow on them thar hills, the likes of which is quite beautiful from my perspective. I love the fact that every time I visit there, the images are always different.

My photograph collection of the area is full of contrasting images of this particular mountain.

I can well appreciate when my parents once upon a time lived south of Melbourne, Mum would always talk of 'her' mountain she would look out onto every morning from her front verandah.

Whilst up there this time, every morning was frosty white when we first got up, but as soon as the sun's rays hit an area the ice would turn to moisture and quickly be absorbed.

We have a resident nocturnal possum there who was pretty impressed with the bird seed my other half left out for the local parrots and every night he partook from the tree stump with a lot of noise just to let us know he was there.

One of the best things about going up to Porepunkah, apart from having time away from day to day living is exploring local shops that display their handicrafts. Being a bit of a tourist mecca, the area is bursting with local cottage industries, be it jams, nuts, vegetables and handcrafts.

Its so pleasurable talking with the locals who are usually always grateful if you show any interest in their produce be it animal, vegetable or mineral as.

To be on the lookout for a 'find' is always exciting too and especially in Porepunkah, Bright and Myrtleford, we have shown much favour as they always seem to have EXACTLY what it is we're after.

While there for these four days, we explored the areas of Beechworth and Yackandandah...... such pretty names for such picturesque towns don't you think?

These first three scenes are of Beechworth which was once upon a time a thriving gold rush town.
Photo no. 1 is of the main street.

No. 2 if you look closely enough is a cat in the window upstairs from a shop.

This somewhat gothic picture (would love to be there on a dark night) is out the back of a rather pricey upmarket antique dealer also in the main street.

Last but not least of these four photographs is of the main street in Yackandandah.

One nut/potato farm we called into had minimal supplies available in their store. As we walked out to our trusty steed (car) the owner strolled by and stopped for a chat. He appeared very despondent and told us a tale of how bad business is right now. Tourism was down according to him and his takings for the week were minimal. As a consequence he wasn't sure of his viability despite having been in the business all his working life.

The day was a grey cloudy day by then and the photo I took outside his farm to me depicted his sombre mood quite significantly.

This is the end of my post for today. I have heaps more to add about the time away and this will be done hopefully on Sunday.

Its after midnight now and time for some sleep I think before I start making big mistakes on here...

Night all..............................

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Carnival Is Over...

Well, the day is over and its time for bed.
The day started innocuously enough with me getting up bright and early ready to "Carpe Diem"...
A large amount of housework was done as I knew the Cleaning Ladies were coming this day, not to mention, Lizzie, so I didn't want the usual mess lying around.
After a couple of rounds of washing, some bin emptying, dishwasher stacking, bed making AND generalised tidying up it was the hour to shower and get ready.
The ladies rolled up at their customary 10 to clean the house (lucky me) and I waited for my best friend to arrive, and arrive she did not long after.
We bid a hasty goodbye and drove off into the sun (no rise or set at this time of the day) towards the land of many cars and long bridges.
Westgate was mounted and driven over, amidst the cars that wanted to push in and not wait their turn much to my chagrin but some calming words from my passenger calmed me and allowed them to gain access.
We finally got to our destination by 11ish, parked the car and quickly strolled over to The Melbourne Museum.
You wouldn't believe the mile long queue, I kid you not...all waiting for a chance to witness first hand the secrets Pompei had to offer. Amidst the queue were many schoolchildren, all with at least one parent if not two. The place was jam packed.
So, after a hasty debate, we decided not to wait but to trip over to nearby Lygon Street for a much needed coffee and see what else Carlton had to offer.
A delicious coffee and lemon tarte each were consumed whilst we drooled over many other french pastries and we then decided to see what the local shops had to offer us.
By the time we got to Borders I thought an alternative was needed and the eternal lightbulb went off inside my head.
"Why don't we go see a movie instead of all our other plans"
This was agreed upon by both parties and so, a movie it was.

I had always wanted to see 'Sampson and Delilah' since hearing about it on the Movie Show and as it was showing this day I 'Carpe Diemed'.....

Sampson and Delilah tells the story of two indigenous adolescents living in the heart of central Australia.

The story depicts their day to day life and the dramatic changes that occur as a result of their relationship.

Quote "Samson (Rowan McNamara) and Delilah's (Marissa Gibson) world is small - an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, unwanted and alone they discover that life isn't always fair, but love never judges."

The actors all portray a life of poverty and hardship but there is an underlying beauty and a sense of love and change.
Running through the story also is a theme of petrol sniffing and the tragedy it can create.
The two main leads were amazing in how a story can told with minimal spoken word.
I might add they were both brilliantly endearing and extremely photogenic.
I would heartily recommend this tale if you want a good dose of blaring reality and if you're sick of feeling complacent about your life.
It'll blow your socks off!

Once Lizzie and I had wiped away the tears and recuperated from our post movie discussion, it was time for something to eat. A local cafe served us piping hot Pumpkin Soup to keep our hunger abated and then it was time to come home.

Trundling through the traffic on this Friday afternoon, we made it back to local ground (for me) before too long and we then waited for Mez to come home to share a dinner of Vietnamese.

That too was soon over and then Lizzie departed for home.

We had yet another great day and with it is the promise to attempt again soon our Try For Pompei...