Monday, December 31, 2007

We (my sister Catherine and I) took off for a short road trip! Down the Prince's Highway to Ulladulla, and then to Batemans Bay. We ate out for lunches and dinners, did not wash up (except tea cups) and did not even have to make our beds! Luxury I tell you!

At Batemans Bay we got to see the start of this race.
Photos and news at 11 ......

All this and more shown in pictures here.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

What do you call someone who sends you a lovely, hand made gift? Someone you have never met, and only recently discovered? It has to be a friend, of course, but just someone unexpected. Despite the loveliness of Christmas, despite the usual family friction when there are 40 or so people together who sometimes get along famously, and sometimes not so much, there is a thrill when something unexpected and so special arrives with a postie early in the morning, out of the blue.

Dear Janet, thank you. The quilted square is exquisite (there is no other word) and the cards delightful. You don't know me at all, but the little bangle of beads broke me completely. When I was 13 or so, my dad worked for "Which Bank". (At that time Papua New Guinea was getting set for independence, and Dad was on the senior team for setting up the national bank of New Guinea and their own currency.)

We all got "Mari Beads" as presents when he was away for a month at a time (over a very long time as I recall). We loved this simple gift, made by the native ladies and sold at markets and on street corners to the tourists. The bangle brought it all back, the presents, the coming home, and in a nice way. But because I always miss my Dad, especially at Christmas, this tiny little thing made me smile and cry. Its too hard to put into words, but you gave me something totally special this morning, thank you. (hugs). I really will have to get to know you much better.

See the little red beads in the top of the picture?

All these lovely things, wrapped in an origami box, and packaged in recycled packaging, wrapped for posting in a calendar page! Totally brilliant.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Fairly delicious, if I do say so myself.

Good morning Kitten, Happy Christmas, hope it snows for you all day.

Because you are so far away, and living with vegetarians, here is a pictorial summation of lunch, which as you know is usually pretty yumm on Christmas day. Lizzie was playing lady muck, so used the crystal creamer as a gravy boat, and I'm sure Granny Ruth was turning in her grave and saying "she's just like her mother!" while secretly smiling. Ben slept through lunch, getting up around 3pm (but its been that kind of week for him). Luckily we had dished up a dinner for him, Sorry chick, it was turkey, stuffed, ham, potatoes, pumpkin (only for Liz and Me), peas and carrots, baked capsicum, gravy, cranberry jelly. Washed down with alcoholic bubbles, mmmm champagne, how I love thee.

The end of the meal of course was celebrated with Aunty Norma's pudding, boiled fruit, very good, with custard and cream. Later I rolled off to bed for a nap! tonight our time I will hope to give you a call.

Love mummy


To enjoy Christmas Eve, and not just spend the day working we visited my Mum (Grams). We took her to see Aunty Jean and Aunty Norma, but Norma was not home at the time. Then we took her on a walk around the John Paul Village, and surrounding streets. The rain over the past couple of weeks has worked miracles, and people around Heathcote are certainly keen gardeners. The photos are just a few of my favourites. I love the purple puff balls best of all.

We saw so many lovely plants and trees in profusion because of the perfect mild summer, I wish I could do them all justice.


traditional food

traditional food
Originally uploaded by Gemma_Anne
Christmas morning. Its always a bit hectic, but there was no nan or Ron around for breakfast today. Lots of croissants (thank you aunty Sara) and ham and sparkling non-wine. Tea of course, and only stocking presents until after breakfast.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I could get really used to blogging every day. Can you tell I am on holidays??? Its been a very long year, and soon I will go for a couple of days away with my sister, back home for a week or so and then off again for a whole week at the beach with my mum. We're going to Broulee Head. Sounds quiet and since we are just behind the dunes, like fun too.

Here is the result of the December fibre club , 170gms of Optim, 510 metres, 2ply at a lite sports weight. Its so soft and the colours are lovely. Once again thank you Mandie.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

So now I know who is the culprit eating my daughter's strawberries ....... mmmm I think the dog should be on front yard patrol for a day ot two (pity we don't have a front fence).

Many photos ......
for reference, the first sunny, summery day of summer 2007, and it was very bloody hot (32 C) and because of the previous weeks of rain, steamy. Not to worry though, by night fall, the southerly had come up, rain was threatening, and not a star to be seen.

There is Bandit, looking very displeased with the whole photo thing, and Pepsi (very bouncy puppy from *Robeeerrrttt's!!!!!!!@#$%* house. Yep its that kind of place with robert is home, from the Balkan Peninsular, and completely mad, but his family are really nice. Maybe Gypsies left him with the parents and ran away, knowing he was a lunatic.

Finally Dragon, but mostly a photo to show off the grass, which is recovering after two years of not much rain, and looking and feeling very lush. Yep the edges need doing, or in some places the dog almost disappears in the long stuff.

Its all very quiet in the run up to Christmas here. The final game of park cricket is on this arvo, and then its a BBQ here (not to self, go buy gas bottle!!!)

Much spinning has been taking place, and knitting is slow now that the two Christmas pressies are done and gifted. The fibre is from Mandie at EGMTK from the fibre club, optim and lovely to spin. Truly it reminds me of fruit tingles more than anything else (especially some of the plied bits, they are the rainbow lollies, very rare)

Yes Kat, I have to take tablets, first time in three years, really nasty mossie bits, infected and made my leg swell up and turn firey!! Doc took one look and did not even touch to feel the heat. Don't worry its all better now.

Merry Christmas, its raining in Sydney, the dog is chasing plastic bottles round the back verandah and the cats are trying to get out of the laundry. Life calls ....

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Forgot the pumpkin plants (how I ask you can you forget the pumpkins???)

2nd Post!

A few shots to show how good (dry) the front yard is looking. My favourite tree at this time of year is the Snow in Summer tree, and when full of flowers it also supports a large population of tiny brown flying beetles.

Unfortunately due to the dry conditions in Sydney, we have lost one of the diosma shrubs, and yesterday I took the time to cut down the sad remnants. At present its been replaced with a number of pots from round the yard, until I have time to dig over the bed adding compost and think about a suitable replacement.

Finally, the first apple on Pink Lady. Lets see how we go with this tree during the following months. There ae two trees in the yard behind our house, but they may be too far away to really cross polinate our tree, and we may need to add another sooner or later if we want more than blossoms.

This is a post for a tourist, far far away, Guess what Daddy bought for the family for Christmas. I was having a bad week and when he asked me why we had not yet bought a BBQ, I told him frankly it was because I had (foolishly??) lent our son the money to register his car, several months ago, and had not beeen paid back any of the money yet. (I should say here, I was grateful that I had the money to lend, and yes, despite the slow repayment, would do the same again). But it left us short of spare money.

Anyhow in his own fashion, he declared this to be his Christmas gift to the family. It came flat boxed, with a tonne of wrapping and so on, and sooooo many bits. The lovely Ben and Elizabeth put the beast together over a period of several hours, now all that's left is to get a gas bottle, and blaze away with a cow or sheep on top!! Due to migraine, Ben declined to be in the photos, but he was there all the way through. Davo was used for heavy lifting.

A gift (chocolate hamper) from one of the companies we work with during the year and

Flowers from one of the patients (its okay, the boss got some too). Lovely Proteas and banksias.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two more things, one is sheep on a plane .... yep eyelash yarn, but it had to be something that could be confiscated without tears, and chopsticks, size 4.5mm, tee hee,
and the other is these ....

missed them because they were hidden in the little shoe, but hey fancy stitch markers of my very own, one more super thing from Brenda

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What I didn't tell you was :
a. My scarf is long, really really long!
b. The package was inspected by Australia Custom Service
c. My scarf pal, Brenda put together a thoroughly delightful package, and with decorations in it as well, now I have no chance of not putting up a Christmas tree, just because I want everyone to see my love gifts.

In other news, I was able to contact the daughter in England, and although it is cold, it is so far only rainy, no snow yet, but hey I haven't started to bug God about snow yet, so just you wait missy, you may end up sorry you teased my weather prowess!!!!

Lizzie's new puppy is only five or so weeks off now, so as she talks to the breeder, it gets more exciting, she can pick up the pup when it is 9/10 weeks old.

Davo still does not have a job, but he's seriously not trying to get one, and I may have to kill him and cut him up in little pieces to feed to the dogs if we get too stretched for cash!!! (okay, just kidding, I would mince him for the puppy, his big bones would choke the little guy).

Ah life is good here in Braidoville!

I love my postie at the office. When he visits, it's always in the afternoon, late, around 4.30pm. The perfect time if you have had a cr*ppy day or some such to send you home with a smile.

My scarf arrived from my pal in the ISE5 swap arrived today.

Monday, December 10, 2007

So its Monday, and the Kitten has been gone since Friday morning, but only out of Aus since Saturday morning. When I got up today there was an SMS saying she had arrived safe and sound. Will have to check out SKYPE some time soon. There is 13 hours difference between us so night time is a good time for her.

By the way Cath, this is definitely not Davo watching junk tv in your tv chair of doom! love mum

Also included for your viewing pleasure, Elizabeth off to the work Christmas Party.