Thursday, December 31, 2009

XMAS Part 2

I arrived at Pat's at 1200 and found Megan and Claire sitting in the courtyard. Megan is the daughter of the past manager of Brooking Springs a cattle station out of Fitzroy Crossing. They left the Kimberley when the kids were to start high school and are now in Perth. Claire is also from WA and as they were not going home for Xmas Pat invited them.
Pat has a sign hanging in her courtyard that Megan's father had made for Pat when she started doing the itinerant work in the Kimberley. She was operating just out of the back of her land rover and he built a bough shed for her with the sign he had made in Perth. A joke on Pat, who is so informal!
We had Veuve Cliquot Chamagne with prawns and almonds and cranberry while we sat in the courtyard surrounded by Pat's fabulous garden. Then lunch was served inside, the menu listed on the white board. Luke McCall was a stockman from Port Keats and now retired (listed in the stockman's hall of fame at Longreach, and known to my friend Anne Ferrie!) We had a very convivial lunch with lots of stories and reminiscences.
We lazed around in the afternoon and had some ham on toast for dinner!
The next day we watched the Boxing Day test before we went to Pat's sister Colleen's house for lunch with other family members; Pat came from Bairnsdale so the family are all still living there.
I left about 3pm to travel back to Melbourne The traffic heading out of Melbourne was VERY heavy but the trip back was fine just getting to heavier traffic as I hit Frankston. I stayed at Wendy's on Saturday night then went down to Aireys Inlet where Fran and the kids (sorry, young people!)were.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

XMAS in 2 parts

I had been invited to Xmas Lunch at Pat McPherson's, with whom I had worked for 3 months in Halls Creek in the Kimberley, W.A. She has retired and moved to Bairnsdale (300K NE of Melbourne) So I had dinner with Andrew and Lynne on Christmas Eve and stayed the night, so rose with the lark on Christmas morning 6.30, then after a Skype chat with Celia drove to Bairnsdale.
I dropped Spencer at Wendy's on Friday afternoon, then on down to Andrew's I arrived as Lynne and Kate were preparing the Prawns for dinner. Garlic butter BBQ prawns and Bugs Yum! Andrew made dessert as usual and this time had chosen Raspberry Dacquoise. A three layer hazelnut meringue 'cake' with cream and raspberries. We were very reassured to read on the magazine page that raspberries are a great source of dietary fibre! There was a small flat meringue lying on the bench, and when asked, Andrew said how he had made perfect meringue, shiny stiff peaks, and then beat in the hazelnut meal and it all fizzed flat: reading the instructions he missed the 'fold gently' -the result was superb though.
Poor Nick has been really sick all week with 'flu. High fevers all week and very pale and wan. He had 3 naps in the evening when I arrived and ate 3 prawns for dinner and a mouthful of desert Really Sick!!
However they were alert enough at 6.30 next morning! Nick got a rip-stick (skateboard with a twist in the middle ) and Kate got a new scooter, her last one being stolen. They enjoyed the gifts I gave them (I think!)
So after a chat on line to Celia who was organising Xmas Eve dinner, with a ham that in good Aussie tradition will last till end of January, I headed off. Andrew said it's only 2 hrs while as I was leaving Lynne said 3-4 hours so I was a little anxious but klm sign I eventually saw reassured me I'd be there by 1200.
I headed out along Thompson's Rd and was glad Andrew said 'it's a long way but there is now a roundabout at the end and after the end it's dirt Rd" Well after what I thought was where the road would end, was a big new roundabout so 'is this the one?" but I kept going as there was more rd after 20minutes I got to the end a went round another roundabout and saw dirt rd so went round again and off to the left (back to Melb I thought) then a turn off to the freeway to the left to Melbourne (surely the wrong way!!) but then turned right to Warragul and I relaxed.
I arrived at 1200 and followed Pat's instruction and arrived to join Luke McCall,Megan and her friend Claire. (to be continued)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A picture paints a 1000 words

Three grass seeds in his paw, sedation, minor surgery, antibiotics, and a sleepy dog $300 later!!

I got home late last night and he wasn't anywhere greeting me. So I went out the back and he came out of the kennel, then sat licking his paw+++ he let me look initially but all I could see was a red patch. I covered his foot with a sock that stopped the licking for a bit, but by morning he had the sock off and was licking again and limping +++. The Vet didn't open till 1000 so had to wait, then he was there till 1 pm.
Have to take him back Thurs morning to get the bandage off.

Yacht Club Xmas Party

I had been asked to organise the Yacht club Xmas party , an annual event where Santa arrives by boat. I had not had time to do anything fancy (last year had been a gala event when I was away) but the compliments were thick and fast for the low key event I organised. Parents brought presents, Santa came and left, Pizza from local Mojo Pizza and ice creams, Small 'Heaven,' provided by a club member.
A great time was had by all!
The waves were fairly high, breaking over the jetty, so Santa did a drive past to the children's acclaim, then into a rubber ducky (good thing Santa a.k.a. Hugh was agile) then driven by car from the end of the pier and down club driveway. 'Did you get wet Santa?' one boy greeted him.
The kids were great some of them so fearless with Santa and one coming up to hug him as he first sat down.
I then went off to the Melbourne Theatre Company to see Godzone, very funny Max Gillies as Kevin Rudd, Andrew Bolt, Julia Gillard et al. The mission was ' benchmarking the framework for comprehensive socialization' and Julia Gillard talking at schools about the 'education portal pods'! Never heard such a stream of cliches!! Great fun

Friday, December 11, 2009

The fireplace

We are getting rid of the old gas wall furnace (noisy and now flicking off willy nilly. It was 2nd hand even when new 20 yrs ago!!!!) and replacing it with a glass fronted gas 'log' fire in the main fireplace and a gas logs one in the grate. This one is for effect while the bigger one has a fan .
It is only now when I am planning the fire that I am looking at it. I realize that the small bricks are actually painted brown, not naturally so, I have been scraping the paint off and found they are cream, and the square ones above are actually tiles, albeit plain brown ones,not lovely patterns.
The crumbled hearth is obvious now the carpet has gone, and I have planned just plain black tiles there, that will go with the black edge of the heater,not an old fancy pattern. Have to get an ash pan and a new steel back to the grate, the older one having rusted and fallen out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mary Patten Award

I was thrilled to have received this annual Royal Children's Hospital award following the nomination by Brigid Jordan. She then garnered other statements from the pediatricians and also from a patient of mine. The evening was interesting hearing about all the work that different people do around the place. Andrew came as my guest and Wendy, Sue and Fran also came.
Brigid read a summary of the nomination, then it was presented by The Nurse director of the department
In my thanks I acknowledged the support of the General medicine Department especially Mike South and his team... this proved very relevant as they have been the source of all my support and enthusiasm since I moved to their Dept in 2007 before I went to Japan.
The Nurse director who did the presentation I had never seen before!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunshine Gardens.

The H V McKay Memorial Gardens (formerly Sunshine Gardens), developed by H V McKay in conjunction with his Sunshine Harvester Works in 1909, maintained as a privately funded garden until 1953, taken over by the City of Sunshine and renamed - are an early and intact example of a privately funded garden attached to an industrial site catering primarily for recreational needs of workers, their families and local residents; The Sunshine Harvester Factory. The importance of the gardens is now heightened by the demolition of most of the factory buildings.
They have been designated by the National Trust so have funding to maintain now.
This is similar to the Fletcher Jones gardens in Warrnambool and the Colt Factory (the gun!) development in Hartford Connecticut.
It is interesting to see that the gardens (as was the factory no doubt) right next to the railway Line visible in the first view.
The weather was threatening rain so I did a quick walk around as I was waiting till Spence had his grooming.
The contrast between the western suburbs and the inner city is evident by the Child Care centre opposite. Graffiti, security and a huge rubbish skip in the drive!

Big West festival

This started on Saturday 21st and while I haven't been to see anything I have actually seen some things.
One event is called the Big Knit by David Cole
This link shows him knitting a US flag on tractors!!
The Big West Festival has brought American Sculptor David Cole to Melbourne to transform the western landscape with a massive knit covering for a historic stock bridge uniting the city of Maribyrnong and North Melbourne. It will be put up maybe Tues, Wed depending on the weather.
Also part of the event is a sort of Guerrilla knitting campaign, putting the knitti back into gritti. I saw the first of this with some Bike racks knitted up.
Also one of a series of Car covers which playfully indicate the amount of environmental and public space given to cars. This is called Amulets for a car cover and all the tags are made from recycle shopping bags.
Interestingly the car is parked in a space called "Car share only" Never seen it before.
Haven't seen any other covers yet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Varied reports

I realise I I hadn't put a picture of the verandah.
It is in merbau wood and has the boards screwed on. The edging is nicely done , but I need to paint the new boards on the house (pale ones you can see)
At the end of the deck in the second picture you can see the edge of the gate a large blue stone brick on top of a board that is in the trench that was dug.
We came home on Saturday to be met by Ursula who said she had seen Spencer in Herbert street and told him "you cheeky boy! Go home!!"and she put some boards by the gate which I left there to be fixed up later.
However it was not enough, and Spencer was in the front yard when we got back again. Hence the bluestone block!
The final picture is the start of the dining room set up. Since then I have turned the rug so the edge is on the right where the chair at the computer is, so to protect the floor.

The darker colour of the veranda is rain! 40mm in 24 hours!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Polished floors

I came home on Friday to be able to go into the house. The sight of the floors shining and reflecting back the sunlight was amazing.
The previous Blog has the before and I have photos taken from the same spots to compare
You room Celia looks wonderful.
The dining room (old site!) obviously had sunlight or covering affecting the wood but it just makes for interesting patterns.
The exposed Bearer looks OK with the board covering it.
Although a cool change had come through on Friday it was hot and sweaty work moving the furniture back have not been able to finish yet as the sideboards need to be moved before I can get to anything else.
My room photo shows the marks on the wall from Spencer's various resting places. Needs a clean!!
The next tidy up will be the hearth. The edge of that looks good and I think the concrete will just come off and I can put a new hearth stone there.
Jo has come to visit for the weekend and she helped me move some furniture back. We still have one sideboard and one couch to do.
While trying to attached the base to Celia's bed the screw came out of the frame I was holding and the whole base dropped on my foot! I have a VERY sore left bit toe area!

Monday, November 16, 2009


After a busy few days talking floor sanding and polishing, I am now having the floors done by Mark, of M & M Floor designs. He was very excited by the good quality of the almost undamaged Baltic Pine floorboards exposed when the carpet was removed. They are paint stained and splashed but he said 'no problem' He said if I pulled them up and sold them I would get about $2500. There was one small piece to be inserted where the plumber had drilled into and pulled up about 30cm of board, to put in the gas heater.
I then spent the weekend emptying the rooms as he could start today.
God what a job!! But good opportunity get rid of more clutter (I have only been home 12months!!), clothes to the op shop, books to the bookshop, and paper in the recycle bin. I moved all the small stuff; side tables, coffee table, small chairs, dressers, boxes from Maddy's , emptied the dressers to move more easily and prevent breakage, emptied the bookshelves (worst job! thank heaven I hadn't got those from the bungalow stored there when I went to Japan) and rolled up the rugs and stripped the beds.
Annemarie and Michael came home on Sunday briefly and did some trips of boxes to the bungalow that sped things up. Fortunately she is away for a week on a school camp.
Mark and his off-sider moved the big furniture for me this a.m. So it is in the kitchen, back room and bathroom and bungalow . Getting it back?? I will face that when it comes time!
Spencer and I are staying at Wendy's for 3 days. Hopefully it will be finished on time. The decking and front boards are being finished today as well.
So here are some before pictures.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Art of Sailors.

As part of the weekend involving a Laser Regatta and Open day, we decided to hold an Art exhibition of work from members or their families. The driving force was Rosemary and Phillipa both skilled needle women especially knitting, patchwork, and needlework of all kinds. We ended up with dozens of exhibitors. It was not planned that it was for sale just to show the range of work.We arrived at the Club at 8am on Saturday and had it all set up by 1130. I took down the Kimono stands that were used for the quilts and the sweaters. It was an eclectic set up with ladders , music stands and art easels showing the exhibits, all labeled with the artist's name and relationship to the Club.
So we had painting, photography, patchwork and applique, needlework, knitting, jewelery (2 members are jewellers,) One of the jewelers had a slide show covering making a ring...amazing!
The Wave is made by Steve who does installations,as well as making Motorcycle leathers! The wave is a stiched inflatable thing.
I submitted a photograph and the Scrapbook about the Yacht Club.

The work below was done for the regatta, Miro had not painted in 20 years so did this one called 'Laser homage to Miro" Very witty! It was the Laser Regatta)
Rosemary's Guernsey is made with no seams all in one continuous piece till you do the neck band And in 5 ply!! She even made up the pattern from a base of 20 stitches (No idea how!!) And there is one hanging behind it!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Above & Below

Today was the big concrete pour!
I came home on Thursday to find the carpet all pulled up except in Celia's room and under the bookcases, so the floor boards are all exposed. To my untrained eye it looks like Baltic pine, with some paint spatter and a few glue stains but all intact
In the process Mark had moved everything, but not really put all the small stuff back--fair enough! However when I reset the clock and the bedside table, I didn't realise that the radio was on low (silent!) so I didn't get any wake up call: I woke at 740 (I leave at 7.50) So when I did leave at 810 I heard the men arrive and went out to find 5 of them already there doing different tasks.
No wonder it is going so fast!
When I got home on Friday the frame for the verandah was done and I was given the task of selecting wood from the place on Geelong Road, and Mark will get it on Monday.
The concrete stumps were in with a base of concrete set to dry over the weekend. It is 30 today so will dry easily.
As I am typing this a truck is pulling up to dump stuff in my skip!! I called out and it turned out to be the concreter who did the digging up of the verandah and side. The stuff he is dumping is from a job by Mark as well.
So the next job is replacing the boards along the sides. He needs more boards as the house is higher, and I want to stop Spencer's escape. So he will use the old ones on the sides and put the new boards on the front.
My next step is the heater (a weird thing in this sudden heat) but if I have the plumber here to disconnect the old heater so we can plaster, then I should get the other one done at the same time.
I have a recommendation of someone to do the plastering who is good with the old cornice work

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Lots of progress on the stumps. But holes and dirt and jacks all over! Also BIG cracks appearing in the walls.
The corner of the living room chimney is looking ominous and there is a crack in the opposite wall as well as a gap beside the dining room fireplace to the outside But It was all going to need plastering anyway!
There was always to be a need for contingency planning and this is in the need to put the stumps right along the side to the back he was not going to do the bathroom or the kitchen, but there is almost no support and having a beam there may stop the original crack in the 2 outside walls widening.
Also it is impossible to see how level it is with the carpet being so uneven with the different layers of underlay, paper, lino etc underneath. I was wondering how I would get the carpet up (not too bad ) but would need to cart it away as well. But Mark said he can organise to get that done and then he will be able to be sure it is all level. So rather than pull up the carpet later it will be done now
There is also a peek at the boards underneath that don't look too bad, but hard to know what is in the middle of it all!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

foggy day

Looks like mid winter, but it was after a humid day on Friday followed by rain on Saturday that had a low fog all over the town. Melbourne and Lorne were hot I gather but it was only low 20's here so very pleasant. Managed to get down and pull a lot of the weeds the garden beds leaving the main stuff for the gardener next week.
Had my work interrupted by some blue wrens that enjoyed digging in the area I had turned over. I just sat back until they were finished; Spencer was inside so did not disturb them in the activity
Also hearing the piping of the superb parrot; Looking stunning in his orange and green.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Recognize the new rug at Aireys?
It has graced the lounge room at Beaumaris for 20 + years now to continue to be shared by family and friends here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rain drenched grass

Traveled down to Aireys on Friday night 1 hour 20mins door to door. The new freeway extension is great, though the works on the Anglesea road slow things at present, but should improve as it is finished.
Spencer was very pleased to see me and slept all the way, I think stressed by all the stress!
The rain has been abundant down here and the first order of business was to organise for Rohan to come and slash the grass. It is knee high in places and the plants I put in in June are swamped by weeds. But the shrubs near the back fence have grown and look settled in well.
I managed to clear them this morning and plant a few I bought at the Aireys School Market.
I also went to the launch of an Art exhibit at The Eagle's Nest gallery, even going so far as to buy a picture. It is a mixed media of digital photo (of Aireys area) and fabric paper and stitching called Rockpool. Will try to take a photo tomorrow Can pick it up after 22nd. The artist was there, but is a local and known to many, and every time I went to speak to her a local gushed up and I was at the edge of the crowd again!!
Have the book launch at 6pm of Robert Ingpen's illustrations of Alice in Wonderland. It looks great as I saw some prints in the bookshop window when I went down to the ATM

SCARF Festival National Wool Museum

On my way to Aireys last week I stopped off in Geelong to see their annual Scarf competition. The imagination and variety as inspiring!! M...