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!!!