Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ethnic Christmas

This year our Ethnic dinner plans fell to Betty and she booked us in to the Christmas dinner at the Lyceum Club.
It was really great evening. They have the most wonderful collection of Art works to enjoy as we sat and sipped champagne on the verandah over looking the melbourne Club.

Wendy and the Xmas tree 
Our wine and the Lyceum Club's Logo
We are not allowed to take photos in the rooms, but I took the opportunity to get some snaps of the Melbourne Club's grounds next door. They have the most ENORMOUS Plane tree!  My only chance of seeing it . (women not allowed)
The rear Garden 
trying to see through the tree
Their wall on Ridgeway Place
We had a great dinner and a great start to Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Family Christmas

Because I am heading out next week and an early celebration means we all get to see Bridie Sean and Dylan for Xmas gifts and company.So Andrew and Lynne again hosted a fabulous dinner, HUGE ham (everyone able to take 2-3 kgs of ham home!!) and a turkey that was very successful, based on a New Idea recipe.

The Christmas tree and lights.
The area in Patterson Lakes is locally famous for its Xmas lights Andrew and Lynne get into the tasteful mode, Unlike a neighbour who is so Over the Top!
Their immediate next door neighbours did a low key one, A rope of lights spelling "ditto"
This year Dylan liked A & L's reindeer with nodding heads!
It was a lovely mild day so Sean was kept busy negotiating with Dylan about where he was going to be playing.

The swivel stools were a great hit! And they go up and down!!
He quickly found the dog Monty who, while startling him with her sudden movements, did not scare him despite her size. Imagine a dog coming up to your shoulder height!
Monty has a soft toy she carries around. The current one is a tiger. So Dylan threw it for her and when she pounced on it Dylan yelled "YES!!!" This kept him busy for quite a while.
He had a giggling fit (after the fright) when Andrew popped the champagne cork and it went flying over to the Xmas tree!
Monty getting ready for the throw
Then he found the light bays on the deck and found they were a perfect fit!

The pool was GREAT!
Lunch was delicious with a really nice pumpkin dish we all liked.
Dylan especially loved the duck fat roasted potatoes!!
Nick and Kate were well and great company.
Lynne entertaining us with description of how  Nicholas (friend )
signed his name same as her Nick!
Andrew excelled himself again with the dessert
The picture says it all !!
Raspberry Meringue layers
We really enjoyed it but loved especially Dylan's enjoyment of it.

At one point he got a blob on his upper left arm and had us in stitches as he tried to lick it off while holding a laden spoon in the air!!
We had Xmas presents after lunch and Dylan was very happy to open them all for us.
We all then retired to the pool side while Bridie and Kate took Dylan swimming. We had some trouble with his new water wings so Andrew got the baby life jacket out, and he loved this, refusing to take it off
His latest phrase is 'I do it myself" So Kate and Bridie were only allowed to hover as he mastered getting around.
He was excited when Kate went underwater and he couldn't see her!


Lazing on the lounge was appealing as well.

A really lovely day!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pom Pom Party

While I was cooking and preparing the deck, the rain came and went. It was sun then rain then cloud then sun etc. So didn't set up till the last minute  but with a mild 19 degrees we had a pleasant time on the deck with a few friends. Champagne, home made babagannoush, egg and bacon tartlets and some olives and nibbles we spent a pleasant few hours.
Spencer spent his time under the table keeping an eye on any dropped morsels.
Family crystal and the blossom 
Some food on offer

Mary and Margaret (a little blurred ...the champagne?)

Toasting the blossom!
As we explored the garden, Mary pointed out my veges that I had not inspected recently, and there nested in the leaves were Broccoli, cabbage and Cauli (a little under par).
two separate broccoli. Soup coming up!

my little cabbage (must make some Japanese fried noodle dish)
the under par cauli
I also noticed how enormous this bush( forget its name) had grown. It was the smaller and very slow growing of two I planted years ago 
the enormous growth in last 6 months
Compared to this half size one

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pom Pom Glory

It must be all the rain, but the African Pom Pom tree (Dais Continofolia) is at its glorious best.
It caught me unawares!  I could smell it from the front door as I got home last week, and sure enough the North side was in bloom
But it just kept coming out more than I have ever seen it!
Seemed too late int he year to have a Blossom Viewing Party, but Celia suggested I have an impromptu party If you can come you come!


So I sent some invitations out and hopefully will have a few to sip a wine under the tree. (weather forecast good!)
So we are going to enjoy it on Tuesday evening
Abundant bloom at the roof line.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Umbrella

Yesterday after a morning of painting and gardening, (his, not mine) Dylan and I went for a walk.
The weather was typical Melbourne, forecast 29 degrees with a change in afternoon.
But as we headed out it looked as if the change was on its way so we decided to take an umbrella. As Dylan was carrying his teddy (a latest necessity) and a helicopter I talked him out of taking his umbrella as well, as I knew I would end up carrying it. (How mean! I can hear you say!)
You can see the helicopter in his L hand.  The boots are Octonauts!
We were heading home when it started to spit. He was happy for me to hold it over him and me, but after a while (fortunately the drops had abated) he wanted to carry it.
A fine twirling while walking!
So he happily strolled along twirling it on its side then over to the other side, getting a fright when the breeze picked it up, then hidden under it completely.



The breeze got it here!
I was also brought up by the power of children's speech development and the grasp of concepts .
As we got to Mt Dandenong Road, (4 lanes, a plantation and 3 more) I held out my hand and he swapped Teddy to his other hand and took my hand.
After pressing the Lights' button he peered out at the traffic and turned and said "Busy Road!"
Then when we crossed to the middle plantation and ignored the concrete path and followed one worn in the grass, he said "Oh! short cut"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Nest

In the last year Spencer has taken to sleeping on the couch when I am away. Never found any evidence of this until relatively recently.
He loves my slippers. (not interested  in any other shoe) and grabs it as soon as I take it off, (even to scratch my foot) and cosies it into whatever of his beds he is sitting on.
In the morning I have to hunt them out; One in the bedroom one in the kitchen.
I realised he was on the couch when I came home one day, and, being deaf he didn't hear me arrive, but I heard him jump to the floor as I came in.... Sprung!!
But now I can always find the slippers at the end of the day.
Sometimes they are tucked well back on the couch
I visualize him getting one slipper up, then returning for the 2nd!

Creative Challenge

After the demise of Creative memories in Australia (and the US I gather) Close to My heart has found a welcome opening in the market. Rather then cutters and stickers CTMH is mainly stamping .
After the messy efforts to use the stamping when we were at Rawson in July (where I fell on my face...literally) I was a little skeptical about the day Gerry planned to do Christmas cards. But I had seen the ones she did and they looked fabulous, but one can always learn by copying!
SO I went out to Blackburn on Sunday to spend some time in creativity.
I was impressed and pleased with my efforts!!
I did a lot of gift cards . Half the size of the cards.

Loved the stick on jewels!

I did several versions of this. The tree is cut out then the stamp fits it.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our Seminar

The planned Seminar Anne and I were conducting started off with my driving to North Melbourne station to get the train to Flinders Street Station.
As is my wont, now Dynon road is navigable again I turned up Childers St to go through the old Tip Top Bakery site, now a small industry estate, that cuts out a lot of traffic!
I arrived at the open gates with no other car in sight and came across a women lying on the ground with her bike!! I was relieved, as I pulled up, when she rolled over and sat up but crying +++
She was not badly hurt but said a car had hit her, stopped, then drove off. After checking she could move she sat in my car while I rang the police.
 (a few cyclists stopped, I am sure thinking I had hit her! )  She was distraught and shocked, but gradually calmed down and initially said she didn't see the car, if just drove off.
She had really nasty bruises, lumps  and scratches on both shins and was rubbing her lower back so I asked for ambulance as well.
Then the 000 operator was asking questions  (took almost 5 minutes for her to get where we were) (I thought "she just said she didn't notice the car"!)
What sort of car?
A Ute ......with a trailer.
Did you notice the colour?
White
Did she see the driver ?
Yes 
Was he Caucasian?
Yes caucasian mid 30s blond hair!
Did he stop or speak?
yes He called out 'You're OK?' and you know I live just there ! (she pointed to a few houses nearby)
Wow (said the 000 operator!)
Yes she said I saw him pull out as I rode past then he swerved past me as I slowed for the road hump, and his trailer knocked my bike over!
The ambulance arrived in 5 minutes  and I left her with them.
Wow is he in big trouble!!!!
Our name is the 2nd entry
I then got my train OK and arrived at the Hotel in Flinders street in time to help set up. 
The day went off really well with great feedback for us and also about the food and venue.
Lovely windows
The Hotel The Rendevous built in 1913 (can't find its original name) , is meticulously restored in the elegant style of the early 1900s and is on the Historic register.
Our attendees said how lovely it was, and felt quite indulgent, and the food was great!!! Usually the one thing they complain about.

Outside our room the morning tea venue!
They were putting the tree up in the foyer when we arrived visible from our balcony!
The door and stairs
Light windows and ceiling above the lifts