I just couldn’t help myself………

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It was a bit chilly this morning when I had to nip down to the library at Montrose this morning – it’s the one that sits at the bottom of the Dandenongs.  Chilly wasn’t the word for it – the wind blowing along Mt Dandenong Road was freezing.  We’d been warned about the cold blustery day that was forecast and bless their little hearts for once ‘they’ got it right lol.  It snowed all over the state, even up in those hills I was standing at the bottom of. lol

I’d finished doing the other bits and pieces on my list (yes, a list is needed in the cold, the wind gives me brain freeze – well that’s my excuse!) and making my way back to the car I had to walk past the bakery and what do I see but one of the girls filling the pie warmer.

pie warmer

Now meat pies are not normally found on our diet – they are what we call footy food.  Small not family sized, fits in the palm of your hand, eaten still in a paper bag, – comfort food best eaten when the weather is cold and you’re at the footy oval.

meat-pie1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meat_pie_(Australia_and_New_Zealand)

These were not commercial factory made pies – oh no, these were freshly baked there on the premises, just out of the oven and looking so good.  So, as it was nearly 12 noon in I went and bought one.

‘Home is just a couple of kilometers away, if I don’t get caught at the lights it’ll still be nice and hot when I get home so I can have it for lunch’.

Thats what was being said in my head as I paid for it.

Reality set in when I got to the car, I was cold, I was hungry, I just couldn’t help myself – this hot pie didn’t stand a chance.  I sat there watching the traffic go by and ate it, savouring every morsel.  Delicious!!

A is for ………………..

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Well none other than Alphabet Blogging

It’s been like a Friday Date this past 26 weeks
People were dropping by on Friday to see what the I thought
about the letters of the alphabet.

Mum who blogs at Mum’s Simply Living Blog wondered what we could come up with if we blogged about the letters of the alphabet.

The catch was they all come in reverse order.

We are up to A this week
so it looks like we are now at the end of the Fun Fridays
with Mum and her Alphabet Blogging that is

I’m hoping you enjoyed the fun
I’m all done – all finished
for the moment
I’m must away and see what I can come up with for next Friday lol

Away 
that’s a fun word if ever there was one
Look here at this link to see all the ways it can used

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/away

There were others who took the challenge
Read all about it here

Not a chocolate to be seen ……………..

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Life and Chocolates

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/life_is_like_a_box_of_chocolates

That quote about life being like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’ll get, always makes me think of Winter in Melbourne.
You never quite know what you’ll get – this morning certainly proved it.

Looking out the window first thing I couldn’t see the end of my nose through the dense fog  – two hours later it was entirely different. Blue skies with not a cloud in sight.  If it hadn’t been so cold (1c/33f, yes, a bit nippy) I might have gardened in a tshirt lol

Winter sunshine at its best!

Not a cloud in the skyBathed in winter sunshineNot to be though – things to do, places to go.
As I left Kiera enjoying the fresh air and sunshine on the back deck.

StretchContentmentSleep in the sun
I drove off down the road with this tune running through my mind

 

It’ll cheer you up ………………..

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Come on let’s go down to Frankston
a walk on the beach always cheers you up, he said!

The beach in winter – Mmmm….maybe.

Why would you go though – there won’t be a soul there
It’ll be blowing a gale – the beach will be empty
and the water too cold to paddle

photos enlarge with a click

Empty beach on a cold day Frankston

You can walk along the pier
and possibly see the cars in the distance going up Oliver’s Hill
Mmm…. maybe

Oliver's Hill from Frankston Pier

 Not a soul over there either
the sky looks so heavy I think it could fall down to earth any minute
and that water definitely looks cold:)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivers_Hill,_Victoria

Oh look there’s the footbridge over the Kananook Creek
With some very hardy fools folk all rugged up, battling the gale
to be able to ‘take in the rather cold sea air’

Foot bridge over Kananook Creek

Not a soul to be seen in the foreshore park
and certainly nobody sitting on the rather nifty bench
complete with what looks like a boat hull underneath

bench with metal hull underneath Frankston

Why on earth would I leave my lovely warm home and drive for an hour
just to go to the beach in winter?

IMG_8795

To see my baby brother’s boy – aka my nephew Lee
He lives interstate and was visiting Victoria for the first time so ‘our little girl’ arranged a super surprise for us by arranging to meet up with him.

There was a lovely meal, a long chat
and then (as the wind had died down)a short walk
Complete with coat, scarf and hat. On the sandy beach of course :)

Such a pleasant way to end a yucky week
I did draw the line at paddling in the cold water though lol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankston,_Victoria

http://www.family-getaways-melbourne.com/frankston-beach.html

linking with Our World Tuesday

Our World

My wife told me …………….

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When everybody on earth was dead and waiting to enter Paradise God appeared and said, ‘I want the men to make two lines’

‘One line for the men who were the true heads of their households – and the other line for the men who were dominated by their women.’

Then he said, ‘I want the women to report to St Peter’.

Soon the women were gone and there were two lines of men waiting in front of God.

The line of the men who were dominated by their wives was thousands of miles long – in the other line of men (those who were truly heads of their households) there was only one man.

God said to the long line,

‘You men should be ashamed of yourselves – I created you to be the head of your household.  You have been disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose.’

‘Of all of you before me only one obeyed.  You should learn from him.’

God then turned to the one man and asked,

‘How did you manage to be the only one in this line?’

The man replied,
.
.
.
.

‘My wife told me to stand here !!’

my wife told me Quotation-Howard-Nemerov-secrets-job-good-success-wife-my wife told me

 

B is for………………..

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Mum’s Aphabet Blogging challenge has been and gone

It’s been a week of blah weather

Beastly phone line causing bad internet connections

A bu*gger of funeral that had me blubbering

 Words are not coming easily so I’d best be off

Because all I will do is blather and babble

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/babble

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/blather

Pop over to Mum’s to see other contributions to Alphabet Blogging

 

C is for………………

 The letter C is what it’s all about over at Mum’s today
Alphabet Blogging Challenge is on a Friday and today I chose Clouds
Which are a collection of tiny drop of water or ice crystals so light they can float in the air!

I found these clouds in Far North Queensland – in Glacier Bay Alaska -
and close to home in Victoria
Fascinating to look at – hard to capture – do you look at the land or the sky?

(photos are much easier to see if you click and enlarge)

clouds and water  Queens Beach

Clouds and Water Glacier Bay

Clouds and Land - Towers Hill Lookout Charters Towers Sept 2009

Clouds over The Dandenongs 2010

There is loads of information out there on the W.W.W.
The Cloud Appreciation Society looks interesting

cloudchart

There are several basic sites geared for children
with easy understandable information

http://eo.ucar.edu/webweather/cloud3.html

http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm

As well as:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud

http://www.australiasevereweather.com/techniques/moreadv/class.htm

http://www.bom.gov.au/info/clouds/

 pop over to Mum’s and see what the others are talking about
Next week we look at the letter B – Why don’t you join us?

Life’s a party………

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Life’s a party – live it to the full and enjoy it!

That’s definitely the view our water aerobics instructor has and she certainly lives up to it.  We never know what she has in store for us on a Tuesday morning but you can be sure it will be accompanied by disco/party type music.

Let me set the scene for you:
Towards the end of the evening at many wedding receptions here in Australia the band seems to know when it’s time to play those fun ‘everyone on the floor’ numbers.  Getting everyone in the mood usually takes place to a version of the Village People’s hit YMCA – even grannies have been known to get up and make the letters with their arms above their head

And of course the one that really gets them going is The Nutbush - ‘danced’ to a version of Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits. It’s ‘danced’ across the floor line dance style – some say it’s similar to a dance from the 1950s called The Madison.

the madisonMadison – photo source

Fabulous ‘original’ version in french film Bande a part (Band of Outsiders)

And this will give you an idea of how simple (and maybe similar) the Aussie Nutbush is – you tube video taken at someones party!
Yes, it took a little while before the recorder realised his camera was facing the wrong way lol

 

Anyway what this is leading up to is ‘pool time’ this morning (aka ‘water aerobics with the groovy grannies’) was fun time as we all sang and warmed up to YMCA complete with arm actions and then showed all those young mums whose little ones were having their swimming lessons how to overcome land mobility difficulties by dancing the Nutbush – in the pool :)
We did our own (well Brenda the instructor’s) version, similar but slightly different to the ‘official’ one – it was quite a workout using the legs to move against the water and also bringing the core muscles into play when trying not to flay around turning to face the other way.

Maxine is right :)

Maxine and Weightmaxine aging

Monday memories

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Poolside chatter last Tuesday about old television series and the news of another grandchild for one of the girls reminded us of this scene from an old Cosby Show episode.

It is a cold wet Monday morning here so I need something to make me smile – remembering this made me smile, hope it does the same for you

Olivia’s take on How mothers deliver babies 
(Raven-Symone with Bill Cosby) 

Oh dear, if only it had been that simple!

D is for………………..

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When the word Daughter crops up it’s often associated with the word Mother

Today I want to say thank you to my Father, who loved his 3 daughters

From me (the oldest) all the way down to the youngest!

 I know that each of us in our own special way
had control of our own little corner of his heart.

Nearly 11 with my Dad and sisters

Without Fathers there would be no Daughters.

Pop over to Mum’s blog to see what others have said about the letter D

Wordless Wednesday – seen in Vancouver

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One of the birds 2010

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Olympic Plaza , near False Creek
21 August 2010

The Birds sculptures by Myfanwy MacLeod

photos will enlarge
Big Birds Vancouver 2010

 The sparrows are approximately 50 times life size

Bird Vancouver 2010

They stand approximately 16 feet and 14 feet tall respectively.

How and why were they commisioned?
See below.
Large Bird Head Vancouver 2010

Short Video of artist explaining project – http://vimeo.com/12515383

Interesting read here – http://heavyindustries.ca/the-birds/

Press releases:

http://www.public-art-directory.com/myfanwy-macleod-the-birds-2010-vancouver-bc-canada_city-107.html

http://vancouver21.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/myfanwy-macleods-the-birds-at-olympic-village-point-to-fragile-biodiversity/

http://www.jaunted.com/story/2010/8/1/163512/4307/travel/Vancouver%92s+Coolest+Public+Art%3A+The+Birds+at+the+Olympic+Village

Wordless Wednesday occurs all over the internet each Wednesday, when bloggers let photos speak for themselves.

 More Wordless Wednesday posts
HERE

 

On days like this…………………

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Sitting in the car in the pouring rain the other day waiting for the lights to change I wondered about the merits of wintering in Melbourne.  During the recent Millennium Drought (1997 – 2009) here in Victoria we had dry sunny winters that were almost like autumn, we now seem to be back to cold wet windy ones with record breaking rainfalls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000s_Australian_drought

Rain rain go away

Some years we pack up and head north to enjoy the warmth of winter in Queensland but (sigh) that won’t be happening this year, we’ll be venturing off overseas in September; this is one year when I can’t have it all.

So what are the positives of staying home at this time of the year.  Off the top of my head I would jokingly say ‘none’  It’s cold and I don’t do cold lol

Then I thought, that yes there are some things I enjoy but don’t get to see when we are away in winter.

The Tibouchina/Lasiandra that Cynthia mentioned the other week is in flower – covered in big purple blooms – it just doesn’t photograph well with all that sky behind it.Tibouchina Lasiandra

What looks like a mass of purple from the deck are individual blooms that are a treat to see.  Just has one failing in that if I bring some indoors the petals drop quickly.

click on the photos to enlargeT 1T 2T 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then theres the first blooms of the little dwarf jonquils/narcissus (I’m not sure what is the proper term) that fills the rose bed by the deck.  They are all finished by the time we arrive home – these are the first few for this year.

looky lookynot all barehopeful signs

 

 

 

 

 

 

I carried on, diid my shopping, then came home to join Kiera who had made herself very comfy by the fire – thankfully for us it only takes a flick of the switch to heat the house using our gas fired log heater.

45

Unlike those in other parts of rural Victoria where by choice heating can be quite different – think wood heaters (Coonara)   We were up at the Violet Town market the other week and noticed one of the most popular stalls was the one selling raffle tickets – no chook raffles for them – the people up there were trying their luck at winning a trailer load of wood!  wood raffle

I’m writing this at 3pm, the temp outside is about 9c/48f – it’s freezing out there.   Yes, on days like this I definitely wonder about the merits of wintering in Melbourne lol

New heroes………………

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On the surface it looks like Australia has two new young sports heroes
Well it just seems as though they are ‘new’ to their sports

In fact they have been ‘in their game’ for quite a few years
and are now reaping some of the benefits of all that hard work

Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo is 25
He has been around ‘cars’ most of his life moving up from ‘karts’ as a youngster through various Formula competitions to finally competing in Formula One.  He really came to the Australian publics eye in March this year at the Australian Grand Prix where he came second (but was later disqualified from for a ruling on ‘fuel flow rate’)  Since then he has won the Canadian Grand Prix.

daniel ricciardo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Ricciardo

Tennis player Nick Krygios is 19
Represented Australia in Davis Cup matches, as well as other major tournaments he has competed in the Australian Open, the French Open, and has now reached the 4th round of Wimbledon.  He is drawn against Rafael Nadal so we will have to wait till tomorrow to see how he does.

nick kyrgios

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Kyrgios

Like all the ‘overnight sensations’ we see on the television pop music shows this couple of youngsters have been making their way up the ladder of their chosen careers for many years.

There wont always be smiling faces so lets wish them lots of luck for many years to come

E is for………………….

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My goodness it seems like it was only yesterday and I was talking about letters of the alphabet with Mum.
So today for the letter E – we could look at Entertainment, Exercise, Enjoyment
But no, today I have chosen – Entrances and Exits.

A few years ago (2010) I had to go up to the city – I had some time to spare so was able to have a look at (and photograph) some marvellous Entrances and Exits in the city known in the late 1800s as Marvellous Melbourne

Flinders Street Station
One of our most easily recognised Entrance and Exits
right on the intersection of Flinders Street, Swanston Street and St Kilda Road.

Flinders Street Station

For many years this was the place to meet
‘Meet you on the steps under the clocks’
was the saying.
the clocks were related to each of the train lines
and gave the time of the next one on that line
as well as the platform it would  leave from
Like many things these days they have been replaced
by an electronic board inside the forecourt :)

Flinders Street Station 1

Across the road on one of the corners of Swanston Street
is St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral
photo source

St Pauls Cathedral

This is the Great West Door from the street
(strange angle I know but the footpath wasn’t level!)

Cathedral GWD 1

Closer view2 GWD close

and from the inside looking out showing off the beautiful stain glass3 GWD Inside

Just up Swanston Street on the same side you’ll find
Melbourne Town Hall
photo sourcemelbourne-australia-townhall

The large entrance is surrounded by pillars and posts
(and people passing by lol)

Town Hall Almost directly across the road is the heritage listed Manchester Unity Building
photo sourceManchester_Unity_Building

just inside in the lobby was this banks of doors – (entrances and exits??)
Of course they are for the Lifts
or Elevators as they are called in some parts of the world.

Imagine waiting there and being able to admire the handiwork of the doors as well as the mosaic mural of the shield and motto of the company.

Lifts Man Unity Building

Lift door

Then it’s across the road to Collins Street
to see the heritage listed Regent Theatre 

exterior regent theatre melbourne photo source

with its glamorous wide stepped entrance foyer.
We’ve been to many shows here and it is a grand special feeling walking through those doors at the top – one of the nicest theatres in town

Regent Theatre stairs

Chandeliers and the beautiful window above the doors !

Regent Theatre  Window

Time to make our way home and for some its time for a drink.
Well not for me – but right acoss from the station is Young and Jacksons

Young and Jacksons

photo source
Ready to quench the thirst of many a worker on a hot day
Home to Chloe

I just looked at the door
and wondered who walked in and out on their way to the station that hot day :)Young and Jackson

Do pop over to Mum’s blog and see what others have written about the letter E

Meanwhile in……….

Just a little addition to yesterday’s post

So meanwhile in the eastern suburbs on a wet and very windy Tuesday morning some woke to nothing.
Well not really ‘nothing’ – just ‘sort of’ nothing
Listen while I explain

After a sleepless Monday night what with all the wind and rain and wondering if I’d dreamt hearing motors out in the street I woke quite early on Tuesday.  Looked out the window to see cars parked outside as well as trucks.  Now there are units being built down the street from us so I thought ‘cheeky so and so’s of builders have parked their cars up here but had no idea abbout the trucks.  Maybe they had had early deliveries of some sort – bricks or something else – and were having a smoko.

So I tootle off to the kitchen put the kettle on – no water.

Had another look at the trucks outside and notice Yarra Valley Water on the door.  Oh what now – so out I go in the rain in dressing gown plus umbrella to chat up a very nice young man who didn’t seem impressed at being grilled about why there was no water when we had not had notiification.

Seems there was a burst water main that was running right through next doors garage – those cars I heard in the street during the night were theirs – being moved so they could see what was happening.  Water off till, ‘well we don’t really know when, maybe a couple of hours’ he said.  ‘But I haven’t had a cup of tea yet I moaned’ – ‘might be a stand pipe erected down the street in about half an hour’ he said!

You can imagine how I felt about that lol

Never fear I told The Golfer who had no idea what was going on I’ve just remembered I had some 600 ml bottles in the fridge I could use – it would give us tea to go with breakfast anyway.  I’m sure it’ll be back on later.

I then realised I needed to go you know where!

So here we are at 7.30am bursting to go to the toot, filling a bucket with water from the garden tank in the pouring rain – so I could ‘flush’ when I’d finished!  The Golfer went to fill it a second time just in case we needed to go again lol

Pool time was getting close, so on goes the bathers and off I go feeling ‘not quite right’ after having to boil the kettle so I could have just a little wash to ‘get the sleep out of my eyes’ as my Mum used to say.   Home mid morning to see half the street dug up in the quest to find the burst pipe, gales blowing, rain pouring and me needing a pee as soon as I walk in the house.  Thankfully The Golfer had done his job and the bucket was there lol

At least I can get warm by the fire I thought :)

Our heating is gas which is great but the actual heater needs electricity to run the fan. Water back on, bathed and hair washed and sitting all nice and warm and comfy and the electricity goes off!  Located little battery powered walkman to listen to talkback radio callers naming all the different suburbs that had no power – ours included.

Luckily it wasn’t off for too long, unlike some of the poor buggers who are still waiting for the linesmen to visit their street.  It’s Wednesday evening now, 24 hours since I mentioned that winter had arrived and it’s awfully cold and wet out there.

What’s the weather like at your house?
No sob stories about heatwaves please lol

It’s here x 2…………….

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Yes it’s definitely here now :)
Following on from my last post I can say
That Winter has definitely arrived now!

winter

Overnight the promised gales and rain storms arrived – freezing temps as well
Today we experienced what was described as a ‘Winter Weather Bomb’
which gave us
Gale force winds (100kms and more) which meant many trees came down in some very inconvenient places (over roads and railway lines) : Pouring rain, so much so that The Yarra burst its banks at Southbank and part of the CBD was flooded: Power outages, at one time 60,000 homes were affected: and there was snow at Mt Donna Buang – 1 hour away from us.

But what is good is the snow resorts have finally had a good dump – they needed it because after the warm autumn and early winter things weren’t looking good for the school holidays which start next week.

So I can say – oh yes, Winter has definitely arrived.

And look here – it even made news in The Guardian no less lol
http://www.theguardian.com/weather/gallery/2014/jun/24/melbourne-battered-by-heavy-winds-as-the-yarra-floods-in-pictures

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-24/emergency-crews-inundated-with-calls-for-help-wild-weather/5546354

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/wild-weather-batters-melbourne-20140624-zskck.html

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/freezing-wild-weather-hits-victoria/story-fni0fit3-1226964010343

It’s here………..

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Well actually……….. it’s been and gone
The Winter Solstice I’m talking about.

Celebrated by many in many different ways here in Australia
Maybe not quite a strangely as these hardy swimmers in Hobart, Tasmania
They took to the cold waters in the NUDE!!

nude solstice swim

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-22/hobart27s-winter-solstice-nude-swim-attracts-700/5541734

Yes, we are now into the second half of the year
Days will become longer – nights will become shorter.

Winter days are still here though
Will be for a while
We have dark skies and gale force winds outside
Thunderstorms and hail forecast for later
Colder tomorrow :(

But who cares
We are on the way up again
‘they’ say the sun might shine again later in the week
Will have to dig out the sunnies lol

 

F is for……………..

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It’s time for the letter F in mum’s weekly alphabet blogging challenge
And today is going to be Fun Friday
In fact it’s going to be Feline Fun Friday!

Q: What colour is a happy cat?
A: Puuurple

Q: What is a cats favourite dessert?
A: Mice pudding

Q: What kind of work does a weak cat do?
A: Light mouse work

Cats at Work

Cat Joke 2

Now this one could come under the heading of:
Flippin Heck!
or
Fancy that!
or even
For cryin out loud!
but do watch this short video because in actual fact
it is just Feline Fun on Friday for your enjoyment

Mum is hosting Alphabet Blogging -
pop over and see what others have found for the letter F

Next Friday the letter will be E – Perhaps you’d like to join in

The things they do………………..

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All for the love of nectar!
It’s not all gloom and doom in the garden at the  moment – luckily I do have some winter flowering plants.  Even when it’s cloudy and grey this yellow Abutilon right down near the back fence can be seen from the deck.
Abutilon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abutilon

Abutilon shade

But on a sunny winter’s day like the one’s we had a couple of weeks ago it positively shines -
it is almost like it has access to its own source of sunshine lolAbutilon sun

Around the world Abutilons seem to be known by different names
(Flowering Maple, Chinese Bell flower)
Here in Australia it is known as:
Common name: Chinese lantern
Botanical name: Abutilon x hybridum
http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Flowering-Plants-and-Shrubs/Chinese-Lanterns/868

Don’t you think the flowers look like little chinese lanterns – and look at those huge stamens filled with pollen?  Guess who loves them?

AB 1AB 2

The bees of course lol
I watched this one make his way inside

AB bee turn around – hang on with all his legs –  then sort of slide down a bit and stay there for a while – it was almost as if he was trying to gather the pollen on his rear end!

AB bee 1AB bee 2

Or maybe he was just resting awhile in the shade lol

Linked to Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

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