It’s all go….

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Well we are setled in to our ‘little house’ (the one I showed you in the last post) here at the van park in Bowen

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Having the same cabin each time we are here means it’s almost like coming home lol. It isn’t a big room and now I know where things fit I have to work hard at putting them back into allocated spaces or it seems to get untidy very easily. ¬†I do so wish ‘tidy’ was my middle nameūüôā

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After a quick Hello to our neighbours I took a very little walk to reassure myself that Queen’s Beach – 5kms of flat sand running alongside the Coral Sea – was still there. ¬†One of my daily must do’s while we are here is to walk along those sands in one direction or the other.

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We’ve been taking things quietly this past week. ¬†The Golfer has golfed and I’ve rested – reading and knitting and just enjoying the winter sun.

Mind you there was lots of excitement in town this past weekend when the Superboats (offshore powerboats) had their meet in Bowen. ¬†I’m sure getting to see them up close and personal on land at the street display Friday evening was more of a highlight for little kids than seeing them in the water. ¬†It was for me – they are enormous (and very noisy)ūüôā

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As the internet connection using my ipad is not that good out there I have to come into ‘town’ to the library (or have a 50c ice cream to get a connection at Maccas lol) so will only pop in now and again. ¬†When I can drag myself away from this lovely little secluded spot called Rose Bayūüôā

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oh and the photos will enlarge with a click

Confidence comes from within…..

A while ago I mentioned the granddaughter who blossomed as she got older

https://cranethie.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/age-brings-a-change/

Well 18 months on this is another ‚Äėlook at me now‚Äô post.

She doesn’t have a slim build like a lot of her ‘trendy’ friends but what she does have is enthusiasm for a new pastime and that happy look that comes from a new found confidence. ¬†Her beautiful red hair is dark at the moment but that is because she likes the look rather than hiding behind the colour.

My mother and father were very keen dancers of all styles and watching at this inter dance school competition I wished they could have been there to see her.  Sadly not possible as they have been gone for many a year now but how great is it that the same passion has emerged in another generation.

Not very often I do a bragging Grandma’ post so I do hope you enjoy these short videos I took from the sidelines. ¬†It seems she has found a style she enjoys and is comfortable with – ¬†‘New Vogue’ – similar in ways to Old Time.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Vogue_(dance)

Knitting the blues away on Musical Monday

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I’m not really sure where last week went to but it certainly passed by at a very fast rate of knots. ¬†Cold winter days mean I need to find lots of indoors pursuits to stop me from feeling miserable – and this past week of cold winter days was the perfect time to do the ‘finishing off’ on some children’s jumpers I wanted to donate.

You know, I always feel it’s those final things like sewing in sleeves, picking up stitches round the neckline for the neckband as well as choosing the ‘right sort of ‘ buttons that take time and need to be done when you are in the right frame of mind or the garments never have a ‘knit with love’ look.

I’m hoping the recipients of these boys knits enjoy the love packed in the parcel.

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And look what I found on YouTube this week. ¬†Who would have guessed there would be songs about knitting lol. I actually found several but this one is fun all the way along each rowūüôā

Do listen carefully as Bill Odie (yes, from The Goodies) sings about knitting the blues away in a very ‘Blues’ way

Pop over to River’s blog to see more Musical Monday participants.

http://river-driftingthroughlife.blogspot.com.au

Musical Monday…..

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Yesterday was Father’s Day in some countries (‘celebrated’¬†in September here in Australia) a day that I don’t ever remember being mentioned when I was growing up in England. ¬†Dads were Dads – they were just there lol

Music is one thing I associate with my Dad – he loved to sing.

Singing Dad

We grew up with him singing – all sorts of tunes would come out of his mouth. ¬†Naturally with him being Irish there’d ¬†be the silly/fun ‘diddley eye di di’ make a noise numbers, then¬†he’d croon like Bing Crosby and then he’d come out with something like these gems.

 

But his most favourite of all were Josef Locke songs

So my Musical Monday (memory) is this one – hope you enjoy it.

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/10/16/arts/josef-locke-82-irish-tenor-who-inspired-tears-is-dead.html

http://www.theguardian.com/news/1999/oct/16/guardianobituaries

Six years and thirty five days……

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This is purely a ‘selfish’ post – one for me to remember a loved one who has been gone for a while.

Looking through some old photo folders the other day i came across these taken early in 2010. ¬†Kiera (our brown girl) is the last cat to come into our household and for most of her long life (16 last December) she has always had other cats for company. ¬†Her absolute favourite companion has been Leroy – a chocolate Burmese. ¬†As you see in these two photos wherever he went, she wentūüôā

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Leroy was one of those special cats that loved people. ¬†As he got older he loved to sit on the deck watching the world go by or just close his eyes the way old fellas do. ¬†‘Not sleeping just resting his eyes’ lol ¬†Yet the minute he heard voices he was there wanting to know what was going on.

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And THAT was the look that told you that was just the right place to scratchūüôā

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During the long hot summer 2009/2010 he would spend lots of time snoozing peacefully under the table on the deck and during early winter that year at just over 18yrs we said goodbye.

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Vale – Farewell

Double Grand Premier Neuter Brookwood Bonnie Laddie

known to us as

Leroy

Sire Adina Kavaier – Dam Brookwood Ranee

24 April 1992 – 13 May 2010

Loved – missed – will never be forgotten

 

 

Morning has broken….

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Here in Australia the 1st of June and not the 21st marks the change of season and strangely for a non lover of cold weather I am enjoying this second week of Winter.  I could live (for a little while :)) with crisp cold nights coupled with chilly mornings that turn into cloudless dry sunny warmish days.

We had those sort of Winter days for several years during the¬†long Millennium Drought (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000s_Australian_drought) and there’s no way anyone of us wants to revisit them ¬†So I will live with our often very wet unpredictable Victorian Winters and be happy when we get these ‘special days’

One of the pleasures of these special days are the sunrises. ¬†See the glow on the deck roof – this was about 7.20 am. ¬†Yes that’s sunrise time at the moment.

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A look to the left over a sleepy suburb and I realised how much that Pittosporum had grown.  It covered most of the sky making it hard to capture that beautiful sunrise.

7.25am June 14, 2016

7.25am June 14, 2016

And moving to the right you could see the sun beginning to move up into the sky from behind the back neighbour’s rooftop.

7.25am June 14, 2016

7.25am June 14, 2016

It probably sounds a bit corny but standing there I had this hymn running through my mind reminding me of school assemblies and services I attended in a small village church many years ago

http://southwellchurches.nottingham.ac.uk/bawtry/hpics.php

More Winter Happiness……

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Winter weather often determines my mood. ¬†Unlike a few of the blog readers I’m not a fan of Winter and often get ‘the miseries’ when the days are dull and the hours of daylight get progressively less and less.

However after a very cold night in my area (3c /37f) yesterday turned out to be a corker.  Dry and sunny with a brisk wind!  Comfortable enough to hang washing on the line and potter about in part of the garden that has been neglected for a while.

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Then it was time for a coffee (and craft) break on the back deck and who better to share it with than my shadow called Kiera. ¬†You’d be amazed at how warm and comfortable that little spot at the table can get when the winter sun beams through the PVC blinds. ¬†They are a great windbreak too.

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By early afternoon the sun had moved to the front of the house which is where the lounge room is.

So you could say – that very much like the song John Denver used to sing – Sunshine makes me happyūüôā

 

 

The happy side of Winter

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Even though I’m not a fan of Winter some things do make me feel happy.

One of them is seeing the little Japanese Maple coloured up like this on a wet miserable day.

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It lives quietly at the bottom of the garden and for most of the year it’s ‘just there’ but right now in June is when it shines and gets to be noticedūüôā

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It’s a shame my camera doesn’t catch the actual colouring of the leaves but I love them and always feel happy this happens now and not later.

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What things do you enjoy about Winter?

Oh and Thank You for all the comments on my previous post – I haven’t had time to visit all your blogs yet, hopefully I’ll get there in the next few days.

Cathy

Baby it’s cold outside

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It’s been a while hasn’t itūüôā

Just a little note to say I’m back

The mind is refreshed as well as the body.

Even though we came in contact with the tail end of a cyclone which meant missed ports and a rearranged itinerary we had a great time on our recent cruise.

Also a very generous cruiser shared their germs with me. ¬†I don’t remember much of the past few weeks – there have been several visits to the GP and Chemist for pills and potions as well as lots of bed rest.

In the meantime Winter has arrived!

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With a low of 4c / 39f forecast for tonight I think it might be cuddle up and keep me warm time with The Golferūüôā

One extreme to the other….

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One thing you can be sure of when you live here in Victoria and that is that seasons may have names and dates associated with them but Mother Nature has a mind of her own and uses her female prerogative to change her mind now and again.

Yesterday we were sweltering clothed in our coolest clothing.

This was the scene out the front of my house 8am this morning.  Much needed rain that tumbled down most of the day.

imageAlong with the rain came a very cool (read cold) day along with very strong southerly winds that had me hunting out warm winter type clothing.

Guess who had appointments that meant they had to go out and about today??

Guess who thought there was an umbrella in the car??

Orange and Green….

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There were beds to be made, dishes to be washed, floors to be swept along with ¬†all those other mundane household tasks that accumulate and with the promise of another hot day they seemed like mountains that had to be crossed. ¬†Couple that with the frustation – annoyance even – of ‘losing’ a spreadsheet on my excel app on the iPad – and you can tell it could possibly have turned into one of those days spent in an armchair with a book and still clothed in my nightie come 4pm lol

But no – today was the day to celebrate all things Irish and as my Irish ancestors from both sides of the border never seemed to run away from a fight I had to do them proud and get on with it .:)

Would you like to see my chosen ‘dress’ for this special day?

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This is one that I refer to as being a Joseph (as in being in many colours) and it definitely was the one for today. ¬†Loose fitting and sleeveless and featuring the colours of Ireland! ¬†There’s green and orange and white in the fabric which are in the Flag of Ireland (Irish triclour) – red is there as well but sadly no blue to compliment the red and white found in the Union Jack which my north of the border families would have favoured. ¬†Plenty of the afor mentioned orange tho!

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And as you can see, oodles of a bright sunny yellow that certainly helped to brighten my day in another wayūüôā

 

 

Alright I suppose….

That’s been life here recently – alright but nothing to write home about!

Computer failure – The Golfer’s little man was unavailable so he went to someone else. ¬†Not exactly happy with his service but the PC goes now. ¬†Alright in a fashion.

I saw two shows recently – Dawn French (live on stage, one woman show) and The Lady in the Van and even tho’ both had good reviews they left me feeling as tho’ there could have been more. ¬†Alright I suppose but nothing to write home about!

This same feeling is what i got from the¬†last¬†book I spoke about (Breath, Tim Winton) in fact it’s the only one I’ve read this year. ¬†Great reviews, highly recommended, but for me it was a stop start affair. ¬†I got there in the end but only because I was determind to see how it ended.

Our weather (always a big factor in my life with regards to mental health) is changing.  The phrase Indian Summer comes to mind.  Lately the days have been very hot and humid and very taxing РSummer on the calender was filled with strange changeable weather and I kept wondering which season we were actually in.  Looking back at those months I suppose you could say it was alright but nothing to write home about.

Now to get out of this deep dark hole I just have to remind myself that life doesn’t always have to be go go go, rah rah rah –¬† ordinary and unremarkable can be good.

Now you are back and talking, think ‘Positive Attitude’ Catherine (and swimūüôā )

 

 

Oh the things you do……

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So it’s been a couple of weeks since I came by to say hello – two sort of blah nothing weeks. ¬†Really they were just 14 of the usual run of the mill days I have sometimes but somehow I didn’t want to share them so I thought if I changed the blog to private I could go on my merry (unrecorded) way until things bucked up a bit.

Well, you wouldn’t believe what happened. ¬†I received some emails via wordpress from readers asking for access to the blog. ¬†What the?? Was my reaction lol. I realise now, because I was still logged on I didn’t actually see what appeared on the screen, that was, an invitation to do just thatūüôā

Anyway all should be back to normal now – it’s Friday and we know what that means. Fun – Fun – Fun. ¬†Irish Fun at that ! ¬†All my ancestors were Irish so I’m well aware (and have no hesitation at laughing at) how daft things can get at timesūüôā

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Here’s hoping your Friday has some funny moments you can laugh about.

 

 

The Mystery of the dying crows……..

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It would appear the mystery may have been solved

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Oh the things you think about on a Thursday lol

The Golfer has gone off on a 10 hour drive across The Western Highway to Adelaide todayMel Ad

and I wondered if he would see many Galahs eating the spilled grain on the road outside Kaniva.

A lot of them end up splattered on the roadsideūüôā

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I found this funny little poem about such a Galah
It starts:

I was a little pink Galah
Just sitting on the highway tar.
Just sitting, eating on the road
Wheat that spilt from someone’s load.
source

Hmm, they are at it already…..

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The politicians returned to Canberra last Monday.  The House is now sitting.  It only took a hint about a Federal Election later in the year for our house phone to start ringing.

‘Could I speak to Catherine’, not ‘could I speak to Mrs So and So’, ¬†just Catherine.

Up goes my back – call me old fashioned but it doesn’t matter who you are, I tell (or let you know in one way or another) when you can approach me informally.

She introduced herself as a volunteer from our local member’s office all nice and gooey like asking if I’m fine, am I happy with things at the moment, anything I need a hand with. ¬†No contact with any of his constituents in the past years and then she asks do I have email, would we like kept up to date with progress, oh and would I like to tell her who I voted for in the last election!

Yes -no – and no! ¬†It’s nobodies business but my own, I don’t tell anyone else, not even The Golfer, who I voted for!

With that it was, thank you and the line went dead.

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Two nights later The Golfer gets someone asking if he’d like to help with a survey. About what? he asks. ¬†‘The upcoming election’. No indication of where this person was ringing from at all. ¬†Then when The Golfer mentioned ‘how did you get this number? ¬†We are on the do not call register’ he put the phone down.

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Looks like the wheels are starting to turn (churn?)

 

Good intentions……

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We started the day (last Tuesday) with the intention of it being a ‘no spend day’¬†as lots of bloggers call themno spend – a day when we would try not to use any money.

Not too far from us (about a half hour drive) is a very (very) large shopping centre/mall filled with all the regular stores and lots of new very exclusive (read expensive) ones that are added each time the centre is updated and consequently enlarged. ¬†It was one of the first ‘big’ ones here in the eastern suburbs and even though more and more of the smaller ones are being ‘revitalised’ with just about the same tenants (which as you see in this recent link – as in past 12 months –¬†is causing a bit of concern to the management) it does hold it’s own in the popularity stakes. ¬†Westfield Doncaster, originally known (and still is to me and my friends ) as¬†Doncaster¬†Shoppingtown.¬†it always seems to be the ‘classiest’ of them all. ¬†You feel you have to dress properly when you go there to shop lol

And joy of joys, they have red and green lights in their huge carpark to tell if there is a space available.  Drive in and the little overhead light goes red Рreverse out and it turns green.  No driving round and round with a crook neck looking up and down the rows for empty spots Рthese can be seen quite clearly from the end of the rows as you drive past.

Anyway this is one to the few places you’ll find an Apple store in Victoria so when we heard about the¬†recall on the thingy that plugs in the wall and charges your iPad chargerThe Golfer and I planned a quiet morning exchanging our chargers and maybe doing a bit of window shopping at the same time.

Beautiful window displays means lots of thinking and talking about clothes and discussing whether to or not and usually deciding we have enough to keep us going and if it really was a ‘nice frock/blouse/shirt/pair of trousers etc ‘ possibly we could find the same style garment at a slightly less extravagant price elsewhere

Key points:

  • Australia included in mass Apple adaptor recall
  • Adaptors with four or five characters or no characters on inside slot should not be used
  • Adaptor can break and may cause electric shock
  • Customers can take faulty AC wall adaptors to Apple store or authorised supplier

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-29/apple-issues-worldwide-charger-recall-amid-electric-shock-fears/7123946

Apple stores are so bright and airy and yet so basic I always feel a bit disoriented when I go in the big wide doors. ¬†appleOf course you don’t get far because there is usually a young earnest staff member there armed with iPad on arm to greet you.

I was surprised when the actual part was just exchanged without even a glance to see if the ‘characters’ tallied with the ones mentioned above, ours did or we wouldn’t have even have been there – a young girl stood at a counter with a box of new parts and a bag for the discarded ones. ¬†Hand over old one, accept new one and be on your way – except we lingered a while and checked out the new editions of our tablets. ¬†All I can say is that the new ones are expensiveūüôā

Up and around we wandered, (this is one shopping centre that seems to have mountains for walkways and you certainly get that missed workout as you walk around) and then I spied it – a chinese bread and cake shop called Breadtop.¬†¬†‘Thought you said ‘no spending’ was what The Golfer said. ¬†‘But I only want to ‘look in the window’ is what I said. ¬†It’s no surprise I’m sure if I tell you I’ve looked in their window before and come home with all sorts of goodies.

Breadtop1Good intentions ignored I picked up a pair of tongs and a tray to load my ‘stash’ onto and started out. ¬†You know (if you were a lucky child) when you saw a pick ‘n mix display of sweets sometimes your mind went blank not knowing which to choose – Breadtop2well, moving along in front of that nice clean looking display behind those sliding glass doors my mind did exactly that.

Although not for long tho’ūüôā

Looking at the business link¬†Breadtop you will see their bread goods are all chinese favourites but they do sell other products as well and, don’t laugh, but ¬†like chinese food (and I don’t know about you) but to me it always seems like I will eat one of their buns and not long after I’m ‘hungry again’ and feel like another.ūüôā

http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/entrepreneur/from-100-in-his-pocket-to-a-sprawling-bun-empire-20120529-1zgm1.html

Nearly mid morning when we arrive at the food hall and I wasn’t going to say no when The Golfer suggested a coffee. ¬†Now this is a very upmarket food court – not the usual run of the mill food outlets, lots of comfortable seats, huge high backed chairs to lose yourself in. ¬†Which is exactly where I enjoyed my coffee and chocolate waffle from Planet Chocolate, tucked down away from the noise and goings on around me.

Home by lunchtime wondering where the morning went. ¬†It had turned out to be not quite the thrifty outing we planned but so what if our good intentions went by the wayside and we spent on a ‘non spending’ day – we can make another day for that – it’s good to have an unplanned treat now and againūüôā

Now to start the year proper…….

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February 1st 2016 – our Big Girl’s birthday. Happy Birthday J. ¬† Born (at home) during one of the worst winter England had experienced. ¬†Know as The Big Freeze of 1963 all I can say is central heating was still a luxury – we had poky little coal fires in the big old house we lived in and it was cold! ¬†But we survived lol

So here we are at the start of the second month of this year – time to start the year proper. ¬†All the Christmas¬†and New Year¬†festivities are definitely over and done with, people are back at work, business’ are trading again, our dollar is still sinking, the school bus is going past a 8am which means the schools are back after the long summer break. ¬†That fact was reinforced last week by the the usual tv coverage of 5yr olds, some putting on a very brave face as well as many sets of twins, making their way into class rooms for the first time. ¬†Oh and Federal MPs returned to Canberra today after their long summer break – wonder what unknown surprises they have in store for us there ?? ¬†Raising the GST ??

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The Australian Open tennis tournament finished yesterday, no surprises in that Novac Djokovic beat Andy Murray (who might get more support if he spent more time thinking about his game and less mouthing off at all and sundry) and a big surprise win for Angelique Kerber over Serina Williams (who was very gracious in defeat).

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Cricket seemed to come good towards the end of the season – there were many visiting overseas teams (West Indies, India, Pakistan,New Zealand), there were Test matches which included a first ever day/night Test and also some very ho hum matches which seemed to go on for ever, followed by some very good T20 against India who proved they certainly could hit that ball for a six and succeeded in beating Australia in all three games.

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And of course there was the entertaining Big Bash league – all good fun, which isn’t how I viewed it when it first to began – ‘loud noisy bash and crash, no proper thought to how they played the game’ – until I came to understand it isn’t the same sort of ‘pure’ game like in Test matches or even the shortened day nighter T20 (20/20) games but is a form of its own. ¬†And like it or not it appears to be here to stay.

‘The Big Bash not only attracts the best players in Australia, although many will be on Test match duty, but the best players from around the world. That includes some of the West Indies best players who have decided to forgo the Test series against Australia to play in the Big Bash’
http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/12/15/who-are-the-big-names-in-your-team-for-the-2015-2016-big-bash-league/

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With all that cricket and tennis, oh, and the cycling¬†road racing that was on in South Australia (which I forgot to mention) looking back over the past two weeks it seems like I watched a lot of sport on tv lol but I wasn’t just sitting there oggled eyed, I did do (what else??) a lot of knitting at the same time.

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I know I have them (and I’m sure most knitters do as well) those favourite simple, ‘could almost do it blindfold’ knitting patterns. ¬†The one above I found quite a few years ago and the v neck style is my ‘go to’ for a lot of the under 12 months charity cardigans I make. ¬†Knitters know once the basic size is there the world is your oyster and with the aid of pen and paper for ‘workings out’ my oysters come in all colours and designs. ¬†These coloured ones below are some from last year – and yes, I know I made a mistake in the yellow one (Only I didn’t discover it until after I’d delivered the big box and decided to look at the photos I had takenūüė¶ )

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KOGO¬†has a ‘Give a baby a warm start’ programme where struggling new mums are given baby packs containing knitted items, so as well as coloured cardigans, I knit lots of new born baby sizes in white which can be used for either boys or girls. ¬†A couple of weeks ago armed with a huge 200gm ball of 8ply I made a start. ¬†It’s surprising how quickly it knits up and as these are only the 3-6 month size they are finished in no time.

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So at the moment it’s 2 down and another half finished. ¬†I’ve read a bit of the book I mentioned previously but even tho’ I’m good at doing some things at the same time, I don’t seem to have mastered the art of knitting watching tv and reading at the same timeūüôā

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The sun is shining today and it’s not raining, we had oodles this past week but scratch below the surface of the ground and you wouldn’t know. ¬†Still it’s soft enough to do a bit of weeding so that’s where I’m off to now – maybe I’ll have a cup of coffee and read for a while later. ¬†It would seem my tv binge watching is over for a while and it’s Hello to the Year Properūüôā

Friday Fun…….

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks musically in one way or another so when I saw this joke yesterday I knew I’d have to share it with you for Friday Fun todayūüôā

A tourist in Vienna is going through a graveyard and all of a sudden he hears music.
No one is around, so he starts searching for the source.

He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads: “Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770- 1827”.

Then he realizes that the music is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward!

Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.

By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed.
This time it is the Seventh Symphony, but like the previous piece, it is being played backwards.

Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar.
When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backwards.

The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed,
The 9th, then the 7th, then the 5th.

By the next day the word has spread, and a crowd has gathered around the grave.
They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backward.
Just then the graveyard’s caretaker ambles up to the group.

Someone in the group asks him if he has an explanation for the music.
“I would have thought it was obvious,” the caretaker says.

“He’s decomposing.”

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Interesting Link – Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, a brilliant composer and an antisocial drunk