Skywatch Friday…

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9.30am Wednesday 17 January 2018

Seen from my back deck

Wonder where they are off to?  Hope it’s somewhere nice!

Before the clouds parted and the sun broke through turning it into a very warm day

Come and join others who look up at the sky

Skywatch Friday

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Forewarned is forearmed…..

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Yesterday (Wednesday) was a bit on the warm side here in my outer eastern suburb  of Melbourne.

It reached 32c which is nearly 89f.

The sheets and towels I washed and put out on the line to dry were ready to bring in after an hour!

At the moment it’s early morning and quite pleasant but today the forecast is slightly different in that the high temperature is possibly going to be up in the region of 38c – the old 100f – which is boiling point 😎

Now the ‘long range forecast’ for Wednesday next week is 33c about 91f

AND

We have been advised by our supplier that we will have no electricity from 8am until 5.30pm.

It won’t really bother The Golfer because he’ll have an early brekkie and be away to the golf course as he normally does on a Wednesday.

Me, well I’ll have the house closed up – a book, my knitting, and my trusty hand powered fans close at hand.  A thermos of hot water and bottles of cold in the fridge along with salady type food will keep me happy

Until I get fed up that is.

So it’s quite possible I’ll arrange to visit someone in their cool home or meet in one of our lovely cool airconditioned shopping centres for a cup of coffee and some lunch and maybe a wander up and down some of the floors doing a bit of window shopping.

But then power companies have been known to alter things to suit themselves so it may not even get turned off at all!

As i said – Forewarned is Forearmed 😊😊

Blue for a ……

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Call me sentimental……call me old fashioned…… to me there is something comforting about a newborn baby wearing a soft warm hand knitted cardigan.

More and more great grandchildren are arriving in the families of my friends.  So more more requests are arriving for me to knit newborn sized or even bigger cardigans.

Often I’ll have something suitable on hand – but just ocassionaly I ‘will’ knit to order.  Has to be a quick and easy knit, one I’m comfortable doing and know I won’t ‘muck up’.

One friend came with a special request – even though her granddaughter had told her the sex of her expected early winter baby – she (my friend) would like something that was all white.  Just a little something to bring baby home in that can then be put away as a keepsake.  Not fancy though.  And out of all the patterns I showed her this old favourite of mine is what she settled on.

A couple of days after Christmas I get a frantic phone call…..the expectant mum (her granddaughter who lives in Tasmania) is constantly talking about wanting colour in her baby’s life.  So could I knit another cardigan, coloured this time.  Just not in the red and dark navy that’s being mentioned.  Could it be blue because ….there’s no way I’m putting a babe in those colours.  We managed to find a blue that wasn’t pastel and would suit a slightly older baby and she chose a plain and simple pattern to show it off.

With a trip to Tassie planned for next week my friend popped in yesterday to pick up the finished cardis (which will then stay until needed with her daughter, the mum of the expectant mum……gosh this is getting complicated lol) She looked at the two little woolies and laughingly said – Boys just have to have BLUE!

I wonder if she has noticed all the male tennis players at the Aus Open sporting their pink Nike sponsored clothing 😊😎

Rolling back the years….

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A beginning of the year coffee morning with my group of ladies brought the usual observations from some about ‘another year down, wonder how many more there will be to come’  Late last year the oldest lady was really down in the dumps, a bit like my friend B she had lost family and friends during 2017 and the passing of time was beginning to get her down.

At the moment she seems to have put that all behind her because over coffee last week she had us all in stitches relating snippets of fun from her big family Christmas get together where her youngest grandaughter had made a model of a time machine that would roll back the years and ‘make Nanny happy again’.

Like a lot of us in the group she’s been here in Australia for many many years yet is the only one who still talks about her life in England.  Think of that she said, I can go back to living in the little village where we all knew each other, there was a corner shop (who delivered) and a greengrocer, the post office was in the front room of Mrs What’s Her Names (having trouble with her memory at times is my friend 😊) Oh and lots of other good things I can’t quite think of at the moment.

One of us laughed and said it sounds a bit like the village where Milly Molly Mandy lived with her Mother and Father in the same little cottage as Aunty and Uncle along with Grandma and Grandpa.  Another said, don’t forget Billy Blunt, little friend Susan and Toby the dog!

Of course some of the younger ones had never heard of the little girl in the striped dress or the books a lot of us had read in our childhood so out came the phones so they could find out.

THIS  is what Mr Goog’le had to say 😊

After that it was Reminisce Central at the table with talk of all those trades who delivered to the door – mobile shops!  First and foremost there was The Coalman!  Then the milkman and his horse later overtaken by electric carts, the baker who came with a big basket on his arm, a greengrocer who had a van with sides that lifted up to display all the fruit and veg.  I mentioned we had a fish and chip van and a long Co-op grocery shop that came once a week similar in size to some of the mobile libraries seen on the roads these days

Source

We might have to keep our eye on our ‘elder stateswoman’ – well into her 80s and not a computer or mobile phone owner – we began to wonder if she had been ‘taken in’ by her grandaughter’s time machine when some of the younger ‘girls’ were talking about ‘this new invention called online shopping’ as she calls it.  It would be lovely to have things home delivered she said but I would miss having a chat with the man behind the counter in the corner shop!

But then always the joker in her younger days I wonder if maybe she hadn’t been ‘taken in’ but was just pulling our leg 😊

What’s on your mind this Monday- would you like to tell us about it?

Slow TV…..How was it for you?

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Look at this, I said to the Golfer.

There’s a rerun of part of our big 1992 trip on SBS

Oh yes, he said.  25 yrs ago, that was the year of your ‘big birthday’, when we went up ‘The Track’.   Remember we took the train from Adelaide to Alice Springs with the car trailing behind on the motorail carriage, then drove 1500 kms on up the middle of The Territory to Darwin, stayed a while and then made our way home slowly over the next four weeks.

So this past Sunday evening I settled down to have a look at ‘The Ghan’ a programme about the train that now runs all the way from Adelaide past Alice Springs to Darwin.

Slow TV on Australian television screens for the first time.  Tell you what, it was slow alright.  3hrs with no commercial breaks, no dialogue, 90% of the time the only sound was of wheels going along train tracks.

I’d watch a bit, turn over to sport (cricket or tennis) turn back again, then back to something else, turn back again, do a bit of channel surfing, then back again.

I wanted to see more but it was so slow and uninteresting.

And we still hadn’t arrived at Alice Springs!

Did anyone else watch it.  What were your thoughts?

Has anyone had other experiences with ‘slow tv’?

Good….Bad….or Indifferent?

It seems some viewers liked it:-

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/tv-ratings/this-should-be-the-most-boring-show-on-tv-but-people-love-it/news-story/3f3300ec3768aa05ac70e88b0cf9ea0a

And some didn’t:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-5248429/Is-SBS-Ghan-boring-TV-ever.html

Me – lets just say I was glad when the train finally pulled into Darwin 😊

~ ~ ~ ~

I have great memories of our time on The Ghan.  I know we had fun – we couldn’t afford a sleeper so sat up all night and ate the food we carried onboard with us.  Coach passengers only had access to a little kiosk, not the dining room. The passenger mix was just that – a mix of oldies and young ones and families with littlies.  One young man in our carriage had a guitar and there was music and singing.  Left Adelaide one morning – arrived in Alice Springs the next.

Yes, we have looked at doing it again…..don’t think so.  It’s now run by a private company and for a journey of 4 days/3nights is priced well out of reach.  Best just have our memories eh?

http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/trains/the-ghan

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ghan

He said he cancelled his appointment……..

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I haven’t bought a newspaper for a while but always look through them at the library.  For some reason – well for me at least – ‘old’ news doesn’t really seem old and sometimes can be more interesting/engrossing when it’s there in black and white instead of moving about in front of you on a screen.

Political cartoons have a way of reinforcing an event or a debatable point of view – some are quite complex and need to be looked at long and hard whereas others are ‘simple, direct and to the point’

Multi award winning cartoonist Ron Tandberg                                                         was the master of direct and to the point

 

Alas there will be no more from Tandberg

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/ron-tandberg-dies-a-legend-has-drawn-his-last-cartoon-20180108-h0f6kd.html

His mind and his pencil carried on working right to the end – today –                  Monday January 8th 2018

Is it a bargain, is it, is it??

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I can never make up my mind about whether something bought cheaper than usual with an idea in mind is still a bargain if it doesn’t fit that purpose but works for something else that you might not even have had in mind.

Do you follow me ……. I know I got lost when I began to think about it 😊😊

I have enough wool/yarn on hand to keep me and my charity knitting going for a very very long time so the last thing I need is more.  Great thought but oh so hard to put into practice.  Just every now and again I see it on special and cave in……as far as I’m concerned really really good specials shouldn’t be allowed….they do a great deal of  harm to my self control lol

And so it was early last year when I spied fabulously priced balls of 8ply in ‘boys’ colours just right for what I had in mind for my donations to charity.  Less baby sizes and more 2 – 4 yr old sizes.

I started the first one thinking the yarn had a strange feel to it but couldn’t put my finger on what was different.  Finished the rib and began the body….  stocking stitch…knit one row purl one row.  Well it was stranger still, I checked the ball band, yes I was using the recommended needle size but it was tighter/firmer than usual so I ripped it out and began again with larger pins.  Still looked awful so pulled it all out and tossed it to one side and quietly carried on at myself about money down the drain.

As an aside here I wasn’t too happy with the place I was donating to – over the previous year or more I’d sent in via the usual pharmacy drop off place 3 boxes of baby and toddler woolies complete with sender info each time expecting the usual thank you email. It’s reassuring to know your donation has arrived and nice to be thanked.  Later it transpired they’d had changes in leadership and as well as myself many many donors hadn’t been acknowledged but at the time I was ropable and found another group who gave more locally than the other.

Well to cut a long story short my ‘new found group’ disbanded at the end of last year.  Another smaller group has stepped into their place – not so many contacts but with the same aims and objectives.  Helping others cope with winter.

At the moment they are concentrating on blankets – squares aren’t my idea of fun but as they say ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’, I’ll dig out some odments and get going.  Their preferred size is 25cm/10ins, much bigger than ones I’m familiar with.  50 stitches – 104 rows in garter stitch.  And here is where we get to the end of my tale.

Remember those 100gm balls I tossed aside – well even though there was plenty of other stuff I could have used I decided to give one of them a go – and it knitted up like a charm.  In garter stitch that is.  The ball band describes it as 100% Polyester not 100% Acrylic like most everything else I use – maybe that’s why it feels different.

I bought 3 colours x 2 balls plus a big 200gm ball of the blue – the larger size square means I only get 2 out of the 100gms with a little over.  So 16 solid squares and probably 1 multicoloured ifrom the left overs – that’s not what I envisaged knitting with my ‘bargain purchase’. I’m just happy there’s someone else who enjoys piecing them together – bargain or no bargain that’s certainly not what I signed up for 😊😊

Have you ever turned one disaster into something unexpectedly special?

Summer Days – Challenging Days…

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Are you up for a challenge? asked my friend V – Depends, says I!

One you’ll enjoy, she says – Tell me all about it, say I!

And that was how the conversation went when I saw her on one of the last days of last year (2017).  Seems Goodreads Aussie Readers group had a fairly ‘simple’ Challenge planned for January.  Of course at the mention of books my ears pricked up and interest was shown 😊

For a long time I just used to go the ‘pick from the shelf’ routine at the library, see what I fancied in the op shop or hunt out recommended books but for my reading last year I had some casual personal challenges I’d sort of worked out for myself.  Click on the Read in 2017 tab above and you’ll see the result – anyway I had no idea what to do for this year apart from A – Z  author surnames so after V had piqued my curiosity with her suggestive words I had a look at the Goodreads page and decided it was a goer.

It doesn’t have to be just Australian authors – The literature Map works for lots of nationalities and can be found HERE

The top AUSSIE books can be found HERE

The top INTERNATIONAL books can be found HERE

And in case you’re wondering what I came up with

1. Safe Harbour by Helene Young AA

2. The Woman Next Door by Liz Byrski AA

3. An easeful death by Felicity Young AA

4. Spring Bride by Annie Gracie AA

5. Tracking North by Kerry McGinnis AA

Yes I know there’s only four books on the table – one went back to the library yesterday along with two others I’d finished.  Well, I did tell you the other day hot days = reading days.  Tomorrow is forecast for 40c/104f so I won’t be going far (or washing windows either lol)

Four books on the table – each one promising happiness

Four books on the table – which one will the table bless……..

Why don’t you join me in this January challenge

Those between days….

It’s those days between the festive season and the middle of January – you’re still in ‘holiday’ mood but with the New Year begun you feel you ought to be doing something.

This is the time of year when I see things in a different light – it’s also the time of the year when the sunlight shows all the things that have been hiding in the shadows.  You know – things like dusty skirting boards, cobwebs and dratted dirty windows 😬

So even though Spring might have been and gone, in between sitting around reading and generally doing nothing there are times on these warm summer days I often feel compelled to give some rooms a ‘deep’ clean.  Strip the room bare, give it a good once over, put it back together all nice and clean and walk away content.  The rest of the year the house could fall down around me and I’d not be bothered 😊

And here just for your viewing is part of today’s effort. A before and after shot of nice shiny clean front bedroom windows along with freshly laundered curtains.  Yes I’m an old lady who has terylene net (better known by the modern name ‘sheer’) curtains on her big windows.

Of course Kiera’s routine hasn’t changed – she eats and sleeps as is normal for an 18yyr old.  She has altered one thing since we came back in December, in that she has forsaken her favourite sunny spot from previous years on the edge of the deck for the warm shade of a bed in the old garage.

She has a room with a view plus early warning if that new cat……the one that moved into the neighbourhood whilst we were away last April……uses our back garden as a short cut to his own house!  From the look of those pricked ears I think he might have been doing just that.

I’m off for an early bed now, there’s a pleasant not too hot day forecast for tomorrow so I might even attempt another room with big windows.

 

I’ll just be a little while……….

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I won’t be reading or commenting for a while

I’ll just be a little while

Have a few things to do

Mostly involving suitcases, airplanes, hotel rooms, cruise ships 😊

My Gt Gt Grandma Jane Gatherer (of Scottish descent so known as Jean) might have said

I’lll just be a wee while……..

Have fun – and play nicely while I’m away 😊😊

~ ~ ~ ~

And for tomorrow’s  Musical Monday – Ella Fitzgerald sings On A Slow Boat to China

Technically we ‘are’ going to China – sort of –

however our slow boat is not going to but coming back from lol

(Oh, and as I’ll be having a little break when we get back my wee while may be longer than you think)

 

Is it just me?..

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I use WordPress for my blog and I’m having trouble commenting on blogspot/blogger blogs

Some bloggers have a name/url spot in a drop down menu which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

If there is an Open ID spot on a menu I try that but some reason my WordPress Open ID doesn’t work

Some bloggers are google+ people which can also be a problem – for me.

Most times I have to resort to using my old google id from my old Still Waters blog which usually works but then if anyone follows through on that they then have to click on again to get to the new blog.

I occasionally put a direct link to the wordpress blog in my comments but some bloggers don’t like that, won’t use it or just think of it as advertising.

Some times I write a comment click to publish and it just disappears into thin air

I’m not blaming anyone – I just would like to be able to comment on other blogs!

(because people think I’m not visting/reading – when I am. I just can’t tell them that I am 😊😊)

Is anyone else having a problem – or is it just me??

Fun Friday with a difference…

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Fun Friday is usually made up of silly funny jokey things designed to help forget the worries of the week

This week is slightly different – I’m dedicating this Fun Friday to Fats Domino.

These songs might be old (and a bit crackly in places) but they were ones from my teenage years

Ones I listened to and sang along to – Ones I danced to ….singing along 😊

Jiving to ‘I’m Walking’…….slow dancing aka creeping to ‘Blueberry Hill’, where we found our thrill 😊

Fun Fun Fun – Musical Fun.

These are just a few of his hits

Enjoy your Fun Friday by listening to one of them 😊❤️

R I P

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

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Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or pictures prompts given   Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts
And this is how I used them this week

~ ~ ~ ~

Tom and Tim 7 – The time is right.

‘Heard about your loss, come visit us some time. Lots of tales to tell you about the family’. Tom looked at the envelope and then once again at the card. I know the service can be bad at times, he thought, but the mystery still remains on how on earth it could have taken seven years for a letter to come from England.

Tom conceded seven years had been a long time to be haunted by pain and memories. Emotions that would swing like a pendulum between outward happiness and inward depression – his counsellor had advised him to try keeping a diary to record those sad invisible thoughts and feelings and that was the turning point. There was no need to silently rant and scream out in the paddocks, now he was able to voice those thoughts on paper.

He acknowledged that his life was about to begin again – it was the arrival of that card from his distant cousin plus the follow up letters to each other that did it. Plus of course the change of attitude in his brother Tim which meant he was about to leave the family property and fly away to meet the ones who according to his mother, ‘had money and rather than sharing, decided to stay behind. Fat lot of good it did them though!’

The photo of a ruined house that had come with one of those letters had intrigued him. His architectural training told him nothing like that had ever been built in his little town or even the nearby city yet it was vaguely familiar.

Looks like a tingler doesn’t it, was Tim’s reaction to the photo. You know, a tingling up your spine place. Haunted house, ghosts and other creepy crawlies hanging around that make you scream in the night.  Would make a great film set.

Tom had imagined small birds making nests inside the ruined buildings, flying in and out of the non existent windows like invisible tour guides there to usher visiting migrating cousins from room to room relating the history as they flew about.

And as if reading (or maybe misreading) Tom’s mind, Tim in his own special way continued to muse out loud about the photo and his movie idea. Remember that poem dad used to recite about some bird banging on the window, with all those windows and doors you could call it The Raven; sounds like a good name.  Have loads of spooky props, wax the wooden floor so one of the stars goes head over heels in an effort to get out as fast as they can. Should be a ripper!

Picking up his suitcase Tom took one last look at the photo. His brother Tim had taken over the running of the property, his distant cousin was waiting in ‘the old country’, the clocks pendulum would continue to swing back and forth as his life took another turn.

Oh the tales he would have to tell on his return. That’s where my diary is going to come in handy was his last thought as he let Tim usher him out to the waiting car.

Previous episodes – 123 – 456

Everything old is new again…….

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When I wandered round the park the other day I walked along for a short while with someone I call a ‘nodding acquantance’. Sometimes when we see each other we just nod and  keep on walking others we exchange a few words.  Don’t think we’ve ever introduced ourselves to each other, maybe we’ll get round to it this summer 😊

Anyway further on a bit there was a group of women gathered together listening intently to a very fit looking young woman girl  child!  Exercise mats at the ready!

Oh thats where they are , said my nodding acquantance.  She then went on to tell me about her friend who’d raved about the boot camp she joined where they did really simple exercises.  So…as you do….we stood and had a stickybeak at what they did.

Gosh, she said, that just looks like old fashioned physical jerks – what’s the betting it gets more advanced as the weeks go by.

Watching the group I kept thinking there was something familiar about the routine then later that afternoon I had a rummage around in one of our bookshelves and found my old old copy of – this!

Yes XBX – the female companion to the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 5BX (five basic exercises) plan for their servicemen.

Ten exercises designed to work every part of the body – a set number of repeats to be done in a certain time.  Gradually becoming more difficult.

What was funny was, as we turned away to walk in different directions, we looked at each other, laughed and spontaneously started to sing – ‘ Bend and Stretch, Reach for the Stars’ lol

Ready Mr Music please 😊😊

By the way this is an old 1980s recording of the Australian version of Romper Room.

Putting a Spring in your step…..

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There have been times recently as we’ve moved from season to season I’ve felt like a bit of a fraud.  I’ve been gaily gloating mentioning our warmer temperatures to other bloggers and what does fickle Miss Spring do – well she decides she’s going to back off for a day or two (or should I say night or two……. Blankets removed have been replaced!)

For putting up with the return of some rather cool nights we have been ‘rewarded’ with some rather nice days just right for early morning walking and seeing these bursts of colour along the way has certainly put a spring in my step.

These days Gazanias come in a variety of colours however I love the sunny look of the yellow which I tend to think is the original.  And doesn’t it look grand making itself comfortable on both sides of this fence.

At one time I had some of the supposedly easy to grow Osteospermum in my garden  Not sure where it went to because it’s not to be found anywhere out there. Maybe it wandered away just like this cool looking plant seems to be doing.

I have to admit I don’t know the name of this little creeper – it looked like a minature Covolvulus but there was no one around to ask.  It certainly looked happy to sprawl in and around that corner of the fence near the letter box.

And back home I see a self sown Erigeron has once again taken over a corner spot of our old garage.  I cut it right back at the end of Autumn and each year it grows back bigger and this year seems to have taken over half the pathway as well.

Patches of Arctotis are beginning to show colour around the garden……making me smile when I see their open flower heads turned up to the sky.  So easy to grow, dig up a piece with even the finest of roots on the end and it takes off in no time.  Takes off alright – it’ll cover a bare patch quick as wink – no wonder years ago a generous friend asked me if i wanted some bits she’d dug up 😊

This is the last of one of my favourite spring flowering bulbs – the Bluebell.  Once the green leaves poke through the ground I’m on the lookout for those stalks topped with droopy heads loaded with those ‘blue bells’.  These and the ubiquitous Daffodils are the only two flowers that remind me of Spring as I was growing up in England.

Now depending on whether you like them or regard them as a pest here’s a bit of Australia for you – up at the park the other day I was entertained by this Noisy Miner as he/she flitted about posing on the lower branch of a gum tree.  (These photos will enlarge with a click)

 

Linking  to Nature Notes   

Hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Some days you just have to do nothing……..

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Thank you all for your comments and concern over my arthritic fingers

I assure you they don’t look like that all the time

After a quiet couple of days with a book

No computer- No knitting – No craft of any sort

Look what I found yesterday afternoon

Some knuckles 😊

(No I didn’t spend the day in bed – I was making it and noticed them)

(The iPad was sitting there so it was piccie time lol)

Take the good with the bad…..

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You can’t always have everything you want!
That’s something my mother impressed on me from a young age
Oh, and another saying of her was
You have to take the good with the bad

Bowen is (sometimes) our winter home and when I discovered a file of old photos those expressions turned up in my mind as well

Some winter days in Far North Queensland are great
Like this day at Queens Beach Bowen

July 25th 2011

Sunny skies with a hint of cloud reflected in the watery sand
as the gentle low tide waves rolled in and out

Then there are others that are not so great
Like this day – on the same beach

August 4th 2011

Very grey skies with lots of cloud definitely not reflected in the cold looking sand as the waves thundered in and out

As you can see the weather had a mind of its own this trip – I wanted sunny blue skies everyday but didn’t get them
We had to admire the good and accept the bad.

~ ~ ~ ~

A friend admired the recently knitted pink matinee coat (like this one) so that’s gone to new baby who has just moved into a new home in the northern hemisphere.  Like the original it turned out quite nice but it was what I would call a bad knit – just like the blue cowl neck jumper – not to be attempted again.

Anyway not to be deterred it was back to the ‘donated to me stash’ and on to another favourite – this sweet lacy front jumper. Such an easy knit which turns out just right each time yet I was undecided with it being such a bright yellow.  There are some who say…..it’s for a charity, does it matter…… so I’m hoping it will brighten up some little girl’s winter day.  What do you think?

And all was going well – until I woke up yesterday with aching fingers.  Yes, for some reason, after quite a long time in remission my mother’s gift of arthritis was making itself known again. Painful swollen knuckle joints are the pits, I should remind myself of this when I try to do too much.  Consequently I’ve put the needles aside for a day or two ……rubbed in the Comfrey Cream, which usually works ……and picked up a book instead.

All is good – but I’ll accept the bad when I have my friend to keep me company 😊

Linking to Skywatch Friday

 

 

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

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Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts

This is how I used the ones for this week

~ ~ ~ ~

Tom and Tim 6 – Tom makes a decision.

Tim suggested it and for once Tom agreed with him. Friends had also cautiously mentioned it to him. He realised he couldn’t hide from the truth any longer. Now was the time for him to accept the fact that he needed to pluck up the courage and seek some sort of grief counselling.

He blamed it on the dream. He had a vague idea but really couldn’t understand what had caused the recurrence of a dream he’d had years ago.

It was a pleasant dream – definitely not like the nightmares he’d had as a child.

They occurred when his father had continually threatened him with the belt if one of them left a gate open or a tap running. Living on a property dependent on rain, a bore or heavens forbid a truck to deliver their water supply was difficult. He envied his school friends, the children who lived in town, being able to play with a garden hose on a hot day.  Where he lived humans and stock were far more important.

As children the twins had listened to their mother recalling the nightmares she suffered after she discovered they had dug tunnels  near the sand quarry. She suffered from asthma and he could remember her huskily recounting the terrible visions she had seen in her dreams, visions of Tim messing about, being a bit of a clown causing the tunnels to collapse around them both.

After watching a rerun of ‘The Red Balloon’ Tom and Vera decided to make the trip to Paris for their honeymoon. She wanted to experience the sights she’d seen in the film, quite sure she would see children walking the streets holding those famous red and blue balloons. He had been so proud of his ‘vision of loveliness’ conquering her fear of flying. They drove to the airport on a cool misty morning, water dripping off the pine trees that lined the property’s driveway and it had certainly taken a great deal of courage for her to board the aircraft.

The dream first occurred not long after they arrived home.

In it he gazed off into the horizon watching red balloons floating away above a forest of pine trees shrouded in mist. At the time it was a beautiful reminder of that happy event.

He hadn’t experienced it again until this past week – uncannily, it was similar to the picture he saw in the travel section of the paper. The one that had him weeping uncontrollably, unable to hide his tears, when Tim arrived that morning.

 

Previous episodes – Tom And Tim 1234 – 5

Polar Bears we have met on our travels…

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Even though we are in the throws of ‘gathering things together’ for time away in November lots of little chats have been going on here at home about whether we’ll have a ‘big’ holiday next year (or not) because with the cost of travel being what it is – expensive – we usually try to fit as much in as is possible.  We aren’t that well off and it often takes a fair bit of planning for some things to happen but so far it has been achievable

The other thing discussed is what time of the year shall we travel.

Early in the year outside of Australia is usually cool…..later is warmer.  Early is cheapish….later more expensive   Oh decisions decisions 😊

It’s often the later trips that provide the most entertainment.

Like seeing the Pandas and Polar Bears at San Diego Zoo in October 2000

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I was talking to a friend about that trip a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned the Polar Bear mother and her cubs in the Frozen Planet series made by David Attenborough. I laughed and said ‘that was on tv just after we got back from seeing more of the same’  All that planning…..and saving …..had allowed us to vist The Golfer’s family in Nova Scotia with side trips to Newfoundland and Alaska during September/October 2010.

We were in Ketchikan Alaska when we came across this big brute.
I can’t remember which store it was in but look at the size of it.  Take it down on ground level and it still would make The Golfer look short.
You wouldn’t stand a chance if he caught you by surprise and you certainly wouldn’t want to shake him by the hand 😊

This one who looked more like a cub than an adult was reclining on the floor of the Grenfell House Museum St Anthony which is up on the far northwesterly tip of Newfoundland.

People were saying how lovely and soft and cozy he looked until they had a proper look at the head.  Even as small as it was by comparison I still thought those teeth were on the large side Lol

Another beauty lives in the Durrell Museum in Twillingate which is in the northeast of the province.  This stance really does give you an idea of being up close and personal with a Polar Bear.  Look at the size of those claws!!

And this is the Frozen Planet episode I referred to. I’m hoping the Summer link works.  If not try the veoh url

 Ep.3 Summer

http://www.veoh.com/m/watch.php?v=v25233259qmT3n3re

The polar bears are at the beginning, finishing about 10 mins in and if you don’t want to watch the whole episode do fast forward through to about 10 mins before the end.  There’s a section called Freeze Frame which shows (and explains the ins and outs of) the crew filming – very interesting.

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Facts and figures

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bears

OIf you’re interested YouTube have a section called Polar Bears International
Videos related to polar bears, the Arctic, sea ice, and climate change by Polar Bears International, the world’s leading polar bear conservation group. 

Linking to- Nature Notes

Linking to – Travel Tuesday

Linking to – Our World Tuesday

Ban the Beep…..

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There’s one little sound that seems to have infiltrated most of our world.

THE BEEP

I’d like to know what we did wrong to be inflicted with the beep – I’d love to know who invented the beep – ‘cose I’d certainly give them a piece of my mind

Not the bad word beep and not the reversing beep not even the ping beep of a low smoke alarm battery beep but that infernal one thats heard around us more and more these days – the one that seems to be attached to everything electonic.

The Golfer has been party to the beep for a long time now, I resisted for a lot longer whilst smiling at all those around me who were slaves of the beep

Sadly progress wiped the smile off my beepless face – our trusty 25 year old beepless microwave packed up a few years ago and I reluctantly joined the beep society. There is nothing attractive about a microwave that beeps at you – and I have been known to tell it so across the kitchen. Its almost like someone snapping their fingers and expecting you to drop everything and attend to their needs – doesn’t happen in my house lol

It doesn’t seem many Christmas have passed since I fell more and more under its spell – the beep that is – I entered a new phase of my life…….late bloomer that I was ……by becoming the owner of a small mobile phone – yes, up till then if ‘they’ wanted to talk to me ‘they’ had to wait till I was ready to speak to them.

I have since progressed to a bigger (whether it’s better is open to debate) thing that still beeps (in a slightly different key) when ‘they’ decide they really need to ask me something or let me know something, knowing full well my curiosity will get the better of me and I will stop what I’m doing to find out what it’s all about.

Oh dear, and you know what…..another wedge was driven into my desire for a beepless life when the new fridge/freezer was delivered and had the audacity to beep at me when I stood at the open door pondering.

And then not content with just finishing a wash and coming to a standstill – guess what the new washing machine did, yes the beeping thing beeped at me!

I’ve had enough………I’ve decided I’m going out to protest……I’m going to stand outside the electrical stores with a placard……a large one …….one that says Ban the Beep! 😊😊

You can find MicroBlog Monday at Mel’s blog

 

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

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Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts

And here’s how I used the ones for this week

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Tom and Tim 5 – Tom recalls a tragedy

The town was slowly recovering from the loss of Mr T. He was so well known in the area the local paper had recorded that as well as local residents, family and friends, the amount of workers attending from various stations, cattle yards and the nearby slaughterhouse had caused the funeral home to overflow on to the street and it was the best send off anyone had had for many a year.

Even though it hurt, Tom smiled through his grief as he read the obituaries written about a man who had been like father to him.  Turning the page he noticed the photo of the recent lightning storm and his mind wandered back to that time in his life when he’d gone bush, gone upcountry, leaving his mother in Tim’s care, hoping his brother would be able to cope.

He had witnessed those dramatic scenes of a sky filled with huge great bolts of static electricity when he was all alone filled with melancholy and grief trying to get over the shock of his beautiful Vera’s violent death.

Vera, the love of his life, had worked in the laboratory at the slaughterhouse. It was an accident the authorities reported. Unseasonal storms had flooded the building, associated gales had damaged some electric cabling. As much as he wanted to believe otherwise Tom felt the company’s poor maintenance schedule was to blame, Vera who was electrocuted during the clear up, had previously mentioned tingling sensations in her hands and arms when opening doors.

Out there in the outback each night he’d gone to sleep with the words – ‘as well as murdering animals in my town they murder people – running through his mind’.

He so missed Vera’s laugh, he missed the way she would amuse him with a sneaky kiss, he longed to experience that thrilling sensation of desire lost to him forever.

Calling home one day Tim let slip that mother was ailing mentally, he’d found her out in the drive complaining about ruts deep enough to be called ravines and if Tom didn’t come home to fix them she’d throw herself down them. Then Tim (who had been on the maintenance team at the slaughterhouse) let it be known if Tom didn’t come back soon there’d be another murder in the town.

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Previous episodes – Tom And Tim 1234