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Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Ghan

Its Easter Day and DH and I are in Adelaide. Just after lunch we board the Ghan train and head off on  a journey from the southern part of this continent, to the north; right through the centre of Australia. This train is named in honour of those wonderful immigrants who came here in the 1800s (with camels) to build the Overland Telegraph Communciations system which linked Australia with countries in the northern hemisphere. These Afghani men were able to handle working in the desert conditions so well...but it was a hard life. Many descendants of these men still live in Australia, very proud of their heritage too, I imagine. And Australia has lots of descendants of those early camels too! 😊 

I will eventually write all about our adventures in blogposts. We've done a fair bit of sightseeing here in Adelaide and will also do the same at our destination, Darwin. 
We've watched a few YouTube videos of the Ghan train journey and it looks like we will be seeing lots of different countryside...but in very comfortable conditions. 
See you soon, with lots of photos! 😆

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A budding engineer?

In recent months I've had more 'grandma duties' on a regular basis. The little Miss goes to daycare 3 days a week, but lately her mum has been attending professional development workshops and the gym on her days off so Anthea and I have had lots of play dates.
From just before she was born last year, I have been checking out the op shops looking for good quality toys. I've got some bargains...really good brands like Fisher Price. The toys have all been washed and left out in the sun to dry.

A friend saw Anthea playing with them one day and commented on all the new toys. When I told him they were all op shop buys, he was amazed.

I've been adding musical toys as I find them as she loves them...and this week she sang the 'ee i ee i o'  with the Old MacDonald had a Farm toy.

But her absolute favourite toys are non toys. Anthea has a fascination with brooms, mops and feather dusters. It's hilarious watching her in action.

Is this letting down the 'sisterhood' I wondered...encouraging role stereotypes based on gender ??? But then I remembered the simple physics lessons that I had taught the early years classes during my career. These items are actually examples of simple machines.

 Anthea's dad is a mechanical engineer so it's obvious she's inherited his skills and interests. Lol! 😆😆😆

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The new water main...

In January the residents in our street got notice that work would start shortly on a new water main. The date the work was due to start came and went, but eventually about 3 weeks later, they started work.
This area was subdivided in the 1950s and I reckon the water mains were still the same ones...we have very poor water pressure.

I expected quite a bit of disruption to supply but this turned out to be not the case...the water was turned off very infrequently during the month that the work took. In the early stage the work was mainly one at night. Then as the work progressed, it was done during the day.
 Supply was maintained by a giant temporary pipeline run along the footpath with a connection into each property.

To enable us to enter our driveways without squashing that pipeline, the workmen put rubber ramps over the pipe. These ramps moved sideways sometimes when a car drove over them causing a few skidding sounds 😮

 My little Mitzi Micra found these ramp blocks just too challenging to drive over so my car was parked outside on the street during the work.

After a temporary water supply was established, it was time for those old water mains to be dug up. And I do think they were 1950s vintage!!

So lots of digging on one side of the street. Apparently the new mains were to be threaded through the series of holes on the footpath opposite and then pipes would be run from there, under the street, to our side.

It was great when they finally finished the work and connected us up to underground pipes again. You see that above ground pipeline meant that the water heated up hotter than our hot water system. Showers had to be very quick and I had to use iced water from the fridge to cool bath water for our granddaughter.
And our water pressure still isn't great which is a bit disappointing. On the bright side, our water is traveling through lovely new mains. 😊

Monday, April 10, 2017

Yay! Easter's coming soon!

As DH and I will be away for Easter, I decided to put out my Easter 'stuff' last Friday when the family gathered here for DsD2's birthday. Of course it's all for Anthea 😊.
So the good old buffet hutch had an Easter 'fit out'...

I'm always trying not to buy in extra things with which to decorate...but somethings I find hard to this tree with its bunnies and owls. It was so cute!

So many of the items though, have been gifts that I treasure...some have been with me for years.

And of course there had to be some Easter treats for our granddaughter. She's now 14 months old and much more aware of celebrations this year. 🐇🐇

It's all good fun!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Three birthdays and a Hens' Night!

Yep! The hectic social life of late, has continued 😉
Last Monday I dropped into the Caboolture Sports Club to surprise a friend who thought she was celebrating her 80th birthday with just her husband. He of course, organized for a few of her friends to join them. Claire is what I describe as a 'knitting friend' as I met her at K4BN Knit and Natters and over the years we've become good friends.

Then on the following Thursday, a group of family and friends met for lunch to celebrate the 70th birthday of DH's older brother.

Then on Friday night, family gathered at our place to celebrate DsD2's birthday!
Despite being the birthday girl, DsD2 made the birthday cake. It was pretty special with a big blue flower on top made with white chocolate, dyed with food colouring. DsD2 is making her sister's wedding cake so she is taking every opportunity to practise ideas and techniques beforehand. DH and I have our birthdays next month and she has asked us if she can make our cakes...we did say 'Yes please'!

And as if all these celebrations weren't enough, last night (Saturday) was DsD1's Hens' Night. Times have certainly changed since I was a bride the first time in the early 1970s. The young women these days plan some pretty interesting/exotic/exciting events for their Hen's Nights. DsD1's best friend organised the night, taking into account Meg's absolute love of the Moulin Rouge movie. So that's why a 2 hour Burlesque workshop was organised. We had all been sworn to secrecy so it was a BIG surprise for DSD1 when we went to a studio in the Metro Arts centre in the city. 😆

So feather boas and long gloves were the order of the night, all provided by the teacher.

And then the lesson started.

Dear readers, I wish I could say I 'lasted' the whole 2 hours...alas, when we got to the part where we learned the 'shimmy', I might have been a bit too vigorous because my lower back developed an ache.   And I must also mention that the older I get, the more uncoordinated ( or unco as the young say) I've become in dancing. Sad...right? 😆😆

Then I noticed a friend of Meg's sitting down...this lady is older than me as she had told me she graduated from teachers college in 1962 and I graduated in 1970. So I took a chair and sat beside her. Joy suggested that we say we are the judges of the dancers. Ha ha! I got away with 'being a bit of a piker' by not completing the class as DSD1 thanked me for keeping Joy company!!  We had a lovely time chatting too.

My stepdaughter and her friends ( and her sisters and mum) had a wonderful time and after the lesson, they headed off to a SiL and I went home...our choice though!

I must mention that when we arrived at the Metro Arts Centre, we were all taken aback to find that the elderly lift (elevator) in this heritage listed building, wasn't working. The studio was on level 4 🙁. I'm pleased to say that we all made it up the stairs. I took a photo from Level 4 as we were leaving.

Friday, April 7, 2017

That time of year again...

Last year I wrote a post about a fund raising venture of our parish. For a few years now, we have been making palm crosses and sellling them to other parishes and also to some schools. The crosses are a traditional addition to Palm Sunday services ; the Sunday before Easter.
The crosses can't be made too far ahead so we have a short busy time for turning palm branches into strips and then the strips are folded into the little crosses. There are always working bees to get the strips ready but most of us collect strips from the fridge in the church hall and take them home and fold throughout the week.
This is a few hundred that I folded at home...

One Saturday 'Palm working bee' I couldn't make it but last Saturday I was there.

Some of the men had been out early collecting some branches...we use the fronds from the Queens Palm....

Stripping? 😉

The number of helpers swelled as the morning went on...

For the first time I asked how much the parish charges for the crosses...we sell them in bundles of 100 for $45 plus postage and many local customers do come and pick up their order. At the beginning of Lent we had orders for 6000 crosses but after more orders came in it was just over 7000! It has become our best fundraiser 😊.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wool on Sunday...

In February, my cousin from Western Australia rang me with some terrible news. She had been diagnosed with cancer; she had a large tumour on one of her kidneys. My cousin was facing a major operation to remove both the tumour and the kidney.
Good news is that she has successfully come through the surgery and does not require chemo...a great result!
In these circumstances I usually try to make something that can go towards cheering up the recipient. And so it was this time and I was able to post a knitted throw to Terese. Because I wanted something that could be knitted quickly, it was that old favourite of mine...the chevron/ripple stitch. In this version I knitted an 8 ridge black stripe between the purples/mauves/blues.

And it achieved that outcome. 😊