Thursday 29 September 2011

Finally, a Finish

A couple of months ago I bought a charm pack of “Oasis” fabric and made  a table runner top the same day.  I cut the backing and binding and that is as far as I got. 

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Finally, last night I finished it off, just in time to join in OPAM.  I can’t have a month with nothing finished.

The colours are a lot “prettier” than I often use, but I think it goes well in our dining room. 

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It is rather a dull, wet morning here today, so not the best photo.  We are enjoying the rain as we so need it.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Our Weekend Camping

The Sidecar Rally was on last weekend.  The site is beside the Macquarie River, along the Bridle Track and only about 80kms from home, so a nice and leisurely trip out.  It is the third time we have attended this friendly, family oriented rally. 

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We took “Snubby” the silver BMW and the camper trailer this time.  Some good friends joined us for the day on Saturday on their brand new Triumph Tiger.

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The weather on Saturday was glorious.  Ideal for sitting beside the river and going for a bit of an explore.

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There were a few tiny wild flowers.

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Also, some maiden hair fern hiding under a rock.  When I was a kid I used to love looking for the different ferns when we went to collect fire wood, and dug some up to take home as pot plants.  I know that is a no-no now, but they actually did quite well.

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I loved the colour of this gumleaf that fell onto my lap.

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Walking beside the river gave a great view of the old road construction.  The Bridle Track was exactly that, a track to the goldfields at Hill End for those on horse, or foot, pushing their barrow.  It was too narrow for a stagecoach to get through.

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Not far beyond where we camped there is a really steep part, called Monaghan’s Bluff, where the road is only just wide enough for a car, with a sheer cliff above and another below to the river.  About eighteen months ago, in all the wet weather, there was a landslide and a rather large boulder is blocking the road.  The Council doesn’t know how to move it, so the road remains impassable, except for solo motorcycles.  As a result, the road surface this year left a bit to be desired. Actually, it really is just a track at the moment.

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Back at the campsite, there were silly games.  I just love this photo of Mick in full flight.  He is supposed to be running,  but it looks more like skipping to me.  Of course, he still has his trademark hat on.

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Here’s another shot of the river.  It is such a lovely spot. 

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We all sat around the campfire in the evening and started to get a few spots of rain on us.  Unfortunately, there was a bit more rain during the night and when we got up in the morning it set in to be quite wet.  We got ourselves packed up and headed back to town.  The road was really quite treacherous, being really slippery as well as rough.  We came across one sidecar that had split the sidecar tyre, so once we got home, Mick turned around and went back with the ute and trailer and a spare wheel he had borrowed from a mate.  Fortunately, the wheel fitted and the fellow was able to ride home.  Mick has since learnt that there was quite a high attrition rate of bikes on the way out.

As we drove out of Bathurst we noticed lots of water everywhere.  Obviously much heavier rain had fallen in town and then the landscape turned white!  It looked like a reasonable fall of snow, but was in fact hail.  There had been a really bad storm in a relatively small area, but it caused quite a lot of damage.  It was only small hail, but lots of it. I was able to get this photo of it on the road, although this was no where near the heaviest area and was also about three hours after the event.

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By way of contrast,at home we had only received a light sprinkle.  Not even enough to settle the dust on our road.  To cap it off, we had to stop on our drive to let a brown snake get out of the way.  The first one we have seen at home for the season.  Yuck!  Just as well Mick saw it in time.  I don’t like the idea of riding over one.  I’d feel a little too vulnerable in the sidecar.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Technology Tweaking

We’ve had a major upgrade on the technology front – in two respects.

Firstly, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned before that we didn’t have a television.  It was stolen in 1987 and we hadn’t bought a new one.  You can’t rush into these things you know. LOL!  We’ve lived very happily without one and had no plans to change matters. 

That was until we told our potential house sitter, before we went on our trip, and she said “Oh!”.  To cut a long story short, we now have a TV that gets watched on Friday nights for the footy and on Sunday nights for Grand Design and the odd Moto GP race.  As you can imagine, I’m not totally enthralled by the footy and have been antisocial and still gone into the office to read blogs.

Secondly, we are on satellite internet.  We have three computers – my desktop, Mick’s laptop and our little laptop for travel.  Mick’s and mine are connected to the internet by cable and to use the little one, we have a Telstra dongle with next to no reception.  Finally, I had a revelation. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.  Why couldn’t we get a wireless router with the satellite internet?  For some reason I thought it wouldn’t work. 

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On Saturday I bought this little treasure and on Sunday night I hooked everything up.  It works! Beautifully! While Mick was watching hours of Moto GP I was able to sit out there with the little laptop reading blogs in front of the heater.  Only the desktop needs to be hooked up by cable.  How good is that.

I’m still blogging on my desktop, as that is where my photos are, but I might just tweak that too.  Once again, you can’t rush into these things.

Sunday 18 September 2011

The Week That Was and Whacky Weather

I seem to have quite a few odds and sods to tell you about today.

Firstly, I’ve been rather amiss in sharing a lovely parcel that arrived in the mail from Peg.  I was one of the lucky ones to win a prize in July’s OPAM draw.  I’ll have fun with these.  Thanks so much Peg and Kris

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I do love taking part in this challenge, as although my finishes are rather thin on the ground this year, apart from when we were away, there has always been a little something.  Without OPAM I don’t know if that would be the case.

Also, remember my “Spring” quilt block I made last week.  Well, I was lucky enough to win second prize.  First prize went to a block which had lots of beautiful stitchery, and was it was well deserved.  During the patchwork day at Spotlight they also had a few guessing competitions.  One was to guess the length of some strips of fabric all joined together.  It was about half the size of a Jelly Roll, so I guessed 27 metres.  It was in fact 31 metres, so I won that prize.  I was very lucky.  Here are my prizes.

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I’m not sure where I’ll use the fat quarters, but I know my niece will have fun with the butterfly yo-yo maker. The little rotating cutting mat is something I’ll really make use of.  It will be ideal for squaring up blocks and cutting charm squares. 

On Friday night we went with some friends to the O’Connell Amateur Dramatic Society’s Melodrama.  These are a fundraiser for the school and held biennially.  Our community is blessed with some very creative and talented people.  Two of the ladies write these hilarious and somewhat risqué melodramas.  They are held in the local church hall over two weekends and tickets sell out in about an hour.  Last weekend would have been wickedly cold, but this weekend was much better. We all had a great time.

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As you can guess, this was Mick’s favourite scene.

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We were supposed to go to a motorcycle rally at Tottenham this weekend, but at the last minute Mick had to work.  However, in the end it was only for Saturday, so we were able to go along on the Historic Car Club run for a picnic in a farmer’s paddock.  Sorry, I forgot to take photos – too busy nattering. This was our first ride on Olga since we came home. She is certainly running a lot better, but it was evident that she still needed a bit of tweaking. So, when we got home Mick changed the oils and did a bit more fiddling.  She is slowing getting better. I secretly think that Mick is just enjoying the tinkering.

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While Mick was playing in the shed, I planted these. A bit late getting them in, but they should be nice and bright in summer. 

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Our few vege seeds I planted a while ago are doing nicely too.  They were from seeds that were in the bottom drawer for several years.  I put them in thinking that if they come up well and good, if not, nothing is lost.

I can’t believe the difference in the weather, compared to last weekend.  Last Sunday reached a maximum of 8 degrees C, today it was 28 degrees C!  Try figuring that one out.  I dare say there will be at least one more relatively cold snap before we are through.

Monday 12 September 2011

Spring Quilt Block

I received a Spotlight catalogue in the mail in Wednesday advertising a quilting expo at their stores on Saturday.  As a part of the day they wanted people to make a 12 inch square quilt block with a Spring theme for judging and then to be used to make community quilts.

So, on Friday night (nothing like leaving things to the last minute) I pulled out some nice cheerful fabrics.

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I fiddled and faddled and cut out a few bits and pieces, before going to bed.

In the morning I made this block.

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I think it looks like spring. It even matches my new ironing board cover that Mum made me for my birthday at the beginning of the year.

I was pleased to have my block to Spotlight on time and also to see that there were quite a few others.  Hopefully a nice quilt will be made from them.

Sunday 11 September 2011

Daffodils at Rydal

The weather has turned rather wintery again this weekend.  However, that wasn’t going to stop us visiting Rydal today for the daffodil open gardens.  They are open again next weekend, but we will be away then.

It was a great chance to wear my vintage overcoat that I found at the Swap Meet several years ago.  I just love it, but it isn’t very often that I need to wear an overcoat, as we usually just go from one heated place to the car to another heated place.  It is so snuggly and warm.

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We try to visit the gardens most years, and I’m surprised to see that I haven’t shared them before.

The first country garden we visited was “Karingal”.

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Until recently it was owned by friends of ours and it was wonderful to see that the new owners are taking great care of the garden.

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I just love the  magnificent old oak trees with the daffodils underneath.

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Rydal itself is an old railway village just west of Lithgow and there is now a wonderful park beside the track and old station.  The progress association have really spruced up the place in the last ten years or so.

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The Union Church is always decorated beautifully.

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The yellow really highlights the lace in the altar cloth.

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This sprawling garden is only about five years old and incorporates lovely old mature gum trees.

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I still think the King Alfreds are my favourites.

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St Matthews Church – a typical country church. Yes, it has daffodils too, they are just out of sight in this shot.

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My favourite garden  is “Rose Cottage”.  Behind this old tin cottage is the most gorgeous garden, which has been featured on the cover of “Country Style” and “Country Ideas” magazines.

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The entrance to the garden makes you want to explore further.

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The owner has a wonderful sense of style.

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Each year there is something new to see.

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I could spend quite a bit of time sitting here.

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Lovely touches wherever you look.

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Even the vege garden is beautiful.

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This year we just wandered around the village rather than visiting the other country gardens.  There are three other country gardens, which are all gorgeous, but, as we have seen them several times before and it was cold, we decided to head elsewhere.

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Our destination was Running Stream, which is a locality between Lithgow and Mudgee and somewhere that we never go near, as it is out of our way.  There is a cafe there that we had heard was good.  It was a great venue with nice hot soup.  Sorry, forgot to take a photo, too busy tucking in.  Then we took a rather long wander home up lots of back roads.  Rather a pleasant way to spend a cold, showery, wintery day.

No, we weren’t on the bike, we were in the nice warm car.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Okay, Here’s the Front

After my recent post showing my new “do” I was asked to show the front.

Well, it is six weeks since it all came off and now it is even a bit shorter and a slightly different colour.

Here ‘tis.

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I think I am happy with it now.

Monday 5 September 2011

Our Olga is Home

The final chapter of our holiday is now closed as Olga the old girl is back home. 

She’s actually been home since Friday a week ago.  The shipment of bikes ended up being a few days later back to Australia than anticipated, but all bikes passed the quarantine inspection with flying colours, which meant that there were no extra delays with collecting them.

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If you recall, after being washed a little too vigorously at Felixstowe, Olga had to be towed to the shipping depot.  Mick had hoped that once she had fully dried out that she would start.  Unfortunately, this didn’t eventuate, so there has been much tinkering happening in the shed.  Finally it has been established that the electrical coil had failed.  This is a new part that Mick had put on, so it is disappointing that it gave up the ghost so soon.  Not to worry, a new one is on order and she should be up and running again this week.

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When we sent Olga home, we filled her with all the bike gear and winter woollies and other bits and pieces that we wouldn’t need for the rest of the trip.  We also packed a few other goodies.  It was fun unpacking.  I’d forgotten some of the bits and pieces we had collected along the way. I’ll share a few over the next few days.