Sunday 24 November 2013

Secret Santa on its Way

Once again I’ve joined in Chookyblue’s Secret Santa Christmas Swap.

Unfortunately, I missed getting it finished for Friday’s mail but it is ready to wing its way to somewhere tomorrow morning.

November 2013 150

It’s been fun participating in the swap again this year. I just wish that I was delivering the parcel in person.  Wouldn’t that be fun.

Saturday 23 November 2013

A Sneak Peek – James May Sidecar

Remember when we were back on the Isle of Man.  Well, there is lots that I never got around to adding to my blog, so I’ll just occasionally add another little tit bit.

If any of you are familiar with the TV show “Top Gear” you will know of James May.  He has made a separate show on his own called James May’s Toy Story.  We saw a few episodes.  One was making a full scale Airfix model aeroplane, one was running model railway trains along the length of a disused railway line and another was building a bridge across a canal in Liverpool that would support a man made out of Meccano.

Well, he was at it again on the Isle of Man, making an episode for his Christmas special.  This time it was a motorcycle with sidecar made out of Meccano and he and his mate Oz Clarke were to do a lap of the TT Course – thirty seven and three quarter miles. 

There was quite a bit of hype leading up to the start, which was at the end of a day’s racing.  We waited patiently at our spot beside the track for him to appear, but gave up, deciding instead to drive back along the course towards the start line and see if we came across him.

We finally found him, just around the corner from the start line.  To our surprise, we were able to get quite close and take some great photos.  In typical Isle of Man fashion, there was no keeping the public out of the way.

IOM 2013 28 Aug 13 091

The bike is a true work of art.

It is powered by 90, yes, 90, little Meccano electric motors.

MH IOM 2013 big 106

There was also a battery kit from a golf cart to help up the hills.

MH IOM 2013 small 012

Look at the work in the wheels.

MH IOM 2013 big 108

And the front view.

MH IOM 2013 big 120

He was a very brave man hopping in that sidecar, relying only on the little pieces to support him.

MH IOM 2013 big 123

And off they go, down Bray Hill.  I hoped their brakes were good.

MH IOM 2013 big 127

As we were heading back home we saw them still in Douglas, pulled up by their support van.  We hoped that there weren’t any major dramas.

Over the next couple of day people were ringing into the radio station giving updates on where they had seen the bike on its way around the course.  It took about 3 days to complete, but yes, they did make it all the way around and there was a big cheer for them at the finish line on the final day’s racing, just before the racing began.

I do hope they show the episode out here some time and that we don’t miss it.

Sunday 10 November 2013

What a Wonderful Day

Yesterday, it was great to catch up with lots of ladies here in Bathurst for a blog get together, organised by Chooky.

The first stop was Fabric and Trim, but I skipped that, as I knew the shop was quite small.  The second stop was at Anni’s, so this is where I met up with all the girls.  Some I had met before, some I have only known through their blogs and some were new to me.  It is wonderful how the common thread of blogging has brought us all together.

We all had a great time browsing at Anni’s.  Here is Kylie, Chooky and Beryl (Anita’s aunt visiting from the UK).

Blog Meet November 2013 023

Susan, Jan and Fiona were quite happy chatting while waiting their turn to be served.

Blog Meet November 2013 026

Peg and Dale turned up for the day and kept an eye on Anni and Chooky.

Blog Meet November 2013 028

While Khrissy waited for Chooky to finish her shopping and talking she had a chat to the girls.

Blog Meet November 2013 027

After we had spent all our money, we adjourned to Crago Mill Cafe for lunch.  Mmmm.   Mmmmmm.  Some lovely things came out of the kitchen.

Blog Meet November 2013 033 

We also had the chance to have a wander around the new antique shop on site.  I was rather taken with this wash stand, as it was similar to one that has just found it’s way to our place.

Blog Meet November 2013 030

There was lots of chatting and we had a little swap, “Make it, Bake it or Fake it”.

Blog Meet November 2013 034

I was lucky enough to receive some sweet chilli sauce made by the lovely Kate, via Suze, beautifully presented with star and berries.

Blog Meet November 2013 045

Blog Meet November 2013 049

My gift was received by Anita.

Blog Meet November 2013 021

It was a little knitted wash cloth and soap.  Fun to make.

Blog Meet November 2013 020

Of course, no get together is complete without show and tell. I missed the start, (too busy talking).  These three were all made by Michelle from The Home Patch.  Just beautiful.

Blog Meet November 2013 038

Blog Meet November 2013 040

Blog Meet November 2013 043

By then the afternoon was slipping away and everyone had to be on their way to the various parts of the state.

Peg and Dale said bye to their namesakes.  Who knows where they will turn up next.

Blog Meet November 2013 044

The day passed so very quickly and was thoroughly enjoyable.  Now we will have to wait till Nundle in March to catch up again.  Thanks for a great day, ladies.

Monday 4 November 2013

Annual Day Visiting the Gardens

My friend and I had our annual day out a week or so back, visiting the open gardens.  I was a bit worried that I would have to stand her up this year, but at the last minute I cancelled my other plans.  I couldn’t miss out on our special day.  How would we get by without catching up on all the gossip?

I’ve shared our special day before, in 2012 here and here, in 2011 here,  in 2010 here,  and in 2009 here.  We’ve been making this a play date for probably 20 years now.

Anyway, to this year…..

First of all, I sent Mick off on his own.  It was the Motorcycle Awareness Week get together at Wellington on Sunday and he went up there to catch up with some friends from Coonamble.

Open Gardens October 2013 001

Now, to our day out….

Quite a few gardens were open for the first time, or hadn’t been open for quite a few years. There was a great variety and the weather couldn’t have been better.

“Daleba” was a stunning native garden.  I don’t think I have ever seen such vibrant bottle brushes, in quite a few different colours.

Open Gardens October 2013 010

They also had some wonderful sculptures.

Open Gardens October 2013 008

“Winter Rose Cottage” was a leafy suburban garden.  I loved the creative recycling for the strawberries.  Very appropriate for car mad Bathurst.

Open Gardens October 2013 004

“Harvey’s Garden” had a lovely vege garden.   It has been open on several occasions, but not for a while.

Open Gardens October 2013 016

Next was “Bremar”, which was open for the first time.  It had several quite different sections.

Open Gardens October 2013 024

Open Gardens October 2013 023

Open Gardens October 2013 029

Open Gardens October 2013 035

The owners’ grandkids were well catered for with lots of different play areas.  This was my favourite.  Apparently it was bought as a kit down the mountains.

Open Gardens October 2013 019 
“Benning” is a relatively new garden, with lovely big beds and sweeping lawns.  It will be interesting to follow its progress as it matures.

Open Gardens October 2013 037

The next garden we visited was “Cathie’s Garden”, a real cottagey garden.  There was next to no lawn.  The cottage was hiding behind the garden.

Open Gardens October 2013 052

Out  in the back garden there was a delightful studio.  I had to go straight up there and check it out.

Open Gardens October 2013 041

Open Gardens October 2013 045

What do you think?  Can you see sewing machines, cutting tables, lots of fabric and quilting books? Isn’t the light just wonderful.  I could spend hours up there.

Open Gardens October 2013 044

Cathie is certainly talented and  has created a wonderful haven for herself.

Open Gardens October 2013 050

Next on the list was “Mt Tamar”, which was open last year.  It is a lovely country garden, but this year there are a couple of new features created by the owner.  Apparently the eagle was only completed a couple of days before the open weekend.  He is rather stunning.

Open Gardens October 2013 053

Our final garden was “Brindabella”.  I was looking forward to seeing this one, as I’ve admired the house, as being a comfortable looking place.

Open Gardens October 2013 075

This was truly gorgeous.  Water is obviously no object, as there were lovely, lush lawns.  So much work has been done in the few years they have owned the property. All the gardens were full and everything looked so very healthy.

The main feature was the walled kitchen garden. This lovely little building is actually the sheds.  A garden shed on one side and potting shed on the other, with a breezeway between.  It is constructed from recycled sandstock bricks.

Open Gardens October 2013 078

Open Gardens October 2013 069

I loved the way the specially marked bricks were featured.

Open Gardens October 2013 070

Now to the garden….

It was still a bit early for a lot of plantings, but it was so very well set up.  The steel structure at the back had passionfruit growing up the wall and citrus trees in front.  There is an automated cover that comes across the framework to protect the plants from our harsh frosts.

Open Gardens October 2013 065

One corner featured a glass house and another had a shade house.

Open Gardens October 2013 067

The kitchen garden extended beyond the walled garden as well, with berries and espaliered fruit trees. 

Open Gardens October 2013 062

You don’t get much better than this.  I really love visiting gardens like this one, as kitchen gardens are my favourites.  However, I’m extremely lazy with my own.  Maybe, when I retire mine will look a bit more like this……then I’d be wishing my life away.

It is a great day out visiting all the wonderful gardens around our city.  You don’t realise what dedicated people there are around us, creating their own piece of heaven.

Bring on next year.