Wednesday 27 July 2016

June Catch Up - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Towards the end of June a rather cold blast of weather came through our area and snow was forecast as low as 600m.  That's Bathurst's elevation.

On the Friday afternoon, one of the girls looked out the window at work and it was actually snowing in town.  As you can imagine, there was more gawping than work happening for a short while.....and then the snow stopped.

If it snowed in town, which is rare, it definitely snowed on the surrounding higher areas.........We were meant to travel to Sydney for the day on Saturday.  We'd have to see in the morning if we would be able to get through, or if the roads were cut.

Yep, the highway to Sydney was closed by morning, as was the road to Oberon.  There was no mention of the road through Tarana to Lithgow, so we decided we would give it a try.  We had nothing else planned and the worst that could happen was we would have to turn around to come home.

Once we got past O'Connell we were starting to see more snow.  Best of all, as we had time, Mick actually stopped and let me hop out of the car to take long as I was quick.  Here goes:

Our first decent view of the snow. The sun had come out, so everything looked an absolute picture.

The Fish River.

Look at that!

At Sodwalls, snow now on the sides of the road.

Ain't that purdy!

Do you think I may have been enjoying all this. Do you also notice that there were absolutely no problems with the roads we travelled.  I suppose this road goes around behind the highest parts of the Great Western Highway, being Yetholme and Mt Lambie.

You can't see it all that clearly, but there was snow on the roofs of the houses in Lithgow.

We travelled down the Bells Line of Road.  Once we topped Scenic Hill it was rather lovely.

We were amazed to see that there was still snow on the road near the Zig Zag Railway.  Rather icy and slippery here.

The road cleared the further east we went.  It was nice to see people playing in the snow in front of the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens, and then it was gone.

We did what we had to in Sydney and travelled home via the Great Western Highway.  It had been a rather balmy day in Sydney, but as we travelled home it got progressively colder, getting down to zero by the time we reached Bell at about 6 o'clock.  When we went through Yetholme we were astounded that the road still had snow and ice on it, similar to what had been on the road near the Zig Zag Railway.  We can understand why the highway had been closed in the morning and were glad we had such a picturesque trip down.

Sunday 24 July 2016

Catching Up - May - Bits and Bobs

After going through my photos for May there are just a few odds and sods that I may as well put here.

Our first decent frost.  How amazing to get to the month of May without frosts.  Unheard of.  Mind you, we haven't had many frosts at all this winter, it has been bleak and overcast or wet most days.  Oh, for some nice days after a frost.

We bought this lovely fuschia at a church fete and found a nice, protected spot for it on our back verandah............until we had our most severe frost of -7 degrees C. (Yes, one of our few frosts  was a doozy.) Obviously not protected enough.  Oh well, it was nice while we had it.

I pulled up next to this crazy patchwork of a car in town one day.

It is owned by a local.  He works at a place that does signage on vehicles.  His car had poor paintwork, so he started putting the scraps from his work on the car.  There are some very clever little quotes on it too.  You could spend quite a bit of time reading them.  Too funny!

So that's May.  Now I will have to do a bit of a catch up on June and we will be back up to date.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Catching Up - May - Gold Country Car Rally

Back to catching up on our doings earlier in the year.

The forth weekend of May always heralds the Gold Country Car Rally that the Bathurst Historic Car Club hosts.  After quite a few years of taking a back seat on this one we were a bit more involved this time.

The weather during autumn was absolutely glorious this year, even a bit warmer than usual.........until the weekend of the rally.  This was our 21st rally and we have only had bleak weather once before.  The one and only time, in 2000, we took the rally to Black Springs.......behind Oberon .......... a really cold area in snowed!!!  In May!!!  We thought everyone would hate us and never come back again, but we were wrong.  They loved it.  Many had never seen snow falling. Phew!

This year the weather wasn't much better, being cold with scatty showers all day.  We had a regroup at Blayney at about 11am and it was a whole 3 degrees C!

Do you notice anything different about the car above? Yep, this A Model Ford Speedster has no roof!  A father and daughter team travelled in it.  They won the "Hard Luck" trophy for their stamina travelling in the open.

Despite the weather, everyone really enjoyed the route through the scenic countryside.  Occasionally the sun came out bathing the landscape in that glorious after rain light.  Also, the paddocks were just getting a nice tinge of green after the first, late, autumn rains.  You will have to picture this yourself, as, being in the car, I didn't get a chance to take photos along the way, like in the sidecar. (Mick was organising the corner marshalls, so the car it had to be this time.)

This year we had the best lunch time venue, considering the bleak weather.  It was the Neville Siding.  This is a spot sometimes used for sewing retreats.


It has accommodation in railway carriages and a great central building with lots of room to sit and most importantly, was nice and toasty and warm.  They fed us hearty home made soup, steak sandwiches and cakes, and plenty for seconds for those with a large appetite. I admit to a second helping of soup, it was so good. The lunch certainly made up for the cold weather outside.

There was a great variety of cars entered.

On the Sunday we host a morning tea for everyone before they head off to their respective homes.
Have you ever seen so much food.  After putting out an appeal to club members to bring along a little more than last year, they certainly excelled themselves.  Most entrants were able to take a plate with them to eat on the way home.

On top of that, we had a cake to celebrate the milestone event.

We had our Club Life Members do the honours of cutting the cake, which was a nice touch.

After everyone had headed on their way the boys came in to do the final cleanup.  Mick is showing that he certainly knows how to handle a vacuum.  Good lad that he is.

It was a really successful rally this year, despite, or maybe because of the weather.  Here's hoping there are many more to come.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

When the Rain Tumbles Down in July

They played Slim Dusty's "When the Rain Tumbles Down in July" on the radio this morning and it was rather apt.

Everything is saturated and the Macquarie River has been running fairly high for a couple of weeks.

Chifley Dam, our local water storage was at a ten year low at the beginning of June at 61%. (We are very lucky with our water supply.)  By the end of June it was over the spillway.  Therefore, all the runoff since then has gone into the river.

We have been fortunate here, in that there has been a few days dry between the wet days, giving time for things to settle down.  But not so much this time.

It started raining at about 10 o'clock last night and rained steadily until about lunchtime today.  Set in, heavy rain.  You know that the ground is totally saturated when there are loads of worms on the concrete paths.  That's what it was like this morning.

When I came home at about 5 o'clock the river had risen considerably to just below the low level bridge. (Bathurst's secondary bridge, not the main bridge on the highway.) I was surprised at the number of tree trunks and branches washing down, but there hasn't been this much water in the river for a few years now.

This bridge is just down the road from where I lived as a kid and we were all avid river watchers, as our homes had the potential to flood.

Once, when I was in my early teens a few of us walked across the bridge in full flood, with water up to our thighs......then we walked back again.  You'd get shot if you did that now......mind you I think we would have got shot then if any of our parents had seen us.  Rather stupid when you look back....but we survived to tell the tale.

Mick and I went to the movies tonight to see "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (great movie, by the way) and when we came home the road across the bridge had been closed.  The bridge wasn't under water as yet, but the road behind where I was standing to take these photos was just under.

I don't expect the river will break its banks and the weather has now cleared up, so things should be OK here.  More rain is predicted for Thursday, so lets hope things have subsided a bit before the next lot of water comes down.

Other towns in the region haven't been so lucky.  Canowindra has flooded and others are expecting minor and moderate flooding.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Catching Up - May - Rylstone Swap Meet

Now that we have moved into our new house, it is time to do the declutter.  I know, back to front, but we wanted to wait and see what we could use and what would fit..........We have oodles of "stuff" to get rid of.

In May each year there is a Swap Meet at Rylstone.  We have always heard it is good, but have never managed to visit.  This year we were determined to go and take a stall with us.  

Common sense would have told us to go over on Saturday and camp overnight, but we got up at sparrow's fart (like we left home at 4.30am) and drove over to set up for a 6.00am start.  The road is a slow one to drive at the best of times and usually has a few roos along the way, but we have never seen so many as on that morning......and it was a thick fog most of the way too.

It was foggy in Rylstone too, but we got ourselves set up.  Most had set up the night before.  Yes, it was a good swap.  We were surprised at how many stalls there were, and loads of interesting things for sale.  We were strong and didn't bring anything extra home.

After the cool start, it turned into a glorious day.  Rather warm for the time of year...warm enough for an ice cream with sprinkles.

We were delighted when a couple of T-Model Fords turned up.

Then a couple more.

It turned out that the Outback Model T Ford were in the area on a rally, so decided to call in.  Rather tasty they were too.  It was interesting to see the variety of body shapes on them.

I can't say that we sold a great deal on our stall, but that doesn't matter. We had a great day out.  Yes, we will go again, but camp overnight. 

Monday 18 July 2016

Modern HST Sampler - Block 14 - Introspection

Mick sent me an SMS this afternoon saying he would be late home from work.

So.... when I got home I changed from my work clothes to my jarmies (it didn't matter that it was only 5 o'clock). made a nice cup of coffee, caught up on some emails and then hit the sewing room.

You see, the latest installment of the Modern HST Sampler was released today.  This block was designed by Jess from Elven Garden Quilts.

I decided that I would go with her simple colour selection, as it will show up better with my limited colour palette.

It really is an effective design.  I do like it a lot.  The triangles continue to get smaller.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the other ladies interpret the block. Now to wait a fortnight for the next block.

Mick is home now, so I'd better think about getting some tea on.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Catching Up - May - Soar, Ride and Shine

Okay.  It's time to get back to catching up on the last few months.  

If you think our  April was busy, May was just as bad if not worse.

A major event was hosted by the local Lifeline branch to raise some much needed funds.  This was no cake stall, or even a book fair, of which they hold two very successful ones each year.  No,  how about something a bit more spectacular - like an air show, car and motorcycle show and retro pin-up fashion competition.  

Soar, Ride and Shine was born.  

There has not been an air show in Bathurst since 1964.

We were a little bit involved with Olga the old girl going on display and with other members of the Historic Car Club, we gave a bit of a hand with the set up on the day.  

The weather was great on the day.  On the previous day there had been a really thick fog.  If that had been on the day of the air show, many of the planes would not have been able to land at the airport. The organisers were very fortunate indeed.

Let's start by checking out the bikes. There was a nice selection.

Followed by a few of the cars.  

Vehicles travelled from all over the place to attend.  

There were the pristine ones ....

.... as well as those that weren't.


Even a cute caravan.

What about this one, owned by a local fellow.

There were even some other bikes and an almost flying machine.

The car and bike show was really well attended.  It took ages to walk around and see them all.

Time to look at the market stalls.

Enough of these, let's check out the airshow.

One of the big draw cards was the C-27J Spartan.  Now that is one big plane.

After queueing for a while we entered the main cargo, or passenger area.

And Mick, like the  big kid he is, was able to check out the cockpit, which was just all dials and buttons to me.

Back outside the stunt planes were in action.

There is a bit of a contrast in size here.  The little jets actually flew on the day.

The majority of the air show was put on by Paul Bennett Airshows.  They had a great array of planes, did amazing stunts and gave a great commentary while it was all going on.  This is "Miss Kitty".  I don't know what she is.


This DC 3 was headed to Hong Kong the next day.

Now for some stunts

What about some water bombing?

The local REX plane gave joy flights all day.  They were $50 and went for half an hour.  Great value for those lucky enough to get a ticket.

The Avenger from WWII is rather neat in the way it folds its wings up, and it all happens so quickly.

This was one very pretty plane.  It is a Beech Staggerwing and dates back to 1938.  Who'd a thought.

The Navy chopper was another big draw card.

So, what about the pin-up competition?

After some of the event organisers attended "Goodwood Revival" in the UK last year they decided to have a bit of a retro fashion theme.  Some ladies, gents and tiny tots really rose to the occasion.

Don't you love the presentation stage and the props.

A great line up of entrants.

And the winner an original 50s outfit she purchased in the US.

What a fantastic day it was.  There were huge crowds that attended and it was all so well organised, considering this was their first go at something like this.

There will be another Soar, Ride and Shine next year, going over two days, and then the plan is to hold it every second year.  Let's hope it takes off (pardon the pun) as an ongoing event.  We really enjoyed it.