Monday 15 August 2016

Blue Days

For a lovely change we are having a run of nice, warmish, blue days.  This is such a joy after the dreary weather we have been experiencing.  It was nice to be outside on the weekend, and the days are getting longer.  The fact that the sun has been out, rather than constant cloud makes them seem even longer. This weather pattern is expected to hang around for most of the week.

The wattle and grevillea in our front garden are budding up nicely.

My precious frilly daffodils that were given to us years ago by a good family friend are starting to bloom as well.  

They weren't doing much in our old garden, but they did well in pots last year. They seem to have multiplied quite a bit, so when I put them in the garden for next year we should have an nice showing.

Meanwhile, they are sitting in our little old green wagon.

We still have quite a bit of stuff in a storage unit and on the weekend were able to bring a few things home.  One was a box of my old school books.  Mainly from early high school and one from fifth class.  I always thought my handwriting was rather scrappy.  I was rather amazed looking back, as I was surprisingly neat, even through senior high school, when I thought it would have become more scrawly.  We obviously had more time to take with our writing back then. 

This little example comes from my fifth class Social Science book.  It was  interesting seeing how my handwriting evolved to what it is now, which I must say is quite different to when I was at school, and much messier.

My Year 11 Advanced Maths text book was also in the box.  How I loved my maths.  Oh my!  It may as well have been Greek to me.  How quickly I forgot everything I learned, as other than the basics, it has had no relevance at all to my life ever since.

There is bound to be another box in storage too, as I'm pretty sure my infants and primary school books are still in existence. 

The box I brought home all went in the garbage last night.  Very strong of me.

Mum has been getting ruthless too.  She threw our her school books a couple of months ago.  Hers dated back to the 1930s.  It was sad to see ones so old being chucked, but what else do you do with them?

I'd hoped to be making the next block of the Modern HST Sampler QAL tonight, but the block doesn't appear to have been released as yet.  Something to look forward to tomorrow.

Saturday 13 August 2016

All Fixed

Remember back here I found that Block 8 of my Modern HST Sampler blocks had a boo boo in it. Here's a better photo of it.


Now, that's better.  It must have taken all of 10 minutes to fix.  Much happier now.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

A Rainbow Moment

The weather forecast for today was "Clearing Showers".  When we hopped up this morning and looked out the kitchen window to the east it was fairly clear, so we thought they were a bit out of whack with the forecast.  However, when I looked out the front of our house, to the west, it was a different story - grey, grey, grey.

Just as I left home to go to work the sun came out and as I drove off I noticed the lady training her horse in the paddock opposite our house was sitting taking a photo on her phone.  I assumed it was just of the very dark sky with the sun on it, but no......there was a bright, double rainbow.

I pulled over to take some photos and got chatting to the lady on the horse.  Before long another lady, who was walking her three dogs joined us to soak in the view.

The colours were so intense.  That is Mount Panorama in the distance, under a shower of rain.

Fortunately, it stayed in place long enough for me to get out my phone and take a panorama photo.  We don't often get rainbows like this.

The rainbow started to fade, the horsewoman went one way, the lady with her dogs went another and I continued on my way to work......and then it started to rain....but only for a little while.  "Clearing Showers".  Yes the weatherman got it right, as it ended up being a lovely fine day.

Monday 8 August 2016

The Box

No, this isn't about an old TV sitcom, rather a ratty old timber box, made from floor boards.

This ratty old box has a history.  Let me tell you a story.......

My maternal grandparents hailed from the Lakes District in England.  My Granddad and my Grandma's brother were mates who came out to Australia in the early 1900s, I suppose for adventure, to find their fortune, and a better life.

After working for some years my Granddad bought an orchard near Lithgow and Uncle Bert bought a farm up in Queensland, near Gayndah.  He then proceeded to write home to ask his parents and two sisters to join him in Australia, which they duly did.

Over time my Grandma and Granddad had a long distance romance, with Granddad visiting Queensland at times.  They married in 1927.  This is the box in which Grandma's possessions were sent to her new home.  I suppose it is a form of trousseau box.  I can imagine her precious tea set that she had brought out from England, her Wordsworth poetry book she had won at Sunday School, diaries and hand made linens, among other things, being carefully packed in sawdust for the long journey by rail.

When we were kids The Box lived in the detached laundry at Grandma's farm and held "Treasures". We liked nothing better than being shown what was in "The Box".  There were toys that had been Mum's and my uncle's, including pick up sticks, Chinese Checkers and Meccano, some interesting tins, Mum's school books, Grandma's books from when she went to Dairy School before emigrating as well as other things I can't remember just now.

In the early 2000s, the old laundry was demolished, as it had become rather dilapidated.  The windows and doors formed part of our rustic old sheds that we built.  The wash tubs are out the  back of our new house, full of herbs and an interesting finger plate off the door hangs in the kitchen.

The box came home with us too.  But what to do with a ratty old box that is too deep to use as a coffee table?  It ended up in our woodshed, on its side holding kindling.  Not ideal, but we had nothing else to do with it.  Most people would have long since thrown it out, but I'm just a tad too sentimental.

It then came to our new house.  We definitely have nowhere to put it, as there isn't nearly as much shed room here, but it still was too precious to chuck out.

So, a couple of weeks ago Mick knocked it to bits.  Unfortunately, the other side was too damaged to keep.  Although it was roughly made, it certainly wasn't going to fall apart.  Many nails had been used.  After a clean down and protective finish the side now hangs on our back verandah wall.  I'm so pleased that part of it has been preserved.

By the way, see the hooks underneath it.......when I left my last job in 2002 these were part of my farewell gift.  They really suited our last home......but you know what?  They never actually got hung on the wall, they just were kicking around on top of a cupboard.  It is so nice to see them finally being used.

Also, see the boot rack underneath that.......well, Mick made that when we were first married and we both attended "Woodworking With Power Tools" at TAFE.  That is nearly 30 years ago.  Well, one of the pegs came off many years ago and was never put back on.  It has been hanging around the shed ever since.  Surprisingly, the peg was always kept with it and never lost.  It must have taken all of 10 minutes to put it back on.  Huge job.

I'm really pleased to see all these things getting used for once.  I wonder if you could call them UFOs?

I have a couple of other "Box" stories that I may tell another day.

Friday 5 August 2016

Another Weekend Away - Part 2

Now to continue on with our weekend away last weekend.

When we got up the sky was red, with a few clouds.  This was our Sunday view out of the window.  I still want to take a ride on that boat.

Usually, we don't worry about joining in on the Sunday morning ride with the Rally.  We consider our ride home to be enough for the day.  We normally have a leisurely breakfast, followed by a browse around the market stalls in the main pedestrian mall and then head on home.

This year it turned out that the Sunday ride was back up the Putty Road to Colo for the short run, while the longer ride continued further along to the Grey Gums Cafe

As it is a long time since we have ridden up the Putty Road, we thought this may just be a good excuse.  Last time we rode up it was a hot December day.  We rode with a group of friends from Sydney to the Half Way House Cafe.  They went back home to Sydney, while we and another couple headed to Singleton and then home via the Bylong Way.  This was well before it was all sealed and we encountered a rather severe thunder storm while on the dirt section.  We ended up covered in mud and looking more like dirt bike riders than motorcycle tourers.  It is a trip we often remember.  That was about 15 years ago I'd reckon.

Anyway, we decided to join in the Sunday ride. It didn't take long to leave the built up areas.

We thought the Halfway House Cafe must have changed its name, but no, it had burnt down.  The Grey Gum Cafe is a different place all together, but really well set up for bikes and also free campers.

Did I get a photo?  No, forgot that.

Anyway, we didn't stop for long, only for a loo break, as it would have been quite a delay to be served, due to the number of bikes that were there. We needed to keep moving as we had a bit of a ride ahead of us.

Our mission was to keep on our way up the Putty Road.  I finally got a photo of one of the vibrant wattles that we had seen along the way.  They make you think of spring, which isn't all that far away.

The Putty Road really is scenic, with twisties, farmland, rivers and creeks and gorgeous trees.  The ones near the north end were particularly lovely, being tall, straight and with lovely cream bark.

There were some really interesting clouds as well.

You don't see many of these old timber bridges in use any more.

After a quick lunch in Denman at a cute cafe we continued on our way home.

Yes, my favourite ride, the Bylong Way, with its craggy rocks and lush, green pastures.  I never tire of it.

I still can't believe that they would let anyone mine this area.

We had a great trip home, and I think being unexpected made it more so.  We covered 760 kms for the weekend.

I'm not sure when our next bike will be.  There seems to be a few other things happening that are keeping us off the road.  Who knows, something else unexpected may crop up.

Another Weekend Away - Part 1

We left the cold Central Tablelands on the Friday afternoon and travelled all of two hours east to warmer weather.  What a difference it makes after all the gloomy weather we have had of late.

This part of the Bells Line of Road was covered in ice when we travelled down in June.

The reason was our usual attendance at the Macquarie Towns Classic Motorcycle Rally at Windsor.

We had a wander up the street on Friday night, and we weren't even really rugged up.  I always enjoy seeing the paddle wheel in the mall.

While on the subject of paddle wheels, this is what we saw when we opened the blinds of our motel room on Saturday morning.  I'd rather like to go on a cruise on day........

OK, the reason we were here was for the bikes.  We didn't bring an oldy down, just Snubby the silver side car.  We were surprised to see that we were the only members of the Historic Car Club to have entered this year.  They don't know what they missed out on.

There were some lovely bikes at the start point.  We do like a nice Moto Guzzi.

Did you notice the blue skies.....oh, and a nice BSA.

It was nice to see this old Honda Four, as it was in original condition, not repainted to better than new. It was in great condition for its age.

Check these out!  I have never seen a little monkey bike registered in Australia before.  I've only seen them in the UK.

70s and 80s bikes are definitely the biggest class these days, unlike when we first started attending rallies, many years ago, when the 50s were always the largest class.  Notice the Isle of Man helmet sitting on the tank.  His jacket matched the bike as well.  Yes, they won a trophy in their class.

Once we got under way, we ended up behind the little monkey bike.

We were surprised at how well it travelled along.

Our morning tea stop was under the bridge at Colo in a nice park.  

I went for a little walk and notice a couple of plaques on the rock wall.  On closer inspection it was a war memorial.  Not what you expect is such a location.

Beside it there was a sizable cave.

Once we were back on the road we headed to the Sackville Ferry, which we seem to cross most years. It is a highlight for those of us that reside west of the mountains.

There was quite a bit of waiting for our turn, but it is all rather social.  Mick enjoyed just sitting back and soaking up the sun.

I enjoyed taking photos.....fancy that!

OK, on our way again. Isn't the river stunning.  Yes, I think we will have to arrange a trip on the paddle wheeler one day.

Lunch time saw us at a local school, where we were fed very well and we then took the time to vote for our choice of bike in each class.  It was rather difficult as they were so well presented.

That is probably enough for one session, but there is more to share, which was somewhat unplanned, for Sunday.  

Thursday 4 August 2016

Modern HST Sampler - Block 15 - Windmill

Monday saw the release of the latest block in the Modern HST Sampler by Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts.

That evening, after going to the hairdressers after work, then having tea, I decided I still had time to make the block.  The hardest part was choosing the fabrics to have sufficient contrast.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  

A while ago I took a photo of my  blocks up to that stage.  Tonight I just spotted an error!  Blast!

Can you see it?  It is in the bottom left block.  Looks like I have a little reverse sewing to do.  I'm glad I spotted it now and not when they were sewn together.