Smile – form one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed. source

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I’m not smiling this week…
‘nursing’ someone who should have known better and has been quite ill with covid
doesn’t garner smiles
Wondering if you will be and trying hard not to become infected doesn’t either
(Little reading + commenting on posts, acknowledging comments – no go this week)

Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week.

It’s only words….

Words that jumped out at me from a recent read 📘

~ ~ ~ ~

Tourmaline by Randolph Stow

“…the carpet, originally green, but worn bare in many places, resembled a drought stricken lawn…”

Memories of the crisp brown ground we had in the back garden during those 10 long years of drought with no outside watering of any sort allowed

December 2006

Backyard cricket at Grandma’s in the early 2000s meant keeping something on your feet because the ‘lawn’ was hard and you never knew what you might tread on!

And yes, over the back fence was out….because nobody was game enough to go and ask for the ball back….because our ‘delightful neighbour’ would just tell them to get lost!

~ ~ ~ ~ .
Green now after a recent ‘southern wet’….but who knows what this summer will bring



Wish ~ desire or hope for something to happen.
If wishes were fishes we’d all swim in riches!

A winter wish from a few years ago!

Two photos taken in the very early 1950s came to light the other day and a whole lot of emotions bubbled up to surface – some good some not so good

Plus the word Wish….

I would have been about 9 in the first one – it was a happy day.  My grandad from Belfast had come over on the boat to visit us in England and an uncle plus his family were there also.  I had on a new dress and remember wishing I could wear it every day and that Grandad didn’t have to go back home.

As we were growing up there were times when my sister would wish she didn’t have to wear ‘cast offs’ with turned up hems. She would never accept the fact that as much as she wished otherwise, it wasn’t my fault I was growing out of clothes, she was growing as well, money didn’t grow on trees and she was next in line – as you can see.

You never get anything by wishing, my mother was fond of saying.  Hard work and determination is what’s needed!,

That was my mother, wearied from the war years, the one I wished would love me more than the sister she gave my clothes to.  If she loved me, she wouldn’t have got angry and cut (chopped) my hair off with her big scissors.  I remember squealing and shouting as she brushed it one morning, trying to untangle the knots before it was plaited for school, all the time saying to me ‘I wish you would be quiet and stand still’  Oh how I wished I’d done as I was told that day – my mother was no hairdresser and I went to school that morning looking a bit – odd 

It’s strange that all these years later I’m reflecting on this and wishing things had turned out differently – my mother and I never got on, my sister continued to get my ‘cast offs, I never grew my hair long, Grandad went away back across the Irish Sea and I only got to see him 3 more times.

Oh, but listen to this, my sister still wears ‘cast offs’ – chosen very carefully with a good eye for what will suit her – from ‘Green Boutiques’ (aka charity shops)😊

And….. the beach with a hammock turned up on Green Island Qld back in 2009……..still looking for the winning lotto ticket though 😊

Are you a dreamer hoping your wishes come true?
~ ~
or more like my mother
~ ~
who thought wishes were pointless?

Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse.
Where you’ll find lots of life to read about


Fill ‘er up….

One empty tin – nothing in stock at our usual haunts
So up the hill to Sassafras we went!

Cold grey skies, Coats and Hats on ……definitely C&A weather.
Just right for soup and sandwiches when we’d finished

And this was a nice surprise – a Mad Hatters Tea Party on the wall of the Tea Shop.
(painted by Master Murals, who only do FB & IG so sorry no link)

All dressed up ready for ‘the season’.
With lots of difficult to photograph, rather expensive seasonal teapots and other ‘stuff’

And this is what we went for – loose leaf Oolong tea
The Golfer’s choice of morning tea.
As I said, our usual Asian grocers have been unable to get some for a while
After a little investigating – he’s a strange fella who won’t shop online –
we drove 20mins up the road to buy a refill

Then went back down the hill to Olinda to enjoy lunch at Ranges


Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

Linking to  Monday Murals – it’s a colourful world over there with lots to see.

Done it again…

It would appear I’m still as daft as ever.
Remember that old saying – measure twice cut once. Meaning double check before you do anything.
Spotlight had wool on special.
The brand I use for charity knits has a standard range of colours so I just pick up the colours I know I can work with and am happy to knit.
Many balls of Royal Blue went into my basket

After finishing the back of the cable jumper I had the plain sleeves done in no time at all……then took a break, working on something else instead.

On to the front with a new ball…..initially thinking the yarn didn’t feel the same but it had come out of the same bag and was the same colour so carried on knitting.
After several pattern repeats (4 x 8 rows x 94 stitches!) I looked at the ball band…….oops, it was a different dye lot number.
When there are sales, supplies are topped up continuously and a few from a different dye lot must have still been in the bin
In my haste I obviously hadn’t checked each one properly before going to the cash register.

So……. I have looked and looked in various lights and can’t see any visible difference, but just in case, have decided that as the back and front are the same up up to the armholes, what I’m knitting now will be the back, where it’ll be less obvious.
The already finished ‘back’ has been unraveled down to armholes and I’ll knit it up as the front.

And ‘why don’t you leave it as it is’ remarked a friend, ‘who’s going to know’
Me, I replied!

Another ‘done it again’ moment a few weeks ago saw me agreeing to ‘make up the numbers’ and join another book club. It wasn’t until later and some info arrived I realised this wasn’t going to be as casual as my other one. No ‘tell us what you read’ chat over a cup of coffee…..this one is ‘we all read the same book the library provides then discuss it’ coffee comes afterwards. Too late to back out – this month’s book is Tourmaline by Australian author Randolph Stow published 1963.

Tourmaline is an isolated Western Australian mining town – a place of heat and dust, as allegorical as it is real. Out of the desert staggers a young diviner, Michael Random, offering salvation to this parched town. The once comatose community is indeed stirred to life, by hate as much as by love, and its people find salvation neither in water nor gold.

It’s turning out not to be a read and devour hour after hour book. It’s a bit of a slog more like. After noting all the characters and working out how they relate to each other I’m having to take it a few pages at a time to actually get the gist of the storyline…breaks/changes of scene written into the quite shortish chapters make it a bit easier …. You know, they say nothing ventured nothing gained, try something new and different- this book is certainly something new and different – surprisingly I’m actually enjoying it. Hopefully when the time comes I’ll remember what it was all about😊

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it’s Wednesday – the day Kat  hosts ‘Unraveled Wednesday ‘ …….that’s where you’ll find lots of knitting (and reading) to admire and think about.

And Wednesday is also the day to look out for Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse …..  you’ll find much to interest you there

The grass isn’t always greener….

I went back to my hairdresser last week.
I’d been seeing him for quite a while, I like J and J knows what I like.
However there have been times when I’d wanted something different.

Earlier in the year an acquaintance said, ‘Try mine, she’s really good’. 
I loved the coffee I was offered, the chair that massaged your back while you get your hair washed, the head massage, the huge mirrors on the wall and looking at hairstyles on her iPad.  So very up to date.

Trouble was she charged like a wounded bull and didn’t listen to a word I said. 
Not the end of the world I told myself, it’ll grow.  

Weeks later when it was time for a trim (and I was too chicken to go back to my ‘man’) I heard someone at the pool raving on about a girl in another place. 
She ‘rents’ a chair in one of those walk in shops, full service but no appointment needed.
Well, as I just said, I certainly couldn’t go back to my ‘man’ looking the way I did, so I gave her a try.

Explained I wanted my fringe trimmed and could she remove some of the straggly layers at the back so I could then start the growing one length process again. 
Clip, clip, clip, not a word was spoken until I heard, ‘Oh that’s looking much better’ as the cape was whisked off, the chair was swivelled round and there she was asking how I wanted to pay.  

No wonder she was cheap, 10 minutes top, I felt like I’d been on a conveyor belt lol

July came and off to Queensland we go where I just pinned back or tied up or the locks to keep them out of my way.

So last week (when the hair was almost down to my shoulders) I was driving past a familiar place and took a punt, opened the shop door hoping he had a spare appointment without having to wait too long. 
Only one client there….’Cathy, how are you?  Come on in, you’re lucky I just had a cancellation.  Give me five minutes’
No questions asked, just accepted me as I was.

J often says there are many ways to cut and style a bob – he just has to find the one to suit you and your hair and stick with it. 
And yes, I heard more stories about J’s Italian grandfather and the men’s barber’s chairs that line one side of J’s shop but best of all I look and feel a lot better

I think the same thing happens with blogging – we know what we like and enjoy, yet often feel there is more out there just waiting to be explored. 
Trouble is we take time away from what we enjoy and end up in mess. 
Lets just say that some of the blogs I ‘found’ during my recent wanders didn’t really keep me engrossed that much after all. 
So I will be visiting many of my previous ‘favourites’ on a much more regular basis, acknowledging my visitors and finding a way to overcome the ‘too hard to comment’ problem on some platforms.

What is….

In the previous post ‘Thursday Thoughts’ someone asked about ‘sheep graziers warnings’….so with my limited suburban knowledge I said basically they are issued when it’s going to be cold, wet and windy…..or even very hot!   

Pregnant ewes, lambs and shorn sheep don’t do too well in the cold so the farmers (graziers – owners of stations….large properties on which sheep graze) get warnings issued so – if possible – they can get them into protected areas.  

This is a copy of the one from the Tuesday’s forecast photo on that post:-

 Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, showers and southerly winds are expected during Thursday. Areas likely to be affected include parts of the North East, Central and East Gippsland forecast districts. There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.

I also explained that farmers/graziers can be prosecuted under ‘cruelty to animals’ if they don’t care for their stock.  It covers big properties running thousands of heads as well as small hobby farms

And mentioned an article they might be interested in – it talks about winter months but these warnings can be given at any time of the year

Maybe some of my rural readers could add to that…..
Also are warnings of this sort given in other countries

Thursday Thoughts….

You’ll have to bear with me this morning
this is going to be one of my rambling posts

It’s been raining since we got home end of September (it was raining before we left and according to family sources it rained the whole 12 weeks time we were away as well) – there have been wet days and decidedly wetter cold days, much much colder than we’ve been used to at this time of the year – think Winter temps (4/5c) put the heating on days –

Not the sort of weather we usually have two weeks before Summer officially begins

Tuesday evening

but to be fair, interspersed amongst these…..see above days….there have been some traditional warm sunny Spring like ones.
Days when there have been windows and doors open, T-shirts worn, winter woollen blankets drying in the sunshine, the sound of lawn mowers around the neighbourhood. And smiles on people’s faces.

Anyway, not long after getting home, watching the national weather forecast on one of those cold wet miserable days I jokingly remarked ‘we should have stayed in Qld a bit longer’ – it would have been warmer….and dryer’ – The Golfer then reminded me – ‘remember the last week were there, how hot (and humid) it was’. The high temperatures came out of nowhere, one week pleasant middle 20s…the next it shot up to 30c with warm nights

Our last week in Bowen

Temps up there are still high…..they haven’t changed, the daytime forecasts have consistently been 30° or higher – with higher night temps than we complained about.
Courtesy of our third visit from La Niña, like all the eastern states they’ve also had more than their usual amount of rain

This coming week in Bowen

So I’ve changed my mind and all those thoughts I’d been harbouring about a free and easy (warmer) life up there have fizzled out.

This is what the weather boffins have been telling us about the delightful La Niña
It’s going to be hanging around until next year!

La Niña typically increases the chance of above average rainfall for northern and eastern Australia during spring and summer and the chance of warmer days and nights in northern Australia during spring. source

If anyone asks me what I want for Christmas – my answer is:-
For someone to turn the tap off please 😊

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And look SparklingM at what I wrote about back in October 2009.

Those paddocks were flooded as far as the eye could see last time we drove past


That’s the number of episodes that were made…

It began in August 2010 and finished in June 2012 – just a short 2 year period.

It’s been repeated before and now it is on again 12 years after the original episode was aired

It’s one of those ‘timeless’ game shows
There’s no ‘oh not this again’

You still have to rack your brain to get an (or any) answer

Very different to most quiz shows
Same formula night after night – but no big money involved.

And yes The Golfer is a fan (so am I if the truth be told). Coming on at 5.30 for a short half hour it’s a great lead in to the 6pm news (after you’ve done a quick click on the remote)

Sometimes we are able to makes words from the letters

Not very often we arrive at the correct total from the numbers

What we really enjoy are the Word Mix anagrams just before an ad break and then the Conundrum (two actual words which will make another, that the contestants gain points from)

These were from recent shows:-

  • Rail team.
    A ~ Material
  • Equal bite.
    A ~ Equitable
  • Avertrain.
    A ~ Narrative
  • Acidomen.
    A ~ Comedians
  • Colapint.
    A ~ Platonic
  • Thicken.
    A ~ Kitchen

It was based on a French show, has a UK equivalent with a different name, was revived as a  ‘celebrity’ version here last year in a similar format to a British show neither of which appeal to us.
We’re old fuddy duddies who prefer the original version.
Do you watch it at all – ours, yours or any other version?  Do you enjoy it?

Visitors of the native kind

(Tigger and Ms F were talking about visitors to their garden which reminded me of these two from a few years ago)

October 2011 – Far eastern suburbs of Melbourne
Foothills of the Dandenong Ranges

Look what was on the front grass when I got home one afternoon
And yes, there are times of the year when our grass is an unintentional special mix of dandelions, daisies and various other bits and pieces😊
But that’s not what I want to show you lol

There they are
A pair of Crimson Rosellas looking for something tasty to eat

Crimson Rosella
Scientific Name:
Platycercus elegans
Featured bird groups:

Not too concerned about the car to begin with
More interested in the nice dandelion clocks full of seeds – right there in front of them

Almost like statues – looking straight ahead
showing off their beautiful red heads and blue speckled wings and back

Uh Oh Looks like I’ve been sprung – mid mouthful as well

The one on the left was intent on lunch and was ready to dive straight in
The one closest to the car carried on moving about and munching
but still wasn’t sure if he saw anything or not

Still plenty to eat there but they left soon after

Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse …..  Denyse Whelan Blogs

Q is for…..

Sue at My Quiet Life in Suffolk is writing about letters of the alphabet and was questioning how she could use certain letters. That reminded me of a fun post I made on an old defunct blog.
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It’s Friday again and the letter of the week is Q
The most rarely used letter in the modern English language

Thinking cap on for a long time this week ~ the word of the day is ……..

About the Alphabet !

Q: In what way are the letter “A” and “noon” alike?
A: Both of them are in the middle of the “day”.

Q: What letter of the alphabet is an insect?
A: B. (bee)

Q: What letter is a body of water?
A: C. (sea)

Q: What letter is a part of the head?
A: I. (eye)

Q: What letter is a drink?
A: T. (tea)

Q: What letter is a vegetable?
A: P. (pea)

Q: What letter is an exclamation?
A: O. (oh!)

Q: What letter is looking for answers ?
A: Y. (why)

Q: What four letters frighten a thief?
A: O.I.C.U. (Oh I see you!)

Q: In what way can the letter “A” help a deaf lady?
A: It can make “her” “hear”.

Q: Which is the loudest vowel?
A: The letter “I”. It is always in the midst of noise

Q: Why is “U” the happiest letter?
A: Because it is in the middle of “fun”.

Q: What is the end of everything?
A: The letter “g”.

Just a few things to think about over the weekend.
Do you have any to add to the list??

I really should get out more….

Seen in Lilydale a couple of weeks ago

A new place in town….or at least one I’ve not noticed before

I could’ve sworn there was something else there last time I went round that corner

Foodary – a place that sells food.

Need some petrol and while I’m here….
~ ~ ~ ~

I popped into the little supermarket near me the other day.

Must be about a month since I’ve been in their carpark because I’ve been using their larger store down the road

Seems they’ve done some exterior work……Adding designated ‘direct to boot’ car spots –

And one of these –

Need to pick up my parcel and while I’m here……
~ ~ ~ ~
Definitely not – how come they are on the shelves – it’s much too soon!
they’re imported – how long since they were baked?
what on earth will they taste like in December????

Bright and cheerful….

Bright and cheerful….
That’s how a local described the new ‘paint job’ on the public toilet block in Marian Qld.
While we were in Mackay last year we took a drive out through Marian to the Pioneer Valley and discovered they had indeed had a face lift. The pale blue Hens and Roosters decor from the last time we drove through (2009) was gone, they kept the same theme, altered the design slightly and went all green. It was certainly easier to see and access, using some of the grassy area as a parking spot.

10 September 2021

And look what we saw in Yeppoon later that month.
More decorated loos – right there just a short walk up from the beach

26 September 2021

The screened area to the right of the ‘gents’ is the same one as to the left of the ‘ladies’
It’s a shower – get rid of the salt and sand – area
And look, they both have dogs waiting patiently outside

Linking to  Monday Murals – it’s a colourful world over there with lots to see.

Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

What a week…

Someone else had a birthday a couple of weeks ago so we took the train ‘up to town’ on a Sunday and enjoyed our first time at the theatre in goodness knows how long. A second time of seeing ‘Come from Away’, (catching it before it closes this Melbourne season and moves on up to Sydney) and we enjoyed it as much as the first time in 2019. Reminders of a couple of visits to Newfoundland a few years ago now but still fresh in our memories.

Smiles at seeing the tv masts from the station at Mooroolbark, smiles at being back in the lovely little heritage listed Comedy Theatre with its chandelier type lighting and a bar down there on the lower level right next to the stalls.
There was a brolly and a mask in my bag, plus a small book to read on the train – after all the rain we’ve had I was glad I didn’t need the brolly after all but I did use the mask. Too many people all close together with about 2/3rds of them maskless.
Everyone seemed to have a phone though!

Smiles at seeing travellers on suburban lines in masks, I can’t remember seeing any on the country V/Line trains (or dedicated platforms) when I took the lower photo at (don’t make me say it) Southern Cross Station back in April. It will always be Spencer Street Station to me.
There are times I wished we lived ‘out of town’ – compared to the comfort of the country trains the comfort (??) of suburban stock is nil.

Tuesday (25th) the heavens opened and we had floods out here in the eastern suburbs. Our back garden was like a swimming pool and (once again) the kitchen skylight decided to leak. I keep telling The Golfer there’s a reason I don’t get rid of all those old towels – although if this keeps up we’re going to have to invest in a new skylight.

Thursday under cloudy grey skies and a wet windscreen we drove out past the vineyards (old and new) and into the Valley again – this time The Golfer wanted to enjoy a light lunch at his second home because……

……as a member he gets a free one plus a tiddly little cake to celebrate 🎂🍷…..

Drove home from Healesville in pouring rain, hoping there wouldn’t be water on the floor Needed the bucket later in the evening so looks like we definitely need a new one.

Anyway Friday, dodging the showers I went to the gym leaving him looking a little lost – with all the rain the course is just a bit too waterlogged and once again nobody else wanted to play – I’ll be fine, he said, I’ve got this new book to read. Ink Black Heart – Robert Galbraith 1400 pages – that’ll keep me going for a while.

Big smiles when I walked past the court area – all set up for our next crop of Olympic gymnasts. Mats and beams, and bars and springboards – reminders of sessions at school all those years ago with a vaulting box and pommel horse.

(There’s a floor to ceiling net along the walkway to the gym door – saves any injuries from wayward basket/netballs. I took one snap from a corner then had to wriggle the camera around the holes to get the full on ones)

Well that was last week – this past week has been quieter with a few surprises….
Which I’ll leave for another time


Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge

Linking to  Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse …..  Denyse Whelan Blogs

It would seem….

See a book recommendation – see if the library have it in stock

Yes, it’s there – but see what they said

Previously borrowed- my first thought was…..but when?
Seems it was April last year but I don’t remember a thing about it 😯

~ ~ ~ ~
So curiosity piqued I ordered it again.
set to with the front of my latest knit.
yes, one of the ‘cabley’ ones I spoke about last time

and began the Robert Harris waiting in the wings
Front finished – a little wobbly in places but not too bad.
Second Sleep’ on the go

My first read by this author. ‘Oh, historical fiction’ is what I thought when I picked it off the library shelf. Then at the end of ch.1 that thought changed to ‘Oh, sci – fi or maybe even something else’. I’m up to ch.9 and to me it’s moving quite slowly but we all know that with some books that could change quickly!

Library reservations must be working overtime – my book arrived sooner than expected. Not just The Sea Gate but 5 others as well!
That’s me sorted for November I think 😊

…..  Unraveled Wednesday  hosted by Kat…….As Kat Knits……
is on again!.
Why don’t you pop over and see who’s visiting this week

Today is…..

Here in Australia today is Rattle Ya’ Bones Day.
Rattle Ya’ Bones Day is an outcome of a consumer survey report
Making the Invisible Visible’

Rattle Ya’ Bones Day is a National Day of Awareness for all muscle, bone and joint conditions. It’s held every year on Halloween (31 October).
Also known as musculoskeletal conditions, these conditions are often downplayed as “normal wear and tear”, “just aches and pains” or “part of getting older”. source

Musculoskeletal conditions involve pain that may affect bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, bursae and/or tendons. The pain can be acute (sudden and severe) or it can be chronic (long-lasting). Depending on the condition, the pain may be localised around one area of your body, or it may affect your entire body.

Because musculoskeletal conditions are internal structural conditions, many patients feel as if their pain and suffering is invisible, which is why, in many instances, mental health issues and musculoskeletal conditions come together. source

Muscle, bone and joint conditions such as osteoarthritis, back pain, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia are the leading contributors to disability worldwide.  And yet, most people are unaware that seven million Australians live with these conditions.
Musculoskeletal Australia says that’s why Rattle Ya’ Bones Day was created; to make these invisible, painful conditions visible and to let people know that help and support are available source

Would you like to see what my ‘bad back’ looks like?.
I try not to (because who wants to hear someone moaning & groaning) but I know I have mentioned my ‘invisible ailment’ before
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

(notes from my Chiro in case I needed treatment whilst away.
Catherine’s most recent CT scan does note marked disc space narrowing at the L1/2 level with marginal osteophytes. Spinal stenosis is evident throughout the lumbar spine; severe at the L3/4 and L4/5 levels and moderate at the L2/3 and L5/S1 levels. Facet joint degenerative changes are also present at these levels.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday morning has rolled around again, I’m finding it a bit cool this morning so after I’ve finished my early cuppa will have porridge for breakfast.
Then a little later I’ll be off down to the pool.
Some exercises – some water walking or even ‘running’ – a bit of swimming
They all help keep me moving

Andrew spoke about his recently – other bloggers talked to him about theirs
Are you willing to talk about your ‘invisible ailment’

Out of his comfort zone

Towards the end of last year, because of ‘you know what’, there were still difficulties obtaining interstate border passes which meant we stayed longer in Queensland, enjoying some other towns along the way. In this post last November I mentioned an exhibition we went to in Mackay…..(well The Golfer was persuaded to come along – or choose the option of sitting in the car while I sauntered round for an unknown length of time). I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t his cup of tea but he did come in and have a look around.

Aircraft museums – Art galleries = give and take. Happy wife – Happy life 😊

This is a little bit more of what we saw – just a few things that took my fancy.
The wall plates explain the displayed works – I’ve added some bio info about the indigenous artists that you might be interested in – to see more detail don’t forget to Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge.
(Please note there are photos of deceased artists on some of these links.)

~ ~ ~ ~

Mr R Peter –

~ ~ ~ ~

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri –

~ ~ ~ ~

Jennifer Wurrkidj –
Josephine Wurrkdj –

Fiona Omeenyo –

Artspace Mackay have a fabulous page on their website where you can do 3D virtual tours of past exhibitions – the one we saw ran from 30 July – 17 October 2021.

I forgot to snap the info on this work below but through the marvel of the 3D feature I was able to find it 😊

~ ~ ~ ~

But wait there’s more…..actually there is more….one room had the most unusual but marvellous handiwork on show which will have a post of its own

Linking to Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse …..  Denyse Whelan Blogs