Boxing Day lunch for the two of us was held here – on our back deck
Simple meals – in simple settings – just right for quiet reflective days
Boxing Day lunch for the two of us was held here – on our back deck
Simple meals – in simple settings – just right for quiet reflective days
I’m sure the best of us (and maybe even the worst of us) have had thoughts of family during this year. Like them or loathe them, live on their doorstep or on the other side of the world, I’m sure they entered our minds at some time or another. And like those times when you ‘can’t have’ something you seem to ‘want it’even more, that longing for family might have been more pronounced for some than it had ever been.
My close family is spread all over the place, some in the UK, some in the Middle East and us down here in The Colonies …..as my mother used to describe Australia. This separation has never bothered us, we are another generation in a long line of generations raised in military style, used to packing up and moving on every few years, settling in but ready to move again when necessary. Keeping in touch, knowing we would ‘catch up’ with extended family when the time was right.
My little sister Patsy is sick…….really sick.
And for the first time in a long time I miss her.
We had already planned to visit her again this year in Cyprus where she lives.
Well, that didn’t happen did it.
Looking ahead and making new plans to visit late next year has been one of the things that’s kept me going over the past few months.
Well, they aren’t looking too good either.
Our international border (in and out) closed back in March this year and with the way things are going……with the worldwide escalation of new cases – not a slowing down, and now a mutation, a new strain, a variant of the virus evident in the UK (and possibly other countries) I really can’t see it opening in March 2021 as has been mooted.
Yes, vaccines have ‘arrived’ but they won’t be available to the general population for quite a while and my personal thoughts are that the virus isn’t going to disappear ‘just like that’
Trying to look on the bright side of things I know Patsy is being given the best care available but it’s so hard to be upbeat when someone you love is in pain and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So I’ve decided I’m done with here for this year. I can’t concentrate anymore
I’ll be back in 2021.
Hopefully in a better frame of mind …..because I’ve been a real misery lately.
And hopefully having heard better news about my lovely little sister.
So, we had months and months of ‘nothing’……go nowhere – see nobody. Time enough for some to realise they really needed people in their lives…..time for others to realise this was how they liked it. Peaceful quiet homebodies who would venture out occasionally and as long as their basic needs (food home health) were covered were content to work with how things were.
I suppose we are lucky here in Victoria ….and other parts of Australia…..in that (apart from returning from overseas Australians who must do a mandatory 14 days) our long months of quarantine/restrictions are nearly over and our lives are slowly moving towards what is being called a COVIDsafe Summer.
We are definitely not back to where we were,…..45 days of no community transmission does not mean ‘it’s been beaten’, ….memories of 20,000 Victorian cases (700 a day at one point) plus over 800 Victorian deaths are still strong……we’re still ‘ruled’ by a combination of numbers and space/distance – there are some circumstances where The Mask is still required – but on the whole we can smile at others with uncovered faces 😎….
All that has meant that pubs, cafes and restaurants are doing a roaring trade again…..well those who have managed to survive financially or who are willing to try and trade out of their financial woes.
Also subject to new guidelines, leisure centres (gym and pools) have reopened – so more and more ‘retired oldies’ are braving the new world, exercising and meeting up with friends…..and most are enjoying it.
I now realise that because of a ‘we must get together’ need others had, after 2 (large, 12 people) lunches, 1 (small 6 person) coffee gathering, 1 book club meet plus 2 gym sessions in the last two and a half weeks I’m ‘peopled out’….
I’ve seen and been seen, compared experiences, reassured other’s we’re ok…
Selfishly, now, after such a short time, I want my quiet back…..
There are new things to do – books to read – maybe, just maybe places to go.
I’m working on some small waistcoats……similar to these HERE
Adding a band of fair isle means (just as before) I need quiet uninterrupted time.
plus pen paper and charts 😊
So what’s on my mind this Monday afternoon?
I know I had a couple of episodes during this time when everything just ‘got to me’.
It’s been hard to put my finger on the cause – I’m confident living a quiet life wasn’t it.
Rightly or wrongly I’m putting it down to the uncertainty of the way things were.
Maybe this ‘new normal’ life’ we’re being offered needs to be filled with a mix of fast/slow – quiet/‘noisy’ days ….just like it was before!
How about you……do you have any ideas on how you will approach your ‘new life’.
When you get the chance that is 😊
First there was us…….
Then there was them….
I wonder if their Red Bench was as uncomfortable for them to sit on as it was for us
And I wonder if their train was as late as ours was as we continued our journey south to see the other side of the family. First trip back ‘home’ after 13 yrs away
Also wondering if all UK railway stations still have those red metal benches
Does anyone have the answers 😊
A gentle cuddle from The Golfer
a little ear nuzzle along with the whispered words….
‘I see you’re knitting again – you must be feeling better’
made me stop….think….realise….
Yes, I do feel much better.
I slowed down completely trying to clear my mind, doing recommended exercises, willing my back and legs to cooperate, I actually cooked again, read (a little), finally…. I hope….sorted the blog commenting situation, got my hands dirty out in the fresh air, and yes I began to knit again.
Using/ Adding a design on one pattern to another plain one used to be so simple. I wanted to ‘add’ the design (knit/purl stitches and pocket) from the little girl picture onto the stitch count of the pink one….now I’ve added pockets so often over the years I could do it in my sleep….not this time though.
It took a couple of hours with pen and paper working on stitch numbers, row numbers, buttonhole placements, reminding myself the pocket goes on the back and isn’t stitched onto the front…..all the time chiding myself , muttering away to myself under my breath.
Feeling much more comfortable (and confident) once the stitches were on the the needles and more rows were being knit……especially when the little pocket piece dropped into place quite easily. Honestly I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I felt so challenged earlier on.
The next step now is to get cracking and make the effort to finish it before it gets too warm to knit.
I realise some things need to give/go/alter/change before I’m 100%.
Blog reading has fallen by the wayside, I realise we’re all allowed our own opinions but I deleted a few overseas (USA & UK) based ones who had become ‘hard reading’; their problems and feelings of self entitlement irregardless of what others felt and was legally allowed in their virus affected communities were getting on my nerves and…daft as it sounds…..I was beginning to make nasty comments out loud as I was reading their posts. Certainly don’t need to be doing that!
More healing took place a week ago when I placed a note on my visual diary above the stove top…..a reminder that after many months of restrictions, life was slowly beginning again in the suburbs of Melbourne.
We had a little outside gathering last Thursday……6 people ready to share reading (and life) experiences since we last saw each other in March – 8 months ago. I’m so glad I made it back in time 😊
And even though the ‘blogger’ commenting problem seems to be fixed I’ve been loathe to use it, have just ‘watched’ a few from the sidelines, not wanting to be involved at the moment. Mind you, seeing all the comments on my last very short post has made me realise there are many out there who care so possibly I’ll make it back here sooner rather than later.
I was surprised when I realised how much time has passed since I was last here
I felt a bit distressed that day – I hope I don’t feel that way again for a very long time. My first cup of tea has been enjoyed so now it’s on to my second along with breakfast. Summer supposedly has arrived….the problem is she keeps nicking off without so much of a bye or leave….it would be nice if she stayed around a bit longer!
Oh, I forgot to ask how you all are – what have you been up to while I’ve been away?
Not getting down in the dumps I hope 😊
Joining Ginny for Yarn Along – her monthly get together for knitters and readers.
Joining Corinne for this weeks Monday Musings – sharing thoughts with others.
Joining Denyse for the latest edition of Life this Week
Just having a few problems with all things…..mental – physical- and electronic 😢
I’ll be back soon
Or how do you feel when they don’t like what you’ve got?
I had a call last Friday…..from the friend I spoke about on Wednesday….the one who will become a new grandma next year.
“Cathy you won’t like what I’m going to say
My daughter has changed her mind. She’s decided she’d really like at least one little lacy jacket to bring baby home in…….She felt the one you had suggested was a bit plain. What other patterns do you have. If you don’t have one she likes, a friend of her mother in law (the other grandma) will knit one”
First thought from me was…what?? That wasn’t how it was, my friend had chosen that one from a selection I presented, asked me and I agreed to knit it as a gift. Next thought was…..thank goodness I’d only finished the first (very small) sleeve.
So after emailing this photo for her to pass on to the daughter……of a style I’d made previously – newborn size, not too plain, not too fancy, and then received a thumbs up yes, went and looked for the pattern.
Um, I haven’t actually knit this particular jacket for a while, the pattern was one ‘found’ on the web many years ago. I’d tried the original one, then made some alterations, so what I was looking for was a typed copy….and it wasn’t where I thought it would be. I certainly hoped I could find it because my ‘original reworked’ copy had been lost (along with countless other files) during one of those dreaded updates on the shared PC….which The Golfer tends to think is his because I so rarely use it….except to locate things I’ve saved in ‘my files and folders’.
After an awful lot of looking I finally found it tucked in behind something else. The paper copy of one for the cross overs I’d worked on back in August.
There was no copy on my iPad either so as I’ve altered it even more I think I need to do something about that. It’s such a simple design I’d hate to lose it…..again 😊
You know, after being on my own (with The Golfer) and doing what I want to do, not having to take anyone else into consideration (well, apart from The Golfer) for these past few months (read that as most of the past year) I was really looking forward to being with others and sharing. Yes I’ve been filling the charity box during this time to be shared with unknown children but as we’re slowly moving to a ‘normal’ life sharing by knitting and physically gifting this very special one off gift in a few months time was something I was looking forward to.
This will probably sound a bit strange to some, I will gladly make this little garment but for some reason at the moment I’m feeling a bit resentful, stupidly i feel betrayed as if my friend did the dirty on me by not telling the truth. I was offering and was almost berated for not having the things that were wanted. As if what I offered wasn’t good enough.
My problem I know!
Its early Monday morning and I’m enjoying my first cuppa tea…..I know this is not a happy post, I need to stop wallowing in my feeling of rejection and gather up the love I need to start casting on again. But then, we’ve been promised a warm sunny day, maybe I’ll just garden instead 😎
How do others cope with rejection – there has to be a way to not feel it personally
Any clues anyone?
Peanut Butter V Almond Butter
That is the question
Our big girl uses Almond Butter. From the amount she buys I imagine she uses it for and on everything. I thought it was similar to Peanut Butter which I enjoy now and again but use sparingly…..certainly not for cooking (except maybe in a very rare satay sauce)
But she dares to differ…..it’s healthier she said…..it’s good for you.
So having a quick peek at the nutritional table on a couple of jars…..aka as taking a quick snap of them in Costco this is what I found (I’m not naming the brands but I’ll just say they weren’t the most expensive.
|Almond Butter. |
|Peanut Butter. |
|Calories 650||More||Less||Calories 612|
|Protein 19gm||Less||More||Protein 22.3gm|
|Fat total 54gm||More||Less||Fat total 492gm|
|– Saturated 4.5gm||Less||More||– Saturated 6.9gm|
|Carbohydrate 22 gm||More||Less||Carbohydrate 17.8gm|
|– Sugars 3 gm||Less||More||– Sugars 8.9gm|
|Sodium 0||Less||More||Sodium 274|
As far as I can see the jury is out on this one. It depends on health issues I suppose
I like the taste of PB more so that is my guiding factor.
I only use a little on toast now and again
What do you think? Which would you choose?
October seemed to come and go quite quickly. Not a huge amount of anything was done except wonder if and when things would take a turn for the better and life would become more free and easy (in other words we’d be free from restrictions). The garden started to come alive so there was a bit of pottering done and rainy days meant there was a fair bit of reading done
As far as knitting went I actually had something else in mind but decided it easier to fish out a WIP (work in progress) and finish something‘simple and straightforward’ rather than get crotchety trying to work out increases & decreases at the same time as keeping different colours under control so plain and simple with easy stripes it was. A simple boat neck ….no designated back or front …..which means an ‘independent 2 yr old’ is able to ‘dress themselves’. Who else remembers the “me do it” stage??
After a conversation with a very excited younger (going to be a grandma) friend last week I’ve begun something much smaller and a lot more subdued in colour. Her daughter (mother to be) wants her newborn baby girl’s clothing to be soft (and girly??) so at her insistence soft pale colours it will be and as she’s not a knitter herself I was asked to make several cardigans as well as something like an old fashioned matinee coat, not lacy like feather and fan but plainer…I met up with ‘Grandma’ in an allowed meeting in the park where she looked over a selection of patterns and this (bottom left corner) is what we’ve agreed on. ‘Grandma’ will look at cardigan patterns another day and (all being well) Babe’s not due till May so there’s no hurry 😊
Feather and Fan stitch is often referred to as Old Shale – poking around on the net I found this article that disputes that and shows the reason why. I’m sure many knitters will find it interesting. The comments on the post are interesting reading also. Feather and Fan versus Old Shale
I’m between books at the moment. Actually it’s more like I’m‘book’d out’. The last one I read was The Yearling – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, a coming of age for the main character, a look at life in rural 1870’s Florida. Maybe it was the patter of speech used…..written and spelt as spoken, set in 1870’s Florida it wore me out trying to concentrate. I’ve read lots of books written in dialect but none so taxing as this one.
Better luck next time eh ??
Yarn Along can be found at Ginny’s. Do pop over to small things to see what others have worked on this past month.
Unravelled Wednesday hosted by Kat is here at As Kat Knits. Lots of knitting and reading to see there.
Looking around I’m sure I’m seeing smiles behind masks…..I’m wondering where they’ve been hiding for the past, however many months.
And as well as perceived smiles I’ve noticed smiling eyes. They definitely have been missing. Smiling eyes haven’t been seen for a long time.
During a walk around the supermarket you’d be met with a downward glance, a furtive look at a list and a quick scurry away.
The other day someone actually nodded a greeting to me, acknowledged I was there. Laughed and smiled (unseen hidden by masks smiles ) when we both reached for something on the same shelf….then remembered it’s really not all over and stood back. We both shrugged shoulders, moved on wondering when our faces would be able to tell the tale and not have to rely on body gestures.
I smiled and heaved a sigh of relief last week at some good news.
An X-ray showed the worrying pains I’d been feeling in my upper back/shoulder area were nothing to do with my heart, my lungs were clear, there’d been no pneumonia, the coughing will be back under control again when I resume twice daily puffs of an asthma preventative. It showed more spinal degeneration (bummer, just what I need) higher in the thoracic spinal area.
Referred pain……Oh well, I’ll live, it just means another set of exercises to be done in conjunction with the lower lumbar region ones!
Coming back from the Chiropractor on Friday I passed a church notice board.
and saw these words in bold letters
Beneath it some wag had nailed on a bit of wood with the words.
Give them one of yours!
That certainly brought a smile to my face 😊
We missed World Smile Day back at the beginning of October….as much as we tried Victoria wasn’t quite ready to smile again. I think we are now and I’m doing my best to find something to smile at each day.
How about you- have your smiles gone into hibernation….gosh it’s been hard for us all worldwide so it’s no wonder they aren’t visible.
Have you discovered anything special to bring them back to life again.
Joining Corinne for Monday Musings
Senior Salon can be found HERE.
Microblog Monday is hosted by Mel at Stirrup Queens
Even though daily life activities here in Victoria are being expanded day by day, restrictions eased, doors opened that have been shut for months, we are still not able to travel long distances so I’m still reliving trips away to places far far from home. I’m thinking armchair travel is going to be a way of life for a little while yet.
I once saw the climate in Melbourne described as Temperate but quite variable…known for its changeable weather patterns …lol four seasons in one day isn’t far from the mark. It can be hot and dry, it can definitely be cold and wet but what it isn’t is tropical…..except on some really hot humid days we might get in the summertime 😎
So one of the things I look forward to seeing when we are out and about in Queensland ….because I’ve never seen them growing in Melbourne and they just seem to shout out Tropical ….are the beautiful Bougainvillea which seem to grow like weeds, they are everywhere. Bright bursts of colour climbing over and around anything and everything reminding me of the big climbing Banksia roses that do well down south.
This week I’ve been reminding myself of some seen on a trip in 2009
I hope you enjoy them as well
We saw this lovely pink and white bush in a car park of all the places at Winton.
all on its own and looking a little out of place amongst the natives.
Maybe self sown
But what I did like was the way some businesses used it decoratively.
This was a lovely white strain growing up an archwayin front of a cafe in Longreach
It had a really nice cool look to it and there didn’t seem to be any thorns on this one.
which is possibly why it was placed so very strategically in front of the cafe
Now this to me was the most appealing of all
Mountains of colour at several spots along the main street of Bowen
One side of Herbert Street is higher than the other
and there were several of these fabulous covered crossings along the street.
(sadly removed during a ‘street renovation’)
Thank you Kay (at Musings) for the inspiration……for this post.
To enlarge click or use the two finger slide
Sunday Selections is hosted by Elephants Child. Find Nature Notes at Rambling Woods.
Denyse Whelan Blogs is the home of Life this Week
Linking also to – Travel Tuesday – My Corner of the World – Our World Tuesday.
Often the names of our ancestors recorded on census returns or other papers never seem to line up with their given names. I’ve been struggling to find the ‘real’ name of an ancestor recorded on documents as Minnie.
Is she Mary or Martha?
There were oodles of females named as Mary and also Martha in this family.
And to complicate matters I can’t find documents with either name for the time period I’m looking at so I can pinpoint which name she was given.
In another line I’ve got a Kathleen known as Kitty and a Mary known as May.
John was Jack and Charles was Chuck, oh and James was Jim
Nicknames- the bane of a genealogist’s life
If you’ve ever wondered how they came about you might be interested
in these (safe) links.
They are all similar but fun to read and could supply the answer
As to why your Aunt Margaret was often called Daisy
Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week.
I think we all deserve a smile at the moment 😊
Often when toilet blocks get renovated they sometimes get fancy murals painted on the outside in lieu of just a quick coat of paint. We came across these on a drive through the Pioneer Valley in a place called Marian about 25kms from MacKay. Fun to look at sadly no name to say who painted them.
The Ladies section was empty ….or so I thought….and being the city girl that I am gave a little squeal of surprise (to put it mildly) when I saw these in the bowl.
During cooler and drier months, the green tree frog can often be found hiding in toilet bowls across Australia, source
Checked the other stalls – same again – and as there was no way I could have lasted until the next place up the road learnt that where there’s a will there’s certainly a way. I now know I can pee almost standing up…..with trepidation and difficulty 🙂
Do you know you can find a toilet block online? I was trying to place where these were in relation to Dame Nelly Melba’s house…..there in Marian not here in Coldstream…and discovered a site called ‘The National Public Toilet Map ‘- A project of the national continence program – and each block has a number. So if you’re travelling in Australia and ‘need to go’ that’s where you can find the nearest one to where you are.
But look what else I also found on the site. The mural is no more – it’s reverted to plain paint . Don’t laugh but I felt a little disappointed…and sad that it had gone.
I’m beginning to think that as I get older I’m becoming more intolerant of change. At one time I’d have just shrugged my shoulders and not thought anymore about it. The weather up there decides a lot of things and it was probably due for a repaint anyway.
I’m not slow to accept change if it’s needed but it’s what seems to be the change for change sake or to benefit others I’m starting to get crook at…..those doing the change will probably ague their case (oh no it’s not money/profit related) but it’s things like rearranging supermarket layouts….knocking houses down to build units….resizing products. This week three of our utility plans have been scrapped – ‘new plans suited for us’ will give us more…..but if you actually read the fine print will cost a little extra in some way or another.
So that’s what I’m thinking about and trying to get my head around this Monday morning – are there ways to accept that which you have no control over….apart from taking a deep breath and sighing each time you think about it (or moving to new providers). Am I mourning a loss, is this just the result of months of ‘you know what’, the slow change of our season…..proper constantly warm spring seems to be a long time coming …..or am I just becoming a miserable moaning old woman!
On the bright side, there’s one thing I do know about the new look at the supermarket…..I’ll be able to add a few more steps to my daily total walking the aisles trying to find where they moved things to 😊
How about you? Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this?
The warm Spring weather has been playing hard to get so the garden has been coming to life really really slowly. It was so cold and miserable over Winter I’m only just (very slowly) warming up myself so at the moment it’s‘ chaos reigns’ out there I’m managing to do a bit of weeding and general tidying around and about but …strangely I’m noticing things that are emerging from places I didn’t think they were planted. I certainly don’t remember planting those Iris in that spot.
That little piece of white flowered snow in summer (Cerastium) next to the bluey mauve Brachyschome wasn’t there last year but I’m pleased to see it. It reminds me of my Dad, he used it a lot in odd spots. Set and forget he’d say!
The lavender under the washing line has been good this year – shame it’s nearly time to cut it back….The Golfer cut the grass the other day so it looks green and tidy from this angle …it certainly won’t look so green come later in the summer when it gets hot and dry. It’s hard to plan a time to cut when we’ve had rainy days because he likes it to dry out a bit but like in all things nature doesn’t play fair!
And of course there is the early flush of Spring roses to admire. The little ‘blue bed near the line’ as I jokingly call it has been mulched so it’s right to go but there’s still a lot of work to be done on the bed at the bottom of the garden. A Bad Back limits me at times and it didn’t play fair last year so even though it doesn’t look too bad from a distance it’s when I realised what I thought were some long leaves of Iris was actually invasive couch grass that has grown tall I knew I’d be trying for half hour time spots. Rain has stopped play at the moment 😢
And a few from the bottom bed – names unknown.
(everything opens with a tap or a click)
You’ll discover things will change right in front of your eyes!
October is birthday month for both of us so more often than not we have
‘lunch at the golf club to celebrate ‘.
(sadly not this year though)
Lunch at The Golfers favourite home away from home in Healesville
(a short 30 min drive up the road) is always special
The food is good – the views from the terrace even better.
A table at the window a must.
October 2016 ……at 12.43pm we saw blue skies
along with some cloud build up over Mt Riddell and the nearby ranges
(which are part of The Great Dividing Range)
Eating, drinking and enjoying ourselves we didn’t notice what was happening outside
This was the scene at 1.16 pm – just half an hour later
Big black storm clouds overhead
changing the look, the mood and the outside temperature
And here we are one hour later (2.26 pm) misty grey skies.
very wet underfoot but much calmer.
(don’t you love being able to know exactly…to the minute….when photos are taken)
I’ll tell you what though….I was really glad parking was under cover
when we finally left for home it was pouring again
And just out of curiosity I looked at historical weather information for October 2016……..cooler and wetter than average……especially east of the city😊.
There‘s still 9 weeks to go
Imagine my surprise when I discovered these on sale already.
The use by date is March 2021!
Preservatives or not I know they won’t last that long
The Golfer’ll have them eaten in no time at all!