Friday, 24 January 2014

Random act of kindness (RAK)

Penny had this on her blog and I think it will be fun to join in.
Here is how it works, the first 5 people to comment on this post will at some time through the year receive some small art work, fabric or paint, from me and to do this I will need your snail mail address. What you then do is Pay it Forward and in turn agree to do the same for another 5 people. It can't be too hard to get 5 people who are happy to receive something unexpected through the year and then repay it to another 5 people. So lets play.
The photo above is a brooch I made several years ago, but could be a sample of what I might make.
I have been glued to the TV at night for the last week watching the tennis - and on some nights flicking to the cricket as well.  I have been knitting a sock at the same time, but turning a heel and watching exciting tennis at the same time is not an occupation I recommend - I had to unpick a couple of times! thank goodness I have turned it now so shan't be interrupted when Federer and Nadal play tonight.  I think that may be a better match to watch than the final on Sunday night somehow.
We still have no rain here, but this is our Australia Day weekend coming up and for most of the 46 years of our marriage, Australia Day has been quite/very wet.  School returns on Tuesday and that is another indicator - sure to create maximum chaos and misery for all the newbies!  My garden will be happy though.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Distracted again!

I have been very slack about posting - again.  The cricket and the tennis have been responsible.  The Australian Open is being played in Melbourne this week and there have been some very exciting matches.  I even have the TV on while I write this in the late afternoon as Nadal and Dimitrov are playing their quarter final.  Thank goodness the weather is a lot pleasanter for them this week than it was last week.  Playing in 45+ degree heat was really cruel.

The hot weather is making its way up here, but only in the mid-thirties with high humidity and that is very unpleasant.  Still no rain, but my Murraya has suddenly come out in full bloom overnight.  The old hands say that means rain is on its way.  I am not convinced, but I hope they are right.

 There were only tight buds yesterday!

Jock and I went for a walk in the Gardens yesterday, the first time for a while.  Click on the photos and they should enlarge.

 The ducks took no notice
 The Monsoon Waterway was working beautifully

 The red-fruited Vitex looked spectacular.

 The pelicans were simply enjoying the view

and this one was sitting on another pump in the late afternoon.

Now I had better get out into the garden to do some pruning so I can load it into the bin before the rubbish is collected tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Jock and crabs

As usual on my birthday we had mudcrabs and oysters for dinner, along with some good wine!

 Also as usual, Bill put the crabs on the floor to see Jock's reaction.  he was not nearly as scared of them this year.  In fact I think he was rather hoping Bill would give them to him!
there was not a chance of that, they were far to nice to share.

Have any of you had to prove your identity lately?  Just before Christmas I thought I had had my wallet stolen (I hadn't, but that is another story).  Of course there was a frantic search through the house and car, then I had to ring to cancel my credit cards etc.   When Bill came home, I needed to go out, but of course we realised my driver's licence was in the wallet, so I couldn't drive. I rang the department of transport to see how I could get a replacement card,  when they of course said I had first to prove my identity.  Well I have a passport, but that only sufficed for part A - not nearly good enough on its own!  Did I have a rates notice - no, Bill owned the house before we were married and we never bothered to change that.  What about an electricity account - same deal.  How about my tax return - that goes through our accountant with his PO box number and our PO box number on it.  I was getting a bit desperate by this time.  What about my medicare card - that was in my wallet of course.  The woman to whom I was speaking suggested my birth certificate, but of course that was in my maiden name so was no good either.  Finally I remembered one of the credit card accounts is in my name and our street address, and of course Bill's medicare card has the same number as mine, so I scraped up enough points to qualify for a replacement licence - which took two weeks to reach me.  In the meantime I had a sheet of paper in the glove box saying I was qualified.  That didn't worry me, but I felt sorry for an eighteen year old I met the next day.  She had applied for her driver's licence, which she wanted to show she was over 18 as well as saying she was qualified to drive.  The department lost her card so instead of taking two weeks it took over four - and this was when all the Christmas parties were happening!  She also had the piece of paper so she could drive quite legally, but that had no photo ID.
Sometimes I wish we could go back to 'the good old days', but  I suppose really they were not as good as we think we remember.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A few flowers from my garden

There is absolutely nothing creative happening around here at present so I thought I would put up a few photos of what is flowering in my garden.

 I planted this Impomea - Cardinal flower - only a few months ago and we were absolutely amazed at the speed with which it grew. It has now been flowering like this for over a month.  I can't wait till next year when hopefully it will have covered the trellis completely and will be covered with these beautiful flowers.
 Our Allamanda is always a show all summer, we planted this when we were first married, every so often it needs a good hack back, but it keeps on growing!
 The Ixora is also a long term resident and is cut back by about two thirds every couple of years.  This plant thrives on neglect - I like those.

We have been watching with horror the pictures of the awful weather in the northern hemisphere, but we have been having our share of horrible hot weather here - thankfully no bushfires in the Mackay area to go with the heat however.  We had some wonderful rain yesterday, with still a few showers today, which has cooled the temperature down to  a very comfortable 24 - 25 degrees, especially as there is a strong breeze blowing.  Some of the western Queensland areas have had temperatures up to 49 degrees for days on end - that is definitely hot!  They have had some rain too, but not nearly enough to break the terrible drought they are suffering.  Life on the land can be very cruel.

I had to add this photo of our son Stuart and granddaughter Hannah taken when they visited Australia Zoo - they were both really excited by the experience. 
Hopefully I will be back again before too long, and perhaps I may even have managed to make/paint/ do something creative!