Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Another magical moment

Today, I experienced one of those magical moments...

"thanks for coming Dad"

About a year ago I wrote about an occasion when I surprised my girl with an unexpected visit to her school to take part in a gardening lesson (A Magical Moment) The image of her beaming face that day has been etched on my brain ever since.

Well today I got to do the same kind of thing.
It was school swimming carnival and also a work day for me so it was another one of those juggling decision making situations.

I explained to Sibs that I would rather take time away from work during the school holidays and spend those full days with her, rather than a day to watch a swimming carnival. She sort of got that....I think.

I busied away during the morning and got a lovely thoughtful photo text message from one of the mums at the carnival -  which sort of made me feel happy and sort of made me feel sad that I wasn't there.

Lunchtime came and as I was contemplating my pasta salad my phone buzzed. It was Neil....

"I'm outside your office, I've got half and hour and I'm off to watch the swimming carnival do you want to come?

I looked at my work, looked at my watch, took half a second to contemplate and the answer was...

"I'll be there in 3 seconds!"

Ten minutes later we were both standing scanning the mass of cheering school children trying to spot Sibs.

It was perfect timing - she was just waiting to race!

She saw us and the smile lit up her face...

My smile carried on through my afternoon too...


Good Life Wednesdays
linking up with A Beach Cottage for Good Life Wednesday

Monday, 28 November 2011

Beauty here...and there.

Fancy a quick tour of my old place?

North Yorkshire

A few things have crossed my path recently that have made me think of my 'old home'. I don't think I'm missing it terribly, but I was just reminded how beautiful the countryside is and how different the landscape is to the one that I see here in Australia.

The other week there was a program on TV catching up with The Calendar Girls 10 years on. If you have heard of the movie "The Calendar Girls", you might now that is was filmed in the Yorkshire Dales. In fact, the village was a few minutes up the road from where I used to live.

Basically it's the story of a group of women who belonged to the WI (Women's Institute) and got together to raise money for the Leukemia charity after the husband of one was diagnosed with the disease. Sadly, he passed away and the women then go ahead to fund-raise by doing a nude calendar. It's all in very good taste of course!
It's a funny and emotional movie and depicts rural life at its best and showcases the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales.

Bolton Abbey

This was my back yard for a big chunck of my adult life and I used to drive around the lanes avoiding the horse muck, the little rabbits and the tractors...

North Yorkshire

When you're immersed in it I don't think you really see it for what it is.


Now that I have been wasting a lot of time browsing through old photos this afternoon, I see the tranquility rather than the obstacles. (Rose coloured specs and all that....)


I have always noticed the sense of 'newness' in Australia. I know that the land has been occupied for thousands of years, yet the developed country just feels so young. That does have its advantages in that there is a feeling that you can do anything here, and be anyone.
Yet, I do miss the history that Britain offers - the buildings that have been there for hundreds of years, the architecture, the old churches and castles...


The other movie that made me think of home was "The Trip".This was released in Australia a few moths ago and even though I planned to go and see it, somehow it just never happened. So on Saturday night we sat down with the DVD and I absolutely loved it! It's a very British film and the two main characters are Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. I'm not sure how well known they are outside of the UK?

The story follows the two friends as they travel around the north of England sampling some fine cuisine from different restaurants. It sub-plots their relationship with each other and with other people, but I almost forgot about that part as I was concentrating on watching the countryside.


A lot of the filming is done when they're driving and we were noticing all the turns in the road, recognising things like the petrol stations and even some of the houses that they drove past!

Lake District

So I have indulged a little this afternoon and had a look through some photos that we took whilst visiting home last year and just before we emigrated. (Thank goodness most of the photos are stored away otherwise I would not have written anything I would still be clicking away and reminiscing!)


 But just as I look back and remember the beauty of the rolling hills in the dales I also have to think about what is on my new doorstep...

Not bad....not at all bad is it?

South West Rocks

I guess the best thing is to appreciate both and to get my dose of 'old home' every now and again.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Catching up and all that jazz.

Well hello there computer,
hello keyboard,
hello there blog...

I've been slightly neglectful this last week haven't I?
I could make up a fancy excuse about being out and about, wined and dined, cavorting around the place doing high powered stuff...
Actually I've just switched off. Yes, just taken a little self imposed ipad/laptop/computer break.

I have been rather busy, but that's nothing new really. Just the usual end of school year type activities and preparation, some domestic type jobs and decisions that have needed to be seen to and planned.
So my days have been pretty full and then in the evening I have just not been in the 'blogging space'.

Funny that...

I love this little blog. It's mine! I usually look forward to a daily fix and a catch up with all sorts of stuff happening around the globe. I guess a rest is as good as a....well, let's just say a rest can sometimes be a good thing.

Anyhow, after this little rest I've got all these things that I want to write about....

I have the house to myself tonight, the humid start to the week has given way to a cooler evening and my fingers can't keep up with my brain as I type away. Where do I start?

Well after last Friday's ice cream and magazine fix the weekend was pretty full.

On Saturday we headed to the river with a picnic and a book.

There was a lot of people watching so the books didn't get much attention.

The river is looking pretty high, which is a bit of a worry as we haven't started the rainy season yet. I think that I read somewhere that some water has been released from the dams to make room for the rain that is forecast for the Summer. Keeping everything crossed that we don't have a repeat of anything near last January's floods.

After a bit of a snack and after the sun had started to set we headed along the pathway to the Powerhouse.

The Powerhouse is an arts centre and on Saturday evening we went to a jazz concert featuring the very talented Madeleine Paige. What a great few hours. Madeleine has a beautiful captivating voice and a friendly rapport with her audience. She was launching her new album 'Life Raft' and also singing some of her other material. We haven't stopped playing the CD in the car since Saturday!

It was so lovely to sit and listen over a glass of wine -  "why don't we do this kind of thing more often?"

Looking into the kitchen of one of the restaurants at the Powerhouse with the river in the background.

This city has so much to offer and when I do things like this I feel like I'm on holiday.

Catch up soon.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Happy Friday

"Yay, it's a Friday!" or as we say in this house "Yay, mae'n ddydd Gwener!"

I'm now 'off duty', which means it's past Wee Willie Winkie time, there are no more jobs to be done, the dishwasher has been stacked and sofa here I come...

The scent of Christmas is wafting through the air from a couple of tea lights, my untouched magazine is patiently waiting to be opened and some triple chocolate ice cream called out my name from the depths of the freezer!

Is there anything better?

Happy weekend,
May it be an abundance of relaxation and happy times.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Open doors.

Come in, let me hold the door open for you...
mind that stray shoe on the front deck.

Let me tell you how much of a pleasure it is to have doors that can stay open.
Especially now that the temperature is rising and Summer is most definitely on it's way.

Growing up in the UK and spending a big chunk of time in North Yorkshire 
('up North in't Dales" ) I am so appreciative of the luxury of living with doors and windows wide open.

The builder who designed, built and lived in the house that we now call our home knew all about these cross breezes that Australians were telling us about before we bought. We don't have any air-conditioning in our living areas, yet it stays relatively cool even in the sticky heat of Summer. 
The harsh western sun catches the side of the house that is least lived in - the garage, laundry, study.
Whilst the living area catches the lovely morning sun and daytime breezes.

 These are the doors that only slid open about a third of the way until a few months ago.
Now they picture frame the outside table.
This area around the back of the house is shaded, and from about 3pm (perfect for after school)
the pool is also in the shade having been warmed during the day - ingenious!

 Another open door from the back laundry

I might be getting a little over the top with my love for doors as these are the new doors that have just replaced the windows in the guest room. Can't wait for the next visit from the parents to experience the light and the fresh air flowing into the room. Yes, I know the garden could do with a bit of a tidy....
but this is a post about open doors, not weeds!

These doors that connect the kitchen and a corner of the living room to the side deck are open almost all year round  The lattice has an insect screen behind it - an absolute life saver.

Which brings me onto the only downside to open doors in Queensland - those pesky flies and mosquitoes!
Oh, how I loathe them. I'm going to have to do something about getting fly screens I think. I'm not doing my lungs or the environment any good the rate that I burn those anti mossie green coils, and that's before I slather myself in insect repellent!
I haven't yet found any screening product that will not spoil the openness. So if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations for screens that will do the job with french doors I will be very happy.

So there you go, a glimpse of what I consider a luxury of open doors.

And just to satisfy my mother...I do shut everything up when I leave the house!

So mind the step as you go out...and that stray shoe that always appears to be there.
Please leave the door open...

Linking up with Good Life Wednesday.

Good Life Wednesdays

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sunday Movember running.

It's hotting up over here - it was 29 degrees this morning before it even hit 9am.
Spring is getting a bit of a push to make way for Summer I think.

I've noticed that the gardens are starting to change and my lavender flowers are starting to die back.
The huge Jacaranda tree on the way to school is shedding it's beautiful lilac petals to create the most gorgeous looking carpet across the road.

On Sunday morning at some silly o'clock Sibs and I went to cheer on the brave souls
running up Mount Coot-tha for the Movemeber run.
As we were waiting for them to start we spotted a Jacaranda that was holding on to its flowers.

I will never get over how wonderful these trees look in bloom.
Shame it only lasts a couple of months.

This photo gives you an idea of the hill at the start of the race, although I don't think it looks as steep as it actually is in real life. Can you imagine starting a run uphill?

The person in red is the mascot for the radio station that was sponsoring the event and he started running with the runners, pretended to pull a muscle and came hobbling down the hill shaking his head!

 If you look closely Neil is in a bit of fancy dress.
He was dressed as a fairy last year and this year decided to adopt a hula-hula theme!
Here's a better shot of the grass skirt, necklace and bracelet.
All for charity....

Neil wasn't the only one to dress up. This gentleman was taking part in the 5km event.
He is 78 years old - what a hero!

Of course we had to do our bit to join in - all be it from the sidelines.

Then it was home for a leisurely morning to enjoy the glorious weather and to relax
- all of this before breakfast on a Sunday morning!

Well done Neil - proud of you.

P.S. Sibs wants her hula-hula skirt back!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thursday, 10 November 2011

It's Mo-vember

Sibs and I are showing our support for Movember.

As Neil is doing his bit by growing a moustache,
it's the least that we can do!

Movemeber is an initiative to raise awareness of mens health issues - specifically prostate cancer and depression.

This is the third year that Neil has been involved and each year his moustache growing technique is improving.

He has gone straight for the 'handlebar' design this time. No messing around with trying out different looks. I think he has come to the conclusion that whatever moustache he wears, it looks slightly ridiculous! Some men can pull it off whilst others....

So this weekend he will be rising early to complete a 10k sponsored run that's up and down a mountain.

Here's a photo from a previous Movember run, and yes, that is a pink tutu!

Sibs and I will be there at the finish line to cheer on the runners and to have a giggle at some of the costumes.

We are going to make some fake moustaches to wear to join in with the fun.

I'll take the camera...

Go Neil!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Sun, sea, sand...

...and prawns!

That was my day Sunday.

A lovely distraction from the end of last week.

Last Thursday my girl was not well, and unfortunately she got worse before she got better  - it all got a bit dramatic at one point, but thankfully all is good again now.  (thank you for the well wishes) Children can bounce back to health so quickly and it's the parent who is left a bit shaken...
Anyhow, after the usual Saturday routines of market shopping, ballet class and friends around for dinner, we decided to make the most of this lovely place and headed to the beach on Sunday.


 I even went walking on the sand...twice!

I am turning in to a real Aussie.

Those that know a little bit about me will know that the beach has not been my favourite place, but I think I have just been going to the beach at the wrong times. A hot sticky day with too many people is not my scene. Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day - okay, it was still 28 degrees... but it was slightly breezy and once the sun went down (which is always so early here) it was heavenly.

Shall I go as far as to say that I enjoyed being on the beach...?

At the end of a great few hours catching up with some lovely friends we packed an esky/cool box and headed out to sit in the park for tea.
Sibs learnt how to peel a prawn and even though she wasn't too impressed with the taste she can now add prawn preparing to her list of Aussiness!

Happy times.


Off to start the week by going out to get some coffee beans - we've run out.....shivers!!