Friday, August 26, 2005

Grandparent days.

Another glorious day and what better way to spend it than with two of our delightful grandchildren. After a variety of activities at home including a little TV, playing with dolls, playdough and animals, music on the keyboard, and making jelly, it was off to the playground a short walk up the hill. Turns on the swings, slides and bridges were all shared with the teddy bears. When grandparents were worn out from pushing swings and hovering in case of falls, we ventured further up the path to find a grassy, shady spot for our picnic lunch. Salad sandwiches, apple juice pretending to be beer, and fruit. Even a 2-year-old can peel a mandarin. Back to the swings and slides before counting the blocks in the path on the way home. Chocolate icecream in cones on the deck finished off our feast.

Shay and I planted two punnets of Stocks while Luca dug holes and scattered dirt everywhere, but he was happy to assist with the watering. Shay took another punnet of Stocks home to plant in her garden. When ShellyC picked them up she was more tired than we were because she had been studying all day.

I think everyone should try really hard to have grandchildren! They keep you young even if they do wear you out.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Good Advice

If, like me, you are tired of the Annonymous Spam Comments which have been proliferating on our Blogs lately, take the good advice of Zoey and go into Settings/Comments and change the setting so that only people who are registered can comment. Read her latest posting for more information.

It will certainly be so good to be rid of the rubbish.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Only TWELVE days to go until ...

... no, not Christmas, SPRING. We've had a taste of Spring this week, although there are more cold days coming this weekend, but the promise is there nevertheless. Every year I anticipate this season, hoping that we will get typical Spring weather, ie. sunny days as well as plenty of wet ones.

Years ago some workmates complained once too often within my hearing about the wet days, saying "Raining again. We thought it was supposed to be Spring." I responded vehemently "This IS typical Spring weather. It's supposed to rain now. If we ever have a Spring like you people want, all sun and no rain, then God help us come summer time." Well, we've had a few of those now.

Helped my neighbour prune her roses yesterday. I wouldn't have been game to had I not seen Peter Cundall (Gardening Australia) ruthlessly pruning his roses a few weeks ago. Brought home with me an armful of Buddleia prunings, from my original plants. I even potted them up last night. If they all strike, can anyone tell me what to do with 30 purple and 20 mauve Buddleias? I can never stop at just 2 or 3 cuttings. I can't bring myself to throw away perfectly good propagating material. It's an incurable obsession, isn't it,

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


After watching the evening news and despairing of anything other than news commentaries to watch, I put on a video of John Denver at The Wildlife Concert. One particular song on this video always makes me stop and think "What are we doing to this wonderful planet, especially to the Wildlife and Environment, of which we are supposed to be the custodians?" Will humanity change before it is too late? Whilst it's already too late for some species, let's hope we can all make a difference in some small way. The words of this song may upset a few people - perhaps with good reason. I wish I could include the melody, too.


And you think that the battle is over
Finally the war is all done
Go tell it to those with the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of a gun
And write it on the sides of the great whaling ships
Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wild in their eyes it is they who must die
And we who must measure the loss

And you say that the battle is over
Finally the world is at peace
You mean no-one is dying
And mothers don’t weep
Or it’s not in the papers, at least
There are those who would deal in the darkness of life
There are those who would tear down the sun
And most men are ruthless but some will still weep
When the gifts we were given are gone

For the blame cannot rest on the heads of the few
It’s become such a part of the race
It’s eternally tragic, that which is magic
Be killed at the end of the glorious chase
From young seals to great whales
From waters to wood
They will fall just like weeds in the wind
But perfume and fur coats and trophies on walls
What a hell of a race to call men

And you think that the battle is over
Finally that war is all done
Go tell it to those with the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of a gun
And write it on the sides of the great whaling ships
Or on ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wild in their eyes it is they who must die
And we who must measure the loss
With the wild in their eyes it is they who must die
And we who will measure the cost.

Oh, the joy ...

... of a perfect Springlike day in Winter. With signs of Spring all around and a magnificently sunny day, warm enough to discard the jumper (I know you don't believe me Tanya in Townsville) and get to work in the garden. The soil is damp and gorgeous, perrenials are sending up new shoots, shrubs and trees are budding and some of the annuals and bulbs are flowering. The promise of Spring is everywhere on a day like this.

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HELP! I'm lost.

That's what happens when I start reading blogs. I start checking those on my links but then like to read the comments, too. I think, "This comment is interesting. I must check out this person's site". Before I know it, one site has lead to another and another, and I wonder, "How did I get here?" I see so many interesting posts along the way that I just want to keep reading, but I know that I have other things to do and I can't sit here for hours.

Blogs provide such a smorgasboard of interesting delights that I become overwhelmed by the choice. I skip around the world from Hobart to Brisbane, from Florida to Canada, from New Zealand to Scotland, and almost everywhere in between. Then I think of a something that I want to read again but I can't remember where it was or how to get there!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Weekend of Celebration

Whilst the nation celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific, we celebrated our son's 30th birthday with a surprise party. His girlfriend, Kirby Kid, suggested the party weeks ago and then had the difficult job of arranging it without dropping any hints. It was a total surprise to Russ (or else he's a very good actor!) and was a lovely evening with guests including former schoolfriends and teachers, hockey mates and family friends. Several people travelled long distances, including Tamworth, Melbourne and Brisbane, and his sister, Tanya, flew down from Townsville. As ShellyC, said T. is freezing in Canberra's winter.

Yesterday we 'relaxed' by having a BBQ family breakfast with visitors at 8.30, visiting the Craft Show, and then watching
ShellyC and our youngest daughter, Sara, play and win their respective hockey matches. We also played with the grandchildren during the second game.

Hope to have more family activities today before Tanya flies back to Townsville tomorrow. It was lovely to see her after an absence of nearly twenty months.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I Have Decided ...

... that being a mother is real work. We minded the two youngest grandchildren for most of the day. They are a total delight, easy to entertain and so much fun, but I feel like I've really done a day's work. I guess I'm just not used to being at the beck and call of two energetic little ones.

I try to remember my own children when they were that age but for the most part I can't recall the day-to-day things that we did. (I daren't ask them because I'll get some exaggerated story about what we did or didn't do, etc.) I wish I'd taken more photos, kept a diary, taped conversations, etc. All the things that need a bit of forethought and dedication, which weren't high on my list of characteristics. I enjoyed being a mother and looking after the children, so why does my mind refuse to let me relive those days now that I have time to do so?

We must have done some things right though as all four of them turned out to be responsible, happy adults of whom we are very proud and love dearly.

See, I told you it snowed!

Okay, I know it's only a little bit, just enough to make me go out in the cold at 6.30am and take these photos.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's Snowing here too!

Those of us who don't normally get snow become quite childlike when it does fall, as it is at the moment. Such a shame that it's dark because I'd love to take some photos. Perhaps it will still be there in the morning (if I get up early enough to see it).

It started with very fine flakes early this evening but Richard scoffed and said that it was just sleet. I told him to tell that to his hockey players at training later in the evening! By the time he came home at 7.30 there was quite a build up on the car and the snow was falling like big white cornflakes. So pretty and quiet.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

WINTER! Brrrr.....

In case you missed the weather forecast for tomorrow -
Canberra 8 degrees; Hobart 7 degrees; Melbourne 10 degrees; etc. etc.
Blizzards, storms and snow everywhere.
Hope you can all keep the home fires burning.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Longer Days

Anyone notice that the days are getting longer - not warmer, just longer? A lovely 32mm of rain this week helped keep the gardens moist. Richard has begun tackling the last section of the yard, quite a large area, too. It's an area that has never been developed properly. It was originally to be lawn but with the water situation as it is, there's no chance of that now. We want to plant trees, shrubs, perrenials, maybe a pond as well. Another large area of lawn will be incorporated into the new venture. There could be a few animated discussions in the next few weeks as we already seem to have differing ideas as to how it should look. At this stage we can still laugh about it and say "Well, I'm having this in MY garden, and you can have what you like in YOUR garden." The fact that we are talking about the same piece of ground is a mere detail.

ShellyC and the family will return from Switzerland this weekend. Canberra winter after a Swiss summer will be a bit of a shock.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Kali posted a verse and photos of the lighthouse she can see from her home. It made me think of the importance of these structures. Several years ago we drove down to Lizard, the southernmost point of England, intending to have a tour through the enormous lighthouse complex there. However, when only a few metres from the lighthouse it had to be closed to visitors as thick fog had suddenly descended and there were several ships passing quite close to the coast. The fog horns were switched on to warn the ships. What an eerie sound they made. Every 20 seconds the deep, throbbing siren sent it's warning message out through the thick black fog. We could just barely make out the dim shapes of four ships passing only a few hundreds yards offshore.

Last year we climbed up the lighthouse at Cape Otway on the coast of Victoria on a very windy day. It must have been quite frightening for the operators of manned lighthouses on very stormy nights years ago.

Am I addicted, or what?

It's 3.30am on a cold Canberra morning and only 12 degrees in the this room. I was lying awake and convinced myself that I needed a drink. So I put on my cosy Ugg boots and my dressing gown, came up to the kitchen and turned on the jug. The water has boiled but I'm still sitting here writing and reading BLOGS. If I'm totally honest, that's the real reason I got up! There are so many earlier blogs from new friends that I haven't yet read, and each time I read a comment, I seem to find another like-minded soul somewhere out there in the world. It's like a pebble in the pond with ever widening ripples enfolding new friends into my world.

Most of these people I will never meet, although I would love to meet the Aussie ones if I venture into their locality, but in many ways I think people are more open in their writing than they may be face-to-face. So I feel that I am really getting to know my ever increasing 'family'.

Now, I'd better go and make that drink before the water gets cold.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Circle Grows

In recent weeks my circle of web-logging friends has grown to include three more ladies, in three different States. Ladies who appreciate beauty in their surroundings, anticipation in each day, and fulfilment in the simple things in life.

Ms Robyn lives in the magnificent Blue Mountains in NSW.

Kali enjoys the picturesque scenery around Hobart in Tasmania.

Shell lives in sunny Brisbane, Qld.

I hope these ladies don't mind me 'advertising' their pages, but they are a joy to read, and it's such a pleasure to expand the circle, especially geographically.