Thursday, December 24, 2009

Another hot dry day in our neighbourhood. Just had our Nana nap and feeling at a loose end. I usually go and play cards on Thursday and my body clock says I shouldn't be at home today. We had the family gathering last night for Xmas Eve. We've had it early this year to fit in with having the most family able to be here together at any given time close to Christmas. 9 our of 23 of immediate family was the best we could manage. It's a shame so many of the family live so far away. It was a great evening with all the trimmings you might find on a Scandinavian table for Christmas eve. All cooked by the GD. As usual the almond in the Ricecream ensured that all the desert was eaten before the almond was revealed by one of the family, who with great difficulty had managed to conceal it in her mouth till everyone had their fill. The GD then donned the Santa hat and handed out the presents from under the tree. It will now be a very quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with one of our sons visiting from down south, the GD and I. The son will leave on Boxing day and four friends will arrive to spend Boxing day and overnight with us. A couple more people will also join us for Boxing day lunch. One of the nicest things I like about Christmas is receiving Christmas cards and Christmas letters from friends describing their year's activities, many of these from all around the world, we only hear from at Christmas. At our age it's nice to know they are still with us. It's always sad though to receive a card that tells of the loss of a loved one.

The photo is of too helpfull elves (two grandchildren) who visited a couple of weeks ago and helped to decorate the Christmas tree.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho!

At last, I feel like I'm getting somewhere with all things Christmas. It's been a mad rush this year and I still have a couple of gifts to get. The chore of wrapping, finding boxes to fit and posting presents is just about done. I'm sure it would be so much easier if the family were close by, but they are scattered all over this wide brown land. The tree is up and as we are expecting a couple of the younger grandchildren through the week for a visit, I thought I would leave the decoration of the tree till they were here. They liked having that job last christmas if I remember correctly. We might have one of the immediate family with us for Xmas but waiting for confirmation. We also look like having an early Christmas Eve celebration to fit in with some family who will be away visiting other members of their family before Christmas. Gee it gets complicated when there are split families to gather around. With some luck the GD might get some christmas lights up tomorrow but since we both have to go to skinscan tomorrow it might not happen. I have to have a sunspot cut out of my hand and one on my temple. Not looking forward to that. We spent the weekend before last up the coast for a surprise 70th birthday party and then had the guest of honour as our guest with his wife for a couple of days early last week. As usual the challange of the Rummykub took place along with a little of "the creature" (Yule Schnapps). I didn't win. We are feeding two Kookaburras now but only irregularly as we don't want them to become dependant on our feeding. We need rain badly in this part of paradise so if you are having more than your share please send some our way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In addition to the PeeWee which spends most of it's time in the pool area admiring itself in it's reflection on the glass pool fence, we now appear to have a visitor to the back clothes drying area. This kookaburra spent a couple of hours in this area yesterday afternoon. I think the main attraction is that we have a small water feature under the tree and used to have a couple of gold fish in it. The kookaburra is quite happy to take a little bit of bacon rind from within about 3 feet of me. I guess if fish isn't on the menu then bacon rind will do. Looks like we will have to put some mesh over the water feature when we replace the fish. We have fish in it to keep the mosquitos from breeding in the water. There's also 2 pairs of crows nesting across in the park and they seem very busy at the moment. "Ain't nature wonderfull".
We have just spent a relaxing, enjoyable up at the farm - Bella Vista, with Lindy & GB. It's always nice to get away and even nice to get away and stay with good friends. The British Lass from Scotland (now from France) was visiting her friends at the farm also, and we enjoyed catching up on her life since we first met her about 5 years ago.
There has been a few bushfires filling the air with smoke lately. This hasn't been good for my poor lungs. We are getting pretty desperate for some rain in the South East but there doesn't seem to be anything significant on the way. I guess one of the pluses with the dry weather is that the wildlife come a little closer to find their food and water. Just hope we don't get ducks utilising the pool as the PeeWees leave enough droppings around to clean up.
We had the house spring cleaned last week, gee it's nice to look through clean windows. There was still the remains of the dust storms which passed through here several weeks ago which seemed to have found it's way into every nook and cranny. All gone now and the fly screens have lost their slightly pinkish look.
Today we are both off to the Skin Scan Clinic to have any sun spots frozen off. I'm not particularly looking forward to that as my skin is a perfect example of the effects of our harsh sun on the skin and I usually come out looking like a case of the pox with blisters in all sorts of places. No doubt, better than having them develope further though.
Catch you later.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Whilst on our cruise the auction on board was selling works by an artist called Patricia. Isn't her work fabulous. I've tried to find her on the web but there are so many artists called Patricia so I haven't been able to establish if she has a web site. I also saw a brief video of her working on one of her pastles (I think) - she made it look so simple. I love the vibrant colours but she also achieves such a relaxed feel to he works. I couldn't afford to splurge on one of her bigger works and missed out on the smaller ones on offer. Hope you like this example as much as I do.

Monday, November 2, 2009

One of the pretty beaches in Maui where we made a port of call on our cruise.
Did a bit of gardening yesterday - cutting back more of that prickly, spikey boganvillia over the back fence. The GD and I had a quiet BBQ outside were I have re-arranged the outdoor furniture after cleaning all the red dust off everthing from the dust storm while we were away.
It's a beautifull sunny day in this part of Qld and after watering the flower gardens I decided I'd better catch up on a bit of mending. I ruined one of the GD's shirts in the process. It's getting on a bit but the stitching was pulled on one side. After carefully unpicking the seam I thought I would iron it flat so then when I sewed it I would get a neat finish. I've been ironing this shirt for about 5 years and apart from the seam that needed attention, it was still as nice as the day he bought it. You guessed it, the iron burnt a hole in it. It's one of those synthetics which needs very little ironing. I'd just complained yesterday that he changes his gardening shirts far too often and they do need ironing. Well now he has one that doesn't.
This afternoon I'll take myself off to Bridge. I'm starting to get the hang of playing Auction Bridge but the scoring still has me confused.
Although we've had a couple of small showers over the weekend, we could do with a lot more.
Still missing Puschka - half expect him to walk in the door.
Catch you later, M

Friday, October 30, 2009

Our pet cat Puschka has gone to Pet Heaven.

No photo's today. Yesterday was one of those days when it starts off with everything going smoothly but doesn't end that way. I couldn't do anything wrong at cards and won both in the morning and in the afternoon. It was a lovely day, not too hot, a nice spring day. That all changed when I got home. The GD was working in the garden, the dog came to greet me and tell me it was his meal time but then I went looking for Puschka our 16 year old cat who hasn't been real well. I found him in one of his favourite areas and he looked like he was sunning himself but sorrowfully he was dead. When I went to touch his fur was sort of tacky - strange I thought with tears in my eyes. I went down to the garden to tell the other half that what we expected could happen, had come to pass. After he'd taken him down to the vege garden to prepare his last resting place I went back to the place I had found him. I heard a whimper nearby and discovered that the neighbours Fox Terrier dog was cowering in a corner and his mate from next door had his nose under the fence where the Foxie had dug his way into our yard. I think he knew he had done something terribly wrong. It became pretty obvious what had happened to poor puss. He would not have had the strength to defend himself. I went back down the garden to have another look at Puschka and yes there was blood on the other side of him and the tacky fur was because he'd been in the dogs mouth. Puschka was old and not too much time left for him anyway but he didn't deserve to die like that. Well I've got that off my chest but there's still a few tears left. He had been part of our family for a long time. The GD informed the neighbour but apart from her saying she was sorry her other half hasn't shown his face with the same commiserations. I don't know why some people have pets when they are never home through the day and sometimes late at night. The pets get up to mischief and they don't get the attention they deserve. We wont be replacing Puschka - we are getting old and it's too heartbreaking when a pet goes to pet heaven. Now it's just the GD Couch the dog and me. Today is another day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Cool Dude (The GD) in Papeete

I think I have just about caught up on all the mundane things around the place. I've managed to edit about half of the photographs taken on our long voyage. I've trimmed most of the overgrown plants in the garden - them that didn't die on me. This afternoon I started to tackle the bouganvillia. This has to be done in stages to avoid nasty injuries from the thorns. So far so good.

I don't think I mentioned that the cat was just skin and bone and flea ridden when we got home so after a week we took him to the vet because he also wasn't eating. Well, they couldn't find anything wrong with him other than he's quite old and any further tests for things like bone cancer would be too invasive for him and we wouldn't be following on any treatment if he had it. He's not in any pain or miscomfort. The fleas are no longer a problem and he's still not eating much and fussier than ever about what he eats, when he does eat, so we think he's just a senile old cat and will live out the rest of his life in his garden as he sees fit. That all resulted in a pretty hefty vet bill. The dog didn't take long to fit back into our daily routine - looking for too many treats.

We received a little much need rain today but nothing like the rest of the area has had in the past couple of days.
After all my Contract bridge lessons on the ship I came back to find that my community centre played Auction Bridge. I think with a little practice I'll to able to adjust to the difference. I found Contract Bridge a little more challenging and interesting though.
Off to play cards again tomorrow, thursday - 500 and then Hand & Food Canasta.
I don't know when I'll get back to painting but I have a few ideas up my sleeve for when I do. I think I'll give pastles a go as I have seen some really great works using brilliant colours, which always appeal to me.
See you soon with a couple more shots from the cruise.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Home again

The Great Dane - Leaving Sydney 5th July (Bottom photo)
In Auckland ready to depart (top photo) We had an afternoon thunderstorm in Auckland and that was as about as cold as it got on the whole trip.

Hi Folks, We've been back from our looooong cruise about a week and a half now and after dealing with a sick cat and some credit card fraud we are just about back on track to normality, whatever that may be.

We've seen some wonderful places and some very dirty, unhealthy places. It's a pity but the latter seems to become more embedded on the mind. Home is the best place to live after taking a peek at how the rest of the world lives. The weather has stayed kind to us all the way around the world with the tragedies like sunamies, earth quakes and floods, either happening after leaving an area or sometime before we were in the vacinity. We have met some great people, had lots of laughs and been entertained by some excellent performers.

What is the chore I hate most since being home apart from keeping the place generally clean? It is changing the bed. The first day home I wandered around in a daze wondering what to do - no cards, no trivial persuites, no gym, no lectures, no deck to wander around on, nothing. Well that didn't last long did it. A load of washing, set the table for lunch, feed the cat, water the garden and so it goes. You know how it is.

I would love to have spent more time in many of the ports we visited and some I have not desire to return. I'm pleased to have been a first time visitor to the Pyrimids but wouldn't want to see Ciaro again. There were fresh water (if you could call it that) canals with rubbish piled up against the bridges across the canal which included dead carcases of water buffalo and other animals. Along the canal a short way there was children swimming in the water. Because of being misinformed by the cruise line representative we spoke to about Visas, we didn't get to go ashore in India and by all accounts it would rival Cairo for it's lack of hygiene.

Although the Mediterannean was physically a bit draining - a new port every day almost - I would be more than happy to see it all again. The whole cruise all seems to blend, one port with another and I am about to start sorting my photographs on the computer when I'm sure all the places will be refreshed in my memory. I'll just add a couple on the blog as I go along. Nice to be back.

Monday, June 29, 2009

This is a painting I did about 3 years ago - dawn at Kingscliff NSW.

Only 6 more sleeps and we will be on those very same Pacific high seas . I'm not excited - ha ha. I've zipped up my suitcase - can't fit anymore into it. It's probably just as well that we have to fly to Sydney to get on the ship or I'd probably find ways to fit more in.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nothing much to put on my blog today but would like to thank those who left such nice comments on my previous inputs.
We had a couple of friends for a long lunch yesterday. We haven't seen them for about 9 months and had a lot to catch up on. Today our house sitter arives to get used to the routine with the animals and to learn to manage the pool and the garden and any other little routines one establishes around their home. The sitter will be staying till we return from our cruise mid October. For those of you who follow my blog just click on to my follower, The Great Dane, (That's the fellow in the viking helmet - Secher's Blog) who also happens to be my husband. We will be posting our journey on there whenever possible. We fly to Sydney and embark on the 5th July and we are already packed and excited. We will be heading east across the Pacific with the first port of call in New Zealand. Please feel free to join us in cyberspace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The photo on my header was taken this afternoon as I walked along the foreshore where I live.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another painting ready for the framers. It's a place in South Australia called Fleurieu Peninsular. I might do a series of beaches throughout Australia. The first one being the one I sold of Cable Beach Western Australia. I rather like doing the sky, sand and water element of the compositions. I have a big one on the go (1 x 1.2 meters) but am finding it a bit daunting but I think I know why I have become stuck so I will probably finish that off next - maybe after our trip. It's from a photo taken at Caloundra Queensland.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A few years ago, with the help of other Steley descendants we organised a family reunion and a cousin and I wrote their history for the occasion. This is a poem I wrote about my first Steley line descendant who came to Australia.

Abel was a humble soul
As was wife Leah too,
They must have felt a pressing need
To start their life anew.

They packed up all their chattels.
They said their sad goodbyes.
They did not know what lay ahead,
When they broke the family ties.

Their daughter kept a log book
To post to Eleanor.
It tells of many weary days
To bring them to our shore.

Alas! This great new country.
Held trials to overcome.
But they toiled and sweated and battled on
From dawn to setting sun.

They tried the "Rock" and "Mary"
But didn't settle there
They chose a little township
The "Burrum" a treasure rare.

There wasn't gold or diamonds
Or other gems to wear.
It was a bit of blackend rock
To the best of coal compare.

It looked as if the troubled times
Were finally at an end
But some folk, in whom they trusted
Turned out as - not a friend.

Abel to his maker went.
He's suffered, triumphed, stumbled, been down, but rose above.
Leah was there to support him
His one and only love.

He became a local Legend
His children spread afar
Leah's greatest wish
Was to follow Abel's star.

She was buried a child of Isreal
Beside him, her partner brave.
She too had joined her maker
A dedicated Christian slave.

Some of us still walk the streets
Where they placed their well-worn shoe'.
Some of us have left this land
Like them, to start anew.

Some of us have not gone far
A few miles or hours away,
But the memories of our forbears
Are with us to this day.

We are the descended children
Bound by family chains
The blood of Abel and Leah
Is forever in our veins.

Why do I love this part of the world (south east Queensland, Australia)? Our night temperatures get down to about 3 degrees C, enough to know it's winter, but the garden still produces an abundance of brilliant tropical colour. They get very little attention except a bit of water and occasionally the Great Dane tosses a bit of fertiliser at them.
These two beautiful Hibiscus bushes grow just inside our front gate.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is my one and only attempt at a portrait painting.
It is of one of my four sons, when he was 10 years old, from his school photo. I started it in about 1987, the year after he was killed in a car accident when he was nearly 18 years of age. Each time I have come across it, I've told myself that I must finish it but it always felt a little painful to attempt to do so. Well, today I did it. Although it's no masterpiece I'm pretty happy with the result.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sold my first painting. Only another artist would know how that feels GREAT.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A new painting I have started.

Lying on the sugar can mulch in the sun is the place to be on a cold winters morning if you are a cat or a dog. The "Puschka" the cat likes the vege garden and the "Couch" the dog has chosen the rose garden with the ornimental duck for company. The cat about, 16 years old has never welcomed the dog about 5 years old and the only contact it has ever made with the dog is a swipe across the nose if he got too close. The two gardens are seperated by a fence, mainly so the dog doesn't dig in the vege garden and that suits the cat to have his own private garden. The cat, a Devon Rex is the strangest natured cat we have ever had in our lives. He has never liked being nursed but will park himself on any lap that appeals to him when he chooses. He can drive you up the wall with his talking. He will starve himself rather than eat anything that doesn't appeal to him at the time, though that may have been his favourite food last week. We do have a foolproof test to see if he is on his last leg of not. If he hasn't eaten for a few days and is almost skin and bones then we buy expensive whitting fillets, fresh (and only fresh not frozen) from our local supplier and if he goes berserk and eats up to 4 fillets at once then we know he's likely to be around for a while yet. It usually gets his appetite going again. He likes to open cupboard doors and is pretty good at it. If there's room he will occuply it too, until he is found or pops out for a snack. I think the Rex (Royal) part of his breed has gone to his head. But we love him. Enough about the cat.

Couch on the other hand has a good bark to keep strangers away from the gate but he is the gentlest and lovable animal and gets on really well with kids. Even kids who have been afraid of dogs up to date take to him. The sugar can mulch on the garden must be nice an warm to lay on as the Great Dane only laid it around the roses a few days ago and this is the first time the dog has chosen to lay there. It's also nice and close to the gate so if he can get away with it he can spot and bark at any other four legged animal who goes past. He sort of makes up for the difficult nature of the cat. He's not a million dollar dog but a three thousand dollar dog, yes. He took a liking to Bauple nuts (Macadamias) from a tree we had growing - would crack the shell and eat the kernal. However, a couple slipped down uncraked at different times, caused a major blockage of his intestines, 1.5 meters o which had to be removed as if was going gangreous and he would have died a painful death. The tree has been removed. He would love to be a lap dog but unfortunately at 28 kg + that's not an option and he has to settle for his head on your lap and receive the necessary pats.

Just found this picture of our seafood lunch last weekend. Gee it was nice to share it with great friends, sorry you weren't her to join us.

A few of the Great Danes orchid and bromeliad collection.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My header painting is of Woolloongong steel works in New South Wales. The beach adjacent is popular with surfers.

The Great Dane and I drove across to Dockside today to see the "Dawn Princess" across the river in dry dock going through a referbish. It leaves for a short cruise around NZ in 5 days time. I guess that will be a test to make sure all the repairs and updates are up to scratch for the long round the world voyage. We took a look at what they are doing on board on the web at the stage it was at 2 days ago and it's hard to believe it will be ready in 5 days time. It looks like a major refit on the computer and should look like new when it takes to sea.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A little pelican painting I did which now lives in Malaysia.

The weather here in SE Queensland has suddenly turned from mild Autumn days to cold winter days with temperatures down aroun the 3 degrees C. Being a coastal subtropical climate, that's cold. Even the Great Dane got his winter woolies out.

I've packed my suitcase for our upcoming cruise and think I might just be able to take all of what I had selected as my initial choice. May need a little refining after I weigh it as we have to travel by air to Sydney to embark and thus restricted by airline limits for luggage.

I enjoyed my usual game of cards yesterday, did a little shopping today and watered my plants.

I'm somewhat amazed that this "Swine Flu" had been officially called a pandemic. If it is as mild as indicated and people get flu symtoms and don't go to their doctor because they don't really feel ill enough then no matter what they call it, it is going to circulate.

Looks like another cold night tonight with the dusk sky almost colourless with a tinge of pink.

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's been a big weekend. I'm not going into too much detail as I'm feeling rather Sh....... with a cold.
Friday - Prepared for guests coming for the weekend, Lindy from the farm and her GB. We ate out at our local Thai which I wouldn't recommend to anyone, particularly anyone who likes real Thai flavours. They seem to be patronised rather well but I don't know why.
Saturday - While my Great Dane went off to work, our guests and I went to one of the local garden nurserys , going the long way. They used to live in the area and wanted to see the changes which are many, mainly new housing developments. While we were at the nursery we had a delicious coffee and cake in the morning sunshine. Picked up some seafood and headed back home for a long seafood lunch (prawns, crabs, bugs, and smoked mackeral with crusty bread) on the patio. For dinner my Gread Dane cooked a cut of venison - compliments of Lindy and her GB from the farm.
Sunday - Each year we usually have a gathering of friends and family who live close enough to celebrate our combined birthdays and anniversery. We have four Gemini's in the family and our wedding anniversery is in a few days time. It just so happend that this year it was actually on my birthday. We and our guest spent the first part of the morning setting up extra tables chairs etc. for a BBQ. I had a sore throat but kept telling myself that I must have slept with my mouth open, trying to ignore the fact that I was coming down with a cold, but by evening I couldn't ignore it any longer and excused myself after dinner and had an early night.
Monday - a holiday here in Australia - Slept late - Great Dane had breakfast on the table when I awoke. After breakfast our guests left to return to the Farm and I went back to bed and slept some more. My throat feeling like sandpaper on fire I took some medication and went back to bed - lunch then back to bed.
Feeling a little better this evening so caught up on reading a couple of blogs I follow and doing a few emails and then my post.
If I had gone to a Doctor with my symptoms he may have quarrantined me with all this Swine flu hype. In my opinion if they had given this particular strain of flu a number instead of a name that related to an animal, bird or fish it would have passed through society like any other flu. A few would die as they do with influenza each year and most would feel no worse than with any other flu and recover. Just one more thing for society to live in fear about.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A few days since I did anything on my blog and just to let you know I'm still here thought I'd better give a rundown of my past few days. After doing some of the mundane things on Tuesday, I took myself off the the RGS (my local genealogy society) to check through a couple of the latest aquisitions. Found where a few of my relies were living in 1949 and checked for a couple of marriages - not terribly productive. Went home and then the Great Dane and I went off to the club for lunch. Since it's my birthday this month I had a free lunch - a gift from the club for members during the month of their birthday. Home for a Nana nap and the afternoon was gone. Wednesday: did a little trimming in the garden while the cleaners were here. Added a few daubs of paint to my latest work-in-progress. Thursday: That's my card day so after putting the house in order I was a little late for cards. Played 500 in the morning and though I wasn't the winner I wasn't the looser either. A fun group of people to play with. Then lunch at the centre and played Hand and Foot Canaster all afternoon. One game each so not a real loss there either. As soon as I get home the dog and the cat demand attention even though they have been attended to all day long from the Great Dane. As soon as I sit down in front of the computer the cat advises me to move forward on my chair so he can sit behind me. Which I do of course as it's better than having him sit in front of me which is the alternative. Read a couple of blogs and added my own activities over the past few days to my blog and that's it. I've had my gin and tonic for sundowners with the Great Dane and the other dog and now I'll get myself a glass of wine and watch a bit of telly while my Great Dane slaves away in the kitchen. I think it's pork for dinner - no risk of swine flu I'm sure.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Recently at my Great neices 1st birthday I couldn't help thinking how much she looked like someone I had seen in the family before. I started thinking "who could it be" do into my genealogy archives and found the picture I was looking for. The picture is of my mother as a baby, probably not much younger than little April. What do you think?

Today has more or less been one of those ordinary days in the year except of course that it was the Great Danes birthday. He's catching up to me but I will always be a couple of years ahead. I cooked him an omelett filled with bacon, mushrooms, onion and tomatoe. I use yogurt and parmisen cheese instead of milk in the omelett - gives it a nice flavour. It was served with toast and finished off with some of Lindy's Melon, Lemon and Ginger jam on toast.

I did a couple of loads of washing and managed to get most of it dry. Then to the computer and read a few blogs. As usual, in between the cat insisted on survice, firstly for some dries outside on his bench then some best quality mince. He must have worked up a thirst but rather than drink from his bowl of clean water he seems to prefer licking the drips left around the laundry trough. The Great Dane feeds the hound in the morning. Later in the morning when I was at a loose end the Great Dane suggested I could gurney (high pressure hose machine) the path along the back of the house which becomes rather green and mouldy as a result of the array of his orchids and the lack of sunlight under the shade cloth. Changed my shoes and went too it. I don't really mind doing it except I get a little wet and my shoulder is now telling me that I either should do more of that sort of thing or none of it at all.

The Great Dane then cooked me a healthy hamburger for lunch. He makes the best hamburgers around. Then it was time for a "Nana" nap. When I woke the man in the kitchen was wrestling with a pie melon from Lindy at the farm. I did the de-seeding for him. He's now in the process of making some Melon, Lemon and Lime Jam and some pie melon chutney. I'm sure they will both be delicious.

Now, it's just about time for sundowners on the patio.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We have two Pee-wee's who think that our pool area has been set up specifically for them. As it happens they fly away each time I try to photograph them but I thought I'd put a photo of the corner of the garden in anyway. We sometimes have a cascade of water flowing down the rocks but it's turned of for the winter season.

We had a visit yesterday from Lindy from the farm. It was nice to have her join us for lunch. There was lots of swappies going on between her and my live in Gardener (my husband). Mushrooms and jam from her and chillies and sauce for her etc. etc.

My son is passing through from Kununurra in WA to the Gold Coast and spending the day and night with us. We haven't seen him for about 12 months and it's so nice to catch up even if it is only for a brief visit.

I've started a new painting which is coming along nicely.

I've spent most of today checking through the shore tours we may take when we are away on our cruise in July. There is such a lot to choose from but I think we have narrowed the possibilities down considerably. I've been through my wardrobe and selected what I would like to take and now I'll have to start putting some of it back in the cupboard. Three months is a long time to pack for. I hope this swine flu has passed the worst by the time we set off. We are prepared though and have our Tamiflu script. I really think it will turn out to be no worse than most winter flu viruses which also kills a lot of people thoughout the world. Nevertheless I like to be prepared.

Monday, May 25, 2009

You may have already guessed that I like sunsets and storm clouds and all the better if they are together. Water also seems to be an eliment in almost all of my paintings and photographs. Must be some meaning there........ The above photographs are taken at some of my favourite spots along the East Coast of Australia. The first one is at Hervey Bay and the second one is of Nobbies in Newcastle. The next two are at the Sunshine Coast and the last two were taken at Burrum Heads where I spent every school holiday as a child. When you know a place as long as I have known Burrum Heads, origionally called Traviston or more affectionatly as Travey, you realise how much mother nature changes the world. The foreshore would be hardly recognised if my grandparents were to come back to this earth. The place still retains it's villiage type atmosphere but the black sand dunes where I once played, that led from the front row of houses to the beach and the trees and brush are no longer there. That's now where the beach is. The chanel keeps encroaching closer and closer to the front houses with rock retaining walls now, to protect them from erosion. The creek where my father once went mud crabbing with a long steel rod with a bend on the end to pull out the crabs is now a small sandy creek with houses along it. The mangroves are gone. The sand banks which seemed to go out for ever when the tide was out just don't seem to go near as far any more. The rocks out along that sand bar produced an abundance of oysters for those who liked them. Not something that I have ever been really fond of except if they are "Oysters Kilpatrick". I saw little evidence of those rocks last time I was there.
"The only thing we can be sure of in this life is change"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We have had a wonderful lunch at Portside today with a group of friends from our wine tasting group. The crab entree was my favourite for the day along with the last wine of the day with desert, "Two Hands Brilliant Disguise Mascato 08" from the Barossa in South Australia. It had a bit of sparkle and not too sweet. I didn't drink all of mine - gave it to The Great Dane - as I was the driver for the homeward journey. Nice flavours with the Duck main course.

Now to my painting. I believe I have finished my "Townsville Park". I have deleted the branch which led the eye out of the picture and put a little bit of fauna in the form of a few sulphur crested cockatoos onto the grass to give it life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hopefully after the scars in the landscape from the bushfires in Victoria, the bush is starting to look a little like this painting which I did earlier this year and before the devistation.
Today is my card playing day and sorry to say I did not win at 500 this morning but had better luck this afternoon playing Hand and Foot Canasta and my parter and I could not do anything wrong and ultimately won. After the rain during the past couple of days I was surprised that none of the roads in our area were blocked. My great Dane is out in the kitchen cooking up something delicious including some of his produce from his garden. I did my bit - I processed the beans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not quite finished Townsville park painting and not quite happy. I feel it's a bit too "chocolate boxy" and lacks life. I've hit a bit of a stalemate with it. Actually though it looks better in the photograph than in reality. I'll have to do something with that branch on the left too as it leads your eye out of the painting. Might leave this one for a while and start something new.

The light is not much good for painting today as it's raining cats and dogs in the part of the country with reports of flooding and roads cut. Our pool has been running over for the last 24 hours into the drains and out onto the street. "Couch" the dog and "Puschka" the cat are not happy as they both like the outdoors and laying in the sun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

One of my favourite photographs taken on a holiday in Samoa a couple of years ago.
I've probably felt safer in Samoa than in any other country I have visited. They would have to be the most honest, friendliest people I have met in any places I have travelled to. I feel there is a book waiting to be published there of photographs of the many churches on the islands. Each villiage has its own church, each quite substantial and some rather elaberate. McDonalds opened in the main town when we were there - the wheels of change it could do without. Hope it doesn't change too much and loose it's unique character. M
"Rhythm & Blues"

While I'm spending time getting used to these bloggy things, the ironing is not getting done, only part of my garden was watered and my studio is a mess as is my desk. But never mind, it looks like it's about to rain soon. That takes care of the garden. I finished a very small (20 x 25 cm)attempt at an abstract painting. I think I'll stick to landscapes. The ironing and tidying can wait can't it? M

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Grand-niece's first Birthday cake below, loveingly made by her Mum. The day started like any other Saturday. Knew we had an hour and a half to drive to the party so left about 10.30. Traffic was slow in the city and the car started to make clicking noises from the front wheel. No where to pull over till we turned a corner and pulled up in a bus stop with a flat tyre. An hour or so later we were on our way again. It is so nice to experience the kindness of other people. After finding that the jack wasn't quite what we were used to we rang road assist. A lady pulled up with two kids and probably her Mum in the car and offered to change the tyre. We declined her kind offer as we had already called for assistance. A few minutes later she returned with two bottle of cold water as it was a warm day and we were using a lamp post for shade while waiting. Then to top it off a nice man on a Honda motor bike pulled up and also offered to change it. He obviously had no problem find where and how the jack worked so we accepted his kind offer. Road assist arrived as he was changing the tyre. God bless them both.

The picnic party was delightful. We also caught up with other family and friends. Left about 3.30 and had a good run home to feed our dog and cat. Feeling a little weary and time for dinner. M

Photography - My other hobby

This is a photograph taken on the western side of Bribie Island looking towards the Glass House Mountains last year.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Dog (an American Fox Hound Cross), a pound puppy being hugged by one of the grandchildren.

Left: The old cat having one of his many naps. When he sleeps like this I sometime watch for a while to make sure he is breathing.

Right: Himself, wide awake. He's a Devon Rex. They have little hair and supposedly one of the best breeds to have if you have allergies.

Finished reading a Julia Ross novel last night. An easy read called "Games of Pleasure". Might see if I can find more of what she has written. Been shopping today - just the household stuff but bought another couple of canvases. M

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Have had fun playing Five Hundred and Pony Canasta with a local community group. Didn't win though. M

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No painting being done today but I have framed my painting of the bushfire.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This is a painting I am working on at the moment. Its from a photograph taken in a park in Townsville.

This is a painting of images viewed from various sources of my impression of the bushfires in Victoria. Hope there is a bit of green peeping through by now. M