Friday, June 29, 2012

We've just returned from an overnight stay in northern New South Wales - you know how I'm a huuuuge fan of that neck of the woods.
We stayed with friends at their holiday house called Basil's Brush, at Possum Creek just near Bangalow.
Although it absolutely belted down with rain the whole time it didn't really hamper our visit. We would have spent the entire time grazing like a Fresian regardless.
This is the view. It's amazing.
Our friends have A1 impeccable taste in all things house and homey. This is the inside.
This is the outside.

And....ta da.....this is the pool.
It's about a five minute drive into beautiful Bangalow, and a short trip to Byron or Brunswick Heads on the coast.
Anyone can rent Basil's Brush, all the details are here. I may be biased, but I highly recommend it, especially if you have children. Apart from all the things there are to do in NNSW, the house itself is well equipped for children including a four bunk bed room, accessed via a secret tunnel! I'm not kidding.
Now I'm off to have an early night. I don't want to jinx it, but I think we may be in for a beautiful sunny weekend?
Did you hear the joke about the man who pretended to be a Tahitian prince, ripped millions off Queensland Health and then successfully applied for Legal Aid? So just when you thought things couldn't get much more ludicrous, that means the Queensland Government is now paying the legal bill for the defendant who is charged with fleecing them of millions of dollars. Hilarious. So funny, I nearly cried.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A visit to Gwennie

When you are the person to sort through someone's personal possessions after they die, you can develop quite the connection with them, even though you only met once.
When our old neighbour, Gwennie, died in 2008, we bought her house the following year, lock, stock and barrel with all her personal possessions included. We sorted through decades of clothes, shoes, jewellery, hats, handbags and gloves, medicines, correspondence, knick knacks and photographs. I only recall meeting Gwennie once or maybe twice.
Since Gwennie was born in our house and lived here til her 90s, we sifted through her entire life from beginning to end. She went to Brisbane Girls' Grammer. I found her little autograph book, with messages from her friends, from when she finished school in about 1928.
She never married or had children, but instead remained living with her sister and their father until they both passed away. Gwen worked as a secretary at MacDonnell & East, the department store in George Street. I think it's now a duty free shop. Gwen loved to shop and play golf. She drove a car and went to church.
I found photos of Gwen dressed up for special events, then I would find the outfit she'd been wearing, hanging limp and faded in a musty cupboard fifty years later. 
So, I hope you don't think me odd, but this brings us to Toowong Cemetery. I knew this was where Gwennie was buried, but through the magic of Google I was able to locate her exact whereabouts.
This be she, in the family plot.
I tooked Mim and Peaches with me. They were fascinated by the cemetery. Sure, it's an unusual holiday activity, but definitely worth a visit.
Gwennie is in quite an old part of the cemetery. A lot of graves around her are from the late 1890s and early 1900s. Being old graves and not having such immediate relatives to tend to them, combined with the havoc of tree roots, parts of the cemetery are in a bit of a state.

Every head stone tells a story. This poor dear woman is buried with three or four babies.
Have you read The Mayne Inheritance? This is Patrick Maine's grave.
If all that cemetery talk has got you a little melancholy, here's a portrait of Tom the miniature wombat to lift your spirits. I'm not sure who took it? At some stage, obviously my camera has been swiped out of my handbag and replaced before I've been any the wiser.
On the weekend we took a trip out to the 'Scenic Rim' and went off the beaten track. It was well worth the effort.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coming soon

My husband has designed and built a carport for the house and is in the process of constructing it. It's going to be the handsomest damn arbour/garage that ever stood on four legs. He designed it to be flat-packed so it can be transported anywhere for construction. We will be using it for our car, but it would be perfect beside a pool or in the garden. If you're in need of a handsome arbour watch this space!

Still on the subject of home beautification, but on a slightly smaller scale, I washed my glasses over the weekend. Each time I do this I rearrange them in a different order according to usage, size, style, or in this case, colour. It's loads of fun, but it leads me to believe that I must have a tiny brain, to be entertained for hours on end with such a task.
These are my latest finds. A harlequin set of nine 1950s drinking glasses.
I also picked up these three turquoise 60s or 70s wine glasses. They'll be my new favourites, for a while at least. I'm easily distracted, would you believe?

We had a little visitor last week from Melbourne. Miss Mary Ann Agnes dropped in for the evening with her daddies.

She looks a bit spaced out here because she had to be sedated for her flight. She's nervous at the best of times, you can imagine what she's like when you put her in a box and stick her in the hull of a plane. By the next morning she had the spring in her step back, and busied herself harassing the guinea pigs.
I've given up getting rid of the guinea pigs. Remember I tried re-branding them as Queensland Rabbits, which didn't work. Then I tried calling them miniature wombats, still no luck. Then old Tommy developed his eye condition, and lost his sight in one of them, good on you Tom, nice one. Even I know that no one wants a disabled guinea pig, so we're stuck with them for god knows how much longer. Cunning little things. I thought maybe Mary could do us a favour with them, but their new cage is impenetrable, even for a tiny, super feisty jrt.
Back outside again. My husband made these planter boxes, which go very nicely with the house. I know these balls are small, but you'd be surprised how fast they grow. We took a trip to the Caboolture Markets yesterday. If you need plants head north on a Sunday. Everything is cheap as chips and there's heaps to choose from. These topiaries were only $15 each.
I got these snap dragons and pansies for a bit of colour around the garden in the spring time.

Before we headed to the markets yesterday I made this French toast using a chocolate chip brioche. Nutritionally, I wouldn't describe it as great value. It probably weighed in at 1000 calories a serve, and we were all unnaturally famished again an hour after eating it. I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, etc, etc, but why is it that I'm more hungry by 9.30am if I've had breakfast than if I've had nothing at all? Why?

It's yet another mystery of the Universe, there to keep us guessing for eternity.