Thursday, 26 February 2015

R.I.P. Barry

Our dear friend Barry passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning.

We are so sad for Carol and for Kate, Faye and their families.
Carol..... Lots of love and thoughts with you all.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

End of the mild weather

So far, this must be the best Summer I can ever remember.  It's been extremely mild with most days being in the low to mid 20's.  In fact we've had the doona/duvet on the bed pretty much every night.  Unheard of at this time of year!  We had those couple of 40 plus days a month or so ago and since then it's been lovely.  If only our Summers were always like this.  It seems February will change all that.  We are now set for a run of high 30's.

The other good thing about the cooler weather is the decreased fire danger while the weather is cooler.  The bad thing is that we have had grass growing again.  Summer is usually brown but with the rain and gentle temperatures it has been looking less harsh this year.  There is a problem with that.  Now the temperatures are on the rise again, the grass will dry out, and the fire risk increases.  Long dry grass burns so quickly!

On my way to work yesterday I saw way ahead on the highway a tiny plume of smoke.  It was coming from right beside the road.  By the time I had driven that one kilometre or so, it was an established fire and already racing up the roadside trees.  One stupid driver throwing out a cigarette butt!  I simply don't understand how people can be so thoughtless.  

Even worse was a segment on the news warning about the increased fire risk coming up this week.  It said since 1st December there have been 170 deliberately lit fires.  Doesn't it make you wonder what is wrong with some people?  What possible pleasure can there be in seeing on the news that people have lost homes, pets, or even their own lives?  The penalties should be much harsher.

We are currently in the midst of spending an awful lot of money on plans, permits, engineers, energy rating experts.  The cost of these things is going to amount to something like $7,000.  Wow!  That's before we even start building a thing.

I still haven't taken photos but we are meeting some friends out there on Sunday so I will do so then.  Mick has been busy.  He has knocked a doorway through between the two little offices and painted.  One is rather tiny but just big enough for a bed.  The other will be a living room and somewhere for a computer desk.  Next will be sorting out basic kitchen facilities over in the amenities block.  We already have a bathroom which we used when we lived in the caravan for 3 months before going to the UK.  The other toilet will be removed to make way for the washing machine.  The walkway between will have a kitchen worktop down one side and space for the fridge.  It already has a small kitchen sink.

It will be our living quarters while the house is being built and after that it will be for guests.  We already have some UK visitors lining up!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

At last.... a sewing room!

I had intended to use my old office furniture in my sewing room but after some discussion we decided we'd sell the matching desks and cupboards and buy something more suitable.  A couple of trips to Ikea and here it is.  It's so nice to finally have my space back and somewhere to store my collection of vintage quilts.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Barry update

I know I haven't mentioned Barry for a while and I apologise to those who have asked what's happening and received no response.  I didn't want to say anything without Carol's ok and I kept hoping for some positive news to report.

Unfortunately the news isn't good.  Barry had surgery a couple of weeks ago to remove the main part of the brain tumour.  The result of the surgery wasn't great and he has lost the use of his right leg.  His right arm isn't working too well either.  When the pathology results came back the prognosis was grim : the tumour is fast growing and his life expectancy is short.  He has deteriorated further recently so it appears the tumour may be growing again already.

It's devastating for Carol and so very sad for Barry.  They're both in our thoughts constantly.  
We should all make the most of every single day.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Dog walking group

We have really enjoyed the weekly dog walking group in our area.  This morning Klara someone knew it was doggie day.  She somehow knew what day it was and as we finished breakfast she was whining at the back door.  It's something she's never done before.  She all but dived in the car when I opened the car door.  It was off lead week so the group was at a fenced oval.  Definitely Klara's favourite.   It's lovely how others in the group who have bigger dogs look out for Klara when she's near their dog.  It's been a great experience for her to learn when another dog is telling her it doesn't want to play.

She's been a challenge.  Our garden hose has been chewed into several pieces, we have a constant pile of debris at the back door and last night she exploded through the fly screen door and came running into the house!  But.... how can you resist those eyes.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Start of a project

I mentioned a while ago that we have a potential project in the planning.  We have now received planning approval but it may be a few weeks before the building permit is sorted.  We (well......Mick) are going to build a little residence in the shed.

On Monday we signed the documents and handed over the money to buy out the co-owner of the shed so now it is officially ours.

To start with, Mick has sorted out a chook house for the feathered family.  They will live under the shelter of a tumble down old shed in the corner of the property.  At least they will have good shade.  The chook house is behind Micks rusty old truck.

His current project, while waiting for a building permit, is sorting out a bedroom in a teeny office.  I will take some photos on the weekend.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Another puppy play day

I spent the day Saturday with my friend Vic, her daughters Andy and Paige, and guide dog puppy Petrina.  The dogs had a wonderful time.  Petrina is 3 months now and Klara 6 months so we locked Petrina in Klara's run so she got a chance to have a sleep.  Klara would have just kept nagging her to play. 

We played Andy and Paige's Christmas present card game after lunch.  Somehow there was a challenge that the losing team had to give both dogs a wash.  You can see below who lost!  We had a bit of fun trying to get the dogs to sit nicely to have their photo taken after their wash.  They soon discovered their favourite playing spot from last visit.

Klara enjoyed her doggie massage.... she says thanks Paige.

And, from earlier in the week is Klara in the process of destroying the back door mat.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Parisien Star cruising

We have thoroughly enjoyed reading about Parisien Star's winter cruise.  Tore and Kirsten have sent us emails and photos of their first Christmas and New Year aboard.  We are so glad they're enjoying the boat.  Who knows, maybe one day they'll be spending the whole year afloat too!

It does make us hanker for our canal life but we so much enjoy reading about it and looking at photos.  Thanks so much to Tore and Kirsten for telling us all about it.


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Trying to keep cool

Both Klara and a group of kangaroos taking shelter in the shade of some trees over our fence.