Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A message to my American Friends..

Twenty four hours ago, I was watching events in New Orleans unfolding, on Fox News cable tv. Here it was late at night - over there, early in the morning, and the horror was just beginning for the residents of three States. This morning, I turned on the t.v. again, 10 am Melbourne time, and of course, the night before over there. Things just got worse and worse. I have heard from some of my Blog Friends in the USA, assuring me they are safe and well. That is great to hear. But so many people over there are not safe and well. It is at times like this I am reminded of why Australia is called The Lucky Country, and again, I am truly grateful to the Powers That Be that I was lucky enough to be born here, and have chosen to continue living here. Oh sure, we have our natural disasters like any other place in the world, but the USA seems to have far more than its fair share. Tornadoes are I believe a regular occurence in certain states every year. Hurricanes seem to be flying into Florida and the Gulf more often this year than at any time before (I may be wrong about that). And I heard that there were bushfires (wildfires I think the Americans call them) out of control in California at the moment.

Nothing I can say or do will make any difference to these catastrophes, but I would like to let my American blog friends know that my thoughts are with you. I am hoping that you are all okay, and that your families and friends are too. Having visited the USA several times, I have wonderful memories of the places and the people, and I am very distressed to see this terrible destruction and the inevitable consequences to the people.
{{{{hugs to you all}}}}

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sometimes I HATE computers..

I don't know if it is the fault of my computer, or the Picasa/Hello program, but all of a sudden, I can't post any photos to my blogs. I have finally scanned the photos I took of our house and street, and a whole lot of other interesting bits and pieces, but when I logged into Picasa, I could only get so far, then it just ground to a halt. GRRRRR!!! I spent a futile half hour mucking around with it, deleting and reloading, but nothing worked. I have heard from other bloggers that they have experienced problems with Picasa, so they switched to another photo site. I may have to do that yet, but I dislike changing something once I am comfortable with it. It is the same reason I refuse to upgrade from the ME operating system to XP, despite the computer nerds who tell me that ME is unstable and is the cause of my screen freezing every half hour or so. I LIKE my operating system, I am used to it, and when Ken asks me to show him how to do something on his laptop, I am reluctant because I am unfamiliar with XP. Ah well, my photos are all sitting in My Documents, waiting patiently to be downloaded here, so hopefully tomorrow, everything will be back to normal and I'll have another go at it. In the meantime, I will go and list some stuff on eBay...unless their photo thingo has a hissy fit too - AAAAGHHHH!!!!!!!

Some fascinating websites.

I was reading Pam's blog tonight, and she mentions a website called Ginger's Diary, which is the diary of a 17 year old girl living in Hawaii at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Not having lived in a war zone anywhere myself, I am interested to read how other people have survived their experiences, so I went in there and had a look. It is a fascinating read - and the comments from those who have viewed the site also make interesting reading. I commented on Pam's blog that the movie "Pearl Harbor" affected me deeply. I cried nearly all the way through it the first time we saw it at the movies, and when Ken bought the DVD I swore I would not sit through it again. But I did, when he showed it to other people, and I am still tearful through much of the movie.

I asked Pam what she thought about the proposed movies on 9/11, and said again, I would not want to watch any of those at all. That day had to be the worst day of my life. Ken was on a life support system in hospital and not expected to live, and I was watching Fox News on cable tv because I couldn't sleep (it was about 10.30 pm in Melbourne). When those planes rammed the Twin Towers, and the subsequent events started to unfold, I thought my world had come to an end. Even now when I see a film clip on tv, I have to turn away. What do my readers here think - is it too soon for a movie about 9/11?

While on the subject of war, I found a rather unique blog via a link on another blog (they go on and on, don't they - these links!). This one is a journal by a soldier stationed in Iraq, with plenty of photos of the people he is involved with. Now I am not going to get bogged down in discussions, let alone arguments - about the situation in Iraq, and if you the reader, do not want to visit this blog, it doesn't matter to me at all. I put it here simply because I like to see the stories that the media don't print, and this is a classic example. Go see!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

More photos of Aussie wildlife.

This is SO embarrassing...I went through my photos tonight, and the last time I took some snaps around here were 10 years ago! So as I still have some film left in my camera, I am going to go out and about tomorrow and use the rest up with photos of our street etc. In the meantime I have posted some pics which I took while we were in Tasmania in June this year. These are at a wildlife park just out of Hobart. It is a fairly small park, but very well run, and not too expensive. For our $5 entry fee we got a bag of food pellets that we were told any of the animals would eat. As they are so used to humans, most of them were quite tame and happy to be patted while they were being fed.

Tawny Frogmouth - a member of the Owl family.
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All zoos and wildlife parks have signs like this when they have Devils in their collection. It is not a good idea to try and pat them, as you would with other animals.
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Tasmanian Devil (not to be confused with the extinct Tasmanian Tiger). I love these little critters, but they are NOT tame! In fact most people think they are downright horrible - ugly and bad tempered, but I think they are just so cute when they are cross and fighting with each other over a bit of food!
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Kangaroo playing with himself...believe it or not! I had never seen a kangaroo grooming his tail like this, so I had to get a pic!!
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Gina feeding kangaroos.
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Closer shot of wallaby. They are so cute and trusting in this wildlife park.
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Ken feeding a wallaby. These little critters are like miniature kangaroos.
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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wiping MORE egg off my face!!

I just happened to mention on Patra's Place that somebody had put photos of their hometown on their blog, and what a good idea I thought it was. And I would do it very soon myself, on this blog...Well, famous last words. Since I wrote that, several of my favorite Blogger Friends have beat me to it, and put photos on their blogs! Still, it is nice to feel you might have started a small trend, and I am enjoying seeing other people's places. I do have my photos sitting on top of the scanner to do something with, but as usual, time just gets away. Here it is, 8 pm on Sunday evening - we haven't had tea (I haven't even thought about what we are going to have!), I have five shirts to iron for the MOTH, and I haven't even done the dishes from this morning. One good thing about MOTH having his own computer now, he gets caught up in it even more so than me these days, so I don't have him grizzling about meals being late because like me, he doesn't even realise what time it is...until the hunger pangs set in and he looks at the clock and yelps!

You might be wondering what the heck I have been doing all day? We had Ken's Mum stay with us last night, and today we all went over to the home of one of his cousins, about 20 minutes drive from here. His family have this nice tradition of holding regular get-togethers of the family three or four times a year, apart from Christmas or Easter that is. So the cousins and their off spring take turns in hosting an afternoon tea where we all bring a plate of nibblies, and just laze the day away catching up with each other. No stress, no family arguments - just a nice relaxing afternoon.

Ken's Mum at 92 years old, is absolutely no problem - in fact she is a sheer joy to have with us! She has all her marbles, that is, no sign of dementia - and she loves to see what new things Ken and I have - my linen collection, what I am stitching, and what we are doing on our computers. Ken spent an hour teaching her to play Spider Solitaire on his laptop this morning! Last night we watched two DVDs - Riverdance and one of the recent Military Tattoos Ken and I attended. Nice and loud too - if she was physically able, I reckon she would have been up marching around the lounge room! I couldn't have wished for a better Mum In Law..

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Wiping egg off my face....

Well, I have joined the ranks of the most well-read people. Sharlee from A Blank Page lent me the first Harry Potter book last night, while we were at her place for dinner. We got home around 1 am, and I went to bed, taking the book with me, much to Ken's disgust. He is NOT a reader, and hates it when I have the light on to read, when he is trying to sleep! I was so tired last night, however, that I had only read half a dozen pages before my eyes closed of their own volition, so he got his way and the light was off fairly soon.

I woke about 10 am this morning, and put the kettle on for a cuppa. Picked up Harry and started to 1 pm Ken was up and dressed and asking about brunch. FOOD! Who cares about food while Harry was fighting a monster in a dungeon?? Can't remember the names of all the creatures yet, but I have no doubt that in time, I will be like the rest of you and be naming our pets after various personalities in the Potter series! Sharlee, have the next book out for me next time I visit!

Monday, August 08, 2005

My contribution to The Antiques Roadshow

Here are the photos I promised to show you, of the items from my collection that I am taking for appraisal to the Roadshow. I have included a brief description with each picture, but do feel free to ask me for any more details.

Both photos show a part of each table cloth. The top one was to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1952, and the other commemorates her visit to Australia in 1954.
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Two aprons cc 1930s to celebrate Miss Australia
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Centenary of Melbourne doiley (1934) and opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932) cushion cover and doiley
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King George VI coronation (1937) cloth and two WW1 embroidered picture frames
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Sunday, August 07, 2005

A very productive weekend.

This is a kind of continuation from Patra's original Place! Tonight's post there was getting a bit long-winded, so I decided to lob over here with my Other Stuff.
Yesterday (Saturday) I finally sat down to do our tax returns. When Ken was self-employed, his tax return was too complex for me to do, so we had an accountant do both of them for us, at a cost of $70 each the last time we had them done for us. But now that we are both PAYE employees, it is so much easier, so I decided to go back to doing them myself. A friend told us last year that he did his return online, and it was very easy. So I logged on to the Aust. Tax Office and followed the instructions, and VOILE! It was easy! AND we had our refunds back in about a week!

This year, I had delayed doing them because my computer has been crashing(freezing up) so often, and I was afraid of getting caught out in the middle of the tax return. Yesterday, I decided to bite the bullet and get into it. I need not have worried! It took me about half an hour to process and lodge both our returns, and the computer didn't have one hiccup! Best of all, the Tax Office have calculated our refunds to be a combined figure of over $1000! WHEEEEEE!! And no, there will be no big spend-up on eBay or anywhere else. It will be used to reduce the debt we currently have on our credit card!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Some Aussie wildlife photos.

You asked for 'em! I have dug out a few pix that have been taken over the last 20 or so years, of various animals and birds that Ken and I have either owned, or encountered on trips around Australia. I have a few more to post, but decided this was enough for tonight.

Last one for tonight. Ken (in purple singlet) with a friend, getting friendly with a python they discovered on the roadside. This was taken about 25 years ago. Ken will happily wrap a huge snake around his neck, but won't touch a spider! (I am the opposite)
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Had to include this one of a koala, sound asleep after stuffing himself on gumleaves! Taken in a wildlife park.
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These two photos show an Echidna we found on the side of the road. Unfortunately the colour in the first photo is all wrong - the second pic is better. But the first one shows how the little critter curls up into a ball so predators will leave him alone! But in the other pic, Ken is trying to coax him into some material, so he can pick him up and move him to the side of the road out of danger.
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Galah on Ken's hand, showing off his pink feathers. These photos don't do the bird justice; they are much prettier in the flesh/feathers!
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Ken having a heart to heart talk with our pet galah a few years ago. A Galah is a pink and grey cockatoo, very easily tamed.
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This photo was taken in our backyard aviaries. These birds are called Mallee Ringneck parrots, after the region of Australia where they are found. The bird on the far left is an Eastern Rosella, commonly seen around our place.
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These are Crimson Rosellas. Mostly red feathers, with a bit of blue and black as well.
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Monday, August 01, 2005

An unusual book, to say the least!

Tonight, I went through my photo albums and boxes of photos that aren't in albums - do you have those? I ran out of time to put photos in albums around 1992. How do I know? I write dates and subjects on the envelopes that the photos and negs. come in, and there are two boxes full of envelopes dating from 1992 onwards. But I am going off the topic - right off, in fact! The reason I was fossicking through the photos was to find some of our pets and native wildlife to post on this blog. I found some, so I will be busy scanning tomorrow and will be able to do what I promised in my first post here.

In the meantime, I decided to write about a book I bought recently. I have never read a Harry Potter book, nor seen a Harry Potter film. I can feel the vibes of shock and horror coming across cyberspace as some of you read that! Well, I don't apologise for it - not having any kids, I'm not exposed to kids books and films like most others of my age, so they hold no particular interest for me. Oh yes, I have been told (and told, and TOLD) that you don't have to be a kid to appreciate Harry P, but there are so many other books that hold more immediate appeal to me, that I have no desire to read HP at this time.

So, when browsing in bookshops, I tend to walk past the children's section without a glance. But one day recently, something caught my eye, and I had to go back for another look. I couldn't believe my eyes - there was a book - on the kids shelf - called "Walter The Farting Dog"!! Now, there is no way my parents would have let me have a book like that when I was a kid - there was no way the censors in Australia would let a book be published with that kind of language in the 1950's! So, fifty years on, I figure I am old enough to cope with whatever was in this book. Well, I stood there reading, and laughed till the tears rolled down my face. S from The Blank Page was in the shop with her daughter, and they stood as far away as they could...can't blame them really. I have the kind of laugh that reverberates around the block, not just the room I happen to be in at the time.

I took "Walter" up to the cashier (who was by this time laughing at me) and said "I'll buy this for my husband - it reminds me of him", at which she laughed all the more, while S pretended she didn't know me! Alas, hubby wasn't amused when I showed it to him. "When are you going to grow up?" he wanted to know. Hmmmm...all I can say is, who needs Harry Potter when you can have Walter The Farting Dog?!

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