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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Day 2005.

After seeing everyone else's Christmas Day stories, I thought it was about time I wrote something about ours, especially as I had mentioned on Patra's Place that I would do so. Ken and I started our day by exchanging gifts and opening the others that had been accumulating. I gave him a DVD and a calendar - both motorcycle-related, which is his prime interest. He gave me an Elvis DVD, a bunch of flowers, and a Chocolate House. He gave me one of these last year, and I was so delighted with it, he thought it was worthwhile to repeat the exercise! Now that I have photographed it, we will proceed with the demolition...but slowly! {{{YUM}}}}

Later in the morning, we set off for our first visit of the day - to one of my home care clients, who is frail and ill, and on her own since her husband died a few years ago. We took some flowers and Christmas cake, and found her still in her nightclothes, and a bit confused about what day it was. She soon realised though, and was delighted to have us there for an hour. I changed her bed linen while we were there, as due to the public holidays, I wouldn't be back again until later in the week, and I couldn't bear the thought of her having to sleep in a soiled bed, especially with the threat of several 100 deg.F days to follow.

After that, we dropped in on another lady who is also a widow, but in much better health. She was also delighted to see us, even though it was a 'flying' visit, because we had to travel a few more miles to get to Ken's sister's place in time for lunch. Not that we were worried; lunch is never until about 2pm on Christmas Day at her place...There were nine of us there and it was a pleasant day, with Ken's sis. firmly in stress-free-control, compared to last year when she was so stressed she ended up in hospital! Her daughter M had her two little ones there - two years old and 2 months old. Of course the baby got all the attention, so little Miss Two had her nose out of joint and was grizzling on and off for much of the day. Until I found one of those bubble blowing toys in a cracker and started blowing bubbles. Miss Two was delighted with this, and so I kept her amused for an hour or so, while M was able to feed the baby in peace and quiet.

Now, my stash for this Christmas. I feel very much loved and cherished this year; I put photos of four items on Patra's Place, but I received so much more, including bath salts, soap and gel, embroidered hand towels, chocolates, two cross stitch books, bottles of wine, underwear, a diary, calendar, two padded/embroidered coat hangers, and a roasting dish (sounds strange, but I was asked what I wanted, and that was my request!). There are some other things, but without looking at my list I can't remember everything.

So, a happy day all round. Boxing Day was quiet; I did all my housework in the morning, and spent the afternoon stitching in front of the tv, with my new Elvis DVD playing. Ken was downstairs in the garage for most of the day, getting frustrated with his bike over some mishap.. >:-(

Gosh! It's Tuesday again...
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 24, 2005

To everyone who visits my blogs - have a very happy Christmas, and a safe, peaceful and prosperous New Year!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Here you are Ms Robyn - Tuesday's vintage lady - just scraped in on time !!
Posted by Picasa

I bought this card for myself - I may give it to another cat lover in years to come, but right now, I want to keep it to show my friends! if you click on the bottom right hand corner a couple of times, the image should increase enough to read the text clearly.
Posted by Picasa

"What part of miaow don't you understand?"
Posted by Picasa

One for the Cat Lovers.

Funny thing about this time of the year - the way we rush to catch up with people that we haven't seen since last Christmas. Oh well, it's a good excuse I suppose. We had a friend around here for dinner tonight - a single lady who we have known for about 20 years. She is around our age and always good fun to be with, as she has a good sense of humour and always lots to say for herself. Some people find her 'hard to take', but Ken and I enjoy her company, even if we don't get a word in edgewise at times! She is a cat lover, so I gave her this book for Christmas, with a request that she lend it back to me at the first opportunity. I had a brief glance through it before I wrapped it, and I was still giggling when I handed it to her!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sydney, you've done it again!

Ken and I have watched Carols By Candlelight in Melbourne every Christmas for the last 20 or more years - since it was first televised, I'm sure. One year we decided to attend the concert, so we rolled up with some friends and were astonished to discover that we should have booked tickets beforehand - at $30 per person! We had no idea that people paid to go to Carols by Candlelight; when it first started, it was free - you just turned up with your rug or chair, and enjoyed the concert. So we went back to watching it on t.v. and enjoying it less each year, as it got more and more commercial and pop music orientated.

In comparison, Sydney's version "Carols In The Domain" - which is on the week before Melbourne's, gets better every year. While they do have some young pop star singers, they also have a few opera and/or classical singers, as well as children's entertainers early in the night, and it is a very well balanced program. And it is FREE to those lucky enough to be in Sydney - sponsored this year by Woolworths, who donated $4 million to the Salvation Army. I understand that the cost of the tickets to Melbourne's carols goes to charity (Institute for the Blind, I think), which is all very well, but it would be great if they could get a sponsor too, and go back to being a free concert.

So, well done, Sydney - great concert again, beautiful backdrop, fantastic fireworks, and the proceeds to a very worthy cause.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

No.10 of Yesterday's Ladies.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Is your washing off the line?

We had a thunderstorm earlier tonight, accompanied by heavy rain. I was chatting to a friend on the phone about 9 pm and she said she had just called her daughter who lives in another suburb, to tell her to look at the sky. I asked what she was referring to, and she said "have a look yourself!" So I did, and saw the black clouds rolling in at a very fast rate of knots. My first thought was of one of my home care clients, for whom I do two loads of washing every Monday. I couldn't bear the thought of the whole lot being blown off her line to be strewn around the neighbours' gardens! So I said to Ken "I'm off to P's to rescue the washing!" and he shook his head. He still doesn't get it, although I have done this countless times before. P only lives a few streets away, she is severely handicapped, and has nobody else to look out for her. She was in bed asleep when I rapped on her door, but when I told her it was me, she came to the door in her nightie looking all tousled, but pleased that I was to rescue her washing. I know what it is like to have all my washing on the line, and to be elsewhere while it pours rain, knowing I won't get home in time to get it inside! I know, I'm mad. Yes, I have a clothes dryer (P doesn't), but I only use that in emergencies. I don't like to waste electricity on drying stuff in a dryer when we have good old Aussie sunshine most of the time.

Friday, December 09, 2005

It's been another busy but rewarding week..

Anyone who has trouble filling in their days, ought to think about volunteering to help less fortunate people, whether they are elderly, disabled, or just socially isolated for other reasons. Of course if you are one of these people who don't like other people, you can always volunteer to work with animals! I love animals too, but I have found my niche with my 'oldies'. That term might sound disrespectful, but it is spoken with affection, and my oldies know that. They refer to themselves as oldies with a laugh!

My original plans for Tuesday fell in a heap when my friend L. phoned me on Monday night to say she was going for a job interview on Tuesday afternoon, so would not be able to join us for lunch. As I can only transport one lady at a time in my car, due to them all relying on walking frames, it meant that I wouldn't be able to pick both ladies up for lunch. That little problem resolved itself when one of them (M.) called me early on Tuesday to say she wasn't well enough to go out. So that left me with B. to take out. I collected her as planned, and we decided to have a simple lunch of toasted raisin bread and coffee at a local cafe. Following that, we decided to visit M. at the hostel where she lives, and she was so happy to see us! We had been there about an hour, when who should turn up but L. - fresh from her job interview! She had been driving past and spotted my car, so she thought it would be worthwhile dropping in, and so the four of us got together as planned after all, even though we hadn't gone out anywhere special.

Yesterday (Thursday) I made my monthly visit to my elderly Japanese friend who was as always delighted to see me, and prepared to feed me vast quantities of Japanese food which I love, but do not feel like eating at 3 o'clock in the afternoon! She understood when I explained that I had already had lunch, and couldn't fit any more in just then, so she carefully packed everything up and gave it to me to take home for dinner. It was delicious! She has forbidden me to buy her gifts, but she insists on giving me one at Christmas! But I still give her a card. I will keep her gift to open on Christmas Day.

She is having trouble with one of her neighbours - how hard it must be to have limited English skills, and not be able to discuss an issue with your I phoned the local council and spoke to them on her behalf, and they promised to try and resolve the issue. It is easy for me to do this for her, and the reason I am writing all this, is to hopefully encourage at least one person out there in cyberspace who may be reading this, to think about visiting someone who needs help. There are so many people in situations where they are unable to speak for themselves, and it doesn't cost anything to do these small favours for them. Oh, perhaps the cost of petrol or public transport to and fro, but I fervently believe that whatever one contributes to the wellbeing of another, it will bounce back to you tenfold some time in the future.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

No 9 of Yesterday's Ladies
Posted by Picasa

One door closed, but two have opened!

Well, as some of you said after my earlier post about Ken losing his job, when a door closes, another will open. What an apt cliche! Ken didn't waste any time putting out feelers for another job, and he started by talking to the bosses at National, who have contacts in many places. One job offered to him was as a Security officer for Park And Ride. Most people reading this will not know what on earth that means, so a brief explanation is in order.

Park And Ride are large carparks around the suburbs of Melbourne, where commuters in the outer suburbs can drive to, park their cars for the day (at no cost) and catch the bus into the city to their workplace. At the end of their day, they hop back on a bus to the Park And Ride carpark, and drive their car back home. The idea is to reduce traffic on the roads into the city. One person is in charge of the car park at all times, for a 10 hour shift. As well as keeping an eye on the cars, he keeps a check on the buses that come and go, and the number of people getting off and on - this is for statistical purposes. Ken spent a couple of afternoons there, getting a feel for it, but the boss admitted there was no guarantee of a job immediately.

So Ken spoke to another ex-bus manager who is now managing a courier service for Melbourne Pathology - one of the companies who carry out blood etc. tests for doctors and hospitals. The manager was delighted to see Ken and offered him a part time job on the spot, which Ken accepted on the spot! He is to work 5 days a week, 5 hours a day in the mornings. He started last Thursday, so has only worked three days, and still has some reservations about the work. He is happy driving around all over the place (he used to be a courier, so he knows his way around Melbourne), and he says the places he goes to are fascinating, but there is so much to remember! Well, join the real world baby! New jobs tend to make you feel like that! So, I am happy for him as long as he doesn't get too stressed, and as long as the boss doesn't ask him to work longer hours. If he does, I will be calling him to discuss it (haven't told Ken this!) because the cardiologist has warned Ken about working long hours and getting overtired.

So that's where we are at the moment. Tomorrow I am taking two of my elderly ladies out to a pre-Christmas lunch. It is going to be a stinker of a day - by that I mean HOT - 30 deg.C (90 deg.F) so we aren't going far - just to a cafe that recently opened in our local shopping centre.

And before I forget (again!) here is the next picture in my series of Yesterday's Ladies!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wasn't going to mention this, but...

We had some friends around last night after dinner, and decided to watch a DVD. Ken selected "Ned Kelly" (NOT the Mick Jagger version...ugh) as one of the visitors hadn't seen it. At the end of the movie, a statement appears on the screen to tell the viewer what happened to young Ned after he had gone on his shooting and looting rampages. It said he was executed by hanging at the age of 25 years old. Ned Kelly is seen by many Australians as some kind of folk hero. There are movies, books, statues, all kinds of tacky souvenirs about him. I don't feel one way or the other - he is just one more infamous figure from Australia's history.

However, whatever his sins were, he wasn't a drug dealer. Drug dealers are the scum of the earth. They wreck countless lives by selling substances designed to melt the human brain. I have seen several families completely disintegrated by their kids getting hooked on dope. Drug dealers are not war heroes. They do not deserve to have one minute silence to honor them, they do not deserve to have church bells pealing in their honour. Ned Kelly should have been allowed to live. The other 25 year old? No further comment.

This is No.8 of yesterday's ladies, due on Tuesday 30th November, but I am late with it as usual...
Posted by Picasa

adopt your own virtual pet!