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, November 21, 2006


Why is it that the world seems to turn against you sometimes? Not just on one topic, but a whole lot of things all at once. So far this week, our energy company has decided to charge us an extra thousand dollars per year for gas and electricity; we have received the third bill in a row from Telstra, charging us for extra services that we have never had; and the man who was supposed to install a new airconditioner for us ages ago has just let me know that he's been in hospital and won't be able to do it himself, but is looking for someone to help him.

I have just removed the previous post here about Ken's bike almost blowing up on the way home from the bike work shop on Saturday. The shop owner rang me today in response to a letter I wrote to protest that Ken had just paid $700 to have his bike fixed, and now it's not going at all. He (the owner) was not happy at all with 'the tone of my letter', and had consulted his solicitor about it. He now says it was all Ken's fault that the bike packed up. WELL...I suppose if he's that cheesed off, he might think my blog post was also defamatory, and try to sue me over that too, so I thought it best to delete it. Still not happy, but what chance do we have against a very wealthy young man who can obviously afford the greediest of lawyers?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Good news for Better Half's health!

I accompanied my Better Half to his heart specialist appointment today, as I know he was nervous about it, especially after our local GP had seemed anxious that Ken have his heart checked as soon as possible. After an echo-cardiogram and ECG, the cardiologist informed us that Ken's heart hadn't deteriorated over the last year - it is no better of course - that will not change due to the damage caused by the original heart attack. But his medication and current lifestyle are keeping him as well as can be expected, so we are both relieved to hear that. I was expecting the doctor to tell Ken he must retire from work, but no, he said as long as he feels up to it, he can continue working as long as he likes. I must admit to being a tad puzzled, as last year, he seemed very concerned that Ken was working too long a day. Maybe that was while he was a bus driver. The stress in his current job is not as bad as that, but nevertheless, he still gets very tired at the end of the day. Well, don't we all?! In fact, I spoke to my supervisor yesterday, and had two clients removed from my work roster. I have decided that more than three jobs a day is just too much, so where I had four clients on one day, she removed one. I felt better already, just knowing that I wouldn't have to rush around so much on those days again. Less pay, yes, but what price do you put on your health? At my age, it is priceless!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I picked the winner!!!

Yup - for the first time in years of betting on the Melbourne Cup, I finally picked the winner today - "Delta Blues". I know next to nothing about horse racing, but like many Aussies, Cup Day is the one day every year that I put a few dollars down to back a horse or two. Ken and I have brought his Mum to our place for Cup Day every year for the last ten or so years; she would be sitting home on her own watching the races on t.v. and so would we, so we decided long ago to make it a tradition for us. I collect her from her house in the morning and we stop at the TAB on the way back here, to put our bets on. There are ten races at Flemington on Cup Day - the Melbourne Cup is the seventh one. But we put a bet on a horse in every race, and usually more than one horse in the Cup. We usually break even or make a small profit, and today I came out $10 ahead, thanks to Delta Blues!

It was great to see Delta Blues and Pop Rock - both from Japan, come first and second in the Cup. Pop Rock was ridden by an Aussie (Damian Oliver), but Delta Blues was ridden by a Japanese jockey, who had only arrived here the day before. He was absolutely overwhelmed when he won, actually crying with the excitement! Damian Oliver made a really lovely gesture as they rode over the finishing line - he extended his hand to the Japanese jockey to congratulate him. This is very rarely seen in horse-racing - more often in motorcycle racing, as Ken commented! It is interesting how people see things, isn't it...Ken's mum remarked that only 60 years ago we were at war with Japan. Now their horses have won our biggest race!
Read more about about it here

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Front yard - before and after. Well, the top one was taken while the boys were working on it, but it wasn't much different before then - just a big mess! Funny what a difference a day makes to the colours in photos...Notice the colour of our house in the top photo in comparison to the bottom one? The top one is the actual colour. The hedge along the front is going to be cut down to half its present size, so that will make a big difference to the appearance of the property.
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This gorgeous cactus has even more flowers on it right now - I just needed to finish the film, otherwise I would have waited another week. A friend gave me one single frond of this about 20 years ago. I planted it in a pot and forgot about it for a few years. One day I happened to notice that it had grown twice the size and was sprouting some flowers! My girlfriend saw it a few years later and was amazed. "I had one of those, but it died", she said. I told her mine was one of her plant's offspring, and gave her a frond, which is now growing nicely but nowhere as big as this one yet!
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Ken's latest toy...This picture is on the wall in our entrance hall. It has LED lights in strategic places, such as the tail lights on the cars, the lights around the title of the show (Rio Bravo), the top three spotlights at the top of the movie screen, and the lassoo is all lit up too. They actually flash on and off...all the time. As long as you leave it switched on. Which Ken does. All the time (unless I turn it off when he's not in the vicinity!)
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This is what I found in the Op shop where LeeAnn works. Two books, a CD, the unfinished duchess set, a Coca Cola tray and the gorgeous Maxwell Williams watering can. All for a few dollars!
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This photo is long overdue! These are the items I received from my Choc. Swap Partner (Jenny). The bird is a tealight holder, and Jenny included a bag of tealight candles to go in it. The fabrics in the foreground are patchwork squares, which I will certainly find a use for, even though I don't do patchwork. The blue and brown covered Journal is just calling out to me to write in it! And the chocolates have ALL gone..........
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adopt your own virtual pet!