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.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except two cats and a collection of finches, canaries and Rhode Island bantam hens.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Sentimental Aussie...

Today, Ken and I took his Mum to a concert featuring theatre organist David Johnston. David knew Ken's Mum many years ago, when they were involved in live theatre, but over the years they lost contact. When we heard David was making a one-off appearance at the Dendy Theatre in Brighton, Ken emailed him to say we would be bringing his Mum. David emailed back the next day to say he would love to catch up with her again, and instructed us to come and find him after his performance.

The Dendy theatre is one of Melbourne's oldest theatres (although it has been upgraded several times), and it has its own 'resident' Wurlitzer organ, which David has played since he was 17 (at a guess he would be 60+ now), and he is now one of Australia's leading theatre organists. Today's performance was titled "David At The Movies", and featured a number of very old black and white silent movies, to which David accompanied on the organ with appropriate music. The first half of the program had a Newsreel which showed Melbourne 100 years ago, and included the first Melbourne Cup race. Followed by some very funny short movies including "A Trip to the Moon" (1902), "The Dance Of the Seven Veils" and "Love Rides The Rails", all made in the early 20th century.

After Intermission, they showed The Sentimental Bloke - a 1919 Australian classic. This has been shown outside of Australia at various film festivals, and I do wonder what other people would make of it; you'd have to be an Aussie to understand it!! David's organ accompaniment was non-stop, absolutely sensational. Afterwards we approached him along with many others from the audience, and he was delighted to see Ken's Mum. They laughed over old memories for about 10 minutes. Ah, the good old days. They did things tough in the Depression years and WW1 and WW2, but the experiences just seemed to make people stronger. Do you ever wonder if the kids these days will have fond memories of their early years, or will most of them pass in a blur of drugs and alcohol? Ken says we need another world war to wake up today's teens and twenties, because they have been so spoiled for the good life. Don't know about a large scale war, but something's got to give...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Where has the week gone?

It's all happening at the Wilsons this week! Work on Monday and a Toastmasters contest on Monday night. On Tuesday I went into the city to check out the venue for the calligraphy workshop I am doing next month. It is at the Melbourne University - a HUGE complex, and one that I have never had occasion to venture into before, so it is all a bit intimidating! While I was in town, I had lunch in Lygon Street with a dear friend that I haven't seen since last year.

Wednesday was work again, and later in the day we took Topsy to the vet to have her Elizabethan collar removed, and her wound checked by the vet, who was pleased with her condition.

Today (Thursday) was another day off work for me, but that doesn't mean I had time to stitch or read...I wish!!! No, first thing this morning I did the weekly shop and ran a few extra messages for Ken. I took with me my photo album of the Elvis concert, as a couple of shopkeepers had asked to see the photos. A bloke from Foxtel arrived just after lunch to connect us to Digital, which took half an hour. While all this was happening, the landscape guys were in our back yard creating lots of noise and dust with a jackhammer, cement mixer, etc., so although all the windows and doors were closed, the dust still managed to infiltrate inside (Ms Robyn, you would have gone nuts trying to keep the place clean!), and I felt grubby all day as a result. Our friends Helen and Ray came around about 3 pm, armed with books on Australian native plants, and suggestions of what to plant where, after looking at our desolate back yard. We are going to plant 100% native, with as many as possible plants indigenous to the Eltham area. Having the appropriate plants help to attract the birds and insects to our garden. Topsy is going to be an INDOORS cat now on for more than one reason!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Know Yourself Quiz with a difference..

This one is a doozy! I found it on Sharon's daughter's blog and of course had to have a go! But to make it worth while, I need the help of those who read my blog. Read the instructions and click on appropriate wordshttp://kevan.org/johari?view=Gina+E

That is the positive one. Here is the one for my negative traits... Please be gentle, I am so easily hurt....JOKE!
http://kevan.org/nohari?view=Gina+E

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Saturday's doings.

Two of my supper cloths had an outing today - the new Tigerlily pattern and the recent Dolly Varden design, both of which I have shown on Patra's Place. The occasion was Ken's Mum's 93rd birthday, and the family went to visit her for afternoon tea. My SIL and I provided all the food, and organised cuppas, and washing up afterwards, so MIL didn't have to lift the proverbial finger. She had two small tables set up for us to put everything on, and that's where I put my cloths. They were duly admired and exclaimed over, and came home without a mark!

On a less happy note, we had to take Topsy to the vet this morning. She had not eaten or used her litter tray for two days, and howled in pain if we tried to pick her up for a cuddle. The vet didn't take long to find an abcess underneath her tail, apparently caused by another cat attacking her. This is one of the reasons we prefer to keep her inside, but on a nice sunny day, it seems such a pity to have her locked indoors while we are outside, so we usually let her out. But she won't be out for a while again; we had to leave her with the vet for a few hours while he put her under an anasthetic, shaved her, lanced the abcess, put a drainage tube in, and for good measure, gave her the annual vaccinations. It all came to nearly $400.
We were going to go looking for a car tomorrow, but I think not at the moment. Our back yard has been excavated in preparation for a total re-landscape, and we have just paid the company our first progress payment, so the bank account is looking a bit sad.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


In case you are wondering, yes - we did have front row seats!
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For Nicole and her Dad

I have just discovered that Nicole and her Dad are great Elvis fans, so for their benefit I am re-posting a couple of photos that I took of Elvis in San Francisco in 1976, where I attended one of his concerts. I put them on here last year, but there was no feedback, so I guess there were no Elvis fans reading my blog at that time!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

*******Valentine's Day*******

Ken and I have always shared a 'thing' about exchanging cards. For 27 years of marriage (and 2 years before that), we have exchange cards every birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, Easter and Valentine's Day. We have a HUGE box full of them, along with our love letters to each other, written in the first flush of our love affair.

So it was rather a shock when Ken asked me on Monday night when Valentine's Day was and I replied 'Next week'...then gasped 'No! It's tomorrow!' realising that I didn't have a card! He just grinned and said he hadn't got one yet either. So I rushed off this morning expecting to find only the dregs left at our local newsagent but they still had a large assortment to choose from. After looking at all of them (and I mean ALL of them), I chose one of those musical ones - when you open it, it plays a song. Mine had a chimpanzee on the front, dressed up as an old lady, with the words "Husband, I've got just one thing to say to you..." and inside it reads "You're the one that I want! Happy Valentine's Day" and plays that song with little flashing lights. As the kids say today "Cool!"

Ken came home from work a bit after 3 pm, tired and grumpy, saw my envelope on the table and snapped "I haven't had time to get yours yet!" I made soothing noises and said I was going around to visit a neighbour who wasn't well, and why didn't he have a drink and a lie-down till I came back? When I got back home just before 6 pm, on the table was a bunch of roses, a red gerbera (sp.) pot plant and a card! Hugs all round, then we opened our cards. Mine was all hearts and kisses as usual (love it!) and when he opened mine, he just cracked up!! After that and after dinner, he was happy and relaxed, so I was too....goodnight all, we are going to bed..

Nicole has 'tagged' me...

What were three things when you were little you wanted to be when you grew up?
1. Elvis Presley’s wife.
2. Rich.
3. Sexy

You can live one day over again from your childhood.
What day will it be?
The day Dad bought me my own record-player. I was about 12 and was so excited to think I could play my own records in my bedroom without having to stop to give someone else a go with the family record-player!

You have two minutes (and a mover with you if you need heavy lifting help!) to grab 5 things from your home before it morphs into a polka dotted hobglobin and hops away.
What will you take? (Food/drink/family/friends excluded!)
1. Topsy (the cat)
2. As many of my embroidery UFOs that I can fit into a suitcase
3. My handbag (holds keys, wallet, cellphone, diary and address book)
4. Photo album of the elvis concert I went to.
5. Ken’s laptop (easier to carry than my PC)

Follow your dreams they are the inspiration for your life.
What is the one thing you want to have accomplished by the end of this year?
To have lowered my blood pressure by daily walking.

You are moving to the moon for one year and can only bring on flower with you. What kind will you bring?
Goodness, I have no idea. What about a sunflower?

You just received word that aside from one flower, you can also bring five books with you too! Your choices?
1. One good cook book
2. One good craft/embroidery book
3. One book about Elvis
4. Reader’s Digest book of English myths and legends. (had this for 20 years but never have time to read it)
5. Readers Digest Reverse Dictionary (every time I pick it up, I learn something new)

ANOTHER quiz...

Your Life Path Number is 5

Your purpose in life is to life freely and collect experiences.

You love life - new adventures, new people, new ideas.
You are very curious, and you crave novelty in all forms.
You tend to make friends easily, and you enjoy the company of all types of people.

In love, you are fun and even a bit intoxicating. But you won't stick around for long.

You are impulsive and spontaneous - which sometimes leads you to do things you regret.
Sometimes you can be overindulgent with food, sex, or drugs.
You have many talents, so many that you are often scattered and unfocused.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Your thoughtful feedback...

Thank you very much to all those ladies who have commented on my post about my P.Care work. I have replied to some of you by direct email, and to everyone else - my heart is warmed by your remarks. Like most of us, I tend to pour out my heart and soul here, not looking for pats on the back, but after reading all those lovely words of encouragement and friendship, I feel I should go and polish my halo! (Or buy a new big hat to accomodate my big head now - LOL!)

Seriously, if my words motivate others to go outside their comfort zone and spend time with people in need, then I feel I have accomplished something worthwhile in my lifetime. There are so many people in need out there -not only elderly or disabled, but young people who are traumatised by ugly life experience in their short lives.
I would like to reach out to them too, but I can only extend myself so far, so I restrict my work to those who I can help more readily. There are people who having had children themselves, are far more suited to working with children and teens than me. If that is you, and you can find some time in your life and some space in your heart, think about doing even a small act of kindness for a young person in need of help. Our world can be a better place if more people make it so.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Finally!! Doing the work I have been trained for..

I started working for our council in my present job 5 years ago, doing home care in people's homes. Home Care consists of vaccuming, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, washing, ironing, and shopping. Not all my clients have all of these things done for them! Our work depends on the needs of each individual. Three years ago, my employer offered a dozen of the Home carers the opportunity to do a year's course in Personal Care, which would normally cost several hundred dollars, but the government subsidised us, which meant we only had to pay $40 each. I took up their offer, as I had previous experience in nursing homes, and was interested in gaining qualifications to further my career in aged care.

After we qualified, we expected to receive more personal care work and less home care. Some girls didn't want to do personal care after doing the course; they found it too challenging. But I was looking forward to it. Time went by, and no PC work came my way, despite me asking about it time and time again. I have my theories as to why this was, and I am not going to go into that here, but after several staff changes in the office, I now have one roster clerk who is looking out for me, and has found me a new client who requires me to shower her twice a week. I went there for the first time on Monday, and we took an instant liking to each other. She is a stroke victim, and as my Mum was the same, I can strongly relate to her problems. There was evidence around her home that she had once been a prolific embroiderer, so of course we had something to chat about while I was attending to her.

While I know that the housework I do for my other clients is greatly appreciated, I find personal care more rewarding, so I am looking forward to doing more of this kind of work. It is also less physically demanding - cleaning three houses a day makes this nearly 60-year-old lady VERY tired!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Menu for the coming week.

I am aware that some people reading this will be bored out of their minds by this topic, so if you are one of them, just skip this post! I will probably post about other things in the next few days, but right now I have a thing going with Ashleigh over in Holland, who is posting her weekly menu along with some great recipes, as well as links to cooking and recipe websites. I have always loved cooking, ever since I learnt how to cook at tech. school when I started there at 12 years old. We had an exceptional Domestic Arts teacher, who as well as being a fantastic cook, had the knack of making the most mundane item fun to make and delicious to eat. I don't consider myself a very 'good' cook, in that I can easily spoil something by over or under-cooking it by accident, and poor Ken has been known to turn up his nose at some exotic dish that includes something that he doesn't like, but I just had to try out anyway! But I do enjoy mucking around with food, experimenting with tastes and textures described in cookbooks and magazines.
Here is our Menu for this week (it has changed slightly since I posted my forecast menu earlier this week):
Tonight: Cornish Sausages (butcher's special) with Asian Coleslaw.
Friday: Fresh white fish (deep sea Perch) with salad and chips.
Saturday: Roast lamb with potato, parsnip, pumpkin and greens.
Dessert: Mixed Berry Custard slice.
Sunday: Cheese & Spinach Frittata
Monday: Cherry tomato and White bean salad
Tuesday: Asian style Pork Salad with Chilli dressing
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks with rice and Bok Choy.



In the unlikely event that you would like one of those recipes, they can be found in the Dec/Jan. issue of Super Food Ideas, which is an Aussie magazine. So if you are overseas, and still want to know about any of them, just leave a message for me and I will email it to you.

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