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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Happy" Halloween?

Is that what you do in the States? Wish someone a happy Halloween like Christmas and birthdays? Just wondering...I rushed off and bought a bag of mixed candy bars this afternoon, ready for the onslaught of kids on the doorstep. But it didn't happen. Well, only once. A pair of boys about 14 years old, I'm guessing, with their faces painted and one of them dressed up in black robes, with black net over his face. Very ghoulish and very effective! I complimented both of them and offered them a choice of the candy. They already had a huge stash of chips and lollies, so I dare say they will either be very sick tonight, unless they are strong willed enough to space out their loot over the next few days!

Ken said he heard lots of screaming and yelling further up the street, but nobody else came down our way. Guess we will just have to finish off the candy ourselves...'scuse me while I grab a Cherry Ripe bar - YUM

There are several houses around here that are either just sold, or up for sale, and the rest of us are speculating on the valuations of them in comparison to our own houses. Having a free afternoon in front of me, I decided to call one of the estate agents to come and have a look at our place, seeing the yard is pretty much finished now. A lady came out and spent about an hour looking around and taking notes. She had a lot of good things to say, which surprised me, as our house is about 30 years old, and we haven't done much to it apart from general maintenance and having the yards fixed up. The decor is still very 'seventies' with orange/brown carpet, retro wallpaper in the bedrooms, Mission Brown exposed beams, cedar and brick feature walls, and the original curtains which are in a disgusting condition, I'm ashamed to say. However, the agent said all this is a plus. People are buying up these houses, ripping up the carpet and polishing the floorboards and replacing curtains with cedar slats. Apparently retro wallpaper and exposed beams are all back in favour now.
What is that saying? What goes around comes around?? Anyway, I'm happy now that we haven't gone to the expense of replacing carpets and curtains. She is coming back on Friday to give us a written evaluation. I warned her that we are not ready to sell yet - possibly in about two years - and she understands that. Mind you, if some rich person comes along and falls in love with the joint, and offers us a cool million, well! I think we might just move out very quickly!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Five weird things.

I have been 'tagged' by Pam - a while ago, but I haven't had much time to think about my response. This 'Five weird things about me' has been popping up on a few blogs that I read, so I thought I'd better pull my finger out and do my list.
1. I don't wax my face to remove facial hair. I shave my chin now and then to get rid of any hair, but I leave my upper lip alone. I can live with it, so I don't see why it should bother anyone else. If they don't like it, they don't have to look at me!

2. I got a motorcycle licence (when I was 19) - 20 years before I got a car licence.

3. I can't knit. I have tried, but my fingers feel like they are all thumbs.

4. I collect joke books - two whole shelves in one of my bookcases are just joke books!

5. I dislike all sports except motorsports - in fact I absolutely detest football!

Well, I don't think any of that is really weird - it's just me! Okay, so I'm weird...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Another week's vacation gone in a flash!

Why is it so? A normal week can drag on without end in sight, but when I take a week off work to relax, it disappears before I realise I'm supposed to be relaxing! On Monday, Ken had to work, and I decided to do ALL my housework so the rest of our week would be free of the usual humdrum. I vaccumed, mopped floors, did all the washing and ironing, and even cooked my Christmas Cake!


On Tuesday we had a nice sleep-in, and then got ready for our trip into the country. We left home around 2 pm and arrived at our destination two hours later. The evening was spent at a very special dinner function with Lee-Ann and Rob, and we didn't get to bed until 2 am! On Wednesday we had breakfast in Kyneton and Lee-Ann took me to the opshop where she works. I found some lovely things - photo will be on here next week when I get the film developed! We left for home around 3 pm, taking the back roads so we could enjoy seeing some of the lovely old country towns. We stopped for a coffee, and Ken spotted something in a shop that he had been wanting for years, so the credit card got another belting >:-(


Thursday was spent doing the weekly shopping, and a few other errands. More washing was done, and I ended up having a snooze on the couch in the afternoon to catch up on some sleep! One day left of my week off, and at 9 am I have to take my car to Autobarn to have something fitted to it. I've got a list of things I want to do, then Ken has to be at his doctor in the afternoon. Ah well, maybe we can relax over the weekend...pigs might fly backwards too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Driving my new car.

Ken is like a kid with a new toy! (But aren't they all like that - men, I mean, with cars...). We collected my car on Saturday and I 'allowed' him to drive it home. On the way we stopped and bought number plate protectors, seat covers, and other paraphernalia that Ken insisted was necessary. He wanted to get mag wheels, whatever they are, but I put my foot down at that - don't like attracting attention to my cars with expensive doo-dads.

On Sunday, we went over to visit his Mum and I was allowed to drive - lol! Ken sat in the passenger seat, rolling his eyes and scowling whenever I did something 'wrong' and in the end I said "Look, I had a ten minute test drive last week - this is only the second time I've driven it. Gimme a break!!" I told him he could drive home from his mum's if he was going to pick on me, but he said no, he wanted me to drive. But he was a bit quieter on the way home - just gritted his teeth now and then!!!

Today (Monday) I had a couple of short trips back and forth to the local shops and to a friend's house to show her the car, and I managed to keep from putting any marks or dents on it...cross your fingers that I can continue that way for at least a month!

One of a kind Wedding!

Last Saturday night, Ken and I attended the wedding of one of my nephews, to a lovely Malaysian lady. Peter had brought her to our place for Christmas two years ago, and had told me at the time he was serious about her. So we were delighted to receive the invitation a couple of months ago. As you can see below, the invitation and the table decorations at the wedding were very Oriental and charming. The wedding was held on a boat which sailed from Melbourne's Docklands across the Bay to Williamstown, and back and forth for about 5 hours. The marriage ceremony (by a civil celebrant) was held first, then there were drinks, nibbles, followed by the main meal and the speeches. There were about 80 guests, including the bride's family and friends who had flown over from Malaysia for the occasion. It was a great night; everyone mixed well despite some language barriers, and the overseas visitors all said how much they liked Australia (Melbourne in particular). Doesn't it warm your heart to hear visitors say that about your home town?


This was the envelope which held the wedding invitation.
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Each guest had these little souvenirs to take home at the end of the night: a tiny pair of candles in a box and the name tag with a pair of ceramic (not plastic or wood) wedding dolls. Cute!
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Proud Auntie Gina with her favourite nephew and his lovely bride.
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Okay - here is the real thing (I've deleted the previous picture of the car in an advert.) The car on the top here is my old one (1985 model), and the car underneath is my new one (2002 model).
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

More about my swap cards.

Swap cards seem to have been more popular in Australia - particularly Melbourne - than anywhere else in the world! Everyone I knew in schools in the fifties collected swapcards, or at least had friends who did.
Our swap cards are mostly ordinary playing cards from the standard deck of 52 cards. We collect one of each kind, and it doesn't matter what is on the back (unless one collects Jokers, which is also popular). Until you start collecting, you would never believe how many decks of cards have been printed around the world!
Coles and Woolworths produced their own swap cards in the fifies, with blank backs instead of the usual suites of clubs, diamonds, etc. These cards are now extremely rare and much sought after. They were almost educational in a way, as most of the Coles cards featured pictures of flowers, animals, birds etc. from overseas, as well as Australian native stuff.
One day soon I will start putting them on my blog; one person suggested that I start a separate blog for my swap cards....well, I guess I could! OMG, when does it stop...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New car!

Well, not brand new, but very good second-hand. We discovered it last Saturday in a car yard not too far from where we live. As some of you might remember from earlier posts on this blog, Ken and I have been looking for another car for me for much of this year. But we just couldn't agree on one; I'd find one I liked, but Ken would find something wrong with it, or he would point another car out, but it didn't appeal to me. And so on, until Saturday when we saw a lovely little Holden Barina in a metallic teal colour, in perfect condition. Ken immediately poked his head under the bonnet, inspected the engine, and pronounced it 'clean'. I have great faith in his appraisals of anything mechanical, so as soon as he said that, I pretty much decided this was the car to buy. My current car is a Barina, which I have been driving for 14 years, and despite some pretty rough treatment from me, it has never let me down.
It was much too expensive of course - car yards always put the price up so people can feel good about knocking them down, I'm sure! So we went home and discussed it over the weekend, with the result that I went back to the car yard after work on Monday to have a test drive. It was a good opportunity for the salesmen to see my car and decide what to allow me as a trade-in, so when I came back from the test drive, simply blown away by the smooth ride (power steering, no grinding gear change or rattling muffler!), I made an offer of $2000 less than the advertised price and they accepted it! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I pick it up on Saturday. Ken was a bit miffed that I had gone on the test drive without him being there, but I promised he could drive it home on Saturday, seeing I'll be too nervous - lol! At least having next week off work, I'll be able to drive around at my leisure to get used to it, before I go back to work.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Last week I attended the monthly meeting of the Swap Card collectors club I belong to. As well as displaying my card table cloths, I decided to go and hunt for some more peacock cards. (They are on Patra's Embroidered Peacocks Blog). As well as those, I found six with a stitching theme which are posted on Patra's Place. But I am including these two here, as they don't relate to either of those Blogs, and they are sure to strike a chord for some of the readers here who share my love of all things relating to 'afternoon tea'!
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