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.

Monday, July 30, 2007

One Day Out Of The Box.

One of the many reasons I enjoy my job so much is meeting so many people. But when it turns out to be someone I knew 35 years ago...what a shock! I used to work in the office of a soft furnishings warehouse back then, and one of my jobs was to open the morning mail with the help of another girl. The daily mail could be up to 100 letters, so it took a while, and we got to know each other well, becoming good friends. L. left after a year or so, and I often wondered what happened to her since then.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at a new client's home this morning to cook breakfast and assist with her shower, and another car pulled up in the driveway. A lady got out and came over to the door and we made small talk about our work until the client opened the door. Once inside, the other Carer explained what my duties would be, and while I was cooking breakfast and she was vaccuming, we talked some more about our respective jobs. After a while she asked me if I'd worked in a certain suburb about 30 years ago, and when I said yes, she said "I knew it was you, as soon as you said your name was Gina". I still hadn't recognised her, and when she said her name was L. you could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather! I told her I'd often thought of her and wondered where she'd gone, so she brought me up to date on her life so far.

She asked if I was still an Elvis fan and when I said that I'd seen him in concert, she called out to our client "Did you hear that M? Gina saw Elvis in concert!" It turned out that our client was an Elvis fan too, so after I'd helped her shower and dress, L. made us all a cuppa and we sat around and talked about Elvis. M. got up to put a music tape on, and when Elvis' voice rocked out at us, she tugged my hand and got me out of my chair. Then she started jiving; God only knows how she knew I was an expert jive dancer all those years ago - L. must have said something. M. is partially paralysed, but she was able to dance through three songs before dropping back into her chair with a huge grin on her face!

This is the kind of thing that really makes my day wonderful - not just a chance meeting with an old friend, but to bring some joy into someone else's life, even only for a few minutes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Show And Tell.

Goodness me, it's Friday again! I'm not going to be late this time. In fact I'm too early for you Americans! But here in Melbourne it is 1 am on Friday morning, so my post is quite legitimate.

The Craft and Quilt Fair I attended yesterday is at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Right outside this building is this beautifully restored sailing ship, called Polly Woodside.

This enchanting 1885 tall ship is a tangible reminder of Australia’s rich maritime history and of the importance of such ships to the settlement and development.
The Polly Woodside is a three-masted iron barque. The hull is of riveted wrought iron.
The main mast is as high as a 10 storey building.
The estimated size of the sails is 1110 sq metres (about the size of an Olympic swimming pool!)
She was noted for her beautiful lines and speed, being both fast for its size and class and capable in good conditions of travelling at up to 14 knots (c 26 km per hour).
In 1988 Polly was awarded the World Ship Trust Medal for supreme achievement in the preservation of Maritime Heritage, the first merchant ship in the world to be awarded this prestigious award. This is recognition of the international importance of the Polly Woodside and the quality of the restoration. She is in the company a select number of famous ships such as the Mary Rose and the SS Great Britain.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! (oy,oy, oy)

He probably won't see this, but congratulations to Casey Stoner for winning his sixth motorcycle GP at Laguna Seca, California on Sunday!
Aussies claim one-two at US MotoGP
Monday Jul 23 11:16 AEST

Ducati star Casey Stoner led home an Australian one-two in the US MotoGP at Laguna Seca, extending his lead in the world championship.
Stoner led from start to finish to claim his sixth MotoGP win this season and became the only rider to win from pole position.
Queensland Suzuki racer Chris Vermeulen finished second with Italian Marco Melandri third.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Friday Show And Tell - late again, sorry!

Kelli over at There's No Place Like Home hosts Friday Show and Tell. Here is my entry for this week. I took this photo on Thursday to be ready in time, but then I got busy! Better late than never. I should have titled this Show Off and Tell...these are the trophies I won over 18 years as a Toastmaster - for winning speech contests, being voted Toastmaster Of The Year, etc.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Start and End of Harry Potter.

I cannot understand why so many people get so excited about the first release of a product that within weeks will be easily accessible around the world. I remember hearing about the release of Microsoft Windows 98, which meant nothing to me at the time, but seeing the news on t.v. showing people rushing the stores to buy this computer operating system on the day of release...well, I couldn't see any sense in that at all.

The same principle applies to the Harry Potter books. Obviously it is all media hype designed to make some people very wealthy very fast! What is the hurry to get a copy, for goodness sake? I happily admit to loving the books as much as the rest of us, but I don't feel the urge to get each book on the day of release to the shops! It will be in libraries soon enough, and yes there will no doubt be huge waiting lists, but I don't mind waiting. I've plenty of other books to read in the meantime!

Anyway, I found one of those naughty websites last night, which supposedly shows some of the pages from Harry's newest tale. I read about 20 pages and am pleased to report.....oh no, I'd better not do that. Several friends would never talk to me again! Hey, I don't even know if these websites are a hoax! But it was fun to find out what happens to Harry And Co. - if indeed the website does have the actual book. But I also found on the Time-CNN website a great article about the Harry Potter books and the world wide build-up leading to 21st July. It shows pictures of bookshops etc. in various cities, and how they have promoted the book's release. Did you know the British Post Office have produced a sheet of Harry Potter stamps? If I was still collecting stamps, I would probably have tried to purchase them...but knowing my luck, they will have sold out already!

Some interesting blogs to check out.

As if most of us in this Blog community have nothing better to do, than to look at MORE blogs! But I promise you, these are special. Well, one is special to me because the Blogger is my friend Helen. She has only recently created her blog at my insistence, and now that she has learnt how to post photos, she is off and running. Check Helen's Haven out for some beautiful photos of fascinating places in England. She writes an excellent commentary to go with the pics, too.

The next blog which is worth a look at is hosted by an American author, who has written a book about her travels in Australia ("Waltzing Australia")and named her blog after her book. I sat up for nearly two hours and read the blog from start to finish! I can't resist reading what other people think of Australia and its residents. Most visitors (including the famed Bill Bryson) think we are pretty cool, LOL!

Finally, I saw this one on another blog, but I can't for the life of me remember whose it was. This website is actually Time-CNN, but the article on this link is called What The World Eats. It has photos from 16 countries around the world, showing one family from each country with their weekly food shop (or provisions, depending on whether they grow their own food or buy it elsewhere). Truly fascinating, and a a real eye-opener! Unfortunately Australia isn't included, but we wouldn't be too far from most of the western countries on this list.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Tuesday.

Rain, rain, glorious rain. And hail. And snow not far away from here - brrrrr! I didn't work today, so I stayed nice and warm in bed until about noon, then reluctantly got up and dressed to do something constructive for the rest of the day. Last night, for the first time in 20 years, Ken cleared out his wardrobe. He'd been hanging on to shirts and trousers which he'd grown out of 10 years ago, hoping he'd lose weight and fit into them again. Can you imagine a woman doing that?? He went on a little spending spree two weeks ago in Target and K-Mart (last of the big spenders on high fashion, Ken is NOT!). I said he would have to clean some stuff out of his wardrobe to fit the new stuff in (3 pairs of jeans and 3 shirts). So he discarded a sizable pile of stuff, which I put into two large garbage bags ready to be taken to Savers. I had a big bag of my own stuff to go, so today, inbetween showers of rain, I drove to Greensborough and deposited my load of clothing. What a great feeling to get rid of it all!!

In case some readers think I must be a lazy sod to stay in bed all that time, I should explain that Monday was busier than usual for me, and I was absolutely exhausted last night. There are about 300 carers employed by the company I work for, but during school holidays quite a few take a week or so off to be with their kids. Normally this is dealt with by other carers taking on extra jobs over that time. However, over the past month, there has been a lot of viruses and nasties floating around everywhere, thus reducing the workforce even more than usual. My supervisor rung me at 7.20 am in desperation. Several carers had called in sick, and she was trying to replace them. I had two showers and one home care on my roster for the day, so I had quite a lot of spare time. I ended up with five showers and two home care jobs. The first shower was at 8 am, followed by three more, then the two home care (housework) jobs.

My last job for the day was to shower a 96 year old man at 7 pm. I would not normally take on after hours work, but as the supervisor was so desperate, and the job was just around the corner from our home, I accepted it. I'm glad I did - he was a darling old man, no dementia, and relatively fit for his age. I enjoyed being there to help him. He asked hopefully if I would be coming back again on a regular basis, and I explained that I was just filling in for his regular carer. In this job, you know you are doing a good job when the clients ask for you again!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday, The Day Of Rest...NOT.

Topsy was in a cat fight yesterday. She was attacked by a feral cat who has been prowling the neighbourhood for a few months. None of our neighbours know where it lives, but they are all cross, because it has been upsetting their pets, and killing native birds. We were inside when we heard the commotion in the yard adjoining ours. I went out to see what was going on, and Topsy shot over the fence, past me and inside her cat flap at a million miles an hour. I found her under our bed, her eyes like saucers, and visibly trembling. She didn't come out for ages.

When she did, we examined her to see if there was any visible injury, but with all that black fur and skin, it was impossible to see, but we knew something was wrong, because she howled when we touched her back legs, and she was limping. She didn't want her tea, and she stayed in 'her' chair all night, not coming into the bedroom as she usually does. This morning, I phoned the vetinerary hospital which isn't far away, and described what had happened Topsy. The nurse was very sympathetic, and advised me to bring Topsy in, because if she had been bitten she would need antibiotics to kill the infection before it became an abcess. That happened last year, and it cost us over $400 to have her fixed. This time it cost $120, which covered antibiotic paste (not tablets - paste is much easier to give!) and a pain-killing injection. THAT was a first - we don't recall our animals having that before.

So with Topsy back home and tucking into some food, we settle down for a relaxing afternoon. The phone rang. It was one of Ken's friends - did he want to go for a ride up in the hills on his new bike? Is the Pope a Catholic? David arrived on his new Harley and while Ken was donning his bike gear, David took me for a spin around the block on the back of his bike. YEEE-HAAAA!! Wild ride! Just as well I am an experienced pillion passenger - I nearly fell off the back when he took off up the hill from our place! 1300cc of brute power kicked in immediately! When we got back Ken was waiting at the foot of our driveway and I got off David's bike with a huge grin on my face. Ken said "You haven't had a ride on my new one yet!" to which I could have replied "But yours isn't a Harley"...but I didn't. I just blew him a kiss and said "Later". Here I am rarin' to go!

With the boys off on their joy ride, I settled down on the computer to catch up on my blog reading. About an hour later the phone rang. It was Ken's niece. Are we busy? She was at a loose end, kids with their Dad, and she'd like to pop over for a cuppa. By this time, Ken had returned, and when I told him M. wanted to visit, his face lit up with delight! M. is his only niece and he has always loved her dearly right from the day she was born. She is now in her 30's with two little girls of her own, and he adores them just as much. Not hard to do - M. really is a lovable person - she has a great sense of humour and is friendly to everyone who sails within her orbit. So she arrived about 4.30 pm and stayed until around 7 pm. I asked if she wanted to stay for tea but no, she had things to do at home, and I can relate to that! So that was the end of our day. Ken is now asleep in front of the t.v. while the Grand Prix bikes are whizzing around the track in Germany, and I am here, with lots of blog reading still to do!

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday Night Show And Tell.

Over there, over there,
Is it still Friday Night
Over there?

With apologies to James Cagney, I'm hoping it is still Friday night in the USA, so I can get in by the skin of my teeth to Kelli's Friday Night Show and Tell.
Here is mine for this week: commonly known as a Cookie Jar "over there", this belonged to my MIL, who gave it to me about ten years ago (can't remember just how long ago, but it was LONG ago!). She would never have called it a cookie jar in her day (she's 95), more like a biscuit jar, if indeed that what it was. It isn't airtight, so I don't keep biscuits or any other food in it. It just sits on a shelf in our kitchen with other interesting things that aren't useful, but are too pretty to throw out!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Furry friends.

Helen at Helen's Haven (formerly the Barnes Residence) has a ringtail possum living in the roof at their house. Yesterday, Ken and I discovered that we have one too - but not in the roof. We have a flat steel deck roof, so none but the smallest of animals could get in there, let alone build nests. Our little possum has taken up residence in the custom-made possum box which Ken installed on one of the eucalyptus trees in the front garden. This little house has been there for a few years now, and has been inhabited in turn by birds, brushtail possums, and ringtails. We first saw the current resident from our front window, which is high enough to be at eye level with the possum box. There was this dear little possum face peering out into the misty morning, probably settling down to sleep through the day until night time came around again. They are nocturnal animals like so many other Aussie native mammals, and this is why it is so vital that people keep their cats indoors at night.
Read this for more about our Ringtail Possums.

Opportunity shop for my winter wardrobe.

I visited Savers this afternoon, and spend about A$60. Not much is it, for four sweaters and three pairs of pants!

Oh - nearly forgot. A new bag too. Lots of pockets!

Oh, I found these tins, too. I wasn't going to even look at tins, as I've just sold some at the community market last Sunday. But these two...well Puffing Bill steam train is a Melbourne icon, and I'm sure I'll find a use for that tin. The other one doesn't photograph well, as it has a special 'crazed look' surface, but it is a lovely old-time Christmas design. Again, it will be put to good use!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Is Your Blog X-rated?

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Ignore the online dating thing - but rating your blog is fun!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Greensborough Community Market.

Every Sunday morning, a Community Market is held in an adjoining suburb to us. It hosts a variety of stalls, from pot plants, fresh fruit and vegetables, hand made crafts, to trash and treasure. People can pay to have a site on a regular basis, or just one off, as I did today. My friend Sandra and I both had a lot of 'junk' around our homes that we decided to try and sell. Casual stallholders need to be there VERY early to get a good spot in the queue, so we were waiting in line at 6.20 am, and it was can see how dark it still was while we were setting up our treasures in front of our cars.

7.30 am and my stuff is out of the car and ready to be looked over by prospective customers. I'm next to a fruit and veg. stall.
Just after 8 am and stallholders are still arriving.
Once the sun came out, the people came out too! In the top left hand corner of this photo, you can see a large building with a sign "SAVERS". This is my favourite op(thrift) shop.

Sandra looking happy at around midday. The sun was out and we were doing a brisk trade!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Show And Tell Friday.

It is actually 1.15 am on Saturday here in Melbourne, so I hope I still qualify for Friday Show and Tell! This is an idea started by Kelli, a Canadian blogger, in which she invites bloggers to put a photo of something interesting (read antique, not motorbikes and barbecues!) on their blog every Friday for 'Show And Tell'. For my introductory photo, I have selected a very old piece of china that I inherited from my paternal grandparents. I have no idea where it came from before that, but Dad gave it to me years ago, telling me it belonged to his Mum. If anybody can shed some light on what this little item actually is, I would greatly appreciate it. One friend said it is a salt cellar. Mmmm...

Where do birds go on a rainy day?

To our place of course! There is always seed, fruit and breadscraps out for them in the feeding stations around our front yard. Today we had our resident lorikeets, who scared off a flock of hungry galahs. I tried over and over again to photograph them, but just as they settled down to feed, these two little lorikeets would dive bomb them, screeching non stop until the poor galahs took off!
This was the best I could do, behind the front screen door. If we opened the door, they would fly off in a panic.
I locked the wire door in a partly open position and waited until the birds returned, but again they spotted me, and by the time my camera had got itself ready, there was only this one galah with his back to me, and a lorikeet whose head you can see on the right. Gosh, I hadn't realised how dark it was outside today, until I posted these pics here! They were taken about 2pm.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Our Friday.

My Golliwog teacosy has been doing the rounds of my home care clients and other friends (tucked in my tote bag), and he is adored by everyone. At home however, it is a different matter. I have had to hide him up high out of sight at night, in case Topsy discovers him during the night. Chances are we would get up in the morning to find bits of poor Golly scattered around the house...

This week was the last of Ken's three weeks off work. He was supposed to have two weeks holiday, but was so ill in the first week, it was no holiday! The second week was spent recovering from the first, and his doctor advised Ken to ask for a third week off so he could actually do something enjoyable, instead of just resting. As he still had three weeks owing to him, his boss granted him the extra week. So for this past week, he has spent two days riding his new bike (the only two days it wasn't raining) and the rest of the time, he's been messing around on the computer or in the garage. We finally got around to buying a gas barbecue, and as that came in bits in two boxes, he spent a day or two assembling that. I was going to take a snap of him in the garage surrounded by bits and pieces, but the look on his face when I approached him with camera in hand changed my mind! I think he is regretting the day he encouraged me to buy the digital camera..

Today was Barbecue Christening Day. We wheeled it from the garage to the back yard, and parked it on the patio (to which fortunately, we had a fibreglass roof built on last year). It rained steadily all day, but Ken was eager to try out the barbecue, so I shot down to the supermarket and bought some sausages. Not my favourite meal, but it was just to start things off!
This is what the weather was like here - WET! On the left of this pic, you can see our original barbecue, hand built by Ken and friends, from old bricks. We hadn't used it for 20 years!
New cooking appliance in place, waiting for summer.
Ken with sausage in hand. (That is, a sausage with fried onions and tomato sauce wrapped in a slice of bread.)

Topsy wanted to join the fun, but didn't want to get her paws wet, so she stayed behind the patio screen door.

"Wouldn't mind a piece of Ken's sausage..."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Isn't this the cutest thing??!!

I discovered these little critters on eBay last week, and just had to have one! They come in a variety of knitted colours, including all the VFL football team colours, for any Aussie who is interested. I wrote a post about them on my other blog, putting a link to the supplier, but didn't have a photo until now. As this isn't anything to do with my linen collection, I decided to put him here. I've always loved golliwogs, and the idea of having a golly teacosy just tickled my fancy! I put it on the teapot on the kitchen table when I came home, and when Ken came in later, it caught his eye straight away. He smiled and said "That is cute!" Topsy isn't too keen on it though - I think she's worried about having another black face around the house in competition with her!

Thanks from Ken!

Ken is speechless at all the comments I've received here about his new bike! He wants to thank all of you for your interest and compliments. Here he is again (I promise this will be the last photo!) of him astride his new toy, in our front yard.

adopt your own virtual pet!