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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vale Edith

Sharon had to have their beloved cat put to sleep on Wednesday, as she was diagnosed with cancer. I was very fond of Edith; whenever I visited Sharon's home, I always looked for Edith to pat her. She had a lovely nature, and will be sadly missed for months to come, I'm sure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My idea of a satisfying day!

What does a working girl do on her day off, on a cold and wet Melbourne day? In the morning, meet up with friends for coffee at a brand new shopping complex (Westfield South Morang)where I bought two skivvies for a very good price.
In the afternoon, trawl the local op-shops! This is my booty:

(sorry about crumpled state, but it will soon be washed and ironed, and posted to my aprons blog)

Four paperback books, a picture frame (specific purpose in mind), two warm jerkins/vests, one jumper, two tins (one to send to Barb full of chocolates), a bundle of laces for Pam K, a lacy handmade cushion cover, a tiny embroidered cover for a vintage powder compact (closeup will be on Patra's Place shortly) and a calico unfinished apron. All this from three opshops within a couple of blocks of each other, and the total cost? Less than $30!

When I got home about 3 pm, I set about cooking tea: a nice warming lamb and vegie casserole.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another 60th Birthday gift!

Today (Monday) I had lunch with an ex-blogger friend, whom some of you may remember - Val. We don't live far from each other, and we've kept in touch since she 'retired' from blogging. We've gone on walks, had coffee at the Eltham Library, she's visited me and now I've visited her! Her hubby cooked the most delicious pizza for lunch, and after that Val and I walked to a lovely park nearby, sat in the sun and did some sketching. As a challenge, we started off by sketching some of the playground equipment, which gave our skills in perspective and shading a work-out. Then we sketched each other - most difficult while we tried to control our grins!

Val was unable to come to my 60th birthday blog friends lunch, but today she made up for missing out with a lovely gift. She loves working with paper - origami, making journals and books, etc. and she made me this beautiful origami box. No glue, sticky tape or staples - just folded!

Inside the bottom half.

Inside the top half.

Isn't that exquisite? She offered to show me how it is done, but I don't know...I'm hopeless at just folding paper napkins nicely!
But that wasn't all. Inside the box, Val had tucked two lovely doilies that she had found when she was staying in a country town. You can see those on my linens blog here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Final week of the Hospital-i-Tea Blog A Thon

I'm running late again.. Last week, La Te Dah wanted us to post a pic of a special teapot in our home. I posted photos of my other teapots back in April very early on in the Blogathon, so I won't repeat them here. But back then I'd forgotten about my most precious teapot, which is never used because it has a crack in it. Ken's mum gave me this teapot many years ago. It had been in her family for a long time; I must ask her how old it is! Some time later, an elderly friend gave me the little jug. I'd shown her the teapot and she said "I've got a jug somewhere that matches it - you may as well have it!" These sit on display in our buffet in the dining room.

Monday, May 19, 2008

One Hundred Years old!

If you've been following this blog for a while, you might remember me writing about visiting my elderly Uncle about a month ago. Well, he celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday, and Ken and I were among the privileged ones to be invited to his party. I say privileged because let's face it, how many 100th birthdays do any of us get invited to? We saw his birthday cards from the Queen and the Governor General of Australia, as well as congratulatory letters from the Prime Minister, the Premier of Vic. and the Governor of Vic. as well as other assorted people of some importance!
I took a heap of photos of course, and created a blog for posterity. I'm hoping other family members will send me their photos to add to the blog, so we can make it a joint family project celebrating Uncle Fred's long life.
If you are curious, here is the link.
I'm not putting it on my sidebar, as it is more of a family thing, not of much interest to anyone else.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hospital-i-Tea Blog-a-thon Week 7?

With all that has been going on in my life, I've missed one or two weeks of the fun over at La Te Dah's blog, so I'm not even sure which week they are up to!
Anyway, this week we are invited to describe our favourite tea rooms. The Hopetoun Tea Rooms in Melbourne are very special to many people in our city. It was my parents' favourite spot to go to for a cuppa when they were in the city for some reason, and after Mum died, Dad continued to go there with friends or family, or anyone else who would join him! I haven't been there for a number of years, but I keep promising myself that I will one day. The following description is taken from one of the many websites that promote the Hopetoun Tearooms.

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms embodies all of the traditional style that is missing in some cafes, especially in the inner city precinct. While its patrons are of all ages, it is wonderful to see a large number of older people dressed up for their city visit, sitting in a place that is not pumping with loud music, feeling safe and supplied with a large choice from a traditional menu; including pinwheels, asparagus rolls, pumpkin scones with lashings of cream and a pot of tea. This is a comfortable, nostalgic place. The interior is decorated with luscious deep greens, marble topped tables, velvet to the touch paisley wallpaper and a large filigreed mirror dated at 1891. The ceiling is veiled with billowing puffs of material.

A dumbwaiter brings the food orders up from the kitchen below. The apparatus was only recently made fully electric, with the pulley ropes being removed just three weeks ago (August 2001). This place is authentic. When friends, Sharon Piccolo owner of the tea rooms and manager Mary Tomasino took up their part in the long history of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms many of the fixtures were already on the premises and antique. Mary kindly gave me a tour of the downstairs kitchen which I was so curious to see once she had told me of it. We took a lift down and through an archway, around to the right the space opened out into a large kitchen. Four smiling faces looked up from pounding dough to greet us. Sitting on top of the stove were trays full of plump croissants. Mary explained that there had been a wrought iron stove that needed to be replaced as despite looking beautiful it had become temperamentally unpredictable.

Now a National Trust protected establishment, the Hopetoun Tea Rooms was begun 110 years ago by the Victorian Ladies' Work Association. Lady Hopetoun founded the Victorian Ladies' Work Association, her husband was the Governor of Victoria in 1889-1895 and the Governor General of Australia in 1901-1903. In response to the many men's lounges in Melbourne of the time, the tea rooms began as an exclusively ladies domain.

There is a couple who would be pleased that the tea rooms are not now ladies only. Six years ago they met at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms. They married and on each anniversary revisit their meeting, liking to sit at 'their' table. My own memorable experience of this place was having lunch with my husband-to-be, videoing each other as we sat below the grand old mirror, eating smoked ham, swiss cheese and cantelope sandwiches before choosing our wedding rings at a jeweller in the same arcade.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Apocalypse Now? Or soon?

Over dinner party discussions, several friends have mentioned the year 2012 as being significant for world change, or 'the end of the world'. Well, going by today's headlines, it would appear to be going to happen a lot sooner...
*Tornadoes in the USA
*Cyclone in Burma
*Earthquake in China
*Etna rumbles back into life.

My deepest sympathy to people reading this blog who have loved ones affected by these disasters, or have been caught up in them personally.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thank you Friends, for your concern!

The heading says it all. My previous post warning of an absence brought forth some very kind comments, all of which I greatly appreciate. I guess 'apologise' was not an appropriate word; I haven't done anything wrong, after all! Ken's mate is still seriously ill. His Mum and sister have flown up to Brisbane from Melbourne to be with him, so of course Ken wants to go as soon as possible. I don't know yet if I will accompany him; it depends on whether he flies up just for a day (it is a two hour trip each way), or stays with Ken's family overnight.

I haven't heard anything from my supervisor about my client, so I still don't know if I'll be working this week. Mother's Day was spent at Ken's Mum's house, with Ken's sister, her hubby, her daughter and her two daughters - does that make sense?! Four generations, anyway. I had reservations about going, after what happened at MIL's birthday party, but something must have been said to a few people, because everyone was very warm and fuzzy yesterday, much to my relief! Ken was pleased too, that there was no discord. We are hoping it will stay that way!

The sun came out briefly this afternoon so I was able to get some new photos of the birds in Ken's aviaries. People seem to enjoy them!
The newest addition: four Bantam Hens. The naughty things wouldn't stand still and line up for me, but you can see we have two red ones and two speckled ones...'buk buk buk'..mmm...fresh eggs soon I hope!

The larger blue budgie in the middle is a recent addition. Ken bought him from the local bird shop, hoping he will pair up with the blue female on the left, which is one of the budgies that we bred last year.

Zebra Finches, all in a row.

These little baskets are what the Zebra Finches nest in when in captivity. The bird on top of the basket nearest the camera is waiting for his mate to come out again. She had been popping in and out but they move so fast I couldn't get a picture of her before she disappeared back inside the nest.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Apologies for my absence.

I might not be here for a week or so. There are a few things happening here that need my attention more than the computer at this time. One of Ken's oldest friends (not old in age, but length of time - 60 year friendship) has just had one leg amputated due to complications which developed after a doctor misdiagnosed an injury to his foot. This friend (whose name is also Ken) lives in Brisbane Qld, and my Ken is just about beside himself with worry. We've been monitoring the cheap flights to Brisbane to see if he can fly up there for a day visit his mate, but up till now we haven't organised anything.

One of my two clients in aged care was taken to hospital yesterday and I don't know how long she will be there of course. I was monitoring her closely because she hasn't been eating lately, and she was so drowsy yesterday, I thought she was unconscious. When I brought her to the attention of the nursing staff, they put her on oxygen and called an ambulance, which took her to the emergency room in a public hospital. So, I may not have much work for a while, if she doesn't come back to the facility, so I'll have to look for other work to keep the money coming in. I've arranged to access my superannation with a monthly payment to top up my current wage, but that won't be anywhere near enough if I lose this client!

Finally, I've had a couple of stitching projects on the go this year, that have deadlines, so I want to make a concerted effort to get them finished, which will mean less time on the computer.

I doubt if I will be seriously missed by anyone, but thought it would be polite to let my cyberspace friends know what is happening! Back soon...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Story of Elsie.

In my brief Profile at the top of my blogs, I mention our elderly dog. One of my blog friends emailed me the other day to say how much she enjoys reading my blogs (isn't it great when complete strangers do this!), and she said she is a doggy person, and wanted to know more about our dog. So I started to write a brief para. or two about Elsie, and ended up with the following pages! I'd been thinking my blog was getting a bit boring lately, and wondered what else I could write about. I was so pleased with my little story about our dear old Elsie, I decided to post it here.

"Elsie" is 18/19 years old now - not sure exactly, without checking her original papers which are buried beneath other paperwork somewhere. She is a cross between a Kelpie and Fox Terrier, we think. We got her from the RSPCA here in Melbourne, to be a friend to our other dog at the time, Eric.

Our first dog was Tammy, a white German shepherd, who was absolutely beautiful, with a really loving nature. We got her as a puppy, and within a year she had all but destroyed our back yard through boredom while we were at work, so we figured she needed someone to play with. A friend who lives in the country told us about one of his neighbours who had a bitch who'd just had 9 puppies, and he was going to drown them all. So Ken hightailed it up there to get one of them, and that's how we got Eric.

Eric and Tammy were great friends, and when Tammy died 9 years later, Eric howled non stop for 2 weeks, so again we decided we had to find another friend for him. This time we went to the RSPCA, and there we found Elsie, who looked quite a bit like Eric - black and tan Kelpie cross. When our vet saw her for the first time he immediately said "Ah! Spare parts for Eric!"

Eric died when he was 18, so he and Elsie had about 8 years together and were great friends except when I took Elsie for walks on her own, because Eric was too old and frail to keep up with us. We would hear him howling all the way around the block! After he died, we decided Elsie would be our last dog, because if all our animals were going to live for nearly 20 years, any new pets would probably outlive us!!

Elsie is now almost blind, deaf, and more recently, arthritic. She always used to run around our yard, which we tried not to change too much, so she would know where things were. But now, she struggles to get up the steps to the back of the yard, and usually falls down them on the way back to the patio at the side of the house, where her bed is. I'm amazed that she hasn't yet broken a leg, but when she tumbles, she still manages to pick herself up again, albeit slowly.

It is the Eternal question, isn't it - do you 'put her down' or let her die naturally? Elsie wanders around the house to the back door without fail every morning about 8 am when we feed her, and she eats every morsel in the bowl, then goes back to her spot on the patio. At night, she is back at the door, waiting for her tea from about 5 pm onwards. Sometimes I might be late for some reason, and she sits there and waits. So she knows she is going to be fed twice a day. How can we take her to the vet and say "Put her to sleep - she's deaf and blind, and arthritic"? But she eats, drinks water, defecates (all over the yard, lol), and patrols the yard when she isn't having a snooze in the sun somewhere, so she is still very much alive in our opinion.

adopt your own virtual pet!