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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Name:
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, September 30, 2008

RSPCA Opportunity shop, and a small death in the family.


I've been a member of the RSPCSA for over 30 years, but until today, had never been to their opshop in Burwood - across the road from the RSPCA headquarters. I was cruising through Burwood this morning on my way to visit Ken's Mum, and as I approached the RSPCA I decided this was the time to go to the opshop! I'm so glad I did. Look what I found for $10. Ken rolled his eyes when he saw it..."More cups and saucers! Where are you going to put them, for pete's sake?" to which I replied "Well, I'll just have to get rid of some of the old ones, won't I?"

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"A Small Death In The Family" I can almost hear you saying "What is she on about now?" Ken goes up to the aviaries every morning before he leaves for work, to check on his birds. This morning, he had one foot in and one foot out of the door of one of the aviaries, when Latte (next door neighbour's cat) dived in between his legs like greased lightning and grabbed a baby budgie that had just landed on the ground. He took off with it in his mouth, with Ken in breathless pursuit, and got over the fence before Ken could catch him. Ken came inside panting so much I thought he would have cardiac arrest on the spot. He told me what happened, then he had to leave for work.

About 10 minutes later, just as I was about to go out, M, one of the teenage girls from next door arrived at the front door. She held a tissue box out to me, tears streaming from her eyes and said "I'm so sorry...Latte dropped the budgie at our front door, then the dog found it, but I got it off him". The poor kid was so upset, and she'd gone to the trouble of making a little nest of flowers in the box, and wrapping the budgie's body up in a tissue. I hugged her and told her not to worry. I wasn't mad at her - not even at Latte. As I said to M, Latte is a cat, and he was doing what comes naturally to cats. He saw the opportunity to grab a bird and he went for it. It was Ken's fault for not being more vigilant when he was leaving the aviary.

When Ken came home, still upset about the loss of one of his precious babies (it had just left the nest for the first time, that's why it had landed on the floor), I showed him the little coffin that M. had made up, and he thawed out somewhat. He still reckons he'll chase Latte out of the yard in future, but I told him that he just has to be more careful himself. The birds are perfectly safe in their aviaries, as long as the doors are secure.

The black bantam in the photo on this blog last week turned out to be a rooster. We decided to keep him, and he gets put into a box at night to muffle his early morning crowing, so as not to annoy the neighbours. Two of the hens are sitting on eggs, so with a bit of luck we might have some little fluffy chickens running around in a couple of weeks!

Fine dining in Marvellous Melbourne!

Despite my occasional whinging about graffiti, violence, etc, I still love Melbourne. It really is a beautiful city, and we had the opportunity to admire it for two hours last Sunday. Ken's sister gave him a gift voucher for his birthday last December - lunch for two on Melbourne's Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. We finally got to go last Sunday, and we had a fabulous two hours. The food was excellent, and the weather was perfect, so I took nearly 100 photos! I deleted about half of them though, as being taken from the tram which has tinted windows, some of the photos didn't turn out very well. The rest of them I am going to put on a temporary blog so our friends and family (and anyone else who is interested, of course) can have a look.
Just for starters, here is a pic of the tram at the pick up point. As one of the other patrons remarked when taking her photo "Lovely tram, pity about the background"!


This is the interior - I took this before the other diners were seated.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Want to see a good movie?

I subscribe to a Hoyts Movie site, which sends me an email every two weeks, telling me which movies are on at the nearest Hoyts theatres (I nominated my nearest theatres when I set up the subscription). A lot of the time, I just delete the emails without reading them, as we don't go to the movies much unless a friend recommends a good one. But when I've got a bit of time to spare, I'll have a look to see if there is anything worthwhile, and this week there was.

"Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" was a big movie in its time when I was a kid, and it left a lasting impression on me, so when I saw the remake was on, I read the reviews and suggested to Ken that we go and see it. At first he said it sounded like a kid's movie, but when he discovered it was in 3D and you needed the special glasses to view it, he changed his mind! So after dinner on Saturday, we headed off to one of our local cinemas to see "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth". We thoroughly enjoyed it!! It was action from start to finish, and for the first time ever in a movie, I was disappointed when it ended!

When we arrived and were given the 3D specs, I thought to myself, I can't be bothered with these on top of my ordinary glasses, but as soon as the movie started I realised I would have to put up with them if I wanted to see the movie properly, and it was well worth the effort. The special effects were fantastic! The original film was based on the story of Jules Verne's book, but this latest film is actually about a group of people in the present time who retrace the steps of the people in the book. I thought this was a clever angle, and the bits where modern technology is introduced are really funny. The boy gets a call from his mother on his mobile phone, while he is in the centre of the earth - LOL!

All in all, great fun - suitable for all age groups. We are in our sixties, and loved it, and as there is none of the ugly violence that is in so many films these days, it is great for kids as well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Op shopping!!!

I spent today with a friend doing the rounds of some of the better opshops in nearby suburbs. If you would like to see my loot, go to the Op Shop Blog here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chooks and ATCs

Those two topics were the highlight of my weekend. (I say that with tongue in cheek...) The ATCs can be seen on my other blog Patra's Place. Ken decided to buy some more bantam hens. He has four in one of his aviaries, and thought it would be nice to have some more in the aviary next to it. Bear in mind that the first one has already in residence a pair of budgies with four babies about to leave the nest, and the second one has a dozen zebra finches. Neither of these families have given their permission for Ken to add foreigners to their little domains, not that it would matter one way or another. Ken pays the bills and provides the food, so he has the final say.

I saw a notice in the local seed and grain store yesterday, and stupidly pointed it out to Ken - "Bantams for Sale - phone (this number)". Ken phoned it immediately, and found the seller lives about 20 minutes away, so we went there today, and he chose three more hens for his flock:

A white 'Leghorn',

A black 'Rosecomb',



and a 'Belgian D'uccles' (sp)

I like this little hen the best - her feathers extend down to her claws, so she looks like she is wearing fluffy leggings!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A ride along our new freeway.

Oops, it's not a freeway - it's a TOLLway. Melbourne's latest stretch of bitumen is the Eastlink tollway, and is part of a system of roads that is supposed to make a kind of ring around inner Melbourne, so if you live on one side and want to drive to the other, you don't have to stop-start drive through the suburbs and CBD to get there. In theory I suppose it's not a bad idea, but having to pay for it is annoying. (I won't go there, it gets too political...)

So, yesterday being a gorgeous Spring day in Melbourne, I suggested to Ken that we go for a ride on the Suzuki, to Frankston, which is where Eastlink ends. Now, a trip from Eltham to Frankston prior to Eastlink would take us about 90 minutes, with much cursing and swearing at the traffic from Ken. Yesterday, there was hardly any traffic along Eastlink (I think a lot of people are making a silent protest by not using it), and we sailed along happily, getting to Frankston in about 45 minutes.

When we got there, we parked the bike and strolled along the pier. It was windy, but sunny enough not to be cold. Ken had his camera with him, so I persuaded him to take some photos for the blog...he's never really comfortable about that, but as long as I don't publish any really awful photos of him, he submits himself with a sigh!Me squinting in the sun sans my specs - Ken had left his at home and needed to borrow mine to focus his camera!

I wonder what the woman on the left was thinking - she's watching me stride off down the pier with two crash helmets in hands!

Girls Night at home.

Two or three times a year, I get together with three friends who I have known since we moved to this suburb, nearly 30 years ago. We used to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner, but as we've got a bit older, going out at night and spending exhorbitant amounts of money on a meal has less appeal, so now we take turns in hosting a dinner. Last Friday night was my turn, and I decided to take some photos of the table for those of you who like me, enjoy 'playing ladies' now and then.
Unfortunately, Helen couldn't come, due to a medical appointment, so I invited my friend L. who has met my other friends and gets on well with them.

Firstly I chose a nice cloth from my collection.


Then came the placemats and matching coasters. We all love kitties, so these were a good choice.


I usually choose nice linen napkins when I have guests, but I couldn't resist these paper napkins when I saw them on sale recently.


And don't they look cute, peeping out of the champagne glass!


All set!

And the menu? Just three courses - that's more than enough for ladies with middle aged spread!
*Sweet Potato and Chilli Soup
*Balsamic Chicken and Pumpkin Salad
*Mini Orange Syrup Cakes

There was a loaf of crusty bread to go with the soup, and everything was washed down with two bottles of Champagne (mine diluted with soda water or orange juice). We were all so full after that lot that nobody even wanted a cup of tea or coffee!
And what was Ken doing while all this was happening? He had a quick meal of bacon and eggs earlier, then scuttled downstairs to the peace and quiet of the garage!

Monday, September 08, 2008

I made a book today!

Val and I attended a workshop at Melbourne University yesterday - this is where the Calligraphy Society meets and holds many of their classes. This particular workshop was to show the participants how to make a pretty notebook. This is right up Val's alley, so to speak - she loves doing crafty stuff with paper, and was delighted when I invited her to accompany me to the Callig. society workshop.
I took a few photos of course:

This is the group - small but select, as our tutor described it!
This is our cheerful tutor - Melanie.
Here is Val, busy cutting and pasting.

I'm looking quite pleased with my efforts!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wot's news?

Nothing much really. My letter wasn't published in the Herald Sun (well, I don't think it was...) but the editor of our local paper rang me twice today to check on some things in my letter, so it looks like it might be published in there next week.

Our chooks (hens) are very productive - we were getting two or three eggs a day, but today we got four! I'm down to six in the pantry though - I used eleven tonight. Ken had five of them fried, which wasn't very successful, as they are quite small, and didn't hold their shape in the frypan. I had four eggs scrambled, and they were simply delicious!

Patty, I'm glad you enjoyed the Stitchin Fingers website; I spend at least an hour a day in there! I've just listed some books and stuff on eBay today, and that took a couple of hours. It's such a lot of mucking around, but if I can get rid of some stuff around this house, it will be all the better. I had a box of magazines on Microwave cooking - the full set of weekly parts over a couple of years. I only used them until I got used to microwave cooking, then they got put aside to gather dust. They were so heavy, I just about broke my back every time I had to move them out of the way somewhere, so last week they went down to Savers with some clothes. I'm so glad they've gone, I got so tired of tripping over that wretched box! I just love eBay and Savers!

adopt your own virtual pet!