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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Grandfather Clock.

Well, Ken got his wish. I didn't think his parents' grandfather clock would suit our house, or that we could even find a spot for it, but I was wrong on both counts. We moved the telephone table from its spot against the wall in the entrance hall, into the kitchen. I had to move the ironing table and sewing machine from the kitchen into my craft room where I guess it will be more handy anyway.
I called Graeme, a local clock-maker, to remove the GF clock from MIL's house in Burwood. Here he is having got the clock out of the front door, with two lots of steps to get down...

At this point I thought the clock was in serious danger of crashing down the driveway, but no...

Half an hour later, it was safely installed in our hall, ticking away and chiming on the quarter hour. Graeme checked all the workings, and I wrote down all the instructions about winding it, turning off the chimes if we want to sleep at night, and adjusting the time if it ran fast or slow. It's all in Ken's care now! But it does look nice, doesn't it? The wood case matches the cedar wall rather well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A walk with Val.

Val and her hubby have returned from their 11 week trek around South and Western Australia, so we are going to try and get into a regular walk routine. Today was cold but sunny, so we walked around the park near the Ivanhoe Golf Club.

This sign begged to be photographed by this Mrs Wilson!

This fence protects walkers and cyclists from stray golf balls.

We stopped for a coffee at the Club House. Val is sitting up on the verandah, hiding her face behind the railing post.

When I arrived home in the late afternoon, I found a surprise in one corner of our garden. I swear all those Irises weren't out in flower this morning!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This week.

I have been on the go all week. Monday was spent at MIL's house, packing the car with stuff to go to opshops. On Tuesday, Val, Connie and Glenda came for lunch, and we had a lovely day looking at Connie's patchwork, my various craft projects, and just chatting. After they left, I went around to visit Helen for a couple of hours.
Wednesday, I went to Savers to empty the car of all the stuff from MIL's house, and then Glenda and I spent an hour or so there poking around and buying stuff!
Thursday was shopping day, and I also had to see our solicitor about updating our wills. Friday, Sharon and I had a fabulous day at the Craft & Quilt Fair at Jeff's Shed.

There won't be any country trips this weekend. Ken's sister is in hospital with pneumonia, so we will be visiting her at some stage. He also has to put the wheel back on his Suzuki, something he has been putting off (too-hard basket), but knows it will have to be done. Today was a write off, apart from me doing two loads of washing (which will have to be taken off the clothesline and put in the dryer, as it will probably freeze if I leave it out overnight). Our Silver Button Quails have just hatched their first egg, but it is so cold that Ken had to bring the chicken inside and keep it in his warm hands, otherwise it would have died. He has brought the mother quail inside in a bird carry-cage, and put the baby in with her, but we don't know if it will survive. You think ordinary hens' chickens are small? Check this out:

Went out the back yard this morning to find our first daffodil out! Here it is with a background of Cootamundra wattle hanging over the fence from the neighbour's place.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Another drive in the country.

Before Ken's heart attack in 1981, he spent a lot of time stocking his aviaries with birds from various sources. But after they all died off for one reason or another (and Ken nearly fell off his perch too!), the aviaries were empty for a few years. But now that he has regained interest in breeding birds, we are spending many weekends driving around to bird sales and specialist shops, inspecting birds and sometimes buying them. I'm so pleased that Ken has got into this hobby again, as I love going for drives around rural Victoria (one never knows where there might be a quilt or needlecraft show, or an op shop open), and looking for birds means that we are out and about more than we have been for years!

Today, we went to Warragul, which is just over 100 kilometres - about one and a quarter hours drive from home. Most of it is on freeways and tollways, which is great because it cuts the trip time short. But you miss the little towns along the way, which is a bit sad.
We got to Warragul just before 11 am, in time for the bird sales to open. Ken started down one aisle and I walked up the other one, and found a bloke selling Gouldian Finches. I caught sight of Ken and yelled "Come here quick!" which he did, and we got first pick of the Gouldians on display. Ken bought a pair, which he was very happy with, as this was the reason he'd come to the sale, having missed out on buying any Gouldians at the last sale we went to. They are not common like budgies and other finches, so they are snapped up very quickly by the buyers. He also bought a Diamond Firetail Finch, but that is another story, and if you are interested you can read about that on my birds blog here.
After we left the sale hall, we strolled around Warragul looking for somewhere to have a light lunch.
This building was the old Court House built in 1887, but converted to a very upmarket restaurant. We poked our heads in the door and knew immediately it was not for us!
So we walked around the town looking in shop windows and checking out cafes. It was cold and windy, but not raining, so we made the most of our walk.

We finally settled on this cafe which looked ordinary from the front, but once through the door, we figured we'd come to the right place!

Pictures of Elvis and The Beatles, and other sixties memorabilia adorned the walls, and someone had painted one of the walls with music notes and other symbols. I had French Toast and Ken had bacon and eggs, and they were both delicious. (Coffee was great too).

It rained all the way home, but I was able to get a few photos along the Eastlink tollway. I keep promising myself to do this on a fine sunny day, but as I had my camera, I decided I may as well do what I can. I would be very interested to know if freeways in other states/countries have weird things along the road, which I'm sure are designed to distract motorists and cause accidents...
Through the rain on the windscreen, can you see those giant green balls on the right in this picture?

Then there is this greener than green wall!

This green bridge is one of several bridges in bright colours. I feel more and more as if I'm driving through a kids' playground.

If you want to see some photos of our birds....

I've posted some photos here on my Birds blog, of the most recent additions to our aviary

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ben Hur.

Remember that movie with Charlton Heston? It is one of Ken's favourites, and I enjoy watching the DVD again occasionally. There is going to be a live show based on the movie 'Ben Hur', at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, on October 22 and 23. I just booked tickets for us online. We knew about it a while ago, but baulked at the price of the tickets, and regretfully decided it would be too expensive. But yesterday I received an email from the ShowBiz site, offering a 24 hour special of tickets for $100 - half price! Too good to knock back. Now I've got to look for some cheap airfares and a cheap motel, which I think I have found on A hotel very close to the stadium, very basic facilities, for $69 a night. As long as we have a clean place to sleep, I don't care how basic it is! Closer to the time, we will probably rent a car, so we can drive ourselves from the airport to the hotel, and anywhere else we want to go.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A very old book.

I went over to MIL's house again today to do some more cleaning up. SIL had been there last week, and said we are just about ready to have an expert come out to appraise the value of what's left in the house. I brought home some items that I felt Ken would be interested in, as well as a couple of books that I wanted to read before they disappear at an auction or garage sale. SIL has told me to take whatever I wanted anyway, so I might just keep these two books.
This one "Our Girls' Story Book" has an inscription written inside the front cover, to MIL, dated 1918. Unfortunately books this old rarely printed their publication dates, but I think I can safely assume this one is close to 100 years old.

This one is nowhere near as old, although the subject would probably remember the above book from her own childhood! This book is a photographic history of the late Queen Mother, printed about 1996. If you are reading this Sylvia, do let me know if you don't have this in your collection, and we may be able to come to an arrangement!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Nothing of any excitement happening here.

I just noticed that I haven't blogged anything here for nine days. What's the point? There is nothing much happening to blog about right now. Life goes on, Ken is back at work and coping okay with his on-body computer. I am messing around with fabrics and embroidery, and on a roll with the house clean-up that I commenced this year. I am confronting boxes, drawers and cupboards that I haven't opened for years (except to shove something into, and hurriedly slam them shut). The recycle bin has been full to overflowing nearly every fortnight, as I turf out years of magazines that I once subscribed to. A brief moment of "somebody might want this one day", then out they go. If I don't want it any more, you can be damn sure nobody else will!

Cleaning out MIL's house is one of the factors behind my own clean out. But years of working for elderly people in their homes has also had its effect - seeing what they accumulated, and wondering why on earth they didn't get rid of 'all that junk'. Now I know the battle they faced, how difficult it is to part with the tangible memories of your lifetime. But once you start, it gets easier. I have not regretting chucking out one single thing so far. In fact, I can't remember most of it already, which means it wasn't worth keeping so long in the first place!

However, getting rid of my own stuff hasn't stopped me haunting opshops and buying other people's junk! "One man's meat is another man's poison" as the saying goes. If you want to see what I've been picking up, you'll find me on the Op Shop blog, along with other people who love scrounging around in second hand shops!

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