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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The MOTH's new toy.

Well, Ken will certainly have to keep working if he wants to buy more boys toys like this one that he bought yesterday! Two of the blokes he works with, had these little remote control helicopters flying around the office, and of course, Ken had to have one. He justified the cost of $50 by saying if he went to the Superbike Races today, it would have cost more than $50, so he's not going. Such a sacrifice...


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hubby's heartaches.

Ken's cardiologist has finally made a decision about Ken's heart. Ken had another echo-cardiogram before we saw Dr.M today, and it wasn't real good. Dr M. says the cardio.conference (where a group of heart specialists meet to discuss their patients) decided it was too risky to operate on Ken, as his heart is too badly damaged to withstand an operation. So they are going to put a pacemaker in, and see if that helps the heart to work a bit better.

I think Ken is relieved that he won't have to go 'under the knife', and he joked with Dr.M about what would happen if the battery goes flat. Dr M looked at us pokerfaced, and said 'Well, if the pacemaker stops, you just die'. He knows us well enough to be able to say such outrageous things that make us laugh! Ken has to see another specialist that Dr M refers to as 'the Electrician' - the person who will install the pacemaker into Ken. That will be next month, and hopefully he will be able to do the procedure soon afterwards. Ken says he just wants to be able to breathe properly, and Dr M assured him that it would go a long way to making life more comfortable for him. He did hint that Ken might have to think about retiring though, but we'll wait and see what happens. Ken wants to keep working as long as he can. I tell him that we can live on the pension if he stops spending money on his bikes, but if he continues to do that, he'll just have to keep working!

I think I might have shocked a few people with my flippant remarks about my brother in the previous post. Ken thought I was being heartless, so I relented, and phoned my brother, wondering what sort of reception I'd get after all these years. I was pleasantly surprised; B. was quite affable, and we chatted away for about 20 minutes. He said he is fine now, and was returning to work this week, so he's obviously been very lucky, and suffered no serious damage to his heart. I guess I'm pleased. At least we won't have to go to a funeral in the near future. Oops. Sorry - I know - poor taste.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In the last four days...

It seems ages since my last post here, but it was only five days ago. I've been working on various embroidery projects, and messing around with paper craft as well. I saw this cute paper doll cut-out on this craft website and couldn't resist having a go!


Life goes on. Ken's Mum turned 97 last Wednesday, and the hostel kitchen staff made a birthday cake for her (as they do with all the residents), and got everyone to sing happy birthday. She had a few visitors during the day, and we dropped in after tea. She was a bit bemused by all the activity, but happy with all the cards she received, even if she didn't remember some of the people who sent them. Ken's sister and BIL brought MIL over to our place on Sunday for afternoon tea, and she enjoyed that. She always wants to see our animals and birds, so we took her up to the aviaries where she chuckled at the hens, and held a baby budgie. Back inside the house, I dragged Topsy from under the bed where she was hiding, and MIL patted her for a few minutes until she'd had enough and got free of my arms!

Earlier in the day, my oldest brother Ian rang to tell me our brother Bryan was in hospital. He'd had a heart attack last week, but had stents put in to the arteries and was doing well. I think he expected me to drop everything and rush in to see Bryan, but I haven't seen either of my brothers for a couple of years, so I just said thanks for letting me know, and we must catch up some time. Ha. Pigs might fly too. Families. Who'd have them? I must admit I envy people who have a close knit family, and see each other regularly. Ken's family is pretty close, so it's been nice for me to have married into such a family. But my side...when my father and stepmother died within a year of each other, it was like the glue that held the family together had disintegrated. We get on okay when we meet at weddings and funerals, but other than that...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New (temporary) blog.

I have created a blog to show my photos of LeeAnn's china collection, as well as the other photos I took when we spent the day in Kyneton last Sunday. Here is the link to that blog: A Day In Kyneton.
I do have a few more photos to add, but it's getting late and I'm getting tired, so I will post the remaining pics later on.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

The weather forecast looked promising today - not too hot, no rain - so I persuaded Ken to spend the afternoon in one of Victoria's beautiful country towns. I'd given him a Valentine card (we exchange them every year), and I'd written inside "Let's do something together today", because I knew he'd planned to spend all day working in the bird aviaries. No way to spend Valentines Day!

It didn't take much effort to persuade him, as like me, he was tired of working around the house every weekend. He said "Where do you want to go?" and I replied "Kyneton. LeeAnn has her collection of Crinoline Lady china on display in the Kyneton Museum for the next few months, and I don't want to miss out on seeing it by leaving it until the last minute". So we set off just after 2pm, and arrived in Kyneton around 3.15. Kyneton is one of the undiscovered gems of Victoria. The entire town of Maldon was classified by the National Trust in 1966, and as a result it is still on everyone's list of somewhere to go on a weekend. Daylesford and Castlemaine are fast gaining similar reputations, but Kyneton doesn't seem to rate a mention as a special place to go. Well, for those of you here in Victoria, if you haven't been to Kyneton, you should! We've driven through it on the way to somewhere else, many many times, but today we took the time to stop and look around.

The Museum is housed in a bluestone building that was originally a bank, and it has a fascinating history. The ground floor has various displays that are changed around every so often, and at the moment includes LeeAnn's fabulous collection of china. I took photos, but won't post them here until LeeAnn gives her OK. Upstairs is a static display of the living area as it was when the bank manager and his family lived there. In the grounds around this building there are various outbuildings, all with their own history and artifacts. We spent over an hour looking around, and although we saw everything, we would have liked to spend much more time browsing.

After we left the Museum, we wandered around that part of the town which is designated the Churches Precinct, for good reason. We looked at about six churches, all within the proverbial stone's throw of each other. They were all built in the 1800's and although we couldn't go inside, it was worth just looking at the exteriors. There are so many beautifully preserved old buildings in Kyneton; I took about 60 photos - far too many to post here! So I'm going to create one of my 'temporary blogs' to post my photos along with descriptions. But I'll wait until I hear from LeeAnn before I go ahead with it. In the meantime, if you can make it to Kyneton one weekend to see her collection, it is well worth the visit. I knew she had a lot of this Crinoline Lady china, but not THAT much!!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A day out with Val.

Last week, Val and I decided to go and view the Xmas display at the Johnston Collection in East Melbourne. Most people reading this will probably not know what the Johnston Collection is, and there is too much for me to explain, so click on the link if you want to know more.

The Collection is housed in a residential area of East Melbourne, which in its day was very "up-market". It got run-down for a while, but in the last few decades the area has again become prestigious, and increased in value because of the proximity to the CBD and the renovations of the original houses. We were not allowed to photograph the Johnston Collection itself, so I took photos outside instead.

We started off having an early lunch in the city at Australia On Collins - it was nice and quiet before the lunchtime rush.

Collins Street is one of Melbourne CBD's prettiest streets, with trees along both sides of the wide road, which provide welcome shade on a warm day.

The Johnston Collection is only open to the public on booked guided tours, which start from the Hilton Hotel around the corner. It is only a few minutes walk, but they have a little courtesy bus which takes everyone from the Hilton around the corner - which is handy for the many elderly people who go on the tour. Here is Val waiting to board the bus.

The building that houses the Collection was originally Mr. Johnston's own home.

Guess who? Not Mrs Johnston, that is for sure!


The following photos are of some of the buildings in the same street - fabulous Art Deco styles, stunning lacework verandahs, beautiful churches... Marvellous Melbourne lives on!










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We went back to Val's home afterwards, to show and tell our latest craft projects. Val gave me a copy of an article on making a card using papers to create a cup and saucer. I couldn't wait to try it - here is what I did the same night!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why I shop on Wednesday nights.

Sylvia asked the question after reading my earlier post about my weekly menu and shopping routine. When I worked full time, my weekly wage was deposited into our bank account on Wednesdays, so it made sense to do the bulk of my shopping on that night while there was enough money to draw on. I haven't had any reason to change my routine; I like having the coming weekend free of major supermarket shopping trips when every man and his dog is out there competing for parking spots and lining up in queues at the checkout.

I'm lucky that Safeway is at the end of our street (about a kilometre away), so it takes me about 2 minutes to drive down there. The store closes at midnight, and I go about 10.30 pm because I can park right out the front, there are no kids running amok in the aisles, and there are no queues at the checkout. I realise most sensible people are in bed by that time, but it's horses for courses, isn't it?

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