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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Many versions of friendship.

What makes a best friend, or even a good friend?  When I was a child in school, one had to have  a 'best friend' to hang around with.  I had several best friends over the 12 years I was at school, and I can still remember most of them, even though there are only two that I am still in touch with.  I don't remember what attracted me to these various friends at the time, but the two I still connect with share similar interests with me.

My other friends at this point in my life are mostly those who I have met through shared interests such as needlecraft and other craft hobbies, while some are neighbours and other people that I simply like to spend time with.  It would be very difficult for me to choose one as a best friend because they all give me so much of themselves, and I hope I do the same for them.  I am sometimes surprised at the variance in ages - some of my friends are many years younger than me; in fact their mothers are my age!   It feels quite strange to be in the company of people my age that I feel are 'older' because their kids are my friends!

One such friend is Cheryl, who lives about 20 minutes drive away. She and her family live on several acres and have dozens of hens and roosters as well as two dogs, two cats, as well as a horse and alpacas. Ken and I love to visit them! Cheryl works full time as well as looking after her family and the house and property, but she still finds time to do things for her friends. She bought some curtain material to make curtains for her kitchen, but it didn't fit, so knowing we love chooks as much as them, she asked if I would like it. As all the curtains in our house are the original ones when we bought the house over 30 years ago, the thought of ANY new curtains sounded great, so I accepted her offer. She came here this week and within an hour had taken down the old curtains and fittings, installed the new fittings and rods, and hung the curtains! Don't they look gorgeous??

She wouldn't accept any payment, so I gave her some chook patchwork fabric from my stash that she liked.  She said she just likes to make her friends happy.  Isn't that what  a good friend does best?  I'm very fortunate to have friends like Cheryl; all my friends make me happy in different ways.  Some make me laugh, others make me think deeply about life, and some teach me new things in the way of crafts.  I love 'em all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happier times.

I've been tied up (as in busy) with the exhibition of my linen collection over the past three weeks, but that finished on Sunday, so I have some time now to catch up with my blogs.  I went with Ken to see the lung specialist two weeks ago, and we were relieved to hear that Ken's blood tests etc. were showing a vast improvement since he was in hospital.  He is feeling a lot better now, especially after Dr G. assured us that those bullae (air sacs) in the lungs are common in people with COPD, and the chances of them bursting are very unlikely.  He said it would just as likely to be struck by lightning, so I guess that is rare enough to not worry about it!  So Ken has gone back to work four days a week, and seems to be coping well enough.  He went on a 200 KL ride with a dozen other guys from the Japanese Vintage motorcycle club on Sunday, and although he was pretty tired when he got home, he said he enjoyed himself, and that's what is important.
We have got a big mess in our front and back yards with trees and branches blown down in a recent storm, but they can stay there until we both feel energetic enough to spend a day at home cleaning up.  Everyone else around here is in the same boat.

I was at the Eltham library today, and found a book about Melbourne.  I've lived here all my life and thought I knew a lot about our city, but the author of this book has uncovered some remarkable little-known stories that make me want to go walkabout around the city for a day and rediscover some of our old buildings.
I came out of the library and paused to admire the view from the balcony.  It looks over one of Eltham's beautiful parks, and I felt a sense of immense pride.

 A lady about my age was walking to her car which was parked next to mine, and I said to her "Aren't we lucky to live here?"  Just a spontaneous remark, to which she smiled and replied "I think that every day when I get home from work".  Some people hate where they live, some people don't dwell on their locality at all, but some of us really love where we live, and I'm one of those fortunate people.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Good and bad times.

My little tantrum on my previous post has ruffled a few feathers.  Sorry about that, but it was not meant to be taken personally. It has been a tough time here.   Ken returned to work on Monday of this week, resuming the four day week that his lung specialist insisted on, and by Wednesday he was in a bad way, living proof of Dr G's warning.  His vision has been blurred since he was in hospital, and his blood sugar readings through the roof.   Our chemist assured me that the steroids he is on for two weeks are definitely causing the erratic blood sugar readings, and it is nothing to worry about.
On Wednesday Ken visited our optician, who did all the usual tests, and blamed the same steroids for the rapid deterioration in Ken's cataracts.  We knew he had them, but they were slow growing, and not expected to bother him for some time yet, but now it looks as if he will have to have surgery before the end of the year.  Walking uphill to the car park, Ken was gasping for breath, and when we got home he said to me  "I'm tired of all this.  I think I'll quit work tomorrow, I just want to lie down and go to sleep and not wake up".  On Thursday morning he got up and went to work as usual.  I called him to ask if he'd handed in his notice, and he said  "No, I'm okay now". I feel like I'm on an emotional see saw.  One minute he's telling me he wants to die, the next thing he wants to keep working.  How does anyone stay sane through this?  I feel for him and support him as best I can, but it takes its toll on me too.
The one good thing that is happening to me at the moment is the exhibition of my vintage linens at Bundoora Homestead over the next couple of weeks.  It opened on Wednesday, and there has been a steady stream of people in to see it, and I have loved chatting to them all.  Some of the visitors were people I know from the Embroiderers Guild, some are readers of my blogs, and others are friends who came to say hi.  I've given a talk to a group of ladies from a suburban VIEW club, and they were a delightful group who said they thoroughly enjoyed my presentation.  I'll be doing another one to a larger group in the last week of the exhibition, and was surprised to learn that it was booked out weeks ago!  In between talking to the visitors, I've been sitting at a table stitching, and it has been such a calming influence on me at this time.   The staff at the homestead are concerned, and keep telling me to take a break!  I can't convince them that for me, sitting and sewing is the most relaxing thing I can do, and I am loving every minute.  No phone calls, housework, birds and cats to look after - it's great!  Ken is a bit cheesed off that I'll be there all weekend as well, but I need this time away from him and the house.  He knows where I am and if he needs me, I'm only 20 minutes away.

adopt your own virtual pet!