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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eye Candy Only - flowers, cats and possums.

I'm OVER the election - had enough of the hype from all sides, so I decided to take some photos for my blog. First off are the flowers gracing our back yard at the moment. The rain in the last year or so has made a huge difference to the landscape - everything is green and trees, shrubs and small plants are flourishing all around Melbourne! We planted this lovely Azalea about six months ago. From a few leaves on a stalk in a pot, it has come to this - beautiful!

The Grevillea is a popular native plant in Australian gardens and we have several of them. 
This one called "Firecracker" is my favourite because like its name, it almost explodes into a profusion of scarlet and yellow flowers.

The white Jonquils and golden daffodils are nearing the end of their cycle, but despite being blown over and rained on, they still stand up when the weather calms down.

A couple of rogue Hyacinths peep out between the miniature daffodils.

Topsy sat still enough for me to take this picture of her, with her little white bow tie showing.

Mother possum has been bringing her baby down to the feeder every night, and she doesn't seem to mind the camera flash, although after a dozen photos, she seems to get tired of the fuss, and climbs up the nearest tree to get away from me.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

When politics gets personal....and nasty.

Ken and I are still under the weather, so you can imagine how I felt today when somebody practically LEANED on our front door bell until I got there to open the door. I was confronted by a mad woman with bright red hair (no, not Julia) yelling abuse at me for ripping Labor party signs off fences where she and her husband had been putting them. HELLOOOOOO???? I got a torrent of abuse regarding Nick, the Liberal candidate whose sign had been put up in our front yard a few weeks ago. She told me to give Nick a message from her and I suggested that she phone him herself, as I don't have a hotline to him. She said he never answers his phone, and I asked why would she think he would answer it if I rang? She ignored that, and said just tell him that if you people keep ripping our signs down, we'll rip yours down. I was weary by then and said 'If it makes you happy, go right ahead, just rip it down'.
 Well, I went outside an hour later and sure enough, the stupid b---h had done just that! I emailed her candidate, our candidate, and the local paper, protesting about her attitude to me. I've never EVER torn down or defaced any political (or otherwise) signs in my life. Some neighbours two doors up always have a poster up for the Labor candidates at election time, just as we usually have one for the Liberals. I don't touch theirs, and they don't touch ours. Simple as that - we respect each other's viewpoint - there is no need to get cranky over it.

Update two days later
I emailed a complaint to the Labor Party about this incident, and was surprised but gratified to receive two responses within 24 hours, both apologising for the behaviour of the woman, and telling me she had been told this was not the way to conduct a political campaign, and cautioned not to do it again.  Well!  I emailed back to both responders and thanked them for their apologies.  Why can't more people in politics be this civilised?   It cools things down and makes both sides feel better about themselves, don't you think?

We are both in a miserable place.

Ken is ill and I'm not much better. He's had a cold for nearly two weeks and spent the last week in bed most of the time.  I finally got him to the doctor on Thursday who prescribed the usual antibiotics and told me to keep an eye on him. Ken was scheduled to have cataract surgery on Monday, but the doctor said it would have to be postponed because they won't operate on people who have a cold or flu virus, so he called the hospital and eye surgeon to cancel the surgery.

It was this time last year that Ken started off with a cold and ended up in hospital with pneumonia.  I was pleased when he retired back in May this year with the winter months ahead, as now that he has got sick again, at least he wasn't going to work and has been able to stay indoors and keep warm and dry instead of outside driving around all day in the elements. 

I was hoping to avoid catching the cold but no, it got me and I had to cancel a speaking engagement this morning, which I was very disappointed about.  But there was no way I could talk about my linens for half an hour or more, with a sore throat, and a few sneezes thrown in for good measure.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Travels, daffodils, and mice.

Travels relates to a little trip Ken and I took a couple of weeks ago, daffodils are in our back garden, and mice refers to...well, you will have to wait until the end of this post - or scroll down and miss the nice pictures!
We drove up to Sugarloaf Reservoir to check out the water level, and go for a walk.  We were shocked to see how much the water level had dropped since the last time we were there; it was nearly full last year. We have certainly had rain this year; maybe the water authorities have been piping the water from here to another reservoir for some reason...

This is one of Ken's favourite places to walk, as it is fairly flat along this track.  He just can't walk up hills any more, without breathing problems.  

On the way home from Sugarloaf, we stopped at the Kangaroo Ground Cemetery, where one of Ken's aunts is buried.  He went to the funeral, but hasn't been back since.  We walked all over the cemetery but couldn't find her grave.  His cousin said she will show us where it is if we go up there again.

It is only a small cemetery compared to others in the metropolitan area, but it is very pretty and peaceful, so we have decided to book ourselves a spot here.  There was a sign up saying there is still space available, so if we do that, it is one less thing for our families to worry about when we are gone!

It must have been ten years ago when I planted a dozen mixed bulbs along the edge of the lawn in our back yard - daffodils, jonquils, hyacinths and tulips.  Earlier this year I dug all the bulbs up, separated them and replanted them.  What a fabulous display we have this year!  Below are some of the jonquils and yellow daffodils on the right, and there are a lot more daffodils further along that you can't see in this picture.

These daffodils are miniatures, not that you can tell here, but they are smaller than the others.

Finally, the mice!  I went up to the aviaries this morning to let the hens out for a run around the yard, and on checking the finch aviaries found Ken's mouse trap with EIGHT mice in it!
I took the trap out and put it on the back step for Tiger to look at.  He walked around it licking his chops, poking at it, and staring at the mice for about an hour!  

I asked Ken what he'll do with them and he said he would drown them in boiling water.   NOOOOOO!!!!!  I said how can you bear to do that and hear them squealing, and he said he didn't hear anything with the first one he killed like that.  I've been feeding them bread crumbs, and Ken has finally relented and said we can take them down to the park and let them out.He said they'll breed millions more, and I said they've got a right to live just as we have.  There are too many humans on the planet, but nobody puts us in boiling water...

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Coles finally doing the right thing!

Last week I signed an online petition regarding the lack of support given to Aussie farmers and producers by the government and big retailers.  This is either an incredible co-incidence, or somebody out there has seen the petition and made a hasty decision to get Coles back into favour!  It's about bloody time.
SPC Ardmona and their suppliers have been having one helluva time in recent years, with the drought, followed by floods, and to top that off, the big shops bringing in so much 'fresh' food from overseas.

adopt your own virtual pet!