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 a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Almost done.

It has been chaos in our house since last week, but the kitchen is just about finished now, so things are getting back to normal.  The new floor will be laid in two weeks time, as well as the glass splashback and a few other minor details, but apart from those, the kitchen is now functional thank goodness.  I'll post some photos here later.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day One of the reno.

 The noise wasn't so bad but the dust was a health hazard!  Ken sat there all day watching the men and commmenting on everything.  I told him ONCE that exposing his lungs to that dust all day would make him sick.  By the end of that afternoon he was feeling very second hand, but recovered enough to go to a friend's place for dinner. 
These pictures show the gradual destruction of the kitchen - cupboards pulled away from walls.
  Stuff was being moved outside, and the plumber and electrician were busy doing their things in preparation for the dishwasher, stove and oven.


 Just as well we are getting a new floor when all this is done...
 So here it is after the boys finished on Saturday afternoon - first lot of new cupboards against the wall, waiting for the laminated top.
 Below, same view with old cupboards.
 This is the new Electrolux oven still with protective blue film over the glass.
  And this is the old Westinghouse.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Goodbye, Beloved Kitchen.

Tonight I am sad.  Not even excited about the new kitchen, a bit anxious in fact.  Wondering how long it will be before I can start baking and roasting in the new oven, cooking on the new gas cooktop, and washing dishes in the dishwasher.  I hate change.  And I have loved my kitchen for 35 years - since the day we inspected this house and I fell in love with it then.  Tomorrow it will be gone, so tonight I said goodbye.
I cooked bacon, eggs and tomato.
 for the last time on this electric stovetop (the only part of the kitchen I have always disliked).

 The chips were baked in my old faithful Westinghouse Bordelaise model oven,

 along with my favourite fruit slice.  The last thing I will bake in this oven.

This may be the last lot of dishes I will ever wash by hand...ha ha!  I seriously doubt that; I've been handwashing dishes for so long it is going to be hard to break the habit.

Why on earth did I get talked into getting a new stainless steel sink??  I have never seen a new one as big as mine; my new sink will be two bowls as I wanted, but one is smaller than the other, and there is only one side piece on the right, not on each side like this vintage sink.  Damn damn damn...it's too late to change my mind, the cupboards have already been made up to accomodate the new sink.

After tea, Ken helped me pack up what was left in the cupboards.  He commented that the kitchen even sounds empty, sort of echoing when we talk. 

 All I have to do in the morning is move the microwave from the shelf, and the tins from the kitchen table.
 And take down my cafe curtains for a wash before they are put up again.  We have left breakfast cereal, bowls, kettle and mugs ready for an early brekkie before the builder arrives at 8 am to start destroying my very first kitchen....sob..

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weather vane in our yard.

Ken loves those old fashioned weather vanes, and has been keeping an eye out for one when we've been shopping off the beaten track, thinking you would only find them in country towns.  Today we were in Bunnings and Ken asked one of the floor walkers if they sold weather vanes.  The girl looked blank and said "What's that?"  We described one to her and she said "Oh yes, I think they have them down in the garden section".   That made sense, so we wandered in there to have a look.  Couldn't find a weather vane, and when we asked one of the sales staff in that section, we got the same blank look.  She asked someone else who said they were in Aisle 23, so off we trotted.

In Aisle 23 we asked another staff member who showed us the electronic weather stations, and we said no, we wanted an old fashioned weather vane.  The bloke shrugged and turned away, but another customer standing nearby pointed down the end of the aisle and said "There they are, on the left hand side".  And so they were.  We had walked right past them - a pile of boxes on the floor with a big sign "Clearance items - $19".  

So Ken got his weather vane, and it is now perched on top of the aviaries (the highest point in our back yard) and the rooster on his arrow will now tell us in which direction the wind is blowing. Wow.


This photo makes it look silver, but it is actually dark brown aged metal look, and only looks light in this photo because the sun was shining on it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Packing up the kitchen.

Today I started packing up the contents of the kitchen cupboards.  My friend Glenda came around and helped me, and I am so grateful, as it would have been so much more difficult on my own.  I was able to stand on the step ladder and hand things down to her, instead of climbing up and down every time I had my hands full.  She packed things into boxes as I handed them to her, so it was so much quicker.  We stopped after about three hours because (a) we were stuffed and (b) I'd run out of boxes!

Here is what we have packed so far, all in the spare room at the other end of the house.  I couldn't bear the thought of all this sitting on the floor in the dining or lounge rooms, even only for a few days, so it is out of the way up here and we won't be tripping over anything if we get up in the middle of the night.

I had a hard time choosing what to keep and what to get rid of.  Glenda was a great help with that - she could see everything from an objective point of view, and was able to suggest that I get rid of certain things that I might otherwise have been tempted to keep, such as four sandwich trays when I already have another six.  And two glass salad bowls when I have another three.  Two teapots when I have another four.  Jelly moulds that I will never use, and countless bowls and plates that have been used and loved for too many years to want to keep them any longer.

Tomorrow I will be going to the opshop to pick up some more boxes, and on Wednesday I'll be packing what is left in the cupboards, except the pantry.  I'll leave that until Friday night because I'll still be cooking meals until then, and will need food from the pantry.  We are going out for dinner with friends on Saturday and Sunday nights, and I hope to persuade Ken to go to Eltham and have breakfast and lunch at some of our lovely cafes on those days!
This load will be going to the opshop:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Great changes coming.

This time next week, our kitchen will be completely bare.  No cupboards, appliances, nothing except walls, floor and curtains.  Actually  - no.  I'll be taking the curtains down before the builder starts ripping everything out, otherwise can you imagine the dust and dirt?   There is probably going to be dust and dirt all through the house anyway, seeing there is no door between the kitchen and dining/lounge room.  I'm a bit worried about Ken's lungs too.  The closer it gets, the more concerned I am.  Are we doing the right thing?  Will it all go smoothly?  Will I be able to quickly work out how to use the new oven, stove and dishwasher?   Quickly is important, otherwise we'll be eating out for a week while I figure out how to cook!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Now for some GOOD news!

This morning we got the phone call we've been waiting for - our builder has confirmed the date for installing our new kitchen - HOORAY!!    He said he has just got in the benchtops and will be receiving the cupboard doors soon, and will be able to finish everything off in the factory in the coming week.  They will be ripping the old kitchen out on Saturday 24th, and the plumber and electrician will do their preparatory work on that day.  On Monday 26th, the new kitchen will be delivered and installed, and again the plumber and electrician will be there to hook up the new appliances. 

As soon as I hung up the phone, I called Harvey Norman Floors to book a time for them to come out again after the new kitchen is in place, so we can decide on the colour and pattern of the new floor.  They will be here on Tuesday the 27th.  I love it when everything falls into place like this!

So now, I have to start packing up everything in our kitchen.  I've been collecting boxes and plastic bins from our opshop and have a huge pile in the spare bedroom.  I'm hoping to be able to cull the contents of the cupboards and take a lot of stuff to the opshop that I haven't used for years.  I know it's there, but I just needed this shove to make me get rid of it!  I've been given some lovely gifts by friends to start off with, and that will motivate me to get rid of the older stuff too.  Cheryl gave me this gorgeous timber hand carved cheeseboard that she got made just for me!
  She also gave me this mat with chooks on.  It is too small to be a floor mat (and I wouldn't stand on it anyway) so I asked what it would be used for and she said it is to put under the dish drainer on the sink, to soak up drips from dishes.  Clever!

I also received a pair of glass jars with ceramic roosters on the top from Louise, for my birthday.  No photo to post, but once everything is in its new home, there will be lots of pix!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Facebook the ultimate nightmare.

I've have done a stupid thing.  A REALLY stupid thing.  One of my dearest friends is in hospital after a major operation to rid her of cancer, and the only thing she has to keep her mind off herself is her iPad. She doesn't read or sew, or do any other craft stuff that might keep her occupied.  But she loves Facebook.  So I signed up to keep her company.  All hell has broken loose on my computer.  People that I know and more people that I don't know want to be a 'Friend'.  I know who my friends are, and indeed, some of them I have met via the Internet.  But it was by mutual agreement not forced on me like this.  All I want to do is 'chat' with C if she wants some company online when she is too sick to reach for the phone.

 I have not got time to chat online with all the other people, even though I would be delighted to TALK to friends and family on the phone, or even SEE them in person if they agreed, but most of them seem to prefer Facebook relationships now.  I've just wasted hours yesterday and today trying to navigate Facebook and set it up the way I want it with just one 'friend' but in doing so I must have clicked on some people that I know in real life, and now I'm getting all their stuff on my page.  I think...well it's weird, all over the place, and I don't want it.  I need someone to sit with me and sort it out, but they are all too busy 'messaging' each other...blaaaaahh.

adopt your own virtual pet!