Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Patchwork Number Two

I've made another one.  You're right, Claire, it is addictive. 
It served me really well on the weekend when we went to watch the North Queensland Athletics Championships:  while Hayden was off snapping action shots of the runners and jumpers, I rested on my blanket in the dappled shade.
I only looked up from my book once, when some gangly teenagers rolled up and started practicing with a shot put right there on the grass beside me.  My peace was ruined. 
 They needed a lot of practice.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Love Cat Friday

So did you ever wonder what happened to Lily's litter-sister?  We we wondering.  We hadn't seen her since February, not all that long after she came out of the womb second and literally walked over baby Lily to beat her to the milk.  
She's been bigger and stronger than Lily since then.  Initially we thought she was a boy.

We knew that she'd gone to live with some neighbours of ours and that they'd called her Kuta.  But we hadn't seen her at all until recently, when we spotted her scrapping with another (much bigger) neighbourhood cat.

She's grown into a strong independent woman-cat, tough but beautiful.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First Patchwork

Here it is.  My first patchwork quilt.  If you don't like it don't tell me, cos I'm ridiculously pleased with it.  And with myself.
I have seen a lot of different patchwork quilts on all those crafty-mummy blogs I browse, but I never felt the urge to make such a thing myself because if there's one thing we don't need in Townsville it's extra warmth.  

Then I saw a tutorial on House on Hill Road for a patchy picnic blanket and I thought that's something we could use... or at least give away.  I had the best time picking out the fabrics and co-ordinating how much and where for each one; instead of trying to keep track of some complicated geometric pattern (that would be nearly impossible for me and not at all fun) I made an unstructured pattern that just 'seemed right'.  And I love it.  The part of sewing I always like best is choosing the thread to match the fabric, and when you're making a quilt there is so much matching and co-ordinating to be done. 

Up until now I've tried really hard to furnish our house in a way that's warm and welcoming without crossing the line into 'cottagey', and that's not easy in a town with no Ikea.  With this new patchwork thing I might just be tipping the balance.  

Ah well.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Lots of good things have been happening recently.  We've had beautiful weather in the ramp-up to summer (no spring as such here); I've finally grown out of the woeful haircut I got a couple of weeks ago; Friends is back on telly instead of that awful dating gameshow and, best of all, our worst closest noisiest neighbours have left.  Gone.  Moved out.

We have a lot of close neighbours, as next door to us is a row of six tiny hovels, each with a tiny backyard courtyard that abuts our fence.   The first of these hovels, the one closest to our kitchen and living room, was where the worst neighbours lived.  We called them the Trash Family.  We could hear every word they said when they congregated in their little courtyard to drink and smoke and scold their children.  "No.  No.  Noooo.  No.  NO. NOOO!  Just sit down and drink your f--ken milk!"   

And then, just last Wednesday, we noticed that they were cleaning.  By Thursday they were gone.  My bougainvillea, which had done nothing all winter but look wan and bedraggled, has finally started to flower.  I feel much the same way myself.



We have new next-door neighbours.  They are Victorians, and they are already holed up inside with the aircon on all day and all night.  Er ... summer has not even got going yet.  They are in for a rough time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The road back to normality

Lily is recovering slowly but surely.   As you can see,  she's still got the cone on but she's now allowed outside to play.
She's sitting in her favourite spot in the garden.  Right on top of my coriander plant.  

We gave up eating coriander long ago.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sad Washing

Lily is not herself these days.  She went in for her little operation last Friday, and she's been wearing that disfiguring cone on her head for a week now.  She's well and truly sick of us mistaking her for a lamp.  She's made it quite clear that she doesn't find it at all funny.
The cone is to protect her stitches from her gnawing; we've also taken away her climbing post and we no longer let her outside to play, so she can't burst her stitches jumping up and down.  She's been so quiet and sad since we took all the good stuff out of her life. 

To cheer her up I put her up on the kitchen bench to watch me do the washing up.  She loves water, and bubbles, and she is keenly interested in everything we humans do.  Under the circumstances, it was the perfect treat.  

Friday, September 05, 2008

Luxury Weekend

Our long weekend away was lovely, and not just because we spent it with some of Hayden's oldest friends from undergrad days.   It was so good to finally meet some of the characters from those told and endlessly retold stories.  
In addition, we were upgraded from our modest holiday apartment to a massive modern mansion of a house.  It was really nice.  I have never been on one of those holidays where you book into a resort hotel and then never leave.  This was the closest I've ever got, and I have to say it was not too bad at all!  

It was an excellent opportunity for the guys to reconnect via beers and barbies and the girls to sit by the pool and compare notes on how we converted our scruffy engineer husbands into respectable nicely-dressed citizens of the world.  (I'm sorry.  It is absolutely true that we did that.  Also, compared to the other two wives I have not done very well at all.  I still let Hayden buy his own clothing, sunglasses and shoes.  Even worse, I sometimes let him go out to the supermarket wearing his post-exercise lycra circulation pants.  If the other wives had given me a report card, it would have said "more work needed".)

We ate a lot of good food and drank a lot of tasty beer and wine.  There were so many couches, daybeds and other relaxing spots around the house for an impromptu nap or a good read.  I wasn't feeling like I needed a holiday, but I certainly took one anyway.