the bathroom floor quilt and a silly little brown sausage

What * a * day!  I work Wednesdays at the bookstore so this morning it was a busy round of school lunches, porridge, bed-making, doggy breakfasts, tidying kitchen, stacking dishwasher, washing darks, and hanging out school blouses before farewelling the doggles, who spend their day in the back garden, and heading up the road to work.

on-the-floor

But then … when I checked my phone at lunch I had a trio of missed calls and messages from persons unknown.  I began listening to the messages – O!M!G!.

“Hello … this is Ron.  I live nearby.  I just found your little black fellow (Simon the cavoodle) running up the street, followed by a little brown fellow (Toph the dachshund).  I tried to hold onto them but they were too much for me and they got away again. So sorry.  Hope they are okay!”

“Hello … this is Christine.  I’ve just chased your little dogs up the street.  The black one was easy enough to catch but the little brown sausage put on such a performance I dropped her.  But it’s okay.  When I carried the black one into my house, the little brown sausage followed.”

“Hello … this is the vet.  I’ve just had a lovely lady drop Simon and Toph off.  She found them running up the street and called us to see whether they were our patients.  So if you could come by and collect them, that would be great.”

Did I say O!M!G!  I was standing in the baker, mouth open in amazement when Julian called.

“I’ve just had the vet call.  Apparently Simon and Toph have been dropped off.  You’d better go get them.”

Thank goodness for lovely, lovely, lovely locals who care.  And thank goodness our dear little idiots didn’t meet with nasty accidents whilst running wild.  And thank goodness we had already found and met our local vet.  Despite the alarm and horrror (tinged with nervous giggles), I felt very “watched over”.

When I arrived at the vet, there was a lone barker out the back letting the world know of her misery.

“Ah that will be my naughty dog,” I said to the smiling vet.

“Oh, I don’t think that’s Toph!” she said a bit sheepishly. When she reappeared from the back with Simon and the little brown sausage, I understood her certainty.  Said sausage was sagging in the vet’s arms, her bloodshot eyes almost closed.  Turns out, Toph had indeed put on such a performance and was so terribly distressed, the vet gave her a mild sedative to calm her down.  You should see her now – she’ll be out till the morning.  Simon, however, is full of cocky excitement and energy – he loves the thrill of a grand escape.

start

As for the bathroom floor quilt – as mentioned last night, it was looking so pretty – until Toph peed on it.  Wretched thing!  From the moment I put it down, she assumed ownership, curling up on it everytime any of us were in the bathroom so why she decided to pee on it I don’t know.

adding-the-strips

I stitched it from a bath sheet (big towel) folded in half.  I then pinned the centre square in the middle of the folded red towelling square and began adding strips around it in the Court House Steps pattern.  Once I’d reach the edges, I trimmed the towel to match and then bound the edge with an extra wide binding.

stitching-down-the-binding

It’s not to stand on when wet, but to be warm and soft under our bare feet when we’re cleaning our teeth or brushing our hair etc.  I’m pleased with how it turned out but next time I will only use one layer of towelling when quilting it.  Two was almost silly thick and quite difficult to keep flat.  A learning experience :-)

beautiful-fabric

Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow – two layers of towelling takes a while to dry indoors in wintery Melbourne.  As for the little black fellow and the little brown sausage – they’ll be cooling their paws in the kitchen until we ascertain how they pulled off the escape.

on-the-ground

I don’t think Toph will be putting in any complaints.  I dare say she’ll be taking it easy for the the next few days  …. but will she learn from this stupefying experience – I doubt it ….

very-comfy

so glad we did

the-view

Sunday morning

Julian: “Shall we go for a drive and picnic in the country tomorrow?”

Lily: “Oh yes, that’s a lovely idea.  I’ll prepare the picnic.”

abby-found-some-cows

en-group

Sunday night

Julian:  “Shall we go for a drive and picnic in the country tomorrow?”

Lily: “Yep, I’ll make the picnic in the morning.”

black-cow

chomp

Monday 9am

Julian: “Are we going for a drive and picnic?”

Lily: “Yeah, the chicken drumsticks are roasting.”

little-rebels

sam

Monday 11am

Julian: “Are we still going for a drive and picnic?”

Lily: “GOodness!  Is that the time!  Yep, yep.  I’ll just get the biscuits out of the oven.”

shut-the-gate

firewood

Monday 12pm

Lily:  “I thought we were going for a drive and picnic?”

Julian and Abby:  giggle, giggle, giggle, “Hang on a sec, we’re just stopping the zombies from eating our brains.”

setting-sun

Monday 1pm

Lily:  “Hey you guys!  Come and see the new shower curtain!”

Julian and Abby:  giggle, giggle, giggle, ” Oh no!  There’s more zombies rising up out of the swimming pool!”

smoky

julian-boosts-the-fire

Monday 1.30pm

Lily: “The picnic’s packed and I’m dressed and ready.  I’m going for a drive and a picnic in the country.”

Julian and Abby:  “Oh no!  Wait! Wait!  We’re coming too!”

playing-with-fire

gingernuts

And oh we are so very glad we finally got out of the house and onto the road!  What a glorious afternoon – a short but rich and beautiful drive in the country to the south east of Melbourne.

Whilst stopping so Abby could say hi to a gathering of very pretty cows, we met the lovely farmer – Chris – her son, Nathan and funny pup, Sam who took his job as canine cowherd very seriously.  They raise Limousin cows for meat and invited us in to pat the cows, chat about the thrill and struggles associated with breeding, raising and selling cows, welcomed us up to their farmhouse to admire the view – WOW! what a view – and invited us back in September to play with their spring babes.  What a wonderful country experience hey!  To just rock up at a fence, admire the stock and before we know it, have such cheerful generosity extended to us by complete strangers.  Awesome!

We then continued along the twisty and picturesque road – we were in West Gippsland – and wound our way down to Moonlight Creek.  Such a different environment.  Very still and damp, tree ferns soaring amongst the gums, a sweetly burbling creek, and bizarrely enough, a cheerfully crackling campfire with not a soul around.  Hmmmm … someone was very, very careless.  I know it isn’t the fire season, but how could anyone in Victoria be so thoughtless as to leave a campfire burning in a heavily forested gully surrounded by a state forest and farms.

The light was almost gone, the air was a chill 7 degrees, so we ate our picnic and warmed our hands by the little blaze.  Abby had a lovely time poking little clumps of dried moss and dead fern leaves into the fire.  Their pretty sizzle was quite magical.  When we could barely make out the road, we carefully put out the fire with water from the creek – the amount of steam that came off it was truly extraordinary!  Julian and Abby settled into the backseat of the car with the picnic quilt tucked over their laps and around their legs so they could take turns planting rows of vegetables and flowers to defeat those brain eating zombies, and I drove us home.  A fair swap since I knitted Abby’s school scarf all the way :-)

Oh it was a good afternoon.  So next time you think it is too late to go for a picnic, that you’ll go next week, that you’re immersed in tasks around the house – nah!  Almost anytime is a good time for putting aside the everyday and heading off to find and enjoy the out of the ordinary.  Cows, farmers and fire.  The only things we missed were a thermos with tea, some marshmallows for the fire and for Abby – warm feet.  Dope!

good-farm-shoes

sun day

The cold has gone.  The boot is off.  The sun is shining.  There’s nothing to do but sit in the back garden with Abby and soak up the loveliness.

abby

I clip her toenails and brush her hair – it must be an evolutionary thing – a muma monkey grooming her bub (Abby will love that!) –  and it feels so loving to take the time to just sit around with her and giggle and fuss.

books

We read some stories.  When you’re sitting under a huge and glorious old oak, Elsa Beskow is very appropriate.  We sample some poetry, for an upcoming English assignment, and select a lovely quartet from Eleanor Farjeon, Shel Silverstein, Emily Dickenson and Maya Angelou.

foot

Yes, Ms. Angelou, with great respect Abby selected your poem “I know why the caged bird sings” for dedicating to her guinea pig who has recently moved from her small, dark hutch, to the huge newly renovated bird aviary, full of light, warmth, and hay, hay, hay, hay.  We rarely see Little My now – she’s created a whole series of tunnels and warm sleeping burrows through her hay – it’s almost knee deep.  It’s so funny to sit and watch the hay rise bumpily up and down as she scurries about.  And she no longer shrieks at us as soon as we come near her, but instead, lolls about amongst her hay, fat and content, waiting for us to stroke or feed her.  She’s one happy guinea pig.

squares

Whilst Abby scrolls through a baby name website for names for the new modes of transport that will hopefully come our way soon – and rolls around in silent, gasping hysteria at the thought of someone naming their baby boy Bogden – I FINALLY add a new row of crochet to my granny squares which I started TWO years ago.

edge

This is courtesy of a quick trip yesterday to Wondoflex – fabulous place – where the shelves are bulging with beautifully coloured 8 ply just waiting to come on home and finish these squares off – I’m thinking a lovely egg yolk yellow next, then a warm turqoise, a medium lilac and I’m currently tossing up between a dark blue denim or light grey chambray for joining them up?  There are 25 squares – so it will be 5 by 5 and I would like it to be a generous blanket for snuggling under whilst reading or stitching.

light-changing

When I started these squares with my old Nanny, I would work away at one until it was at the blue edge.  I remember one square taking a long time.  When I looked at them today,  it seemed oh so obvious to stack them up on side of me, whip around each one with the new colour, and plonk them down on the other side of me.  Terribly satisfying to watch the vivid pink edged pile growing and growing.  Can’t imagine why I did them the other way – I think the first two colours would be essential, but then after that, whip, whip, whip!  So neat and organised.

And all this happens in the garden.  In the sun.  With my girl.  Healthy and whole and very, very blessed.

a mother’s day

sky

I celebrated my first mother’s day – as a mumma – 12 years ago.  Abby was a wee five month old who slept reasonably well at night, but stayed awake ALL DAY.  That was tiring.

Julian was away – can’t remember where or why – and Abby and I spent the morning and lunch in with Mum and co.  The extended family gathered for a picnic on the school oval – in those days, Mum was still living in a little old wooden cottage on the school campus – and whilst the older children played, we grown ups sat around in a circle, on our picnic chairs, chatting and eating whilst Abby lay on a quilt at our feet.  Mum had to leave early – she had to go to Canberra – and as the air chilled, and the shadows lengthened, the aunties and uncles gathered their hampers, rugs, toys and children and went home.  Just Abby and I were left.

We fed Annie – Mum’s dog – locked up her house and traipsed home to our own little abode – I remember it being so very quiet, dark, cold and lonely.  Abby was a dear baby – very happy and relaxed – and we settled down in the cosy sitting room, the lamps lit and the television on.  Nothing like a bit of the old Aunty (australian broadcasting corporation) to keep you company and remind you that you are in fact part of a much bigger world.  I’m sure there would have been quite a bit of breastfeeding and snuggling.  And then, after Abby was settled into her cradle, I watched the very first episode of “Seachange” – a fabulous Australian series set in a tiny Victorian seaside village about a mum, her two children, and her valiant – and often very funny – efforts to create a new life away from the city, her friends, home, job etc.

I don’t remember many details of my first mother’s day – but I do remember really enjoying this episode of “Seachange” – and as Laura (played by Sigrid Thornton) confronted a flattened cat, a cheating husband and sister who had commited the ultimate betrayal, a falling apart work promotion, a suspended-from-school son, deceitful real estate agent, dilapadated house, and eccentric new job, I felt that my first mother’s day symbolised the beginning of a completely new life.

A beautiful wee baby was now at the centre of my world.  She was completely reliant upon me – and would be for so many years to come – and thus I needed to be strong, capable, cheerful, enterprising, imaginative, resilient, loving … and always there.  The world wouldn’t be perfect, not all my dreams would come true, sometimes I would be on my own, sometimes life would be difficult and I would be tired, and yet, there would always be someone and something waiting for my attention.  That’s what being a mother is all about.

In later seasons, Laura thrived in her new home and met the demands placed upon her with mostly bravery and optimism.  She did good, and she did it well.  And now, 12 years later, I feel confident in saying, that whilst there are ups and downs, days that are magical and ones that are horrid, lots of work, uncertainty, and always that bit of tiredness, I am doing good.  Being a mum is the most successful thing I have ever done.  And I am so very grateful for the opportunity.

So how did I spend my 12th mother’s day – Julian made me lemon crepes for breakfast, Abby gave me a beautiful new craft book, we read aloud and as a family two more chapters of Dewey – the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, I spent hours sewing in my little shed – a special something for the family room and Abby! – I cooked dinner with Julian, did the dishes, changed the sheets, brought in the washing, played Mario with Abby, we all snuggled up on the sofa and watched Dr. Who, and I finally covered my little outdoor table …

table

A very good mother’s day was had indeed … and I wish you a very fine mother’s day too.  Aren’t we lucky :-)

mushrooms

group

I have always known jewel coloured, fearsome looking mushrooms existed.  They grow in clusters amongst the leaf litter, under giant trees, where it is dark and damp, and brownies, fairies and goblins live.  You know, in Enid Blyton stories!  I had NO idea they actually grew like this in my favourite picnic ground!

single

They just beg to be admired, photographed, picked … oops no!  Definitely not picked.  These are terribly poisonous mushrooms – eating them leads to permanent mental disorders, according to the mushroom field guide we bought from a nearby second hand bookshop!  Thus a little bit of applique and embroidery will be needed to capture this magic and bring it home :-)

in-the-grass

And there will certainly be forest folk under my magic mushrooms.

exquisite-colours

As for the ones you can eat … they’re a wee bit humble in comparison but mighty tasty … allow me to introduce you to the Saffron Milk Cap.

collected

They are truly delicious, fried up in some butter, with garlic and parsley.  Yum!  And that funny brownish one with the yellow underside … that’s a slippery jack.  Abby and I are quite content to NEVER eat one of these – apparently they are an acquired taste but very unique.  We’ll leave that experience to our Julian, the mushroom hunter.  Yep, he’s the one stalking through the woods alongside the Daylesford lake with a leather jacket, woollen cap, calico bag, and KNIFE.

julian

As for the folk that CAN be found playing around the mushrooms of Daylesford … why I do declare it’s a Harajuku girl!  Goodness me!  Abby, I think your wee girlie must be a bit cold frolicking amongst the mushrooms in a BIKINI!

harajuku-girl

my mummy came and stayed

mum-and-abby

Last weekend, my dear mummy came and stayed.  Oh it was so good.  We had four whole days and nights.  We breakfasted at the Martin Street Providore.  We shopped at Chadstone with Abby – a 12 year old’s version of the perfect afternoon.  We picnicked in Daylesford.  Mum collected Abby from school and they shared afternoon tea at our favourite bakery.

the-perfect-setting

The bit I loved the best … sitting in the sun, in the back garden, knitting and sewing and crocheting.  Bliss :-)

washing

The washing gently flapped.

wool-basket

My new/old sewing basket discovered its true purpose – to carry around the wool scraps from the ripple.

woolly-bliss

I crocheted.

sewing-up-the-cardie

Mum sewed up my cardie.

little-squares

We munched on toast and honey, sipped coffee and sat in our jammies ’til 2pm!  The perfect way to while away a long and lovely weekend with my mum.

the boot family picnic

We’re addicted … to picnicking.  When I look into the packed picnic hamper, oh, I am so appreciative of the lovely life with which we are blessed.  There’s fresh sourdough in the bread bag, maple syrup and paprika chicken legs in the tub, milk and tea bags for a hot cuppa, dates and wee meringues for afters.  Eeeeeee!  Yum!

the-packed-basket

We choose our spot – it used to be by the lake, now it’s up above, on the edge of the mushroom fields.

the-perfect-spot

After we have devoured the goodies, the able bodied go mushroom hunting, whilst the booted of us, stays behind on the picnic blanket.

stuck-on-the-blanket

But that’s okay :-) I have hot tea …

cup-of-tea

and my knitting … yep, I’m still knitting that poncho for Abby.  I have a new incentive now to finish it asap.  12 skeins of exquisite Merino Worsted in Amoroso by Malabrigo that I’m planning to knit up in the February Ladies Sweater.  Yum!  So I need that circular needle.  Quick, lily, knit, knit, knit!

and-my-knitting

and some awfully pretty leaves to play with …

pretty-leaves

Before long, it’s time to repack the hamper and head to the Book Barn for a hot chocolate on their dear little verandah, perched on the edge of the lake, along with Sophie the enormous Great Dane who mooches about looking for a head rub.

time-for-home

oooooh!  And look – my Nimbus is finally wearable.  Not quite finished – it needs the big button to hold it together at the front, but hey!  I’m wearing it … thanks to my mummy :-)

the boot family’s together again

walking-down

Oh thank goodness!  Finally, after many weeks, we are all in the one place, at the one time, the sun was shining, the air was warm, and I can walk … of a sorts.  Time for a picnic by the beach.  Chicken drumsticks were roasted last night.  Cranberry buns were baked this morning.  Apples were slinkied.  The knitting was packed.  The baseball mitts and ball were collected.  And we were off – after Julian had a few hours sleep … he only flew in from Dubai at 5.30 this morning :-)  It was so good and  I was reminded oh so fervently that we are part of a wonder filled, beautiful, and happy world.

ready-for-fun

Children paddled and played in the sand.  Dogs leapt for tennis balls.  Boys paddled past in their kayak singing at the top of their lungs – honestly, my heart filled with such happiness to hear their wholesome life-filled singing and shrieks of laughter, I wanted to clap! When they reached a rocky outcrop, they hopped out and performed some little war dances.  They were such a hoot.  Pretty little yachts scooted in and out of the nearby marinas.  Seagulls pluffed up their chests and strutted back and forth with great importance.  It was so good.

exploring-amongst-the-rocks

there were star fish to wonder at …

star-fish-2

… their little tentacles furiously waving back and forth (we put her back super quick so she wouldn’t dry out)

amazing-jellies

there were hundreds of gorgeously plump jellies …

crystal-clear

… and the water was so crystal clear, that their chubby legs looked as if they were upholstered in a wonderfully lush chenille.  Abby loved patting their heads and stroking them – but kept a good deal away from those chubby legs!

the-booted-mother

my legs are no where near as pretty – how elegant is that boot!

sandy-feet

but gee, the warm sand felt good :-)  I even got some in my boot – naturally – and hopefully it will scrub away at all the dead skin that now covers the sole of my foot.  You wanted to know that, didn’t you.  Should I tell you how much it smells?  Too much?  Okay, I won’t mention it.

knitting

Abby found a pretty shell for me, in return for me knitting her poncho.

playing-ball

the more physically able of us played ball

toffee-apples

and we finished with apples – we had wholesome ones, Abby had a toffee apple.  It was the perfect day for a toffee apple.

Now we are home.  We are watching the new Doctor Who episode – how wonderful is Matt Smith as the new Doctor! – for the third time, Julian has French Onion Soup simmering on the stove, the doggles are smooching on the sofa, and all is good.

Wishing you the opportunity to stop, put down what you think SHOULD be done, take it slowly, pack a simple hamper, head to somewhere lovely and watch, listen and breathe all the happiness, goodness and beauty that is there waiting for us.

little bags of good use

Often, whilst having a burst of tidying up, we stumble upon small collections of somethings that need a home.  Somewhere they can hang out together and stay safe and neat.  The solution – a little bag of cloth – a useful bag.

I especially love making them for Abigail.  We’ve had book bags, library bags, drawing bags, ballet bags, swimming bags, piano bags, playmobil bags, animal bags, pyjama bags, toothbrush bags, pirate bags, peter pan bags …  Oh the marvellous fabric you can use when making bags for wee girlies!  And they make such a good present.  I always try to give gifts in cloth bags – pass on that usefulness.  Now, my girlie is in high school (HIGH SCHOOL!)  And she needed a couple of new bags …

The bag a girl always needs to have packed and at the ready …

duck-bag

Small, cute, easily stuffed into the school backpack.

Then the hanky bag – I had been storing Abby’s hankies in the family hanky bag, but that just wasn’t working.  Julian simply wasn’t fond of vintage hankies with animals playing musical instruments, or hip 1970s chicks strolling through the garden with their flares and holly hobby bonnets.  And Abby just didn’t bother hunting through the big bag to find hers.  So …

hanky-bag

A gorgeous piece of fabric with little women in their national dress that I bought at an equally dear little patchwork store in Macksville on our great drive south.  It reminds me of the birthday cards my Great Aunty Jean used to send me when I was little.  They would fold out and have at least 5 little girls in wonderful costumes.  I loved standing them on my dresser, giving them names, chatting to them whilst I played.  Do they still make cards like this?

Lastly, for the family – a small bag that looks like a nine patch …

little-9-patch

and really was made too big, even though I was trying so hard to make it small.

surprise-number

Never mind, it looks nice and does its job perfectly.  Plenty of room for tiles and digging hands.  Now Abby won’t be able to carefully arrange the tiles, face down, knowing just where the best ones are :-)

scrabble-tiles

This is the kind of stitching – making pretty and useful things for my family that will be used for years and years – that I love.  Quick, simple and – Oprah would be impressed – capable of adding a smile and a feeling of warmth to everyday life.

tatie toasties and Nanny Dougall

It’s Easter Saturday morning, and being here, on my Mum’s back porch, with Mum, Abby and Lucy is just bliss.  We traipse/hop out here first thing in the morning and only move when the sun falls and the mosquitoes come a-biting.  Abby lies on the chaise longue, reading Skulduggery, Mum and I are nestled in the big old cane chairs that came from my Nanny Dougall’s, crocheting and talking and dreaming about all the lovely things we can do and make.

my-ripple

[ my ripple – note the highly evolved use of a plastic cup as a wool bobbin!]

Have I ever mentioned my Nanny Dougall?  She was my dad’s mum – a lovely woman, hardworking mum, devoted grandmother, nurse, mouth-watering baker, and stitcher extraordinaire.    She came from a small town in New South Wales – Taree – where her grandparents had established a timber mill upriver in the 19th century.  Her mother, aunts and uncles were very musical and started the Manning River Orchestra and were devoted to their church and good works in the area.  I’m sure they must have been busy and productive members of their rural community.

Nanny loved the fine things in life – she had beautiful antique furniture, a huge collection of pretty English china and more linen and cotton textiles for the home than she could possibly use in a lifetime.  She knitted and crocheted exquisitely. Produced the finest hand stitched baby and childrens’ clothes.  And boy could she cook.  By the time I came along, she and Poppy lived in her family’s beach house, on the hill at Harrington, overlooking the Manning River Bar and ocean.  It was a wild and dangerous beach and no one ever swam there, but there was excellent fishing to be had.  My memories of meals in Harrington are all filled with the fish, prawns and oysters that Poppy would catch (as well as ducks in the hunting season) and Nanny’s wonderful baking.  My favourites were her oyster pikelets – I know, they sound truly revolting, but they were fantastic! – and her bubble and squeak.

mums-ripple

[ mum’s ripple – she’s stitching hers in cotton – it has the loveliest drape ]

Memories are beautiful things and I can so clearly recall arriving at their gate late in the night, stumbling sleepily out the car and instantly sniffing the air for the salt and warm fragrance of baking biscuits and pies.  Nanny would be by the car regardless of the hour, full of love and kisses, and would help Janie and I out to the sun porch where we slept.  A small lamp lit the heavy dark sideboard that was behind our beds, the red chenille bedspreads glowed with dusty, faded cosiness, and there were beautiful bath towels – Nanny loved floral bath towels – with matching face cloths folded neatly on the ends of our beds.  I always had the pink and red roses, and Janie had the yellow daffodils.  We would fall into our beds and not stir until the sun, full of yellow intensity and heat, would crash over us at dawn. We would open our eyes to see Nanny sitting at the dining table, the radio on, having her early morning cup of tea and cream crackers with butter.

Later, when we lived with her so that Mum could nurse her in her last months of life – she died of leukaemia when I was 11 –  I would sit at the table with her, my cup of tea and crackers in front of me, and we would listen to radio together.  The local station had a truly macabre program before the 6am news – funereal organ music would play, and then a slow, sad voice would announce the names of all the locals that had died the previous day.  Nanny would wink at me and say with a smile of relief, “Well there you go Lily, thank goodness I’m not dead yet!”  It was a terribly sad morning when she was.

tatie-toasties

Twenty-nine years later, Mum and I still talk about Nanny all the time.  There is so much we do that she would love and it would be Nanny’s idea of perfection to sit here with her family, her hands busy with stitching.  Sitting here in her chairs, crocheting, we feel so very close to her.  Just to add to the ambience, Mum made tatie toasties this morning – her version of Nanny’s famed bubble and squeak.  Yum-oh!  If you would like to share, here are the simple directions.  And when you’ve finished, you must pick up needles of some sort, work on something of beauty and use for your family, and send a prayer to my Nanny Dougall.  She’s a very deserving lady :-)

Tatie Toasties

Take leftover mashed potato – at least a cup and a half – and add a beaten egg. Combine well.  Add half a cup of fresh or frozen peas, pepper and salt.  Heat a fry pan on the stove with a knob of butter, keep the height no higher than medium.

Add a spoonful at a time of the potato mix to the pan and flatten into a pattie.  Cook gently (the butter will burn if you have the stove higher than medium so keep the heat low), turn carefully when brown and cook the other side.

Serve on buttered toast and season as desired.

closeup

broken … or, what happens when you don’t do what you said you would do

id-bracelet

patient ::  lily boot

red ID ::  allergic, so every medic who sees me from triage nurse to radiography technician asks “what are you allergic to?  what kind of reaction do you have?”  Clearly,  the red ID system works well!  (for the curious, I’m allergic to ibuprofen and lips, eyes and airways swell if I take it)

time ::  Saturday, pre-breakfast

where :: The Prince Alfred Hospital

what happened ::  went to fetch Chinese takeaway Friday night ’cause I didn’t cook either the pot roast I said I’d cook or the tomato pasta I promised as back up ’cause I was too enthralled with my new “homesick-therapy-crochet-project”.  Parked in cobbled side street, crossing road, stumbled, foot twisted at scary angle, landed on butt in the middle of the road, loud crack (worried it was glasses or phone, no such luck) cried a while, no one offered to help, dragged myself to gutter and onto footpath, rang Julian at work and cried, he came home as quickly as he could (1/2 hour), rang mum in Brisbane and cried, she said she’d just watched a man with no legs ski down a mountain, so I should get up and drive back home and I’d be alright.  Did this.  Not alright.  Terrible pain.  Terrible swelling of ankle and foot.  Couldn’t sleep.  Triage nurse suggests next time I call someone useful, i.e. ambulance filled with caring folk who are paid to pick me up off the road.

what next :: xrays, examinations, pain relief (yuck!  I don’t know WHY or HOW people take this stuff for fun).

problem ::  fractured the end of the bone that goes down our leg and ends in our ankle.  Possibly broken a bit off it as well.  Also torn the ligaments off ankle.

crutches

what now :: ankle immobilised.  more pain relief (not that dreadful stuff thank goodness!) crutches (medics worried I may be a bit clumsy on these given I’m clearly not very coordinated at the best of times!)  no walking on right foot or driving for at least 4 weeks.  new patient of fracture clinic.  when fracture heals, new patient of physiotherapy clinic.

where am I :: in bed.  foot raised on pillows.  devoted nurses (Julian and Abby, dogs just want to lay on my foot) at my beck and call.

moral of the story ::  put down the crochet and cook what you say you are going to cook.

p.s. the medics were right … I am HOPELESS on the crutches … oy! oy! oy!

a day by the lake

We drove to Daylesford this weekend.  It is very beautiful – idyllic – and we are so looking forward to going back.  Especially to check out the lovely village centre which is so very old and picturesque.  Hopefully there is an overnight stay coming up at the old manse – I shall feel like Jane Austen :-)

at-the-lake

paddling

boat-shed

I was particularly smitten with the berries.

berries

more-berries

and-more-berries

There were trees to climb – with and without shoes – and my girl was delighted with the magic of the lake, its prettiness and the ducks and geese to feed.

gorgeous-girl

tree-climbing

without-shoes

lovely-girl

goose

The light was exquisite and the prettiness, around every corner.

tree1

moss

We found our dream home – plenty of room for quilts, wool and embroidery, grunt pigs and buttercup cows, a lake in our back garden on which to kayak and rooms for guests that want to play with our quilts, wool, and embroidery, grunt pigs, buttercup cows and kayaks.  It’s a lovely dream :-)

dream-house

And some quirky … I love quirky!

full-shot-letter-box

letterbox

bales-of-hay

ahhhhhh … lovely day.