Monday, 27 November 2017

a quick retrospective

I take the photos then don't have time to blog.  Or I have a rollicking good time and don't think to take photos.  So here's a quick catch up before I'm off to Adelaide.

signs of mulberries to come

curious figure, possibly my love-child with Ronald McDonald

my brilliant friends blitz the posy division

St Davids Cathedral in Hobart after Handel's Messiah Oratorio,
with some of said brilliant friends in choir.

first cornflower
rather beautiful lettuce flowers

the Gatehouse stall bountiful thanks to Nicky

And to end on a really positive note:  you may recall some time back I reported on the theft of bucket and silverbeet from the Gatehouse.  Well I was wrong.  Last weekend I learned that Ian, who had donated the silverbeet to the school, noticed that it was wilting so he threw the whole lot in the back of his ute and drove home.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Floosie goes Tribal

The long awaited day of the arrival of Mr and Mrs FF finally arrived.  In fact they arrived ahead of schedule having forgotten that travel times are short in Tasmania. We spent Wednesday afternoon checking out my Tribes haunts and I was accompanied on my Gatehouse round by 2 Jills, which is pretty special. 
the cottage next door where Jill and (her) Steve stayed
I took this photo in anticipation but the wisteria had finished blossoming by the time they arrived.  The mock orange, however, smelled divine.  I think I may need one.

from the viewing tower at Devil's Corner winery.
We had lunch here and I had an excellent Vietnamese style salad with boarfish ceviche - a new taste sensation for me.

the paparazza Floosie at Saltworks - windswept and wonderful

surfie built shelters at Saltworks

I contemplated my toenails,

the Floosie contemplated the universe at Boltons Beach

and finally there was a hint that our hot, dry spell may end.

My plans went a little awry on Friday so I don't have the photos of the Jills and Steves that I had been planning for some time.  I have some photos emailed by the Floosie but for some reason I can't copy them to put them in the blog.  And the rain did come, politely waiting for Mr and Mrs FF to get to Launceston to catch their plane.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Spring Bay memorial service

Last year I went to the Memorial Service organised by the Spring Bay Suicide Prevention Network.  It was this event that convinced me to become part of the Network.  I thought I had blogged it last year but can't find any reference to it.  This year I was part of the organisation.

It is a perfectly pitched event, as public or private as each participant wants to make it.  The rain came down during the service but, after the dry we have been having, it was very welcome and then stopped as we walked down to the beach to cast our petals on the waves.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

and the winner is

ME!  That is, I'm having a lucky streak lately.  I kept thinking about blogging but there was too much other stuff going on.  I suppose it all started weekend before last when I was standing in the queue waiting to buy a strawberry ice-cream and a group of stylish young men walked in.  I was checking out the wattle leaves and flower patterned shirt of one of them when he stepped towards me and said "Maggie?".  A very Beautiful Lies moment.  It was Gus who, when Steve was in hospital after the stroke, made banana muffins for Steve weekly and brought them into hospital.  Gus was a child then, the son of Liz and Carl of Rent-a-Bug fame.  Made my day.  Sadly I have no photos.

I have shown you this photo before because I like the muted colours:
Taking the opportunity of our warm, dry weather to wash the quilt Georgia made me, I realised it is very similar.  She's a clever girl.  I think I've told you that both Georgia and Sarah will be here for Christmas.  Perfect.
Sarah's parrot has been waiting for her.

Tuesday was both Melbourne Cup Day and zumba so we dressed up to celebrate.  Again, no  photos, but The Floosie may recall my outfit for her farewell Jazzercise many years ago - a jaunty piece of material tied to make a skirt with matching turban - aiming for a South American party vibe.  To my astonishment my turban stayed in place through all the dancing.
Later that evening I had a hot date at Barb's outdoor bath.  Leaving our place I saw a few ships a-sailing at the end of the street.  I was hoping to see them better from Barb's house on the other side of the bay but it was not to be.

Barb does have a lovely display of  ixias, though.  The bath is on the other side of the house.  When you're in it you can gaze up at the gum trees and listen to the birds.  It's a lovely experience.  The first time Barb heated up the bath (she lights a fire under it) it took 5 hours to cool down enough to be bearable.  She's got it down to a finer art now and I could hop straight in.  I took one look at the soap and thought it looked oatie so didn't use it.  About 5 minutes after I put the bath bomb in, Barb called out to say not to use it cos it had oats in in too.  I was a bit anxious for a while but zenned out and had no ill effects.

[ok, it's now 2 weeks later and I'm giving up that post - just trust that I'm enjoying myself enormously - and I'll try for a cuppla short, sharp posts (which sounds potentially painful).]

Friday, 3 November 2017

mysterious ways

You may recall that, according to The Book of Days, I was born on the Day of Returns, and there's seems to be an element of truth in it.  I was still surprised though when, as I paid for my petrol, the service station owner confirmed with me that I had worked previously in a service station, then asked if I'd like a job.  I had to refuse not because the nature of the business has changed somewhat in well over 40 years but because the job will be next Easter, and Easter is, as always, already booked.

borage going wild

I may have red poppies for Remembrance Day

close up of iris above

Earlier in the week The Floosie alerted me to The Writers Garden by Jackie Bennett.   I immediately went online to see if I could get it from the library.  Sadly not,  but I saw a cuppla of other interesting looking books and put holds on them.
This one arrived yesterday and I've finished it already.  It is funny and clever, and I love little books.  I would never have known it existed but for The Floosie.  And now, even better news, I'm getting The Writers Garden for Christmas!!!!  Thank you lovely, generous Flooz.

Steve and I play a game 'What's Maria wearing today?' when we drive beside Raspins Beach with Maria Island on the horizon.  Yesterday she was cloaked in beautiful blue velvet with a lavish swan-down ruffled collar.

Monday, 30 October 2017

bees love borage

There is no logic to the title.  When I was strolling around the garden some time today I noted how the borage was the busiest plant bee-wise.  And I had a busy week last week, hell-bent on pleasure, apart from a visit to the optometrist which was all good.  Though I've got to try to wear my sunglasses.
the orchard

there's self-sown cornflower seedlings in those pots

love this colour palette

garden bed destined for de-construction

irises and Solomon's seal 

I did the usual gym, zumba, yoga things and on Wednesday we had a big event.

I hadn't seen this film before but knew what it was about because when we first went to Griffith the  calendar of the strategically nude local men was the hot news.
It was a very well organised event and raised over $4500 for the Cancer Council. I brought my afternoon tea box home because I was a bit concerned about possible oat ingredients.  Steve and I had a very pleasant snack in our garden.

Some time during the week I made room in the raised garden beds for Steve to plant tomatoes.  By tradition, in Tasmania tomatoes should not be planted until after Hobart Show Day, which was Thursday.

On Friday, Nicki from the school and I picked broad beans, rhubarb and snow peas for the Gatehouse Stall.  We sold the beans and rhubarb immediately to some very impressed tourists.  I had to then replenish the stall because the Gatehouse architect was expected to visit on Saturday and had asked that there be produce available.  I trotted over early on Saturday morning because I was going to a workshop in Hobart but got waylaid by a lady and her granddaughter who wanted to know how much they should pay for the tomato plants and how to cook artichokes.

I put some beautiful smelling boronia in the building for the architect's benefit then hot footed it into town for the workshop on re-framing language for persuasive narratives.  On Sunday we had another Pop Up Book Stall, this time raising $1700 for the Orford School to buy cricket equipment.  It's exciting being with people and chatting about books.  Another lovely week.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Aunty Eirwen

I got the news today that my Aunty Eirwen had died in Wales.  Apart from my Mum, Eirwen was the last of my Dad's generation of Coxes.  She was married to Dad's brother Ron but has been widowed for many years.
As my Mum gets older, my rels have got younger as Mum recounts stories from her  younger days.  One story is of a young Mum and Dad and Ron and Eirwen frolicking on Caerfai beach.  Eirwen always liked to dress well and had on a red sundress which got sea splashed. Walking home, one of the local chaps invited them into his cottage and encouraged Eirwen to take off her dress and dry it in front of the fire.  She didn't.

the dazzling Aunty Eirwen in 1964/5, lady on the far left of photo

One of the things I loved about returning to St Davids was the chance to bump into relatives in the street and I have met Eirwen going to and from the supermarket.  She was one of those people who liked to shop everyday.  She was very social and loved to go out for a drink.  On one occasion in 2010, Eirwen and her granddaughter went clubbing while Mum and I slept soundly.  They got in at 2 am and delighted in telling us the next day that Dai the Tie had asked each of them to dance.

Eirwen in the fore, Aunt Iris beside her.
Mum took the photo in 2010 at Tenby

A really special time for me was when Georgia, Mum, the Aunts and I met for pint at the Farmer's Arms in St Davids.  We farflung people meshed seamlessly.

Georgia in her Welsh cap

Mum and Eirwen catching up

George and Iris

Lovely memories.  And I will always see Aunty Eirwen  prancing down the road to Caerfai in her red dress.