Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY - What's a Theremin ?


 
  
I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that I am a great fan of the television show Midsomer Murders

 In fact on our last visit to England we spent a week in the area of the Chiltern Hills where many episodes were filmed so we could see the pretty villages for ourselves.



I blogged about it here.

 As I've watched the beginning of the show I've often wondered what instrument was used in the theme music as the music has an unusual sound.

Today, through the world of Facebook ( thanks to my second cousin Julie !), I learned that it is played by a Theremin.

Now, I'm not at all knowledgeable about musical instruments and I had never heard of a Theremin so I looked it up.

 "A theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). The instrument's controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker" ( Thank-you Wikipedia )

They look like this :-


So today I have included this clip from Youtube for your enjoyment and education ( if you are a bit of a dummy like me ! ).

Hope it works !

Cheers.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

JULY PROJECT

Hello, I'm back!
 
I've had a week or so of doing practically nothing while suffering with a chest infection.
Two recent bouts of illnesses for someone who is rarely ill is ENOUGH !
So today I'm giving you a sneak peak of my latest project.
 
As you will know on our recent holiday I fell in love with Positano.
 
 
How could you not ?
 
 
So I have decided to turn this outdoor area into a Positano themed room.
 
 
This requires lots of lemony props as Positano is all about lemons.


 



 Of course I couldn't afford to bring all these lovely ceramics home with me
 

so I've been working on gathering together some lemony props. 
 

 Life-like plastic lemons in my mosaic vase.
 
and a painting project to add a bit of zing ( and lemony-ness ) to a wall plaque that was already out there.
 


 
 
 
 
There's been a bit of sewing too
 

so it's all coming together nicely.
 
Now, we just have to wait till the weather warms up a bit so we can use the outdoor area without freezing !
( It's been very cold for Brisbane - down to 2- 4 degrees here at night then up to 15-20 degrees in the daytime but with cold westerly winds ).
 

Hopefully there'll be a grand reveal soon.
 
Cheers.
 
 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS

Isn't it a shame that, in these busy times, we often only manage to see our uncles and aunts and cousins at weddings and funerals ?

Such was the case for me today when I attended the funeral of my uncle, one of my mother's seven brothers.
Yes, she had seven brothers.....
And six sisters !

My mother was number four in a family of fourteen children so my childhood was full of cousins and aunts and uncles. 
Mum might not have been the eldest in the family but she was the glue that kept them all together. There were always family BBQs, picnics and celebrations and family visiting from far and wide.

But families grow up, begin careers, marry and move away and gradually the contact between the cousins dwindles as they have growing families of their own. 

These days it is the funerals that bring us together and despite the sadness of losing the older members of the family it is a great joy to reconnect with those cousins that manage to make it to the funerals. Nowadays we are managing to reconnect with the help of email, 
and Facebook lets us share in the daily events of their family lives wherever they are I this great big world.


RIP Uncle Noel.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BACK !

We've been home from our lovely holiday for a week now and life is a bit "ho hum".
A 30+ hour journey takes a bit of getting over and flying backwards in time
- from west to east - doesn't help either !!
At first you sleep like a log purely through tiredness
then you begin to wake up in the middle of the night  - or in my case at 4:00 am - and can't get back to sleep so the next night you are more tired again.
 this goes on for a couple of days if you are lucky and a couple of weeks if you're not !

Just as I was beginning to get through this process a new torture began
and THIS is what was responsible !

 
Who knew that such a small gadget could cause such torture ?


Yes, it's a smoke alarm !
We have three of them installed in our house.....
and at 3:00am on three consecutive mornings their batteries began to run low !

One by one,

one morning after another,

the darn things began to emit a high pitched bleep like a cricket !

Our ceilings are higher than normal, so even on a chair I can't reach the damn things.
I had to wait till Tony finally stumbled out in the dark to wrench the battery out of the offending alarm and silence it !

So...
the suitcases are all unpacked and put away,
the clothes have all been washed, ironed and put away,
and routines are slowly being resumed.

Tony is busy making a photo book of our holiday
and I'm researching where to go next year !
All good !

Cheers!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A WALK AMONG THE DEAD

Visiting cemeteries is not something that I do very often.
Oh, I know that these places are often very interesting with all the old gravestones.
Actually I much prefer the pretty little graveyards so often found surrounding old English churches.
Huge acreages packed with tombs stretching as far as you can see seem like a terrible waste of space to me and they are usually situated on prime real estate.

However this was the famous Pere Lachaire cemetery of Paris so yesterday we set off to see it.
We are visiting some of the outer areas of Paris this trip and are really enjoying this peek into the lives of real Parisians.


The cemetery is absolutely packed with graves and monuments that look like old fashioned phone boxes !


Throughout there are large Horse Chestnut trees which are very pretty and some are absolutely huge.



Everything is neat and tidy.
Some graves have little gardens where flowers are in bloom and some have pretty fresh flowers.


There are well marked roads crisscrossing the entire cemetery and you need to buy a map if you are looking for something in particular.

There are many famous people buried here as well as ordinary families.

One of the graves we were looking for was the grave of James Morrison.


Here it is attracting quite a few other people. It is not as it was originally due to vandalism.


What remains is fenced off a little way from people loving it to death.

Next we set off up to the top of the hill to find Oscar Wilde's grave....
and here it is !


A very strange headstone I thought.


Can you see the red sploggy marks on the end? 
Here's a closer view.


Yes, they're lip marks ! People have been kissing the stone !
Yuck !
Previously it was so bad and caused such damage to the stone removing it, that a glass cage now protects the lower parts.


( photo from the internet)


Aren't people weird ?

The last grave we sought out was the grave of the legendary lovers Abelard and Heloise.
You can read their amazing story here :

www.abelardandheloise.com/Story.html 

This is their tomb. They were removed from their original separate graves and placed here together.



Reunited in their tomb after spending most of their lives apart.



One of the great love stories .




And so our fantastic holiday comes to an end.
In a few hours we head off to Charles De Gaulle airport for the 24 hour flight home.
On the way we lose a day, departing here on 31st May and arriving home on 2nd June.
It is Winter time back home but the forecast temperature is 26 degrees on Monday -warmer than anything we have had since we came over to Europe ! 

Au revoir mes amis.
A bientot !

Thursday, May 29, 2014

EMPEROR NAPOLEON III

One of our activities today involved a revisit to the Louvre.
Last time we attempted to visit was on the free entrance Sunday that happens once a month and the whole of Paris was there.

Today was much quieter and we entered downstairs  through the Carousel shopping complex. This entrance is often much easier than the main entrance and we walked straight in without any line at all.

Our main target today was Napoleon III's apartments which have been preserved in one wing of the Louvre.


We knew we were in for a treat when we entered through this passageway.


Such opulence. 


All golden trims and sparkling chandeliers.







The ceilings were a sight to behold too.


Just loved this seating arrangement.


Then came the dining room.


Certainly fit for an emperor.

Cheers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I LOVE PARIS !

This is our third visit to Paris. 
Each visit we have spent a week here so we feel very comfortable here.
Each time we have stayed in an apartment in the Marais district. It is so close to everything like the Louvre and Notre Dame and the streets are filled with cafés and restaurants making eating out just a trip down the street.



The weather is cool and cloudy but by the time we went out today the rain had cleared.

Not too many people around either which is always nice though there are lots of school groups.
School kids sure get it good these days with school trips to Paris and Rome. What a terrific responsibility for the teachers.


Even on a cloudy day it looks lovely.



We revisited the Pont des Artes  but couldn't find the padlock that we put here last year.


They are so crowded now you would have a lot of trouble putting another one I there.
Apparently there is some concern about the weight of all these padlocks making the bridge unsafe ? ? 



And of course no visit to Paris would be the same if I didn't rave about French food.


We returned to our favourite restaurant, Equinox, and they didn't disappoint.
I'm a very happy customer tonight !



Sea scallops for me......


Chicken in fill for Tony ........


And a Tarte Tattin for dessert.

Cheers.