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

Monday, February 28, 2011


I love doing these Scavenger Hunts.
It's fun to search through your photos to see if you have anything that fits first ....

then work out how to fulfill the rest of the required photos.

OK, so here are my contributions for February.

1.  a bridge

This bridge is the newest bridge over the Brisbane River.
 It is a pedestrian only bridge meant to resemble the rigging on the tall ships of the First Fleet.
 I love it!

2. something with stripes

Well, sort of !

3. a musical instrument

A busker with his mobile piano near Notre Dame in Paris - taken on our holiday last year.
He could certainly belt out a tune and sang too !!

4. a big lorry / truck

These huge trucks ( we call them road trains ) , often with up to three sections, are used to transport livestock through the great distances of the Australian outback.
If you see them coming towards you, get off the narrow road and let them pass!!!
Taken by Sally at her friend's property near Cloncurry.

5.  a round clock face

This was the hardest one for me.
I wanted something a bit different and I've been searching through all of my photos trying to find a clock. This flower specimen was in the gardens between the old town and the new town in Edinburgh taken way back in 2004.

6. your shoes

My favourite ( and best !) sandals for Summer.
I only wear flat shoes even though Tony is 13 inches taller than me !!

7. a park bench 

Never miss a photo opportunity with the timer while we're on holidays!
Taken in the gardens of Hampton Court Palace, near London  in 2008.

8. a newspaper headline

Queensland 's had a bad year!

9.  a postbox

Australia Post at your service.

10. eyes

Dogs don't need to be able to talk.

11.  something heart-shaped

Some people have made serving coffee an art form.

12. something red

Irrestible !  from a country market in France 2010.

Can't wait to see what's on the list for March.


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Hello Folks
I've been away for a few days visiting Mum and Dad in the Retirement Home and also my brother and a couple of other relatives.
They were very much amused by my Valentine's Day e-card too .

The night before I left we had dinner at a friend's house and on the way home one of these jumped out of the bush onto the road in front of the car.

This is a wallaby.

Or maybe it was one of these....

Actually it looked more like this......

...... but without the joey.

This is a grey kangaroo.
They are bigger than wallabies (wallabies have little, pretty heads too ) so what we saw was either a young grey kangaroo or a wallaby but there was no sign of a joey and after the terrific rainy season we've had most would have joeys about this size by now. 
So my verdict is ... young kangaroo.

Hitting a kangaroo / wallaby with your car at night is one of the dangers of driving through the countryside in many parts of Australia and drivers have to be alert at all times as they just rocket out in front of your car without warning ... a lose / lose situation !!!

Luckily we were able to avoid it and it went on its way off among the trees. I was happy to see it as we don't see many around where we live - too many people now and most of the larger acreage blocks have resident dogs ( around the houses  anyway ).

It's nice to know that they are there.... not far away.... and every now and then you are lucky to catch a glimpse of these lovely creatures.


Now here's a snippet of trivia for you:

Despite having a herbivorous diet similar to cattle which release large quantities of methane, kangaroos release virtually none ! ( impeccable manners !)
In kangaroos, the hydrogen byproduct of fermentation is instead converted into acetate, which is then used to provide further energy. (soooo clever too ! ) 
Cow farts are a source of greenhouse gases, while kangaroo farts are methane free thanks to a particular bacteria in their stomachs.
Now, in a bizarre twist of science-reality, scientists from Australia are trying to neutralize cow-produced methane by transferring that kangaroo bacteria to cattle and sheep’s guts.
According to the government of Queensland, almost 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions from Australia come from cow farts, so this seemingly silly idea could actually make a big difference.

And on that note I'll say....


Sunday, February 20, 2011


This morning as I lay in bed and contemplated rising for another hot, hot day ....
I looked up at the ceiling and this is what I saw.

Quite different to what most of my fellow bloggers in the Northern Hemisphere see on their ceilings!
( the round thing is the air-con inlet).

February is living up to its reputation as the hottest, most unpleasant month of the year here
and life would be very difficult indeed without these mod cons
- air conditioning and fans .

All this made me think about how different our houses are too.

Ours are built to cope with the heat -

lots of big windows -shutters and blinds to keep out the sun,

 open  plan rooms which flow from one to the other without doors  or walls in some cases to promote airflow.

and walls in neutral colours to make you feel cool.

There's nothing cosy about our homes.
We don't want cosy - We want cool !

After two days of 35C plus we have just had a HUGE thunderstorm

and 70mm of rain in half an hour !!

Oh, oh the next line of storms is rolling in.

I'm off to unplug all the electrical stuff again .


Monday, February 14, 2011


Would you like to see my Valentine's Day gift?

Click HERE to see it.

He's one in a million isn't he?


Sunday, February 13, 2011


Firstly, Happy Valentine's Day.

We don't get too involved in it here, but I did buy Tony a couple of these....

just for the fun of it! ( hope he shares !)

:::::   :::::

I was visiting my friend Kate's blog and she was carrying on about a chocolate that was very special in Chicago called Frangos.

I thought as it was Valentine's Day, a day we associate with chocolate, that I might show you a couple of lollies ( you may call them sweets or perhaps candy but here they are lollies ) that I don't think are available anywhere except Australia.

The first one is my all time favourite.

It's called a Violet Crumble Bar.
 and when you unwrap it this is what you get !

The bar is a crumbly honeycomb substance coated in chocolate.

No, it's not the same as a Crunchie Bar!

The honeycomb is harder and much more like home-made honeycomb.


The second one is called a Cherry Ripe.
It is manufactured byCadbury Australia Pty. Ltd  and is Australia’s oldest chocolate bar brand, invented in 1924.
It is a mixture of cherries and coconut coated in lush dark chocolate,

Sorry, this is the only photo I can find to show you what they look like inside.

The bar with the stripes on it is the original and the one we all know.
The smooth one is a new version that is double dipped in dark chocolate - sounds OK to me !!!

So there you have it - two delicious chocolatey treats that are uniquely Australian

and   delicious.

Make sure you try them if you are ever down this way.


Monday, February 7, 2011


Christmas has been and gone for more than a month and I have forgotten to show you one of my gifts!

Do you remember that previously I have told you about my very talented SIL?
I have written about her mosiacs here and her tea cosies here.

She does all sorts of clever things, mosaics and tea cosies are but two of her specialties.
You can imagine that her Christmas gifts are eagerly anticipated, especially by ME !

This was last year's Christmas gift........

I love, love, love it!

....... and this is this year's gift.

A beautiful mosaic hanging basket.

As well as broken china she has included little pottery leaves, hearts and flowers she has made herself.
Can you see the tiny bird perched near the top?

There's even a tiny cat ! ......It's a button!

and a little house too.

Now I'm off to find a suitable plant.


Sunday, February 6, 2011


Thank you for all the comments about our holiday in England in 2008.
I have given you just a taste of all the wonderful places we discovered.

Oh ! the bluebells !

You can see from them how easy it is to fall in love with England.

Blenheim Palace

Lovely Chatsworth House

It was everything we hoped and much, much more and we were lucky to have the TIME to spend - so much better than just driving through these places as you do on tours though of course if that is all you are able to do it is better than not seeing them at all, I guess.

Haddon House in the Peak District

I booked all the cottages myself on the internet and every one was exactly as shown in the photos and very affordable to boot, so we have been lucky there as well.

Rock Cottage, Winster

inside - home  sweet home !

This involves lots of research of course, but that is half the fun.

Jasmine Cottage, Askrigg

We leave on the next part of our English adventure on 29th April and will be away for a month staying one week in each of the places on the map  -
Dorchester, Lynton , near Ludlow and Great Missenden.

We plan to spread out from these points every day while we explore the area.

(I know THE wedding will be happening while we are en route - I'll have to record it for when we come home, but I'm sure there will be lots about it on TV when we arrive on Saturday morning early.

Of course we'll have our laptop with us and you know what I'm like when I'm on hols - can't wait to share it all with you!!
Perhaps when we return I'll go into business -
Helsie's Blogging Friends Escorted Holidays in England !

- now wouldn't that be fun?

This one's for you YP !!


Friday, February 4, 2011


In 2008 Tony and I had the best holiday we have ever had.

Having previously visited Sally in Scotland and Ireland, we set off at the beginning of April for three months in England.
We planned to stay in cottages in small villages and try to "live the life".

All our school lives we have been steeped in all things British - history, literature, geography.
Our ancestors have all come from the UK.
Our traditions and way of life have all been based on that in the UK.

My family's background is English ( my grandfather was from London)  and Irish (on  both sides ) - but oh, how I would love some Scottish blood (those bagpipes really talk to my heart ).

Tony's family's background is English (his grandfather was born in England ) - but his school had Scottish links and he wore a kilt when in cadets.

So we set off hoping so see in person all those things we had heard/ read/ learnt about our whole lives.
I especially wanted to see the daffodils ( all those poems !!)

This map shows the  extent of our wandering.

* a couple of days in Salisbury to get over the flight and draw breath (and of course see Stonehenge and also Bath from there)

a bitingly cold wind was there to greet us

* next, 2 weeks in Polruan, a tiny fishing village across the bay from Fowey in Cornwall. Our trusty TomTom took us all over Cornwall every day from Tintagel to Land's End and all stops in between. We did our shopping in St Austell with all the locals, cooked dinner at home in our little cottage and walked to our local pub for hot chocolate after dinner each night.

lovely clifftop walks

* then 3 weeks in the Cotswalds via Castle Coombe on the way, staying in the little village of Wellersey, near Broadway. Out came the Lonely Planet and we worked our way through the section on the Cotswolds, stopping at little pubs and tea shops on our travels. Our supermarket shopping was done  in Evesham.

beautiful  picture-perfect villages

* next, 2 weeks in the Peak District in the village of Winster where we reached our cottage by walking down the maze if ginnels to the front door which looked out over the pretty undulating countryside. Here we experienced the old custom of Well Dressing and Chatsworth as well as lovely walks like Monsel Head. This time we went to Matlock for groceries.

Old Hardwick Hall and New Hardwick Hall

those ginnels and our front door(blue)

* 1 week visiting family in North Wales visiting Chester, Snowdonia and delightful Conwy as well as a host of completely unpronounceable places that would take ages to look up for the correct spelling !!

Chester -from the wall

Conwy from the wall

* 1 week in the glorious Yorkshire Dales at Askrigg where the series "All Creatures Great and Small" was filmed. My absolute favourite, the walks through the meadows full of buttercups will never be forgotten. We travelled over the tops to Cattarick Garrison for shopping and free wifi at Mac Donalds.

those fields of buttercups

Ribblehead Viaduct

* 1 week near the Lake District with Aussie friends, where crowds of people eating ice creams disappointed us in Wundemere until we climbed Kirkstone Pass to get away from them and a hike to Beatrix Potter's house was unexpectedly enjoyable despite the touristy nature of the place.

with our Aussie pals

* We left our friends and spent a week moving south, on the way taking in Cambridge and Duxford till we arrived at Winchester and Ichen Abbas from where we managed a quick trip to the New Forest and Windsor and Eton on Ascot Day.


inside Windsor Castle

* 1 week in Royal Tunbridge Wells to explore Dover and those white cliffs we sing about, as well as Canterbury and Chartwell to name but a few.

those White Cliffs

Bodmin Castle

* We finished up with four days in London to see a few more of the many sights this wonderful city offers .......

Hampton Court

Tower Bridge - a very lucky shot!

and then


we flew home.

We covered a lot of ground and saw a lot of England in that time.
Not too much time was spent in cities. We purchased membership in the National Trust and English Heritage when we arrived and stopped at every place we passed!!
Every day we fanned out from our cottage into the area all around where we were staying.

So you can see that our next trip, in May, is to explore a few areas that we missed.
I know there are lots more but hopefully this will not be our last trip to England, and Scotland and Ireland need further exploration too,
and we have barely started on Europe!!!

We just need to win a lottery to finance all these future travel plans. One of those huge ones that they have in the USA might just do it.

Where can I buy a ticket ?