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

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I'm finally making some progress on my disappearing 9 patch quilt.
I've sewn a large number of 9 patches and cut them in half both ways

and now I putting them together in a random fashion.

Each finished " square" will be about 5 inches - and I do mean about !!!
I have placed them all out on the bed to mix them around until I get the arrangement right.

Then I photograph them so I can check to see if all is OK.
In this way the glaring mistakes show up
- like the bit at the bottom where there is too much yellow together -
and I can make sure that the dark and light, bright and pale are evenly distributed.

I'll leave it there for a few days now walking past it often while I check it out, moving blocks around a bit till I think it is right..
Don't know whether or not I like it yet.
I wanted random but is this too random ?
I don't know.
Don't know about that geometric fabric among all the florals either.
But I do know that my back is aching from all that bending so I'll leave it now for a while.
On another matter I've been trying to snap these dear little birds for a while now.
They are Fairy Wrens - in fact Blue Wrens as far as I can tell from my bird book though the females look a bit different from the illustrations in the book.
We have quite a colony of them frequenting our front and back yards.
Quite common in the south but not seen any further north than Brisbane apparently.
They are very quick and very difficult to photograph.
There seems to be one male - the pretty blue one - and quite a harem of plain brown ladies for each family group.
I think they are insect eaters and they seem to like the cover offered by our hedge type plants and their high pitched trilling is a nice change from the loud squawking of the Lorikeets.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Back in the old days when I was young, the drinking age here was 21.
That meant that you couldn't go into a hotel bar area unless you were over 21.

They weren't the sort of places nice girls frequented anyhow as women were only allowed in what was called "Lounge Bars ".
None of that really bothered me as I didn't drink alcohol - the reason being that I didn't like the taste, not from any anti-alcohol principles.

At home my parents liked an occasional alcoholic beverage and Dad, at 92, still downs his two stubbies of beer every night before dinner.

Throughout those younger years I continued to pass when offered alcohol and when I met Tony he also didn't like alcoholic drinks ( I'm sure there was the odd trial episode - perhaps to excess- in his past !)


it wasn't easy !

The pressure to conform was huge.
An Aussie man,
a football player
who didn't like a beer ????

An Aussie woman who didn't like a wine or a shandy - was I some sort of pious wowser ?

We were just NOT COOL !!

We almost felt apologetic as we turned down an alcoholic drink and asked for a soft drink option.

Over the last 15 to 20 years we have slowly developed a taste for wine and now enjoy a red or white in social situations so we fit in much better  but left alone at home it's usually a Diet Coke that is our drink of choice - a dash of Bacardi is often added to Tony's but I prefer mine straight !

These days the drinking age is 18 with many young people drinking to excess on a regular basis, often well under the drinking age.
Peer Pressure seems to be stronger these days - in fact everything seems to be more these days !

So now we have a huge problem with binge drinking and the anti-social problems that spin off from that.
Young men in drunken brawls on our streets are a regular event every weekend with some horrific  results where a young life is ended and another ruined.

Young women staggering down the late night streets as they try to find their way home.

What I don't understand is how the young people can afford to PAY for the huge amounts of alcohol that they consume on a weekly basis. Buying drinks at nightclubs is hugely expensive and to get to the inebriated states they attain must cost a fortune.

The need to fit in seems to get stronger and stronger and these days that seems to mean you need to go out and get drunk every weekend.

It should not be the government's responsibility to step in once again and become the NANNY to try to minimise this anti-social, social problem that seems to stem from social pressure !!!

Rant ended !


Saturday, January 25, 2014


I'm a lover of books.
I like nothing better than to settle back and lose myself in a good book
but these days that rarely means sitting down in the daytime for a read.
These days  most of my reading is done
before the light goes out,
in bed,
 at night.
Sometimes that means I have a very late night if the book is good
and even when I catch myself nodding off I shake myself awake and think " just one more chapter "
( No wonder I like books that have short chapters !!)
It can also mean that a bit of re-reading takes place the next night !!
In the last year or so I have slowly been introduced to the historical fiction of Philippa Gregory and I have become quite a fan.
The first one I read was The Constant Princess and I loved it.
I know they are works of fiction but the historical background is wonderful and it has taught me a lot about that period of history when Henry VIII ruled England.
Not long after reading it we visited Ludlow Castle
 and while visiting the nearby church looked down where Tony was standing to find it was on top of where Prince Arthur's heart is buried!



  Since then I have read The Other Boleyn Girl ( and seen the film !!)
Next I started on the series about the Wars of the Roses. ( or the Cousins' Wars as she calls them ).
I've read
 The White Queen

The Lady of the Rivers
and I'm just about to begin
The Red Queen.
Not only have these books given me hours of reading pleasure but they have helped me sort out a turbulent, confusing time in English history.

Today is
Australia Day

I've written about it before here

so I'll just sign off by saying

Happy Australia Day

If you're an Aussie anywhere in the world

I hope you're celebrating by having
a BBQ,

a picnic on the beach 

or roast lamb

with friends and family
followed by a lamington or two.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I've been absent for a few days
while I dashed up to visit Mum and Dad
 and celebrate Dad's 92nd birthday.
I'm pleased to say he's fighting fit
for someone of  92 !

Sunday, January 19, 2014


What do you do when you live in Brisbane and the temperature climbs to 34  degrees Celcius?
Why, you head INTO the city !
Of course, the best way to avoid parking problems and costs is to catch the CityCat

Then, when you are right in the heart of the city, you alight at Southbank Parklands and follow the purple path......

that winds its way .....

to the beach !!!

Right in the heart of the city, on the site of World Expo88, is this lovely man-made "beach"

where you can lie on the sand or swim.
All completely free !!

Nearby is a waterplay area for kids

or you can play around in the cool man-made stream that feeds into the "beach".

A great place to cool off then travel home when the sun goes down.
That's the way we do Summer in Brissy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


 Australia has a reputation for being the home of a lot of dangerous animals.
Rightly so.
We have crocodiles,

poisonous snakes,  

poisonous spiders,

poisonous octopus
 to name but a few
and of course we have  sharks!

We are not alone in this of course but because of our climate and love of the beach this is probably the animal that strikes the most fear into the hearts of most Aussies.
Click here to read of a recent attack which caused the death of a young man in NSW.
Sensational stories of those who have survived these attacks are aired every year on our TV sets where we watch these brave survivors once again swimming in the sea.
An attack is always followed by a hunt to find the offending shark and all sorts of methods of making it safer to swim in the sea are aired.
But look at the figures on the sign below and see what it is we should be fearing most. 

(All photos today from the Internet)

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I know I have not been posting much recently... well for the last few months actually.
Life is just rolling along and nothing very eventful has been happening
I recently received an email which began:
 "Hi Helsie,
How are you? After visiting your website, I would like to ask if you are interested in a new blog post for Helsie's Happenings. If that is the case, I would love to contribute. "
You mean write a post FOR me on my blog ??????
How weird is that ?
It went on to say :
 "This content that I would like to produce for Helsie's Happenings will cost nothing. "
It went on to ask if there was any particular topic that I would like the post to be about and offered to research any topic I chose.
Truely strange ( and just a wee bit scarey )
and I'm just letting you know that all the content of this blog is written
for better or worse,
by ME !
I wonder if anyone else out there has had an offer like this ?
PS. It is only 15 weeks till we fly out for our holiday in ITALY - but who's counting ??

Monday, January 6, 2014


 It seems that 2014 has started off with some crazy weather in several different parts of the world.
Here, we are sweltering in record high temperatures.
Luckily, here in Queensland, we don't suffer much from the dreadful bushfires that plague the southern states though as I write this there is a large fire burning on Stradbroke Island causing havok and evacuations of the large number of families holidaying there.
It is Summer holiday time here so many people are staying at the beach where they can at least swim in pools and the ocean to cool down ( being ever careful not to get too sunburnt ).
The rest of us stay inside our airconditioned homes,
or spend the day in airconditioned shopping centres,
or go to the movies ( air-con there too !!),
photo from The Sunday Mail
or the local public pool where the water temperature has risen to luke warm.
Outside, the air feels like it is on fire as a hot wind is blowing too.

However on the other side of the globe in the Northern Hemisphere the USA is experiencing huge snow storms
I have no understanding of weather this cold but realise the dangers it can present with trying to get warm and stay safe.

Many parts of the UK, especially parts of Wales and the South of England, are suffering flooding and storm damage from huge seas .

I can't imagine how awful it must be to cope with being flooded when it is also freezing cold.
So not a good start to the year for many people.
Hope where ever you are,
you are safe and sound.