Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Huge Job

This little pin cushion was supposed to be finished in March for Chooky’s Stitch-a-long.

That didn’t happen, but now it is finally all done.

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Saturday, 27 July 2013

A Road Trip

Last Saturday I hopped in the car nice and early and headed off on a little road trip. I just love travelling along this road in the early morning.  The mountains in the distance always look magical.

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At home it was a horrible cold day, but by the time I had driven three hours to my destination, the weather was glorious.

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Yes, I joined the girls at the delightful Plough Inn at Cassilis for a day of stitching, chatting and eating….. so much eating….a lovely homemade lunch and rather decadent cakes.

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The weather was so nice that we ate our scrummy lunch out in the sunshine.

Here were are, me, Fiona, Julie (no blog), Lenore who has the patchwork shop at Merriwa (no blog), Susan, Lea and Raelee.

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The old royal hotel opposite the cafe would have been a great destination for a bike ride, but sadly it has been closed for some years.

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It wasn’t all about eating.  We were all very diligent, working away at our stitching…..and chatting……lots….

Now, I was a very slack blogger and didn’t take any other photos.  I was just too busy enjoying myself.  Pop over to the other girls’ blogs and you will see that we all had a fantastic day and were surprisingly productive. I hope to have my little project finished shortly, so will be able to share it then.

Thanks so much for having me join you.  With a bit of luck I may be able to join you again.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Winter Solstice Run

We try most years to get a group of friends together and go for a motorcycle ride on the Sunday closest to the shortest day of the year.  Why?  Because we can. You can go here to see where we went last year.

This year we had a great roll up – seven bikes and ten people, all from our Historic Car Club.

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The ride was a “Mick’s Mystery Ride” – in other words, we weren’t sure where we would end up, or how we would get there.  Well, that’s not quite true, but it was flexible.

This was the sky as we left home – very black.

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Looking east didn’t bode well.  Yes, that is rain on them there hills.  Just as well we were headed west, but being a mystery run, we would have changed our plans if we had originally planned to travel in that direction.

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Get out of the way, cockies.

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Once we mustered the troops we headed to Canowindra for a quick regroup.  We often stop here for a good look around, but we had further to travel this time.

Yes, you can tell you are headed west when you start to see silos in each village.

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Our second stop was Eugowra for coffee.  This was decided while on the way, as we were travelling well and the weather was nice.  The shop on the left not only houses a nice cafe, there is also lots of gift ware and a designer clothing boutique.  All rather up market.  A good choice for a break.

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Eugowra is currently being painted – with murals.  I was able to snap a few from the sidecar.

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Of course, all country towns have to have a big, old pub.

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We continued on our way, passing the occasional country church along the way.

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Our lunch destination was the Albion Hotel at Grenfell.  While planning the day, we had contacted several pubs in the general area, but none were doing much in the way of a counter meal for Sunday lunch.  Well, the Albion was wonderful, as could be told by the number of people eating there.  No excuse for going home hungry.  By the way, that huge steak isn’t mine.

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After lunch we just headed straight down the Mid Western Highway, through Cowra and Blayney to home.

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We were quite prepared to get rained on during the ride – actually expecting it with all the weather reports, but by heading west we had good weather and the temperature got up to 15 degrees – balmy.

Just out of Mandurama we went through a tiny shower, not even enough to put on the wet weather gear.  We were so very lucky.

It was a great day out.  A couple of the bikes hadn’t been on one of our runs before and I think they enjoyed themselves.  We’ll have to see where we go next year.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Gold Country Car Rally

Back at the end of May our Historic Car Club hosted its annual Gold Country Car Rally.

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After a weather forecast at the beginning of the week leading up to the rally of 12 degrees and showers, we ended up with a lovely sunny day and 17 degrees.  Much better.

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We had over 60 cars entered. 

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They firstly went on a drive through the countryside with an observation quiz along the way, ending up at Trunkey Creek for lunch and a display of vehicles.

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The ladies of the school P & C put on the best lunch, lots of homemade casseroles and sweets.  If anyone went away hungry it was their own fault.  I was too busy tucking in to take a photo.

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Mick and I haven’t been involved for quite a few years, as we’ve generally been away at that time of year.  This year, however, we were in the thick of things. That is why I hardly took any photos – just a few as they were all leaving from lunch.

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We had some gorgeous vehicles turn up, ranging from this beautiful 1913 Austin, which one best vehicle of the rally, to a 1983 Datsun 280Z and even a Bedford truck.

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There was a presentation dinner in the evening including a bit of fun with a trivia quiz  and raffle.  On the Sunday there was a shorter drive, followed by our club members providing a huge morning tea. Nothing like home cooking.

It was a fun weekend and I think everyone involved and a great time. Unfortunately, we will be away again in May next year, so will have to wait a bit longer to join in again.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Ash’s Speedway Museum

You know how it is……… we visit attractions when we are on holidays but don’t visit the attractions in our local area.

There is a handmade sign on the highway on the western side of Bathurst pointing to Ash’s Speedway Museum.  You’d think we’d have been to have a look, Mick liking his motorcycles and all, but no, never been there.  It turns out it is the biggest Speedway Museum in the southern hemisphere and really well set out.

On the June long weekend they held a Show and Shine, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a bit of a squizz. It was a great day for it, as they had an ex racer giving a guided tour.

Bathurst has a fine history when it comes to Speedway.  Back in the late  20s to 40s, there were regular speedway meets at the old sportsground  and a fellow by the name of Bluey Wilkinson, who was a Bathurst local, became world champion.  In the late 80s and early 90s they also held a few race meets at the showground and we went along to those.

Speedway is quite a spectacle with lots of glitz and colour.

Ash, who owns this private collection, is a serious fan, although he has never been a racer.  His collection outgrew his own sheds, so he has opened this museum.

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Each rider wears a bib with his club and name on it.  Ash has just one or two………..hundred………

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In modern times the most world famous racer was a Kiwi named Ivan Mauger.  He officially opened the museum last year and had allowed nearly all of his race bikes to be displayed here.

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Speedway is a dying sport, but there were quite a few die hard old racers present on the day, some showing off their prized bikes.  There are only a few speedway tracks still running in Australia.  Britain and Poland seem to be the main players these days.

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Yes, they even race sidecars in speedway.  No, you won’t be getting me on one.  They seem to have the most spectacular crashes.

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We’re really pleased we went along for a look.  Now we have to get up there again, when we have more time and have a proper look.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Show Time – Bathurst Royal Show

In among all the chaos in April, Mick and I snuck away for a couple of hours to visit our local show.

Firstly, we saw some of our Car Club member with their display of old cars and bikes. I forgot to take a photo – too busy talking.  Fancy that.

Then we went into the pavilions to see what the clever people had done. Some beautiful patchwork.

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My friend Cath made the French General braided quilt and took home a prize.  Well done.  It is a lovely quilt.

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There were heaps of stalls this year.  This one looked gorgeous.  We were strong and didn’t bring any home.

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Mind you, Mick is carrying a tell tale bag from another stall.  I did buy another merino skivvy from Woolerina.  It’s sad when they know you by your first name from making so many purchases, but it is the best clothing for everyday wear and most importantly travelling on the bike.  What we also love is the fact that they are a firm based in the Central Western town of Forbes. No, this isn’t a sponsored advertisement.

Although we are turning into old fuddy duddies we have to visit sideshow ally in the night time. 

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There is just that special something about all the colour and movement, the brash music, the cry of the spruikers, the screams of the girls on the rides and the main arena announcer in the background.

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I’ve never been good at most rides, having thrown up on several as a teenager.  Maybe that was part of the reason I’ve never been all that fussed on side show ally food.  I think the quality has improved greatly since 30-odd years ago, but I must say, it still doesn’t really appeal. The colours are just too garish – but that’s what makes it show food.

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One ride I’ve always loved is the sedate Ferris wheel. It’s funny, I don’t really like heights, but it has never worried me.  When we were kids we could see the showground in the distance from our back fence.  I’d sit there for ages watching the Ferris wheel going around. There isn’t always one at our show, but there was this year.  No, we didn’t even go on it. 

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I was delighted when we saw that the old Lauries’ Steam Merry-go-Round was back.  It hasn’t been here for a few years.

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When we were kids, there were  two merry-go-rounds, this one in sideshow ally, and another, bigger one behind the main pavilion.  We always went on the bigger one. It has horses and sleighs, but wasn’t steam driven.  We’d be really disappointed if we ended up having to go in a sleigh.  I can even remember seeing, in the late 80s, one of my old school mates with their own child on the merry-go-round.  I guess generations have ridden these same old rides. I wonder what happened to the other one.  It hasn’t been here for quite some years.  I look for it every time.  I do hope it is still up and running somewhere.

Anyway, here is some more of Laurie’s.

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How the style of side show rides has changed over the years.

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I bet you can nearly hear the steam organ music playing in the background.

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Bathurst has always been a big show, running over three days. The show has changed so much since we were kids. Back then, everyone dressed up for a special day out, most ladies having a new outfit for the occasion. We used to have a public holiday for Show Day on the Friday when I was in primary school, but that changed many years ago.

Bathurst Show has been in the doldrums for a few years due to a number of factors, but this year there was a good feel about it.  There was a good number of commercial exhibitors.  Up until the early 90s nearly all the car yards would have a big display and the Show was the place to have a good tyre kick, without the pressure of visiting a car yard.  For several years, there have been very few with displays, but this year they were nearly all back.  Great to see.  There were also lots of smaller traders. 

I remember buying lots of trashy things at this sort of stall during my teens, when we were allowed to meet our friends for the afternoon, before meeting Mum and Dad in front of the main pavilion for tea and then being able to meet our friends again afterwards.  It was great fun.  I shudder to think how much money I spent on a couple of years, but it has all created some great memories.

Unfortunately, the craft section is still not doing very well.  There are so many creative people in our midst, but they don’t seem to like to enter, thinking that their work isn’t good enough, or that they aren’t making things to win prizes.  I just think it is great to see what people have been creating.  It doesn’t matter if it wins or not.  Mind you, I haven’t entered anything in Bathurst for years either.  Next year that is going to change.  I WILL enter something.

Although we were only there for a couple of hours this year, we ran into heaps of people we know.  That’s half the fun of the show.  People seem to have time to stop for a chat, not having to rush off somewhere, and we are all there for a good time, so everyone is in a good mood.

I’m glad we made the effort to visit, even if it was only for a little while. Hopefully, next year we can stay all day.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

When They’re Good, They’re Very Very Good, When They’re Bad They’re Horrid

Internet connections that is.



One of the reasons I have been absent is poor internet reception.

We can only get satellite or wifi out here.  Satellite got a bit dear at $120 per month for 2GB of data so we swapped over to wifi about eighteen months ago.

For quite a while it has been giving us grief – dropping out all the time.

Well, on Sunday night I replied to some comments and the emails wouldn’t go through, so I just left them for the morning.  In the morning the little modem kept saying it was “Searching for Network”.  We reset everything there was to reset with no luck. 

We kept trying and in the end the modem wouldn’t even turn on.

After  a visit to the retailer, only to be sent home to call the support team, well over an hour on the phone being passed from pillar to post and then being told to go back to the shop, we now, after a few days have a new wifi modem.

Here’s hoping we have no further troubles and they’re very very good.

I’ll even try to reply to some comments.  Keep them coming.


I do love living out here in our little bit of countryside.

Recently, we have been visited by lots of cockies.  There is a huge flock that roost in the trees down in our creek.  They make an incredible racket when they get up and about in the morning.  Oh, the peace and quiet of living out of town………..not!!!

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They can be a little cheek too.  This one decided that the chooks didn’t need the cob of corn I had given them.

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Our other frequent visitors are the roos.  There is one main little family that we see most days.  In particular, there is one mum and joey that I often encounter in our drive way on the way home.  “Joey” is growing, but not quite big enough to jump over the fences, so, when I come along, Mum jumps the fence and Joey then bounces down the drive way.  He is funny to see, it’s just like a little kid running around, he really bounces around, not the usual bound of the more mature roo.  He hasn’t jumped into the garage as yet, but gets quite flustered when he ends up in the yard in front of the shed.  He’s gradually learning to sit still and I’ll just drive past him.  It won’t be long before he can jump the fences, just like Mum.

The other afternoon, this group was in our front yard.  Mum and Joey are at the rear.  He’s not that much smaller than Mum.

Now, look at the one at the front.

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Look closely…..

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Isn’t that magic. I’ve never seen that in the wild before.

All these were taken from our verandah, which is quite a distance away, so they weren’t bothered by us at all. I love 20x zoom cameras.