Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Abba-solutely F-abba-ulous Weekend - Part 1

There is a little town in the middle of New South Wales which has a really wide street..... actually, the widest street in New South Wales.  It makes the perfect place to have a bit of a party.

It is just about an hour up the road from Parkes, which has an Elvis Festival each January.  We've never been to that because it is always extremely hot and I reckon that people wearing lycra in temperatures over 40 degrees C would be just a tad stinky.  Hopefully, one year it will be a bit cooler and then we will make the trek up the road.

The town we are talking about here is Trundle.

We like Trundle.  I've been there for work a couple of time in my previous job and many years ago we have been to the "Bush Tucker Day" that they host in August.  We've also camped out the back of the pub one time on a bike rally.  The pub has the longest verandah of any pub in New South Wales.  We've also travelled through on numerous other occasions.

Trundle has decided to have a festival of its own .....The Abba Festival....on the first weekend in May, so not going to be stinky!!  This year was the sixth one it has run and it is growing heaps each year.  We actually got our act together and booked a camp site at the Racecourse.  The Showground was already booked out.  There were 700 camp sites booked for the weekend!

I took the Friday off work and we travelled up with some friends who brought their caravan as well.

The autumn colours were glorious.

It was a pleasure to be out and about, and the weather was just about perfect.

Our own little convoy.  We were stopped in Manildra for coffee and cake.  Most important.

When we arrived we hunted out our camp site.  It was so well organised.  The sites were large, there were portaloos at the end of each row and a block of showers for those that weren't self contained.

Most importantly, there was a coffee van and the Pony Club did egg and bacon rolls for breakfast.  It was also in easy walking distance to the main street and on the Saturday there were shuttle buses running continuously.

It was great going up on the Friday.  We were able to have a wander up and down the street, checking out how all the shops had decorated their windows, getting our Abba Festival tee shirts and visiting the op shop.  They had all really got into the spirit of things.  We even bought an Abba CD, as we had absolutely no Abba music at home.

Another reason I wanted to go up on Friday, was that there was to be a quilt show.  "Not another quilt show" was Mick's response.

It turns out that there is a quilting group that meets weekly in the CWA Hall.

The exhibition included a small selection of antique quilts.

There was also a small display of vintage handicrafts.  The amazing thing was that they were nearly all made in the 1920s by the one lady, covering all facets of handiwork, as well as some lovely wood carving.  I noticed that her name was "Miss Bessie Taylor".  She probably would not have had the time to be so prolific if she had been married with children.

We noticed references to quilt challenges on various items and this little notice explained much.  What a great idea.

This very effective quilt was an entry in the "Australiana" challenge for this year.  Notice all the aboriginal themed fabrics.

Last year the theme was "Geometric".

The year before was Batik.  This one was very effective.

A selection of Christmas quilts for a previous challenge.  Notice that the sign says "Please Touch".  There were various signs around the hall advising whether you could touch or not.  It was great that some quilts were able to be handled.

This one was made by the Tent Makers of Cairo.  So much intricate workmanship.

Here are a few more photos from the exhibition.

After all that a nice cup of tea and little cakes was just what was needed.  So nice to once again have our tea served in pretty cups.

By the way, Mick enjoyed the exhibition too.....especially the cakes.   (Mind you, I think three in two weekends may have reached about saturation point for him.)  It was great to see a small group put on such a wonderful exhibition.

After that we wandered back to our caravan and hopped on our push bikes.  It was a great way to have a look around the streets of the town......there aren't all that many.  

The best thing, though, is that Trundle is flat!   It was so nice to be able to ride fast without having to save yourself for future hills.  Great fun.

The day finished off with a stunning sunset.  It looked like Saturday would be fine and we would have a lot of fun.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Reconnecting in April

Seeing it is just about the end of May I'd better finish off with what we were up to in April.  How did I go at Reconnecting?


I found this book "For the Love of Old" at the local library and enjoyed reading of the author's love of old, not pristine furniture.  It was published in 2006, but only bought by our library this year.  I think styles have moved on quite a bit since then......from cluttered to minimalist.

I did finish "Wind in the Willows" and really enjoyed it.

My third book was one lurking in a box here -  "Nighthawk Mops Up".  How can you pass up a paperback with such a graphic cover.  It was written in 1944 and set in England.  The good guys were trying to mop up some Nazi supporters.  The writing style was quite different to how I would imagine the story would be written in modern times.


Our visit to Burraga Dam and the Canowindra Balloon Glow would come under this category.


Not a single finish!

I did progress with my Nundle Sewing Basket project over the Easter weekend, but still a little more to go.


Our office makeover certainly would come under this category.  It is a pleasure to be in there now, rather than a big hot mess.


April is probably about the best month of the year weather wise.  The sting has gone out of the sun, with cool, crisp morning.  Therefore, the garden perks up and it is nice to think of warming food.  

No photos, but I made a couple of batches of soup for the freezer and tried a couple of new recipes for dinner.

In the garden, the summer season is coming to an end, so the veges are removed for the season. 


Summer annuals are removed and some winter colour planted.  These mauve pansies should look lovely through the winter.

Our garden planted in November was doing well.

We bought a wind flower when we established the garden.  Finally it flowered.

Our dahlia finally flowered.

Then, we had our first little frost.

The dahlia leaves suffered.

The autumn leaves this year have been stunning.  These are our street trees.

It didn't take long for the leaves to fall.

And soon the trees were bare.  However, there is still some autumn colour in the district, which is a bit later than  usual.

Dewy mornings are lovely to show up spider's webs.


We continued to ride our bikes when we could, but there didn't seem to be too much time.

On the work front, a lady was employed to job share with me, although she hadn't started at that date.


April was certainly a social month.  Outings, going out to dinner, friends staying over.  It was lovely.

We had our Mums over for lunch on Easter Sunday and Mick's mum brought over these lovely roses from her garden.


We didn't go anywhere with the van, but we did go to the Caravan and Camping Show in Sydney.  This year we were a little more restrained.  We just bought a water filter, rather than a caravan.


Although it was a busy month, being out and about, there was also nice times at home.  

Mick had his knee surgery at the beginning of the month, so was off work for the whole month.  He took things very gently when we were out and about.

As you can gather, he isn't one to sit around idly, although he did do lots of reading, like about a book a day.

When he got bored, he went up to the shed and found a project.  Let me tell you a story.

We bought 2 little folding chairs at a garage sale in I'm guessing 1986.  

 I found a photo with them in the background in 1987. They were cute, but one was canary yellow and the other lime green and they had disgusting seats. I wish I had a proper before photo. I did get a photo of the seats before they were thrown in the bin, to give you an idea.

These chairs have been carted around and sat in the back of various sheds for 30 years. Each time we got rid of stuff these seemed to stay to be done up "one day".  Well that day came. 

One day while I was at work Mick cleaned up the metal and painted them.  I asked what colour?  The answer was "Red".  "Why red?" "I didn't want black, white, green, yellow or blue, so red it is."  It turned out he had spray painted them, so colours were limited.  I can certainly live with our cheerful little red chairs with nice new seats.  Quite an improvement on their "before" condition.  We have had the table for about the same length of time.  It was a "tip find" that Mick did up several years ago, after it had been a work table in the shed for years.  We used it nearly every day on our verandah when we lived out of town.  They all go nicely together.

On another day he was wondering what to do.  We had bought some passionfruit, so I suggested he make a slice.  He has never made a cake.  I got out the ingredients and the recipe book and left him to it.  Progress photos kept arriving on my phone at work.  He did a great job.

It was rather nice having him at home. We had lunch together most days, which was a nice change.

For a busy month, we still seem to have been mindful of "Reconnecting", which is the aim of the year.

And, just to finish off, Mick put a woollen rug on the floor and Joey is loving it.  This spot is a nice sun trap in the morning, so he now has a sunny spot with a warm butt.  We have three of these rugs.  Mum made them many years ago and when we were cleaning out her house we found them stashed under a spare bed, so brought them home,  They are from woollen dressmaking scraps.  This one is a little worse for wear, so I'll have to kick Joey off at some stage and give it a few stitches.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Out and About in April - One Very Busy Weekend

The last weekend in April was crazy busy.


Firstly, we headed out to O'Connell to attend "Quilts in the Shearing Shed".  This was an exhibition of over 100 quilts made by Bridget Giblin and her students in a local shearing shed.

We were greeted by members of the local Rural Fire Service, who supervised parking and ferried everyone across to the shearing shed.

First stop was morning tea.  Very civilised, with beautiful china cups.

After visiting the pop up shops, we were taken over the road to the rustic shearing shed.

Inside, it was transformed to display the quilts.  Some amazing work was on display.


After lunch we then went to the Bathurst Show.  The Show is one of those events you go to every year, for the social side of catching up with friends and acquaintances as much as anything.

The local wholefood co-op always have a great autumn display.

One of the local nursing homes did a great yarn bombed bike for their winning entry.

And of course, sideshow alley comes into its own once it gets dark.

We discovered last year that our front verandah is a great spot to watch the fireworks, so once again we came home to enjoy the spectacle.


On the Sunday, we headed back down the mountains.  This time to visit the Springwood Quilt Show,  Rachaeldaisy had talked me into entering two quilts.  As always, there was a great variety of quilts on display.

I had to take a photo of a Lucy Boston.  This version by Mary de Bruyn.

There is always a great variety of stalls.  So much cuteness.

This quilt by Kyeen McPherson was one of the three viewer's choice winners.  Just gorgeous work.

Rachaeldaisy's quilt was one of the other viewer's choice winners.

The third viewer's choice winner was Ann Langley's Farmers Wife.

No, mine was not a winner, but it was rather exciting having it on display.

My other entry was my little Windmill Mini from some years ago.  Mick designed this one.

If you exhibited a quilt you were expected to make a contribution of  your time.  As we live a couple of hours away, I decided that the easiest way to join in was to help with the pack up on Sunday.  It was great how everyone pitched in to take the quilts down, get them folded ready to collect and then dismantle and pack up all the stands.  We worked solid for an hour and then it was all done. A great team effort.

So. by the time we got home on Sunday night we were somewhat pooped. I think we did well to fit in so much over the weekend.

PS. I just read the roundup blog post for the Springwood Quilt Show here and was surprised to see a picture of me with my quilt.