Monday, 20 April 2009

At the zoo

Mack: "Nanna Lesley? Can we see the McTurtles?"
Nanna Lesley: "The what?"
"The McTurtles! Near the reptiles!"
"The McTurtles?"
"Yeah! With the spiders!"
"Yeah! Come on! I'll show you!"
It was, of course, the Nocturnal House!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Painting and decorating

I love this house to bits, but there are a lot of colours in it, many of them visible at the same time. And some of them are a bit tired.
So, with the owners' blessing (and their agreement to pay for the paint) I'm about to hoist myself up a ladder, clean, scrape, fill, sand and paint some of the walls.
I'm going for a clean look, with an off-white everywhere that will bounce a bit more light around, especially in some of the older rooms.
For the first time, I'm glad our furniture has been delayed (apparently it missed the boat in Singapore!), as I'll have time to get the rooms ship-shape before everything arrives.
I do miss my enormous American bed, though. It's a California king-size, with a luxurious pillow top. And to go with it, I have fabulous pima cotton sheets in an impossibly high thread count. Mmmmmm ... sleeepy ....
:: We just spent a fantastic Easter weekend down south at the beach house, with friends, cards, amazing food, chocolate (of course!), plenty to drink and lots of laughs. The weather was brilliant: sunny and warm, with cool breezy nights.
In Perth, mind you, there must have been incredibly wild windy weather. We came home last night to discover the umbrella which shades the table on the deck had flown the coop.

We found it this morning, high on top of our roof.

Blogger is being petulant, as Blogger can so frequently be, and will not allow me to add any pics. (Added next morning: Well, Blogger is feeling better this morning and will let me add pics in html, which is a compromise, I guess. Blogger and my old eMac clearly do not see eye to eye ...)
:: Oh! And I picked several of the winning Lotto numbers in a system (don't ask me — I just picked the numbers). We won $750!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Hello, old friend
I got out my old Bernina yesterday.
Bang went my heartstrings.
Laura has handed over Jaryd's quilt for me to finish after she did a sterling job piecing the top.
I think nearly all the fabrics in it came from Laura's stash, which is so big she has a window and doors in it and just room enough for her to sit at her sewing machine.
:: We discovered yesterday that we'd inadvertently been paying content and building insurance on our former house in Subi for the 18 months since we sold it. So we got a big fat refund cheque yesterday. Woop-de-doo!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Scenes from my Sunday
Autumn in Perth is the most wonderful time of the year.
The days are sunny and warm — not too hot — and the nights cool down beautifully.
I have a garden now. It's big and beautiful, though it hasn't had any TLC for a long time and is overgrown and looking a bit feral. The agents have promised to send us a gardener for a day to mow the lawns, weed the beds, un-choke the roses and clear the paths.
After that, I look forward to digging and planting a few bits and pieces of my own.
There's a park on the other side of our back fence, and the dog gets at least one walk a day here.

How brilliant to step through the garden gate into our very own leafy space.
And here's a pic of the room at the back of the garage as it was when we moved in. This is now my workroom— so exciting!
It came complete with old lawnmower, empty beer bottles, a dead rat, lots of spiders and crappy chairs.
But potential — oh yes! I've cleaned it out, and scraped off any crumbling old white paint.
Nick was an absolute angel and sealed and painted the walls for me, as well as putting up sheets of plastic — first stages in a ceiling I'm intending to create from cardboard. Sounds dodgy, but it will be all that's needed to stop dirt, dust, leaves and spiders from dropping in from the rafters.
Yesterday, David gave me a speaker set for my iPod — a belated birthday present (the federal government sent me an invitation to take part in its free bowel cancer screening project — yay!) which I have put to good use.
I'm using the new workroom to strip and paint this great old cupboard, which was one of the many wonderful items Dace and I scavenged from neighbourhood verges during our recent 'bring out yer dead' weekend.
Can't make up my mind whether to use it in the family room or in our bedroom ... but know for sure I won't be lining it in sticky-backed plastic, as it was when we found it. Why does it always have polka dots?
I love the workroom's blue door, hidden from view by a big flowering shrub.
The view from the window is the garden — they've planted four kaffir lime trees all in a row. Curious.
Still a very happy camper.

Friday, 3 April 2009

And here I am again!
We have an internet connection! Yay! I feel as if I'm back in the world. I may even be able to get pics on here any day now!
Here's my news in brief:
:: I had a great week back at the paper. I was actually a little nervous on my first morning, but by lunchtime, exactly as Dace had predicted, I was well away and everything came flooding back. It was just fab to be back among my old colleagues and be part of their banter again. They really are a great team, and they were all so welcoming. I was touched!
:: We were in Albany early in the week for my Dad's 80th birthday party at the retirement village where he and Mum live. I tell you, there's a sit-com waiting to be written about life in there, if not a movie. The gossip! The plots and sub-plots! The subterfuge! The alliances and factions! The romance! The scandals! All at 20 kilometres an hour!
Anyway, we had a brilliant party, and all three of our kids were there, and all but one of my brother's, which was the first time we'd all been together in years and years. 
Of course, Mum, my brother Garry and I couldn't help but reflect on how Dad had been a year ago, when we'd held a quiet birthday get-together around his hospital bed, and Dad was so ill we never thought he'd recover. Such a thrill, then, to see him this week, drinking a birthday glass of wine, eating a big dinner, blowing out the candles on his cake and laughing and flirting with all the old ladies, who just adore him.
:: Our container of furniture and s-t-u-f-f is now in Singapore, and is expected to arrive in Perth on the 20th of this month, which is a fortnight later than we'd been told, so that's a drag. But we're getting on quite well in our lovely house, grateful for the loan of a few household essentials from Dace and Laura, and for the few bits and pieces we'd had in storage here in Perth.
:: Apart from being back in the land of my mates, these are a few of the things I'm loving about being home:
Fruit Tingles
Kerry O'Brien
Margaret Throsby on ABC Classic FM
Molenberg bread
Hearing magpies, wattle birds and even the occasional kookaburra in the big trees around here.
Hanging out the washing on lines with pegs!
Oh - and having a laundry with a trough.
Frogsong at night
The Southern Cross over our roof
Rock melons
Butcher's shops
Bring out your rubbish weekends - Dace and I went trawling and I scored an old linen press (cupboard), four excellent cane armchairs and a lounge for our back deck, a three-door and three-drawer cupboard, and a bookshelf and a solid chest of drawers for my studio. Now, I'm sanding and stripping and painting. 
I really am a very happy camper.