24 October 2014

back to bali

My mum has had a pretty grim time these last eighteen months so as a little (big, actually) pick-me-up, she and I went on our very first Mother Daughter Trip. We escaped to Bali for a week and took in the Ubud Writers Festival, together with a dose of sunshine, relaxation and respite from caring duties (hers, not mine unless you count feeding and watering three able-bodied lads and a husband, which I don't because these days they can feed and water themselves. Mostly).

There's a fresh offering by our front door every morning

I was a bit nervous about how Mum would fare, but we took things slowly and apart from one or two hitches (long queues in airports which proved tricky but were resolved by Mum nearly collapsing and me requesting a wheelchair which means you then get fasttracked through all the checks and desks - note to self for next time: book wheelchair right from the start) things went swimmingly.

In the villa #ubud

The festival was excellent with lots of interesting authors and essayists and playwrights (Val McDermid is a hoot, Fiona McFarlane is funny and eloquent, Eimear McBride is quite simply brilliant), great panel discussions and stunning locations and venues (but the steps! oh so many steps and stairs are hard work for an 82 year old)and an outstanding Women of Letters evening which was my personal highlight.

heavenly frangipani

There was also quite a lot of reading of books by the pool (I read The Signature of All Things and can highly recommend it) and the odd DVD watched while Mum went to bed early (The Railway Man, and The Dallas Buyers Club).

Bali sunset #ubud

Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, always.

Mega grasshopper side view

Wildlife on steroids.

Bali sky

More skies.


It feels a bit like a stolen dream time now I'm back at my desk, cleaning the kitty litter tray, trying to come up with yet another dinner and wrangling the boychildren here there and everywhere.

But it was a wonderful and special thing to do together, just my mum and I. My only regret is that we waited until we are in our fifties and eighties to do it.

30 August 2014

round round get around i get around

Bendigo sunset

Sunset in Bendigo, the weekend of the wool show. They're rebuilding the hospital, hence the cranes.

Australian Tapestry Workshop #curiocity #openhousemelbourne

Australian Tapestry Workshop, visited as part of Open Melbourne. I saw in the ATW newsletter today that this is now complete and the cutting off ceremony looms. Pun not intended but ha.

Gorgeous in any weather

I went to Sydney for work and stayed an extra night to play and catch up with friends.

Well hello there Sydney

This was the view from the kitchen of the flat i stayed in. Not too shabby.

Late meeting this evening means a morning off and a walk by the river after school drop-off.

I bought a Fitbit because i am a gadget junkie. No i'm not really, i'm generally a late adopter, but i need a buddy to make me exercise and i'm antisocial so an electronic buddy motivates me just as well as a walking buddy does. And i can listen to podcasts while i walk by the river on weekends or early mornings ...

La Trobe

... and in my lunch hours. This week i only sat with my knitting once at lunch. Every other day i was out walking around campus.

Knitting up the blue Shibui Staccato

Spring is so close. Little pockets of sunshine pop up here and there and warm breezes whisper. Tantalising.

small cat in a patch of sun

4 August 2014

ten days in Bali

Just what the doctor ordered.

Terraced rice paddies. Lunchtime view.

Full moon ceremony to cleanse the villa. We only got to see it because our flight is 10pm and we have a late checkout.

Final pretty drinks

1000 year old temple turtle with offerings on its head.

Rest day today. Book, sticky black rice with coconut ice cream, pool, bougainvillea blossoms flaunting down on me.



Beachfront at Sanur

Good morning Sanur

Saying goodbye to beautiful Ubud today

Itsy bitsy teeny tiny bananas are the sweetest #ubud

Campuhan Ridge walk

Campuhan Ridge walk

Newborn monkeys look like tiny aliens.

Night swim #ubud

Coffee making #ubud

Light fixture


24 June 2014

Winter solstice

Freeeezing here!

Gale force winds, icy temperatures and i just saw online somewhere that the Yarra has burst its banks in the city and Southbank is flooded. Trees down everywhere too.

We've had both fires roaring, the fake one ...

Winter solstice

and the real one.

Betsy decides fire is good after all. #catsofinstagram #burmese

The cats are doing a lot of this.

Burmese squared #catsofinstagram #burmese

I love you soooo much #catsofinstagram #burmese

But! In between icy blasts on the weekend the mister and i went for a walk to the end of our road to one of the best local swimming holes,

Sunday walk to Laughing Waters waterhole

and picked wild jonquils (pretty pretty weeds) which means Spring will come eventually, right? To continue with the yellow home decor and accessories i also made lemon curd. Sunshine in a jar.

Lemon curd oh yum

In other news, the mister had both a physio and a doctor tell him he needs a knee reconstruction so he dutifully went off to see an orthopaedic surgeon who told him not to bother (i think "at your age" may have been implied but not uttered aloud) but to get an exercise bike to strengthen the leg muscles which will support his poor wrecked knee. (He also said YOU WILL NEVER I REPEAT NEVER PLAY SOCCER AGAIN which made the mister a bit sad). Anyway so as the internet person in this marriage, i was charged with finding a suitable exercise bike on ebay, which is a place i tend to stay away from, for obvious reasons. All of this is a longwinded way of saying that hooboy ebay is fun and oh the 1960s kidney-shaped coffee tables and Ercol armchairs that i am now lusting over, and oops somehow i managed to also snag myself my very own wooden cantilevered vintage sewing accessory, otherwise known in Craft Camp circles as a Lady Sewing Box, or just, a LadyBox. Behold.

Lady Sewing Box.

How beautiful is she? I have had a lovely time organising all my sewing notions and important bits and needless to say with the LadyBox at my side i am now a master seamstress.*

* May not be true.

13 June 2014

restorative weekend

It's cold in Lancefield. #craftcamp

Oh, craft camp. So so good.


This time we were very sadly missing Janet who had Life Stuff to deal with, and we celebrated Caroline's birthday, which reminds me i never shared pictures of the March craft camp when it was my birthday, but if you look here click click linky link you can see a champagne glass and some balloons and there are other shots there too. So, Caroline's turn this time.

Party leftover

A quiet moment in the studio #craftcamp

The food was sensational, as always. So was the company.

Dinner courtesy of Susan M. #craftcamp

I made a few things, including a quilt top for the middle lad who has requested a quilt in the bruise palette.

The bruise quilt top. #quilting #craftcamp

There were noisy galahs everywhere ...

Annual General Galah Meeting.

... some cold crisp mornings and nights ...

Good morning #craftcamp #lastday

Three (!) beautiful quilts by Julie ...

Considering the options #craftcamp

... and some cetacean action from Jen.

Moby & Dick

Re-entry to real life is tough after such a wonderful long weekend of sewing, knitting by the fire, eating, talking and laughing with a marvellous group of women. But being amongst people doing what they love, whether that's sewing clothes, making quilts, knitting doll cardigans or drawing, is tremendously nourishing and restorative. It keeps me going.