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Hot Weather

The temperature keeps rising here.  It has been cool for a little but the heat is back with a vengance.  So we took off for the air-conditioned comfort of the movies.

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The movie of choice was "The greatest showman".

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The written reviews were not startling but 'word of mouth' reviews from friends have been positive, besides I didn't feel like watching anything deep and meaningful.

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Well how did it go?  Firstly, it was a musical, I missed that.  Secondly, it wasn't a great movie but it was a very enjoyable one.  Thirdly, the dancing was fantastic. 

Would I see it again?  Yes.

A long trip

I took the long drive up to Warwick yesterday to visit quilting friends who were staying at Glenrose House.  It is in a lovely country location and they offer accommodation for quilting retreats and it has a great shop there as well.  But I do have to drive there and back, 3 1/2  hours in each direction to get to and from the place.  Seven hours of driving is a lot.

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The drive took me through lots of traffic for over 1 1/2 hours, then I got out into the country side, along with a few big trucks, and then after a few glimpses, the border ranges suddenly come into view. 

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We have been bush walking up here and it always takes my breath away.

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On this day I only had to deal with a few trucks on other days I haven't been so lucky.  This road gives access to the New England Highway that runs all the way down to NSW and the big rigs are a constant hazzard.

  Warwick is known for it's roses,

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the rodeo

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and the jumpers and jazz winter festival.

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This was shopping and lunch day in town for my friends so it was back into the cars and into town.  Country towns are always a bit different.  In the fabric shop, which sells patchwork, dress and curtain fabrics, along with lots of other things I saw a sample for a Chicken Scratch Embroidery class.  You can't buy that heavier weight gingham any more here that you can get in Europe so it was stitched on a light weight poly cotton.  Not quite the same but the pattern was nice, they had even used the needle woven stars.

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We had morning tea at Mamma Lucia's Patisserie where the cakes are to die for and they have all the national trophies they have won for baking on display.

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Then more shopping and on to lunch at the garden centre.  I did not buy one plant, I have to do something with the ones I have.  But there were some beautiful flowers there.

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I thought about this as a design for embroidery.

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As to my own shopping, I was very restrained.  Just 30cm (20") of each print for some more bags.

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The latest research shows that the number one indicator of a long life is the support of friends.  I am going to live forever!!!

A significant birthday

My son turned 40 this last weekend and his wife gave a huge party to celebrate.  And it rained. And it was outside, so they rigged up lots of tarps for people to sit under.

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 My daughter in law is one smart cookie.  She got someone in to cook the BBQ, just hot dogs and salads, so easy.  She hired some tables and benches for everyone to sit.  My son who is the head brewer at a boutique brewry set up 5 different beers on tap along with water, juice and some bowls of lollies for the kids.  There were kids everywhere, mostly all on the move.

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He changed careers from a computer game designer to brewing but still kept all his arty nerdy friends.  They came as Star Wars storm troopers.  The older kids loved it, mostly the boys, the little ones just screamed and ran.

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So despite the bad weather I think he had a great birthday.  But I am feeling rather old.

A new book and the heat

A couple of weeks ago we had the Book launch for "Hayley and the Magical Farm". 

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The author of the book is my neighbour, Maxine, and the farm belongs to my friend Hayley who lives is a few doors away.  (That is where I go to feed the chickens.)

We have seen this book go from an idea through to this launch and I know every animal featured well.  My grand daughters also know all the characters, human and animal, and wanted to be there for this launch.   Monique, who also has aspirations as an author, has adopted Maxine as her special friend and holds long conversations about the writting of books,

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plus she likes this book because she knows all the characters and they are not just imaginary.

Lollipop the donkey.


The guinea pigs.


Marshmellow the sheep, who they have known since he was a lamb.

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Marmalade Toast, the cat that eats carrots,


and Cheesecake the dog that wears a onesie.


Most of these animals have been rescued and some like Cheesecake have a sad story.  He was abandoned by some one who dumped him on the island.  He would sit down at the barge waiting for them to come back.  He did that nearly every day for over 6 months.  He just loves Hayley and she him.

The farm is all pink and purple, Hayley's favourite colours, she has repainted all the railway carriages and it did look magical.

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Old TV cabinets have been painted pink to act as places for the chocks to sit.

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All the garden statues are pink and purple and sit in an old canoe.

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The water features have been painted.

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Even the cow got new ear rings for the day.

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It has been so hot here, 40 degrees C on the day of the launch, and although we were under the trees and there were lots cool drinks, (some pink), everyone was suffering and trying not to show it.

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They had a book reading for the children, who have all read the book 100 times or more, and our neighbour Simon,  dressed up as a wizard did the reading.  (Simon is a retired Oxford Don, so has the perfect accent and long white hair, to charm the children.)

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(There are mirrors everywhere for the animals to check themselves out!)

Hayley, her mother and sister were dressed to kill and had put in so much work making the farm look wonderful.

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There was some great food.

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And the baby chickens were a big attraction.

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After the launch everyone sought relief from the heat and left Hayley with the mess.  My dear husband stepped in and cleaned it all up for her.  He is a treasure.  That evening Monique was ill from too many sweet things and the heat.  Looking at the photos I can see she went from hot,

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to over heated even with a hat on and in the shade.  We missed that in all the excitement.

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Still it was a good day and Hayley's Magical Farm Rolls on.


The heat

It is Sunday afternoon here and I am sitting flicking the remote between sports events. I thought it was hot here at 32 degrees C  which is about 90 degrees F but I looked up Sydney and it is 47 degrees C or 116 F down there.  Those poor men playing cricket out there in that heat.

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I thought I might watch the final of the Brisbane International Tennis but someone has been thinking and that doesn't start till 7pm tonight.  I bet it will be still hot and steamy.  I hope Kyrios can keep it together to win.

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In the mean time I am going to experiment with another small zippered bag.  I have so many zippers and I have just ordered another 100 because I don't have the right colour.  Lots of bags are now to be made!

The days inbetween

Not much work done here at all.  Sewing that is.  Lots of cooking and building toys.  Swimming at the beach, visiting extras, cleaning, washing and all that goes with 15 extras plus loads of other visitors.  One day I made 250 sausage rolls, with about 10 left over.  Then a triple measure of picklets with jam and cream, non left over.  One night I did 3 chickens, a lamb, beef and pork roast plus vegetables and salads and dessert.  Enough left for sandwiches the next day.

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There are little children everywhere.  The eldest is about 9 and the youngest 18 months.  That all adds up to an incredible noise level and mess.  Trying to keep the sand out of the house is a losing battle.

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But this is what memories are made of.  Not lots of expensive toys or eating out all the time.  It is shared time with family and friends.  Exhausting but precious.