A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Day 244/366

Last day of winter.
End of the month.
End of the week.
The pressure is on at work.
So what better way to relax than to go to tapas in North Sydney with Mr Honey Pie, Second Son, and Youngest Son.
We went to Delicado Foods where we sat outdoors, yes outdoors, in freezing cold and wet weather at 6.30 p.m.  
But not to worry, we were seated in a cosy closed-in area with two gas heaters blaring until it was a relief to have one switched off.
Mr Honey Pie has to work on Sunday, that is Father's Day here in Australia, so this was a great chance for our two boys to spend some time with their Dad.
We had a beetroot and goat's cheese croquette as starters and they were delicious.  And that's coming from someone who hates goat's cheese.
Another outstanding dish was the melt in your mouth pork.
Spanish dining wouldn't be complete without a serving of Churros con Chocolate, dulce de leche.  (For my ever craving sweet tooth!)
Afterwards we braved the cold and walked to Youngest Son's apartment building.
He only moved in a month ago so this is my first visit to his new home.
I took the above photograph from the car park of his apartment.
I only had my very poor photo taking mobile phone.
As you can see there is a lot of 'noise' in this photo but this has happened because I zoomed in to take the photo.  I have uploaded it without editing.
Despite this, I like the effect achieved; I think it gives the photo a canvas look.
Tomorrow; first day of Spring.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Day 242/366

I can't help myself.
I've got two weeks to finish row one of 
But believe it or not, this has spurred me on to get cracking on my Little Sister's birthday quilt which needs to be completed in three weeks.

Day 241/366

A selection of fabrics for the first row of Bee In My Bonnet's Row-along.

Here I am, past midnight and I'm sorting out colours for a scrappy quilt?
Yes or no?
Maybe I will, maybe I won't.
Haven't I got enough on my plate already?
And all this after a day's work in the city.
I am so tempted to join a "row-along".  Isn't this such a nifty name?
Anyway, I discovered this row along a few days ago and sorted through my stash.
Then I decided that I really didn't have enough in my stash to join.
That is,  until Mr Honey Pie's niece sent me a box of quilting fabric scraps and oh my gosh!
Well, the colours are not as as crisp as Lori Holt's, at Bee in my Bonnet, but I think I can make it work.
Question is; do I really have the time?
And another question...what about all my ufo's?
Did I really retire?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Day 240/366

So, here are a couple of kangaroos visiting us while camping at Monto.
They were very shy.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Day 239/366

Spring has to be just around the corner, even if it was just three degrees centigrade this morning.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Day 237/366

You serious? Do I really have to join that queue if I'm to get to work today?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Day 235/366

Another magic purchase from the Salvation Army Family Store in Casino.
At one dollar a piece...a bargain.
Some months ago I almost bought a set of six of these wine glasses, from a stall at a local market.  They were in very bad condition and highly priced so was turned off them.
I bought these because as an engagement present, we received a set of six.  The set comprised two red, two blue and two yellow glasses.
A few years ago I smashed three of them while cleaning up after a dinner party.
I wept.
A fourth had a chip in it so that's been thrown out.
I so desperately wanted to make up my set of six again and last Thursday I had my chance.
Unfortunately, no yellow ones but instead I have three blue and three red, in pristine condition.
These are made in France.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Day 234/366

Teacup Tuesday

This morning, I landed into the day with a big thump.
Holiday over, Mr Honey Pie back at work, Daughter's birthday catered for and celebrated, home alone and finding it difficult to get back into the swing of things.
Mr Honey Pie, when home, always makes me breakfast. 
Porridge, and sometimes an affogato.
I don't particularly like porridge - but I have it because I know it's good for me, clears the arteries of cholesterol, so I believe.
Do you get up in the morning and have the same thing for breakfast everyday?  
No porridge and no coffee for me this morning.
I thought I'd have tea and toast and take the opportunity to show case another of last week's op-shop buys.

Do you remember these from the seventies?
Back then I hated them because they signified belonging to the 'have-nots'.
They were cheap as chips.
They hung out in the kitchenware section of the grocery store as opposed to the dinnerware section of the department store.
The ugly ducklings of china have now become collectable and I've fallen in love with them...especially the teal ones!
Mr Honey Pie and I found these in the Salvation Army Family Store in Casino.
Fifty cents each - an amazing bargain.
As I made myself breakfast, I thought they team up beautifully with the teapot I have from the same era.
The paddle pop sticks teapot stand was made by Second Son in the late seventies.  It was a Mother's Day gift to me.  I can't bear to part with it and as you can see, it's had lots of use.

And, if you're Australian, what would one have spread on toast but...
Vegimite and butter of course!

I have my tea black, no sugar and with a slice of lemon.
How about you?

In 1971, I was a Debutante. 
1972, I was married. 
By the end of the decade, I had three children.
I was one of the lucky women that was able to continue working while pregnant and between the birth of each child.
We moved into our first mortgaged house in 1975 and our second one in 1977.
Life was exciting and I was not afraid of a challenge.

Fashion and decor was fun, innovative and funky.
Times were definitely changing.
Do you remember the seventies?

Here is an advertisement from a newspaper dated September 1971.
Similar cups as the ones above are being advertised for $1.50 for four, including metal tree stand.
A forty eight piece porcelain dinner set can be purchased for under ten dollars.
I read somewhere once, that the most rare and valuable antiques are usually the pieces that were plentiful and inexpensive to begin with.
Generally they are not treasured or cared for properly so become lost, broken and discarded until not many pristine pieces remain.
Do you treasure something that may once have been deemed inexpensive or inferior?

Although these aren't technically teacups, I hope Terri doesn't mind me joining in on her 
Teacup Tuesday Tea!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Day 232/366

I promised you that I would post about my and Mr Honey Pie's op-shop crawl which happened on Thursday.
This little cutie was our first purchase, along with a one dollar poetry book from 1947.  We found both in the Bangalow Anglican Opportunity Shop.
Can you guess what the little contraption above is?
Well, I guess the cups are a give away.
It's a mini two-cup Irmel moka pot or stove top espresso coffee maker.
It was priced at fourteen dollars.
Funnily enough, none of the women working in the shop knew what it was and we had to tell them.
Mr Honey Pie needs another coffee maker like he needs a hole in the head.
This is his second two-cup stove top coffee maker, and his fifth stove top coffee maker.
And of course he has an electric espresso coffee machine too.
And me?  Well I hate coffee.
The only way I will drink coffee is served as an affogato (a scoop of vanilla icecream served with a shot of espresso coffee).
And it must be before noon.  Anything later and I'm awake until two in the morning.
What is special about this little machine is that it's (obviously)pink and anodised aluminium.
This morning Mr Honey Pie made two cups of espresso coffee with it just to try it out.
I don't think he will be making his coffee regularly with it, but I can see that he has a nice little collection of moka pots in the making. 

The poetry book is titled 
The Quiet Spirit An Anthology of Poems Old & New, Compiled by Frank Eyre.
Initially I intended to use it for my paper crafts but then I started flicking through the pages.
This poem caught my attention:

All look and likeness caught from earth,
All accident of kin and birth,
Had pass'd away. There was no trace
Of aught on that illumined face,
Upraised beneath the rifted stone,
But of one spirit all her own;--
She, she herself, and only she,
Shone through her body visibly.

In the book the title was a number: 98. 
I had to turn to the back pages of the book to find out that the poet's name is: COLERIDGE and the poem's title is 'Phantom'.

Well, guess who one of my favourite poets is?  Yes, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

'In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree,
where Alph, the sacred river ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles... ' (From memory).

And who doesn't know the Rime of The Ancient Mariner?

I've decided to keep the book.

Inside the front cover, the following words have been handwritten:

'For Edna
March 3rd 1947.'

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Day 231/366

When growing carrots in the garden, they need more potassium and less nitrogen for better growth.
Too much nitrogen induces forking while adding potassium promotes sweetness and solid growth.
Soil temperatures that are too low (below 5oC) will slow seed germination and temperatures that are too high may mean a wait of anything up to thirty five days for germination.
A soil temperature of around 10oC is best for germination.
Carrots are cool weather vegetables preferring sandy soils.

After our holiday, I think that a detox is in order.
So I made soup for tea tonight.
My carrot plot needed a further thinning out so I pulled the above tiny carrots to make a stock with some chicken carcasses I had in the freezer.
A nourishing stock was made by adding a bunch of fresh herbs from the garden, an onion, Celtic sea salt, filtered water and peppercorns which were all simmered for around two hours.
A light soup was made by straining the stock, adding two parsnips, the shredded chicken meat, the onion (chopped), two cakes of rice noodle,shavings of fresh ginger and  simmering again until the parsnip was cooked.
I served the soup with the addition of a dash of cream, freshly cracked pepper and slices of fresh lime (purchased yesterday from an op-shop in Bangalow).
Here is the result:

The soup was very satisfying and there's enough leftover for lunch tomorrow.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Day 230/366

Our last night on holiday was spent in a warm house with Brother-and-Sister-in-law.
Our holiday is officially over.
We spent eight hours on the road today and travelled through four seasons to end up in an icy winter.
I only took one photograph today so here it is...Where are we Honey Pie? 
He wasn't sure so found us on the GPS on his mobile telephone.
We're at Urunga (having lunch).
The sun was shining but the wind was blowing cold.  This was our first warning of the chill that would greet us once back in Sydney, but particularly the Blue Mountains.

No matter how good a holiday is, the part I love most is coming home.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Day 229/366

Once again, it's difficult to choose just one photograph to depict the day's experiences.
On our way south, after stopping at Bangalow for morning tea, we went to Bexhill, to visit the open air cathedral.
The 'cathedral' is surrounded by a memorial garden with a beautiful array of Australian native plants.
The majority of the native plants are grevilleas. 
Grevilleas come in an array of colours, from ivory, to gold to red to pink to apricot.
Grevilleas belong to the family Proteaceae and are known for their quirky resemblance to a toothbrush.
Like this one:

After our visit to Bexhill, we drove to Casino where we went on an op-shop crawl.
We managed to pick up a few bargains which I will post about once we've returned home.
(Actually, our op-shop crawl began in Bangalow!)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Day 228/366

Sand Art at one of my most favourite places in Australia - Byron Bay.
The weather has been miraculous, and we have walked until we could walk no more.
Tomorrow we head south with reports of snow above nine hundred metres.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Day 226/366

Because of the wet, unsettled weather, we decided that today would be a good day to head into the hinterland of Byron Bay.
I could have posted a photo of the waterfall at Minyon Falls, or the Kookaburras that begged and begged for food.  I could have posted pictures of the ripening coffee beans that grow around Rosebank.
I could even have posted a photograph of the line of traffic that we got stuck in as we approached Lismore.
But instead, my 'thing' for doors pulled me towards this photograph.
I found it at Nightcap National Park, Rummery Park camp ground.
The building is now disused. I love the colours, the lines and the different textures in such a small area.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Day 225/366

We have been so lucky with the weather since starting our holiday.
Unfortunately, we drove into Byron Bay today and were confronted with a double rainbow, rain, wind, and rough seas.
Oh well...we decided that staying in a cabin will be in order over-tonight.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Day 224/366

My most favourite tree in the world is the Boab Tree, sometimes known as the bottle tree.
They grow mostly in northern parts of Australia; Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian.
Some Boab Trees in Western Australia have an infamous history, and were once used for temporary goals to house indigenous Australian prisoners.
We came across many fine specimens today, at Carter's Corner, Queensland.
Some are so old, they cannot have an age accorded to them.

Here is a link to a previous blog for a little more information about boab trees in Australia.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Day 223/366

We've gone from the ocean to the mountains.
The sun is still shining but the weather is now quite cold.
We have done so much today it's hard to choose just one photograph.
But I really like this one.
We spent a good part of the day in Cania Gorge and I love the way the sun is colouring the top of the range.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Day 222/366

We had a glorious day in Gladstone, Queensland.
Most people we've spoken to about the City have discouraged us from coming here.  I'm so glad we ignored them.  I'm just sorry we couldn't spend more time sight seeing. Despite the industry I found this area steeped in history and beauty.
Many of the buildings are from the Art Deco era and the City is very well maintained and tidy.

I love the way the bougainvillea has framed a heart shape around the distant view in this photograph. I didn't notice until I'd uploaded it.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Day 220/360

Coral with fish, Great Barrier Reef, Capricornia Cays off Lady Musgrave Island.
Coral Sea.

Sunset, Round Hill Creek, Seventeen Seventy, Queensland.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Day 219/366

We had an unexpected visit from a goanna at our camp-site this morning.

These tiny figs are growing on a native fig tree. I thought it might be a Morton Bay fig but I think the fruit is the wrong colour.

I also found some native hibiscus flowers on the sand. 

Three photographs today, how could I choose just one?

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Day 217/366

Like these mangrove trees, we've decided to put down our roots in the town of Seventeen Seventy for the next few days, before we start heading south again, toward home.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Day 216/366

We found more than craters when we visited the Mystery Craters near Bundaberg.
These glass insulators took my fancy.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Day 214/366

Rainbow Beach has sands of many colours.
But the colour that appeals to me the most is this one.

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