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.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

What I'm Reading ATM

I haven't kept up my reading list on this blog, my last real post on what I'm reading at the moment being in January 2014!  
So here's a bit of a catch up, while noting that this is not a complete list of what I've read in more than twelve months.
At the moment, here is what I'm reading.

I discovered three of Doreen Virtue's books at a book fair held at the same venue as my regular farmer's markets and I have fallen head over heals in love with her words! I read all three of her books in like...three days maybe?  Given I was unwell at the time I guess that's no surprise.  Her Messages from Your Angels has become my bedside companion and I read a 'message' or two each night before dropping off to sleep.
I managed to pull myself away from Doreen last night and began reading The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong (a mother's day gift from Mr HP). The Noodle Maker is the Dali Lama's brother...I will keep you posted.
Written In My Own Heart's Blood I commenced reading well before Doreen Virtue's trio and well, the heart of the matter is that I'm finding it difficult to get my teeth into this book, even though I've been told it's a great read.  I guess I'll keep you posted on that one because it's been relegated to the "I never finish reading a book" list and I might give it another go after The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong.
Following are books I have finished reading sometime in the not too distant past.
I love reading historic novels and The Templars gives an insight into the power of the church through the ages and describes the rise and fall of the Knights Templar.  It can be very "text bookish" but I enjoyed the read.

Year of Wonders is written from a woman's perspective and tells the story of Anna Frith, a housemaid, as the world around her disintegrates, and a village is cut off from the outside world in an attempt to control the plague.  It was somehow apt for our times because I was reading this novel at the same time as the Ebola crisis was unfolding in Africa.
Mr HP gifted me The President's Desk and My Story at Christmas.  It was his Kris Kringle choice for me.  I think I had mentioned how much I would like to read both books because I'm a dedicated fan of both Shaun Micallef and Julia Gillard.

Well, what can I say about both these books? Firstly, you have to be aware that Shaun is a satirist and The President's Desk is certainly satirical!  Based on historic events throughout American history Micallef turns fact into uncertainty! Not being a great American historian myself I continually questioned myself as I read...did that really happen that way, or did it not? If you are not great on American historical facts I suggest that you be prepared to 'google' as you read...something I wish I had done as I read the book.  On the other hand, some things Micallef writes about past American Presidents are so ludicrous that one could think they are reading the latest Men In Black novel!
At first I doubted whether I would actually get stuck into this book but I persisted and by the end of it I was hooked (I'm a closet MIB fan, so maybe that helped)and will read it a second time to get things 'clearer in my head'.  I know Shaun Micallef won't mind me saying this...but one has to remember, while reading the book, that he is a little deranged and I just love him for it!  He is, in my opinion, a genius entertainer and perhaps his talent comes across best on television.

I guess, like Micallef, you're either a fan or not a fan of Julia Gillard (former Prime Minister of Australia).
I love Gillard, and as the first female Prime Minister of Australia I believe she was mis-understood and I think her biggest mistake was to not sack the former Prime Minster Kevin Rudd during her term.  But that's probably another story.
The book is an easy read and takes you into the machinations of Australia's Parliament.
Then there's Ken Follet's Pillars of The Earth on which the TV series is based.  I am a fan of Follet's but I found this read, although enjoyable, a little lacking in definition and whether this is because I had watched the TV series before hand (which I found very detailed) I'm not sure.  The characters in the book were a bit airy fairy in my opinion and perhaps to read it again, now that the TV version is out of my head might give me another opinion.

Child 44 and Mailman of the Birdsville Track are only two books on my "to read" list!  I am too scared to go and search out the books on my library shelf waiting to be read for fear of giving myself a shock!
Never before in my life have I had so many "books in waiting"!

What are you reading at the moment?

Monday, 25 May 2015


I'm trying to be good and have something each morning resembling a meal for breakfast.
Because of his line of work, Mr HP is home for breakfast quite often and when he is breakfast is oat porridge loaded with lots of extras like homemade apple sauce, cinnamon, chia seeds, and homemade yoghurt.
On the days that I have my Grand Daughter for breakfast I make porridge too but I refuse to make porridge any other time.
The reason is simple-I hate porridge.
I eat it because I know it's good for me!
So on the other days I get a bit lazy and mostly have coffee which carries me through to lunch.
But I've decided that I need to do more so this is this morning's breakfast.
One poached egg on a rice cake, a persimmon and an affogato coffee.
If there is a fruit I love, it has to be the persimmon - the old style - which you have to eat when absolutely soft and gooey. 

What's your favourite easy breakfast?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Up Close And Personal

2015 is turning out to be one of loss. I have so far lost an uncle and our small cluster of villages seems to be mourning another member every other week.
 In 2008 I lost the older of my baby brothers ‘A’ in tragic circumstances during an outing to the beach.  
I am the eldest sibling of seven, five girls and two boys, in that order.
Given that I love my four younger sisters you must be able to imagine my delight when the birth of our first brother was announced.
In fact, I was the one to announce his birth to my Dad and my younger sisters.  
We lived in a little town north west of Sydney.  We had no motor car and no telephone.  Mum had been admitted to the women’s hospital in Sydney the day before and Dad had sent me to the shops, about a kilometre and a half walk, to telephone the hospital to ask about any news.  
My Dad scolded me because I had not asked about Mum’s well being and I was made to walk back to the post office telephone to inquire about the baby’s and her health.  I felt ashamed that I hadn't, felt guilty that my excitement had been allowed to overtake my sense of responsibility towards my family.  To this day, I realise that I’m still guilty of this characteristic.  
I wanted to shout out; it’s a boy.  And I did, I ran the distance home.  When I saw Dad I shouted:  It’s a boy, it’s a boy.  
Two years later our second baby brother was born.  Our brothers were like chalk and cheese.  ‘A’ was shy, introverted, a thinker, hardworking, responsible, a quiet achiever.
Our youngest brother ‘D’ extroverted, happy-go-lucky, funny, always on the go, made friends easily, had more friends than you could count, and rather irresponsible.   He saw no bad in anyone, which unfortunately is not always a good thing.  
On the evening of May 1, 2015 our youngest brother departed this world.  
My emotional response to his sudden passing is in stark contrast to the emotions I felt when losing my first brother. 
In 2008, when we lost ‘A’ I believed I would never recover from losing him.  The emotional pain was overwhelming; I couldn't believe he was gone.  I believed his passing was irresponsible, and that he was still needed here in this world.  I wanted to know ‘why’ he had been taken.  The fifth anniversary of his death was as difficult, if not more so, than his first.  I felt the loss sharply.  For the first two years after his passing I though about him daily.  Daily, my heart felt broken.  It’s only been perhaps the last twelve months or so that I have come to accept that he is no longer in this world.
On both occasions of my brothers’ passing, I have been given the news over the telephone.  In my mind, I have this concept of ‘that phone call’, ‘that phone call’ that no one should have to take.  The mother, the father, the sister, the brother... The wife, the child, the uncle…..
On three occasions in my life I have had to cope with ‘that phone call’, two of them to announce the loss of my brothers’ sudden and tragic passing.
My baby brother’s life was never simple.  Therefore it’s no surprise that neither was his passing.  So although he passed over on May 1, his funeral wasn't held until May 13 because of a variety of complications, some as minor as providing paper work to finalise funeral arrangements.
But, strangely, my initial response to hearing the news was of course shock, but in a strange way, his sudden passing was not surprising.  Emotionally, since then, I feel empty.  I believe my brother is truly at rest, but at the same time I haven’t registered his passing as having happened.  In other words, it feels like nothing has happened.  
The only things that sustain me are what I believe to be messages from him. 
The first sign we received was as his casket was ready to be lowered into the burial ground…out of nowhere, on a beautiful blue-skied-day, a sudden, strong gush of wind blew up and made me fear that the casket would blow of its strapping.  Our baby brother was saying goodbye, always the attention seeker, and the entertainer.
The second appeared as a double rainbow over his home town, as we left our mother’s house.  What a beautiful way to say au revoir to every single one of his friends simultaneously.  Only my baby brother... 
Fly baby brother, fly, your soul was too burdened by the constraints of this world.  You are now truly free.  

From one side of town...

...to the other.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Time To Take Stock

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, or visit only occasionally, you will have noticed that my posts are becoming less and less frequent.
I wrote my first post on January 30, 2011.  I find it hard to believe that I have been blogging for over four years now.  
For some months I have pondered on whether I’m worthy of continuing along the lines I have been.  
My initial objective was to use my blog to practise my love of writing.  Have I achieved this objective?  I’m not sure.  Why do we write?  Primarily, we write to communicate.  
Since my first year in school I have been enthralled by the written word.  My earliest memories of the school curriculum involve everything about the written word but nothing of arithmetic.  
Aged eight, I began scribing my autobiography.  I’m not sure what happened to that ‘book’, the words of which I scribbled into a school exercise book.  From an early age my first choice for work was journalist but in the early sixties many vocations, especially if you happened to be female, became nothing but pipe dreams as the reality of your social status, your family’s economics, ethnic origins or other such things, preceded you.
Does my blog display journalistic qualities?  Is it autobiographical? 
The answer to these questions is - sometimes.
Mostly my blog is informative, entertaining and educational.  Sometimes it is personal, sometimes it is autobiographical.  
I struggle with ‘exposing’ my personal experiences not because they are my personal experiences but because they may also be the personal experiences of those closest to me and perhaps this is why I blog about the things I do (…craft, gardening, cooking, etc, etc) because I don’t want to make public the lives of others.   
But had this been my original intention?  I don’t think so. 
Over the past few months I have blogged what I think are “obligatory” posts.  I post because I feel obligated to my few followers and the occasional World Wide Web surfer who may come past my blog.   
Personally I’m critical of blogs that are not ‘signed off’ or removed from the web when they so obviously are no longer active.   
So I’m going through a bit of a dilemma as to what to do with this blog. 
I would therefore just like to let you know that at the moment, I’m contemplating whether I should continue along the lines I have been or what new direction this blog should take, or if it should continue at all.  

Comments Welcome

I welcome your comments; they are little personal notes to me. I enjoy reading what each of you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.