Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Judy lights the sparkler on the cake; Wendy protects her head from the peeing possum in the tree above; Michael helps himself to some of the other Michael's salad while the rest of the crew (Jo, Ken, David, Andrew, John, Robyn and MB) hide out of site.  
I'm the 54 year old in Green, looking at MB who is wielding the camera.

Well, lo and behold, this morning I woke up and I was 54 years old!  Who would have ever thought I would live to such a grand old age?  A few apparently as there were delightful messages on email and Facebook and cards in the letterbox, not to mention four new tyres on my car and some lovely Body Shop potions and lotions too; a gift voucher for a manicure, $50 towards my hairdo and some pretty knickers from my mother.  Spoiled rotten?  Yes, I think so.

I had a lovely day at the hairdresser and having a manicure, followed by a short game of tennis in the park, BBQ dinner and then chocolate mud cake courtesy of Judy of course (who delights us all by bringing cake, paper plates & sparklers).  MB gave a speech and then everyone sang happy birthday.  Seriously, what more could I want?

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes.  I appreciated every single one of them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Jenny and me at dinner, photo taken last year

My friend from high school days, Jenny, has been in Europe for the past six or so weeks so I haven't seen her recently at our girls' night out dinner & movie nights and sadly I will miss seeing her next week as I shall be leaving on Friday myself for a trip too.

When we were girls we played basketball together - Jenny was a star - she was so tall, much taller than me and she could throw a goal from a great distance.   These days she is a mother to Matthew and wife to Bob and has several stepchildren too.  She works in finance, as she has done all her working life.  She is a busy woman with a wicked sense of humour enveloped within a quiet and shy demeanor.

Happy Birthday Jenny.  I hope your day is as wonderful as you are.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Jodie (left) is having a birthday on 2nd November (32).

Edwina (right) had her birthday on the 31st October (37).

Our girls are beautiful women.

Happy Birthday.

We love you.


Friday, October 30, 2009

PRETTY KITTYPUSS CAT: 17.10.1997-23.10.2009

I've been missing her all week.  The other cats, while enjoying the calmer atmosphere, are missing her too.  I'm going to miss her for a very long time.

I've had trouble writing about my Pretty Kittypuss Cat because I've been struggling with right and wrong; good and evil and problem solving.

As I wrote here, Kittypuss had been stalking the other cats since day one and I can't explain it.  Perhaps she was jealous, in pain with arthritis or some other mystery illness that wasn't apparent or perhaps, under the stress of living with so many other cats, she simply reverted to her wild state.

When I brought her home as a 10 month old kitten, Kittypuss was very difficult to manage.  She was wild and untrained, but was said to have come from a home with another cat which she had terrorised and the owner had to give her up.

In spite of her early life, once it was just the two of us, for six years, Kittypuss became my best friend; witness to all my secrets; but it took a full year before she made the move from sitting or lying on the blanket beside me on the couch to the warmer spot on my lap.

Kittypuss suffered my absences while I travelled interstate for work; staying with my mother, sister or friends.   They treated her very well and Kitty came to understand that while I went away, I always came back.  Nonetheless it must have been unsettling for her.

Once, in the misguided belief that Kitty might like company,  I adopted another kitten from the RSPCA but after one weekend had to return him because Kitty chased him down and attacked him.  I guess that old habits die hard and I should have known that she wouldn't mix well with other cats.

Until I met my husband, Kittypuss always slept on my bed with me.  Her sleeping spot, after six years, had to change but I think she handled that quite well.  Moving house and having to live with Felix first, then Lillipilli, Sascha and Snuffly too was, I think, simply too much stress for her to cope with.

When the stalking and aggression turned into outright attacks on Felix and Sascha, I became very concerned.  The specialist vet advised me that Kitty's behaviour would no doubt become worse and at that time I searched for another home for her, after deciding that I couldn't risk more injuries to the other cats.  Partly because of her age and temperament of course, I couldn't find another home apart from a cat home for unwanted cats with a "no kill" policy.  Attractive as an option but I've seen that place and I couldn't put Kittypuss there; I know she would have been miserable.  I also believe that she would have been miserable almost anywhere if I wasn't with her.

Almost six months have passed since then but last Friday, Kittypuss attacked Felix twice and Sascha three times in the same morning.  She had been fed so the attacks were not over food.  She chased Sascha through the house at high speed.  Sascha is fast but Kitty was fast too.  When Sascha received another gash at the corner of her eye, for me it was the last straw.  I knew what I simply had to do, as awful as it was.  My mother and I were talking on the phone and my mother advised that I needed to "bite the bullet" and do what was necessary.  Unfortunately, I had to agree with her.

I rang the vet and then took my beautiful but wild Kittypuss in to them to be "euthanased", "put to sleep", "killed".  It was a terrible day and worse because my pusscat knew something was upsetting me and she cried in the car all the way to the surgery.  I feel even more guilty because I left her there since the vet had to attend to an emergency surgery and couldn't see us straight away.  I should have held her while she died and I didn't.  I'll probably never forgive myself for that.

Kittypuss spent 12 years and 6 days on this earth and 11 and a half years of that time with me, most of it happily, sitting on my lap or in my company.

Rest in Peace Kitty Girl; you were and still are, so loved.


One of the trees in our garden
(See Sascha on RHS of photo)

A fully grown native frangipani tree in the city.
(I took this photo a couple of weeks ago
and have slightly enhanced the exposure
so you can enjoy it's mass of yellow flowers)

Ah, I do love spring ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Yes, Australia has a native frangipani but it is a tiny flower that attracts tiny native bees.  It's perfume is softer than the traditional frangipani and I've only ever seen yellow flowers.  Here's a peek; complete with bee! We have two trees in the garden and I love them.

The other yellow flowers are weeds - daisies growing in amongst the clover.
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Say hello to Karen, our guest from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (30 miles from Miami).  Karen is an absolutely charming visitor who spent the day with MB seeing some of the sights of Adelaide and then home for dinner after a long walk around our property with me, Sascha and Felix too.  My dear friend Michael asked us to look after Karen and it was our pleasure to do precisely that.

Karen was returned safe and sound to her hotel tonight; tomorrow she takes the train to Melbourne and other places to the East, including Canberra and Sydney.  Safe travels Karen.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Actually this photo of the back field/paddock was taken after the previous Bonfire in 2008 but you get the idea, I'm sure.  We're still tidying up so I hope I'm forgiven for the blogging hiatus.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Jo with her partner, Ken

Ivy displays her nails for me

Yes folks, that IS the name of an incredibly popular chinese restaurant in Chinatown, Adelaide.  Last night we celebrated Jo's 52nd birthday.  Jo is the youngest in the group and joined about 5 years ago.  She was the physiotherapist who managed to straighten my back initially but who eventually advised that I seek medical intervention, as my back was "bad"!

So, Happy Birthday Jo and thanks to Geoffrey for ordering all those chilli dishes.  All I will say is that they were hot, hot, hot.

I often remark to myself "the things you see when you don't have a camera".  That line played in my head last night when I saw a bright sparkle out of the corner of my eye.  Fortunately, I had my camera so was able to take photos of a fellow diner's stupendous fingernails.  Ivy is the director of a beauty salon in chinatown and I guess she figured that it makes sense to advertise one's products and, after taking her photo, with lightning speed she flipped me her business card.  The chinese are very good at business, methinks.  Those twinkly things shone brightly under the halogen lights and even though they are fake nails, they are quite spectacular, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


While the sun is shining I've been outside doing some yardwork.  The main task at the moment is clearing the tennis court and getting it ready for the summer season.  Although it is situated in a delightful setting, the many trees surrounding the court provide plentiful shade during winter, allowing moss to grow on the artificial surface.  Clearing the moss can be a challenge and I have the blisters to prove it.  There are also weeds which grow in the broken down pine needles and wattle seeds that must be cleared too.  It is a huge task and usually takes about a week.
Our neighbour who saw me hard at work on the weekend suggested that we dig the tennis court up and grow vegetables.  An orchard of fruit trees rather appeals to me!  It's an interesting idea and one day it might happen, when we are too old to play tennis perhaps.
While taking a photo this morning I thought I'd add some of our Norwegian Maple tree which is flowering and has new leaf shoots.  It is so pretty against the dark background of the pine trees.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Just because ... even on a cloudy day it is an appealing photo of a very beautiful place in Italy we visited about a year ago.  Click on the photo to enlarge it and soak up some of the atmosphere.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Bellagio is a northern Italian town, situated on stunning Lake Como.  

Since it is still Amber's birthday week, I thought I'd show you the shop window in Bellagio where I bought her cross.  Don't you just love the beautiful display?

Tanya bought her daughter a silver ring with an amber gemstone set in it for her birthday which should match the silver chain and cross.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Amber with her birthday drink (vodka, raspberry & coke!)

Tanya, clearly enjoying her daughter's celebration

Wendy (Nana), Tanya's mother (my stepmother) and Amber's grandmother, looking gorgeous.

Shelby, Amber's close friend

Amber in the centre with some of her girlfriends

More scene's from Amber's birthday party last night.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Birthday Girl

 Isn't she divine?

Ooh La La! (Amber reluctantly posed for this)

Spotlight on the Gorgeous Shoes

Making a wish while cutting her (Cheese) Cake

Well, as you can see, my niece Amber began her evening with dinner and birthday cake with family and a large group of young friends.  Tom is a very lucky young man because he is escorting Amber to a club in the city called "Red Square" where the younger folk are still celebrating.

Amber looked absolutely divine, from her hair down to her toes and positively beamed all evening.

Happy 18th Birthday Sweetie.  We love you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Christmas 2005

With older sister Jasmine, Christmas 2006

With Auntie, November 2007

With best friend Shelby, May 2008

Christmas 2008

With her brother Angus, April 2009

My niece Amber is turning 18 tomorrow.  Watching her develop from a young girl to a delightful young woman has been just lovely.   These photos have been taken over a period of four years so you can see part of this transition for yourselves.  Amber's nickname is "Bambi" and she is the second youngest of Tanya's children.

Last year, in Bellagio, Italy, I bought her a small amber cross.  For her 18th birthday I have bought her a pretty silver chain so can she can wear her namesake again as her old chain broke.

Tomorrow I hope to bring you some photos of Amber's birthday party.