Friday, October 30, 2015

Quilt Show Set-Up

This morning I spent a couple of hours helping set up for the Ballaarat Quilters' show which is on this weekend.
The show is in a fancy-looking hall at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Dawson St South, Ballarat Central:
We put up lots of stands, then added quilts to them:
 The one on the far left is one of mine. And here's proof I got the binding on the other one finished on time:

I left just after that, so I haven't seen the whole set-up yet. I'm looking forward to seeing it tomorrow!

If you are in the area over the weekend, come along to St Patrick's Hall, Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm. Entry is $6. There will be lots of quilts, 3 or 4 shops, a trade table, and a coffee van outside.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


On our last trip back to the city garden, I dug up as many of the dahlia tubers as I could find. Today I finally got them into pots:

 The people who bought the house will never know as the dahlias had died down before they ever saw the garden. Although I'm sure a few bits got left behind to come up as a surprise for them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tiny Wildflower

These tiny flowers have been blooming around the block for the last week or so, but I've only seen them fully open when I haven't got my camera with me! This is the closest I've managed so far:
It could be a chocolate lily, but I really can't get down low enough to smell it!

Monday, October 26, 2015


Started sewing down the binding:
Judging by today's progress, it will take me about 8 hours to do the whole thing. Perhaps black wasn't the best idea if I need to sew this at night!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Airing the Quilts at Steiglitz

A hot and windy day meant that the quilts definitely got a good airing:
One took to the air and ended up in a tree:
Hopefully someone has a ladder long enough to retrieve it.

All the buildings in the historic park were adorned with quilts. Here's the court house:

Some quilts were lucky to be displayed inside, avoiding the heat and dust:
The ones outside will probably all need a wash after their airing!

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Finished the quilting (maybe) and now I'm running-in ends:
I say "maybe" about the quilting, because I'm not totally happy with it in places, but there may not be time to do any more before the quilt show next weekend. I still have to bind this one and add a hanging sleeve, then make and attach labels to all three quilts for the show. So the quilting might just have to be complete as it is.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Another Garden Bed

Planted out some more perennials, mainly cuttings from my old garden. So now there is potential garden right across the front of the house:
Imagine bushy areas both sides of the seating spot, and grass in front (instead of just a few little clumps). Maybe in a year that's what it will look like!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


The Ballaarat Quilters' exhibition is on at the end of this month. I'm trying to get some quilts ready to show, but there's more to do than just label quilts and add hanging sleeves. I also need a black apron, decorated in some quilt-related way.
Fortunately a local "2 Dollar" type of shop had black aprons for sale, so I didn't have to make one! With the addition of a few left-over pieces from my sunflower quilt, it is now ready for the show.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Dish

Two visitors on the roof:
Installed some technology:
And now we have television!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More Planting

They may look a bit sad now,
but I'm sure they will pick up now they are in the ground. These are mainly plants grown from cuttings from my old garden. They've spent over a year in pots, and been treated rather badly over the last little while. Fortunately they are all pretty tough.

They are going to need mulching over summer, but that is a bit tricky as we can't use anything flammable like wood chips.

Monday, October 19, 2015


I was exhausted after the two days of discussions etc at the Citizens' Jury. But it was nice to watch five corellas playing in one of our trees as I ate my breakfast this morning.
They kept swapping positions in some sort of "musical chairs" type of game.

A pair of galahs perched in another tree for a while:

I didn't find many media reports of the jury's deliberations. I never read the Herald Sun, and this is why:
Happy Meal Ban and Preschool Cooking Classes
Six weeks of work by 100 jurors (to say nothing of all the people behind the scenes), turned into a trivial story which will attract stupid comments from people who know nothing about the real recommendations.

If you are interested in finding out more about the real recommendations, you can download them from the Vichealth site here:
Victoria's Citizens' Jury on Obesity

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Citizens' Jury Day Two

Today was an incredibly full-on day, as 80-odd people tried to reach consensus on our final "asks". Hated that term "ask", but I guess it is bureaucracy-speak for request or recommendation. Consensus was defined as more than 80% of the participants being able to at least live with it. (Other possible levels of approval: love it, like it, live with it, lament it, loathe it.)

I promised pictures of the food, so here you are. Morning tea:
Not much of a picture, but the items were inside the paper bags. There was also tea, coffee and juice to drink. Not just water!

Sushi, rice-paper rolls, salads, fruit, and some sandwiches which didn't show up in the photo. It was all yummy, and healthy! No cakes, no chocolate (although to be honest, by afternoon tea time each day I really wanted some chocolate. It was so stressful!)

I didn't get a photo of afternoon tea, but it was mainly fruit.

One one side of the room there was an eye-opening display:
And the winner was Solo with 17 teaspoons of sugar in a 600ml bottle. Coke wasn't far behind with 16.

The first half of the day was for writing up the "asks" in small groups. But the noise level in the room where all the discussions was going on was too much for me. The group I was in had the hardest "ask" to work on. It had had about 10 other suggestions rolled into it, and distilling it all down into something concise and precise was a huge challenge. At one point I just had to leave the room and try to find some quiet. I went for a walk around the small park across the road, where I envied the calmness of this lady doing tai-chi exercises:

After lunch there were some more small-group discussions where we could "reality-check" our "asks" with members of the steering group (representatives of various organisations with interests in this area), and then it was time for the final vote to see which "asks" achieved 80% approval. That was a stress-filled process, as you might imagine. Early on people wanted to debate and refine and re-word the asks, but by the end there wasn't time, and we just had to vote on them "as is". I was very disappointed that one of the asks I really was in favour of was voted out at this stage, despite having received over 80% approval at earlier stages (previous votes a couple of weeks ago, and yesterday). But there was no time to find out why suddenly its approval had dropped to about 75%. Perhaps we could have re-worded it slightly to get it over the line, but there wasn't an opportunity. Several of the jurors who felt strongly about that issue have added it as a "minority report" to the final submission.

So then it was all over, and time to go home. I gradually relaxed as I left the city behind, and am very happy to be home again in the quiet!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Where Am I?

It looks a bit tropical, but it isn't really. It's inner-city Melbourne. I'm one of 100 Victorians participating in sessions this weekend for a "citizens' jury" on obesity, and this is where I'm staying rather than travelling back and forward.

Media article about the citizens' jury here.

This is the culmination of a process that has been going for the last 6 or 7 weeks (because I just wasn't busy enough with all that new house and moving home stuff going on). We are meeting in a building with this view:
which is a bit different to home.

Tomorrow I'll try to remember to get a photo of the food provided at lunchtime. It's the healthiest spread I've ever seen at a seminar!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Random Pie Truck

We've driven past this van parked in what seems like the middle of nowhere a few times:
but today it was just about lunchtime, so we stopped and sampled a couple of "Wiz In Highway Pies". And they were pretty good pies!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Start

First steps to a new garden:
The bulbs, daylilies, and irises that we rescued in August, had to be dug up again from their temporary home yesterday to be brought here. They weren't in pots; we transported them in plastic bags. That made getting them into the ground top priority, especially given the hot weather yesterday and today. Just as well they are all tough plants. As they say, "If you can kill a daylily, you should give up gardening." Let's hope these ones survive, then!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good-Bye to a Garden

Good-bye to Mr Koala Letterbox, who couldn't come because he is concreted into the ground:
The local children who like to say hello to him on their way to school are probably glad about that.

Good-bye to the garden full of flowers:
That some of those children walking past called, "The butterfly house",
because there were always butterflies flitting through.

Today we collected the last load of stuff we're not saying good-bye to. A car full of plants:
And a ute and trailer looking as if Granny Clampett should be sitting up on top:
Stay tuned for a new garden, starting soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Quilting Time!

This morning some technicians came to visit and informed us that we can't get TV signals from either Western Victoria or Melbourne here. If we want TV we will have to have a satellite dish. Add that to the NBN guys who came last week and informed us that there is no signal here from the NBN tower at the end of the road, so if we want internet we might have to wait until the new NBN satellite is commissioned in 18 months.

Fortunately I've got plenty of things to occupy my time beside TV and broadband internet. There's unpacking to do, for a start. But Ballaarat Quilters' quilt show is on soon (at the end of the month) and I've entered three quilts in the show. That includes the one that members of the guild basted for me recently, which I haven't quilted yet. So this afternoon I spent some time with my Sweet Sixteen making a start on the quilting:

It's not a large quilt. Hopefully I'll have it quilted and bound well before the show.

Monday, October 12, 2015


The ute, the trailer (that's them up ahead)

and the car went to Melbourne to pick up more stuff from the old house.  They all came home chock-a-block. How many more loads to go?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Flat Tyre

That looks like the problem!

Fortunately we were home in time for this:
It's the first time water has gone into our tank since we moved in. We caught about 1,000 litres today.

Friday, October 9, 2015


The plants which arrived on Tuesday are gradually recovering from their ordeal:
A journey by truck of over one hundred kilometres on a hot day, then no water until the day after. But they are all picking up after a good soak.
It's nice to have some greenery around the house! It could be a while before they are released from their pots, though.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Old Ladies

In the past couple of days, there have been three of these large moths inside the house:
I have no idea how they got in. I've managed to catch two of them and set them free outside, but this one sitting up on the fan mounting (more than 3 metres up) has eluded me so far.

I think they are Southern Old Lady moths, Dasypodia selenophora.

And for something completely ridiculous, here's me as a Peanuts character:

I don't know that it looks much like me, but that was the only grey curly hair available. It's advertising for the Peanuts movie coming out soon. If you want to be sucked in by the viral advertising yourself, here's the site: Peanutize Me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


The temperature dropped, the wind dropped, and my anxiety levels dropped.

Time to find out what was still burning. Tools of the trade:
The infrared thermometer, a spade and a hose. Find the hot ground, dig a little, spray some water, and dig again where there is steam.

We found two buried stumps which were still burning. Here is the largest one:
It's about a metre long, and was gradually turning itself into charcoal. But it has now had a good soak, and is out. Phew!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



Severe fire danger, and declared a total fire ban day. In the first week of October?

On a day of total fire ban, it is an offence to light a fire, or allow a fire to remain alight in the open air. I don't know how the authorities feel about fires burning underground, but there was nothing I could do about the fires today. This morning the builder came to finish off a couple of things, and as part of that had to turn off the water pump. So that meant I couldn't even spray the hot ground.

And then while the water was off, this arrived:
Truck loaded to the gills with plants from the city garden. They were loaded up yesterday, and today travelled from the city where the temperature was in the mid 30s. So they were a very thirsty truck-load of plants, and we had no water to give them! All we could do was unload them into the shade of the back verandah, and hope they survive until they get a drink.

I kept waiting for the plumber to give me the OK to start using the water, but it turned out that the water had to stay off for 24 hours, to allow the glues and sealers he had used to fully cure. What bad timing!

On a happier note, the flowers I was given ten days ago look like this now:
They have opened up really nicely.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Scary Day

Today started off OK, when I noticed that despite the fact that there has been no rain since the waste-dispersal field was finished, little patches of grass seeds have begun to germinate:

Today summer arrived, and with it high fire danger. You may remember the last fire we lit, on 12th of September? When the air temperature is around 30, the ground temperature in the shade should not be over 50 degrees:

There are several places where the ground temperature indicates that something is still burning under the surface. Today was so hot and windy that exposing that burning could have lead to a nasty situation. All I could do was spray water over the hot areas every couple of hours, and hope that would be enough to stop anything bursting into flame.

I was home on my own, and found this early experience of fire season quite scary.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Family Birthday

Today is my mother's birthday. So my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and a friend of my sister all came to visit. I was a bit busy, so this is the only photo I took in the whole day! And it tastefully shows my father's handkerchief beside the birthday cake. Nice!

I didn't provide this cake - it was given to my parents at church this morning. The stuff I had organised will be eaten by us some time later.

My brother-in-law took lots of photos, so I hope he will send me some nice ones that I can add to this post.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Step By Step

There are so many things to do around the new house. I think it will be ages before the "to do" list even begins to look manageable.

Today we got the clothesline installed:
So there will be no more washing hanging on the fence to dry!

And much later in the day I even spent a little time in my sewing room:
It almost looks ready to sew (except that I haven't found any thread yet).