Thursday, December 30, 2010

You are invited......

To join Top and me
here at Arias
 tomorrow night

when we
our 40th Wedding Anniversary!
(I was of course a child bride, barely legal!!!!)

at first we had thought to eat
at the chef's table

until I realised it was not big
enough to fit you all in!
 and also you would miss the view
of Sydney Harbour!

we will start with champagne here and enjoy
the lovely sea breeze 

then when we have all arrived we will wander in here

and let Chef Matt Moran

feed us!

 figs and asparagus are really beautiful at present

and just look at this piece of steak.
I may have to share some of this with someone else
as I need to leave room for desert
and as I could not make up my mind
which desert to offer you I chose a few!

you could be led to believe that I am a fan of figs...not true
this dish just looked so beautiful I could not leave it off!

I am, however,  a chocoholic and
 will not share a bite of this with anyone

in fact I may even have to have this one as well!!!

I have watched Matt Moran on Masterchef and his 
food always looks so beautiful...I am getting really excited
about this and of course
seeing you all there!

until tomorrow


P.S.  in reality we are going for lunch to a  very nice restaurant about 100ks from here!! 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the 12 days of an Australian Christmas....

After six weeks of Christmas everywhere I look
it has just  plain disappeared,
to hide away until next year
I am not finished with Christmas
for me it lasts until the eve 
of the epiphany January 5th
our Christmas decorations
 stay up until the twelfth day of Christmas
a tradition that has always been in my family
and thinking about that reminded me 
of one of my favourite Christmas songs

The Twelve days of Christmas

so I borrowed an
Australian version from

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A kookaburra in a gum tree

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Two cockatoos, 
and a kookaburra in a gum tree

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Three parakeets.........
Two cockatoos, 
and a kookaburra in a gum tree

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Four great galahs,
Three parakeets,
Two cockatoos, 
and a kookaburra in a gum tree

On the fifth  day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Five opals black......
(etc fill in the rest yourself  otherwise  my fingers will seize up!!!!)

On the sixth  day of Christmas my true love sent to me 
Six 'roos a-jumping........

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Seven emus running.......

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Eight koalas clinging.........

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Nine wombats waddling........

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Ten dingoes dashing.......

On the eleventh  day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Eleven snakes a-sliding.......

On the twelfth  day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Twelve goannas going.......

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Twelve goanna goin,

 Eleven snakes a-sliding,
Ten dingoes dashing, 

Nine wombats waddling,
Eight koalas clinging,

 Seven emus running,
Six 'roos a-jumping, 

Five opals black,
Four great galahs, 

Three parakeets,
Two cockatoos, 

And a kookaburra up a gum tree.

and all the images are from Google images


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the night before Christmas... almost!!!

I am a little early but I want UK daughter to see this before she leaves!!!

For Katie,  Lucas,  Lisa,

Because I am not with you tonight to read it
may it bring back memories of Christmas Eve's past

and for all those
wonderful people
 I have met over the past 12 months
 I share this Christmas tradition

Twas the night before Christmas,  when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

           all paintings here by: Miss Jessie Willcox Smith 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
 But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all,

 and to all  a

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's supposed to be summer...!!!!

Today is the
20th of December
it is practically
We have the fire going
our winter woolies are
out of the mothballs
and this is the Perisher Valley

20 December 2010 snow on Front Valley
                                                                                                                                               Snow report from here

Did I hear someone say this was going to be the
the third warmest summer on record?!!!!

Can they tell me where please?

Maybe we will have white Christmas too!!!!

The moon is out tonight 
and I am sending lots of love
to Jane here
are you? 


Friday, December 17, 2010

a tale of two communities...!!!!

Living in a country town 
is quite different to living in a large city
there are the obvious difference
like the lack of traffic 
fewer choices
(if you actually want them)
more choices
(when it comes to fresh food)
and so the list could go on
but this is not about those sort of differences 
it is about the community (as in the people) difference

Here we know nearly everyone
some by sight,
some by name,
some by business,
some by friendship,
some by love.

In the big Cities if you know your neighbours
you are probably doing quite well!!


The point is that because we know every one,
when good luck strikes we know about it
when bad luck strikes we know about it
when things are hard for them we know about it

It makes us a tight community
and in the hard times 
we all come out to help

The Blog community is like living in a country town
you get to know everyone
some by sight,
(on others blogs)
some by name
(from their comments)
some by business
(their Etsy stores)
some by friendship
some by love

we know your up and your downs
 your joys and your hard times
in sickness and in health
your troubles and your families troubles


today I visited
Simone at
and learned about
Jane from

most of you are already pouring out your love to A-M
and I have another friend
who is suffering

so wouldn't it be nice and in true Christmas spirit if
we all follow Simone's advice

"What if each night you look at the moon for, say, 15 seconds and send positive thoughts to Jane and to others who you know are going through harsh times?...

•What if you post this concept on your blog or speak to your friends?...

•What if your followers blog this concept and speak to their friends?...

•What if hundreds of women look at the moon each night and send off their thoughts?

•What if women needing support received these hundreds of thoughts?...

You see, we all have the same moon, don't we?..
Girl power.
Can we do it? 15 seconds a day? Pay it forward?
I say we can. It can only help. It can connect us all. It can be global..
So what do you say?...
Start blogging the concept girls or make a pact with your friends"

and fellas you can do it too
 we don't absolutely need to restrict this to the ladies

and to my dear, dear friend
if you are reading this, know that all my love and prayers
go to you both and I am sending power via the moon

and to all a

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas viewing... upstairs and downstairs

Christmas this year is
just the two of us
so it will be
a midnight service
a drink and then bed
Santa is not calling here this year

 we are cooking a traditional
hot Christmas lunch
regardless of the fact 
that the weather prediction
is for the high 90's
so we will probably eat late

and then 

we have saved the last episode of
Downton Abbey
for the evening

Aristocratic hit: Bonneville with Elizabeth McGovern and Laura Carmichael
                                                                                                          image from here

UK daughter purchased the DVD set the day it was
released in London and brought it with her
on her trip home
we have eked the episodes out
trying desperately to make it last

Abbeyness: Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern
                                                                                                                                                             image from here

If you get the opportunity to watch it on the TV
well and good but if you don't get English shows

Sour: Dame Maggie Smith provides viewing pleasure
                                                                                                                                                          image from here

then go and buy the DVD of the series,
a classic upstairs, downstairs tale,
because it is very classy viewing in a time
when most of the stuff we are expected to watch
is just pure junk!

The cast is wonderful the writing superb
The writer is Julian Fellowes who wrote Snobs
which I will now have to back and see if I can get into it this time.

Of course when we have finished it
we will have to wait even longer to see the second series
as this one probably won't appear here until well into
next year.

Well I guess that's what you have to expect when
you are to impatient to wait!!!!

The mossies are about to lift me out of the chair
so I am off to spray lots of
airogard all over myself and hit the sack


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

anniversary.... and things to do on a rainy day!!

Little  ole  flibbertigibbet me
has stuck this out for

one whole year
and 105 posts

! ! ! ! ! ! !

so what do you do
 it rains day
 after day
 after day

                                                                        for those who asked,   Maggie is in remission at present
you find someone to tease
that's what you do on rainy days

first, you ask nicely

then you push a bit

until she tries to push you off

and finally you accept the inevitable,
and your place on the lounge 

and you both nod off
 dreaming of a day when there is no longer any rain, 
 the park is no longer under water 
and you can, once again, stretch your legs

everything in the house is currently under dust sheets
as we have a particularly nasty type of mud
it is red!
It does not wash out!
it does not soak out!
it does not bleach out!
and the dogs,
who know
 they are not supposed to play in the house,
 are just plain
 bored silly

Now can I do another year?


Friday, December 3, 2010

rain, rain go away.......!

After yesterday's post 
I thought you might like to see
some of our local bridges

                                                                                                                           all photos courtesy of the Liberal

4 lanes not exactly in passable condition

The debris becomes a huge problem

our dam is now 120 percent full
down to 6 percent this time last year
and it is more than 4 times the size of Sydney Harbour!

They had to release the floodgates yesterday
or the dam was in danger of going
and that would mean the loss of our town!!!

To save the under-construction dam wall, and the towns it protects, engineers made the decision to open the Burrendong spillway. Photos: AMY GRIFFITHS

an extra 400 megalitres a day isn't going to help the flood situation
further along the river though!

and not for all the tea in china would I attempt to drive across here!


The rains have started again!
we are expecting 3 fine days between now and Christmas
I have never hoped that the weather bureau was wrong quite so much before!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

...the rains came...and came...and came!

Today was our first reasonably fine day in weeks
the tractors sit silently
the men wait patiently
the silos are only half full

I tried to take some photos of the bridges 
under water but 
couldn't get close enough for all
the other 

That's not me of course
I am serious about this
I need to take photos for you!!!

The traffic in town is appalling
more like Sydney than a country town
as they edge the semis
around the swollen river banks
and over the old bridges that weren't
meant to take these weights

The school children stayed home
the roads are all closed

Tonight our river is going down
but in other towns they wait fearfully
for the expected rises still to come

After more than ten years of drought
this is a cruel way to end it

These beautiful paddocks overflowing
with the best growth in years,
the answer to so many prayers,
are fit now only for feed
if and when they can get the machinery in
without becoming hopelessly bogged

Say a little prayer for our farmers when you go to bed tonight
they need all the help they can get



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