>Cue Julie Andrews

>Raindrops on
… not roses exactly but Hellebores are sometimes referred to as Winter Roses

There’s not a lot flowering in the garden at the moment – and most of what is there is quite small – but by taking the shots in macro and carefully avoiding the pathetic possum-decimated roses, I can have you believing otherwise:

alyssum winter iris arbutus polygala plectranthus prostrate rosemary

… anyone care to guess my favourite garden colours?


>probably too much information again

>remember this?
well, let’s just say that I had a strong sense of dej√° vu on Friday night.
There was … ahem … movement at the station … there was cramping, weakness, there was bleeding, there was general unpleasantness and I was very definitely in shock at one stage.
No sleep was had and anyone suggesting that the hours before dawn were a tad nasty would not be accused of exaggeration.

As with last time, an early phone call to Robyn saw her come to my rescue via the pharmacy and the rest of Saturday was spent in my jammies, on the couch under a quilt, apart from the inevitable dashes to the bathroom.
Lisette was supposed to be coming up from Melbourne with kidlets but there are some things that it isn’t necessary to inflict on your friends, so we put the visit off until today.
Thanks to the wonders of modern pharmacology I was feeling fine, even though I possibly didn’t look it.
Lisette and the kids duly arrived, albeit later than planned, armed with bikkies, much needed margarine – which I just realised I forgot to pay her for – and a couple of wee baggies of English Leicester fleece: one au natural and one dyed a deep coral.
Of necessity it was a shortish visit and perhaps a little manic because of that, but I think we still all managed to enjoy ourselves:
Cuppas and bikkies were consumed, [ including the one I reached for and ate automatically without even thinking about the current state of my digestive tract. Bloody typical – I can resist anything except temptation ]
…and after making the acquaintance of my menagerie, we hiked over to PNDs so that the new puppies could be cuddled and the mini horses patted and admired… and yet more goats fondled.
Ms Em proved that there’s possibly more than a little bit of mountain goat in her own makeup, by bounding up and down rocks and crevices, looking for interesting minerals specimens – by which I mean that she took home a bunch of rocks – and she followed that up by proving her prowess at goat milking before they all headed off again into the gathering gloom [ and we will all pretend that it was just the way the light was falling that makes my hair look so grey at the back , right?]

>happy happy goats

>When I first got Robbyn she was meant to be a loaner for a couple of months because the lawn mower was still needed in Melbourne while the house was on the market – it didn’t ever get used but that’s a whole ‘nother story…
… then I was given the opportunity to buy / rescue Rosie, and so a goat shed became something of a necessity.
It was done fast and cheap with what was on hand or could be scrounged, and looked as though a strong puff of wind might bring the roof down but it did the trick.
Quite possibly Rosie and Robbyn might, on occasion, have wished for quarters that were a tad roomier … and didn’t leak … and maybe had a little more protection from every icy blast … but hey, they weren’t complaining
and then Rowan and Ruby arrived.
They were tiny
they didn’t take up a lot of room
but here’s the thing

cute wee kids grow into bloody great goats

so for a while it’s been a bit squeezy up there

but not any more

On Wednesday, Robyne and Paul [ he who gives my girls their periodic pedicures ] came over for the day and Casa Caprine has sprouted a whole new extension.

I didn’t think to get any shots of the man at work [ bad blogger … BAD ] but here’s Rob [left] and Jeanette [“do you have to do that?” yes, Jeanette, I do ] who popped in to knit with us for a while and stayed for some lunch. There was knitting, crocheting, quilt talk, cat cuddling, many cuppas, all in a nice warm house while Mr Independant banged and crashed around and generally had a wonderful time.

“hello … what’s this?”
“when did this happen?”
“Thankyou Uncle Paul!”

>Sophie in [in]action

>You know that thing where you have hand washed a piece of knitwear and you roll it up in a towel and stomp the bejesus out of it to remove as much water as possible? and then you probably do it again in a dry towel? Yeah, thought you did.

Anyway I was wet blocking some knitting and Sophie pointed out – as tactfully as she could – that she was of the strongly held opinion that I had left too much moisture in there, and shouldn’t someone do something about it?

I present herewith the fabulous soon-to-be-patented cat-based knitwear drying system:

there were going to be exciting goat related pics but I forgot to take a photo … so … tomorrow

>my ‘interesting’ weekend

>So my darlings, when last we saw each other, I had been ensnared by those dastardly mucous elves and they had finally managed to grab a hold of David as well. The revolting but highly effective hallucinogenic cough syrup was flowing freely, the throat lozenges were being consumed in epic quantities, the fire was … well… fired up, and we were settling in for the weekend.

David was pretty much out for the count so Saturday passed without incident if you don’t count me falling over a log and colouring myself a deep aubergine in some interesting places. I spent most of the day on the couch and managed to read all of The Colour of Magic and half of Light Fantastic [ next one in the series ]

I was seriously considering whether or not I should pass on the ‘Made In Ballarat’ concert for Sunday… partly because of the unstoppable paroxysms of coughing – always embarrassing at these events – and partly that whole maternal thing of not wanting to leave David when he’s unwell. Yes, I do realise that he’s nearly 30, but in terms of being able to communicate how badly he is feeling, think average toddler. My head was saying that Graham the Carer knows him and is a fabulous bloke, but that whole mother thing was kicking in big time.
Brilliantly timed phone calls from Corrie in Melbourne and BFF Beryl in Tassie then convinced me that I would regret not going and that no one would accuse me of dereliction of maternal duty for doing so
… and of course on top of all that, on top of wanting to see Corrie, and the concert, there was the long looked for chance to finally meet Alice, frequent commenter on this ‘ere blog who was driving down from interstate for the occasion.
Saturday night saw David and I engaged in a contest to see who would be first to cough up a lung. Not a lot of sleep was had.
Sunday morning dawned and as I struggled out to feed the goats, followed by 5 fairly vocal felines, I was starting to rethink my decision to go.
I felt … and looked … like something that the cats would’ve refused to drag in.

…but by 1pm by the grace of a hot shower and large quantities of every cough and cold medication known to humankind, I was dressed, presentable – sort of – and ready to drive nearly 100 km over country roads. Probably just as well the local constabulary were not in evidence. I’m not entirely sure that huge volumes of Hallucinogenic Cough Syrup does a lot for one’s driving skills.

Fast forward to Ballarat and me walking out of the car park and as I glance at the passenger of the oncoming car, she looks vaguely familiar. It’s Alice… I think… not sure what with the HCS and all … but I smile anyway … hoping that it is, in fact, she and not someone entirely different who is going to worry about the strange purple haired woman grinning inanely in her direction.

I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow of the concert which was very good and very long.
Just take it that they were all in sparkling form, especially Mr Hobson
who perhaps overdid things a bit as evidenced by a dreadful crack in his voice at the end of the last number : the beautiful duet ” Au fond du temple saint” from Pearl Fishers.
This was sung with Roger Lemke another Ballarat born and bred opera singer but of the baritonal persuasion.
I had a very strong sense of deja vu [ wish I knew how to make this beastie do those little french accent thingies ] …
The very first time I heard David Hobson sing was at an Australian Pops Orchestra concert back in about 1989, also with Mr Lemke … they sang that very same duet and I was hooked.

there was some general milling around in the foyer afterwards and before we all headed out into the rapidly darkening streets there was opportunity for some photographic efforts.

THIS is what I look like on no sleep, half an inch of polyfilla and a truckload of modern pharmaceuticals:
first with Corrie and then with Alice
and trust me, these were the GOOD photos !!

>the black hole in the rumpusroom

>The code id da dose seems to be thinking about relocating… apparently somewhere in the region of my chest cavity holds great attraction. All those happy little mucous elves are packing their bags and heading south.
Some of their relatives have struck out on their own and set up housekeeping over at Casa David so it could be an ‘interesting’ weekend. David off-colour is not fun.

It’s not all bad though.
I can’t possibly be out working the acreage in bitter winter temperatures with a hacking cough – can I ?
No I didn’t think so
and now that that I’m past the ‘just-let-me-die’ stage, I am finding the idea of yarny pursuits quite compelling.

With feelings of great virtue, I’m ignoring the woolly pheromones leaking out out the stash cupboard and the enticing pile of opalescent quilt possibilities piled on my cutting table and I’ve dragged the neverending baby shawl out of hibernation

When I packed it away I had finished the centre section – a gazillion rows of those granny square type shell clusters … in splitty bloody Patons baby yarn … on a 3mm hook

shouldn’t take toooooooooo long to do 8 rows of border … should it?

one hour’s solid crochet gets me … one lousy side
so four hours for one row

16 hours in and I’m up to row 4:
row 5 – doesn’t look a whole lot different from row 4 does it ? this is where I’m up to at the moment

I think maybe I remember part of why it went into hibernation in the first place.

…maybe I should just start reading the Terry Pratchetts
‘The Colour of Magic’ arrived from England today, so one way or the other I’m set.

btw if you haven’t discovered the delights of The Book Depository
go now
Reasonable prices, fast FREE worldwide delivery – England to Australia in around 7 – 10 days, except that this time it was only 5 !!
bibliophillic nirvana