Horse Play

In what I like to call the ‘only-in-the-country’ file:

The music had just begun, and a large dark shape just ‘appeared’ at the window.  Our regular Monday morning dance class, out in the wilds of Fryerstown [ a tiny ex-goldmining hamlet 20 odd kilometres from home … just round the corner in country terms ] had gained an audience of one

This gorgeous ex-racehorse apparently belongs to “Chris down the street” and he spent about an hour and a half taking a very keen interest in the strange two-legs prancing around inside the big tin box.

He was totally up for a pat and a scritch behind the ears [ and my goat-scented person got a good snuffling ] but he got very antsy when I came back outside with the camera so this was the best I could do

“Quit horsing around … If you won’t let me dance with you, I’m not having m’picture taken”

And, by way of a serendipitous segue, tomorrow is the highlight of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the Melbourne Cup, otherwise known as ‘the race that stops a nation.’

Other places get public holidays to commemorate great battles or famous-and-inspirational people.

What does it say about us that WE get a public holiday for a 3 minute horse race ??






Today was a bit grey and windy, so my sprained ankle and I decided that a day spent indoors sounded appealing. David and assorted animals agreed.

I don’t feel like showing you grey and dreary photos, so here are some I prepared earlier in the week:

The Best Laid Plans ‘O Mice And Men

You could say that this was a week that largely didn’t turn out as originally planned.

So what happened?


drop David off

help set up for Vic Quilters’ Spring Gathering which our local group was hosting.

Okay yes, that went ahead more or less as planned, except that there were dozens of chairs missing from the hall [ or in use next door in the Adult Day Program, which amounted to the same thing, because they couldn’t be accessed till later ] so we puddled around and went home early.


attend Spring Gathering  wake up with migraine / nausea. Spend day on couch with the aid of pharmaceuticals.

Sunday: gardening, weeding, block clearing … when not face down on couch. There is a vague memory of some spinning in there too. Or maybe that was Friday.


dance class house cleaning / tidying in case visiting rellies come for afternoon tea.

They didn’t. Morning tea Tuesday instead.


Respite meeting Bake gluten-free pumpkin scones. Morning tea with rellies. Pumpkin scones approved.

Drive Nadie & Chris down to Tullamarine to catch flight to Townsville Drive Nadie and Chris to the train station to catch train and bus to Airport.

Out to dinner with rellies. Local Thai restaurant. Best kept secret in Central Victoria. Quoth my foodie Sydneysider cousin Lee: ” This is GOOD Thai … They would KILL for this in Sydney”

yes they probably would.


Knitting group in the morning

Quilting group in the afternoon

Peace Choir with Dave late afternoon alternate block clearing, goat wrangling and face-down-on-the-couch


Possibly go to see the White Wedding exhibition in Bendigo with Tara that we didn’t manage last week Goat, weeding, block clearing, collapse-face-down-on-couch

Chat Warblers [choir]  after dinner started knitting a Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf.

Apparently not-quite-five-years-old #1 grandson’s besotted with HP, and tears around the house with a windcheater tied round his neck as a cape, a pencilled-in lightning scar, and brandishing a stick. The fat man in the red suit has already put the elves to work on a cape. glasses, proper wand and broomstick.

So now can you guess what I did today?

Hint: it involved weeds … and goats … and also –  for brief periods – a book,chair and dog

Somewhere in there this week I also: did Christmas present shopping, a modest amount of Spring Cleaning, read two books and started a third, and crochet some more snowflakes for Christmas decorating.

raindrops on …

still searching for the perfect red rose photo.

This is [probably] David Austin Prospero and, as usual, my photo hasn’t come close to truly capturing the lush velvet quality or the incredible depth of colour, but still lovely, eh ?

A finished object … and a good cause

This shawl was finished a couple of weeks ago, but of course, then it needed blocking and the ends sewn in. The blocking was accomplished last week, and, thanks to the weather, took 4 days to dry. If I’d waited to block it until breakfast yesterday, when it was heading to 30 degreesC, it would have been dry by lunch.

Anyway, it’s all done now, ends sewn in, and modelled by Nadie with assistance from His Beariness.

The pattern is – of course – my default setting, the Forest Canopy by Susan Lawrence. According to my Ravelry projects page, this is the eighth time I’ve made this one. I actually thought I’d made more of them but eight is a respectable tally.

This time around I used SWTC Inspiration yarn which is 50% Alpaca / 50% soysilk on 5mm KP Harmony needles.

The original colours of the yarn were a perfectly nice, pale green called  Success that I’d bought in Tara’s destash, and an equally nice grayed mauve called Memories bought from Ecoyarns. Nothing wrong with those colours at all, except that they weren’t what I wanted for this project, so I overdyed them all with a mix of Landscapes Ice and Marine. I will admit that it was a bit of a gamble because I had no idea how the soysilk would accept the dye, and the result is a bit softer and heatherier than if I’d done the same to pure alpaca or wool in those base colours.

I like it. The soysilk adds a soft sheen to the warmth of the alpaca.

But I’m not keeping it. This one has been made with a very specific goal in mind, which is where you all come in.

If you’d like to have it all for yourself or someone you love VERY VERY much, all you need to do is pop over to either my page or Nadie’s for next month’s Cancer Council Castlemaine Relay For Life, and make a donation of $10 or more before November 11.

For every $10 donated to the cause of Cancer Research through either of our pages, I’ll enter your name into a draw for the shawl. Donate more and you’ll get extra entries.

BTW I’ll happily post anywhere in the world.

Just another day in paradise

This time last week we were still wearing winter layers and the overnight temps hovered around zero. which just goes to show you how fast things can change around here.

Because today was absolutely glorious : cornflower sky, nary a cloud to be seen, and a top of 30C [ 80 somethingF ] with low humidity.

Yesterday wasn’t half bad either, and a largish portion of the day was spent outside, alternating between weeding and that perennial spring favourite ‘sitting-by-the-dam-with-a-good-book-trying-not-to-get-sunburnt’ [ with added mozzie repellant and and loads and loads of 30+ sunscreen ]



Apparently this is what we looked like at knitting group according to our tapestry weaver friend Jennifer:

Obviously, that’s me to the right under the big sunhat, and Nadie in the middle, sporting a crochet headband and ponytail


and this is the view from my end of the table where I was industriously producing some of this year’s crop of crochet cotton Christmas* snowflakes.

That’s Jennifer down there at the end wearing blue.

Currently she’s the featured artist at the cafe where we have our weekly knitting session, so if you are in the area over the next month or so, you might like to check her wonderful woven works out at ‘the Dove’ aka the Doveton corner store [ situated not surprisingly at the corner of Doveton and Hargreaves streets in Castlemaine. ]

*and yes, I did say the ‘C’ word.

By this time next month, the great annual christmassification Chez Catsmum will be well underway.

You have been warned.