This is aÂ Pikey bream (Acanthopagrus berda)Â I made for the little bear as a Christmas present. I have had the denim whales by Mevrouw Walvis andÂ the fish Mimi Kirchner makes saved ever since I first saw their posts in mid 2011. At that time Grandad had only recently died and there were some clothes that I just couldn’t bear to part with or have them turned to into rags for the shed in particular were two pair of Â corduroyÂ trousers that he wore, which I’m sure were as old as me if not more. Grandad was also a very, very keen fisherman and the idea of making fish toys out of his old clothes for his great-grandchildren seemed like a very good idea. Of course these fish would have to beÂ relativelyÂ anatomicallyÂ correctÂ as well, this is my family we’re talking about. I trawled theÂ Department of Agriculture, Fisheries andÂ ForestryÂ websiteÂ for pictures of fish that I knew Grandad had caught. I then turned them into line drawings and from there into pattern pieces. Â As you can see in the bottom picture I lost a little height on the fish as with the help of Mum I had to redo the top to get the dorsal fin to fit correctly.
And there we have it, one Pikey bream from 2d to 3d.
Yet again I’ve been promoting that thing called “radio silence” but I’ve been busy, very busy. I was extremely lucky to obtain a vacation work placement which for the last three weeks saw me trade my normal CBD office for another CBD office. A swisher office, closer to the river and employing a gazillion more people in their Brisbane office than are employed in the Brisbane office for my company. It was an eye opener and in some areas I learnt more about accounting in the last three weeks than I’ve learnt in the last year at uni. It was a very good experience and I’m thankful for the opportunity I was given. This week I’m back at my “normal job”.
This Christmas season has seen many, many changes in our household. A couple of months ago, after Mum had come back from exploring the bush in NSW, a conversation was resurrected from one we had had years ago about why we (really my parents) live in Brisbane. It was about Grandad of course and nothing could have taken my mother or myself away from SEQ whilst my grandfather was alive. With his passing in June and the passing of my father in May last year; that conversation could be had again as those events have changed a lot of things in our lives. I moved back home. We purchased an investment property. We’ve taken on a boarder (who may have had a Lotte bowl slip out of his hand and land on the floor in more than one piece … My Lotte is now more secure in where it is stored) and that’s just the billboard changes. Mum has had the chance to revisit that conversation we’ve had a few times over the years about leaving Brisbane and teaching somewhere else, I always used to suggest WA but that is an awfully long way a way. Mum though discovered a place closer to home though and next year she will be still be a Maths teacher but in NSW in a country town situated in the north west region. The town she is moving to is about a 7hr drive from Brisbane, luckily it is also on the Melbourne to Brisbane bus route so she will be able to hop on a bus to come home for a visit! Most importantly there is plenty of bush walking and an active club to keep her weekends occupied.
This has meant that Mum is packing up her life or perhaps I should say “culling her life”, there has been items leaving this house left, right and center. Some via Lifeline, some via Gumtree, some via Freecycle, others via the rubbish bin, some to people here and there. Some times it feels like that unless it is bolted down, it won’t be there when I get home from work!
Another change this year is that for the first time in the sixty years my mother has lived we have an artificial Christmas tree!!!! And we put it up on Dec 18!!! My father and my maternal grandmother are probably rolling in their proverbial graves (well more accurately, their ash particles are probably vibrating at a higher frequency than normal …)
However, it’s not just any artificial Christmas tree. It’s a 6ft Mistletoe Pine Aluminium Christmas Tree made by Raco. Yep, how many people do you know in Australia who are rocking an Australian made Aluminium Christmas Tree? Very few I would wager to say. I normally see two or so appear each year on Ebay and one of the ones that appeared last year made its way to me. I then gave the tree as part of my present to Mum last year (Well actually it was to both Mum and the house. Do you do that? We have often over the years had presents to the the house from the kitchen or to the fridge from the stove etc). My reading of the date codes on the box say it was made in 1964 and the price label reads Â£6/15/ which according to our friends at the RBA that is about $84 in the money of today.
Our tree has always been real and has always gone up around the 23rd or so and then comes down on the 6th of January or shortly there after (A major pet peeve of mine is when people talk of the twelve days of Christmas as been the twelve days leading up to Christmas, I grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. You seriously think the three kings got an early warning that Jesus was been born and started their journey twelve days before he was born ??? I’m a by no means a believer but it riles me when people talk about and use an idea that they clearly seem to have no idea what it actually means).
Moving on from that point. This is our tree. Click to see it larger of course!
Have you seen such a beauty? It makes such a lovely sound as you brush past it and oh I love how the lights reflect off it and dance on the ceiling. I actually lay under it on Sunday night whilst on the phone to a friend like a child, watching the light dance on “the leaves” … It is so smile inducing.
My dear dear grandfather passed away on June 15. He was 91 years and a bit. In my direct family lines now, all I and my brothers have now is our mother. It’s been hard.
There is so much I could write and maybe at one time I will. Now though this is what I’m saying.
I helped plan another funeral, I made another slide show, I scanned bucket loads of photos and ephemera, I wrote the better part of another eulogy and then read part of said eulogy. We cleaned up a house and started sorting through a house full of belongings. My aunts and a few of my cousins made the trips over for the funeral and house sorting. There were laughs, tears and all that goes in between as tapestries came down off the walls, china came out of cupboards, wood items were stacked and everything was sorted.
Mum and I packed up everything else and took it all home to sort into something like 7 different stacks under the house. I’m taking a suitcase or two to the Suitcase Rummage this coming Sunday with some items.
I’m still studying – no real uni break for me. I had to defer my exams as it is a bit hard to have an exam on the same day as a funeral.
Spent some time with Grandad today – we did laps round the ward, practised his exercises and of course read the paper. Hopefully he won’t be at the hospital too much longer and respite care can be found which will make it a little easier in some ways.
Spring Flowers in waiting.
A sizeable number of Primulas have been planted in the front garden beds so there will be Spring flowers again (I said to Mum just after moving back in that I wished she would put plants in the front bed again – her answer to me of course was something along the lines of “you’re old enough to plant the bed yourself” so I did).
And then there is study.
Best done with a Kit-Kat of course. The flavour pictured is Shinshu Apple. It’s a sweet slightly fake apple taste.
That’s right, Excuse me while I kiss the sky, I certainly don’t say it like Jimi said it oh it sounds good. Oh the sky has been glorious the last few days. That lovely blue, mostly clear with just whispers of clouds around and so crisp. Love it.
There’s been quite a few going-ons in my life recently hence the radio silence.
1) I moved back in with my mother a few days ago. I loved the location in Spring Hill but I had a few issues with one of my flat mates over what joint tenancy means … I gave a few options over Easter and my last option was that I would move out when she found a replacement.
2) Grandad is still in the hospital, he is now in the rehab unit but it doesn’t look like he will be going home to his home at the end of his stay. Mum is in the process of looking at aged care options. It’s sad. It’s also quite consuming visiting him.
3) Uni, ahh Uni. I handed in my Cost Accounting assignment on Monday night – so glad to have that finished.
4) Work, we’ve had our staffing levels reduced significantly the last few weeks with one girl resigning, one girl on leave and another two going on leave for a week each as well … It’s been non-stop at work.
Tomorrow though I’m going down the coast to pick up a very special purchase. You’ll have to wait and see what it is but I’m nearly over the moon in excitement at picking it up.
Today is Saturday, I love Saturdays. In particular the day time, it is always just a fantastic day to get a lot of things or not much done or of course everything in between.
I’ve just got back from visiting Grandad, he has developed a bit of a cough which is no fun but I would say that that is pretty much the norm at the 10 day mark judging on previous stays. He should be going home on Wednesday which will be great for him, particularly in terms of the ability to get some fresh outdoors air. Got plenty more crochet done, I only have two balls left of the Noro Taiyo that I am using for my blanket. Will have to get some more pretty quickly.
Saturday Morning, 287/365
I read the Saturday paper in two parts. I read everything bar the magazine, travel and entertainment sections and I save them for Sunday morning.
Sunset Service, 286/365
Yesterday, there was a sunset memorial service in ANZAC Square. Not sure yet what it was in aid of as I can’t find anything on it in the usual sources.
Perfect Landing, 285/365
Thank you newspaper delivery person for getting the paper perfectly on the steps 🙂 Oh Thank you so much! Most mornings as I walk out the door to work, I survey the front yard to see where the paper has ended up this time. Typically it goes “through” the steps into the garden beneath the steps. If I’m lucky it is on the path but I was super lucky on Thursday morning.
ahh a mid-week day off, taken from my desk looking out to the kitchen and the Mag-Blok on the VJs.
Art in the corridor, 283/365
Grandad has now been in hospital for a week now, so I’ve been spending a fair bit of time up there -> getting a lot of crochet done, going through a ball every two days.
Toowong War Memorial, 282/365
The day after, the memories are not forgotten.
New suit, 281/365
Herringbone had a fantastic clearance sale in Brisbane the other week and I picked up this most gorgeous suit. It’s called Busby. This is the jacket and this is the pants. I called the store front the next day to see if I could source a matching skirt … unfortunately the design is a season or two ago so no skirt for me :(. In addition to the suit, I also picked up two shirts, a gorgeous cashmere jumper and a belt.
Art in Ipswich, 280/365
The Ipswich Art Gallery is a little gem. It is small, it only really has one exhibit space but boy they get some fantastic exhibits.
Vespa choice, 279/36
If I ever had a Vespa, it would have to be in Sienna. That almond ivory colour is just pefect though I think a brown seat would be much much nicer than the black.
Le Bon Choix present
Almond Croissant with a cup of Autumn Spice tea. A Friday present from my desk buddy.
Fine Lines, 278/365
Taking a detour via the valley on the way home
Back to the Wesley, 277/365
Grandad went back to hospital today for his next round of skin grafts. I am extremely lucky that I live a 2 min walk from the hospital which makes it very easy to visit
Easter Presents, 276/365
I celebrated Easter a few weeks late this year. A Chocolate Crackle base with condensed milk and coconut grass and a handful of eggs all bagged up in a pretty bag with a label.