Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The time has come to end this blog

Begun as a daily blog in July 2010, and then weekly for the past few years until the present day (August 7, 2013)

, this blog has traced my journey between two very different parts of Australia. Outback Queensland and Phillip Island in southern Victoria.

It's been my pleasure to share with you the ups and downs of life in both places: the people, places and environments, and my interactions within these frameworks.

The time has come, however, to close this blog; for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I find myself repeating things; and secondly, after recently spending 10 days in a Brisbane hospital with a heart condition, and having seemingly endless time to rethink my life, I've decided to take a slightly different direction.

Although I intend to keep on writing, it won't be my main occupation. I will finish my book for children about Lonesome George and then  – – – who knows?

Botanical art is something I want to do more of and learn more about. It's an occupation I enjoy, both from the artistic and botanical angles. Consequently, I was thrilled to receive a Highly Commended card on my hibiscus painting at Mitchell's recent Rabobank Art Show, as well as a Sold sticker on my sunflower. painting.

At present we're having a holiday in a cottage near Emu Park, which is on the coast near Rockhampton. It's pet-friendly accommodation so we have Major, Del and Katie with us. Eleven steps take us onto a wide sandy beach, and with attractive offshore islands, rocky headlands, and pandanus and coconut palms, it is truly an idyllic location. 26°C too! I'll include photos taken here.

So, to all my loyal readers, I'd like to thank you for your positive comments and encouragement, and I wish you good health, contentment and joy in the pursuit of your passion - whatever it may be..

I intend to "keep in touch" by means of Facebook, with a few photos and comments every week or so.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bird of Paradise:Katie cat: Doug's bike and road works

My succulents, that are growing in hollow logs on the front verandah are thriving, despite frosty mornings; and our newly planted lemon-scented gums have quaint frost protection 'hats' in place.

Meanwhile, Katie and I have been spending a lot of time in the sun room painting five different Bird of Paradise flower impressions. As Katie picks her way through and around plates of paint, I hold my breath! 

Thrift – in its true sense – comes easily to Doug. He enjoys recycling, taking pride in fixing up and then 

reusing various bits of reclaimed treasure. His old bike is an example, with its milk crate basket ideal for carrying home groceries. He doesn't care how it looks! 

Work has begun to rip up and then redo the guttering along our road. It's a Flood Recovery Project, the result of the February 2012 floods that devastated Mitchell.

As we will be in transit next week I will not do a

blog. The following week will reveal more.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

1940 Plymouth: end of an era

One of Doug's many interests is restoring old cars and motorcycles. Four years ago he bought a 1940 Plymouth sedan in original condition, had it trucked up to Mitchell from central Victoria, and then spent a few years doing up the engine.

Then came Mitchell's devastating 2012 flood that caused water to run through the car to a height above the steering wheel. Doug (with the help of his friend Athol) got the car going again, and cleaned it up – then put it back on the market.  It sold and was picked up within one week, even though the buyer knew of its flood history. It's gone back -- like a homing pigeon -- to central Victoria.

The Plymouth's been an experience Doug has enjoyed but he felt ready to move on – back to concentrate on his collection of

old British motorcycles.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Major Mitchell: my German shepherd turns 4

Today my German shepherd turns four years of age and I've told him that this milestone means that he's reached maturity and no longer needs the occasional outburst of delinquent behaviour.

Actually, I have very little to complain about. Most of the time he's consistently well mannered and behaved, a pleasure to live with, and a loyal companion. Add to that a keen intelligence and what more could you ask?

Health-wise, Major is a strong, well-built and very sound German shepherd. His only health problem is an allergic reaction to kikuya grass, and since the grass at both our Mitchell and Phillip Island homes is kikuya, this is a problem. The solution is a combination of medication and avoidance. The avoidance aspect is hard for Major as he loves to lie out on the grass and doesn't, of course, understand the link between grass and his itchy chest and feet.

Named after the Australian explorer Major Mitchell (and because he was born and bred in Mitchell, outback Queensland), Major is well named. He leads me along bush tracks and over rivers – and he loves to retrieve and carry huge pieces of timber.

Major's birthday party was shared with our neighbour Jade and her new puppy, Roxy.  It was a happy affair, with each of the dogs enjoying a piece of bun and Major getting quite excited when we lit the candles, sang Happy Birthday and cheered him!

I've always loved all of my dogs, and I've been privileged to have had many; however, Major is one of the very best!