Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

have helmet..will travel

although not too far as it turns out....I think I'm going to be more than a little achy in the morning.

I bought the helmet this morning, kid sized, to fit my kid sized head, then spent a good part of the day psyching myself up to ride around the block instead of staying inside the complex.

I rode out of the driveway, turned onto the footpath with no trouble at all, ha ha! this is easy!
Negotiated the first corner into the very quiet back street and decided to ride this bit on the road, not the footpath. I made it safely past the first back street intersection, continued on to the next one, which was a major cross street.
No traffic was coming, so I turned in and rode towards the "big" intersection.
The one with traffic lights.

Shouldn't be a problem, this is easy, right? And I've been practising stopping.....

But this street has a slight downward slope...the traffic light was red, and in spite of my practising, my first instinct is still to back-pedal-brake. 
Naturally that didn't work, so I pulled on the handbrake while steering into the gutter, so I could rest my foot on the kerb while waiting for the light to change.

Miscalculated just a tad....uh oh! ....tilt...reach for the gutter....crash!....smack!! ....that was my knee and both palms smacking the footpath.
Oh shit! I got myself off the ground and the woman in the car next to me leaned out and asked if I needed help.
I said No, thanks, but maybe I should get some L plates.
We both laughed a bit and she drove on.

I walked the bike across the intersection, then continued my ride.
On the footpath. 
At every corner, I practised stopping.
I went around that block, then turned for home.

Oh F***, this is ever-so-slightly uphill now........pedal, pedal, pedal....stop and rest.
Pedal, pedal, pedal...stop and rest.

I made it home, locked up the bike, then washed the dust off my knee and hands and decided I needed icecream, to cool off and calm down.

Wouldn't you know it? I was out of icecream!  This will never do!
I'd have to go to the shop.....which I did, but walking, not riding.

I'll take a shorter ride tomorrow, keep to the back streets, avoid traffic light intersections.
I'm determined to get the hang of this!

Friday, December 30, 2011

a lizard in your home is lucky, right?

I've heard it said that lizards in the home are lucky.
In particular, geckos.

I had plenty of geckos at my last home, mostly outside, but occasionally one would find its way inside.
There were plenty of skinks too.

Here in this new home, I haven't seen a single gecko or a skink either.
But I heard odd noises from the front porch late last Saturday afternoon and went out to see what the heck was going on out there.
I saw a blue tongue lizard trying to hide under the "gecko house".
Probably just after a bit of shade I suppose.
Naturally I raced for the camera and hoped he'd still be there when I got back with it.

He was.

It was a hot day here in Adelaide, so after taking this photo, I put a small dish of water within reach for him, then left him alone.
He's disappeared now, living somewhere in the gardens, and he wasn't in my home, just on the front porch, but I still think I'm lucky just for having seen him at all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

no prizes for guessing what I got for Christmas

How often have you heard "it's just like riding a bike - you don't forget"

Hah! Turns out you can forget. Not entirely, but you do forget a few things.

Like just how fast these things go, how high you are up off the ground, how to stop.....
That last one especially. When I last rode a bike, 43 years ago, bikes had back-pedal brakes.
Going too fast? Just back-pedal a half turn until the pedals stop and the bike slows down.

Nowadays, most bikes have handbrakes instead, and I'm having a little trouble getting used to them.

On this >>>>

>>> beautiful machine that my kids gave me two days ago.

I've ridden it twice so far, just around the driveways and paths of the housing complex.
I can't go out on the roads until I buy a helmet, which I will do on Friday.

Even then it will be some time before I'm game enough to tackle a main road, there's so much more traffic now than there was back then and it moves so much faster.
I'll be sticking to the back roads for quite a while, just riding around the block, then the next block and so on, until I really get comfortable with it.

The bike is a couple of sizes larger than the one I rode 43 years ago, (my feet don't reach the ground...), but I'm not any taller, so stopping and dismounting has been a little awkward.

I'd pull the handbrake lever, the bike would stop too suddenly and I'd jump off the seat, landing with both feet on the ground, one on either side of the bike, trying to keep my balance.
But the last time I stopped, my body remembered something on its own and after pulling more slowly on the brake lever, I tilted the bike to one side and placed one foot on the ground. Yay!! Progress!!

Getting on and starting is no problem at all. Steering around corners is easy enough too, but in a narrow driveway, turning at the end, to go back the other way?  Hmmm, seems I've forgotten how to turn a tight circle. 
Stop the bike. Get off. Turn it around. Get back on and get going. 
I'm sure people are having a giggle watching me. I don't care. I'm loving the feel of the wind in my hair.
And to think I once used to ride a bike without even holding on! (look Mum, no hands!) Around corners and everything! All the way home from school in fact.

I'm looking forward to riding the bike trail along the riverbank once I regain some semblance of competence.
And I'll be buying a basket to hook on the front to carry small items, plus getting a larger basket fitted on to the back so that I can bring home shopping from the nearest supermarket.
I wonder if I should also get rear vision mirrors?

None of which can happen until I buy that helmet....

Here's another view of "The Bike".  (she needs a name)

There is definitely going to be NO night riding.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Whimsical Wednesday #3

Whimsical Wednesday is back!
(I skipped last week, probably because I forgot it was Wednesday....)

Feel free to join in if you wish, or just get a giggle from the images I put up.

These are all googled images, none of them belong to me, so thanks to whoever puts them on the internet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

safe on the other side

Well, here we are, safely on the other side of Christmas.
The hustle and bustle, the frantic rush to get presents bought and wrapped, (not to mention hidden),
The planning, the cooking, the general's all over for another year.
No burnt turkeys, I hope....
(New Years Eve? Not as stressful, I'm sure)

I hope all of you had a great day with family and/or friends, maybe alone if that what you chose.

I spent Christmas Eve day with family and had a great time watching dvds and eating ham rolls, then had some yummy homemade icecream, before catching a bus and coming home again.
The day was quite warm, (I'd call it hot, but that's just me), so Christmas morning I woke up with a crashing headache, took some panadol and went back to sleep. I hate summer heat.

Anyway, I woke up to a cooler afternoon, with the promise of rain later, trawled around the internet for a while, gazed at my christmas tree, in my mind hearing the giggles and voices of my kids when they were very young and discovering gifts left there for them.

I hope the day was peaceful for all of you, no family feuds rearing their ugly heads, and as always, I hope nobody lost anyone in any tragic accident.

I'm looking forward to reading many blogs telling of wonderful Christmas days.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Queen of Hearts (that would be me)

The Queen of Hearts (me)

(googled image)

she made some tarts...

...and my,  they looked so tasty,

When they were done,
just for fun,
she made this  >>>

with the leftover pastry.

and this too.....

and then she cleaned up the kitchen.

because she knew her conscience would kick her arse if she didn't.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jacaranda season in Adelaide

It's Jacaranda season again!
Things were a bit slow off the mark this year, probably because of the wet winter we'd had, but soon enough all the jacarandas began their flowering.

Many of our streets are lined with Jacarandas.

Looking up through the branches. I love the contrast of the dark bark against the bright blue of the sky.

a closer look at the pretty purple bells.

I like the way this one "frames" a section of the sky.
These are the seed pods of the Jacaranda. Pretty aren't they?

Friday, December 23, 2011

roadkill for breakfast

But not for me, I prefer porridge, or fritatta....

I saw this dead bird on the driveway outside of my flat sometime last month.
Hit by a car or caught by a cat? I've no idea.

A few minutes later this magpie swooped down and began picking apart the carcass, while his friend strutted around keeping watch.

I wanted a closer photo,

but as I stepped froward with the camera, he picked up his breakfast and ran off to enjoy it in peace further down on the footpath.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

finally! some parrots who didn't take to the heavens

You have no idea how long I've tried to get decent photos of these colourful birds.

Walking around my new neighbourhood last month I heard the squawking of feeding parrots not too far ahead of me, so I stopped walking and looked for them.

I spottted them in this bookleaf conifer and they'd seen me too so I stayed still for a moment, then very slowly went forward a step at a time as they watched and fed.
Usually parrots fly away as soon as I'm spotted, but these two must have been more hungry than wary.

I got as close as I dared while this one watched, it must have taken me as much as five minutes, one step at a time.

He (she?) hopped from branch to branch, taking an occasional bite, while keeping an eye on me.

This is the second parrot who'd retreated to the top of the tree as I inched forward.

I left them to their meal after taking just these few photos, backing away and crossing to the other side of the street before continuing my walk.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've got the words, you bring the music

Deck the halls with bags of lollies,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

'Tis the season of much folly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Don we now that awful gift shirt
Fa la la, la la la, la la la

Sing this song until your throat hurts,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

some earrings for EC

So that The Elephant's Child doesn't have to go trolling through my archives, here are two pictures of my Christmas earrings and one picture of the brooches that are currently adorning my second cap.

this is the original earring collection......

these are the newer ones. There's even more now, a pair of snowmen has been added,  but I've forgotten to take an updated photo.

The brooches. There are two of the holly & bells, and two of the Santas.
I don't have the Santas on the cap yet, they'll go on tomorrow, along with that Christmas tree on the left.
The cap is already quite heavy, I'll probably put the tree and one Santa on my shirt.

christmas has gone to my head...

This is one of the two caps that I wear at work in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Highly decorated I am. Well, my head is, what with the earrings and all.

Christmas tree at the back,

Bells and bows on either side,

Googly eyed reindeer at the front, one on either side.

The cap I've left in my locker at work has the same tinsel hiding the seams, but different decorations.
For that one I've used enamelled brooches of holly and berries; a green wreath, a gold tree with coloured stones representing baubles; a stocking.
But not all at once, the cap gets too heavy that way, as I discovered a couple of Christmases ago.
I change the brooches with each wearing of the cap.


Monday, December 19, 2011

just for you Kath, the visual

last year's mince pies>>>>

This was the final batch I "trialled" last Novenber. There's always a trial, for taste testing purposes, of course, and to check the oven times and temperatures.
This year for the first time, I didn't bother with the trial, just couldn't be bothered.
Maybe my subconscious was reminding me of all the trials I ate last year.....

Mince Pie Central

After several weeks of deliberation, and more than a little procrastination, I decided that the lounge room coffee table would be Mince Pie Central this year.

The back porch table would have been better, as it's larger and of a more suitable height.

The back porch however is quite windy most days, and while that's often a good thing, it's not really suitable to be making mince pies there while the wind is blowing dust and leaves in and out.

So the coffee table was thoroughly washed down, (and dried) and that's where I knelt on the floor to roll out pastry and cut the little rounds for bases and lids.
In spite of the house being  breezy and cool from the wind, it did get quite warm in there as I rolled, cut and filled those tiny pies. Part of that heat was filtering in from the kitchen where the oven was heating up ready for the baking.

My hat goes off to the early settlers putting up with baking on a daily basis, with a wood oven constantly going, in our dreadful summer heat.
No airconditioning back then, unless you opened a window so the flies could come in.
They did it so much tougher than we do now.

By the time the first batch was done, (2 dozen), I'd had enough and called it quits.

I'll be making another batch later in the week to take out to no-one and the boy.

This first batch?  All mine baby!!

I'm just kidding. They're going to work to be shared with my friends.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Selections # 48

Welcome to Sunday Selections #50

Sunday Selections is the brainchild of Kim, over at Frog Ponds Rock.
The idea is to post photos that have been languishing in your forgotten files.
Anyone at all can join in, just post under the Sunday Selections title, link back to Kim, then go to her site and add your name to her linky list.
Kim would love it if you left her a comment too.

I often choose a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week my theme is......


I've found a couple of photos of trees from the past, when I had room for a bigger tree, so naturally had a bigger tree.

1985 and a sleepy-eyed J wanting to stay up and wait for Santa.

I asked J's permission to use a photo with him in it, but the one I wanted to use had someone else in it as well and I couldn't contact her to ask permission, so this is the one you see. This tree is a similar size to the one I now have.

1991....enough gifts to sink a battleship.
The family was quite large by then, with kids, boyfriends and girlfriends, extended family members.

1998...two grandchildren in the family by now.

2004  This was the last year I used the big tree.

2008 This is the small tree that I now have. When covered with enough baubles and tinsel it looks quite substantial. It looks tall because it's standing on the coffee table.

2010 where the monkeys got in on the act.
(last year's post "Monkey Mayhem")

2011 and of course, this year's tree, which most of you have already seen.

Don't forget, anyone at all can join in with Sunday Selections, just follow the instructions above the pictures and have fun!