Monthly Archives: March 2008

Summer Time

Why does business get to control everything? Why do we make decisions about the way our society will run based solely on the whims of business? Where are our priorities?

Stupid bloody daylight savings time, summer time or whatever other stupid name you want to call it! Designed to give us more time at home with our families during the pleasant months of summer. Well, if that is important why don’t we work less!?!

This week France went to daylight savings time. I had a neat little arrangement going. I would get out of bed at 6am and chat to Ashleigh on MSN for half an hour or so because it was 9pm in France. It was working so well for us. NOW 6am is 10pm. She can’t stay out of bed all night just to chat to her mother, so I haven’t managed to talk to her for five days. It doesn’t work in the evening here because she is at school until 2am Townsville time. Do I really have to start getting out of bed at 5am, just as a slight nip arrives in our mornings?

Stupid bloody daylight savings time.

I just don’t like it…

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I’m with the Band

Pip and his mates have started a band. One of the parents owns a business with a warehouse, so they play there on the weekend with the amplifiers turned up loud. He plays guitar. Someone else has a guitar, but it only has five strings. I guess that makes Pip the lead guitarist. There are several bass players and a drummer.

Today I asked, “So, how was rehearsal?”

“Yeah great. One dude can play Grease really well on the bass. Another can play Sweet Child of Mine. One can play that song by Green Day.”

I am suitably impressed, but feel compelled to ask,”Is there a song that everyone can play?”

“Nah, not yet. We should probably choose one.”

I just nod,”It might be a good idea.”

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This is the song that Pip can play.

People all round the world sing along!

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Melodie

When Ashleigh left our house and moved to France for the year Melodie moved into our house. Melodie is a French exchange student. This has been an exchange in a literal sense because Ashleigh’s first host family were Melodie’s parents. We literally exchanged teenaged daughters.

It has been a delight to have Melodie with us. Her presence has helped to fill the enormous hole left in our home by Ashleigh’s departure. She and Ashleigh are actualy similar in a lot of ways. They are both self-contained, confident girls with a wicked sense of humour. Neither of them are demanding in any way.

Tomorrow is Melodie’s 18th birthday. Her parents arrived from France just a couple of days ago to celebrate with her. Today I made them very happy. Together we went to Billabong Sanctuary. A local wildlife park filled with these:

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What more could you want when you come to visit Australia?

Ashleigh’s 18th birthday is in early October. Melodie will be back in France by then. Today her parents asked us to come and stay with them to celebrate Ashleigh’s birthday. I can’t say no to an offer like to an offer like that. I’m already thinking about the things that I want to see when I get there!

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Rock ‘n’ Roll!!

Last night Pip practiced his electric guitar while watching a documentary about the history of art.

My Pete drank a beer. It had been at the bottom of the fridge for at least four months. He was asleep on the couch by 8:45pm.

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It’s all rock’n’roll round here!

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Butterflies

We have returned from our few days of driving. This time we went north to Mission Beach, then on to Cairns and up to Kuranda. It was a very nice few days. Just over 1200km covered in four days.

I took 413 photos during the four days. I probably deleted 100 because they were crappy, but those are pretty good odds! I love to use the macro setting and get up close to bugs and little things. We visited the butterfly house at Kuranda, so I shall now, self-indulgently, make you view my photos. I have no commentary to go along with them because I don’t know enough stuff about these particular butterflies. I just know that I like them.

Closed up and camouflaged to look like a leaf (taken outdoors)

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Cairns Birdwing – these are enormous butterflies. (taken outdoors)

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The rest are taken in the butterfly house…

looking rather tatty

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My favourite butterfly – not very big, but just beautiful.

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Just about to take off in flight

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One that landed on Pippy’s finger and stayed there for the longest time. Even while he was walking around.

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It cost $15 to get in, we were there for almost an hour, it was incredibly humid and hot, but these photos make every minute and dollar spent oh so worthwhile!

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It seems the thing to do

Lots of people are currently discussing apostrophes and their various uses and misues at the moment.  It is a topic dear to my heart. My daughter is still quite cross with me for the apostrohpe man cartoon that I drew on her draft English assignment in year 11. I drew him as a super hero, with a cape, proclaiming that he would go to the ends of the Earth to protect an apostrophe from abuse. I didn’t realise she had to hand that draft copy in to her teacher. My daughter was not impressed or amused, and her teacher was both impressed and amused!

Here is my recent photo of the abuse of an apostrophe. There seems a common school of thought that if a word ends in a vowel it must need an apostrophe. IT DOESN’T.

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Don’t eat the pizza, Fairlie.

PS I don’t usually post twice in a day because I think that no one will notice or comment on the previous post. I made an exception to the rule for this very important topic.

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Small Towns

I find it fascinating that small towns cling to a feature that they view as unique or special, a point of difference from every other small town on the way to somewhere. Sometimes it can be the most beautiful natural feature, or a building with historical significance. Sometimes it is just a bizarre structure.

At the bottom of the range leading to Eungella there is a town called Finch Hatton. There are enormous signs along the road proclaiming it to be home to the Historic Finch Hatton Railway Station. It makes me stop and wonder whether I should know about the railway station in Finch Hatton. Am I just ignorant for not having knowledge of it?

It is a very small, quaint building which has been on this site since 1904…

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The townspeople are obviously very caring custodians…

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 with careful eyes for detail…

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But more than just a few years have passed since you could catch a train at this station…

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It has been a very, very long time between trains.

 We are of zoomzooming again this weekend. See you back after Easter.

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I am too so a Quilter

Recently I met Kellie after seeing the most beautiful quilt on her blog. After exchanging a few emails Kellie had to search through my blog to find any reference of quilting. I actually did start my blog thinking it would exist solely as a vehicle to show my quilting and connect with interesting quilters all around the world. It has sort of taken on its own life and evolved into something else. Basically I like to talk about myself and that is what this blog allows me to do.

The start of this year has been a traumatic one for the members of the Petersen family- that includes all of our extended members. I have not done as much quilting in the past eight weeks as I usually do. I have, however, been busying myself with various quilting things. I am quite eclectic in what I like and what I make. (not fickle, eclectic) Here is the actual evidence…

a pillow waiting for hand stitching…

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some blocks waiting to be stitched together into a quilt top…

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a recently quilted whole cloth hand-dyed piece…

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a secret project waiting for quilting and eventual publication in an Australian quilting magazine…

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I really enjoyed doing the whole cloth piece. I am beginning to think that perhaps I should enter quilts like this one into some quilting competitions. Perhaps that should be my quilting aim this year. I would gladly take suggestions on this…

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Eungella

The reason that we went to Airlie Beach for a night is that it took us half way to Eungella – our actual destination. (You say Young-guell-a with a hard g sound).

Eungella sits on an escarpment at the top of a hill, overlooking an amazing valley. You can see the township to the left of this photo.

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The road to get up there is four and a half kilometres of winding and twisting, hairpin turns and cliff face drops. One of the many things which makes me anxious in this life is driving on hills. I’m always exhausted when we reach the top. I wonder what on earth made the first person decide it would be a good place to live. Why is it necessary to live there when there are much less stressful places at the bottom of the hill.

There is a building at the top that is called the Eugella Chalet. It was built in 1934. People have been getting up and down that winding road for a very long time. Logging and dairy farms would have been industries that employed people in those early years. Now a lot of the area is national park. People come here to walk through the rainforest and to see views like this.

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This is the reason that we came here:

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To sit very quietly beside a normally calm creek which is rushing with water following recent flooding rains.

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If you sit there long enough

and you are very quiet

and very patient

you will see this

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A platypus. In the wild. Feeding in the early evening.

These creatures are notoriously shy and difficult to see in the wild. Every time I have been to Eungella I have seen one, without fail. We sat and watched it for almost two hours. Coming to the surface to breathe, then ducking under the water to feed in the mud at the bottom of the creek. All the while thinking how very lucky we were.

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Amazing…

Don’t think for a single moment that I was CAMPING! HA! There is quite a nice mountain lodge within walking distance of the creek. I was sleeping in a queen sized bed, not a tent.

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Airlie Beach

One of the places we went on our 1000km round trip this weekend was Airlie Beach. It is about a three hour drive south of Townsville.

When I was a teenager Airlie Beach was a hole. Just a hippy town. The place you went to drop out of society. The place you went if you wanted to live in the back of your van. The place you went if you didn’t really want to be an adult.

Then along came the developers. The hills surrounding the beach are now terraced with hundreds of holiday units. Every shop on the main strip is a touristy shop. The vans have gone and the porches have arrived.

This is why:

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There isn’t a lot to see or do at Airlie Beach itself, but it is the access point to the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef. Many of the islands have resorts. Lots of people come here to hire a yacht and tour around the islands. It is a beautiful part of the world.

There are huge backpacker hostels at Airlie Beach. You can’t walk down the main street without tripping over other people. Almost every nation is represented in the accents that you hear in the streets. Every night at the pub is happy hour – hour after hour. Once we went to sit on the beach at about five o’clock in the afternoon and found two young people (possible backpackers leaving happy hour) getting very friendly with each other. There are always people just laying about in the sun working on their tans. If people wear shoes at all it is only thongs. If people wear more than swimmers that is surprising. It is a very casual place.

This is the view to the other direction:

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See all of that dirt. It used to be the ocean. They are filling in the ocean so that more people can have a water-side living address. That is hundreds and thousands of tonnes of dirt coming from somewhere on the back of trucks to fill in the ocean.

Astounding…I kind of liked it when the hippies were there…

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