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The first day of summer, and a nice day it was. Not too hot. Went to the knitting group in the morning, called in on the printer cartridges place on the way home, as well as the nearby glass place. Son's wish for Christmas is to get the glass replaced in two of his framed pictures. It was broken in a housemove a year or so ago. The rest of the messages were left for another day. The car was getting too hot. Had the aircon fixed only a week or two ago, but it is again blowing hot air.
An email arrived from the HQ of The Moth (see themoth.org) to advice me that they had forwarded my 2012 presentation in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, to my local radio station, for consideration. Maybe include it in their Moth Hour broadcasts. An honour indeed!
The topic - Wanderlust - was made for me. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my travel tales. From the connection with the audience, and their response, I knew they were enjoying my story.
I was voted best speaker on the night with a score of 29.8/30, together with an invitation to partake in the upcoming Grandslam.
It looked like a cumquat tree. Others told me that it is a miniature mandarin tree. That is, miniature mandarins, not a miniature tree. In fact it is a large tree. Mandarins are not a favourite of mine, and the tree is laden with ripe fruit. Lots of it falling on the deck and path, making it hazardous to walk and a big mess. Even advertising to ask folk to come and pick as much as they want has not brought much response. So much fruit going to waste. Wish I was able to pick it and give it away.
It would have to be one of the classics of late twentieth century cinema. Reputed to be based on true events, Shawshank Redemption was on television again today. Even so, I watched it from start to finish. Such a great story, so many lessons to be learned. Yet when one looks into the criminal justice system, nothing much has changed since those events took place in the fifties; nor since the movie was made in the nineties. Still too many innocent folk are in prison, and far too much corruption is still going on, in many so called civilised countries.
It is a locally produced product, which has never hit the export market. It was originally produced as a nutricious drink for nursing mothers. A rich chocolate drink with minimal sugar and lots of minerals and vitamins. The sort of drink the whole family can enjoy. As the family grew up the drink remained a favourite. Even into the senior years it is still a favourite of many. Not the cheapest product on supermarket shelves, but well worth the price. Recently a company take over created much uncertainty with the changes implemented. My local independent supermarket no longer sells it.
Did not realise I was sitting in front of the very person who presents the afternoon show on radio. Happened to mention about the email I received from The Moth HQ, knowing that they sponsor and broadcast these events - spread over several days, a little at a time. Right then, at 13:50 on this Tuesday afternoon, there was my presentation on the radio. It was good to hear it again, and sounds almost as if it is someone else's story. It did not take long for the emails to start arriving from friends and family who were also listening.
I love lazy days. Days when I do not do anything prescribed, but just wander at will through my small place, or sit and work on some craft item. Maybe do a puzzle or two. Love puzzles. So relaxing! Whether they are jigsaw puzzles or crossword puzzles, they are my favourite way to occupy my time. Craft items mostly end up as gifts for family and friends, or for charities. Jigsaws decorate my home. Adhesive book covering plastic on the back keeps them firm, and double sided tapes fasten them to the wall. With the right tape they come off clean.
It has been a great way to use up odd quantities of left over woollen yarns, some dating back many decades. Mostly the finer yarns, 2 ply, 3 ply and 4 ply, all perfectly suited for baby clothes. Besides the expected white, pink and blue, there was yellow, green, orange and purple. It made for some interesting colour combinations, enhanced with decorative stitches. All told there are now 16 very small and small baby jackets - two with matching caps - to donate to the various hospitals which cater for premature babies. Made with love to keep the "born too soon" warm.
He has been doing the same morning show on radio for 20 years. His audience is vast and varied, coming from all perspectiv4es of society. Described by a former Prime Minister as the perfect example of equal opportunity, because he gives everyone a hard time.
To honour the occasion listeners were invited to come to today's broadcast held under a large pavilion in a park near the studio. On the day of planning, some weeks ago, it was hot, and it all seemed like a good idea. It was a great show. A few dozen turned up, despite the rain.
Probably the earliest I have finished getting everything for Christmas. Stayed within budget and did not have a hassle as to what to get for whom. Took a gamble on the date for a family show - Air Play - at the Arts Complex, for daughter and her family. Finished knitting the slippers for the grand children, and nice they are too, even if I say so myself. Like the baby jackets written about ear4lier, these too were made from left over wool. Beige for the ten year old. Pink for the eight year old and Blue for the six year old.
It is nice when Christmas is spread over a longer period than just the one, or two days. Son came around with my requested gift today. Living without a toaster was becoming trying, so he bought me one, and brought it out today. At the same time he picked up my gift to him. The glass on the pictures which had broken in a housemove, some time ago, was replaced. But with my mobility issues, I was concerned about bringing it along on Christmas day. Not to mention having to wrap and care for them without breaking, in the meantime.
Went all the way to the shops on this really hot day, without the air conditioner in the car working properly. It is still blowing hot air, and not due to go to get it fixed till next week. More hot weather is forecast before then. When I got to the supermarket and found a parking spot, right by the door, I discovered that I had left my purse at home. I do recall using it earlier, and must have not put it back in my bag. I went back home and decided to forget about the shopping. Maybe tomorrow.
The Choir of Hard Knocks was founded 10 years ago. Today is the first time I have seen them on stage. No niceties here, these are all folk who have come off the street. The unemployed and unemployable. The homeless and down and outs. The quality of the voices is not a priority. They may not all co-ordinate in their movements, nor in the words they sing. The choir spreads the message of hope and inspiration, under the guidance of their founder and leader Jonathan Welch. They now all earn a living. A success story. From street to stage!
Double booked for today. Two Christmas luncheons on the same day... at the same time. One had been prepaid, the other was pay on the day. The latter being the one I'd rather attend. However, since the other is already paid for, guess I am doomed to attend that one. As part of the luncheon we have to bring a $10 gift, these will then be randomly handed around at the end of the meal. I think I am the only one who does not bring a gift, and declines to accept one. We already have far too much STUFF.
The last day for 2016 of the knitting group. Time to take stock of all the articles made for charity. Jumpers, scarfs, beanies, baby jackets, hats and bootees. Others made pouches for orphaned baby animals The boxes full will go off to the appropriate charities for the less fortunate. I have enjoyed making my contribution, and look forward to knitting lots more over the next twelve months. Slowly getting through the mountain of yarn and wool in the spare room. Now, if I can just get back to using the knitting machines, I would get through it so much quicker.
Television ratings are suspended, as they are every year during the Christmas holiday season. Now it seems to be only summer sport, especially cricket in its many forms - designed for television. Give me a good old fashioned test match, where at least some thought has to go into every ball and every shot. Tennis will dominate our free to air television through most of January. I like tennis better. Some channels show reruns of old shows. But it will not be till the betginning of February when the new seasons of the regular shows return. February can't come quick enough.
Have just succeeded in uploading a photo to go with these posts. One of the loveliest ones I took this trip - in Alaska. I was resigned to leaving Alaska without having seen any bears. On the road out of the State, heading to Tok, at Tazlin Airport, there were two grizzly cubs playing with the cones used to mark out the runway. It is a tiny airport, with a gravel runway. My attention was drawn to this delightful display by the number of cars already stopped. What a wonderful opportunity to get some memorable pictures of bear cubs at play.
Did not really take a lot of photos on my last trip. Maybe a couple of hundred - not like previous trips when I think I took thousands. But I lost some of the best ones and was quite unsettled about it. Not knowing how I could have lost them, but not being able to find them either. A lot has to do with changing computers before they were all loaded onto it, and then having to learn a new operating system. All so confusing.
Looked through every area of my computer today, at my leisure - and BINGO!! There they were.
Monday, and less than a week to Christmas. All the slackers out there doing last minute shopping. Barely a parking spot to be had. I was not interested in doing more shopping. My reason for a parking spot was to attend my hairdressing appointment. Found a spot right at the back of the supermarket parking lot. Bonus was that half the car was in the shade. On my return the whole car was in the shade. With the air conditioner still not working, the car was not too hot. Without my little scooter I would not have had that choice.
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These days there is so much attractive Christmas fabric available. Cheap and all cotton it is eminently suitable for making draw string bags - small or large. Rather than wrapping gifts in single use paper, gifts can be placed in these pretty bags. The good part is that the actual *wrapping* of the present is itself a gift, able to be used for whatever the recipient deems best, for years. Twenty year old bags are still in use in some families, having been used for many purposes over the years. That's years of not buying disposable paper to put in landfill.
Much thought goes into choosing paper and wrapping presents at Christmas time, to have them look nice under the tree for a few days, in some cases only hours. Then all this paper is torn off and discarded, without little thought as to where it came from or where it is going. Trees are still being cut down to make all this paper, and most of it will end up in landfill - many claiming to be too busy to recycle. It seems that at festive times the environment is not a top priority for most. When will we ever learn.
This is the day of two very important briefings. Both have been featured widely in the media.
First Is the briefing Santa Claus gets for the Christmas night flight path. Can't have the reindeers crashing into commercial aeroplanes Special emphasis was made to be sure that Rudolfs nose glose nice and bright.
Second Is the briefing for those taking part in the great blue water classic starting on 26th December. Here the weather forecasts were the important issues, as storms may hit the whole fleet as it passes by Bass Strait.
Two major yearly events of world wide interest.
Very little traffic on the roads today. Guess many folk made the most of the 36 hour pre-Christmas shopping maration. Other than retail, most businesses closed their doors for the holidays by lunch time on 23rd, not to re-open till the 3rd January 2017. That could also mean that many folk have already left to spend Christmas with family and friends, or for holiday destinations. Parking was easy, there were lots of spots at almost every store. Only had a couple of last minute items to pick up.
Now all set to enjoy Christmas Day with the family.
Presents, wrapping paper and gift cards all over the house. The children hardly know where to turn first, discarding one gift after the other, spending just a little time wondering what each one is for. It will take time to work out what to do with each of these gifts. But unfortunately in today's
society few appear to have the patience or concentration to stick with one long enough to appreciate its value. It will only be days before most are discarded, and life goes on as before. Too many gifts all at once can be unsettling.
Boxing Day! Have never known why boxing day. Is it because of the boxes from the gifts? Or maybe family arguments turned into boxing matches. (Hopefully not!) There are several explanations for the day after Christmas Day to be called boxing day. But I am not sure if any of them have any real historical background. Some say, in days gone by that the left overs from Christmas dinner were boxed up and given to the homeless and poor. It sounds most plausible, but in the end, does it matter? It is a public holiday for most. Relax and Enjoy.
Not so hot today so ventured out to get some essentials. Traffic was huge with all the post Christmas sales on. Parking was at a premium. Though I was lucky picking up a spot just as another pulled out. Was hard not to pick up some temptingly priced non essentials. Sometimes, though rarely, non essentials are worth getting and satisfy the soul. This time it was yarn to knit gifts for family members. Members who will soon be going skiing in the northern hemisphere winter. Sure! they can afford top of the range stuff, but I like knitting and giving.
It is during the holiday period between Christmas and New Year that much road work is taking place. The freeway to the airport is being widened with several exits being realigned. Folk planning to go to the airport, especially those departing, have been warned to allow extra time to make sure they don't miss their flight. During the duration of the work and traffic disruption, local streets will be inundated with traffic detours. I shall have to choose my times to go out carefully, lest I get caught up in the chaos. Not too keen on traffic jams these days.
Monsoons are a normal part of the climate in the tropics, but rarely do they come south. This year is one of those occasions. Violent storms blew up this afternoon and more than 6mm of rain fell in a few hours. The morning had started hot, following a hot night, but with the storms the temperature dropped, as did the roof of a supermarket. Several underground car parks were flooded. One which was featured had two luxury cars in it. Low lying streets and underpasses were closed. Why do folk drive round
Fortunately my washing was dry.
It was in the early days of the War that my oldest brother was born on this day. (Sure hope he has received my best wishes.) It was thirty years later that my son was born on the same day. Som followed his father into a career of engineering, working for the same firm for some time. Being an international firm, much of his working life was spent away from his home country. So it was inevitable that he should marry a lass from a foreign nation, and settle down there. Have not seen him for a while.
For New Year's Eve. the city puts on a spectacular fireworks display to see in the New Year. Actually, they put on TWO displays, one at around 9.30pm, so that families are able to enjoy it, and another on the stroke of midnight. When I heard what sounded like crackers, I went to investigate. To my surprise it was the fireworks in the city, some 7km away. They were strategically placed on the eight tallest buildings. It was a brilliant 10 min display, which I was able to enjoy from my back porch. Will be watching again at midnight.
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