Our back garden

Our back garden
The pond

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dream versus Reality

About a year ago I had a very weird dream about myself in old fashion dress going to a store back in time with jewellery displayed. I had someone with me that said you will need a green pendant when you are ready to protect you.Last week the dream came back to me and I went looking at green pendants at the mall but nothing seemed to attract me. We have been watching the English show, Bargain Hunt where they go to antiques stores. Recently they came to Australia and filmed at an antiques centre in Sydney. I really wanted to go and check it out so we went there yesterday. I got there and it felt like the store in my dream. I looked around and found a silver pendant with a turquoise semi precious stone in it.It is greeny/blue. I got home and looked up the meaning of turquoise. It said it is the stone for December and Turquoise is one of the oldest protection amulets,it gives Strength, protection from harm, psychic sensitivity and connection to the spirit world
What do you think?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Sydney Royal Easter Show- An Easter tradition

This Easter I finally made it back to "The Sydney Royal Easter Show," I Haven't been for at least 6 years after the death of my son. It holds so many fond memories but I haven't been able to bring myself to go. This year my husband won two free tickets so it spurred us on to go.My younger son invited a friend so he didn't have to hang around with the "old parents!"
The Sydney Royal Easter Show, is an annual show held in Sydney, Australia over two weeks around Easter. It is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and was first held in 1823.
The Show comprises an agricultural show, an amusement park and a fair and combines the elements of each, showcasing the judging of livestock and produce. This comprehensive fair has many competitions including arts and crafts, photography and cookery, as well as tests of strength and skill such as wood chopping. The Show also has shopping, restaurants, commercial stands and exhibits, a horticultural display, a national accredited conformation dog show and cat show, and stage and arena shows. The Show currently attracts one million people per year- Thanks Wikipedia.
I love the wood work and painting exhibits. Not too sure about the scones and cake displays. They usually look very unappetising.
As a kid I loved the show bag pavillion. Then it was just chocolates and lollies in showbags. Now it is toys, bags, perfume, makeup.
I settled for ,"the Better Homes and gardens," showbag this year. Free samples of food, toothbrushes and play dough. Now what am I going to do with that??? plus Better Homes and Gardens magazines.
Sideshow Alley. My younger son's favourite place.
The Laughing Clowns and Haunted House. I love the laughing Clowns. Everyone wins a prize. My kind of game.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Grandmother's vase

My maternal grandmother, Lillian was a very stylish woman. She always dressed impeccably. Her father was an artist, named Lachlan Browne and her mother a Scottish lady who worked as a housekeeper at The Hydro Majestic at Meadlowbath in the Blue mountains of Sydney. Her employers were the Foys a wealthy family that owned a store called Marc Foys in Sydney. I used to love visiting my grandmother, (nanna). She had some lovely things. One I have inherited is a beautiful vase. There were two of them. My aunt has the other.

Here is a picture of my nanna and pops wedding circa 1920 and the vase in question.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Rocks Ghost Tour, Sydney- seriously good fun

On Saturday night, my husband son and I went on The Rocks, Ghost Tour- Dark Northside.
As it didn't start 'till 7:45 p:m we had a wonderful dinner at the nearby,Orient Hotel built in 1844.See accompanying photo.There are so many old pubs at the Rocks and you can go on a pub crawl if you want to experience them all. They were all built in the early 1800's so they are very quainte and old fashioned.
The Rocks was the first area settled by the English in 1788. It was notoriously known for crime as most of the early in
habitants were convicts.There were lots of deaths through disease and murder so it is easy to see how the area can be haunted. On the Tour we all had to take on a part of a ghost or victim. I was the Mrs Cadman who apparently haunts Cadman's cottage, the oldest surviving convict dwelling from Old Sydney Town.My husband was the Drunken sailor who met his untimely death at the hands of the notorious Rocks Push Gang and my son a French manservant who chopped up his master. ew!
The tour was fun and full of laughs and also quite creepy,especially in the archeological dig and the coffin builders house.Lots of spirit orbs captured on camera.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Open Gardens

Each year in early spring they hold open gardens in the Hills and outlying areas.The people that open their gardens to the general public do not just have normal suburban gardens, they have amazing gardens usually set on acres.Now I have trouble looking after my measly suburban garden. How do they do it.
Two years ago I managed to talk my family into going with me. I just loved it and took lots of snaps. They couldn't wait to get home (males!)The place that sticks in my mind was a cactii inspired Meditteranean garden with citrus trees as well.It was simply amazing.

Vaucluse House again

I have found some more photos of Vaucluse House so thought I would post them.
It was built by William Charles Wentworth (1790-1872)who is known today as one of our(Australian) early colonial statesmen.The mansion, built in fits and starts between 1805 and the early 1860s, is in a mixture of styles.

Interesting Place in Sydney- Part 3

I love a historical tour and what makes an historical tour even better is it being a Ghost Tour. Now the most haunted place in Sydney has to be The Quarantine Station at North Head, five minutes from Manly.So manly poor immigrants lost their lives there, dying from Spanish influenza, typhus, and the dreaded smallpox and many of them are buried there. Last year I went twice. Firstly with my hubby and son and secondly with a group of friends. The first tour wasn't for the faint hearted or the unfit.(there's lots of steep hills to navigate). It was called the medium tour as we were guided by a medium that actually appeared on, "Ghost Hunters International," when they filmed at the Quarantine station last year. We were given EMF meters to measure electro magnetic field which apparently ghosts give out and yes they did go off and yes I had my hair pulled and my son had his shoulder tapped.
The Quarantine Station has now luxury accommodation from $145 A a night and you can stay there for the weekend . There is also an up market restaurant called "the Boilerhouse."Mains: $26.00 - $36.00 I will have to try that next time.Here is the website

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Interesting Places in Sydney- Part 2 Vaucluse House

Now, I love Vaucluse House. It is steeped in history. You can feel the atmosphere of times past. The first time I visited was when I was a little girl and I was awestruck. I have been back at least 3 times. The unusual features are the entrance into the second floor off the staircase. It is as if a piece of the wall has been cut away to make a doorway.Also on the top floor a bedroom has been made by placing a large wall unit across a hallway as the owners ran out of money. When I was a child I just loved the downstairs toilet. So modern for their time in the early 1800's. They actually flushed but two toilets side by side is not my idea of privacy.Apparently the ghost of one of the daughters still walks the second floor. My husband and I actually saw a wardrobe door open by itself.(It was behind a rope barricade.)
The gardens are the piece de la resistance. I could imagine having tea and scones on the wrap around verandah in my beautiful 19th century dress overlooking the lush lawns on a balmy summers day.

Interesting Places in Sydney- part 1

Last year I happened to receive an email from "The Historic Houses Trust,' and noticed there was a tour of the old Callan Park, Insane Assylum. Now I love Ghost tours and old places so I talked my hubby and son into visiting. It was $40 a head but it is only open to the public once a year, so we had to go. It is now "The School of the Arts'- (reminds me of Barry Humphries alter ego, Sir Les Patterson.) Callan Park was bought in 1873, then known as “Callan Estates”, with the purpose of building a large lunatic asylum to ease the severe overcrowding at the Gladesville Hospital for the Insane, at Bedlam Point, near Tarban Creek in Gladesville. The new lunatic asylum was designed according to the 'enlightened' views of Dr Thomas Kirkbride, an American. Colonial Architect James Barnet worked with Inspector of the Insane Dr Frederick Norton Manning to produce a group of twenty neo-classical buildings. These were completed in 1885 and named the Kirkbride Block.
Well the buildings on the outside are still spectacular. Inside it's a different story. The paint is peeling from the walls and it is just not very nice inside. My mother in law remembers seeing sad faces at the windows when she used to live nearby. I'm sure some of those people still haunt the corridors.

In search of

About a year ago I removed the curtains from our bay windows in the dining room but left the brackets for the curtain rod on. We were going to remove them lst week but then I remembered a purchase I had made on a bargain shopping trip last year.... a hanging glass/ star tealight holder. Well it looks great hanging from the bracket. the problem is I needed two. Where to find one? I looked up the shop I bought the first one from but they are at Taren Point and they're not online. I searched on ebay to no avail but guess what,
Today there is a listing for a star hanging tea light holder. Hallelujah!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The end is in site.

Well we're nearly there. It has been one week today since the house imploded in a frenzy of renovations.I can now see the end in site. The lounge and dining areas are nearly done and looking good.It's like having a new house without moving. I will share some before and after pictures here.Then it's back to unloading the boxes.
Who needs the gym when you're renovating.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

De cluttering

Today it starts. I have just too many nick nacks. I have decided I have to minimalise. Now that is going to be a hard task for a girl that just can't throw out anything.At the moment I just love the new floors and I have started rearranging the lounge room. It looks so good with just the basics. I have to be strong. Here are a few photos of my many nick nacks. What to do!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tasmania, wood and more

Tasmania abounds in wooden products.There are gift shops everywhere selling wooden bowls,serving ware, wooden fruit, cutting boards, coasters, boxes, pens from the usual to the unusual."Wood on Salamanca," has some amazing pieces.Huon Pine, Blackwood, Sassafras and Myrtle are some of the woods available.Classwood tas has an ebay site and we actually went to the shop at a place called Ross. Amazing stuff! I am no way an expert on wood but I know my dad had a lathe and used to make a few things.I think most people in Tasmania do some kind of craft work.
While in Tasmania we saw these amazing carvings at a place called "Campbell Town." Each made from a single tree trunk.

Tasmania- I love it

My dad came from Tasmania,he lived in a small tin mining town originally called "Bradshaw's Creek," and then it was strangely changed to the name "Pioneer" for some unknown reason in the 1950's.Pioneer is in the north east of Tasmania. Apparently it is now a virtual ghost town inhabited by alternative people??? The mind boggles!!!I had always wanted to see where my dad grew up and finally I had the chance. In January this year we decided we had to see Tasmania.It is only an hour an a half flight from Sydney but it is so, so different. We arrived in Hobart, the capital and had to walk down stairs from the plane.It was like walking back in time 20 years. We left 40 degree C temperatures in Sydney and met 20 degree C temperatures in Hobart.What a beautiful untouched City. I have never seen anything so beautiful. Buildings sloping down to a wonderful harbour.The sun not setting until 9:30 p:m at night. It is so close to the south pole.More to come

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frankie- My furry friend

Now what would life be like without an animal to share it with? I wouldn't know. In my life I have had cats, birds, fish, tortoise and dogs.
I just love animals, especially dogs. Frankie is our third, furry friend of the canine persuasion. His predesessors were Abby, the tri coloured Collie rough (like Lassie but cuter and such a sweetie) and Mickey the basenji cross- (a wild man but had his good points, he didn't bark and he loved a cuddle.)Sadly Abby and Mickey are now in that bone hunting field in the sky.
Now we have Frankie a maltese cross something,. Not sure what that something is but pretty sure there is chihuahua somewhere there. Frankie is handbag size and I've often been tempted to stick him into mine and take him to the shops. I nearly smuggled him into my online baggage on my recent trip to Tasmania. Now no one would notice him in the overhead locker would they?
Frankie is a very smart cookie. He has a reportaire of tricks- shake,high five,beg,roll over, stay, play dead and kiss but of course there's a catch. He won't perform unless he has a Schmacko's. I don't know what they put in those things but I think it is equivalent to human drugs. Mmmmmm!He'd do anything for them.
Frankie also gets dressed up a fair bit. He's not too happy about it but whats a dog to do.


Here I sit amongst a pile of furniture, ornaments and nick nacks. It is the third day of replacing our well worn carpet with wooden floorboards.
How did I ever accumulate so much junk? Never again!From now on it is going to be the bare essentials.( message to future self- No going back on this!!)
I think living in a tent may be the answer but I'm not really a tent ytpe of girl. I had enough of that on camping holidays in my childhood. Never again! Five star all the way now, please.
I'll leave today with some pictures of my garden. (The only part of my property not affected by complete disaster at the moment.) These were taken a while ago so there has been some change but basically they are still the same.