Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankfulness for Family and Friends

On the last Wednesday in November, we all gather at All Saints' Church in the morning to celebrate Thanksgiving, and to give thanks for God's bounteous provision.

William had money to put in the plate - but he thought he would try it out in his pocket first!At the end of the service, as the produce was being gathered, Trigger gave William a carrot.After the service the produce is sold outside.

Lots of people came to our place for lunch. We think there were more than 75 altogether!!

Jamie and Arthur carved the turkey and ham, then we sang Grace.The older kids enjoyed sitting together and tucking into all the gorgeous food.
Mal brought along some stuff for the kids to play with. The hoops had the little ones fascinated.After lunch there were some races - three legged, Sack races and Plum and spoon races. (We had run out of eggs!) The grown ups had to join in too.
But only the kids got the prizes. The water pistols were very popular!Charles tries out the new Jumping Castle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Yesterday, every man and his dog seemed to gather around the circumference of the Norfolk Island International Airport.

They were there to see the arrival of the Australian Airforce Globemaster C17. But they were also there to catch a glimpse of the cargo - the brand new high-tech "designer" fire engines which have been purchased from Germany.

I suppose when more than 3 million dollars is expended in buying two fire engines, training people to use them, transporting them to the island, and housing them, everyone has a right to feel they are "stakeholders!" And it is certainly a lot of money for something we all hope will never be used!
After much waiting and peering into the sky to the west, the cry finally went out "Here it comes", and out came the binoculars and cameras.

The big bird was amazingly quiet, and landed on just a short length of runway. There was a holding of breath - and I suspect even an emotional tear or two, as the back flap came down. Behind, you can see the site of the new "garage" that will be built to house the big beasts! It has been all hands on deck to get this underway, but alas, it will be tarpaulins to protect the new "toys."
Finally the first of the engines rolled own the ramp onto the tarmac. It was history in the making.

Three of the old fire engines came out to form a sort of "guard of honour." No doubt some of these will now be well and truly pensioned off, and I am told are even destined to become museum pieces!

As we started back to our cars, thinking the excitement was all over, the new engine did a celebratory lap of the airfield close to the fence, sirens blaring!

The Globemaster, whose engines had been kept running, then reversed back down the runway, and in no time at all, was back in the air.
The Globemaster has a massive interior - but unfortunately just a bit too small to bring both engines on one trip. The plane returned that evening with the second one, and was able to Medivac an injured local boy back to the mainland.

Now do you know the question that is on everyone's lips?

What about Santa Claus?" You see, Santa has always arrived on Norfolk Island on the back of one of the big old red fire engines. Will he be allowed a place of honour on one of the flash new models? Will he even want to ride on something that is bright green and yellow, and not the familiar old Christmas red?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I must confess this blog has been a little neglected just lately, as some other priorities have surfaced and occupied my attention. I have been supervising Higher School Certificate exams, but that task ends today, no doubt a sigh of relief for the students. In between I have had a few mornings/afternoons minding William, and for 11 days I was holding the fort while Bernie was in Tahiti.
Another matter that has been the focus of much of my time and emotional resources is that this beautiful little island is once again under threat from those who do not value or respect its unique and special way of life. But I never intended this blog to be a soapbox. If you are interested, please go to my other blog at
Recently my pages from our fabric/mixed media Round Robin finally arrived home. They have travelled to New Zealand, Australia and the United States, and each participant has added their contribution. They are stunning!!!
I chose the theme of "Old Boat", with the inspiration being a photo I bought at the Op Shop.

I asked the participants if they could seek to portray the wonderful colours and textures as much as the theme. I will show you one side of each page.

Carol has used some fabric which she has dyed with rust, and has further enhanced this with metallic glue,ink, paint, stitching and beads. The rope is actually a discarded piece of knitting!! The textures and metallic glow in this piece are amazing.
Irene's page for me also uses rust-dyed fabric, draped with hand-dyed cheesecloth in both greens and browns. The little coins suggest some buried treasure! The bead trails completes a lovely page.

Meanwhile Melissa decided to use a photo she had taken of an old rusty ship at the Wellington wharves. The bottom area is done with a layering of glitzy fabrics and sheers, which you first stitch, and then attack with a heat gun! I am particularly thrilled with the name of the ship, because Lord Nelson had a strong association with the place where my parents grew up, and my uncle actiually lived in his paymaster's house!
Dorothy has used a picture of "Pipey" a well-known fisherman from the North of England. This picture and story actually came with a "Fisherman" teddy that Dorothy's husband bought for her at a Craft Show many years ago. Dorothy has added some painted and heated tyvek, and the seaweed has been created by sewing with metallic thread onto dissolvable plastic. Some paua shell further enhances the effect.
Diana has used a scrap of dockyard fabric that she has been saving for some time, awaiting the right time and inspiration. Isn't it wonderful? Some lines of stitching have emphasised the texture, and some rusty bottle tops along the bottom really complete the effect! Don't you love the little bird that Diana has created from what was a rather abstract blob?

For her background, believe it or not, Jan has used a paper serviette with different kinds of pasta printed on it! Jan has also used some blue wrapping paper that she had screwed up and discarded before deciding it was just right for this project. Some bubble wrap has been tucked underneath to give it a squishy watery feel and sound! Some natural string has been artfully draped around it, and the beautiful albatross is from Jan's collection of "bits and pieces. " We all have collections like that, but I really appreciate Jan's generosity in parting with this one!Now we come to Mary Ann's page. Felt, paint, heavy ornate lace, and gel medium have all been combined to wonderful effect! The picture does not do justice to this page, with its lovely green metallic glow and rich texture! Did you notice the "Feathers" yarn used in the border?Finally Jane's page completes the set - unless I decide to add to it myself! This page represents 'Jetsam', and features a variety of techniques. There is heat-blasted felt, a rust-dyed and painted damask fabric from an Op shop tablecloth, rust-dyed scrim, rusted bottle tops, some tea-dyed cording from a hanging bath sponge, and some glass beads. I can just imagine what fun Jane had playing with all this stuff!

In another posting, I will show you the reverse side of each of these pages.

Meanwhile I am so proud to be a part of this group of very talented, creative and generous girls!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Whatever you think about Halloween, it has definitely taken on here on Norfolk Island!

Because she loves any sort of celebration, particularly of it involves kids, Kim began planning a very special sort of evening several weeks ago!!

Once she had Charles hooked on the creation of special effects, it was "all go", with an absolutely amazing result. "Devonside" was truly turned into a House of Horrors.

Would the kids come? Well, I think word had got around, and instead of the twenty or so Kim was expecting, there must have been nearly a couple of hundred. Group after group kept arriving. The first ones came well before dark, and they just kept coming until nearly nine o'clock!
They came by car, bus - even a "cattle crate!"

The little ones preferred the safety of the verandah, and did not venture downstairs where the scariest effects were!
Count Dracula rose from his bed as the door was opened.

This skeleton hung from the ceiling.

This hangman swung at any unsuspecting person who opened the bathroom door!

There were eyeballs, intestines and brains to "feel", and a dead man's hand in a bowl of popcorn!

Needless to say, we ran out of "treats" well before the kids stopped coming, but no one seemed to mind. They thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment!

This ghost floated down from high in the trees on a flying fox-type wire that Charles had rigged up.

The kids were pretty scary too!!

No wonder these characters below looked so real - they were!! And now they are enjoying well-earned rest, with a beer and footie on TV, after an evening of terrifying little kids!

Brett the "Mummy" (centre) had spent the evening jumping out of the coffin, while Raewyn and Mal had been busy surprising everyone downstairs.

We would really like our island kids to know that our homes at Devon are welcoming. friendly and safe. But it is a funny way of showing it!!!
However, I am pretty certain they will be back for more next year!!!
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