Sunday, November 29, 2009

Look who came into our  lives less than 24 hours ago!

We were out at the Chapel, doing some last minute cleaning before a special service today. Tim, one of the roof slaters came in and said: "I hear you like cats." (indeed I do.)
He took me outside to show me this tiny kitten cowering in the big clump of strelitzia, The boys said that it had been around for a few days. At one stage there had been a mother and 2-3 kittens, but the others seemed to have disappeared, leaving this poor little waif.
I said that I did not really think Bernie would like me to take it home, but they told me Bernie had already given it a name, "Mr Shingles", which is the name of the roofing firm carrying out the job on the Chapel.
Once home, Mr Shingles had to get to know the rest of the family.

 Digby was fascinated and delighted! He is quite fond of one of Charles' cats, but here was one of his very own!!!

I must admit he was not really happy about having Mr Shingles try to suckle him.

Later we introduced him to Roany, who was willing to give him the "once-over", but was not all that interested. One of Charles' cats already follows him round like a shadow, and he does not really want another one!


That evening William came up to stay while his Mum and Dad were at a wedding.
I think the pictures say it all!

Mr Shingles seems to be about 8 weeks old. He seems healthy and his eyes are bright and clear. But it is obvious that he has not suckled for a few days, and his body was like a little bag of bones.
But he has been eating and drinking well here, and I am sure he has already started to fill out.
I lost my beautiful cat Oliver to illness just a few weeks ago. I did not write about it because it was just too painful for me.

Mr Shingles will not take his place - but he will bring some healing.
I could not even have posted this picture (above) of Oliver before this!


Meanwhile I hope it is the start of a beautiful friendship between Digby and Mr Shingles!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We have been involved in a big and long-awaited project of re-roofing our lovely St Barnabas Chapel. and I will tell you all about that in another posting.

At the same time we have been replacing the timber fence along the road. With the old fencing, and the crates from the tiles, and other building and bush rubbish, the boys built an enormous bonfire in the paddock.
The other night, Chris and the boys who have come from Sydney to work on the roof decided that it would be a good idea to have a barbecue for all those who have taken an interest or been involved in any way. We started in the early evening with a game of Rounders (a great tradition on Norfolk at picnics and family occasions in the early days.)
This was the first drama. Poor Rod had only just gone onto the field, hit the ball, and while running to the first base managed to "do" his hamstring, resulting in a trip to the hospital. He later returned with ice, painkillers and crutches!

Meanwhile the children had fun on the swings and see-saw...
And others tried out the "Horizontal Bungee Jump" that Chris had rigged up from old inner tubes!
We enjoyed a delicious barbecue - and the three fellows shown here, as well as a couple of others who were there that night, had no idea that they were to be involved in an incredible drama later that night. The picture shows Darren, Chris, and Glen.

We had just finished our meal when we saw they had lit the bonfire in the paddock. We all gathered round to watch the enormous blaze..

After watching for a while, we drifted back to the barbecue ...and then the fire brigade arrived, acting on reports by phone from a number of people of the enormous conflagration in the area of the Chapel. The fire-ies saw that all was well and the fire engines were returned to their home at the airport. About this time. a little bit of rain started to fall, and we all cheered, because the island has been very dry for some weeks.
Now this is where the story starts to take an interesting turn.
Bernie and I were returning home about later in the evening, and as we passed the airport, we saw that all the lights were on both in the terminal and on the runway. We discussed what plane may be due - certainly not one of our usual scheduled flights, unless there had been delays. We noticed that the main street was quite wet, but the clouds seemed to have passed on and the sky was clear again.
We were just going off to sleep that night, when the phone rang. It was our son John, who said he and his mates were just putting out to sea in "Gran Lady" to look for the passengers of a Medivac flight which had been forced to ditch into the ocean when it ran out of fuel. It was flying a sick lady from Samoa, and had been given a good weather report from Norfolk Island and clearance to re-fuel here. However, the fog and clouds had come down quite suddenly and the visibility was too poor for the pilot to land. After two failed attempts and some circling, he realised he was very low in fuel and had no choice but to go into the sea, with the 5 other passengers - his co-pilot, two medicos and the sick lady and her husband.
Darren (who had been to the barbecue) - was the first boat into the water, and he had with him Chris, and also Glen, who is the airport manager. John and the others in Gran Lady were ten minutes later into the water, because they took time to take on large quantities of fuel, in case the search should prove to be extensive. The police directed both boats to head south towards Phillip Island, where the plane had last been seen.
Now a young fellow Scott,who had been in the fire crew who had come on the false alarm to investigate our fire, had heard all the news at the airport when they returned with the engines. Scott decided to take a longer route home around the coast on the offchance that he may see something - and off to the west of the island, he spotted some lights in the water. He relayed this information through, and the boats were advised to divert to this area. Darren and his mates found them quite quickly. With 3 or 4 lifejackets between them (there had been no time for the crew), they were treading water a couple of nautical miles off the island and the plane lay about 40 metres below. What is amazing is that the sharks had left them alone!
About an hour after his first call, John rang to tell us the good news, that all 6 were safe and well, and had been able to walk on the pier, although they were shocked and shaken.
So it may be that our bonfire was a blessing - call it luck, coincidence, or God's protection - but that fellow may never have seen those lights if he had not been called out on that false alarm to our bonfire!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The last posting reminded me of my own hand-created jewellery that I wear from time to time.

A few years back, I had fun creating some pendants from Crazy Patchwork. They were a great deal of fun, and not difficult to make.

And you can make them as colourful as you like if you want them to add a bright spot to a black or neutral outfit. The one at the bottom is designed to be worn for the Christmas season.
These are basically made by wrapping a small piece of patchwork round a shaped piece of board (like a heart or oval), with a little wadding in between. Some of the embellishments are added after. Felt or suede is added to the back, and a hanging cord sandwiched in between. The dangly beads and those around the outside are added last. They can be made into brooches by adding the appropriate clip to the back.

This one was made by inserting the shape into a ready-made pendant base. It really sparkles and attracts lots of comments.

When I first made them, I remember I made several in pastel colours. A friend in New Zealand sold those ones in her Quilt Gallery for me.

Now I am really keen to make some more. Perhaps I will do a few Christmassy ones for gifts!!


I am a little conservative when it comes to jewellery. I like it to complement what I am wearing rather than look like a part of a suit of armour. Some of the necklaces of recent years look more like oxen yokes and neckbraces to my eyes. When I hang something round my neck, I like it to drape and nestle and follow the contours of my body. I am particularly fond of pendants and strings of beads and semi-precious stones. I do not have a lot of jewellery, and much of what I have has been around for a while

When I was at our local Sunday markets a couple of months, I was passing the stand operated by our local Postmistress/jewellery artist, Deb Simpson, and a lovely necklace caught my eye.

It was a chain with a cluster of hearts hanging from it on chains of varying lengths, pendant style. I immediately thought of a little collection of assorted hearts I had at home, which I had assembled and saved some years ago for someone to make a necklace for me. I had envisaged hanging different hearts at intervals around the chain. The girl who was going to do it for me had left the island before we got around to it.
Now here was the perfect answer! I asked Debbie if she could custom-make me a chain of hearts using my own collection.
When I got home, I realised I had enough hearts for two chains - one in gold and another in silver.
Here is what Debbie has made for me, and I am just so delighted. They are just so "me"!!! But I will have to learn not to fiddle and play with all those wonderful dingle-dangles while I am wearing them. I have a bad habit of treating my necklaces like "worry beads."!

Thank you so much Debbie. I fully intend to pay the favour back as well as forward!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

THE HAUNTED WOOD Between our home and the road, there is an area of woodland. On the night of Halloween, it became a perfect setting for Halloween adventures.
Charles and Kim have had the event in the planning for ages, and they went to so much trouble that it took more than two weekends to set it up - and the finishing touches were only being made minutes before our first visitors arrived!

Bats flew in the trees.

A whole long fence of guava was erected to seal off the area from unprepared explorers!

Solar powered skeletons spent the day in the sun gathering energy to glow in the dark.

Here is the headless bride.

And here is the ghost who made an appearance as a flying fox last year.

There were pumpkins galore.

Teddy makes an early visit to the witch.

The woodland was a wonderful setting for all the models and effects!

Kim and Tina discuss some last minute touches.

There were ghost and pumpkin biscuits, honeycomb, toffees and popcorn ready for our visitors.

Kim has been transformed as the "head witch" ready to accompany the kids through the woods.

The first arrivals.

Helen has a quick helping of curry and rice before going off to perform her role as the Grim Reaper.

I loved these two glamorous young witches.

We got each group to pose for a photo before setting off on the "Trail of Horror."

Some of the kids looked pretty scary.

Young Theo was content to just sit and eat popcorn.

We had fruit punch for everyone, especially appreciated by those who were thirsty after all the yelling and screaming.

Lots of the parents were dressed up too.

Another group poses for the camera

Some of the younger ones were content to stay on the patio with the grown ups.

Brett and Basil discovered a mutual attraction!

Bernie and I decided to go on the final trip for the evening through the woods. The effects were just wonderful.

At the end of the trail, Charles made a sudden appearance wielding the chainsaw. The chain had been detached, but the sound effects were pretty scary. The kids really screamed as he chased them back onto the lawn. But Cloud the cat was obviously not too concerned!

I think all the grown ups had just as much fun as the kids.

But it was all too much for one tired little witch and a spotty dog!

It was a wonderful evening, and we must have had between 150 and 200 kids, not to mention the parents and adults, many of whom lingered, just enjoying the happy atmosphere and seeing the kids have heaps of fun. It was a great family occasion.
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