I would like to say I have cleared the block but no. It is just too hot plus I have to address the issue of getting some wheels. We have taken care of issues with the accountant, the insurance, the bank and tomorrow is going to be dedicated to buying a new car. So as it is over caste I have done a bit more in the garden.
I am planning just what flowers I want compared to what will grow. To my delight I find that Hydrangeas grow over here. I have been doing some work in my neighbours garden. as they both have mobility issues, and there hidden under the weeds was the healthiest bush. There must be a bit of alkaline content in the soil as there is that touch of pink in the flowers.
I always have flowers in my kitchen even if it is only one bloom and these hydrangers take me back to my childhood when we had a hedge of them and my mother would arrange them in vases all over the house.
I now only have a tiny kitchen but I want to have flowers on the bench so these are going into my new garden. The other flower I like is a native that looks rather untidy in the bush,
but would look good under trees if it was tendered. The flower is very sweet but I don't think it would be much good in a vase.
I also see a lot of Agapanthus planted all around the place so they might be an option as well. There seems to be a lot of pink and purple in the flowers that do well, not much white.
We are only 1 hour's drive from the centre of Brisbane but the weather here is completely different. ( As is mobile and internet reception but that's another story.) We are only 1K from the mainland but the weather isn't what I expected. (Our island is in the centre of the shot with Stradbroke Island on the horizon.)
Last night we had a wild thunder storm. I spent the night with 2 dogs almost sitting on my head. Chester, who can frighten people with his bark, cried nearly all night. Charlie didn't cry but she kept up close and personal. I don't think the storms are any worse than those we had in Brisbane but because we are surrounded by water, lightening and thunder have a different effect. If we get a big bolt of lightening the pressure waves it causes make a vacuume and then the air rushes in. It did this numerous times last night shaking the house as though it was an earth tremor. I could feel the whole house moving on it's foundations.
The stars in the sky are brighter here because there are very few street lights and the light from the lightening is far brighter than anything I have experienced before. I understand why the dogs are frightened.
This morning I found that lightening struck a tree one block away in one direction and
hit a house a block away in the other direction. Now that's a bit scarey.
Just at the moment I am deeply depressed as a result of that other storm back last year. Remember I said that the new car was cactus? Well the insurance company wrote it off and took it away. Now I have no transport until I can buy a new car.And I did make a top with the off cuts to go with the slacks I made. I also realised that the fabric was silk not rayon and that is a bugger to sew. Still it will be the perfect outfit to wear out to dinner here on the weekends.
I suppose I have trouble because I have too many dots?
I found this over at Le Challenge who are running a months challenge during 2015. You don't have to do every month and I might just keep an eye on the blog and drop in and out. I also saw a challenge for "Sew my Stash" and oh boy do I have a stash. This might help reduce it.
And my own personal challenge is to make a dint in my UFO's even if I have to admit defeat and give some of them away.
After years of teaching kids how to sew I know that I can make clothes. This is sometimes a bit of a disadvantage. I go into a shop and see a pair of slacks costing over $100 and I immediately say " I could make that for a faction of the cost". And I can. The problem is the time it takes, I keep forgetting that little point.
I have packed all my dressmaking patterns away and put them into storage. Not a big problem I will just draft a pattern. It has been some time since I have done this. Where is my drafting book? In storage. So a quick trip to the store to purchase a cheap pattern that I alter to fit I had bought some fabric at East Coast fabrics the other day, when I was thinking I can make these slacks at a fraction of the cost. I bought enough for 3 pair of slacks for $50.00.
Now here I hit a snag. Each of the fabrics are of a different fibre content. Linen, Polyester and Rayon and each one requires the pattern to be altered to suit it's properties. Linen requires a tailored finish, the polyester is crepe which drapes well but has a bit of weight in it so a straight leg and the rayon is about the same as silk so the leg has to be wider. Next problem, where did I put my machine needles? Each fabric will require a different needle. I have no idea where the needles are.
So I spent a good hour or so making various changes to the pattern. I had to then cut out the fabric. I opted to just cut out the rayon, the others will get cut out another day. Why did I buy Rayon? It creases badly and I will have to wash it by hand becuase it frays in the washing machine. But I finished the first pair and they are a great fit. But that $100 for a pair of slacks is looking a lot cheaper. Then again I might make a top out of the left over fabric to go with those slacks.
We are experiencing one of the hottest summers on record. Every day the temperature is up in the mid to high 30's C but it is the humidly that does the damage. We have one small air-conditioner in the bedroom so I shut the doors, fire it up and try to work there. But these last few days even though the room is cool I am still melting all over my sewing.
In the end I decided that sewing is off the agenda for a few weeks unless I get a cool patch here and there. Reading books ranks high on the list of activities and I finished a book I had put off reading some time ago, "Harpy"s Flight" by Megan Lindholm. It is one of her early works and not nearly as well written as the books she has written under the name of Robin Hobb, but it has the same imaginative story line with characters you can relate to.
As it is the first of a series of 4 books I have something to look forward to in this heat. I have also finished another 2 books she wrote under the Megan Lindholm name. These were "The reindeer people" and "Wolf's Brother".
The first book I found a bit hard to get into but by the time I got to the second book I was hooked. She could have written more books about these characters as I'm sure there was a lot more to tell.
The other activity is my garden. It is hard physical work, chopping down trees, clearning garden beds and digging. It is also very dirty. And all this in a rental house. I would love to get in and clear my own land but most mornings it rains and as I need to get into it with the mower first it isn't practical. It faces west and the afternoon sun is punishing. But I will get a notice soon from the council that it needs to be cleared so neither rain or sun will be an excuse. Bill usually mows this but he is not allowed to do any physical activity until after his surgury.
Last night, after a couple of hours or work in the garden, when I was hot and couldn't cool down, we decided to walk the four houses distance to the beach to eat fish and chips for dinner. Even the curlews were down there trying to cool off.
All the day trippers had left and residents had set up their chairs at the waters edge in an attempt to catch a breeze, some just lay in the water.
It was low tide so the water was warm and I wasn't even tempted. One thing about the heat is that it makes a great light for photography.
Another one hits the dust! This was my TAST stitching onto a ticking background. The stripes were black so I ended up stitching over everything. I made a tassel for the end of the zipper using some of the left over threads. The inside is lined with satin. It was difficult sewing this piece together because of the beads. I was very careful sewing some parts by turning the wheel on the machine by hand. There were a couple of broken needles during the process even then. Now what will I use it for?
And unbelievably humid. I thought I would sleep out on the verandah last night but the mosquitos were shouting out there and Charlie gets carried away chasing geckos and drives everyone mad. Coming home on the barge today I went to the stern of the vessel to sit down and then stood up very quickly because the seat was so hot. It is only January and February is the hottest month and that is ahead of us. The beach is beautiful but that sun is so hot that you have to be inside by 10am and not go out again till after 3pm. The risk of sunburn and hence skin cancer is very high.
This is our local noticeboard. What is happening, if you want to buy or sell somthing, concerts etc, it all ends up here. So everyone has a look as they get on or off the ferry.
It has been too hot to sew so I'm back reading those Donna Leon books again. I managed to borrow a couple from the library when I was in town and then downloaded another from Kindle.
As I have said before, they are easy to read and each one deals with a social issue that is wrapped around the mystery.
This last book I really enjoyed. The badies get off going to goal but they are still punished. I've lost count how many I have read now. I see that I can borrow ebooks from the library. Too bad about the problems with reception over here.
This house doesn't really have a garden, I think it did sometime ago as there are some lovely bushes around the place.
You know I do like living here. It is quiet and relaxed. I enjoy seeing the stars light up the sky in the evening and the tides rise and fall on the beaches.
I have started work on these gardens but only got as far as clearing some of the undergrowth. What was the garden has gone to wrack and ruin. A lot of the big trees have been cut down and the stumps not removed. I am going to use them as the focal point for some of the garden beds.
The landlord, Mary, had a painting shed in the back yard, which she removed before we moved in. The earth in this area had all been compacted as a base for the shed so I have been digging to break up the earth in preparation for planting a lawn. Lots of hard work here.
Around the front of the house the trees were very pretty but very overgrown with lots of suckers coming up all over the place. I have cut back most of this now and mulched all the cuttings. This now lets me get to the paintwork on the front of the house that is covered with mould. I have bought 10 litres of bleach to tackle this job.
There is a very exposed bird bath in the middle of the front lawn. I want to put shrubs around this to shade it and make it more bird friendly.
I could do with a load of soil for the garden but I’m not going to get that here. That means I am going to have to do some serious composting to make my own soil.
I took the lawn mower up the road to our own land to try and get the lawns under control but found that a number of curlews were nesting on the block.
There are about 4 clutches of eggs scattered around. There birds are an endangered species so there will be no lawn mowing until the chicks are hatched and grown a bit. The birds nest on the ground and are susceptible to predators.
The main threat being cats and snakes. There are not many cats on the island and what there are seem to be well controlled. Pythons are the main egg eaters but someone brought Peacocks onto the island a few years ago and these seem to be easier to catch. There used to be loads of Peacocks but we are down to just a few now.
I had a bit of a fright over on the mainland the other day. I was putting the cover over the car. This requires me to get the straps under the car to secure them on the other side. Not an easy task and I end up having to get down on the ground to do it. So, there I was on the ground, hoping no one could see me looking so stupid, when a 1.5 metre brown snake, (2nd most poisonous snake in the world) came slithering over the grass about 1 metre away from me. I froze.
I don't think it saw me as it kept on its slithery way into someones back yard not looking left or right. I am going to have to look around before I get in or out of the car or down on the ground again.