Monday, September 26, 2011


Turns out 40s horror films aren't my cup of tea. They require, not nerves of steel, but the patience of a saint and i've realized that I've really got to prioritize my film viewing these days. I do, however, have a lot of time for Boris Karloff so he'll be getting a blog post all of his own. In the meantime I've got the Godfather blu ray boxed set to watch. And at 3 hours each that's a lot of screen time. And a bit less Xena time.

Operation Bathing Beauty has stalled because i've lost the power cable to my sewing machine. But I have been buying some hats as a special birthday present for myself.

No cycling because Melbourne in spring pretty much sucks. Very jacket on jacket off. And far too windy for bikes. I've read Nella Last's War (filmed as Housewife 47). The film is supposed to be quite sympathetic, but the actual war diaries reveal her to be a bit of a pain. Still, I do love accounts from the home front and the book was fascinating. I also read another of Simon Garfield's war diary compilations. Great stuff. Very revealing of the attitudes of the people of Britain towards the war. Quite sad - they're all cross about endless government precautions so early in the war - unaware that the situation is going to get so much more serious.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Always one to over commit myself - it's a new blogging challenge! Reader In Peril! A bit unseasonal for me, this is to celebrate the northern slide into autumn. Hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings, this challenge is to explore the supernatural, mysteries, horror, gothic and dark fantasy. Learning from the war read a long (books read to date = 1) and Paris in July (my books all turned up in August) I am taking up the movie watching challenge.

This time, I'm not going to post a list of what I intend to do, as chances are I won't be able to get my hands on many of them. But I'll give you a theme - 1940s horror films! There's going to be a lot of Boris Karloff going down! Wait till you see the dvd covers! Spooky!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy birthday to me!!

I turned 38 on Friday. And I officially had the Best Birthday Ever! I love birthdays. In my family it's all balloons and sparklers and excited phone calls at 7 o'clock in the morning. I could barely sleep with excitement! I woke up early, crept out of bed to take a sneak peek at my presents and feed the kitties. I ended up waking Kim early so we could start celebrating. I got the day off work and spent it in my pajamas sewing. I made a start on Operation Bathing Suit, armed with two patterns and an acreage of muslin. Turned on crap tv - I sew better with some undemanding noise. The next thing I knew it was 6pm and i'd made a muslin swim suit. It was actually a lot harder than i thought it would be. Those 40s gals sure had some talent. Not too sure about the fit but that's ok because I have plan b.

I made a muslin of the dress version. I don't think much of the sizing because I had to take over 6 inches from the bodice. Still a bit iffy out which one I'll go with. Not sure i've enough board short fabric to line the dress AND make shorts to wear underneath.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Land Army Girl - the final

Another cooked breakfast! More knitting, reading, chicken feeding.Pinching cuttings from mum's garden - violets, forget me nots, mint and thyme.

Learning to knit! I didn't do so badly. Except for the bit where I practiced picking up dropped stitches. Forgot to knit them once i'd picked them up, which made a bit of a hole...

Inspecting the fruit trees. They pruned the orchard rather late so no blossoms just yet.

Saying goodbye to my lovely mum!

On the plane to be demobbed! Train trip down - several hours and the better part of my sanity. Plane trip - 1 hour! Got a wee bit scared taking off, but thought that Kim's dad must have done this hundreds of times and while he was going to bomb Germany, I was going home!

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Land Army Girl - part 3

In which we suffer a disappointment. And eat even more...

I have no idea what we did on Saturday. We started with a cooked breakfast - Maggie Beer's oat pancakes with stewed apple. I think I read, looked at mum's beautiful garden and had a nap. The big treat - we were headed out to see a swing band in the evening! I felt like a proper Land Army Girl getting my glad rags on.

How happy we look! So full of enthusiasm for the night ahead! So unaware of what awaits us... That's my mum's new car by the way.

Firstly, of course, we needed feeding. We set off for an hour's drive to Hamilton where we had a booking at the only restaurant in town. Wonderful cream of pumpkin soup followed by a pear and apple tart with Maggie Beer ice-cream the flavor of which escapes me (yes, there is a bit of a MB theme, I think because we're so close to the South Australian border).

Off to the arts centre for a night of swinging. Was a bit anxious at staying up past my bed time. Seats were a bit squishy, but never mind. There was a supposed to be a folksy support band but how bad could that be? Big bass section ta da and we start! It's not a swing number but never mind. Then a chap gets up and starts telling jokes. Odd. Then he starts to sing a Cole Porter song. Except he can't sing. Muffled giggles from our seats. Then a lady comes out and sings the Girl from Ipanema. Except it's not a swing song. And she can't sing. Muffled laughs turn to worried frowns. Joke man comes back, tells a joke and sings a 1950s novelty song. Uh oh. Then they get their trumpeter out and she sings It's Too Darn Hot and she is so absolutely fantastic that we make the mistake of getting excited. Because back comes joke man to introduce the folk band that are really a pub band and really really loud. With a fiddle player. The crowd goes wild. They start a Cat Stephens song and we flee into the night! We've been there half an hour. At least I got to bed on time!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Land Army Girl - part 2

In which we understand the value of curators and our heroine eats too much...

My very tolerant family took me to a World War 2 'museum' in Portland - otherwise known as a heap of old stuff shoved in a room all higgeldy piggeldy. Oddly it was in an old water tower. No war connection, just an old tower they had lying around. You can see the quality of exhibits above. Really, it was rather endearing and there were a few good bits about the war in Portland. And a beautiful view from the top.

Then we were clearly in need of more food. Yummy fish and chips and lashings of Ginger beer!

Then off for a brisk constitutional along Shelly Beach - which actually is pretty much devoid of shells. In the 1930s they took them all away for shell grit for chickens.

Mum, Steve and no shells.

Mum and I did a quick tour of the local op shops having heard rumours of the Wall of Buttons. No special finds but we did go to a great craft shop to pick up some blue wool for this...

My wonderful mum is knitting me this, another 1940s pattern from Stitches in Time. And because we were practically fading away by this time mum cooked us a roast lamb dinner. With lemon meringue pie! Yum! And we watched Hitchcock's Young and Innocent (1937) based on a Josephine Tey mystery. Then time for bed.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Land Army Girl - part 1

Join the Land Army for fun and fitness!

This weekend I was a poster girl for the Land Army, spending the weekend down at mum's place in Bolwarra. That's down the Great Ocean Road near Portland in Western Victoria. I left after work by train. I'd gotten myself in a bit of a tizz and though I started well with a nice chat with a lady who'd grown up in a Communist run internment camp in Croatia before emigrating to Australia, I soon got myself in a right state. Whizzing through the darkness, with nothing to see but your milky reflection in the window, way past my bedtime, explaining to someone that no, I wasn't in fancy dress... Onto the bus, on and on. Arriving in black out conditions in Narrawong. Eventually I was tucked up in bed underneath a mountain of blankets (it's very cold there!) with a hot water bottle. I'd forgotten there were glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and I went to sleep with the Southern Cross at my feet.

The next morning I woke to a cooked breakfast.

Fed the chickens! That's Elsie, Vera and Pizza Head. Guess which chicken is Kim's?

Collected eggs.

Watched out for bombers!

Gave the horses a snack.

All before lunch time!- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad