Saturday, 29 January 2011

Hot Weather, Sydney, Shops, Peaches and an Award.

It has been so hot the last few days - everytime I moved an eyebrow I broke out in a sweat. (I could say perspiration, but, no.... it was sweat). I'm really not made for the hot weather but this last week has been a scorcher.

We were in Sydney for a few days and I don't think I've ever felt that hot in the city before - usually there is a sea breeze, but not this week. The skies were constantly blue, the sun was hot and the humidity completely did me in. I can take the heat if there is relief in the shade, but with humidity there's just no escaping it. When we got home to the farm on Thursday night, the house was so hot it was like walking into a dry sauna. Apparently it had been 44C that day and with the house locked up it was STILL 44C.

Sydneysiders seemed to be enjoying the hot weather on Australia Day and the city - in particular Circular Quay and Hyde Park - was packed with people enjoying the entertainment. After our satisfying walk around the city in December, we decided to do it again. Here's a pic of Centrepoint Tower, taken as we just got out of the train station at St. James.

Now that all the Xmas decorations were down and the need for pressies was less, I came to the conclusion that there were too many shops in the city selling 'women's stuff' (as my husband so eloquently put it) and the prices most were charging was astronomical. Obviously people in the city get paid better than farmers. I do envy Sydneysiders their access to choice - often in regard to furniture and so on but I can happily say that our country shops do a sterling job on the 'women's stuff' front.

Naturally, we can't always GET to these shops regularly. I need to travel over 100km to get to a clothes shop, but when I do, these boutique owners really have to buy well - they can't afford to purchase and then not sell it. Of course, I do still use online shopping - it's so easy, always open and I don't have to drive an hour or more to get there!

We are fortunate in our little town to have a nice 'stuff' shop though - I have watched the owner expand and refine her range and move into larger and larger premises as people appreciated her selections.

On the farming front, things are drying off with the successive hot days. I've even had to resort to watering the roses and some trees! Our peach and plum trees had some gorgeous fruit this summer. For the last couple of weeks, we've been going out every morning and picking a few pieces of fruit for the day. The blood plums have been huge and so juicy. The peaches have been the same - making one peach a nice handful.

I've been keeping an eye out for parrots, waiting for them to find the fruit trees - so that I can leave them on the tree for maximum ripening but save enough for us! It appears that they took advantage of our absence for a few days as I've returned home and hardly a peach was left. This one managed to be missed by both the parrots and the children.

I did manage to get back to my bench for a couple of days last week and now that the kids will be back to school this coming week, I am looking forward to creating again. After I've covered all the school books of course. Not looking forward to that one.

On a high note, the gorgeous Julia from BushBelles awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award last week. As part of accepting this award I need to share 7 things about me that you probably won't know and then pass the award on to three other stylish bloggers ^^.

So, here goes:
1) I'm starting piano lessons next week. We have a gorgeous grand piano that we bought for the children and frankly I'm completely jealous that they can play and I can't.
2) I'm allergic to most cats - they make me sneeze. Of course, that doesn't stop the children owning outside cats - that I pat and feed and worry about.
3) Snakes completely freak me out. Totally. Even seeing them on the road makes me cringe. (Yes, I know, I make such a suitable farmer's wife).
4) My son, at age 12 has just pipped me in the height stakes. How am I supposed to be a disciplinary force when I have to look up at him?
5) I'm a voracious reader and love the classics. I started reading Austen at age 9 and Dickens at age 11. Hmmm, must give them to the girls to read.
6) I often break out in song, much to the disgust of my son and the amusement of my daughters.
7) I dreamed about my hubby about 2 years before I met him. Fate?

Now, to the new award recipients!
Millie from The Laurel Hedge. Her blog always has gorgeous photos - I love to hear about her renovations and enjoy her view on the world!
Melissah from Scrapbook who, even though she is only a new blogger, is inspiring new people every day.
Melanie from Whimsical Creations - this is one talented woman, have a look for yourself!

Well, look at that, they're all M's!

Till next :)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Golden Globes Jewels

I had fun last night watching the Golden Globe Awards and all the stars in their finery. Did you watch it too?

First, the gowns. The ladies certainly dressed up for the event with so many colours - citrus brights, shimmery whites, glamorous golds, timeless black, deep blues, bright reds, neutral nudes, soft, dusky and coral pinks (and a couple of bright pinks too) and rich shades of green. There were an abundance of one shouldered styles, open or plunging backs and many shiny or beaded/sequined fabrics and details.

Angelina Jolie garnered much attention for her beaded emerald green, long sleeved and low backed, dress. Not quite the statement that her big emerald earrings from the past made, but at least she wasn't in black!

There were many fabulous gowns, but of course, I only watch the spectacle for the jewels ;) Apparently there was over $14,000,000 USD worth of jewellery on the stars - just a bit of bling!

Whilst there was the usual (at least in the last couple of years it has been de rigueur) bare neck, long earring and cuff bangle combination, I was so happy to see the stylists finally realise that necklaces are 'fashionable' again. Yes folks, the drought of bare necks finally broke at an Awards ceremony - albeit mostly in diamonds.

The lovely Helen Mirren sparkled in her Cartier diamond necklace, Natalie Portman (winner of Best Actress) glittered in Tiffany & Co diamond multi strand necklace, Julianne Moore wore a Bvlgari diamond collar that appeared to hold her dress up, Sarah Hyland wore Mikimoto pearl and diamonds around her neck, Diana Argon wore a diamond net necklace and a woman at the table of 'The Kids Will Be All Right" movie (I've yet to find out who she was or a photo of her) sported a glittering double strand of lovely green gems.

On other jewels of note it was nice to see some colour appearing in rings, bracelets and earrings - Kelly Osbourne wore a stunning pair of agate druzy and diamond earrings with a matching cocktail ring and Jessalyn Gilsig wore jawdropping multi coloured sapphire and diamond earrings by Chopard.

Of course, the necklace drought has only just broken, but there's still much headway to be made! Bring them on for the Oscars ;)

Till next :)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

A trip to Norfolk Falls

The twin's birthday has been and gone. Reaching the momentous age of 10, they're now into double digits and asking for things like having their ears pierced! For this landmark birthday they wanted to go somewhere and do something that they had never done before.

Hubby came up with the idea of going to our local national park - Coolah Tops - specifically to Norfolk Falls. The girls were thrilled with the idea of seeing a waterfall in real life and bounced around for days in a state of excitement.

The day dawned clear and bright and we ventured down the road then up the hill, and continued up and up... and up. We arrived at the parking/rest area and while hubby proceeded to light the barbie (bbq), I headed off to the top of the Falls with the kids.

It was only about a 600m but that distance included 500 stairs! Of course, going down wasn't too hard :) We took off our shoes and paddled in the shallow stream that a few scant feet away fell 120 metres straight down!

This direction looks safer!

Eventually we had to haul ourselves away and climbed up those 500 stairs whereupon I gratefully sank onto a picnic bench!

After lunch we ALL ventured forth again, down the 500 stairs, had another paddle in the stream and then went cross-country down a very steep hill to the base of the waterfall.

Although we live on a farm, the countryside is really very gentle and we only have a few small rocks worthy of clambering over in a couple of distant paddocks. I wondered how the children would take such a challenging walk but they loved it. They scrambled down the slope, following what appeared to be bits of trails now and again, climbing over fallen trees, past small orchid like wildflowers and using clumps of native grass as handholds.

The waterfall was magnificent and the pool at the base of the waterfall looked inviting. There was a constant cool flow of air (from the falling water) but we were still ready for a quick swim. There were some shallowly submerged sharp rocks making it a bit tricky to negotiate, but we managed and boy, was that water COLD!

Can you see hubby and one daughter here close to the spray from the falls?

The walk back up that slope might have only taken 20 minutes but I can honestly say I felt like falling down when we reached the top. My legs were shaking and my breathing was more like gasping for oxygen. Of course I'm totally out of condition - too much sitting down creating jewellery last year methinks! Another paddle in the creek and then up the 500 stairs... again!

Needless to say, I hardly moved the next day as my body recovered. A few days of normality and then yesterday, we picked up Meri's new kitten. Isn't he cute!? He'll be keeping us on our toes for a few days yet, I'm sure :D

Till next :)


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