“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”😎😎

Last Monday night at our fortnightly ukulele session, we had a visit from a group called the Elderberries who led us through songs such as When I’m 64, Return To Sender, Bring Me Sunshine and Brown Eyed Girl.  Just before we finished they handed out sheets for a medley of Three Little Birds and Be Happy and now that song is stuck in my head 😝  I’ve tried singing other songs but this one just keeps coming back!  When I looked at the YouTube video I just had to share it as it’s so happy (naturally … it’s supposed to be!), and as it’s grey and cold and raining🌧☔ here in my little corner of the world, it just brightened up my day.  Hope it brighten’s yours 🙂

Oh goodness, now I have another song going just by writing these words (My Little Corner of the World).  Do you remember this song?

My little corner of the world may be grey, cold and wet but our house is now cosy and warm as at long last our Everhot DeLuxe 204 slow combustion wood stove has been repaired and according to Dan (our repairman) it’s good for at least another 20 years.  Not bad for a stove we bought 40 years ago that has burnt 24/7 for 6 – 8 months of every year … cooking our food, warming us and our house and boosting our solar hot water system.  There is something very comforting about the sound of the kettle sitting on the side of the stove and quietly singing.

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Gordon says he warms himself twice in winter, first when he chops the wood and then inside in the warmth of the kitchen.  We get plenty of exercise putting the wood in the trailer at the front of the house, where it gets delivered, then stacking it in the front section of the carport under cover.  From then on, for the rest of winter, Gordon gradually chops the wood to various sizes (kindling, quick fire and overnight burn) and together we restack along the second section of the carport wall, closer to the back door and the stove.

We have several very large Marri trees on our property that constantly drop small branches and Gordon built a kindling box that’s not far from the back door that we now store all those branches in.

Last year the council removed a dying and dangerous tree out on the front verge and the workers were kind enough to cut it into very large pieces for us.  The wood is now stored along the fence line drying out for next winter.  Gordon has a lot of work ahead of him to cut these down to size.  The small ones won’t be too much work, but the larger ones could be challenging!

Now that winter is officially here the grapevines and fruit trees have finally decided to start dropping their leaves in a hurry.  I love the changes of colour as this happens … not so fussed about all the leaves outside the back door 😏  Unfortunately the weeds have suddenly found a new lease of life with the rain and are springing up everywhere.  Such is life!!

That’s it from my little corner of the world.  Wishing you a warm, sunshiny, happy day 😎🔆

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Time, time, time⏰⏰⌛⌛

It’s difficult to believe that it’s six months since my last post.  Time is a traveller and it’s travelled away at an alarming rate 🤔.

On the fractured bone front, my hand has finally healed but with a bit of limited movement in three of my fingers, which is frustrating but I’m learning to work around it.  The crocheting has been slow as the most difficult area was my little pinky finger, which now bends differently and as it’s my yarn tensioning finger I’ve had to learn to compensate and find a different way to tension.

As Gordon and I are also learning ukulele, the fingers have also caused a bit of angst as far as fingering for chords is concerned, but once again I’m finding different techniques that work for me and I have to accept that there will be chords that I may not be able to play as my pinky just doesn’t have any stretch … c’est la vie!

So, back to my last post and the strange jellyfish-like photo that I posted.  This is how it finished up ….
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A little fox rattle for a very special little person for Christmas.  Thankfully I had it finished in time and despite the wonky nose and eyes I was reasonably happy with my first effort at amigurumi crochet.  Not sure that I want to go in that direction with my crochet as it does require nimble fingers and mine certainly didn’t feel nimble.

I’ve been slowly getting back into the crochet as my hand improves and there are several items I need to get working on.

If you remember the teapot stand I designed last year, I now have an order for another one with matching tea cosy and hope to get started on that very soon.

I’ve also received a commission from our local pharmacy, https://www.facebook.com/NightingalesKalamunda/ which at this stage I can’t elaborate on but I’ll post photos in July once the commission is completed.

As my hand was slowly healing I exercised it by using up some yarn I had purchased more than a year ago.  I was intrigued by the dragon scale fingerless gloves that I’d seen on the Internet, so I decided to try making a pair with a matching scarf.  These were the finished result, quickly snapped up by our grandson 😄 …

They turned out a lot better than I expected and I’m seriously considering making some more.

While all this hand healing was going on, we decided to take two weeks off in March/April for a camping holiday in Albany, Augusta and Busselton.  Albany, because it’s one of our most favourite places; Augusta because we haven’t been there for years and wanted to go somewhere different; and Busselton because we’d been invited to a ukulele night and there was also a car show on the same weekend where we could display our Morry Van.

Two weeks of glorious weather and some lovely scenery.

In Albany … on the tourist road to Denmark Farmhouse Cheese for lunch …

In Augusta …

… and finally in Busselton ….

We came home to fruit trees and grape vines starting to get their autumn leaves and this cheeky 28 parrot having a meal of dried grapes.


Not that we mind.  As far as we’re concerned the parrots and other small birds are more than welcome to what’s left of the grape harvest.  We also saw a very cheeky rat (we think) run across the pergola beam, break of a bunch of dried grapes and disappear into the roof … not once, but twice 😲.  Cheeky devil!

We spied this creature, called a Feather Horned Beetle, on the clothes line. Very difficult to photograph!  What I wouldn’t give to eyelashes like that!!!! 😄

Although it’s now June, and officially Winter, our Satsuma plum is still showing amazing Autumn colour.

The official “sprinkler ban, no watering other than hand held hose” period started on 1st June but the weather is still acting like a very warm Autumn … cold mornings and nights with crisp, sunny days … and with no sign of real rain.  The long range forecast is for a dry winter.  Gordon is in the process of planting out his winter veg so he’ll be doing a lot of hand watering until the rain does come.  The rainwater tanks we’ve been talking about for years would have been useful … if we had put them in 🤔

Over the next two days our slow combustion wood stove will be getting refurbished and a new flue👍, so once again we’ll be able to light it up and get cooking, warming the house and boosting the solar hot water over winter without smoking the house out as we have for the past two years.

Now that I’m back blogging I’m planning on a post a week and updating the other pages where necessary.  I’ve really missed sitting and chatting.

I hope you’ll drop by for a cuppa and a chat next week 😎

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Almost back in action🤺😄

Well, I’ve not taken up fencing, as the picture in my heading suggests 😉 but I have finally managed to take up a crochet hook over the past couple of days.  Trying to find a new way of tensioning my yarn has been a challenge as my slowly healing fractured bones are still causing difficulties and my fingers don’t want to bend properly.  I’m not sure I’ve totally achieved the perfect solution, but I have managed to get this far ….

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I can almost hear “what on earth is that!” and I totally understand your confusion.  Hopefully this will turn into a very special rattling toy for a very special little person.  At this stage I’ll let you keep guessing 😉 as I would like it to be a surprise for those receiving this gift on Christmas morning, but all will be revealed after Christmas … providing it turns out the way it should!!!  I guess, even if it doesn’t turn out exactly how I expect, I should still post the finished product.

I saw the design on my FB feed and fell in love with it.  The only issue is that the designer had shown very little in the way of actual construction (using photographs) and the pattern directions were/are not particularly clear, so a bit of angst trying to get into the mind of said designer.

I’m taking photos as I work so that I have something to refer back to if I decide to make this item again.

Another interesting issue was finding a bell to put inside.  Off to Spotlight to pick up the yarn and find a bell.  No bell!  Looked and looked but the store is huge and I traipsed up and down through aisle after aisle and came up with nothing … nada😓.  Finally asked a sales assistant who looked at my yarn and said “If you go back to where you found your yarn, then go to the back corner and they will be on one of the ends”.  So back I went, walked up and down, scanned aisle and end, after aisle and end and still nothing, but by this time I was starting to feel cross-eyed!  Came to the conclusion that it wasn’t my day and decided to head home with my yarn and look for the bell closer to the time I would need it.

Just as I was walking away I saw another sales assistant in the actual yarn area, so asked my question again.  This time the answer was “Oh, bells are with the teddy bears on that far wall” as she pointed in a totally opposite direction to my previous instructions.  Sure enough, there they were, packets and packets and packets of bells of all shapes and sizes and colours … BUT they came in packs of 10 and upwards and I only wanted one 🤔.  Beggars can’t be choosers, so I picked up a pack of 10, in the meantime wondering what I was going to do with extra 9 shiny gold bells ….

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Well, as you can see, there are now only six in the packet … what did I do with the other four?

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I was going carol singing yesterday and we’d been asked to wear as much “bling” as possible.  I looked at my boring shoes and thought of the old nursery rhyme “rings on her fingers and bells on her toes”.  Out with the tinsel, a couple of very rough bows (very difficult to tie bows with this particular tinsel) and voila, bells on the ends 😉  I certainly jingle jangled as I walked!  I’ll be singing carols again on Christmas Eve at Fiona Stanley Hospital, so these bows and bells will be back on my shoes again very soon 😎

I guess, for now, the rest of the bells will go in with the rest of my crochet stash until required for another project.

On the fractured hand bones front, I haven’t been happy with the slow recovery and poor mobility (it’s now eight weeks) and wondered whether everything was healing OK.  Saw my GP yesterday and he agreed, so off for another x-ray.  The radiologist is almost like an old friend these days, so I pumped him a little and he did say that it wasn’t healing as well as it should but naturally he didn’t want to say any more, but when he asked if I had an appointment to see my GP I knew that it wasn’t a good sign and he did comment that having osteoporosis could slow down the healing process 😪.  Sure enough, today I received a message from the surgery asking me to make a follow-up appointment.  Booked in for next Monday to find out just what’s going on.  As I’ve said before, I’m not a very patient patient but I guess you can’t hurry nature, so I’ll just have to manage, as I have been, do my best not to grizzle and be an absolute pain in the neck for Gordon (my goodness, he is so patient with me .. I love him to bits ❤❤!!!!)  and put up with the inconvenience until it finally rights itself.

So, at least I’m finally back doing a very small amount of crocheting and I am very thankful that I do actually have two hands 🙌

Wishing you a happy, sunshiny day wherever you may be 😎❤🔆

 

Slowly, slowly, slowly🐌🐌🐌

Time is relative …. although it seems as though it’s taking forever for the bones in my left hand to heal, and yet the days are rapidly counting down towards the end of the year.  Both the slow and the rapid are frustratingly annoying.  So much I want and need to do and I’m really not known for my patience 😛

To compound the problem, the pain I’ve had in my left arm/shoulder has finally been diagnosed as bursitis.  Cortisone injection later this week will hopefully help reduce the inflammation and pain.

The positives:

I need to mindful that the broken bones could have been a lot worse and be thankful that today (almost six weeks since that silly fall) I can actually type with all my fingers at a reasonable speed again … that’s a plus.

I’ve also been forced to use my right hand/arm for so many more things (except writing!) so I now know that I can make my bread, cakes and biscuits using either arm.  It might take a bit longer but it’s possible … that’s also a plus.

Ukelele playing is still difficult but as the swelling goes down the fingers move a bit better each time I play and it’s physiotherapy at the same time … that’s another plus.

Broken bones have no impact on singing!  Gordon has volunteered himself as my driver and has been taking me to my choir practices twice a week despite the fact that he really doesn’t like choir music.  He takes his books and puzzles with him, tunes out and waits two hours each time while I sing my heart out.  He is a treasurer and I love him to bits ❤😍

On the short term downside:

I can’t still can’t drive and losing the independence of being able go where I want, when I want can be a little irritating.

Crocheting is still not an option.  Interesting to discover that the total control of my yarn tension is with my ring and pinky fingers and they’re the ones that are still not totally functioning the way they should, but they are improving.  I’ve tried different ways to tension my yarn but nothing has worked so I just have to be patient a little longer.

Looking back on what I’ve just written, there are more positives than negatives so I just need to be patient a bit longer, be grateful that in the scheme of things the injury is fairly minor and be thankful that I have a wonderful man who loves and looks after me … even when I’m grumpy and difficult 👌

Time to get on with the day, do the everyday household stuff and get in a bit of uke practice.

Wishing you a happy, positive and safe sun shiny day 🔆😎💐

 

 

“Life gets Tee-Jus Don’t It” !!!😉

Loved this as a child and today that’s just what it feels like.  I’m a “doing” person and being confined to being one handed (and the wrong hand at that!) has made me a bit grumpy and difficult to live with these past three weeks.

After seeing my doctor, who told me that it would be a good idea to leave the strapping off during the day when home so that I could use my hand “a little” and “not to overdo it”, I followed his advice … BUT how do you know if you’ve “overdoing it” when the aching pain doesn’t set in until about two hours later?! 🤔

So yes, life has been a bit tedious and I’ve been more than a bit frustrated … it’s only three weeks into the six week “healing process” …  and apparently it will take several months before it’s really back to “normal”.  Meanwhile all I can do is look longingly at my yarn and crochet projects and slowly, carefully and one handed re-arrange my yarn into a more colour coordinated order, and try finger picking my ukelele without actually doing the chords.  Having just joined a new uke group it’s frustrating to feel like I’m getting left behind … grrrr!!!

🤚🤚🤚Stop!!!  Warning!!!  This is sounding more and more like a “poor me” whinge session, and it may get worse 😝

No, let’s be positive!  Last weekend, with hand strapped and with Gordon’s staunch help, I managed to get to the Dunsborough SongFest with my Born to Sing choir and Secret Women’s Business Group.  I take my hat off to my wonderful man who has no interest at all in listening to choirs but happily packed up the car and camper trailer to take me south for three days.  Not only that, he even subjected himself to being the “bag man” for me and quite a few of the other ladies.  We women always need someone to look after our bags whilst we’re singing and Gordon was very quickly nominated and piled up with copious bags and “stuff”.  Naturally, by being the “bag man”, he then had no option but to stay and listen to our performances, which no doubt required a great deal of fortitude on his part.  He really does deserve 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 for this heroic effort 😍

The SongFest was a great weekend of singing in harmony but also a learning curve on how to better present ourselves to an audience, which is something we will be concentrating on in future choir sessions.  You never stop learning … not just the words of the many songs, or your own particular harmonies (I am what’s referred to as an Alto 1), but also learning to listen and blend your voice/harmony with those around you, how to stand or move in sync, how to enter and leave the stage … especially our large choir which can be anything from 50 to 150 people, but also our small Secret Women’s group of between 10 to 20 people.  Behind all of this is the driving force, the man who started it all, our choir master, Martin.  An amazing man who lives for music and pushes us to strive to be better and better and never become complacent … “there’s always room for improvement”!

So there it is … no crocheting being done, no uke being played but I could be a lot worse off, so no time for any more feeling sorry for myself, or whinging and moaning.  Just time to be thankful that the injury wasn’t worse, get on with what I can do, try not to “overdo it” and wait, wait, wait.

Wishing you health, happiness and a sun shiny day 😎😎

Out of Action😥👨‍⚕️

IMG_1610Life has it’s moments and at the moment I’m out of action with two fractured bones in my left hand .. which unfortunately also happens to be my dominant hand 😕.  Crochet, typing, and basically anything you use your hands for has become a challenge.  That’s not to say that I’m not up for a challenge, but it certainly takes the 🔆 out of the day.

We had been away for a week down south in Albany and we’d had a great time just chilling out, sampling some delicious food, ice cream, cheese, cider and toffees from the region and enjoying revisiting some of the local attractions including Jimmy Newell’s Harbour, The Gap and the Natural Bridge.  Gordon spent his early life in Albany and then we lived there for three years in the 1970s, so each year we have our yearly “Albany Fix” as we call it.

Another special attraction this year in Albany is the Field of Light: Avenue of Honour by Bruce Munro and it’s installed the length of the Avenue of Honour that leads up to the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial.  The installation is to mark the end of the Great War and the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918.  My camera really couldn’t do justice to the installation but this is what I managed to get …

The end of our trip was to be a fund raising ride/drive with an Albany group of big bike and old car enthusiasts and would go from Albany to Bridgetown and return over the weekend except we would be returning back home rather than going back to Albany.  We were in our Morris Minor van with the camper trailer on the back, so a bit of a challenge keeping up with the big bikes and the V8s.  The start of the run on the Saturday morning was from Albany out to Alkoomi Wines in the Frankand River wine region.  This was our stop for morning tea and the winery provided free tea and coffee to accompany the muffins that had been baked for us by the supporters of Hawthorn House, the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre in Albany that we were raising funds for.

From Alkoomi we were on back roads that were perfect for bikes but sometimes a bit of a challenge for our little beast.  I think Gordon’s cartoon perfectly describes the last section of the road into Bridgetown 😲.  I am not kidding you, the hills and bends were very challenging and the poor Green Hornet (that’s the car’s name 🙂) was constantly in first and second gear.  Our fuel consumption was atrocious and we had to stop to put more in.
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Finally arrived for lunch at The Cidery, which was very nice.  A walk down town and afternoon tea a bit later and then out to Sunnyhurst Chalets, our overnight accommodation.

That’s when the weekend fell apart due to my clumsiness.  The beds in the chalets had doonas on them, but the sheets were neatly folded alongside the bed ready to for us to make the bed up.  I knew making the bed would aggravate Gordon’s back so I sent him out to the car to get our bags and I was going to make the bed.  Folded the doona, picked it up, turned and walked towards a chair and next thing I’m on the ground, having caught my toe in a bit of the doona that I hadn’t fold up quite right!  As I fell I hit my hand against the edge of the cupboard … OUCH!!!!!  I actually thought (hoped!) that I’d just bruised it as at that stage I could bend my fingers but the pain was excruciating!  Gordon got ice out of the freezer and I sat for about half an hour hoping that it would improve … but no, it just got worse and in the end we went off to the local hospital where, after an x-ray, I was told I had broken the two bones in my hand connected to the little and ring fingers.  So splint made up, hand bandaged and Panadol and Neurofen swallowed.

Despite all of the above, we did have lovely weekend.  With the entry fees ($100 per vehicle), outside donations and the $4,500 raised at the Saturday night auction (all items had been donated by local Albany businesses), the group raised more than $7,500 for Hawthorn House, a non-profit organisation that doesn’t receive any government funding.

A great bunch of people with big hearts.  We have been been fortunate to be a part of this Raiser Ride for two consecutive years and all things going to plan we will join them again after next year’s “Abany Fix”.

So, that’s why I’ve been “missing in action” … and that’s it for now as two finger typing is quite exhausting (and painful).

Hoping this finds you hale and hearty and with no broken bones 😜

Wishing you sunshine and happiness 😎😍

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows for Cobs with💝💝💝

What I love about this WordPress blog world is that you get to meet some lovely people.  One special person is Cobs from The Cobweborium Emporium.  Although we live at opposite ends of this wonderful planet called Earth we can communicate through the atmosphere and share thoughts and laughter and sorrows and joys.  We will never meet in person but does that matter?  I don’t think so.  Somehow you connect with people purely by the way they think and write.

Cobs is an amazingly talented artist in many ways.  I would love to be able to purchase some of her creations but they are very fragile and she tells me the cost through her postal service is too prohibitive so she doesn’t mail outside her own country.  I’m the loser here as she has some really lovely cards and fairy/gnome creations.  Go and have a look at her cards Begin Each Day with Twitchy Whiskers and Start Each Day with a Waggy Tail, just for example.

During an interaction with another follower, Cobs mentioned something called The Spoon Theory.  I Googled it and found that it was a way of explaining how people living with chronic pain/illness/whatever can explain what their life is like.  Having lived with back pain for more years than I really want to think about, I have finally found a way to explain how each moment of each day is a decision on what you are physically able to accomplish.  I try to not let back pain define me and I try to defy it every day but it’s something that can’t be explained to a “well” person.  There are certainly many days when I’ve “used up” all my spoons but there are also “good days” when I have some in reserve for those “not so good” days.

Today, in my world, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the bees are busy pollinating our fruit tree blossom and I have an almost full hand of spoons so life is looking pretty good.

Here are some morning photos from the garden … sunshine, bees in blossom, flowers blooming, all is right with my world.

Wishing you all, and especially Cobs, a happy, sun shiny day filled with love and laughter 😍😎

Singing in the shower🛀🚿🎶

Does this video bring back memories for you?  I can remember hearing it over and over in the 1970s/80s when our children were young and as I couldn’t find a song about singing in the shower I thought I’d let Ernie sing about bath time with his rubber ducky.

Why did I want a song about singing in the shower?  Well, I’ve just finished this …
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a back scrubber for the shower.  This is a pattern from Red Heart and they use their own yarn called Scrubby.  I can’t get that here in Western Australia, but I did find a substitute at Knit Purl Yarn Boutique called Wendy Wash Knit (for pots and pits).  It’s a polyester yarn and very difficult to describe.  This is what it looks like close up …

It doesn’t feel scratchy, although it looks as if it should be.  I never feel like I’ve washed my back properly with a brush, so I’m hoping that this might do a better job.

It was incredibly difficult to crochet with as you can’t see your stitches and the roughish texture causes the yarn to stick rather than pull through smoothly.  I always love a challenge and this certainly has had its challenging moments 🤔

Things have been a bit quiet on the crochet front.  I’ve had issues with my right thumb in the very cold weather and I think perhaps it may be the beginning of arthritis.  What a pain (literally) that will be if it is.  Although I’m left hand dominant for most things, I crochet right handed.

Now that the weather is slowly warming up I’m hoping to get back into the hooks and yarn, although the next three months will be very heavily travel and choir-related and may restrict my crochet time.

Firstly, we’re having a camping week away down south in Albany and on our way home we’ll be joining a group of Albany motorbike and classic car enthusiasts on a fund raising ride for Hawthorne House, Albany’s Alzheimer’s Respite Centre.  It’s actually called a Raiser Ride and we joined them last year on their weekend ride from Albany to Ravensthorpe and return and were one of only four classic cars amongst a very large number of motor bikes.  The ride raised $4000 for children’s mental health last year and we’re hoping to raise even more on this year’s ride from Albany to Bridgetown and return (we won’t go back to Albany … instead we’ll keep heading north for home at the end of the weekend).

Then, after a short break back home, we’ll head south again, this time to Dunsborough for the SongFest where my choir, Born to Sing, will be performing over the weekend.  Always a lot of fun and very uplifting.  Gordon’s not into choir singing, so he’ll probably organise his kayak and fishing gear and perhaps his golf clubs as the caravan park we stay at is reasonably close to both the beach and the golf course.

That takes us into November and then the choir will be in full rehearsal mode for the Carols by Candlelight on the Perth foreshore in mid-December in aid of Variety – The Children’s Charity.

Goodness, that’s completely written off the rest of 2018 😲 Where did this year go?  Everyone I speak with says the same thing … this year has flown by.

The night is getting on, so time to sign off.  Wishing you sunshine, happiness and health 😎

What a wonderful world💐🔆🌺😎

Well, where did the time go?

We’re finally home from a wonderful four weeks away travelling north and east to seek out warmth, sunshine, wildflowers and orchids.  Did we achieve all of it?  Well, no … not really … but the wildflowers and orchids were absolutely wonderful.  The warmth and sunshine came and went and we did manage some lovely days at Carnarvon, Onslow, Mount Magnet and Mingenew, so we can’t really complain too much about the cold winds and occasional rain.

I took my crochet project with me, but there never seemed to be enough time to do anything with it.  Many of our days were spent on the road and when we did stay in one place for a few days we were out and about sightseeing and photographing.  Our evenings were usually spent with Gordon writing up his diary and drawing his “cartoon of the day” while I downloaded our photos and wrote up our computer blog (https://campertravelswesternaustralia.wordpress.com).  The nights were so cold that we were inside our little camper trailer by no later than 6.30pm, with the travelling fan heater going to keep us warm.

The wildflowers in Western Australia this year are amazing.  There’s been so much rain that the flowers are the best they’ve been for many years.  These photos are of everlastings (or paper daisies) at Coalseam Conservation Park.  The white everlastings were just flowering along the roadside.

There were everlastings flowering everywhere but you can’t keep stopping all the time or you’d never get where you’re supposed to be going.  The flowering trees and shrubs were all showing off their gorgeous flowers and our days were a constant kaleidoscope of colour.

These were some of the tiny orchids that we found …

Plus a photo of our trusty steed … a 1953 Morris Minor 1/4 tonne van called The Green Hornet … surrounded by everlastings …
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We had a lovely break but it’s good to be back home again.

No major crochet projects at present and no orders either 😪.  Time to warm up the crochet hook and get to it.

If you have something you’d like made especially for you or as a gift for someone special … just send me a message via the contact form and I’ll get right back to you 👍

Wishing you a world full of love and laughter 💝😺