Festival Time

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I could say that I have been out partying but that is not strictly the truth.  Thursday, 26th January is Australia Day and each year on the weekend closest to Australia Day the Maleny Film Society holds an Australian Film Festival.


We bought our passes, donned our festival armbands and immersed ourselves in a selection of Australian movies.  They were ‘Girl Asleep’, ‘Pawno’, ‘Broke’ and ‘Goldstone’.  They were all somewhat edgy, challenging and thought-provoking.  The language in ‘Pawno’ and ‘Broke’ particularly was not for the faint-hearted.

A real highlight was the attendance of well-known movie reviewer, David Stratton.


The other thing I have been working on is planning for our trip to the UK later in the year.  We now have our airfares and the majority of the accommodation organised.  I write about our travel plans and adventures on my other blog, Somewhere, Anywhere so please feel free to pop over and read all about it.

Today has been back to the everyday tasks – washing, ironing, menu planning, shopping and preparing meals.  I have also been moving along some excess items from the workshop from when we did a bit of a clean up a couple of weeks ago.  More about that in the next post.

Holiday Planning With A Difference


We have decided to try get someone to housesit while we are on holidays.  We are in the process of finding someone suitable who we trust to care for our house and animals while we are away.

Instead of planning what to take I need to think about what to leave behind.

This is going to require some planning and organisation to be able to hand over the running of the household.  It is a reminder of how much knowledge and information is carried in my head.

Things like instructions for the washing machine, location of the booster switch for the solar hot water, how much food the dog eats, what day the rubbish is collected and so on.

The upside is that the house is pretty well decluttered and organised so it will be easy for someone to find where things are.  There is also plenty of space for extra clothes and belongings.

I am determined that I am going to have all the planning done well in advance of our trip so that the last week or so will not be a mad rush.  I want to simply pack my bag according to a pre-determined list and go to the airport, knowing that everything has been sorted out.

In the past, sometimes the last week before a holiday is so frenetic that I just want to get on the plane or in the car before my head explodes.

I would love to hear if anyone has had experiences of someone house-sitting for them.  How did you choose them and was it successful?

Mending First, Sewing Second

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In order to keep on top of the never-ending stream of mending I have set myself the rule that I have to do any outstanding mending before I work on my sewing projects.

Today there was mending to be done.

2012-04-29 01This is The Duke’s backpack that he takes to work.  The stitching had ripped where the shoulder strap is attached so I restitched it.  Nothing fancy but it works.

2012-04-29 02Next, a patch on a pair of trousers (inside view).

2012-04-29 03Here is the end result.  You can see they are his best gear!  The patch on the left is the new one.  Not sure how much longer these will last.

2012-04-29 04Then it was on to the socks.  I think I did 4 altogether.  This shows the mended toe.  You can’t even call it darning.  I just use the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.  Once again, not pretty but effective.

I then went on and finished altering the waistband of a skirt before finally doing some sewing on a summer top for myself.  It is just as well that summer is 6 months away at the rate I am going.

I also did some more knitting on my dishcloths.  I have now finished my third one and am about halfway through the fourth.

This evening we have finalised the itinerary for the touring part of our US holiday and started booking accommodation.  The planning is lots of fun so I can barely begin to imagine how good it will be when we actually get there.  It is now less than 4 months till we leave.

Progress Report

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Tonight I do not have a single story to tell but updates on several ongoing projects.

Dishcloths – I am knitting these from a pattern in Rhonda Hetzel’s book, “Down to Earth”.  I have done 2 and a half so far.  My plan is to use all the cotton I have which will probably make 6 cloths.  Here is one that is finished and I just need to sew the ends in.

2012-04-26 01Dehydrating – the onion tops dehydrated beautifully and were then ground in the spice grinder and this is the result.

2012-04-26 02I made another batch of pumpkin soup but I have now finished the onions I grew last winter so I put a tablespoon of this into the mix instead and it worked perfectly.

We have been working on the itinerary for our USA trip.  We now have return flights booked, accommodation organised in Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.  We have found a suitable car hire company (thanks, Joanna) and have also booked our train tickets from Philadelphia to New York.  We booked this first as it is a Sunday and seems to be selling out on some trips.

I am currently reviewing and revising our itinerary for the driving part of our holiday.  I hope to finalise most of that this weekend.

Decluttering – The bags of clothes and hangers have gone to the op shop.

Now I need to go and reply to the comments from the last few days.

Also, just in case you are wondering where Friday Favourites went, it will be back tomorrow with a yummy dessert.  I decided that I had to be true to the description and post only tried and true family favourites under this heading – not something I had made once, so this feature will only appear when I have something really worth sharing.

Project 333 Update & Plans


I have not posted what I have worn each day but suffice to say that I stayed within my guidelines, apart from the addition of my dress due to the warm weather.

Since it is still relatively warm I have decided to swap in 2 items.  They are the black dress with white spots and this pair of lightweight cotton trousers.

2012-04-20 01The two items I am swapping out are these – a polo-neck knit and my turquoise cardigan.

2012-04-20 02When winter finally arrives, I will swap them back to the original selection.

Thinking ahead to the next 3 months, I will be including these walking sandals in my 33 items.  They do not get worn often (as evidenced by the dust) but they are great for when we are travelling.

2012-04-20 03Speaking of travelling – that was the reason I did not post this last night.  I was busy working on our itinerary for our trip in August/September.  We have finalised the first 10 days and have accommodation booked.  The rest is still a work in progress and I am more than happy for any personal experience or local knowledge.

August 20 – Arrive Washington DC
August 21 – Washington
August 22 – Washington
August 23 – Washington
August 24 – Philadelphia
August 25 – Philadelphia
August 26 – New York City
August 27 – New York City
August 28 – New York City
August 29 – New York City
August 30 – Boston
August 31 – Boston

We plan to travel between these segments by train and walk/use public transport for getting around.

Then we intend to hire a car and tour for the next 12 days.  My plan is something like this:

Leave Boston, travel via Wilton and Bangor to Bar Harbor.  2 nights in Bar Harbor.  Travel to Portland and stay 2 nights.

Drive through Rhode Island and Connecticut, stay on Connecticut coast for 1 night, possibly Branford.

Travel to Woodstock, NY – stay 2 nights.

Drive to Saratoga Springs for 1 night.

Travel through Bennington, VT to Charlotte/Burlington for 1 night.  Dive to Gorham/Mt Washington for 2 nights – travelling via Stowe.

1 night in a town ?where that is not too far from Boston then drop car off in Boston and catch train to Washington DC.

Final night and half day in Washington DC before flying home.

Please feel free to comment on any aspect of this.  Bear in mind that we have never been to the US so this has all been planned from maps, the internet and a few ideas from friends.

I am keen to hear of any car hire suggestions.