Signing off…


I'll be hard at work....

I’ll be hard at work….

Hey there.

I’m heading for the sunshine (like I don’t get enough at home).  The sewing machine is being serviced, my embroidery is packed, all the last minute bits are purchased. We have approximately 32 hours of travelling ahead of us.

For a small taste of what I’m in for, take a look at this YouTube video:

Signing off till my feet hit the ground, I’ve unpacked the camera and caught up with some sleep…

Kate 🙂

Deck the halls….

… with boughs of palm tree!

The Christmas table, awaiting for the guests

The Christmas table, awaiting the guests

The sun beating down on the garden

The sun beating down on the garden

We’ve laid palm fronds over the clear part of the patio roof, an excellent way of keeping the hot sun off the Christmas table, and an ingenious solution I owe to the Husband.  As you can see, we’re not going the holly and ivy route.  It’s so hot that we’ve had to resort to keeping the aircon on in the house and blowing it out of the window at the patio, using a fan.  Extreme, but otherwise we’d expire.  The food’s all cold, the drinks are all iced, and hopefully by 3pm the temperature will start to reduce as the sun gets a little lower and ducks behind the palm trees.  I watered the garden at 6am, and you’d think it hadn’t seen a drop for weeks, judging by the look of it. Everything’s thickly mulched with sugar cane trash, which works very well.

The family’s arriving in an hour, and I’m going to try and finish the second half of the Rolling Star block for the third baby quilt. But I think somehow I won’t make it. I keep seeing things I need to do.

So, I’m calling it a day for Christmas. I hope you all have the Christmas you dream of, that everything goes well, and that you are mentally restored (even if physically is asking too much!) by time spent with friends and family.  I’ll catch up with you in a day or two, once the washing up is done!

Signing off from tropical north Queensland, 


Words under Pressure #8

I have a photo for this poem, but it’s an old one, from the days of film.  Remember panoramic cameras, that would take wide or tall photos?  I had a good one, but they don’t make the film for it any more. There are some great pictures from my first ever trip to this wonderful country. I shall have to get round to scanning in the best panoramic shots I kept from previous adventures…one day.


Standing on the clifftop
Hair and clothes streaming
Heart singing
Breathing Atlantic infinity

Face turned to the sun
Eyes bathed in the glow
Of ultraviolet through lids
Skin carelessly caressed

Inhaling the air
The heady, healing compound
Of ozone, far distance, salt
Dolphins, sailing ships and fathoms-deep.

Feet among jewels
Flowering tiny and brilliant
Infinity encompassed in a shell
The grit of slow-built coral.

Words under Pressure #7

The Fountains of Salou

Shooting crystal reaches for the sun,
Seeming-solid pillars, with a fine down
Of spray to leeward, diamond dust
Blown off the sea to powder the land.

In ordered rows they march,
Rank on rank between the palms.
Tamed water sheltering the thirsty land
From the wild, slack, lively ocean.

Around the tanks, stones transmute,
Gleaming with fresh, glittering colour.
Drifted sand becomes cool and firm,
Sun heated stone is pleasant under foot.

Against the summer’s cerulean
The columns are stark white, dense
Against palest winter blue
Lit by low sun, prisms spring to life.

Words under Pressure #6

So many of you are heading into the heart of winter, pulling out your warm clothing, putting on boots and coats to go outside. Here, we’re sweltering in hot, hot days and miserably high humidity.  It makes me a little nostalgic for being too cold, and being able to pile on the woollens!

Selfish Joys

Ah, the deep, rich, velvet comfort
Of old red flannel pyjamas
And oh, the pink-cheeked bliss
Of hot chocolate and fleecy socks.

The outrageous pleasure of a whole sofa,
Cushions, fresh coffee, a new book, and peace.
The happy hedonism of others’ cooking.
The acute rightness of a well-considered gift.

Yes, and waking warm, with sun on eyelids.
With grilling bacon in the hungry nose.
And gale-blown air in office lungs,
And the heart as high as heaven.

Move over, Noah, THIS is a storm…


Storm season’s here in northern NSW.  It breaks droughts, and with a loud bang, forked lightning and associated minor flooding…

On Wednesday, we crossed the Queensland/New South Wales border in warm sunshine. A few grey streaks on the horizon, nothing much to speak of…  By the time we’d travelled 300km, there were clear signs that Something had passed that way recently (the SES out putting tarps on missing roofs, trees down in paddocks, that sort of thing), and the grey streaks were now building into large, heavy black clouds, slowly gathering together and blocking out the usual bright blue.  Driving through Coffs Harbour, 60km from our destination, the rain started. It got heavier and heavier and heavier until we were totally whited out, the vertical water was almost solid, and the surface of the road had disappeared under water.  We crept along, wondering if this was what we could expect for the rest of the week, and whether, having got up the mountain, we’d ever get down again…

Quite suddenly, through Bellingen, we hit the edge of the cloud, and the rain stopped as suddenly as if someone had thrown the celestial switch.  The road was a mess, culverts overflowing, branches down, and a greasy pulp of battered leaves and twigs on the road making the hairpin mountain bends interesting to say the least.  The waterfalls were in spate, the mountain was wearing a grey angora beret of cloud low on its brow, and everything was dripping.  But the storm was over and the road was still there, no landslips this time. We’d arrived safely in Dorrigo, and warm dry beds awaited us, together with a much needed glass of something.

Next morning dawned all blue and innocent as if nothing had happened, and indeed, when we drove back down the mountain to the first of our appointments, it seemed as if nothing had.  A bit of debris, waterfalls a bit heavier than usual, but apart from that, nothing.

A thunderhead brewing, but it came to nothing

A thunderhead brewing, but it came to nothing

On the way back, it looked as if we were about to cop another load, big white thunderheads building over the mountain to the north, but  nothing came of it.

Jacarandah Alley, just one of many rows of mature jacarandah trees along the Waterfall Way. Love that colour!

Jacarandah Alley, just one of many rows of mature jacarandah trees along the Waterfall Way. Love that colour!

We were able to enjoy some spring sunshine, the jacarandas in bloom, and the galahs congregating on the fruit tree cage in my sister’s garden and being bloody noisy about it.  It’s been a fun day.  The Magpie quilt has been delivered and raved over (tomorrow I’ll post a photo showing husband and wife wrapped in their opposing team quilts…), the Morning Tea quilt has been delivered, we’ve caught up with friends and had a great lunch out with family.  Another day to go, and then we’ll be heading back north on Saturday for the concert in Brisbane.

So far, the skies are behaving themselves.  It would be Murphy’s Law exemplified if we cop another load on the way home…

Galahs enjoying a laugh on my sister's fruit tree cage, silly things

Galahs enjoying a laugh on my sister’s fruit tree cage, silly things