Thursday, August 30, 2007

Morning is here. Five days old.

Damien, Tabitha and Isabella. I had to share this with you, isn't it just lovely?
He says, on chat, Tabitha is sleeping 5 hours at night now. It is getting better.
Isabella looks pretty pleased with her little sister.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lush Green After The Rain

At last, green green grass instead of dried up brownish spikes!

This is taken from the road and it shows all the land Val owns. The house is behind the biggest tree and you can just see the hen house at the top of the hill on the right. Double click on the picture to see it all.
The goats are in the paddock behind the house and you can't see them from here or really the whole area of the plot.

Dave with Blackie on their veranda

Dave is waiting for his glass of port while we wait for the eclipse. Blackie is hiding under the table while the other dogs in the paddocks bark and howl.

Edging over but what a nice tub of buds...?

This is my feeble attempt of an eclipse of the moon. I think Jeff did better than this.
Sorry folks.

Moon full still, Brian looking to make sure!

The men are becoming impatient, binocs and cameras at the ready. Dusk is here and nothing happening yet.

It does cover over at about 9.00pm and we sit in the dark and look at the Milky Way and the stars above - fantastic view. I did take a picture but Pauline's hanging basket of flowers showed up more than the moon. Typical.

Jeff trying to frighten me, threatening to BBQ me!

I didn't know he picked up that knife, naughty man, this is for children to look at...
I look pretty tense, perhaps it is because of all the weight I have put on out here. All those sausages...

Jeff checking the cooking

Jeff is there checking the cooking.
This picture shows just how much space there is around the house, Burtons Road was a farm, it was then divided up into 10 acre plots and people built their homes.
From ours we can only see the house in front, and the one next door, although hardly. We do see their horses in the paddock at the back and hear them when the wind is in the 'wrong' direction.

Sausage Sizzler @ Jeff and Pauline's Place

Left to Right - Jeff, Dave, Brian, Blackie (hidden behind bench).

We have been invited to a sausage sizzler evening to watch the full eclipse of the moon.

We can just see the lights from Jeff and Pauline's house from our patio. They are the other side of our road, Burtons Road. They bought the land and put their 'kit house' on it and are hoping to come here permanently from Brisbane where they live most of the time.

They are here for three weeks at the moment and we are making the most of their company. Pauline paints the walls of her sheds and I will take some pictures of these shortly and also the frogs in her loo's system... don't even ask!

The gazebo in the background is where we ate. With the moon fading fast and the frogs croaking - very nice.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

First moments with Daddy

The look of amazement on Damien's face says it all. Another beautiful daughter.
She is a little cutie, though not so little!
Very similar hair line - Damien!
Lovely picture

Sleeping Beauty

Tabitha certainly looks content and this must have been taken only hours after her birth...
Damien tells me she has had seven feeds already and she is only 10 hours old (when he told me this). I think they can expect a hungry baby to be keeping them up at night.
What a lovely gift this Bank Holiday weekend and lots of visitors too on Monday I suspect.
Tabitha is 'our' TWENTIETH grandchild shall we keep it that nice round figure? Or not?

Miss Tabitha Eva Stewart

Tabitha arrived 26th August at 16.41 in the afternoon and she weighed in at 9lbs.11.5oz.
Mother and baby are doing well and are at home already.
She has dark hair at the sides and looks very much like Damien did at birth - but you can see Isabella too in her face.
Becky looks just wonderful, not like she has just given birth...
We were woken by the phone call this morning and it was a lovely awakening too.
Well done Becky, Damien and Isabella and congratulations.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

First day of bad weather on Tuesday 21st August

Freddie the frog sits in the first real puddle. He was there when I went out the back door to pick up the washing from the line.
This was taken last Tuesday and there has been no let up of wild wind gusts and rain. Good for the grass and the water situation here in SE Queensland. Today is Friday and it is still the same, gusts of 52 kms and temp of 11C. At night it seems to be worse, like the tramantana of Menorca.
The dogs seem to love the wind and rain and are very lively. Max of course stays near to me and sleeps most of the time. Brian goes about his normal jobs and is collecting more firewood, but minding his back this time.
We will be into town in the morning to pick up more provisions and the paper but otherwise it is back to the keyboard for me. I am steaming away now and up to nearly 30,000 words. Thanks to the bad weather.
I don't suppose it will improve much over the weekend, on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast it is much worse - so there will not be many photos coming up unless we go somewhere very interesting and it is inside... I don't think so!

Sundowner for Brian's Birthday

Neighbours come up to celebrate Brian's birthday, from left - Jeff, Dave, Pauline and of course Brian.
It seems here - you invite people to your house and they bring their own drink and food. Not heard of in Menorca! Can't quite get my head around it although I do remember in Africa we used to do that, mainly because we all came from different countries and it would be a brilliant mixture of food.
Anyway I provided the birthday cake, sausage rolls, crisps and pate. Pauline brought up a tapa hidden in the basket of small rounds of mini pizza-like bread rolls and they were very tasty.
They also brought Brian a bottle of white wine. He is still receiving emails and messages wishing him a happy birthday and also a phone call from Bernard and Doreen his sister at 6.05am ( I know!) they thought it was mid morning... Phone calls from Lynda, Hayley, Simon and Louise too. Letters, parcels and cards in abundance. Spoiled rotten he was.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Back safe and sound

I did take some photos of them in the sky, but the clouds really blotted them out and it looked like a speck.
Brian loved every minute of his 30 minutes and even asked about lessons which would take the two months we have left and end in a solo flight - NO WAY JOSE - I said.

After all this excitement we drove to The Bell Tower for lunch where we had fish soup and steak and kidney pie. It was better weather then with the sun out, shame it wasn't earlier!

Rain forecast tomorrow and we do need it. The goats are munching on dried old grass and waiting by the gate for us. We might have to buy pellets for them if the dry weather continues.

Thanks for all email, e-cards, cards and parcels sent. Also the chat people. Lots of communication going on today for Brian. Thanks.

Off he goes

The glider is being tugged up by a small plane and the guy is running along just making sure the wings don't dip. I nearly dipped I can tell you!

Waiting for Lift Off

You can see the tow rope and Brian and Greg are inside. I must say I felt rather strange as the clouds gathered and the wind came up again.
Greg had said to me as Brian got in, if anything happens you get 2 million bucks!!!
I was expecting Brian to open the top and climb out at this moment, not too late to change his mind.
CLICK on the picture and you will see him clearly inside... if you want to.

Up up and away

Strapped in and waiting to go.

What ever you do don't touch this

Greg bent over showing Brian the controls. He is concentrating isn't he. You can see the 'office' in the background - the bus. The sky is overcast and not the best of days but the wind has dropped somewhat = ugh = wouldn't get me up there, but I didn't tell Brian that.

Fly Me To The Moon

For Brian's birthday presant I bought him a trip in a small plane, so I thought!
But on waking up this morning it was very windy, cloudy, with rain expected. We had no electric this morning for five hours due to people working on the cables so was unable to use my phone to cancel it.
Gayleen came up to clean and she used her mobile and we cancelled it together without Brian noticing. All he knew was he was going somewhere with me, to dress warm, take a camera and sunglasses.
As you can imagine all the time he was asking questions and I relented in the end after Gayleen had left and we decided to go and look at the plane and the airport.
We arrived to see the bus the guy uses as an office the other side of the airport to where we had parked and Brian watched a glider being towed up and said 'You wouldn't get me in one of those' to which I said 'It won't be one of them it will be the other plane towing it'.
We drove around the airport, really small and sweet, to find the blokes timing the glider, we introduced ourselves and waited for Greg - the pilot to come down from the sky above.
We didn't notice where he came from in the end as we were in deep conversation with other people - but Greg suddenly appeared and said 'Brian happy birthday get ready to go up now'.
So I paid the agreed sum and Brian followed Greg to the glider... you should have seen his face. Greg proceeded to explain that Brian would be sitting in the front and taking instruction from him, to which Brian glared at me as I was laughing.
This is the showing the controls picture and I really expected him to back off, but with a bunch of hardy Aussies standing by he got in and up he went.
It had turned out Greg had phoned Gayleen on her mobile and suggested we go to the airport as the weather has improved. Without us knowing, Gayleen said 'I think they might come and look as Chris said she would drive him to see the plane, so you might see them' and of course that is what we did. HE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nine months ago!

Brian and I are waiting for a new little bundle of joy from Damien and Becky. Baby is due this week - the week of Brian's birthday.
I bet Isabella can't wait to see her sister.
They look so happy here I reckon they knew what was going to happen nine months later!
Watch this space and soon there will be a photo of the newest member of the family.

My cousins - mother and daughter.

I have gone back in time to our first two hours in Australia, eating fish and chips by the ocean, if you look closely.
I forgot to put this one on and as I am short of new photos cos of B's back, I thought I would ask a few questions and hopefully you can all answer the post. I don't get many posts sent back actually.
Anyway as I was saying - my cousins - mother and daughter...
Angie (on the right) is my mother's cousin, so what does that make me? Her second cousin? Yes?
Samantha being her daughter is my third cousin? Yes? And are we removed once, twice or three times?
OK Sam, I know you told me once but I have not worked it out yet. What are you to me - a first, second, third. I know my great-grandparents Emma Louisa Beck and William Arthur Beck are your great-grandparents too so that must make us third cousins being three generations ago. Is that right?

The other end of the room.

Is it me or does it look crooked?
Anyway here are the books, many of them, all good, all interesting. Just how we like it, surrounded by books.
Brian's chair with his work gear on and his hat over.
Hope we aren't boring you folks, but you asked what the house is like and it is like this - lovely.

Our lovely sitting room

This is where we spend our evenings in front of the wood burner.
Gayleen has been in to do the floors and I have put the throws in the wash - thought you might like to see where we hang out.
Notice the slate floor - super in the summer but cold in winter I think - but easy to keep clean.
Val's house is full of interesting items and her decor, the colours are vivid. It is all so different to my bland colours at home. Very ethnic!

Brian talking to hens

You can tell Brian has a bad back by the way he's standing! I know he is talking to the hens but it does look bad.

He spends too many hours chopping wood and doing stuff. I have put an end to it for a couple of days. After all he wants to be fit for his birthday doesn't he?

By the way don't his legs look white, they match the hens' legs eh?

When was this? Who is it?

Oh dear, I forgot to put this up earlier. Brian by the bridge next to our hotel in Singapore... It was such a balmy night and we were so tired from the flight. But still, we managed to get out and about of course and we liked this bridge - so Brian posed, of course.
Taken a month and a week ago, where has that time gone, if it goes that quick again we will soon be back in Menorca - just like that!

Max having an evening in.

As you can see Max is making the most of the evenings with the log fire. He is completely gone into the world of cat's dreams.
Bless him.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A rescued Joey

This little thing is safe and sound now.
He is being looked after by the group.
I fed him sweet potato which he loved.
He is quite small, look at the bloke's hand.
By the way did anyone notice Brian's new hat in the last picture?

Grey Baby Wallaby

This is at the Saturday market in Nanango. The stall is the Wildlife Wanderers Carers Group and has a stall here, this man is holding a grey baby wallaby taken from a pouch of a dead mother.
The leaflet they hand out says 'Cars are one of the biggest killers of our wildlife, so if you see a dead animal at the side of the road STOP and CHECK to see if there is a baby in the pouch or nearby. ' We gave a donation and wished we could do more.
These people take care of them, keep them warm in pouches at home and then in time perhaps weeks and weeks later dehumanise them... put them back in the wild!

Six week old pups at local market

This couple are getting to know the pups they have just purchased from a breeder at the monthly market in Nanango. There were three of them and they couldn't make up their minds which ones to take - so we left them to it and worried about the one left behind...
There were plenty of cockerels to buy and we were tempted. Only joking Valerie!
Kittens and hens. All for sale.

Relaxing again with a cuppa

This is a rather sunny afternoon, and as usual Kaz is nearby.
I have boots on, but it is really hot, about 25C today.
Brian has been weeding and tidying the garden area and I sit and watch - of course.
I am up to 22,600 words at the moment and taking a breather. 15 Chapters to go by email shortly.
Otherwise all is well and we are very, very happy here in Queensland.

Can you tell the difference?

OK I know, you are fed up with goats and dogs! But look how similar they are! When viewed by Brian from the verandah into the paddock!
He counts 16 heads - 14 goats 2 dogs - and sighs with relief.
Kaz is the nearest. Pol is in charge as usual. He is a real good worker by himself but likes Kaz to be with him most of the time. Always at night. Now they are in this paddock it is near to our bedroom window and they spent most of last night making friends with the dog next door through the fence. Very noisy as dawn broke. What with the birdsong too. Lovely though it is!

Leader goat with brown head on hill

The brown headed goat is the leader goat. He is the Boss. He is on the hill at around five in the evening, they all seem to congregate there and then the dogs come up to see what they are doing and take them back down to the lower part. As you can see, the grass here is coarser so they wouldn't stay there too long before deciding to go lower where it is green and fresh.

We Did It! Thanks to Pol and Kaz

We managed to bring 14 goats from one paddock, through another and on to this paddock in front of the house.
Brian held the leader goat with a tether but it broke, Brian fell and we nearly gave up.
Then we took breath and decided to whoosh them up from behind. Pol took charge and went ahead and they all followed him, Kaz in the middle.
We whooshed some more and they went through to where they are in the picture. We were exhausted but happy.
The bath is full of clean drinking water and Brian is taking a rest leaning on the tree.