Monday, October 31, 2011

Getting My Drift

MOTH 's crook back is giving him less grief at the moment, so yesterday he spent all day in the garden. He continued on with the huge task of laying all the big stepping stones into the terrace he's made as a path down onto the small meadow. I was very excited as I peeped out the window at one stage & saw him mixing up concrete to set the stones. Believe me that is progress!

We've been talking a lot about what we are going to do next in that space. It's lovely & sheltered as it's surrounded by the laurel hedge & has a number of wonderful old shady trees, so I have gardens on my mind big time. I don't want any structured plantings, just drifts of flowers with a gravel path meandering through. In my research yesterday, I stumbled across the work of UK-based Kiwi ex-pat Anthony Paull. This garden he completed in Provence won him 1st prize for the 'best private garden' in the 2009 Torsanlorenzo International design competition. I can understand why. I love your drifts Anthony babe.

MOTH wandered out early this morning to check on his work & came back inside to report that there will be a couple of koalas in the neighbourhood not too happy this morning. The wet concrete was covered in koala foot prints. Yes, it's that time of the year dear Hedgies, so stay turned for this year's amorous koala report. I reckon the boy koalas are loading new Barry White songs into the koala stereo as quick as their little concrete-covered paws will let them!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Winner's Post

Some of you may have noticed I haven't been very talkative about my new job. Many of you have noticed that I haven't been my old self these past 5 months & thank you all for your concern via email. Hedgies are not known for their reticence in coming forward when they feel they need to know what's going on behind The Hedge. So emails the like of 'Spill the beans on the new job Mills!', 'What's happening at work', 'Have you quit?', etc haven't surprised me in the least.

I have been quiet because to be brutally honest, I've been miserable. I have stepped so far out of my comfort zone I feel like I'm in a different solar system. A whole new group of clients to form relationships with, a whole new specialty to come to grips with, a whole new product catalogue to get my head around, a whole new corporate culture to understand. At 55 I've had to study hard, cram for exams & not fail, the pressure has been immense. I thought those days were long gone & it's been incredibly tough. I miss my old life desperately, but I took on this new challenge because 1: I was pretty sure I could do it & 2: that if I didn't up my income to the current level, I'd still be project managing this uncompleted house renovation from my Nursing Home bed.

This week I turned the corner partways. I have had a win, a considerable win & it feels good. I had become so bound up in not knowing all the other stuff that I forgot one important thing. The one thing I don't have to form, come to grips with, get my head around, understand etc. is the one thing I can do & that's make the sale. So when it happened, it was like welcoming home a treasured old friend. I don't think my confidence ever left me, but it got taken hostage by all those other unfamiliar things.

I'm still not sure what I'll do in the long term. I feel sad that 21 years of expertise in the field I adore with all my being has gone into cold storage. Given the opportunity I'd return to it in a heartbeat. But I've made a commitment to give this my best, so that's where I'm at. Things could be worse & I'm grateful that I can still experience the fun & excitement of a win. And as MOTH so frequently reminds me 'Geez Mills, you're bloody lucky you've still got a job at your age!!!' It's the weekend,so go enjoy it!

Image: Life


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hats On!

It's that time of the year - the glorious Victorian Racing Carnival. I do love a good hat & any one of these would do just fine, love them all.

I am partial to a big hat, I love the bobbing of the head this way & that way that occurs when 2 girls wearing oversize millinery extravaganza's meet, greet & do the kiss, kiss thing at the races or in the marquee. It's an icebreaker with lots of laughter every time. What sort of hat girl or boy are you - do leave a note & surprise me, I reckon any preconvieved idea I may have will be tossed out the window!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5&8 6, 7, 9.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pink Heart

Today is National Breast Cancer Awareness Day. For those new to The Hedge, I posted the story of my own darling Mum's journey with the disease here. That post received the second highest amount of comments ever, pipped only by the Our New Bathroom post, when the Bathroom-From-Hell became the Bathroom-From-Heaven. I reckon Mum would have had a good laugh about coming Runner-Up to a bathroom!

While I support the work researchers globally are doing in finding a medical breakthrough, my heart & dollars lie in assisting those women who have been diagnosed & are trying to find their way through the myriad of treatment options & support services. The McGrath Foundation continues to do superb work in fundraising for the money to place specialized breast care nurses in communities across Australia. The Foundation now has 64 nurses who have helped support over 10,000 Aussie families.

Breast care nurses are specially trained registered nurses who act as patient advocates, coordinating care for women experiencing breast cancer, their families and their carers. They provide accurate information, support and referral to services. The Adelaide Hills area has just been fortunate to have an application for our own BCN approved & funding granted. Kylie Campbell will be based at the Adelaide Hills Community Health Centre in Mt. Barker.

Thinking of Mum today & the mightly battle she fought. And thinking too of the 12,600 Australian women who in the next 12 months will hear those words 'You have breast cancer.' And to dear Jane & Jill & Jillie & Margie who have heard those words....stay strong.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Love From Lulu

Woof, Woof, thank you to everyone who left lovely comments about me not being too good. Millie & MOTH sprung me from Puppy ICU last night & brought me home, & boy it's good to be back. I've been doing a lot of sleeping since then, but I'm sure I'll be back to my regular puppy self in the next few days. Dr. Sophie said that I was a cat's whisker away from having to go to surgery, so I'm glad that she could do other things to make me better. I've attached a picture of the culprit that caused all the trouble. Ever since I was a little puppy, MOTH's always shared a cooked corn cob with me, it's yummy & I love it. Well I'm not allowed to have one ever again, as in my excitement to woof the kernels down on Monday, I must have bitten off more than I could chew & swallowed most of the hard cob as well.

Millie says that at $692.00 it will be the most expensive vegetable she's ever bought. But that's the breaks when raising a sweet little puppy like me. It's the weekend, so go enjoy. Love from puppy Lulu. xx


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Puppy ICU

Dramas here at The Hedge with puppy Lulu. She was not her normal OTT self this morning & by lunch time was very unwell. A dash to see Dr. Sophie has resulted in an admission to puppy ICU with what looks to be a nasty bowel obstruction. Like any other young puppy she is a chewer, but we've been pretty careful to keep most things out of her way. She was desexed nearly 2 weeks ago & had a bit of a complication during the surgery, but she's had a good recovery. So not sure whats happening, the IV's up & the XRay's are being done. I'm about to take her favourite blanket & toy down to the Vet's as she's staying the night. She's taken The Hedge by storm since she arrived 4 months ago, she is such a personality & we already miss her heaps. She's in good hands, so we'll just have to play the waiting game.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Earth To Millie?

Architect Robert Joyce created this exquisite masterpiece in the U.S. for clients who love all things French. It was conceived as a provincial farm village with the cluster of simple farm buildings housing various parts of the family's life. Sometime today you've got to find a few minutes to visit Joyce's website here - go to the Country Houses page & open the magical world of the Provincial Village house. There are 67 large, glorious images of this project & if my reaction yesterday to this visual treat is anything to go by, you'll be absolutely speechless. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you've come back to earth!

Image: Robert Joyce Architecture


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Arborus Innominatus

....or in my lingo the 'No Idea Tree'! Now that our camelias & rhodies are on their last legs, there's not much in the garden to grab to chuck inside for some colour. So a few branchs of spring blossom from one of the trees down on our small meadow had to suffice. Every year when this tree emerges from the depths of a miserable, cold Adelaide Hills winter to put on a truly glorious show, I ask MOTH what kind of tree it is. And each year I get the same response from Mr. Know It All, ' It's an Arborus Innominatus Mills'. So today when I brought this arm full inside, I did my best Pauline imitation & asked MOTH to please explain. 'Well Millie if you must know it translates to the 'No Bloody Idea' tree. Yep, ask a silly question & all that.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Second Chance

I posted about James Doyle back in 2008 here, suggesting that he might find the gardens at The Hedge a worthy project to undertake on a pro-bono basis. Strangely I received no reply from him.

Anyhoo, being the forgiving, hold-no-grudges type of gal that I am, I'm still willing to give JD a bit of free publicity again.

Pretty good huh.

MOTH knows about my penchant for herringbone pattern bricks. I forced asked him to repave the driveway like this 4 years ago. He said it was the most horrendous satisfying paving project he'd ever done.

I'll let you all know if I receive a reply this time. If I get my wish & The Hedge receives a garden makeover courtesy of Mr. Doyle, I reckon it would make the cover of Veranda in a heartbeat. And then I'd really have something to post about!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Magpies Revenge

Davo mate if you're reading this, here's some consolation for not being able to fly your beloved Collingwood flag on the car arial after your loss 2 weekends ago in Melbourne to those awesome Cats.

Black & white gorgeousness.

In the very salubrious setting of a Paddington terrace (not Eddy Everywhere's place).

You are the most atypical Magpie supporter I know, but I still loves ya babe!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What's Swedish For Feisty?

MOTH & I have spent the past month working our way through the film adaptions of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and finally last night tucked up in front of the fire, we completed the trifecta with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Brutually realistic, achingly haunting, but always compelling, we enjoyed the series immensely. Noomi Rapace's portrayal of Lisbeth Salander was breathtaking, a truly masterful piece of casting by director Niels Arden Oplev.

In an interview last year with the UK Telegraph, Noomi said that Oplev initially thought she was too good-looking, feminine & soft to portray the sinewy, boyish, hard, punkish Lisbeth. To counter his objections, she went back to him & told him she'd do anything he wanted her to do to become Lisbeth & he finally agreed.

She dieted hard, cut her hair, learnt Thai kick boxing, trained with a fighter, gained her motorbike licence, obtained real body piercings & boy did it show.

Noomi says she hopes to have a career as a European actor, based in Paris or London. However a move to Hollywood isn't on the cards, and she noted that she had no desire to recreate Lisbeth in the Hollywood remake.

Mystic Millie has checked out her infamous crystal ball & predicts a very big future for Noomi. She is one feisty, gutsy chick who'll go far. And by the way, there appears to be no equivalent Swedish word for feisty or gutsy. If Translator is incorrect, do let us know.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2.5 Very Scary Words

Asbestos lean-to! Many of us have squared up to them during our renovation experiences & even MOTH puts his hands up in defeat & calls in the experts when demolishing one of these nightmares. Sam Crawford Architects got hold of this little beauty in Sydney for their clients & did a fab reno. The original house, a modest inter-war bungalow typical of the Waverley area was worth retaining. They removed the asbestos rear lean-to and created a new kitchen and living area which opens onto a covered outdoor entertaining space and added a plunge pool in the back yard for good measure. They retained the simple original facade of the house but it's now viewed through a translucent screen.....clever stuff!

It's no McMansion but I really like the vibe it puts out. A real little pocket rocket.

Images: Sam Crawford

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