Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Witches flying past on broomsticks

Black cats leaping here and there

White-robed spooks on every corner

Mournful moaning in the air

Goblins peering out of windows

Spirit-things that rap and run

But don't be scared - it's just October

Having one last hour of fun

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Driving Miss Millie


Phew - back home last night from a massive few days in Perth & as MOTH predicted, my direction-finding molecule 'malfunctioned' & I got hopelessly lost over the 3 days. My poor clients were generally greeted by a frazzled, exasperated Millie, running late from taking the wrong turn & ending up on a freeway going in the opposite direction!

I had a birdsye view from from my hotel room of all the preparations on the Swan River for the RedBull Air-Race which is on this weekend. While I've always enjoyed watching it on telly, seeing the huge set-up for it & the buzz it was creating around town, has made me want to do the spectator thing in person when its in Australia next.

Headed down to Fremantle yesterday late morning to see a client & afterwards couldn't help stopping in to the Kailis Brothers Fish Cafe down on the Marina for a fix of their amazing fish & chips. Then a very 'interesting' trip the back way to the Airport to high-tail it home. Have a huge amount of follow-up to do, so I'll be stuck in the office for the next week.

Although it will be made easier by the exciting news from my boss this morning that our Company won the Customer Service Institute of Australia's National Small Business of the Year Award in Melbourne last night. Hooray for us!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Terrace Time

If MOTH absolutely forced me to move back to Victoria with him (see last week's Spray Farm post) then there's only one suburb in Melbourne for me & that's the wonderful East Melbourne.

Something like this beauty in gorgeous Powlett St. complete with yes, you guessed it, another Paul Bangay garden! However, I have a feeling the lovely Ewa from Ewa's garden will leave a comment about the lack of garden seating - & of course, she's quite right!

However, even with Spray Farm on the weekends & this beauty during the week & 3 of our boys now Melbournites - I'd still have to be anaesthetized for the move & this is absolutely no reflection on my Melbourne friends but I'm just an Adelaide 'Hillsbilly' now through & through!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

White Affair

Image Angel at my Table

Image Belle Maison

Image Garden Tones

Image House to Home

Image New England Lifestyle

Image Nordic Style

Image Fridas Gard

Image Nordic Style

Image Brian Vanden Brink

While I'm away here's a few of my favourite white pieces to look at. Is there one that wins your heart?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why Stirling?

All images Toop & Toop

When we decided to upstumps & move from the comfort of the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide for a new life in the Adelaide Hills 3 years ago, we got a lot of very querulous & odd looks from friends & family who thought we were loco. Well, this is the reason!!

Gorgeous Yultewirra, one of our neighbours in the next street is up for sale & this property is indicative of why we fell instantly in love with Stirling. Huge rambling acre blocks, full of towering old trees & lush green gardens & a peaceful solitude unlike any we'd ever known. While our circa 1972 'darling' is not in quite the same league as Yulte's 1900 bluestone villa, we are surrounded by similar gardens & trees. Oh, and seeing the wonderful tennis court setting, MOTH's on notice to rid our old tennis court of his hybrid veggie patch in pots & piles of drying fire wood, as with a 'bit' of work, I want to have a court setting just like the one pictured!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Heading West

A happy weekend to everybody. I'm flying to Western Australia on Monday morning to work for the week. Haven't driven in Perth before, but have bitten the bullet this time & hired a car. Have 7 clients to see & they are situated all over, so wish me luck, as MOTH says my direction-finding molecule is non-existent. How unkind of him!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Out

Just love this little pool pavilion! And that window seat to laze around on after a swim - gorgeous! A day could pass very quickly in these surrounds.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spray Farm

Images Spray Farm

Even though MOTH has lived in South Australia for 15 years, & reckons he'd never go back to Victoria now, I think he'd change his mind in a heartbeat if he was able to own Spray Farm. He's always loved that area of rural Victoria, so he'd be in his element. His ultimate dream has always been to own a coastal vineyard with a large oyster farm where the vines meet the sea!

Situated on the Bellarine Pennisula, a 90 minute drive from Melbourne, this stunning historic property sits on 147 acres of coastal land including a 7 hectare vineyard. The grand homestead was built in 1852 & the house was extended in 1875 with a French Gothic style brick stable complex forming a fully enclosed courtyard. The property is owned by the Browne family from nearby Scotchmans Hill Winery (one of our favourite Sav. Blanc's!) & following their purchase in 1994, they added a Paul Bangay-designed formal garden which now surrounds the homestead.

8 fenced paddocks, cattle yards, 3 bedroom managers cottage, cellar and loft, stables & an old stone Cobb & Co coach house complete the estate. With views of the Melbourne skyline in the distance & the blue waters of beautiful Corio Bay at the front door, it could be MOTH's for approx. $8million. I'll get him filling in the Expression of Interest documents immediately!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A change of direction

The Millie of a life-time ago!

Son #2 in Melbourne has been talking to us about wanting to change the direction of his working life. He's always been passionate about film-making (particularly editing), but has never actively pursued it as a full-time career. His current job is well-paying, however he hates it, but it has allowed him to build a good nest-egg of savings. Now at 28 he thinks that moment in time has arrived & its now or never to take that gigantic leap of faith & study full-time.

In thinking about his decision & what advice to give him, I started to think about my own career path. At 17 I desperately wanted to become a journalist. However, there was no tertiary degree at that time (1973), the only way to enter the industry was through a cadetship with News Limited (who owns our daily newspaper) & with only 2 places per year & over 3,000 applicants, I didn't have enough self-belief to even apply. So as many of us did then (& to my parents relief!), I went nursing. I enjoyed my 3 years & came out at the end with a qualification, & sort of accepted that this was to be what I would do for the rest of my working life.

In my post-grad. year I developed an interest in Intensive Care/Coronary Care nursing, & did the tough post-grad. Diploma. Then an unexpected move into the highly-specialized area of Cardio-Thoracic (Open Heart Surgical) Intensive Care came along. From the very first moment in that environment, I knew I'd found something I could really love & give my all to. So that was it, I was hooked.

That is where I stayed for the next 10 years (in between all the babies!), studied for & gained my Cardio-Thoracic Critical Care degree & continued to love it totally. However, in late 1990, a chance conversation with a senior colleague altered the course of my work life forever. She recommended me for a non-clinical position that I'd never considered, & yes, much to my amazement I secured the position.

So for the past 18 years I've enjoyed an amazing ride in an area that was so totally out of my comfort zone! It has allowed me to experience some incredible moments, travel the world, meet my heroes, make life-long friends from my client base, constantly challenge myself & be on the forefront of some amazing ground-breaking technology.

So I guess in counselling Son #2, my only option is to advise him to go for it! After all, I took that step (albeit shakily!) & my life changed forever. I would be so interested in hearing your stories - if you are doing something very different to what you planned to do originally, the chance encounters along the way that led you there & those 'interesting' forks in the road that confront us & present opportunities in the most unexpected forms.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Room to move.

All that space!

Close-up of the window area

I have kitchens on my mind this morning, as for most of the weekend I've been without hot water in both the laundry & kitchen. The existing hot water heater that services those 2 rooms had been coughing & spluttering for the past month & finally took its last breath on Friday night. Not an issue most of you would say, just replace it Millie, but in this case its a real pain & the timing is woeful!

We had planned to replace it when we do the total gut & renovation of that area in the next 3 months, but it has obviously had the last laugh! Our overworked kettle has been boiling constantly to supply us with all our hot water. The old HWS was in a cupboard in the laundry, which was quite silly really, as it meant a huge loss of space in that room. That room will not exist shortly, so the new tank will have to go outside, but as MOTH had planned to rejig that whole area, he was out there scratching his head quite a bit yesterday, wondering just where it can go. So we'll probably have to buy the new HWS now, relocate it temporarily, plumb it in to the existing kitchen & then replumb it to all the new kitchen fittings early next year - grrrrrrrr!

I chose this kitchen today for one reason only - its huge amount of space!! Normally I adhere to the old Less is More theory, but on this occasion, that's going out the window! I reckon you could do complex Neurosurgery on that central bench without any trouble at all - that bank of lights are amazing! And while I'm on the subject of lighting, dear A-M over at The House That A-M Built has an on-going saga about the gorgeous lights she's coveting for her new kitchen, it makes for fun reading!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Miss Chloe

Thank you so much to everyone who left a kind note, it meant so much to MOTH & I. Miss Chloe peacefully left this world yesterday afternoon, & just as the sun was going down, we buried her under the Spruce tree down on our meadow. She liked to wander down there, lie amongst the grass & wildflowers & remind the birds who's territory this really was, so it's the perfect place for her to be now.

The house seems so empty without her this morning, son #5 says its like he's lost a sister - she just adored all the boys. She missed them so much as they all left home & would be so happy to see them whenever they came back. It was a lovely warm Spring day yesterday in the Hills & during the morning I carried her outside & sat in the sun with her. I told her how much she has meant to us all & that it was OK to leave us now. Goodbye Miss, you'll be in our hearts forever.
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