Monday 29 August 2011

We Went To The Casino!

Talk about not having time to scratch yourself but that's how the last 5 days have been...a whirlwind of medical appts, dog-sitting, shopping at a bulk warehouse and a trip to Burswood Casino...tomorrow another medical appt for Joe and possibly Melody-sitting again on Wednesday. Melody is our friend's beagle and has recently undergone spinal surgery so it's best not to leave her home alone. Then Mum phoned this morning asking why I hadn't written my blog today...she's my biggest fan!

Yesterday was fun as Mum and Dad treated me to a casino visit and we took our friend Barbara along too.
How's this for good value.......$10 each.....
you get the coach ride to Perth and back(30miles each way), $3 to 'play' with, all you can eat buffet lunch, free coffees etc all day and a ticket in a raffle to win a holiday in Broome.
The Carvery buffet is soup and rolls, salads, a hot dish(Pork in Mustard Sauce yesterday), a pasta dish and then a full roast dinner with beef and pork and crackling, roast potatoes, steamed vegies, gravy and apple sauce. The desserts are plentiful, pavlova, jelly and ice-cream, berry mousse, carrot cake etc, chocolate pudding and hot custard and so on. There's soft drinks, tea and a coffee machine and you can go back for more food and drinks as many times as you like.

This is the entrance and the whole casino is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens, neatly trimmed hedges, beautiful bronze statues and large fronts onto the Swan River so you can enjoy a stroll along there when the weather is fine. The huge Atrium houses restaurants and over 400 hotel rooms, shops and bars and is 10stories high,

Dad looking very comfy on the big coach...we spent the trip talking about his father's family and I took lots of notes.
Here are Barb and Mum ..."Oy! Stop that!" when they saw the camera!
We drove along the Canning River for a while...this is looking across towards where the river joins the Swan with the Perth skyline in the background.
That looks dangerous...
There was a Vintage Car Show on at the Burswood Dome and many of the cars were outside...this one was on it's way in from Yallingup, in the South West.....
Dad and I went for a walk and saw many more cars...
This Old Chap was hamming it up for the camera....and yes the lid was on lol. Dad is 78yrs young in 5 days!

Mum and I like to play on the slot machines with a $15 limit for the day....we bet 4cents a game lol and yesterday Mum came home with $125 and I 'won' $40 as well as having a fun day out. Dad and Barb need to practice we told them!

As well as the casino and 2 hotels there is a top class golf course here, a helipad and the huge Dome where the Hopman Cup tennis tournament is held each January. It's also a venue for pop/rock concerts etc and the whole complex is only 3kms from the centre of Perth.

We do understand that gambling can become a serious addiction so we set a strict limit to what we may spend and only visit several times a year, mostly for the wonderful food!
(Unfortunately) I am not being paid for this post lol

Saturday 27 August 2011

Catherine Kelsall nee Schofield

This is the story of my  great-grandmother, the mother of my maternal grandfather. Born in Dublin in 1863, she and her parents and sister, Teresa, came to settle in Preston, hoping for a better life I suppose. Her parents were William Schofield and Catherine Casey. Catherine married Joshua Kelsall (BA Oxford) and bore him at least 14 children, 11 survived but there were 3 Catherines too who all died in infancy). As she was an Irish Catholic and he an English Quaker his family disowned them after their marriage. My mother's father, Robert Kelsall was their 8th child.

Her children were...

Mary(?)1889 and died on the 21st,June 1964. new info from her grandson, Robert 7/7/14

This was in the late 1930's and she's holding Cath Bamber, my mother's cousin. Grandma died on May 15th, 1939. I believe they lived at 29, Snow Hill, Preston at one time. This is a photo taken in 1962 of Snow Hill.

In this photograph she is on the right-hand end of the middle row and Joshua is in the back row, fourth from the right and we believe they met here when they were both in service. Uncle Bob and Uncle Tom tell me that Joshua was the Head Gardener/Estate Manager and Catherine was Head  of Serving Staff. I do know from a letter written by Cath Bamber to me in 1985 that Joshua was also thought to have been a school master.
The little I do know of her has been handed down orally.....she was an avid reader, loved horse-riding, had socialist leanings and a cat named Trotsky! During WW1 her three eldest sons, Joshua, William and Joseph were all fighting in France when George was called up too. This was more than she could bear so she hid him in the attic of the family home but the police found him anyway....he died on the battlefield in 1917 but his older brothers all came home safely.
Grandma earned a living as a florist and taught the trade to all her own daughters, Eileen and Annie both had their own shops eventually with Mary and Beattie working for them.

If I find out more details of her life then I will add to this post.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Homemade Yogurt and Quark Cheese

Another useful food to make at home is your own yogurt and by draining it you can make a beautiful cream cheese known as quark.

I make mine in our vacuum flask overnight and start by heating up whole milk, about 750mls will fill the flask. Heat it until it begins to bubble lightly around the edges. I checked it with the thermometer so that I could tell you the temperature today and it was 70C. Allow it to cool to body temp or around 30C and then mix in 1/4 cup of good plain yogurt.
Heating the milk, can you see the bubbles forming around the edge?
Pour it into the flask and seal it tightly, I wrapped it in a thick towel to help keep it warm overnight, I left it about 18 hours in the end. Next day you should have creamy yogurt which you can use as is or make quark cheese spread by draining the whey off through a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, I use an old cheesecloth top of mine cut into squares.

Once it's stopped dripping fold over the edges of your fabric and place a saucer on top and weight it down with a tin of tomatoes or something to press the last of the whey out. The whey will be used in place of milk next time I bake so there's no wastage at all.

You will now have a cream cheese that you can use on bread or crackers, add honey or jam to it for a sweet treat or mix in chopped herbs and garlic. I love the slightly sharp tart taste and leave it plain.

Anzac Cake

Another delicious cake that's currently doing the blog rounds is Anzac cake....I found it here and Tania found it here! Have a look at both of these lovely blogs Aussie blogs while you're there!

You'll need....

1/2 cup Golden Syrup( I didn't have enough so used a tablespoon each of golden syrup, maple syrup and honey)
125gms butter
1/2 cup raw sugar

Gently melt them together in a small saucepan.

2 cups SR Flour(I used plain wholemeal and 4 t baking powder)
1/2 cup coconut, shredded is nice

Mix these together and then thoroughly mix in the melted butter etc.

Beat together 2 eggs and a cup of milk and mix that in too.

Grease or line a baking tin 20-30cms in size and bake for about 45minutes at 180C

The cake has a delicious toffee-like taste and is great on it's own, but my friends have a recipe for icing that they describe as "out of this world" so that may be a nice idea for a special occasion.

                                         If you're quick enough you can freeze some for later!

My Collection of Buses

....began in the year 2000 when we took a trip to Southsea near Portsmouth in England. We headed for the road where all the antique/junk shops are and found it was early closing day so they were mostly shut! Then we found the most amazing toy shop you could ever imagine......2 tiny rooms packed to the ceilings with toys and puzzles and Matchbox and Corgi model cars and buses. I bought 4 that day and picked up others in Ottawa, Fremantle and once in Warnbro. They fit very well into this old shelf that I found at a car boot sale.

Joe bought me this first one, a Lancaster(my home town)bus as a wedding present when we stayed in Perth at The Sebel Townhouse...a gift from our colleagues at Safety Bay Primary School xx The windows are steamed up as I'd just washed it....and so often when we travelled in these buses the windows were steamed up! As a child I suffered from travel sickness and was often sick on the bus...even on a 5 mile trip! It didn't help that people were still permitted to smoke on the buses!

These next two photos show the whole collection:

The little vintage car in the bottom corner arrived in a parcel from Auntie Jessie and Uncle Ken along with this big red plastic London bus that Olivia loved to play with as a toddler. Mum and Dad brought me the Uk post-box and telephone box back from a holiday.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Three Cheers for "JustSpectacles"

Several years ago it became apparent that I needed to start wearing glasses...I opened the door for Bonnie to go out but found I was talking to Joe's Ug boots, I came around a corner at school and asked myself who had thrown grated carrot all over the path but it was blossom from a vine on a trellis, I could no longer see the cricket on the telly from the settee. It was time!

Swayed by their advertising I went to JustSpectacles in the local shopping centre and had my eyes examined and glasses for driving and cricket-watching as well as embroidery work were ordered. When I went to pick them up the shop had closed down and the notice advised me I could collect them from their Baldivis shop, several miles away. This was the day before we flew to Canada!

So to cut a long story short the glasses and I got on very well together for several years until I sat on one pair and broke the arm off. A second pair got scratched somehow and money was "too tight to mention" so I managed with one pair and waited until we had enough cash to get them repaired.

Sailed into Specsavers with them yesterday and the lady in front of me had the very same problem so I eavesdropped and listened as she was charged $109 to repair the frame...this is 1/6th of my fortnighly pension so I walked out in shock. Gathered my senses and went back to ask if a new lens for the scratched pair would cost less. The lassie behind the counter looked at my broken frame and told me that they weren't from their shop which made me look at the case and see that they were from JustSpectacles...ooopsadaisy!

Swanned off down to JustSpecs and showed the lassie there my broken frame and told her I needed it mended the cheapest possible way please....I was starting to channel Red Green, the Duct Tape King by this stage! The young lady told me she'd have a look in their "scrap box" and could I come back in 10minutes?
We did our shopping and then went back....she'd repaired them perfectly and for FREE...I was amazed.

So if you need specs they might just be worth a visit!
Specs are us....Mum and I enjoying a bacon buttie and a mug on tea on the Devil's Bridge in Kirby Lonsdale!

Monday 22 August 2011

On This Day In 1968

Mum, Dad, Ian and I moved into our newly built home on Westbrook St. The house was built over several months and we made many trips from Point Walter Hostel to see the progress.

At that time Westbrook St was an unsealed track but Mum and Dad chose the block as it faces the Golf Course and they hoped it would never have houses across the road. The Golf Course only had 9 Holes then so we couldn't see anything but the dense green day we saw horses running through it after escaping from Sloan's Reserve on Wellard Rd!

The bad part is I don't have a good photograph of the house but will remedy this at a later's a glimpse...

Great-granddaughters relax on front verandah
and vegetables thrive where the pool was years ago

Will add some photos as soon as I can! Have a Happy Birthday, Dear House.

Edited to add 2 nice pics from Mum! Thanks Mumxxx

Sunday 21 August 2011

Bonne Fete, Maman

Today is my Mother-in-Law's 79th birthday. Lisa St Onge was born in 1932 in Gaspe, Quebec, the youngest of 18 children. She herself had 7 children, Majella, Pierre and Denis Rioux and then Leo, Denise, Serge and Manon Caissy.

Here are Denise, Majella, Maman, Serge, Manon and Joe(Leo), sadly Majella passed away several weeks after this photo was taken...

Here's 4 generations of her family...not complete as many live too far away.

Front row: Josiane, Doris, Michel, Roxanne, Jennyfer with Mike and Priscilla with Kyra.
Back row:Denise, Brian, Majella, Maman, Serge, Manon, Gerry, Leo/Joe, Mickael and Will.

Happy Birthday, Lisa xxxx

Friday 19 August 2011

Friday On My Mind...

...when we simply post a photo that means a lot to us, visit other blogs and leave the link back to our photograph.

Today nothing else will do.....
A new granddaughter, born yesterday in Ottawa. We welcome Megan Alice Charlotte into our family with much love. Congratulations to Priscilla and Will and sister Kyra. xxx

Thursday 18 August 2011

A Glimpse of Perth in Winter

Yesterday we had to attend an appointment in Perth and got there a little early so went for a walk around the traffic-free malls of Forrest Place and Murray Street. One beautiful building is the Heritage listed Commonwealth Bank Building, built from 1930-1933 in the Beaux Arts style which is rare in Perth.

What made our walk really special was the sight of this beautiful young woman dancing in the style of Northern India or perhaps photo's don't do her justice unfortunately.

When she had finished dancing instead of passing around a basket or hat to collect a few coins she made a short speech about the dangers of Nuclear Power and asked that we sign a petition to present to the government banning NPower from Western Australia.

This is Forrest Place where small concerts etc are shown in warmer times...the trees are bare of their leaves but look stunning in Summer.

And no train trip around Perth is possible without enjoying the poster of the "Grumpy Baby" asking that we leave the seats nearest to the doors for parents carrying babies and the elderly and frail!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

A Fair Isle Hat

Another free pattern...using 8ply/DK wool and a 4mm circular needle ...mine's about 16inches long.
You could also use 4 x 4mm double pointed needles or even 2 straight needles although this way you'll have to sew a seam up the back.

This makes a large hat...for a medium size I would cast on 90sts.
I simply cast on 96 stitches and worked 10rows of garter stitch or alternate knit and purl rows if using a circular needle.

Then I switched to stocking stitch and began my colourwork until the total length was about 5inches.

You can choose your own Fair Isle patterns, stripes or textured pattern.

Next row K4, K2tog to end and place a marker here
Work 2 rows straight.
4) K3, K2tog to end
Work 2 rows straight
7) K2, K2tog to end
8) Knit
9) K1, K2tog to end
10) Knit

Now simply K1, K2 tog round and round until 14 stitches remain
K2 tog until one st remains and pull the wool through that stitch to fasten off.
Weave any loose ends in and get your model to pose for you!

On This Day, August 17th in 2008

....we went to the beach! What's so interesting about that....well it was the middle of winter here but you couldn't tell that from these lovely photographs. The weather forecast for today is strong winds and rain!

What every best dressed baby was wearing that day!

Audrey Hepburn turned up too...kissed her grand-parents and then applied sunscreen to the various children.

My daughter-in-laws to be improved their boating skills before being 'rescued' by 2 strong surfies....
Bonnie and Gypsy enjoyed the break from their usual routine too...

and the older folks got to enjoy the Best Show on Earth...4 generations of their family having fun together.

Pelicans flew back and forth to the small offshore islands and a pod of dolphins came into the bay but were too quick to photograph properly.....
Can you see all the pelicans resting on Penguin Island?
It was a really special day.

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Saving Water

We live in a very dry part of a very dry country and saving water is an ethical choice for me.

Some ways to use less water include only using the washing machine when I have a full load to wash and to wash our dishes in two for hot soapy water, half a bowl to rinse off the soap.

Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.

I have 2 plastic buckets in the shower recess, we don't have a bath, which soon fill with soapy water. This water is used to help fill the washing machine or to flush the toilet.

Only flush the toilet "When it's yellow, Let it mellow. When it's brown, Flush it down."
It's just wrong that so many people in the world are drinking dirty, infected water and we're flushing away our waste in it!

I keep a bucket under the downspout to collect rainwater which then goes onto my pot-plants.

We never water the's tough and survives even our blistering summer.
Only water your vegetable garden early in the morning or late in the evening.

If you must wash your car stand it on the grass, soap it all over and give a quick rinse....there's no need to stand there hosing it for ages.

As we're renting we can't install water tanks but this is a great way to go for home-owners.

The beautiful Serpentine Falls slows to a trickle in Summer.....the river flows on to the Serpentine Dam from here but even in mid-winter our Perth dams are only at 28% capacity...that scares me.

This pic is from the Water Corporation rangers at Serpentine, the water is flowing into the dam but we need so much more.

Can you suggest any more ways to save water?

Monday 15 August 2011

The Front Buttoning Pebbles Vest

`I thought it would be nice to try and alter the wonderful Pebbles Vest to make a front buttoning vest for a change.
This size should fit up to 3 months.

DK/8ply wool about 80-90gms
Size 4mm/UK 8 needles
5 buttons.

 Cast on 88sts
Work 8 rows Garter Stitch with a buttonhole at the beginning of row 7. (Place buttonholes at beginning of every 12th row after this first one, 5 in all)
Row 9) Sl1, K5, purl to last 6sts, K6
Row10 and all even rows)Sl1, Knit to end.
Repeat rows 9 and 10 until you have 5 buttonholes and then work 2 more rows.
With RS facing cast off 6sts, K14, cast off  8, K32, cast off 8, K14, cast off 6.
Break wool/yarn

Left Front Shoulder

With RS facing rejoin yarn to first set of 14sts, place the 32sts and the other 14sts on a spare needle or stitch holder.
Rows 1 & 3 Sl1, K to end
Rows 2 & 4 Sl1, K2tbl, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 (10sts)
5-15 Sl1, K to end AND decrease at neck edge only on rows 8, 10 and 14(7 sts)
16-26 Sl1, K to end
Slip these 7 sts onto a stitch holder or scrap of yarn.

Back Top

With RS facing you rejoin yarn and knit to end
Row 2 Knit and decrease 1 st at each end(30sts)
3-23 Sl1, K to end
Row 24 K8, cast off 14, K8, slip the 2nd set of 8sts onto a st holder and break the yarn.
With RS facing you rejoin yarn to next row
25) Sl1, K7
26) Sl1, K2tbl, K5
27-34 repeat row 25 and using this link for Kitchener Stitch, graft the shoulder together.

Rejoin yarn to the other 8 sts for the back and work them in reverse to this side.

Then rejoin yarn to right front and work that in reverse.

This is the finished vest...note to not knit stripes as the carry over shows on the side with the buttons and my Kitchener Stitching of that left shoulder is baaaad!

Please Note that both the original Pebbles Pattern and my mods are only for personal use and not to be used for commercial purposes.