Sunday 17 November 2019


Hi every-one, I haven't been blogging as my dear Dad(86) is rather ill now and I am taking him to chemotherapy and lots of medical appointments the words of a friend 'I haven't got time to scratch myself!"
It didn't help that I got locked out of here either lol!

I've been knitting more than ever as it does really relax me so I'll just add some photos for my record as much as anything. A Lily dress from Tikki on Ravelry...

A cardi made with King Cole yarn and pattern...

An acrylic lap rug/afghan for a grandson...I am going to make each Aussie grandchild something similar...

Gardening is nice in Spring(we had a record for November 40.4C in Perth yesterday)

BBQ any-one?

Elizabeth and David helped me establish  a raised garden bed over Winter...the tomatoes cover the whole bed these days...

We lost Joe's Mum on August 1st, to 'old age' I suppose you'd call it. Maman(86) made me very welcome in the family although with my lack of French and her lack of English our chats were very brief. Her ashes were taken back to Gaspe where she was born in Quebec Province.

So that's us for now...I miss even reading every-one's blogs so please forgive my lack of comments...things will change once again...swings and roundabouts of our lives, eh?


Monday 24 June 2019

Curtis's Pumpkin Soup et al

The two big supermarkets here publish a free monthly recipe book using products they sell. I don't always pick it up but this month Coles had slow cooker recipes and a chorizo, pumpkin and white bean recipe by an Aussie chef named Curtis Stone.

My adaptation
1/3 cup chopped chorizo...and seriously any tasty meat or mushroom etc will work(sage leaves?)

large chopped onion and carrot
5-ish cups of chopped pumpkin
3 chopped garlic cloves
drained can of white beans
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
salt and pepper

saute the meat and remove from pan
saute onion and carrot, then garlic and pumpkin
add 1/3 cup of beans
cover with water or chicken stock
cook until tender, blend and season well
add the cream and the rest of the beans and heat through
To serve sprinkle with the fried chorizo or mushrooms
Bon appetite 

We bought a Sunbeam Pie Maker recently and have been enjoying some delicious home-made pies, simple make a thick 'stew' or pie filling and the pies cook in under 15 minutes without having the big oven on for ages.
My two elder grandson are flat-sharing these days...I packed up a couple of hot meals for starves on my watch...I spent a whole $10 at the op-shop on 2 Pyrex dishes/platters, the big pasta bowl you can just see here and 4 kitchen utensils. These pies are a chicken, potato and corn mix...

These meat and tatie pies were my all time favourite as a child in Lancaster and Morecambe, I had no idea they were a local treat...I thought the whole world must love them nearly as much as me! Elizabeth and David were most appreciative lol

I finished little Darcie's cardigans, the second one looks a bit lop-sided unfortunately...I hope she is too busy running around for (m)any people to notice! Those wooden buttons come from Spotlight and at $2 for 6 are very good value...she will love the little hearts...

Off now to drop Joe at the podiatrist's and take Dad to the shops
No rest for the wicked!

Thursday 13 June 2019

Feather and Fan Keyhole Scarf

Details of the scarf I made as promised. I've used that lovely Jeans yarn that I bought at Spolight but sadly they no longer sell it.

You'll need

size UK8 or 4mm needles
around 100gms 8ply wool(perhaps a little more)

Feather and Fan is worked over an 11 stitch repeat pattern plus whatever you'd like for a garter st border...I've added 4 sts at each side here and so cast on 41sts. ie 4 sts per border and 3 x pattern repeat.

Row 1 Knit to end
Row 2 K4, purl to last 4 sts and K4
Row 3 K4, (P2tog) twice, (M1, K1)3 times, M1, **(p2 tog) 4 times, M1 K1 3times, M1** repeat from ** to last 8 sts, (P2 tog) twice and K4
Row 4 K4, purl to last 4 sts, K4

I continued with the pattern until the work was around 20cms/8inches long then made the 'keyhole' by working on the first 15sts until that part was about 10cms long. Place them on a sts holder and work the next two parts to the same length~~ the middle 11sts and the last 15sts give a nice even width and also make it easy to keep to the pattern.
Once done you simpley work across the three sections to make them one again and continue in pattern until the work is about 36 cms in length or when the two ends are the same length once you have threaded the end through the keyhole(I placed the work on a spare length of wool and tried it on for size.)

There are lots of patterns available for this type of scarf, a beginner could make a simple garter sts scarf perhaps?

Hooroo for now,
Love, Sue

*M1 make 1 st...I knit into the wool in between 2 sts to form another  st or you could knit into front and then the back of the knit sts to increase that way

Just adding this pattern too after searching high and low for it, I made this cowl in 2015 with a 200gm ball of Bloom from Bendigo Woolen Mills, it can be worn twisted and doubled for extra cosiness

Purl Ridge Cowl

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Craving Oranges

Don't you just love the way your body tells you what it needs? Day 12 of this bug and all I want is juicy mandarin the greengrocer's I hefted each by hand looking for the heaviest and therefore juiciest fruit. All that Vitamin C must be good for me! Those apples are this season's...they are very crisp and firm, there was also a new type of apple with an very dark almost black skin, must try them soon too...

I've made a cable stitch 'beanie' for my nephew, Jack...he's a young fashion designer now with an eye details so I think he'll love working out how the cables are's a free ravelry pattern ...

I'm also smitten with these 'knotted' scarves and another type called a 'keyhole' scarf

Celtic Knot Scarf

I've made this lovely keyhole scarf's that no longer available Jeans yarn from Spotlight...
I'll post the instructions separately soon...

We've had an incredible amount of rain recently, Elizabeth's bus is leaking and weeds are sprouting everywhere. Speaking of weeds, David turns 10yrs old on did that happen?

Vera is settled into a lovely nursing home with her own room and ensuite bathroom, I haven't been to visit yet as I don't know if I'm contagious or not...I cancelled my blood-work appt yesterday just in case. The 'flu virus is killing people so it's best to stay indoors if you can.

Last night we had lamb chops for the first time in years as they are rather expensive. These were delicious and so very tender...Joe carefully cut off all the fat but I just hoovered up everything but the bone lol I fried off onion and capsicum and 1/2 t curry powder and cooked rice and raisins and fried some tomatoes separately too. Tonight we'll have Italian style sausages and pasta and there's left-over Indian chicken for lunch from the freezer.

So that's us for now,
Hope you're well and happy too
Love from Sue

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Feeling Better, Feeling the Love

what a difference a day makes indeed, I feel almost human again now. Would you believe that my lovely Dad, who has a cold himself, turned up this morning with 3 Lemsip pouches to make me feel better;I don't use things like that but was mighty touched by his love!
Sadly Vera phoned to say she is too frail to come home and will go to hospice at some point...I will miss her dearly.

Yesterday I had the brainwave to make Rhonda's new Chilli Jam recipe forgetting how strong the fumes are...I had to open every window and use both fans and air-conditioner AND a scarf over my lower face to avoid inhaling the fume! (shakes head)...I like this recipe as it uses red peppers which are cheap and plentiful at the moment...

  For lunch today I was craving eggs so mixed up a crustless flan thingy using less than half a cooked chicken breast, finely chopped red capsicum, 5 eggs and some sour cream...a little too brown as I was watching the French Open tennis at the same time...

I am a lazy gardener and throw my eggshells directly onto the garden beds where they dry out and get crunched looks like some enterprising crow has placed most of them in the bird bath to make them softer to eat...I had to laugh!...

For tea tonight I've made spag bol, India vs South Africa are playing in the World Cricket Cup...Nilanthi are your family following the fortunes of the Sri Lanken team?

Bye bye for now,

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Best Laid Plans?

Well my plan to post far more often came unstuck right away as plans often do...while visiting my neighbour Vera who has COPD the nurse came and said she needed to go to the doctor right away for medications. So I phoned and arranged to take her in at 2.30pm. V is so very frail now so needed a wheelchair etc but we got in quickly and were home again soon with her meds. I'm learning how to turn oxygen tanks on and off these days too and she seemed fine(ish) when I left her but later that night the ambulance was called to take her back to hospital. So sad.

Thursday was quiet so nothing to post at all' oh yes there is...I saw both Cody and Jacob and got a kiss and hug from both of them <3. On Friday I took Dad shopping, he'd arranged to take his neighbour, another Vera, with us but when we got to her house she'd gone on her own in a taxi, old age is hard work you know?

As I was knitting on Friday afternoon with the front door open I realised that some-one was smoking cigarettes nearby but didn't get up to close the door until the 3rd fag was lit...I had no idea but after starting with bronchitis in the early hours of Saturday morning I know realise it was the smoke and not a cold as we'd thought. I used an inhaler to break up the phlegm in my chest but I was exhausted and spent most of 3 days lying on the settee trying to get warm.
This morning I looked on-line to see if my suspicions were correct and this article sums it up perfectly...

Visual Guide to Bronchitis 

I rarely catch colds these days but am prone to bronchitis when I do; this is a first to have it from an environmental source so I wanted to record it here. My first bout was aged 3months probably made worse by both parents smoking indoors as people just didn't know better in the 1950s . I feel a million times better today thank goodness but will have to take more care to avoid smoke etc from now on.

Most of the family have already had influenza vaccines last month as a particularly dangerous form of flu is out and about...4,000 Australians are expected to die of complications this Winter, that's hard to comprehend.

Never take your health for granted is all I can say...hope you all have a wonderful week

Oh and keep ready cooked food in the freezer for just such occasions!
Love Sue

Thursday 30 May 2019

Thursday Morn

I went outside to hang out the washing and was delighted to see these four galahs on the fence, Carol next door puts seed out for the local doves and these gorgeous 'cockies' have found it too...

Not sure if you can see but the bird on the left has black eyes so is a male, his Mrs is next to him with her soft brown eyes...

I'm knitting two cardigans for Darcie(2) who is my grandaughters' step-sister, this is sewn up now and I've nearly finished a stripy one in bright left-over yarn for her...I also made two cotton tote bags from Vintage inspired cotton for my grand-girls' birthday presents, they can use the bag again and again that way but I forgot to take photos!

Joe has stopped the chemotherapy for his skin cancers as the side effect of muscle cramping was becoming unbearable, legs and abdomen were so very's good to see him getting some proper sleep at last.

I was prompted to write this small post by Outback Tania who is going to post more regularly...these little things all add up to make our story don't they?

Bye bye for now

Monday 20 May 2019

 Hallo there, there a few recent pics from around the house and garden...look who turned 3 yrs of age last week...our Charlie and his Mum excelled herself with this beautiful cake complete with fire engine topper that a friend had made her(I'm learning all sorts of new baking terms from Bree and her cakes!) We had a feast at Nando's, we're all chilli heads here I think!

I finished a baby blanket this week-end, I used 2 strands of 4 -ply acrylic, it's so very soft and made up a broken basket stitch pattern in the middle of the night when all our best ideas come to us!

Snapped these glorious roses while taking the photo of the blanket, for such neglected rose bushes they produce prolifically and make a lovely gift for any-one feeling blue.

Major excitement when I spotted this almost ripe orange on my potted Cara Cara tree....the frangipani  trees had been sheltering it from view but they are losing their leaves now and wow! I also have lemons and limes ripening  but this is my first ever orange!

Our Paul has been going out with his mate, Jason, in Jase's, catching squid and trapping crayfish in deeper's Jason this morning(it is so cold atm) with catch of the day...I just cooked one of them and shelled it, there is a surprising amount of meat them. We'll eat it warm with salad and brown bread and butter I think keep it simple is best here...

The guys also smoke fish and here is one of Jason's pies made with smoked fish and crayfish in a thick tasty very good...not unlike our Tassie Scallop pies really....

So the days pass by like sands through the ...oh oops! sorry for the plagiarism (not).

Love from Sue

Cake of the Week from Bree too

Tuesday 7 May 2019

New Jacket and Hats

lots of knitting going as usual...will let the pictures do the talking...firstly my 8 ply(acrylic) jacket, cost less than $10 to make using this pattern

Cable hats with 8ply wool and this pattern  I always look on-line for free patterns before I make anything these days...ravelry is my favourite place...

How socks start Life...loving this tiny circular needle from Chiaogoo, bought on line from Skein Sisters, I've also started a baby blanket and am using a long circular needles as it takes the weight off my shoulders , the work rests in my lap and I only use my hands...

I've just read a wonderful book about Julia Child which led me to watching some YouTube clips of 'The French Chef', I am pleased to say my knife skills have greatly improved as well as my appreciation for all this amazing woman achieved in her long life.

6C here at dawn and I'm off to Dad's this morning with two serves of Shepherd's Pie and extra vegies...I out-did myself yesterday and doubled the amount of mincemeat needed by padding it out with grated carrot and zucchini and lots of chopped mushrooms too...we always have grated cheese on the top for extra yumminess :) I made Irish Stew at the weekend for the first time in years, lamb seems so expensive these days. Winter food is just my absolute favourite!

Hope all is well in your world ,
Love from Sue

Friday 5 April 2019

Tasmanian Scallop Pies

"Now I'm sad." says Uncle Tom when he finishes a particularly good meal and that's just how Joe and feel after eating our home-made curried scallop pies. I'm getting the recipe written down here before I forget how I made these scrumptious pies.

As usual my presentation wouldn't win a wooden spoon but inside...oh my giddy aunt!

We ate 3 scallop pies in the 2 weeks we were in Tasmania, this recipe tastes just like we had there.

4 small pies or just make 1 big one, I based this recipe on this one

2-3 squares of ready rolled puff pastry...I patched my tins to make sure nothing escaped
300-400 frozen scallops

2 egg yolks and the juice of half a lemon whisked together

2 T each of butter and flour
1 cup of stock, I used chicken
1 heaped teaspoon of Keen's curry powder
parsley, salt and pepper
3 T cream or sour cream

Start by lining your pie tins

 Melt the butter in a saucepan and blend in the flour, cook a couple of minutes then add the curry powder and cook another minute.
Add the stock and whisk until it's creamy and lump free, season well

Set aside to cool a little while you quickly sear the scallops in olive oil or butter, only a minute each side. Take off the heat

Now beat the egg/lemon mix and the cream into sauce and fold in the scallops

Fill up your pies, get the lids on and into a hot oven at 220C for around 20-25 minutes

Make jam pasties with any left-over pastry and cook them too!

Joe took the lid off his pie(is it a Canadian thing or was it to cool it down a bit?)

Here's one of the pies we had in Tassie, at the Richmond bakery, their scallops were much bigger than ours, I'll have to try and get some fresh ones next time...

We are looking forward to tomorrow's lunch now :D
I'm sad because I have lots of dishes to wash so I'd better get that done then I can sit and watch the women's soccer Matilda's vs USA that was played this morning!

Love Sue

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Knitting and a Bus

I seem to have been knitting these squares forever, at least 2 years, it's 100% wool and very heavy, very random too, knit 6 varied squares, join them end to end and add them to the side it suits best. This is the first time I've knit a border too, size 5mm needles and 12 stitches;start sewing it to the edge once it's nearly long enough as you will have to stretch it slightly to keep it tight...I also finished a pair of 8ply socks for Wendy, my gets quite cold in Albany in Winter...

  This is a free pattern and I made these last year but hadn't given them away, the pattern is from Joyful Toys and is called Peter Rabbit, it uses very little wool...

Joe's chemo is going well and his brother is on the same treatment in's to stop the basal cell carcinomas associated with Gorlin Syndrome that they both have. Enough with all this cutting them out, Joe looks like a patchwork himself these days and it's very painful.

Elizabeth has finally been in position to buy a smallish bus which she plans to gut and turn into a camper and then hit the 'frog and toad' with her 2 younger boys....she's had enough sorrow recently to last a lifetime so let's hope this is a turning point in her life...she will never be homeless again anyway!

Lots of work ahead but it's so good to have a goal isn't it?

Dad has gone on a holiday too...he's gone down to Albany to my brother and SIL's home for a few days. He'll come back on the bus which takes about 6 hours, quite an adventure for an 85 yr old.

I've tried some new recipes since we got home, this eggplant curry is particularly good, frugal and easy too and I made some basil and spring onion pesto with basil from the garden that had grown so much while we were in Tassie...I added a few roasted cashews jar is in the freezer to keep it very fresh...

and how's this for colourful...a white chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream made by Bree, it had 2 little troll dolls on top later!

So that's all for this quick update, I hope all is well with you,
Love, Sue

Thursday 28 March 2019

Tasmania and More

Hallo Every-one, Joe and I have just been to the state of Tasmania for a lovely holiday. We hired a car and after 4 nights in the capital, Hobart, we set off around the island to see as much as possible(I had in the mind the Griswolds heading to Wally World via The World's Biggest Banana etc). It is a relatively small state and it was almost like being in another country at times. The western areas are mountainous temperate rain forest and we enjoyed a steam train  ride through wilderness, here the engine is being turned manually

the King River Gorge through the train window...

We saw waterfalls, tree ferns and amazing fungi at Nelson Falls,

I visited the replica of Mawson's Hut at Antarctica on the Hobart waterfront(and cried, the 18 men were so very young and brave) and the beautiful replica sailing ship, Lady Nelson that brought early pioneers from England...

 Douglas Mawson's corner of the hut, the others were crammed into bunks around the edge

so very small for such a long sea journey

Beautiful deserted beaches on the east coast where it was dry farming land ...Marion Beach

had so much fabulous food and wine...seafood platter at Port Arthur...

We visited the  UnZoo and saw kangaroos, wallabies and most uniquely 2 Tasmanian Devils which are an endangered species these days...the female was eating a wallaby hind quarter...

Himself was snoozing in the sun...

This is a section of the Port Arthur Penal Colony, one of Australia's first settlements, well preserved but with a sad and violent history..

We saw mountains and historic houses, the oldest bridge and oldest hotel, markets and farms, ate scallop pies for the first time and walked miles every day. 

At the main museum in Hobart I learned more about the appalling genocide that went on in the this state in the 1800s when most of the native population were with slaughtered or imprisoned where they died in awful conditions. This was thought provoking to say the least.

I have so many more photos and stories but this will give you a hint of our are some links to some of the sites we visited...

We'd love to go again!!!