About Me

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My name is Kaye and I am 58 years old. Unbelievably to me, at my age, I have now just embarked upon my third career - as a History Education Consultant! I love to cross stitch and quilt, especially with my kittens, Furio and Milo "helping" me. I also love to read, I have a passion for history and I have been cooking since I was about 12 - move over Junior Masterchef! So, this blog, which started out as a cross stitch blog sometimes morphs into a reading journal or a history lesson (sorry, I used to be a secondary teacher before I became a publisher and now a consultant) or a post about my cooking mojo. Whatever it is, this blog is alway about me, my family and my life here in Eaglemont, Victoria. I have been happily married for over 30 years to the most wonderful man and we are blessed with three beautiful grown up children.

My fellow stitching kittens

Monday, 26 June 2017

Camperdown racetrack five miles long ...

Doo Dah! Doo Dah!

(Apologies to the real song)

But I am off on another road trip for work this week.  This time I am leaving TraderVic alone for two whole nights (how will he cope????) and staying in Camperdown for two nights while my colleague, Lambis and I are presenting to three schools in the area.

But, I am posing a question to you - do you think that I will have enough to do while I sit in my lonely hotel room each evening?  Let me tell you what I am taking.....

  • Five stitching projects 
  • The physical book I am currently reading - "The President's Lunch" by Jenny Bond. 
  • My headphones to listen to my audio book  - "Who killed Sherlock Holmes" by Paul Cornell (I also have nine further audio books downloaded onto my phone, as I will also listen to it on the drive down).
  • My kindle (which has hundreds of novels downloaded onto it)
  • A logic puzzle book
  • My laptop, so I can do some more blogging and/or watch Netflix
Plus, of course, the motel room will have a TV!

So, what is the verdict?  Have I taken enough to keep me occupied?


See you on the other side (or earlier, I hope).



P.S. I am not even sure if Camperdown has a racetrack - I will let you know when I get back.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A trip to Ballarat.....

The other week, I had a trip to one of my favourite Victorian towns - Ballarat!  Not to visit my dear Uncle and Aunt this time but for work. 

I set off mid morning, to make sure that I missed the traffic out of Melbourne and once I got there I had an early lunch at The Boatshed on Lake Wendouree.

It was a grey day....

but there were swans!

and the soup and toastie were very warming!

Then, it was off to the beautiful Ballarat railway station to pick up my colleague, Lambis.

I spied this lovely old pub across the road.

Then it was Lambis' turn for lunch and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this leadlight window.

As we had a little bit of time to kill before our appointment at Loreto College, Lambis and I went to visit the Garden of the Grieving Mother, which is designed as a memorial to those mothers of the Fallen in War.

Then it was time to go to Loreto College, where Lambis and I gave a presentation on World War I to the Year 9 and 10 students.

After I dropped Lambis back at the train station (he is a bit like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, he loves to take the train - lol!). I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and so to avoid hitting peak hour traffic in Melbourne, I spent some more leisure time in Ballarat.  

So, I headed off to visit Sovereign Needlework and indulged in a little bit of retail therapy......

Then, it was back to The Boatshed for a yummy scone and latte, whilst sitting by the fire (did I mention that it was a bitterly cold day in Ballarat?)

That is the end of my Ballarat adventures, see you all again next post.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Alphabet Club_Saturday Detention for W

is for

Waltzing Matilda is one of Australia's unofficial anthems (much preferred by many to our official one - Advance Australia Fair) and is a most beloved bush ballad.  

The story of the song is as follows:

"The title is Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing, derived from the German auf der Walz) with one's belongings in a "matilda" (swag) slung over one's back. The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or "swagman", making a drink of billy tea at a bush camp and capturing a stray jumbuck (sheep) to eat. When the jumbuck's owner, a squatter (wealthy landowner), and three mounted policemen pursue the swagman for theft, he declares "You'll never take me alive!" and commits suicide by drowning himself in a nearby billabong (watering hole), after which his ghost haunts the site."

It was written in January, 1895 by one of Australia's greatest poets, Banjo Paterson, while  he was staying at Dagworth Station, a sheep and cattle station near Winton in Central West Queensland owned by the Macpherson family. The words were written to a tune played on a zither or autoharp by 31‑year‑old Christina Macpherson, one of the family members at the station.

It has now been widely accepted that "Waltzing Matilda" is probably based on the following story:
In Queensland in 1891 the Great Shearers' Strike brought the colony close to civil war and was broken only after the Premier of QueenslandSamuel Griffith, called in the military. In September 1894, some shearers at Dagworth Station were again on strike. The situation turned violent with the striking shearers firing their rifles and pistols in the air and setting fire to the woolshed at Dagworth, killing dozens of sheep. The owner of Dagworth Station and three policemen gave chase to a man named Samuel Hoffmeister – also known as "French(y)". Rather than be captured, Hoffmeister shot and killed himself at the Combo Waterhole.
Bob Macpherson (the brother of Christina) and Paterson are said to have taken rides together at Dagworth. Here they would probably have passed the Combo Waterhole, where Macpherson is purported to have told this story to Paterson. Although not remaining in close contact, Paterson and Christina Macpherson both maintained this version of events until their deaths. Amongst Macpherson's belongings, found after her death in 1936, was an unopened letter to a music researcher that read "... one day I played (from ear) a tune, which I had heard played by a band at the Races in Warrnambool ... he [Paterson] then said he thought he could write some words to it. He then and there wrote the first verse. We tried it and thought it went well, so he then wrote the other verses." Similarly, in the early 1930s on ABC radio Paterson said "The shearers staged a strike and Macpherson's woolshed at Dagworth was burnt down and a man was picked up dead ... Miss Macpherson used to play a little Scottish tune on a zither and I put words to it and called it Waltzing Matilda."
The song itself was first performed on 6 April 1895 by Sir Herbert Ramsay at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Queensland. The occasion was a banquet for the Premier of Queensland.

Another famous "Waltzing Matilda" song is "And the band played Walzting Matilda" written by Eric Bogle in 1971 to protest about the futility of war.

Anyway, that is all from me for the Letter W but let me explain what The Alphabet Club is all about ....

  It is the brainchild of Chiara from The Grey Tail and Jo from Serendipitous Stitching and is loosely based on the premise of the movie "The Breakfast Club" - you can see the button for The Alphabet Club on my right sidebar.

On the first Saturday of each month, members of the club have "detention" and have to post about something that will enlighten others about their culture (as blogland is so diverse).  Of course, there should/could be something stitchy in there, if possible (although I seemed to have moved right away from that premise as the months have gone by, instead focusing on boring you all with quirky facts about Australia - lol!)

Each month will be a different letter of the alphabet - hence the club's name - and, of course, we started with "A" and now we are up to "W", nearly at the end of the alphabet but dear Jo tells me that she has a great idea for Life after Z - can't wait to find out what it is!

The Alphabet Club

Please visit Chiara's blog, The Grey Tail, for the link up post.

Oh, before I go, I have an UPDATE for my last Alphabet Club post, which was V is for Vegemite.  Dear Lesley, was so inspired by my post (at least that is how I am viewing it - lol!) that she bought some Vegemite for herself!

This is what she wrote to me:

"I bought a jar of Vegemite recently, ...it is delicious.I love Marmite,our beef based product and Vegemite is now my joint favourite on toast.Sooooo tasty.

So, give it a try if you haven't already!


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Smalls SAL_May 2017 plus May TUSAL, too....

Well, here I am again, playing catch up with the Smalls SAL but what the hey? At least I am remembering to post, eventually!

So, what Smalls can I show off to you, I have a few a lot this month, I think... Let me go rummage in my Girl's Nest and see what I can find....

Let's start with April and May from one of the SALs that I am doing this year - Rainbow Gallery's 2004 Cross Stitch Surprise series (January to December).

Oooops!  Forgot to add the kitty cat!

Next is another freebie, The Drawn Thread's "First Snow".  I substituted white beads instead of Smyrna crosses for the snowflakes - I am very happy with the effect.

I have also finished "A Spot of Spring" (another The Drawn Thread design) for my "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL" SAL, which I am doing with dear Jo.

Lots of beading on this one, too, I even found a beaded pale pink button to use as the flower!

Next up is my version of "You are so loved", gorgeous freebie from The Snowflower Diaries,  which I changed to "You are so blessed" and stitched for my Memento Box.  You can read more about this in my this post.

.... and some more pieces for the windows of my Memento Box....

This little house is from this sampler:

... and the sweet little fox is from this Sampler book

I also stitched a version of this freebie from The Primitive Hare ....

Phew! That is a lot of Smalls this month! I think that I am quite impressed with myself, really!

Please click here to see lots of other great Smalls from other stitchers.

... and to finish off, here is May's TUSAL report - the pile of ORTS is growing!

You can check out everyone else's TUSAL report by checking out this post on DaffyCat's blog and scrolling down to the comments section.


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