just call me, Bubbles, baby

bubbles

Into the city for a Saturday sleep over with Petite Fille while her Mummy and Daddy dined at a French restaurant to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Sunday morning it was back to bubble blowing, and making aeroplanes by linking plastic clothes pegs and adding imaginative sound effects. I am a magnificent granny, as you would have expected.

Then it was out to lunch, before returning home to the country. We went to a nearby Japanese restaurant where I ordered a tempura prawn bento box with miso soup, and washed down with green tea. I joked Daughter1 and Mr Boy are eating their way around the globe this weekend, with an English style roast dinner planned for Sunday night dinner as well!

bento

Petite Fille had a lunch brought from home but did have a valiant attempt to master the chop sticks, and may just have pipped Grandmama on that task. Her papa, the foodie, was so proud.

The restaurant had an artificial cherry tree with fairy lights in the centre of the dining room, which of course took Petite Fille’s eye as soon as she spied it. I suggested that her parents should include such in their upcoming house renovation, but I fear my suggestion fell on deaf eyes.

photo-28

Petite Fille has learnt lots of new words, one being “sit” but she kind of says it as “shhit” so of course we take every opportunity to get her to say “sit” so that we can hear “shit”. It is a cruel trick on a small child, but a good one. It will make a great clip for the 21st birthday celebrations!

The run of luck was with me, and I garnered another poo nappy to change. That is four for four. Oh, the joys of grandmotherhood are varied and many.

The Queen was in the throne room

Call us spontaneous, as with my sister riding in the back seat, we went in search of my mother’s family home. Mr FD and I had tried a few months back to pinpoint the seat of my maternal home, but as I was about 8 the last time I was in that area, and that is the odd decade or two (three or four, then) since, I was not sure of the way and we missed the turn off. My older sister was about 17 the last time she was there and so was able to locate it with more ease. Our great grandparents had settled the farm as new immigrants from Germany/Poland.

We pulled up and the present owner of the former dairy farm was working in the yard and so we asked permission to take a photo, though I would have even if he had said no!

 

Grandparents  House   The house originally had iron lace all around the veranda which was removed and the veranda closed in during my mother’s childhood – with nine children, the two boys slept on the closed in veranda. Being a Polish/German family the farm was always pristine, with not a thing out of place in my childhood, with a very large Victorian style garden with neat rectangular beds edged in rocks removed from the fields as borders. There was also a large orchard, but all this is now gone and turned over to lawn. Still, the old home looked wonderful, and brought back so many happy memories for my sister and I.

Afterwards we drove to Spicer’s at Hidden Vale, which is about 20 minutes from our house,  for a late lunch. My sister had already lunched at the Home with Mum, so sister and I shared a ploughman’s platter and then scones with jam and cream. We sat on the veranda of the original homestead and took in the views of the valley plains below while a jazz duo played in the background. I am told it is how the other half live. Spicers   spicer at hidden vale While there was much to photograph I had to share this photo with you – the toilet roll holder in the ladies toilet. It is the Australian coat of arms. How apt for the throne room! toilet roll spicers 1   toilet roll spicers 2

 

 

To read the history of the HIDDEN VALE area go HERE

raindrops and linen sheets

Woke at 7am, made breakfast for Augie Dog and myself, Mr FD still slumbering, then Augie and I went back to bed. I woke with a start at 11.30am, Mr FD still beside me. We had a lunch reservation for 12, a celebration for Mr FD’s birthday which is tomorrow – we were only five minutes late! Not that it really mattered as it was not at any michelin star restaurant, but the local pub. We ordered their fish platters, which had those lovely chips (fries) that were crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside.

 

photo-11

 

The pub is popular with family groups and on this rainy Sunday was busy, noisy and stuffy. A cup of coffee and we were done. We drove home, my tummy working hard to digest the heavy fare.

So, what better place to digest than back in bed? I climbed back under the sheets and slept until 5pm, when I rose and fed Augie Dog again. I couldn’t face dinner.

A Sunday to be recommended to all.

Family rescue

Sunday morning, Mr FD and I packed our box of goodies and drove over to Sister and BIL’s house. There we found BIL sitting in the warm sunshine, watching Sister, his older sister and her husband (both about 80!) energetically pruning the garden in preparation for the new spring growth.

We filled their freezer with our meals, and then shared a up of coffee with them. It was, as Hangaku Gozen commented to my previous post, a family effort to say ,“I will take care of you. I cherish you and you can always count on me to keep you safe and healthy.” We are also trying to share the load with my sister.

After our visit, Mr FD and I felt that we needed something to life our spirits a little before returning home, so we set out to have a Sunday drive in the country, which is easy when you live in the country!

The valley where we live is bounded by the Great Dividing Range. Our house is on the very edge of the Liverpool Range. The valley is a very fertile farming area on a flood plain, and the reason why we flood. Our drive showed us just how badly the land had been scoured by the January floods.The rain runs down from the mountains into the narrow mountain streams to merge with the country creeks and then onto the Bremer and Brisbane rivers. A vast volume of water flows down those mountain streams.

We had it in the back of our minds, to find the farm where my grandparents lived when I was a small child, but as it is over 40 years since I was there, and even the country changes over time, I wasn’t able to navigate the way. Next time we shall take sister and BIL with us, as sister being 8 years old than I, is sure to have a clearer memory of the area.

The drive did bring back so many memories or Sunday drives with my family, stopping to paddle in mountain streams and to picnic on creek banks. In those days we thought nothing of swimming in local creeks, today we would never think of it as pesticides and fertilizers have contaminated the waters.

country stream, south east Queensland, Australia

country stream, south east Queensland, Australia

Mulgowie 3

a very odd local who was intent on taking photos of the underneath of the tree - perhaps planning to move in and live there sometime...

a very odd local who was intent on taking photos of the underneath of the tree – perhaps planning to move in and live there sometime…

what the local loved

what the local loved

A distant view of Castle Mountain

A distant view of Castle Mountain

not a Dalek - an old piece of farm machinery now a mail box! Any suggestions what it was originally?

not a Dalek – an old piece of farm machinery now a mail box! Any suggestions what it was originally?

more the local style for mail boxes!

more the local style for mail boxes!

By this time, my stomach was telling me it wasn’t enjoying itself any longer, and with no picnic repast to feast upon, it was time to turn for home, leaving us more roads to travel another day.

Sunday morning coming down

sleep and tea 1959

We live on over an acre of land, as do all our neighbours. Behind our property are acres and acres of rural land. So, on a Sunday morning I think it is fair for me to consider that slipping out to the clothes line on the back garden terrace in my pjs is a fairly safe bet. Nope.

No sooner did I start pegging clothes on the line and four men appear at the boundary line between our property and the neighbours, not 10 metres from where I stood in my magnificent cotton pjs. I ignored them and they stared at me.

They were there to lop a very tall tree that the neighbours were concerned might fall on either of our houses. It had already dropped a branch on their house before we moved in. It was a beautiful tree but safety first, and honestly we both have so many trees and will no doubt plant more trees that one tree will not change the planet’s climate.

The tree was nicely positioned to fall on our bedroom if it did fall our way, so I went inside and told Mr FD that while it might suit my agenda if a tree crushed him to death in our bed, it may not suit his, and perhaps it might be time to rise and shine. Notice a recurring theme, dear readers? In most of my tales of home, Mr FD is in his bed…but no blog post is long enough to “discuss” that issue, so we won’t go there.

Mr FD grumbled something about wasn’t there better things to do at 8am on a Sunday morning, but I reminded him that we now lived in the country and most “real” men had been up and working for several hours. He chose to address the rest of his conversation to Augie Dog, who had the sense to move to a safer position in the hallway.

I dressed and went back outside to take a few photos. There were four men, one young, one so old he walked with a stoop and two mature baby boomers. The team didn’t instil confidence, and of course they had the young one up the tree.

Tree cutting 2013 148

When I left to drive to the city the sound of the chain saw and the cracking of branches followed me down our drive. Mr FD had informed me that the neighbour was going to save the wood for our winter fire so I left with the vision of a rustic artfully crafted wood pile waiting for me upon my return.

I drove to the city to spend the day with Daughter1, still on Baby Wait. I always enjoy the part of the journey through the countryside. Today I passed a bull manning up to do his duty with his cow lady love, only to see him  rejected. It was Sunday morning and maybe she thought it was her one day of rest!

Later in the day I drove home anticipating our wood pile, only to be met by the sight of a jumble of leaves and branches over the grass at property edge as well as hanging down over our retaining wall and covering our compost bin. A work in progress I hope, otherwise Mr FD better man up and start a little sawing and stacking!

They also didn’t chop the tree down. They lopped off all the branches and left it looking like a cross between a totem pole and a ladder for Jack to use instead of his bean stalk. Another work in progress, or they lost the heart to cut it down? Maybe the tree will fight back and blossom again…

Hungry?

Not me! Look what we ate for Sunday Breakfast :

Daughter2's gingerbread pancakes

and more importantly, my breakfast of salmon and poached eggs!

It was the first time that we had been to The Nook. We were surprised how busy it was, but not surprised as the western suburbs of Brisbane are absolutely starved for restaurants and eateries of all kinds. The food was great; breakfast is my favourite meal to eat out, and the pot of tea I ordered went at least three cups.

Then on to shopping, which was a little disappointing. Ever since the GFC clothes have slipped in quality. Too many badly made items imported. They are wondering why clothing retail is in a dive, I think it is more due to bad buying and over priced, bad quality items than lack of money. So, I purchased one item as did daughter who usually shops up a storm. Their mistake.

Home to bake a birthday for Daughter2. We are celebrating next week, but she has requested a chocolate fruit cake, so I made it this week, so that the flavours have time to blend (included 2/3 cup brandy!).

Do hope your day was pleasant, though I know my day, naturally, would be superior!