Friday, February 19, 2010


Almost 2 years ago I learnt to hand sew hexagons at Bronnie's.

The pattern that you usually use to interlock hexagons is called "Grandma's Flower Garden" which for most people is meant to denote something sweet and old fashioned.
Sadly to me, it was more aligned in my head to the naughty concept of the "dried flower arrangement" often sported by older women. ;O)

So I knew I had to use hexagons for good instead of evil and having already taken 5 years to choose the fabric I thought I'd sew them into diamonds instead, thus avoiding any further smutty references.

Finding Australian Aboriginal fabric that is actually designed by indigenous artists has not been easy. And even when I did find some, my concern about who was actually profiting from it was large enough to prevent purchase.

But find it I did. And it seems genuine, to the point where I can now tell you the names of the individual artists and have access to the meaning of their stories depicted on the fabric design.

Choosing colour ranges with this type of design was really difficult, due to both their and my inclination to get excited and stuff in plenty of colour all over the place. So I simply chose the ones I liked and worried about how they'd look combined later.

Sometimes I like to make it up as I go. Free balling is my thang.
That will possibly not surprise anyone who's seen me sew.

I even thought about turning this one into the shape of Australia and then doing blue marbles around the outside for ocean...just another 3 years work, no problem.

At that point though, my neck and shoulder became so bad from scrunching up as a I sewed that my osteopath asked my what the hell I was doing to aggravate my condition.
I had so much trouble explaining that I gave up and took the quilt in to show him what he was up against.
His response was, "Oh, gee..."

Apart from one side of a hexagon that Bron did for me as she taught me, every stitch was done by me, and very few were sewn with any impatience or frustration.
I really enjoyed the mobility of this kind of sewing. I love being able to watch TV with the boys but still do something with my hands. TWSS
I miss it.

I cannot imagine how many football games were stitched into that quilt. Even more than actual hours of 19th century BBC literature programmes though.

Sometime s when I look back at my sewing, I can recall any strong thought patterns I had while working on particular sections. Running my eye over this quilt brings up thoughts and feelings related to:

  • Souths
  • Jane Austen
  • wanting to quit a job I was very unhappy in
  • thyroiditis
  • starting a new business
  • the History Channel
  • sewing on the beach/s
  • sitting on the couch at my in-laws, my Dad's and Yoga Boy's and later, in the car, at Souths games
Anyway, Bron is coming over next week to have a look at it and to show me how to finish it so I can hand it on to be professionally quilted.
The lady who will quilt it may even be able to quilt Aboriginal motifs onto it. I'm thinking a big dreamtime snake (TWSS) or kangaroo prints.

So, it's not even been 2 days and I feel at a loss of what to do next.
I only have 3-4 quilts to finish, but they're not TV watching quilts, so I really think that even before the day is done, that I will start another hexagon quilt.

I'm going to use the fruit and vege fabric that I bought maybe 6 years ago. I'm just busting to sew mushrooms up against raspberries up against rockmelon and then broccoli - if only to see if it can be done.
Maybe I'll make it look like the inside of the fridge or the displays at the green grocers.

And this is how it starts...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good luck with your vagina , my dear.

That's probably what I would title my autobiography if I ever wrote one.
And one's all I'd need to write, because with such a title, one's all that would sell.

Do you play that game? Name your autobiography?
My title can vary from day to day depending on what's happening within and without me.

Hell Boy once told me that his might be, "Happy landings, cunt." but never went on to elaborate as to how he arrived at that mantra.

Now, I've never considered that I need luck with any part of my body, oh, okay, my feet, but one day when I was working in retail, a lady took her leave of me by saying, "Good luck with your vagina, my dear."

After saying, "Well thank you very much," I hastened out the back to make a soothing cup of tea just to give myself those precious couple of moments to figure out how a stranger could feel comfortable enough within 10 minutes of meeting me to say that, and how I could think that that was not only reasonable, but polite.
Is that normal?

I've really given this some serious thought. Like maybe 3-5 years of serious thought, and so far, all I can put it down to is being Australian.

I have noticed that Australians, by and large, are chatters.
Travelling showed me absolutely that this is not the case globally.

I suppose that even in the crowded cities, Aussies are more open than most.
Curious too.
And willing to share personal information and intimate details with total strangers with precious little encouragement.

So, when I met this lovely lady, I think the conversation went something like,

Me: "Cool earrings."

Her: "Thanks, I made them myself. I couldn't find anything to match these shoes."

"I hate that, but it should never stop you buying interesting shoes."

"No. I'd rather be dead than boring."


Then suddenly she went straight into a detailed and terrifying tale about her reproductive health, which worried me not, as I honestly believe I've heard it all. And what I haven't heard, I've seen.
I empathised with her, gave her all the necessary sensible and effective suggestions for a total recovery and told her I hoped it would be up and running soon. wink wink

Transaction complete.

Then as she left, she turned just outside the very crowded store, which was blessed with excellent acoustics, and bellowed, "Good luck with your vagina, my dear!"

Good luck indeed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pot and kettle.

Yes, I am aware of my tardiness in blogging throughout that trip.
No, I am not going to apologise for it.
Better idea just to pull my finger out now and fix it.

But I'll be obeying the principle of reverse chronology, simply because that's the order in which my photos are going to be downloaded, and also a little bit because I'm a Pisces, I want to, and you can't stop me.

OK, so one thing that sat badly with me was that "convict" reputation the Brits still endow Aussies with.
Lame jokes are not in short supply, but ignorance of Australia's current cultural make-up certainly is. Just haven't kept their finger on the pulse, have they?
Australasia, mate.

For example, the group of 6 we were travelling in boasted only one member who might have held any sort of convict past in his ancestry.

1= German/Slovene
2= Lebanese
1= Northern Italian
1= Lebanese/Northern Italian
1= Patrick....

Therefore, 5/6 or 83.3% of our sample group hold no ties with the convict history, thus making English witticisms lame enough to make even Mrs Slocombe and The Two Ronnies blush.

The UK still has some wicked issues to deal with regarding racism and just cultural intolerance generally.
While we were there, the BBC let some horrific racist on TV prior to their elections and he's polling incredibly well.

In the cab from Manchester to Liverpool, I actually heard the driver ranting about "all the foreigners and illegals" in Liverpool distorting the true population figures.
When he was asked where these foreigners were from, he replied in all seriousness with, "Ireland."

That's a little like Sydney-siders complaining about foreigners from Gosford, isn't it?
Admittedly I have done that many times, so I'll shut up now.

After weathering Aussie convict jokes and the morally superior English looking down their noses at us with our customary good natured Australian humour, we took ourselves off to the British Museum for the morning...

...have you heard of that one? The British Museum.

Hands up who was hoping for tea pots, Beatles and clotted cream?

Nope. It is a collection of priceless, ancient artifacts stolen by the English from all around the globe.
The only thing in there that was British was the food, and that was a damned shame.

And when I say artifacts, I'm talking about things like.... the Rosetta Stone and Amenhotep III's busts, rather than just the loaves of bread stolen by starving people that they're still giving the Aussies shit about.
The British Museum boasts over 110,000 artifacts from Egypt alone.

Dirty thieving bastards!

It was standing thus, under some 4,000 year old Assyrian something-or-other in the very heart of London, that the true meaning of the word Commonwealth finally dawned on me. derrrr

Apparently, the museum's official stance on their ill-gotten gains is,

"restitutionist premise, that whatever was made in a country must return to an original geographical site, would empty both the British Museum and the other great museums of the world",

And translates to finders keepers, or even GGF in my book.

And I'm proud to say that one country that fought the pricks and won so far, has been.... Australia, but that's possibly because it was "only" human remains they'd taken from the indigenous population they wiped out in Tasmania, and not something they considered truly valuable.

Anyway, next time you hear a dig from the Brits about the Australian convict history, be sure to remind them of their own light fingers and heavy pockets.
I find it useful to mention that the convicts were indeed British at the time of their offense - a much forgotten fact.

Pot and kettle.

And now that I think about it, if Patrick's family had stolen something, my guess is that it was a priceless statue of a demon rather than a loaf of bread, and that doesn't count anyway, does it?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lake Bled

Surely this place cannot be for real.

Every way you look it seems more beautiful than the last glance. The colours of the alps and the water are indescribable and the overall effect is as close to having a religious experience as I think I'll ever get.

There certainly is some magic there.

I won't bother to continue, other than with a few pictures.

We're in Celje now, the town where my father was born. Tomorrow we'll head up to their castle and we'll meet Mateja, dad's cousin's daughter and then we'll go out to vitenje, the town where he actually grew up on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bled time machine?

Umm, okay, so just quickly, our hotel in Bled, Slovenia, which, incidentally is the best place I've ever been or stayed, has a hairdryer that looks (and sounds) like a vacuum cleaner hose.

At least I thought it was a hairdryer.

But since having used it, I'm now wondering whether it's not in fact, a time machine.

And I say this in all seriousness, because when I went in there it was 2009, and when I came out just a few minutes later, it was clearly 1993.

Anyway, decide for yourselves, and next time you watch Eurovision, don't be so amazed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Holy crap!

Orright, shit, where do I start?

The answer does not lie on a German keyboard. Everything is on different keys, the shift , alt functions are like special moves you sometimes accidentally pull off on Street Fighter.

So, we're well- after Jeff's protracted bout of flu and my 3 days of it. Mercifully we were with Tone during the worst of it rather than on the road.

Vienna we had internet access but not a second to scratch ourselves, so I'll catch that up later, then we separated from the others and we pressed on to Leipzig for tax purposes.
We saw a hundred year old tube of haemorrhoid cream (half used) almost as scary as a few of the tubes in our medicine cabinet.
Loved Leipzig, saw Bach's grave and then ran out to Dresden the next morning.

Almost pissed my pants with confusion trying to decide which incredible building to photograph first. Gretchen, you and I need to go there together. i shudder to think of the poics you would take there-lots of wire/construction up against those beautiful, grand churches and such.

We finally made it onto the Kurt Vonnegut Slaughter House 5 tour and now have a piece of one of it's tile in my pocket (Jeff did it)

I just posted this and lost half, so bear with me, I don't write well when I'm cranky.

We made it to berlin just in time for the anniversary of the wall which was chaotic for time poor tourists.

Am off to slovenia now, and hope to have internet in the room for a week or so, hopefully I can stuff some pics on here and write properly.

My English is now backwards becoming,a nd I hope that will correct itself once the others join us in salzburg.

I will not be reading this back or correcting it, so GGF.

Or FGG auf deutsch.

can someone please feed Adrian? That'd be tops.

Hugs to you all,


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Republic of Kugelmugel | Vienna, Austria | Atlas Obscura

As we are travelling once again to dear old Vienna, home to countless generations of Tischlers (or so I'm told), for what feels like the fourth time, I have actually taken pains this time to research the city and see what's there that we may have missed.

The Austrians don't disappoint.

Firstly, in the medieval church, St Stefan's Dom, they have 11,000 plague victims in the basement, the bones of whom it was the job of criminals to clean of rotting flesh.
As an added bonus, they have the royal Hapsburg (the ruling royal family including Marie-Antoinette's family) crypts and various jars of their organs - some of which recently leaked and created such a stench that no-one would consider going downstairs to deal with the situation for days.
Cripes, what a bunch of babies. It's only 300 year old bowel juice!
Truly...some people.

And to think that the last 6 times I've entered that magnificent building, I've walked straight over all these gems.

But also, I discovered am amusement park that boasts 4-5 ghost trains and a rotor!Put that on the list.

And then I found out that there is a Viennese guy who built himself a sphere for a house, got in a monster fight with the government about it (buildings are very much either square or rectangular in Vienna), declared his sphere a republic in, no less, in 1984, and then refused to pay tax, printed his own stamps and narrowly avoided going to a rectangular prison by allowing the to move his spherical micro-nation to Prater which is the park that contains the amusement park.

Outside his sphere he has a "scheisse list" (shit list) of people who thwarted his attempts to declare independence and who tried to send him to prison. You can imagine this type of unreasonable fascist I'm sure. If you cannot, simply get up and have a quick peep in the mirror.

I've never seen a barbed wire protected sphere dwelling in the shadow of a roller coaster before, so I'm pencilling in Monday 28th September to round off (get it?) my education.

Stay tuned, I shall be blogging my new and improved arse off throughout Europe and I ain't gonna be polite, nuther.

Oh, and if you're wondering, his republic is called KugelMugel, so, it will probably come as no surprise to you that his address is listed as:

Number 2 Antifaschismusplatz, Prater

Republic of Kugelmugel | Vienna, Austria | Atlas Obscura

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