Special Visitors to start the day

This morning we had some visitors in our Marri tree in the front garden- Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos, so beautiful (and noisy!).

I took a video, but the quality was rubbish and the noise overwhelming 😦

This lovely photo isn’t mine unfortunately, but it conveys this wonderful bird just beautifully

Adelie penguins, Antarctica

(c) Keith Lightbody

There is a particularly relevant article here about them, it is sad that since this was written, the habitat of the Carnabys has decreased even further.

They are a lovely bird, full of character and very, very loud! I heard the English comedian Phil Jupitus saying how the dawn chorus in Australia is an assault on the senses (paraphrasing him) and he’s right. It is a wonderful cacophony of many different birds all welcoming the day with their own raucous, wonderful songs 🙂


I’ll finish with this spectacular photo and this link to a blog about a wonderful encounter with a group of these birds 🙂



A fiddly job

While I have been nursing a broken ankle I haven’t been much use around the house, everything is fiddly and takes forever when you are hobbling around on crutches 😦

But, my broken ankle is on the left and I am right-footed, so I can still sew- yay!

My young-adult children are both penniless University students and thus share the use of my very old BMW. It’s a great car mechanically, but it has not been in a garage for the last 10 years and the sun has played it’s malicious part, you only have to look at it and something breaks! The upholstery on the seats was shredding and looking pitiful and I was feeling very embarrassed looking at the wretched thing in the driveway, so when my daughter suggested I attempt to make covers for the rear seat, I jumped at it.

We went to Spotlight and found some funky, burnt orange (very 1970’s) heavy, duty slubbed cotton. It has a backing of some description, (looks and feels like cotton, but it’s probably some fusible webbing). Daughters’ part was to measure the amount of fabric required and make a pattern.


Hmm, not quite big enough . Oh well, it still looks good and now she doesn’t get ribbed by her friends when she’s driving them around. My son has been off camping, so I haven’t got a judgement from him, apparently he had no opinion regarding colour, so he has no right to whinge if he doesn’t like it!


It was a fiddly job. The seat pattern was a little spare, so I got the fabric to fit by lacing it behind, it is now very taut and smooth. The back was just too small, so there is a gap of about 3cm where you can still see the old upholstery-pooh.


While I was fitting the covers, I noticed the fabric on the headrests was shredding too, so I made a couple of covers for them out of remnnats and an extra piece of orange fabric I had in my stash. they look great.

img_1324 (see the back door panel- no handle and window button is hanging by its wiring, ha ha , I don’t miss those student days!!!).

A muddle of a blog post…

Warning: this post has masses of pictures!

Here in Australia we have a television news journalist named Lee Lin Chin and everyone I know just LOVES her .

Lee Lins’ presence in front of the camera is characterised by a crisp professionalism when required, a razor-sharp wit and some spectacular clothing. lee-lin-1

She has a presence outside of the newsroom too, she appeared on children’s television on a toddlers programme called Playschool (an Australian television institution) lee_lin5 she regularly comments in social media and cuts a fine figure on the awards red carpet.

lee-lin-6 She was recently shortlisted for a Logie Award (television), but was pipped at the post much to the dismay of her fans, it didn’t dent her wow factor though, she came through with an ascerbic wit which left others in her wake 🙂


This lady is so cool, nothing seems to rattle her, even when the rest of the newsroom let her down she is ever the consummate professional.


I have a lot of admiration for Lee Lin ….

Well I changed the title of this post to “A Muddle” because It’s kind of a catch-up really and so it is all over the place!

I haven’t been sitting around feeling sorry for myself waiting for the house not to sell; no, no, no, I have been sewing, going to movies, visiting my Mother and other family etc etc. having said that, I actually broke my ankle 2 days ago, so I am a little subdued at the moment!

So, sewing… remember my Christmas dress? It needed a bit of tweaking after all and although it isn’t quite perfect, it is still wearable and here it is 🙂 1 Embarrassingly, it isn’t ironed in this pic and this is the outfit I was wearing when I took my spill and broke my ankle 😦

Having really liked this pattern, I made another one in some lovely Scandi-style printed organic cotton poplin 6 This one has had the modifications done and is a much better fit, sooo comfortable (I have some more fabric to make number 3 as they are just lovely dresses to wear on a hot day for work).

I also had bought some lovely printed rayon before Christmas and ended up making a pair of lounge pants and a couple of tops, here are the pants and one of the tops (the latter was made with a remnant piece not using a pattern but some basic mathematics instead)

2  8 As you’ve probably noticed, I have become quite overweight over the last year (it’s amazing how being unhappy saps your energy and motivation), 2017 my daughter is going to be my personal trainer and motivation coach!

Finally, what do you do with a piece of clothing that has given up, but still has enough fabric to be upcycled? My favourite nightie had given up around the shoulders, but I wasn’t prepared to say goodbye, so I made the bottom into an underskirt and added rectangular panels of bleached calico over the top for interest. It is pictured here with a linen top I made using the Tessutti “Zoe top” pattern, the scarf was a gift from my Mother from Greece.


Do you make something and it instantly becomes your new favourite? I admit to a certain superficiality in that, this skirt is IT! The drawstring waist is the best for someone with a short-waist who like to wear things just above the hip, soo  comfortable 🙂

A week later and I have an update on the house- we are in negotiation with a buyer, wish us luck! Much as I am not looking forward to the logistics of moving, getting on with life is what we are all champing at the bit to experience 🙂

I will keep you all posted…








And so this is Christmas…or not

The thing about having most of your stuff in storage is that things like Christmas come around and there is no way you can reach your tree or decorations or anything.

Obviously this year is going to be quite strange, although I think my ex-husband and I will be spending the time together with extended family, I think this will be the last time as I just really want to move on.

Despite the lack of festive accoutrements in the house, I will source some ivy and green stuff from the garden and make a wreath for the door and I think the miniature umbrella tree has some nice orange berries on it somewhere, so at least the entrance to our home will feel a little Christmas-y

Something like this imgres

We’re not even celebrating on the right day! This year, for the first time, my brother is working, so we are all getting together for a late lunch on the 23rd- everything has been out of kilter this year, one more thing won’t make much of a difference… will it?!

The one (relatively recent) tradition I have kept is that I have made a new outfit for whatever day we have Christmas on, it is the Tulip Dress from Sew Different  https://www.sewdifferent.co.uk/tulip-dress-free-sewing-pattern-lc010/ a free pattern that I liked various renditions of on the Net. The fabric is badly-behaved cotton poplin (some of the colour bled into the surrounding white, despite being washed by hand in cold water), but I do really like it. I lowered the neckline somewhat and raised the hem a little, but the modifications needed were minimal.

One of my friends (who is also a mad seamstress) asked me if I had a big yellow bag to go with it, my reply was, “No I don’t and I don’t have big, round, black ears and I don’t answer to Minnie either”!!!

Here it is fullsizerender-1

The shoes are reproduction Edwardian Louis heels(“Gilmour”) from American Duchess and the bag is the little Longchamps bag I treated myself when I was last in the Netherlands.

I hope you all have a lovely time over the next few weeks and I am looking forward to giving you good news about the house selling and me moving into my own place (please keep your collective fingers crossed for me!).

See you in 2017 🙂



..and so the end is near (and other musings)

It’s been a long time, I know…how are you all?

This year has given me a lot of opportunity to reflect on my past and contemplate my future, I try to do more of the latter because looking back leads to bitterness and regret and what is the point of that?

I guess I can consider myself a single woman now, although that is only just dawning on me. Thirty years is a long time to be with someone, to be in a couple, to be considered as “Jenn and Tony” instead of just “Jenn”; it is going to take some getting used to. I am not divorced yet, but all the legal financial stuff is completed and submitted, it took me some months to get to this point as I was hoping to get by without having to go down the legal route and the truth is, we have done this amicably and just done what is legally required, so no lawyers were involved; still, it took me a while to get to the point of wanting to do it.

The house is still on the market. No prizes to anyone who puts it down to a cautious buyers market, it is what it is, just a waiting game now. What it means though, is that we will still be in the the family home for Christmas and there is a part of me that wishes I was in my own place with just the children (and my extended family for the day), I don’t want to be having an awkward Christmas Day with my estranged husband, because, yes- we are still living in the same house together 😦

Contemplating the future, I am scared and excited in equal measure. For months I have thought I don’t ever want another relationship again, but time has mellowed my view. That is not to say I will be embarking on anything anytime soon, but I would be open to suggestion if the right person made it. I am however not being unrealistic here, I am not expecting anything much. Ageing apparently should be embraced and I am feeling good; I scrub up pretty well and I wear nice clothes; however I am not convinced that men my age have the same priorities, a well-groomed, fit-looking bloke will turn my head and unfortunately most of them seem to be quite a bit younger than me!!! So I think that “Singlehood” will be my future and that’s okay.

I sound vacuous I know. I know that attraction is so much more than looks and if the truth be told, I have never found conventionally handsome men attractive. I like quirkiness, a quick wit, an interest in lifelong learning and a need for new knowledge, a love of art, of the environment, of clean living, of silence… and the list goes on, I’m not fussy am I?!

Random thoughts while my marriage disintegrates

Why am I compelled to feed homeless people? I spent more on a meal for a beggar tonight than what we, as a family ate for dinner. What guilt am I assuaging?

My husband and I had a good day today. We spoke as friends, laughed at funny stuff and he thanked me for sharing his life for thirty years; I hope it stays like this.

I hope my daughter’s new boyfriend treats her with respect and takes things slowly.

I wish my son would stop smoking weed to get over the pain in his crook shoulder and the frustration he feels about it. Looking forward to the surgery which will hopefully fix it. Am I the only parent that says “Thankyou Pokemon Go!”? At least it gets him out of the house and walking kilometres with his friends 🙂

The house is looking good and is nearly ready to be put on the market- anybody interested?!

Looking forward to the next chapter in my life…

Best wishes everyone x