Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Show Time

Last weekend was the Albany Show and we trotted along like excited children!  We gave up going to Royal Show in Perth years ago cos it got so big and expensive, but the thought of visiting a country show was very appealing.
There was a young people's Scottish Pipe Band, they were really good!
There was home-made wine and it was fascinating to see some of the varieties.  Parsley, rhubarb and parsnip to name but a few!
There was needlecraft.  Quite a few of the ladies in my embroidery group won prizes which was lovely to see.
There was a display of ancient machinery, loads of old engines chugging away which enthralled Steve.  He reckoned one of them was the same as one he used to have to crank up when he was an apprentice.  So.... how OLD does that make him then,  ha ha ha.
There were brightly coloured rides to churn people's inside all ways and around.  We observed only.
There was the champion fleece.
There were alpacas, lots of alpacas.  Don't you just love their dorky facial expressions.  I soooooo want an alpaca!  One day....
 There were chickens, I never realised how many different shapes and sizes of chickens there are.  Look at the beautiful feathers on this one.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this variety is called an Orpington.
 And there were floofy chickens, called Silkys.  Aren't they cool, like little rock stars with their fluffy feet and fluffy hairdos.  I think I want Silkys.  And Bantams.  And Orpingtons.  And lots more.  I love buk buks!
There were lots of moo cows.  I think the Murray Greys were my favourite, a gorgeous dappled warm grey colour.  Although the Black Angus are very handsome too.  And all the others....
 And sheep, loads of different breeds of sheep.  I never realised how big some sheep are, particularly the Dorpers.... the ones that shed their fleece.  Guess what, I want a sheep too!
This made me laugh, I walked along all the pens, each holding one sheep, when I came across this pen, holding this cute, fluffy little dog, who posed prettily then looked at me as if to say "aren't I a pretty sheep".  Imposter! :-).
 House news.  We have had handover and we have the keys!  Yahoo!  The building supervisor just has to pop back a right a couple of minor wrongs and then he will be finished.  We hope to move in in a couple of weeks.
 So we are currently, yes, I sound like a broken record, PAINTING!  We have just started the inside in full force, trying to get as much done before the floor coverings go in.  I know this looks like the most boring photo in the world, but it is evidence of hard work, of the first coat, which is sticky undercoat stuff called UltraPrep.  This will apparently make the paint stick nicely to the gyprock. We've almost done the whole house with a coat of UltraPrep so are feeling pleased with ourselves.  Two coats of paint to follow....
We are quite a good painting team, Steve likes to do the big areas and use a roller, whereas I like to do the fiddly stuff with a brush, so between us it is coming along well.  Steve did the huge ceiling in the main living area today, and I tackled the walk-in pantry, which had its awkward moments and needed some grovelling on the floor to complete. 
 We were very excited when our wood fire was installed the other day.  Isn't it beautiful.  We paid extra and got the decorative mesh that sits over the flue.  Not only does it look nice, but it is also only warm to touch, so no burnies of the fingers from the flue.  Here is Steve looking as pleased a punch as he is about to put a match to the very first fire.  It was agony actually, the first two fires had to be tiny ones, just kindling, to cure the paint.  We patiently sat through the two, small, 15 minute fires to cure the paint, then let it cool down.
THEN, we were allowed to have a big fire, yay!  It was awesome.  :-)
 Now you may just have to trust me on this, but here is a photo of the very first puff of smoke coming out of our brand new chimney.  :-)
 On the garden front, this was a pleasing sight.  We haven't planted our orchard yet, as we had to wait until only recently to know where all the earthworks were going to be.... we didn't want to plant fruit trees then have to shift them all, so we postponed it.  But we do have one small apple tree in a pot.  Steve bought it as a minute stick via mail order from Diggers Club.  We've had it for about 18 months and it has suddenly had a growth spurt.  It's an old English variety cooking apple called a Bramley.  It has suddenly burst into blossom and if you look carefully at the bottom of the photo, yes, there are two tiny apples there!!  Maybe more to come, but as it's such a tiny tree we'll have to pull off any more than about four or five we think.  I never knew apple blossom had a scent, these flowers smell just lovely.
 Update regarding the lacewing larva that I released about 10 days ago.  Well, I haven't seen one since!  This is not necessarily a bad thing as apparently they are hard to spot, they camouflage themselves well, but I am a bit concerned as we had torrential rain the day after I released them all, so perhaps they are no more.  I'll know in a few weeks when, if they have survived and pupated, the adults should start emerging.  I reckon they would be easier to see.  I'll report again later.  Even if this lot come to nothing, I will definitely buy more.

We had a visit from Steve's cousin Terry and his partner Heather the other day.  It was lovely to see them, we haven't seen Terry for quite a few years.  I had to laugh at this photo, quite by chance the boys are in exactly the same position!  Except for the fact that ONE of them needs a shave!  :-)

On a final note, this is what I am currently working on in my embroidery group.  I decided to do some blackwork, and instead of just stitching a sampler of lines or squares of the different fill patterns, I drew up some funky flowers and am using a different fill pattern in each petal.  I edged each petal in stem stitch using coton a broder thread, and am using a single strand of DMC cotton for the fill.  I'm really enjoying doing it.


  1. Everything looks fantastic dy. my last experience at an albany show was 37 years ago and i still remember how sick i felt when i got off the ride! See you sunday or monday! Anne

  2. Only you would paint the underside of the pantry shelves, Dy!!! It all looks fabulous!! Ange