Showing posts with label Redhead life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Redhead life. Show all posts

Monday, 13 March 2017

A day at the Ballarat Begonia Festival

 
 
This weekend was a long weekend in the state of Victoria because today was Labour Day. I'm not sure what that is but to whoever Mr or Mrs Labour is that we have a day off work named after them, I thank you.
 
Yesterday afternoon whilst perusing the Instagram, I came across a photo of beautiful flowers labeled #ballaratbegoniafestival.
 
Ballarat is only an hour west-ish from Melbourne. I googled this thing and hurriedly smashed a text message off to the Bear declaring, "How is it there is a huge flower festival near Melbourne this weekend and I didn't go!"  Then followed by at least 5 emoticons of a crying face. And maybe a flower.
 
Bless his furry little heart because just as I had written off the weekend and thought I was going to spend to day doing laundry, he said we should go the next day. Today!
 
I took a million photos. This blog post has approximately half a million. 
 
The Bear drove, I crocheted. A match made in heaven! *yes, this is one of my hands. it does not belong to a man, just a former horticulturist.
We arrived!

The Ballarat Begonia Festival is held in the Ballarat Botancial Gardens on the banks of Lake Wendouree. In the era known affectionately as my 'yoof' (youth), I trained as a horticulturist.

I walked away from working in that industry as the income was little more than that of a supermarket checkout chick and years of sun exposure rendered many of my female work colleagues looking older than their grandmothers. Being the vain little thing I was in my mid twenties, I desired a decent income and a life of skin cancer avoidance.  However I will still completely Geek Out In botanical gardens, floriades, florists, garden festivals and anywhere near large trees. Like this one...

Sequioadendron giganteum. AKA The Sienna Redwood.  Isn't she beautiful?  I have had that Woody Guthrie tune buzzing around in my head all day!
  There was an avenue with bronze busts of all the former Australian prime ministers. Adorned with floral wreaths for the festival!
 
Kevin Rudd aka Kevin 07, aka smiles for the camera and acts super friendly but was known to be a raging cranky Napoleon to his staffers behind closed doors. Also known for dropping loads of F-bombs....
 
Lovely Julia. The abuse she copped has possibly guaranteed no female will want to be prime minister for at least another 200 years.
 
Good Old Bob Menzies. I used to use the Menzies library a lot when I studied at the Australian National University in Canberra. It was haunted. Maybe by Menzies.
 
Dear Harold Holt. He walked into the sea and never walked out. Then they named a swimming pool after him. Because #australiahasasicksenseofhumour
 
Another PM who has a suburb somewhere named after him....
 
And little Johnny Howard...
 
The great Cunning Linguist (he would appreciate that), Paul Keating.
 
The garden beds were filled with the most amazing dahlias. This one is as big as my head!
 
A bed of Fragrant Plum roses.
 
 
 
So if this is a Begonia Festival, where are the begonias????
 
See that big glasshouse past the statue of Wallis?
Let's go inside!
 
 

 
 

 
The Bear and I. This was just after our arrival. After 3 hours of trudging around the gardens, getting hungry, constantly yelling at Sonofagun No.2 to stop trying to walk on the garden beds, telling a hangry (hungry/ angry) SOG No.2 that yes, we were getting food soon, sorry we can't get food soon because the lines at the food trucks were a mile long etc, the smiles were wiped off our faces....
 
 
A lego umbrella!
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
A beautiful mermaid in the very very large sandpit play area.
 
Because in Australia, kangaroos are everywhere.
 
There was exactly 10 lego sculptures hidden around the gardens as a part of a treasure hunt/ competition to win a cruise. It was actually quite fun.
After we left, finally fed ourselves and the hangry Sonofagun No.2 and the Bears cub, we decided it was time to go home.

BUT just on the outskirts of Ballarat we saw the signs to the Ballarat Mill Market. I have already visited the one in Daylesford and Geelong. These markets are huge antique and old wares emporiums...



Be still my beating heart! A copy of Desolation Boulevard by 70s glam rock band Sweet! I would have happily slapped down 35 bucks EXCEPT it was an Australian release which does not include one of my favourite songs Ballroom Blitz. Apparently only US releases of the album have it. Sad face.


This place is so huge and has so much stuff, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Just as well theres a café inside to rest your overwhelmed eyeballs!

Um, excuse me Sir. Have you seen a US version of Desolation Boulevard by Sweet around here anywhere? Or a budgie vase?





All of the anodized bickies tins and ALL of the pyrex.
Phew!  And would you believe I walked out of there and only purchased a small pokemon badge for Sonofagun No.2? True!

What a fun day! Thanks for visiting!

What did you get up to this weekend?

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Those lazy, crazy, hazy days of Summer

Have you seen those memes about the start of a new school year/ end of the holidays where parentals make funny comments such as...



Or even...





That is not me.
I love school holidays.
If I can, I try and take time off with my kids so it becomes my holiday too.
Holiday programs can be a little expensive and when I pick up Sonofagun No.2 at the end of the day, he's way more physically exhausted than from spending a day at school.
We don't do too much. I do tend to be a bit on the lazy side. But we do fun things. (I had written 'lots of fun things', then realised it wasn't 100% accurate!)
So this little post is about how we spent our long summer holidays!
You'd already know from this blog post that we spent 2 weeks over Christmas in Mollymook with the Mothership and the Fatherdom.



They're almost too polite to say so, but I'm fairly sure they were happy for the peace and quiet when we left!


 
I'm pretty crap at taking fireworks photos. But I still do it anyway. I take hundreds! And then I realise like any Crazy with a smart phone that they all look shithouse, and I should just put down my phone and enjoy it IN REAL LIFE because I'm never going to look back over 247 photos of fireworks in 10 years and be all like, "Awww! Remember that greeny red one from the Ulladulla New Years Eve of 2016? This blurry one is my favourite!"
So we returned home and I continued to make my circles into squares. There were many cups of tea and hours of Netflix involved.





This is where I'm up to now:







I thought crocheting a lightning bolt for my face was the best idea I'd had in years.





If you need a lightning bolt face or even a necklace, the free tutorial is here.



Sonofagun No.2 and I ventured down to our local beach a few times. We found this pair of sunnies in the water with this little sea thing attached. After a few photos, it decided it had enough, detached and swam away.







We visited Melbourne Zoo. SOG2 absolutely had to visit the penguins the minute we arrived.


 
He was only vaguely to 'not at all' interested in the other animals.

"Pfft! Elephants. How boring! Can we go back to the penguins now?"


My favourite section is the butterfly house. He spent the entire time in here declaring loudly in front of everyone, "These are soooo boring! They'll die in a couple of days anyway!"

My Sonofagun No.2 does not have this thing called 'tact' or 'a filter'.  When we went to see Rogue One 'A Star Wars Story' for the 2nd time, there was a memoriam for Carrie Fisher just before the movie started.
As I started to feel a little eye moisture, SOG2 said this so LOUDLY, everyone in the theatre heard:
"HA! IT SAYS RIP! R.I.P. RIP!!!!! LIKE IN THE GRAVEYARDS WHERE THE ZOMBIES LIVE! SHE'S A ZOMBIE NOW!!"


We had to stop by the penguins before we left. To say goodbye of course.







So I have developed a THING where if I can't or don't feel like working on my main projects, I pick up some cotton and make a mandala.


 
This one is halfway through being written down and tested as a future tutorial. So bright and pretty!




I also enjoyed lots of these! A delicious, refreshing cocktail of Gin, Soda Water, Elderflower cordial, lemon and mint leaves.
I can only have one each evening because I'm a Cadbury girl: a glass and a half and I become a pissy* mess.

*drunken, not urinating



 
Down here in Kangaroo land, it was Straya Day on 26th January.
I'm a bit conflicted about Australia Day.


On one hand it's nice to have a national day that celebrates our wonderful country, but not on a day that the Indigenous nations mourn and remember as Invasion Day.



We took the kids down to the local beach for the rides, food stalls and concerts.
We found a spare table and chairs at the park. We took dips and crackers and crochet!




I love this map created by @Amazing_Maps which shows all the different countries that fit into our big island!





Then in the evening, more blurry smartphone fireworks!





While the rest of the country has sweltered in a long heatwave, good old Melbourne has had a nice summer.


My Nashi Pears grew.



And the Rainbow Lorikeets ate them...



They squawk and crap EVERYWHERE. But being the bird lover, I just sit under the tree quietly with a cuppa and watch them happily.




I love roses. This one is called Eyes for You.




And this hybrid tea is Monica.








Has the mandala bug bitten you?






It bit me on the bum and it still itches. I can't get enough of them. The one above was from a pattern from Simply Crochet magazine.


The one in the bag below is my own design. I am addicted to the process of making a perfectly flat circle and with each round, trying to 'math' properly so it stays flat.






This is my 2nd version of the one above but I've realised the centre is very similar to a mandala that has previously been published elsewhere so it's  back to the drawing board!




So that was our summer. The Sonofaguns are back at school. I'm back at work. And already longing for the next school holidays!

xox
Louise


The Red Haired Amazona