Thursday, 3 December 2009


Watching surfers on a beach near Newcastle, NSW

Where has this year gone? I can't believe we are getting close to the end of 2009. We had hoped to be living in Australia by now, but we haven't been able to sell our house. It has been on the market since February this year, unfortunately we have picked the worse time of all to sell due to the credit crunch. And to make matters worse the value of the pound has dropped dramatically against the Australian dollar which of course reduces greatly the amount of money we would have once we get there. It just seems that at the moment nothing is going our way and it is very disappointing. We are keeping our fingers crossed that things start to pick up next year and we can start our new life in Oz.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


I hope those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have had a wonderful time with your families and friends. Tomorrow is Black Friday so from then until Cyber Monday any item purchased in my Etsy store will be shipped to you FREE OF CHARGE. I have some lovely knitted and crocheted items that you would make fantastic Christmas presents - prices start from $9.00.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Of course we couldn't visit Australia without spending some time in Sydney, my favourite city. This time we went on the train, it was safer. Only kidding, we went on the train because we all enjoy the journey. There is some lovely scenery between Wyong, where my aunt and uncle live, and Sydney. Also it gives my DH time to sit back and enjoy the scenery too. The train was very busy but we manged to find seats. I love the Australian trains, they are on 3 levels, although if you are looking for seats it can be a bit awkward on a moving train having to go up and down stairs.

Anyway we arrived in Sydney and it was a beautiful day, blue sky and the sun was shining. We didn't have any plans as to what we were going to do, just have a wander around. Amy wanted to go to the Opera House, it is her favourite place, probably because they always show it on TV. So we decided to walk through the city and make our way there.

We got to Darling Harbour and had a look round there.
The Australian National Maritime Museum is situated here. There is a submarine to look around and a large ship, a destroyer. It all looked very interesting and certainly somewhere we would visit on another occasion.

We crossed over a bridge, I think it is called the Pyrmont Bridge, and carried on through the city to the Opera House.

We had a walk around the outside of the Opera House and stood and looked at the views over the harbour, the bridge and to where we had been at Taronga Zoo a couple of days earlier. It is a beautiful spot to just stand and take in the amazing scenes. I love it!

We got one of the ferries back to Darling Harbour, Amy spotted somewhere else for us to visit, I told her we would put it on our list for next time. We got on the tram from Darling Harbour to take us back to the station. We had had another amazing day but I was glad to get back on the train and sit down.

I took this photo as we went over the Hawkesbury River, I was amazed I caught the sunset through the bridge supports.

When we were getting closer to Wyong I phoned my aunt and told her we were nearly there. She said my uncle would meet us at the station, thank goodness, I don't think my feet would have made it back to their house.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


We did find Taronga Zoo and enjoyed a fantastic day there. I can definitely recommend it and it is a place we will certainly go back to. As well as all the amazing animals you get to see close up there are several shows you can go and watch. We just caught the end of the elephant show, but we watched the sealions and a fantastic bird show, where birds swoop around the crowd. The setting for the bird show was fantastic too, overlooking Sydney Harbour. We also saw the red panda, I had never heard of this animal before. Whilst we were there it was on the news that the red panda had given birth at Taronga Zoo. We didn't get to see the baby, but mum was gorgeous.

Taronga Zoo is well worth a visit not only to see the residents, but also to get the most amazing views of my favourite city, Sydney!

Saturday, 31 October 2009


Sorry I haven't been around for a while, but I have had swine flu and didn't feel like doing much. Thankfully I am now on the mend and looking forward to things getting back to 'normal'. Thank you to everyone who kept visiting my blog and dropping their Entrecards.

Hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween.

Happy Halloween
MySpace Graphics

Sunday, 11 October 2009


We decided to drive to Taronga Zoo using my uncle's sat nav. This was a big mistake! Before we left the house I had had a look at the map with my uncle and he had pointed to where the zoo was and also told me about various buildings we would pass and areas we would drive through, so I had a rough idea of where we were going. But then we made the big mistake, we took his sat nav instead of taking the map. My uncle's sat nav was nothing like the one we have back home, it is very confusing, to us anyway. Once we got into the outskirts of Sydney it all started to go wrong. We seemed to drive around in circles, driving on and off motorways, paying tolls. We guessed he hadn't updated it for along time. We drove around streets and even pulled up and asked a couple of men for directions, mistake number 2. They seemed more confused than us.

We kept ending up on a road which was leading to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I knew we didn't want to be on the other side of the harbour. So I made my poor husband turn around again and tried really hard to remember the names of the roads I had seen on the map.

We eventually found a hospital I remember my uncle saying we would pass and I instructed poor husband to carry on driving. At last I spotted a road name I remembered and from then we seemed to find our way. What a journey we had had. I am surprised we both stayed so calm.

Friday, 25 September 2009


I am taking a break from my Australia Adventures to share this picture with you. I have recently added hats to my Etsy shop and sold my first one (you can see it here) to someone in Australia which was very exciting as this was also my first Australian customer. I was having a problem displaying the one above on my upside down vase to show it off so I asked Amy to be my model. The hat is made for a teen/adult, but it looks really good on Amy. I really need to invest in a proper display head but until I have the funds I have to use whatever I have. Anyway Amy was delighted to do this. I think she makes a lovely model!

Monday, 14 September 2009


There are several of these theme parks on the Gold Coast and we chose Warner Bros Movie World. We arrived early to get a full day there. Amy was very excited, she has just started going on the big rides with her dad and she loves them. It was a beautiful sunny, winter day, perfect for this kind of day out.

The first ride Amy and her dad went on was the Batwing Spaceshot, a tower which shoots you up into the sky, no thanks I will pass on this one and take a photograph! Of course they ended up on the seat where I couldn't get a good shot of them, typical. Amy came off this looking slightly shocked.

Next we all went on Batman Adventure The Ride 2, which was a tour round the bat cave and then we all got strapped into a kind of vehicle thing which shook us about, whilst watching a movie of batman chasing a criminal, sorry I can't remember the full story, but you probably get the idea.

The next was probably the biggest disappointment for Amy the whole day. There were only 2 really big rides in the park which considering what you paid to get in wasn't many. I haven't been to many theme parks, but I have been to Alton Towers in the UK and the number of rides and attractions there was considerably more than this place and that was quite a number of years ago. Anyway back to Movie World, 2 Big rides and one, Lethal Weapon, was shut! So we queued up for Superman Escape and it was a very long queue. We measured Amy against the post and she just came up to the required height. So we queued and queued and queued. I was getting nervous as we got nearer to the front as I am not that bothered about these kind of rides, but I wanted to go on with Amy. So it was our turn, Amy had to be measured and guess what, she was just too short. The measure just skimmed over her head, that close it moved her hair. I felt so sorry for her, the look on her face. The girl measured her with another tape, but she wouldn't let her pass, she was so slightly too short! So that was that, the one big ride and Amy couldn't go on it. Can I just say at this point if anyone from Movie World reads this please, please, please put someone who measures at the start of the queue to avoid this kind of disappointment.

Shrek 4D Adventure was next and we loved it. You walked into an old style cinema, into a foyer where you had to listen to an introduction. After this we went into the cinema where there were long rows of chairs and sat down. We had to wear funny glasses but it was well worth it. You got rocked about in the chairs, things ran around your feet, spiders jumped out at you from the screen, you felt as though you could put out your hand and touch things. It was very good, that good we went in there twice.

Next was Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster. Luckily we didn't have to queue very long for this. This was a big surprise. We got in a the car and set off. The ride was in the dark and Scooby Doo music was playing very loudly which we were all singing along to. The car went into a lift kind of thing which rocked from side to side as you went up, we then left the lift backwards and I was waiting for it to turn round, then came the surprise. The car set off backwards and the next thing we knew we were dropping down backwards, in the dark. I think I left my stomach somewhere up in the lift. But it was amazing, I loved listening to Amy's reaction and we laughed and screamed all the way around. I went on it again with her later and we had such fun. In fact because there wasn't much else Amy and her dad went on that several times whilst I went around a few gift shops.

The next ride was the Wild West Falls Adventure Ride. I volunteered to take the photos because I hate getting wet. Amy and her dad are somewhere in that splash and you can imagine what they looked like when they got off. Amy loved it and so they went on again and got even wetter!

So despite the earlier disappointment, Amy enjoyed her day out and said it was the bestest day ever.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Whilst staying on the Gold Coast we visited Brisbane and had a lovely day there. We walked along the river and had a look at the manmade beach, which was different to what I had imagined, but they were working on it so didn't look as it should.

We then got on one of the Citycat ferries which I had really been looking forward to, I have seen them so many times on the TV. I was taking photos of it before I got on and I was called to hurry up by the boat person, whoops! We had just got on and my aunt had sat down when we reached the other side, it was funny.

There was a market on the other side so we had a look round that. All sorts of lovely foodstalls. My aunt and uncle decided to leave us to it and they wandered off on their own and we continued round the market. We tried some German sausages they were delicious. I found a gorgeous fruit stall on one of the streets and got a lovely fresh fruit drink from it.

We walked back to the other side over one of the bridges and walked along the bank of the river to where we had started.

It is a
lovely area of Brisbane and I am sure there are many others. We didn't have long there but hopefully when we are living in Australia permanently it will be a place we will get to visit again.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


I just wanted to mention something else before I move onto the Gold Coast. On our way out of Coffs Harbour we passed the Big Banana, I have noticed this about Australia, everything is bigger. I love looking round the fruit and vegetable shops there and I have noticed the size of the produce is HUGE compared to what we get in the UK, and here is the proof!

We arrived on the Gold Coast later on Monday and found where we were stopping, a place called Burleigh Heads. We stayed in a very nice complex of apartments. After unpacking and changing, as the weather was noticeably warmer, we had a walk out to find somewhere to eat. As we were walking through the grounds of where we were staying, we saw large flying things above our heads and stopped to watch. We soon realised they were big bats, fruit bats, I think. Amy wasn't impressed!

We spent the next few days looking round the area. Burleigh Heads is a nice place. Where we were staying it was a short walk to a beautiful beach. I have never felt sand like it, it was like soft, white talculm powder, oh yes and BIG birds wandering about, called Ibis.

Just off the beach is a pathway where they have placed excercise machines for anyone to use. I thought they were a great idea, we have nothing like this in the UK. Of course Amy had to have a go on some of these!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


We had decided that we would like to see a little bit more of Australia on this visit, plus my husband had been in contact with an employer in Brisbane who had an expressed an interest in meeting him. So it was decided that we would spend some time on the Gold Coast during our stay and that we would drive up there. We were booked into a motel in Coffs Harbour where we would spend 2 nights on the drive up there.

We set off quite early on Saturday morning for the 448 km drive which was going to take us approximately 6 hours. One of the stops we had was at Nambucca where we called in to see the V Wall. The tradition of tourists painting names and dates on this wall started in the early 1980's and now there is a long line of rocks covered in all sorts of artwork, some of which is very elaborate.

We chose this one as it had 'Chloe' on it, one of my granddaughter's name. We didn't have any paint with us so unfortunately we were unable to leave an momento of our visit there but hopefully we will be able to visit again and then we will be able to create our own piece of artwork.

We carried on with our journey and arrived in Coffs Harbour later in the day. We were all quite tired by this time. We went out for a meal and then returned back to the motel and had an early night. The next day we went out for a look round. We drove around looking for a beach and came across a small craft market.

I loved looking round this, we have nothing like this where we live. There were stalls with knitted and crochet items, handmade soap, all sorts of things. I bought 2 lots of handmade soap as I have always wanted to try some. There was a group playing in the middle of it all, some kind of country music which isn't my kind of thing, but which seemed very appropriate for the occasion.

We enjoyed our short stay in Coffs Harbour, especially the craft market.

Monday morning we were up bright and early and back on the road again. Gold Coast here we come!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


Amy's birthday was on 9 June which was on the flight over and so we were unable to celebrate it properly. My cousins wife very kindly arranged a family party for her on the Friday night. We had a lovely meal and of course a few glasses of wine and there was this gorgeous chocolate birthday cake. HAPPY NINTH BIRTHDAY AMY!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


One of the first places we visited on the Central Coast was The Entrance, this is one my daughter's favourite places. One of the main attractions here is the pelican feeding which takes place every afternoon. We had a walk around the children's pool area and got ourselves ice-creams and smoothies, they were delicious. We carried on our walk and as we did noticed a fire shooting out the side of a house. At first I thought this was garden rubbish that was being burned. I then saw, who I presumed to be the occupants of the house, running around, shouting and moving a car that was parked close to the house. An ambulance drove past us and I saw one of the crew was on the radio and she was reporting the fire.

We watched as the fire quickly caught hold of the house and people were running around shouting to see if there was anyone in the house. The roof of the house started popping and explosions could be heard inside, so everyone had to move back to safety. Still the fire service had not arrived and we wondered how long it was going to take them. By now the fire was spreading into a nearby palm tree and I asked if there were any occupants in the apartments that were at the side. I was told that they were empty.

A man, who was walking by, told us that we should move as the roof probably contained asbestos. As soon as that was mentioned we moved quickly away, my dear dad died of asbestosis only 3 years ago, so I know the dangers of this awful substance.

We moved further along the street and when I looked back I could see that the fire engine had arrived and the police. The plume of thick black smoke was going high into the sky along with debris from the house.

It certainly wasn't what we expected to see on our visit here. I felt so sorry for the occupants losing everything like that. We heard a report on the radio later about the fire and it appeared that no-one had been injured which was a blessing.

Friday, 17 July 2009


Those first few days after we arrived passed in a blur. I was suffering with jet lag which made me very tired. I couldn't sleep in in the morning and stopping up after 9 at night was impossible. We did manage to get out though and on the first day I went to meet somone I had met through an internet forum which is for expats and people who are going through the visa application process. A few of us had gone on and 'met up' again on Facebook. I had arranged to visit Catherine at her home. Catherine is originally from America and had been living in Australia since last year. Catherine and her family were at the end of their stay as they had a home to sell back in the US. I was a bit apprehensive going to meet her as I am quite a shy person and don't find it easy making new friends, but I knew that once we moved to Australia I was going to have to make more of an effort to get out and meet people. I needn't have worried Catherine was a lovely, friendly person. We had a great chat, a cup of tea and cake. It was a wonderful experience meeting up like that. I hope that we can meet again sometime!

Thursday, 9 July 2009


We left home at 11.30 am on Monday, 8 June and drove to Heathrow airport. We got held up in roadworks but arrived at the airport in plenty of time. Whilst we were checking in I thought about how I would feel the day we did this when we were making our permanent move to Australia. I quickly pushed those thoughts aside and got on with feeling excited about our arrival in Australia and our time there.

A few hours later we were boarding our flight to Japan. The flight passed ok. The usual meals, drinks, in-flight entertainment, more drinks, try to sleep. And then it was midnight and Amy's 9th birthday had arrived. We were very tired but she had her present and card from us, the rest we had left at home. I am not sure what time we arrived in Japan as the time difference alwa
ys confuses me. But we had a 5 hour wait at the airport for our next flight.

Whilst waiting I heard a strange announcement. It was a male voice (who seemed to be trying to hide a laugh as he spoke) and he was instructing passengers, for a different flight to ours, to visit the washrooms before they boarded due to the turbuluence they were going to have during their flight. At this point I said a little prayer, thanking God that was not our flight. Our flight was finally called and it was onto the plane for the final leg of our journey.

We arrived in Australia on at 6.40 am on Wednesday, 10 June. It was a beautiful, sunny morning, quite cool as it is their winter at this time of year. We got through immigration and that was our Visa's validated. A man approached us and asked if we had any food, we only had chocolate, so he sent us through another door, we didn't have to get into the next queue for the baggage check thank goodness and that was it through the arrivals and there were my relatives waiting for us. At last we had arrived!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Hello to everyone and thank you to those of you who have kept dropping your Entrecard, it is much appreciated.

We have had a great time in Australia and I am looking forward to sharing some of the things we have done with you over the next few weeks.

We arrived home yesterday evening after 2 days of travelling, which included an overnight stay in Japan. My body is still confused over what time it is. I was really tired when I went to bed last night, but was awake at 4.00 am and got up at 4.30 am so I am writing this with very bleary, tired eyes. I am looking forward to going to bed again tonight and hopefully having a good sleep.

Thursday, 4 June 2009


On Monday, 8 June we set off to Australia to validate our visas. We are going to be there for almost a month. We are getting really excited and are looking forward to seeing our family again. My daughter has her 9th birthday somewhere on the flight so I will have to keep my wristwatch to UK time so we know when to celebrate it. She is a little concerned because her daddy is teasing her about missing her birthday due to the 9 June disappearing somewhere along the way. We take off on 8 June and land in Sydney on 10 June, the flight takes 24 hours, we are going via Japan. I have told her not to worry, that mummy will know exactly when it's her birthday.

We are also going to travel north from the Central Coast where we are staying and spend some time on the Gold Coast and visit Brisbane. I am really looking forward to seeing a different part of Australia and also the weather should be a bit warmer there.

I have spent the last few days doing last minute shopping, washing and ironing and generally getting everything ready for our visit.

Our dog Jasper is going to stay with my elder daughter whilst we are away. I don't know what he will make of it. But he will be happier with her and her family than he would had we put him in kennels for a month. We will all miss him whilst we are away.

Amy was 6 when the above photo was taken, it is one of my favourites. I am going to renew it this year and will post it on my blog on my return.

When I am back I will be able to let you all know how we got on. Bye to you all for now!

Monday, 18 May 2009


I have read many posts on blogs stating how the blogs have been neglected due to other committments. Well readers that is exactly what I am going to do today, write one of those posts.

I have not only neglected my blog, I have not done much dropping on Entrecard, I have not been very creative. My poor shop on Etsy has hardly anything in it. I have been so busy with other things that there has been little time for anything else. I have had so many decisions to make that my mind has had no time to think about doing anything else.

The biggest thing I have done is quit my job! It has taken me several months to make this decision but it was becoming increasingly difficult to juggle being a mum and working and I was getting fed up with that juggling. I feel so much happier and relaxed now I know that I don't have to go to work anymore and can get on and do the things that I want to do. I am looking forward to the school holidays so much more now that I know I don't have to make arrangements for childcare. I feel free!

The next big thing we have been arranging is our trip to Australia. Our flights are booked for 8 June and we will be over there for almost a month. We have not sold our house yet so this is going to be a visa validation trip, but at least it will give my husband an opportunity to look at the job market whilst we are there. We are both quite concerned about the current employment situation, he has a very good job in the UK and doesn't want to give it up to move to Australia if he is going to be unemployed for a long period of time.

Whilst in Australia we are going to visit the Central Coast region where my relatives live and we are also going to drive up to Queensland and visit the Gold Coast, Brisbane and surrounding areas. We are all getting very excited about our trip.

So hopefully now that things have settled down I can get back to my blogging, crocheting, knitting, beading and maybe now that I have more free time I will be able to have a go at other crafts.

Friday, 24 April 2009


I love accessorising and I love to wear scarves. I have knitted loads of cotton scarves for myself and have been asked for them by customers, but this is the first scarf I have crocheted and I am really pleased with the finished result. Up to now I have knitted all my scarves and they have been really popular. I got the cotton yarn I used for this scarf when I was on holiday in Cornwall. I went to one of my favourite yarn shops in Penzance. I purchased several balls of this beautiful cotton yarn in different colours. I have put this one for sale in my new ArtFire shop and it is available for purchase here.

Sunday, 12 April 2009


I hope you are all enjoying your Easter Day as much as I have. We have spent the afternoon at Clumber Park, which is a National Trust Property near to where we live. Every Easter they do an Easter Egg Trail for the children and we have been going to it for several years. The children each get a booklet which includes a map with which they have to follow the trail. At several points around the trail there are boards which have a word on which is shown using small pictures. These have to be deciphered using the key in the booklet, eg a picture of a flower = the letter E. At the end of the trail these words then have to be put into a poem and then the finished sheet is taken to get your prize, a chocolate egg.

We then had a picnic and followed that by feeding the ducks and the swans. The weatherman had promised us a lovely day, but unfortunately they got it wrong again. It was a grey, overcast day and we had the usual spots of rain. But we all enjoyed it and it was nice to have a family day out.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Welcome back Tina Turtle Keyring Buddy. This has been the most popular item I have sold in my Etsy store and today I finally got to make another one. She is now for sale here and due to the exchange rate she now only costs $7.00, what a bargain!

Monday, 23 March 2009


It was Mother's Day in the UK yesterday and we decided to spend the day at the coast, at Cleethorpes. I must say this particular area isn't the most attractive that the UK can offer, but it is the nearest coastal resort to us and the dogs love a good run on the beach. I have never seen so many people there. We have been having some particularly mild weather at the moment and obviously the sun and the fact that it was Mother's Day drew out the crowds. My eldest daughter, her husband and my 2 granddaughters, plus their dog, came with us and we had a lovely day. We had a good long walk along the beach, our dog Jasper loves chasing Kay, my daughter's dog. The sun shone most of the time but it was very breezy. We had fish and chips and then doughnuts, very fattening but delicious.

I love this photo of my youngest daughter and my eldest granddaughter, walking along deep in conversation.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who celebrated it yesterday, I hope you all had such an enjoyable day!

Friday, 13 March 2009


I have just found this fun Twitter thing that makes a mosaic of all your Twitter followers.  You can have this put on mugs, bags, t-shirts.  What a great idea! Can you find yourself?