Sunday, 29 November 2015

It's all about books

I can recall my late parents lamenting that retirement was busier than working life and now I can quite understand that. Crazy as it sounds it is a common thread when talking to other retirees. So once again another busy week has passed with every minute utilised. I am about to share a very sad juxtaposition as I talk about our book collection when people not too faraway have lost everything in the first season's bush fires…..and it is still only Spring. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost loved ones and for the seriously injured as well. Having mentioned just recently my respect for our rural friends, we now grieve for all that they have lost. Thousands of animals, acres of crops and worst of all homes - 87 of them. (You can read more about it on that 'homes' link). As we were finally unpacking the last boxes since our move almost 2 years ago we were commenting on how unimaginable it would be to lose not only our home but also every single possession in it. But unpack we did and my post will now share that. Larry is a "bookaholic" and he finds it very hard to part with any of them. Every single room in the house has books so I am not sure we would ever be able to have an uncluttered environment! We've just had some special shelves built and I talked Larry into having doors put on them to help reduce the dust………
 Larry has sorted them all and he commented that this is the first time he has had his entire collection in one place……...
There are his university books including some Thomas Hardy and his beloved Penguin classics…….

 Some of his fantasy/science fiction collection……...



 and a large collection of cricket books that belonged to his late father………..
 My late parents were also book lovers and I kept a few from their book of the month club series from the 1950's…...
 The new shelf unit is in the master bedroom which is Larry's domain so he can lie in bed admiring them all. But then there is my room………yes we have our own bedroom and even our own bathroom - it is so nice to be able to sleep all night without sharing the snoring or wriggling! Our rooms used to be quite close but now we are at far ends of the house so this was a gift from one of our daughters when we moved in……….(!!!)
I digress……..every room has books including a kitchen cupboard of cookery books (which I rarely use!) then under the TV unit all the special photo albums….
Under the sewing machine are a few reference quilting books (and that is the big Beatrix Potter quilt which I am currently quilting)……...
 The dining room has a bookshelf in the corner devoted to some of my William Morris books……..


 and the lounge has a bookshelf that belonged to mum with even more Morris books……..

 I've also kept books that I grew up with including the Narnia series and Swallows and Amazons and on the bottom shelf are some of Larry's Russian history books - yet another university degree……

The lounge also accommodates Larry's enormous DVD collection and CD's…….
 The hallway houses another piece of furniture from my mum filled with even more books……...
 Then there is the spare room devoted to the little ones with shelves of children's books and a few quilting ones as well……...

 My bedroom has books on the desk and in the bedside drawers……...
And yes this is where I am sitting right now as I type this blog so you have also just had a tour of the house!……...
 But there are more books as we spill out into the carport - this time National Geographic magazines! My late father collected every edition starting in about 1948 and Larry resumed in the 1980's when Dad stopped. When we first moved 5 years ago I couldn't even give them away so instead decided to put them in the recycle bin. But Larry couldn't part with them so instead of six shelves full we now have three. There are also a pile of Time magazines that Larry can't part with too!………..
 I also have an "office space" in the carport which appears to include little people things………..
 and in the corner is a very large pile of boxes full of brand new May Morris books!…...
 But on the top shelf of another bookcase is a collection of books from when our girls were growing up including Babysitter club books, Roald Dahl and Paul Jennings…….. 
 So when we are gone the family will have fun sorting all those books out! During the week I received a gift in the mail - this gorgeous bag from our friend Tim at Lloyd Curzons. Tim tells me he saw it in Sydney and knew I would love it. The design is based on The Garden of Eden by Charles Voysey another Arts and Crafts designer I admire and have used in the fabric collections (and in some of my appliqu├ęd quilts too). The bags come from Vevoke with the brand being Essensory - thanks Tim, I love it. And the other image is of an Ikea bathroom towel rail attached to the wall in the hallway to house some of my quilts…..storage for the rest of my quilts is another story!


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sun and Stitches

Today was a perfect day of warm sun and a cool breeze as we headed off to Goolwa - a historic river port just 35 minutes from home and also where our dear friends Rosie and Tom live. There little home has breathtaking views of the river with the occasional steam train chugging past as well. In just a few short years Tom has managed to fill a small space with all sorts of veggies and flowers along with a scattering of Rosie's wonderful mosaic work……..








 Friends Janie and John joined us as well where we shared life's ups and downs over a glass or two of wine and a delicious lunch……



 Just through the fence is a glimpse of the river…….. 

 During the afternoon we headed down for a stroll with Benji the dog…..

A closer look on the verandah of this gorgeous home revealed some exquisite birds in the stone work…….

 And what great luck that Rosie knew about an extra special exhibition being held down at the wharf centre………..

Benji waited patiently as we headed inside to learn about this incredible display - the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry launched by the Scottish government in 2012. This collection of over 300 panels features stitcheries from all around the world reflecting the tales of Scots who have migrated to all corners of the globe. We had no idea that so much Australian history was linked to Scottish immigrants and especially here on the River Murray mouth and wharf……...


 The panels are not tapestries as such but embroidered panels from 35 countries around the world…….
 It was wonderful to see Adelaide's Thomas Elder and Peter Waite represented…….



 The detail in the stitching was so inspiring with such a diverse use of stitches…...









 Do check the website here to see the history of this world-wide travelling show and also view the entire tapestry online. You can also read here how the display had just left Paris and almost didn't get through quarantine here in Australia! We ambled back to Rosie and Tom's with views of the water and pelicans……..



 Thanks so much Rosie and Tom for having us x  Indeed it was a wonderful day of friendship, sun and a bonus stunning stitching show - bliss!