My friend Lesley was as welcoming as ever despite the fact I arrived well ahead of schedule. Her husband Gary is in the USA for 3 months exploring meditation so we've had a wonderful time concentrating on bears and their wardrobes. Simon Bear, Lesley's latest creation, is only 5cm tall from head to toe and I knitted him this duffle coat which is 2.5cms long at the centre back. What about those tiny toggles Lesley made to go through the tiny buttonholes! We don't think these photos really do him justice - in person he's an absolute charmer. Update....Simon has been adopted and is now on his way to the UK where I'm sure he will need his duffle coat once winter sets in.
Mitchell is growing up so fast. He's already preparing for his grown-up teeth. We had a great time together on the Wii Sports. Of course, he beat me every time.
Now in his 2nd year of school Nick has gained in confidence. He and I did some serious work on his Knitting Nancy. I need to get him another color wool and think about what he can make with the metres of i-cord he has already created.
Young Zac recently celebrated his birthday and Nanna brought Auntie Tanya's gift with her - I think it was a hit! Richard, Sandra and the boys were preparing to go down to the farm for the school holidays so I left on Friday morning and headed down to the Gold Coast for a Knit and Natter with Essie who I met on-line - we both belong to Knit 4 Charities Yahoo Group. The ice is easily broken when one meets a fellow artisan and it didn't take long before we were doing more nattering than knitting. My next port of call is Maleny.
Next morning I turned onto the Bruxner in Tenterfield - more bends and hills to negotiate but I really like these timbered highways. There was more traffic than usual but that was just an excuse to slow down and take in the vistas.
In Casino I took a break then found the road to Murwillumbah via Kyogle. It's been many, many years since I travelled that way. The road surface is badly in need of work, but the scenery was fabulous.
When I reached the Tweed I decided to look up my old employer and friend Ivan Stroud who lives at Currumbin Creek. I haven't seen him for many, many years. He hasn't changed and I was made very welcome. After a cuppa and lots of news about "old" Elite Maintenance folk I headed up to Brisbane....now a day ahead of my schedule. When I reached Yatala I called Sandra looking for a bed which, of course, was available. Richard was in Sydney on business but Sandra and I enjoyed a very pleasant evening chatting and catching up, once the boys were in bed.
My youngest grandson, Zac, greeted me with "I haven't seen you for a long time!" He already knows how to make his Nanna feel guilty and he's only 3 years old.
From Port Macquarie I headed West on the Oxley Highway via Wauchope and Walcha to find the WOW Yarn Store and visit my oldest brother, Harry, and his wife, Yvonne, in Armidale. It's such a picturesque drive I am always happy to put up with having to negotiate the twists and turns. There was a tinge of green on the farmland south of Armidale and the willow trees were abundant with new bright green growth but the countryside was not as lush as it usually is.
WOW Yarn Store was worth a visit as she had some very unusual silk yarn which I will eventually convert into an elegant scarfe. Some 8ply Sirdar Crofter Dk sock yarn of the Fair Isle effect variety. She had some baby hats knit with it which inspired me to buy it. I will definitely visit again in the future.
Unfortunately, my sister-in-law was in hospital but at least I was able to distract Harry and hopefully cheered him up. After a long chat and a cuppa I left and headed to The Black Sheep in Guyra where they had an amazing array of newly arrived Opal sock yarn....now a girl can't pass up the opportunity to restock her stash of sock yarn can she? Then it was on to Glen Innis where I spent the night in my usual Budget motel.
With the aid of my trusty GPS I located my friend Pam's home in Port Macquarie where I enjoyed not only her wonderful hospitality but also the wonderful view from her back balcony over some wetlands. We were entertained by water dragons, ducks with their ducklings, and all manner of other bird life. Pam's brother Vince was visiting too and as always the conversation flowed, the food was excellent and we enjoyed walking down memory lane. Bill and I met Pam and her late husband, Allen, as well as Vince and his friend Gail in Karratha when we were all travelling around Australia. Pam gave me a tour of Port Macquarie which hasn't changed very much over the last few years.
Heading towards Port Macquarie I stopped off to explore Laurieton where I enjoyed a cuppa alongside the river before revisiting Bonnie Hills to check if the caravan park on top of the cliffs was still in business so I can plan to stop there on a future trip. It's still there and memories of a wonderful time spent watching whales when Bill and I last visited flooded back. The run along the coast to Port was pleasant. Being Sunday there were lots of families enjoying picnics in the many parks. There seems to have been a lot of housing development just south of Port.
I left Sydney on 13 September heading North in my Mazda 3. I was always satisfied with my previous M2 but this new "baby" makes the journey so easy - it almost drives itself! First stop Hawks Nest where the camp ground is just behind the sand dunes, easy walking distance to the magnificent beach. Pristine sand, clear aqua blue water, just enough people to give the place some atmosphere. The weather was perfect for camping...not a lot wind, plenty of sunshine and no rain. Once the sun went down it definitely got cooler and after spending night one very aware of that I was better prepared on night two. No man would have wanted me dressed as I was in my check "flannies" pulled on over my day clothes and topped with my hooded zip up coat. My handknit socks were the final touch. I was warm - this chick ain't looking for a man anyway! Sorry no photos taken. The only other glitch was a steadily deflating mattress that needed more air at around 3am - sorry about the pump noise fellow campers but these old hips and back need cushioning.
I was Adelaide born but spent many years in Queensland before coming to Sydney. An Aunt taught me to knit at pre-school age. This gift is now an obsession with rarely a day going by when I don't pick up my needles, spend time with my stash and patterns or online researching. I knit for Les Bears, Knit For Brisbane's Needy and Knit for Charities on-line Groups. Each stitch is made with love. Each project is
special. Each person I give my special gifts to is given a part of my