Monday, 25 February 2008

Pottery, Travels.

I have been away over the last 4 days and just got back tonight. I took my car with Kath Edie and Milton as passengers. On the way home we went down through Nowra, then south to stay the night on the beach at Mollymook, then on to show off one of my favourite places, the beach at Tomakin just below Bateman's bay where we fossicked amongst the rocks at the northern end of the beach. Then back home through Canberra.
I went to a post reduction Raku lustre workshop at fitzroy falls in the southern highlands of N.S.W. I took a soul healing bush walk in a green, cool, moist forest. I went out for meals and on the way home I put my feet in the ocean. Lovely!
I wanted to share my pictures with everyone to show off what a nice trip I had. The first picture is taken from Cambewarra lookout. It shows the view from the escarpment looking south along the shoalhaven coast. The town below is Nowra.
Looking south from Cambewarra lookout again.
Milton, Liz and I went for a bushwalk along the tracks at Fitzroy Falls on friday evening. This picture is of an area on the walk near twin falls called the grotto. I can imagine seeing a mythical critter peeking out from behind this lovely old twisty, mossy tree. No! that is my friend Liz in the background.Lol.
I was a bit naughty and climbed over the baricade at the grotto to take the this picture from behind the waterfall.
A little cascade in the grotto down at eye level. The water was tea coloured.
Part of the walking track. A cool, green, damp, silent,mystical, sacred place with big fern trees in the under story on the forest floor.
Opps sorry, this pic is out of place here. It is at the lookout again. The plant was a plectranthus I think, as it is the same as one I have at home but it is a giant sized version. This one was about 6 ft tall. Mine is maybe the dwarf version.
Milton on the walking track at Fitzroy falls, the Twin falls area. Getting there was fine, but going back was all up hill. Puff Puff.
This is the little cascade shown in the earlier pic, from a more sensible position.
Wonderful mossy rocks and twisted trees in the grotto.
Also taken from the grotto. The water dissapearing down over the bigger falls.
This was behind, and underneath the waterfall in the grotto.I couldn't resist climbing in there.
Here is a big freshly dug wombat hole. Look at all that clay. If you can enlarge this I think the wombat is home. You can see its eyes and nose showing up in the dark. I didn't know it was there until I looked at the photo.
Looking down one of the Twin Falls. It was a long way down, you couldn't see the bottom from here.
The valley. There are lots of waterfalls draining into the river that runs along the bottom of here. Big wild bush.
This is the waterfall looking down from above the grotto.
Liz. Picture taken of taking pictures.
Right!. Here is what we went to Fitzroy Falls for. Pottery. I loved this big platter. It is by our tutor for the workshop. Neil Boughton. Not in my price range.But I did buy a small blue vase of his to take home.
More of Neil's big beautiful pots. These show the results from the Raku Lustre process he is famous for. Apart from making great pots, he is a nice bloke.
This is another one of his pots. This one is not raku. It has rams head handles.
This is a close up of a wildflower near the cottages where our group stayed. I think it might be called "Devil in a Bush", but I am not sure. If you know tell me what it is.
This was a grevillea growing near the cottages in the bush.
Kasee and Edie relaxing at the workshop.
Liz at the B.B.Q. on saturday night.
Brian, Di, Mia and Connor, at the B.B.Q.
Cooking tea. Friday night. Potters are naturally fire bugs I reckon.
Edie and Milton, saturday night.
Here is a step by step look at the Raku Lustre process, Neil Boughton style. This is the first step in the firing process. This is Milton painting the glaze onto his pot.
And Kath, my good friend and birthday buddy, deep in concentration glazing her pots. I really like the pictures taken when the victim doesn't know they are the victim.
Mia doing her glazing. Behind her is Connor and Milton. Note the little wooden marquettes on the rafter behind her. Neil uses them as profile examples for his pots.
Sharon and Di.
Glazed pots in a cold kiln.
Opps! this one is out of order too. They show Di's pots after firing. She is glazing one of these in the picture two up from here.
Our tutor Neil decorating one of his pots. At the moment he is decorating things with octopus patterns, which is what is going onto this pot.
The pots are buried in a big vat of dampened sawdust to further smoke and add to the reduction effect from the in kiln reduction.
Neil lighting the gasses escaping from the kiln while it is reducing. Looks great fun doesn't it. See the face on the wall in terracotta. It is his self portrait and quite a good likeness.
Glazed, unfired pots drying on top of the hot kiln before going in to be fired. Note my two chooks, you will see them finished later in this post.
Kasse's pots. A good example of the results we got with the raku lustres.
Sharon's Raku crackle glazed Budda.
Here are my finished chookies. Great lustres. I like shiny.
Some more of my pots. I didn't like the last one here before it was fired so I did it as my first experiment and was very pleased at the results.

Sharon's lovely little dishes and spheres.
These are my wood inspired pots. They were glazed in the turquoise, copper glaze. Here you can see the effects of the reduction and how the process changes copper in the glaze to metalic reds. The green bits on the rims are where the colour hasn't been changed so much.
The same pots from a different angle.
Milton's gold dish with the leaf and Mia's round dish. Showing lots of metalic lustre.
The square plate and little dishes were done by Sharon.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Just a quick post this morning. I am actually avoiding doing my ironing. I need to iron to go in to Wagga this afternoon . Mike has a wisdom tooth to be removed. Ouchie.
Yesterday C. from the real estate office in Wagga came over to take some pictures of the house to advertise it. Today Pete and I have to go in there to sign some papers to put the house on the market. So it is all beginning to happen. C is the wife of a friend that Pete and his brothers went to school with and her Mum is a ceramic artist whom I got to know through the Potter's club. She was a member herself for a few years. The camera she used had a wide angle lens so it was interesting to see the effects of that. The valuation (approximate selling price) she made of the house was quite a bit better than what the local real estate agent made before her and that we were dissapointed in.
About a month ago I had a Home variety party here at home one night and the goods ordered from that are due back next monday. They sell linen, crockery, decorative things ec for the home.I don't have many party plan parties because I dislike having to ask people to bring me the money when it is due. I weakened for this one . I got 4 lilac coloured towels from having the party for free and some other things at discount prices so I guess if you need new stuff they are good but now I have to chase the people that came, to get their money, which I hate. I haven't had anyone not pay me but I still hate asking. Oh well, I will get some nice towels out of it.
I really should go now and iron myself something to wear to Wagga.
Bye. Love Linda.

Sunday, 17 February 2008


Tonight I have been reading everyone's blogs and leaving messages. Mike helped me to fix up my blog and put on a proper list of my favourite reads. Thank you to everyone I have included. You are my regulars and I really appreciate getting messages back from you. I hope nobody minds me including them in my list.
Today I worked as early cook, so I had a 6.30 start, it was a nice day though. All the girls at work have been on to me and saying they don't want me to go. That Pete should go without me etc. That I must love him better than I love them, and I am leaving them in the lurch with not enough staff. lol.
I have 3 days off work now and then back for one day then I have 17 days holidays.
I didn't know I had so long off because I just put in for days to originally go to the Fitzroy Falls workshop. I'm not complaining. It will be good. The tutor does post fire reduction lustres. He gets great colours out of the process, plummy purples, copper, red and gold metalics with a good reduction. I guess if you aren't a potter you don't know what I am talking about. I will post some pictures when I get back next week. We are staying in cottages in the bush next door to the national park, they have walking tracks, a B.B.Q. area and a pool. But I don't think ayone is game enough to show off their beautiful bodies and get in the pool. I guess that depends on how hot, or how dark it is. My potting pals, Kath, Edie and Milton are going in my car and we will be going down the escapment to the south coast to put our feet in the ocean the next day.
Fitzroy Falls has a big waterfall and is in a national park. It is about 4 1/2 hrs drive from here at the top of the escarpment and only 1/2 an hour from the coast. Too close to miss being tempted by the smells, sounds and feel of the ocean. Should be good. Someone at work told me that Gerringong is closest to there. I haven't checked out the map yet. It has a big wild beach. Seven mile beach. The first time I went there was on a school excursion for Geography, when I was probably 16. There were 2 bus loads of us. Just about the whole year. At night we went down and had a bonfire on the beach. We also visited Jamberoo and explored some rock platforms by the sea, looked at soil profiles, rainforests, etc. Just incase you haven't noticed from my wafflings, I like that sort of stuff. My friend got drenched by the blowhole at Kiama, it was so funny. She just stood there and stared at the big wave that rolled in and shot out the blowhole while everyone else ran away. The bus drivers also got us lost and the bus got bogged on some dirt back road he took us down and all the kids had to get out and push. No mobile phones to get you out of trouble in those days.
One of the girls on that trip in my year at school, is now working with me here in Junee as a nurse. Small world. I never liked her much in those days but she is o.k. now. Maybe we just got to know each other. When I first stared work here she kept saying to me "I know you from somewhere I will work it out", but I couldn't remember her until we said our maiden names and where we went to school. Our daughters are the same age and they don't think much of each other either, maybe they will change their minds later too.
Tomorrow we are getting a second opinion on the value of our house. Pete will be here but I have to do the Mum's taxi thing and take Mike to have a facial X'ray in Wagga as he has been having trouble with his wisdom teeth. Annie also wants me to play taxi and no doubt financier while I am in there.
O.K. I am going to bed. I have been up since 5.30 this morning and it is now 11.30 here.
Good night. Love Linda.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Valentines Day.

Happy Valentines Day. I hope you gave and received something appropriate for the occasion.
I gave a chocolate heart and received a packet of Tim Tams. Yummy chocolate biscuits. If you bite a tiny bit off 2 corners, one from each end, and suck your cup of tea through it they disintergrate and turn into a beautiful gooey mush. Yum. A weird treat. I love melty chocolate. Just like I love melty cheese. Much better than cold & hard.
Yesterday I didn't have a good day. We cleaned everything we could think of in preperation for the local real estate bloke (the only one in town) to come and have a look at our house to tell us what he thinks it is worth. (No my house isn't dirty, I am not a great house keeper but I'm not that bad either.) They spent about 2 hours looking and talking and told us that our house was only worth $145,000 on todays market. I was shocked at first, then dissapointed then thought no. That can't be right. I had been looking around at what other places were selling for in town and there is no bloody way. Maybe because I have lived in this house for so long and loved it my opinion might have been tainted. But no, no. I have spoken to everyone at work today , they know my house and were all saying that can't be right, he is trying to rip you off Linda May! It is a 4 bedroom home, 2 x 2 car garages and a garden shed, updated kitchen and bathroom, separate lounge and family room, insulated, new roof on the back part, good garden, block of 960 square m., reverse cycle air conditioners, new floating floors in the living areas, 2x 4000 + litre water tanks. If it was anywhere but Junee it would be worth nearly 3 x as much as their valuation.
They showed me houses that they said were similar and had sold recently, they didn't have my house's features and only three bedrooms and no garden. I don't know how they made their comparisons.
Solution; go elsewhere, get another opinion. You guys have just lost business.
He said the market was going to drop because interest rates are going up, but I am certainly not willing to give me house away at that price! Helen at work joked that he wanted it for someone in his family or as an investment property at a cheap price.
Miss R, if you read this, I don't think Norma is in town anymore, I have not seen her around for quite a while. I met her a few times through work when she was a visitor there. There was a young girl who did work experience at the hospital and she was engaged to her uncle I think, maybe that was why she was in town.
Not much else to report, I had a reasonably good day at work today, except we had a staff meeting where I couldn't keep my eyes open.
Oh, yes, I put in an application on behalf of Annie for a book scholarship from my Union and got a voucher today for $50, so that was nice. It will help pay for some of her text books for university. Classes start next week.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

An Historic Day

Today our new prime minister said Sorry to Australia's indidgenous people for the wrongs done to them by policies carried out by the past governments of our country. The wrongs done as part of the white australia policy and the stolen generation. I know that this is a forward step. Today I hope will go down in Histories pages. As an Australian I am well aware of the wrongs and pain that has been caused since white people came to this great country and took over. Nobody today would deny that these things happened to them.
I am the product of all that has happened in the past because I had an Aboriginal 3x great grandmother. I don't consider myself aboriginal but I am proud of what tiny amount of her blood I may still carry. A tiny bit because it has been bred out of me for 5 generations, but I think it makes me just that tiny bit more Australian.
Today is a proud day. An emotional day. Bitter sweet day. A day for patriotic Aussies like me.
I don't know if legally the apology today will open up the flood gates to compensation claims from the stolen generation nor where the money will come from. That remains to be seen. It seems to me to spoil the spirit in which the apology was meant if people use it in this manner.
My Mum is driving me mad today. She grew up in a generation where they believed and learnt that aboriginals were bad, politicans are bad too, new australians are bad and if you don't think the way she does then you are bad too. With all the publicity today on the T.V. and radio she is clicking her tongue, shaking her head and making negative derogatory comments to just about everything to do with it. I keep walking out of the room because I know she will never understand and I don't want to argue with her. Ah the joys or reversed parenthood.
Oh well better get off my soap box.
Bye Love Linda.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

I got some nice news yesterday. My blogging friend in Queensland, Bimbimbee is sending me one of the little sprites she has made as part of her pay it forwards thingy she takes part in. Thank you Bimbimbee, I will have to think up something nice in return.
We had Beautiful rain again today and last night. I went over to wagga this afternoon and it poured there. I got drenched crossing the road. Beautiful. Everyone else was scurrying for shelter. I wasn't game to run as I reckoned I would fall over on my fat bum in the middle of it. On the way home there was water running in some of the paddocks and dams were overflowing.
While in Wagga I got a lot of my digital photos developed. They cost 45 cents each, totalling $66. An expensive little venture especially as I have not developed any of them for several years and there were over 2ooo of them on the dvd to choose from. The machine only does up to 1000 so I missed getting some of them. The lady at the shop said I would have to put the others on another disc to do them. There have been occasions when some of my photos have been lost forever when the computer has crashed. Getting some of my favourites developed to share might stop me worrying about loosing them so much.
I had to have copies of picture of the potters club floor after the work was done to it, to put in the report to the council who funded the project. Also copies for the hospital to show the progress of the mural we worked on recently.
Pete and I went down the street to the local real estate agent this morning and they will be sending an assessor around tomorrow afternoon to check out our house and tell us what it is worth. A preliminary to moving to Canberra.
Sorry about my post yesterday. I know it was a jumbled mess. I know what I mean even if nobody else does.
Bye Love Linda

Monday, 11 February 2008

Kids Today!

G'Day People,
Tonight I wanted to write my post in response to a comment received from Miss R, on my last post. I am not knocking you Miss R just trying a different point of view so please don't take offence.
As I read back through comments from different generations about the newest generations, parents and the older generation seem to say the same things about each other. I reckon it is because they are at different life stages and not because either one generation or the other is wrong or bad or worse than the other.
Um how do I explain myself?
In the 50's it was the demon rock & roll, which is so tame and bland in comparison to todays music, the 60's was no hoper flower children and protesters, the 70's was draft dodgers and the drug culture, the 8o's was greed and terrible fashion, the 90's well I can't think of anything else, but I am sure the list will continue on as time goes by.
We say that teenagers and children are lazy, selfish and have more than we ever did but still complain about their lot. Well yeah! They are, but so were we to our parents at the same age.
They say we are old fashioned, bossy and want to dominate every part of their lives and that we nag them to do so. Well yeah we do and they are right too! They interperet it different to us, we see our attempts to try to correct them as trying to help and give them the benefit of our life experience. They want that about as much as we did at their age from our own parents.
I don't want to sound like I am preaching but.... Well I guess I am .... I reckon that few of the younger generation have great character to show us because it takes a lifetimes worth of life experience to develop. Hence our respect for the stories and advice we receive from old people.
When we see outstanding young people we have to think that maybe they are not showing the same face to us as adults that they show to their peers and therefore should not compare them to others.
Maybe they need to experience the things in their life, as they travel through it, to learn the things we know and think the same way we do.
Oh dear , I am not sounding too good here. I know what I feel but putting it in to words.........
I guess this subject covers a wide area and lots of ideas could be discussed here. Like the changes that we as a culture have had over the last few decades with technology running and sometimes ruling our lives. Technology that runs quicker than my generation can keep up with, but which the younger generation seems to take easily in their stride while they forget about some of the things we find more important. Technology that overloads our minds so that other things get forgotten and sift through our memories. Both good and bad I guess.
Anyway, something to think about, we survive and learn and are still here , mostly happy with our lot regardless of what trials we go through. We know if we keep holding on things always get sorted in the end.
All the best Love Linda.

Saturday, 9 February 2008


The title 98 refers to an age. There are 3 people at work in our long term wards that are this age. I thought I would talk about one of them , the eldest one. He is a tiny little bloke with character. Mr E.
He is a real talker and spins great yarns, true ones. He has all his marbles which is an achievement for someone of his age, something to be proud of.
Mr E. has lived most of his life in Junee and the surrounding district. He worked in the rural industry, as a farmer, stockman, and a cane cutter in Qld which he can spin a yarn about too. Reminds me of a character out of the play "The Summer of the 17th Doll".
He also says he knows where you can find gold in the hills around Gundagi from old mining sites that were worked and abandoned years ago. There was lots of it around the district in the old days. A local legend tells of a farmer known in the district, who when he runs short of money, finds another nugget to keep himself going, but won't say from where or how it came.
We had his wife in hospital for a while before she died and he would visit her nearly every day.
He loves to read the newspapers, yes he can still see well enough to do that, and follows the football, tennis and cricket and loves a bet on the horsies too.
Mr E. told me a story about one of his favourite christmas times which I thought was lovely. He was a young man in the 30's and went droving a big mob of sheep up in the mountains behind Talbingo. There were no roads up there then and it was, and still is, steep wild mountain country. He told me about his dogs and workmates accompaning him and how he remembers how hot and dry it was that day. He even remembers the number of sheep, I can't though. Then he packed up to camp for the night the cook got them all a bottle of beer which was cold and they drank it together around the fire. A special christmas treat. They used to put the bottles in the creek to cool them and he said no beer ever tasted better. If you know that area the water can be freezing. Free refrigeration. Fridge space. They got home the next day to Mum and family. I can't remeber where he said.
We have had some great people in our hospital at times. Many were able to tell their stories as part of our recent australian history. I love hearing them and regret that their stories fade away with them.
It is really great that he knows and remembers everyone and how their inter-relationships mesh together around the town. His second cousin is in our hospital and is just a few months younger than he is. They grew up and went to school together and he goes to visit her in her room and they talk for ages and hold hands. So cute.
I was talking to him today and saying we haven't had a patient reach 100 years old in our hospital in all the years I have been there, and a long time before that. It is his birthday in June. I hope he makes the 100 mark in a couple of years.
Another man who we had living in the hospital for a year or so was the son of pioneering people who had a guest house in the mountains at Yarrangobilly caves. The guest house has recently been renovated and has reopened after many years of disrepair and use as national park offices. It was the social center for the area in the old days as the area was sparsely populated and isolated. He met and married his wife on Kiandra goldfields where she grew up. Kiandra goldfields is no more than an archaeological site nowdays, and a base for national parks and wildlife roadworks. But is still considered as the highest town in Australia.
He used to talk about his grandfather walking across the desert pushing a wheel barrow containing all his worldly goods to go prospecting for gold in Western Australia. Amazing. Dear old man.
Aren't old people great. I wonder if my mind will be in order at that age to tell my stories. Probably not, knowing how I forget things now.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

La Nina

Today is my third of 6 days at work, so I'm half way to my next lot of days off.
In the news is Rain , lots of it and more to come.. Caused by La Nina which I am very pleased to welcome. Our area last month has received twice the normal monthly rainfall for January. We are just a few days into Feburary and we are just a few points away from having our average monthly rainfall for the month. I'm loving it. Everything is green and growing madly. I even have a lawn. Normally at this time of year our landscape here is dry and brown and very hot. Feburary is normally our hottest month here. Because of the rain we have been getting lately it is much cooler, the last few days have been in the mid 20's. The weather has been kind to us, even though in other areas of the state there has been too much rain and associated problems with flooding, we have not had that problem here. Yet. Sydney water supplies are above 65%, Brisbane's is picking up too. After so many years of desperate drought, things are looking up. Whoo Hoo!
Canberra... Yes we are going. Pete has got the job and will start training during the first week in March. So we may be moving sometime in March, maybe late in the month ? We don't have the house on the market but I was asked by a girl at work if I was selling it, as her son is looking for somewhere to buy where they can have their horses near by. I should be careful what I say but I don't think he would be a gardener and I would hate to see my yard go to ruin. I know if I sell it that is none of my business, but I am sentimental about it.
The mural was fired on monday this week. It has come out with a lovely toasty brown colour and has no cracks on any of the tiles. Two of the tiles near the top of the tree are a darker brown than I had hoped for, which I wasn't really happy with, but otherwise it is fine. Phew! What a relief! It took me 14 hours to fire because I was being extra careful not to break anything but it is looking good.
Also in the news; The japanese whaling fleet are still in southern waters slaughtering whales. Pics on todays news show them killing minke whales. One of them was a mother and calf less than a year old. Bastards!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Sunday Scribblings

Here are a couple of anecdotes on this weeks sunday scribblings prompt. Foul.
First one is Foul Behaviour.
The Japanese whaleing companies win this award hands down at the moment.
Just for anyone who hasn't heard the news stories pertaining to this subject of late. The Japanese whaling fleet have been continuing to slaughter whales in the southern oceans each year. As far as I know there are only a few countries left in the world today that condone and support them in their actions. Everyone else is against them. They slaughter whales and use the excuse that they are doing so for scientific purposes but whale meat is readily available in Japan for consumption. I have heard that the younger generation are not that fond of whale meat so now they have a advertizing campaign going, to encourage them to eat it. For scientific purposes of course. I guess they want to know how much more money they can make for the company by going against popular opinion and continuing their whale hunting. Is that a scientific experiment or a big buisness scam?
The next of my anecdotes is about my old doggie princess. She wins the award for the most foul smell I have ever smelt. Princess was a labrador, german shephard cross and she was the best dog I ever had. I first got her when I was 16 years old. She had a sort of labrador body shape and a white german shephard coat and ears. I loved to take her out in my car for runs at the river, or one of the local stock reserves, when I first got my drivers licence at 17 years of age. Have car, have dog will travel type of scene. Anyway, she loved perfumes that only a dog could love. One day I took her out in the little Gemini car my sister used to own, to a stock reserve by the river for a run. She was gone for quite a long time snooping and sniffing around like she loved to do when I decided it was time to go home . I had to look for her for a while and when I found her, I opened the back door of the car and she took a running jump straight in to the back seat. On her adventure she had found a really, really ripe sheep carcass and rolled in it to perfume herself, doggie fashion. She was very happy with herself and with the decayed slime, blood and guts that she had coated herself in which was hanging putridly all around her neck and collar. Of course when I grabbed her I put my hands in it to add to the chaos. Fun. My sisters car had vinyl seats and she cringed down into the seats when she saw I wasn't happy with her and coated them in her perfume too. They absorbed the smell quite well..... I couldn't do much about the situation where I was, so I had to drive home in the mess with all four windows open so I could breath. When I got home I washed and scrubbed the car , myself and her. We had to drive around for weeks afterwards with the windows in the car wound down because the smell would not go away no matter what we did.
And my beautiful doggie was not very popular with anyone in the family, least of all my sister.
Princess lived to be 17 years old and shared life with me through my engagement, my marriage and the birth of my three children. she protected and nurtured my children when they were babies and they grew up with her, like I guess I did too. She and I shared many adventures and mis-adventures together and she gave me lots of love during the many years we had her as a companion.