Thursday, December 30, 2010

Graduation Day

Remember this post back at the beginning of November? We didn’t have long to wait for Sarah’s graduation which took place the week before Christmas.

Thanks to the influence of our friend Ian, an Honorary Research Fellow at Sydney University, Sarah was able to have her whole family present for the big occasion, as well as her very special godmother, Alicia.  
I couldn’t help but shed a few happy tears as she received her Doctorate in Veterinary Science from the Chancellor of Sydney University Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO in the Great Hall.

Here she is afterwards with Ian, and Professor Bashir who is also the Governor of New South Wales.


With her proud parents…IMG_8511
With her big brothers…IMG_8502
Her godmother, Alicia… IMG_8495
And with the very proud man in her life, Brad…
What a momentous way to end the year 2010!IMG_8512

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And so that was Christmas…

Where did it go? In a blur of eating, drinking, present exchanging, laughter, tears and photo snapping.IMG_8620

Quite a few years ago as my father was tucking into a serve of 5 cent coin-filled Christmas pudding, he began to cough. He coughed and coughed, and finally, with a grin, held out his palm to show a gleaming $2 coin!

The following year the same thing happened, only this time the currency eventually revealed was a $5 note!

You get the picture, I’m sure, as the same scenario was played out each year with Daddy pretending to choke on some money in the pudding, and the currency progressing from coins to notes, and eventually to credit cards!

With his recent passing I had hoped for a homage involving at least an iTunes card this year, but it was decided, quite rightly, that Daddy’s was too hard an act to follow.

But there was rosemary for remembrance.IMG_8615 And instead of Daddy’s party trick there was some hilarious silliness involving whistles from our Christmas bon-bons on which we spectacularly unsuccessfully played Christmas carols under the direction of our my brother as musical conductor.

And for those of you interested in such things, finally this year my sister and I did NOT wear the same color on Christmas Day – and we didn’t even consult!BubDiHeartsIMG_8622


A Christmas miracle


Do you believe in miracles?

You just might after reading what happened when The Blogess (aka Jenny Lawson) offered to give $30 Amazon gift vouchers to the first twenty commenters on her blog who could explain how this simple gesture would make a big difference to them being able to give their family a better Christmas under difficult circumstances.

Here is her original post where she made the generous offer.

However after the twenty gift cards were spoken for the heartbreaking requests continued to come.

And then the miracle happened.

This comment appeared:

I’ll give out the 21st gift card request you receive; $30 at Amazon. Just give me the email information and I’ll send it along. Happy Holidays everyone.

With these simple words an avalanche of goodwill was unleashed, and for every request that arrived a new commenter picked it up and committed to fulfil the Christmas hopes and dreams of the family it represented. The groundswell of love and generosity surprised everyone.

As I write this, her blog post has 733 comments - and more than $40,000 has been given to families in need! Many of these recipients are so grateful that they too have pledged to pass on the generosity when they are able.



Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas to every one of you!


This Christmas will be the saddest I’ve known, but at the same time one of the happiest.

Sad because it will be my first without my darling father.

I’ll miss him sitting at the head of the Christmas table grinning and wearing his silly party hat.

I’ll miss his corny “Dad jokes”, and I’ll miss his kisses and hugs as we all arrive.

Not that we need any reminder, but as a token of remembrance of Daddy this year we’re putting a sprig of rosemary in each place at the table - and there might even be some sort of hommage to his long-running Christmas party trick*.

But my heart is full as well because this year I have two  Christmas celebrations to look forward to, and for the second one my entire family will be together. How wonderful is that!

Thank you to all my loyal readers who encourage me with your comments. I wish you a peaceful, safe Christmas that refreshes and renews your spirit, and God’s richest blessings in the coming year.



*More about this in a future post!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Sydney Christmas tradition

For 28 years Sydney families have flocked to Carols in the Domain on the Saturday night before Christmas, and since the arrival of The Princess we’ve been fortunate to be VIP guests of Robyn Hobbs, the founder of this great event.

Carols in the Domain is a Sydney tradition, and raises thousands of dollars every year for the Salvation Army’s great work.

Over and over for the last few weeks The Princess had been telling me that she was going to meet the Wiggles, as she did last year, so I was delighted when Robyn ushered her and two other excited little girls backstage – and I tagged along as photographer.

Robyn had Carol Koalas for the girls, and The Princess loved hers.


Then Robyn introduced her to her friend Santa.


And her friend Georgie Parker.IMG_8542

And …. best of all …. to her friends The Wiggles!!!!


The sun went down and fireworks lit up the sky

100, 000 people watched this year’s outdoor performance on a balmy summer night, with thousands more watching the live telecast at home.IMG_8562 The Princess loved it – especially The Wiggles!IMG_8550



IMG_8561 Thank you Robyn!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A very special memory quilt

Though my Monday Paddington Quilters group is in recess for the summer I thought I’d show you some more of their beautiful work - this time a quilt made by Desley for a friend of hers whose little boy, John, lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.Paddo's quilters 11.10 001 Little John’s mother gave Desley a portfolio of paintings and little notes he had written when he was alive and, with some guidance from Di B, Desley printed these out on Printed Treasures fabric and incorporated them into her quilt.Paddo's quilters 11.10 002 In his short life John touched many people.Paddo's quilters 11.10 003 His quirky paintings and sketches of birds are everywhere on the quilt, but this is the block that really melts my heart.Paddo's quilters 11.10 004 What a heartwarming note for John’s mother to treasure – and what a generous gift from Desley to her friend.

The Digital Story of the Nativity

Very clever. Times change, but feelings stay the same. Avoid those Romans though!



Monday, December 13, 2010

A little Christmas bling

Not much stitching happening here, as the happy round of Christmas break-ups and end-of-year get-togethers is in full swing.

However this little Christmas brooch I put together on the weekend is a rather special exception.

IMG_8386 IMG_8375 IMG_8369 I made it as a gift for my sister, and was delighted to hear it’s arrived in time for the tennis girls’ Christmas party tomorrow – and even more chuffed that she loves it!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oprah in Sydney

For those of you who are Oprah fans (particularly my blog friends in the USA) - this is the view I have of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from my street tonight.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The bigger picture

For those who’ve asked, here is how the newly embellished purple frontal looks in the church.


IMG_3301 After…IMG_8333In the process of capturing these images I’ve realised that purple is a tricky shade to photograph <grin>. Sometimes it looks blue, as above.

And sometimes it looks as it should, below.

IMG_8335 IMG_8336 Smiles all round this morning when we came out of church and found this festive spread for our morning tea.IMG_8340 In case you missed him, here’s a close-up of our reindeer with flashing lights.IMG_8341Bling!  The Christmas season’s officially begun!


An oldie but a goodie

This always makes me smile :-))