Monday, 1 September 2014

A sad farewell.....

Those of you that have been following A House in the Country for a while will know that my beautiful Mum had Alzheimer's disease.
Last week we had to say our final goodbye to her.
Before the disease took hold she was a strong, loving woman....


she loved my Dad for nearly 70 years and next week would have seen them celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary...




she loved my brothers and I fiercely.....


she loved her 11 grandchildren as only a devoted grandmother can.....

and she loved her 17 great grandchildren with every fibre of her soul

and I love her as only a daughter can...


I will miss her every day of my life but I am so glad that she's finally out of the hell that is Alzheimer's.


Rita McMurray Eaton
10/12/1928 - 22/08/2014











Our eldest daughter, two of our grandchildren and my niece are walking in the Memory Walk on Sunday September 14th as 'Rita's Crew', to help raise funds to fight this insidious disease. The link is below if you feel you could donate a couple of dollars to support them....thanks XXXX

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

45 years ago today..........


...........I stepped off a Qantas jet on to Australian soil for the very first time...

I was a few weeks short of 19 years old...
full of enthusiasm for this new young country that would now be my home...



I left behind the rolling green hills of my youth...that green and pleasant land..

I left behind pomp and ceremony....


I left behind queen and country...



I left behind village greens and tiny streets, basements and attics, walks in the snow....



I left behind all that I knew and loved.......


I left behind people that I loved.....
I left behind people that had touched my heart...
 and I left behind people that I would miss for the rest of my life...


Oh to be in England
now that April's there,
and whoever wakes in England
sees, some morning, unaware,
that the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf'
round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf.
while the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
in England - now!

And after April, when May follows,
and the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossom'd pear-tree in the hedge
leans to the field and scatters on the clover
blossoms and dewdrops-at the bent spray's edge-
that's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
the first fine careless rapture!
and though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
all will be gay when noontide wakes anew
the buttercups, the little children's dower
-far brighter that this gaudy melon-flower!

Home Thoughts From Abroad
Robert Browning (1812-1889)

I stepped on to the tarmac at Sydney airport and wondered what I had let myself in for?

I had suddenly gone from Browning to Mackellar......

but it turned out that....




I love a sunburnt country
a land of sweeping plains.....


of ragged mountain ranges....


of droughts and flooding rains....


I love her far horizons.....


I love her jewel sea....


her beauty and her terror
the wide brown land for me.....
Dorothea Mackeller


Am I sorry?  

Not often, but we all have some regrets in life and sometimes that green and pleasant land has it's own magical appeal and pull. I miss the rolling green hills, I miss some people a whole lot. When there are fires raging I miss the soft misty air, I miss the wood and copse of the English countryside, I miss the myths & legends, I miss the history......... I miss hearing the lilt of Lancashire and Yorkshire, I miss the ability to walk the lakes and mountains......sigh!!

I don't however miss the long, cold and grey winters, I don't miss the smallness of my birth country, I don't miss the crowded roads, I don't miss living cheek to cheek with only a wall dividing you, I don't  miss the crowded cities and I don't miss the weather...  :o)



Monday, 6 January 2014

Another top..

back to work tomorrow, good job too I think, at this rate I might run out of fabric (insert uproarious laughter) ...





I finished another little top this morning...I know! three tops finished and ready to quilt..phew, I'm exhausted ;o)



A few years ago I bought some boxes of two and a half inch square samples of Moda's new range for that year....



and then I bought these candy bars



can't quite believe that it's over 4 years ago though!! anyway, I've used some of them over the last few  years (you can see some of the squares in the quilt under the boxes) but while trying to clean out the dresser that holds somea little,  a very small amount (sigh) of my fabric I came across them again....



I thought I'd really like to make some type of scrap quilt but I wanted to keep the ranges together, so this is what I came up with...





it's....hang on while I measure it! 53" square, so a good lap size. there are eight different ranges in the tiny squares and three in the candy bar border.....I still have three packets of squares two are repeats and the third is Eden by Lila Tuella...a bit too much pink and yellow for what I wanted. if anyone wants them let me know in a comment and I'll pop them in the post for you (first in, best dressed, as the saying goes) they're Jodies...  :o)  .....I'm done with tiny squares for a while...! I sashed them with some lovely Robyn Pandolph essentials, a creamy white with mushroom coloured dots. I bought metres of it from work for something else, I only used half a metre so still plenty left for my original purpose...


I've really enjoyed making these, I spent most of last year doing hand appliqué and working with wool, I'll be back to that now that the holidays are over. I really want to finish my Sue Spargo Bird Dance BoM and make a start on this years plus I'll be teaching more classes of woolly goodness this year at Millrose as well as the continuing 'Flowerbed' class which will be Bird Dance later in the year!!

and just because I can...




some Penelope love...


this little miss is nearly six months old now and wasn't real impressed with her santa hat it seems....



but she does love her food...
I'm flying over in four weeks (to western australia) and can't wait to cuddle her for FIVE whole days! miss those kids big time...and their mum too of course..  :o)

not sure when I'll be back to write another post, I'd like to say that it won't be long but realistically....we'll see! I do still visit all your blogs and love to see what everyone is up to, just don't get much time to comment on them anymore..
I've opened up comments to everyone again and I still haven't got word verification on, just have to ignore the spam I guess...

c ya later....xxx

Friday, 3 January 2014

twenty fourteen.....

can you honestly believe that it's 2014? I've only just got used to writing 2013!!

I can't promise that I'll be any better at blogging this year than I was last year (which was pretty woeful really) but I can at least start the year off well and do a post before the first week is out :o)


 I have been productive...


I was thrilled when this came back from the quilter, absolutely love it. Now I just have to get on with Bird Dance before this years BoM from Sue arrives in my post box......



we had dad stay with us over christmas and we spent some time on christmas day with Mum. she doesn't know any of us anymore and she's having trouble moving around now. A walker was the answer, so I took myself off to the medical aid shop and bought her one, covered the seat with some patchwork so the nurses know it's hers and..


she was like a duck to water, couldn't stop her. that's dad down at the end of the corridor trying to keep up..!

the man I live with, aka the railway man, aka John Kingston McMahon is finally a published author...


if you would like to read his story of growing up in boys homes, orphanages and foster homes you can buy an actual paper in your hand book here... 
(or order it by author and ISBN at your local book store)

one of the reviews reads..

"A simply written, heart rending story of John Kingston McMahon's long search for his father, after being brutally treated by the welfare system of the fifties. Mistreated, beaten, starved, imprisoned. You wonder that any welfare child of the fifties survived the System to become a healthy, balanced adult after reading this story."


yes, that is the railway man on the cover! he was just three when it was taken and we still have Ted, well, he does really belong to Sarah now, but we've borrowed him back for a little holiday...oh yes, and he still scowls like that too..  ;o)

and on the subject of the man I live with, aka the railway man...
he bought me this totally lovely little pigeon hole cupboard for christmas...


carried it out of his study (aka his playroom) and said....
"thought this might be just the thing for all your bits of fabric.." 
well it is, thanks...... I've spent the day today refolding fat quarters to fit in there, love it..!!

I've been off work for the last two weeks, back next Tuesday, and I've been doing some sewing...


finally got this one together, ready to go to the quilter...



and made this little 'penny quilt', I found it here and just loved it..
I think I'm going to just quilt it really simply and bind it in black (maybe black and white)
it's only small but it's going to look fabulous on the back of my couch.. I'm very much in love with limes and oranges and aquas right now...zesty and full of summer sunshine...
not that we've had that much summer warmth here, so far it's been a disappointing summer around our patch, we've had lots of ....



amazing skies and sunsets but not much heat at all......
hoping that changes soon....









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