Monday, February 22, 2016

I've been away for so long..... !!! Can you forgive me??

HI friends,

Can you forgive me?  I've been away for 6 months...
I lost the impetus for the ornie challenge by the time December rocked on..and another stitchy friend took it over for 2016.  I hadn't even purchased the annual magazine..

I've done little cross stitch.  Patchwork and Quilting have taken over my spare time.  I've come to the realisation that my eyesight isn't so great any more.  I'll work on the charts that I can see when inspiration hits me, hoping to finish what I can.  In the meantime, quilting is so instantaneous and I'm loving my new machine.

I'll post pics as I find them, most of them are on my mobile and haven't been moved to the laptop for sharing.

In the meantime.. I found myself answering a question on a message board. I had been asked just where was Victoria, Australia, by someone in the USA.
my answer went something like this....

How to find Australia on a world map...   Ok  start with the US and head towards Japan...  then drop down below the equator.. That's right.. we're the Great Southern Land...   keep going..... If you get to the big white bit.. that's Antarctica and you've gone too far..  (a bit of this white land is officially Australia too...)  Move away from the cold and head back towards the equator... don't go too far..  smoodge a little bit to the left of New Zealand and you'll see this lump of orange...   That's Australia. 
Now the square bit on the top left... that's the NORTHERN TERRITORY... Capital City of NT is Darwin...  bombed by the Japs in WW2 (Feb 19 1944) and because of its isolation, very little was known about the attack for some days.  Christmas Day 1974, at dawn, Darwin was hit by Cyclone Tracy - once again.. isolated area, but all of Australia rallied around and helped out the survivors...  I was 11 then.. and I remember the pictures of kids looking for their Christmas presents.
The top right has a pointy bit...well that's tropical QUEENSLAND.. crocodiles and humidity and heat and stuff... Never been there...don't know that I will.  The capital there is Brisbane, but it's a bit further south... near NEW SOUTH WALES...  Once upon a time, the entire island continent was called NSW, because the Englishman who discovered the place, thought parts of it he could see reminded him of Southern Wales in the UK.  Sydney is the capital of that state.. famed for the Coathanger bridge and the Opera House (special because up until it was built, most Aussies spelt culture with a capital K)
Speaking of capitals.. the Capital of Australia (where all the politicians are) is Canberra - located away from the coast in it's own state, (or rather, Territory), is the ACT, or AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY.  This city was designed in circles and is pretty and nearly insignificant, if not for the War Memorial, the National Art Gallery and Parliament house...
Flinging yourself to the left from NSW (roughly because the state borders are wonky) on the west of the continent is....  WESTERN AUSTRALIA.   Gee these naming guys had little imagination.
Once again, I don't know much about WA - Perth is the capital city, and there is a big Yachting community (remember America's Cup??), and a river and black swans..  and a lot and a lot and a LOT of space filled with orange sand. A few mountains known as the Kimberleys run in the north of the state.
Pretty much dead centre of the land is a big red rock sticking up - used to be called Ayers Rock and you used to be able to climb it, but now it's a special place called Uluru and the cultural inhabitants and owners are more discerning about letting people clamber over such a significant indigenous feature.  Dropping down south from the Rock (which is in the Northern Territory), you find yourself in ....wait for it... SOUTH AUSTRALIA (see I told you they had no imagination)  SA is the land of wines and Culture and genteel way of life and antiques and the clocks are all set to 1960.   The hills surrounding the capital Adelaide, regularly catch on fire in summer.
We'll skip to the right and down a bit and find ourselves in our only island state, TASMANIA.  It often gets left off the map and the locals are really cranky about that.  It's famous for it's Heritage areas, lots of trees, apples, chocolate, and convict history.  It started as Van Diemens Land, but after the convicts were no longer transported, had a make over and renamed for the Sailor who mapped a lot of the coastline.. Tasman.  There's a nearly extinct mammal, called the Tasmanian Devil, which looks nothing like the critter on the vintage Bugs Bunny shows.
That leaves us heading back to he mainland, to VICTORIA, named after the British Monarch.  Melbourne is the capital city, the suburbs are spread around Port Philip Bay.  I live in an outer suburb on the bay.  Victoria is famous for the gold that was found in the 1850's onwards.  Melbourne known for it's culture, and coffee shops and laneway lifestyle, as well as being a centre for the Arts. It is also considered to be the Sporting capital of the world, (F1 racing, soccer, tennis, horse-racing, football, cricket, basketball)  Our festival in March is called Moomba and we have a public holiday to celebrate the granting of an 8 hour work day.  In November, our state has another public holiday to celebrate the running of one Horse Race.  We don't have snow in Winter, but our ski-fields are less than a 3 hour drive.

Australia is a big place.  From Melbourne, for perspective, it's a 6 hour drive to the west before you hit South Australia and a 5 hour drive 'till you hit NSW on the coast and a 5 hour drive to the northern border. Although you can drive from Melbourne to Sydney in one day (11 hours or so in traffic), you'd be better off taking a day or two to sightsee.

I hope you have enjoyed my little sojourn around this wondrous country.  Should you ever be fortunate to visit, I'd be honoured to show you around the bit of my world.