29 March 2012


I've been having a bit of fun playing with some of the, let's say more obscure, photos that The Sparky took while we were away. This one in particular from the Cinque Terre catches my eye every time I scroll through the collection -

I think I prefer the more rustic look of the one below that's been 'played' with.

What do you think?

28 March 2012


A few weeks ago I tried my hand at my first piece of sewing in ... well to be honest I couldn't say. A few pieces of coordinating scrap material, a bit of cutting, a bit of sewing and some more cutting later (the edges are deliberately scrappy, just in case that's not obvious) and I had myself a little dog blanket -

To be perfectly honest I thought that it would end up in the bin shortly after finishing it. Instead I've found that both Nutmeg (pictured) and Astro (our cat) seek it out to sleep on in preference to the large bed. I've even found Samson trying to fit his big old bottom on it!

So, I'm gonna call that one a success ...

27 March 2012

Travelday - Where I run out of "wheres"

As I headed into work today I was thinking about this post - what I had to say about our next stop, the Cinque Terre, and which photos I'd use - when I realised that I had left my iPad (and therefore all of my photos) at home! So instead I will leave you simply with a photo of our first sight of the area -

It turns out that once the public carparks are full you're not allowed to even drive down to the town (much to the consternation of accommodation providers that have their own carparking, they won't even let you down if there is a parking space waiting for you), there was a nasty policewoman blocking the way and everything! So we drove our way along the high windy road until we found a place to park, took a few photos of the view and walked down into town to check in and check things out - hoping desperately that the road would be unblocked by the evening so that we didn't have to carry our bags that far ...

21 March 2012

Travelday - Where we get a pleasant surprise

After much internal debate and discussion about what to write about Bologna - and indeed three different attempts at starting a draft - I have decided, once again, to try to keep it simple. After all, my most commented upon post is the one where I wrote almost nothing (actually after this morning it's the second most commented on but I think this one has more to do with the large gap between posts than anything else).

So, without further ado I give you Bologna -

Left - part of the University  Right - the cathedral

I hadn't actually researched Bologna before we left home - partly because it was a stop of convenience (it was The Sparky's first day driving on the other side of the road so we decided to make is a short trip) and partly because we didn't want to feel as if we had to rush away from Venice so that we could see ... whatever it was there was to see in Bologna.

Once we were on the road though and there were no more directions to give out for a while I took out my handy dandy guidebook and read up a little. Probably the most intriguing thing I read was along the lines of the fact that the cathedral in Bologna was originally designed to be larger than the Vatican. Approximately 200 years into construction the then Pope decided that that was not on and so authorised the construction of a university next door and in the way (apologies to Lonely Planet, this is a very abbreviated version of what they have to say but I lent my book to Little Bro).

Apparently they didn't even bother to redesign the cathedral.

If you squint you can't even tell there's a giant poster covering the building, can you?

There was a medieval festival on while we were there which was a very nice surprise! There were people walking around in full costume, including armor and mail which must have been most uncomfortable in the heat. The flag throwers and their drummers were quite fun to watch.

This photo was taken as we were walking through what seemed to be just a general shopping area. I can't remember which of us looked up and noticed it first but we but did a lot more looking up after that!

I'm sure this must have some significance as everything around it has been taken down (you can see the end of the walls on each side). Now it just sits in the middle of a busy street.

I've since discovered that these are 'the famous' towers of Bologna. They too were just sitting on the side of a busy street - if it wasn't for a group of tourists and their guide stopped at the intersection looking at them we would have walked straight past!

We also ended up with a new Samsonite suitcase and Bologna was the first place I saw and fell in love with my new rings.

So, despite our lack of interest or enthusiasm for Bologna I must say in the end I'm very glad we went and I hope to get back there one day.

Oh! I can't forget to mention the lovely man that we bought our lunch pizza slices off - he was delightfully helpful, his young son was learning English at school and very shyly said 'good bye' to us as we left (so we introduced him to 'see you later'), they looked up the meaning of a couple of different food words to explain them to us and they introduced The Sparky to 'Chino' (which they sold in bottles the size of which we simply do not get in Australia!).

06 March 2012

Travelday - New Plans

We interrupt this program to bring you some very exciting news ... our next holiday is planned! It's only little and I'm actually hoping to get away for a short break earlier in the year too but for the moment I am very excited about the fact that over the weekend we booked our airfares and accommodation to ...

QUEENSTOWN!!    (I'm trying not to think about how much more snow will be there in Winter ....)

The Sparky, his brother and sister-in-law will spend a day or two skiing and I, well I'm looking forward to doing not much at all. We'll be away for less than a week so, as I said, it's only little but right at the moment it's little things like this that are keeping me sane!

P.S. Yes, this is simply my effort to buy myself an extra week to work out what to say in my next Switaly11 post.

05 March 2012

02 March 2012


Well done Melbourne, that's an Autumn day I can live with ...

and next week -

what's in the box???

01 March 2012


Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.
Hal Borland

When my first Autumn morning of the year starts like this I ask myself what's wrong with high tide always and a full moon every night ...