Hello friends! Welcome to the centre of Australia. I am currently in Alice Springs catching up with a friend who lives here. Monday started in the normal way with a breakfast catch-up and then I headed up to Wollongong. On Tuesday morning, Kim and her mum, Evie and I went to the WIN Entertainment Centre to see The Wiggles. That was much more fun than I thought it would be and we all enjoyed it, especially Evie! On Wednesday, I went for an early bike ride and then spent the day packing and getting the house ready for visitors. Kerry and Mary stayed for the night as we had an early departure in the morning to get to our 11.30 am flight.
Thursday was a long day. We got the airport in plenty of time. Lorraine drove me, Marie, Mary and Kerry. After leaving the car at the parking station, we settled in at the airport after meeting Karen. We had nearly a two hour wait but we were advised to be there two hours before the flight. The flight to Melbourne was quick and uneventful but when we disembarked and headed into the terminal for our connection, we had to stop and fill in border entry forms. That took some time because of a glitch not allowing us to do them on our phones and they had to be filled in individually by one person. We finally made it to our next gate and met up with Janice who had flown from Canberra airport. The flight from Melbourne to Alice Springs was about two and a half hours. On arrival, we had our border entry forms ready but it was a very long queue to check in with them. We caught the shuttle to our accommodation and unpacked in our respective rooms. There are five of us in a two bedroom apartment and two others in a studio. Our friend Vicki and her sister Pam met with us and we headed to Montes Bar for dinner via a Tesla taxi. That was a very smooth ride but dinner was far from smooth. The place was absolutely packed and, in the end, dinner for four of us took about one and a half hours to arrive. It was nice when it did but it would have been far more enjoyable to eat when everyone else was eating. We all slept very well that night!
Friday started with a walk to the Olive Pink Botanical Garden where we had breakfast at their cafe. We then climbed the hill behind the gardens which led to a great view of Alice Springs from above. After that, we headed to The Purple House which is a dialysis centre for the indigenous people of the area. While we were there, we heard all about how this Purple House built up far reaching centres around the outback along with mobile units, all from fund raising. It was amazing to hear how one person, Sarah Brown, was the main instigator for this amazing centre. She is the CEO working with its board of Indigenous directors. It was a very inspirational visit. After leaving, we called in at an art gallery in the centre of Alice Springs followed by a late lunch in one of the cafes. From there we visited two fabric shops – the first a patchwork shop and the second an Aboriginal fabric shop. The nine of us managed to pick up some nice bits and pieces at both the shops. Then it was time to head home and four of us walked which ended up a bit further than we expected! We had a lovely dinner at the local Golf Club watching the sun set with the light reflecting off the ranges.
Alice Springs is situated on the Todd River which is dry almost all the year and full of red dust. Yesterday, we started with breakfast again, this time at the Araluen Arts Centre. It was a relaxing morning after which we visited Central Craft, where local artisans are able to get together and rent some space to do their craft. We met some of the talented people who were there at the time and we checked out a couple of the exhibitions at the Art Centre. There was a very large metal caterpillar in the garden – it is native to the area and called a Yeperenye. We then moved on to the Telegraph Station which is where Alice Springs began before moving to where it is now. I didn’t go in as I’ve been before so Mary and I sat and knitted while the others went through all the buildings. We had another late lunch and most of us spent the afternoon sitting around relaxing before getting ready for dinner. We had a lovely meal at the Hanuman Restaurant in the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel.
For the trip, I decided to cast on some vanilla socks. I still have my Shell Cottage socks which are just past the heel section but I felt that it was too fiddly with the pattern. The vanilla sock have been good to just knit on without thinking too much. I had a Crazy Zauberball in my stash for years and I’ve been wanting to make some socks with it. The yarn is irregular so I just split it into two balls. The two socks will be fraternal rather than identical but I think it will look really good. I worked the toes on the way up to the airport and then was able to just knit in the round. I’ve done a good bit on them now, as they are perfect to keep in the handbag. One of the socks has been mostly blue and black but I’m now starting to move into some of the orange/red which I’m looking forward to getting to.
I have continued with the Classic Ribbed hat for Finn. I have knitted all the body of the hat – the bottom section is turned up as a cuff. I haven’t been able to move into the decreases because I’m going to have to do that with a longer cable on magic loop and I didn’t bring one with me. It won’t take much to finish off when I’m able to.
The crochet test is going well but I haven’t had a lot of time to crochet on it. I had some time during the second flight but, since then, we’ve been on the move a lot and it’s not a compact project. I hope to split for the armholes soon.
I did manage a little bit of sewing before heading off to Central Australia. I finished my palazzo pants and wore them on the plane. They were very comfortable. I have started work on my #sewaprilblouse challenge but it will be touch and go as to whether I finish it by 30th April. When I get back home, I’ll be heading to Wollongong and Sydney the very next day. This is the Bernina Aida blouse and I have followed Frugalisama’s tutorial on raising the neckline and installing the neck facing. I don’t think it will take too long if I can get to it.
I’ll wait until next week to show what I have purchased so that I can leave it all packed up for now. There are a few bits of material – some for shirts for Finn and Cooper and some Aboriginal fabric.
I have started listening to a new book – Lethal White by Robert Galbraith. I didn’t choose this one by random selection. I wanted something for the flight that I knew I would really enjoy and this one is definitely doing the job. I have finished watching Married at First Sight, finally, but I haven’t had the opportunity to watch anything else before we left.
Today is ANZAC Day and we are heading off to the dawn service so I’ll have more photos in next week’s blog. We don’t fly home until Tuesday morning so we still have a few adventures to keep us occupied until then! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!