Hello friends! I’m back writing from the south coast of New South Wales. We finished off the trip to Alice Springs and I have lots of photos to share with you. Last Sunday was ANZAC Day, when we celebrate the sacrifice by so many Australians and New Zealanders during World War II and those from wars before and after, right up to the recent conflicts. Because of Covid, the service was held at one of Alice Springs’ cemeteries rather than ANZAC Hill where it is traditionally held. The first and second pictures show the beginning and the end of the service with the sunrise happening along the way. It was a pretty cold morning and the donation breakfast was very welcome afterwards, particularly the cup of tea that helped warm my shaking hands! The photos also show the fabulous clay sculptures; the main one of a soldier and busts of each of the services – airforce, navy and army. The final photo shows ANZAC Hill which we visited after the service. The sunrise is pretty spectacular when the service is held there.
To fill in some time, we then headed to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame where we found so many road transport vehicles from across the decades, from small trucks, large trucks, buses, semi-trailers, and more. Lunch was at the Golf Club and we decided not to wait around for the two-up games as we needed some rest after getting up very, very early. After a bit of R&R, we dressed up for dinner at Sporties Restaurant, which is a bit of an icon at Alice Springs.
Monday morning started with a bit of a sleep in and a relaxing cuppa before Vicki and Pam picked us up for the day’s adventure. We headed out of Alice Springs to the West MacDonnell ranges, specifically to Standley Chasm where we were booked in for a cultural tour and dot painting, along with morning tea and lunch. We started with the morning tea which consisted of freshly made scones and jam/cream. During morning tea, there was a bit of an emergency when the fire, freshly topped up with wood, flared up very high and started to burn the mantle and displays. Fast action by someone in the cafe ensured it was extinguished quickly. It was then referred to by the staff as the “smoking ceremony”. 😊 After morning tea, we were led to the Chasm by a local tour guide who explained all the different bush tucker and other relevant information. This chasm is part of a long hike called the Larapinta Trail – it’s quite a long trek and for experienced hikers only. This particular spot on the West MacDonnell Ranges is a short hike – it took us about half an hour with lots of stops and information but only took about ten minutes to walk back. On our return, we were treated to a slide display and talk about Aboriginal history. It was very interesting and I certainly discovered things that I’d never heard before. Our schooling, back in the day, barely touched on Aboriginal history. We had lunch and then were treated to a slide display on Aboriginal art history and uses, followed by our own hands on dot painting activity. It was so much fun and painting the dots was so therapeutic. We used acrylic paints and I think I’ll be having a go at some myself in the near future.
Our original plan was to head to Ellery Creek Big Hole for a swim after our day at Standley Chasm but we weren’t ready to leave until later than expected. Ellery Creek is another hour’s drive away from Alice Springs so we instead called in at Simpson’s Gap on the way back to town. It was only a short walk to the creek section and it was worth it. When we get back to the apartments, we sat outside and had some nibbles for dinner and then we were picked up again to go to the Alice Springs Quilting Association meeting. This was Vicki’s local group and it was her last night there. It was also her birthday so we brought a cake and sang to her along with all the members. Their show and tell was very interesting, including three gorgeous quilts that were made (I haven’t included photos as they were for a quilt exhibition), a demonstration on squaring up blocks and several other works. Then it was time to head back to the apartments and finish off our packing.
Tuesday was a very long day. We left the apartments at 7.00 am and I was home at 7.15 pm. Mary had a bit further to go and she drove home from Huskisson. I really liked the bougainvillea plants that I saw around Alice Springs – they are more like bushes than climbing spikey plants. I think I’ll see if I can get something like this. The trip home was uneventful but long.
On Wednesday, I was up before dawn and headed up to Wollongong for a day with Evie and Finn. On the way home that night, I called in for dinner at the Brewery where some friends were gathered. I had a big sleep in on Thursday morning and a quiet day; a bike ride on Friday morning and a big walk yesterday. I even made some green tomato pickles. We had some rogue cherry tomato bushes in the backyard and I grabbed the last of them to make a couple of jars of pickles. I hadn’t made any in years and years and it’s not that hard. I think I’ll make them again some time.
There wasn’t a whole lot of knitting this week. I finished Finn’s Classic Ribbed hat and started and finished Cooper’s as well. I think the pattern is quite small but could be my tight tension. I’ll probably make some more but I’ll go for a bit bigger for the next ones. I made some decent progress on the Zauberball socks I cast on during the trip to Alice Springs last week. I’m just working tubes and will add afterthought heels later on.
I did spend a good amount of time on the Artemisia top crochet pattern test and there’s not much left to do. You can see the front and then the back here – it just needs another row to go before joining at the shoulders and then the lace sleeves. I’ll be finished this in a couple of days, in good time for the 10th May deadline. It’s been a fun crochet. The fade looks weird in the photos but is not quite as obvious in real life.
Last week, I didn’t get the chance to show my Pattern Emporium Hello Gorgeous top and Palazzo pants. You can see them here together. I wore the pants on the plane and they were so comfortable. The top is great too and I’ll be making another one very soon. I did get to finish the Aida blouse on Thursday, the day before the 30th April deadline for the #sewaprilblouse challenge. It is a great fit and I may wear it this week though I’ll need to put a camisole underneath. I just need to work out what colour will be best under this stripe.
In last week’s blog I mentioned some fabric purchases I made while in Alice Springs. Here they are:
- Two panels that I may put on canvas and hang.
- Some beautiful silk – I am thinking possibly a Cielo top for this fabric.
- Two lovely pieces of fabric that will be shirts for Cooper and Finn.
- Some pieces of fabric that caught my eye. I intend to use the patterned ones to make a top for me and possibly some pyjama pants for Robert.
TVI caught up on my shows this week, watching both Unforgotten (last episode of season four) and New Amsterdam. Then I found that the Handmaid’s Tale had started and watched all three that have been aired. I can’t wait to see the rest of these! I finished listening to Lethal White by Robert Galbraith and found that the first book of this series had been made into a mini TV series, so I am watching that now. It’s good that they cast the main characters in line with how they come across in the book. The only difference I’ve found is that Cormoran Strike has a different accent with the audio book but it’s not an issue at all. I’ve started another book, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I’ve only just started it but I think it will be OK, though I feel like diving into the last Cormoran Strike book but I’ll keep that one aside for a little while.
It’s been a big day today, as we headed to Wollongong and back and I am finally getting to finish this post. I have a few things planned for this week, starting with breakfast catch up tomorrow morning and a lunch out on Wednesday. I’ll be pottering around the house for the rest of the time. We are expecting several days of rain so it will be perfect for spending some time in the studio or on the lounge. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!