Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year -gosh it only seems like yesterday when I was saying this for 2011 and now here we are heading into another year.

Where has the time gone?

Summing up the past year in one word I would say "contentment".

On the family side I could not wish for anything better--we have been on three wonderful holidays--our children are all enjoying life and the grandchildren are all growing up so fast it is scary.

On the creative side I have muddled along enjoying everything that I do without any dramas.

I keep saying that I will slow down but I never seem to.

I keep saying that I will lose weight but I never seem to.

I keep saying that I won't over commit myself with online classes but -------

So--what I really want to do is to thank each and every one of you who drop by my little space for taking the time to visit me.

You don't have to leave a comment (heaven knows I don't always leave comments on blogs that I visit) but the fact that you dropped by is important to me.

I have made lots of wonderful friends and have been lucky enough to have met a lot of you personally and the amazing thing is that we always feel as though we have known each other for a long time.

May I take this opportunity to wish each one of you a Happy New Year and I hope that you can all find happiness in 2012 no matter what you are searching for.

Don't ask me why blogger has put all the spaces between sentences--I have tried to correct it but he has a mind of his own----maybe he has been eating those "grumpy" pills again.

Happy New Year Mr.Blogger.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


What a fabulous Christmas we had----I can honestly say that I don't ever remember having such a wonderful Christmas day as the one we had this year.
Ebony stayed over on Christmas eve because the three of us went to the evening church service at 10 pm.
I had done a lot of the meal preparations on Saturday and I am so glad that I did--it made things so much easier on Christmas day.
We started out with prawn cocktails-yummo.
We always have the traditional Christmas lunch (without the turkey that is).
We had ham and roast lamb plus roasted potatoes-sweet potatoes-carrots and parsnips and pumpkin and then we had peas and broad beans and lastly there was cauliflower augratin.
I had made the mint sauce myself this year seeing as I have mint growing in the garden plus there was gravy as well.
I had also made a beautiful punch (a new thing for us this year) and it went down a treat.
My Christmas pudding was amazing which was a good thing after what happened when I was cooking it--(so I forgave it for scalding me when I was removing it from the water after it was cooked.)
I had brandy cream and normal cream as well.
Needless to say we were all a wee bit full after eating all that and my family all appreciated the effort that I had put in.
I love it when we all get together which usually only happens at Christmas time and everyone enjoyed each others company which was a bonus.
Oh happy days.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Christmas

Christmas day is almost here and I am going to be a little busy in the next few days so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all who pass buy my blog a very happy Christmas.

I hope that you have a wonderful day with family and friends and that you take time to remember the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Happy Christmas Everyone

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No More Primary School

Tonight Ebony had her year 6 leavers dinner.
It is hard to believe that next year she will be going to high school.
Where has the time gone.
Here she is pictured with her best friend Bethany all dressed up and ready to go.
They have been best friends since starting school in Kindergarten and they will be attending the same high school next year as well.

Tomorrow is their last day at school and they will all be going to the swimming pool for the day--life is good.

Nativity Buttons

Before we went on holidays I ordered this set of Nativity buttons from Carol Daisys blog and they were here when I got home-the two angels at the top were not included in the set.
I am going to make a Christmas wall hanging for next Christmas with them.
The figures range from 5-7cm tall and are beautiful.
I just checked and they are still available if you need them.

I can't wait to use them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finally Noumea

Our final port of call was Noumea in New Caledonia.
I still have reserved feelings about this place--there is the obvious western influence which made it so different from the other Pacific Islands that we had just visited.
This has to be the smallest island ever--I expected to see Robinson Carusoe waving his flag at us.

As we entered the harbour there was this huge smeltering plant --Nickel mining is the main industry on Noumea and this is what greets you as you are about to berth.

There were tall buildings around the island--signs of prosperity.

We visited another Catholic Church (included in the tour) and this one was very much a modern one compared to the others that we had seen.

There was even Grafiti art on some walls--obviously an organised work of art.

We went to the Aquarium and there were some beautiful fish.

The traffic was heavier and the cars were more modern.

This Christmas tree was in the foyer of the Aquarium and the decorations were fish related and to do with the sea--very appropriate.

We were going to get off the coach and have a look around the city shopping area but we decided not to (a) because it was so hot and humid and (b) it didn't look very friendly.

When the people who had got off and went shopping got back to the ship not one person had a good word to say about it- they said it was very unfriendly--glad we didn't go.

Dravuni Island Fiji

Dravuni Island is a small island in Fiji with less than 200 people living on it and it is not even 1 square Kilometre in area.There is only one TV on the island and everyone gathers around to watch it.
It was 7.30am and we got on the tender and headed off to the island.
The sign said we could walk across it in 20 minute.
Well I was up to that so off we went----

On the way we passed this house with these quaint water tanks outside.

We came to the fork in the road and we kept walking---

We could see the ship over the top of the trees----

Now I was getting very hot as my face will tell you (and it was only 8am) when it dawned on me that we had taken the wrong turn--I was so busy taking photos that I hadn't noticed.

We should have been going across the island (and been on the other side by this time).

We should not still have the sea to our right hand side----and we were heading up this big hill--

well there were two hills and we were half way up the smaller of them.

We looked up and there were these people on the skyline of the bigger hill almost to the top---

I looked at Stephen and said "If you think I am going up there then you are stupid" to which he replied"And if you think I am going up there then you are even stupider".

There were people coming down by this time and they said the view was fantastic(I thought it was fantastic from where I was already) and I told them that even if I was able to make it up there I wouldn't enjoy the view because I would be having a heart attack.
So we headed back down the hill which was even harder than going up and when we got to the beach we found a fallen tree trunk in the shade and sat down and recouperated.

We later rolled up our trousers and went paddling in the ocean----ahh Heaven.
The beaches were spectacular and I could almost feel like I was in Paradise.

We boarded the tender and headed back to the ship and it was still only 9.30am.

I looked back and there were the hills laughing at me(I could hear them-really) and then I saw that there were even more hills.
If you click on the photo you will see the smaller hill in the front of the darker green hill which was my undoing.

Do I look stuffed-my top was saturated-my hat had enough moisture to save me from dehydration-and the shower was a welcoming sight.

Noumea is next.

Savu Savu--the journey continues

We had to go the the island of Savu Savu by tender(life boat) because the ship was too big to get into the port.When we reached the jetty we then boarded a bus which did not have any windows so to speak--well it had windows but no glass in them.
There were two tour groups on the tender and we were the first group assembled but the second group shoved past us to get on the "proper" bus first which as it turned out didn't have any air-conditioning and they almost stifled on it.
We had this "fully airconditioned" bus and the breeze was perfect.

As I sat on the bust waiting to pull out the traffic had built up a bit--would this be called a traffic jam?
Diving up to the village I noticed most of the houses were built on stilts-I suppose this helps to keep them cooler.

On arriving at our destination we were greeted by the villagers singing us a welcome song and we each received a lei.

I photographed one of the ladies after asking her permission first-I loved her outfit so elegant.

A photo looking out to the sea--does this say South Pacific or what?

We went into the Kindergarten class room and I saw this notice on the wall--they are very religious in thePacific due the the early missionaries that settled there.

The ladies danced for us-----

And the men as well.

And a young lad shimmied up a tree to show us how to get the coconuts.

When we arrived back at the Jetty for our return trip I noticed this sign on the side of the road
--and people took notice of it as well.

Suva --Fiji

Now we are on Suva Fiji and I am not going to show you heaps of photos similar to the ones that I have shown before but I have decided to show you ones that I thinks are different and interesting.
First up is the sentry on guard at the gates of ????? (I can't remember) and I didn't write it down in my notes either but they must have been important.
He has to stand for 3 hours and cannot even get a drink of water--- phew.

This is a canoe in the Museum--how did it ever float?

Me sitting down because if I hadn't I would have fallen down because of the heat.

This was so funny--it is the door to one of the toilets in the Museum -but the lock is on the outside of the door.

Some houses on the hill built on stilts with their garden in front of it.

This was the pool at a western style motel very modern and beautiful.

And the Christmas tree in the foyer--I loved how this tree was simplistic in its decor.

Next is Savu-Savu.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I loved Vanuatu I think mainly because of the culture but especially because of the quirky art that was on display.
Before I get to the art I thought that this photo of a view from one of the hills we were on says it all--peaceful--beautiful--green------

Me looking out the bus door--I played the little old lady to perfection so that the handsome young tour guide helped me on and off the bus.

We went to a Museum where this local man explained his culture to us and then he proceeded to play songs for us on this instrument.He played a local song then Advance Australia Fair and lastly Silent Night---magical.
He also did this piece of sand art whereby the sand was contained in a screen and he started to draw and he never took his finger off the drawing until it was finished--Inspirational.

We went to a village where these shop dummies were painted and embellished on the side of the path in front of a house.
In the same village was this concrete wall with these sculpted figures --so clever.

Tree roots on top of the ground--definitely some inspiration here.

Finally a totem pole in the same village--definitely some very talented people live here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lifou New Caledonia

Here are some photos from our first stop in Lifou-- New Caldonia---
Looking back from the Island to the ship the Dawn Princess with a tender going back to get more people.

A road on the Island-----

The Catholic Church----

Here is the Catholic school---

A traditional meeting house---

Preparing a meal wrapped in leaves and cooked in the ground---

Chopping up coconut---
Dishing out the meal ---
All set to go--there was chicken-bananas-yams-sweet potato-pawpaw-and mango---

Ready to taste---
More to follow