Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Australia Day


We were invited to celebrate Australia Day with a close group of friends. Bet and Nico went all-out to make us welcome with a rather Aussie spread of Lamingtons and Pavlova. Its a tradition with them every Australia Day. The sun was shining on a mild summer day for January 26.

We still live in the Lucky Country.
This platter signifies our multiculturalism and Aussie tradition. Cantaloupe or rock melon, mini pears, grapes with cheeses, salami, olives, asparagus and various dips. A bit of Italian and Greek influence here.
Naturally there's lamb with assorted salads
And Pavlova in the shape of Australia - OK you need to use a bit of imagination.
With rows of mini Lamington lolly pops on our our national flag.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Clearing out the dining room in preparation for painting it, we are then having the floors sanded and polished.

Leon pulled up the carpet today and I removed my Mum's dinner service from the sideboard where it was stored. The sideboard has been dismantled and is out in the garage ready to be restored. It is currently black, but before long will be antique white.

The Skip is full of the timber from the old timber decking, the sitting and dining rooms carpet and other junk. It was a spur of the moment thing to get the skip in but now there is no more debris left.
This is the dining room with the carpet and underlay stripped ready for sanding and polishing. 
Now this I will enjoy doing - a restoration of our federation era sideboard

I have loved this dinner service from when I was a little girl. Why it's mine I guess. I have an early memory of Mum letting me dry one of the soup plates. Soooo carefully! Tea towel handed to me separately.
It is Royal Doulton and Ms Google tells me the marks on the back indicate 1932. Mum and Dad were married in 1935 in the depths of the depression. I have an unsubstantiated feeling that they might have got it as a first anniversary present. Anyhow, it's pretty old. It was always her "best" and subsequently is in very good condition. (Never seen the inside of a dishwasher!) My mum didn't have very many nice things, so this must have been doubly special to her.








The pattern is called Orchids D 5215.  I washed it all today in preparation for packing it away until all is done. I have no idea how many pieces are in it. It has everything you could ever need for 6 from eggcups to tea and coffee pots. It was a labour of love




And as I did it I remembered all the pea soup in those beautiful flat soup plates and all the dinner plates full of mum's unbeatable roast lamb. Could go for a plate of that right now!

Tomorrow is Australia Day. We are going to a BBQ at a friend's house. Quite probably be some sort of lamb on the menu.....but it won't be the same.  And it certainly won't be on a beautiful Royal Doulton plate!

Words by Sue
Photos by Leon

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Colin is a Jaguar Man among other things

Colin is yet to open his museum and we were excited to see his collection prior to it's opening to the general public soon. Being a classic car enthusiast myself, he and I had lots to talk about and we even found that we had mutual friends without knowing each other previously. Such is the world of classic cars!

Col's passion these days is for Jaguars. I've never seen such a collection of parts. His restorations are selective and I will eventually look forward to his current project being completed - a Mk4 Jaguar Drophead.
Colin tells us that cars and parts find him rather than him chasing them. The photos of his parts collection below came from a deceased estate of another Jaguar enthusiast within a kilometre of Colin's home in Mirboo North. Another barn is full of English electrical new old stock that was purchased from an old country British car dealer that was closing.






Not all the cars in Colin's huge barn are his. Other collectors store their cars here and it becomes a revolving collection. This Bentley was a superb restoration and quite frankly I would be dubious about driving out their with the general motoring public for fear of any little mark or scratch spoiling its pristine condition.



From Jaguars to Corvettes - this American classic is so over the top, it actually appealed to me. I'm not an American car enthusiast and yet their flashiness somehow appeals to me these days. Ugliness can transform into beauty in time I guess.






And so the end of the day finished much later than expected after experiencing Colin's passion for automobile history and the collection he has acquired over many years. The presentation of the huge barn with the cars, display cabinets, wall displays does him proud.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mirboo North and a Bloke called Colin

Last Saturday we were invited to visit a friend's brother who has started a motoring museum in Mirboo North. More about the later in the week but first you might ask, where and what is Mirboo North. In all of my 64 years, I cant say that I've been there but I've travelled much of Victoria through my work and my sport of cycling. Mirboo North is in the depths of south Gippsland's hill country with rolling terrain and rain forests.

Mirboo North is 155 kms from the Melbourne CBD but about 130kms from our home. It was a timber cutting village back in the 1870s but today it is more of a holiday home and tourist destination with a population of under 3000. There several hobby farms and boutique farming industries growing out of the district. It even has its own small beer brewing business.

We decided to have lunch at the In-Line cafe which attracts heaps of motorcyclists of the more mature age trying very hard to grow-up disgracefully and spending their kid's inheritance on expensive motorcycle exotica. Yes they were noisy but in a nice way. They were enjoying each other's company.





Like a lot of heritage towns, murals of the town's past add colour to the atmosphere. There were many more that I missed but the day was moving along and we had this VIP tour of the motor museum by its creator Colin.

Colin is a jaguar man with many other interests in motoring as these photos prove. The Jaguars will come in a following post with quite a unique story behind an aquisition that Colin lucked apon within walking distance from his home.








There was so much more in Colin's huge sheds but we'll leave that for another day.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

There's alot happening.

A big weekend with "Melbourne our home on the bay" this weekend. We've finished the outdoor deck so Sunday was a bit of a treat..
We went to a local rural town of Mirboo North in Gippsland south today. What this means is that there will be a few posts over the next couple days. Here's a photo of Mirboo North - is there a Mirboo South?


Mirboo North is just under a two drive from home that takes you through underlating hill country as you are near your destination. The town is decorated with murals throughout the village - tell more your later.
We were invited to visit our friend Alison's brother. Colin is a car enthusiast who has set up his car museum in this delightful town. It has yet to open but we had a special tour.
Time for bed for me now but I'll be back tomorrow with more photos of the museum and a bit of history of Mirboo North.