Monday, March 20, 2006

Nathan's holidays

Nathan is on holidays. Woo hoo! Now I don't have to feel guilty every time he goes off to work and I'm lying in bed!! Of course, he's still working! Today he started re-staining the outside of the house. Spent all day up the ladder! Well, now he's sitting on the couch, reading "The Hobbit", so he's relaxing a little...

I have been knitting instead of reading, so I still haven't finished "Lord of the Rings". It's been sitting on top of the drawers in my room, collecting dust for about a week! I suppose I haven't read it since before Kelly came to stay. She's on holidays from her childcare course, so she stayed in our spare room for 3 nights. We spent most of the time playing "The Sims 2" on Nathan's x-box, which was a lot of fun, and very lazy!

Kelly has been crocheting a poncho-type top for herself, out of some thick, knotty wool. She started a square while she was here, and by the time she left she had enough to cover a bed (slight exaggeration). I started a new baby jumper, and got about 5 square cm of ribbing done. Sigh. Oh well, I'm trying something a bit more tricky, so I have to take my time and concentrate!

Tomorrow I'm getting up early to see a -8 iridium flare. If you don't know what that is, you should check out It's a flash in the night sky caused by the sun reflecting off the dish of an iridium satellite. Sometimes it's almost 100 times brighter than Venus at its best, but only for a second.

We might go away camping while we're both on holidays. It depends on the weather... whether we get organized before his 2 weeks are up!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sunday Roast

Hmm, maybe that title's a little bit inappropriate! But I was thinking of my guinea pigs, who almost got roasted in their little hay beds in the bushfire last night...

Yesterday (Sunday, March 12) we had a hot day, and we spent the morning at Sovereign Hill (as I mentioned in the last post). I had planned to turn off the internet and read "Lord of the Rings" (in truth, to go to bed and have a "nanna nap", as Nathan's mum calls it). But a big bushfire started in the nearby towns, Snake Valley, I think. It was about 20km across, and travelling 30-50 km/hour straight towards us! At about 2:30 some fire trucks went by, so we saw there was a fire. But a bit later Nathan pulled me outside to look; the afternoon sky was filled with smoke, and by the time it got dark there was an eerie orange glow to the south west. It was quite exciting, but a little scary!

My husband and I packed our car and left when they said on the radio "Either leave right now, or prepare to stay and defend your homes". Our place is pretty good, firewise, that is, the grass is short, there are no trees near the house, and the firetrucks can easily get in and around our land. So we left Velvet (the galah) at Nathan's mum's, slept at Mum and Dad's, and came back in the morning.

Fortunately, it started to rain at about 1am, which helped the firefighters a lot. Nathan and I drove back home at 8:30 in the morning. The fire had gotten close to us... the edge of the black grass was less than 2k away. There were 6 houses burned down, so we have been very lucky. God looks after us.

Well, today is Labor Day, and we are having our All-Day Halo 2 day. The first people came at about 10:30, and there are currently Matt, Jason, Nigel, Austy and Chris playing Halo with Nathan. Dr Matt and his 2 boys were here before, but they had to go out; Dr Matt is coming back later without the boys (much to their disgust!! Lol!) A couple more people are expected later. I'm having the occasional game, though I do get impatient with being slaughtered all the time... I've just been fiddling around doing some calligraphy.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sovereign Hill

Even though it's one of Nathan's days off, we visitted Sovereign Hill today, and took along all his family. We signed in at the staff entrance at 9am (an hour before the park opens) and got our visitor ID badges, then headed up to the boiler house. It was already 25 degrees outside, so the boiler house' thermometer said 35. We were just in time for the safety valve check. At 90 PSI the safety valve lifted with an explosive hiss and steam filled the rafters. It was loud! When the pressure was back to 80 PSI the valves closed, and Nathan told us all about the boilers and lines, how it gets cleaned, what the various little engines did, about the old-time boilers, what to do in an emergency (apart from pray!) and all sorts of information that he's probably given tourists for the last 9 years. It was really interesting, and I think I understood most of what he said!

Then the safety valve of Boiler 2 went off, louder than the first! We continued on to the engine room and then the battery, with Nathan explaining everything as we walked. Michael was fascinated by all the big, greasy wheels and the roaring fire and the noise!

At 10 the park openned, and we went to the kiosk for a drink. Then we all wandered around for a couple of hours, buying lollies, checking out the shops, climbing the Poppet Head, listening to the little street band and panning for gold. Michael patted the horses, pumped the water pump and dipped a candle into colored wax.

I took a few pics, and put some of them on the website (see "Links" at the right). I was trying to get a half-decent family pic, but without resorting to "okay, everyone, look here and say, 'cheese'"; naturally I didn't get one! The three on the website are of Michael.

Nathan is revacuuming the floor (which I did yesterday!!!) because we're having a Halo Day tomorrow. People will be coming from about 10am, hopefully, and staying as late as they want, playing Halo 2. It's Labour day, an appropriate holiday to spend playing!

Then on Tuesday my sister's coming to stay a few nights--to play with my calligraphy stuff, she says! And to watch movies and chat and bludge... should be fun.

iHasta la vista!