Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Beary Good Holiday

Toffee was home again. After all the recent fun of her holiday in balmy Far North Queensland, home seemed a little quiet (and very cold!), but nice nevertheless. Snuggled up warmly in front of the fire, Toffee dozily re-lived the holiday in her furry little mind.

It had all begun when Nana Kayzy needed a little bear to take on holiday to Cairns, someone who could take the place of Paulie (see earlier post), make friends with Twingk, and someone who would fit in her handbag! (Paulie, of course, wasn't able to go now because his new family would miss him too much.) So, when Nana Kayzy looked around her hug for a little bear to fit in her handbag, guess who was the only one small enough? "Me!" squealed Toffee, and her squeal awakened other critters who were dozing in front of the fire too.

The flight to Cairns was very exciting, and Papa Martin let Toffee sit near the window, so she was able to see many areas of outback Central Australia along the way.

 However, the best part of flying is landing safely, and soon they were on their way to Bunbury North at  Clifton Beach, where Toffee was to meet TwingKelle. Ooh, the prospect of a making a new friend made Toffee's toes tingle!

On arrival at Bunbury North, they were warmly welcomed by the Bunbury Bunch, and the weather, and Toffee was introduced first to Old Ted - a very wise old bear whose long life and adventures had denuded him of almost all his fur - and then to Twingk.

The two girls immediately became bosom buddies, and their time together passed quickly, as they lazed near the pool, sharing secrets, dreaming beary dreams, and just having fun!

Warm days made the cool water of the pool very inviting, and Toffee was very keen to take a dip.
But Twingk was not going to get her lovely ballet dress wet, so Toffee contented herself with practising her diving skills alone.

One day it was decided to have afternoon tea near the pool, in the garden. The food was just what little bears love, and the girls couldn't wait to get into it! With so many hungry tummies in attendance, it wasn't long before the scones were all gone, and the fruit platter yummily depleted.

That night the Supermoon rose over the little friends, and under its rays they lay down, and marvelled at the huge yellow face smiling down on them.

On their last day together, Twingk and Toffee sat under a palm tree near the pool, and shared their hopes and plans for the future. What a gift is a good friend!

Oh, the comfort -
The inexpressible comfort
Of feeling safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words -- but pouring them
All right out - just as they are -
Chaff and grain together -
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them -
Keep what is worth keeping -
And with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.
  Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik (1826-1887)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bunbury North or Bust!

Earlier this month Martin and I took to the skies, flying to Cairns in Far North Queensland. Our friends Noel and Kirsten have just moved there from Adelaide, and the opportunity to join them for a short holiday was a temptation too great to resist. Toffee, my new little friend, thoroughly enjoyed the flight too, especially when Martin held her up to the window to see the view. (I will tell you more of her holiday in a later post.)

We left Adelaide rugged up in winter woolies and arrived in Cairns to find the temperature around 30 degrees Celsius, so the first thing I did was to remove as much clothing as decency and opportunity allowed. O the blessed relief of not having to brace against the cold!

Needless to say we had a wonderful time with our friends, sharing the enjoyment (and challenges)
We found the burst water pipe
of setting up a new home (Bunbury North), and also taking in some of the sights of the tropical north.

'Supermoon' at Clifton Beach
Clifton Beach Sunrise
The supermoon rose over Clifton Beach while we were there, and we took pictures of the moon rising without knowing that it was 'super', and the next morning Martin greeted the sunrise on the same beach.

We were captivated by the beautiful Crystal Cascades, a secluded freshwater swimming hole, hidden in a tropical rainforest, where a series of small waterfalls flow into large pools surrounded by boulders. We watched crazy kids jumping off cliffs into one of the deep pools - the NO DIVING signs were no deterrent to them - 

and saw a Golden Orb Weaver spider - so big! -

and an Orange Rustic butterfly.

Another highlight of the trip was the Skyrail rainforest cableway - a 'must do' for any visitor to Cairns - we loved it!

Rainforest from the Skyrail

On our last day, we packed a picnic lunch and drove to Mossman Gorge - yet another amazing rainforest paradise, north of Cairns and not far from Port Douglas. Words fail me to describe the walks through the rainforest there, and the clear mountain river is wonderful to swim in, if you can brave the current and cool temperature (I didn't).

It's cold!

Our holiday drew to a close too quickly, and we reluctantly said goodbye to Noel and Kirsty in the early morning darkness, leaving for the airport at 5am! By 9am we were back in Adelaide, glad of the winter woolies we had discarded 10 days earlier, and full of happy memories of a wonderful time with dear friends in a great place - Cairns.

Sleepy friends say Goodbye

Friday, 18 May 2012

'Neigh'bours that horse around

We have interesting neighbours. They often seem to think that our paddocks are nicer than their own, so they frequently visit us, and spend their day grazing, rolling around on the grass (rats - just missed that photo opportunity!) or relaxing under the tall gum trees nearby.

Most of the time we co-exist peacefully. However, when we need to venture away from home in a hurry, our horsy neighbours don't seem to have an appreciation of our need for a speedy exit. On these days it sometimes takes 'some time' (pun intended) to manoeuvre our way around, or through the horses!
Honey and Sassy

I have discovered a good trick is to keep a brightly coloured shopping bag handy, and to wave it furiously at my equine friends. This is usually successful, and they amble far enough out of the way to allow safe passage through.

Bandit and Yours Truly
Encounters like these continue to make living here fascinating.
Wedge-tail Eagle

You never know who (or what) you're going to meet on the 1 kilometre track in or out. Here are a few pics of our other neighbours, some of whom have featured in earlier posts.

Highland cattle
Kelvin Koala (the original)

Eastern Spinebill

Fat-tail sheep
Our neighbour's cattle

Crescent Honeyeater

  • Welcome to Lily, and daughters Adel and Dania. Take a look at  Lily's blog
  • Welcome too, to Melisa Nichols, of Melisa's Bears. Melisa makes exquisite bears and other critters.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Brief encounter of a special kind

Recently I succumbed to the lure of an Ebay auction for the first time. I was just browsing through the Artist Bears on the site, when I came across a delightful little bear, Toffee. She called out to me so loudly that I just had to make a bid on her, and to my surprise I was successful.

Toffee was made by German bear artist Gudrun Niklas (http://www.mahlbachbaeren.de), and I would recommend visiting her website. Gudrun was prompt in despatching Toffee, and before I knew it she had arrived, and has been a constant delight to me ever since.

Around the same time, I was busy making a bear  for my niece Brooke's first baby, Dreyson, who was born safely and received joyfully into the family on 24th April.

Sonny the bear was also 'born' on this day, and received joyfully by yours truly.

Now Toffee's adoption coincided with Sonny's 'birth', and although these two met each other only fleetingly, it was love at first sight, so I had to record their brief encounter for my amusement, and I hope yours also.
Hello, little one!

I love you, Sonny!

I love you too, Toffee!

Look at me!

Be careful up there, Toffee!

I have to leave soon, to look after Dreyson.
Well, you'd better practice with me first

This is how you hold a baby, Sonny.

A farewell kiss: "Give Dreyson a kiss too."


I miss Sonny!