Thursday 8 September 2016

Godspeed Rory

26th May 2012 - 8th Sept 2016

We are devastated - we had to have Rory put to sleep early this morning - he had ruptured a disc in his back & lost the use of his back legs.

Not enough words...............

Tuesday 6 January 2015

How time flies.........the day the bridge "fell" down

One of my abiding memories of my childhood is being woken by my cousin Bruce taking great delight in saying "Your bridge has fallen down!". We, Mum and I, were in Scotland over Christmas to sort out some things after my Grandpa died. Dad stayed in Tassie as by that stage he was unable to make the long journey to Scotland. Bruce had been babysitting as Mum was out with my uncle & aunt "first-footing" some other relation. Once Mum was back, I remember the concern that we were unable to contact Dad and had no knowledge if he was involved. At that time, telephoning internationally was "hit and miss" most of the time and it took hours (with concern escalating to mild panic in Mum and just full-blown terror on my behalf) to be finally able to get a line through to Dad and ascertain that he had not been anywhere near the bridge and was fine.

To explain, Hobart, the capital of the Australian island state of Tasmania, is situated on the banks of the River Derwent. Due to the geography of the area with Mount Wellington stopping expansion to the west, Hobart developed on both sides of the Derwent - the main city centre is on the western shore. The River Derwent at Hobart is nearly a mile wide.

The Tasman Bridge was a concrete span bridge with 21 support piers - the shipping channel was between piers 14 - 15.

On the evening of 5th January 1975 the bulk ore carrier, Lake Illawarra, was travelling up the Derwent towards the bridge. For many reasons, too complex to go into here, she (the Lake Illawarra) was approaching the bridge at the wrong point. At 9.27pm on that Sunday night she hit the Tasman Bridge causing piers 18 & 19 to collapse bringing the concrete spans above down.


12 people died - 7 crew from the Lake Illawarra and 5 motorists that were driving across at the time when their 4 cars plunged off the gap. This was just the start of the disaster however. The Tasman Bridge was completed in 1964 and at the time of the disaster was the only crossing of the Derwent at Hobart. Bridgewater Bridge crosses the Derwent about 25km (~15.5 miles) to the north of Hobart and was the only other crossing anywhere close to Hobart. So, Hobart was literally split in two - what had been a 5 - 10 minute journey from west to east or vice versa now involved a 50+ km journey taking 90+ minutes on roads that weren't designed to cope with anywhere near the volume of traffic that was now having to use them.

I vividly remember the journey back from the airport when we arrived back in Tassie - the airport is on the eastern side of the Derwent some distance away and we lived on the western shore in one of the southern suburbs. As I mentioned earlier, Dad was unwell and the added stress of a 2hr car journey to get to pick us up had not helped. To try and cope with the extra traffic some of the roads to Bridgewater/Granton had been re-surfaced in the previous few days and the day we arrived was hot. This meant that the newy laid tar was melting partially and when Dad drove round a particular bend the car slid in the tar and went straight crashing up a bank on the edge of the road. Mum got a bad seatbelt burn to her chest, Dad's chest impacted the steering wheel and I got jammed between the two front seats as cars did not have rear seat belts at that time. But luckily, no-one was really injured and the car was drivable. A consequence, however, was that Dad was admitted to the hospital 2 days later as the stress of the journey and the impact of the steering wheel had exacerbated his asthma & emphysema.

It took until Dec 1975 for a temporary bridge to be built and the Tasman Bridge was finally re-opened in Oct 1977 (minus one pier)

In fact, looking back on it now it was the trip from hell - Cyclone Tracey hits Darwin on Christmas Day 1974; the bridge collapses 5th Jan 1975; airborne en route from Singapore to Sydney we encountered the tail end of another cyclone resulting in (literally) the entire planeload of passengers AND crew being violently ill due to unimaginable turbulence; car crash on way home and just the "cherry on top" my Daddy in hospital!! And to cap it off one of my best friends left school as she lived on the Eastern Shore and the commute made it extremely difficult.

Memories...................can't say "fond" however

see also here and here


Monday 15 December 2014

Erin's snowflakes

I participated in a snowflake exchange on one of the facebook groups. I sent the following to Erin in Canada

As people on facebook have asked for the links, the pattern details from left to right are

1) a Teri Dusenbury pattern that she had on her old site - it doesn't appear to be listed on her new site here

2) Sharren's modification of Jane's Snowflake-on-a-Ring2

3) Leen's Snowflake which was on intatters but I can't find it in Craftree

4) Wendy's 4 Ring snowflake

Sorry - only 2 out of 4 :(

Got some more to show later as well

Thursday 17 April 2014

In Memoriam

The Rainbow Bridge

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,

Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.

Where the friends of man and woman do run,

When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,

Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.

On this golden land, they wait and they play,

Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,

For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.

Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,

Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,

Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.

All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,

Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;

Together again, both person and pet.

So they run to each other, these friends from long past,

The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,

Has turned into joy once more in each heart.

They embrace with a love that will last forever,

And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Love Always

Sunday 2 March 2014

Aero England's, Milward "Made in England", "Aero" made in Germany & other "Aero" shuttles

Following comments on the "Tatting Shuttle Addicts" group on facebook I've finally decided I had better update the blog finally & to do it with a post about shuttles.

As I have made no secret of in the past - my absolute favourite shuttle is the original Aero shuttle or the Aero/Milward "Made in England" bobbin shuttle. Jane has a very good post here about Aero's but I had disagreed with what Barb had told Jane about the age of the shuttles & said I'd post piccies which I never got round here goes

This is one of the original "Aero England" shuttles still in its packaging

There appear to be 4 variations in the pacakaging

And this is an Aero "Made in England" in its packaging

And this is a Milward "Made in England" in its packaging (this is the only packaging variation I have found)

A "made in Germany" in it's packaging

And a black "made in Germany" with its plastic hook in it's packaging (apparently they were totally useless but I can't comment as I have never opened the only one I have)

This is the "Made in Germany" once they dropped the "Made in Germany" bit

The original Milward in various guises, in order of age based on packaging

The name "Milward" still appears to exist in Australia as these have been available recently

A really unusual (to me anyway but maybe not to others) Prym Milward-lookalike in its packaging complete with hook

And finally the many "wannabe-aero" variations

If anyone has a spare Bernat or Semco like those pictured still in their packaging I would be very interested in possibly purchasing or swapping.

Just out of interest, there does appear to be some variation in the original Aero England's as this shows - these are 2 of my everyday working shuttles and you can see the difference in colour (it isn't really as greenish as this photo appears - just a different shade of grey) & length of hook