Friday, November 29, 2013

National Arboretum Canberra

The beautiful panoramic view from Dairy Farmers Hill
Well, what a gloriously lovely day it has been.  I had a free morning so I decided to take my very first trip up to the Canberra Arboretum and it was a very pleasant surprise.  There is a fee for parking (like most places in Canberra now), but it is worth it for the visit.

When I woke up this morning it was raining, but by the time I arrived the rain had stopped.  There was still quite a menacing sky, however it never came to anything and by this afternoon we had blue skies.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Floriade 2013

One of the reasons I was so keen to come back from my overseas trip was so that I could go to Floriade - the flower festival held in Canberra every year.  It goes for about 3-4 weeks just in Spring so the flowers are spectacular and it's great to have that beautiful splash of colour after a cold winter.

I was worried that being the last week of the festival, there wouldn't be many photo opportunities, but I was wrong.  It was still stunning and lots of flowers out, and best of all, the sun was out!!

If some of these pics don't make you want to visit Canberra during Floriade… well then, perhaps you're not the flowery type!! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chair makeover

With all the renovations happening around the house (I will add some posts about that later), the small things now are starting to bother me. Like the fact that most of the furniture is browny/neutral and the dining chairs are bright blue.  Not only do they stand out, but even though the chairs themselves are in quite good condition, with little sticky fingers around (and the adults aren't much better), there are stains and wear and tear on the fabric.

So I was at Spotlight recently and noticed that there was some brown furnishing fabric in the sales pile and amazingly the fabric I wanted was only $4 per metre!  That never happens to me!!!

I took that as a sign and bought 2 metres for the six chairs.  When I got home I mapped out how much I would need per chair and with the fabric width I realised I could be pretty generous. I also thought - why not document this process in case anyone else wanted to do it.

- fabric (furnishing fabric is best)
- chairs
- screwdriver
- staple gun
- good scissors

1. Grab your chair, turn it upside down and remove the padded cushion with a screwdriver.  (I would suss this out first before you decide to change the covers because if this isn't easy to do I would think carefully about going any further).

UK 2013 - Harry Potter

Dobby - look at the work that has gone into that model!!!
I was super excited that my friend Mandy agreed to take me to the Harry Potter Studios. I knew she wasn't really into the books or the movies, but I enjoyed both.

I would definitely recommend a trip there if you are in the area - even if you don't know anything about the books/movies you would still enjoy seeing how they do the movie magic and appreciate all the work that goes into the sets/props/costumes/animals etc etc.

Not only can you walk though sets and touch and jump on some of the props etc, you can drink butter beer, and if there is something that is not for sale in the shop at the end I would be very shocked to hear it!!

For more information see the link.

You can walk through Diagon Alley

Yes, walk through the Great Hall and see costumes etc up close!
Not only did I get to go to the WB Studio Tour, I also went to and saw a stack of other places around the UK that are either featured in the movies (like the Glenfinnan Viaduct) or are important to the books (i.e. place where JK Rowlings wrote the first book - The Elephant House).

All I can say is that I am a very blessed and fortunate girl.

UK 2013 - Wales

Beautiful scenic Wales
Ok, I don't have that many pics here of Wales, but that doesn't mean it isn't a gorgeous country.

We went to a medieval banquet at Cardiff Castle.  Funny enough it was our second medieval banquet at a genuine real castle having been to one in Ireland too.  I have to say they were a lot of fun.  Especially for me being a little obsessed with medieval times.  Actually I am a little obsessed about Jane Austen, Medieval stuff, High Tea (tea parties), history and beautiful buildings and gardens… I certainly got my fill of all of those things on this trip.

Cardiff Castle right on dusk and just before our Medieval Banquet dinner!!!
Remember to check out other parts of my UK trip - England, Ireland and Scotland.

UK 2013 - Scotland

Floral Clock - Edinburgh
Scotland was definitely a massive surprise package for me.  I knew it would be scenic and lovely, but I wasn't expecting how so.  I loved the history, the vibe and knowing that my ancestors lived in this place. Very cool.

Eilean Donan Castle

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness.  No monsters were seen!! 
The Elephant House in Edinburgh which was the birth place of Harry Potter.  I know Harry Potter isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you are interested in the fact that I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in England, click here!
Don't forget to check out my pics of England, Ireland and Wales too!

UK 2013 - Ireland

Blarney Castle, Southern Ireland
Part 2 of my UK photos.  Again all mixed up - Northern and Southern Ireland.

Although I only spent one night in Belfast, Northern Ireland, it was one of my favourite stops. This may be because I got to meet up with one of my cousins who I hadn't really seen since I was a kid. He married a lovely local girl and they took me on a wonderful tour of their very pretty city and then out for a delicious and memorable dinner.
Cliffs of Moher - Southern Ireland

UK 2013 - England

Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shakespeare's wife Anne Hathaway not the Hollywood actress!!)

Well I have been back for over a month now, but I have been so busy with other things to post any pictures.  I'm also still getting used to this new computer.  Anyway, no more excuses for being so slack.  I'm going to post these in parts or else there are too many photos.  First part is England.  All the pictures are out of order, but I don't think that matters too much.  It is only a taste of some of the awesome stuff I saw while I was over there.

It was an awesome trip from start to finish.
Don't think it needs a caption.  We were there too early so the pier wasn't opened… luckily I have already been there!!