Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Creativity and other stuff

There's a lot of creativity happening in "the workroom" at Josh and Jody's house at any given moment: fabrics being dyed, textiles being printed, new and amazing costumes being invented and constructed. It's no wonder that Abi gets immersed in her own projects too with a supply of cardboard, pens, stickers and glue.

I was amazed watching her construct this "laptop computer" the other morning - and all her own work!
 She even worked out a way of getting a battery installed under the keyboard!
Next job was to get Grandpa to involve himself in her owl and elephant making project. She talked non stop about it as she worked!

 Very expressive owl and elephant creations!

The pics below aren't so much about creativity - but are beautiful pics anyway of O, E and A taken on the afternoon we celebrated their Great-Granny Kenyon's life at Maxie and Rod's.

And this last pic is of all of us at Mt Nanima on a perfect Saturday, late Spring evening as we celebrate eating some beautiful Indian food together (with a "pack a punch" Aperol Spritzer starter).

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Belated Sydney 2

Our sisters and spouses reunion weekend in Sydney started on Thursday 27th October with the arrival of Ros and Pete in Coogee and some indications of wild and windy weather. We decided to risk our coast walk to see Sculpture By The Sea that afternoon despite the darkening skies.

Here we have Robert Redford, Sam Neill and John Farnham sitting by Bronte Beach as the rain clouds gather (family joke that one - Rob has occasionally been likened to RR, ditto Rod with SN and Pete with JF - LOL).
A freak king tide and storm surge had done some serious damage to sculptures on Tamarama Beach earlier in the week. The remaining pieces had to be moved and re-anchored in the sand!

 This was fascinating to watch as the winds gained momentum.
 A great use for the ubiquitous rubber thong....

By the time we got to the rocky cliffs between Tamarama and Bondi it was blowing a gale and starting to rain - not very pleasant for taking the time needed to see the works properly.
It was really too wet for my camera at this point - but I took this pic anyway - and (much later) enjoyed matching the colour of the grey rainy sky with the tints and shades of blue on this monochrome colour wheel.
 And for a complete change - some intense RED.

Cold and wet by now we ended our first day at our usual food spot at Sabbaba in Hall St for Israeli street food and beer. We enjoyed a Gelati Messina icecream after wards and one of the people in the queue remarked on Rob's resemblance to Robert Redford - causing much hilarity (between us).

On Friday the sisters spent the day together in the city while the boys met up with Judy and Jurgen for a day at Balmoral Beach and Chinaman's Beach (a first for Judy and Jurgen).
We all met up on Friday night for drinks at The Cookhouse (and some live music) at Randwick and then dinner at our fave Barzura's on Coogee Beach.

The next morning all ten of us (Fiona and James had arrived from Melbourne, late the night before) met up for breakfast at Seasalt at Clovelly Beach. It was so great to see everyone - especially on this perfect Spring morning in this beautiful part of the world.
While others in the group walked to Sculptures By the Sea the sisters and spouses spent the rest of the day around The Rocks, Sydney Observatory, the SH Ervin Gallery and Barangaroo. 

The jacarandas in Sydney were looking spectacular this weekend (always at year 12 and Uni exam time).

We met up with the others in the group early that evening at Home Thai in Sussex Street - another great Sydney eatery (thank you Thomas and Phoebe).

Sunday dawned cloudy and windy again..but not enough to threaten our planned ferry ride to Manly - early afternoon drinks at the Four Pines Brewing Company....

and lunch after wards at Crinite's...

By now we had heard the very sad news about dear old Mum so the reunion weekend ended up quite a momentous and emotional one this year. Ros and Pete dropped all their plans and came back to Canberra with us (although Pete had to do it via a quick trip back to Coffs).

I drove back with Ros - we took a few minutes on the way back to capture this very rare sighting of some water in "Lake George" - a sight we haven't seen for around 30 years - before facing the week ahead of us.........

Belated Sydney 1

It seems like a long time ago now we were in Sydney - for our annual sisters and spouses reunion weekend. This year we were there a night early (Wednesday 26 October) - the 8 of us were heading off to the Kemeny's Penfolds (wine) dinner at Peter Gilmore's Quay restaurant at The Rocks in Sydney.
 This was the view from Quay's entry...
This was the view from Jennie & Wayne's & Judy & Jurgen's apartment on the 11th floor of Quay West (we hate the way those massive cruise ships break up the harbour vista these days!!)......
OMG This was what confronted us at the tables as we entered......each of us had 13 wines to taste - including the 2012 Penfold's Grange Hermitage!!!!
But we're all up for it!!

Of course there was food too - five courses and Petits Fours to finish - all amazing quality as you would expect in a Peter Gilmore establishment. First course was smoked eel, aged black pig pancetta, eggplant, button mushroom and laver (?) served with two different Penfold's 2014 Chardonnays.
It was  a lot of fun being in the company of people with well developed palates and serious wine knowledge - I learnt a lot....by now we'd moved through second course and on to the main course of veal, parsnip, mushroom with grains served with 4 different Penfold's Shirazes (all 2014 vintage). My favourite was the Penfolds Bin 389 (2014) Cabernet Shiraz - gorgeous!
Then dessert (with a beautiful Penfolds Cellar Reserve Viognier 2013) and then cheese with tastes of the big 3: St Henri Shiraz (2013) RWT Shiraz (2014) and the GRANGE Hermitage (2012). 

I know this is crass but at $755 a bottle we reckon this little taster of the Grange would be worth close to $100 dollars!  I made sure I drank all of mine!! (Most of the other twelve drinks I only had a tiny taste of (honest)).

And another fabulous view of this Sydney icon as we all rolled and swayed our way home after this fabulous wine dinner!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

RIP Betty K

Our Mum, Granny Kenyon, Great Grandma, died peacefully in the early hours of last Friday 28th October after 102 glorious years of life's adventures and creating our family.  Her three"girls" were together in Sydney when the news came through. It's been a momentous week..........

This is the earliest photo we have of Mum who was born on the 31st July 1914 - just as the guns were being fired in the early days of World War 1....

It mustn't have been an easy childhood - losing her father before the age of two and having to live with her Grandmother while her mother went back to work.  It sounds like her mother's second marriage a few years later did not result in happier times for Betty either.

And then the Great Depression hit.....which meant Betty had to leave school earlier than planned and find work to help support the family. This she did and did well by all accounts...by the latter half of the 1930s Betty was having a great life - this skiing holiday near Smiggin Holes in the Snowy Mountains with her girlfriends, being an absolute highlight.
And then the Second World War started.......but it didn't stop Betty marrying Stan in 1941. However, in the spirit of wartime austerity their wedding was a low key affair.
Maxine was born in Roma Queensland in 1946, Judith was born in 1951; by this time the family was living in Brisbane.

Roslyn was born in 1958, making the family complete.

20 years passed..the girls all grew to adulthood and married wonderful men. Grandchildren came on the scene between 1975 and 1982 (5 grandchildren all up).

This is a happy pic of Betty taken in July 1978 (aged 64 years), knitting boottees.
Stan died after a short but intense battle with cancer on the 20th March 1981. Ros and Pete’s baby son Joel was born a few weeks later in April 1981.

17 years on, Betty's eldest grand-daughter Claire and her Jeremy were married on the 19th December 1998. Betty K was aged 84 years by now. She moved to Canberra (under her own steam) in April of this year.
This happy pic of Betty was taken at Erin and John's wedding, 11 years later, in April 2009 (Betty is in her 95th year by now).
Betty K and her three "girls" at Coogee Beach in 2011- very excited about Davey's and Cath's visit with baby Eddie.
Betty K adored all her great grandchildren (all 8 of them (so far)). This pic is of Betty K and Ollie in December 2011.
Betty K moved to Mirinjani Hostel in July 2012 just before her 98th birthday. This pic with "lovely Joel" was taken in January 2014 (the flowers are from Kay - now Joel's wife).
Betty K's 100th birthday was celebrated in style in early August 2014 - there were 24 family members at the party!

Rod took this lovely picture of Betty K (Mum), about 10 days ago in her room at Mirinjani. She's wearing her favourite colour and has her Canberra Times open at the crosswords - a lovely way to remember her. 

Despite all her difficulties in the last year or so Betty K always remained positive, cheerful and interested in everything the family was doing - and much loved and appreciated by the staff at Mirinjani. 

Rest in Peace, unforgettable and inspirational Betty K!!