22 Jul 2016

Grandchildren News

The school holidays have just come and gone, but in the first week of the holidays, Granddaughter A and her Cheerleading and Dance team travelled to the Gold Coast in Queensland to take part in a competition.

Here she is, doing her stuff in practice.
And her team won in their class!
Grandson B has discovered Youtube.
He's just turned 2 and can't talk yet, but he's learnt to navigate his way on his mum's phone to find Youtube and then search her history record to find his favourite song.

Here's the song - those of you with similar age grandchildren might it a good distraction for them, although be warned that I find this song going round and round in my head long after he's gone home.
Finally, Grandma C made a cake to celebrate a birthday last week.
And another naughty boy waiting to eat the cake.

12 Jul 2016

Aussie Elections

Our dining table was full of boxes.
The boxes were sealed ...
... as they contained ballot papers for the election.

Yes, Grandma C was again working in the Elections.  Since retirement some 14 years ago,  Grandma C has worked at all State and Federal elections.

A few days before the election she had to transport home the papers for her station and do the preparatory work like counting them and making sure she had enough of them, and goodness knows what else.

These sealed boxes had to be opened for counting by Grandma C in front of a witness (yours truly), and then re-sealed by her.

These long boxes ...

... contain long ballot papers for the Senate.  These were nearly a metre long!
Son No 2 was going away during the elections, and opted for the postal vote.

I took pics of his postal ballot paper as I thought that my overseas friends may find some of these parties interesting.
 Animal Justice got my vote ...
... as did the Cyclists Party.
A bit too old for the Sex Party, though.

1 Jul 2016

Dangerous Washing Machine Fault

We got this Samsung washing machine about 5 years ago, after our old one (Fisher & Paykel) died after giving us about 35 years of trouble free service.

It's matching dryer is still in operation, now over 40 years old.   Of course, the dryer is only used in winter, and even then only on rainy days, as otherwise we hang our clothes out to dry.

At the time we bought the Samsung, the salesman disclosed to us that the model had been subject to a recall, but the fault had been remedied in factory before being sold.   We thought nothing much of it and accepted the deal.

A couple of years back we started reading about house fires caused by Samsung washing machines.

If you're interested the link to these articles and more is here.

At first, it appeared that the fires happened because the owners of machines had not been made aware of the product recall and had not had their machines repaired.

However, in the last few months reports began to emerge that even repaired machines had caught fire, as the repairs were inadequate.

A few weeks ago, Samsung rang us and offered us 3 choices:  a further inspection and repair, full monetary refund or a new equivalent machine.

Consumer protection agencies have won the day.

Believing Samsung would not want to go through this mess again, we opted for a new machine, and within a couple of weeks, they delivered a new one and took the old one away.
The new machine (above) does seem to have fewer washing options, however.  But as long as it doesn't burst into flames, I won't complain.

The original box the old machine came in is still being used as a play house by the grandchildren.   I haven't got a pic of them playing in the box, but here's one of a cat we're looking after this weekend.
While Son No 2 and DIL are in Sydney this weekend, we're looking after their fur babies.  Putt is the cat, and I've mentioned Molly and Zhaan before.

Here's a pic of Putt eating the dogs' food and keeping them away with her evil eyes.  Poor Zhaan looks most chastened.

18 Jun 2016

Why I Didn't Get My Autumn Colour

After the sale of our swimming pool in 2001, the front yard needed to be landscaped, as we were left with a mound of sand where the pool used to be.
The hole being filled with sand.
One of the things I wanted was a specimen deciduous tree which would give us autumnal colour.

After some searching on the net, I settled for a Chinese Tallow Tree (Sapium sebiferum).  Here's one of many images from the web.
It is a fairly common tree in and around Perth but considered a weed in Queensland and also in NSW.

Here's a photo I took on planting it.
The exif info of that photo shows that I planted this tree in November, which would be late Spring.

Here's another pic, taken about 6 months later, in late Autumn (still working on the landscaping!), no sign of any colour yet!
The soil improved and ready for planting.  The white sand rectangle is for our fountain.
In fact, we never did get the colour seen in Google images.  The leaves just get yellow and then fades to brown and fall off.
This is about as good as it gets.  Not all leaves even reach this stage.

This shows the size of the tree now.
The fountain we built. Maybe I'll post something about that next time, as nothing much is happening these days.
Why didn't I get the full autumnal colour?

I learnt a few years ago (too late!!) that the trick is to buy the tree in autumn and choose one that has colour. 

Obvious when you think about it.

As mentioned earlier, I bought and planted my tree in spring when it was looking all green and healthy.

Ah well, it's a nice tree anyway and gives us good shade in summer.

31 May 2016

Birthday Cake

Following up on last week's post, here are some pics of little B's birthday cake, made, as usual, by Grandma C.
And, by his next visit the following Tuesday, Grandson B's learnt to fry an egg ...
 ... and do a duet with Grandpa.