Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Holiday Travels Pt 1

Well.... as you can see by the title (and as I mentioned last time) I will back-track - or should I say "reminisce over" - a wonderful 6 week holiday I had last September with Hayley and Megan....this will mainly be made up of a small selection of the many many photos I took!! 
Hayley & I left together and after a 10 hour flight enjoyed a night in Japan.......
......... the following day another 10 hour flight onto Helsinki where we had a 3 hour wait at the airport......................

.....before finally arriving in Estonia to be met unexpectedly by Megan who had told us that she would be arriving from England the following day but had decided to surprise us!! It had been 18 months since we had last seen her!! 
Estonia is where my heritage lies - both parents are Estonian and this was Hayley's and my first trip to the "homeland" - Megan had just a few days there in 2014. 
We stayed in the "Old Town".........the oldest part of the capital, Tallinn.... and spent many hours walking along narrow, cobbled streets and lane ways within the medieval town walls discovering old merchant houses, hidden courtyards, winding stairs leading to views over the city and lots of cafes! 
behind this door and up the stairs was our renovated, modern apartment for our stay in Estonia
 Enjoying pickled cucumbers, various cheeses, beaver (yes, beaver)  and a house wine -  from Australia! 
We traveled out of Tallinn along the northern coast stopping off at one of their popular beaches - not very enticing with a freezing cold wind blowing!!
 A photo taken of all 3 of us in a town called Haapsalu......
And then there were the relatives to visit..... so we headed out of Tallinn to Rakvere not quite 2 hours away......surrounded by relatives we had never met we set out to do some sight seeing of the town my dad grew up in.....
..... the house where dad lived and  some relatives still live! ....including his 95 year old cousin...and where we had lunch! My girls were very impressed that I could converse with the relatives in Estonian as some of them did not speak English!

Like most towns Rakvere also had its medieval castle.......
Another day.... a bus ride out of Tallinn... and we were at the Open Air Museum. In beautiful forest surroundings some of Estonia's oldest wooden structures can be found - depicting 150 years of rural life....

...an old school house....
Having lunch at the old wooden tavern serving traditional Estonian cuisine....
A few women in traditional costume had just finished an exhibition of folk dancing.... 
Another "tourist" destination was the baroque style Kadriorg Palace built between 1718 - 1736 by the Russian Tsar Peter the Great for his wife. 

a final look over Tallinn......and after 9 days
the time had arrived to say "Goodbye" to Estonia as we made our way on the ferry across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki from where we were flying to Rome to continue the rest of our travels ! 
 
And so ends Part 1 of our travels together.......
Till the next installment ...... Asta




Sunday, 8 January 2017

A New Year!

Well...before we too far into 2017 I'd better update a bit with what I have been up to.......
It was lovely having Linda, Mum and Dad here - it's been a while since they were here for Christmas - usually I'm the one travelling to either Sydney or to my other sister's place in the Southern Highlands.....(Vivien and her husband had gone to Adelaide so were unable to join us)....

Linda decided to do some gardening while visiting....didn't think my garden was that bad!
But.... I did take her to one of my favourite shops - Steph's Fabrics in Moruya where we enjoyed a cup of coffee before browsing through the tempting shelves of fabrics and bits and pieces....and of course making some small purchases.....

.......We had afternoon teas out 

........leisurely time to read......
..... also finished Magda Szubanski's  book "Reckoning" - which I thoroughly enjoyed - Mum then borrowed the book and I forgot to take a photo. 
Since my family left I've had another week off work spent catching up with a dear friend, Liz,  from Sydney.....over many cups of tea and lunch at our Botanical Gardens......
here we're up to afternoon tea! 
And..... I have actually done some stitching - the first real stitching for quite some time! I enrolled in a class at Steph's Fabrics - since I work full-time it's not something I get to do too often but found one that was offered while I was on holidays......
this is the class sample! And......
here is my work in progress....... very relaxing - just have to decide what stitch I might do and what colour!! 

Over the next few blogs I will "chat" about my wonderful overseas holiday last September with both Hayley and Megan and put up some photos.... hope it won't bore my readers but as I make my blog into a printed journal I really can't let that amazing holiday go by without being mentioned!! 

Hope everyone has started the New Year "creatively"!! 
Asta


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas & A Sad Loss

Yes, I know it's been a long time since I was here - I think nearly 4 months!! My wonderful holiday has come and gone - it was an amazing shared time with both Hayley and Megan.. and I will be back to post a selection of photos over the coming weeks. 
On my return I came back to a house with a wonderful face-lift - having been fully painted inside and bathrooms partially renovated but..... everything that had been packed away for this to happen then had to come back out...... a decision was made to de-clutter at the same time!! Well.... after numerous trips to the op-shop and tip I started to make headway in this enterprising project which seemed to be taking a lot longer than I originally thought and, together with my return to work, there just didn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get back to my blog..... 
Things were just getting back to normal when my dear Mum ended up in hospital with an unexpected heart condition requiring me to spend some time in Sydney before a pace maker was the answer we needed and now she's well on the way to full recovery!! 

Then just a couple of days ago our beautiful Mezzie left us for his "forever journey" - he had been a part of our family for 18 years!! Mezzie had a beautiful soul and returned our love ten-fold...... everyone - from friends visiting to the passers-by in the street - was his "best friend" ......

Always finding the perfect spot to lounge about .....

...... always ready for a cuddle!

And Dora's "big brother".......

We will miss our much loved Mezzie.....
"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us"  (Helen Keller)

And so this Christmas I have my parents and one of my sisters, Linda, visiting while Hayley and her partner enjoy Christmas at home in Queensland and Megan and her partner have a white Christmas in the French Alps.
Now all that's left is to wish you a Merry Christmas - may it be enjoyed with those you love and hope 2017 brings good health and happiness.
Asta


Friday, 26 August 2016

Up Up & Away

What have I been up to lately? Planning, planning, planning.....although this was planned quite some time ago and is finally happening!! 
Hayley and I are off to ........
 Megan will be joining us in Estonia (my family background is Estonian - hence the reason for the visit there) - we haven't seen Megan since she departed on her travels in March 2016! - I'm sure it will be quite emotional - the tissues are packed!  After a week or so getting to know Estonia we fly down to Italy for a few weeks!  .... a great holiday coming up with my two beautiful daughters!!! 

While away the inside of the house is being painted and some small renovations in the bathrooms will be happening so life has been rather busy working, packing up the house so all  books, ornaments, crockery from cupboards to be moved, etc have all found places - somewhere! My sewing room no longer exists as it is now a storage room! I sometimes questioned whether this was a good idea - but.... better than living with all this happening around me! 
Meanwhile I have found time to do a bit of crochet..... I think these will become a cushion - will take me forever to become a blanket - they are quite small! 
and .... more reading for my book challenge - "a book recommended by a friend"...... haven't read any of Michael Connelly's books before but am enjoying it so far.....

That's about all  from me for now..... will be back with stories of my travels! ....No stitching being taken - took some once before on a trip and didn't do a stitch! 

Happy Stitching
Asta

Monday, 8 August 2016

Hello!

Well.... here I am back again..... not that I've been anywhere.... but the time just seems to slip by and before you know it another week has disappeared!
Firstly I must thank the lovely ladies from the Fat 1/4 Birthday Swap.... some lovely fabrics with little extras were finally opened last Wednesday (my birthday).....
.... my "special" gift was made by Michelle..... she certainly "stalked" my blog to add in all the things I enjoy into the beautiful stitchery!
There were many reasons to enjoy my day - a long lunch with a good friend and dinner with another dear friend, Dzintra.... many birthday greetings sent by various means of technology..... and some beautiful flowers from Hayley and her partner.....

But, I must back-track a little...... before my birthday it was time for OPAM and although the update here is a little late I did finish another felted bowl for the end of July.......

That though was the only "creation" I've managed to finish of late..... but did buy this little kit from Anni's lovely shop.... after seeing it on her emailed newsletter - hopefully will be made in time for Xmas!
And.... of course I'm still reading - though this book was not part of the "reading challenge" I'm taking part in.....
This was one of my favourite Agatha Christie "who done it" stories from all those years ago....but as I was reading it I did remember who the "culprit" was so though I did read it to the end it did spoil it a bit.... 
So that's about it for now...... will be back soon again.... till then.

Happy Stitching
Asta