Monday, November 27, 2006

Aquatics things

November 27th

Each December my Year 6/7 class attends an Aquatics Camp at Murray Bridge. They spend 3 brilliant days learning the skills of canoeing, kayaking, sailing, rowing, small boat handling, kneeboarding, wind surfing and water skiing.

The setting is superb, the instructors top class and the kids have a ball. Here are some photos of this years aquatics.

Some of the girls kitted up ready for canoeing and kayaking.

"We didn't mean to capsize, Mrs N."

Hmm. Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells, boys.

Getting ready to go - I mean row!

The wind surfers. Their first lesson. Nervous stuff.

The Year 7 kids posing for the camera. A rare sight. They usually disappear when they see me with a camera, but don't seem to mind a video cam.

Liz Needle

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Later that Night...............

November 25th still...........

No, I will not give up. I will show you some more quilt photos - tonight!! I have decided!!

Yeah!! It worked - for at least one quilt. This is not a great photo, but it will show you something of this quilt - another favourite - that I made for my elder daughter, Jo. I made one block at a SA Quilters Guild Encounter, just to learn a new machine applique technique from Sandra Edwards, Jo fell in love with the block, so I promised to make more blocks and turn them into a quilt for her. Of course she has a queen size bed, hasn't she? This was the largest quilt I have ever made. The print is a lovely pink and green Hoffmann one.

Finally for tonight, this is a quilt I made that is to be published in a book by SA quilter Pam Holland. The original quilt from which this was made, is called 1776 Revisited (well, it has a longer name, but we all know it by its shorter name) and it was the top quilt at the Houston Quilt Show (and a few other quilt shows) several years ago. Since then Pam has written a book about her quilt and my quilt will appear in that book. How exciting!

Liz Needle

Two Weeks later

Saturday November 25th

Is it really that long since I wrote. I doubt there will be anyone still clicking onto this blog!

So much seems to have been happening - well, I seem to have been ever busy - but nothing much has been achieved. We, my class and I, had a very successful aquatics camp - and I even had a chance to get out in a kayak for an hour. First time for a few years and my shoulders really felt it the next day. These annual camps are the highlight of the year for my kids - they learn so much in three days and it is a joy to see their excitement in mastering new skills, gaining self confidence and learning to work and play together. And to think our state government, in its infinite wisdom, is planning to cut funding for aquatics activities!
On the one hand they constantly urge teachers to encourage and promote increased physical activity amongst young people, then on the other they refuse to fund programs that really do enthuse kids to be active and to enjoy physical activity. Beats me!!

I thought I had some photos of happy campers, but that will have to wait until next time.

What else have I been doing. Certainly no quilting. Quilters block has set in. I did find some lovely bright fabric on the Free Spirit website and a pattern that I fell in love with, so I spent ages chasing up the fabrics I needed and ordering them online. I did look in Aussie shops, but couldn't find it, I promise. So, all this week parcels have been arriving at the post office. I am sure they think its my birthday or else that I am plotting something. So, I have a project for these holidays. It's something right out of my comfort zone, so it will be a challenge. Now that the fabric has arrived, I'm not even sure that I am going to like it, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

I realise that I have never put a photo of any of my quilts on this blog. How strange, considering that it takes up a lot of my spare time, so here goes. A few photos just to prove that I do actually quilt.

This first quilt is one of my favourites - and one I have kept for myself. It was a BOM designed by SA quilter Susan Murphy, who was coincidentally my very first - and best - quilt teacher. This one is called "Celebrate the Harvest" It is machine appliqued and pieced. Over the last couple of years I have made several machine appliqued quilts and really enjoy them.

Well, it would appear that there will be no more photos tonight - at least not in this blog. Quite often I try to upload photos, the first one or two work and then the rest don't. Everything seems to be going along fine, but the photos just don't appear, even though Blogger tells me they are 'done'. Does anyone else have this problem, I wonder? Maybe there is a quota and I go beyond that?

No matter, tomorrow is another day, as they say. Oh these hackneyed cliches. Forgive me. It is late.

Liz Needle

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Weather and things

Saturday November 11th

It seems an age since I updated my blog, so my apologies to any readers who have been waiting patiently. I haven't really had much to say.

At the moment it is trying to rain. We are currently going through a very dry spell - so much so that Adelaide and most country areas have been put on water restrictions for the first time in many years. We are lucky , I guess, because other areas of Australia have been on water restrictions for several years and now it is our turn. At the moment we are allowed to hand water and to use sprinklers at night three times a week, but that also may change soon. Meanwhile I get up at all hours of the night in an effort to keep the garden alive.

Heartbreaking to think that this garden in which I have sweated and laboured and which our family has enjoyed for over 30 years may slowly die. A pity that our governments are so short sighted that although they knew that this would eventually come to pass, have done nothing to solve the problem of lack of water in Australia.

We have been promised rain this weekend and indeed it has been threatening to rain here all day. Cloudy and humid, then the sky darkens, a wind blows up and the first drops splat down with the promise of a good downpour - then stop!! And so the build up starts again.

Maybe later tonight, maybe tomorrow, maybe never. We live in hope.

Liz Needle

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to School

Wednesday Nov 1st

Last Sunday Don and I went to a Back to School day for his old primary school - a small Adelaide Hills School. We'd been to one a few years back and had enjoyed it, so off we went again. Don found lots of old mates and had a great time talking about old escapades, cricket games and football tussles.
I even came across a number of kids I had taught when I was teaching at the local high school and who had also attended this primary school. I get a lot of satisfaction out of meeting old students and hearing about their lives since school. Some of them have made outstanding contributions to their communities and others have achieved great academic heights. And there are those who have made good lives for themselves and their families without fanfare and glory. I feel very honoured that I have in some small way been able to contribute to their lives.

The photos below are from the reunion.

Don, Paul and Mark. Three of the 6 Needle boys

Needles and Pins

And last, but not least, Don with his best friend from nearly 60 years ago. They only catch up on rare occasions as George lives in Queensland, but nothing changes!!