Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The boys are on their way to the Northern Territory

G'day. I said a fond farewell to Ratty, Toad and Mole and wished them a safe journey as they head to the Northern Territory for the next part of their Australian adventure. I was sad to see them go, they have been great little guys, but I have some wonderful photos to remember them by.

While we were in Bendigo waiting to walk back to the train, hubby spotted a second hand book shop, so in we all went and as I was browsing around, this is what I saw, it seemed like fate that this display was sitting there. The store owner saw me looking and said that the Wind in the Willows was his favourite book when he was a child. I promptly took out Ratty, Toad and Mole and explained the story behind them and their world tour and he was most impressed. he then went on to tell me to choose one of the books and it was mine, no charge. How could I refuse such an offer! I choose the book on the left. I did offer to pay him, because I said that I would have bought one of them anyway, but he wouldn't hear of it. It really seemed as though we were meant to go into that shop.I thanked him profusely and he even wished the Willow boys a safe and happy adventure on their travels. How good was that?

The boys of course, told him all about where they had been and all the great people they had met and that they were looking forward to the rest of their journey.he listened patiently and said that he was mighty pleased to have met them. Even hubby was impressed that this man entered into the fun of the Willows.

I look forward to reading all about their next adventures soon....

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pom Pom and Mags for having me join in the Willows tour and thank you to everyone who followed my blog and left wonderful comments on what the boys and I were up to. I greatly appreciated it...

After I posted off the boys, I went and picked up my new computer. I have been threatening to get rid of this old one for some time now, as it has been no end of trouble and has been costing more to fix it than it was worth. I went to do something on it on Saturday morning and the jolly thing wouldn't start, then when it finally decided to play ball, it shut itself off half way through what I was typing. That was it for me. I was so angry and frustrated with it, that I really could have taken it outside there and then and got the sledgehammer onto it. I told hubby that I was going to the local store and was getting a new one, that I was sick of talking about it and was ready to take action and back up all the talking. So I am the proud owner of a new laptop. Mind you, I am typing this on the old one, who would you believe, has not played up since!!! Only reason I am still using this is because I have not fully worked out the laptop and have not connected it to the Internet yet. I have not had a laptop before and I am looking forward to the space I will now get back on my sewing table, where the monitor, keyboard, hard drive and printer all reside. I somehow have a feeling that I will be contacting the computer genius who luckily lives just down the road from me, for help, even though the man in the store assured me I would have no trouble etc, etc. I have found things are never that easy. Maybe my next post will be on my new toy!!! Then again, maybe not. I had better end this post before this computer spits the dummy. I don't think it appreciates being upsurged by a new, slimmer,sportier model. I am sure it is going to close itself down any second now. Take care. Liz...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Off to see more of Australia.

G'day. I have been telling the Willow boys that they will be going to visit with a lovely lady in the Northern Territory. This is up towards the top of Australia and covers a very large area. It is a magical place and has some beautiful scenery. The boys will have a fabulous and exciting time.

They have asked that we finish the tales of Hoppy the Kangaroo and so we are gathered around the book and the boys are eagerly awaiting to see what adventures Hoppy gets into next.  

Hoppy was near Melbourne  and he met Danny the Dingo who was in a hot air balloon and going across the ocean to Tasmania. Hoppy asked could he come along and Danny said he was happy to have the company. I explained that Dingo's don't live down in my part of Australia, they are mainly found up around the top. They are essentially a wild dog, but have been known to make an excellent pet if reared from a puppy. They are a beautiful looking animal, but sometimes have been given a bad reputation. Toad said he hoped he didn't meet one, as he thought it might try to bite him. Ratty and Mole agreed. After arriving in Tasmania, Hoppy next met Walter the Wombat. Wombats are small solid creatures who dig a burrow in the ground and that's where they like to live. I told the boys that Wombats are my very favourite Australian animal. They too can be tamed, but generally if in the wild, it is best to stay clear of them. They have very sharp claws and sharp teeth as well. Mole was most impressed that Wombats live underground, he though he might meet one and tell him tales about his underground home.I think he is feeling a bit homesick, poor little chap.
Hoppy then  went on his travels and met Paula the Platypus. Ratty really liked Paula when I said that the Platypus spends all of their time in the water. He said he was missing his river also. Next Hoppy came across Terry the Tasmanian Devil. These are great looking creatures, but are very fierce, you really don't want to tangle with one of these guys. They are only in Tasmania in the wild, though there are many in zoo's across the country. All three boys were rather frightened of Terry and I don't blame them. 

Well, that's the end of Hoppy's adventures across this beautiful land I call home. Ratty, Toad and Mole were sad to see it end, but they all said they will have wonderful memories of the animals they have met through this fabric book. 

It is sad for me as well, to see my time with these great little Willow guys come to an end. It has been so much fun having them. Thank you Pom Pom and Mags for allowing me the experience. Thanks to the boys for being such good company and for being so well behaved. I have loved every minute of it. Even though the boys will be on their way tomorrow, I still have a few photos to share in the next post or two. 

Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh, those dear Willow rascals...

G'day. I know that I left you all in suspense with the tale of the Willow boys. Hubby indeed took his attention away from them for a short moment while he was eating his lunch and when he turned around the three of them were gone. 

When I returned from the toilet, he was frantically pacing up and down near where we had been sitting. His first words to me were "They have run off, I can't find them" This caused a bit of concern, but I knew they couldn't be far. As we started to walk around the area, I heard some very quiet laughter and hubby happened to look up and there they were, sitting quite happily in one of the large trees nearby.But, before I had a chance to grab them, Ratty who was in a fit of the giggles lost his balance and landed on the ground.Luckily no harm was done, except maybe he had a slight headache.Mole and Toad couldn't stop laughing at this turn of events and thought it very hilarious that poor Ratty had taken a tumble .But then before they knew what was happening, they too were soon to be heading towards the ground. Hubby, fast on his feet, saved them and after picking Ratty up, we all went and sat back on the seat to calm ourselves down from all this excitement.

Much to the boys delight a Galah landed nearby. Mole wanted to get a closer look, but the bird got startled and flew off, only to come back again. Galah's are beautiful birds and usually you will see them with their mate or in a flock.This lovely one was on it's own. It made Ratty, Toad and Mole very happy to see one of our native birds so close.

After a full day with lots of great things to see and do, it was time to walk back to the station and get the steam train back into Melbourne, then drive home. It was a very late night for all of us and we were all glad to tumble into bed. The boys chattered about their adventures for a while, but then all was quiet and we all got some much needed rest.

Sadly it's time for these three great characters to visit their next new friends. Someone else is looking forward to sharing adventures with them. They will be going to the top end of Australia, to Darwin and from there they go across the sea to beautiful New Zealand. Though before they go, we will finish the adventures of Hoppy the Kangaroo, over the next day or so.

Hooroo from Ratty, Toad and Mole and Liz...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Train trip continued...

G'day. Ratty, Toad and Mole are still chatting about the steam train trip we went on last Sunday. The boys had a great time, as did hubby and I. They had their own seat in the carriage as the picture shows, though because of the sun streaming in, the boys are a bit hard to see. 

I had to keep a firm hold of them because of the huge crowd that had gathered to welcome the return of the locomotive.Toad wanted to rush around and talk to people, but when I explained to him that he ran the risk of being trampled, he settled down and behaved himself. We decided to go up the steps and cross the overpass (as did scores of others, I might add) and look down on some of the proceedings from there. 

By this time we were all getting hungry, so hubby suggested we walk to the 
park and have our lunch, we all cheered and said this was a great idea.

Ham and salad wraps were to be our fare and the boys jumped up and down and tucked in as soon as I could get the wrapping opened. They eagerly devoured everything and then settled back and were content to watch some of the people strolling around this beautiful park area.

I left hubby in charge of our friends while I went in search of the toilet and he promised to not take his eyes off them. They also promised to be good boys and sit quietly in the sunshine and let hubby enjoy his meal.Of course, they are scallywags and the temptation was too much for them, wasn't it? and hubby, bless his heart, must have blinked or looked the wrong way at the wrong time, because they scampered off.

To be continued.........

Hooroo from our little runaways, Ratty, Toad and Mole and of course. Liz... (Though I didn't runaway)...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A great day was had by all...

G'day. Last Sunday we all went on a steam train trip and what a fabulous day we had. The Willow boys were up early in anticipation of an exciting day and they weren't disappointed. I did tell them that we would have a very early start, but they didn't seem to worry about that and when I went to wake them at 4.30 am, they were already up and rearing to go. After a hasty breakfast, we were in the car at 5.15 making our way to the big smoke (The beautiful city of Melbourne)

We arrived in plenty of time to take some photos before the train left, though to be honest, I did get a few strange looks when I was posing with my three new friends, but who cares. As I said to hubby, those people will probably never see me again anyway. Hubby got into the swing of it and was quite happy to snap away.

This trip was to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Bendigo line and the relaunch of the steam locomotive R711. The city of Bendigo is only about an hour's drive from where we live, but to be on this train, it meant us driving into Melbourne,to Southern Cross station where the  steam train was leaving from,then the loco trip took a couple of hours because it was running on our metro line a lot of the way and it had to stop frequently to let the Metro trains pass, because they of course have a time table to keep. The early start and excitement was a bit much for poor Ratty and Toad, they needed a snooze, but Mole was taking it all in and was trying to jump up and look out the window. At one stage, I had to hold him down or we might have lost him on the track somewhere. Hubby and I, like the big kids that we are, had the window open and were hanging our heads out, inhaling the smell of soot and  getting smoke in our eyes. Mole of course wanted to do the same .Ratty and Toad slumbered on.

We will continue this story again soon.

Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ratty, Toad and Mole are so excited...

G'day. Oh, those lovable Willow boys can hardly contain their excitement. I have promised them a trip on a steam train next Sunday. Hubby has long been a steam train buff and a month or so ago we went on a day long trip on one of these mighty locomotives and like the big kids that we are, we were kneeling on the seats with our heads out the window. Doesn't matter about all the soot that gets in your hair and eyes, it's such fun.

So, this time Ratty, Toad and Mole are coming along for the ride also. I have warned them that it will be a very early start and a really late night, but that they can sleep in on the Monday morning, while poor hubby and I have to go to work. They didn't seem to think that would be a problem.They keep talking about what they will see and all the new friends they might meet and of course, will there be nice food to eat!! They are starting to count the days.

They are of course, still very interested in the adventures of Hoppy the Kangaroo and love looking through the fabric book and commenting on some of the native animals we have here in Australia. Next on Hoppy's travels he met Clarence the Kookaburra and I explained that Kookaburra's make a sound that sounds like a laugh and that they are really lovely birds, though Ratty was very afraid when I told them that these birds feed on mice, rats and lizards. Poor Ratty,he ran and hid under the bed and it took quite a while to coax him out. Once Ratty regained his composure, he was very intrigued with the picture of Kathy the Koala, who had her baby on her back. Please can we meet her? said Toad. She looks so soft and cuddly said Mole. I am sure she would like to get to know us!!. I told them that yes, Koala's are soft and cuddly, but they have very sharp claws and would not think twice about giving you a good scratch if they were in the mood. Ratty asked me why she was eating leaves and I told them that Koala's eat the leaves from  Eucalyptus trees, it's their main food. I told the boys a story that some years ago, hubby found an injured Koala on the side of the road near where our farm was and that I rang a local wildlife sanctuary and they said someone would be there to meet us soon. By the time this lady  got to us, the Koala had managed to climb up a tree and was about twenty feet or so from the ground. Hubby and I watched in awe as the woman climbed the tree,with a blanket and a syringe, this was to sedate the hapless animal. She asked us to take up a position at the base of the tree in case the Koala fell. This is exactly what happened. Much to hubby's alarm the animal, now very groggy lost it's grip and fell right into his outstretched arms. Luckily it was soon sound asleep, those claws are dangerous, plus Koala's have good teeth and they can give a nasty bite. This was a great opportunity to have a nurse of such a beautiful creature and when she handed him to me, I didn't want to let him go. I rang some days later to see how he was getting on and was told the good news that he was ok and would be brought back to the area and released. Ratty, Toad and Mole all cheered when the heard.

The adventures of Hoppy will continue another day. The boys are wanting to go outside into the glorious sunshine and romp around the backyard with Lucky the wonder dog.
Take care. Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...

Monday, October 8, 2012

What great little troupers.

G'day. My new friends, Ratty, Toad and Mole have been such great little guys over the last week or so. They have had to entertain themselves most days as I have had so much extra work at my place of employment, that I have just not been able to be here to keep them occupied. They have been very interested in the story of Hoppy the Kangaroo and the travels that he got up to. Even though it is in book form, it gave them the opportunity to see what some of our native animals look like.

Of course, it would have been great to have shown them the real animals, but sadly time and distance to the nearest zoo makes this a bit hard. Ratty was a bit worried about the spikes on the back of Eric the Echidna, but Mole was impressed that Eric eats ants and finds them very tasty.Gloria the Galah is resting by a Billabong and I explained that a Billabong is a  watering hole and that Galah's make quite a screeching sound when they want to.But nonetheless, they are a lovely colourful bird.Ratty asked could he meet one. Well maybe, said I, as they fly over here all the time.

As I turned the page, all three little fellows fell back with a gasp of alarm, for there looking at them was Charlie the Crocodile with his fearsome teeth. Charlie wanted Hoppy to have some tea with him, but Hoppy knew better and quickly hurried away. Ratty, Toad and Mole said that they would get away as quickly as possible also.Hoppy didn't have to travel much further before he met up with Ernie the Emu, who he was more than happy to share a cup of tea with. Toad said he would like to meet Ernie, as he looked like a friendly bird. I told Toad that Emu's are nice birds, but sometimes it doesn't pay to get to close to them as the have very long and sharp claws on their toes. I told them a story about how many, many years ago when I was much younger and I was at an animal sanctuary and there was a Emu there that took a liking to me and followed me around, only trouble was the jolly huge bird was trying to peck at me. I have always been very wary of them ever since.

All of this excitement tired the three friends out and they decided that they were in need of some sleep, but they did ask if I could show them more of the book another time. Take care. Hooroo from Ratty, Toad, Mole and Liz...