Thursday, October 14, 2010

Payday: not a good day to go out of town!

Mum and dad had been in Bathurst, NSW. They went to watch Australia's biggest car race, the Bathurst 1000. Mum's dream! It's a street track and over 3 days the teams do 1000 laps around "the mountain". Mum's idol, Peter Brock, was a Bathurst champion many times over, though sadly he died in a car rally accident a few years back. He was known as "Brocky" or "The King of the Mountain". The race is really just Holden vs Ford, so Australia vs USA in a sense. Holden took out 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th this year! Mum was stoked. We're big Holden fans! Personally, I don't understand why there are no other makes driving in the V8 Supercars?

Not many people know my mum used to race speedway, as did my sisters dad. I spent many a day (and night) on speedway tracks when I was little. I will always remember my sister cowering under her bed when her dad started his hotrod in the back yard as they did maintenance to it. I still love to go to speedway, though I haven't been in many years. They admission is expensive and the nearest track is 200km away. Jessica's never been and I don't think she'd like it much, she hates noise. I used to love when you'd be sitting with your car reversed up to the fence, in the open back of a station wagon, huddled under blankets and being pelted by mud as the sprintcars screamed past.

So while mum was enjoying all this, I was in Esperance with her dog in the vet. Poor dog. In recent months she's lost both her eyes. She's completely blind. But she's still very happy and able, she gets around the house, takes herself outside down the back steps. It hasn't really bothered her. As I was feeding her I noticed she was walking with her head held on the side. Worried she had some kind of problem with the eye as we only removed the stitches last Friday, I got her to Esperance as soon as I could. Pay day! Mum and dad will reimburse me, but to actually get there I had to wait until I had money. Poor little thing has an ear infection and is back on antibiotics. Looks like I might have to drive her back down next week as she's due for a check up at day 10, but mum will be back at work by then.

While she was in the vet I needed to do something, right? I started with a small grocery shop for all those things you just can't buy here. Lots of snacks for Jessica's lunchbox, some fruit because it's cheaper etc. I went into a Thingz gift shop and actually found something for both mum and dad for Christmas. Phew! One less thing to worry about. Then I hit the Red Cross thrift shop, but the little Anglican one wasn't open until after lunch. I took the opportunity to go buy Jessica a ball like Tian's as she doesn't seem to react, and to the 2 craft shops looking for pirate fabric. Between them, they had 1 bolt. I only bought 30cm as it's only for my little cousin's library bag. I decided I didn't like the sealife print I bought for him. I met up with June and Tian who were there for Tian's swimming lessons, then went back to the Anglican op shop. Then on to a pet shop to price birds for Jessica for Christmas, then Bunnings, then got the dog and headed home.

Here's what you can buy for $18. If you're anything like me, technically it was $20; I told them to keep the change :) (from the Anglican church opportunity shop)
  • 5 Handmade magazines, from 1984 through to 1991
  • A huge array of sewing patterns which I select individually. Trust me, there's still heaps there!
  • An unusual embroidery book: Needle on the Wing by Mary Krishna (ISBN: not listed Published: Hutchinson & Co LTD, 1961)
  • Mode Made magazine Summer 87-88 which I had never seen/heard of before
  • Simplicity's Pillow Ideas (ISBN: 0-918178-19-3, 1980)
  • Australian Women's Weekly Decorative Crafts-Stylish crafts from around the world (ISBN: 0 949892 93 9, 1988)
  • 3 fabric pieces, the blue baby print there is 2m, little soccer playing bears is about 1m, and a remnant of pink t-shirt material (stretch, jersey)

By comparison, this one copy of SEW magazine (a UK mag) costs $14.95

At the Red Cross shop the choices were more limited, I think I paid $7 for all this even though the clothes were marked at $2 or more each, but they were having a sale.

  • 4 00000 and 0000 baby clothes for Jessica to use for her dolls
  • a couple of sewing patterns
  • 1 Handmade and 1 Australian Patchwork and Stitching magazine
  • over 2m of this unusual dinosaur printed fabric
  • 1 outfit for Jessica
I had a $50 voucher for Bunnings hardware store burning an absolute hole in my pocket, it was a gift from a friend for helping out. I knew I wanted plants, but I also grabbed a few small things I needed like some plastic feet (my sewing machine has lost one and it wobbles!) and some rubber grips for under furniture. I was really pleased to find tubestock Australian natives for $2.50 each! Yes, they're small. But they will naturalise well and made it much more accessible for me to get some variety.

In total I purchased 12 natives in tubestock, multiples of some of the plants. I got 4 varieties of grevillea, a banksia, isopogon formosus and sholtzia involucrata. There's a lot of pink.. I couldn't resist the gorgeous purple eremophila even if it was $15 for the one plant, and a lovely yellow "Yellow Imp" or genista. I have had many yellow imps in the last 8yrs (ok, so maybe 3) and none have survived. The tag says low maintenance, yet I keep killing them? Hope this one has more luck. They're such a pretty little plant. Many more plants I would have loved to get, but as it was I breached the $50 gift card and had to supplement with my own money. By this time next year the garden should be looking a whole lot nicer :D I should be making use of the cooler weather today to go out and plant these, but I still need to deal with the pesky cat situation first. 

My mum bought me this gorgeous silver bracelet while she was away (Jessica got a pretty party dress and a Holden Racing Team (HRT) polo shirt, my sister got a HRT jacket, and my brother in law a Ford Racing Team jacket). It's gum leaves and a gum nut (gum tree being a eucalyptus). I really like it, but I don't wear silver and the leaves point out leaving them prime candidates to catch on something. The rings between aren't soldered closed, so if it did catch it might open a ring and fall off, getting lost. I will save it for special occasions. She made this big fuss about how hard I am to buy for. Really? It hurt my feelings and she's probably already telling people how ungrateful I am. Her usual story after giving me a gift. I think she feels that because she simply can't buy me sporting memorabilia, and I don't collect some kind of animal like everyone else that I am "impossible". I love the bracelet, but am I expected to jump for joy when I open the velvet bag just so she knows how excited I am? I told her I love it and how unusual and pretty it is. I hope she believed me this time. The bracelet was bought in a silver mining town called Broken Hill in New South Wales. 

The Australian dollar reached all time highs on Thursday this week, reaching $0.9994 US, there was speculation that it may breach the US$ and that by mid next year the "Aussie" would be trading higher than the US! WOW! Back in 2001 we were trading at $0.47 US.. huge differences. It really does seem to me that Australia is holding its own during this "global financial crisis". I keep hearing that term yet the Australian Reserve Bank keeps increasing our interest rates and we're trading close to all time highs.. Certainly a good time to be buying online from overseas. Shame I am back on a single parent allowance and broke. Bugger!


Kate said...

That is very cool that your Mum and sisters raced speedway! You don't often hear about women doing that. Great bargain shopping, love all those old patterns.