Our Last Day in Australia

It’s always sad to approach our departure from Australia.  We fly home tomorrow, after a wonderful month with lots of adventures.  The adventures will be continuing, with a trip to sing in Spokane Washington, a taping with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson in Colorado, and then a 3 1/2 week tour in England, which will include our first appearance at the big Birmingham Quilt festival.

Before we leave, I want to let you know a few things, and leave you with a few pictures of our last days here.

First of all, I want to let you know about some very handy words to know, should you ever have the great fortune to visit this country.  Here’s my list of Aussie words to memorize and use regularly:

Biro: (pronounced byro) ball-point pen
Rugged up: wearing extra layers because it’s cold outside (not required in summer anywhere in the country)
Frocked up: Dress up in a dress – something I only do for SCQuilters’ retreats, it seems.
You’re right: has nothing to do with how correct your last comment was – it means “I have no problem with you, or what you’re doing just now”. The accent is on the “you’re”. It is a polite thing to say.
Beauty: I like it.
Tea: This seems to have many meanings.  It, of course, refers to the lovely drink made with tea leaves or bags and boiling water, white or sweet or both.  But it also means dinner (“come for tea”). Morning tea or afternoon tea means the drink and sweets (“slice” is anything that you can cut up into squares or other shapes, “pudding” is spoonable, a “plate” is not empty, but filled with either savoury or sweet food). High tea is afternoon tea with a lot more stuff, usually including cucumber sandwiches made with the crusts cut off.  It’s British, so it also includes scones with clotted cream.  “Supper” usually means the same thing as an afternoon tea but it’s served after tea/dinner.  It’s all very confusing….. best to ask.
Chuck a U-y:  Make a U-turn (it’s what our GPS, Bruce, always says to us when we’ve missed a turn)
Bin/Tip: garbage can, dump
Wadding: batting for quilters
Smash repairs/Panel beating: I hope you don’t need one of these shops when you’re here. They fix cars.
Roadworks: road construction – we saw a lot of it on this trip, especially in Queensland
Happy little Vegemite: happy Australian.  To be an Australian, it seems that you MUST eat a salty bread spread called Vegemite (we’re bringing two huge jars of it home with us in our suitcases). I’m told there was a song long ago…..
Servo: service station where you buy petrol
Arvo: afternoon (ie: “See you this arvo”)
Sticky Beak: a nosey person (don’t be one!)
Woolies: no, it’s NOT what you wear when it’s cold, it’s where you buy your food – Woolworth’s
Grog shop: where you buy your beer/wine/spirits
Bikkies and a cuppa: cookies and tea or coffee (quilters are always welcome!)

and my favourite: GOBSMACKED!: totally and thoroughly surprised and overwhelmed

Okay, next time I see you (especially if you’re not Australian) I expect to hear at least ONE of these terms in conversation! Of course I’ve missed heaps, and I learn new ones every time we visit, but these will get you far.

I am bringing home lots of new ideas for desserts and appetizers, thanks to the people we have visited.  I particularly love the one from last night – Robyn served an incredible blue cheese and on top of it she put a dollop of quince paste.  She said she loves the tart and the sweet together.  AMAZING!  We visited the Buderim Ginger Factory on the way south and I learned about caramelized onions with a dollop of ginger sauce included.  Have you ever tried cream cheese, candied ginger and sweet chili ginger sauce as a dip?  Heaven!  How about a salad dressing with ginger, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper?  I picked up a cookbook there that is going to keep me busy for a long time!

We don’t eat the ginger that flowers, but the flower is very beautiful.

Thank you to each and every one of you who fed us, housed us, entertained us, came to our shows or took a class.  It’s been a marvellous tour, and I bring home many happy memories.  I’d like to leave you with a few pictures from our last days here.

I took this picture on our walk near Tewantin QLD with Trevor and Merrilyn. She told me it’s lantana, a noxious weed that they want to get rid of! Beautiful flower, though.

This is not a gum tree flower, but I’m not exactly sure what it is. Anyone know? It could be one of those tacky fibre optic Christmas decorations that changes colour. If it wasn’t real.

Our friends Peter and Trudy showed us a couple of Suzanis that they bought on their trip to Uzbekistan. Girls use these to show their good characters when looking for a husband, and I guess the mothers of  grooms-to-be are very good at reading the signs in them. They are embroidered.

Here’s a closeup of one of the motifs.

We drove back to Sydney from Woolongong along the coastal road. Here’s the view south from Bald Hills Lookout. The rain had stopped and we had beautiful sunny skies! There was a hang glider launching spot here, but it was too windy for them to be in the air.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our travels in Australia this time. Everyone is asking when we’ll be back.  We’ll let you know!



19 Responses to “Our Last Day in Australia”

  1. Fran Williams Says:

    Rugged up -one needs to be most summer nights in Tasmania!!

  2. Joy Vale Says:

    Well, Kathy and John, you both have ‘hit the nail on the head’ (got it right) with those Aussie sayings…..Have a good trip home and hope to see you out here again.

  3. Judy Anderson Says:

    Goodonya Cathy for increasing your multi lingual skills. Sorry I missed you two on this trip.

  4. Jan Rhoades Says:

    Cheers dear friends and fare-thee-well. And I think that flower/tree/shrub may be a calliandra. There are two versions – upright – Calliandra haematocephala and a prostrate version – Calliandra Tweedii. It is also known as the Red Pom Pom tree/plant. See you next time.

    Family: Mimosaceae
    Genus: Calliandra (kal-ee-AN-druh) (Info)
    Species: haematocephala (hee-mat-oh-SEF-uh-luh) (Info)
    Synonym:Calliandra inaequilatera

  5. Tony Suttor Says:

    Great to follow your trek – come and see us next time.

    We have a calliandra haematocephala in the new back garden.

    That song goes (everybody join in):

    We’re happy little Vegemites as bright as bright can be,
    We all enjoy our Vegemite for breakfast, lunch and tea;
    Our mummies say we’re growing stronger every single week
    Because we love our Vegemite, we all adore our Vegemite,
    It puts a rose in every cheek.

    • singingquilter Says:

      How did I know you’d know all the words, Tony! Hopefully the Red Pom Pom tree will be in blossom next time we come to visit you in your new abode.
      Sorry we missed you this time – too quick a trip. Weren’t we going to live half the year in Darwin? What happened to that plan….. 😦 love to you and Jenny.

  6. Sue Mobilia Says:

    She’ll be right Mate. Look forward to seeing you on the Western side, maybe next time. I’ll put the kettle on for tea!

  7. Jennifer Says:

    Fair dinkum, it sounds as though are both gobsmacked about leaving Australia! Hope to catch up with you in November – on your turf this time.

  8. Patrice Says:

    The lantana flower that you pictured in your blog is a summer flowering “annual” that is sold in my area , upstate NY, every spring. You can also buy it with pink flowers or purple flowers.

    • singingquilter Says:

      Hi Patrice – it’s lovely – but don’t bring any to Australia!!! Interesting: a garden flower in one area is a weed in another. Now, to just re-define everything as a wanted garden flower!

  9. Sharron Shimbel Says:

    LOL Cathy and John, so sorry we missed you….you were almost in our backyard when you were at the Ginger factory and Tewantin! I must have missed the memo of where you were travelling through, but I was a bit busy around that time.
    EVERY Aussie knows the Vegemite song,,,it was an ad campaign in 1954,but is ofteen rehashed and commonly used , here’s a link…

    However, Vegemite itself has been around since 1922!
    Well done with your translations, after 20 years years in the US i tell everyone I am bi-lingual in English!
    All the best, Hope to see you next time.
    Sharron Shimbel

    • singingquilter Says:

      Sharon – thanks for the link! I had not heard the whole song before, and I can see why it was such a successful campaign, so that every Aussie now calls him/herself a “happy little Vegemite”!!! LOL

      • Sharron Shimbel Says:

        Yes Cathy…..of course it is often used sarcastically too! As in when speaking to someone who’s grumpy….”Oh, we are a happy little vegemite aren’t we?”.

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