Sunday, April 27, 2008


The Anzac on the Wall

I wandered thru a country town 'cos I had time to spare,
And went into an antique shop to see what was in there.
Old Bikes and pumps and kero lamps, but hidden by it all,
A photo of a soldier boy - an Anzac on the Wall.

"The Anzac have a name?" I asked. The old man answered "No,.
The ones who could have told me mate, have passed on long ago.
The old man kept on talking and, according to his tale,
The photo was unwanted junk bought from a clearance sale.

"I asked around," the old man said, "but no one knows his face,
He's been on that wall twenty years, deserves a better place.
For some one must have loved him so, it seems a shame somehow."
I nodded in agreement and then said, "I'll take him now."

My nameless digger's photo, well it was a sorry sight
A cracked glass pane and a broken frame - I had to make it right
To prise the photo from its frame I took care just in case,
"Cause only sticky paper held the cardboard back in place.

I peeled away the faded screed and much to my surprise,
Two letters and a telegram appeared before my eyes.
The first reveals my Anzac's name, and regiment, of course
John Mathew Francis Stuart - of Australia 's own Light Horse.

This letter written from the front, my interest now was keen
This note was dated August seventh, 1917
"Dear Mum, I'm at Khalasa Springs not far from the Red Sea
They say it's in the Bible - looks like Billabong to me.

"My Kathy wrote I'm in her prayers - she's still my bride to be
I just cant wait to see you both you're all the world to me
And Mum you'll soon meet Bluey, last month they shipped him out
I told him to call on you when he's up and about."

"That Bluey is a larrikin, and we all thought it funny -
He lobbed a Turkish hand grenade into the CO's dunny.
I told you how he dragged me wounded in from no man's land
He stopped the bleeding closed the wound with only his bare hand."

"Then he copped it at the front from some stray shrapnel blast
It was my turn to drag him in and I thought he wouldn't last
He woke up in hospital, and nearly lost his mind
Cause out there on the battlefield he'd left one leg behind."

"He's been in a bad way mum, he knows he'll ride no more
Like me he loves a horse's back he was a champ before.
So Please Mum can you take him in, he's been like my brother
Raised in a Queensland orphanage he's never known a mother."

But Struth, I miss Australia mum, and in my mind each day
I am a mountain cattleman on high plains far away
I'm mustering white-faced cattle, with no camel's hump in sight
And I waltz my Matilda by a campfire every night.

I wonder who rides Billy, I heard the pub burnt down
I'll always love you and please say hooroo to all in town".
The second letter I could see was in a lady's hand
An answer to her soldier son there in a foreign land

Her copperplate was perfect, the pages neat and clean.
It bore the date November 3rd 1917.
"T'was hard enough to lose your Dad, without you at the war
I'd hoped you would be home by now - each day I miss you more."

"Your Kathy calls around a lot since you have been away,
To share with me her hopes and dreams about your wedding day.
And Bluey has arrived - and what a godsend he has been
We talked and laughed for days about the things you've done and seen."

"He really is a comfort, and works hard around the farm,
I read the same hope in his eyes that you wont come to harm.
Mc Connell's kids rode Billy, but suddenly that changed
We had a violent lightning storm, and it was really strange."

"Last Wednesday just on midnight, not a single cloud in sight
It raged for several minutes, it gave us all a fright
It really spooked your Billy - and he screamed and bucked and reared
And then he rushed the sliprail fence, which by a foot he cleared."

"They brought him back next afternoon, but something's changed I fear.
It's like the day you brought him home, for no one can get near.
Remember when you caught him with his black and flowing mane?
Now Horse breakers fear the beast that only you can tame,"

"That's why we need you home son" - then the flow of ink went dry-
This letter was unfinished, and I couldn't work out why.
Until I started reading the letter number three
A yellow telegram delivered news of tragedy.

Her son killed in action - oh - what pain that must have been
The Same date as her letter - 3rd November 17.
This letter which was never sent, became then one of three
She sealed behind the photo's face - the face she longed to see.

And John's home town's old timers - children when he went to war
Would say no greater cattleman had left the town before.
They knew his widowed mother well - and with respect did tell
How when she lost her only boy she lost her mind as well.

She could not face the awful truth, to strangers she would speak
"My Johnny's at the war you know, he's coming home next week."
They all remembered Bluey he stayed on to the end
A younger man with wooden leg became her closest friend.

And he would go and find her when she wandered old and weak
And always softly say "yes dear - John will be home next week."
Then when she died Bluey moved on, to Queensland some did say
I tried to find out where he went, but dont know to this day.

And Kathy never wed - a lonely spinster some found odd
She wouldn't set foot in a church - she'd turned her back on God
John's mother left no will I learned on my detective trail
This explains my photo's journey, that clearance sale.

So I continued digging cause I wanted to know more
I found John's name with thousands in the records of the war
His last ride proved his courage - a ride you will acclaim
The Light Horse Charge at Beersheba of everlasting fame.

That last day in October back in 1917
At 4pm our brave boys fell - that sad fact I did glean
That's when John's life was sacrificed, the record's crystal clear
But 4pm in Beersheba is midnight over here.......

So as John's gallant sprit rose to cross the great divide
Were lightning bolts back home a signal from the other side?
Is that why Billy bolted and went racing as in pain?
Because he'd never feel his master on his back again?

Was it coincidental? same time - same day - same date?
Some proof of numerology, or just a quirk of fate?
I think it's more than that, you know, as I've heard wiser men,
Acknowledge there are many things that go beyond our ken

Where craggy peaks guard secrets neath dark skies torn asunder
Where hoofbeats are companions to the rolling waves of thunder
Where lightning cracks like 303's and ricochets again
Where howling moaning gusts of wind sound just like dying men

Some Mountain cattlemen have sworn on lonely alpine track
They've glimpsed a huge black stallion - Light Horseman on his back.
Yes Sceptics say, it's swirling clouds just forming apparitions
Oh no, my friend you cant dismiss all this as superstition.

The desert of Beersheba - or windswept Aussie range
John Stuart rides forever there - Now I don't find that strange.
Now some gaze at this photo, and they often question me
And I tell them a small white lie, and say he's family.

"You must be proud of him." they say - I tell them, one and all,
That's why he takes the pride of place - my Anzac on the Wall.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick's Day to everyone, I hope you have a wonderful green day with your friends.

St Patrick's day is also my great-nephew's birthday (and doesn't that title make me feel old!). Little Zachary will be 2 years old today. I won't see him as he lives too far away, but I'm sure he will enjoy it with his big brother Kade, and his Mum and Dad. Happy birthday Zachary.

I made a birth announcement wall hanging for Zachary, and then made a pattern for it. I love this little wall hanging and I'm sure your precious boy will love it too. If you'd like to buy this pattern, email me or visit my website - that raggedy one.

The girls weren't forgotten as I made a girly birth announcement too (for my great-niece Amelia). This pattern is also available on my website, or by emailing me.

I had a great day as I received a parcel in the post from my Easter swap partner Julianne who lives in Victoria. I'll show you piccies tomorrow of what I got. Thank you Julianne.

Enjoy your day everyone.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pay It Forward

I have joined up to Pay It Forward on Khris's blog. What a great idea!

This is how it works: It's the Pay It Forward exchange, based on the concept of the movie "Pay It Forward", where acts of kindness are done without expecting anything in return, just passing it on, hoping that the recipients will do the same and pay it forward, like a never ending chain of kindness...

How to proceed: I will make and send a handmade gift for the first 3 people who post a comment to this post, requesting to join this exchange, and promising to pay it forward to 3 other persons, who in turn continue to pay it forward to 3 more, etc. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 6 months.

What YOU have to do in return: Pay it forward by making the same announcement and promise on YOUR blog."I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange.

A confession here: I actually joined up a little while ago, and have received my PIF gift from Khris. This is what she made for me -

... a lovely needleholder and a little covered notebook, and they were wrapped in a fat quarter of 1930's fabric tied with ric rac - thank you Khris.

Quilt Giveaway

Head on over to Old Red Barn for your chance to win a beautiful quilt. Please tell her I sent you.



Black leather wallet with ALL contents intact!

I am so amazed and completely grateful to the son who found Simon's wallet and his father who took the trouble to write a letter to let us know he had the wallet. It was found on the footpath not far from UQ. Simon didn't have his phone number in the wallet but his address was on his licence, and the cash was still there too. These 2 wonderful people would not accept a reward, so I've sent them a couple of scratchies - I truly hope they win something. They deserve it. Thank you so very much for your honesty and your troubles. Please believe they are appreciated.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


A black leather wallet containing provisional driver's licence, ATM card, interim Medicare card, cash, phone numbers (in other words, all his wordly goods, and his ID) - lost at St Lucia on Monday night, somewhere close to UQ. All cards and legal documents have now been cancelled and replaced, but my son would really appreciate the return of his wallet.

This life lesson is not fully appreciated by him just now, but I'm sure he will learn from it.

My life is still hectic!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Leaving Home

My first-born has just left home. It's a mixed bag of emotions I'm sure many of you can relate to. These emotions include happiness, sadness, excitement, anxiety, anticipation, hope, relief, and joy, but mostly excitement for him as he moves into the next stage of his life.

We delivered him to Brisbane yesterday to enter a residential college, where he will live while he studies at the University of Queensland. Emmanuel College is situated on the university campus at St Lucia, and was UQ's first residential college. I am so happy he was accepted into this college and imagine he will have an incredible time whilst he is a resident.

On his arrival, he was presented with a "helicopter hat" with a name on it. This name is what he will be known as while he is at Emmanuel - Governor. Every new student had a different name on their hat.

They were also presented with an Emmanuel t-shirt and an academic gown.

The college had an official welcome and the "Signing of the Register" for the 205 new residents at the college. They were required to dress in their silly hats and Harry Potter gowns for this welcome. It was quite an amusing sight to see so many students dressed this way - academic gown and hats with propellors!

Simon enjoyed this ceremony and his introduction to college.
I'm sure he will adapt to his new way of life really quickly.

What an exciting chapter of his life is just beginning.


I've just had a birthday, on Valentine's Day, and my Yahoo group have a birthday swap where we all send 2 fat quarters to each other for their birthday. There are 24 of us in the birthday swap, so I just had 46 fat quarters to open! What a whole bunch of fun that was. The fabric came from USA, England, New Zealand, Netherlands and many parts of Australia.

Now I just need to work out what I will make with all this wonderful fabric. So many decisions....LOL!

This is what it looked like spread all over my table.

And this is what it looked like made into an enormous fat quarter bundle.
The needle case and pincushion in the front of the bundle are extras added to my parcels by Khris in South Australia and Sharon in New Zealand - just to make my birthday even more special.
Thank you so much to everyone!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sewing Bikkies

You've got to love these biscuits!
They were given to me for Christmas and I've only just opened them
(yes, still fresh, they were in a foil bag) and I love them.
Even better is the fact that they are quite yummy - my boys tell me
they taste like Animal Crackers, but can't say that I've ever had any of those.
They are doled out selectively, after all, you can't waste these on people who don't appreciate the finer arts of life, now can you?

Scissors, needle and thread, spool of thread,
a pin cushion (I think - what else could it be?) and buttons

and a sweet little tin to put some sewing things into.
I need another little container......LOL!

I just need to get rid of that yukky label without scratching the lid....
any suggestions on how to do this?

Monday, January 07, 2008

I Hate ...

... having to clean up palm fronds!

Don't get me wrong, I love palms, but they are such a pain when they drop their fronds. They are too big to put in the rubbish bin, so it necessarily means a trip to the dump.

It also means an unsightly storage of them for the days prior to taking them to the dump...

... and there is usually more than one pile of them.

What's your least favourite part of the garden?