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Friday, 17 October 2008



I came across this designer while browsing through my Cross Stitcher magazines, and there was a vibrant design - blue and white, of tea cups. Very striking and of course, just had to have.


This is the project that the Book Group is undertaking, and we are starting with the first topic - a favourite recipe.
It will be interesting to see the results at our next meeting, which is in November.

The idea is that each of us has a book, which can be an exercise book, a hard covered book, whatever. The page is to be created on a single sheet of paper or cardstock; the topic can be typed or handwritten - embellishments can be added.

The completed page to be wrapped in fabric or paper or whatever the giver wants to use. It will then be a "lucky dip" as to which page you end up with.

This will be the start of your Book, and a new theme will be chosen for the next project.

I wanted to run with this idea, as the members of the group are all creative, and it will nuture their creative juices.

Further posts will follow.


This book is a Newberry Award winning classic and also the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal.
Published in 1960 and the story is set on an island in the Pacific and is based on fact, that in the early 1800's, an Indian girl spent 18 years alone on a rocky island off the coast of California.
The lived alone on the island from 1835 to 1853 and is known to history as The Lost Woman of San Nicolas. San Nicolas is about 75 miles SW of Los Angeles.
For some years, historians thought thatit had been settled some 6 centuries ago, but carbon-14 tests of excavations on the Island show that Indians came here from the North, long before the Christian era.
The girl in the story is called Karana, who was left behind. This occurred when a ship came to the Island to evacuate the people and when Karana realised her brother had not boarded the shop with the tribe, she made the decision to dive overboard and swim back to the island. Because of the stormy weather that was prevalent at that time, the ship had to depart and the youngsters were left behind.
And all because the brother Ramo, had not obeyed instructions, and gone back to the village to get his spear.
The brother Ramo dies, after being attacked by a pack of wild dogs and Karana is left alone to fend for herself.
A very moving story.
This was a book from my list for A DARING BOOK CHALLENGE.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008



This photo shows my grandfather, Alfred Cowley holding me, and was taken 1952 outside the incubator house at the poultry farm at The Gap, Brisbane.

I will keep adding more family history and photos so that other researchers can view and also share their stories with me.

Alfred was born in Swinton Manchester 2 Jan 1893, and his parents were Alfred Henry COWLEY and Elizabeth Ann SHAWCROSS.

At this stage, my research has led me back to John COWLEY(born abt 1796 Ireland)married to Jane ROBERTS (BORN abt 1799).
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This photograph shows my grandfather, Alfred Cowley, with my father, Kenneth Patrick Cowley, taken at my confirmation in the mid 1960's. The garden is at our house at The Grange, Brisbane.

Have decided to post the photographs, as other family members researching the Cowley family can then access them, along with any other information.
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This photo is of Alfred Cowley, his wife Emily, and the eldest of my brother's, Michael. This would have been taken at Michael's first communion, and the setting is the front lawn of our house at the Grange.
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Monday, 13 October 2008

Wots My Genes - The Best of Genealogy

Wots My Genes - The Best of Genealogy


What a delightful book to read - great story and an insight into the art of cheese making.
Blessed are Corrie and Fee, for theirs is the kingdom of the world's tastiest farmhouse cheese. Tucked away in a corner of Ireland, the lifelong friends turn out batch after batch of perfect Coolarney Blues and Golds, thanks to co-operative cows, non-meat-eating fecund milkmaids, songs from The Sound of Music and the wind blowing just so in the right direction across the green meadows of County Cork.
Add to this mixture, Corrie's long lost grandaughter, Abbey, fleeting from a remote but by no means backward Pacific island and an unfaithful husband. And stir in New Yorker, Kit Stephens, heart-broken, burned-out and looking for a purpose to his wasted life.
the magic that Corrie and Fee weave in and out of the cheese vats is legendary, but can they use their powers to turn bitterness and betrayal into love, or will the secret ingredient be lost forever?

That pretty much sums up the story, and loved the character of Corrie and Fee, and also Avis, who helps run the farm, and keeps in girls in order.


This book was the final in the Historical Reading Challenge, and a huge book to get through. In saying this, it was interesting to read of the English court and politics in that era (1461).
Margaret of York, the sister of Edward IV, is used as a pawn in the political stakes, when is married to Charles of Burgundy, so that King Louis of France can be kept at bay.
Margaret though loves someone else, who is a close advisor of Edward, and married, and over the years, they are able to meet up.
When Charles of Burgundy dies, Margaret returns to England for a visit, hoping that her true love will now want to marry her, as his wife has also died. He intimates that he will come to France, but the story ends with his marriage to someone else.

Monday, 6 October 2008


You would think that when our writing group was assigned a topic to write about - the letter H, there would not be a problem. Whilst pondering on the issue, the name Heraklion came out of the memory banks.
I have been very remiss over the years in not recording my travel experiences, so there is no time like the present to make a start.

In recollection, there was no reason why I chose to visit the island of Crete. The travel plans and destinations were to be at my whim as I was on a 12 month working holiday and the world was my oyster.
The year was 1979, and in retrospect, the world was a much better and safer place than what it is now.

My travels had started in Singapore, then onto Hong Kong, India and then to Greece. A friend had also decided to take some time off work, and we had arranged that when I hade made a base, then she would meet up with me in Greece.

Whilst in Athens, and staying at one of the hostels, I visited the attractions, and then must have decided to catch the boat to Crete. Piraes was my departure point, and I was on my way to Heraklion.
What awaited me on my arrival was a mystery, and I knew that I would be able to indulge my interest in history and visit places that I had only ever read about in books.
One of the important landmarks Palace of Knossos was at the top of my list, and I can still remember wandering around the palaces and feeling in awe of the ancient civilizations that had made their mark on the landscape.

A few days were spent in Heraklion, and I must have decided to catch one of the buses and discover more of the island, which is how I discovered the village of Malia, about 34kms from Heraklion. Arriving there late in the day, necessity kicked in and I found somewhere to stay. Obviously I must have liked what I saw and I felt comfortable with everything, as I stayed for nearly 3 months and had a wonderful time.

It felt very strange at first to be the only Australian in the place, but it didn't take long to meet up with a couple of Scottish girls, Iris and Kate. I can remember that they had such broad accents,(both being from Glasgow) that it took a while to understand what they were saying. You must remember also in those days, that very little English was spoken in the village, except for the cafes, shops and some of the tourist attractions. A photo on this blog will show what the back streets of the village were like in 1979. No doubt this has changed over the 30 years.

That period in time was one of carefree days, time on the beach, working part time at one of the restaurants and the disco; sight seeing and living in a picturesque location.
When Jenny arrived in the village, she also worked in the restaurant, and often we would walk back to the pension, in the dark, with only a hand torch to light the way.
The pathway would be through the fields, with just donkeys for company and no thought entered our heads that we would be in danger. During the day, the fields were a mass of wild flowers, and the smell of wild thyme was heady.

When we weren't working, then we would take a bus and visit the villages along the coastline. One of our favourite places was Ayios Nikolaos, with its many waterfront cafes. Malia also had historic interest, having - the Palace of Malia,which was reputed to have been built during the same period as Knossos.

Time caught up with our idyll, and it was with regret that we had to leave the island of Crete, and the village of Malia and carry on with out travels across Europe.

Next destination - CORFU.

The photos featured show Kate & Iris at Ayios Nikoaaos; the pension in Malia, called Sirocco,cafe Kalypso where we worked