Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The party animal is out again. This time it was a Tennis Ladies Christmas Lunch. When I retired I was asked to join a Tuesday morning tennis group, I really enjoyed it, much better than going to work. However, when I took a term's contract at school, I couldn't go to tennis any more. Unfortunately many players had to pull out due to illness or injury and so there were not enough players to continue. The lovely thing is that the ladies decided to continue with their annual Christmas lunch even though we don't play on Tuesdays. Some still play with other groups on a Wednesday and Friday.
Sore knees, sore backs, sore shoulders don't stop us having lunch together, sadly others were not able to attend due to illness or other engagements. Sandy was a wonderful host and although it was a very hot day we were nice and cool on her shady veranda. We all bought a plate of salad foods and pavlova, fruit salad and ice cream. It was a delicious lunch with silly party hats. It was great to catch up with these friends. From right to left is Helen, Robyn, Sandy, her daughter Katrina, Glen, Kay and cheesy moi. I balanced my little point and shoot camera on top of a water bottle like the one in the photo, and hoped for the best.

In the shady tree next to the veranda we had a visitor.

It is a young, sulphur crested, white cockatoo.

Sandy (in the far background) had the most remarkable collection of wind chimes. She had them hanging all the way around the veranda. I couldn't get them all in the photo.

I am lucky to have so many nice friends.


  1. What fun. I used to be a pretty good tennis player myself in my younger days. I adored playing tennis.

    Do you think you could send me that beautiful cockatoo for Christmas perhaps? How gorgeous.

  2. My comment disappeared, Diane. IF you get two of them, please delete one. You are really a "party animal" aren't you???? Looks like you all had a wonderful party.

    Sandy's home is gorgeous. I would love those windchimes.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Really Diane!
    You must run out of parties very soon - funny thing is, I cannot recall you playing tennis at ASOPA 62/63 or even being a member of the ASOPA Squash Club when we played at Balgowlah!

    I wait in great anticipation of the next Christmas party that is shown on the blog. I remain completely amazed. Oh yes, I keep looking in your direction to see if I can see any rain coming as it seems to refuse to rain north of the Brisbane River. Looks at present you, like me, are in "swelterville". I think a one day burst of Linda's Colorado snow would not go astray!

    "Sweltering" Yellow Mellow

  4. HB:I played hockey at ASOPA. Squash in TPNG. Tennis in my teens.

  5. So glad you have these lovely ladies to party with! You all look like you are having such a good time. Pavlova? May I suggest that sometime you make a post and give us the recipe. I have heard the name, but I don't know what it is. I could Google it, but I'd rather hear about Pavlova from you.

  6. That does look like fun, you have a great group of party animals there. The hats are cute. I love the little cockatoo, he is adorable. I guess I never thought about them in the wild before.

  7. Callie: I'm so sorry but I'm a hopeless cook and I don't know how to make Pavlova maybe you will have to Google it unless one of my Aussie bloggers see your comment and will do a blog for you. I think it is made with icing sugar and egg whites. It is a bit like merangue except it is softer and more moist. It often has strawberries and other fruits on it, cream too.

  8. I love all these parties that you go to. So good to keep friends as you go through life.

    No help on Pavlova from me, sorry. Never made one in my life.

  9. I've got the Australian recipe for Pavlova. My SIL can make it beautifully. I haven't been able to yet. Though I'm sure I didn't tried THAT hard. (I'm not a cook) My nephew lived in Australia for two years and came back with the recipe. It's on my recipe blog on my profile. It think under desserts but I can't remember now if it's yummy salad or dessert. Probably either. I LOVED it though.

  10. A party again ??? that's a shame, lol ! and on top of it you have a cockatoo as visitor, which I have only seen in a zoo !

  11. Oh I love "joining" your parties, diane. What lovely friends you have. I loved the cockatoo. Here in SA they're often kept as pets as they're exotic, but I much preferred seeing this free one in the wilds.

  12. OK yes, you have a WONDERFUL group(s) of friends and you always make us smile with your parties! Love the bird - do they just run wild (or fly) there? We have to purchase birds that pretty!

  13. Utah Grammie: yes the cockatoos are one of our native birds and they fly freely, very noisily.I often see flocks of them flying overhead and there is always a lot in the forest sometimes they visit the tall trees in our street but I've never had one come down in the garden not like at Sandy's house. Some people feed them but they can become a nuisance. They are known to eat the rubber surrounding windows until your window nearly falls out and they eat the timber of your house too.

  14. Dear Utah Grammie.

    To follow up Diane's comments on the cockatoos - they are protected, I think because they are the most loveable of pets. They learn to talk very well and can mimic brilliantly. If you are able to get a young one from a nest and rear it, teaching it to talk is easy. However, don't take your eyes off the bird if you let it out of its large cage for a moment - they can destroy furniture at the blink of an eye! They have very sharp beaks and your pet cockatoo every now and then will give you a "loving" nip. Well they think its "loving" - your finger probably thinks otherwise! That covers the "loveable" story of the white cockatoo.
    For many years, they also have long lives, our family had one as a pet - called "Paul". One day we were having a BBQ and "Paul" was out in the garden - he climbed up a pole where the clothes line was attached and dropped dead in front of us all. My two sisters cried for days. "Paul" was given a funeral befitting the Pope or a President.

    Now the "unloveable"!
    In country areas, just like Utah and Colorado, we do have similar regions without the high mountain ranges, they are the scourge of the grain farmers - they can be in flocks of 100's, ( possibly even a thousand in a flock) - sometimes the sky is almost white with them, squarking their heads off - the noise they can generate is unbelievable until heard! They can strip a crop bare so fast it's not funny. Being so darn loveable, the farmers just shoot into the air until they move off. They are what I think you would call a "loveable" pest, if such a creature exists?

    Yes we love our cockatoos in Australia but they can try one's patience etc.


  15. Party animal is the word and the cocky looked as though he/she were wishing to join in also.

  16. I love seeing the cockatoo! They sell them in pet shops around the states, with breeders of good intentions, and breeders of trashy intnetions. So for the love of money, some for the love of the birds.

    I enjoyed HB discription of the bird and relate them to the Hawk and Owls found in our area.

    They are predators...that's a fact. But people love seeing them (and so do I). Farmers try not to shoot one, even if it is flying off with a hen or chick, or cat.

    I take care and have my chicken run roofed over top with wire. No use in my hens being sitting ducks for someone dinner. :)

    When they run free we have lots of trees and shrubs and buildings they can run too.

    Still all in all to have an Owl wintering over in the cottonwoods, having there little chicks in January and February is an absolute delight.


  17. It seems December is party month... It will also come here, but a little bit later... ;)