Sunday, October 16, 2011

Convicts and bonnets

The craft group I belong to are making Convict Bonnets as part of a living sculpture called "Roses from the Heart".

Conceptual artist and Artist in Residence at the Cascades Female Factory, Hobart, Tasmania and Christina Henri have designed this as a tribute to the convict women of Australia.

The "Roses from the Heart" project aims to have 25,566 bonnets made, one for every woman transported to Australia between 1788 and 1846 when tranportation ceased.  To date about 20,500 have been collected from all over the world.   Many of the bonnets already made have been adorned with a convict woman's name, the ship in which she arrived and the date of arrival.

This link will give you more information.

There are 3 convicts in our family from my husband's side (must have been a bad lot! LOL) however they were all male so to honour a convict woman on my bonnet I have chosen a person with the same surname.  She was Elizabeth Double who was sentenced to transportation on 14 January 1818 and sailed in the "Maria" to Sydney in NSW.  She was in Sydney until 1820 when she was sent to Tasmania and shipped on the "Princess Charlotte" to Hobart. 

It's been a really interesting exercise for me to check out not only this woman but the three rellies who were sentenced two years apart - Joseph in 1842, Edward in 1844 and John in 1846.  Although from the same family name of 'Double's', none were directly related however Edward was a nephew of Joseph.

It's hard to imagine what life must have been like in those days - so hard - most of the crimes punishable by transportation then, would not even rate a mention today - although one of the above was charged and sentenced for arson - burning down a barn of hay! 

Some of the records make interesting reading!


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Baby birds and birthdays

I rushed out to rescue the washing from the clothes line - it certainly wasn't dry, but too dry to get wet in the rain that was threatening.  I was casually watching out the kitchen window at the rain as it absolutely hosed down and to my great surprise I saw a brilliant flash of fire then smoke rising from behind the trees not far from our back fence.  Almost instantaneously our power went off.  The lightning must have hit a transformer supplying electricity to our area.  At a guess I'd say a good inch and a half of rain fell in the next hour.  Absolutely pelted down!

The power was restored a couple of hours later.  At least there was enough light by sitting close to the window, to read for that length of time.

But no matter what the weather, baby birds continue to feed, and birthday parties happen.  For the past three days, Mr and Mrs Scaly Breasted Lorikeet have brought baby SBL to my window.  I simply love their huge black baby eyes as they stumble around the tray trying to make out what they are supposed to do with this stuff that mum and dad seem to be wolfing down their throats.  It hasn't taken long and he/she has gotten the idea of what to do, but despite that still needs some from mum as well.  It is amazing thing to watch at such close range!

And parties!  Grandson E had his today to celebrate his 8th birthday. Daughter had asked me to make the cake so after trying to decide how to decorate it, finished up with a 'Mario' theme since the kids at the moment are all crazy for DS and Wii games featuring this cute character.  The water is really too cold at this time of the year but the new pool has a heater installed and after 12 hours switched on overnight, the kids were able to swim and play in 30C warmth!  A bit chilly getting out though! 

The storm has now gone and the skies are clear-ish but tomorrow we are promised from the weather bureau a bit more of the same - and rain throughout the coming week.  At least we won't need to water the garden or top up the pool!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

It's Monday!

Monday - public holiday - Labour Day!  Has been a kind of 'nothing' weekend I guess - weather foul, wet, windy, cold - first time I can ever remember having the fire going in October!!

Despite the weather our Mr & Mrs Butcher Bird are still waiting each morning for a hand-out!  I hope they will bring their offspring to visit soon - they must be about to fly the nest I would guess.