Competition – Around the world on the magic shawl …

I’m not too sure what time it is elsewhere – it is 1 July here, so midnight tonight will be the cut – off for the knitting trip around the world competition.

I am a bit disappointed that more people didn’t leave their “where do you come from” details. A friend down south (Hi!) told me that she doesn’t leave comments because of privacy concerns. So I suppose that a lot of people are worried about revealing too much information on the www. I hate to think what sort of a profile the CIA, ASIO, MI5 and any other secret monitoring agency has on me by now! Probably I should be more worried about the internet advertisers who now know all sorts of things because of the number of surveys I’ve filled in and competitions I’ve entered. Some months ago, now, I received a Yazzii needle roll and knitting bag in the mail -no information on who had sent it. The padded postbag and computer mailing label and franking made me think that it must have been a prize from some competition I had entered – but who knows? (Stop Press! I know now – when I was looking for the Yazzii site so I could post the link, I read a “testimonial” on the site that referred to the same prize that someone had won in a “Creative Knitting” magazine competition! I haven’t put the link to the Australian “Creative Knitting” here, as it has become a clone of the English magazine “Simply Knitting”)

Back to the topic. Today the magic shawl is landing at inner Sydney, Outer Sydney, the Blue Mountains, – INTERRUPTION:
would you believe it – having just written about my disappointment in this draft, an email arrived fromEero who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska! I wondered how she had wandered into my blog, but saw a comment by Carson on her last post, so I guess that’s how! – RESUMPTION :
Perth and Fairbanks, Alaska.

Miss Fee hails from the Sydney inner city area. I have had the privilege of visiting her at home. The inner city is densely populated and like the suburbs, each area seems to have a unique personality. Miss Fee is close enough to walk to the CBD if she wishes (I’d get the bus!). The streets of inner Sydney are a mix of the old and the new with old terrace houses, shops, blocks of apartments, and an increasing number of high rise residential units. Many of the inner city areas were once regarded as “slums”. My parents and I (only a little person then) lived briefly at a place called Surrey Hills after WWII. Mum regarded it as one of the low points of her life – a place infested with cockroaches and rats and all sorts of strange people. An aunt lived at nearby Paddington and when I was about 9 and stayed there for a few days, I was not allowed to play with the children in the street – they were not “nice”. These days, Surrey Hills and Paddington in particular are expensive suburbs – too dear for the likes of us! I haven’t followed the real estate market in Miss Fee’s part of town, but anywhere in the inner city is now a highly prized place to live. I don’t want to reveal too much about Miss Fee’s without her permission, but her place reminded me, in a way, of old New Orleans, where many homes present a blank, unprepossessing front to the street, but magic lurks within.

Now we’re whooshing over the suburbs to the outer north western area where Janette lives. I don’t think Janette actually put her name down for this, but as she left a comment or two, I’m assuming she knows that I know where she lives. (You should see her knitting room!) I used to drive through Janette’s general area when I worked in outer Sydney. I used to pass many open, grazing areas, a huge paddock full of cut firewood for sale, small roadside stalls with veggies for sale, a feedlot for cattle which you could smell before you could see it, and a few houses usually well set back from the road. There was the odd pub and service station, but it was basically a semi-rural area. The road was a double lane in most places (i.e. one lane in each direction) and if there was an accident, the delays were enormous. These days, Sydney’s suburban sprawl has reached Janette’s area and there are new suburbs by the dozen. The open spaces (and the feedlot!) have been replaced by new streets, a mixture of large homes, townhouses and duplexes, children’s playgrounds, and small shopping centres. The road system has been widened and traffic lights placed at many of the intersections which used to be “take-your-life-in-your-hands-if-you-want-to-turn-right” territory – much to my relief. The one great disadvantage of living there is that there is NO yarn shop. Not that that stops our Janette from maintaining a substantial stash!

The Blue Mountains, Perth and Fairbanks will have to wait until tomorrow.

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