Monday, 28 December 2009

Signs around Norfolk

Around Norfolk, you will find some Landmarks or building entrances with some unique decorative entrance gates.

They were made many years ago by Scotty Nagle who did the relief signs in wet concrete.
Mary Christian- Bailey provided these photos of Scotty doing the Fletcher Christian entrance signs.

Mary thinks that the photos may be around 1977. Scotty lived here for many years with his wife Kathleen and they built their home 'Brigadoon' opposite Puppy's point. Mary recalls that he may have been involved in stage construction because he was always on hand to help with concerts, plays and productions, even the school ones and he made some fabulous set designs and scenery.
He also made a large relief picture of the interior of St. Barnabas chapel which hangs behind the bar at the South Pacific resort.

All of the signs around Norfolk are painted in the same sort of colour scheme of Brown background and cream lettering. When I was leaving as manager of Fletcher Christian Apartments back in late July, I wanted to leave the signs with a fresh coat of paint.
When I cleaned and painted the whole sign in a pale wheat colour, I had no intention of anything fancier than a reverse of the traditional colour scheme as the buildings are still he same brown colour and thought cream background and brown lettering would still match all the others, BUT....

With a new blank canvas, the colour scheme seemed to take on a life of its own.
The letters became a cranberry colour complemented by touches in the gardens and within the rooms and the border became a midnight blue colour.

There is an anchor on one of the signs that had just disappeared into the fancy lettering before, but now can stand out on its own with its own colours of a copper and gold mix and dark brown rope.
Teddy came out to help me to as we sat in the late afternoon sun and were encouraged along by passing locals beeping their horns or waving at us.

These entrances remind me of some of the signs around Noosa, they were produced by Peter Davies and his company Sandbag of Noosa which was near our place on the sunshine coast. His style really added to Noosa's unique look.
He carved his signs, pots, and ornaments (mostly gecko's, brightly coloured fish or mermaids) out of Hebel and then cast it in concrete,
We are fortunate to have been given a sandbag table which we recently brought to Norfolk Island with us, we look forward to many laughs with friends and family around the table this summer.
Sadly both Pete"sandbag" Davies and Scotty Nagle have passed away, but both have left wonderful memories of their craft behind.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The end to a very special first year.

at the beginning of the year on his first day of school
School has finished and it was a very special one for Teddy now 6 1/2.

Kindergarten is the first and most important starting point in everyones schooling lifetime.

I still have an extremely warm spot in my heart for my Kindergarten teacher Mrs Elizabeth Hancock who I admired so much and still remember marching around the room as she played piano to 'the ants go marching'.

Teddy had a rough start to the year as his Asperger's syndrome prevented him from settling into an easy routine and he spent the first month or 2 hiding under the desk or being coaxed out of the toilets.

His teacher Ms Delaney showed an amazing amount of patience as did he other Kindergarten teacher Mrs Mackie and all the helpers, gradually he began to not only settle into the routine but begin to love it.

After the middle of the year when he has settled into the classroom well, we turned our attention to the playground which causes the most amount of problems in every school for children with Asperger's as there is limited supervision and aspies lack the ability to pick up on the other children's social cues, therefore appear to be annoying or quiet and withdrawn. Teddy fits into the former category as he imitates the nursery rhyme of Georgy Porgy, he likes to kiss the girls (of all ages) or chase them, but when the boys come out to play our Ted runs away.
last day of Kindergarten with Ms Delaney

Ms Delaney came up with a wonderful lunchtime roster for Teddy which incorporated his loves at school and a few weaknesses too.
He could spend Monday in the library looking at all his favourite encyclopedia's about Natural Disasters,
Tuesday on the Library computers, Wednesday drawing with a friend, Thursdays choosing a piece of sports equipment and Friday is his favourite sandpit.
We appreciate everything his teacher has done for him this year and hope that he is ready to transition to year 1 and that his new teacher is more than ready for the adventures ahead.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Three years in Paradise

Today the McRitchie family celebrate 3 years since we arrived on Norfolk Island.

Every day is a blessing, some have been easy, some have had challenges but we certainly have not looked back as we believe that we are in one of the safest, most natural and enjoyable communities in the entire world.

Norfolk Island has always been in my heart and once Brandt came to the island on holidays it has been where his heart lays also.

It wasn't until we moved out to our house here at Bucks Point in August that Teddy really settled on the island and stopped mentioning going 'home' to the sunshine coast, Even though he has just spent his first year at school and came through with flying colours.
 Sienna has come along for the ride no matter where we are, but we will have all new challenges when baby number 3 arrives in January.

Here are the children 3 years ago when we arrived, amazingly Teddy now 6 will have spent 4 of his Christmas's on Norfolk Island and Sienna at 4 will have spent 3 of her Christmas days on Norfolk.

The weather is here is so perfect, who can complain about 24 degrees with 80% humidity to keep us warm and glowing, I feel so comfortable even at 8 months pregnant without those intense Queensland summers.

We are off to the Norfolk Island pageant and street party tonight which will be a fantastic celebration of the wonderful 3 years we have spent here, we look forward to many more to come.

  Merry Christmas everyone