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Real People of the Pocket - Brenda - Queen of Crafts

Brenda - what a legend. I am so pleased to be able to 'interview' Brenda - such a kind and creative lady. I wish I had the crafting skills she does. Enjoy!

Please tell us about you and your family.

I grew up in Dayton, Ohio before moving to Denver, Colorado for 10 years.  We moved to Australia in 2014. My husband is Australian so it was coming home for him after being in the US for 20 years. We have a daughter who is married and just moved to Montana. We also have an 18 year old son who is a music student at JMC Academy.

How long have you lived in Fig Tree Pocket, and how did you discover it?

We knew we wanted to live in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane. Our son had been accepted to Ambrose Treacy College (then Nudgee Junior College) and we wanted to be nearby. My husband was in Australia for work before me while I was waiting on my Visa. He had met Cathy and brought me to an open house in Fig Tree Pocket very soon after landing in Australia. 

What's the thing you love most about it?

I love that Fig Tree Pocket is so quiet. I love my street, the neighbours are fantastic. It is a great place to live as it is close to everything but you don’t get all the noise and traffic of being in the city.

Please tell us about your career and hobbies.

Currently I am making and sharing face masks. I had a huge collection of scraps from quilts I had made and decided to put them to good use. I also enjoy cooking and baking and recently became addicted to Masterchef and duplicating recipes from the last season. It’s been my isolation project since we haven’t been able to go out as often. I was a pilates instructor, unfortunately I had to put that aside for personal reasons. When I was teaching I used to do a weekly mat pilates class at Biami Yumba Park for free. It was a fun way to spend time outdoors and meet new people. I have not had a “real job” since my son was born but have spent a lot of time volunteering at Ambrose Treacy College in the tuckshop and with their music department. I also volunteered at The Queensland Children’s Hospital prior to Covid. 

What's your favourite thing to do on a sunny day?

I still have not acclimated to the humidity in the summer so you won’t see me out much then. I do have a stand-up paddle board and enjoy taking it out on calm waters.

Best restaurant in Brisbane and why?

I loved Stokehouse Q and am so disappointed they won’t be reopening. I guess I will be trying out a few different places. 

Most underrated travel destination and why?

I’ve loved everywhere I’ve been. I know when a lot of Australians visit the United States they go to California, New York and Las Vegas. Those places are fun and I enjoy visiting there as well. But, I always suggest they find a spot to visit in the middle of the country. It is referred to as "flyover country" but I love it there and that’s where you get to experience more “real” people and the real America. 

Let's cut straight to 2021 (2020 is just too hard!) - what are your dreams and goals?

Dreams and goals for 2021 would be to keep improving my cooking skills. I did say I was a bit inspired by Masterchef. I love taking it to another level and challenging myself with new dishes and techniques. Hopefully I can go back to making quilts instead of masks. I want to see my son performing so I can’t wait until things return to a stage where that can happen again. I miss my daughter and son-in-law and cannot wait to travel overseas again. I’ve never been to Montana and am excited to visit them there. 

And the big one: what's the meaning of life?

I have no idea but I have always tried to be a good person, pay it forward and give back.  

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