Friday, January 25, 2013

Was that it?


So it rained – 4.4 mls.

Then it got windy and the sun came out and dried it all up again…..



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Here it is 2013 already..

So, what’s been happening? Hmmmm, well there have been weeks when this house has seemed like a busy railway station and then others when I haven’t seen one single person. Neither scenario bothers me too much. I am happy in my own company and naturally, there’s always something to do in the garden (or kitchen).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The weather has been absolutely crazy with heatwaves followed by wind, rain storms and even snow!  I’m still not smoking, it’s been three months now (the cashew jar has taken a beating though) and I still have pangs every now and again. I just give myself a good talking to and remind myself how poor I can be again if I start smoking!

M and I went to a fabulous free concert at MONA (Museum of Old & New Art) and my nose got very sun burned (just one side of it – great look!). We did the right thing and left our car in Hobart and caught the special coach to take us out to MONA. So glad that we did. Not only was it sensible for the planet but with over four thousand people there, there was no parking left and some families had to walk for quite a long way in the sun. I would probably have whinged and whined and spoiled everything if I had to walk a few kilometres in the sun. But I didn’t have to so everything was great. We even bumped into some good friends and was able to muscle in on the grass with them. (for all non-Tasmanians who might read this, when a “blow-in” such as myself actually bumps into a friend at a function or shopping centre etc., it means that you are ALMOST local. You can never be truly local unless you are born here). So I was quite excited to bump into friends in a very large crowd as you can imagine. The voices that we heard singing that afternoon were brilliant. There were a few songs that I didn’t like but it was a choir after all, singing “soul music”. Three hours of music, one glass of beer (just shows how hot it was – I only drink beer when it is HOT), sunshine and all free with no trouble or fighting. Just fabulous. Well done MONA. M has already bought his ticket for MONA FOMA in January and I will stay home and mind the “farm”. Well, I might just pop up for one concert. M will stay with friends in town to save on petrol and driving every day, it’s a one hour drive to Hobart from our little town.  

NOTE:  All of the above was first written on the 8th of December 2012.  It is now the 24th of January 2013……..

It has been a busy time, one way or another.  Christmas and New Year came and went for another year and phew we survived. I didn’t have to cook a meal on Christmas day which was brilliant and we had eaten at the local pub on Christmas eve with the family and then back to the house later for the opening of the gifts (European style). All family had left by the following day so we went to the usual “orphan’s party” which is always terrific fun and involves all those of us who don’t have family close by.  Prior to Christmas, and just after, we had our usual visit of our friends from Queensland and really mellowed and enjoyed their visits. New Year’s Eve was at home with two other couples and I actually managed to stay awake.

It would seem that my problem with Ron the rooster is no more. The addition of three extra girls just might be the reason.  A friend asked me if I would care for her “girls” who she absolutely adores, as she is no longer able to keep them at home. It is a sort of loan I suppose and a win-win situation for us both.  But, and it’s a fairly big BUT, they don’t recognise Ron as the rooster “in charge”.  In fact, they’re very rebellious and I’ve had to go traipsing next door on a number of occasions to bring them home. Putting it in perspective our back yard is almost an acre but obviously the grass is always greener. Meanwhile, Ron is beside himself, clucking and dancing and getting little nibbles for them but they just don’t care. In fact last time the girls went walkabout next door they took Ron with them! My original two, Eddie and Thelma are MOST put out by it all. They’re behaving like Misses Goodie Two Shoes and don’t wander too far away from the chook house at all. Which is another perplexing problem for Ron, as how can he oversee two lots of ladies in two completely different locations? Squawk….


In the garden, garlic harvested and hanging up; scarlet runner beans taking over the tank but leaving a bit of room for a couple of cucumber plants; the rock melon in the grow house turned into a pumpkin!  How that happened I’ve no idea as I don’t even have any pumpkin seeds……  Tomatoes coming in thick and fast now; the Tigerella seem to be the most prolific this year but the Black Russian, Mortgage Lifter and Brandywine could match them. Eggplants developing along with chillies, but once again no capsicums!  We’ve eaten lettuces, rocket, sugar snap and snow peas, pick strawberries every time we walk past them and are enjoying the blueberries from the one little bush. But our stone fruit, sob, was badly sun burned on the hottest day ever recorded in Tasmania. I think about 80% of our plums are ruined; 95% of the nectarines (we only had about 20 on the young tree), 50% of the peaches (again a very young tree) but the apricots seem okay.  We have a Moorpark apricot tree and it’s still about two weeks away from ripening.  I had a tip from one of the locals here too, about curly leaf on the peaches etc. He plants mallow around his stone fruit and even drapes it through his trees and somehow it keeps the curly leaf away as he never sprays, ever. The apple and pear trees are sunburned but hopefully we’ll still get fruit. The grass is brown and crunchy underfoot and we’re slowly dribbling small amounts of water to all the fruit trees every day until we have some decent rain. I could never be a farmer, it’s so heart-breaking when you lose a crop to unpredictable weather. But, after the fires here in Tasmania which didn’t come near us, I’m thankful to have a garden at all!

M went up to Mona Foma (music festival) last week and had a ball. He stayed at a friend’s unit in Hobart so he didn’t have to drive up and down every day.  I had quiet time at home and wow, did I get a lot done! I also had blood tests taken as the x-rays that I had done prior to Christmas have shown osteo-arthritis in both ankles and knees (I already kinda knew that anyway) and the doctor just wants to check that there’s no other nasty lurking there. She’s also checking my cholesterol, as I have put on so much weight since I stopped smoking I’m ashamed.

There have been quite a few birthdays since the new year and my son is coming for a two week visit next week. We usually have a jaunt somewhere in Tassie whilst he’s here so we’ll wait and see what the weather is going to be like then. I wonder if his eating habits have improved?

My sour dough bread baking is very popular amongst my friends which is incredibly gratifying. M still prefers the rye with caraway or fennel seeds but I usually send a couple of french sticks along to parties etc. My larger white loaves can still come out looking like mutants, one side rising and the other not, but they still taste good. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong there so any suggestions are welcome. The rye is baked in a clay pot with a lid and always rises and looks great, as do the french loaves. But the white bread, which I prove in Bannerton's, slash and then bake on a pizza stone, are always a lucky dip! I just never know.

Australia Day is coming up and we’ve been invited to a barbecue at Roaring Beach. I must remember the aeroguard! My legs are already covered in midge bites from a previous party and I was only outside for a short time!

Well, I will try and get back to this blog in a more regular fashion this year. I feel a bit more positive about 2013, everyone I ask hated last year for one reason or another, as did I.

So, have a great weekend.