So, where have I been? I promise that I’ve not been sulking in the bedroom, or yahooing around the town, or even drinking far too much of anything – be it tea or wine or whiskey! I’ve just been at home, growing, preserving, baking and currently trying to knit and crochet – dishcloths. I’ve also re-joined my Tai Chi for arthritis group (Monday mornings at 10am), still attending the local walking group (Tuesday mornings at 10am) and once a month, usually a Tuesday afternoon, a champagne catch-up with a chum (that one’s my favourite!). In fact the next champagne catch-up will be rather exciting as the said chum has just become a grandmother! I’m still waiting for the photo’s.
Baking bread has become a bit of an obsession recently too. I usually only bake sourdough breads, from plain white to multigrain and rye, throwing assorted seeds and grains in the mix willy-nilly! But the above pictures show a loaf that contains no yeast, sourdough or flour. It consists of oats, seeds and nuts and is truly divine. It is also incredibly easy to make which is a big plus with me. I first saw it on a blog post of “My New Roots” who I think must be a nutritionist and she called it “The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread.” Well, it hasn’t changed my life just yet, but I’m certainly enjoying waiting for the said change eating this bread.
These pictures show what the grow house was like in Summer. See the little yellow flower peeking through the greenery in the third picture. It was meant to be a rock melon. I planted rock melon. The vine looked like rock melon, the same as last year. But, it was a pumpkin. A plain, grey pumpkin. I didn’t have any pumpkin seeds and if I had I certainly wouldn’t have planted them in the grow house. Even if it was self seeded from my compost, I usually buy butternut pumpkin as it’s so much sweeter. I do remember buying a different type, once. And now I have seven of them sitting on the back table drying out ready for storage.
I’m still collecting tomatoes from the grow house too. I still have some eggplant, capsicum (1 only), chilli and parsley in there. I’m slowly clearing beds ready for feeding and resting but I can already see baby tomato plants coming through….. We have plenty of preserved tomatoes, frozen sauce and jars of dried tomatoes with lots of jars of spicy chutney, relish and pickle too.
So apart from the above my life is just cruising along. Summer here seemed to go on and on but now it just seems like a memory as it’s pretty cold and windy outside. But I have been out today and planted some bush peas and some snow and sugar snap peas too. I have yet to prune all the trees, I keep putting it off as there’s so many. A relative of the woman who lived here before us has moved back to Dover and has asked if she can come along when I’m pruning the trees as she would like to try propagating some of them as it was her father who planted them. Naturally I agreed as it’s a beautiful way to continue a memory. A friend came along and tried to name some of the many varieties of apple that we have and I was thrilled to have some names like “Crofton; Gravenstein; Geeveston Fanny; Coxes Orange Pippin; Red Pippin; Granny Smith and Red and Golden Delicious to name a few. But then there was a dispute on the Geeveston Fanny by another friend so I’m still unsure, sigh.
I also have a freezer full of plums too. I thought that I had lost most of the plums to the really HOT day in January but I still have plenty to stew and freeze for our porridge. I didn’t bother making jam this year as we really don’t eat that much jam. It is handy to have on hand for gifts though so friends will have to go savoury this year.
There are no Bali trips this year for me (sob) but I am looking forward to visiting my daughter in Queensland in September for two weeks. Hopefully it will be relatively quiet in the garden then and M will only have the chooks and Terry (the dog) to worry about whilst I’m away. Sara, my younger daughter, lives close to Airlie Beach and that’s where I’ll be staying. I’ve not been there before so I’m really looking forward to it. Sara and her family have only lived there since January 2012 as she was Adelaide born and bred. My oldest daughter Naomi is currently in Bali with her family on holiday. They all love it there too and I can’t wait to hear about it on their return to Adelaide. My son Shaun lives in Adelaide and spent two weeks here in Tassie in February when we went to Strahan for a few days and he caught up with friends and we all went to MONA.
Earlier this month I realised that I had reached the 40th anniversary of my arrival in Australia from the UK. I sailed to Australia on a Greek ship called the “Australis” as a 10 pound pom and when I stepped onto Australian soil at Fremantle, WA on 9/5/1973 wearing a t-shirt and jeans I remember thinking that if this was nearly winter I’m never going back to live in the UK. And I never have. The original plan has been to come and grab some sunshine for two years and then return. Hah, not this little black duck. I must admit that when we first arrived in Adelaide I thought we’d been in Dr Who’s tardis because it was 25 years behind the times. I had left the north of England after many music festivals like the Isle of Wight and Reading and Bath and having access to seeing concerts by Hendrix, Dylan, Pink Floyd etc. and being a typical hippie child dancing whenever and wherever I wanted. Now in Adelaide I was shocked to be told by a new friend that if I wanted to dance in a club I had to wait until a man asked me!!!! And then there was the time I went to a work Christmas function and I was the only woman in trousers – bright yellow ones! There wasn’t even colour television. But things changed quickly and when we went back to the UK for our first holiday in 1980, only seven years later, with 2 daughters in tow, we found that everything had stayed the same and now our home town was behind the times and old friends seemed “suburban and settled down” and they viewed us as the “wild and exciting lucky ones”. Which I suppose we were. I love Australia, it is my home.
So, that’s a little bit of where I’m at. I’ll try and be more consistent.
ps. the local hotel burned down in April this year………..