Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dog with Talent - Not!

As can be seen in the photo, Terry has grey paint on his tail and body. We haven't been employing slave dog labour here, he just likes to be around M whatever he is doing.
We had to wait to finish painting the outside of the house because of all the roadworks and the clouds of dust that were produced.
So last week M decided that he would try and put another coat of paint on the side. The next day it rained and it became apparent that the paint was not dry. It wasn't just the fact that we could see the paint dripping onto the concrete, no, Terry brushed past in haste to see who was passing the house and came back looking as if he'd aged in five seconds with a grey streak on his tail.
He doesn't care about it - he just looks depressed in this photo because he's been stuck in the house all day today. I let the chooks out reasonably early today and they are refusing to go back in (again). I've been out there on a number of occasions now, chook, chook chooking and offering wheat to no avail. So Terry is inside and miserable.
I have warned the girls that there'll be no outing tomorrow at this rate but they're just wantonly ignoring me. They know I like their eggs and they'll hold them to ransom I suppose..........

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Day After

No - it's not mist or fog, it's smoke.
This is taken from our back garden, looking across to the hills - at 10am on what is supposed to be a bright, sunny day.
There's been no wind so the Forestry weekend fires that caused the smoke linger on and on and on.......
However, there's been such a hue and cry from the far south to Hobart there's no fires today, Yippee!
I still can't stop coughing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Forestry Burns

This is what Kate from Vegetable Vagabond was talking about yesterday, forestry burns. This fire was started about three hours ago, just over the hill.
I've been in Tassie eight years now and this happens every year, around Easter time, and I'm still not used to it and I still hate it!
They don't light the fire until around 3pm and then you can kiss goodbye to the sun. This of course means that the temperature drops by about five degrees and you can forget about the rest of your washing drying outside.
Besides all the points that were mentioned in Kate's blog, these fires cause real problems for people with respiratory problems. There is a very high incidence of asthma in Tasmania amongst children - I wonder why?!
There has to be a more efficient, environmentally friendly way of doing this. But then that means change, and the old, old story of "We've always done it this way".
There are some days when there will be a number of fires lit around various country towns, and depending on which way the wind blows, sometimes even Hobart gets the fallout.
It is criminal that woodworkers, carpenters, artists or anyone that works with timber is not allowed into the coupes to salvage the precious old growth, beautiful wood prior to these burns.
It's one of the very few things that I dislike about Tasmania, the small minded forestry department. It makes my blood boil!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Home town Picture

This is a bit of a cheat really – I took the photograph last October. The snow capped mountain in the background is Adamson's Peak and it's a tough walk to the top. Not that I've ever done it but maybe one day.

Sometimes there'll be dolphins playing in the waters of the bay. One day when we were out on M's previous boat there was about thirteen of them, swimming alongside and under and around. It was one of the most beautiful sights to see. They were just having fun.

There's quite a few boats moored in this bay as it is quite sheltered from the really wild weather. They come in all sizes and colours. There's a number of fishing trawlers which go all around Tasmania looking for a good catch. Where I live they grow salmon in great, big, round pens, thousands of them. But we can't buy them here as they all get sent out for export. We also have oyster farms which you can buy, but we never do as we can collect them from the rocks for free! That's the best sort, particularly if you light a small fire on the rocks, have a small Barbie plate and steam them open. Add a touch of lemon and bliss.

In summer, there's always a "tinnie" (dinghy) out on the water; sometimes tourists but more often it will be one of the local lads, hoping for a fish supper. In winter you'll only see the true fishing fans out in the bay as it does get pretty cold out on the water, particularly if it's windy. A lot of people will drop a line from the main wharf, hoping for squid or any type of fish, but once again, you need to be well wrapped up in the sea breeze.

It's a pretty small town that I live in, one grocer, one supermarket, a baker, a chemist, a post office and a bank. The local hardware shop is part of the garage on the main strip. But there are a few places to have a coffee or grab a take-away, not that I ever do anymore. We also have a local police station with one policeman for the area. He likes boats too. So the main industries are fishing, farming, forestry and tourism. There are many beautiful spots around here; there is even a thermal pool with caves less than thirty minutes away. Further south by about twenty minutes there's some top surfing spots too.

Now that I've lived so close to the sea for the last fourteen years (six in South Australia, eight here in Tasmania) I couldn't imagine living away from it. To be continued……..


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Common Cold - miserable.

Today is the second day and I think it's always the most miserable. The nose is blocked (on one side) and then it isn't and I have to run for the tissues again. I always use tissues for colds as I can throw them on the fire.
Dinner tonight could be quite unadventurous. I've dug a bag of soup bones out of the freezer, cooked the garlic, onions, celery and carrots prior to adding to the soup, taken the meat off the bones and put it back into he pot and added a handful of herbs, sage, thyme, parsley and a bay leaf. Some peas, potatoes and silver beet and that's it. I'm hoping that the soup flavours all have time to develop before we sit down to eat tonight.
Normally I would make a nice lemon and zucchini bread to go with it, but to be honest all I want to do is sit down and read my library book and drink another cup of blackcurrant tea. There are cold and flu tablets in the house but I tend to think that they just delay the healing. If I was going out to work I'd probably take them but there's only the dog here to hear me sniff!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tomatoes - Again....

This is the "before" picture. I decided that I would try and make my own pasta sauce. So after checking numerous blogs I decided on the easiest method (of course) and just roasted the tomatoes, garlic, herbs and olive oil (ask me who forgot the salt!) for three hours on very low, 110 degrees and then put them in the food processor to sauce up. No peeling skins, it all went in together. It looks okay and despite no salt it has lots of flavour but I will add salt when I use it I think. Now If I can work out how to upload the finished product photo I will.
Well the photo's come up but not in the place that I wanted so I guess that I still have a lot to learn about blogging editing!
I'm amazed that I've actually done anything today as the dreaded cold has come upon me. M went to the local regatta last weekend and on Thursday started sneezing etc. so it was probably already too late for me to take precautions but I did try.
This morning when I woke up I thought somebody had cut my throat! It was so sore. And why is it that when you start a cold it's always only in one nostril? One side of my nose is leaking and the other side is fine - today. So, with the lamb roast that is in the oven there is also about 10 cloves of garlic and the whiskey might get a hit tonight too. Purely medicinal of course.
Yours sniffingly,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicken cat.....

This isn't a post about a cat stuck up a ladder. No, Fiddle the cat can get up and down with alacrity now, after all that's where the lovely warm left over insulation is stored. Better than a doona.
No, I cleaned out Peckingham Palace today and put some beautiful pea straw down for the chooks. I made the nest bigger so that both Eddie and Thelma could get on at the same time without sitting on each other (although the pushing and shoving will probably continue).
The girls were out, visiting spots in the garden that they weren't supposed to visit, i.e. the vegetable garden where I had just planted some seeds and under M's boat.
When it was time to return to their lovely clean home I had my usual treat (bribe) for them, wheat with a few sunflower seeds mixed in and lo and behold, who is curled up and fast asleep on the nest but Fiddle? He was most upset at being evicted and so were the girls. Upset I mean. They all went straight back outside and I had to repeat the return to the shed routine thirty minutes later. Only to find Fiddle the cat back on the nest asleep again......
He's always been an individual.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Have a great weekend

Enjoy the Easter Break.

Best wishes from

M & J

(I still haven't worked out what bunnies have to do with Easter!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Renegade Chooks

It was after 7pm before all three girls were back in Peckingham Palace last night.
The main rebel (and I suppose she is still a teenager in chicken years) was Louise (Lulu) who is at the front of the picture.
She hasn't integrated with the other two and is quite a loner. She wanders off and does her "own thing" in the garden and it's only occasionally that she will sit with the other two close to the nest. I was quite surprised that Eddie didn't boss her about last night and order her in!
M and I had decided to leave the door open to see if they would wander in as a group. When I went to have a sneaky look, Lulu had wandered in but the other girls were relishing their freedom in the evening air. A couple of stalks of silver beet sorted that one out. M had already given up and gone to have his little lie down before dinner. Luckily I didn't have to prepare anything as we were having pork and apple sausages which are always cooked on the barbie and leftover vegetable curry, which I was going to zap in the microwave. Otherwise it could have been a very late meal which doesn't agree with M's digestion.
I'm not sure about letting any of them out today but the sun is shining and I will feel a bit mean if I don't!
The road workmen are back again today but we're hoping that this will be the final day and that the road will be sealed - no more dust. I have cleaned all the surfaces, trying to think positive, so all the reminder notes that I had written in the dust have gone! Was this wise I wonder? M has gone to finish a building job in the next town so I have a choice of mowing the grass, planting seeds, clearing the veggie patch, stewing apples or a million other jobs around the place. Whoever said that retirement was a time to relax was obviously a lot older than me!
Anyway, I'd better go and do something constructive.
Have a Happy Easter everyone.