Do ye ken John Peel…

Hi Folks

It is Friday and most of what I found in our back yard today was grass…very tall, going to seed grass. It would be easy to start complaining about the obvious workload coming up when faced with a sea of waving grass (friendly but feral…) and knowing that a stint on the whipper snipper perhaps for a couple of days is going to be warranted. For now I am managing to whistle my way past the long grass and look in the other direction. As soon as I get lost in that waving sea I will wave Betsy (my whipper snipper) around and will valiantly tackle it.

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Not quite the back yard but you could probably make a halfway decent lawn out of these carrots ;)

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I have never been able to grow nasturtiums before and here is one of my 2 nasturtium plants. They, like everything else in the veggie garden, are growing like crazy. They keep moisture in the soil through acting like a ground cover and they attract bees that pollinate the veggies. They also take up a LOT of room ;)

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just a tiny proportion of our happy spuds. Looks like we at least have a good crop of leaves. Whether or not we get tubers to taste is an entirely different kettle of fish

I have had a most busy weekend that I am only just recovering from. I headed off to my daughters home in Launceston as we were heading down to Hobart on a Korean grocery shopping venture. My daughters are very adventurous cooks and will tackle pretty much anything, usually with excellent results. Their current cuisine of interest is Korean and when we were last in Hobart we discovered an excellent Korean grocery store and decided that as soon as funds would allow, we would head back down and plunder said grocery shop…on the weekend we plundered!

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We noticed this wall of old gravestones that were removed when they developed the site from a church to the park and accompanying court house but it is good to see that they decided to recycle them in a wall of remembrance.

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My girls pretending to be interested in the wall when really they are just avoiding me taking their photo ;)

I headed off to my daughters on Friday afternoon in order to take the son-and-heir and his sweetie Kelsey to the airport to catch a flight to Melbourne in order to catch a longer flight to America. They will be there for 2 weeks frolicking in the snow and generally reassuring Kelsey’s folks and relatives that she is still alive and kicking and enjoying her life. I drove them to Hungry Jacks where as we were collecting their meal the both suddenly realised that they had forgotten to bring Kelsey’s driving license and we had to return home. We made it to the airport with lots of time to spare and according to Facebook they are both happily frolicking in the snow

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You know its a hot day in Hobart when you can see the top of Mt Wellington and it isn’t covered in clouds. This photo was taken in Sandy Bay near where the Korean grocery shop that we visited was

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I figured that Joanna wouldn’t want this photo of some crazy hippy woman desecrating the monument of John Woodcock Graves so decided to share it with you. If anyone knows who this CRAZY woman is, please telephone your nearest police station ;)

I returned home and we headed out to buy takeaway Chinese and Korean food for Chinese New Year (Friday Night). We walked Qi, the girls little brindle staffy around at the same time and when we got home we enjoyed a most delicious meal. I had tofu in a delicious sauce with vegetables along with vegetarian spring rolls and the girls had all kinds of interesting things involving crab claws and prawns and Korean kimchi pancakes and mandu (Korean dumplings) and we called it a night pretty early in order for us to get up the next morning bright and early to head to Hobart.

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Back in Launceston on the way to Target to pick up Steve’s latest paramour and I spotted this. What a waste of a delicious red Kombi van!! ;)

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Madeline sporting the latest Pyo JiHoon (aka P.O.) band member hair colour from the Korean band “Block B”

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And here is the original P.O. for comparison…not bad Madeline…you might need a BUCKET of hair gel to manage that quiff!

We spent the day initially hunting for Bellerive in Hobart and after finding the markets we didn’t manage to find the perennial leeks that I was after however a lady selling herbs at the market did tell me that I should head to Island Herbs website and fire off a missive to “Lindy” who had sold her perennial leeks in the past. She ships in Tasmania so for once…I might just get what I am after! We then headed off to the park next to the Salamanca markets called St David’s Park where we hunted down the monument to John Woodcock Graves. Why on EARTH did we do that? Because Joanna of the splendiferous baking blog “Zeb Bakes” (LINK LINK LINK) asked me if I would head down with a copy of a book of delightful Cockermouth poets (of which John Woodcock Graves is apparently “one”) that she and her father collated and take a picture of the book on the monument for her dad. How could I refuse? :)

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This is the main street of Launceston at 8.30am on a Sunday morning. Aside from this obviously sporty couple and their baby there was pretty much no-one around!

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This Dragon Boat was on display at Tsing Wah in order to drum up some new recruits for the club.

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I would ONLY volunteer if I got to sit in this venerable seat and whack that venerable drum but alas…that position has been filled :(

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It would appear that the Dragon Boat club have inadvertently decided to make Trogdor the Burninator their club mascot… check out that big beefy arm coming out of his back…

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Another drum and another chance for narf7 to make some serious noise but alas…this drum belonged to the Chinese New Year Dragon and he was keeping a good eye on it…

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Yeah…I don’t think I will attempt to bang the drum with Mr Dragon watching me THIS closely…

After taking a large amount of photos that Joanna can sift through at her leisure (and critique … if she can work out which side is up and which is down that is ;) ) we zoomed off to Sandy Bay where we found the Korean grocery store and where my daughters proceeded to make a bored looking Korean man a most happy and smiley Korean man by spending a lot of money. The day was getting very hot when we finally finished lugging boxes back to the car and we headed off for a Baskin and Robbins store that Madeline had found online. After finding the shop inside a large arcade we discovered that they only stocked the most boring of flavours and turned to head out the door when the girls spotted a bubble tea stand. After they both ordered a bubble tea they noticed that the stand was selling something called Ice cream balls. They were small spheres of various flavours of icecream and you could pick and mix the flavours if you liked. The girls both bought a serving each and pronounced them delicious

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Here we have “The man that whacked the gong”. Apparently a most esteemed position and he had obviously heard about my desire to make as much noise as I possibly could because he kept a tight hold on those gong sticks the whole time I was taking his photo…

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2 more members of the New Year brigade. This time they were both beefy enough to not have to worry about narf7 pinching their musical equipment. The man on the right beat the drum and the man on the left was the nether regions of Mr Dragoon. Not much fun when you have to be the rear end AND support another smaller but much wirier Chinese man who is wearing a heavy head.

We then decided to head back to Launceston and after an uneventful trip (aside from me forgetting to tie up my hair and arriving back home with the equivalent of punk teased hair on the right hand side and having to brush out the knots whilst protesting LOUDLY…) we made it back to the girls place and enjoyed a delicious Korean curry for our evening meal to which the girls added some delicious leftovers from their takeaway the night before. I didn’t have any delicious leftovers because I believe in storing my leftovers inside me ;).

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Here they are taking the Dragons drum out to the front of the shop where the beginning of the ceremony was about to start when I realised that Neil from The Young One’s had photo bombed my image! The girls pronounced him “a cross between you and Steve” but I recon he looks more like my little brother ;)

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Mr Dragon practicing looking fierce before he headed out to do his thang

Madeline and I headed out early on Sunday to go shopping. Steve and I figured that as I was in the city anyway, I may as well save us a trip and do the shopping while I was there. We were going to the Tsing Wah New Year’s celebrations at 12 lunchtime so we had to get a wriggle on as we had a lot of shopping to do. As we were heading out the door Steve rang to tell me that Target was doing a special deal on PlayStation 3’s and as all of the children and his mum had put in money towards him buying one for his birthday Madeline and I said that we would head in to Target and take a look. When we got to the city we managed to park right in the city centre and walk a short distance to Target. It was 8am but the city was deserted. Part of the special was the inclusion of a free game and there was a list of titles to choose from. Obviously the good titles were all gone but Steve had already assumed that they would be and said to get whatever we could and he would buy the games that he wanted from EB Games. We could only find titles that no-one wanted but Madeline, being the very clever cookie that she is, said that people sometimes hide copies of games that they want behind less desirable copies in the hope that the good copy will be there when they come back to buy it. It worked to our advantage as I found a reasonable game that Steve was more than happy to get as part of his package deal.

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A very energetic (and tall!) Dragon practicing his moves

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Here he is just about to head into the front door of the shop. As you can see, Mr Gong still has a firm hold on his gong sticks…

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Mr Dragon doing a good job of terrorising small children as he ran up and down the aisles of the well stocked shelves of Tsing Wah

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Dragon motion blur! ;)

We managed to get back with 15 minutes to spare and as Bethany was ready we just had to head out the door. It was hot and humid and we parked and walked to Tsing Wah where there was a reasonable sized crowd waiting to see the Dragon usher in prosperity to Anthony’s shop. The celebrations attracted some interesting characters. There were several girls dressed in ornate Japanese costumes. I asked 2 of them if I could photograph them and include them in today’s post. They both agreed and I took both of their names but can’t for the life of me find the piece of paper that I wrote them down on! If you are actually reading this post girls, could you please comment with your names and I will amend the post accordingly :)

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This immaculately dressed girl told me that her entire outfit had come from Japan and that the ensemble was called Sweet (I think… remember, I lost my bit of paper!) Lolita. She looked amazing and check out those shoes! I would like to amend this to add that this gorgeous girl’s name is Emi and if you want to check out her Tumblr page you can find it here… http://imcherrysparkle.tumblr.com/

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This pretty princess had glorious green contact lenses, a most delightful outfit and was picture perfect. She had a single name like “Cher” or “Pink” but neither of those and a whole lot more Japanese. If you are reading this post girls, please drop me a note with your names in the comments box. These outfits were absolutely delightful and completely perfect for this event. Kudos on your efforts :) Again, I now know that this lovely girl’s name is Kiyu and here is her delicious ode to Japanese clothing http://kiyu-yuki.tumblr.com/

After checking out a dragon boat and eating some steamed taro buns and delicious dumplings we watched the dragon do his thing and afterwards I did a bit of Chinese shopping of my own. I love Anthony’s shop but if I was to send Steve in on shopping day I wouldn’t know what to tell him to buy. I like to pick things up, turn them around, check them out and ruminate about what I could make with them but Steve is a “bung it in the trolley and race to the finish line” kind of guy and you just can’t expect someone like that to give 2 hoots about ingredients. He is more concerned with the final results ;)

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Not steamed taro buns or dumplings but I DID buy these dried shiitake mushrooms and dried lily mushrooms from Anthony at Tsing Wah. I have used the dried shiitakes a lot in the past. They are a good cheap way to add mushroomy goodness into your Asian meals without having to rely on fresh mushrooms. The lily mushrooms were entirely new. They are purported to be good for your brain and very nutritious (according to the packet) but the only thing that Steve and I think they would be good for is tying up your boat to the jetty. I have never tasted tastier rope! Got to say I did eat them, but it took me a long time to chew my way through them. I have NO idea how Chinese people prepare these shrooms to eat them but following the packet instructions aint gonna cut the mustard this time…

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Sometimes picking Asian grocery items from a shelf is like throwing caution to the wind. I could ascertain that these were noodles. That they were very thin noodles. I could also ascertain that the manufacturer had a somewhat rude last name. Anyone with a delicate disposition PLEASE don’t look too closely at this package (you did didn’t you…sigh…well go and have a little lay down till you recover alright?). Aside from that I wasn’t entirely sure what these noodles were made of or how I was supposed to use them. I love a good food adventure! As usual, anything vaguely strange I test out on Steve first. I decided to make him a chilli, garlic, ginger and lime chicken stir fry with lots of vegetables, the soaked dried shiitake mushrooms and the lily mushrooms and lots of fresh veggies as he hasn’t been eating many veggies of late. I cooked the noodles (that didn’t look to be made from wheat) and when I tossed them into the pot of boiling water as instructed, I noticed flavour sachets in the bottom! It would appear that these “noodles” were actually an unusual form of ramen. Steve pronounced his tea “Delish!” and rightly so too! I had hand picked out all of the lily mushrooms before I served it to him myself! ;)

The tarmac was shimmering by the time we emerged from Tsing Wah and we headed off to check out EB Games for Steve as he had mentioned that they had some good game titles second hand. I like that EB Games offers second hand titles for sale. Aside from being cheaper, you can pay a little extra to make sure that if the game has any unforeseen problems, they will refund your money. We picked up 5 car racing games and now Steve is in car racing hog heaven. After dropping the girls home and picking up my groceries that I had stashed in Stewart and Kelsey’s flat and picking up some frosty cold beer to top off Steve’s PlayStation gifting event, I headed home to be welcomed by 3 happy boys all wagging their tails :)

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This is nothing to do with Chinese New Year. I don’t even know what it is, but I thought that it was pretty. I bet Pauline thinks so as well…so if 2 of us think it is funky/pretty it IS! :)

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What is this? This, my dear constant readers, is a Nissan “Cube”. My daughters most desired car of all cars and it was parked right out the front of Tsing Wah as we were heading off to check out EB Games…that tells me that someone who went to the Chinese New Year celebrations arrived in this stately jalopy.

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The only one not grumbling about how hot and sweaty they were was this clever Australian Raven (aka crow) who had decided to take up residence on top of the fountain in Princes Square. He certainly looks as cool as the proverbial cucumber doesn’t he?

It has taken me 3 days to catch up with my RSS Feed Reader and thankfully the weather has cooled down a bit so that we get a little respite before the next heatwave wafts in with a vengeance. Earl got to walk with Mika, a large and most attractive Rottweiler from down the road this morning and aside from a bit of eyebrow twitching and the odd bit of drooling he was a real gentleman. I got back from our walk and after watering the plants and the veggie garden I headed down into the garden in front of the house and deadheaded all of the pink valerian that was looking mostly dead and chopped it up into small pieces with my secateurs as mulch. We don’t believe in wasting things here and if something has done us a favour and grown exponentially and we can’t eat it or use it for anything else, it gets chopped up and turned into free mulch

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I found this Serendipity Farm version of Heimlich from “A Bug’s Life” ootching along the deck

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Forget Dragon motion blur…Heimlich made that Dragon look like he was standing still! Check out the lime green motion blur on this fellow!

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Earl learning the hard way that happiness doesn’t come from the bottom of an empty bottle…

Ok, I think it might be time to mosey on off and finish my book. I haven’t been as keen to log on and Pin and research over the last few days as I usually am. I think my brain just wants a bit of a rest from the net for the rest of the week so that I can reformat and get back next Wednesday bright, chipper and raring to tap. I hope you all have a wonderful week and that whether the weather is hot or cold, you find a comfortable place to spend your days until I next get to sit and chat with you :)

52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 16:27:53

    Oh, I know that crazy old hippie – she’s harmless enough, just feed her kumbacha and kefir and she’ll be right as rain! And oh yes Pauline does like that hippy happy painted – thing,,,,, she does, she does! Is it a mail box? Whatever it is I want one – could you not have brought it home with you and then you could have shipped it across with my spoon….. :-)

    You are sounding tired my love, all this high living must have worn you out – Graveyards and photos and Korean Shops and muscley Asian gentlemen who turn into Dragons – not to mention those so pretty girls – I’ve heard about that fashion – they spend thousands in dollars and hours to achieve these looks. I’d be worried if my daughter was doing it!

    Anyhoo – have lots of lovely resting time enjoy your book, I hope its an exciting pot-boiler of a novel and not a horticulture handbook, be gentle with the waving grass and other pesky growing things. Love Earl lots, he looks like he needs it and do only things that make you happy! And send me your address! xoxo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 05, 2014 @ 16:44:33

      I figured the same thing about that crazy hippy…I just left her sitting there dazed and confused ;). I don’t know what that thing was! It was too heavy to lift up and take home and my girls were threatening to disown me if I didn’t stop attempting to take it :(. We might have to paint something boring, rectangular and mundane ourselves to soothe the inability to hijack it…I am starting with the fridge…

      Those outfits certainly looked expensive! And you so rightly picked that I am tired. I drove down to Hobart and back again in the space of a few hours and it certainly took it out of me I can tell you! This lovely cool weather is reviving me though but we are back to hot Hot HOT by Friday…oh well, at least we have a small reprieve :)

      The book is “Unseen Academicals” by Mr Terry Pratchett and I am enjoying reading it immensely :). I think its the hot weather that has me not wanting to sit here tapping away. It’s SO much nicer sitting out on the deck reading with a great big kombucha smoothie and the sea breeze wafting around the corner and tickling my fancy :). Address sent ma’am and I am just about to head off to Google Earth/Satellite to check out where you live!!! lol ;)

      Reply

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Feb 05, 2014 @ 19:36:25

        And I knew I’d spelled Kombucha wrong – when I spell checked it the only suggestion I got was ‘backcombed’ ……. Really?? Yes, Really!!

        And now you sound like a crazy hippy stalker! Go back to Terry Pratchett – I’ve never read him…. but have a daughter who’s a fan.

      • narf77
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 03:38:31

        If your daughter is a fan there is hope for your bloodline yet ;). Crazy hippy stalkers are de rigeur these days…you have to wait your turn to be able to be stalked by a crazed hippy stalker. When they do eventually find you (after wandering around in your garden designing you a new permaculture “space” complete with a water feature…) they camp on your back doorstep with a tealight candle, a battered hand painted guitar, a thermos of kombucha and a lunchbox with lemon pepper tofu and sing “kumbaya” till you open the door and offer them green tea ;). That time I quaffed a litre of double fermented kombucha after working hard in the garden and it knocked me off my feet I probably had backcombed hair to say the least! Did you ever watch the wonderfully quirky U.K. television show “Black Books?” I was like Bernard (if you watched) when he had his “summer girlfriend” and was combing his hair over ;)

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 05:34:18

        Trouble is, I’d probably open the door and join the hippy on the doorstep to sing ‘Kumbaya’……….

        Yes, I did follow the advice you and Linne proffered about watching ‘Black Books’ it has given me several half hours of chuckle time and I admit to thinking of you quite often, though more when Manny is off on one of his adventures [like chasing a thief down the street] Though having said that I have yet to see the ‘Summer Girlfriend’ episode. How on earth do you double ferment?

      • narf77
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 05:45:40

        If you have seen Black Books you will now know “Steve” perfectly. He is Bernard. My sister is married to a Manny clone and I am sure I am Fran (at least the name is right ;) ). You ferment the kombucha in sweet tea with it quivering around on top of the mix like an overactive hungry placenta on steroids then after you strain off the tea and place your mushy placenta back into some new sweet tea you add a litre of fruit juice to the fermented kombucha and bottle it up and leave it sitting around at room temperature for a few days. That way you get a really delicious flavour and a lot more bubbles and you end up with healthy probiotic fruit juice softdrink :). (And a happy placenta ;) )

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 06:39:51

        Oooh, now I really want to come and live in the shed!

        And I want to make some ‘twice fermented kombucha’ immediately. Do you have a how to post up?

      • narf77
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 11:09:37

        Nope, but I will include it in your PDF I am making to send you via email when I have sent your dehydrated kefir grains so that you can rehydrate them successfully. I will also type you out some vegan cheeze recipes. It has certainly come a LONG way since the disgusting rubber soy cheeses of not all that long ago. Now you can make delicious creamy approximations of cheese and of late, experiments are going on with pectins and ferments and vegan cheeze has certainly advanced to the point where it can be surprisingly like regular cheeses. There is even a vegan brie and vegan moxarella. I will send you those recipes to try :)

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 11:48:35

        You are too good! I am very excited about it all and shall read the recipes you send with great interest! Hopefully it will not be like me watching the yoga videos with great interest …..

      • narf77
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 13:01:00

        Lol or me sitting here on Pinterest all day when I SHOULD be outside doing “stuff” ;) I am defending my actions by stating that “someone” out there is felling trees close to the property and I wouldn’t want to get squished so I had best stay inside…”its my excuse and I am STICKING TO IT!” ;)

  2. MinHo
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 18:01:22

    I told you not to shoot my right profile, you made me look like some kind of FREAK!

    Reply

  3. cathyandchucky
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 20:10:03

    Hmmm is MinHo Madeline? Waves to Maddie :) Love your garden Fronkiii. It looks fecund and must be wonderful to just lose yourself in. Would have loved to have toddled about with you in Hobart. Long way to go though.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 06, 2014 @ 03:41:14

      I think it is Bethany…when I was talking on the phone to her yesterday she complained about the photo so I am imagining it was her. My poor garden is dry and crispy. The only green part is the veggie garden and that is only because I am watering it daily and am dreading the next water bill! We headed off to Hobart and came back within the space of 4 hours! I was a bit knackered when we got back and it takes a bit longer to get over a long trip like that especially as it was SO hot here that day. We are back to hot again on Friday but at least we got a few days respite in between to recuperate. Has it been hot there?

      Reply

      • cathyandchucky
        Feb 08, 2014 @ 12:21:31

        It’s been awfully windy Fronkiii. Then we had a couple of days of dead calm and humidity, now it’s been drizzling and as I type it’s blowing again! WordPress is not telling me in notifications that your replying! Bad wordpress!

      • narf77
        Feb 09, 2014 @ 05:04:09

        We had a couple of lovely days and BAM Saturday (yesterday) was disgusting all over again :(. I guess it is summer but it was hotter than we used to get in WA I swear!!! Oh well…just have to swelter our way through till May and we should be back to nice cold weather again :)

      • cathyandchucky
        Feb 09, 2014 @ 09:54:27

        It’s pretty cool here again today but I’m fine with that :) I’ve emailed you the rhubarb champagne recipe, can’t believe I actually found it!

      • narf77
        Feb 09, 2014 @ 10:03:53

        Cheers Pinky :) Now Steve can have his rhubarb champagne and my rhubarb plant won’t suddenly up and die most “mysteriously” now that it has worth in Steve’s eyes ;) It is promising to be humid here but at least it has cooled a bit from our walk this morning with the dogs and there is a bit of a breeze. I don’t mind hot air, just hot air that hangs around and stays with you all day gets my goat ;) Have a great Sunday, both of you and you MUST write a post about how everything (reno’s) is going over there. We Antipodean refugees would love to know/see :)

      • cathyandchucky
        Feb 09, 2014 @ 10:33:41

        Sure thing Fronkiii! Nothing’s happening again till they move the high pressure gas main that did not appear anywhere on the dial before you dig plans! Now that would have been interesting if we’d hit that little baby with the bobcat!

      • narf77
        Feb 09, 2014 @ 11:30:39

        ROTFL! You would have gone up in gas!!! “KERBOOM!” and Pinkus and Jason would have been on a fast trip to the moon! I hope you told the gas board most crossly about it! Imagine the bill you would have gotten for rupturing that baby!

      • cathyandchucky
        Feb 09, 2014 @ 16:14:10

        Yeah, we’re more amused by the fact that the gas people actually came in and stuck probes in the ground from the gas meter out to the road but nowhere near where the gas pipeline is assuring us the line was that way!

      • narf77
        Feb 10, 2014 @ 04:00:55

        And that is why they are paid so VERY much…to be inept so that you can launch your house into the stratosphere. Maybe the local rag is paying them to be inept in the vain hope that some story will eventuate from the carnage that ensues? ;)

  4. brymnsons
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 22:33:02

    Well what an adventure! No wonder you are buggered driving all that way and back. How fun to see the dragon in action too. Madeline you do not look like a Freak btw, and I seem to think the crazy lady might be related to you lol. The garden is still going gang busters! Nasturtiums self seed so you will end up with lots next season. Was that Kombi a real one?? I love the picture of the caterpillar and the one of Earl is a crack up. He looks like he might be saying get lost lol. Oh and yes decorate your fridge, I love that idea… pictures please :). Have you got any conversation from Steve since he has become Jack Braham??

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 06, 2014 @ 04:04:01

      I drove all that way and back in just over half a day. Never driven that far before without someone else doing the back trip so I was proud of myself :). That dragon was amazing! I managed to wedge myself in at the end of the aisles and got some prize shots of him running up and down and that little kid was stiff with anticipation but got out of his way quick smart when he started to run full pelt down the aisle ;). The rest of my poor garden is getting crispy and I recon we have about 2 more months of this before it gets any respite. I just deadheaded all of those valerians out the front of the house and it looks a lot neater without mostly dead shrubbery waving sadly in the breeze. Tell Bruce the cat problem is almost sorted. Down to 5 now, all kittens and I had never managed to grow nasturtiums at all before. For some reason they always up and died but a friend gave me 2 small plants and look what happened to them! I am just letting them go nuts and their foliage seems to be acting like a ground cover and is retaining soil moisture. My experimental compost heap (read “lazy Fran just dumped it up the back and let it go feral ;) ) is a mass of seething pumpkins, tomatoes a few bean plants that I have NO idea what kind they are going to be and a lone potato that grew and the pumpkins are heading outwards most determinedly I recon I should get at least a few pumpkins out of that tangled mass. The kombi IS a real one…what a waste of a good kombi eh? and Earl chewed the lid off that bottle and then got the sulks because it didn’t give him the “high” he was after ;) (even after he stole it off Bezial in the first place). Steve now speaks in grunts and waves his hands around a lot. He is much easier to manage now ;)

      Reply

      • brymnsons
        Feb 06, 2014 @ 23:24:28

        Oh yes the cats… such pretty kittens. Are you going to catch them to be rehoused?? Must have been sad for you both. I can just see Steve hunched in his chair waving his controller about, tongue stuck out with concentration lol. Say hello to him when he comes out for food :) It’s been very hot and some humid days too. Thunder and lightening tonight. I have signed up to go to our school reunion this March! Don’t know what possessed me lol. It’s a shame you can’t come too! Or could you???

      • narf77
        Feb 07, 2014 @ 03:57:33

        I already declined the invite to the reunion, my cousin Helen told me about it on Facebook :(. Could you please do the rounds and hug all of the remaining clan for me? Please tell them I am still chuffing along and feel free to pass on the blog address if anyone wants to catch up on what I am doing at the moment. I doubt most of them would be interested though ;). Have a great time and don’t drink too much! ;). Steve plays when I go to bed at about 7.30 so he gets a good few hours of car racing in and he must be doing alright as I haven’t been woken up by yelling or the sound of a controller being thrown against the wall ;).

  5. christiglover
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 02:08:19

    Great adventure and post, Fran. :) A lovely visit with all my favorite characters, and a chance to spend a little time with your daring daughters, too. And Kym said in her comment what I was going to say about nasturtiums, which I love. They self seed and they will always be with you. Good thing because you can eat the flowers and they decorate salads beautifully.

    I always get a jolt when you mention stores that are in my neighborhood. Target!! The one with the red dot in the red circle? The very same??? LOL at Steve’s shopping method “bung it in the trolley,” which is also Keith’s approach. No ability to browse. None.

    Glad you made it back to the farm safely. Love you, girl.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 06, 2014 @ 04:12:31

      Hi Christi, I love your comments now and miss your posts like crazy :). I love nasturtiums as well. I read a book about an elderly cleaning lady once who’s life was spent cleaning up after other people and one day she found an old boot in the street and took it home and planted a nasturtium in it. Her whole life/perspective of life changed after growing that nasturtium and seeing the possibilities. I LOVED that book but can’t for the life of me find what it was now or where to get it again. Never mind, it is in my heart :). Yup…Target with the red dot. Sactly the same as yours I bet :). We also have K-Mart but I am sure our K-Mart is more your Wal-Mart to be honest. The products you can buy there are getting flimsier and less substantial every time I go and I noticed that all of the t-shirts, while they are only $3 each (how on EARTH can they make them for that?!!!) are made in Bangladesh…

      Steve is a “grab it and go” man. If he can’t see it at eye level, it isn’t there. I have attempted to explain to him that most of the stuff that we buy isn’t mainstream and thus, won’t be placed at advertisers heaven “eye level” but he persists in his “nope…not there” till I accompany him and shame him by finding the items ;). He has also been known to just grab something that “looks” like what I asked for. I often get light coconut milk and heinously expensive brands of product because “you just wrote down “coconut cream” I got you coconut cream” (yeah…hand squeezed by nubile Thai maidens at $5 a can!). Steve considers browsing to be a sin against nature. The object of the game is to bung, to run, and to get out of the whole sorry morass in as short a time as you can and he makes it a challenge to do it in exponentially shorter times each shopping run. I take all day to shop but I also have a great deal of fun hunting through Asian food labels, Indian grocery stores, finding weird and wonderful new vegetables etc. I guess it is all in how you see it and as I am the cook in the house, I am the one who is actually interested in the ingredients…Steve is just interested in the final result. It’s amazing how well he shops for chocolate and potato crisps though ;)

      Reply

  6. teddyandtottie
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 03:38:24

    Loved sitting down with a cup of tea and reading about your adventures with your girls – then I proceeded to spit a mouthful all over my computer screen when I got to “Earl learning the hard way that happiness doesn’t come from the bottom of an empty bottle.” What a classic photo! Love your sense of humour, Narf7. Enjoy a well-deserved rest with your book – and keep cool!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 06, 2014 @ 04:15:52

      I never got to my book because I looked down and had 2 sets of adoring doggy eyes looking up at me reminding me that I should most probably feed them and one thing led to another and by the time I had finished cooking tea and sat down to eat it I fell asleep on the couch…maybe better luck today? ;) Earl stole that bottle from Bezial thinking that stolen “fruit” would taste better…turns out stolen fruit tastes the same as fruit you pinched out of the recycling bin…like plastic ;)

      Reply

  7. Littlesundog
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 03:57:40

    I too was having a nice cup of coffee, taking in your week’s events, until the Earl shot came up… those soft eyes staring RIGHT INTO MY OWN EYES… and he’d cast another spell on me. I had to go back and refresh myself on the post. You know me, lover of animals and nature – I loved the crow shot and the caterpillar. Crows are hilarious… I really need to write about them more often!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 06, 2014 @ 04:19:03

      Ours are actually ravens but they can learn how to talk and are incredibly clever. We used to have 3 young ones visit us for bread when we lived in Western Australia and they were obviously siblings because they would strut up and down the fence karate kicking each other! It was incredibly strange to see ravens shoving each other with their feet. NO idea why they would do that but then we had a pink and grey galah that would lay on it’s back on the bottom of the cage and bench press carrot sticks… maybe it is just us?! ;) That caterpillar was the fastest thing I have ever seen on 100 legs. He was racing! Very pretty and I wish I had managed to get a shot of his nether regions as they were particularly pretty in blue, red and green but alas, he was going places fast! Hopefully he doesn’t eat too much of my garden but I can’t wait to see what kind of butterfly he turns into :)

      Reply

  8. quarteracrelifestyle
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 06:30:26

    Oh I don’t envy you all that whipper snipping! We have about 4 metres of lawn left an that used to be my job so I am glad at least it’s more interesting work now.
    Your trip looks just wonderful Fran, exciting and sounds delicious with all that Asian cuisine, lucky you!
    I have red nasturtiums growing this year and they are gorgeous, but for practically a weed they are the first plants I have got growing properly too.
    I love the wee caterpillar, what a great photo.
    I think that lady on the wall and the one with red hair might be quite closely related, same sort of zany within I am thinking :) :)

    Reply

  9. quarteracrelifestyle
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 10:14:12

    I thought I must show you this…if you ever run out of things to experiment with! and want to be entirely self sufficient :) :) http://blog.ted.com/2014/02/05/the-skirt-and-shoe-made-from-kombucha/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_

    Reply

  10. Linne
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 13:27:07

    You got me with your title, Narfie7! I learned that song when I was very young and still know it. A few years ago, when I worked in the tiny antique store, a tiny ‘John Peel’ toby cup came in and . . . yes . . . I bought it! I know . . . but I love it (never mind that it’s in the storage for now).

    Love the story of your amazing travels and all you did, saw and purchased. Wish you could have absconded with that lovely pillar (looks like a letter-box to me). I think decorating your fridge is a great idea. We had an old General Electric fridge back in the log house when we had no power. Someone painted a portrait / cartoon of a U.S. general’s head on it; I loved that fridge! I imagine yours will be much more decorative and lovely . . .

    The girls’ outfits are beautiful; we have a lot of young girls here who are into that culture and they spend tonnes of money on the outfits and accessories. I find it hard to imagine . . . but I was never a fashionista . . . I find the name ‘Lolita’ somewhat distressing. I read the book when it first came out, as it was at the centre of a huge kerfuffle; didn’t care for it and to this day I find it creepy, literature or no . . .

    I adore nasturtiums, especially the climbing varieties. I find the leaves taste a lot like cress and I like them sliced and added to salads or sandwiches. The flowers are so delicately spicy; ditto for them in sandwiches and salads. The colours!!

    The headstone wall was fascinating; I could spend a couple of hours there, reading and thinking . . . the crazy hippie lady on the small wall looks like a very interesting person to me . . . too bad you didn’t get her address . . . ;-)

    Never heard of a VW Kombi; is it a sort of camper van? A good friend of mine had one, until I set it on fire (accidently, I might add) . . . a story for another time. ;-)

    The ‘Cube’ reminds me of a spacy LandRover; I think I’d prefer the Rover myself. But I like old things; you knew that, right?

    Cute hair, Madeline! Love that colour!

    Now that raven; that I would have to take home with me; ravens are my most favourite of birds, along with all their friends and relations. They are fiercely intelligent; I can believe yours can be taught to speak human. I really would like one from the egg . . . so it might think I was it’s mumma . . .

    The green bug looks very interesting. Will you be able to tell which is the butterfly it morphs into?

    Poor Earl, nothing like an empty bottle, is there? Stolen or not . . .

    Glad Steve got his games. Good thing you like to read . . . and post. :-)

    Have a good rest of the week and get rested up, eh? I still haven’t re-visited Pratchett, but one day . . . I read Lian Hearn’s quintology “The Tales of the Otori” and didn’t have enough steam left to read the stand-alone semi-historical novel she wrote, although I have it here on the library shelf. I’ve been in a weird space when it comes to books. Maybe it’s time for Terry, after all . . . ~ Linne

    p.s. I say, “crazed hippie stalkers of the world, unite!” I think Pauline is going to need a much bigger stoop once we all arrive on the back doorstep . . . guitars in hand (yes, I have one, and don’t play in public for a good reason). Narfie, my friend, you have inspired another song. I will have to give it some thought and maybe you will see it posted one of these days . . . And I haven’t seen the ‘summer girlfriend’ episode of Black Books, either. Soon, I hope. ~ L

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 03:52:46

      A lovely long comment Linnie :) Pauline will need to hire the local hall if we all turn up ;). The episode with Bernards summer girlfriend is a classic and I adore Bernard. Lucky really because I practically married him! ;). No idea what that green bug will turn into. Most probably something boring but for his wriggly stage he was like a steam train and very pretty. No time for resting, I need to get off my derierre and back into gear. I seem to have lost my way at the moment at the culmination of all of the planned things for the beginning of the year. I can see a few months of heat stretching out in front of me and everything is turning brown and blowing away and my energy is getting a bit sapped. I just need to regroup, refocus and get back into the fray again. First stop, trimming the lower leaves from my zucchini and after that I should be regalvanised and ready for action all over again :)

      Reply

  11. Elizabeth Mars
    Feb 06, 2014 @ 16:42:43

    Good luck with all your purchases from the Korean grocery store. Amazing how many exotic ingredients there are out there that I’ve never heard of. I’m trying expand my Chinese repertoire at the moment and it’s like studying a new food language.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 03:54:33

      That’s what makes it so exciting. I love finding new things. Those lily mushrooms were very stringy but most of what I find is incredibly interesting. My daughters gave me some chilli bamboo shoots that tasted like cheese. I think that they could be integrated into vegan ingredients and used to give nut cheeses a more “cheesy” taste. Its just a matter of trying things and exploring the possibilities :).

      Reply

  12. Chica Andaluza
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 05:55:01

    I called the police but they asked me to send you back into the community – you’re not doing anyone any harm they said, so they’re happy for you to go about your business strimming wild plants, eating Korean food and generally being fabulous! Love that you store your leftovers inside you…best place for them methinks :) Sounds like an amazing weekend and I did laugh about the good games being stored behind the dodgy ones – I always look for that on the very rare occasion I buy new clothes…check the back of the rails or another stand where someone might have hidden one in your size!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 06:02:16

      So this nefarious (and most clever) practice spans more than just video games eh? What about books? CD’s? will the madness never end?!!! I am thinking about those leftovers I stored inside me. They were delicious. I wish I had actually left them over so that I could enjoy them again but alas, they are so much narf7 compost now ;). The memory is there though (and the knowledge that I can buy more the next time I go into to Launceston ;) ).

      Reply

  13. Jo
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 14:38:30

    Dear Fran, your garden, as per usual, is to die for. I hope it feeds you all winter long.
    That painted box you took a photo of? They are the traffic light controller boxes, and the council decided to let artists around town have a go at beautifying them. The one you photographed was decorated by one of The Girl’s best buddies:) She is about to take a gap year being a nanny in London before bravely beginning the life of a full-time poverty stricken artist.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 14:42:55

      Cheers for that Jo :). She did a MOST amazing job of it. I, being the technophobe that I am, had a vague idea that it was something to do with something techy but left it at that. Pauline and I were most impressed by it and I had to take a shot of it. You can tell her from us she has a fan club of 2 so far in 2 countries :) I watered the garden this morning and had to physically Greco Roman wrestle 3 of the pumpkins that had decided that they were taking hostages… a poor tomato plant is now flat thanks to MOST unwanted attention by a pumpkin hell bent on molestation and conquest…no wonder they call it garden warfare! ;)

      Reply

      • Linne
        Feb 07, 2014 @ 17:26:17

        You can make that 3 fans in 3 countries, Narfie! Too bad it’s fixed in place; think how cute it would be in your garden . . .

      • narf77
        Feb 08, 2014 @ 03:21:51

        I think that the Launceston City police would take a dim view of me appropriating one of their traffic controllers on Serendipity Farm ;)

  14. Emi
    Feb 09, 2014 @ 07:42:31

    Hi~! I’m Emi, the girl dressed in lolita with the brownish coloured hair. The blonde one is my friend Kiyu. Thanks for taking the photos of us :)

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 09, 2014 @ 09:48:54

      Thanks for that Emi, I hunted everywhere for the bit of paper that I wrote your names down on but I was staying with my daughters in town at the time and by the time I got home I had lost it :(. Cheers for the heads up, I will amend the post and put your names into it now :)

      Reply

  15. Joanna
    Feb 09, 2014 @ 19:51:00

    Haha! I most certainly do want it and I am just writing a wee blog post to celebrate your expedition to Hobart and will link up to you as soon as it is finished. Nasturtiums like dry sad poor soil and once they like you they will self sow and go on for ever rampaging away. That caterpillar made me shiver a little, I can feel its tickly little feet/pads? marching away…. I find caterpillas in the fridge quite often crawling out of the cabbages that come in my organic winter veg box. They are always very slow and cold… Well, the wind and the rain are lashing down once more here and I am wearing many layers of cosy Sunday morning pyjamas and have yet to make some food but send you much love and a Peel’s halleylooo from across the oceans xxxxx Joanna

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 10, 2014 @ 04:08:25

      I am thinking about emigrating back to Old Blighty. I reckon enough of you come out here and I should redress the balance. If it is always raining like they say and everything is lovely and green and cold I reckon I am onto a winner! That caterpillar was moving so fast I could hardly feel his little feet. He was in a great hurry to be elsewhere and as Steve carried him back outside he launched himself off Steve’s hand and over the side of the deck! I wonder if he bounced when he landed? ;) Slow cold caterpillars are much better than floating hot ones in your soup and even floating hot caterpillars are better than the sort that have 2 “X’s” where their eyes should be and that you find half of in your summer sandwich :( A hearty halleylooo albeit a most quiet one at 4.07am from Serendipity Farm. No foxes here so we are safe from invading upper class sorts leaping the fence and trampling the daffodils ;). Have a great week Joanna :)

      Reply

  16. Trackback: John Woodcock Graves and The Hobart Connection | Zeb Bakes

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