Felice Navidad

Hi All,

I just learned how to put tags into my blog posts! You might think that is one of the basics of having a blog and posting, but to a technophobe like me, it’s a massive breakthrough. I am the sort of person who waits for their husband (a non-technophobe) to change the channels on the television. My problem is that my husband tends to fall asleep instantly as soon as his head touches the couch in the evenings. I think that it is a rare form of narcolepsy that Steve has been cultivating since his childhood. I am left watching things on the television that I would otherwise NEVER watch because I stubbornly refuse to learn how to use the remote. I prised the remote from Steve’s snoring fingers the other day and attempted to change channels…I almost burned the house down…nuff said! In saying that, I am only a technophobe when it comes to things that I can’t actually be bothered with. Why should I learn how to change channels on the television (or find the right Austar channel for that matter) when I have a perfectly good channel surfer in Steve? His dizzying speed and random remembrance of obscure channel numbers leaves me bewildered so he may as well stuff HIS head full of that information and leave mine free for things that actually interest me. I am the same with technological problems with anything to do with the computer. I can use a computer. I am even somewhat computer literate, but Steve is the ‘fixer’ and despite having no patience at all, is able to spend hours sorting out problems to do with anything electrical or technological. I think his stubborn need to win overrides his impatience. The only reason that I have learned how to use Tags is that Steve is often not here when I upload my posts and so I simply had to learn. Necessity is the mother of invention (or so they say…). I prefer to invent my own adage to explain how I deal with these things. How about “Fran is the mother of all technophobes?”…or “Necessity is using the house phone to phone Steve on the mobile when he is in the shed to ask him how to do something”…or even “Stubborn refusal to do something is the mother of all temper tantrums?” I am getting good at this! :o) I might start writing greeting cards for a living…

I just thought that you might like to see this pretty blushing Pierre de Ronsard flower before the possums scoff it tonight…

And here is Steve messing about playing for fun. He used to play every day and it was almost a chore to do so but now he plays when he wants to and enjoys it so much more.

Here is a lovely specimen of Abutus andrachnoides that needs to go out into the ground. This specimen has lovely bell flowers and fantastic red brown bark and would love to get out somewhere and stretch its roots

Steve has just whipper snipped Glads front verge along with our own. He sternly told her to NOT buy him any beer as it takes away from the good feeling that you get inside if someone ‘pays’ for your kindness. We like Glad and like to give her a hand. It’s the neighbourly thing to do and is part of living in the country where barter and helping out a neighbour is the norm. Glad gave us the whipper snipper and supplies us with tomatoes in the summer. We give her eggs, fresh bread and small bunches of fresh picked asparagus that we find growing in random places all over Serendipity Farm (it’s even growing in the top paddock!). The longer you live in the country, the more you realise that everything is made up of cycles. Does that sound cryptic? I will attempt to explain…it’s a bit like that most important of life lessons that Bert told Ernie…”before you can have a cookie you have to lift the lid. After you lift the lid, you can have a cookie”. Everything runs in a cycle…before you can have a nice clean yard, you have to clean up the dogs ‘deposits’, after you clean up the deposits you need to put them into the outside bin. Before you can put the deposits into the outside bin you have to get your husband to clean it out after its last batch of rubbish, after you clean it out you can put a bin liner in it and deposit the deposits! Before you can have fresh free range eggs you have to have happy hens. Before you have happy hens you have to feed them good food on a daily basis, provide them with somewhere safe to dust bath, lots of ground to peck, fresh water every day and safe places to roost and hide…are you starting to get the picture?

“Before you can have a merry Christmas…you need to make sure that you have enough social lubrication…after you buy your social lubrication…then you can have a merry Christmas!” :o)

Rather than feel resentful about all of the work that we have to do around here, we are starting to realise that we are just part of this Serendipitous cycle that makes up our unique little environment out here in the country. A custom made set of cycles that we have an integral part in keeping going. It’s like riding a bike; you need to pedal fast enough to keep the bike upright and moving forwards. Cycles need input and impetus and that is where we come in. It most certainly gives you a new vantage point when you see yourself as the instigator of change and part of the cycle of things rather than an unwilling hostage/slave to the daily drudge. It even gives you a sort of inner contentment and I think that is part of living in the country. You have enough distance from other people, you have time to think, space to wander around and time to reflect and wonder. I love living in the country. I think that it made me the magpie thinker that I am. In saying that, I am very glad that Steve was born in the city and is a most visual, quick reacting urbanite. He loves it here in the country as well, but he is able to build things, fix things and do things that I couldn’t even begin to do. He is fixing up our wonky front gate at the moment using some of his gypsy bodger heritage. Sorry Pat but we all know that you pinched him from the diddies when he was a baby :o). Together we are able to think up, problem solve and implement just about everything that needs to be accomplished here. Occasionally we get stumped and need to get some help, but we have friends who are pretty good at doing what we can’t and that barter system comes in very handy in times like these. I think country living is a great place for people with lots of ideas and very little money much better than trying to eke out a semi-existence in the hustle and bustle and nonstop tidal flow of the City.

Another one of Steve’s bug boxes that I am yet to put some intersting sticks and buddleia twigs into. This one is a lot smaller and more rustic to look at

We are due for some thunder, lightning and rain this evening and the forecast is for rain, rain and more rain into next week. I was listening to the long range forecast for the summer and they are expecting greater than average rainfall for the summer all over the eastern seaboard. Good oh! I have no problem with that. If I did, I would be living in the top end of Australia in the Northern Territory with the goannas and tribal natives amongst the dust, spinifex and tumbleweeds rather than here in good old occasionally snowy, often rainy Tasmania where the highest temperature ever recorded in the history of recording temperatures in Tasmania (a roundabout way of saying ‘before you can have a cookie you have to lift the lid” :o) was 39C. That’s a nice late spring day in Western Australia. Native W.A. ites get weather to cook budgies in when it’s truly summer. Steve has just reported that he has fixed the gates. They open smoothly now and no longer require a good heft to lift them over the rocks and he has straightened up the wonky entrance poles. Steve just took my Stapelia gigantea from the shed on its heated base (which we have turned off because it’s TOO HOT! And we are not propagating much at the moment) to the glasshouse. He says it’s 40C in the glasshouse and so whenever I feel the need to go to my ‘happy place’ mentally, which incidentally is in the Bahamas being waited on hand and foot by Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt with George Clooney running reserve, I can just hot foot it up to the glasshouse and my happy place will be that much closer to reality.

Still hot at 35C…don’t start without me boys!

A good example of those cycles that I was talking about earlier in action is the bird baths that we fill every day. If we want to see all of these native birds along with a smattering of introduced species (we are equal opportunity ornithologists here you know!), we need to give them a reason to want to hang around and perhaps even breed on Serendipity Farm. We know that a clean water supply gets scarce around Northern Tasmania in the summer and so we make sure to provide a good clean source of water for drinking and splashing around in here. We get all sorts of birds, large and small drinking and bathing in the bird baths and we have them at various levels and distances apart so that everyone can have a bath or a drink without being victimised or compromised. If we keep the water filled up, the birds will come. We have seen enormous black cockatoo’s having swims and drinking from our bird baths. We have a resident pair of grey heron’s that visit regularly. Today we had one of the large currawong’s who have taken up residence and who chase off the crows (bad luck dun-ya-dough, looks like there is competition to decorate our new sign and you might have to wait your turn…) fly down and have a lovely splash around in the deepest bird bath. Even if they can’t get totally under the water, they can flip it around and cool themselves down.

Many of my constant readers are saying that they don’t feel particularly Christmassy this year. I think you need to immerse yourself in “Christmas” rather than wait for it to envelope you. I must admit that I haven’t felt very Christmassy for the last few years but this year it’s embracing me nicely. Here are some absolutely free ways to give yourself a Christmas hit…

First we have a set of yoda lights for your Christmas tree… http://sclick.net/cool-gadgets/coolest-latest-gadgets-yoda-christmas-tree-lights-new-technology-gadgets-high-tech-electronic-gadgets.html

Then we have “Felice navidad” by Jose Feliciano which is my most favourite ever Christmas songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMtuVP8Mj4o

Here’s a Disney type “felice navidad” remix for my daughters :o) (don’t say I don’t give you anything you ingrates…) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hxp00368ns&feature=related

Here’s a cute Christmassy version of “Last Christmas” with Tom and Jerry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDT-RKHekGw&feature=fvwrel

Here’s a most curious mix of Coldplay and Simon Pegg in an acoustic harmonica version of Jingle bells that I had to include because if you bet me that this combination would ever happen I would have lost my hat! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_8qt39KEbU&feature=related

And finally Bono and U2 singing “I believe in Father Christmas”. Pure magic guys :o) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGrsQ7F-h5c&feature=related

If that doesn’t get you into the Christmas spirit I don’t know what will! If you steadfastly refuse to adopt any form of Christmas spirit, or you are one of those people that say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas (you KNOW who you are!) I give up on you, but here is something worth listening to anyway…

As my dear departed dad would say when offering one of us something that he thought was particularly worth imbibing…”get it into you!”…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6EbnOEh0X4

All I can say after that is “BRAINWORMS”!

I have just listened to Jose Feliciano singing “Felice Navidad” 10 times consecutively and I am STILL not sick of it :o). As they say, small things amuse small minds and my mind is most definitely amused by this invigorating amazing song.  It has just officially gotten “too hot!” for Steve to mess about in the shed. He is just about to watch some mindless vacuous television along with Earl in the lounge room while Bezial and I sloth about in the living room. Apart from taking the odd sliver of cheese out to the cuckoo shrikes, I have absolutely nothing to accomplish or do today and I am enjoying it immensely. Like with all things to do with the “Steve&Fran” combination, I am the exact opposite of Steve when it comes to slothing about. He needs to be doing something all of the time and when he stops to relax, if he doesn’t feel like he has earned his rest, he will keep going. I put it down to all that catholic guilt that he had thrashed into him by nuns. I can get out of bed at 10am; lay on the floor in my underpants looking up at the ceiling for another 30 minutes (till Earl discovers me and tap dances on my supine flaccid body); slowly get up and spend another 30 minutes over a nice hot cup of tea; wander about waving the hose at various water bowls and potted plants for another hour and after that settle down at the computer to wander about online randomly until it’s time to think about cooking something for tea. I could do that every day. I have NO guilt whatsoever in having a delicious sloth and in contemplating my navel on a regular basis. I think you should only feel guilty if you actually did something to feel guilty about :o).

Once upon a time this was an entire Shrek. It had arms…legs…ears and very large hands. This Shrek story can’t be told because it might distress small children but needless to say…this is all that is left of Shrek. Earl would like it to be know that he feels NO guilt whatsoever about the dismantling and ultimate beheading of Shrek, and would do it all over again should I ever be able to find another Shrek in a thrift shop.

I am off to make some wakame salad. I found the recipe online and have all the ‘fixin’s’ and as wakame salad is not only healthy, but low fat I can eat it till my enormous packet of dried wakame runs out. I love Japanese food and always order wakame salad whenever I get to indulge in it. As seaweed is considered a ‘super food’, I can eat as much as I like. It’s great for hot summer days as well. I had hummus yesterday and still have an avocado sitting on the kitchen counter so might make myself some sushi with avocado and pickled pink ginger. I have some backup nori sheets in the cupboard and some sushi rice waiting for just such an occasion. Steve is having leftover Thai chicken pie and most probably baked beans. You can take the man out of the U.K. but you can’t take the U.K. out of the man! We have decided that we are going to decorate our newly unwonky gate rather than a tree on the side of the road this year. We have lost of left over decorations and when it cools down later on we might just take them down to the gate and artistically amuse ourselves. I think that for today “that’s your bloomin’ lot”! See you tomorrow when it’s supposed to be raining and we will most probably be making something in the shed.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mum
    Dec 10, 2011 @ 19:51:27

    Alas, poor Yorrick-Shrek! At least he still has a smile! I have something for the three dogs it will take Earl a bit longer to puill apart I hope. Pen, thanks for Felice Navidad love. I needed to stop running around in circles, & Felice is one of the best carols to get you in the mood for Christmas. I enjoyed them all on the blog. Is that as real stack of full cans of beer? Just as well we won’t have far to fall into bed eh ? The bug boxes would look good anywhere around the garden too, even nailed strategically to trees here & there. Small birds may even take them over in spring too.The gate will be perfect to decorate.What is handy, is to put a small wheel on the bottom, so it opens & shuts smoothly, get what I mean? That was a good snap of ther black cockatoo ,& it’s lovely seeing what comes into the garden, just by putting a bit of water out. We are going to have a fantastic Christmas love!

    Reply

  2. Kym
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 15:58:37

    I have a record of the Supremes singing christmas songs and that always cheers me up and makes thing seem very christmassy! I have had it since I was about 9 years old.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 11, 2011 @ 17:22:48

      Remember me staying at your house listening to Linda Ronstadt? We used to wander about the old brick works and remember that guy that tried to get us to get into the car with him? What were we doing!!!! I would die of a heart attack if either of my girls admitted to wandering about in isolated areas at dusk…they told me not so long back that when they visited their father that they used to go down to the park at night time in Brookton! Lord knows how many times they narrowly missed being molested! I guess life was different back then. I don’t have the supremes to listen to but Jose Feliciano does the trick for me :o) Have a great last ‘half week’ till wednesday when you can put up your feet and start planning Christmas :o)

      Reply

  3. pfundtie
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 21:18:15

    “which incidentally is in the Bahamas being waited on hand and foot by Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt with George Clooney running reserve”

    Mine is a mansion in the Hungarian countryside, overlooking the commoners while Gavin MacLeod and Stefan Karl play badminton and a young Peter Ustinov reads to me…sigh…

    Reply

  4. Kym
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 11:16:47

    I know it’s a late reply but yes I do remember that. I still have that record too lol. I also have my beloved John Denver, worn out during my angst filled teenage years, and all my other wonderful records. We had a “vinyls” night with the footy club a couple of years ago and it was a roaring success. Lots of vinyls on the table and some true gems, some bloody awful ones to lol. Have a great day 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 14, 2011 @ 11:22:02

      I remember that when you decided to befriend me, it was almost a taboo at the time! The kids from Albany and the kids from Denmark didn’t mix. We were like West Side Story! Hopefully the weather is nice over there for your next week and a bit before Christmas so that you can sort out what you have to do without sweating bucketloads. Remember…should you get too hot…a nice glass of wine, a sun hat and a shady spot in the garden do wonders for relieving that Christmas Stress :o)

      Reply

  5. Kym
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 00:33:55

    I never did run with the crowd Frannie 🙂 Besides I finally met someone who was as nutty as me lol. It has been very strange weather for good old WA. I’m starting to think Melbourne has invaded our weather trend. Will have to send those eastern staters packing eh… Anyway they are forcasting 26 degrees for xmas day. That will indeed be a surprise if it is. Can’t remember the last time xmas was below 30, except when I lived in Albany of course lol. I have a lovely spot by the pool booked with a chilly glass of champers to help me destress. I usually have some girlfriends over for xmas, we sit by the pool and drink alcoholic slushies mmmmm.

    Reply

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