New Years Eve

2 Hi All,

It’s New Year’s Eve today. We are going to usher in the New Year the way that we plan to spend the rest of the year. Quietly, with a glass or two of bubbly, a nice meal of whatever we like and relaxing in front of the television (most probably asleep) until about 10pm when we will head off to bed long before the fireworks (flares out here) go off and will oblivious of countdowns, revelry and drunken carousing. I guess that makes us bordering on old farts but we like what we like. We are not very social creatures and like our own company. It’s not because we don’t like other people, it’s because we like “us” and how we live out here and don’t like to have to organise our lives around other people and their wants and needs. Living out in the country on a 4 acre property where you only get the occasional glimpse of your neighbours is fantastic for hermits like us. We can do what we like, when we like and our days are our own. 2012 is offering us a glimpse of a degree of freedom that we haven’t had before. We can head out fishing in the tinny, we can potter around in the garden slowly changing it to our own design and affecting change to our advantage. We can get up when we like, go to bed when we like. We can take each day and make it ours and we both realise how very lucky we are to have those kinds of choices.  I laughingly say to Steve that “when we retire” we won’t have that problem with learning each other all over again. Who could stand being with their partner 24/7? We can and we do. For 2 people who are on entirely different spectrums of humanity we survive each other remarkably well. Neither of us tries to manipulate the other because it’s simply not worth it. When you are dealing with someone that you can’t even begin to imagine their thought processes, it makes it very difficult to go about manipulation in the classic sense and as we are both lazy and impatient, we can’t be bothered and it would take too much effort and would take too long so by our flaws, we get along well.

I am going to spend today throwing all of our clothing onto the bedroom floor. We have the most enormous amount of clothing for 2 people that rarely wear more than 3 items of clothing a week and most of it sits at the back of the wardrobe doing its level best to escape at any opportunity and most especially when the wardrobe door is opened. We can’t find anything in there because, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, we are lazy and impatient (isn’t it liberating to admit your faults? :o)) and hunting through clothing is NOT going to happen. We just grab the first thing that we see which results in some most interesting reasons why people shouldn’t just “drop in” on us without phoning first! I don’t want to be muttering about not having any underpants or Steve, socks in the coming year and so I am going to solve that problem by paring down our wardrobe significantly. How many coats does one person need? We have about 20 each. Jeans…I have about 15 pairs and most of them I can’t fit into any more so why am I keeping them? No doubt the op shop will get a massive influx of clothing at this time of year and our input will be significant. I want to be able to look into the wardrobe and be able to isolate and pick up an item of clothing at will. No more waiting for the toppling pile to settle before angrily shoving it all back in, holding the teetering pile back with 1 arm whilst hurriedly shoving the door shut in readiness for the next time I stupidly open the door and become engulfed by  Mt. Underpants.

I am going to let you all take a peek into our glasshouse where we store all of our precious babies that we have grown from seed and cuttings over the last few years. Most of them come from our 1st and 2nd year at Polytechnic when we were on sight and keen as mustard. 2011 was spent renovating, clearing masses of debris and tangled jungle from around the house and bollocking out our Diploma (which we got in the mail, Thanks Nick! :o). We keep these plants in the glasshouse that we renovated using our usual no money lots of time to think up solutions to get what we want using what we have laying about and whatever we can get cheaply and it seems to be holding up and the plants are obviously loving it!

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Right…I have tried to be a clever clogs here with my total lack of technological skills and insert a slideshow of the contents of the glasshouse. I did this because I couldn’t sift through and find any to leave out and wanted to share them all with you (like a proud mum showing off her kids). Anything that looks dead isnt, it’s in a dormant phase (especially the elephantipes bases that die back at will), most of the lush leaves had have a good going over by an interloping snail and you can see why I call hostas “gastropod fodder” because they must be delicious to them. Everything is happy, growing like crazy and anything that doesn’t look like it should be in a glasshouse (like pines, succulents etc) is there because it was previously on deaths door and was taken to the glasshouse to rest and recouperate and 9 times out of 10 they survive and flourish in the glasshouse. It contains our precious hot climate babies that we grew from imported seed, Earl’s conquests over plant life that hadn’t much left to live for to be honest and who have all come back admirably and things that we have moved from the heat bed (like avocado’s grown from seed) and cuttings that are thriving now and that need to be moved out to harden them off. Gardening is NOT something you enter into to lead a slothful life! I can’t see the slideshow till I publish this post. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that ALL of the photos that I have in this post (slideshow or those below) are going to show up in the slideshow. I know this and I don’t care! I figure that you don’t mind the odd photo and that most of you are patient enough to wade through some of the pictures twice, and that your mothers taught you that it is NOT polite to ridicule technophobes when they are at least trying to conquer their lack of skills. Do I have that covered now? I think so! Also, you get to look at my awesome photos twice…aren’t you lucky little vegemites? :o) Here goes…(I have my hands over my eyes as I post this…)…sigh, I just edited this to admit defeat…all the pictures are in this post and I am not the clever clogs that I thought that I was…back to the drawing board…

We are heading up to the 1st paddock where Steve has been removing the fence that separates the house area from the paddock. There is a twin concrete trough that must have been used for watering some form of livestock at some time in the distant past that will be perfect for giving the chooks a regular supply of good clean appropriate temperature water. I learned today that chooks won’t drink any water over 5C of their body temperature and a concrete trough situated in the right shady position will ensure that they are happy with their water temperature from now on. We headed up and manipulated the trough onto a hand trolley.

Testing for water tightedness

Still going fine…

Oops! Oh well, they didn’t need 2 troughs so Steve cut the remaining trough to size with a diamond tipped blade and it’s now over near the hen house

I got bitten by “something” but as of yet I haven’t started convulsing, twitching or vomiting (any more than usual…) so I think it must have been a small spider or ant. When we removed the trough we found these…

and finally a nice closeup shot for you to take a good look at them. This is how I actually identified them as skinks eggs :o)

I would imagine that they are lizard’s (skinks in particular) eggs. One cracked when I was taking these photos and it is most definitely an egg and the shape that they are would lead me to believe that they are reptilian. Serendipity Farm is a huge learning experience and every day we get a glimpse of the local wildlife and their habits. Sorry lizards, but your loss is some other hungry creatures gain. I took some photos in the glasshouse for you to see how crazy everything is going at the moment. It is 22C out on the deck and 35C in the glasshouse. I noticed some massive pink flowers as I was taking photos inside the glasshouse and emerged to see what they were. I did a bit of research and the most likely candidate is Hatiora x graeseri a member of the Rhipsalidae family which are predominately epiphytic (don’t need soil to grow) and that can grow in tiny pockets between rocks or in tree branches like orchids. I thought that this might be a member of the Schlumberger (zygocactus) family but again, I learned something today. Steve headed back to the shed to try to mend the cracks on the concrete trough and I headed down into the jungle to get you some pictures. Up until now I have hidden the extent of wilderness to which this poor garden has sunk. I think that you are all comfortable enough with us now to share in some of the sheer terror that we are going to have to deal with when confronted with “Gardening” in this lower garden. I am going to call it Extreme Gardening and might see if we can’t get it listed as an Olympic sport. These masses of chaos are slowly going to be tamed to the point where we can start planting out what we want to grow in these wild and tangled garden zones. It’s a massive challenge and one that we are going to throw ourselves into over the course of 2012. We will share it all with you and you can follow the changing landscape. Isn’t it good that we are doing our Diploma of Landscape Design in 2012-2013? We should be learning all that we need to know about implementing a garden design custom made for Serendipity Farm and because Steve and I have very different areas of expertise, we should be able to manage the full spectrum of what we want to achieve and how we are going to get there between us. I am just going to head off now and have a little hide under the bed and a minor panic attack after looking at those photos and what we have to accomplish in these chaotic wild areas of the garden. See you all tomorrow. Don’t worry…if I am still under the bed, Steve can hand me the laptop and I can still post…

I almost forgot to put these photos in I was so stressed about the jungle photos that I took and will put into the posts following these. That way you will get a better understanding of why I regularly procrastinate about heading out into the jungle with our puny secateurs and hand saws when what we really need is a compas, a good pair of machetes and most probably a chainsaw…

I just wanted to show you that these flowers are much bigger than the usual Zygocactus type flower. I am off back under the bed now…”Earl! Make some room!”…


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mum.
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 11:32:51

    That was a good post Pen, & I was there in spirit reading it. If I were you, I’d add more onto the hothouse eventually! Look at how those plants are thriving love, especially the begonias! By mixing pollens, you might make a new type or colour eh? Check that water trough that any chickens can’t fall in too, maybe a bit of chicken wire over most of the top , or a mountain in the centre so they can climb on. I think you have enough granite laying about to build one! Stewart just rang to see if I’d left, so I will. he’s gone down the markets early.I shall be back in an email.


  2. Kym
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 13:19:17

    One step at a time. Look back at all the work you both have done and you will be amazed! I take photos for that reason, so when it gets me down I can look back and see how far we have come. Mind you I’m only talking about 905 sm lol. Bruce and I love our own company too. When we retire we are going to buy a caravan and meander around good old oz. We will be joining the grey army! So expect a visit from us, you should have your clothing sorted by then eh…


    • narf77
      Dec 31, 2011 @ 15:43:37

      This post has reverted to “past tense” again. I have a few posts up my sleeve and as such, I can mess about with them and add bits on the day that I post them. Much better posts, and less stress on me. I have sorted the clothes and more then half of them are away in Exeter awaiting pickup by Tresca thrift shop when they reopen next week. I got the washing off the line today and was able to fold it and put it away with no cram and shut of the wardrobe that I normally have. I took a small moment of intense pleasure from that :o). That is the positive. The negative is that when you and Bruce arrive, you can’t borrow my clothes as I don’t have any. Don’t expect to see Steve and I grey either, we have fun dying each others hair and I haven’t seen my natural colour in years! Who knows if it’s grey under there! I am amazed that I can get out of bed each day with the tangle that we see from the house. I am going to post some photos over the next few days (as part of my New Years honesty resolutions) so that everyone can see why I have panic attacks and procrastinate so much over going out into the jungle to attempt to tame the undergrowth. You can see some of it tomorrow on my 100th post :o)


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