Home is where the Fran is

Hi All,

This is quite a difficult task to produce 9 posts in 2 days. I already had 3 posts up my sleeve but now I have to dig deep for something interesting to say to you all. I will be flying back to Serendipity Farm and to Steve and my girls and our dogs today. I am sitting here the Monday before I fly out and thinking of how happy I am going to be to get back. It will be a bittersweet journey to bury mum. I will share this moment with my remaining relatives and her friends. I dare say that this shy and socially awkward woman will have more people at her funeral than my gregarious loud socially obtuse father had at his. She had a way of talking about anything and everything and immediately putting people at ease with her. Mum was never a threat to anyone and her passing will be noticed by many. She was always talking even when there was nothing left to talk about. She was very shy and covered it up by filling up all of the silence with words. Her words are gone now but so many people who knew her will miss them.  This journey will be very difficult and my natural tendency to avoid emotional upheaval (I am a sook who cries whenever I hear the national anthem) has to be stifled. Today I return to Serendipity Farm and a world of new possibilities. I may have some of mums gardening books to help us on our journey. I already had a copy of the Esther Dean gardening book that my grandmother and mum both used like a bible in their garden creations. I have no idea what Steve will have been up to while I am away. He is one of those people who simply can’t stand still for very long and as such, he will have been loose all on his own on Serendipity Farm with a free rein to do whatever he wants. No doubt there will be many little burned patches of ground when I get back and a whole lot less debris. I will be bringing Steve back some bottles of Swan lager, his favourite beer. We phoned up the airport (and customs) and discovered that they have no problem with us doing so. Steve will savour each mouthful. He doesn’t get to have Eagle Boys pizza like I am going to have when I get to Albany though so that is his compensation. There are a few things about living on “The Mainland” that we miss. Eagle Boys pizza is most definitely 1 of them. Steve misses Swan beer and until I moved here I never drank beer…I couldn’t stand it! We also miss Foxtel. Austar is a very poor cousin but is the only pay TV provider available in Tasmania. We miss our relatives in W.A. and sometimes we miss W.A. itself, especially the beautiful white sand beaches and the fantastic fishing. In saying that, we love living here in Tasmania. I love the cold and now that we have our wood stove to heat the house, bring on winter 2012! I am ready for you

Here are some random pics i have posted for fran for your viewing pleasure


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I know that mum deserves more than a week of focus and so she will be present here every time that I open up one of her recipe books. I will not only see her handwriting gracing those pages but my grandmother before her and once I die, these books will be given to my daughters to pass on to their children. My mother didn’t have much of monetary value to pass on to her children but the priceless heritage in books and information will be cherished for generations to come. I have been asked to write mums story for Green Journey, a website that  Annie from the blog “The Micro Gardener” fame is the editor for. Mum and Annie had been communicating and Annie got to see mums garden and learn a little bit about her before she died. I would be so honoured to attempt to write mums story and share her garden with anyone interested. Here’s the website below


I will be taking lots of photos of mum’s garden before we start dismantling it and removing plants. I feel most sad about this phase of letting mum go. Her garden was where her heart was, rivalled only by her fierce love and loyalty to her children. By dismantling her garden it will force us all to admit that she is gone. I don’t think that my brother and sister will be taking any of the raised garden beds that mum made or the water tank that she bought so proudly and took from her ¼ acre block to her small unit. She always hated the taste of a cuppa made with anything other than rainwater. I would love to bring it back here but that’s unfeasible. Anything horticultural that I can fit into my suitcase will be coming back so that mum can share in spirit with what we achieve here. I would like one of her gardening tools. I will be looking for small reminders of my mother that can be integrated into our projects so that she will be forever here with us. I know that mums spirit has gone. I know that her body has now gone too, but for those of us that remain behind, it’s the physical things that we can hold and touch that keep her in our lives.

Houdini has dumped her 5 babies. She seems to think that they are fine on their own now but despite being very quick and very clever they are still a bit small to not get eaten by kittens and cats. I just had to race out to help Steve because one of the babies had gotten onto the deck somehow and Earl had it pinned up against the chicken wire that we used to line the dogs compound. He didn’t kill it; he was waiting for it to move. Life is very short when you don’t learn your life lessons small chicken. I dare say that this chicken that Earl has tried to eat 4 times now (3 times with its siblings and now on its own) has finally seen that the monster on the other side of the fence is actually dangerous now. It’s never boring on Serendipity Farm! See you tomorrow when I will be back on hallowed ground (literally, this property once belonged to the church) and the very first thing that I will do once I get inside (I will have already hugged and kissed both Steve and the dogs) is strip off, close my eyes and grab the very first pair of pants from the pants pile, the very first shirt from the shirts pile and reunite myself with the uniform of Serendipity Farm :o)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pinky
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:15:43

    Jason un-planted (it’s a verb-trust me) the capsicums, bluberries, mango tree and an aloe plant (for his sunburn needs)from Mums garden, so we could plant them over here in Albany. I re-planted (verb-doing word) them this morning around 5.30 before the sun got any heat out and so far they are still alive and sitting up. Two and a half hours-so far so good! I think i’ll put the bluberries and the mango tree in some big pots for now till I decide where to put them or prepare the soil. I dont hold out much hope for the mango as it was looking very sunburned and frail when we dug it up but you have to give these things a chance dont you? I hope to be able to get some decent cuttings off the bourbon rose and maybe some of the geraniums/pelagoniums as well wrapped up in some wet newspaper or a bit of her wonderful friable dirt. Am trying to bring back her last load of compost too but dont know how that will go.


  2. Kym
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 12:46:43

    Fran has left the state, with the bottles of beer Steve, and will soon be back home, not soon enough I suspect lol.


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