I am attempting to get a few posts under my belt while Steve is in town at his awards ceremony. Our next few days are going to be quite busy and hopefully most productive as we research, formulate and compile our report on “What is sustainable landscaping” for our lecturer on Friday. This subject interests me immensely. I spent the summer holidays researching sustainability and filtering through all of the wanker’s hell bent on making a profit out of people’s honest desire to do the best that they can for the earth. “Stop elevating the simple process of living sustainably above the masses!” What is it about human nature that makes us want to think that whatever we are doing is somewhat better than our neighbours? Bollocks! Sustainability is for the meekest of us to share and I will stand strong on that point. It’s for everyone. The rich AND the poor…especially the poor to be honest because the rich can afford to pay someone else to do things for them. The poor need to learn how to do these things for themselves so that they can become empowered to change their lives. I am having a little chuckle to myself here because I remember way back when I first started blogging in October last year and I didn’t know about Tags or how to use them and WordPress kept asking me to use tags and suggesting certain words that I had used in the post as prospective Tags for that post and one of the suggestions was “Wanker”. I am laughing because goodness only knows how my innocent expression of outrage would have upset some of the unsavoury types out there doing research completely in the opposite direction of anything that life on Serendipity Farm is going to share with them! Steve has a different word for wankers…he calls them knobs. I was asking him last night what a “geezer” was because Jamie Oliver kept spouting about how he was a geezer. I was taught that geezer was akin to old codger but apparently it’s “a lad” or in Steve’s words “a knob” or in my words “a wanker”. I find it interesting that Jamie Oliver would actively want us all to associate him with a group of yobbo’s hell bent on having a good time and bollocks to anyone getting in their way…especially as he is now in his 30’s and has 3 daughters who will no doubt be taking notice of everything that daddy says on the telly because the lord only knows he most probably isn’t home all that often as he seems to be gallivanting all over the world in search of sharing his geezerdom with all of we poor food challenged plebeians…in saying that…there is really something very sad about Jamie Oliver now. You can just tell that he isn’t enjoying what he is doing any more. He isn’t the celebrity type and is altogether too easily led to be safe living a celebrity life. The only time he appears to be animated out of his stock standard delivery of his lines is when he gets drunk and that is a really funny thing to see. He seems to be doing it on a daily basis on his latest trip around the world and last night could be seen slicing the top off bottles of prosecco with a mental Italian who looked like a cross between Ian Parmenter and Gene Wilder…you have earned enough “my son” (spoken in a cockney accent there)…take a few years off and enjoy your family and for goodness sake stop saying “literally” because you are “stating the bleedin obvious my son!”
Our countertop is 5cm thick so you can see that this moth is pretty big. Earl loves to chase, catch and play with moths. He recycles them once they get tired and boring by eating them. No waste when the eatinator gets moths
It’s now Wednesday and lots of things have happened. Florida got home with her new girls and opened the boxes to release them and one flew out and headed into the reserve at the back of Florida’s house. I hope that she found her way back but if she didn’t I really hope that she manages to survive out there in the reserve. The one thing that she has going for her is that she is free range, has wings, knows how to use them and can recognise something dangerous when she sees it. She was Effel’s baby and as such had a very negligent mum and had to learn how to survive from an early basis. Steve got back late from a most exhilarating evening after a long wait in the car park at the Tailrace centre. He took a couple of photos that I am going to share in this post but was bored…bored…BORED until Nat turned up to greet him at the door. He had a great time talking to Neil the only other person who completed his Diploma of Horticulture last year in the North of the state apart from Steve and I and found out that there were only 5 people in the entire state who completed their Diploma of Horticulture so we made up at least a third of that percentage. I was actually quite glad that Steve got to go on his own after feeling a bit left out. I am quite a gregarious person (being nice there…) and tend to hog the conversation when we meet people. Steve tends to be quite happy with that arrangement but last night he got to talk to all sorts of people and enjoyed the applause and kudos that he so rightfully deserved. We spent this morning working on a presentation that we are giving our lecturer today and headed off to Exeter to pick up some more library books that I ordered. There is something about picking up new library books that makes me feel like I have won something. All of that precious information (in this case recipes) and a new chance to sink into my imagination with another great fiction book, this time as recommended by Florida. We walked the dogs first as the library is shut between 1pm and 2pm and as we were returning to the car we noticed a very overweight female dog sitting with her owner who was in the telephone booth opposite the library. The boys were quite interested in the old girl and she was most excited about them and started yodelling (thus showing a bit of beagle hidden in her parentage). We headed across the road and back to the car where Steve let the boys off their leads and got them to jump up into the back of the 4 x 4 where he sits with the door open allowing them to cool down after their walk. I headed into the library and while I was picking up my books I heard a noise outside and saw Steve chasing after Earl who had slithered out of the back of the car over Steve’s feet (who was weighed down with Bezial the heavyweight and who couldn’t catch him) and who was hell bent on saying “Hi” to the old girl…Earl ran straight out into the street and straight in front of a car! Steve thought that he was a goner and heard the car hit Earl and was just about to get really upset when he noticed Earl sitting over next to the old girl having a chat…From what we can gather Earl must have hit the car with either his tail or bounced off the bumper with his rear because we have checked him all over…he is walking fine…he isn’t bleeding anywhere, he isn’t limping or behaving any different to what he usually behaves and is, like Bezial who jumped out of a moving car when he was about the same age, a VERY lucky pup! Earl has lost his freedom privileges now. He will have to be restrained by a lead whenever he is in the back of the car waiting. Bezial didn’t even move from the car when Steve took off after Earl and was still waiting in the car when they got back. Bezial is now allowed to walk from the car to the house without his lead. When he was Earl’s age he would have bolted…I guess we have to take heart that Earl will settle down when he gets to be Bezials age…
I had to take this photo the other day when it was really windy…why do yachts go out when it is REALLY windy? I know that it is fun to sail but you can count the yachts that are still upright on a windy day on one hand. This little fellow took ages to get back up and I figured that you might like to see him being rescued by the yacht club speedboat…
Earl and Bezial love shopping day. It usually coincides with Steve giving them an extra-large tea and a fair few dog treats. We buy some interesting dried sticks of meat stuffed into intestines and fermented and dried. The butcher who makes them calls them Dog treats; we call them “Stinking Sticks” because they smell disgusting. The dogs absolutely love them and Bezial, especially, will do all sorts of tricks for them degrading himself shamelessly for the crispy, crunchy, stinky sticks. Earl is a lot fussier and likes his in small pieces. For a dog that eats entire pool noodles and thinks nothing of cleaning his teeth with the odd television remote, he is quite careful about his food and likes to have it cut into small bits. Today he decided that as I had given him the old cat biscuit box to nibble while I was emptying 2 boxes into a large jar, the remaining box of cat biscuits was obviously now exempt from the off limits pile and picked it up, took it outside and shook it all over the back yard. There are ¾ of a box of cat biscuits laying all over the back yard and I am starting to think that Earl is trying to lure the cats into his parlour…perhaps even some possums…anything interesting will do and Earl will be waiting for them when they arrive.
Here are my cooked chickpeas from the other days mass bean cooking, cooling before I packed them into bags in the freezer along with their other beany friends. The dark old baking pans are gold. We picked up 5 of these three tin babies at the Beaconsfield tip shop. Someone had been using them in their shed to store screws and nuts and after a really good clean up (not that it looks like it) we now use them to bake our bread. They were a fantastic buy at $2 each and bake the best bread around
Well its early Friday morning (6.25am to be exact) and I am sitting here a bit shell shocked from having to hurl myself out of bed on the dot of 6. Steve has taken Earl (the eatinator) for a walk in the vague hope that a nice early walk will quell his desire to consume most of the house while we are out. We are doing something today that we haven’t done before. We are leaving Bezial and Earl here to look after the house while we head into town to our study meeting with our lecturer at the Polytechnic. Those of you who have read a few posts will know that Earl is most definitely concerned more with his mandibles than with his brain and often bypasses his grey matter completely in the desire to eat his weights worth of non-consumables. I am starting to wonder if he isn’t one of those Geeks. A geek was not always someone who crammed their enormous learned craniums full of mathematics, science, physics, chemistry and anything else that elevated them up into the intellectual stratosphere…the original geeks, in fact, had very small heads and very rarely used them for anything. They were a human anomaly, some might say “freaks” and they used to travel around in groups of associated “freaks” forming shows and circuses. If you look them up you will find them eating things. Usually glass light globes etc. Earl is an old school geek minus the glasses and with the urge to eat. It’s still dark at 6.35am. Poor Steve is stumbling about out in the dark with a very over excited dog right at the time when the wallabies, possums, rabbits and anything else tasty and fast is making a quick getaway on the roads and is no doubt thanking God for our Black Dog head halters. I love these little bits of cotton that make my life especially so much better. I can hold 2 large American Staffordshire Terriers who weigh in total 71kg who are very VERY excited about getting out of the car for their walk on the beach and remain in control. To do that the people at Black Dog developed their head halter and in the process gave me back my morning walks and my ability to smile again. I used to HATE walking the dogs. It was a matter of being hurtled around the walk, shoulders almost dislocated whenever something rustled in the shrubs and at the end of the walk we would both be tired, grumpy and feeling like we did 10 rounds with Muhammad Ali. Now, as mentioned, either of us can grab the leads and control both dogs by a gentle tug. Life is good in the mornings again Black Dog and it is all thanks to you!
Heres our 2 “human” loaves and the rest were baked for the hens. We had run out of free range grain and decided to be frugal rather than impulsive and race most of the way into town and back for a new sack. Steve was going into town the next day so we baked up some bread with some multigrain and stoneground wholemeal flour and the hens got fresh backed bread for their tasting pleasure that day…a win win situation for all involved
I can hear Yin crowing out in the hen house to be let out. It’s still dark so I dare say he would regret that action should I choose to take it. I wonder why roosters are compelled to crow at the first sign of natural or artificial light. It must be like me whenever there are crisps or chocolate biscuits in the cupboard and my eyes alight on them and I drool…might have to do a bit of study on that one (not the Pavlov’s response, the crowing…). We are off to see our lecturer today as previously mentioned. We have spent a bit of time working on the question “What is sustainable landscaping?” and it isn’t as easy as some of you might think. For instance…do any of you know how many people have jumped on the “sustainability” bandwagon to try to give their businesses an edge? When hunting for information on “sustainable landscape materials” the other day we discovered a regular old landscape gardener offering his services “as usual” but tacking the word “sustainable” on the end of everything. As far as we could both see he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary regarding heading in the direction of attempting to be sustainable, he was still using non-renewable resources, he was quoting the bog standard services that a landscape gardener would quote and pushing the old line about what he could and couldn’t do, but by tacking the word “sustainable” into his spiel he no doubt fools many people out there trying to do the right thing by the environment. I wonder how they feel when he litters their garden with non-renewable river pebbles, uses treated pine sleepers and poles all over the place, hauls in concrete to pour for pathways and driveways from the other side of Sydney and fills their garden with plants that he picked up from Bunning’s. I know it is a minefield out there for anyone wanting to try to be sustainable. Once you get a nice rosy glow and start to think that you are attempting to do your bit there is someone sanctimonious out there who will cut you down and tell you that you are doing something or other wrong. I figure that so long as you are trying to do your best that is all that the world can ask for really because there is a heck of a lot of people out there who couldn’t care less about the environment and actively go out to do their worst. My dad was regrettably, one of them. He used to toss plastic bags out into the river… he deliberately allowed boneseed shrubs to grow into trees and his weeds, especially the banana passionfruit were up in the tree canopy and spread all over the district by birds. When confronted he went on the attack and could be often heard to say “I don’t give a stuff…” it was almost his creed. My dad voted FOR a Pulp Mill in this beautiful Tamar Valley…I do NOT. I guess we cancel each other out dad. What I am trying to say is that everyone is jumping on the band wagon. There is a massive great profit to be made out of people wanting to do the right thing so you have to sift through a whole lot of bampf before you find that shining truth. There are all sorts of amazing sites out there offering free advice and help for people wanting to start out on the truly sustainable track. There are also all sorts of nay-sayers who want to tell you it’s not even worth bothering. I saw a cartoon in my searching with a pair of scientists watching an Al Gore style presentation about climate change with one of them saying “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?”…I rest my case!
Here is one of Steve’s “eating” loaves…he had to share it with the dogs (they had bacon, eggs and toast with butter for their tea that night) and the feral cats who had buttered bread…oh…lets not forget Pingu who hangs about waiting for her human food because the lord only knows that she is a human and the sooner that we work that out the better! We keep making the mistake of shutting her in at night in her cage with seeds like she is going to eat them!
Hopefully we are able to get a handle on the course requirements nice and early this year. Being students who study from home we occasionally head off on tangents somewhat unrelated to what we are being taught/asked. I will put my hand up to being the instigator for most of these tangents because I am most definitely like Billy Connelly when I start looking into things and usually end up so far off to the side of my original query that it is laughable. I keep finding new and more interesting websites and inevitably detour on the way to Pismo Beach and end up in Albuquerque jumping up and down like daffy duck. The only difference between daffy and me is that my treasure is information and knowledge and it’s all “MINE…MINE…MINE!” I collect PDF’s like you wouldn’t believe. I think to myself “oh MAN that is going to help us in our studies” and have enormous folders cram packed full of PDF”s and enormous word documents that we never actually use. I am a frustrated collator of information and most probably haven’t been directed into the right career. I dare say I would research for the queen and someone way back when they were choosing prospective careers most probably should have stamped me on the head with “researcher” but I slipped through the cracks and stumbled around for most of my life being “full time Mum” and various other jobs before I stumbled on the delights of researching and study. I am not sure where all of this study is going to take us. I have a real desire to go to University and learn all about fungi. I have spent most of my life sitting in the dark being fed dung and so I have a great affinity with mushrooms and their associated fellows. Steve is back and Earl is prancing around and Bezial just got off his chair and is trotting around to see him. That’s the end of posting for today and most probably the end of this post. Wish us luck with today and our first meeting with our lecturer and fingers crossed that the eatinator doesn’t eat anything vital…(the entire computer and all of its components are being ferried into the spare room before we go so I SHOULD see you all tomorrow…)