So much to do and so little time to cram it all in

Hi All,

I have a conundrum. I have recently taken to reading fiction again but am totally unable to give up typing recipes out of non-fiction books, watching the odd smattering of television programs (don’t bother with “Call me Fitz”…it’s a wannabe “My Name is Earl” without the good script or the quality actors), and an autumn born need to crochet (much like the need to clean in spring). Whenever I take something up I tend to immerse myself in it fully. I want to read fiction 24/7; I want to type out recipes till midnight; I want to crochet till my eyes give up (not hard when Steve has the light out watching one of his horror movies) and I want to research till the “cloud” takes over my free rein. What is a woman to do? I also have to fit study, general chores, the preparation and consumption of edible comestibles and sleeping into this equation and something has to give. I have already had to give up Animal Crossing. When weighed up against amazingly good fiction, the soothing repetitiveness and acquisition of typing out recipes from cookbooks (coupled with the thrill of the chase for said recipes and not having to pay for them…a triple whammy!), being able to feel suitably proud of my crafty nature when watching my crochet project grow (and making something practical coupled with the soothing repetitive thing…that’s ANOTHER triple whammy) and my ceaseless need to learn things (the researching bit) Animal Crossing came a sad and sorry last so it has been tipped off the scale of “Do” and onto the elevated side titled “when I have time”. I guess that is what happened the last time I played this very involved time sucking game…life got in the way and I had to do my mental weighing up and a couple of years got inserted between the last time I picked up the Wii remote and present times. I have even started making things harder for myself (I must be a masochist…sigh…) because some of these books on Mary Anne Schaffer’s list are so very good that I am making more lists of the author’s other literary creations that I am going to read once “The list” is completed. This secondary list is starting to look a whole lot bigger than the first list and should keep me reading well into the need to wear glasses (rapidly approaching) and old age. At least I will have some sort of focus to direct my thoughts should I have pissed my kids off too much and they shuffle me off into the nearest Tasmanian nursing home when I am too weak to wield my honey stick.

This is a Cornus capitata and a most useful tree in an edible food forest in Northern Tasmania. They grow really well here and the fruit is able to be used to make jams and feed the birds as well. We have a spindly little specimen on Serendipity Farm that has had a very hard life. A large tree fell on it not so long back and it has been living under the canopy of some very large eucalyptus for a long time which has caused it to grow leggy in its search for more light. It has also had to fight for every drop of water it has received over the last 20 years and that tells me that this is a hardy plant to grow

Here is one of the fruits from the Cornus Capitata that has been sampled by some local birds. Steve and I grew some Cornus capitata and they are very easy to grow. We gave them to a friend who owns a nursery but might just have another propagation run in the near future

What happens when you have reactive clay and a very dry summer season

Not so long back this area contained a few little specimens of this reed but look at it now! A lovely colour and amazingly good to fill an area quickly but I wonder if this species is going to become a prospective problem?

My honey stick, by the way, is how I see life. It’s tantamount to “fool me once shame on you…fool me twice shame on me” and is how I like to approach life. I will give you 1 free go. If you choose to abuse my open honesty and try to gain some sort of unfair advantage over me then look out! Honey first…closely followed by more honey if you are clever or the stick if you are stupid. Simple premise really. I am tangled up in my newfound love of good fiction like the first flushes of new love. Steve has nothing to worry about with my infatuation; in fact he actively encourages it. It allows him full control of the television remote…sole occupancy of the lounge room at night and a nice quiet compliant wife “eh?…sorry…I am reading…yes…whatever…sure…”(all the time not taking my eyes off the pages with no idea what I just agreed to…) which is something that is so incredibly rare in our relationship as to be nurtured and cherished if you are a clever man (and Steve could never be called stupid). I race from the page to the task that “Must be obeyed” and back again darting from port to point like Pingu out in the main flock of hens. She has decided that she isn’t going to be allowed to get back into heaven (Steve’s music room) so she is just going to have to blend in with these feathery creatures that terrify her and so she is starting to eat more and is growing bigger, she is taking on the feral cats at their own game and was spotted this morning racing for the same bit of cheese that was being thrown to Jacko, a large male tomcat twice her size, and when he caught it deftly with his paw and wouldn’t give it to her, she pecked him smartly on the foot! None of the other hens are brave enough to take on Jacko…only Pingu the brave (some might say stupid…) and we have just remodelled the ducks enclosure outside as her erstwhile home until we can get her to move in with the main flock. Winter is coming and Tasmanian winter is not something a small fat free hen should face on her own so integration with the others is going to be something that Pingu the human hen is going to have to endure because Steve will be bollocked before he allows her back into his music room!

Steve got a bit “Arty” with a few photos and here is one of them. This photo was taken resting on an old rusty metal beam

This photo was taken through a hole bored in the door

You can see the holes (just) drilled in this large door that leads into the old mine shaft workings at the soon to be decomissioned Beaconsfield mine

This little Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian Blue Gum) is growing in the shadow of its parent

This is the parent bluegum and the tiny sapling is dwarfed by the scope of these larger trees. I love how nature keeps cycling on no matter what we throw at it and no matter how hard the conditions are

I am actually torn between sitting here typing this post for you my dear constant readers and racing off to nestle down on the couch with my well-thumbed library copy of “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. This book is so well crafted and written that I am adding everything that Mr Louis de Berniѐres ever wrote to my secondary book list.  I had visions of a swarthy Frenchman that looked somewhat like Sacha Baron Cohen but he looks more like James Morrison and is all British!  He is the author of a book called “Red Dog” and something pinged in my mind regarding that name so I headed off to my good friend Google and discovered that it was the very same book that spawned the award winning movie not so distantly released. I then checked out what it was about and it was about a dog’s long journey to reunite with its missing owner and how it united a community together. I lived in Western Australia and my uncle actually lived in the community that this book was written about so you can bet your bottom dollar that I am reading this book sometime soon…With delightful titles like

  • The war of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts
  • Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord
  • The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman
  • Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World

The review for “The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts reads like this…

‘A fat, juicy tropical fruit of a narrative … There is astonishing landscape. There are numerous good jokes. And, indispensably in such a novel, there is magic’
Independent on Sunday

And how about this for “The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman”…

‘An extraordinary feat of imagination … a sensuous, often farcical and ultimately optimistic argument for spiritual sanity’
Time Out

How could I resist? I love quirky well written books and quirky well written movie and television scripts. As mentioned previously I watched 2 episodes (and will indeed watch 5 in all to make sure I give it a fair go) of “Call me Fitz” the other day because of some reviews that I read online. I loved “My Name is Earl”. It is a really humorous look at Karma, mid-western life in the U.S.A. and our human condition all tangled up with a really wonderful storyline, well written episodes and a really amazing cast that have a symbiotic chemistry. You have to get it all right before it works and television executives are constantly hunting for what makes that chemistry and churning out acres of bad television in the effort to ape these spectacular (but very rare) successes and their massive profit potential. I loved “Northern Exposure” and “Sea Change” but “Call me Fitz” is a big fitzhog. It’s like that with books for me. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” was like that for me. Amazingly well written, exemplary plot development, quirky characters revealed slowly and pathos injected at just the right time. Couple this with a sense of common humanity that these books pull us into and cause us to feel at one with the story and you get the reason why we read. I consider authors and musicians who are masters of their craft the highest form of artistic food. This is where your imagination can run wild and where you can free yourself to really “feel” even if you are unable to allow yourself this pleasure in life. That’s why I love books. Not because I can’t feel…I am someone who wears her heart on her sleeve and who can’t seem to stop falling in love with life, words, theories and knowledge, but because it frees up part of me that I don’t often allow other people to share and in so doing it feeds that poor starving inner romantic innocent who longs for a tale that builds and grows and wends its way through my psyche. I don’t let her out much…she tends to embarrass me by crying at the national anthem of just about every country on earth, yelling at thugs who are hell bent on denaturing society and she gets hurt so very easily that I have to keep her tucked inside in a lovely decorative box lined with soft feathers until it is time to wake her up and settle down in the foreground with a cup of tea, a great book and my feet up next to a crackling fire…

I was so happy to find this specimen of  Salix  babylonica (weeping willow) because I used to collect the willow whips from a few specimens at the Riverside hotel in town when we lived there to make my baskets and now I have found this lovely specimen I will be right there when it is time to harvest some for my prospective projects

As you can see Tasmanians LOVE their animal products…when I first got here and revealed that I was vegan I got some pretty hostile responses and some completely confused people. I am now merely “vegetarian” and have elevated myself from “Freak” to “Pain in the Ass”. I guess that is progression?

I had to smile when I saw this house. The owners have totally enclosed their front yard so that their feline mates can roam free within this enclosure but they can’t get out and wreak havoc on the native wildlife. I had to give them kudos for their thoughtfulness and sense of responsibility because people that live in Beaconsfield tend to be more on the Redneck side than the thoughtful side. This little orange and white cat had stuck his head around the corner and I had a lovely shot lined up with him just about touching the camera with his curious little nose when Earl decided to have a look at what I was looking at and a hissing fit later and this is as good as I could get. Kudos again Beaconsfield resident. I don’t know you but I totally respect you

Another one of the lofty residents inside the cat enclosure in Beaconsfield. This one had the brains to stay away from the front gate

Here you can see Bezial and his “froggy” shadow. He definately looks like he has assumed a frog shape or that of Smeagol…somewhat alarming isn’t it? I would like to call this photo “Nana Power” because this elderly lady was mowing the Anglican church lawn and doing a really good job…we should know…they taught us the fundamentals of a good mow in our horticultural certificates and this lady knew her stuff…You could do worse than allowing this nana to take on your lawn

I just wanted to finish off this posts photos with a photo that I would like to call “Three little birds”. I love Bob Marley and his philosphy as well as his music and these 3 little starlings reminded me of that song. Peace Bob :o)

Some people have asked me “how do you do it?” in relation to posting every day. I don’t know. Perhaps it is something to do with knowing from a very early age that words were going to be my tool to communicate with people. Some might find it incredibly hard to believe but I was a very shy child who didn’t talk much. I dissolved into the background and into books where I voraciously devoured page after page, book after book and could never quite seem to fill that aching need to play with the written word and fill myself up to the brim. I have always loved the way that words play on the page and get grumpy with authors that mess about with the story with too many interjections. I tried reading Anne Rice books but she is the literary equivalent of Mariah Carey and all of those twiddly bits and unnecessary bampf took away from the true meat in the story. Let it tell itself is what I think and so my story and the story of Serendipity Farm just pours out here in my posts. I never run short of something to say because I have exercised my mind to run wild since I was a small child. Words are my escape, my delight and my closest friend and so it is only fitting that they harness themselves easily to the yolk of my endeavours to share them here with you. Do you want to know why I think that “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” is worthy of kudos? Here is a little passage that delighted me and where I can share how well-crafted this book is and what a clever author Mr Louis De Berniѐres really is…

This book is about the Italian and to a lesser degree German occupation of Cephallonia in Greece in W.W.2. Far from being a dry retelling of wartime conditions, it is littered with pathos, tiny glimpses of deprivation and the human spirit and will to survive all carefully crafted together with a healthy dose of humorous irreverence. This paragraph relates to the prostitutes that the Germans ferried around from barracks to barracks to keep morale within their ranks…

“Their existence was nothing but friction (no wonder their skins were smooth) and an eternity of ceilings. Like the young German grenadier, the whores all wanted to be blonde, but they achieved with violent peroxide the end that he pursued by means of the sun. The inch of black roots at the parting of their brittle, coarsened hair gave them a disappointed and disappointing air, as if they had lacked, like a talented but unmotivated artist, that final impulse that might have consummated the illusions of artifice”

Good stuff eh? Well I think so. And so I am back sharing why I have this conundrum in the first place… I can’t give up anything. I gave up Animal Crossing because deep inside I knew that I was just wasting precious time. It gave me a few weeks of order and complete control (no control freak could say no to that if given the chance) but now that I have so much more “real life” to get stuck into it was an easy choice to dump Animal Crossing. Now I am starting to hack into fundamental things. I LOVE every single one of my time hogging hobbies and steadfastly refuse to even consider giving any of them up thus I am rendered washed out…sleep deprived and red and bleary eyed. So many conundrums…so little time…see you all tomorrow when I most certainly won’t have sorted this all out and will most probably have my nose stuck firmly in a good book whilst attempting to crochet at the same time, will have something downloading on the computer and will be thinking about my next typing stint in the evening…oh well…at least it keeps me safely off the streets!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 21:03:03

    I was just about to send off a text demanding you post your blog lol. I checked once more and wahla there it was. I think you should write a book about your life and how you and Steve got together. How romantic that would be and interesting too. You could make it a fiction, change names etc but basically it would be your story. I would definitely buy the book, and you could sign it for me lol x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 13, 2012 @ 06:40:47

      Hey Kymmy…can’t be writing anything personal in my year of living honestly or I might get sued! I am posting so that you can get up the next day and read it…I figured that everyone wins that way…I get unusual people from all over the world (some of them have blogs in Swedish and today I got a Romanian man (I think it was a man…) and I went to his blog and have NO idea what it was about) liking posts and it is a great way to get a look at some blogs (and other people’s lives) that I might not otherwise have seen as well as the most important reason which is our study again and being totally unable to justify taking off an hour to post…I think that Steve’s and my 12 year marriage might be on shaky grounds if I insisted on post before study! Have a great day today and hopefully all of your students behave, Bruce is a love (as usual), your boys all bring you flowers and chocolates for no reason (although that would make you suspicious…best they don’t…) and that life makes you smile today. Its 6.40am here…its dark…I’m wearing sunglasses… LET’S ROCK! :o)

      Reply

  2. Kym
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 09:38:04

    Oh I will just have to sulk until you post then lol. No I mean’t write a book about your life, not a blog. Happy studies to you both x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 13, 2012 @ 22:47:11

      Hi Kymmy, no book! I don’t think that anyone would believe our story to be honest. I am just off to bed now and hope you have a great day and enjoy today’s post :o)

      Reply

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