Inspiration

Hi All,

What inspires you? What makes your heart sing and ignites your soul? Forgive me for waxing myself lyrically there but at 4.44am this morning (Sunday) I read a blog post that completely inspired me. I will post a link here so that you can all check out this amazing story and marvel at the level of dedication that one man was able to muster against a wealth of odds to create something amazing out of refuse and rubble and at 88, is still working on. Have you got an opus? Something that makes you get up every morning and that sends you to bed tired but completely content? Neither have I, but we are getting there 🙂

http://landscapelover.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/the-rock-garden-chandigarh/#comment-5338

I spend a lot of time getting inspired by amazing people out there. I can’t get over how clever and creative some people are! We all have something that we are good at but some people seem to be amazingly gifted and I am only wonder at the creative processes going on in their minds. Since we started working on design we have been learning all sorts of things about the creative process. Here I was just thinking that you slap a bit of paint on something or drew a picture freehand or just messed about a bit with some sort of medium but apparently there is a lot of thought that goes into art, design, music etc. The creative process usually has to follow an ordered process no matter how chaotic it may want to be…even anarchy needs to conform when it comes to web design ;). There are so many rules that you have to follow and it requires a degree of mathematics…thank goodness I covered rudimentary maths last year with landscape design and won’t have to bang my head on the wall this year trying to make it all come back from last century when I went to school…

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This nice foggy bank heralded a week of overly warm weather here in tassie that culminated in the second hottest day that we have had here this summer. The poor garden is on it’s last legs and I can’t wait for autumn!

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“NO PRISONER’S!” 😉

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Someone REALLY hates having his photo taken 😉

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It really pelted down raining today (cheers Port Hedland for that lovely cyclone that you are currently hosting 😉 ) and you can almost see the garden sighing with relief…you can also almost hear Steve and I sighing and doing “Paper, rock, scissors…” because we remembered that the guttering needs to be cleaned 😉

I have been trying to work out why cooking gives me so much more satisfaction than it should. I get the feeling that condensing your efforts down into creating things is immensely satisfying beyond the sum of the result. I think it’s another “living through the processes” moment and after reading Lynda Wallace’s small book “A Short Course in Happiness” I realised that a lot of the reasons why I feel inordinately happy for a middle aged penniless student hippy is that I am finding my happiness in simple processes. When we condense our thought processes and actions down into using what we have and our own mental alacrity in order to create something (especially if it is an original idea) we are giving ourselves a chance to explore the road to happiness. Making something is an outward expression of what makes us “us”. It is 5.59am and either “Stock” or “Pot” is crowing lustily underneath the deck just to my left. His processes are automatic and start as soon as his tiny little brain senses the dawn. My processes are often as a result of a desire. I want something, for whatever reason I can’t just go out and get something and so I have to work through a series of processes to give myself what I desire in a lateral way. I wouldn’t have ever thought that making things yourself, growing, cultivating, culturing, preparing and all of the other processes that begin with an idea/ideal and end in a satisfying dusting off of hands could give so much satisfaction, so much “happiness”.

I remember my grandmother doing all different kinds of unusual things. Back in the 70’s when I was a small child she always had something interesting for us to do when we got to her home. She had a large tin box with strange things in it. What was in the box on one day wasn’t necessarily in it when we next went. I remember a plastic spinning top, a box of dominoes, cards and my memories start to dim up a bit…it WAS last century folks! 😉 What I remember was that there were LOTS of things in that box. I also remember grandma making us small nets out of twisted repurposed (back then it was called “making do”…) coat hangers with some of her ex pantyhose stretched over the wire so that we could go fishing for the tiny shrimp in the inlet at the bottom of her property. I remember my sister and I arrived one day to new home made wooden looms that had silky smooth wood and my carpenter grandfather must have worked hard to make them. I often wonder if my grandmother was the instigator of this deep and most earnest desire to seek out and understand things. Perhaps my mum was right when she said that I always reminded her of my grandmother…perhaps I can see that now as a compliment :o). All I know is that if I am ever given the grace to become a grandparent, I, too, will have a large box that will change on a visit by visit basis. I will teach my grandchildren all kinds of things especially the incredible value of books and libraries and I will attempt to give them a deep passion for learning.

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Kefir production on target for Wednesday…we will soon be drowning in the stuff! 😉

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A nice pot of delicious rich pasta sauce made with local onions, our own tomatoes, some olive oil, herbs and lots and LOTS of garlic.

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Soon to be frozen ready for lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise and other tasty future tomato rich meals

Its amazing how fast habits, things that you do on a regular basis, become ways of life. It must be part of our human psyche to follow pathways of regularity. I have been eating a different way now for just on 7 weeks and in that time I have completely changed the way that I eat, the size of my meals, the content of my food and I actually have breakfast and have lost a fair amount of weight. It wasn’t hard, it was all just following little pathways that were initially new and that are now well worn grooves in my day. The same goes for getting up early. Anyone who knows me knows that I was a true died in the wool night person. I loved staying up late and would spend hours trawling the net hunting for information etc. and would go to bed between 12 and 1.30am most nights. Now I can’t make it past 8.30pm and as soon as my head hits that pillow I am gone! I sleep like a baby (unless Earl decides to sleep “on” me…) and wake up refreshed and raring to get up. The strange thing is that my initial reason for getting up early was to be bolshie! I didn’t want to be a hostage to feeling like a zombie for a fortnight after daylight savings crashed onto our doorstep last October so I decided that for the month before I would wake up a bit earlier in increments…15 minutes earlier each week, to allow me to make a steady transference to the hour block that they shave off in a day. I arrived at the day triumphant in the knowledge that my usual 7am wake-up was now 6am and they weren’t going to phase me THIS year! I then did what I usually do and thought “ok, so what if I keep getting up an hour earlier? Then I won’t have to do Daylight Savings ever…EVER…again!” And suddenly I went from being a night person to a morning person over a matter of months. I discovered the joys of those few quiet dark hours before Steve and the boys get up and all of that amazing time in the morning when my brain is raring to go and eager to take up new ideas. I now get up at 4am! YES 4am! I love it :o). I put the kettle on, I turn on the computer and cuddle Bezial who bravely stands guard all night on the sofa (Earl shamelessly takes the day watch and sleeps all night in the bed) and give him his early morning scratches and hugs. He shakes himself off and heads into bed and then the early morning is all MINE! I check emails and reply first, and then I head off here and check comments. I am a prolific commenter on other people’s blogs. If someone has put the effort in to share something precious with me, to give me one of their amazing recipes or tell me something that I didn’t know and am excited about finding out I want to thank them. I get a lot of replies from other blogs in the morning and its fun to read and reply to them first up. After that I head straight to my RSS Feed Reader and start wading through my morning’s blog posts. I have umpteen-eleventy-squillion blogs that I now follow and a 4am rising usually gives me enough time to deal with most of the posts for the day unless I get side-tracked by links in posts and then it might take a bit of night time reading to complete the deal. I have an eclectic mix of vegan food blogs, heavenly food porn (gorgeous photos and amazing recipes) that aren’t vegan, philosophical blogs, instructive blogs and blogs about sustainability that feed my mind and get it positively charged for the day. By the time 7am rocks up and Earl is prodding me with his nose to start the processes that eventuate at him getting a walk, I am fully charged, extremely happy (usually) and Steve gets his 7am cup of coffee and a wife who is raring to go for the day. I used to be the one lying in bed waiting for my cup of tea and stretching out the “getting up” process but no more… I am a changed woman and the possibilities of “Early Morning” only came about because I was being bolshie and wanted to take control of the situation…I wonder what you could do with your life if you tried? Do you have any habits that are dragging you down? If I can change my way of thinking, doing things then so can you. It really isn’t hard, its just a matter of starting. “Start where you mean to finish up”, another one of my grandmothers sayings and a most pertinent one for habit breaking and starting :o).

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Last minute ideas for how to use up some spare sourdough ended up with this interesting version of cinnamon rolls with a filling of chopped dates, grated left over hard caramel sauce from a sticky date pudding and lots of cinnamon

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After they were rolled up like a Swiss roll and cut I put them to prove in a greased and lined round cake tin until they increased in size a bit

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The finished results that are apparently very tasty 🙂

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Sourdough pizza prior to baking…

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And after…also, apparently, tasty 🙂

Does anyone else out there venture far and wide in their hunts for new and interesting food ingredients, how to use them and authentic recipes and cooking methods that contain them? Well I do! I love finding new things to do with previously unknown ingredients. It really excites me to delve into other countries cuisines, especially in the frugal ingredients that most of us wouldn’t think of using or don’t even know about. It’s nothing to do with elitism and everything to do with learning more about what is out there and available to eat. It’s the same thing that has me reverently placing foraging food blogs in my rss feed reader side by side with gorgeous food porn sites. When you love something you want to explore it all! ;). In my food travels I find a lot of recipes and links taking me to sites with recipes galore but all in languages that I can’t understand. A recipe that you can’t understand is an abject fail…UNLESS…you use your gourd and head on over to Google Translate and use it to translate the recipe for you. I must admit that sometimes the results are hilarious and totally incomprehensible BUT you at least have to try don’t you? And the worst you can get it a really funny read ;). I love finding blogs that skate along the fine line between Western cookery and their own culinary genius being applied to it. I found just such a site this morning and eagerly stuffed it into my Rss feed reader after exploring it for a bit to make sure that it was worth the stuffing. It most certainly was! Check it out if you would like to see some very interesting Asian takes on common recipes… http://ellenaguan.blogspot.sg/2013/02/longan-and-cranberry-yogurt-cake.html .

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The only eggs that we have had in a fortnight and all apparently laid by the same hen (the only one that has a free ticket to the next round!)

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One of our tasks for our course had us finding advertisments in various kinds of media that used “White space” to highlight and reinforce the subject matter and here is one of my examples…

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What do you do when it’s hot, you don’t want to pay “The Man” for his rubbish cordial and you have a freezer full of frozen fruit…you make your own cordial! This amazingly coloured variety is the result of a recipe for Lemon and Lime cordial that I messed around with so much that it hardly even resembles the original recipe. I used oranges instead of the lemons, I added a ziploc bag of frozen lemon juice, about 2 cups of frozen ripe mangos, the zest of the 3 oranges and about a cup full of ripe strawberries. These were all processed until smooth in my Vitamix blender and were added to 2 1/2 cups of sugar and then I added a tsp of citric acid and as much boiling water as I felt it needed to render it to “cordial” thickness. Steve is enjoying it whenever he feels the need for something other than coffee to drink and again, has pronounced it “tasty” 😉

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I needed to clarify just how “MASSIVE our harvest of potatoes actually was that I mentioned in the last post. Here you see the full extent of them being eaten by Steve for his tea last night…note the size comparison between the potato on his fork and the green pea next to it… I rest my case! 😉

Well we had a hard day today trying to find examples of design that doesn’t contain guide lines. And are planning on resting our poor addled brains this evening with a nice easy meal and an early night for me, and most probably some horror movies for Steve (his favourite genre). I am actually really enjoying this course (so far…) and we are learning an enormous amount. Steve will hopefully be picking up a copy of the student edition of the Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium Student and Teacher edition so that we can start getting serious with Photoshop. So it’s all go around here at the moment. See you all on Saturday :o)

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34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jmgoyder
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 17:17:15

    You amaze me!

    Reply

  2. rabidlittlehippy
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 21:13:13

    First things first, I must say this post has been a mite disappointing. When I see a new post from you I always wait until I am guaranteed a long quiet uninterrupted time in which to read. This time however I am left unsatisfied. YOU’VE POSTED A SHORT ONE! 😉

    I think finding pleasure in the simple processes is the sign of a simple life and THAT is simply wonderful. I was going to quip about a simple mind but figured I’d been rude enough for this comment. Too much rudeness and you might take a hairbrush to my backside, or gods forbid, one of Steve’s larger spoons. 😉 I get immense satisfaction out of those same simple pleasures; baking bread, having a clean kitchen, knitting, stacking firewood. The list goes on. There is pleasure in completing a tedious job. There is pleasure in a job well done. There is satisfaction in the “stitch in time saves 9” and knowing that you won’t need the 9.

    Your overflowing gutters remind me of our old place. We had conifers that dropped a LOT of leaf litter into our gutters and it was a guarantee that each and every time there was anything vaguely like heavy rainfall that they would overflow. Their most recent flooding was a doozy. 2 gutters that ran down and away from our back door had decided to turn themselves into weed gardens and they both flooded in a cascade down our door, on top of the door frame and down the inside of the glass doors all over my floor, blinds and everywhere. What a mess!

    We had a fog mid afternoon today too. Screwy summer hey.

    Your spud harvest is rather like ours. I’ve kept them for seed potatoes though. Here’s hoping they last until then. 🙂 I hope yours tasted good.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 03:41:41

      Sorry about the short post ;). We have been “flat out like a lizard drinking” with our new course. We had a lovely few months off but its back to the coalface for we minions now but to be honest I am really enjoying thinking about the processes that are involved with “creativity” and am touching on some really interesting subjects. “Simple is as simple does “(Forest 😉 ) and I simply didn’t have it in me to post a longer post :). Steve ate our seed potatoes and pronounced them “tasty” (his go-to word of the moment 😉 ). Our house has large Euc’s on the left hand side that drop copious quantities of leaf litter and twigs onto the roof all through summer. This summer has been a pretty dry one (even for Northern Tassie) and so a lot more leaf mulch has dropped. It was a good reminder for Steve to get up on the roof and clean out the gutters (I fibbed about the paper, rock scissors… 😉 ). We were dancing around with happiness on the deck because of the rain! We were also trying to read instructions further on in our course on how to take action shots (camera) of raindrops and Steve ended up after the rain with the camera set on a wood block outside trying to take action shots of the hose. I was just happy that for the second time in the whole spring/summer veggie garden season I didn’t actually have to water the veggie garden! Keifer’s offspring Kid Creole has offered some of his coconuts to our local health food shop guy David who is going to have some (and a bit of Audrey) when Steve next shops. David is a really great guy and one of those “real” health food shop owners who are in the business for the purposes of getting healthy and sharing what he learns with other people and its nice to offload my excess coconuts onto him…at least I won’t have to turn canibal and process them in my smoothies! There is something vaguely disturbing about feeding something up and then processing it alive into my breakfast ;). I just got some vegetable amaranth (leaf) and seed amaranth seeds (plus some asparagus seed) from Bev at Foodnstuff and a wonderful copy of the Seed Savers Handbook she had spare…I LOVE bargaining! Anyone else out there want to bargain for a spoon? Let us know 🙂 Have a great rest of your week Jessie and don’t work too hard 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Feb 28, 2013 @ 04:57:44

        You guys work far harder than I do and I’m glad you took my cheek for what it was. 🙂 I look forward to your action shots of water. Your photos are always great. 🙂 Yes, we too are celebrating the rainfall here. Before this torrential downpour we had seen 2 days of rain since moving in. That was mid-December! Our younger chickens had no idea what was going on! And I am a happy camper now with approximately 500-600L of rainwater saved. I’m just sad our 3000L tank isn’t hooked up yet (it’s earmarked for shed rain catchment) as it would have in all likelihood, filled up overnight 2 nights back.
        Kiefer isn’t doing nearly so well as Kid Creole here but then again I’m slack about changing his milk. If you’ve got glut you can’t deal with what about culturing him in the fridge. It still cultures, just MUCH slower. 🙂 And you could always give Steve a shot glass full every morning, like Yuckult (deliberately spelled wrong) but MUCH better tasting as a daily probiotic shot. My kids will drink it neat so if we were over your way I’d dose the older 2 a glass straight then make a BIG banana and berry milkshake for them with the rest. Orik will drink some of it in his milk or I warm a little milk, stir in a little honey and add that to the kefir for him, sort of like supercharged and actually good for him formula. 🙂
        And as you can see, I’m trying your early mornings. 🙂 I’m aiming for 6 so this mornings 4:30 is a complete anomaly and never to happen again unless there is an early morning flight, awesome holiday or even just fishing trip planned. 😉

      • narf77
        Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:05:45

        You forget my dear that I have 3 adult children…your cheek is NOTHING compared to what adult children can deliver to a long suffering mother! ;). My photos are sheer fluke…you don’t see the multitudes that don’t make it because I forgot to take off the lens cap…I have my finger in front of the lens…I took a photo of my shoe rather than what I wanted to shoot (I get too excited 😉 ) and often they are just blury or lacklustre or simply “boring” and so they get the big “X”…I just wish the camera wouldn’t ask me every time if I was SURE I wanted to kill them! ;). We don’t work all that hard…you have 3 young children. YOU work hard! ;). Steve is fussier than a child. The only way I could get him to use kefir is to make him a smoothie or to bake with it. Why is it that people from “The Old Country” have a natural fear that “The Natives” are going to poison them eh? ;). The earlier I go to bed (now at 8 – 9pm) the earlier my stupid body wants to wake up! It was 3.15 this morning! I am going to have words with it! 3am is that magic “Birth/Death” time that seems to want to resonate in my head but I am NOT giving in to the magic! 4am is the earliest time I want to get up! Bollocks to you brain…you can just about dream for an hour! 😉

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:15:33

        Yes, unimpressed with my brain this morning too. I dreamed of a short fat tiger snake being eaten behind our iPad by one of our cats and then later in the dream my daughter hopped over the fence like a cat and had 6 sets of baby snake sized puncture wounds on her. Waking up keening and wailing with your brain racing is not conducive to sleep. Still, I’m about to go do some sock knitting so 4:30 is not ALL bad. 🙂

      • narf77
        Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:21:05

        I just realised…you are up! (Head smack moment 😉 ) Hopefully you don’t end up comatose like I will be at 7.30pm tonight 😉 Kudos on the knitting…I am just indulging myself reading my rss feed reader blogs and filling my head up with positive processes for the day 🙂

  3. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 00:55:42

    That pizza looks fantastic! I, too, can’t stay up very late anymore….but then I’ll be 60 this year.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 03:48:21

      You certainly don’t look it! I will be 50 this year so we both have one of “those” years ;). I figure I got this far so lets just see how much further I can get? Our neighbour Glad next door is 90 and shows no signs of slowing down. She is my inspiration and puts me to shame as she is always out walking around her property, down the road, collecting wood, mowing the lawn and generally keeping herself really busy. That’s my life lessons handed to me by a neighbour :). I am looking forward to the day when I can legitimately say that I need a nana nap and get away with it 😉

      Reply

  4. Angela @ Canned Time
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 04:45:38

    So much to say about this post. Your Grandmother was a wise woman and obviously passed much of her wisdom on to you!
    And that is the tiniest potato I’ve ever seen, it’s just ‘cute’ if that’s possible. Your dogs are lucky to have you despite their stubborn nature on walks 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 04:51:28

      I was SO tempted to put googley eyes on that potato before I served it up to Steve! 😉 And the dogs don’t deserve my sterling efforts to skid down the driveway (acting as a sort of parachute behind them) at the beginning of our hour and a half long walks (WHY DIDN’T WE BUY CATS STEVE!) and having to reverse the polarity up the hills when hauling protesting dogs by their leads much like pirates hauling treasure ships to their ultimate destination… only thing is that the only “treasures” the dogs leave behind are not desired by anyone! 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:13:07

        Because cats eat the wildlife. Hang on, that may not be the negative it was intended. Your possums would be running in mortal fear of their lives. 😉
        As for doggy treasures, build another compost heap, compost them and your fruit trees will thank you whilst you safely dispose of it.

      • narf77
        Feb 28, 2013 @ 05:19:09

        I have been thinking about starting wormfarm compost heaps around the bases of our fruit trees and after we fully enclose them (so that the odd fruit and veggie scraps that we add don’t get hauled out along with the doggy deposits by the natives ECH!) I am going to do a post on how to make composting worm farms (with polypipe centres) around your fruit trees. Why haul the stuff when it is finished when you can just have a constant supply eh? 😉 )… not too sure whether our fruit trees will enjoy some of Earl’s stomach contents… he eats pool noodles, plastic bottles, stuffed toys, anything…ANYTHING plastic…so the worms are going to have to filter out the contents ;). We have no rabbits, no young possums and no rats or mice this year but way too many feral cats :(. I hope it doesn’t equate to “No” native birds soon 😦

  5. teawithhazel
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 09:32:08

    simple is the new black..i’m past having grand aspirations..i’m grateful for my morning pot of tea, bread baking, meals with family and friends, my vegetable garden and a few other simple pleasures..jane

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 14:29:36

      Join the club Jane ;). We live like penniless student hippy hermits and LOVE IT! 🙂 Simple is our mantra and we love being able to meet and excel the challenges that life brings us 🙂

      Reply

  6. christiok
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 11:15:18

    I LOVE the story of your grandmother’s box, Fran. My grandma had a cellar/basement and she used to run a little store, so this basement was full of little store stuff, kiosks of postcards, a cash register, etc. Incredible fun. Yes, you do sound a lot like your grandmother…so expect a little Fran-like grandchild some day! Lucky!
    I’ve heard somewhere that if you do something 27 times sequentially that it becomes a habit. 🙂 We humans do like our patterns…
    p.s. I’m a natural morning person; the B.O. is a total night person. But we both like naps!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 14:30:57

      Lol with getting up earlier and earlier I think I am about to meet myself waking up as I go to sleep! I think my head hurts now and a nap is in order 😉

      Reply

  7. Littlesundog
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 12:27:08

    I really loved this post, Fran. There is much to be said for the “simplicity” of life. I wasn’t always that way, but I did grow up simplistic. Glad I came back to my roots! It’s so refreshing to know it works for others as well!

    That pizza looks “to die for” yummy!!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 14:32:01

      Steve certainly loved that pizza :). He is very lucky that he doesn’t have to share any of the copious quantities of “stuff” that my need to bake is producing…he might have to simplify his diet a bit once his pants stop doing up at the top 😉

      Reply

  8. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 13:58:08

    Oh man, there is no lack of inspiration in my life, and right now you’re just adding to the pile. What incredible pizzas, right down to the dough. I sure wish I was better with sourdough, but I’ve already killed two mothers, so I might just need to sit on the sidelines and just watch how it’s done. Blogs in general are so inspiring… There are just so many creative people pouring their hearts out online, in every genre out there.

    You captured that rain so beautifully! I still haven’t been able to get a good shot of falling rain, but consider me re-inspired on that front too. I love the look of those frozen raindrops. It looks incredibly refreshing; restorative, even.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 14:33:58

      The garden was so parched it drank that heavy downpour and was ready for more. Lucky we live on a steep slope ;). I keep cramming more and more wonderful blogs in my rss feed reader and it burst long ago and has separated itself into little clumps of like minded blogs by assimilation! Its amazing what a reader will do if you overstuff it! 😉

      Reply

  9. brymnsons
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 10:51:11

    You know I’ve been thinking about our time difference. When I come to stay we will be 2 hours different, so your 4 am will be my 2am and your 8pm will be my 6pm. I think we will be enjoying some nice lunches together lol. I will need to book another week to make up for the time we will be sleeping instead of yacking 🙂 at least Steve and I will have time to chat in the evening while your catching some zzzs

    Reply

  10. brymnsons
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 19:34:22

    No I don’t think you want to meet the sleep deprived me 🙂 Not good…. I was thinking about bringing my little portable sewing machine and teaching you how to make really ugly oven mitts 😛

    Reply

  11. Chica Andaluza
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 02:25:00

    Ooh I find inspiration in so many things – my mountains in Spain, the sea on the English south coast, people like you and their wonderful blogs, reading, wathicng, listening. Sometimes even just a word I hear sends me off down a trail of doing, making, thinking! Look at that lovely pasta sauce….mmmm, my Italian aunties would salute you. Have you thought of a nice panzanella salad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzanella with your leftover bread? Very tasty indeed! Glad Steve managed to get through the potato harvest 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 02, 2013 @ 04:07:25

      He struggled… 😉 I love the look of panzanella salad and saw it on one of the Jamie Oliver at home (I loved that series 🙂 ) so as we have lots of gorgeous ripe tomatoes I might give it a go. Cheers for the great idea :). I am often delighted by simple things and therefore, I spend a lot of time being delighted 🙂

      Reply

  12. thinkingcowgirl
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 07:09:56

    You’re in love with your cooking – I’m in love with it too!! Looks absolutely delicious. We share a passion for banking tomato sauce – sooo useful.

    The rain must be such a relief…sigh, slurp slurp. Unusually we are having a dry period MOST unusual. I’ve been clearing out our pond and saving baby newts, now that makes me happy 😉

    Very impressed with your studies…I’m keen to book a poetry course somewhere gorgeous this year…yay!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 02, 2013 @ 13:47:44

      So jealous of you all living in “The Old Country” and being able to hop a flight somewhere gorgeous and bask in the exotic …the best we can do is Bali, and even though that might sound like an amazing holiday to you, its full of fat Aussies sunning themselves and demanding beer (don’t say that our antipodean apple has fallen far from the tree 😉 ). I just picked another huge container of tomatoes and am going to make more tomato pasta sauce to freeze for winter cooking. I also picked more eggplants and am ruminating about my need ro render them tender and unctious with an obscene amount of olive oil, onions, garlic, herbs and some of those uber ripe tomatoes and capsicum OR do something healthy…My mind says “healthy” and I don’t want to repeat what my heart says in pleasant company but it’s polite cousin is “Bollocks to that!” ;). I think the olive oil might win out simply because these eggplants deserve to be treated right…taken out on the town and shown a good time because they are gorgeous, perfectly ripe little babies that won’t be so perfect for long. I am really enjoying the course and to be honest, I am very surprised. I let Steve pick this bridging course and he decided that he wanted to learn a bit more about the Adobe suite so who am I to argue? It’s bringing out our creative side and is taking me out of my comfort zone which is good for me. I have never seen a newt up live and personal. Could you put a picture of one in your blog? (If you took any pictures that is 😉 ). I am extremely interested in them and are they related to salamanders? Very interesting creatures indeed :). Welcome to your spring and our autumn…funny thing is that although it was pretty cool this morning we have 27C today, 27C tomorrow and 30C on Monday…hardly seems like a transition from summer if you ask me ;). Have a great weekend and well done on juggling the newts 🙂

      Reply

  13. Sophie33
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 22:35:17

    Waw! You have been up to a lot of things! Home-made tomato sauce is always best & I also use home grown garlic, onins & cherry tomatoes! What a poor raint weather! Here it is still full Winter but Spring is sitting around the corner! Your sourdough pizza looks so tasty too!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 03, 2013 @ 03:49:36

      Your spring will be there soon and hopefully we will get our autumn along with the rain. I have another batch of delicious pasta sauce to make today with more tomatoes that I picked yesterday and now I need to work out what I am going to do with my eggplant harvest. Can’t wait to see what my brain turns out for them as I LOVE eggplants 🙂 Hopefully it will be good enough to share on the blog, if not, at least I will enjoy it 🙂

      Reply

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