The amazing adventures of Frances Fennel Pants and Co.

Hi All,

I don’t think I own a pair of pants that don’t smell of some form of strong vegetation. The reason behind the olfactory enhancement of my derrière pockets is because whenever we walk the dogs (and that would be a daily event) I tend to find some seed pod or other to shove into my back pocket along with the various rocks, bits of shiny river tumbled glass and old pottery shards that I collect on our travels. My latest foray into the world of hardy bee and butterfly forage plants is fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). I have been collecting seed as it ripens along with Queen Anne’s lace and I am looking for a source of Jerusalem artichokes, canna lilies and day lilies to add to my extreme hardy Zone 4 collection. I want plants that will survive anything that comes, that are hardy, tough, waterwise, can stand a drenching and that will attract beneficials to Serendipity Farm and have a degree of edibility about them. The only one from the list I wouldn’t eat anything from is Queen Anne’s Lace but I dare say that it has some form of medicinal qualities (I just haven’t had time to look it up yet). We got an envelope of Angelica Sylvester ‘Purpurea’ from Karen at Wychwood (to see some of this amazing garden check here… ) yesterday to share with our friend in the witness protection. We are going to grow and plant out elderberries (Sambucus Canadensis) and various other fast growing extremely hardy plants (including the loquats that the wallabies sampled to within an inch of their lives recently). I learned a lesson about gardening over the course of the summer. I let one set of garden beds go nuts. The tomatoes did whatever they liked, fell over, lay on the ground, covered EVERYTHING and I let the chook wheat grow on the hay that I spread over the garden. It’s like a jungle in that side of the garden but a very productive one that requires half as much water as the carefully tended sparser series of veggie gardens on the other side. Mass planting really does work! I have some serious hunting to do over the next few months for hay bales, hardy edible groundcovers, vines, perennials, annuals and shrubs. We have some serious tree planting ahead of us including sweet chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, figs, avocados, Brachychitons and now a small mango that has grown in our new compost heap from a seed that I tossed in wondering if it might grow. It’s amazing what will grow if you give it a chance.


I have shamefully resorted to posting photo’s from my archives in order to give you enough to look at today. We have been flat out studying, making sourdough carrot cakes and baking quiche and the time got away from us. This is a homemade Thai green curry chicken pie, one of 4 that Steve enjoyed over the course of a couple of days


Another shameless photo from the archives, this time of potato wedges that went with one of those delicious Thai green curry chicken pies

Its 6.02am and I am listening to the ethereal sounds of Miles Davis playing the trumpet and doing my own little social experiment on myself. Steve has been doing a social experiment on Facebook but sometimes I really don’t know where my dear husbands mind goes…I just let it go, it’s his to direct and some of the weird and wonderful posters he is posting boggle the mind…who knows what they say (most of them are in Russian) but it makes him happy to be making his statement (whatever that is…) so go for it I say :o). This little personal experimentation of my own involves me, good music and my days. I am attempting to see if it really is true that what you put into yourself forms you. I am hoping that this gorgeous soul uplifting music is going to give me back a degree of mellowness without the need to partake of the pharmacy of the multitudes. I figure I am overdue a script for “mellowness” and aside from learning how to meditate which strikes me as altogether a bit of an adventure laterally that I just don’t fancy at this moment in time, where multitasking as I tap away here posting, or finding recipes or information seems completely within the boundaries of my current thought processes…no stepping outside my comfort zone to toss Miles Davis Sketches of Spain into my brain, mainlining those castanets as we speak… I am exploring the difference that adding good music (obviously a completely subjective thing to explore and everyone has a different idea of what is “good”…) to my life in early morning doses. Yesterday I floated down the road behind Earl after spending a very pleasant morning listening to 3 CD’s and today I took my cue from a post found inside another post on a blog I don’t even follow (well I do now!) that recommended someone called Chet Baker and I had a bit of a listen and after a bit I decided to switch to Miles Davis…glad I did :o)… (Are those castanets or crickets Miles? Miles the maestro perfectionist may just be able to mesmerise crickets to do his bidding! 😉 ) Life is all about little experiments (well mine is) where conscious efforts blend with subconscious to give added meaning and precious nuance to where I am here and now “today”. It’s so easy to get lost in processes and not really experience the moment (like dogs apparently do according to our Dorg Wheesperer Caesar Milan…) and I am LOVING this moment. I have never actually listened to Miles Davis…I KNOW! Where have I been for 49 years?


This is the last of the poached photos from the annuls of my saved photos for today. I always have a few spare shots up my sleeve and they languish in folders till I forget to take enough photos and you end up with them. I think this meal is about 6 months old and consists of home grown rooster ground up into chicken patties served with Asian style coconut curry rice and veggies. It was quick, tasty (according to Steve) and made the most of last years roosters 🙂


This was taken on St Patrick’s Day of one of my breakfast smoothies. I figured it was particularly fitting to have a green smoothie on St. Patricks Day 😉

I had to switch RSS feed readers yesterday. I know…my early morning life revolves around my rss feed read so obviously I was a bit twitchy to say the least when Google decided to notify me via a small box in the middle of the page saying “We are taking away your early mornings…forget about suing us because we are SO AMAZINGLY HUGE that you are merely nothing in our eyes. So long and thanks for nothing you freeloading hippy…” well, maybe in not so many words but it struck panic into my comfortable early morning routine and as soon as Steve was awake I requested an instant transition over to someplace safe, equally as good and most importantly “Free”… Steve on the case is soothing. Steve on the case is happiness and Steve got on the case and found me a new and most amazing RSS feed reader that does it all with whistles and bells in a MUCH better way than Google did and even better…it simultaneously syncs with Google reader to poach all of my feeds so I don’t have to worry about July 1st arriving and losing all of my 498 blogs that I follow…how delicious it feels to stick it to Google? Not that they care…just another faceless penniless plebeian hippy off their existential books that they don’t have to drag around their profit mongering megalith of a corporation (does anyone get the feeling that I am a bit “pissed” at Google?) anymore… I love my new feed reader already and this is amazing considering I took a year to write my first blog post because I twitched whenever I thought about the technicalities of using a blog. This sucker does it all…no more opening up other pages or trying to scroll down in blogs, it’s the bomb and it’s MUCH BETTER THAN GOOGLE READER! I might even tag it as such…”Better than Google Reader” let’s see how much traffic from hyped up angry hippies I get for THIS post eh? When a corporation gets so big that it doesn’t have to care about projecting a positive image of itself anymore and it can do whatever it likes whenever it likes without considering its users it becomes a very scary corporation… you just elevated yourself to the level of Monsanto Google…


I shared with you a while ago about the Chinese owned orchard that they have abandoned to its fate and that was prior to this year a well watered orchard. It got no water this year and I would estimate 80% of the trees are dead. This is what they look like…


Do these cherry trees look alive to you? Me neither…what a waste. Our government should demand that foreign owned interests are able to maintain the arable farming land that they purchase prior to the sale. This is a prime example of greedy foreign interests taking everything that they could from the land and then discarding it when it required work. The trees haven’t been pruned since they took over, the grass hasn’t been mowed and the tiny skeleton crew of Chinese people shipped in to harvest and sell the fruit were completely overwhelmed by the task at hand.

Anyone out there ever made coconut jam? I just found a recipe for it and am going to make it as an alternative to regular sugar. I am going to make some date paste today because I have been using dates in my green morning smoothies and they deliver a subtle hint of caramel sweetness and I figure that a paste would be easy to shleck into the VitaMix goblet rather than cutting the dates up finely so that I don’t have to whizz everything around for so long that it melts my ice. I am thinking about what I am going to substitute for my morning green smoothie in winter. I might keep it going but I doubt I will be adding ice! Maybe congee? I love Korean food and might go hunting for some delicious vegan preparations. This winter is going to be so different to last winter. I have my early morning habits and Brunhilda and I will be able to wake up together and start our days long before the sun rises. I also have my newfound dedication to music…currently Kenny Burrell and the longest version of “Summertime” I have ever heard but am delighting in every single note :o)…every addict indulges themselves by jumping fully clothed into the fount of their new found addiction so you are going to have to indulge me for a little while here till the novelty wears off (if it ever, indeed, does! 😉 ).


Guy is trying to cut a hook from this poor Southern Right Gull’s foot. It got caught in a fishing net and was noticed by a local and Steve and Guy went to the rescue in The Mumbly Cumumbus…


I don’t think the gull liked Guy hanging it upside down…check out the next shot…


Take a close look at where the birds beak is now and guess what he did to Guy just after this shot was taken 😉

Steve is off rescuing pelicans. The other day we were walking the dogs and talking about Peak Oil and how a friend seems to be getting a bit swallowed up by it all. Steve said “No problems…we will just keep the chooks for the odd bit of meat and for eggs, feed them on veggie scraps and let them free range around the place, you can grow veggies and fruit and nuts and I can go out fishing on the high seas in the Mumbly Cumumbus and it will be like pirates stealing the tea from the English” (that last bit was because I was lamenting that I would have to start drinking dandelion root tea and we BOTH know what Earl does to our stash of dandelions…). That got us talking about pirates and Steve was immediately identified with “The Dread Pirate Roberts”…but he didn’t really suit that moniker so then we thought of Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride, but he wasn’t really that either and we arrived at “Pirate Steve” from the movie Dodgeball… after that we decided that Earl was most definitely “Yellowbeard”…a mad lunatic that can’t be stopped…a perfect vision of Earl and then Bezial ended up as Captain Pugwash (“NO” spellchecker, I DON’T want to change that to “Captain Pigwash”!!! ) because he gets seasick on boats and would rather stay on shore. I cleverly dodged being included in this pirate invasion and chose to stay home and cook the tea because every pirate needs to come home to a nice warm meal (and preferably some grog to go with it). The Mumbly Cumumbus has had to be employed by Steve, Roxy and Guy (our friends down the road) to rescue a trapped pelican from a net. Steve cleverly remembered to take protective clothing and gloves (fool him once!) and hopefully they will be able to release the trapped bird. He has taken his camera with him so that you might be able to share in his adventure. There aren’t many pelicans in our neck of the woods and hopefully this pelican will be able to resume its lifecycle out on the Tamar River without too much damage or trauma. It wasn’t a pelican, it was a Southern Right Gull and after its rescue the rescuers got together over some good German beer and debriefed ;).


This is the name of a cafe in Beaconsfield and we thought that you might get a chuckle out of it for St Patricks Day (albeit in the past now 😉 ). I think it is called “Pot of Gold” because it costs you an arm and a leg to shop there 😉


Some very tame young cows and steers that decided to come over and investigate what Steve was doing today on our walk with the dogs. Take a look at that paddock and be sure to let go of winter over there you Northerners…we obviously need it here!

IT RAINED…I don’t  know whether to race about singing or just sit here stunned but it actually “rained”. The garden looks stunned. It looks flat, deflated, brown and stunned but underneath it all I can hear autumn stirring and it is GOOD! I have been thinking about how we interact with people when we blog. I did a survey once (as a bolshie bird I tend to do surveys to ensure that the social imbalances are redressed ;)) asking me about a specific blogger and what my impressions of her were. I think that when your dear constant readers start to number more than the hairs on your head you have achieved rock star status in the blog world and you get your own fan club of supporters that mass together to attempt to get you elected as President whether you want it or not. The difference between rock stars and bloggers is that the rock stars get the dosh to balance out the adoration, bloggers usually don’t. A free book and the odd surreptitious package of canned goods wouldn’t be anywhere near enough for me to lose my anonymity and with my 133 blog followers (most of them sleepers 😉 ) I feel confident that I am never going to be hustled into the white house any day soon but I do feel a distinct responsibility to you all. I feel the need to post when sometimes I might not be post worthy…I feel the need to ensure you have something nice to look at (and sometimes something not-so-nice to balance it out 😉 ) in each post and I try to channel my muses into playing the same tune in order to get something approximating “readable” to you twice a week. As a penniless student hippy I don’t “work for the man”…the man probably wouldn’t want me anymore which suits me just fine but I have my processes and blogging is now firmly one of these processes. Whenever someone new comes to join our merry eclectic (mental) little throng here on Serendipity Farm I feel like I am welcoming someone into our book club (mental asylum) or our little knitting group or our baking circle. It’s a privilege to connect with other people and to allow them to mould themselves into our circle and  Queen of everything that I see, touch and can possibly begin to imagine here on Serendipity Farm I feel like I should at least show you around a bit and give you a cup of tea (you can have a good cup but not too sure if I can find a matching saucer at the moment…it is probably covered in drying tomato seeds, cherry plum stones or something fermenting as an experiment…) and a homemade biscuit. If you seem a little shell shocked after exploring around a bit I will give you another cup of tea (still with the mismatched saucer but you are looking a bit confused and probably won’t notice…) and I might even try to revive you with one of the chocolate biscuits from the top shelf…I love how each reader and commenter has their own place here in the blog. We all share this experience because we all “make” this space. If no-one comes, it is like that tree in the forest and when it falls no-one cares. Here in this tiny patch of ether in the Southern Hemisphere we all matter, no matter how humble we are because my dear constant readers and I are not like “other people”, we have time to share if it means we are going to hear a good story. We can find the energy to appreciate your efforts, we can applaud your talents and we can laugh and cry with you when something twangs the strings of your life. Like Stephen King once said “We all float down here” and in this little sewer we are united in our endeavours :o)


This was taken just in front of the gate down on the river bank


An early morning shot of Bonnie Beach just before the dogs started complaining because we were taking too long to get going on our walk

It’s just about time to start the day for Steve and the boys and I have been up and functioning (at least on some rudimentary level) since 3.30am. I just finished the tidy up from my mornings online degustation menu and noticed that I had 2 spam in my Hotmail account…1 from the ubiquitous “Big Willy”, a regular visitor to my spambox and the other from “Daily Bible Verse” another spam contender from way back…I find it humorous that Big Willy and Daily Bible Verse are the only occupants of my spambox and wonder if they converse while they are languishing in perdition waiting for me to shoot them straight into the ether and wouldn’t it be fun to be a fly on that spammy little wall listening to THAT conversation! 😉 I am still imbibing heady gusts of long forgotten C.D’s and loving every moment of it. It’s cold this morning and it rained yesterday and I am starting to have hope that there really might be an autumn this year and we won’t just bypass it and go headlong into the throws of winter. You northerners (you KNOW who you are!) are hogging your winter. I read about how you are protesting about how much you can’t wait for summer but I recon its only lip service, you aren’t sharing and we need it. We NEED it folks…our summer has just about sapped everything green and vibrant and alive from our hearts, minds and souls and we need a rest of it all. We need to sit and commune and talk and share hot chocolate and wander in a garden that might be asleep but at least shows some signs of being alive rather than the flat defeated brown shards of curling leaves and sad looking half dead flowers that greet us on anything other than a run to the car. We choose to look up at the clouds as we walk down the driveway which should probably result in us falling flat on our derrières but somewhere up there the powers that be kind of like us and we have been spared the ignominy of falling down our own driveway on a regular basis.


A closeup of a series of houses on our walk at Bonnie Beach that don’t have fences…they all coexist together and share a large common back yard. The do this because they all got together when they initially built the houses and decided that fencing would obstruct the glorious view that they have of the river and decided to do without 🙂


I love this shot of the boys…Earl looks like he has just heard the funniest joke and Bezial actually allowed us to take a photo for once. That’s a pretty rare thing to get both boys smiling and focussed at once 🙂

Well it looks like another post just hit mammoth proportions…how do you “regular” bloggers manage to find an earlier “stop” point?! My muses would have me up at night if I didn’t share the contents of my day’s digestive tract ;). Have a great week this week folks. No matter how mundane it might appear, there are always little interesting things in your week and there is beauty everywhere, we just have to be sure to see and feel it. I think the real world has us aiming too high…focussing on a point too far away and constantly yearning (or is that “constant craving” K.D. Laing? 😉 ) for something just out of reach when really, it’s right here quietly waiting for you to notice it. I recently read a post on The Naturephile, one of the wonderful blogs that I follow. Finn (what a wonderful name, wish I had thought of this one when I was naming my son :o) ) was talking about how he was watching a murmuration of starlings dancing with a sparrowhawk while he was sitting at a red light. How many of us grab the mobile phone and start to text, grab a lippy and re-apply, start thinking about what’s for dinner and completely miss what nature is sharing with us? We get too focussed on ourselves and our goals and our days and we miss out on living outside ourselves and in companionship with the world and I get the very strong feeling that is how we managed to disassociate ourselves from reality enough to do what we have done to the earth. Go watch some gorgeous rare Red Kite’s swooping into someone’s back yard to grab some croissants (lucky they didn’t say where they throw these croissants or my U.K. doppelgänger might just have been around a bit earlier to raid the pile! 😉 )…

See you on Saturday folks…bright as buttons and hopefully more aware of what is going on outside you rather than focussing too much on your inner machinations. You never know where that kind of anti-societal behaviour is going to take you 😉 …

32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    Mar 21, 2013 @ 06:23:12

    Hadn’t seen those poached photos before but boy do they look yummy. your dogs are smiling. 🙂


  2. christiok
    Mar 21, 2013 @ 06:51:21

    I like your gardening lesson, Fran. Starting our veggie gardens now in the early spring, I struggle with how neat things need to be. Rows, spacing. We don’t have to make little suburban developments in our gardens. 🙂 Yay! They go crazy anyway. And kudos to you for finding a way to “mellow” yourself that matches your innate intensity/craziness! Especially in this crazy-making world of gigantic anonymous corporate profit. That dying cherry orchard makes me cry, then rage, then cry again. I love your blog, Queen Fran, and the worldwide community you’ve created here. There. Here. Cheers for the rain. And here’s the handoff of Autumn — Go! Love from Olalla, USA, Northern Hemisphere. 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 21, 2013 @ 15:45:00

      Cheers Christi, it started raining this morning and hasn’t stopped since (it started with a massive BOOM of thunder, a few huge claps of lightning and the power going out)…The Equinox is finally here and it brought our autumn with it! 🙂 You were right (did I ever doubt you? 😉 ). That cherry orchard and the peach orchard are acres and acres of dead trees as far as the eye can see…it’s an example of how land is mismanaged for profit with no regard to the long term effects of the foreign ownership debarcle. I am NOT going to start ranting again ;). I love our little community as well Christi, apart from my special twin in Olalla, I have met lots of other people that have certainly filled in a lot of blanks in my world question sheet ;). Have a fantastic Wednesday and enjoy your sunshine because I am LOVING this rain and the garden is soaking it up as fast as it can fall 🙂


  3. foodnstuff
    Mar 21, 2013 @ 13:15:31

    Well, what IS this amazing new feed reader? I need one too, thanks to Google pulling my plug.

    Oh, and it rained here, too!


    • narf77
      Mar 21, 2013 @ 15:48:30

      Its pelting down here and has been all day and I am over the moon! The new feed reader is FeedDemon Lite 4.1 that we got from here…
      Google have a hide don’t they? I got up this morning to no computer activity and thought “Google are retaliating!” after 3 tries to get the modem working properly, a massive clap of thunder and a power out that made our computer freak and then having to wait an hour while the computer did a diagnostic on itself, I figure Google have had their fun and might leave me alone now ;). Glad you have rain…I reacon my naked rain dance at midnight might have done it…I think it made Frank next door pray for rain because he NEVER wants to look through his binoculars and see anything like that ever EVER again! 😉


  4. brymnsons
    Mar 21, 2013 @ 23:28:38

    Oh what a chuckle I had reading about your midnight rain dance. We had a lovely couple of days with rain and thunder. It is warm again now, but not as hot as it has been. Been flat out, looking forward to a couple of days in Esperance on the weekend. Your food looks yum, as always 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 22, 2013 @ 03:44:37

      That food was from last year 😉 Had to find a couple of photos as we had been studying all day and it suddenly got late ;). I haven’t ever been to Esperance, even though Albany was reasonably close to it. I guess there wasn’t all that much that made us want to spend the petrol dollars to go, we would be half way to Perth if we went the other way and Perth always held a better allure ;). It’s not raining today but yesterday was a real corker for rain, thunder and lightning. The garden doesn’t care if it gets warm again now, it just needed that good soak to keep it going. I still have lots of tomatoes, eggplants and chilli’s to harvest yet so I don’t mind if it warms up a bit till they ripen :). Have a ball on the weekend and make sure to check those garden shops (and the teapot shops 😉 ).


  5. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 03:54:30

    I’m happy for you that it rained. We have had snow flurries off and on today. And, very cold. I just can’t handle cold. I’ve made a pledge though to start walking again on a daily basis beginning in April, right after these house projects. I’m glad I don’t have to walk the dogs. They do go on my hikes with me. One follows closely most of the time, the other one goes every which way, but always starts out and ends the hike with me. They have 100 plus acres to roam freely, and they haven’t been trained for leashes at all. My son-in-law felt the same way about the Google thing. Being technically impaired, I don’t even know what it is.


    • narf77
      Mar 22, 2013 @ 04:16:58

      I follow 504 blogs. If I subscribed the regular way (through emails) I wouldn’t ever be able to wade through all of the posts and it would be a very uneconomical way to read them. An RSS Feed reader allows you to go to a single site and read all of the blogs that you follow in one place. Mine keeps me updated about who has posted and I have a long list of the blogs that I follow (in alphabetical order) and the blogs that have fresh posts change colour so that I can see each one and can choose my priorities. I am technically impaired as well BUT my desire to learn far outweighs my desire to remain a luddite and slowly Steve is dragging me kicking and screaming into the technological world and you know what? Its fun! (Just don’t tell him I said so 😉 ). My son and 2 daughters are all tech whizzes. My son (31 this year) is an accountant for a large firm on the mainland and my daughters are currently unemployed (The Tasmanian way of life, there are only 200 000 people on the whole island and very few jobs) but are keeping themselves busy by creating a video game. I love my RSS Feed reader because it organises my early mornings. I get up, I cuddle the dog that lays on standby on the sofa all night which herralds him going to bed and taking my space on my pillow (his reward 😉 ) then I make a cup of tea at 3.30am and sit down to read and take information from the blogs that have posted till 7am when I put the kettle on for a coffee for Steve and our day begins…I now listen to music for those 3 1/2 hours which is giving me a whole new view on life and is threatening to turn me into a mellow person ;). When Google said that they were pulling the pin on their reader I started to twitch but this new reader is much better and gives me a lot more choices so they actually did me a favour ;). I think you only really “want” to learn things that give you something back…blogs give me an incredible view of the world and I only follow blogs that share something fundamental with me and that give me a view of a place that I am most likely never going to see. I follow blogs from all over the world and use Google Translate to understand what they are saying and sometimes the translations are hilarious (try translating anything in Japanese you will fall off your chair laughing 😉 ) so I get a double whammy ;). Have a great day and the snow will be gone soon and you will be back to green fields and happy dogs. I wish ours could go off lead but aside from it being illegal in public spaces here, Earl is too athletic and would bound off and terrify everyone (even though he isn’t a threat to anything other than small animals) so they both have to stay on lead whether they like it or not and that means that we have to fly out behind them like kites when they get excited 😉


      • athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
        Mar 22, 2013 @ 04:32:43

        So what is this reader you use? I’ll give it a shot. I’ve just been using the reader on WordPress.

      • narf77
        Mar 22, 2013 @ 04:44:06

        I tried using the reader on WordPress but doesn’t it only give you WordPress blogs? Lots of the blogs that I follow are on Blogger (Googles alternative to WordPress) and I would be missing out on a WHOLE LOT if I dumped them ;). I use FeedDemon Lite 4.1 and I got it here…
        Steve installed it for us and now I LOVE it ;). You might need a bit of technical help so can you get your son to install it for you? It takes a little bit of time getting used to using it but the trick is to get your son (or someone else techy) to make the blogs that have fresh posts a nice bright colour (customise it) so they are easily noticed. I didn’t like red so changed mine to green :). I also just noticed a tab at the top of the page that lists “Next Unread” that allows you to progress through each post in alphabetical order very quickly and all you have to do is click on them and then click the Next Unread button to progress or if you want to read the post you just click on it and read it in the Feed Reader. Its a great way to read offline as well :).

      • Linne
        Mar 22, 2013 @ 14:05:41

        WordPress Reader lists posts to wordpress blogs, but also to the blogs I’ve added in my ‘links’. However, if I just ‘follow’ a non-wordpress blog (and I often do), they don’t show up in the WPReader.

      • narf77
        Mar 22, 2013 @ 14:32:58

        I don’t bother with WordPress reader as they stuffed up all of my early subscriptions when I first started reading rss feed reads and I lost them all. From then on I went somewhere else.

  6. Emily
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 05:19:01

    Another great post! I really enjoy reading your rants. 😉 ….and I absolutely looove the photo of the Pups! They definitely look happy.


    • narf77
      Mar 22, 2013 @ 05:41:40

      They weren’t all that happy yesterday because we couldn’t walk with them because…because…IT RAINED! While Steve and I were dancing around the kitchen the dogs were sulking on their respective sofa’s but thems the breaks boys…you haven’t had a break in the walking for months now and we deserve a day off due to precious rain 🙂 I tend to rant a fair bit 😉


  7. Linne
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 14:06:30

    Ok, I promised you (a while back now) a detailed reply to this blog and here it is:
    My pockets used to look just like yours (and some days still do!)
    When your elderberry trees begin blooming, did you know you can dip the flower clusters in batter, fry them and have delicious fritters? You can do the same with male squash blossoms, too, unless you stuff those and bake them.
    I’ve always planted thickly, mixed flowers and veggies together, and only pulled out the most spreading or biggest weeds. Ground cover preserves moisture in the soil and keeps the valuable top layer from drying out and killing all the microbial life. Love reading about your adventures with growing stuff; whatever sort it is. Glad you are planning on figs; they are delicious fresh or dried.
    Love your photos, old or new. Keep ‘em coming . . .
    It’s been a long time since I listened to Miles Davis. Will have to dig out my headphones and fire up the YouTube one of these days . . . I used to love the original rhythm n blues. I was SO lucky during my brief attendance at University of Victoria (BC 😉 ); Once Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee played there in a fairly small room; I must have been only 10 or 15 feet from them. I was too awestricken to approach them, but I wish now that I had thanked them for their music, not just then, but always.
    I make smoothies (I still call them ‘blender drinks’, old fogey that I am) for most breakfasts, but not the green ones. The green stuff is just too pricy for me these days. I make pineapple, banana, fruit and orange juice for the mornings I have eggs and apple juice, milk, yogurt and berries for the mornings I have porridge or cornmeal. I don’t mix cereal (except bread) or dairy with citrus. What do you put in your green drinks? Enquiring minds want to know . . .
    I was SO shocked to read your post about the Google Reader’s planned demise and I agree with you in everything you said, so will hold my tongue and not rant on your page 😛 Up there with Monsanto, yes! And Microsoft, who just forced me to change from Hotmail to Outlook, which I hate and which isn’t pretty at all. Ugly, ugly fonts and NO CHOICE!!!!! Oops, I did say I wouldn’t rant, didn’t I? I use WordPress Reader, but I’m not sure if I also need another reader for all the non-wordpress blogs. They do show up, but I can’t ‘like’ or ‘re-blog’ them. And some are worth re-blogging, just to get the word out into a wider world. Would you mind sharing which reader Steve found for you? If you don’t want to post on the blog, you may email me. Just let me know you did that, as I get tonnes of email and sometimes just skim through the latest. I really need to clean it out again.
    My heart bleeds with yours for those cherry trees . . . I like what Fiji did some time ago. They used to own the land communally, with respect between people when deciding on land usage. Then the Euros came and instituted ‘private ownership’, to their own advantage, of course. But now, the land belongs to Fijians in common again. Any that is still held privately (some vacation resorts and such) may only be sold to the Fijian government and at that point will once again be held communally. If you grow up there and want to build a house for yourself, you consult with others in the village or town, and choose a location that won’t interfere with others. If, for some reason, land you are using is deemed necessary for a school, hospital or other public building, the government will help you to find another place, move and get re-established. All good stuff. One of my friends has a friend who married a Fijian man (who cooked us an amazing meal in an outdoor firepit when they visited) and that’s how I came to know all that. Anyway, that cherry ‘orchard’ ought to be taken away from its owners and given to some deserving hard-working hippies (who shall remain nameless; you know who you are) to nourish back to life. Makes me cry to see such abuse. If the land was a child, we’d take it into custody, wouldn’t we? Well, why not land, too. We have an obligation to care for it, improve it (careful how you read that; I don’t mean ‘develop’ here) and pass it on to the next generations in healthy condition. Again, my not so humble opinion. I do love preaching to the choir, don’t you?
    Will have to check out Kenny Burrell and Summertime. I love that song anyhow. And don’t mind raving about your newly-rediscovered addiction; I love to hear it all and often you spark some old or new interest. So rave on . . . ah, Buddy Holly is now playing in my head. Does that ever happen to you? Happens to me all the time. I don’t mean him specifically, just music in general, ads to great classics. I have a soundtrack going more than half the time. Ok, do I sound nuts now? Are we still talking? ;-P
    Pass on congratulations to Steve and co. for rescuing that poor gull. Every ‘gull’ needs knights on a white boat . . . or something like that.
    Your poor paddock and the lawns on that unfenced bit of beachfront (and good for them for using their brains and hearts there!). I AM TRYING to get the white, wet stuff to move along without dropping anything ‘til it gets to you lot. Not doing so well, though, am I? sigh . . . better put my ‘positive thinking’ cap back on and get back to work . . .
    Well, that must have helped; you say some got through . . . you’re welcome, I’m sure!
    I also love that you are so responsible about your posting, my friend. Gives me a hundred ways in which to procrastinate doing what I oughtta be doing myself . . . thanks (I think!!). Seriously, though, I love reading your blog, and those of your friends, not to mention other friends all over the world. I wish I didn’t have to sleep . . . This is a ‘real village’ isn’t it? mental or not . . . and that’s really only in the eyes of the beholders and they should just quit criticising us and do something about Peak Oil, for instance, or financial equality for all, or (dare I say it?) USURY! Interesting the number of sermons preached on sexuality, etc., but nary a one on usury . . . I wonder why not??? (nah, I lied; I don’t wonder; I KNOW)
    So how did I find my way into this Serendipitous Circle? Oh, yeah, I was curious about the ‘rabid little hippy’ and she pointed me in your direction . . . and a few others, too! Now, I am one person who not only will not be ‘shell-shocked’; I will fit in as a hand to a glove . . . and if you could visit BC’s Salt Spring Island or Denman and Hornby Islands, or Courtenay, or Quadra and Maurelle Island, or a host of other hippie (past and future) strongholds, you would fit like that, too. I just KNOW it! Love mis-matched cups and saucers, but I’ll take a chocolate bikkie or two anyhow  and Yes, the support found here is so strength-giving in our individual efforts to leaven this sodden lump. We’ll get there, but nice to know we’re not the only grain of yeast in the bowl, isn’t it?
    What river is that, anyway? I’d love to take a canoe out for a day or week or more . . . is there fishing?
    Ok, ok, TAKE the darned snow! PLEASE!! It’s yours, honest! We don’t want any more and yes, we know you will make good use of it . . . DO help yourselves, anytime, NOW will be just fine . . .
    Don’t ask ME how to find a ‘stop’ point . . . have you read some of my posts? Not to mention my answers  (but I blame you and the example you set for this one!!)
    Ok, I had to write this in Word so I could switch back and forth to your post and not miss anything (I didn’t, did I?). Now to copy and paste . . .
    Blessings to you and all your readers and fans . . . and a wet wind that drops its blessings on you in a more tangible form, soon! ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Mar 22, 2013 @ 14:51:44

      My green smoothies consist of a small bunch of home grown spinach or silverbeet, about 15 whole almonds or some home cultured coconut kefir (if I use one, I don’t use the other), about 10 chopped dried dates (or other dried fruit but I like the light and natural caramel sweetness that dates give the drink), 1 tsp ground dried ginger (fresh is very expensive here), 2 tsp of soy protein powder (because I forgot I left some at my daughters and as they don’t want it I am using it up…), 1 tsp spirulina. I have almost 3kg of spirulina powder from when Steve and I were body building about 10 years ago and we bought all sorts of weird and wonderful things including the spirulina. I figure it has a half life so I am adding it to my smoothies ;). I also add about a handful of frozen fresh fruit (whatever is in season, currently it’s the last of the mangoes and new seasons pears), a handful of icecubes, a pint glass of water, a scoop of carob or cocoa (carob at the moment) and a massive great WOOSH in the blender and it’s ready to drink slowly. I prefer blender smoothies to juice as you are getting all of the fibre that way :). I drink something similar to this every single day. I will replace the spinach with kale come mid winter (also home grown 🙂 ).
      We have a hotmail account as well as Gmail and Fastmail and hotmail is pretty ugly now but it IS our spam file where we get anything sus sent to so I guess it is fitting ;).
      Steve found me FeedDemon Lite 4.1 from here…
      And it’s great. No problems and hopefully no loss of info when Google go to the great blog spot in the sky in July. Have you ever heard of Bryanna Clark Grogan? She is a librarian and amazing vegan cookbook author who lives on Denman Island. We recently sent her some of Steve’s handmade wooden spoons. Lovely to know that she is most probably a hippy like all of us ;). The river is our river, our property fronts directly onto that river and Steve is 2 minutes away (the driveway distance) from dropping his little aluminium dinghy into the water and heading out for a morning or evenings fishing or just “pootling around” ;).
      Lastly the wet wind dropped a massive great tree almost on the house last night as it was so wet, windy and we didn’t even hear it fall! It had been compromised by fungi and was rotten inside and with the combination of very little rain all summer it was tinder dry, it soaked up it’s weights worth of rain and got heavy and the extreme wind that we had yesterday just took it out. More firewood for the coming season ;). I inherited some lovely matching cups and saucers from my reprobate father when he died (along with Serendipity Farm and our daughters home in town). I am storing them in town as I have no idea what to do with them and we are mug people rather than cup and saucer and pinky fingers et al. They were once worth a lot of money but the bottom fell out of the market and now they are just “pretty”. I kept a gorgeous blue and white one (who doesn’t love blue and white anything?) but the rest are just shards waiting to happen if they get housed here…Bezial and Earl are particularly fond of careening about the place at 100miles/hour and banging into things…I don’t think I need to say anything else there do I? ;). Have a great evening, morning, whatever it is over there in Canada. My daughters want to move to Canada by the way. Its cold, the people are nice and they just love it :). If they ever move I will come visit you and we can “do lunch” 😉


  8. Linne
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 14:07:28

    Sorry about the squares: Word interpreted the 😛 as an empty square. Is that a comment on my overuse of smileys?


    • narf77
      Mar 22, 2013 @ 14:53:17

      If you do them in word and they change to smileys in word they won’t get recognised in WordPress. You have to do this : and ) in the actual comment box or it turns into squares…I learned that early on due to my overuse of all things smiley, frowny, winky and O_o 😉


  9. Linne
    Mar 23, 2013 @ 07:35:03

    All hail co-prime Minister Narf, unanimously elected to ‘narf’ the universe back into shape, one blog at a time! and her fellow Prime Ministers (we know who you are…); all in the service of humanity, the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms… Lead on, McNarf!!


    • narf77
      Mar 23, 2013 @ 10:19:47

      I don’t think the world is ready for president Narf to be honest, I have megalomaniacal tendancies that run to the extreme…”free solar power for all! A water tank in every home!…no more supermarket waste and DAMN THE MAN!”…might be popular at first till the economy gave up in disgust ;).


  10. Finn Holding
    Mar 23, 2013 @ 09:00:22

    Hello Fran, I’d heard that Google were discontinuing the Reader, good for you for finding an even better alternative. I’m trying to find a better way to manage blogs I follow then email and G Reader so I’ll give Feeddemon a go. Thanks for the tip.

    I like your approach to starting the day off with some jazz. Music is such a good way to improve the state of mind. I’ve just had a bastard of a week so I’m unwinding to some very loud tunes (through headphones to avoid upsetting the wife and kids). I started off with Bob Marley before moving on to a bass strum to Sisters of Mercy, and now in true 1970’s style I’m on to Judas Priest and it’s making my eyeballs vibrate! So I’ve completely forgotten about my rubbish week 🙂

    It was really nice to see my kites and starlings appearing again here and thanks for the nice comments. And you’re dead right it too easy to get distracted and miss the action. On which subject I just happened to glance out the window yesterday to see a pair of siskins on my seed feeder. It was the first time I’ve seen one in the garden and they’re gorgeous little chaps (photo to follow on the Naturephile).


    • narf77
      Mar 23, 2013 @ 10:31:03

      Steve says “Kudos Finn for liking one of my favourite bands”… he has everything by the Sisters of Mercy and actually sat on the bus behind the band once…mustn’t have been making much money at that stage ;). We were only singing “Breakin’ the law” while walking the dogs yesterday…great minds think alike ;). I have never heard of siskins (but you can be sure I am off to image search them as soon as I post this comment 😉 ). Have a great weekend to counteract that shitty week. Nothing like a good blast of your own peculiar brand of musical happiness to clear out the crap and start your weekend off on the right foot. I listened to the killers, Image Dragons (practically the killers again 😉 ) and Ben Folds latest today and feel practically wholesome now 🙂


      • Finn Holding
        Mar 23, 2013 @ 19:30:49

        The awesome power of a good tune!

        Return kudos to Steve too – SoM are ace and they have some nice bass lines which in my novice state of bass playing are fun to strum.

        BTW siskins are lovely little chaps, they’re finches which are black and yellow and white, and an uncommon site in my garden!

  11. thinkingcowgirl
    Mar 23, 2013 @ 09:27:16

    Your first line had me laughing…about your pants! The UK kind of pants I’m meaning 😉

    Oh so glad you’ve had some rain…that cow meadow is exactly the opposite of what we’ve got – practically under water.

    It is sad about the orchard, what a lot of hard work must have gone into it. But on the upside, plenty of ‘wild’ space for all those crazy australian insects and animals. We have it easy don’t we!


    • narf77
      Mar 23, 2013 @ 10:40:22

      In the U.K. you are either drowning or dripping and very rarely dry 😉 All of your insects and birds are completely spoiled. Our poor wasps have to wait for me to start up the hose just to get a drink…they are so parched they come from everywhere for the chance to get blown at high velocity from the end of my hose. The birds flock from all over the place to our 3 birdbaths as there is precious little fresh water around and we have to constantly fill them but since the Vernal Equinox (my new best friend 😉 ) it has been raining here and I am in absolute bliss…we have Brunhilda on today and I will spend the day baking, boiling, souping, stewing, dehydrating, melting, and anything else that takes my fancy. Tonights post is just going to be photos of today and captions underneath… lots and LOTS of photos that we took of Serendipity Farm’s newfound wet happiness 🙂 See you there 🙂


  12. Sophie33
    Mar 24, 2013 @ 21:54:04

    Thanks for this lovely post! I enjoyed it thoroughly too! 🙂 xxx


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