The great sushi carousel of life…

Hi All,

I come up with some wonderful ideas while I am walking Earl. I don’t know whether it’s the wonderful early morning fresh air or the constant jerking around, back and forth, sometimes being dragged, sometimes dragging, all the time on edge and ready for action that jogs my brain around enough to get it back on track and actively thinking again but thoughts randomly appear and usually nothing to do with what Steve and I might be talking about at the time. I was talking about studying and suddenly the thought that life was like an ethereal sushi carousel came to me. We sit down at the bar and we watch little plates of experience pass us by. We eyeball them suspiciously (the older we get the more suspicious we get 😉 ) and we tentatively pick up plates we deem “suitable” and leave those plates that tend to be something we are suspicious or afraid of. Most of us are fine with the Californian roll. Nothing to worry about there folks! The salmon and avocado? “Don’t mind if I do!” How about a nice inside out sushi roll? “Yup, reachin’ over for that one RIGHT now…” but then you get something indistinguishable…something plain out “weird”. “What the heck is that?!” It has fish eggs or something bright orange and glow-in-the-darky and flaky brown bits on it…not sure but if I don’t grab that plate, it is going to head straight past me in a most determined sped up sushi carousel sort of way and it might not come around another time…someone else might snap up that weird creation and I might never get to taste it… then you have to factor in the cost at the end of your meal. We all arrive at the end one day folks and what we have ingested in our own little personal sushi bar of life is going to dictate how we pay at the end. I guess walking Earl does have its benefits. If it can jog my mind into crazy analogies at least these early morning wrangling events that have me completely knackered at the end are worth a few paragraphs of blog fodder 😉


This is NOT sushi…this is Bezial, shamelessly luxuriating in the warm spot that I just left to go to the loo at 2.30am…no point trying to wake him up now as he is OBVIOUSLY fast asleep…sigh…looks like an early morning for narf7! 😉


Bezial in his rightful place in the bed…if you look a bit closer you will see the accusatory eyes that are telling me “turn off that bloody light don’t you know its 2.30am!”…sigh…

That was a long paragraph…sorry about that folks. I am learning to break up my words so that you don’t need to come up for air in the middle but that paragraph needed to be kept together for posterity. An artist can’t be destroying her creation now! ;). Not sure when I am going to post this post. I have The Virtual Vegan Potluck post this Saturday…then next Wednesday I have a post all about the progressive garage sale that also occurs on Saturday. Luckily I already have my VVP post done and dusted (well I will by the day 😉 ) and all of the tinker-doohickie stuff that we had to learn to put linky buttons to link my post to the post before me, and after me in the list of more than 150 blogs that are taking part was a major blogging lesson. It turns out it’s very easy to put a linky to a picture to take you somewhere else in a blog. It’s also easy to schedule your post to post itself! You learn something every day. Tonight’s post is already done and so this poor post most probably won’t see the light of day till the Saturday after next!


I would get you to cast your minds back to the episode of “Black Adder” where Black Adder is trying to teach Baldrick to count…I quote “What do you get when you have 2 beans, and you add 2 more beans?”…and Baldrick answers “A small casserole”. Behold…a small casserole.


I was amazed to get this amount of dried beans from the small bean cube of vegetation that the possums couldn’t reach with their questing extended little hairy arms. I have enough to grow lots of beans next Spring and to share with friends.

I guess them’s the breaks when you have a sushi carousel moment of clarity that you want to share. Whenever you get this post I hope you will think about occasionally taking a little bit of a risk with your “sushi”. This is a single carousel line folks…we only get one chance to sample that sushi and the older we get; the more cautious we tend to be. Life has handed us sea urchin roe before and we are MOST wary of putting that disgusting stuff in our mouths again and so we tend to look harder, taste slower and get ready to spit in a moment’s notice. In the process we often lose that chance to sample truly magnificent things because we let our fear of that disgusting sea urchin (yes…I HAVE tried it :o( ) ruin our future gustatory enjoyment of life. Taste it slowly, savour it and if necessary spit it out, but at least give it a go :o) (apart from the sea urchin roe…you have my permission to let that one glide right on past 😉 )


Steve took me a few shots of The Gorge, a heritage area very close to Launceston. As you can see the deciduous trees are in full colour. Gorgeous isn’t it? Why aren’t I taking these shots? Because right in front of the car is a sign saying “No Dogs”…sigh…I waited with Earl and Bezial in the car while Steve knocked himself out taking photos 😉


Another glorious shot of The Gorge

I love sharing the love. I consider myself to be a collector of life’s detritus and someone who was born to pass things on. Generosity comes naturally to me and I have a sneaking suspicion that is solely because we didn’t have a lot of money when I was a child and so living comfortably without it is where I feel most secure. Would you like a book? Take one from the bookshelf, I probably haven’t read it for ages…how about something from the garden? Let’s get the secateurs and go hunt. I have so many potted plants out there I could probably populate your front garden and we STILL wouldn’t notice the plants I gave you missing. I am not the only one who realised the value of sharing the love. On Thursday, Steve and I headed down the driveway (who am I kidding…Steve skidded down behind an overexcited Earl and Bezial ran circles around them delighting in his free state and I trundled down picking Easter lily seeds and tossing them into areas of the garden where I want Easter lilies in the future…) for our daily walk with the dogs. Nothing unusual there but Steve checked the mail box on a whim. I don’t know what he is waiting for…HE doesn’t know what he is waiting for but he always has to check the mailbox whenever we go past it 😉

DSCF1759Incidentally, this isn’t a small casserole…it’s a large quiche made with eggs that our hens have now remembered how to lay after a 5 month hiatus…funny how a few weeks out foraging in the garden can jog your egg laying parts isn’t it girls? 😉


The suspense is palpable…

Today his checking was rewarded. A small and most discrete parcel rested on the rusty bottom of our mailbox. An address in the U.K. showed that it came from my blog pal Thinking Cowgirl and after we got back from our walk (drag) I tucked the parcel under my jacket (it was raining) and wondered at what she had sent to me. The weather has turned decidedly feral here in Tassie. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! It’s cold and we had 3 solid days rain this week which made my soul smile. Forget superficial rain love, this runs deep and primal and ancient inside me and echoes the dusty sighs of those trees outside that were clinging tenaciously to the tiny bit of moisture that they could suck from deep down in the soil. Dry was an understatement for the horrific season we just had. “Arid” is a more appropriate word. I knew that we would get a very tough winter after that summer. It seemed somewhat inevitable and as we head into the last month of autumn we are getting temperatures less than 10C. Only last month we were hitting 28C. It’s a bit of a culture shock and I have the chilblains to prove it!


Hens in their “Happy Place”…invading the garden en masse


My kind of card 🙂

What was in my parcel you (nosy buggers) say? I got inside and lay the parcel down on the kitchen table with reverence. I headed off to let out the chooks (hell hath no fury (or lack of eggs) like 8 furious chooks that have to wait inside their pen to be let out!) and sweep the mats (something I have to do on a regular basis or they end up hairier than Earl…) and put the kettle onto Brunhilda after feeding her up with her woody rations and then I sat down to ponder the parcel. It was very light and came in a wonderful recycled paper bag. I carefully opened it to find a card and beautifully wrapped tissue paper gift inside…I opened my card first and instantly fell in love with the message. “The Biscuit of Loveliness” Underneath, a hand drawn illustration of said biscuit in all of its comeliness radiating out its gorgeousness and a simple prayer underneath…

A Prayer

Shine down upon us with your


Make us glow and sparkle

Like HAPPY children in the

Glorious dance of LIFE


The Gorge is beautiful at this time of year…you might almost think that we were in Canada


Lovely moss covered rocks.

Amen sister! You nailed it Sarah :o). There is NOTHING more satisfying than a simple well-cooked crunchy homemade biscuit of loveliness to accompany your beverage of choice (I no longer have a choice, if I don’t drink tea I cease to exist…) and the simple ritual of imbibing that biscuit is the secret to happiness…it’s all in the small stuff folks! That’s where happiness lives…it resides in those humble oat biscuits that your mum made you and sent you as rations because otherwise she just KNOWS you are going to starve…that cup of tea that you knock together when you have just come in out of the cold that tastes like the pure distilled elixir of heaven and that manages to warm body, soul and spirit all in one…those simple little moments of gold that we are being taught to ignore for the sake of someone else’s profit margin and new Mercedes are the real reason that we are here. That biscuit of loveliness might just save someone’s life, might just be the reason that someone gives it another day here on this glorious battered planet revolving around the sun.


The steps leading up to the car park at The Gorge


Some of these shots are going to make it into Steve’s final assessment

So what did Sarah send me? Aside from some seriously gorgeous tissue paper that I most carefully folded and saved for “later”, she sent me a horticulturalists winter happiness folks! Sarah is a fellow horticulturalist. In fact, if we are being honest here, Sarah is a REAL horticulturalist. Steve and I might have thrown ourselves in at the deep end and might have collected more seed and grown more seedlings than a small African nation since we started studying horticulture but Sarah has worked in the industry. Sarah speaks from years of experience and Sarah knows what a horticulturalist needs in life. Copious quantities of beverage of your choice. Great bickies to carry you through your day. Throw bags and bags of them into the car all you aspiring horticulturalists because when you are out there bums up in someone else’s garden, in the wilderness 100km away from the nearest shops, that thermos and a bag of out of code biscuits that you find under the seat are going to be all the food that you get out here! Forget sandwiches and picnics on the lawn, that’s for people without horse manure under their nails…a biscuit is calorie dense, satisfying, quick to eat and you can throw half of it back into the bag and leave it for another year and it will STILL be good! Perfect food for an horticulturalist…


You can’t have enough shots of that beautiful staircase…(well maybe you can but Steve took them for you all so you can just sit back and enjoy them 😉 )


Isn’t this little old rotunda pretty? It’s about 150 years old and still looks beautiful today.

Sarah has been bums up creating someone else’s dream more times than she might care to remember. When you are at the coal face of creativity where it meets active participation and fundamental action you learn quick smart what really matters in horticulture. You don’t need all of the whizz bang “stuff” that they try to sell you when you start. Bypass all of that expensive bampf and do yourself a favour. Spend up big on the best pair of secateurs you can find. Get some decent steel cap boots that you can wear comfortably and after wearing them in, you can’t feel them anymore…extensions of your feet is what you need folks with the added benefit of saving your toes when you are exhausted after 9 hours digging trenches and forget that your foot isn’t part of the ground… some sturdy clothes that are going to take the punishment you are about to inflict on them. Forget those gorgeous Laura Ashley printed “frocks” that you see in gardening magazines, head down to your nearest workman’s store and pick up whatever you like from the colour range, blue or khaki…them’s your choices folks!


I couldn’t resist sharing this little family of common house sparrows with you. I hadn’t ever seen a sparrow living in Western Australia because they are actively destroyed should any of them be discovered anywhere near the border. We also didn’t have starlings or blackbirds or bumble bees but here in Tassie we have all of them. These little guys seem to think that no-one can see them and perhaps no-one can…maybe it takes someone who delights in them to be able to take the time out of their busy day to enjoy them enough to see them 🙂


Inner city Launceston…a very pretty city indeed and this sort of view goes a long way towards making me less homesick for Western Australia 🙂

After that you can throw in a few gardening tools but don’t go fancy, you just need something to reliably dig, something smaller to weed and if you are feeling particularly adventurous, something to hoe with. The K.I.S.S. principle is most important here because horticulturalists are like Gypsies, they are transient folk. Mohammad has to move with the mountain on a constant journey from place to place, garden to garden, compost heap to green waste site at the local council (although clever horticulturalists make use of other people’s green waste to their own profit 😉 ) a constant cycle of moving back and forth that starts with dragging your tired derrière out of bed and ends with dropping it right back into bed to sleep the sleep of the dead and awake again to another round. Horticulture isn’t an easy career choice folks but it is rewarding.


“BEHOLD the mitts of eternal happiness!” 🙂


Gloves that are shamelessly never taken off pointing at the biscuit of loveliness now ensconced over my monitor so that I can remind myself to glow and sparkle on a regular basis 🙂

Back to that parcel you say? I had to fill you in on the reality of horticulture before the precious nature of what Sarah had sent to me, a gift from someone who recognised my passion from her own echoed passion deep within her. Once plants get hold of you they don’t let go. You can take an hiatus from them…they will allow you that, but like fungus, their underground network has infested you, you belong to THEM now and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. You signed an ancient primal waver when you started to dig the soil and you planted that first plant. They count you as ally and you count them as master. Sarah has been “on hold” of late…dabbling…but reading between the lines the fungus is restless…it has been tweaking at her peripherals and Sarah has been gardening again folks…for other people. Sarah knows what horticulturalists really need. She “knows”. Sarah sent me a pair of hand knitted fingerless, but more importantly “thumbless” gloves. I put them on instantly and knew that I wouldn’t be taking them off much for the rest of our cold season. From one horticulturalist to another…our fundamental slavetude unites us…the plants might call us but we are still able to communicate with the outside world (for now) and my gratitude is deeper than those plant roots :o).


Frozen hands holding a mug (bucket) of tea immediately after returning from a sub zero dog walk and finding these most welcome fingerless mitts in the mail 🙂


Chickens thinking about invading the vegetable garden while I am watching them but biding their time till I am out of sight…

Sarah, you are a true friend :o) I will wear these amazing gloves until they fall apart. I have plans to knit more. I suck at knitting but these gloves are so amazing I can’t be without them in our cold season for the rest of my life. I will perfect my ribbing simply so that my newfound best wrist friends will always be close at hand like those biscuits in the car…several rolled up pairs will be stashed in the glove box, the boot, in various voluminous winter coat pockets and in Steve’s tool kit to be found out in the forest when I realise that it is -5C and I forgot to bring a pair. I will knit Steve pairs of them…My knitting will improve exponentially simply because I can’t be without these mitts EVER. I will probably learn to cable now. I will learn how to weave ends in because I am going to NEED to do these babies in rainbow colours. It all started from one horticulturalist to another who recognised on some fundamental level that a need had to be met…the plants whispered it to Sarah…Sarah listened…the plants have spoken. And I have a gorgeous pair of mitts that I adore with a passion that is at once both enormous and pathetic in its glory…I am in love and that’s all that I need to say apart from “Thankyou Sarah from the bottom of my heart…for my biscuit that now lives over my P.C. monitor and for my long suffering wrists that now reside in ambient comfort…you are a true friend and you have my eternal horticultural gratitude :o)”


This Cordyline australis makes this sunset on Serendipity Farm look somewhat tropical. One might even be forgiven for thinking we were someplace warm…can you see where the possums have been scratching away at the bark on this poor specimen?


And a final shot of sunset on Serendipity…a lovely cold evening with the promise of many more to come…just how narf7 loves it! 😉

Steve and I have been studying for a week. We have been honing our Photoshop skills to satisfy said studies and are really learning about how to manipulate images. I never thought I would enjoy this course anywhere near as much as I am but it is certainly taking a lot of our time. Today is the first day that it hasn’t rained and we have a weekend of sunshine…frigid sunshine to get stuck into digging our holes and concreting in our poles to get our new fully enclosed garden started. And thus it begins folks…like mice we scurry from studies to garden and back again…we were in Launceston for the entire day yesterday taking photos for our final Photoshop assessment. Our next adventure in our course is going to take us both into foreign territory involving parts of the Adobe CS6 suite that we have never heard of, let alone used. It’s going to be an interesting journey indeed! But for now we are busy beyond belief and so I am going to have to hug you and leave you all there folks. Have a fantastic week till we meet again for our L.A. meeting (Life Anonymous…) and confess our sins for another day :o) Don’t forget to take that plate of squidgy lumpy grey sushi by the way… you might not eat it today, but it might just be the seasoning that makes your life bearable tomorrow…

37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. brymnsons
    May 18, 2013 @ 19:11:09

    Well that was a lovely gift from Sarah. I can’t wait to see the ones you knit too. You will not have them off your hands!!! I seem to be a bit opposite to most people in that I started life being very careful and have over time become much less so. I look back to when I was a young’n and think “if only.” If only I had been more courageous, outgoing, adventurous etc. I am becoming more of these things as I get older. I will be that old lady at the shops who talks to strangers and breaks out into song (maybe not, I’m a tad flat lol) when I feel like it lol. Ha ha oh well we will see eh. Some lovely photos Steve. Don’t the deciduous trees look amazing. We have a whole row of them near our house in Perth and they are just gorgeous, I will miss them this year. It is quite nippy here, about an average of 2 degrees in the mornings, but beautiful blue sky days. No rain yet, so we will see what happens….


    • narf77
      May 19, 2013 @ 04:22:28

      Those gloves came at the right time but I still got 2 chilblains…our mornings are now sub zero and it’s only autumn! By the time you get here Kymmy it might be snow all round in Tassie! Stranger things have happened. :). I, too, started out a mouse. I spent my first 34 years of life just “going with the flow”. I hit 34 and suddenly realised that life was passing me by and I wasn’t happy…I also felt completely and utterly out of control and like my destiny wasn’t in my hands. After some life changing events I decided to set out and find out what life was actually about. That was the beginning of my journey to find “me”. Not a selfish thing to do but vital to live your life to the fullest you can. You have to start inside before you can look out and really see how lucky you are :). I feel much happier, much more contented and much more grateful and thankful about my life now because I really do appreciate waking up in the morning, being able to walk the dogs, having a partner that makes me soup, having children who are quirky, intelligent wonderful human beings that I can have a really good (albeit “strange” 😉 ) conversation with and I am actually glad that I started life so closed in and straight line. It gave me a wonderful place to branch out from and flower…we should all start from a small seed and go from there Kymmy and at least there will be 2 of us old ladies, wearing rainbow stripes humming in the supermarket 🙂


  2. dwayland
    May 18, 2013 @ 23:32:52

    I think you are right that the plate of squidgy lumpy grey sushi is the seasoning that makes your life bearable tomorrow. Nice. Your arm warmers are beauteous. I love wearing mine. I’ve even taken to ripping apart old sweaters to make them. Ahhh, comfy, warm, and upcycling! “course, I won’t need any for many months. We had temps in the 100s F the other day. Yuck and way too early for those. Oh well, we make due with whatever life has thrown at us. Have a lovely day!


    • narf77
      May 19, 2013 @ 04:15:35

      Upcycled jumper sleeves? What a great idea! My kids spent their teenaged years “upcycling” anything with a long sleeve to be a fingerless mitt by cutting holes an inch down from the cuff and sticking their thumbs through…I guess I was twitching too much at the cost of new (ravelled) jumpers to see that I might just be able to use this universal teenager trend to my own advantage… I might even hunt down some good old fashioned woolly hand knitted jumpers and felt them! A great idea and cheers Deb for give it to me 🙂 Sorry about your heat but thems the breaks! You Northeners complained for so long about how tough your winter was that the powers that be heard you and gave you what you wanted…we are getting the flip side and I am NOT complaining! I would rather cold weather any day to the horrific hot long dry summer that sucked the moisture out of the air and almost did our garden in completely. I will be spending our winter “summer proofing” our garden this year, mulching EVERYTHING and setting up eccentric little watering systems like one of those Japanese machines that don’t actually do anything but are incredibly intricate…all over Serendipity Farm! Pitagora Suicchi has nothing on us 😉


  3. tracyloveshistory
    May 19, 2013 @ 00:32:58

    I also get the chilblains on the knuckles, so I think your mittens are the best sort of present, and the card is a treat.

    The main reason for popping in, however, is not to talk about Victorian ailments or your dog, who is beautiful, but to say that I love your new gravatar. We think that Steve looks delightful in pigtails, although might we suggest a little less five o’clock shadow.


    • narf77
      May 19, 2013 @ 04:09:46

      I am honoured that you would cross the Tasman to visit my humble little blog Mrs 23Thorns :). Firstly, I now have 2 chilblains on my knuckles courtesy of our lovely arctic conditions here in Tasmania, the dog is SHAMELESS and his desire to depose me from my side of the bed hasn’t gone un-noted and the new gravatar isn’t Steve. It’s an amazing quirky U.K. comedian that I am an avid follower of called Bill Bailey. I pinched this mug shot from an episode of a U.K. sitcom called Black Books he acted in that if you haven’t seen, you are missing an opportunity to see true comedic craftsmanship. It is set in a book shop and I dare say both you and Mr 23Thorns would be amused by the entire premise. It was short running (like all wonderful comedy series should be) and Steve and I photo shopped “Manny-in-pigtails” as an homage to Mr 23Thorns bewildered dear constant readers who might need a bit of a transition between “confident writer” and “chicky-babe”…I feel that Manny in pigtails might just BE that missing link :). Consider this my bit towards intercontinental blogging harmony 🙂


      • tracyloveshistory
        May 19, 2013 @ 04:27:09

        Oh for heaven’s sake! I’m making it worse by calling Manny in pigtails ‘Steve’. Sorry Steve. Forgive me. Both 23 and I have terrible eyesight. I’ve seen Bill Bailey on QI, and you look nothing like him. Not that looking like Bill Bailey would be bad, you know. I’ll stop talking now. ‘Kay.

      • narf77
        May 19, 2013 @ 05:28:32


  4. teawithhazel
    May 19, 2013 @ 08:36:18

    i’m so glad you’re getting rain after such a hot must have been so dispiriting watching the garden languish in the you have plenty of water?
    i’m loving all the good things associated with the cooler weather especially after a day working in the garden..a roaring fire, hot soup and steaming pots of your gloves by the way..such a thoughtful gift! x


    • narf77
      May 19, 2013 @ 15:07:24

      Hi Jane 🙂 I am loving winter too. We went straight from 28C temperatures down to 10C and I am NOT complaining in the least :). Steve just poured the concrete for the poles that we are just about to make our enormous fully enclosed veggie garden bed out of and I couldn’t be a happier camper :). No more possums and wallabies helping themselves to my veggies whenever they feel like it and I can grow some serious food inside that fortress and I won’t have to limbo just to get into the small gardens that I have now that we had to turn into fort knox just to get a few veggies through the summer. We don’t have water here sadly. We live right on the Tamar river and on a steep slope and as penniless student hippies we haven’t been able to afford a water tank. When dad died and left us this place he left us a little bit of money as well and we spent a reasonable proportion of it on Brunhilda, our massive great 4 oven wood burning stove. We figured that she would heat our water for us for 10 months of the year, would warm the house (which she does, sometimes TOO much) and we could both cook and dry clothes in front of her. She is all Aussie made and cost a bomb! We could have bought a cheaper stove but would have had to compromise with the hot water jacket, not really an option but we could have bought a rain water tank…swings and roundabouts really. I wish we had the money to get a large water tank but we don’t. We are saving up towards one and who knows, one day we might find one second hand? Anyway, till we get one we are slaves to the long dry Tasmanian summers and to that effect, we are formulating/hatching a cunning plan to irrigate our gardens most effectively this year using quadrant dripper systems that can be moved. All will be revealed later on in the year…lets just say “pure genius” has been bantered around ;). I love those gloves! I think they are starting to meld with my skin though as I haven’t taken them off since I got them ;). Hot soup is my answer to heaven Jane, you hit the nail RIGHT on the head. Hot soup, a nice hunk of good homemade bread, your feet with socks on up in front of that wonderful wood burning stove, a good book in your hands and you, fast asleep snoring gently in front of the fire…that might not be your reality but it is certainly mine if I try to read after lunch ;). Have a great week this week and enjoy this gorgeous cool weather, I certainly am 🙂


  5. Christi Killien
    May 19, 2013 @ 10:46:19

    Your body and mind are actively focused elsewhere so the unconscious can offer up the goods, uh sushi. I know the feeling EXACTLY. This is why I carry stickie note pads and pencil stubs in my pockets and have them lying around the house in every room. To capture the weird sushis. 🙂 Nice analogy.

    The picture of Bezial on his back is hilarious. HOW can that be comfortable?

    Those mitts look wonderful! I, too, suck at knitting, but I’m getting fleece off of the goats now and WILL card it and spin it. The first steps to mitts, eh? 🙂

    Good luck with your hole digging this weekend. Hugs from Olalla.


    • narf77
      May 19, 2013 @ 15:12:11

      Fleece collected and knitted up into mitts would be mitts that you could weather snow in Christi :). Congratulations on being freshly pressed by the way! That’s apparently something pretty special and Farmlet IS pretty special and you deserve all the kudos that WordPress can give you :). If I knit some more of these mits I will share the results with you all just so that you can have a good laugh ;). Steve dug the holes yesterday and today we concreted in the poles ready to put the netting up around the perimeter. We have decided to wait till a bit closer to summer time to put the netting over the top as we won’t be planting out the garden yet. I am going to use my existing gardens for my first winter garden as a trial. The chooks are cleaning up the old remnant summer veg leaves etc nicely and will have cleared out all of the insect life. I am still getting eggplants and spinach and silverbeet at the moment but will be planting out some of the lovely seedlings that I have ready to go in as soon as Steve and I get that netting up. It’s all go here on Serendipity Farm! Hows that lovely jam going for the wedding favours by the way? Fruit will soon be nice and cheap and there will be gluts for you to take advantage of 🙂 Hopefully you get a lovely warm summer this year that warms your heart and gives you an amazing season of happiness 🙂 Hugs from Sidmouth 🙂


      • Christi Killien
        May 20, 2013 @ 01:09:34

        Wow, postholes and concrete. That is such hard work. Austin has just finished the new deck postholes here and is making an inventory of needed materials today. We’re 10C this morning and cloudy, but I’m not turning on the heat. It’s OVER over here! I’m making jam today, but not for the wedding. We’re out! I’m searching out the best price for the wedding jars now, though. I’ll start them in June methinks.

        And thanks for the Freshly Pressed cheers. It’s been wild. I have no idea how Farmlet got selected, but I usually get 300-400 views a week, right? And I’ve had 70 subscriber/followers for ages now. So I get an email on Thursday morning saying “The Dogsology” has been chosen and to get out the welcome mat. WordPress posts it along with a few others on their home page on Friday morning and OMG, Friday had 415 views! Yesterday was 308! My Stats charts have gone bonkers. And the best news, 127 subscribers now. What a boon. I’m grateful … and now living in fear that this next week’s blog will be a dud. 😉 Such it is to be human. Anyway, it’s been a rush and every blogger should be so lucky!!!

        Sending love and digging energy your way. 🙂

      • narf77
        May 20, 2013 @ 03:31:05

        We seem to be sharing temperatures with you at the moment. 10C is about our blooming lot most days but I LOVE IT :). Steve used to work “in the industry” and knows his way around post holes, concrete and hard physical work so he doesn’t take much time to do a job and to do it well :). WOW! I didn’t know that “Freshly Pressed” was such a big deal! Kudos girl! 🙂 I had someone else tell me about it but didn’t really know what they were talking about (technical things make my mind turn itself off). I am really chuffed that you are reaping the benefits Christi, your blog is wonderful. I remember the very first time I saw it after hunting it down through images of your gorgeous homemade hoop house. I felt like I had come out into a clearing in the woods and found fairies and pixies, real magic :). The digging has finished now and we have to start cutting netting in earnest. We need to cut the big fishing nets (that are currenly sprouting thistles they have been sitting in the same place so long! 😉 ) in halves ready to mount them and start the real creation bit of the garden. I have some serious hard work coming up in cutting up the branches of the wattles that we had to fell (nitrogenous plants so they should be good for our purposes) to use as the basis for the garden beds that I have to build inside the enclosure. I have plans for a sort of fluid design based on keyhole gardening so that I can make use of every single spare inch of space. My hops are going to LOVE being either side of the gates that we will be installing ASAP (well…when we pick them up from Jenny’s 😉 ) as we are fixing them to a pair of eucalyptus trees that are conveniently growing quite close together. We have used nature whenever we could to help us with this garden.

        As we were banging the poles into the ground and Steve was pouring in the concrete I was getting more and more excited about this garden and what it is going to mean for our food production…I have so many plans! I want to fully enclose the small orchard next and then make plans for a massive extension on this new garden but first, we need to finish the one that we are working on…so many plans… 😉 Have a fantastic week Christi and hopefully you get a serious bargain on those jars. Hunt around as I know you will get a bargain :). Hugs and jam energy being sent right back to you 🙂

  6. cathyandchucky
    May 19, 2013 @ 12:48:58

    Hey there Fronkii. Lovely post again. Loved the photo of the duck masquerading as a chook next to the vegie patch. Did they get in there? Sea urchin roe is the most despicable product ever shot out of an animals bum! Like you, Jason and I tasted it and had to swallow it as we were in a Jaws Café with all those lovely other sushi dishes wending their way around and surrounded by other diners! ERK! Never going to put that egg product in our mouths again! Sea urchins may very well take over the oceans like cockroaches do the land, little buggers.


    • narf77
      May 19, 2013 @ 15:16:02

      The duck hangs around with Big Yin and if she gets out of sight she panics and starts quacking loudly. I am in complete agreeance with you about sea urchin roe. It is food from the underworld! Dad forced me to try it once years ago…if I am not mistaken, Barry Cracknel was someplace in the picture at the time…and I almost barfed and I am NOT fussy! I LOVE Jaws café 🙂 I get all warm and fuzzy thinking about sitting there eating plate after plate of salmon sushi and gorgeous fresh fish. Sorry to all my vegan mates but it was the bomb! ;). Sea urchins won’t take over the oceans as there are strange people out there that actually like that flavour…is it a flavour? I don’t know that I could actually tell anyone what “flavour” it had other than “Blllaaaarrrgooooi!” That roughly approximates it folks! 😉


  7. Chica Andaluza
    May 19, 2013 @ 20:43:59

    Reading that post was like lying in a hot bath (filled with lovely lavender smells of course)…wonderful! And what a fantastic gift from Sarah. Stunning shots too (thanks Steve). And had to chuckle at you being ousted from your own bed 😉


    • narf77
      May 20, 2013 @ 03:20:10

      Yup…Bezial is probably the happiest pup this side of the pecos thanks to my early morning habits. He could have cared less in summer but now that Jack frost is nipping at his extremities in the early morning hours, as soon as I lift up the hot water bottle cover that I have put over our overzealous clock radio to see what time it is, that dog can hear my rustling from 3 rooms away where he is lying in state next to Brunhilda and comes trotting in ready to jump straight into my spot and get covered over by the duvet! Glad you liked the post…I knew I wrote it for someone :). You can have the time to go thrift shopping again now! Time to find things and renovate them and cook wonderful summer Spanish delicacies and make us ALL jealous of your wonderful mountain life…I can’t wait 🙂


      • Chica Andaluza
        May 21, 2013 @ 20:52:56

        Our pups come running when they hear a food cupboard being opened or a knife and chopping board being taken out…this can only mean “food”!!! I’m looking forward too to getting creative again and my little sun/sewing room is already full of fabric and patterns which I hauled out yesterday ready to decide on my first project 🙂 Calamares from the fish man for lunch today…sigh!

      • narf77
        May 22, 2013 @ 03:50:22

        True happiness really only comes from finding yourself back in your best routines with no place to go but up :). All I have to do is start sharpening a knife and the dogs come running…good things need sharp knives apparently 😉

  8. Joanna
    May 21, 2013 @ 07:44:31

    Hi nice to meet you and see your dogs and how comfy they make themselves. It does look very autumnal and sounds chilly. I wear fingerless and thumbless gloves in the winter for the prosaic reason that we pick up poo in bags where we walk as part of the deal with the city that lets us use the land to walk the dogs and manipulating a flimsy biodegradable in a howling wind with gloves is bound to end up in tears. So the gloves are essential ! (bet you wanted to know that 🙂 ) Yours look beautiful and practical. I was sent a vacuum packed chunk of a tarragon plant from Italy today, I have put it in a pot and hope for the best That was what was on my plate of sushi today. all best, Jo


    • narf77
      May 21, 2013 @ 17:06:21

      Our dogs make themselves a bit TOO comfy ;). Drop by any time, there is always a kettle on Brunhilda (our 4 oven wood burning stove) and some form of biscuit (cookie) in the barrel 🙂


  9. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    May 22, 2013 @ 05:55:10

    The gloves are really nice and that was so thoughtful of Sarah. I’m a beginning knitter, not that advanced. I would love to go inside that rotunda just to see if I felt its history. We have a gorge a little over two hours from us called Red River. We haven’t been there for awhile. Chris mentioned going this weekend, but since we just got back from vacation we really need to work around here.


  10. Littlesundog
    May 22, 2013 @ 08:49:02

    I really love those mitts! I used to knit a lot. I suppose I could blow the dust off my old knitting needles and give them a whirl! What a fabulous idea!


  11. thinkingcowgirl
    May 23, 2013 @ 05:52:38

    Wow, I’m just catching up… might employ you for my funeral eulogy 😉 so many nice things said about me! SO glad the wristwarmers and card are giving you so much pleasure.

    I really like the sushi carousel as an analogy for life. Right now I’m on a particularly challenging dish which is nutritionally essential but you’re never gonna like it 😦


    • narf77
      May 23, 2013 @ 05:57:11

      You would be AMAZED at what you can veganise and I cook a lot of omni stuff for Steve still…aside from tripe…he won’t eat it! 😉 (or okra…I won’t cook it! 😉 )…so if it is tripe and okra with brown sauce (my pet HATE) you are absolutely right…I won’t be going there in a blind fit…add a bit of sea urchin roe and you are most of the way to creating something SO disgusting that you might even get in the Guinness World Book of records! 🙂


  12. rabidlittlehippy
    May 23, 2013 @ 19:02:29

    LOVE your gantlets! I knitted myself a pair (just black pattern, no pretty colour patterns like yours) and I love them to bits! I want to make me some more for sure. The easiest way to do them is just to knit the appropriately sized rectangle then sew it up leaving a thumb-hole sized gap in the appropriate place but there are funky cable ones (cabling is a cinch and my cabled gauntlets were my first cabling attempt) and some stunningly patterned ones I’ve seen on Ravelry too. HEAPS of patterns.

    Love the sushi analogy. Very fitting. And yes, inspiration strikes at the most unusual times and places. 🙂

    Your autumnal colours are stunning too. Ours have all just about finished here sadly but I just wish I had big enough brass ones to go and ask if I could rake them up.


    • narf77
      May 24, 2013 @ 03:17:37

      I wish I lived closer to Launceston as I would head straight to the local council and would ask them if I could have all of the leaves from the city parks. The poor long suffering park attendants spend most of autumn raking them and they get hauled away. I often see big drifts of them and think “I could just ask” but my brass ones are wooden ;). I wish I also had brass ones to learn how to do cable!


  13. Joanna
    May 30, 2013 @ 17:46:50

    Morning Narf7, really enjoyed reading about the feral roosters and even though I have never kept poultry, B has, as his parents had a market garden and he looked after the chickens and he says they are a lot of work. He thinks I am a bit Marie Antoinette about the whole growing enterprise, though he wouldn’t say that. OUAT we stopped at a fruit farm and I was so slow picking the plums that he took my basket away and whipped down the row of trees at warp speed. I was so ashamed of myself, and then when I got them home I turned them into concrete jam. One day maybe we will have chooks, but not in this property. Lots of city people in Bristol keep them though, seems a popular thing to do. Anyway I am a softie through and through, not used to country life and hard work. Sounds like neighbours are the same the world over, good, bad and indifferent, just maybe further apart where you live, here we are all jammed in together and our roads are full of parked cars. Cake sounds good and it was really great to see all the photos this morning on your blog. You all look such fun and so real x Jo


    • narf77
      May 30, 2013 @ 17:56:54

      Steve and I are certainly real Jo 😉 Steve is from the U.K. don’t forget and when we went back in 2005/6 for a Christmas visit I almost had a heart attack when he would drive down the narrow roads with cars parked on both sides! How does anyone manage to keep their wing mirrors for the life of their car!!! I refused point blank to drive…if wing mirrors ended up in the kids laps it wasn’t going to be on MY watch! ;). My mum made the absolute BEST concrete jam (jam toffee) around :). She used our native Lilypillies that make a glorious purple jelly and hers set to toffee. I spent some wonderful hours eating it off a spoon…good memories 🙂 I am slow and methodical about what I do and Steve is a chaotic crazy man who bounces around all over the place. Together we seem to get most things done…he bounces and I double check his chaos and correct the mistakes ;).


  14. Joanna
    Jun 04, 2013 @ 19:00:26

    the word lillypilly makes me shiver, I have seen it on other Aussie blogs – somehow I imagined it as a cross between a lychee and a mango in flavour, all scented and athereal, so…. purple and toffee, I will have to revise my imagined taste records 😉

    If your wing mirrors go through the gap, so will the car, says he who drives vans. I tend to sit up and pull my shoulders in, which doesn’t help at all but makes me feel better.


    • narf77
      Jun 05, 2013 @ 02:04:00

      I would twitch too badly to drive in the U.K. why would you need to, you have very good public transport unlike here where if we wanted to get to the city there are 2 buses…one that goes in at 7am and one that comes back at 6pm if you miss them TOO BAD! ;). Lillypillies are not exotic at all. They are small oval shaped fruit with only a thin bit of “meat” to them over a largish seed. They are bright purple but some are now white or pink (breeding) and you need a heck of a lot of them to make jam or anything else because they are predominately seed. The results are an alarming violet colour and whilst most people end up with a lovely jelly consistency, my mum managed to keep boiling her “jam” till it turned to a peculiar toffee consistency that was more like a very stiff malt syrup ;). The trees are wonderful for their landscape value and most Aussies have some form of lillypilly in their garden because they are water wise, they have pretty flowers and they perform year after year. The lilly pilly fruit is just a side benefit 🙂


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