Holy crap I turned into Denise Scott!

Hi All,

Did you all miss me on Saturday? Don’t tell fibs! You were all happy to get a solid 15 minutes to yourselves without having to wear a literary snorkel and come up for air at regular intervals thanks to my completely bolshie disregard for the use of correct grammar. Who needs commas and full stops when you can just go on…and on…and on… ;). I blame the liberal Australian school system in the 70’s where we were being used as experiments. I think my own personal school experience shows that liberalism DOESN’T pay! Glad they got over their need to go all existential on our young tender derrières and that a generation of 40 something’s (rapidly approaching 50 something’s) can’t spell or do complex maths.  Steve has been away and I have been left here to accomplish studying by myself. It was bound to end up in tears and with me almost burning down the house but he has NO-ONE but himself to blame, leaving a technophobic Luddite in charge of the computer. I spent all yesterday twiddling my thumbs and wandering around the house finding “other” things to do (remember, Pinterest was unavailable to me so whatchagonnadoeh?!) because when trying to follow our lecturers wonderful video of how to convert a video to Roto scoping, our Adobe tool to convert didn’t look like his and by the time I fiddled a bit I had rendered it completely different. I didn’t want to erase the program (also accidentally but there must be a bit of wishful thinking going on there 😉 ) so I had to leave it till Steve came back to sort it for me. I pride myself on being a pretty knowledgeable person but technology and “programs” in general leave me cold and twitching. I really can’t fathom how most of them work until I get practicing and I can’t practice on this one if I just stuffed it up! ;). The highly pathetic thing was that Steve got in, said “easy fix” and reset the program and showed me how simple it was to do what our lecturer’s vid wanted us to do. The problem was I am a creature of sequences…I am like the dreaded computer in that aspect (like repels? 😉 ) I need a series of processes to get me from “A” to “B” and if there is a break in transmission in any of the sequences I just never arrive at “B” till it is fixed and I can progress. Steve jumps straight in at “J” and then doubles back. He instinctively just knows how to deal with technology and I am eternally grateful that he does. My natural instinct is to hit whatever isn’t working or shake it around or if it is being really bolshie, throw it off the deck. Luckily Steve is able to rescue most technology from my grasp before I get that frustrated ;). I couldn’t progress through the video from “A” to “B” because my program didn’t look (or act) like his. How was I expected to follow the process if my program was different!!! Steve has officially been elevated in my eyes to necessary technological genius. That pretty much guarantees that he is safe from rat poison in his coffee no matter what he does 😉


This image was to show that you Americans used to call “cookies” biscuits like we do! When did it change? Was it after that Boston tea party where everyone decided to bollock of the English or was it the civil war and when the Yankees won they decided to change all of the names so that they wouldn’t be aligned with the Brits? Either way…here’s the proof that cookies ARE biscuits!


Butter, sugar and dates, a match made in date cake heaven


One of my experiments with making apple butter with no added sugar. The end results are scrumptious. All I did was simmer these apples and those dates together till they turned into mush and all of the liquid evaporated leaving me with a delicious caramel flavoured apple paste that can be used in all kinds of things…now I just need to experiment to find out what!

After having to align dialogue and audio to our latest media assessment I am officially disillusioned with my voice. I was labouring under the false apprehension that I had the dulcet tones of a radio announcer. I learned that the reality is that my voice is a sad cross between Steve Irwin and Denise Scott. I realise that most of my dear constant readers have NO idea who Denise Scott is. Denise Scott is a wonderful Aussie comedienne “of a certain age” who much like myself grew up prior to mummies being concerned about their daughters sounding like Aussie fishwives and who just let us drawl our way into adulthood when our ingrained speech patterns could no longer be dealt with even by the likes of one Henry Higgins…sigh…here is a picture of Denise.


Denise is the one on the left. The other “lady” is Judith Lucy, they are seen here in their Short and Girly show. Hopefully they won’t be too grumpy that I used this image. I consider it promotional material and as a blog that supports strange and interesting (the feminine equivalent of “windswept and interesting”…) women I consider it my duty to promote their show…(do you think I got away with it? 😉 ). I think I might need to make myself one of those costumes by the way…I need something to wear out on my 50th birthday…

And here is a 17.35 minute Youtube video of Denise in prize form. Feel free to just listen to her Aussie drawl and picture narf7 hiding under the bed with Earl or if you have 17.35 minutes to spare you can sit down, grab a cuppa and laugh your bollocks off at Denise doing what only an Aussie Sheila of “a certain age” is able to do. I promise you, you won’t regret donating 17.35 minutes of what is left of your life to this healthy pursuit…what have you got to lose folks? 😉


And here is what she sounds like. I am going to post a link to our animation. I am NOT going to post the audio quotient of it. After listening to Denise Scott you will know why. I am officially traumatised by this whole experience and after posting my assessment off to my lecturer I am going to slither under the bed with Earl to share 2 pints of good ice cream and I might even let Earl lick the spoon with me…


Earl telling Steve that his dirty socks might be past their use by date…


The gallon jar of New Yorker chocolate chip cookies that I found the recipe for on Pinterest. It is good for some things aside from wasting time 😉


More excess kefir grains…these things just keep on getting bigger and breeding! I put the teaspoon next to them to show you the size of them. If living most of the time in non-dairy milk is harming them I can’t see how 😉

Not only did I have to upload my Aussie drawl to my lecturer but I had to do something technical unsupervised! I may just have burned down the house by accident folks…I had to download Google Drive so that I could share Steve’s animation (MUCH bigger than mine) with our lecturer because it exceeded the size limit on our TAFE website. I also had to zip our animations involving me first finding where “zip” was on our computer (admittedly I IMMEDIATELY phoned Steve up knowing that he was still in phone range and able to be reached), second putting the animations and their accompanying movie clip into the zip folder and thirdly sending the zip off. As mentioned, mine was small enough to slip under the TAFE Nazi size limit ruler but Steve’s was well over the limit. As he is over the limit, Google can “Drive”. Get it? I made a pun folks. Well “I” thought it was funny! ;). All of this technology has my brain whirling and I don’t know how to “share” Steve’s uploaded document in Google Drive with our lecturer! I just sent of a missive to him dumping it fair and square into his lap. You want me to wantonly engage in random technology sir, you show me how!


How pretty is where we live? This was taken by my humble little Fuji point and click camera off our deck last evening as the sun was starting to set. This makes all of the blackberries, the weeds, the rocks, the clay, the everything else (possums and wallabies I almost forgot them!) worth it 🙂


I zoomed in on Redman Island so that you could see the reflections in the water. I want to get a kayak and pootle around these waters, a great way to get upper body and back strength…I had best get an industrial sized life jacket as I can’t swim 😉


A little clump of lilies up for another year down in the wilderness part of the garden

Next I have to wait indoors near the telephone. Steve ordered some camera cleaning fluid, some camera cleaning swabs and a blower to hoof the miniscule specks from his new camera lens so that it no longer looks like it has measles in every photo. He was unaware that heading out at night time in the freezing cold trying (unsuccessfully) to get an elusive shot of the Aurora Australis would result in no image and a whole lot of water spots. They certainly don’t tell you about THIS when you are paying over a considerable portion of your children’s inheritance to purchase a new DSL camera do they! I will keep my little point and click any day rather than have to either pay someone $100 to clean the lens or learn the precarious art of “how not to stuff up your DSL lens and have to buy a new camera”.


This is a Brachychiton populnea that we grew from seed. We have lots more like this one and it has been planted next to a large specimen that is on it’s last legs thanks to borer predation


Another Brachychiton, this time a rupestris or “Queensland Bottle Tree”. A lovely little specimen that we also grew from seed. They aren’t supposed to grow down here…this little man has other ideas about that!


You probably can’t see the “canopy” of this Brachychiton. It’s a discolour and has taken off like topsy. It was half this size when we planted it earlier in the year and it absolutely LOVED our hot dry summer. In the background you can see our inherited tractor. One day it will get fixed but for now lets just call it an oversized piece of garden art and be done with it!

Back to the story…I got sidelined…never happened to me before in my life! 😉 So he ordered his innocuous enough products from Melbourne, just over the brine from us and discovered that it couldn’t be sent in the post because camera cleaning fluid is listed on the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON” list of things not to send through the post. O…k… so it had to be sent via the ferry and then delivered by a local franchise of “Star Track” a delivery service. He ordered the products on Monday and on Thursday he got a card left in the mail saying “signature needed”…sigh… so he phoned up Star Track and the nice receptionist pulled up the details and told him that all he had to do was leave the signed card in the mailbox and Bob would be our ubiquitous uncle. He dumped the card into the mailbox and headed down on Friday to find another card in the mailbox along with the first. This one had “SIGNITURE REQUIRED!!” underlined 3 times…so we phoned and found out that apparently this humble little delivery requires an electronic signature from the customer…sigh…just wondering why the receptionist couldn’t have told us that at the time? We phoned…again…and were told that they would redeliver on Monday…today. I said “get them to phone me 10 minutes before they get here so that I don’t have to camp on a deck chair for the entire day awaiting their majestic presence.”


This is an Indian Hawthorn. They are quite happy in dry conditions and so this one is doing really well here on Serendipity Farm


If you want something that you can use as a hedge, that is an Australian native and that could care less about cold, dry, wet, clay, sand whatever you want to throw at it get yourself a Westringia fruticosa. They will grow on a hot tin roof


This is a grevillea. Not sure which one but I think they must be endemic to Tassie because there are lots of them around here growing in the wild.

Is anyone out there getting the picture that Steve isn’t here today? Well he isn’t! He is off with a mate and has left poor narf7 to cope, alone, with nightmares of technology swirling in my head…sort of the anti-sugarplums of the Christmas story AND I have to hightail it down the driveway to sign a card by some pompous delivery guy that I am most DEFINITELY going to give stink-eye to when he gets here! That means that I can’t walk Earl until the parcel has been signed for and delivered…that means the furniture isn’t safe. So far he has satisfied his testosterone by barking at the feral cats from the deck several times and forcing Bezial to play rough house with him. I know that soon it isn’t going to be enough to roll Bezial over on his back (pretending to be dead all the time) like a turtle and he is going to start nudging my elbow and bringing toys for me to chase him with around the house. Ignore that at your own peril narf7!


A large clump of Dracena with a large palm tree peeking out from behind it


The same palm tree taken from the other side and surrounded by Senna…yes…the kind that yields pods to be used for limbering up your digestive tract 😉


This is a Mahonia or Oregon Grape. It is just starting to flower and after flowering it will produce electric blue fruit that jam can be made from. Last year I left the fruit too long and something scoffed it so this year I am going to keep checking and jam shall be MINE!

I experimented on the weekend. I made a batch of date paste like I normally do and then I decided to use up 3kg of small granny smith apples that were threatening to go over to the dark side and make applesauce. As I was pouring boiling water over my dried dates I suddenly had an epiphany moment…”what if I added a packet of dried dates to the applesauce? What if I then cooked them both down till they were thick and reduced and made an apple/date paste?”…good thinking narf7! So I did. And then I went all experimental again and did it with pumpkin and dates. I love the flavour of both of them but think that the pumpkin butter might just need some spice to give it more oomph. I have 11 jars of unctuous brown thick all natural fruit based pastes in my fridge to be used in all kinds of ways over the next week or two. I might try making my non-dairy kefir with some… I might also mess around with soaking almonds and making raw almond butter out of them which I inadvertently managed to do while I was trying to process some soaked almonds to make almond flour the other day. After using half of the almond paste to make my friand’s and crossing my fingers that they would work out (which they did) I then wondered how to use the rest of the paste? I tasted it and it was lovely so I added some date paste to it and used it in my morning pumpkin porridge.


Here’s part of the reason why the wilderness area remains a wilderness area. That is a HUGE palm tree behind those blackberries…whatever lives underneath it is welcome to it! 😉


A very trustworthy dog having a bit of a sniff around outside our front gate. I am standing at our front gate taking this image and the river is just on the opposite side of the road


If you thought that growing azaleas was hard and that they were delicate think again! This azalea has spent the last 20 years down at the bottom of the property with bucklies and NONE chance of getting supplemental water. It seems to be happy enough with it’s aggie mates. Mass planting keeps soil moisture in and that’s what I plan on doing here…planting the wazoo out of Serendipity Farm so that it naturally forms cycles of growth and decomposition that perpetuate the cycles. All I have to do is get those cycles going…(and get myself motivated! 😉 )

The fully enclosed garden is scratching on my subconscious. I can feel it reminding me that all of the various seeds that I have littered all over Serendipity Farm are going to need to be planted out soon so that I can get them into the garden for the start of spring. Frankly, that’s a terrifying thought! We are still missing a wall, a gate and the roof at the moment and nothing much has happened up in the garden since I last posted about it aside from the odd chook invasion. We are being promised 3C days for the foreseeable future and our workload is conveniently huge allowing me to bury myself in study and avoid the fact that there are entire decomposing trees inside the 3 standing walls of the veggie garden where in a few short months some crazed idealistic part of me has visions of green fecundity. I wish I had bought more ice cream…”MOVE OVER EARL I AM COMING IN!” 😉


Another one of our leaf piles, this one full of decomposing oak leaves under one of Glad’s massive big oak trees. Bezial had a bit of a dig, and is enjoying his freedom


Here is the reason why you didn’t get a closeup of those snowdrops. Mr E decided that he absolutely POSITIVELY had to follow Bezial and as he weighs more than half my body weight, I didn’t have much say in the matter 😉


Bezial investigating.


In a few short months this entire area will be completely covered with lush green oak tree branches and you won’t be able to see the water. Deciduous trees give you a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to landscaping and are well worth their upkeep 🙂

I am in the process of writing a weekly post for a wonderful conglomerate blog called “Not Dabbling in Normal”. As you can see by the name of it, I am perfectly cut out to post in this blog. I am waiting on one of the co contributors to get back to me to show me around the ropes but at the moment I am footloose and fancy free on Mondays for now. With Steve off and gallivanting around the countryside I can get down to working my way through our next study unit. There won’t be any Steve to call on when I undoubtedly hit a brick wall so I am going to have to suck up my bolshie Luddite ways and just try to work it out for myself.  It would seem that the universe is telling me to “get over” my Pinterest addiction. The problem with Pinterest is that it is a combination of pretty pictures (the lure) with the added bonus of taking you (usually) someplace that you can find what you are after; usually a recipe or a pattern thus taking away from time spent searching nicely. That makes it highly addictive to knowledge hounds like narf7. I have been spending a bit too much time on there hunting and pinning and suddenly I find that Pinterest is having a few problems. It won’t let me pin! It’s not just me, it’s happening all over the place so I am being guided forcefully by the universe to get back on track and stop living my life in a delicious online community where I get to control the knowledge flow, again, like crack to we little black duck knowledge hounds 😉


The Ash trees are telling me that it is going to be spring soon


The one image that Mr E would allow me to take of the new veggie garden before we hurtled off after Bezial. Note the dead trees that need to be cut up as base material for garden beds


This is what our entire first paddock looks like…sheoak needles all scratched up to blazes thanks to a herd of marauding chooks that must have drumsticks of iron with all of the energy and passion that they put into it…they certainly take their job seriously 😉

The veggie garden is calling me. I have been taking the dogs for a bit of a walk around the property lately and the veggie garden is telling me in no uncertain terms that I need to get bums up in it. I have trees to cut up and use to layer in the base of garden beds. I have that mountain of horse poo that is mouldering away nicely and I have piles of leaves with tarpaulins all over them waiting to be distributed nicely over the branches and the horse poo. I also have a plethora of loose chooks all doing their level best to scratch up everything inside the area. We have to get 4 more poles sunk (a new addition but needed to support the netting over the top and the fat possums that are going to try to trampoline their way down to my precious vertical growing veggies) and the final net wall up (already cut and ready to put up) and then get the door (donated by our good friend Jen, she who used to be in the witness protection but who can be outed with impunity now) up and suddenly that space will be all mine :o). I will be hauling rocks from all over the property to form garden beds. We have lots and LOTS of rocks. We are positively rich in rocks and for once, I am happy about it! We also have a new shower screen door that a friend gave us from a recent renovation. Our current shower screen door was from the early 80’s and wants to keep coming off its rails whenever you least expect it. This is a solid toughened glass door that opens out and allows you out of the shower where our current door sometimes doesn’t without a fight! We didn’t have to pay for it and it is in amazingly good condition…BONUS!


This is the first paddock, the back bush block is just behind that fence to the rear of the image. You can see that there are rocks…these are only the rocks on the surface…once you try digging you are always going to find more of them to add to the piles…sigh…


Our humble little home :o)

I have just about hit the 2800 mark that tells me it’s time to stop waffling and time to bugger off and let you good folk have a break. We have had some gloriously sunny days here in Northern Tasmania, frigid but sunny. Brunhilda is my new champion and has been working for us this year and has been on a nice lean diet of lovely dry wood keeping her happy and productive and very economical. It has only taken me 2 years to learn how to manage her but finally we are at a point where we can work together and both enjoy the benefits. I don’t think of her as an inanimate object, I think of her as a friend :o). Well, that 2800 mark just got crossed and it is time to let you head off dazed and confused after another assault by the literary equivalent of a rush attack by narf7. Have a great day/week and remember to stop and admire the daisies, the bees LOVE them and there is a daisy for every single climactic condition on earth…I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the moon! ;). See you next Wednesday folks :o)

32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 18:18:32

    Fran I played the whole 17 minutes of Denise Scott. She is hysterically funny. But why are you worried about her accent? My family come from a mining village in the middle of England. You should hear us when we get together!
    I note that you don’t swim. I thought all Australian’s were water babies. I was in my mid 30’s when I emigrated to Australia and couldn’t swim but I had been told that ‘everybody swims in Australia’. How to learn at my age? So I found a woman who taught me in her back yard pool. I thought I was doing ok until I swam, proudly and confidently, in a friends swimming pool. Her little kids were standing there watching with great interest. Their mother told me later that the little tikes (who swam like fish) said to her “come and watch, Jean swims like a turtle”. So much for my breast stroke!


  2. brymnsons
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 18:56:09

    Yes Fran how did you miss out on learning how to swim? I had to endure the swimming pool at Emu Point, I still shiver when I think of it! Did the delivery arrive?? Did he run screaming from the property lol. Nice pictures too. x


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 03:52:42

      The delivery DID arrive! I get the feeling that he had been chatted about it as he went to the mailbox and brought me my mail AND he sort of muttered an apology. He looked like Chum-lee from the show PawnStars (about pawn shops 😉 ) so I forgave the poor sod! I was fat at school…fat girls learn VERY early how to get out of sports and how to get out of having to show their ample flesh off anywhere that their peers might be able to see it…I am VERY good at subterfuge 😉


  3. rabidlittlehippy
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 20:00:43

    Ha, how funny. Denise Scott grew up on my side of town. Does that mean I’ll sound like her in 20 or so years too? I’ll probably look like her as she looks similar enough to my mum. Just a shame I’m not as funny as she is. An enjoyable 17:35 was spent. Thanks. 🙂

    Apple and date paste was something my Nanna would make for me, the queen of fussiness and it was the only sandwich I could eat. Yep, apple and date paste, thick and sticky, smeared between two slices of cheap white bread. I gag and retch at the idea of cheap white bread these days but date and apple paste, nom nom nom. 🙂
    I bought a pack of dates the other day for aking date paste but so far they have made it from packet to hand to mouth. Still, after having hoed into medjool dates of late, Iranian pitted dates are a pretty lame second. Date paste sweetened coffee tomorrow morning maybe.

    Your gardens are progresseing as fast as mine is and the idea of spring looming frightens the pants off me. I got as far as deciding on which seeds to buy from Diggers and that’s about it. I have a huge lot of mushrooms of unknown varieties to dig out of one of my greenhouse beds which then needs to be prepared for planting 2 more citrus plants, the last of the broccoli and such to harvest, then the second bed needs cleaning out too for possibly more citrus, the front garden looks like a mess with cardboard and branches that require placing in position before being hit with chook pen straw (glorious smelly amounts of it) with some lucerne mulch too then some more compost and soil ordered in to cover it before sowing a cover crop. I’m thinking rye and barley will work a treat and I knwo this as every sprouted grain I drop in the greenhouse is either growing or being eaten by the fat little mouse whose taken up residence in my greenhouse. Before the soil can be brought in though we need to move not 1 but 2 massive wood piles. And Trevor the tractor is also looking much like garden ornamentation right at this second. 😦 I do however have spuds coming up in a raised cage bed sitting on top of the root zones of the lemon and mandarin trees. it won’t disturb their roots and any nutrients the spuds leave behind (not nitrogen hungry plants) the lemons will score (nitrogen lovers) so it’s perfect. Maybe I can actually HARVEST spuds this year. 😉

    If I come across a hidden trove of get up and go motivation then I’ll spilt it 50/50 with you ok? If Steve is lacking it then you’ll have to share your half with him but even a 25/25/50 is pretty good right? 😉 May we all get some glorious sunny days on the same day as our motivation kicks back in.


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 03:59:55

      The mushrooms are a great sign that you have a diverse population of mycorrhizae going on in your garden beds. Probably a diverse range of soil ameliorants as well which would allow that range to develop. Mushies are kinds of breaking down and they are breaking down the fibres to make quality soil. I LOVE them :). Steve is home today so aside from him having to stick his bum to the PC for the next 24 hours to catch up on his studies that leaves me free to get outside and plan (and plant a tree!) :). You are SO far ahead of me in the planting and planning stakes! I have 3 walls of a massive garden and I have 2 small derelict looking gardens that are doing it tough all by themselves. I guess gardens don’t really need us so long as they get what they need in sun and water. I have spinach and rocket (that tastes foul) and silverbeet and that is IT. The only reason that I have them is that they have carried on in perpetuity from my summer crop! I would settle for 12.5 percent at this moment in time. My natural instinct to hunker down and procrastinate is high 😉


      • rabidlittlehippy
        Jul 25, 2013 @ 13:45:27

        Ha! I’m no better although I use the garden to procrastinate about housework so my motivation has been focussed there. Not got too far aside from baking a cake n hanging a little wet washing up. Running on 2.5 hours sleep though so motivation is not likely to be good. Still, not failing entirely.
        Hey and let’s not forget, we have a 1/2 acre, not your 4. BIG difference in motivation required. Hell, you can have 90% and the remaining 10% should be equivalent proportionately. 😉
        On the other hand, I have been knitting…

      • narf77
        Jul 26, 2013 @ 03:07:05

        So have I…I made a pair of lovely woollen gauntlets out of some hand spun wool a friend gave me and am now on a pair of khaki coloured ones for Steve 🙂

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Jul 26, 2013 @ 07:21:22

        Gauntlets are addictive hey. Photos needed.

      • narf77
        Jul 31, 2013 @ 17:32:08

        Still waiting for a sodding darning needle to join them together! Otherwise they will be teeny tiny little blankies for my hands and they won’t do much good for whatever side they aren’t on 😉

  4. Joanna
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 20:19:12

    No motivation here but I do have a grevillea which looks a lot like yours – a long way from home hey? I love Not Dabbling in Normal.

    The cookie – biccy thing I think has something to do with Dutch and German emigrées to the US as cookies are ‘koekje’ in Dutch. Like zuchinni for courgette via the Italians. We were invaded by the French so get to have biscuit and courgette and other Norman things. And the Normans were Norse Men, who invaded northern France,(Vikings who became French and then carried on invading old England for a second time) and it is all just different stewpots of language. Or something like that.

    I am not good at technology and I feel for you. I spent far too many hours trying to sort out my photo libraries and have given up for the time being. Looking forward to hearing about your gardens as Spring arrives. Can you grow date palms ? Just a thought.


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 03:43:19

      We can grow date palms but they need a lot hotter temperatures than ours to set and grow the fruit. Our growing season isn’t all that long. We have a climate here pretty similar to the U.K. but with less rain. I figured the Vikings would have had something to do with it! ;). It was pathetic how easily Steve was able to fix up the program that I fiddled with. I guess we can’t be good at everything 😉


  5. Angela @ Canned Time
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 20:56:16

    That Apple butter sounds mighty tasty and Pinterest is really rewarding you with those NY cookies….and I looked up your Cookie/Biscuit debate and you were right on the spot about removing all things relating to the King’s biscuits from our lives here…seems there was a little blame for the Dutch migrating here who had a word for Cookie or small cake that immigrants picked up on. We do love our biscuits to be sure. There are fast food restaurants that only sell biscuits – Biscuitville to be exact (don’t waste your travel time to visit though) So blame the Yankees or the Dutch, those chocolate chip cookies look just divine Girl!
    And how do you get so many beautiful flowers there in the cold of winter? Looks like your warm weather is on it way 😉


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 03:45:50

      I have 4 acres to choose from Angela and I walked every single one of them (well…dragged behind a MOST excited Earl…) to get those few measly blooms to share with you guys ;). I was just about to take a shot of some lovely tall jonquils that were flowering nicely when Earl rampaged through the centre of them and then urinated on them as I aimed…sigh…I decided not to use my trampled, mangled peed on jonquils for the post ;). Cheers for the research…now I don’t have to do it 😉


  6. Chica Andaluza
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 23:06:34

    Lovely – just what I needed and a good laugh too 🙂 I think we all cringe when we hear our voices. I always thought I had quite a deep voice but no…it’s fairly squeaky 😦


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 03:47:53

      Mine is SO Australian! I heard it and immediately thought all of my speech and drama classes were for nothing! My poor well spoken lecturer Mrs Pope needs knighting for even attempting to get me to sound like anything else.


  7. christiok
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 01:04:08

    Ah, a day in the life of Fran. 🙂 I so relate to your computer “issues” — and I don’t have a Steve! The Bearded One won’t even read text on the computer. So I don’t venture out much into the possibilities. You are WAY ahead of me, Fran — does that make you feel any better??:) lol But at least I can swim.

    We have Oregon Grape here like crazy. Maybe because Oregon is just a couple hours drive south. So…how can you grow palm trees, too? There are no palm trees growing here OR in Oregon.

    And for the record, I love Denise’s accent. If you sound like that, I could listen to you all day. 🙂


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 03:50:44

      Palm trees are very hardy things. The only thing that they seem to like is a lack of moisture and Serendipity Farm is most definitely moisture free most of the year so that might be the reason? It’s not like it is overly hot here or we have an extended summer.
      I can’t believe that ANYONE would want to listen to our Aussie accents for more than about 5 minutes. I spent the better part of 2 years trying to give myself a less “Ocker” accent but apparently I have forgotten everything that I learned in Speech and Drama classes so I am back at square 1… I truly can’t swim by the way. I can float…so if I ever fall ut of a boat I just go belly up like an otter 😉


  8. Littlesundog
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 05:34:36

    I really enjoyed the Denise Scott video. I had never heard of her before. And I think Aussie accents ROCK! I grew up a non-accent person from the State of Nebraska, here in the US. I moved to Oklahoma 23 years ago and now have a slight southern accent. I love being different!

    Swimming? I’m Cancer the Crab… I was born to swim!!

    Great post, Fran. I’m behind on blog reading, so no, I didn’t notice the missed post on Saturday. In the long run, it probably helped allow me to catch up!


  9. teawithhazel
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 08:42:45

    your attitude is better than mine fran..my problem with technical things is that i just don’t want to know..i reckon that’s what car mechanics, plumbers, electricians and computer technicians are for..i wouldn’t want of put them out of a job! and i was never able to rely on the man in the house when he lived here..i was more savvy than he was so that tells you a lot about his technical prowess..

    get onto that bloody garden..i’m sick of hearing about what you are going to do to it!! 🙂 x jane


  10. Jo
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 10:05:45

    Hope you are out from under the bed now Fran!
    Don’t try swimming in our poor benighted river. There was an article in the paper yesterday about a woman whose leg went gangrenous after rescuing her little daughter from the mud flats, and getting a gash in her leg. Apparently there are nasty diseases lurking in there from our broken sewage system..
    I was thinking of taking up kayaking too, but I’m having second thoughts…
    All the best with the technology..


    • narf77
      Jul 26, 2013 @ 03:01:13

      It’s too cold to get me out anywhere near the river Jo (even though we live just over the road from it 😉 ) and where we live the edges are paved with oysters so I am highly unlikely to ford their prickly mass just to wade in the mud ;). Cheers for your wishes about technology. At the moment I am hand drawing over the top of 195 frames of a video. It takes me about 10 minutes to go over every frame and I am trying not to think about how long that is actually going to be by the time I get to the end. Then I have to do it all over again for another video to submit as my assessment! I know…fools aren’t we? ;).


  11. Lynda
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 22:24:44

    Lordy, we had a dam a stone throw from the back door on the farm and rather than come out one day and find us floating downwards, Mum threw us in before we could walk so we learnt to float upwards. Seriously, no lessons here, just sink or swim. It worked, and im now one of those Aussie water babies all be it a soft white squishy one and not your typical bronzed beach girl. I think your home looks lovely nestled in among the hills, rocks and trees. Grow up on the brown flats and you learn to appreciate a bit of undulating hills and greenery. My garden is sad as at the moment. The broccoli went to seed and i seem to be working from dark to dark and have literally had to venture out with torch to pick a lettuce for lunches. I need a holiday and soon. Nature strip is getting a make over on Monday, so will finally have something worth posting about and some time to write it, maybe. I’d like a planted out verge like Costa’s but im afraid its plain old tuscan toppings with a boxed tree – ho hum but neat. Hmmmm Aussie voices, i must say ive got a bit of a bee in my bonnet over the media misrepresenting us overseas as poorly educated backwater whatevers! (so much for vocabulary) that speak with this weird drawl. It probably has more to do with my poor self esteem that it upsets me so. Why should i care, but i do. I do find Denise funny and Jessie has provided me with an new appreciative audience for bad jokes that are a bit on the naughty side. I know that if i come across one i can send it off to her without offending and shortly i receive all manner of written snorts and other misc shorthand for laughter.


    i sent her this one Sunday, i was wetting myself reading it.

    I do miss your Sat post but eagerly await the Wed post. Cheers Narf.


    • narf77
      Jul 26, 2013 @ 03:15:09

      I know how busy you must be working at the moment Lynda, the son and heir has almost gotten to the point of packing up and moving to Tassie and bugger the good money thanks to having no time at all at the moment and just dragging himself from bed to work and back. He used to do this when he lived on his own in Albany and would finish work at 10.30 at night and would be back there at 6am the next day. Now he has a reason not to enslave himself to the job and suddenly it’s a whole lot more important to have time at home :). I agree with you about the Aussie drawl but somehow I seem to have been afflicted with it! I thought I had a smooth cultured latte voice but it seems its billy tea all the way…sigh…I might post my animation because I am suitably proud of it but I won’t be posting the audio and I will use the fact that the audio makes it HUGE as a good reason ;). I, too, have lived on those brown flats but am a girl from the country that bordered on the sea and rivers so need water to make me feel alive. Inland saps my soul. We Aussies have a bit of a chip on our shoulder about our accents and how the world perceives us as a whole and that’s because we are new kids on the block and are still finding our way around the world circuit thanks to our remote geology. We tend to get underestimated but that’s how I like it. If you are underestimated you can excel and surprise people, it’s only when you are overestimated that the problems happen ;). Keep your chin up (although how you are going to double account with your chin up I don’t know!…lets be honest, how you double account I don’t know! 😉 ). Your man will soon be back from the wasteland frozen tundra’s of Tassie and life will get back to normal once the hoards of taxpayers get their rebates and bugger off and let you breath for a bit…


      • Lynda
        Jul 26, 2013 @ 07:24:17

        Thanks for your response Narf. Im not a Tax Accountant but a Management Accountant. I write reports (and do all that entails to get it to that point) and then re-write them again and present to my Tax Guy in his format so he can enter them straight into his software and then ask me if its OK. For that he gets the big bucks but im left with running three small companies (financially) that happen to be manufacturing in Victoria which is, at the moment, in such a slump that im getting grey hair by the moment managing cashflow. The work is there but no one has money to pay. A week ago a client paid us with a cheque to get his switchboard on site and powered up (COD terms) and then he called the bank and stopped the cheque. He is up and running and im left 15K short with wages and materials to pay for on that board. Would you believe the ATO asked me for F13 accounts that ended 25 days ago. Hello – not even all the AP is signed off yet (sitting on managers desk). Yep, he committed fraud and so now i have big headaches (not him, that will come) making out reports and solicitors bla bla bla. Oh, because i am the only female in the factory – i also get to wash the cups and kitchen benches down five times a day. I tried to turn a blind eye but i cant.

        I think because i was raised inland, i crave the sea and green. Hubby is home after working 80 hrs in one week. The ATO might not be my friend at work but they sure are at home. Im rewarded him by getting the nature strip organised so that it is one job off his list. Its an eyesore, wait for post.

      • narf77
        Jul 31, 2013 @ 17:31:23

        Hugs from Tassie for a VERY hard working girl! The son and heir has been saying that he is sick of where he is so I won’t be surprised to see him head elsewhere. I think they are over Melbourne for a bit. I lived inland but need the sea to keep functioning. If I am away from water I twitch ;). Sounds like hubby got home just at the right time :). It’s always good when they go away and come back as then you get to miss them and remember that underneath that seething, twitching pile of neurosis, there is someone that you fell in love with :). Glad you are happy again and can’t wait for the next post 🙂

  12. thinkingcowgirl
    Jul 26, 2013 @ 02:22:53

    I hope you’re going to show us your 50th birthday celebration pictures! I think you should do your hair like Farrah Fawcett Majors too just to top it off 🙂

    Like you I had a period of progressive schooling. I think that spelled the end of any ability to be disciplined. Our teacher, who wore a purple velvet trouser suit and two-tone platform boots used to leave us ON OUR OWN to get on with the lessons. Haha that was fun 😉 But it meant we just did what we wanted so in my case it was writing stories. I was so behind in maths and science when I got to secondary school! Oh and swimming, I was the opposite…. I went on a sponsored swim when I was about 7 thinking I would only swim about 5 lengths but ended up doing 113…imagine my dad’s face when he had to cough up 😉 maybe that’s cos i’m a pisces! anyway you clearly shouldn’t swim in that river you could end up with gangrene 😉

    Enjoy your hibernation, it’s all part of the process. see how I’ve neatly skated over the technology bit ;). my best friend when I was around twelve was Australian and I loved their accent…I picked it up very quickly and sometimes people still think I sound it! that’s when i’m not sounding REALLY POSH 😉 I bet you sound great.


    • narf77
      Jul 26, 2013 @ 03:22:35

      Our school was based on some stupid Danish model and the whole school was interconected by screens that could be opened up and made into a huge open space. Great on paper in Denmark (we lived in Denmark W.A. so that was a bit of a laugh as well 😉 ) but in Western Australia, albeit a small school, it really didn’t work. I dare say your purple velvet teacher was off having a ciggie like ours were. One of ours was having an affair with a student in our class, very Stingy/Lolita style and OH so progressive. My dad had an affair with my french (and English) teacher at the time. She was French and caught me drawing a not too flattering photo of her and suddenly I got transfered from my mid level (beige) English class to the highest English class. Turns out it was the best thing for me as I didn’t get on with any of the others in my class and it forced me to spend time learning about English. I seem to have missed the spelling and grammar bit but I blame that on the progressive junior schooling ;). An Aussie crossed with a sloan? How does that even work?!!! ;). I couldn’t swim and we had 3 dams on a 100 acre property and my sister and I were forever down the well hole in the ground catching frogs. I am heartily surprised that none of us drowned to be honest!


  13. Linne
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 12:51:58

    Yes, I missed your Saturday posting (and now another Saturday one as well), but it’s just as well; I haven’t posted on my own blog for a bit and have not had time to reply at the length I feel your posts deserve. Love you pictures, your dogs, your gardens AND your accent! No, I haven’t heard you yet, but I’ve always been a sucker for certain accents and Aussie is up there near the top.

    Love Denise, although I’m really the ultra-shy type . . . I thought the pink ‘suits’ were funny, but can’t imagine wearing them in public. On the other hand, my stand-up comedienne friend likely would thrive in one . . .

    As to the technology, I started with computers on a Commodore 64, on which I attempted word processing but mostly played ‘Wheel of Fortune”. I got the system second hand and no manual came with it. But I’m a problem-solver by nature, so had some fun. It ended up going to my RN sister, who is very techie and taught herself to programme on it. Technology, automobiles, all that stuff . . . I always say, I’m a driver, not a mechanic; I don’t WANT to learn to fix it, I just want it to WORK!!! and when I say so, darn it! It’s not that I couldn’t learn, I just have no interest in learning. Now, if my survival depended on it, I’d likely be rebuilding the motherboard in a few days (or whatever passes for that these days LOL).

    You may need to get a spacesuit if you go kayaking in that river, Narfie7; we can’t have you getting gangrene . . . we NEED your posts!!

    Have a great week and I’ll check in sometime later this week. ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Jul 31, 2013 @ 17:28:29

      We are like strangers in the night at the moment Linnie! We are flat out busy trying to sort out Flash assessments that are taking forever and you are doing what you do 🙂 See you when you get back. I will have the Flash assessment up so that you can hear my (hideous) voice in tonights post.


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