And so this is Christmas…

Hi Folks,


This is the cute doggy personification of Christmas we couldn’t get our two boys into the spirit enough to dress up and we had enough trouble getting a foot print off them to make decorations but that is another story…

This is the reality of our Christmas morning…

I find myself sitting pondering the meaning of Christmas at 5.31am on Christmas morning. I believe in God, and I believe in the reason for the season. That’s how I roll; make of it what you will but I won’t be expecting anyone else to follow me and I won’t be  apologising for what I believe in any day soon. I woke up at 3am and lay there feeling altogether Grinchy. I got out of bed and made my cup of tea while the computer was booting up and Mr Kaspersky was doing his rounds with his hardwood Russian baton. Maybe, like the Grinch, my pants grew 3 sizes too tight yesterday at our wonderful communal family get together. I spent the afternoon making a large pile of delicious Mochi turn into a small pile of delicious Mochi and perhaps that was part of why I felt a bit “off” this morning.

Roadkill Dove

The kind of “off” that Christmas brings…

Blown Christmas Globe

Off like a Christmas light globe that takes the rest of the string down with it…

I sat down with my cuppa and started to wade through my (thankfully small) RSS Feed backlog all the while feeling mildly disturbed. I finished remarkably early (it would seem that other bloggers are somewhat busy at this time of year 😉 ) and headed off to me old mate Pinterest for a little look-see and some mindless vacuous pinning. As I pinned, that disturbed feeling escalated and I found myself at 5am feeling almost at the point of “unhappy” Unhappy on Christmas Day? My usual state of affairs is pretty happy. I am incredibly lucky in that I can be happy with very little and can make my own fun. I found this state of affairs bemusing and a little confusing because there really wasn’t any reason for it.

Christmas Snow

Its Christmas…its “supposed” to look like this…


Large firs and picea bedecked with Nordic symbols go right over the top of our Southern Aussie heads

I had a fantastic day with my children, the dogs and Steve yesterday. We had a glorious communal feast sitting outdoors under the blissful shade of a gorgeous wide span of flowering cherry leaves and a medium sized Sycamore that was only a small sapling when we took up residence in Tasmania as wide-eyed, bushy tailed Western Australians. When Steve built the deck that was heaving with deliciousness yesterday, he left a large gap around the trunk of the sycamore. Yesterday saw him attempting to widen the gap with a small pruning saw because the trunk has filled the gap.


This is what Christmas looks like in Launceston Tasmania…


No snow but lots of flowers and butterflies and bees

I had so much fun I completely forgot to take any pictures. It is lucky Steve took a few shots with his mobile or I wouldn’t have any images at all. The food was wonderful, the company was delightful and sharing it all with our growing family was a really blissful experience. So why was I feeling Grinchy this morning? I had a sneaking suspicion that it had something to do with my own idealistic expectations about “Christmas” the panoramic view rather than “Christmas” the reality in my little patch of the world.


And cicada’s clicking in the trees as the day heats up


Our friend Jenny’s garden where most of your gardens are buried under a canopy of snow

We Southerners start getting bombarded with “Christmas” around about November…we see snow and reindeer and holly and ivy when our own reality is spring and exponential greenery and in some parts of Australia, heat shimmering off the tarmac. It is almost surreal for northerners who have lived “proper” Christmases to come to Australia and find themselves amongst prawns on the barbie and t-shirt wearing tanned humanoids who seem to think that this is a normal state of affairs. I know that Steve doesn’t feel Christmassy and that it is endemic with northerners. Glad next door is 91 years old and STILL doesn’t feel like it is Christmas after all of her years living in Australia. The latest link in the chain has been the yearly production of proper English pork pies that get gifted to Glad and her daughter Wendy and that Steve gets to eat on Christmas Day. It goes part of the way towards making them feel a little bit more seasonal. I was a little worried about Kelsey feeling left out but we all tumbled around each other on the small deck, hunting food, sharing and enjoying each other’s company and she tumbled with the best of us. You are made of the right stuff to be part of our family girl 🙂


Delicious and most enormous English pork pies made to salve the lack of cold and hot dinners for Steve, Glad and Wendy the ex-pats


Me giving all of the dogs Christmas treats in town yesterday

Each New Year I dedicate myself to a new venture. I mulled over my New Year’s “resolution” (for want of a better word) and decided that this year is going to be my year of New Things. I am going to try something new each and every day. I am going to learn things, try things, plant things, discover things, invent things etc. As I sat here contemplating my year of New Things I found that something interesting was happening…I wasn’t feeling quite so Grinchy anymore. All I had done was contemplate something new and interesting and my Grinchiness shrunk 3 sizes…interesting… so I did something new. I headed over to the kettle and made myself another cup of tea. I grabbed my large, fluffy brown, carefully folded, cold early morning, wrap around blanky and took my large mug of tea out into the early morning to watch the sun rise.


Taken this morning at 5.30am while I was outside in my blanket


Absolutely NOTHING to do with Christmas…I just wanted to see if you were paying attention 😉

I sat in the chilly morning air, rugged up with my cup of tea warming the cockles of my belly and my heart followed suit. I learned something new this morning. I learned that how you “feel” is pretty much up to you. I learned that if you don’t like where you are and how you are feeling about it, take yourself someplace you do. I deserted my computer screen. No need to worry, Pinterest will still be there when I get back…and I headed out into the chilled beauty of nature on a still summers morning. It should reach about 25C today. A lovely sunny, blue sky Christmas.


Sorry about the lack of images, we were caught up enjoying ourselves so I don’t think you will mind. We had to pass the food through the laundry window in order to prevent the dogs rampaging through the house while we were eating


Here I am telling Stewart something with lots of hand actions…can’t for the life of me remember what though 😉

I learned something else today. You don’t need snowflakes and reindeer and icicles for a wonderful Christmas. You just need to have a good reason to be happy and you have to waft it over your head like mistletoe. Bollocks to not feeling Christmassy, and bollocks to lusting after idealistic Christmas scenes. Today narf7 is off down to the bottom of our property to make an oak leaf mould angel. I may, or may not emerge fully clothed in leeches. Today narf7 is going to eat luxury Christmas Nacho’s. Some of you are eating hot dinners but Christmas Nachos are perfect for Serendipity Farm on a 25C balmy day. Today narf7 is going to be thankful for the gift of being able to see and to be able to be happy with little and love a lot. Today my pants might swell an additional 3 sizes but my heart will outdo them in leaps and bounds. Today is a great day folks. Let’s all find something magnificent in our own humble lives to celebrate. Let’s not look at what everyone else is doing because the old adage “be careful what you wish for, it might come true” is most probably the case and “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” is a sad state of affairs for our competitive modern lives. Life is good, and today we get to contemplate purpose, the end of our year, arriving at the dawn of another year and all of the hope, dreams and possibilities that accompany it


Delicious Indian curry puffs and Asian mini pork pies

3am narf7 = The Grinch; 6am narf7 = a happy little vegemite… note to self…”You are one lucky narf7 🙂 “


Sausage rolls…you can’t do Christmas in Australia without sausage rolls

If anyone is reading this post they are most probably a little outside the Christmas festivities. Maybe you are feeling a bit lonely, a square peg in a round hole. Maybe your trousers are huge and your capacity for giving a damn is small but there are always reasons to be thankful. You just have to find them in your own life. THAT is the secret of true happiness. I decided to give you that gift. It’s a beaut, and I wish I had been given that gift a long time ago but it took me a long time to learn and I am still turning it around slowly and looking at it in wonder inside my head where I really live. I am, as always, a bit of a bolshie slow learner when it comes to life lessons. Consider me full of Christmas good cheer and in about 6 hours that Christmas good cheer will be somewhat enhanced by alcohol.


Bezial smiling for the camera 🙂


Merry Christmas from Earl to all of his fans out there 🙂

I will raise my glass to you all. To the motley crew of outcastes and beatnik’s that choose to frequent Serendipity Farm. I will give thanks for each and every one of you because you make my days better by just being there. Here’s to the reason for the season, whatever you choose to insert there and here’s to 2014 being the best year yet…bring on the NEW 🙂

58 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Oxy-plast
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 16:36:49

    All of your pies you left us are gone ❤ That was dinner and lunch plus a bit of dukkah from your tasty hamper you provided us. Stewart says he is the 'Bush Dukkah Man' Whatever that means….

    We cannot wait to spend another Christmas with you ❤
    😉 New Years is going to be a blast!


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:15:45

      I thought Christmas Eve Christmas went amazingly well and next year it will only get better as we can start to throw a few “new traditions” in there :). Glad you liked the pies and the dukkah…I can see Stewart as the Bush Dukkah Man ;). Nothing like eating lots of delicious fresh sourdough bread dipped in olive oil, balsamic and dukkah…YUM! We ate too much…tried not to but it didn’t work and we ended up watching 2 movies…Mama and Castaway, both excellent :). Today Steve is off in the Mumbly Cumumbus for his last “pootle” around the river for this year. Bezial is hoping that he catches some fish because Bezial LOVES fresh fish. Earl…not so much. We are going to whipper snip the forget-me-nots down in the area that you guys want to pitch your tent otherwise you would emerge looking like forget-me-not snowmen from Dr Who yesterday (if you watched it 😉 ). We tried lighting that little bbq that Stewart didn’t want any more and couldn’t get it going. I think you need firelighters or something…you guys could cook on it when you are here if you like (or you could just come and eat with us inside if worse comes to worst 😉 ). LOTS of stars out and New Years is going to be the perfect time to look at them (no moon). 🙂


  2. foodnstuff
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 17:15:29

    No wonder you get up so early, with such a beautiful view to watch the sun rise over (or should that be: over which to watch the sun rise?).

    I like the idea of New Things, but I think one a day would be too much for me; I might try one a week.

    Some inspiring thoughts in there; Christmas obviously brings out the best in you 😉


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:18:29

      It was lovely sitting outside wrapped in my blanket sipping my cuppa and just thinking. Outside is a great place to be when you are thinking, its an amazing leveller :). Not hard to do one new thing a day…make Steve something new for his tea, read a new book, contemplate how to do something a bit differently, walk the dog at a different time, LOTS of new things…grow something new, research how to do something, actually “do” half of the things that I research would be a good start and most importantly, get outside and live. Life is in the doing 🙂


  3. thecontentedcrafter
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 18:22:34

    Yay Narf baby – yay!! That’s it – you got it…. happy dance, happy dance, haa-aa-aapppppy dance!!!! And the mugs are just plain inspirational too 🙂

    I have just read my way through a hundred blog posts, [this is what happens when you go away for a couple of days, don’t own a clever phone but do own a crap lap top that refuses to let you read your emails!] And this post is simply the best – this is the one that makes me stand up, pump my fist and shout “Hurrah for Narf7, Hallelujah and Merry Christmas World!!”

    We are in charge of our choices – it is all we are in charge of and to choose to be happy, to choose to take responsibility for our own feelings, to choose half full instead of half empty and to remember to count our blessings – well, that is true happiness and real wisdom!!

    Must remember, must remember, must remember……


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:19:39

      I know what you mean Pauline…must remember…must remember…must…oh bollocks forgot!…must write it down…must write it down… 😉


  4. Linne
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 18:38:48

    How nice to start Christmas day with a smile and a few chuckles; well, it hasn’t quite begun here, but in 26 minutes it will. I, of course, will still be making food . . . I love your ‘life lessons’ and wish I’d learned them much earlier in my own . . . but I likely would have gone my own way anyhow . . . think there’s a wee black bolshie streak in there somewhere. Well, you have inspired me, Narfie7, my friend. Now to see if I can upload a pdf file . . . Hugs to you both from the other side (the dark side at present) 😉 ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:20:42

      We uploaded PDF files to our blogs for our studies so it is possible. Let me know if you have trouble and I will get detective Stevie-boy on the case 🙂


      • Linne
        Dec 26, 2013 @ 08:36:00

        Didn’t work in 3 seconds;’ I ran out of patience (in spite of your inspiring words), so copied, pasted and then figured out how to make the formatting work. Go read it (if you haven’t). It’s thanks to you, my friend . . . We’ll talk about uploading pdfs in the new year, eh? ~ Linne

  5. Trackback: A Toast to 2014, inspired by Narf7 . . . | A Random Harvest
  6. quarteracrelifestyle
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 19:03:18

    Nice post Fran 🙂 We had a very different Christmas, lunch with the kids and granddaughter on Saturday so today we gardened and napped, had leftover veg chilli for lunch and salad for tea – we had a great day, it was an easy and perfect 🙂 No tradition here!! The pies and pastries look great, wish we were one of your neighbours, we’d be over there with a bottle roundabout now 🙂 Enjoy!!


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 02:59:16

      🙂 We ended up watching some movies and eating a little bit more than an elegant sufficiency. I wish I had have thought of gardening! Now THAT is a good Christmas tradition to start 🙂


  7. brymnsons
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 20:58:27

    Glad you managed to get rid of the grinchy feeling Fran. Our minds are truly the most powerful tool we have 🙂 I’ve had a lovely xmas day, enjoying a truly mild xmas day, just wonderful. We feasted on ham and salad for lunch and will have some roast lamb and veges for tea. I feel blessed to have my boys here with me. We are missing Brian like crazy but are thinking of him having a coldy with Phyllis and thinking how he would be so happy. Take care old friend, smile and remember to smell the roses 😀


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:03:43

      The best bit is that we HAVE roses to smell this year :). I agree, Brian and Phyllis are together again but it is hard for the first couple of years. Glad your boys are with you and you had a wonderful day :). We ended up watching movies and had a great day to 🙂


  8. Littlesundog
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 22:24:45

    Fran your post was another “sign” to me that it is indeed, time to get rolling with happiness! I am a late bloomer too, but I think at this point in my life, it is perfect timing. I feel a new confidence lately. And, no matter the weather, or the situation at hand, there is always the notion that we can change it to suit ourselves… and be happy and fruitful!

    All of that food looked divine. I’m glad you didn’t have a lot of photos today! I believe I could be fixated to the computer screen in a pool of drool if you’d have included any more photos of scrumptious delights! FD and I just started the Paleo diet… which has been a difficult adjustment for me (not so much for him). However, going gluten-free has been beneficial, and for that, I’m ecstatic! I feel better… but oh, the withdrawal and craving is difficult!

    Oooh, I love being a member of the outcast and beatnik club! Dare to be different, I say! I believe Earl has that down pat! Merry Christmas to all of you on Serendipity Farm.


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:06:24

      Don’t forget that buckwheat isn’t a grain, it’s a seed and so you can use it with impunity on the Paleo diet…buckwheat pancakes etc… :). It certainly fills you up and gives you that carby good feeling when you need it (for breakfast cereal etc.) The pastries were for our Christmas Eve celebration with our daughters, the son-and-heir and Kelsey his Texan sweetie. Earl sends Christmas licks 🙂


      • rabidlittlehippy
        Dec 26, 2013 @ 16:12:50

        Sadly, strict paleo also means no seeds. That means buckwheat, quinoa, chia and corn are off a strict paleo diet. However, for those like me who are a little bit less than strict, they are indeed all options!
        Littlesundog, I have a few great paleo blogs or blogs of people who eat grain free, sugar free etc I can send you if you’d like. We’ve just started gluten free and have been refined sugar free for a while. It IS challenging but I too feel the difference and its worth every second of withdrawal. 🙂

      • narf77
        Dec 27, 2013 @ 04:13:24

        Hopefully potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato aren’t off limits?!!! How about chestnuts? Not entirely sure I would want to go paleo 😉

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Dec 27, 2013 @ 07:06:58

        Potatoes are, again for those that are strict paleo. Sweet potato and pumpkin are fine. All beans and legumes are off limits too. We dance around the edges of paleo but at this time I have no plans whatsoever to ditch potatoes, beans and legumes. And I’m keeping in rice, corn and all the seeds. Still, I look up paleo recipes often. 🙂

      • narf77
        Dec 27, 2013 @ 16:20:15

        Strict Paleo sounds like a pain in the arse to me! Humans weren’t strict Paleo back in the day, I figure it’s just another strict regime where people try to outdo each other as to how bad ass they are to be honest…next year something else will have toppled Paleo from its lofty heights this year…happens over and over again and as soon as the masses get bored of this latest fad, they will jump onto another one ASAP. Glad I am ignoring it all and just getting on living my life 🙂

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Dec 28, 2013 @ 10:55:29

        I follow the parts I deem relevant. Yes, things like spuds weren’t around in paleolithic times but had they been our ancestors would have loved them I’m sure. 🙂 Still, if the diet works for people (and I mean diet as in diet of what we eat, not diet as in lose weight fad crap diet) then I am all for it. Still, I’m keeping in the spuds, pulses and for now, rice. 🙂 Oh and I will work on my meats all being pasture raised and the same for my chooks (eggs are supposed to be from truly free-range birds and all meats grain free too)

      • narf77
        Dec 28, 2013 @ 15:44:34

        I reckon that if you eat healthy food predominately, if you make sure that you source your produce from ethical and healthy sustainable sources, that you are SO far ahead it isn’t funny ;). People get caught up in the latest greatest fad and end up parting with huge wads of cash for all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients when we should all just be asking for quality produce, grown sustainably and whether we eat meat etc. or not doesn’t really matter to be honest, it is all about the quality of what we are putting in our mouths to be honest IMHO.

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Dec 28, 2013 @ 21:19:59

        My major issues with many of the fad diets are the ingredients and the sustainability of the diet (not the eco-ness. The ingredients are oftn processed (shakes and the like) or require shipping in from Timbuktu or wherever. Even ingredients like coconut oil, which I use and love, isn’t local. The more exotic ingredients seem to be from the most far flung locations, all requiring fuels to ship it to us. It makes it expensive. And the sustainability of the diet isn’t ust how eco unfriendly all these distant ingredients might be but also how affordable buying many of them may or may not be, how easily accessible in your local supermarket and how easy the meal is to prepare too.

      • narf77
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 03:38:41

        I am completely with you there. I figure each one of us has individual requirements. What works for one of us may harm someone else but at the end of the day, so long as the food that you eat feeds your body and soul and you can feel good about eating it (where it has been sourced etc.) it can only be doing you good 🙂 I have been trying to minimise the carbon miles but living in Tassie comes complete with carbon miles I am sorry to say. Your coconut oil is completely able to be made on the mainland…a few carbon miles but could easily be accomplished with horses and carts. Here in Tassie its a complete and most epic carbon mile fail! That’s why I am experimenting with all kinds of things to make milk. sesame seeds are easy to grow, love arid conditions and yield a high quality, high protein milk. I am working on a vegetable source of sweetener so I won’t be reliant on dates. I am thinking buckwheat molasses. You can make “molasses” from just about every grain…or buckwheat honey…and the jury is still out on root veggies but I figure a naturally sweet “molasses” could be rendered from carrots and pumpkins and sweet potatoes and all 3 can be grown easily here. We have a group of people in Launceston who took on the challenge to only eat produce from a 50km radius from Launceston. The only thing that they are having problems isolating are grains. We grow barley (for booze) and oats but they tend to be closer to Hobart but they did find some people growing organic heritage beans in their hunt so that’s a plus! I think people are just going to have to learn the hard way about what their area does and doesn’t produce. We are very lucky that here in Tassie we grow lots of veggies and we get a reasonable amount of rainfall so come the revolution, we should easily be able to sustain our small population 🙂

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 19:13:32

        I’m a puritan about the word local. I like it to mean truly local but QLD is much better than Fiji or wherever. I’m sure they could grown coconuts in QLD, NT and northern WA. 🙂 Maybe even in northern NSW?
        I know I saw that there is a wheat farmer in Tas on Gourmet Farmer but the wheat made a very soft flour – no good for bread. Still, there is hope there.
        Tassie will have apples for cider and for trading to the mainland at least. Your apples for our wheat?
        Yes to learning the hard way and at the end of the day, good old fashioned doing without! If we can’t grow it and can’t ship it in, there is no other option. 🙂 Won’t hurt us to be without bread to be honest, or pasta for that matter. I go without now and even though it sucks, I am surviving and perfectly healthy. 🙂
        I’m trying sweet potatoes this year in the greenhouse. I’m hoping I can keep it warm enough in there with water butts and hot composting straw bales. 🙂

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2013 @ 03:22:15

        I can’t see why you couldn’t grow sweet potatoes. My friend Jenny works in a nursery and was telling me about a woman who came into the shop and told her that she bought some sweet potato slips (seedlings) from the shop the year before (jen didn’t even know they sold them 😉 ) and had harvested 70 Sweet potatoes from a single punnet. She bought some herself (Jen) and they are going mental in her polytunnel when everything else has turned to a crisp and baked dry. A very interesting experiment methinks. If they can grow kumara in N.Z. we can grow them here! 🙂

  9. The Moose Curry Experience
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 22:39:28

    I will trade you the expected Christmas (a couple feet of snow to shovel) for your birds and butterflies… merry Christmas from the far corner of the world!

    (Also, those pork pies look fantastic.)


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 03:07:40

      Apparently those pork pies taste fantastic to. All in all a great outcome :). Just once I would love to make a snow angel…oak-leaf mould angels (that harbour leeches) are just don’t quite cut it 😉


  10. Kaye Wheeler
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 10:45:10

    Glad you found the Joy of Christmas, Fran. Lots of Joy, here. Watching my Mum enjoying the Christmas that we thought she wouldn’t have – her body wracked with nasties that should be causing unbearable pain, but miraculously not – in Church singing her favourite Christmas songs – eating a whole plateful of food followed by dessert, when she couldn’t eat for six weeks so recently – she’s going to Heaven in style. Then having dinner with Scott’s larger-than-life Italian in-laws, all fighting and squabbling and loving and laughing and producing the best lasagne and roasted turkey ever and a scrumptious spinach, pear, shaved Parmesan and maple syrup- caramelised walnut salad. Then today will be our traditional Boxing Day family barbecue, cooked by the barbie king, himself, kids running around, jumping in and out of the spa, opening presents, eating too much. Then tonight, my much awaited visitors arrive from Geelong. My grown-up sponsored Sri Lankan ‘daughter’ who married an Aussie and her ‘sister’ also from the children’s home who has come from SL for Christmas. Taking them to Denmark next week.


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 13:18:35

      🙂 Your mum deserves to go out in style Kaye :). Love that you sponsored someone and their lives are rich and full now…like those pebbles we keep getting told make enormous ripples on the other side of the world. Looks like everyone except me is heading back to Denmark for a break next week… I must have missed my invitation in the mail! 😉


  11. christiglover
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 11:47:26

    Merry Christmas, Fran! Glad you are feelin’ happy again and that you had such a great feast with the family. I actually love cicadas (we called them locusts in Texas…ask Kelsey 🙂 and miss them here. I loved your little video — an Australian Christmas Carol. Hugs to Steve and the boys.


    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 13:21:04

      Hopefully Arly is behaving himself (and sticking to only humping his dog basket 😉 ). Still full to the back gills after eating a few too many Luxury Vegan Nacho’s yesterday and I notice on FB that it is your birthday tomorrow :). Happy birthday my wonderful twin from Ollala…you would think that as we are twins I would have known that wouldn’t you? But I guess I am the younger twin and must have been a bit oxygen starved because I tend to miss things a lot ;). Have an amazing birthday Christi, enjoy the love of your wonderful man and family and feel the love that we are all sending you from all over the globe. You are a truly magnificent friend and we all …we ALL love you 🙂


  12. Lynda
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 14:33:52

    Merry Christmas Fran and yeah it took me a while to get my Grinchness to leave this year. It took Gav, Kim and Jess to make me laugh last Saturday and ive been good to go since then. Good luck finding 365 new things for next year. Im sure with your openess to life you’ll find twice as many.


    • narf77
      Dec 27, 2013 @ 04:08:48

      The important thing to remember is that my 365 “new” things can be as simple as me remembering to take the compost bucket up to the large compost pile every day rather than when it is foetid and full ;). Glad your grinchiness buggered off as well. I felt decidedly weird on Christmas Day but it stopped on Boxing Day and I am currently reading books and rediscovering my love for reading all over again. I plan on learning to cook some interesting things and will be mastering sourdough this year (if it kills me! ) I could cheat and call each loaf I bake “something new” ;). Have a great Christmas break and hopefully the New Year brings some wonderful times for you and your family 🙂


  13. rabidlittlehippy
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 16:23:52

    Grinchy here too but although I don’t feel “christmassy”, whatver that actually means, I enjoyed christmas and I too have been getting up early once again. Well, between 5:30 and 6:30 but the sun is up before me. 🙂 And the main reason I’m getting up? I can’t stang sharing the bed with Orik, Martin AND Allegra who are all flat on their backs, waving arms around willy nilly and snoring! lol Still, the quiet time is indeed a balm for the soul.
    I love your “resolution” too and although I’m not sure I could aspire to such lofty (but attainable) heights, I too resolve, or at least plan earnestly, to attempt something similar. I’ve been practicing too. I plan to homeschool and I am aiming already to do something that is actually informal learning every single day. Even when my kids seem to be ignoring me they seem to be able to repeat back what I tell them. Everything EXCEPT for “the dirtiest word in the world”. They just can’t seem to remember “hugelkopf”. Either that or they just love the giggle they get from hearing Mummy drop ünforgivable” words at carefully chosen and seemingly random moments.
    I digress.
    Peaceful wind down and dig straight back into it day here. Little in the way of leftovers (nothing veg left, just extra duck meat), done gardening and revelled in the smell of freshly watered gardens, the effectiveness of sugar cane mulch and Allegra helped me plant then worm wee water in some more seeds and seedlings. 🙂
    Merry Christmas in all its learning and wondrous joy my friend. May 2014 include even more gardening glee, Brunhilda baking, Ignisa inventing and a real life catch up too. 🙂


  14. Chica Andaluza
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 00:06:03

    Who ate all the pies, who ate all the pies?! I was feeling super grinchy all of Boxing Day (thanks mum for that feeling 😦 ) but I’m over it now. It’s true, you don’t need snow ad fir trees, It’s about who you’re with (or not), what you believe in (I’m wiht you on that) and how you chose to mark the day. Glad all turned out well and I LOVE those mugs 🙂


    • narf77
      Dec 29, 2013 @ 03:48:53

      Most of the pies were taken in to our Christmas Eve communal celebration with the kids in the city (50km away) and we had a great time. The enormous pork pies were a batch of 4 that we make every year. We craft them tenderly, I bath my vegan hands in lard for the cause…I even bathed my camera lens in lard just to give you guys that instagrammed look 😉 (seriously, it took me AGES to work out why my camera was taking misty shots 😉 ). Steve kept 2 of them and the other 2 were gifts for our best neighbours, Glad, an expat Lancashire lass who is 91 and who STILL isn’t used to spending Christmas where it is hot and her daughter Wendy. The three of them (Steve, Glad and Wendy) all mutter about Aussie hot Christmases together but the pies go a long way towards making everything right…”Peace Pies” ;). Mothers are good at making you feel grinchy. Mum did it to us when she spent Christmas 2011 here. She hijacked the entire show and we just wanted a nice small Christmas meal but we ended up with a gargantuan feast that it took us a month to wade through and most of it got thrown out but she was incredibly happy that she had “her Christmas” her way…the “proper way”. The fact that she died 7 days after heading back home made a most poignant point to me…sometimes letting someone else have what they want (and we did, albeit begrudgingly and muttering out the back and walking the dogs where she couldn’t hear us 😉 ) is sometimes the best outcome in the long term. You just never know what is going to happen. She was obviously meant to have “her” Christmas because it was her last. None of us knew that, but it was SO much easier to work through the grief knowing that she loved it and had a ball. Those mugs were lovely weren’t they? 🙂


      • Chica Andaluza
        Dec 31, 2013 @ 05:07:16

        You are wise woman and I’m slowly getting it all back into perspective. I think a pie or two might have helped me through the process though 😉 And yes, I adore those mugs,,,they’d make me smile eveyr morning!

      • narf77
        Dec 31, 2013 @ 05:24:44

        I would need both of them filled to the brim with tea before “wise” would even be considered…up until that point “grouchy”, “blunt” and “biotch” would be more appropriate ;). Those pies filled in the gaps that waiting for Christmas Eve grub would have needed had my daughters not been Uber efficient on the day and had everything prepped. I left them with the progeny to divide up and conquer ;). Steve still has some of the large Pork pies left and is savouring them slowly :). Pies = happiness 🙂

  15. Sue Dreamwalker
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 00:55:49

    Wow someone was very busy with the pies and sausage-rolls, Loved your post and can see you had a wonderful Christmas.. ME too… 🙂
    Here’s wishing you and yours an even better New Year! Wishing you all things good for 2014 🙂
    Sue xox


    • narf77
      Dec 29, 2013 @ 03:50:00

      You to Sue :). I have a very strong feeling about 2014. I think it is going to be a most interesting and wonderful year for all of us 🙂 Cheers for still reading my gargantuan posts ;). Glad to see you are a stayer 🙂


      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 03:52:40

        Love your posts, and although I may not comment every time, Love your lifestyle 🙂 and Humour! 🙂 😉 xxx

      • narf77
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 04:27:02

        I sometimes feel like I have alienated most of my poor long suffering dear constant readers and it is great to reconnect with you guys occasionally and know that I am still delivering what you want to read. I tend to just sit down and tap whatever is going on here on Serendipity Farm and whatever is in my head and my heart and it usually amounts to quite a large hill of beans I can tell you ;). I used to post daily and cut it down to weekly but even daily my posts were pretty huge as post size goes…I guess there is a lot going on inside narf7 and the need to share is huge in this one young padawan ;).

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 04:33:18

        There is a need to share what you share .. And I for one am pleased you do…. I just wish I had more hours in a day to visit and and connect with all whom I follow… but I get enormous amount of pleasure reading even if from my email box on my phone as its often difficult to connect to comment, or if I do it vanishes… LOL… Keep doing what you are doing 🙂
        Happy 2014

      • narf77
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 04:51:12

        I don’t think I could stop Sue, I think I was born to blather! 😉 You too, keep on keeping on like that Eveready bunny and power into 2014 like you mean to finish up, bold and brave! 🙂

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 04:52:42

        🙂 lol … Bleep! Bleep! 🙂 always.. Enjoy your New Year 🙂 xx

      • narf77
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 04:55:26

        🙂 You too ma’am 🙂 We will be laying on our backs gazing at stars with some of my kids that have decided to vortrek their way out here as the sky is much brighter without street lights and city lights so they can see the universe with their new telescope. I will be suruptitiously sipping some New Years champagne whilst pretending to be VERY interested in some star or other 😉

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 04:58:21

        Haha… but such beauty both in the Universe and with Family time, I managed to get my two back here on the 20th Dec for my own little party.. And then went to my Sons Christmas Eve and my daughter’s last evening… They are the real Stars… Family… Enjoy your Star Gazing… Slightly envious of your night sky minus street lights.. 🙂 Big Hugs and Enjoy! togetherness! xxx

      • narf77
        Dec 29, 2013 @ 05:08:18


  16. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 13:40:58

    My goodness, what a glorious parade of pastries! That sight alone would make for a merry Christmas, indeed. And your furry Santa pictured above there is easily the cutest I’ve ever seen. The only thing missing from you holiday celebration is, well… Me! Seriously envious and wish I could have been there.


  17. Spy Garden
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 12:39:35

    Beautiful and perfect Christmas. I loved the sunrise picture and I WANT that coffee mug so bad hahahahaha. Also liked the marching cicadas. I grew up in south Florida where EVERY day of the year (basically) is all sun and palm trees. I’d trade OPPOSITE seasons for no seasons any day. I love thinking about how it is summer down there right now;)


    • narf77
      Dec 30, 2013 @ 15:49:14

      :). I used to live in Western Australia which is somewhat like Texas in temperature range and so having 4 actual seasons is a lovely change :). The coffee mugs made me groan and laugh at the same time ;).


  18. kellie@foodtoglow
    Jan 01, 2014 @ 05:42:01

    At my age I’ve seen a lot of Christmases and New Years. Over the years I think I feel more and more that I need to just embrace what I have. Try new things, sure. In fact I will adopt your New Years resolution (that and use smaller wine glasses). But regarding what I think Christmas should be, well it will probably never be that. I love what we do as a family but I have never been a slave to tradition. We don’t have a weekly rota of food that we eat or day that we go to the cinema, so why is Christmas any different. Well, other people dig tradition. It gives a sense of place and feeling of belonging I suppose. And my extended family is no different. Sure I would love an intimate Christmas in a blinging catered Swiss chalet, skiing my way into a New Year too. But being with family where they are just feels right. So where they are, I will always be. I know what you mean about yearning for a traditional white Christmas. I grew up never having seen snow until I moved the the UK 25 years ago and it was amazing. But it is everything else that matters to me most. And despite your transient Grinchiness (love that new word. You and I make up lots of words, don’t we) that’s you too. I am glad you perked up and enjoyed your fantastic view and sunrise. You live in such a special part of the world. If it is any consolation, much of the Uk was under water and still is. We escaped most of the yucky weather here in Edinburgh but it is quite mild and not at all Christmassey/New Years-ey. For heaven’s sake the city fireworks are going to be dry for a change! Now that’s a new tradition we could get used to. Hope your NYE was a peaceful night of ginger wine and groaning table of food. I raise my glass to you, Miss Fran x


    • narf77
      Jan 01, 2014 @ 16:19:55

      I was in bed by 9.30pm and Steve fell asleep on the couch…the perks of being middle aged countrified hippies who are in the middle of house painting (WE ARE FOOLS! 😉 )…I raised my ginger wine to all of my friends and family at 6pm…seemed like a plan at the time 😉 “Here’s to an amazing year of possibilities and the wisdom to make the right choices when we are faced with what life hands to us and lots and LOTS of wonderful posts from food to glow :)”


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