I have been doing that thing where you use your brain a lot for things other than the objects of your interest and desire…(what’s that called again?) “Study”. Cramming swathes of information into your head. Some of which sticks because it is directly related to what you are interested in (like making e-books) or is hovering around the peripherals of what you are interested in (like forming community with like-minded people) but aside from that, anything external to where my brain wants to be sitting at any given time spills out of my ears and into the ether most probably never to be seen (or retrieved) again
The lengths that I go to in order to maintain my artistic integrity…here you see one of my kitchen knives that I was using in order to replicate a knife in one of my assessment tasks. The pile of pencil shavings was thanks to me having to draw things over…and over…and over again and these sheets of paper are my draft drawings prior to the finished result. We had to use the letters of our names to represent a profession or a theme.
Here’s what I came up with (if I have ANY Drag queens reading this post please don’t spam me! 😉 )
Have you noticed that? Have you noticed how if you are interested in something you can spend hours poring over books, searching the net and wandering around with a book in your hands while you furtively attempt to stir the air at the side of a simmering pot? I think that the secret to being a really good teacher/lecturer, is first of all learning to read your students (after all, “students” per-se are a motley crew at best and at worst can be the stuff that nightmares can only aspire to being) and then finding what it is that they are interested in and pitching your lessons in that direction. I realise that classroom situations can’t give teachers the ability to tailor lessons to individual students but if you find a student who just isn’t getting it…who (like Steve) is asleep on their desk…who keeps interrupting your class by acting “the giddy goat” (LOVE that saying nana 🙂 ) then it’s time to pull out the old “personalise and pique their interest” bullet…load it into your teaching gun and “FIRE!”
Ugg boots! Well…not really “Ugg” boots as they cost a small fortune and would probably sue me for even thinking about using their name, but cheap imports that are keeping my feet almost as warm for the princely sum of $8. Coupled with some thermal socks and narf7 is ready to tackle winter feet first!
The sum total of tomatoes produced in my garden this year that are red. I have about seventy quintillion green ones…note the hairy strawberry (they hit puberty early on Serendipity Farm. This one is so old he has a comb over…)
I have been noticing meme’s on Facebook (back there…sort of…as our classmates set up a FB page and we check into it on a daily basis) that echo a similar theme. The theme revolves around how happiness is elusive. How we can’t expect to be “happy” all of the time and how we need to embrace the “sad”. Whilst understanding fully that the only way that “happy” tastes like ice cream and feels like a massage after going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson is to balance it out and to contrast it with the knowledge and personal experience of sadness but to say that you can’t taste happiness most of the time…Au contraire, I beg to differ. I think that happiness is a state of mind. It isn’t something that is elusive or to be sought after, it’s right here inside us. It’s that pure crystal clear moment when we realise that were we are, what we have, how we live right here…right NOW is “right” for us and we learn to feel a primal contentment in those moments. That is happiness. Well it is to narf7 Anyhoo…
Steve’s secret walnut stash in a car park in the city. No-one collects the nuts and as you can see they are being squished by cars
So here I am, haggard but happy with the crisp fresh cold (only just remembering what “cold” actually is…) mornings that we have been having lately and my thoughts are with autumn plantings and winter baking. I have been cultivating a roaringly gorgeous online friendship with the spunky Joanna from Zebbakes and the much closer Celia from Fig jam and lime cordial Throw in some spectacular Cityhippyfarmgirl action and narf7 is going to go to the sourdough ball this year. None of it will be at all possible without a starter however and my new hero is Tanya of Chica Andaluza fame who has sent me some dehydrated starter from her own prized batch. Spanish starter on Serendipity Farm. Sounds like some kind of cookbook to me! I can only hope that our customs officials are as kind as the Spanish ones were and let the sourdough through. The Spanish version passed Serendipity Farm kefir grains to Tanya without batting an eyelid (maybe they were having a Manana moment? 😉 ). Fingers crossed that the tenacious starter arrives on the doorstep and this winter turns my humble and simple little kitchen into a bread baking alchemists dream, full of possibilities and potions. I just crammed “Tartine 3” into my library cart. Why start of easy is my way of thinking. Throw yourself in at the deep (experimental) end and tread water for a bit till something sticks (probably all of those unctuous cultures riding to the other side on the top of my drowning cranium 😉 )
We headed into the city in order to swap 8 bags of prunes for 8 bags of dates. Steve picked up the prunes on his last whirlwind shopping trip and as I am NOT a fan of “prune syrup” we returned them and swapped them for dates. While we were there we took the opportunity to walk the dogs around the city and take a couple of photos. This is another one of those lovely traffic signal boxes. I love how bright and vibrant this one is 🙂
This is a great idea. Filtered water that you can drink from a fountain or use to fill up your water bottle in an attempt to reduce the use of bottled water. The dogs were certainly appreciative of this on what was probably one of our last warm days for the year
As the weather cools down I start to rev up. I want to hear and smell Brunhilda as she crackles back into life. I went to sleep last night with the sound of persistent rain on the roof. It was absolutely and most primally delicious. My breakfast buckwheat porridge is now “right” and I have taken to wearing ugg slippers all over again. Enter the game. Narf7 1, Earl nil (for now…) The dogs are starting to need a blanky at night-time now. We keep lecturing them about how lucky they are. How some dogs have to live outside and eat tinned dog food (shock HORROR!) and wouldn’t know what a bed even looked like, let alone got to spend most of their days languishing in luxury on top of one. Couches, fridges, leftovers, begging for hot pasty ends, bacon rinds, caches of shoes…all completely foreign to the average shmo dog but do you think they pay attention? Nope…you can almost sense Bezial looking for “more” and Earls eyes slithering around looking for unattended foot coverings as you prosthelise
Steve ate most of these last night and said that they were delicious. Even the green possum sucked ones didn’t go to waste. They got tucked into the compost bin to hopefully grow at their leisure over the winter
I knew that European paper wasps had 2 phases, a sugar phase where they predate any and everything sugary and later in the breeding season they have a meat phase where they go for anything vaguely meaty but I never realised that they also had a cheese phase…here is the evidence!
We have plans in the immediate future to create a dog nook next to Brunhilda. Sort of one of those Bohemian floor setups for dogs so that they can take advantage of pillows and warmth and Brunhilda and overnight heat regulation. “Some dogs live outside in kennels you know you two!”… (Eyes just swivelled alarmingly reminiscent of my children’s eyes swivelling when I was telling them that there were starving children in Ethiopia…) and we have plans for all sorts of crafty adventures but we need to knuckle down and get some of these immediate studies out of the way. Sarah, our wonderful lecturer, has been very sporting about it all and has given us all of our work up front. I love you Sarah. You are a true friend! She knows how a student brains works because she IS a student. She is studying at university as she teaches and so that need to satisfy in the bare minimum is part and parcel of her world. You can reason with a fellow student and Sarah is eminently reasonable. This course is a world apart from last year. Last year I could feel our lecturer losing his sense of humour as the year progressed and our fellow students dropped like bored flies. The moment something a bit difficult arose they were like rats leaving a sinking ship but this year’s motley crew are all interesting, fantastically talented and most importantly focussed on taking part and completing this course. They all seem to have their eyes firmly on the finish line which makes this a much more exciting direction to be facing. Rather than working alone, we have lots of brains to bounce off and that makes it a much more entertaining environment to learn in
A man and his machine against the mighty intestinal fortitude of a cross fibred wattle tree
A man and his dogs
A man who appears to be threatening me but who assures me is “Mr Log Splitter Extraordinaire”…
Ms TeddyTottie of “Teddy and Tottie” blogging fame posted a link to this excellent commercial to highlight ceasing battery hen/egg farming by some of our most noted comedians. I would like to share it with you all as well. I realise that some of you already follow this blog so feel free to skip the ad.
I find myself at 3.13pm on Wednesday and just remembered that I have to post a blog post…EEK! I have been studying all day and finding more holes where the possums have been weaselling into our veggie garden (SWINES!) that I promptly mended (narf7 1 possums about 7000 😦 ) and helping Steve to split some logs using a log splitter that we borrowed from a friend. All in all I am going to have to put this blog post to bed and hope that it isn’t too half cut and that the first bit was good enough to carry this last (most pathetic) effort home ;). I need to thank Tanya (Chica Andaluza) and Jessie (rabidlittlehippy) for sending me Spanish sourdough starter “Ole!” and for dealing with my aging Aunt Tilly who keeps sending me seeds. Jess has been a pillar of the community and has bent over backwards to attempt to educate Aunt Tilly but she appears to be almost as bolshie as I am. Cheers for your help anyway Jess. You can both be sure that I am going to have a wonderful time messing around in the realms of sourdough possibilities and back propagating where I am happiest . I luv’s ya both 🙂
Not only did Tanya/Chica send me some of her precious dehydrated sourdough starter for me to have a go at making true Spanish sourdough on Serendipity Farm, but she sent me a packet of lovely wildflower seeds to sprinkle around the place. I am wholeheartedly in agreement with the cover of the lovely card that she sent…I will just swap the (undrinkable) gin for vodka and after a few of those lemony moments I will completely “forgedaboudit!” 😉 Now I have to think up a sufficiently sexy Spanish name for my new starter…
Dear Aunt Tilly…she keeps sending me seeds and I keep telling her “No Aunt Tilly!” but what are you going to do when your Aunty just wants to share? 😉 Cheers Jess for attempting to talk some sense into Aunt Tilly. For your kindness to Aunt Tilly I am sending you something special 🙂
Ok folks, sorry to love you and leave you but sometimes the small terrier that is life gets hold of your ratty little carcass and gives you a hefty shake which results in a bit of a brain rattle and a whole lot of having to get your bearings back. I should have them back and be a LOT more organised by next week but I can’t promise anything ;). I hope you all have a happy and most productive week. See you all next Wednesday 🙂