I found YOU on the road to Serendipity…


Hi All,


(Me?) “YEAH YOU!” You thought you were just skulking around in the background, hovering in the ether where no-one could see you but I know where you are and I am one of you. I spend most of my days hovering around the ether in various states of mental and physical undress. I can be found wearing ugg boots, knickers and a t-shirt at 3am and by 5am I am in the human equivalent of a cocoon of clothing. I wander the highways and byways of the internet searching out things that make me go “SQUEE”! That make me pause and think, that touch me so deeply I dissolve in tears, that anger me (a LOT of anger me’s…) and that infuse me with the delicious possibilities of hope. I love being an ether surfer and in my travels I found YOU. Yes I did…you thought that “you” found “me” right? Well I cast out my lure and reeled you in and you are now my wonderful trophies, free to come and go at your own free will (like Sting said “set them free and if they come back they are yours :)”…) but each and every one of you has their own peg on the Serendipity Farm wall where you can hang your hat and coat and shuck off your boots (sorry about that chicken manure…) and can sit down at the kitchen table with a hot mug of the beverage of your choice (except yerba mate… I don’t have any of that yet…or Bovril…if you drink Bovril you most probably won’t like Serendipity Farm much…”move along…nothing to see here!”…) and a biscuit/cookie (see, I cater for everyone!) or a calzone…matters not to me, we all float down here…


I found YOU on the road to Serendipity

See I found this lovely card or whatever it is. Someone has a lovely Etsy type store (Behappy.me) and is selling this lovely sentiment along with a t-shirt that I may or may not be tempted to dig out the moth eaten sock under the bed in order to wear at 3am in my knickers and ugg boots. This lovely stranger has voiced my sentiments exactly. They have NO idea what this says about me, my life, and who and what I am but it sums this all up perfectly…our serendipitous relationship, you and I. I have NO idea who most of you are but I know you like sisters and brothers. I would probably walk straight past most of you on the street (and you would yell out “Hi Narf!” as you have seen me…) without knowing you but we share a connection and a small part of the universe through our serendipitous meeting and communal sharing and tasting platter. Isn’t life a wonderful thing where strangers, from the other side of the world, can meet up in real time, sharing their lives, their deepest innermost emotions and their support and knowledge whilst wearing undies, a t-shirt and their ugg boots and NO-ONE WENT BLIND! That is a miracle in and of itself 🙂


Note to self…”when stoking the fire there is a right and a wrong way to grab the poker…you selected the WRONG way…try again…”


Someone appears to not have a care in the world…when they say “it’s a dogs life” they aren’t fibbing!

One of the things about having “lovely” wooden floors is that you have to sweep all of the time. Maybe if you don’t have dogs and a husband who was born in a barn you might get away with every second day or so but not narf of Upper Serendipity on the Mer. I just swept the equivalent of a tiny narf in long hairs from the floor. I sweep at least 3 times a day and every single time I am amazed at how much hair we shed. Earl and I are by far the most prolific producers of hirsuitedness on the floor but that’s only because Bezials hairs are black and tend to want to stay stuck to his thick hide. For some reason Earl sheds hair constantly. I think he is part seal and that part of him is constantly trying to return to its hair-free genetic potential. I have very long hair now, due more to the fact that I am a tightwad and absolutely POSITIVELY refuse to pay some ditzy hairdresser $50 every 6 weeks in order to remain able to wander freely amongst the “normal” people without them pointing and whispering (more than they already do…). Stevie-boy trims the back of it whenever the split ends rise up and attempt to take over the masses but aside from that, narf7 and hairdressers are like vampires and garlic NADA!


I snuck off a couple of shots at my daughters house in the city when I was staying there on Friday night…as you can see it is obviously not our house as this stack of stationary (and that most tasty looking Earth Worm Jim encased light) would have been ingested LONG ago by Earl


Lots of books…good to see that my kids all love to read…my job here is almost done…


My daughters have a fascination for all things early 20th Century when it comes to movies. Apparently the best actors tend to hae hovered around the 40’s and 50’s and most of them were horror actors

I had a lovely stay at my daughter’s house in the city on Friday night and we shopped together on Saturday. Next time we have decided communally that we will organise a stop-over on a non-shopping week (we shop once a fortnight) and will make it a 2 night sleep-over so that we can get the most out of my visit. We had amazing nacho’s on Friday night and I arrived back home exhausted after our full day shopping. I got to go to Tsing Wah, my daughter’s Asian grocery store and bought some excellent brown rice pasta, black sesame seeds and other interesting Asian ingredients for me to muck around with and keep myself amused with my bouche. I also picked up a lovely purple sweet potato. It is white on the skin but the flesh is purple. I am going to use this little sweetie to attempt to grow more purple goodness sweet potatoes from. I might not be able to grow taro here in Tassie but I can sure adapt and purple sweet potato comes a close second in both taste and novelty value


This would be 50 bananas…well…my interpretation of them. You can click on this image to make it bigger so that you can see that dirty mark on the lower left hand side where Earl decided to jump on the kitchen table and onto my work whereby I did the narf7 equivalent of meltdown…after sweeping Earl physically from the table and with my hand on my brow lamenting the loss of my creative genius I sat back down…steadied myself and kept going…the sign of true artistic genius (well that’s MY story and I am sticking to it! 😉 )

Stevie-boy and I decided to get all of our studies completed and up to date the other day and we sat down and drew 50 bananas each. That’s 100 bananas on Chez Serendipity and that might be 99 more than is needed to be honest. We had practice last year drawing pumpkins but this year it was harder. I will see if I can manage to share the scan that Steve took (for our lecturer…EVERYONE wants proof these days! Pffft! 😉 ) of my bananaesque results and aside from giving you a good laugh you can start to get an idea of how desperate a poor non-talented-in-the-drawing-capacity student can get when faced with having to get creative in reproducing their idea of 50 bananas. The first 10 – 15 is easy, anyone can think of that many but after that you have to really start to think…to process “what the heck do banana’s actually MEAN to me?!” and that’s when you start getting all existential on bananas…you pull out your Fraud (easy to do when you are talking bananas 😉 ) and your Kafka and you start questioning the existence of bananas…your own existence…the meaning of the universe and all things yellow. By the end of it you are heading to the internet and stealing other people’s work with impunity…Steve pinched Mr J Lennons self portrait and reproduced it in bananas, I pinched Mr Bingo of the Banana Splits fame and if I had more space I would have stolen Mr Warhol’s banana with gusto. All in all it certainly filled our brains with the yellow tasty sweet fruit for a good couple of hours


Steve took this photo of one of our resident Black cockatoos. This one appears to be female as it hasn’t got red eyes. They live and breed on the property and we feel especially privileged to be able to watch them go about their daily routines around us


Sorry about the terrible photo but those are MY hands holding that roasted rooster skin so we all know who is to blame! 😉 Seriously though, can you see the boys drooling?


Steve might not like rooster skin but he certainly likes rooster pies…

We are learning about typeface now and we watched a really interesting program on studio the other day about the typeface called “Helvetica” and how it has shaped our culture. You wouldn’t believe that a single typeface would be able to conquer the world but it has! Helvetica has been used by so many global companies that you wouldn’t even know you were looking at it anymore, it is so widespread and prevalent in our culture. It has been the single most utilised font of the later part of the 20th Century and it goes to show that the written word AND how it looks are most definitely a way to a consumers heart, and more importantly their wallets


I headed up to the veggie garden to get a few photos for you as I haven’t shared anything about the (neglected) veggie garden of late


And saw THIS! Some bollocking bollocks has been scoffing my precious pumpkins!

Brunhilda is crackling away and enjoying her fresh baked logs. We had a bit of a problem with some of the bark being damp on some of the wood that we were burning so we had the bright idea to put logs into the warming ovens (as they don’t get used much) and dry them out prior to stoking Brunhilda with their delicious dry tastiness. She appreciates dehydrated wood immensely and is crackling away at her latest instalment with glee. I made scrumptious rooster pies last night. I made scrumptious rich rooster stock the day before. I have 2kg of rich lean rooster mince in my freezer and I am NOT going to tell you what Stevie-boy and I did on Sunday aside from to say it was them or us according to Frank…


This looks like bush rat nibblings to me and that tells me that we are feeding the feral cats too much!


Despite the nibbles I am harvesting these pumpkins and will cut out the nibbled bit and use them. At least I got something from the garden this year!

I am getting my mushroom groove back…my mushie mojo. They are everywhere at the moment. Glorious amanita’s, amazing coloured toadstools, gravity defying tall slender slimy topped beauties, small white alluring mushrooms that I am NOT ALLOWED TO EAT! And all loveliness in between. I am going to take my camera on my morning (drag) walk with Earl to see if I can’t get you some (blurry out of focus pictures of a large wet dogs nose snuffling and squashing on the objects of my desire…) lovely photos of some of the gorgeous specimens that we have been seeing lately thanks to this unseasonal early rain that we have been having. NO complaints about the rain from this little black duck but a bit of a grumble under my breath because we STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN THAT RAINWATER TANK INSTALLED! Err…when I say “under my breath” I meant that metaphorically not literally 😉


I managed to collect these pumpkins and those potatoes from my visit to the veggie garden today. No more pumpkin for YOU bush rats!


This is what yacon looks like. I rootled around under the plants and found this little baby and when I dug a bit deeper I felt bigger tubers. Looks like my yacon DID produce some tubers this year and now I just need to work out when to pull them up and shove them into some soil ready for replanting next year. Yacon produce energy storage tubers and rhizomes. The tubers are what we use and the rhizomes are to be planted out again (from what I can gather). Looks like it is time for me to go hunting on my old mate Google to see what I am supposed to be doing with this plant that did well on Serendipity Farm

I must say I don’t know what all of you Northerners were complaining about when you were going on… and on…and on…and ON about the cold. I am LOVING IT! It might be just because the cold is still a delicious novelty to me but I don’t think so. I think that I just love it. I love how I can come in out of it and get warm, how I can wear lovely homemade things (Jess, I am sporting those blue camo knit trousers and LOVING THEM!) with impunity and I can use the rain as an excuse to get out of walking the dog every single day! Earl and winter…not so much…but me and winter…BLISS! 😉


As I was wandering around looking for “photo opportunities” for you all I noticed this little silverbeet seedling growing in a flat seedling tray and thought that it was the perfect example of how nature never wants to give in or up. I decided to come back to take a photo for you all to get that rush of happiness that seeing an underdog fight its way to survival brings…


However a giant decided to squash him in his tracks…sigh…

I have to get some photos for this blog post. I seem to have forgotten to photograph much this week and what I did take photo’s of was blurry and out of focus but not artistically so. My daughters took a trip to Melbourne last week and the first I knew about it was an email saying “you might want to check this out through the day…” and a link to their Instagram page where I found images of them eating pancakes for breakfast, snacking on delicious frozen green tea yoghurt with lychees and tapioca pearls and wandering the streets of Melbourne with impunity. I must admit to being a little green (YOU DIDN’T INVITE ME?!!!) but they were so clever to keep it a secret that I must admit to having more admiration for their stealth than angst at being left out of the equation. Steve said that he would send me to Korea to incite envy in them both but that would be missing the point, I just love spending time with my daughters, they are great fun to be around and to be with and I think that is the ultimate in your kids attaining adulthood, being able to measure out their good company and swapping all of that “being a parent” for just “being mum”. They get to make their own mistakes, pay their own bills, do their own shopping and I just get to enjoy their excellent company and their amazing senses of humour (and their wonderful cooking skills…don’t forget that!).


This is Earl’s equivalent of “are we there yet?”


I love how some mushrooms almost appear to have a liquid coating on top of them. I realise that most of you don’t share my rapture at fungi but it takes all sorts to make a world 😉


A pristine little toadstool that the chooks haven’t managed to find or scratch up yet…give it time!

I then headed out with the dogs to try to find “all of those toadstools!” that Stevie-boy had alluded to while he was driving up the driveway the other day and looking out of his side window…I hurried down (well, Earl MADE me hurry down) all the while looking for this mass stash of mushies and by the time I got to the bottom of the driveway I started to realise that either something had eaten all of the fungal fecundity OR Stevie-boy had best lay off the peyote when he is driving…either way it wasn’t going to be easy to find mushroom photos to share with you and so I headed further afield…


The Jerusalem artichokes that I found (pinched) growing on the side of the road on one of our walks and shoved into this compost bed have all died back which means it is time to harvest them


I really love the taste of Jerusalem artichokes and don’t care about their reputation as being able to induce flatulance at 100 paces. That’s what having dogs is for…blame the dog! These tubers are large, very clean and are going to be inducing flatulance in … err…”Earl”…tonight 😉


All of these different shapes and sizes of leaf came from the old Japanese maple next to the deck. This photo was taken as we were walking back up to the deck from our walk

I have just extracted a most determined leech from a very distressed dog. SO distressed that he won’t eat his dinner now. Poor Bezial is now sitting out on the deck and Earl keeps poking me with his nose as if to say “if fatty doesn’t want his dinner, can I have it?” The life of a country mouse! I think that might be all for today folks. I have spaghetti bolognaise to make for Stevie-boy and I found some delicious sweet potato starch noodles when I shopped at the Asian Supermarket and am going to make a veggie and shiitake stir-fry to go with some of them for my tea. I saved Bezial’s dinner for later on when he calms down a bit and stops hyperventilating about the alien tiny most insistent vampire that was attempting to extract his blood…Woody Allen and all of his neurotic ways have NOTHING on this dog! See you next week folks when hopefully Bezial will be eating again and we can all settle down for another communal international fringe festival of Serendipitous joy whatever our circumstances, the weather and our neurotic pets are up to…See you then 🙂


This is what narf7 looks like when she has been dragged through shrubs, trees, spiderwebs and pumpkin vines. Note the wild hair



57 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. quarteracrelifestyle
    May 28, 2014 @ 17:23:35

    Read 1/2 and run out of time, lol. Will drop in at some ungodly hour of the morning for that coffee 🙂


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 04:52:46

      There is always at least one of us up at any given time (even if it IS only Bezial between the hours of 12 and 3 and he isn’t all that good at typing…) so feel free to drop by, whack the kettle on Brunhilda (Bezial would like a pat, saves him having to bark at you 😉 ) go to the pantry and rifle through Stevie-boys stash of goodies…at any given time he has at least 5 packets of chocolate biscuits, 3 bars of chocolate, 4 packets of crisps (for if you are in a savoury mood) and various other treats including a HUGE jar full of Terry’s orange segments and M&M’s…Sweet tooth Steve? 😉 Coffee and tea both in canisters on the counter…easy to find and we have 2 kinds of milk in the fridge…all catered for ma’am 🙂


  2. rabidlittlehippy
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:16:06

    Maybe I’d better get on and knit a matching pair in green for Steve. 🙂 Send me measurements and I shall sort something out on one condition… Photo’s required! 😉

    Love the last photo of you too. Despite the fuzzy hair. 🙂


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 04:54:50

      That fuzzy hair had me picking sheoak bits out of it for hours! Earl doesn’t like the fact that he isn’t allowed to run free like Bezial and makes me pay for that lead between him and me…I am officially his “fat anchor” that he is forced to drag around Serendipity Farm in order to satisfy his need to sniff, chase and pee on everything that takes his fancy. The chooks all now know that if it is Bezial with me, they are safe (this included the little chickens) and if I have Earl on his string, RUN AWAY RUN AWAY RUN AWAY!!!! 😉 Life lesson Earl…his new nickname 😉 If you made Steve pants I would steal them and hide them so he couldn’t find them 😉


      • rabidlittlehippy
        May 29, 2014 @ 10:22:11

        Now that’s not fair to nick his dacks! Send me yarn and I’ll make you another pair but only if you let Steve wear his (if he wants them that is).
        Life Lesson Earl hey. Is he learning? 😉

      • narf77
        May 29, 2014 @ 10:49:23

        “Earl” isn’t learning anything, he feels it is good enough that he provides the life lessons and he sees NO reason to actually learn any…that’s why Earl is going to be dragging this little black fat anchor around till the day he shuffles off this mortal coil and enviously watching Bezial walk free as a bird wherever the heck he likes because BEZIAL IS SMART AND LEARNED unlike Earl who is (a dumbarse) disinclined to bother with learning anything…too much like hard work and might slow him down a bit 😉

      • rabidlittlehippy
        May 29, 2014 @ 15:34:33

        Most lovable and photogenic dumbarse though. 😉

      • narf77
        May 30, 2014 @ 06:27:07

        Yup…loves the camera limelight and hogs it all as much as he can get 🙂

  3. thecontentedcrafter
    May 28, 2014 @ 18:29:38

    I laughed out loud [which isn’t unusual when reading your blog] at a spelling mistake [which is unusual!] Your Freudian slip is showing when you wrote ‘Fraud’ instead of ‘Freud’ That is such a cool mistake!!

    Fifty bananas hey? I want to ask ‘why? but I guess that is just modern education for you. Choose a number, any number and make them produce that many. Still and all, I thought your bananas looked like bananas – which is any artists aim – wouldn’t do if they looked like elephants or even potatoes you see, we would say ‘that’s not a banana’ and you would lose your street cred! The bananas are drawn in a variety of different garb, undertaking a variety of different activities which makes what could be a quite boring array of 50 bananas actually quite interesting to look at – another aim of any artist worth their salt. Seems to me that you are a bone-fide artist – two out of two ain’t bad as Meatloaf also didn’t sing!

    Maybe it’s time to stop bewailing your lack of artistic ability and have another look at what you are producing. Next thing we know you’ll be making a Bavarian Crochet rug to put over those little naked legs first thing in the morning – the bit that resides between the undies and the uggs 🙂

    I have never tasted a Jerusalem Artichoke – isn’t that amazing – also possibly sad, but I do not feel as if I have missed out on anything. Though there is a slight curiosity.

    Isn’t it wonderful when our kids grow up into proper people and we really like each other! I am always a happy reader when you are writing about time spent with your daughters – mothers and daughters who really enjoy each others company are apparently a bit of a rarity. It is a testament to your great skills as a parent and as a woman and as a human being that you have that relationship and it is obvious you treasure it. I hope you get to have your two night sleep overs on a regular basis and have lots of fun just being together. xoxo


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 05:12:52

      BUGGER! I throw my blog posts into Word (I actually write them in word) and Word didn’t pick that one up! I know that I have (anal retentive) spelling checkers in my blog readers and so I am very VERY careful to try to make sure that there aren’t any obvious mistakes…I am rumbled…you must be an anomaly Ms. Pauline, apparently we creative peeps (that would be you and me…) are not all that good at spelling apparently (my daughter Madeline would disagree but she was tested and uses both sides of her brain equally FREAK! 😉 ) overutilise one side of our brain (right hand? Can’t be looking it up this early) and spelling is on the other side…go figure…I stand by this scientific fact as the main reason why I can’t spell for shite…could also be that my year 5 spelling teacher scared the living bedoohickies out of me by slamming a metre ruler down on the desk in front of you if you were talking (“Moi? Talking?!) and stunted my spelling, my times tables from 5 upwards and my social abilities (while I am there, I would like to blame Mr Pages-Oliver (who hyphenated their name back then?! PRIZE TOSSER!) for my lack of sporting ability, the colour of my hair, the fact that I am a bit strange and my addiction to the Bay City Rollers for a brief hiatus…ITS ALL YOUR FAULT MR PAGES-OLIVER!).

      Mr Loaf could have had a string of hits if he had decided to start at “one out of one” and go from there…seems he hadn’t heard of sequels back then (last century 😉 )…cheers for the kindness about the bananas. We were forced to endure our lack of talent to show us that we would have to actually “think” about how to replicate/reproduce 50 bananas in 50 different ways. I guess they are trying to get our advertisers brain active. My head is missing that desire to advertise products to the world. Stevie-boy taped a (crap) show on Studio the other night about advertisers thinking it might be pertinent to our course…nope…I spent 20 minutes asleep before I woke up and decided to go to bed as it was SOOO BOOOOORING! Who CARES if you can flog ice to Eskimo’s? You are all ADHD crazy buggers who spend their lives finding horrific ways to torture people who just…want…to…watch…the…bloody…SHOW!

      Jerusalem artichokes are an enigma. They are a bit crunchy, sort of potatoey and with a nutty sort of sunflower seed flavour as well. Tasty little buggers when roasted or steamed or made into soup. The poor things have a bad rap for causing flatulence but as we are hippy hermits anyway who have 2 whole dogs to blame for said flatulence (who certainly give us good reason to blame them on a regular basis!) I consider that a risk worth taking 🙂

      No bewailing, just excusing. I know what I am good at and it aint art ;). I will leave that to you artists…I just do what I have to do to satisfy my lecturer…I checked out Ms Teddy/Totty’s PDF and it made my head hurt 😦 I will have to tackle the start of it in the morning when I haven’t been up for 15 hours as my eyes went twisty and I just couldn’t get it

      My daughters are going to read that last bit of your comment and laugh and laugh and LAUGH! 😉 According to them, they were brought up by the neighbourhood wolves as I was too occupied keeping my long distance relationship with Stevie-boy alive and kicking for 2 years…apparently I alternated starving them of food and affection…they had to rely on their wits in order to find the fridge, their charisma in order to get attention and their obvious intelligence to make it through school because I was apparently AWOL. I can recommend to the average parent to allow the neighbourhood wolves to raise your children. They do a great job ;). Seriously though, I love the bones off my kids…I am slightly terrified of their intellect and when they all get together it is like a crazy mad scientists convention but I am DEAD proud of them all and their amazing senses of humour. When we are all nattering away we just click. THAT is what family is about. People outside the conversation (Stevie-boy who just doesn’t “get” our sense of humour 😉 ) are bewildered by the speed and crazy directional changes of conversation but thats “US” and who we are 🙂 Family is where you can be yourself and whether they like it or not, you “fit” 🙂


  4. The Snail of Happiness
    May 28, 2014 @ 20:51:23

    You seem to have the same relationship with hairdressers that I do… I only ever visit them when I am about to make a life-changing decision. Mr Snail lives in fear of me coming home with short hair!!! Happily I’m content with my life now and I haven’t been to a hairdresser for at least 15 years.
    Max is, in fact, the only one who goes and has his hair done (vet’s orders) and them we have to accompany him because he always has a temper tantrum and has to be muzzled. Perhaps I could get the groomer to give me a trim too next time we go before the split ends overwhelm me entirely!


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 05:16:08

      Great idea! But vets tend to charge through the nose so don’t be surprised to get a $100 haircut added to your bill ;). I alternate between short hair and long. Short is great in our hot HOT summer seasons and every single summer I threaten to cut it off as I swelter under it’s weight but then winter comes around and I remember the benefits of being hairy :). The next time we worm Bezial we are going to have to take him to the vet as the battle that we had with him (lasted 2 hours!) to get a pill to stay inside him (actually it was 4 pills and they were the size of Queensland!) caused a deep mistrust of anything that vaguely resembles treats…he is only just starting to come near us again and so we are going to force the vet to be the bastar* next time…passing the buck? Why don’t mind if I do! 😉


  5. Margaret Griffin
    May 28, 2014 @ 21:19:42

    Hi, I loved the introduction to your post this week. Yes, all kinds of people come together in cyberspace – the wonders of the internet!

    Lucky you having black cockatoos living on Serendipity Farm. Yellow Tailed black cockatoos are roaming around Castlemaine at present feasting on pine cones. Usually I see them in family groups but recently, there was a gathering of at least 40 birds sharing the bounty offered by the pine trees at Kalimna Park.

    Reflecting on your appreciation of warm and colourful headwear, I am sure you would have been in heaven at the ‘Beanie Affair’ held last weekend. The Castlemaine CWA organises this event and it brings in locals and people from much further afield including New Zealand. There was colourful headwear galore including beanies sporting feathers. I chose a head hugging sombre beanie made from hand spun natural coloured fleece.


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 05:19:07

      Kudos on your headware choice Margaret. Obviously Earl wasn’t invited…it would have been in the papers ;). I LOVE me a good beanie! I reckon there is something quintessentially “Aussie” about a bloke in a beanie in winter (even spell check allows me to spell “beanie” without protesting…”AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OY OY OY! 😉 ) Our cockies hang around because someone once planted hakeas on the property that went mental and have now been spread all over the place by the cockies who adore the nuts. They raise a baby every 2 years and it is amazing to see them all hanging about upside down from branches yelling at each other…again, quintessential Aussie behaviour 😉


  6. brymnsons
    May 28, 2014 @ 22:48:14

    I just love the photo of the stairs with the maple leaves on. Poor Bezial, poor sucker eh 🙂 Hope he recovered from his attack. We have various fungi popping up all over the place here too. I will take photos and send them, if I remember. I like the glossy brown one, looks like you painted it. Great bananas too, poor you having to come up with all those different sorts… hope that the black on the hand was only soot and not burns x


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 05:20:13

      I would LOVE to see your fungi! You could post them on FB 🙂 Twas merely soot but it was a bugger to get it off I can tell you! 🙂 Hugs from frigid Sidmouth by the way, bet it is cold where you are!


  7. Finn Holding
    May 28, 2014 @ 23:41:04

    I’m with you on mushrooms and I’m trying to source a local mushrooming field course so I can go and learn what’s good to eat and what can kill me. On which subject, are your Amanitas safe? That’s one genus I’d avoid here in the UK.

    BTW, did you mean to say ‘Fraud’… or was that a Fraudian slit 😉


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 05:23:02

      Fraudian slit?! Methinks you just had your OWN Fraudian “slip” there sir! 😉 I adore fungi and love finding them, studying them, photographing them and have a secret desire to go to university and study them further…I have a hidden reason for that in that Stevie-boy will NOT let me eat of the fungus of the fields…”NOOO” is his answer even when I am pretty certain they are field mushrooms. I want to be able to use my unequivical knowledge on the subject to say “I bloody well CAN eat them they are “X” and perfectly edible SIR!” 😉 Our Amanitas are perfectly safe to eat so long as you want to go to your death bed hallucinating ;)…nuff said!


      • Finn Holding
        May 29, 2014 @ 07:03:20

        Indeed… ‘What’s on a man’s mind’ and all that 🙂

        I’m with Steve. Most of ours are not toxic and only around 10 species can kill you… but there are plenty of them and to the non-expert they look very similar to the edible ones.

        But the fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) was used by the Vikings before they went into battle (no woonder they scared the bejeezus out oif the opposition) and I’ve heard it said that the legend of Father Christmas flying through the heavens originated with stoned Vikings tripping on shrooms!

      • narf77
        May 29, 2014 @ 10:42:47

        Lol…as someone whos ex husband was of Danish decent I don’t doubt that they are prone to imbibing of the Amanitay goodness in order to fortify their strange ways 😉 I wouldn’t touch them though…I fancy sticking around here on this lovely patch of dirt for a few more years to come 😉

  8. Sue Dreamwalker
    May 29, 2014 @ 03:32:29

    So loved this, You are looking in the pink despite the sooty hands LOL… and love those Pies, the veggies garden is looking great too…Sending you love and good growing weather.. xox
    Love Sue


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 05:24:40

      Cheers sue…I am in the process of hauling out all of that undergrowth (mostly invasive pumpkins and nasturtiums) and planting out winter crops even though I am a bit late with it all…seriously, Tasmania is in winter till almost Christmas so I figure I am fine ;). Have a great week and weekend and enjoy whatever you are doing at the moment and BIG hugs from frigid Sidmouth 🙂


      • Sue Dreamwalker
        May 29, 2014 @ 22:24:15

        Good luck, that looks a task and a half! 😉
        We are growing butternut squash this year, I will let you know how it fares:-)
        All the allotment planted now, we just waiting for the Sun,, we having rain rain and more rain.. 3 days and nights now none stop.. The plants now needing some Sun.. Big Hugs back..
        You can view some pictures here have a good weekend x

  9. quarteracrelifestyle
    May 29, 2014 @ 07:52:16

    Ok, made the coffee, sat and read. Didn’t help myself to Steve’s stash because it didn’t sound a fitting brekky 🙂

    Like Pauline I want to ask WHY??? the 50 bananas. But great art there Fran 🙂
    Roger trims the ends of my hair too, I haven’t been to a hairdressers for years.
    Great photos again, love the one at the end. You should see mine after a day outside. After washing is just nice curls, after brushing it’s an afro! We are going to a fancy dress wedding in a few weeks and I am going as Magenta from The Rocky Horror Picture Show as my hair is easily frizzed out to look like hers.
    Isn’t it great when your kids grow up, no responsibilities just friendship. Love spending time with my “boys”.
    Would love to have cockatoos in the garden, how cool is that!


    • narf77
      May 29, 2014 @ 10:47:44

      I loved Magenta, was my favourite character (after Riff-raff) :). My hair is dead straight so no crazy afro for me but my eldest daughter had ringlets as a little girl and if she lets her hair grow any longer than shoulder length it turns to frizz…same with my brothers hair and my sisters youngest daughter so there must be a “frizz” gene somewhere in our heritage ;). I think our lecturer wanted us to actually “think” about the creative process. It is easy to just rattle off drawing 10 of anything really, you don’t even have to think but after about 10 you start to actually have to think about what you are doing. I think that they wanted us to engage our thought processes to problem solve how to draw 50 bananas in different ways. After last years 50 pumpkins it was much easier this year as we knew what we were up against :). I love heading to my daughters house, being served a delicious meal, handed a cocktail, I get to enjoy their company, some good conversation and its FUN…ALL good :). Those black cockies certainly make a mess of any tree that they land in and spend any amount of time in. They are very big birds and their beaks could snip off a finger so you can imagine the mess they make! Lucky we could care less 😉


      • quarteracrelifestyle
        May 29, 2014 @ 18:55:25

        We were originally going to go as Rif Raff and Magenta but then decided he would be too ugly for wedding photos 🙂
        Ahhhh! I see!! well you did a great job, maybe I will try that to get the creative mind going. It seems a good idea.
        I would love those in my garden, they sound a bit like our Kea which is a very naughty bird.

      • narf77
        May 30, 2014 @ 06:28:08

        All of our birds (especially our chooks) are very naughty birds…seems to go with the Serendipitous territory 😉

  10. Linne
    May 29, 2014 @ 14:38:51

    Ha! You didn’t find me; I found YOU!! I can’t remember where I saw a comment by Jess, but when I saw the title of her blog, I was so intrigued . . . a kindred soul, thought I, and I was right. And while reading a variety of her posts, I saw several exchanges between the two of you . . . so off down the Road to Serendipity went I . . . and live has never been the same since . . .

    Laughs, tears, chuckles, snorts . . . but most of all deep, DEEP thoughts . . .

    I love this Virtual Village of ours, which seems to expand steadily, leaving my FeedReader reeling . . . 🙂

    Another great post, Narfie7

    BTW, I’m one of the fungi-philes; that white one is so sweet! Reminds me of a puffball, but it’s too spiky, I think . . . I do eat wild mushrooms, but am VERY careful; if it has an evil twin somewhere, I pass it by. But the orange Chanterelles are my favourite, followed by inky caps and a few others. MMMMmmmmmmmm…………

    So bring on the photos!

    Love your bananas; would it be fair to say that this assignment drove you both bananas? 😀

    Love your garden photos (in every season and state) and your pups, likewise.

    One thing I’ve never understood: what’s wrong with split ends? It’s not like they split all the way up and then into the brain or anything . . . I love mine; they give me a sort of fuzzy ‘halo’ . . . ok, my weirdness is oozing out now . . .

    I have only once had a good haircut from a hairdresser; when I lived in Kelowna, BC for three months. I belonged to a worker co-op that provided a variety of services to worker co-ops or to groups planning to start one up. We had a big, very important conference coming up on Bowen Island and would be hosting some high-level Chinese co-op people. So I figured I should attempt to disguise my outer hippie and went to the local mall in search of a haircut. There were two establishments and I stuck my nose inside each for a couple of minutes, then stood in the hall debating to myself. In the end, I picked one and the hairdresser I drew was a miracle! She had won top-flight prizes in competitions in her homeland (Sweden) and was working her way around the world. She did the best job ever; and didn’t take off any more than I asked her to do. It looked good immediately and for months and months after . . . I was so happy and felt so lucky (blessed, really). I haven’t been to a hairdresser since . . . if it gets too straggly, I trip it myself; no idea how that looks; I put it all behind me 🙂 If my Auntie from the coast is visiting and it’s straggly, she trims it (so when she’s here, I generally wear it braided or up). She does a good job; I just hate losing even a half inch; my hair grows slowly most of the time, so it takes me a year to get six inches back.

    Well, must be getting late; I’m rattling on here. ‘Night for now . . . ~ Linne


    • narf77
      May 30, 2014 @ 06:26:39

      Glad you liked my mental meanderings for Wednesday Linnie and I am with you on the haircuts…just to get the ends trimmed (that Stevie-boy does just as well) costs $30 here…thats $30 that I could be spending on chocolate you know! 😉 Split ends make me look like Crystal tips from the kids show Crystal tips and Alistair (look them up 😉 ) so I have to get them trimmed before I resemble the Sidmouth witch and there goes my “blending in with the natives” disguies! 😉


  11. Elizabeth Mars
    May 29, 2014 @ 18:06:10

    Lucky you getting visit your daughter in your city and come back and chill out in your lush rural paradise.


  12. Littlesundog
    May 30, 2014 @ 10:50:30

    Hello wild-haired fungi lover who delights me most when enraged about “bollocking bollocks”!! I love fungi too, and have a huge catalog of photos of woodland fungi discoveries. They’re so photogenic! I get upset (only just a little) when some varmint eats at my gardens. I loved the photo of the leaves on the steps with your shoes and Earl’s feet – priceless!


  13. Born To Organize
    May 30, 2014 @ 14:15:16

    I love that last photo of you! Brilliant.

    Our pumpkins get the occasional nibble from rats. I learned a trick that might work for you next season: rats don’t like pantyhose. (Neither do I but that’s for another day). You wrap the stocking around the growing pumpkin and they won’t gnaw on it. At the same time it lets in light and continues to stretch with your growing gourds. Might be worth a shot if you can find some old ones somewhere.

    Great idea using the warming oven!

    I’m growing my first crop of potatoes, all volunteers from the compost.


    • narf77
      May 30, 2014 @ 14:57:33

      I got quite a few spuds this year from a couple of almost empty bags that had been going for broke and some of them had shoots almost two feet long! Thats the thing about spuds, they really want to grow :). Great idea about the pantyhose and I can pick old pairs up from the thrift shop or I might just have to spring for some new (that way I can cover 2 pumpkins with the one pair. I am now in the process of thinking about what to do with all of those pumpkins that I harvested. Hopefully they aren’t infested in any other way as I really do like pumpkin. We Aussies eat it roasted as a savoury thing rather than sweet in pies and we don’t get cans of it here, we mash, bake, fry etc. our own 🙂


      • Born To Organize
        Jun 04, 2014 @ 08:32:30

        They really want to grow…that made me smile. They’re filling my garden bed. I’m up to four or five plants. How do you know when they are ready? Is it after they flower? I must go look that up.

        I have a friend from the states living in New Zealand and she also mentioned that pumpkins were used in savoury dishes. My husband makes a wonderful pumpkin soup, which would work well if you have to remove parts of the damaged fruit. I’ll have to try some savoury dishes this fall.

      • narf77
        Jun 04, 2014 @ 09:49:37

        When the potatoes have flowered and the foliage has died back it’s time to go digging. You can rootle around in the soil in order to harvest some small spuds prior to that date but I just wait for the bigger ones :). Anything you can use butternut squash in you can use pumpkin in. Here in Australia we call them all “Pumpkins” no distinction here between them and although some of them are sweeter or meatier or denser than others they tend to get used in savoury applications like risotto, roasted (yummy!) and various other savoury things. Try them, they are really yummy savoury and you can start a craze in your neck of the woods. Let me know come your autumn and I will send you some good Aussie savoury pumpkin recipes to amaze your mates 🙂

      • Born To Organize
        Jun 04, 2014 @ 10:13:04

        Oh, you are the best, Fran! Thank you, thank you. I’m so excited to be growing something unexpected. I love potatoes, too, so more serendipity.

        I will happily take you up on the pumpkin recipe offers. As soon as we get ready to harvest, I’ll ping you. Thank you!

      • narf77
        Jun 04, 2014 @ 10:30:16

        🙂 You are welcome 🙂

  14. Chica Andaluza
    Jun 01, 2014 @ 23:25:25

    Now you’ve got me craving a big mug of Bovril! But I promise not to ask for it when I visit….will brign wine 😉 Have you been eating chicken pies or did you just make them for Steve? I have to do that sweeping up thing too several times a day. A white Jack Russell leaves lots of fluff around but at least I shed less hair now I’ve got it short again. Love th enushrooms, the jerusalem artichokes (yes, we blame the dogs too!) and the pumpkins. Hate the cold though but Big Man loves it (we’re sooooo compatible!).


    • narf77
      Jun 02, 2014 @ 04:40:10

      Earl is our chief shedder here along with moi and my long hair (that is living on borrowed time!). I didn’t eat the chook pies, just Stevie Boy and there are still 2 individual and one very large pie in the freezer to work his way through. The large one is an experiment. Herby butter crust on the base, chook pie filling (cock-a-doodle-YUM apparently) and this one is going to have a mashed spud topping sort of rooster shepherds pie but I would truly pity the poor shepherd who had to chase roosters 😉


  15. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Jun 02, 2014 @ 11:41:31

    Your collection of homegrown pumpkins is absolutely unreal! All of those colors and shapes seem like they’re straight out of a children’s book. Heck, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if at least one of them turned into a magical carriage overnight… I hope you’re keeping a close eye on those treasure of yours! Never know what might happen. 😉


    • narf77
      Jun 02, 2014 @ 12:18:02

      Well something had taken an interest in them as the pumpkin pile got toppled and Earl headed out with great haste in order to check up on them…At least they are being protected by a most determined bodyguard 😉


  16. Robbie
    Jun 02, 2014 @ 23:03:58

    I am so glad to have found you though other great bloggers! We do have a community of “Kindred Spirits” and it is so much fun to visit every week to find out what is new. I have been so busy “being outside” every day that I have not even been near my computer for days! I have to admit during the early months of winter it is fun to be inside, but after a few months of it, I itch to get outside and work in the garden, HOWEVER….this humid stuff is just too early..here I am complaining and I remember just a few months ago believing nothing green would ever grow out of the earth here in our area:-) Soooo I am NOT going to complain about the hot, humd weather, for I know it would mean I would not have good food for some of my veggies need HOT weather….
    Jerusalem artichokes- I am curious about those:-) How do you cook them or eat them?. Could I squeeze them in???lol. I don’t have the space because I gave it to purple asparagus.this year. That is the problem with small lots I have to make choices:-( …but how much space do they take-lol
    Cocaktoos breeding on your property!!! I only see those in the zoo or pet shop! That is so neat! A wonderland you live in:-)
    YOur garden is productive and looks like it is providing a lot of food, but what is a “bush rat?” I am afraid to ask-lol
    Mushrooms, how facinating you have a variety to eat all over…I have only those that are posionious in my yard….
    And last comment—-it is fun to be with your kids at this stage when they are no longer your financial responsiblity:-) Well, my youngest ( son) is still helping him with college, but we are empty nesters..it is fun to hang out and share funny stories….:-)


    • narf77
      Jun 03, 2014 @ 05:46:55

      Jerusalem artichokes are great food. They are a tuber that grows under the ground with a stalk of sunflower like flowers but they do tend to take over a plot and once you have them you have them forever. I love that idea for Serendipity Farm where the wallabies naturally select what is and isn’t allowed to grow and apparently they LOVE the taste of the stalks and leaves so none would get out of control here (indeed I would have to fence them off to grow them) but in a small yard I fear they would go NUTS and would end up like bamboo and whether you ate them or not you would most probably curse and mutter about “That HORRIBLE narf7 who told me to plant them!” if I didn’t warn you 😉

      A bush rat is just like a regular rat only BIG. They are native animals and as the cats are dealing with the regular rats the bush rats have decided to move in…they are a bit too big for the cats to tackle.

      You are right about the fun with your kids. My son paid for his own university education but he was working at the time and education is MUCH cheaper here…at the moment…our latest Prime Minister has decided that he wants everyone to pay for everything so our prices are apparently about to double/triple in order for the universities to pay for themselves…great idea sir NOT. Only the rich will be able to afford to pay to go to university which will keep the riff-raff out (coincidentally our latest Prime Minister got into power riding on the backs of the rich and wealthy…I rest my case!)…

      My son is VERY glad he finished his uni degree before they upped the prices. Pretty soon a college/university degree here is going to cost the earth like it does over there. Oh well…I guess we will just have to learn from the university of life, and while the internet is free (I am SURE “they” are working on that one!) I am going to cram my head full of everything delicious that I can find/learn 🙂


      • Robbie
        Jun 03, 2014 @ 06:02:27

        lol…me too! Cram it full till I can’t fill it anymore. YIKES…those sound scary, but then again we have squirrels, possums and they sure look rat like. The possum is rather docile and sweet, but very rat like looking:-) lol.
        I did hear about the artichokes taking off and being invasive, so I have been heistiant, so I am glad you double warned me!! I guess, I was secretly hoping they were not invasive. I can’t imagine little kangaro like animals running around/jumping-tee…crazy fun!
        It is funny how some people forget how they got where they are and never seem to remember to reach down to help others…hmmm…sorry to hear that since education is so expensive here in this country! My oldest got her education in Germany, sot that was not too expensive. My middle went to community college until she decided what she wanted to do and that was very affordable. She transferred to state school which was not too much, but then she decided after she finished that she wanted to have a BSN and go back. We said, “you are on your own for help with the second one.” She worked as a waitress and got scholarships which helped. We do have a lot of scholarships here in this country to help pay for it often.
        My youngest got most of his off for undergraduate due to scholarships + he played sports which helped with leadership etc. He then was in the science filed for his graduate degree and if you are in the science in this country it usually is paid for:-) that is nice, so he has no debt. We still help with gas and when he comes home he eats us out of house and home! He did have to TA and RA now this year, so that is part of the free tuition agreement. In other degrees you pay the way, but science we do pay our students to go to school through TA /RA.
        Sure hope they figure out something so it does not triple! Then only the wealthy or poor go to college + middle class gets nothing, like here:-(

      • narf77
        Jun 03, 2014 @ 11:00:48

        I think that your system is what our latest government is aiming for but most Aussies won’t stand for that…good luck to them staying in government 😉

  17. Yelena
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 00:29:21

    Long time no see, how are you dear friend? My kitchen renovation takes all of my time, and I can not wait to start cooking again! I see many gorges things in your garden and even uninvited guests who nibble on the pumpkins-))




    • narf77
      Jun 03, 2014 @ 05:50:02

      Hi Yelena…I am the same with studies at the moment. Our lecturer is working us hard. We should team up and I should send Stevie-boy over there to help get that kitchen sorted STAT. We all need your amazing recipes to give us colour and enthusiasm for our weekly adventures into cooking :). Hugs right back atcha maám (about time for me to catch up on all of my wonderful RSS Feed Reads again methinks! 😉 )


  18. cathyandchucky
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 14:23:11

    Love it Fronkiii! I don’t know why your blog has stopped appearing in my reader. I had to go looking at your past comments on my blog and click on the link before I was able to read this. Hmmm. I think you need puppy prozac for Bezial. He seems as highly strung as Bubbles, my cat.


    • narf77
      Jun 04, 2014 @ 04:47:18

      He IS! Most of the problem is Earl though…If you had the school bully living in your house you would walk around on tippy toes as well 😦


  19. Namita
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 17:54:39

    Hello Fran, Visited your space after a gap. I took me some time to get updated and be abreast with all the fun that I had missed since I visited last. It was like homecoming. Pumpkins, talks about chooks, Bezial and Earl, your plants, veggies, your trips, your pies and the best part- your picture. Loved everything as always!


    • narf77
      Jun 04, 2014 @ 04:49:35

      Ditto Namita, I love seeing a new one of your posts in my RSS Feed Reader, they often give me something delicious and new to try as well as your gorgeous photos of your wonderfully exotic (to me) home 🙂


  20. thegingerbreadlady
    Feb 08, 2015 @ 23:31:47

    I don’t know why I ended up on this random post, I was doing a kind of close-your-eyes-and-click-on-a-tag game. The internet is a wonderful thing but I’ve stopped looking for and at the things that anger me. I’ve become very vulnerable since I had children: any child that suffers could be mine. Any teenager that commits a crime might some day be mine. Any adult that behaves in a thoughtless, unkind, stupid or evil way is contributing to a world that makes me sad, and I just can’t bear to be witness to it. When I get tougher again, I might be able to use some righteous anger, but right now it just winds me.
    That being said, I’m now off to look up the history of the Helvetica font. My father is a graphic artist, so I feel like I am duty-bound to educate myself 😉


    • narf77
      Feb 09, 2015 @ 03:44:07

      I can’t even remember this post. My posts tend to tumble out on a Wednesday like clockwork. My muses have been stuck indoors for a week and are ready to party and I just open the door, hand them a party hat and one of those things that you pull and streamers come out and stand back and document. Of late my posts have been quite banal and comprise ‘what we did this week’ rather than deep and meaningful treatise about life, the universe and everything. My sister penned a wail on Facebook the other day about how the world appears to be going to hell in a hand-basket and I said ‘stop watching the news’. Nothing surer to drive you mad if you have given birth. When you have, and can find excellent community immerse yourself, BATH in it. I have found some awesome community here in my little patch of the world and love my life. I guess that’s really the very best we can do for our kids, lead by example and love our lives. Again, I adore your blog. You write with that particular wit and musical lilt peculiar to the Irish and their progeny. American’s might worship ‘The Auld country’ but they aren’t entirely sure why. It is like a sort of fantasy dream where the streets are lined with cows and there is a potato for every mouth but we Aussies admire the Irish for very different reasons. Most of what we are was founded on Irish angst. We had a very large proportion of your finest Fenian minds sent out here to do time far FAR away from their homeland and to say that they fermented some serious discontent in the local population would be an understatement. Who Australian’s are today is predominately because we had more than a pinch of Irish heritage. It’s like meeting a long lost sister or brother…you just ‘get’ each other. Last year was Print Prepress, this year is websites from scratch (thank goodness, this one is almost knackered!) and expanding into 3D animation (the world should be VERY afraid of what my muses are going to come up with) and attending class and being good middle aged students and not infesting the youngsters with our peculiar kind of wisdom ;). Loved seeing you hear, next time put the kettle on and grab a muffin to go with it, we won’t be long, we are just out taming our jungle 😉


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