Yesterday I went outside

Hi All,


O.K. so narf7 went outside did she…”good girl narf7!” one could be forgiven for being somewhat sarcastic about me going outside but when you consider that there is snow on the mountains and that it rarely gets into double digits outside you can start to get an idea of why I haven’t been venturing much further than the wheelbarrow on the deck to grab an armful of wood and scuttle back inside to the basking, blissful warmth of Brunhilda. Inside I can hibernate. Inside I can pretend that I am a productive member of society. Inside I don’t have to look at what is happening to the garden out there. Inside I can put my earphones in and listen to Pandora online radio LOUDLY so that I can’t hear the plethora of rooster crows that pepper every…single…waking…hour…inside = good. Outside = the downside of a Stephen King novel.


I do take Earl out every day for a walk but I tend to go just on sunrise when the world is pretty and frosty and I can do the narf7 equivalent of running a marathon (which is technically acting as a large millstone around a most excited and determined tractors neck) and I arrive back to my cosy sanctuary rosy cheeked, exercised and usually completely worn out. We are told to exercise every day. We are told “30 minutes a day is good for you” but I am starting to think that “they” (those hallowed scientists who are beyond our reproach) are talking about some other form of exercise than that which narf7 exposes herself to every morning.


My favourite part of the walk is getting back home, shedding the multiple layers of clothing that make me look like the Michelin man, taking off Stevie-boys furry hat with ear-flaps that makes me look like someone from the Ozarks and warming my abraded hands by the fire. Putting the kettle on for my second life-giving cuppa of the day is tantamount to excellent sex. I fear winter is starting to take its toll on resilient old narf who would rather cling tenaciously to its shirttails all year than suffer the progression towards summer that our insane plants seem to be undertaking. We have maples in full leaf. We have fruit trees coming out into leaf…”it’s the middle of winter you numpties!” The sun might be shining, the jonquils might be blooming but narf7 is in FULL denial and will be for the foreseeable future in her manufactured snow cabin on the river.


I posted a blog post on Monday so I am going to keep this post short. Not sure about the sweet as I am off the sweet stuff. I recently ate my way into a couple of extra pants sizes and seeing how determined nature is to shove me back into summer I need to shed those pants sizes in order to survive those hot dry days in some degree of style. I have dumped my newly reacquainted love of potatoes and bread and have relegated them into the “trigger foods” cupboard along with anything fried, buttery, chocolaty or otherwise likely to result in me thinking “stuff it I can eat healthily tomorrow!” I buy apples from a roadside stall from an orchard just up the road and they are forced, by law, to put a sticker on their apples to pronounce them Australian (err…yeah…you are just up the road from me and as far as I am aware, Tasmania is still an Aussie state…) and the variety of said apple. I buy huge bags of “juicing apples” that are too big/small/bumpy/unpopular breeds for supermarket sales and at the moment I have sacks of Pink Lady apples that I am working through. I have a new and most wondrous breakfast habit. It developed as a result of me removing all grains from my diet in order to get myself back on track. I will be reintroducing buckwheat but I just wanted to clean myself out. Go back to some kind of monastic simplicity where fruit and veggies were king and let’s face it, after you live for a few weeks on fruit and veggies prepared simply, EVERYTHING else, no matter how healthy, looks like a treat.


My breakfast consists of pumpkin or sweet potato cubes, steamed, with peeled quartered apple and a small handful of chopped dates. I steam them all together and eat it hot. It’s reminiscent of cereal and very filling. Oh MY narf7 is such a healthy little vegemite isn’t she? Not really. Narf7 just knows that at 50+ she has to make a choice between health and hog and even though I would love to just eat my way around the world, I can’t. Responsibility is a biotch. I just added “biotch” to spellchecker for posterity.


I have been up to Sanctuary (my fully enclosed “HA!” veggie garden) where there is a large narf7 sized rock placed strategically by nature for me to sit and lament the state of affairs in Sancturyville. I release the hounds while I am sitting and contemplating and the scene involves narf7 sitting like Rodin’s thinker on her rock, Bezial sighing and eating grass whilst watching Earl careening around the ex-fish farm netting enclosure like a cork out of a champagne bottle. Any chook foolish enough to come close to the edge gets the equivalent of being exploded on and learns the hard way to stay AWAY from Sanctuary whilst Earl is in the house.


I just had an example of how big internet brother is watching you BIGTIME. I decided that I wanted to remember who sculpted “The Thinker” so that I could cleverly drop it into my last paragraph like I was a knowledgeable narf7 who just casually drops intelligent information de rigueur and started to type in “who sculpted…” and up popped “The Thinker”. Google is reading my word documents! I am tapping away at this post in Word and Google is reading over my shoulder! Mr Weird Al Yankovic is onto something in his newly released song “Foil”. He has released a new album of most clever parodies but this one is obviously true! Time for narf7 to fashion herself a most fetching tin-foil hat methinks…here’s a linkie to Mr Al’s most revealing song…enjoy, and let me know if you need me to make you a nice customised tin-foil hat. I am thinking of starting an Etsy stall to sell them, I sense a gap in the market where I could fill a niche…and here I was thinking that I wasn’t crafty! (linkie linkie linkie)


And on that note I am going to leave you to contemplate your need for a tin-foil hat and a deep fear of both the lizard people AND Spencer from the U.S. sitcom “King of Queens”. Have a great week and let me know what size you want your tin-foil hat or I could always just type your name into Google and I am sure that it would tell me…


I am going to try something new today. I am going to put the blog post first and THEN the images. If anyone wants to bypass the words (PLEBEIANS I slaved my fingers to the bone over that prose!) and go straight to the pretty pictures be my guest. Let me know if its a better way for me to post. I put images in between my paragraphs but I think it might actually confuse people as the flow of the post is broken. If anyone has any suggestions about how I should add images to my post let me know. I may, or may not take them on board. I reserve my right to completely ignore you if I see fit 😉 Here goes with the images for today (such as they are…)





R.I.P. Big teddy. Earl got bored…


I call this one “A study in prospective breakfast”


I call this one “breakfast”. It might not be everyone’s cuppa but it certainly sustains me to my next meal and no-one could say that it wasn’t reasonably healthy



“And WHERE do you think you are going eh?”



I am going out to get some sunshine therapy



Coupled with some stress relief thanks to this motorised block splitter and a pile of wood that needs chopping. We just got our next assignment in our email in box…you won’t believe the levels of procrastination that I am going to go to in order to avoid THIS one… stay tuned, it could get interesting…



2 barrow loads chopped and narf7 knock off time for the day



This is what a team of seriously dedicated chooks can do to a couple of cape gooseberry plants in a day




I thought I had best give you a few “pretties” for those of you that turned up here after searching for something horticultural. This is a mouse plant aka “Arisarum proboscideum” and as you can see it is still growing in our garden, the chooks haven’t eaten it or dug it up in spite and it appears to be flourishing. I would put that in the “MUST ADD” list for a problematic garden


This is a camellia. It is pretty…the end



In among the curse that is known as jasmine, I found this. This is for you Bev. There are worse things than no eggs…there are eggs that have been hiding for about 4 months and that you aren’t game to pick up because you aren’t stupid…



Earl investigating whatever it is that the possums left on the deck rail last night



This is a currawong. It’s a sort of a cross between a magpie and a crow. Serendipity Farm is home to a good population of these guys and they spend their days pulling bark off the eucalypts and eating insects. I reckon that makes them “beneficials” 🙂



Most of you are aware that I am vegan and that I make my own non-dairy sesame milk. This is what happens when you keep putting all of the spare pulp from the milk that you make into the freezer till you can think of what to do with it. I now know what to do with it. Give it to the chooks 😉



Earlier this week I posted a blog hop post about crafts. I forgot to add this picture. It’s a mobile phone case that I ran up for Steve one morning not long after he got his phone so that it wouldn’t get scratched. Most of my “crafts” are the result of a need not being met 😉



This is Stevie-boys new mate. He swapped another one of his guitars for her. He is most happy with his trade 🙂



I am still getting eggs from my chooks and that’s not a hairy egg in front, that’s what one of the yacon bulbs looks like. I decided to harvest one (I left the rest of them in the ground) so that I could taste it. I tasted it. It tastes like a sweet potato, go figure 😉



The last few photos are of the dogs. Steve decided to get his harmonica out and let the boys have a sing-a-long. Bezial is in full bass mode here where Earl is just getting his tenor vocal chords warmed up…



Both dogs getting down and dirty with some tasty blues (well, Stevie-boy said they were tasty blues…they sounded more like Bob Dylan on a bad day to me but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉 )

Lastly, we have a photo taken through our kitchen window of the defender of the cheese. He has taken his job incredibly seriously and defends this small pile of cheese from all freeloading, wayfaring, cheese-guzzling creatures en masse.



So what do you reckon my dear constant readers…shall I keep adding the photos in between the paragraphs or should I dump them underneath?





43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jo
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 15:52:26

    Love your creative ‘breakfast mess’ (like an Eton mess, but vegan and breakfasty). I know what you mean about anything looking like a treat – our sugar free, mostly bread-free diet is having the same effect:) Keep up the good work.
    Oh, and i like the photos at the end. Good innovation.


    • narf77
      Jul 23, 2014 @ 16:11:31

      I am of the opinion that if you live on green beans and apples, after a week everything even okra starts to look good in comparison. Funny how living on chocolate biscuits and potato crisps for a week doesn’t have the converse reaction…


  2. Jo
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 15:53:00

    Because I love reading your prose all at once, not being a PLEB:)


    • narf77
      Jul 23, 2014 @ 16:07:45

      😉 Glad to see one of you approves. I shall place a “tick” in the “for images after the prose” box in your name 🙂 Cheers for the feedback. I got the feeling that some of my dear constant readers were getting a bit confused with all of that higgledy-piggledy back and forwards mental gymnastics involved with reading one of my posts. Took me long enough but I am anything but quick on the uptake 😉


  3. thecontentedcrafter
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 16:34:53

    Oh dear – I prefer the interspersed photos, it gives me a chance to catch my breath and gulp for air before hurtling into the next chunk of hilarity [or omniscient philosophising] ……….. but hey, you get used to anything in the end.

    I like the phone cover you made – it looks all warm and cosy yet manly at the same time. – Good Job! I keep meaning to search your blog for your buckwheat breakfast recipe to compare it with the one I am making. I was sure I had it but appears it has run off and hid. and now you are not even eating it. Bah!!

    We had a warmish sunny day today and Siddy romped with two gigantic dogs at the park while the parents chatted amiably in the warmish air. It was very nice, a promise of things to come. I haven’t enjoyed this winter much – it hasn’t been as cold as you have it, but it has been endless greyness and that is a trifle wearying!

    Hopefully it won’t be too much longer and we can start whining about how hot it is and we wish it would cool down a bit ….. 🙂 This is the first winter that I can ever remember – well apart from when I was in the UK and sick as a dog – that I have lost weight steadily throughout despite my predilection for potatoes mashed with milk kefir, spring onions and a dash of cayenne pepper. Can’t be all bad 😀

    Have a great week narf – keep warm and keep singing – love that weird Al, must pop off and listen to the link you have included.


  4. missmaudy
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 17:00:01

    I must admit a preference for prose then pictures (mainly because I read on my phone and mobile apps plays havoc, I tells you. Havoc).

    The Hound was in raptures today when we resumed normal programming – in that I recommenced the crack o’ dawn walkies this morning. I’ve been catching trains (two trains and a bus) to the city for the last four work days (a tram and two trains home), and the thought of getting up at 5.15 so that I could walk the dog and still be out of the house at ten to seven was pfft patently ridic.Sir Reg was charged with walking The Hound, and while he did ok on three out of four days; one day, she got less than five minutes – she ate a chair. That learned him forsooth AND forthwith. But I am back on the case – the only thing that stops us walking is torrential rain, thunder and lightening and umm having to get to the City by 9am!


    • narf77
      Jul 23, 2014 @ 18:05:58

      I am one of those penniless student hippies that “doesn’t work” (although studying all week certainly FEELS like work 😉 ) and have discovered that there are benefits to being cash poor, time rich ;). When are you going to post again and if you ARE posting, let me know because I haven’t had a post in my RSS Feed Reader…sometimes it gets a bit bolshie. Love that the dog ate a chair. She tops Earl on the destruction stakes and he bows to her superiority 😉


      • missmaudy
        Jul 27, 2014 @ 22:34:35

        Oh, I haven’t posted since the end of June (didn’t think it was that long!); and in the meantime, I’ve been reading a LOT (I’ve spent about 12 hours on public transport in the last week, including an extra 50 minutes waiting in the middle of a paddock!), and {ahem} taking one for the team at work – not as nefarious as it seems, but you know how sometimes one has to pick ones battles? This is/was a battle that needed pickin’. Some days I envy the student lifestyle – as long as there’s no essays, assignments or exams. Never fear, there’s at least four posts in my foreseeable future (did I mention I’ve been reading a LOT!).

        The Hound has a long list of inappropriate things she’s managed to eat (motorcycle seat, for one. She was only about 5mo at the time, and is a wee Jack Russell. That was impressive.) It’s a good thing she’s cute, hey.

      • narf77
        Jul 28, 2014 @ 03:58:21

        I told Stevie-boy that our next dog is going to be a Jack Russell. They have the courage of a HUGE dog but if worse comes to worst you can grab them and hold them in the air without sustaining serious damage to your internal organs ;). She sounds like she would love our boys and would be the leader of the gang in no time ;). Standing in the middle of a paddock eh? Don’t you HATE having to wait for people who are supposed to be on time? My daughter was a draftsman and that saw her standing in paddocks, vacant blocks etc. for most of her time waiting for clients to show or collegues to turn up so that they could survey something.
        Sometimes you just have to make a stand. You are always going to have at least one person that you would cheerfully throttle before morning tea time every…single…day…that…you…have…to…look…at …them! You can learn to live with people but some people are just impossible and you have to err… for want of a better word… “establish your boundaries” with them on the odd occasion so that they know how far they can push you before you bury them 🙂

        Can’t wait for another one of your posts and glad you are reading. All I am reading at the moment is a HUGE pile of greenwash for my course. We are studying Print Pre-Press and so we have to read a pile of shite about how sustainable the whole process is (I live in the middle of tree plantations you frigging liars!) etc. and how amazingly environmental they are blah…blah…blah… but apparently these “Sustainability” units have just been dumped on top of the workload for every single TAFE course so I am just going to have to suck it up and wade through the ACRES of shite that need fulfilling in order to get back to the design/typography bit that interests me. By the time I get back there I will have forgotten how to use Illustrator! Keep up that reading as I have charged you with reading for two as there is no WAY I am going to get to do any reading for pleasure in my immediate future…

  5. foodnstuff
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 17:45:04

    Are you SURE that’s a yacon bulb? It looks so different to mine. Yet as I remember the photos of the plants looked the real thing. And they don’t taste like sweet potato. They’re crunchy like an apple and just a sweet sort of nothing taste.


    • narf77
      Jul 23, 2014 @ 18:08:20

      Err…I bloody HOPE it’s a yacon as it was purchased at an exorbitant price from Diggers. I have some tubers that look more “tuber” like, this one looks more like a spud to me but it definitely came off a yacon plant. It was sweet and crunchy but had a spuddy sort of starchy edge to it. Did you like my rotten egg? It has a friend that one day is going to blow and stink out the deck come summer 😉


      • foodnstuff
        Jul 24, 2014 @ 12:26:37

        Diggers could have got it wrong. I’ll send you some pics of my tubers.

      • narf77
        Jul 24, 2014 @ 15:50:49

        I have some of those longer ones that look like small sweet potatoes. I have to get up to the garden and go check ASAP 🙂

  6. brymnsons
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 18:15:56

    Well I’m voting on the “put them into the post” side, but really it doesn’t phase me either way. I like the idea of that block splitter, must make the job much easier 🙂
    It’s been bloody cold here too. I searched Perth high and low for a jacket and managed to find one. Now I’m toasty warm when I venture outside :). We had a win with the hot water system. The lady from the department said there wasn’t enough money to replace the hot water system which was a storage unit and guzzled away our gas bottles like you wouldn’t believe. Anyway the painter was prettying up our gutters,(money for pretty but not practical),noticed it was leaking and voila a new shiny instantaneous gas hot water system is now on the wall. 😀 Maybe now our bottle will last longer that a month.


  7. The Snail of Happiness
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 19:31:22

    I too like the pictures in the post… but then I like books with pictures on most pages. I thought I might grow out of it, but as I hurtle towards 50 things don’t seem to be changing.


  8. Margaret Griffin
    Jul 23, 2014 @ 21:17:02

    I am perplexed. Why isn’t Earl eating the cheese? Dogs love cheese and are creatures which value instant gratification. Is Earl lactose intolerant?

    Personally, I second the Snail of Happiness’s opinion about books with pictures on most pages.


    • narf77
      Jul 24, 2014 @ 04:37:52

      Earl is the “keeper” of the cheese. It would NEVER do for him to be eating it! He takes his job very seriously and is patrolling the cheese so that those pesky grey shrike thrushes don’t steal it (even though we put it on the window ledge for them 😉 ) and he often heads out in the night to make sure that the possums haven’t been having a nibble as well 😉 I think it is almost unanimous about images in between the paragraphs. I am wondering if it’s more to do with the status quo and my dear constant readers hating change as much as I do than any other reason 😉


  9. quarteracrelifestyle
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 03:49:09

    Good morning from a fellow hibernator 🙂 I have not been venturing out unless I need to either, the garden is the last place I wanna be right now. It a most uniniviting, boggy, weed filled place in winter.
    Love that new song of Weird Al’s take off of Royal. He hasn’t aged has he, wonder what his secret is.
    Love the photo of the dogs singing to the harmonica Fran, that’s adorable lol
    I like the photos at the end myself. I read while waking up and I am not as sharp as I should be, I tend towards confusion if everything’s not laid out straight for me 🙂


  10. christiglover
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 07:40:40

    Inside/outside. This is so interesting to me, Fran. There was a real difference between the two in Olalla, and there is not here. I’ve just lived here 3-1/2 months, April through July, our spring and summer, and the only difference so far has been humidity (more in summer) and low temps at night (in the 60s in spring and low 70s in summer). The highs are just 83, (23C). It doesn’t get cold here, though. Ever! I’m contemplating what this mild cycle will mean as I munch the sweetest white pineapple I’ve ever tasted. And scratch my latest mosquito bite. And fill the generator. Love the gecko at the end of Al’s video. Aloha! xxooo
    p.s. I prefer the photos at the end.:)


    • narf77
      Jul 24, 2014 @ 15:49:55

      I think that photos at the end are winning at the moment so I might change my format and after a while the mozzies are going to realise that you are a local and will steer clear of you for someone who is new and white from a nice cold climate ;). Mild means growing year round. Mild means your twin in Sidmouth is UBER jealous of your growing conditions and your rainfall…mild = happy gardening and lots and LOTS of those gorgeous white pineapples 🙂


  11. Robbie
    Jul 24, 2014 @ 15:02:43

    I like your posts with pictures in the middle throughout because I love to see how your hilarious antics go with the pictures. I love the one that Pauline posted of you being Orlando! You are such a funny person, I wonder if you missed your calling to be a comedian:-) I bet your house is never dull!!!
    brrrr…is around the corner for us + who does not put weight on during the cold months-lol…it is our extra padding that keesp us warm…and it does shed just like dog hair when we get out working in the garden! Well, it may take all summer and then we can pad up again and do it all over again!


    • narf77
      Jul 24, 2014 @ 15:53:48

      The problem is that it gets hot and humid here and narfs don’t like to sweat, it makes them grumpy and twitchy. They weren’t designed for heat so keeping at a reasonably low weight stops that problem and I can run around nude and there is less of me to call the police on ;). Another vote for in the middle eh? That’s neck and neck now! This is fun 🙂 Still lovely and cold here at the moment but we could do with a bit more rain to fill up that tank, I mean I crawled into that sucker for a reason you know nature! I think my comedic delivery is only funny here and in real life I can’t tell a joke at all 😉


  12. Florida
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 06:12:40

    Good morning, I am also about to sit down to a breakfast of sweet potato with rainbow silver beet, but mine has some egg white to make it a omelette/scramble eton mess! I love it! Don’t care where the pics or prose go, as long as it keeps coming.:-)))


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2014 @ 06:38:23

      🙂 Cheers for giving me a fellow sweet potato breakfast person to commune with Florida. Stevie-boy tells me your home is gorgeous, the dogs are gorgeous and you are gorgeous, nothing new there :). I won’t be getting my regular sweet potato fix this morning as we are off to the big smoke but as soon as I get back I will be indulging. I reckon it might be after the prose now as I have had more votes for it and it probably makes more sense to put them after the “wordy bit” so that anyone who is (PLEBEIAN) more interested in the photo’s can just make a beeline to them. I love the sound of your breakfast by the way, would love to help you eat it as I am a savoury gal at heart 🙂 (cept for the eggs of course 😉 )


  13. Chica Andaluza
    Jul 25, 2014 @ 07:04:41

    I like the photos anywhere and everywhere – and I love your breakfast! Do hope you’re staying warm and I can imagine how good it must feel to get in after that cold walk 🙂


    • narf77
      Jul 25, 2014 @ 07:06:05

      Good is an understatement. Like amazing sex…that is a sign that I am getting old…I liken sitting down and having a cup of tea to good sex 😉 I reckon the photos will be going under the prose now as most people have voted that way and it makes sense. I guess you guys are into apartheid 😉


  14. Littlesundog
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 04:28:18

    I like pictures interspersed in the body of the post. Sometimes it helps me “see” what you are talking about. And sometimes it allows me to step away (to make that second cup of coffee) for just a bit. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter to me.

    I know the gloom that comes with the very cold and blustery weather. Growing up in Nebraska, the winters were often brutal. It’s not that way here in Oklahoma. But we do get a more humid heat in the summer and the temperatures soar to the triple digits in July and August. It seems a bit more difficult to tough out the more extreme elements the older we get.

    Wow, and tackling winter weight is always the worst kind of struggle! You’re on the right track though… it just takes dedication.

    Thank you for another great Earl fix. I think about that guy far too much. LOL 😀


    • narf77
      Jul 27, 2014 @ 05:15:18

      With you on that humidity and that’s the worst part about summer. You can live with a bit of heat and dry heat, but when you throw sweat that won’t dry into the picture its not fun. I thought that Nebraska and Oklahoma were side by side…er…might have to go check one of those big Google Maps to see just how far apart they are 😉 Hope today sees a nice cool respite of your heat. Is that why tornedo’s form? Because the North of America is so much cooler than the South and the air in the middle starts to twitch? I reckon I could teach Geography 😉


  15. Namita
    Jul 27, 2014 @ 21:42:38

    Hello Fran, How I loved this blog post… …text….pictures….lovely break from reading and understanding your post in the most interesting manner! I loved the pictures interspersed throughout. But either way, your posts are always interesting. Your mobile case looks so beautiful. I got to know of currawong through your post. Thanks for brushing up my avian awareness.
    When is your birthday Fran? In case i have missed the date, I wish you lots of happiness, peace, good health and love of all those who matter to you. May God bless you Fran!


    • narf77
      Jul 28, 2014 @ 03:50:12

      I haven’t had my birthday yet Namita, it’s in August 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment. I always look forward to your visits 🙂


  16. rabidlittlehippy
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 15:39:19

    Why not add the comments into the caption area of the photo? They come up inside a little box marking them as belonging to the photo that way. Well they do in my wordpress them anyway. 😉


    • narf77
      Jul 30, 2014 @ 16:40:46

      Yeah I have a problem in that my text doesn’t go any smaller and is, in fact, bigger than the text in the post. Never been able to work out why! I was thinking I might do that today. Good call Ms Jessie, I shall take your sterling advice. If they bay at my heels (they of the ” dear constant” variety) I will point them in the direction of Ballan. I am ever, and always, a quintessential coward 😉


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