Spring has sprung down the Morlock mines

It’s that time again…the time when I need to produce a blog post out of my magicians hat without letting on that I am not a very good magician and there is more lint in my hat (and dog hair and fire ash…) than I would like to let on thanks to weeks on end of studying and twitching and feeling the heady pull of spring but not being able to do all that much about it. Stevie-boy aka Slavemaster General is doing an amazing job of keeping me sitting here focussed on the “task at hand” but I would rather be fishing…or wandering in the garden, or potting things up…or…anything really… just not welded here to the PC…


Wouldn't it be lovely to just head out in the Mumbley Cumumbus today Stevie-boy? No? Sigh...

Wouldn’t it be lovely to just head out in the Mumbley Cumumbus today Stevie-boy? No? Sigh…

It looks like we might just have sorted Sanctuary (for the near future anyway) as there is an upturned (and most tempting and alluring) bucket of compost that has been doing its level best to attract possums en masse but that is still in a mounded shape and still full of unnibbled pumpkin seeds as I type this. That shows great promise for veggie gardening futures for Serendipity Farm this year.  I am starting to amass planty goodness from all over the place. I was potting up some pepino cuttings that somehow found their way to Serendipity Farm from a wonderful donor elsewhere in Australia (as much as I am going to say about that aside from THANK YOU my wonderful donor who shall remain anonymous as I want to keep these channels alive and well and under the radar 😉 ). If you don’t know what a pepino is, heres a bit of blurb about them…


Chocolate eclairs, part of Stevie-boys Father's Day Indian feast with eclairs

Chocolate eclairs, part of Stevie-boys Father’s Day Indian feast with eclairs

I have a desire to grow all kinds of things on Serendipity Farm. I want to hurl any and everything that will grow in our conditions into the mix. I have a small quince tree in a pot that our local permie guru Gordon gave me a while back that is budding up and demanding to be planted out and I have just the place to plant it picked out. Quinces and figs and olives and various other Mediterranean plants do well here as we have a very similar climate and our native animals are not partial to the way that plants that have gone through natural selection in order to survive tough conditions taste so they tend to get left well alone. I call that a WIN situation and will be planting them out as soon as I can get my hot little hands on them. Mulberries are another tree that do extremely well in our local conditions (long dry summers) and I am going to get a couple of extra trees to plant. If it grows, if they don’t touch it, it is welcome here on Serendipity Farm

This image isn't mine. I just saw it and thought that this would be a wonderful use of an old lamp and a cheese grater to keep them out of landfill

This image isn’t mine. I just saw it and thought that this would be a wonderful use of an old lamp and a cheese grater to keep them out of landfill

More cheese graters used as light fixtures... lubbly jubbly :)

More cheese graters used as light fixtures… lubbly jubbly 🙂

I have learned that growing what you want is not necessarily the best option if you want to stay sane and happy. Learning to grow with your local conditions includes having to deal with your local native animals at the same time. I don’t mind sharing but I do mind wanton destruction and it’s just about time for the possums to set up shop in our poor fruit trees for another year. Possums are fat, quick to anger and very furry…I think I am becoming a possum by default to be honest as I age but that, my dears, is another story! For now I am content to find a way to live with these overtly cute looking but inwardly heinous little critters whereby we both get what we want. I am hoping that possum dung is good for the soil because there is so very much of it around the place here! It looks like we might have an army of them coming out at night and just wandering over everything. I saw some possum deposits on our bedroom window sill the other day…they are spying on me while I sleep!

I LOVE this idea! I have been hoarding large coffee cans for just this sort of reason. Guess which narf is going to give this a go...

I LOVE this idea! I have been hoarding large coffee cans for just this sort of reason. Guess which narf is going to give this a go…


Or this! Why on earth would you throw cans out if you could use them to make something like this?

Or this! Why on earth would you throw cans out if you could use them to make something like this?

You all know that I put small cubes of tasty cheese out for the local grey shrike thrushes but it has been disappearing rapidly of late and much faster than usual. I was wondering if the sparrows had built up in numbers because they are quite partial to a bit of tasty cheese but aside from a little male sparrow that accompanies the grey shrike thrush up to the deck on a regular basis who is most tenacious as the shrike thrush is three times his size and prone to pecking him on the head if he dives into the cheese futures first, there aren’t any more sparrows than usual on our kitchen window ledge so a mystery was afoot!


Isn't this mailbox a hoot? :)

Isn’t this mailbox a hoot? 🙂

I kept watching the window sill as I walked past. As I have been chained to the PC I tend to be in the kitchen a lot making cups of tea (anything but sitting staring at that screen!) and I just so happened to look out the other day when one of the grey shrike thrushes was collecting some cheese cubes and noticed that the shrike thrush had big eyes…”Oh shrike thrush what big eyes you have? All the better to see you my dear…” now even I, with my limited ornithological abilities, know that grey shrike thrushes are not overly endowed with large eyes. I have seen enough of them collecting up bundles of cubed cheese to take back to their nests to know a bit about them by default. We share a common space albeit on other sides of the window and this “shrike” was a wolf in sheep’s clothing! I had a closer look at the obviously antsy shrike and noticed that it was a little bit more brown than grey…she was watching me closely while she crammed a very large bundle of cheese cubes into every angle of her beak and then she flew off…hmmm…another kind of shrike perchance? But then the mystery was solved by her partner who flew up and started collecting cheese cubes as well. He was as black as the ace of spades with beady little eyes that I would recognise anywhere and he looked at me through the glass as if to say “Don’t make any sudden moves missus or the dog gets it!” Blackbirds!

Stevie-boy on his day off playing his guitar

Stevie-boy on his day off playing his guitar

One of the photos that Steve took for me today to use in my final assessment in Prepress

One of the photos that Steve took for me today to use in my final assessment in Prepress

They had obviously been watching the grey shrike thrushes most carefully. We have a few pairs of blackbirds on the property and I quite like them. There aren’t any cleverer birds in this neck of the woods if you ask me. They watch…they learn…they take advantage of what they just learned and that tells me that there is more than rudimentary brain activity going on inside those small skulls and I admire that. The first time I noticed Ms Blackbird she had a crust of dirt on her beak which is what made me look closer at her in the first place. Grey shrike thrushes are arboreal and rarely go to ground. They are insectivores and tend to peel bark from trees and eat tree dwelling grubs. The do a great job of clearing out the house spiders from between the bricks as well but never poke their beaks in the soil so this made me pay attention…Ms blackbird appears to have found a much easier option to rootling around in the vain hope of finding a worm with one eye constantly watching for cat attack at any moment…Ms blackbird is now living the high life with Mr blackbird and all because she wondered “what if I headed up there and took a bit of a look…”

We have to use all of our own artwork in our final assessment in Prepress and that means recreating whatever we need. I created this today...

We have to use all of our own artwork in our final assessment in Prepress and that means recreating whatever we need. I created this today…

See animals get it…they get that you have to put an effort in to get anything that is worthwhile. I get it as well but in the back of my cerebral cortex…the bit that gives me dreams and that warns me when I am about to do something stupid (my cerebral cortex works overtime…) and that holds past memories and those ancient life lessons that humanity appears to be forgetting en masse these days but that we kept getting reminded of by hair rising up on the back of our necks by our dear unforgetting cerebral cortex…I “get” that all of this study is good for me…I “get” that it is good for my brain, keeping it active learning new things…I “get” that this is much better for me than working for the dole at a local thrift shop sorting through clothes BUT that doesn’t make the front bit of my brain, the impulsive bit that wants to head to Pinterest and eat cake in my undies and socks at ALL appeased. Another reason why I have admiration for those blackbirds is that they are taking a short cut…they learned and they took advantage and they made their lives easier in the process. Kudos big eyes…you shall go to the cheese ball 🙂

Earl was most happy with the tasty mud and the deliciously fecund odour coming from duckies old boat. This is going to be used to make a water wicked strawberry bed inside Sanctuary in the near future

Earl was most happy with the tasty mud and the deliciously fecund odour coming from duckies old boat. This is going to be used to make a water wicked strawberry bed inside Sanctuary in the near future

So I have 2 x 8 page booklets to produce today…all of the artwork for said booklets, a few lessons in how to tart up a drop cap to narf7 standards (that means downloading ornate Art Nouveau and Art Deco fonts, twizzling around with metal gradients in Illustrator and trying my hardest to create gold out of purest Adobe), I then need to create a logo (but I have a good idea for that one) and try to cobble it all nonchalantly together to make it look like I could care less (apparently how designers do things) about the end results and that everything flowed easily and languidly from my truly talented fingertips…”Au Contraire my dear, it just flows from me like purest champagne…” that’s not the only thing that just flows from me 😉 Seriously folks, there is a lot of hard slog that goes on behind the scenes. Much like anything else that is worth it, you need to put in the hard yards to get to look that casual and on the fly…sometimes the simplest logo has taken some poor sap a month down the Morlock tunnel gulags turning from a healthy shade of human pink into a sort of insipid luminous pasty white with eyes that are no longer able to look at the light in order to casually drop onto someone’s letterhead only to be screwed up by the recipient as “MORE JUNK MAIL!”…sigh… plebeians!

Steve's entry into the "abstract architecture" section of his photography group this week

Steve’s entry into the “abstract architecture” section of his photography group this week

Yeah I “get it”…but…BUT…spring is calling! That cerebral cortex that keeps me from wetting my bed at night (several times over if you must know…) also has some kind of primordial sap rising in my veins that must be appeased. I was up to my armpits in compost and horse manure and oak leaves and straw yesterday making a sexy mix for my four new baby pepino’s. I don’t like getting my hands too dirty but I was actually enjoying squidging everything together…the sap was rising! Soon I will be twitching about planting out trees…albeit small ones…I will be thinking, no DREAMING about haybales and hugelkulture and permaculture will start invading my every thought. I won’t be able to concentrate on my drop caps because I will see that lovely leafy font and my mind will start to drift. It’s like the call of the wild in reverse. I don’t want to head off and go feral (well…any more feral than I already am…), I don’t want to wear coon skin hats and float down the river on one of my precious 2 palettes that I am keeping for a compost heap…no not THIS little black duck…I just…want…to …get… out…in…the …sodding…garden…for…a…BIT! That’s all I need…just a bit of garden therapy to go with all of this drop capping and sentence indenting and border creating and text wrapping.

Naughty narf and Stevie-boy went sniffing around the abandoned Beaconsfield mines on the weekend

Naughty narf and Stevie-boy went sniffing around the abandoned Beaconsfield mines on the weekend

This used to be used to grind up gold bearing ore

This used to be used to grind up gold bearing ore

The landscape is littered with massive great holes dating back to the 1800's so it is best to stick to the roads

The landscape is littered with massive great holes dating back to the 1800’s so it is best to stick to the roads

Unless you want to fall down a bottomless pit that is!

Unless you want to fall down a bottomless pit that is!

I just want to feel part of “outside” not firmly and strategically reinstated on this chair for the day. The sun might shine today. It didn’t yesterday and I wasn’t so keen to get out in the rain. A perfect day for studying but it was Stevie-boys day on the PC yesterday…I bet the sun will shine today. The sun loves schadenfreude. I often catch it peeking in at me, laughing and sucking on its trousers at me when I am filling the kettle near the kitchen window, watching the birds carry away cheese for their future. Another day down the Morlock mines BUT…”I get it!” another day closer to that garden! I am going to head off now in order to get a bit closer to my day in the sun that I will no doubt be complaining about soon enough but for now it is a blissful cerebral cortex memory that needs to be appeased. Wish me luck folks…I am going in!

One of Stevie-boys lovely abstract photos of some of the old machinery we found

One of Stevie-boys lovely abstract photos of some of the old machinery we found

If you look closely you can see the big boots of the narf 7...I am playing at being Amish (or was that just that all of my jeans were in the wash? ;) )

If you look closely you can see the big boots of the narf 7…I am playing at being Amish (or was that just that all of my jeans were in the wash? 😉 )

Isn't this wattle lovely? You don't often get to see wattles that are able to grow to their full height. This one is in full flower.

Isn’t this wattle lovely? You don’t often get to see wattles that are able to grow to their full height. This one is in full flower.


54 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 19:33:04

    I’m reading your post and then I am going to bed – exhausted! The partying is finished and so am I 🙂 While you have been twitching and staring at computer screens I have been out and about and eating, drinking, talking, walking, eating, shopping, eating, walking, talking, eating, drinking….Tomorrow I am going to start work on my garden and then maybe write another blog post…….then my new life can really kick off 🙂

    You are right you know about the learning being good for you – it all keeps the synapses sparking just right. It’s better if you enjoy what you doing and even better still if you are excited and motivated and even passionate about it……. I fail to see any cuteness in possums. I’ve always found them to be a singularly unattractive species – certainly the ones who migrated here are. I had to biggify the photo of you to see your big boots – they sure look big and you do look ever so slightly olde worlde but then there’s Earl, looking just the same as ever, so I know it’s you 🙂 I’ll be really happy when you get out into your garden, not just because you want to so badly, but because I am really keen to see what you do and how it goes. I want to see the boat become a strawberry bed – I have just pinched a whole bunch of neglected strawberry plants from a friend and am going to try and revive them. Apparently they companion with tomatoes nicely. I am just a little nervous about my garden as I really don’t know how it is going to go – jamming as much as possible into such a tiny space and hoping some of it manages to go upwards successfully. I’m making a rogue copy of a wicking bed or two from the recipe you shared and the rest will be down to pure luck 🙂 I love wattle trees, they grow really well over here. I had one at my last house and one of my friends, a hortie type, was always threatening to cut it down. The tuis and bellbirds love a good wattle tree 🙂 Are those coffee cans lights? I like the grater light idea, except I would paint the graters I think …….. Now I need to sleep. I hope you can make sense of this rambly comment. Love to all at Serendipity Farm from Orlando and Siddy who slept together last night in the same bed, side by side, touching noses for a goodly part of it and whose snuffling, snorting, sighing and harrumphing kept me awake for another goodly part of it xoxo


    • narf77
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 04:20:34

      I am sure that everyone will be happy for me to get out into the garden as then I will stop whinging about being chained to my PC chair ;). I am excited about your garden! There is a lot of potential in a small space remember and planting strawberries under tomatoes is a great idea. Strawberries are very tenacious. Mine survived under complete pumpkin cover and are going to be rewarded with their own duck/boat water wicked bed that I will post about as soon as I get OFF THIS DAMNED PC! 😉

      Horticulturalists and people who suffer from hay fever HATE wattles because a/ they have shallow roots and are prone to falling over if you touch them and b/ because they are prone to inciting nasal twitching, head fogging and snot production en masse but I love them (goes to prove I am not a real horticulturalist no matter what my credentials would have you believe 😉 ). Yup…coffee can lights! I loved the idea…SCORE! Your boys are (if not mates) cohabiting? EXCELLENT! There is always a flip side and now you have double the snoring, snorting, snuffling possibilities but hey, whatchagonnadoeh? Kudos on the drinking, partaying and eating…I have been eating myself into a size 16 (might even bypass it and head for an 18 actually) through frustration and twitching at being shackled to my PC oppressor for the last year…NOT my idea of a life! Apparently that learning occurs precisely when you are NOT enjoying it…when you are nutting it out, having tantrums because it just won’t work, going through the processes of trying again, and again, and AGAIN to get the sodding thing to work because the brain development is that silver lining to the whole messy shebang of learning new programs etc. I can’t see how size 18 trousers is a silver lining to education but hey, at least I will survive a famine! 😉 Hope you got some sleep but hey, if you didn’t at least your boys are talking now…next step, actively careening around the house getting in your way, laying on the table together, eating from each other’s bowls, teaching each other all of their bad tricks (they NEVER learn the good ones from each other 😉 ) etc… I think congratulations are in order…or maybe not! 😉


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 06:48:35

        Yes, I too am sure we will all be SO happy when you are back out in your garden 🙂 But mainly because you will be happy and it is so nice seeing your photos of all the different areas. I love your idea of planting the strawbs in the old boat – best idea ever!!

        I didn’t have a good nights sleep again, mostly because some teasing went on, all of it – I think – initiated by the cat who is obviously back on top form and having himself his own puppy teasing party. I don’t mind because I’m so happy they are engaging together 🙂 I hope your weather is as nice as ours is and you do get out in that garden even just a little bit ….. xoxo

      • narf77
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 07:03:15

        I think you are magic Ms Pauline (quick… get that rowan frond to hang over the door!) as just as I read the bit where you said “I hope your weather is as nice as ours…” the sun came out! WOO-WOOO! Can you see your way clear to sending me this weekends lottery numbers? I fancy winning and coming to collect all of my dear constant readers and blowing a million on the biggest, most AMAZING round the world trip of a lifetime. We can take all of our pets with us…”Sorry? I hired this sodding jet I will take what I like SIR!” 😉 and Earl can teach Suddi the ways of the kung-fu (panda) master. I think we would all probably come out of it the worst for wear but who cares eh? Imagine drinking champagne in champagne, quaffing grapes and cheese and pate and anything else that took our fancy in continental Europe (everywhere in continental Europe) and just enjoying each others company, good food, wine etc. I would hire a camera man (hunky of course) to document it all so that when we got back we could remember it all in triplicate (and we could sell it to Sky and make another fortune so that we could do it all again when we recovered 😉 )

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 07:08:39

        I like the way your mind works! 🙂 I’ve just finished reading Robbie’s post and I want to visit her and her urban potager please 🙂 Okay lets give this a whirl try 5-7-9-40-35-26 Good luck:-D

      • narf77
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 07:18:12

        Just so happens I am heading to Lagana today (on the way to pick up those delicious yellow raspberry futures) and am walking the dogs near the supermarket which conveniently houses a newsagents…I fancy visiting Ms Robbie as well so lets just keep our fingers crossed! My lucky numbers are 5 (shared lucky number me thinks 😉 ) and 7 is my favourite….only thing is it is everyone elses favourite as well (the most “lucky” number around 😉 ) and Stevie-boys is 9 so there is a good mix of luckies so lets give it a burl! Wish me luck…

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 07:20:18

        Luck! ❤ ❤ ❤

      • narf77
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 04:56:40

        Stevie-boy is picking it up today fingers crossed for Saturday night! 🙂

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:44:56

        Egg- siding!!

      • narf77
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:47:03

        We are giving away 6 dozen to my daughter to take in to her homeless kitchen that she volunteers in. Hopefully they can use them 🙂

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:52:36

        Wow! That is amazing!! A perfect place to send those extra eggs seeing as how they won’t make it here. That is such an egg-zellent thing to do 😀

      • narf77
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 06:01:05

        I dare say they will end up as a (er…how many is 6 dozen in individual eggs?! I was NEVER good at my 6 times table 😦 ) er…”a lot of egg” staff omelette for lunch but either way, we are getting rid of 6 dozen eggs… WOOT! 🙂

  2. Margaret Griffin
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 19:44:42

    Hi, The photograph of the Mumbley Cumumbus is soooo enticing I would be sorely tempted to sail off into it in a beautiful pea green boat. (If I had one) Double sigh!

    Chocolate eclairs for Fathers’ Day – good choice. How many did Steve eat?

    It would be a bad idea to wander around in the dark in the bushland around here as not all the bottomless mining shafts are plugged or fenced off. Then there are the shafts which go horizontally into the hillside……The signs of early mining activities are everywhere. For me, the most impressive surviving structures are the water races dug by hand through clay and rock to carry water from small reservoirs to the sites where the rock was crushed to extract gold.

    I wish you luck in escaping to your garden soon.


    • narf77
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 04:24:24

      Er…that was duckies boat/pond and covered in slime inside and out just before Stevie-boy karchered it 😉 The Mumbley Cumumbus is a much nobler steed that was in the background on it’s boat trailer ;). If we tried setting out in duckies ex pond it might just be disaster on the high seas methinks ;). Steve has discretely eaten all 16 chocolate eclairs since Father’s Day and I notice that the box was washed and left in a strategic place for me to casually “notice” that it was now empty and the hope for a refill was palpable 😉
      Isn’t it amazing what a man will do for gold?! Try getting to be that determined about digging in the garden or anything else for that matter but if there is gold wafted as a possibility (not even a surety) and they will dig halfway to China! 😉
      I wish me luck as well…I spent all day yesterday “creating graphic art” and although I loved doing it, I had seeds and plants in the back of my mind all day…funny really because I dreamed about my booklet format that I need to create today! Goes to show that you might shut down for the day but your brain never does ;).


  3. cathyandchucky
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 20:37:04

    Please tell me you still own dear sweet Duckie! I am in need of a picture of her Fronkiii. You look like an older sister version of Holly Hobby in your picture 🙂 . I have cut the nylon curtain up into manageable pieces with my pinking shears so the fruit flies can admire how pretty my fruit defence system is once installed. I say Ahhhccchhooooo! To your wattle!


    • narf77
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 04:30:41

      Dear sweet irascible ducky is most definately alive and well and quacking incessantly for The Big Yin, her cohort who gives her the slip whenever he can leaving her high and dry and quacking loudly. I look like a fat older sister of Pinky to be honest :(. I don’t even want to think of how many kilos I have eaten in frustration at being “chained to the wheel” as I am distinctly OVER it to be honest…creating digital artwork is all fine and dandy but my spring glands are going off and want to get out in the garden. This year has been the toughest on me because aside from Steve being gone for most of it, we were signed up for a HUGE workload and most of the rest of the class have dropped by the wayside, pale, shallow husks of human beings but not us… we are determined to haul our pale husky shell like derrieres over the finish line! Only problem is…my pale “husk” is a lot “huskier” that it was at the beginning of the year! Time to get shucking husks methinks but habit is a really bad thing 😦 I expect to see a blog post about fruit fly thwarting as it would be a great tutorial for everyone out there pulling out their hair from fruitfly infestations. We don’t get them here (I am sure we had them in town!) as the possums eat everything before the fruit fly can sting them (double edged sword?!). The wattle isn’t on the property but was at the Beaconsfield mine (now abandoned)…we snuck under a gate and went for a stroll…turns out the tarmac road goes for MILES and we ended up spending 2 hours traversing tarmac road in pristine condition with no bugger but us on it…perfect for dog walking and in summer…just imagine the snakes laying across it! EEK! Huge hugs to you Pinky (emphasis on the word “huge” 😦 ) good luck with those rampant fruit flies… hope they know how to tango because they are going to be sliding off those netting bags en masse! 😉


      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 11, 2014 @ 10:19:35

        Ah Fronkiii. I am ginormous at this moment in time and seriously contemplating having a gastric sleeve operation. I woke up vomiting at five o’clock and suspect it was the shared packet of gluten free ginger nuts I had with Jason after tea and all the sugar involved in that. The only thing putting me off that severe an operation is my fear of the post op complications I have seen in other people. I lost so much weight long ago but was in a sad place and I don’t want to be in a sad place to lose it all again. Jason and I have to be able to do it the right way. He’s doing really well with his karate and is firming up nicely (damn you testosterone!) but me and my stupid estrogens are spreading apple like at too fast a rate. Ahhhhh! I just want to stop eating altogether. By the way, I thought you looked lovely 🙂 glad to hear dear Duckie is ok too 🙂

      • narf77
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:01:59

        We are ginormous together 😦 Now I am worried about you! We both did this years ago but you don’t have to go to a sad place to do it again. You just have to want to do it badly enough Pinky…It’s easier for us to site, fester and eat than it is to deal with the issues that are going on in the background that make us want to put food in our mouths to fill the places that we can’t reach where we feel empty :(. Story of millions of people worldwide… we aren’t alone Pinky BUT it certainly feels like it sometimes. HUGE hugs from here and wish we lived closer so that we could walk together, talk together and just get motivated together. Kudos to Jason on the karate…Steve just gave up drinking overnight after existing on a bottle of beer and at least 3 cans of beer a night for a year. I thought that he would be twitching and seeing little pink elephants on the roof (rather than the great big huntsman that tends to live there…come to think of it, the elephants might be preferable! 😉 ) but nope…old strong will himself was fine. No symptoms aside from the odd desire to have a beer at the end of the day…sigh…why is it SO much easier for men eh?!

      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 09:25:58

        I blame testosterone Fronkiii. Men have lots of it and we don’t! 😉 I know I just have to move more. Why is that so hard? Well done to Steve for giving up the beer cold turkey. That could be hard but he seems to be doing ok, well done. Jason leapt two belts last night in his grading at karate! He is now a red belt. I’m so proud of him. He’s doing something he’s wanted to do for years and is succeeding. I’m back on the iron tablets as I donated another pint of blood on Tuesday and have found I have to do this or I feel like poo for a long time afterwards. I wonder if I should be donating at all as my haemoglobin is diving down all the time and never getting back to where it should. Strange. I’m trying to organise myself to head over sometime and we can catch up for sister time 🙂

      • narf77
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 17:44:19

        Weird about the iron? Does Dr Lee have any thoughts on that? Yeah, cold turkey (wish I could give up eating cold turkey 😉 ). We just planted out 4 citrus trees that our friend gave us…a Myer lemon, a lemonade tree, an Australian lime (whatever that is) and a dwarf valencia orange…proud of ourselves for actually planting them! 🙂

      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 17:48:04

        Ooh the citrus should grow really well there Fronkiii. Is it the Australian finger lime you planted? That’s native to up north if it is, I think.

      • narf77
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 18:23:26

        Nope It just has “Australian Lime” on the tag and says that it is thornless, it has regular lime fruit that turns sweet if you let it ripen to yellow or something like that..whatever it is…”CITRUS WOOT!” 🙂 I love lemons 🙂 I was always dead jealous of your gorgeous lemon tree 🙂

      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 12, 2014 @ 18:57:48

        Can’t wait to see a photo of it 🙂

  4. quarteracrelifestyle
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 06:35:56

    I love that you compare yourself to a possum Fran lol. Great photos here, we have wattles out everywhere around us playing havoc with those who get hay fever, my son for one.

    I know what you mean abut the studying which is why I cannot motivate myself to do that very last paper still….I have better things to do and can’t stand the thought of all that commitment!! Only 4 months but going forward 4 months is a long time. I promised myself I would do it over winter but then got stingy about my MY time after summer. Good on you for keeping it up, it will pay off but yep, tis hard!


    • narf77
      Sep 11, 2014 @ 06:59:27

      I am hairy (what is that with hitting 50 and suddenly WOOSH … hair!), I am iracable, I am twitchy, I am tenacious and I am pretty much a hair triggers length away from volcano at any given time. I would like to blame menopause but I can’t…I am just a bit too bolshie for my own (hairy) skin and need to learn to meditate before I lift off 😉

      Send the bloody paper over here…I will do it for you. I am shackled to the darned PC anyway, may as well give me something different to do! 😉 No option but to keep it up. I don’t fancy working for the dole 😦 So learn we do! 🙂


  5. Robbie
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 13:36:14

    ” welded here to the PC” , I can relate. I am sick of it and I can’t imagine how you do it day after day, week after week, and month and month and so on…YIKES! I would go stir crazy! The other day I had a “ocular migrane” something like that…a longer word but I can’t remember what it was…I feel it was being on my computer too much one day, and then on my kindle fire reading….My one eye went blurry and I saw this wonderful design that started vibrating, like a strobe…everyone told me I had an “eye migraine”-lol…I found an artist that drew a picture, of what I had seen in my own eye. It scared the CRAP out of me since I could not read from left to right and everything was part of this crazy shape…I read people get them before 40 and they are harmless..lol..I am over 40 and I don’t want to ever have that happen again…You be careful spending too much time with that screen…I don’t want you to have one either…I usually am outside most of the time, but I had some work that needed to be done on my computer that day! I am needing to “unplug” even more in my life, as I age….my eyes can’t take much more…
    I have no idea how you do all that work…I sure hope you get outside and get to spend more time in your sanctuary.
    I must be odd, but our possums are rather cute here in our yard. I only had one at the start of the year and he/she stopped by to eat out of my compost pile. It was very docile and frighted by the dogs. They are not as big here and I am wondering if they are a bit different here….your possums sound like our over grown, over fed raccoons! They bit a dog at my daughter’s house!
    You take care of your eyes + try to get away from the computer:-)
    p.s Chocolate eclairs-I am wanting to head out and get some right now! YUM! Those lights are neat:-)


    • narf77
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:10:24

      If Steve has been online too long he gets the same thing! I will have to tell him that’s what it is as he thought that he was going mental. I don’t get that…just normal eye strain and general grumpiness coupled with the pallid complextion of a morlock and the twitching that comes from being nailed to the computer chair. We are almost to the end of this massive year of online study. 24 units completed (almost) and aside from being proud (mostly because we survived 😉 ), we have learned an incredible amount from the process. I guess if you can learn something from what you do it IS worth it at the end of the day ;).
      I don’t mind the look of the possums, it is just what they do. When we first moved here (and I was a naive dolt of a woman) I adored the forget-me-not filled lower garden, thought that the vinca was “very pretty” as it spread over the garden, loved the idea of having blackberries everywhere so that I could just lean out and pick them whenever I felt like it and I fed the possums… Yup…I FED them! I used to cut up fruit for them and buy chocolate chip and peanut butter biscuits (cookies) for them and I would make peanut butter and jam (jelly) sandwiches every single night for them…I thought that I was being clever because if they ate the food they would leave my plants alone. It took me all of a month to work out that they ate the food…they invited their friends…they had fights about the food right outside our bedroom window that drove the dogs and us mental (as they fought all night) and not only that but the cheeky sods then went off to eat my entire garden and what they didn’t eat, they swung on and played in till it snapped! That was the end of the free chuck wagon I can tell you!

      Our possums are not the same as yours in the least. Completely different things…more like your raccoons to be honest with little fingers that open things and pull things and little brains with “FOOD!” as their one priority. When Earl scares one from eating the cheese on our kitchen windowsill that we leave for the birds, they sit in the trees at the end of the deck yelling down at him as he barks at them…angry little food hogs.

      Cheers for the info about the eye migraines. I will share it with Steve and we will research it further. He said “my eyes get wiggley lines over them and I can’t see properly!” sounds like he has had a few of them. Mine just start staring off into outer space and I can’t get them interested in the screen again after about 3pm ;).


      • Robbie
        Sep 13, 2014 @ 08:46:04

        My friend had a neighbor that fed raccoons cheeze curls before he passed away. The raccoons would come in droves to his house at night and be all over his driveway. It drove them nuts, but he was an old man. He use to feed them from his hand!
        That man passed away and the animals quit coming in such large groups.
        I had to bury my compost because my possum was in there eating my scraps and scared me, this past spring. He was even out during the day. I thought he was sick, but the experts said, if it has been a long cold winter they may come out during the day for food….he was sweet, but there was only one and he was no larger than a small cat….yours sound like monsters! Crazy…..
        Here , is the site where I found the picture..that is what I saw-crazy! Never had anything like that happen to me before…now I unplug more often:-)


      • narf77
        Sep 13, 2014 @ 17:48:06

        I would think that I had smoked too much peyote if I saw that! 😉 Our possums are not happy because we stopped them from getting into Sanctuary and now they have to forage outside in the trees where possums are supposed to find their food…NOT happy campers! 😉

      • Robbie
        Sep 14, 2014 @ 00:16:05

        lol…yep, that was a weird thing to see for it was first thing in the morning and I could not read out of my right eye. When I closed it it was bright,too! That was even stranger. I described it like a strobe light design! It looked just like that….I now spend less time on the computer and give my eyes rest as I garden outside…
        lol…too funny-Peyote! I was not trying to reach a higher way of thinking:-)
        Now they are on the outs-VICTORY YOU!!!!! Can’t wait to read all about your “possum free food”:-)

      • narf77
        Sep 15, 2014 @ 03:52:45

        I can’t wait to get out into the garden tomorrow…I can smell the fresh air almost as today should be the last day (fingers crossed) that we are glued to our PC chairs working through this behemoth of an assessment. I would have been out today if we hadn’t discovered a whole section that was hidden away amongst some supporting material that our lecturer conveniently forgot to tell us about …sigh…oh well, doing it today and tomorrow “FREEDOM!” I wish we had some blue woad that I could rub all over me and run naked around our property yelling “FREEDOM!” it would make for a most fitting return for Frank and Adrian our long suffering neighbours who just returned from 3 months in Canada 😉

      • Robbie
        Sep 15, 2014 @ 13:06:30

        lol..I just laughed LOUDLY…lol…too funny….running naked
        “I wish we had some blue woad that I could rub all over me and run naked around our property yelling “FREEDOM!”
        You always make me laugh!
        I was thinking today that having a place to grow food + being able to dig in the dirt is the best!:-)

      • narf77
        Sep 15, 2014 @ 19:07:02

        If you have woad as well, you have it made! 😉

  6. brymnsons
    Sep 11, 2014 @ 21:12:29

    I am looking forward to seeing the boat full of strawberry plants. That is such a great idea! Strawberries ahoy lol.


    • narf77
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 05:11:26

      Ms Ducky just worked out that we pinched her pond and spent most of yesterday yelling at us! She hardly used it…it was full of green slime (much to Earls delight) and we are going to get her a clam shell to replace it but she was MOST angry that we removed it and stood yelling at the hole that it left for hours 😉


      • brymnsons
        Sep 14, 2014 @ 22:42:14

        Oh poor ducky lol. I have this picture of donald duck going balistic in my head ha ha ha. I’m sure she will enjoy the clam when you get it.

      • narf77
        Sep 15, 2014 @ 03:58:36

        She was standing under the deck doing her best Donald Duck impersonation yesterday arvo…”QUACK!Quack!” a most angry specimen of duck indeed! We will be picking up her new clam next week so that should sooth that savage beast 😉

  7. christiglover
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 10:50:59

    Loved the blackbird anecdote, and the lesson of keeping your eyes open for the opportunity, the cheesy opening that attracts you and makes life sweet. As for you and your PC….time to let it go for awhile, eh, and go outside!…”Blackbird singing in the dead of night, Take these broken wings and learn to fly, All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to arise.” A little Beattles lyric to start you out the door. 🙂 Spring has sprung!


    • narf77
      Sep 12, 2014 @ 17:45:31

      We just planted 4 citrus trees! I am SO proud of us as we normally take our sweet time doing things like that. I reckon this year is our good year for gardening…I LOVE that song. Loved George Harrison best out of all of the Beatles 🙂


      • christiglover
        Sep 13, 2014 @ 03:12:38

        I’m a George girl, too. Leave Paul and Ringo and John for the other gals…:)

      • narf77
        Sep 13, 2014 @ 03:47:56

        George was the clever one, and the one with the most talent in my mind. The best Beatles songs were written by him 🙂 I loved his solo work as well we are obviously real twins 😉

  8. Spy Garden
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 23:54:46

    Great post. I too am in “pot it up!” mode; but to bring things inside before the first frost (a few more weeks yet) I’m dreaming of the big euc taking over the living room…or the man cave…and going to try and overwinter more herbs and maybe even eggplants. I’m dreaming of a basement greenhouse of sorts. But its all cold and concrete down there and 50s outside BBbrbrrrrr so for now, today, just snuggling. I’m inspired by your crocheted blankets on the couch! And the gardening for later…


    • narf77
      Sep 13, 2014 @ 03:46:59

      We are still having cold nights here (and frosts) but I got 4 citrus trees planted out yesterday (lime, Myer lemon, lemonade lemon and dwarf valencia orange) that should do well in our climate and am contemplating where to put all of my nut trees. I guess I just have to suck it up and get Steve to dig me some holes ;). Have a great weekend snuggling and planning…that basement is a great idea, now you just need to wrack your (smoochies) brains to sort out how to heat it (without burning the house down) 🙂


  9. Yelena
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 06:53:42

    Hello my dear friend, I see you are doing fine here)) We have a such a nice wether here now, the summer is over and autumn just begin. Lovely cool evenings and we have pumpkins everywhere now-)
    So funny, I always feel like Amish girl, when I wear a long skirt-))




    • narf77
      Sep 13, 2014 @ 17:45:44

      Hugs back Yelena and I love pumpkins. You are lucky that there are lots of them around. They make all kinds of delicious things. So glad to see you back in your kitchen again 🙂


  10. Born To Organize
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 12:02:04

    I can’t wait to see your strawberry bed in action. That sounds like fun. I’m so happy spring is just around the corner for you. I hope you can pry yourself away from your computer soon, and spend lots of happy hours with your hands in the dirt and the sun on your face.

    Those cheese grater lampshades are fabulous!


    • narf77
      Sep 13, 2014 @ 17:49:24

      They are aren’t they? I am going to try to make one (without grating my fingers in the process 😉 ). We are almost to the point where we are off the PC. Still lots of supporting documentation to go with our work BUT most of that isn’t on the PC and once we wade through it all we are free … FREE! 🙂


  11. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 11:13:52

    I’m a big fan of recycled DIY projects and those cheese grater lights are so flipping brilliant! Incredibly inspiring, since I would have never thought of re-purposing them like that but it makes perfect sense. I’m so inspired, I’ve gotta get crafting again.


    • narf77
      Sep 15, 2014 @ 03:56:15

      I keep finding things out about you Ms Hannah that I never knew. I found a crochet pattern online when I was hunting and traced it back to your blog! You are a most interesting blogger indeed what with all of that gorgeous food and now crafting as well? Those cheese grater lights are awesome and Stevie-boy wants me to make him one. I have an old draftsman style lamp that I use here in the mornings so I don’t bath the whole house in light when I am up beavering away here at 3am and it would be perfect for a cheese grater make-over ;). I am sure your dear constant readers would love to read about any crafty pursuits that you were likely to get up to (especially me 🙂 )


  12. Littlesundog
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 12:45:05

    I’ve been off the computer for… I don’t know, two weeks maybe? I’ve been up for hours trying to catch up reading blogs I follow. Now that I’ve read your post I think I shall hit the hay and dream of those chocolate eclairs! Oh, and of course dreamy Earl…. I have never heard of a wattle except for the kind on a chicken. Those cheese grater lamps are clever!!


    • narf77
      Sep 18, 2014 @ 17:09:01

      “Wattle” is a type of Acacia. They are nitrogenous trees that add nitrogen back into the soil as Aussie soil tends to be pretty unfertile and ancient. Our chooks have been waggling their wattles a whole lot lately thanks to all of them starting to lay and complaining about just about everything. I think they are chookie diva’s ;). I am sending you a mental chocolate eclair and virtual hugs 🙂


  13. Linne
    Sep 19, 2014 @ 10:02:57

    I just wrote you a long and funny (to me, hahaha) comment and the dumb pc ate it! Maybe I’ll remember it later and come back and type it all in again . . . anyway,

    “wattle lovely post and wattle lovely bunch of photographs”! ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Sep 19, 2014 @ 15:30:24

      That used to happen to me till I started using notepad and copying and pasting it into the comment box. Now if I lose it, I just hit “paste” again and voila, it’s back! ;). HAHAHAHA on the wattle 😉


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