Steve and I have become completely addicted to a wonderful U.K. show written by and staring Ricky Gervais called “Derek”. There is something in the water or atmosphere in the U.K. that when fermented with the close proximity of everyone and everything, causes some kind of enzymatic reaction that produces awesome television, music and art. If you would like to see what I am on about check out the first episode of Derek here…


I love how Mr Gervais gives dignity to those who mainstream society would love to see swept under the carpet. The elderly, the afflicted and the just plain “Kev”. The world is full of we “afflicted” and this show has made me laugh and cry more in the last week than anything I have watched in the last decade. Je t’adore Mr Gervais. I bow to your creative genius and your acting talent.

I know absolutely NOTHING about twitter, but then again, neither does Derek so Narf meets Derek in this episode of The Road to Serendipity…



#narfsays “If the dog stinks after rolling in a dead wallaby on his walk DEODERISE that sucker!”




#Earlsays “I likes eau de deceased wallaby…whatchagonnadoeh?”


#Earlsays "I stinks"...

#Earlsays “I is depressed…I stinks”…

#narfsays "look what Stevie-boy did with my horse brasses and brass hooks" :)

#narfsays “look what Stevie-boy did with my horse brasses and brass hooks” πŸ™‚

#narf says "Eggs are good right up to the time when they take over the fridge and form a union"...

#narf says “Eggs are good right up to the time when they take over the fridge and form a union”…

#narfsays "before you can make a jar of pickled eggs, you have to break a few eggs"...

#narfsays “before you can make a jar of pickled eggs, you have to break a few eggs”…

#narfsays "Korean chilli powder ROCKS!" :)

#narfsays “Korean chilli powder ROCKS!” πŸ™‚

#narfsays "47 eggs down,  84 to go..."

#narfsays “47 eggs down, 84 to go…”

#narfsays "All food and no flowers makes narf a sad panda"

#narfsays “All food and no flowers makes narf a sad panda”

#BezialandEarlsay "How come we can't go into Sanctuary any more?"

#BezialandEarlsay “How come we can’t go into Sanctuary any more?”

#Earlsays "I likes buckets that taste of seasol"

#Earlsays “I likes buckets that taste of seasol”

#Bezialsays "...nothing... he is playing dead..."

#Bezialsays “…nothing… he is playing dead…”

#narfsays "Stevie-boy makes a great garden gnome"

#narfsays “Stevie-boy makes a great garden gnome”

#Stevie-boysays "You want me to dig ANOTHER hole?!"

#Stevie-boysays “You want me to dig ANOTHER hole?!”

#Stevie-boysays "While I wait for narf to get back from the shed with the wire snips I am going to hunt Sasquatch..."

#Stevie-boysays “While I wait for narf to get back from the shed with the wire snips I am going to hunt Sasquatch…”

#Stevie-boysays "I SEE ONE!"

#Stevie-boysays “I SEE ONE!”

#Stevie-boysays "Sigh... more holes..."

#Stevie-boysays “Sigh… more holes…”

#narfsays "Loquat futures" :)

#narfsays “Loquat futures” πŸ™‚


#narfsays "fig futures"

#narfsays “fig futures”

#narfsays "pear futures"

#narfsays “pear futures”



#narfsays "Stevie-boy would like it known that for every hole that narf asks him to dig, there are at least this many rocks in said hole...he would also like to be told what a hero he is and for everyone to commiserate with him for having a wife who is apparently infatuated with holes..."

#narfsays “Stevie-boy would like it known that for every hole that narf asks him to dig, there are at least this many rocks in said hole…he would also like to be told what a hero he is and for everyone to commiserate with him for having a wife who is apparently infatuated with holes…”

#narfsays "plum trees growing from stones in the compost"

#narfsays “plum trees growing from plum stones in the compost…plum futures”

#narfsays "Grape cuttings taken from my old Muscatel grape vine in the city"

#narfsays “Grape cuttings taken from my old Muscatel grape vine in the city”

#narfsays "7 grape vines in the ground...grape futures" :)

#narfsays “7 grape vines in the ground…grape futures” πŸ™‚

#narfsays "Mr Curly the bonsai sheok overseeing the work in Sanctuary"

#narfsays “Mr Curly the bonsai sheok overseeing the work in Sanctuary”

#narfsays "the barrel on the left is full and the barrel on the right is half full...water futures" :)

#narfsays “the barrel on the left is full and the barrel on the right is half full…water futures” πŸ™‚

#narfsays "forget grumpy cat, grumpy narf is here!"

#narfsays “Move over grumpy cat, when Stevie-boy photographs her when she is watering, grumpy narf steps up to the plate!”

#narfsays "The good ship water wicked strawberry AHOY!"

#narfsays “The good ship water wicked strawberry AHOY!”

#narfsays "dwarf valencia orange futures"

#narfsays “dwarf valencia orange futures”

#narfsays "Check out these bottlebrush"

#narfsays “Check out these bottlebrush”

#narfsays "Check out THIS bottlebrush"

#narfsays “Check out THIS bottlebrush”

#narfsays "Welcome to the jungle"...

#narfsays “Welcome to the jungle”…

#narfsays "Clucky Chooks bite HARD...hurry up and take that shot Stevie-boy!"

#narfsays “Clucky Chooks bite HARD…hurry up and take that shot Stevie-boy!”

#Stevie-boysays "A man can never have enough whipper snippers"

#Stevie-boysays “A man can never have enough whipper snippers”

#narfsays "checking out Stevie-boys clean shed and recovering from my pecking ordeal"

#narfsays “checking out Stevie-boys clean shed and recovering from my pecking ordeal. The things we have to do for eggs”

#narfsays "How green was my Serendipity Farm"...

#narfsays “How green was my Serendipity Farm”…

#narfsays "Forget-me-not forest"...sigh...

#narfsays “Forget-me-not forest”…sigh…

#narfsays "I loves me a good curbside "FREE" sign and this lovely little old Aussie hardwood chair" :)

#narfsays “I loves me a good curbside “FREE” sign and this lovely little old Aussie hardwood chair” πŸ™‚

#narfsays  "I also love Stevie-boys eagle eyes for spotting this delicious Mr Curly lamp in the "FREE" pile when all I could see was that lovely chair" :)

#narfsays “I also love Stevie-boys eagle eyes for spotting this delicious Mr Curly lamp in the “FREE” pile when all I could see was that lovely chair” πŸ™‚

#Stevie-boysays "I likes my Polaroid lens a lot"

#Stevie-boysays “I likes my Polaroid lens a lot”

#Stevie-boysays "My take on Sanctuary"

#Stevie-boysays “My take on Sanctuary”

#narfsays "I loves me a pretty wild rose" :)

#narfsays “I loves me a pretty wild rose” πŸ™‚

#narfsays "half for a pond and half for a worm farm. One half cools the other and everyone is happy, especially narf" :)

#narfsays “half for a pond and half for a worm farm. One half cools the other and everyone is happy, especially narf” πŸ™‚

#narfsays "Veggie futures"

#narfsays “Veggie futures”

#narfsays "Rastafarian cactus with barrettes" ;)

#narfsays “Rastafarian cactus with barrettes” πŸ˜‰

#narfsays "Ballerina apple futures"

#narfsays “Ballerina apple futures”

#narfsays "Jerusalem artichoke futures"

#narfsays “Jerusalem artichoke futures”

#narfsays "Nasturtiums present"

#narfsays “Nasturtiums present”

#Earlsays "I loves me some sunshine" :)

#Earlsays “I loves me some sunshine” πŸ™‚


I am all twittered out now and am staggering off to cook dinner. I hope you all enjoy your lives over the coming week ahead and #narfsays “be kind to animalsΒ ” πŸ™‚


67 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 15:46:44

    Impressive garden area. We’ve had a lot of moles this year. Spring there? Getting cold here. The year has gone by too fast.


    • narf77
      Nov 05, 2014 @ 16:01:18

      We are certainly in agreeance there! The year seems to have streaked past in no time flat but we are making up for it by working our tails off in the garden. It is currently pouring down outside so no garden work for us but great stuff for the soil :).


  2. quarteracrelifestyle
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 16:44:14

    Oh, I had two minutes to browse your post before going out and ran out of time. Love Ricky Gervais, one clever guy and like you I really enjoy English artists/actors. I must go, will catch this up in the morning, love your forget-me-nots!!


  3. thecontentedcrafter
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 17:02:38

    Your present looks doggily and colourfully adorned and your futures are multiple, far ranging and actually quite mind boggling! I am very impressed with the variety of your futures. Everything looks very tidy and very green and very industrious in it’s growing nature.

    There is something to be said for all those hours you have spent combing through Pinterest for inspiration – for I am sure that is how you came to think of dividing an old fridge up into a pond and a worm farm! I cannot believe that anyone would come to that conclusion unaided – it is pure genius!!

    I must not forget to commiserate with the wonderful Stevie-boy who digs holes through rocks at his woman’s bequest. A real man digs holes, has a tidy shed full of whipper-snippers and a chair for his injured wife. A real man has a polaroid lens and a forest full of forget me nots. I love seeing me a good rolling spread of forget me nots – almost as good as the bluebell woods of England. And before you start writing furiously about the stickability of the seed heads – I KNOW! I have a cat who wears forget me not seeds in his tail fairly much constantly. Also biddy-bids when he goes somewhere where the garden is not loved. But removing them is part of our bonding and I toss them [the forget me not seeds] into my garden where they have yet to feel like growing.

    Ooops I went off on a tangent. Where was I?

    Oh yes. Poor Stevieboy. Digging endless holes, stalking Sasquatch, hanging up brass thingys – and on and on. What a man, what a hero, what a martyr!

    πŸ™‚ Is my work here done?

    I very much enjoyed your Twitterfest today – it did a away with a lot of unnecessary words and got right to the heart of the matter – present and futures! Excellent work from all on Serendipity Farm xoxo


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 03:43:36

      Sometimes words get in the way. Sometimes all it takes is a shiteload of photos and a few hash tags and a bit of introspected thought to maketh the post. #Stevie-boysays “cheers for my recognition, your check is in the mail” ;). More digging today and mulching ready for the long dry summer ahead. Might plant out my currants and carob trees today methinks so that I can have carob loquat supreme in about 10 years time ;). Your work…is done πŸ™‚


  4. rabidlittlehippy
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 18:28:53

    Like the horse brasses!

    Not too many holes for Steve or he might go all out and dig a Narfish kind of sized one. πŸ˜‰

    I thought Steve was over rocks! Can’t be too over them if he photographs them too. More holes to dig I say!!! πŸ˜‰

    How green WAS Serendipity? Is it not green now? Don’t tell me it’s toasted golden brown already!

    Don’t forget a wee draining hole in you woorm farm half or you will have a pond and a worm burial ground/pond. GREAT idea though!

    I wouldn’t know a tweet if it tweeted in my ear but great post. πŸ™‚


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 03:51:37

      There is a nice pre-existing hole in the base of the new worm farm where a plug was to let in the wires and tubes that were needed to operate the temperature control. I am using the holey bit for the worm farm and the non holey bit (freezer bit) for the pond. I thought that might be best as I know that worms don’t swim all that well ;). Steve is SO far over rocks he is almost back to the other side. “I” photographed the rocks as testement to just how many there can be in a very small hole. Luckily, the holes produce their own plant surrounds and each time he digs one up (muttering) I think “that’s one less rock I have to lug into Sanctuary” ;). The “was” was me trying to link to “How green was my valley” and it is still green and fecund (at the moment) and after yesterdays impromptu thunder and lightning storm complete with torrential downpour, it will be green for the next week at least.
      Stevie-boy is too lazy to bury me…MUCH to big a hole to dig so I am pretty safe there πŸ˜‰


      • rabidlittlehippy
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 07:34:37

        Love how permaculture allows you to see the rocks dug up as a positive (although I’m sure Steve wouldn’t be so happy about them unless he is the one barrowing them into Sanctuary πŸ˜‰ )

      • narf77
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:34:00

        Today I planted 5 red currants and mulched the grapes and found a stash of rocks under the nasturtiums to put around them. Full steam ahead!

  5. brymnsons
    Nov 05, 2014 @ 20:45:41

    Lovely collection of photos Fran. Love the doggy ones, especially Bezial acting dead lol. Sanctuary is looking amazing!!! I am green with envy, plant growing envy… The good ship strawberry fields will be lovely to see full to the brim πŸ™‚ I brought some Thai Basil and a patio Lime Tree to add to my little collection. Might even blog about it. Add some photos of China too…. Poor Stevie Boy having to keep digging rocky holes for mean old Frannie poo. There there Steve you are to be admired for your patience. πŸ˜€ Hot weather is here already, sigh… Keep those lovely photos coming and yes the forget me nots look lovely, sorry…


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 03:47:20

      Like most super models, forget-me-nots are splendiferous when prancing about en masse in the forest but not so great when you have to get up close and deal with them ;). You just reminded me…I need to add “kefir lime” to my growing list of wants for sourcing and planting out. I love kefir lime in food and you can even use the actual limes apparently even though they look like they are small round green warty toadfruits. Let me know how that Thai basil goes. I planted out a whole tray of mixed basil and bugger all came up :(. I would love to read about your adventures in China and I dare say so would everyone else. HOW exciting :). I would also love to see your patio and how lush those passionfruits must be now with all of the heat you guys are having. More holes to dig today…might plant out red currants or maybe carob (or if I can keep him enthusiastic, I might get all of them in πŸ˜‰ )


      • brymnsons
        Nov 07, 2014 @ 19:42:35

        Yes a lady here has the Kefir Lime tree and she brings them in to share. They are indeed limey :). I’m busy as, at the moment but hope to get a blog published before xmas… Still don’t know if we will be here or not, sigh. I just wish we knew what was going to happen. Never mind, I just focus one day at a time. The passionfruit vines are looking great, we have a few flowers on so hopefully Bruce will get to taste them. I had to give the citronella daisies a good haircut after being away for a month. Couldn’t believe how much everything had grown. I planted thai basil seedlings, so hopefully they should be ok. Happy gardening and look forward to seeing more photos next week x

      • narf77
        Nov 08, 2014 @ 06:42:47

        Fingers crossed that the old Head master gets permanency and decides to stay put where she is OR you get what you want elsewhere. Always sucky when you don’t know. Been in that position many MANY times before and feel for you. Hopefully you get to taste passionfruits from your vines and Thai basil as well πŸ™‚

      • brymnsons
        Nov 08, 2014 @ 20:22:09

        Yeah it is sucky but just have to wait and see… I can take my Thai Basil with me, so that’s a bonus. I potted them up in a plastic bottle. I will take a picture and blog it… sometime lol. I’m trying to recycle things in the garden because we don’t have recycling here 😦 Hurts my soul to throw it in the bin and not have it recycled.. The passionfruit will be close to when we go back to Perth for xmas… so hopefully Bruce will get to taste the fruits of my labour lol.

      • narf77
        Nov 09, 2014 @ 04:26:02

        Clever idea planting your Thai basil in a plastic bottle as you can feel good that you are recycling. No recycling?! I thought that WE were backwater! That is ridiculous…does everything just go into landfill then? Sigh… You will have to blog about your Thai Basil (when you have time, I know it is busy time at school at the moment) as I am sure that there are lots of people who would be most interested in reading about you using a recycled container to plant it into. Don’t forget to tag it when you do, it means more people can see what you have posted about πŸ™‚

      • brymnsons
        Nov 09, 2014 @ 16:00:19

        Don’t feint but… I am writing my blog! I have taken photos and all πŸ™‚ I try to use tags, but sometimes I go tick, tick, tick and then when I post…nothing, sigh.

      • narf77
        Nov 10, 2014 @ 03:12:52

        Do you type in words in the tag box? I have a little box down the bottom of my posting section (you are in WordPress as well so it should be similar) on the right hand side that says “Tags” and you just type in words that you want associated with your post like “China” or “Thai basil” and click “Add” and then make sure to click the “Update” box further up the page (where you can save your draft or choose to publish). That way the search engines can use those words to streamline your post for people’s searches. I started getting a lot more new readers when I added tags to my posts. Can’t wait to read your post πŸ™‚

  6. quarteracrelifestyle
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 06:15:02

    Fantastic post Fran, it all looks so productive…! Love the use of the freezer. Steve IS a hero πŸ™‚ Your garden cage is fab, and actually alot bigger than I thought, I have even more respect for that now. You guys are putting us to shame this season, we have been too busy for anything other than chucking everything in and occasional weeding. Roger is building fences and rearranging his messes lol, but i am seeing good progress πŸ™‚
    Isn’t it funny how dogs wear the stink of some things with such pride but the application of something more sociable just leaves them looking so shamed at how they smell lol. Syd sleeps like that too, on his back πŸ™‚
    I am impressed how tidy Steve’s workshop is…I won’t add anything to that (because I do love my man really)


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 06:52:10

      Guess how long that shed is going to look tidy. I wanted him to document the state for posterity before it returns back to shamefull stuff fulledness aka Roger ;). They are birds of a feather our men Wendy ;). We have been busy and there is a whole lot more to plant out yet. About 10 hazelnuts, 8 walnuts, a bay tree a stack of red currants and lots more (that I am terrified to even think about at the moment) as well as me planning to raid Bunnings to buy a few different interesting thornless berry varieties and a passionfruit or two for the sides of Sanctuary. Don’t tell Stevie-boy but I am thinking of doubling the size of Sanctuary. That might be next years project πŸ˜‰


      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 07:38:29

        Ah I see lol. Yes, birds of a feather.

        Nice to see you have got entirely over your anxieties of early Spring and are into it and see, you do know exactly what you are doing πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Extending…ye gods!!!! I won’t tell Steve.

        Enjoy your berry shopping!

      • narf77
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:34:26

        Stevie-boy is with me on the thornless berries but not so happy about digging MORE holes πŸ˜‰

  7. teawithhazel
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 08:08:30

    completely agree with you about ricky gervias and english humour..total genius..love the chair..but i would seeing i collect them from rubbish bins, hard rubbish collections and op shops..

    your garden is looking beautiful fran..no wonder with so much hard work you and steve put into it..x


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:35:26

      Thank you for your lovely comment Jane and we share a love of old chairs. I plan on yarn bombing my chair to look like my Mr Curly lamp. I dare say your chairs are given a much more dignified welcome into your home ;).


  8. Born To Organize
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:03:30

    That was fun! Your garden sanctuary is looking tidy, productive and expansive. You and Steve have worked wonders with that place. I too commiserate with the digging of holes. It’s hard work on a good day, but knowing you’ll encounter all those rocks EVERY single time must be exhausting. I’m so impressed with your plans for the boat and the old fridge. Brilliant ideas for items that would otherwise be discarded. I’m looking forward to seeing them both in action. Congratulations, too, on capturing all that water. I need to get on the stick with that too…if only we would get some actual rain to capture.


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:37:39

      Every time I post about rainwater and harvesting etc. I wince because I know you guys are doing it SO tough over there in your drought. I am turning our garden into a xeriscape garden in order to have a garden that doesn’t turn into crispy brown at the end of our 4 – 5 month “summer” that although it isn’t very hot, is extremely dry. I think mulch is going to be the answer here and thus I need to get me a stash of mulch. This gardening lark is a lot more involved than you would initially think! πŸ˜‰


  9. Robbie
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 10:30:15

    LOL!!!! I read your post + was laughing soooo hard—just like reading cartoon-funnies! but as I read , I was wondering, why is she using the “number” or “pound” symbol with all her photos….hmmm…did not dawn on me until later-she is twittering-is that a word? I found out what “hashtag” was a few years ago when I was getting help from a guy with my computer and he said “hashtag”–as he read a sequence back to me..I said-‘What is hashtag” + that is how my over 50 mind was introduced to “hashtag”—-so now the “pound” sign or symbol for “number” has another name-HASHTAG=”A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character, #” taken from old reliable wikepedia!
    Now, I hear “hashtag” all over the place. It makes sense for it is how they organize their stuff…..
    Love all the photos:-) what fun! Your sanctuary is really big + as I read through your comments- you mentioned you want to “double’ it- amazing. You have a working farm there my dear! I can tell you LOVE the work-it really is amazing how it pulls you in…but to be honest..I am tired right now + looking forward to working through your posts for a few months( while sitting-lol:-)
    It is dark outside at 5pm right now+ I am ready to stay inside—but not for too long! I need to clean the inside of my house for all my energy has been doing projects out in our urban potager. I need to get ready to start seedlings after Christmas. The rest will be short lived but I am eager to make new plans for our outdoor space. Shoot if I could sleep out there in the summer, I would!
    I see all your seedlings growing + all that GREEN. I am seelng a lot of brown around here these days. That is okay, for I am ready to grab a cup of tea, curl up by the fire, read + visit all you that are growing this time of year. It is fun to have people you know that are “Growing”..
    It sure is looking “pretty” under all those nets. No one is getting in to destroy anything. I like how you have all your raised beds.
    #I like the brass hook valance
    #eggs looks cool in all that red-do they taste like deviled eggs? .
    # beautiful flowers
    #Human Gnomes-priceless!
    # curly bonsai garden mascot:-)
    #My dogs always rolled in you know what
    # they also raid the cat box + think that is perfume
    # Fridge worm farm-now that is cool idea
    # bottlebush is beautiful
    # you would never stay in a hole for long he dug-you would find a way out!
    # you live in paradise on earth
    # you sure do know how to find treasures just like Wendy!
    # Wendy said-‘ rearranging his messes” must be a male thingy

    loved your twitter/ # post but don’t let your muses rest too long:-)


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:54:31

      Where do I start Robbie! ;). Today I had a quiet day, I planted out 5 red currant bushes and mulched them. It was nice to have a quiet day as Steve had to head off to our nearest town to drop something off to someone so I got to sit and enjoy a bit of peaceful time. Tomorrow Steve and I are going to be using a log splitter to split up all of the logs that Steve just cut up out of our large stash of big logs that were purchased for our winter fire wood. We bought 2 loads with money that Steve earned this year but we only used one so that means that we are a load ahead and it needs cutting up so that we can get trailers through to Sanctuary. We have 3 great big piles of grass clippings from Glad next door to be deposited onto the large compost heap in the corner. That should heat it up nicely and I will add manure and oak leaves to the mix. Lots more plants to plant out and research to make sure I do it properly. We grew carob trees from seed and managed to raise 3 of them to saplings BUT now I find out that 70% of seed grown carob trees are male…it’s only the females that have pods. Fingers crossed I raised an aberration (as usual, but usually I am not happy about it πŸ˜‰ ) in a female tree! If I didn’t and they are all male it is OK because they are excellent for bee forage apparently and make great animal fodder and windbreak and shade trees. I always look for the silver lining. Makes for a much happier life :).

      Wendy said “rearranging his messes” and it most certainly IS a male thing as Steve likes to move his piles of (trash) preciouses from the shed to his music room to the back shed to goodness only knows where. They just migrate around from place to place like a nomadic trash tribe. I just give in and watch them migrate and say “Oh…so that jar of screws lives here now does it?”, except for when it gets left on the kitchen table and I say “this jar of screws is just about to migrate into the bin if you don’t move it someplace where I can’t see it!” ;). Wendy and I suffer the slings and arrows of outrageously messy husbands but neither of us would trade them as apparently messy husbands equate to loving husbands so we have learned to live with the mess just so long as the love keeps on coming πŸ˜‰

      I do have plans to increase the size of Sanctuary as we put up a dog compound fence that would be perfect as one side and we would only have to add 2 more sides because the new area would share a side with the current Sanctuary. We built the first one, we can build another one! That’s the beauty in working out how to do things for yourself. You find a way to do it cheap or free and it feels amazing when it all comes together. You might have to work harder than if you paid someone else to do it or if you had the “right” items for the job as you have to figure out how to adapt but in the adapting, you learn precious lessons and you have them for the next time you need to learn and adapt. Life is awesome and learning things is like the icing on the life cake. Yes, spring has apparently enthused the narf and I am in full plant mode ;). Just sit back with your feet up and a rug over your lap and hang on and enjoy the ride! πŸ˜‰


      • Robbie
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 15:18:28

        You bet, I will! I would sit with a rug but my cats fight to sit on my lap when I am at the computer or even watching a bit of television. So picture me with cup of tea, cat on lap + reading your weekly garden stuff:-) LOVE IT!
        You have enough property, you could just build him little mini house and put him in there with his stuff-lol. It could be his Man Cave but he does have a shed, so that sort of is like he has his own “stuff place”. My basement is his “man cave” but not the middle part of the basement-lol. What is it about the kitchen table and men-I can’t stand it! Mykids did it too or they tried to!
        I am proud of my small space when I know I grew hte little things from seed or created the space for this or that to grow. I don’t know how you do it all with all that acreage. I have a hard enough time getting the less than 1/3 acre I have done:-)
        It is dark now + cold is coming which means the leaves have to be up in the next few weeks. I will be tired + ready to hibernate for a bit!

      • narf77
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 15:39:07

        We don’t do it all. You should SEE the jungle bit in front of the house where the blackberries rule the roost and we have 2 feral cats roaming free that we rarely see as to go down to explore this area would result in us ending up like Brer rabbit and the brier patch when he was stuck to the tar baby! We don’t get as much delicious hibernation as you guys do as our winters are much milder. It very rarely gets below 34F here and we rarely get a frost so a lot of things just keep on going and going and GOING. It does mean we get to harvest greens right through the winter without the need for a poly tunnel etc. but it also means we have to be out there in the rain picking them ;).

        It is amazing how kitchen tables fill up isn’t it! I spend my days picking things up absent minded from the kitchen table and carrying them around with me while I am doing my housework etc. and they invariably end up deposited back on the kitchen table as I wander absent minded past the kitchen table again…a never ending circle of things being carried around the house and put back on the table, or worse, in the fridge! If I lose things I go check the fridge out first ;).

        I have plans to tackle the blackberries this year and open up the jungle to the original paths lined with stones that are underneath all of the chaos. I have had plans to do this every year since we moved here in 2010. Lets just see if I make it through the blackberries this time. I also have plans to plant out lilacs in the garden, to amalgamate the 2 “room gardens” that were created originally into one big garden that is easier to manage (and to prevent the blackberries from returning) and to hack my way through the jungle till I get to the other side. We can always hope ;).

        We don’t even go up to the back block. It’s just a bush block with trees etc. and whatever wants to live up there can! We stick to this part and the “other” things live up there ;). I can imagine you with cats all over you. I am going to call you “crazy cat lady Robbie” from now on! ;). No cats here aside from out of doors living in the jungle. Earl sees to it that no furry interlopers take his place in the hierarchy πŸ˜‰

  10. Robbie
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:39:44

    update:-) I watched the first episode with Derek with my husband- LOVE IT!!! We met working in a home for handicapped kids back in the 80’s. I then worked in a nursing home while I finished my last two years of college….really enjoyed the show it was a mix of my early years:-) It does make you cry + laugh-great show! Knew the one actor/comedian from “An Idiot Abroad” -same producer-thank you for sharing- will be on our watch list this winter!


    • narf77
      Nov 06, 2014 @ 14:59:56

      The producer is the man that plays Derek. He certainly looks different doesn’t he. I love the fact that Ricky Gervais is an animal activist and stands up for animals and against animal cruelty. There is an episode of Derek where they have to put a dog down that Derek loves that comes to visit the nursing home and it made me cry SO much. I haven’t cried so much in years. A really sad but poignant and lovely episode that dealt with death and understanding and acceptance (the final episode of series 2). I am really glad that you loved Derek. I don’t think that anyone who didn’t like it would be able to “get” me and what I am on about to be honest. Maybe I should use Derek as a narf filter. I should share it with prospective friends and acquaintances (including repairers etc.) and ask them to watch an episode and if they don’t like it NIX…outta there! ;). Off to do “something”, not quite sure what but I am sure there is something to do right about now! πŸ˜‰


      • Robbie
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 15:33:54

        I had NO IDEA! He looks so different, but I did recognize his teeth now that you mention it. We watched “An Idiot Abroad” and that was pretty funny,too. I like this show a lot better than An idiot abroad.Proucer really understands the human need to cry+ laugh. He has impeccable timing!
        I worry about the dog episode, you know I might not be able to make it through that episode:-(.
        My father was in a terrible accident about two years ago.It was a head-on accident. He was a passenger with his best friend driving + everyone died in the car accident but my father. He was 81. They were all old men( 80’s).It was the other man he swerved and hit them head on. He had health issues. Well, my father suffered a traumatic head injury + he has not been the same. It has been so hard. TheY live about 2 hours away + they will be moving closer to me in the next year. I want to keep them in an independent situation.No nursing place. My father was a brilliant man + could build anything with his hands when he was younger. He worked for IBM for many years but since the accident, he is not the same. He has lost his ability to do simple things like turn the stove on to correct temp. He can get around very well but his ability to do certain tasks is difficult. I could relate to the old people sitting around in this show. I am afraid as he gets older, it will be like those people. I grow plants for him so his garden keeps him alert. My mother takes care of him and her mind is good. It is hard to watch people get old…After working in a nursing home, I never want to end up there…age in place is my motto! As long as you can:-)

      • narf77
        Nov 06, 2014 @ 16:41:04

        The episode with the dog is heart wrenching but ends beautifully. The whole series is amazing and there is only one character that I didn’t gel with and he doesn’t start till series 2. What a terrible thing to happen to your father :(. I love the author Terry Pratchett and to see his brilliant mind disintegrate around him is very sad. My mum died of a heart attack in her own home and so did my dad (they were divorced). They never had to suffer the indignity of a nursing home. Jans brother Peter (the friends that just went to Germany) worked in a nursing home and he said that he NEVER wants to end up alone and forgotten in a place like that. He said that the elderly get treated very badly and there is no respect for them. Derek is a wonderful show because it shows how easily a nursing home could be a beautiful nurturing place and it deals with death and aging in a most beautiful way. I am with you for age in place. It’s when the elderly are moved to nursing homes that they start to decline. Out of their own home they are lost and for too many of them, it is too difficult to start all over someplace new. They just sit there waiting to die. Very very sad :(. You are a wonderful daughter to do what you do for your dad. My dad and I didn’t get on all that well. I tried really hard to be a good daughter for him but he never really liked me much for some reason. Maybe I reminded him of my mother, I don’t know, but I was never able to satisfy him. I came to the understanding that you can please some people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. He was a very unhappy but clever man. I am glad I got the clever bit but not the unhappy bit. I am glad I am me πŸ™‚

  11. Robbie
    Nov 06, 2014 @ 23:25:34

    I am glad you are you,too:-) Parental relationships are so complicated. I am sorry your lost your father+ mother so early. That happened to my husband, too.It is good you figured out your father. It is so much easier when we understand “why” they are the way they are….makes us happier:-)+ we can go on…
    My husbands grandmother lived in her home until she was 93 and when she moved to the nursing home she was gone in a month!
    All the stuff, you are doing in Sanctuary is keeping you healthy + you will have a place to work to keep your mind healthy as you age. I feel all people should grow and work in a garden-best exercise in the world! Keeps your body + mind fed with healthy organic food, fresh air, + chores are better than any gym you could join!


  12. Chica Andaluza
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 04:49:59

    Brilliant – and how long did it take you to download all those photos?! I have pals who have spoken about Derek but I have been a bit worried about watching it as my nephew is autistic and I think I was worried it would laugh in a nasty way about folk who are different and special (and he is very special and wonderful). I think you have convinced me this will not be the case. And as for stinky dogs – mine currently smell of eau de seagull poo 😦


    • narf77
      Nov 07, 2014 @ 04:58:05

      I thought the same as you. I had never seen The Office because I thought that Ricky Gervais was an idiot. I started watching Derek after seeing a tiny trailer for the show on Facebook. You will love Derek. It is entertaining, hilarious in places, it will make you roar with laughter and bawl your eyes out and it is an amazing mix of humour and pathos, something that the English are amazingly good at being able to produce. Quality telly. We watched the first series and were champing at the bit till the next one came out. There are only 6 episodes in each series and I think that the next series is the last one that they are going to make. They don’t want to make it tired which is admirable because just like Fawlty Towers, a classic well made television show has longevity. Don’t worry about the autism thing. You will love “Derek” he is a champion :).


      • Chica Andaluza
        Nov 07, 2014 @ 05:29:21

        I need to watch it!

      • narf77
        Nov 07, 2014 @ 05:38:26

        You most certainly do Ms Chica. You will love it, you will suddenly think that Ricky Gervais is a brilliant actor (not an idiot at all) and you will be very proud that the U.K. makes the very BEST television known to man. The kind that feeds your soul and makes you feel good to be human πŸ™‚

    • narf77
      Nov 07, 2014 @ 04:59:50

      Seagull poo eh? Earl specialises in water fowl faeces, he is very fussy about which manure he rolls in and only picks the most liquid and fishy scented. He sends kudos to your dogs as he hasn’t been allowed near the jetty since the last rolling episode πŸ˜‰


  13. Angela @ Canned Time
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 10:44:42

    Off to watch Derek for the first time….thank you thank you thank you!


  14. Spy Garden
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 12:01:41

    #nailedit hahah Ok I LOVE the shot of the little boat in that one corner of sanctuary. And I just love sanctuary in general. Spy Garden, Squirrely Garden, Sanctuary. Something to be said for gardens with names that start with “S” I suppose! And whew! those rocks!


    • narf77
      Nov 07, 2014 @ 15:00:09

      Yes…those rocks. I am sure that there is a word starting with “S” for those rocks! ;). Soon that boat will be water wicked to make it water wise and need very little water over the summer period and it will be planted out with strawberries. The strawberry pots (big) will then be planted out with daikon radishes. Lots going on at Serendipity Farm, Squirrely Garden, Sanctuary and Spy Garden…all the best gardens start with “S” πŸ™‚


  15. Littlesundog
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 13:04:00

    That’s a lotta eggs!! Good gracious! I love all of these “futures” you have going on. But you know mostly… I loved the photos of Earl… even the stinky ones! πŸ™‚


  16. Margaret Griffin
    Nov 07, 2014 @ 21:37:25

    Hi Fran, I am glad to see the nasturtiums are doing so well. If all those vegies and fruit trees achieve their potential, you and Steve will be spending the warmer months outdoors foraging only coming in during the winter when the food has run out.

    I admired the photo of the cream bottlebrush. When I lived in Ferntree Gully, I had a similar bottlebrush planted near the chook house. It only flowered for a short period but had the most divine honey fragrance. Both bees and I adored it.


    • narf77
      Nov 08, 2014 @ 06:44:12

      It’s somewhere down in the jungle bit of our garden Margaret…the jungle bit where angles and narfs fear to tread but brave and most tenacious Stevie-boy will give it a go for a photo opportunity πŸ˜‰


  17. Lynda D
    Nov 08, 2014 @ 19:23:41

    Better late than never they say. Just totally gobsmacked at your futures. I hope you have all your preserving skills down pat and start collecting Fowlers because you are going to have such a lot of food coming your way. The sanctuary is looking so great. I bet you can hear everything growing. Forget TV, go watch the garden grow.


    • narf77
      Nov 09, 2014 @ 04:23:57

      A lovely comment Lynda D, cheers πŸ™‚ We have taken note of Margaret’s earlier comment and have decided to live out in the garden all summer long when the food futures all go gangbusters sort of like large naked apes, eating fruit and swinging around in the “jungle”. Hopefully Frank has moved along by then as otherwise he is REALLY going to get a binocular workout ;). I prefer to dehydrate things rather than preserve so I had better get my act together and get one of those big solar driers sorted out methinks, but I have a few years to get active on that one πŸ˜‰


  18. Namita
    Nov 08, 2014 @ 21:04:32

    Hello Fran, Your almost pictorial post has updated on your farm adventures beautifully. I love Bezial playing dead. Our dogs too, love this game it seems. They laze around in Sun for hours and my overconcerned animal lover sister sometimes even checks their heart beat to ensure that they are alive πŸ™‚
    Loved all your futures specially loquat, figs, oranges, plum, grapes, pear and of couse water! I love bottle brushes. Don’t their nectar laden hair attracts bees and small birds? We have red bottle brush here. We also have Rat’s tail cactus here. it bears flowers around Easter. In fact my Dad is a Cactophile. He loves cactuses. Some years ago we had around 120 varieties of them.
    How is the weather there?
    We just discovered that our pond is teeming with fish babies. We are so happy. The cat that we rescued has turned blind. She stays at home most of the time. Life is like that!
    Waiting for your next post,
    love and regards,


    • narf77
      Nov 09, 2014 @ 04:31:10

      I used to be a cactophile (is there such a thing as a succulentophile? πŸ˜‰ ) but my duck ate all of the cactuses that didn’t have too many spines. Apparently ducks love slugs and snails and to them, cactuses and succulents are just armoured slow moving slugs ;). The weather is starting to warm up but I am starting to think that we are turning into the tropics now as it has also been quite humid. We have been told that we are going to have a hotter summer than usual so hopefully we get monsoons with it to balance it out ;). I am SO excited about those fish babies! I want a pond in Sanctuary but have decided to go with turning half of an old fridge (no door turned on it’s back) into a small deep pond to keep the other half (worm farm) cool as I am a bit worried about attracting Tiger snakes to the veggie garden as they love water and in our long dry summers, the last thing I want cruising around my veggie garden is a mass of poisonous snakes! Poor kitty 😦 At least she doesn’t wander around eating birds Namita. Life is, indeed, like that but you make the most of what you have don’t you. That’s what life is really all about, learning to make the most of what you have and to find happiness where you can :). I hope it isn’t getting too cold where you are. I always think of the Himalayas as being snowed under 24/7 but we forget there are foothills that are very different in climate. At least the heat should be cooling down a bit πŸ™‚


  19. christiglover
    Nov 09, 2014 @ 05:40:06

    Mahalo, Fran, for introducing me to Derek and the gang. Wow, how wonderful, the characters are perfect and lovable and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. And your post, too! The pictures of the dogs and captions are my favs. Although your garden is looking pretty darn gorgeous. We just bought a whipper snipper and a harness to go with it. Does Steve have a harness? πŸ™‚ Aloha, my Aussie twin. xo


    • narf77
      Nov 09, 2014 @ 05:42:39

      I think Steve has about 5 harnesses. I should put them all on him now and take a photo of the “pack mule” ;). They are amazing things for removing a lot of hard to reach vegetation when your soil is predominately rock, which I guess is your new situation now ;). Watch out for those pineapples or the B.O. will be making pineapple puree every time he whipper snips πŸ˜‰


  20. Sue Dreamwalker
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 02:17:13

    Oh boy… so lovely to see all of what you have been up to.. And its so good to see how your garden is growing.. All the things we had, such as for-get-me-nots and narcissus’s in flower…And Big pat on Mr Stevies Back for all those holes dug with lots of rocks.. And loved the pickled eggs..

    And as for Derek.. Well great minds have great taste.. πŸ™‚ Its good to laugh .. πŸ™‚
    And poor Earl… deodorized again!!! …. Well he will roll in it πŸ™‚

    Loved the view of your home.. And how Green everything is right now….
    Sending a Hug from up yonder to down under.. as your Summer gets into swing as we wind down into our Winter..

    Love and Hugs ❀ Sue xox


    • narf77
      Nov 10, 2014 @ 03:16:56

      Thank you for dropping by Sue, I know how busy you are with answering all of your comments. I hope you put the kettle on when you dropped by, there is always time for a cuppa ;). I think that’s the very best bit about social media, you get to look at other peoples lives, their ideas, how the work problems out and what they are doing when your garden is asleep so that you can get some great ideas for your own garden. I am like a narfy magpie when it comes to information on other people’s blogs. I wade into it and pick out the bits that excite me and that we can apply to what we are doing and save a lot of time and money and sometimes heartache in the process. Learning from other people in our huge worldwide community is what it’s all about πŸ™‚


  21. The Twisted Yarn
    Nov 12, 2014 @ 07:00:24

    There is so much loveliness here, that I don’t even know where to begin commenting. All those beautiful bottlebrush flowers! And the gorgeous fruit you’ll soon be picking from fig tree and plum tree! And the general space and beauty of where you live. It looks like heaven, especially as it’s cold and damp and nearly winter here in the UK. Lovely to see springtime forget-me-knots blooming in your woods. Thank you for such an uplifting post. πŸ™‚


    • narf77
      Nov 12, 2014 @ 10:25:06

      I am twitching…forget-me-nots are a scourge here. That “woods” is our lower garden adjacent to our jungle area. We have a whole lot of hard work ahead of us to be honest but I like a challenge ;). In the U.K. forget-me-nots are annuals but over here they live all year round as we don’t have frost to kill them and so they just go on and on and they have the stickiest seeds known to man. I reckon the guy that invented velcro did so after trying to remove forget-me-not seeds from his trousers πŸ˜‰ we are very lucky to live here and as the rest of Australia slowly sinks into stinking hot temperatures, we are still lovely and cool down here in the farthest flung cooler regions of the antipodes and hopefully it will stay that way! Glad you liked the post and the photos. There will be lots more as we progress through our spring and summer efforts. By the time winter hits I will be most happy for the break πŸ™‚


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