Holy macaroni I am almost famous!

Hi All,

Just sipping my tea while I read my RSS Feed Reader can make me excited. I just had to share this. I posted a comment on this ladies blog about how I make my non-dairy kefir and she ran with it! Aside from crediting me as “Karan” my method of feeding non-dairy kefir has now gone mainstream! I hope this gives vegans and people who can’t consume dairy for whatever reason hope that they, too, can eat this valuable food and gain the benefits 🙂

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/non-dairy-kefir-wants-a-date/

And here is the original post that got me commenting and that spawned the post above. Narf7 IS that masked “Karan” 😉

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/cashew-kefir/

Sorry to love you and leave you but I just had to share my brief brush with fame. The new Website (tenuously called “Seeking Sanctuary” but open to suggestions) is being formulated at the moment as we are both on holidays from TAFE and working hard to get our sites (Stevie-boy has one as well) up and running in the new school term on our own server. I really like my new site and hope that you will all like it as well and as soon as it is up and running and we are ready to transition “The Road to Serendipity” to it’s new home you will all be the very first to know :). Have a lovely day wherever you are and whatever you are doing today folks 🙂

 

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Life on the cusp of the seasons

Hi All,

 

So what’s all this “Serendipity Farm” stuff all about eh? Well you can be assured that we aren’t a real farm folks. Sorry to break the apple cart for a few of you but I just read a blog post about romance novels by the illustrious Mr 23Thorns of the erstwhile blog “23thorns” (I am NOT very imaginative when addressing my literary idols) and realised that narf7 is to Serendipity Farm what romance novel readers are to real, up-front romance…sort of a safe aside while you are thinking about other things. I thought that I should clarify this as I have been getting a few new followers lately and I would HATE for them to think that there was any degree of “E.I.E.I.O.” going on at any given time here. Most of the time you are going to get the daily trials and tribulations of a scared little weird wide eyed middle aged student hippy woman who spends most of her life online when she isn’t under the bed with her sometimes protector Earl protecting the sock under the bed from dying a slow starving death and simultaneously shoveling in ice cream because EVERYTHING is better with ice cream

Before I can even BEGIN to explain the next 2 photos, I need to give you some background on them…It was last Friday night. We may, or may not, have had a bottle of wine (or 2) and we were definitely watching this absolutely AMAZING YouTube vid of a fantastic Croatian pair of cellists who are extremely talented and most delicious at the same time. What Aussie could resist 2 hot guys playing cello’s dressed in period costume and covering Acadaca eh?! Here’s the video (watch it as otherwise you will have NO idea where this is going…)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk

We watched it several times (as you do when you are sipping of the grape scented fluid of great happiness) and then Stevie-boy decided to share a few other classical musicians who made the cross-over to rock including Mr Nigel Kennedy and another man (who’s name escapes me now but Ms Pauline knows) who got Stevie-boy onto gypsy music. GYPSIES! Those quintessential scallywags who are prone to moving in, cashing up and then moving on to greener pastures…they are also, we are assured by Mr Borat, ever on the watch for your tears so Stevie-boy was most insistent that he should do some kind of dance to ward off the gypsy’s that we had OBVIOUSLY called forth by listening to gypsy music and that, my dear constant readers, is what brings me to these 2 images…remember, this is Stevie-boy preventing us from the gypsy’s stealing our tears and NOTHING to do with all of that red wine. Nothing at ALL 😉

If you are interested in protecting yourselves and your family from passing gypsy’s stealing your tears you may want to dance along. Here is the most tasty Mr David Garret ( I remembered his name! Ms Pauline will be MOST proud of me 🙂 ) playing the Hungarian Dance No. 5 which just so happens to be Stevie-boys gypsy dance of choice in the photos below…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07WLB584I5Q

Not entirely sure why the trousers had to be rolled up but they DID...I am assured this is an authentic anti tear stealing dance

Not entirely sure why the trousers had to be rolled up but they DID…I am assured this is an authentic anti tear stealing dance

 

As you can see there are some serious moves going on here...you would be surprised how active you have to get to stop those gypsy's stealing your tears!

As you can see there are some serious moves going on here…you would be surprised how active you have to get to stop those gypsy’s stealing your tears!

Nature is telling me that we are going to have an early spring. I am telling nature that she is a bollocks and that she should surely be enjoying a nice, long, extended and most glorious sleep in for a bit longer. I am willing to deliver a cup of tea to her sleeping countenance just so that she doesn’t keep the fruit trees flowering, the jonquils and daffodils following suit and everything budding up. I am not completely averse to “spring” per-se, don’t get me wrong. I love little lambies frolicking as much as anyone else BUT I am not ready for spring. I haven’t even allowed my (poor addled) mind to think about it yet because spring heralds getting outside, getting physical, getting seeds started, getting Sanctuary up and running and ready to take the baton of vegetable growing that narf7 has lost someplace (probably under the bed hidden in that poor long suffering moth eaten sock!). I am just NOT READY YET alright?!

SPRING?!

SPRING?!

 

Bezial is happy about the new sunbeams gracing his deck

Bezial is happy about the new sunbeams gracing his deck

 

This is Honesty a perennial plant with the botanical name Lunaria annua.

This is Honesty a perennial plant with the botanical name Lunaria annua.

 

And THIS is honesty. Not a lot botanically going on but plenty of nasturtiums and lots of hard work needed...EEK

And THIS is honesty. Not a lot botanically going on but plenty of nasturtiums and lots of hard work needed…EEK

 

This is why I haven't done a lot over winter...I couldn't stop the possums from invading Poland :(. I have found a solution. Stay tuned for narf doing a happy dance twice as energetic as Stevie-boys (and documented) if it works :)

This is why I haven’t done a lot over winter…I couldn’t stop the possums from invading Poland :(. I have found a solution. Stay tuned for narf doing a happy dance twice as energetic as Stevie-boys (and documented) if it works 🙂

Besides my lack of readiness nature needs to know that the beginning of August simply isn’t spring. If we allow her to keep nibbling away at our months here and insinuating seasons willy-nilly we are going to end up with some mighty strange things going on. I know that people living in the tropics live with these mighty weird seasonal things…winter being summer and summer being HELLO torrential rain etc. is all well and good if you live in the tropics because you CHOOSE that kind of situation but I chose cold…and frost…and LONG winters and short summers (short as possible if the truth be known) and now nature is nibbling her way into my precious winter? There is NO justice! And there is no stopping mother nature when she has made up her mind. She is exactly like MY mother was…stubborn as a mule and not to be stopped…good luck…she is going to do what she wants to do and be DAMNED if “you” are going to stop her…sigh…hello spring. I am not all that happy about you strewing your bouquets and budding up my blueberries because said blueberries are knee deep in horse manure and are just about to go gangbusters in what can only be considered a most temporary housing arrangement that heralds a HUGE amount of hard slog for one narf7 of Serendipity “Farm”…

The red growth on these blueberries means that they love their new home up to their crowns in dung

The red growth on these blueberries means that they love their new home up to their crowns in dung

 

Another sign that spring is here...the grape vines are budding up. I will plant these cuttings out this year inside Sanctuary

Another sign that spring is here…the grape vines are budding up. I will plant these cuttings out this year inside Sanctuary

I have been walking Earl at 6am lately and it’s been very cold and frosty and dark. This morning we had a lovely almost full moon accompanying us most of the way. I wrote a little poem in my head about our new early morning friend…

The moon followed us today

A big golden puppy with old man eyes

It stayed behind the eucalyptus tree fence

We walked in silent contemplation

Until the sun threw a stick and it ran away

 

I am not often drawn into the unfathomable world of poetry but it was the only way that I could remember this amazing moon and how beautiful it was. Earl and I crunched our way down the road in the frost enjoying the beautiful sight.

This was taken when the sun came up. 2 new goats in Sidmouth that Earl was MOST interested in having a little chat to...

This was taken when the sun came up. 2 new goats in Sidmouth that Earl was MOST interested in having a little chat to…

 

Fungus and blackberries. Throw in forget-me-nots and periwinkle and you have the story of Serendipity Farm's life...

Fungus and blackberries. Throw in forget-me-nots and periwinkle and you have the story of Serendipity Farm’s life…

 

Big Yin (the last rooster... I am sure there is a movie title in that...) and his constant companion Duckie basking in the sun

Big Yin (the last rooster… I am sure there is a movie title in that…) and his constant companion Duckie basking in the sun

I just finished the unit on Sustainability! I haven’t been so glad to see the back of something since I last had to go to the doctors for one of those “women’s visits”. SO glad to say bid adieu to what was effectively a great big pile of green wash and bampf cemented together with torture and narf headaches.  Now we can focus on getting our next unit up and running. It’s good to be on track and the year is galloping away at a fast rate of knots so it’s really important to keep on top of things. I phoned up this morning to put an expression of interest in on our next prospective study course next year. Hopefully we get into the course, if not, I am sure that Mr Abbot has something tucked up his sleeve for penniless student hippies without the “student” shield to protect them 😦

This was taken of the deck after the big blow that took out our phone line. Phone is back, sun is out, leaves are still there ;)

This was taken of the deck after the big blow that took out our phone line. Phone is back, sun is out, leaves are still there 😉

 

We get to see all of the boats pootling up and down the Tamar River. This is one of the tugs based at Beauty Point after towing a bigger boat in to the city

We get to see all of the boats pootling up and down the Tamar River. This is one of the tugs based at Beauty Point after towing a bigger boat in to the city

 

This isn't a fizhog of a photo, it's a palm leaf looking like the letter "b". Our next assignment involves us finding letters in nature. This was a lucky break and nice and close to the house ;)

This isn’t a fizhog of a photo, it’s a palm leaf looking like the letter “b”. Our next assignment involves us finding letters in nature. This was a lucky break and nice and close to the house 😉

Its Wednesday and you can strike the unhappiness at the rapid approach of spring…I have learned that if you can’t beat them, join them and so I have decided to embrace spring and all things daffodilly and jonquilly and growing like crazy (except the forget-me-nots…can’t embrace them…) so here I am after heading up to Sanctuary with the boys and releasing the hounds on its unsuspecting population of plants that have not only weathered but survived most admirably, the storm, frost and anything else that our unseasonably mild winter threw at them. Most of the area is covered in nasturtiums but I figure at least the soil has cover so let them grow. I noticed that dad’s yellow orchid is going great guns and has decided to flower most profusely in the next week or so (not now so I can’t get a photo but whatchagonnadoeh? Maybe next week…if I remember 😉 ).

Happy chooks basking under the deck with no worries about being molested or herded by errant roosters

Happy chooks basking under the deck with no worries about being molested or herded by errant roosters

 

Check out the lean on this old dead tree. That pile of spent chook hay is to soften the blow when it falls. That's my story and I am sticking to it ;)

Check out the lean on this old dead tree. That pile of spent chook hay is to soften the blow when it falls. That’s my story and I am sticking to it 😉

 

I have all of four photos for today’s post and it’s already twelve o’clock and not only am I devoid of images but I have already roamed the property today with the dogs. I found out that a large Blackwood tree has fallen over but due to its extremely bowed trunk, it is still in the ground albeit in a newly formed hump with a few roots sticking out. I would leave it there aside from the fact that it fell down straight in the middle of my arbutus tree 😦 bollocks! I was wandering (who am I kidding…I was being dragged mercilessly behind a small determined brown and white tank!) through the jungle part of the garden and started to get the old familiar excitement that rises up whenever possibilities are afoot. I got it inside Sanctuary as well. I started to make plans for passion-fruit vine purchases, for hauling duckies boat into Sanctuary and using it as a raised bed for herbs and strawberries, for keyhole gardens and pathways around the outside to prevent determined wallabies and chooks from barreling into the sides of Sanctuary and reaching their “prey” easily…my motto is if they are going to steal it, I am going to make them work very hard to do so!

Some of the cuttings I took last year that have thrived despite being completely neglected. PERFECT for planting out on Serendipity Farm where the neglect runs like a river ;)

Some of the cuttings I took last year that have thrived despite being completely neglected. PERFECT for planting out on Serendipity Farm where the neglect runs like Usain Bolt on steroids 😉

 

More neglected plants. This time they are rewarding us for their neglect by flowering. I love orchids. They want so little and give so much :)

More neglected plants. This time they are rewarding us for their neglect by flowering. I love orchids. They want so little and give so much 🙂

Luckily I prepared a bit of this blog post earlier. I am at a bit of a loss for what to do today as I NEED to do some work on the gift that I am preparing for my eldest daughter Madeline in the near future or it simply isn’t going to happen. It is going to take lots of time and planning and I have done most of the planning but now I need to put in the time. My studies have had me glued to the computer but I have made a most determined push to the front and now I find myself with time on my hands and that means that I can get stuck into “the gift” as it shall be called right up to the time that I can reveal what it is/was after December 25th. I am guessing it will be the predominate part of my post come boxing day as I just checked and Christmas is on a Tuesday. I like to find out little snippets of information about Christmas…little bits that I cobble together in a sequence so that I don’t have to be terrified in one fell swoop.  Are you terrified of Christmas? Join the club! A bit closer to Christmas and I will be under the bed with a tub of good vegan ice cream (yes…there is such a thing 😉 ) but at the moment I am deluding myself that it isn’t approaching at a rampaging gallop and that it is STILL winter and narf7 is just about to toast her hands by Brunhilda who hasn’t been out since late April. What a stellar performance you wonderful (SO much more than a) wood-stove 🙂

Nature reclaiming the lawn. This is a small blackwood tree growing in the side lawn. Right next to it there is another one. If we leave them there, they will grow quickly and the lawn will cease to be

Nature reclaiming the lawn. This is a small blackwood tree growing in the side lawn. Right next to it there is another one. If we leave them there, they will grow quickly and the lawn will cease to be

 

My danglers. I made all of these Ms Pauline :)

My danglers. I made all of these Ms Pauline 🙂

 

Our summer oven, our gas bbq. As you can see it also acts as a winter repository for boots

Our summer oven, our gas bbq. As you can see it also acts as a winter repository for boots. If you squint you can see a narf in the window

So here I am at the end again…I don’t even remember the beginning as I started it last week. I remember the poem and was of two minds to not put it in but I figure it is good for you all to see that I am multi-faceted, pretty amazing really…you are very lucky to be reading this blog you know ;). I hope that wherever you are your world is treating you well and that you can find something, even a teeny tiny something, each and every day to be thankful for because like Mr Simon Townsend used to say “The world really IS wonderful” 🙂

 

You didn't think we could go a week without Earl being in the post did you? Here he is for all of his loyal fans and he would like to say that he would send you all an email but for his lack of opposable thumbs. You will have to content yourself with adoring him from afar ;)

You didn’t think we could go a week without Earl being in the post did you? Here he is for all of his loyal fans and he would like to say that he would send you all an email but for his lack of opposable thumbs. You will have to content yourself with adoring him from afar 😉

 

Yesterday I went outside

Hi All,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-0TEJMJOhk (linkie linkie linkie)

 

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

 

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

 

 

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R.I.P. Big teddy. Earl got bored…

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I call this one “A study in prospective breakfast”

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

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

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I am going out to get some sunshine therapy

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

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

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

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

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This is a camellia. It is pretty…the end

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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