Past, present and future

Hi All,

I hope everyone who celebrated Christmas has managed to not only survive, but have crawled out from under the bed and dusted themselves off and are now upright and functioning again. Stevie-boy and I had a really lovely Christmas. The day started out raining as we walked the boys but then suddenly the sun came out and the rest of the day was magnificent. I can’t remember much about it but then those fruit punch drinks that Steve was making me had a LOT of rum in them. We found an excellent Christmas music YouTube channel that kept us rocking and feeling particularly festive and I multi-tasked and managed to do 2 loads of Christmas washing and watered Sanctuary. The dogs were very suspicious of all of the festivities and point blank refused to eat any of the special treats that we gave them as we were obviously trying to poison them. Aside from the slinking suspicious dogs, Christmas was lovely

Steve's arty shot of his idea of the very best Christmas

Steve’s arty shot of his idea of the very best Christmas

Bezials idea of the very best Christmas

Bezials idea of the very best Christmas (note, the shorts were still intact in this image)

Narf7's idea of the very best Christmas. Earl was slinking around somewhere and is still suspicious of "Christmas" on the whole

Narf7’s idea of the very best Christmas. Earl was slinking around somewhere and is still suspicious of “Christmas” on the whole

I have decided not to make a New Year’s resolution because most resolutions are programmed to self-destruct by February. I have some plans for this year that include taking what I have learned in the past 50 years and applying it to the next 50 (should I be so lucky as to be gifted that kind of longevity). I have even started early and Stevie-boy and I have spent the last few days of 2014 working hard to make a good start in 2015. We shoveled 7 trailer loads of aged horse manure and rotting oak leaves from where they have studiously sat for many months now into our trusty little trailer and hauled them up the steep incline to the rear of Sanctuary whereby we removed the wallaby proof rocks on the base of the netting and backed the trailer in and shoveled it all out again.

Stevie-boy contemplating the consequences of his actions

Stevie-boy contemplating the consequences of his actions. Note Sanctuary is to the rear of Stevie-boy and open to the elements

Small tree down. Note the close proximity to the car when the cuts that we made were supposed to drop the tree in the other direction...maybe we should hand our chainsaw licenses back? ;)

Small tree down. Note the close proximity to the car when the cuts that we made were supposed to drop the tree in the other direction…maybe we should hand our chainsaw licenses back? 😉

Err...the fallen eucalyptus appears to be attempting to steal our car!

Err…the fallen eucalyptus appears to be attempting to steal our car!

Luckily, it doesn't have opposable thumbs (a problem that it shares with Earl) and thus was unable to make a fast getaway

Luckily, it doesn’t have opposable thumbs (a problem that it shares with Earl) and thus was unable to make a fast getaway

However it did leave behind several "passengers" that quickly took up residence and had to be forcibly evicted

However it did leave behind several “passengers” that quickly took up residence and had to be forcibly evicted. One or two of them even manged to keep their shed skins on their heads in the melee. Our car is now full of shed head stacker caterpillar skins…EWW!

Our plans were not without a degree of drama as we decided to remove a small eucalyptus tree that was growing in the way and if it wasn’t for Stevie-boys quick thinking (and fast arm) we might have dropped it directly on top of our car but his quick wits caused the canopy to end up in the front seat, delivering a collective of dazed head-stacker caterpillars onto the driver’s seat, well out of their natural habitat. We also had to heave a large rock out of the way to make backing the trailer up easier and in the process, Stevie-boy tore a hole in his favourite EVER shorts. Everything is OK though because I am going to use a recent blog post by the wonderfully creative hooky maestro Phil at the twisted yarn  to create some hooky magic to salve his shorty wounds…problem is, Stevie-boy apparently doesn’t want me to crochet a peacock on his nether regions (I KNOW what is wrong with the man? 😉 )

We headed out early to Paper Beach where our dogs love to walk and even though it was raining we attempted to inject some Christmas Spirit into the crowds of people that were yet to wake up and smell the Christmas Roses

We headed out early to Paper Beach where our dogs love to walk and even though it was raining we attempted to inject some Christmas Spirit into the crowds of people that were yet to wake up and smell the Christmas Roses

Stevie-boys wonderful new camera that makes him twitch with happiness and that hasn't been out of his hands since we bought it last week even though it is SUPPOSED to be for his 50th birthday next year...sigh...

Stevie-boys wonderful new camera that makes him twitch with happiness and that hasn’t been out of his hands since we bought it last week even though it is SUPPOSED to be for his 50th birthday next year…sigh…

So aside from some ripped shorts and some very sore fingers we have been doing a lot of maneuvering, moving and hauling on Serendipity Farm. We mean to start out as we are inclined to finish off 2015 by being very active in the garden and by making positive changes around here. We were recently given a trailer load of refractory bricks from a good friend and where once we were contemplating making an adobe pizza oven, our thoughts have now turned to a full on masonry oven. Hopefully 2015 will see it come into fruition. Steve suggested that I turn the spare room into a craft room and we spent some time moving furniture around (I would like to say dusting behind it but I didn’t so whatchagonnadoeh? 😉 ) and thinking about the possibility of moving the internet cord that Steve routed through the roof and into the lounge room for me to use the laptop while he watches TV that I am always too tired to use by the time I get into the lounge room, into the spare room, enabling me to be able to access the net in my new creative bolt hole.

Steve took this shot with his Canon on Christmas Day (prior to buying his new Nikon 7100 in an incredibly good sale in the city)

Steve took this shot with his Canon on Christmas Day (prior to buying his new Nikon 7100 in an incredibly good sale in the city) This was after the sun came out around mid day

This is Melaleuca alternafolia also known as "Snow in Summer". It's in flower all over the place at the moment. Who says we Aussies don't get "Snow" at Christmas time eh? ;)

This is Melaleuca alternafolia also known as “Snow in Summer”. It’s in flower all over the place at the moment. Who says we Aussies don’t get “Snow” at Christmas time eh? 😉

We headed into the city to buy Steve's camera on Saturday morning so we took the boys for a bit of a walk around the university arts campus. Here's Bezial posing with one of his kin...

We headed into the city to buy Steve’s camera on Saturday morning so we took the boys for a bit of a walk around the university arts campus. Here’s Bezial posing with one of his kin…

And here is Earl with his long suffering fat anchor posing on what can only be a metal dragon?!

And here is Earl with his long suffering fat anchor posing on what can only be a metal dragon?!

Steve got some nice shots of a tram that has been set up to take advantage of the tourist dollars flooding into the state at this time every year. The tram drivers were sitting in a little hut and didn't mind Steve taking a few photos as no-one else was around at the time. Isn't it pretty?

Steve got some nice shots of a tram that has been set up to take advantage of the tourist dollars flooding into the state at this time every year. The tram drivers were sitting in a little hut and didn’t mind Steve taking a few photos as no-one else was around at the time. Isn’t it pretty?

Towards the back of the tram

Towards the back of the tram

Not a lot of room for commuters and lots of room to stand up. Most probably a good thing that we don't use trams like this in the city any more or lazy commuters would complain ;)

Not a lot of room for commuters and lots of room to stand up. Most probably a good thing that we don’t use trams like this in the city any more or lazy commuters would complain 😉

 

The dogs were (again) suspicious of our actions. I keep reading things about how dogs are loyal and loving and never jealous or judgmental and obviously, the 2 furry things that we have living with us in the house on Serendipity Farm are not dogs because jealousy, suspicion, manipulation and dissent are their middle names. They slunk around as we tidied up and moved furniture and gave us pathetic enormous furry creature eyes in order to attempt to manipulate us to stop what we were doing and return to the status-quo. Bezial soon cheered up when he realised that the new craft room meant that he would be able to sleep on the bed in the spare room (covered with a nice thick blanket to prevent dog contact with the bed) and promptly lay down and wagged his tail. Earl isn’t so easily bought and has been keeping his eye on Steve and I now to make sure that we are not planning any funny business.

Stevie-boy with some wonderful Christmas earrings that he received as an Early Christmas gift this year ;) raising a toast to you all :)

Stevie-boy with some wonderful Christmas earrings that he received as an Early Christmas gift this year 😉 raising a toast to you all 🙂

From this point on, the photos in this post are all taken on Stevie-boys new precious baby. Feel honoured that he could tear himself away from taking artistic shots of butterflies to take a few photos for this post ;)

From this point on, the photos in this post are all taken on Stevie-boys new precious baby. Feel honoured that he could tear himself away from taking artistic shots of butterflies to take a few photos for this post 😉 These are the refractory fire bricks that a kind friend gave us in order to make a masonry oven, stacked up at the rear of the shed where spiders rule the roost

This is my Lazarus artichoke that rose from the dead stump and that now has 4 chokes on it. I am suitably delighted at both it's tenacity and it's desire to produce food despite it's recent traumatic events

This is my Lazarus artichoke that rose from the dead stump and that now has 4 chokes on it. I am suitably delighted at both it’s tenacity and it’s desire to produce food despite it’s recent traumatic events

This is a passionfruit. It is most likely to be one of those round yellow weed species with red fruit but at least it makes a change from the elongated yellow banana passionfruit with pink flowers that are the usual rulers of the weed species around here ;)

This is a passionfruit. It is most likely to be one of those round yellow weed species with red fruit but at least it makes a change from the elongated yellow banana passionfruit with pink flowers that are the usual rulers of the weed species around here 😉

Some of the blueberries that are growing in the enclosed "Blueberry hut" in front of the deck. I thought that they would die but they appear to have other ideas :)

Some of the blueberries that are growing in the enclosed “Blueberry hut” in front of the deck. I thought that they would die but they appear to have other ideas 🙂

Parsley futures

Parsley futures

Cherimoya futures (so far 3 of them : ) )

Cherimoya futures (so far 3 of them : ) ) You can see my cucamelons trying to take over the shot on the right hand side. I need to make a patch in the garden for them before they take over the glasshouse!

The one peach left on the tree that Earl is studiously protecting from the salivating possums

The one peach left on the tree that Earl is studiously protecting from the salivating possums

Stevie-boys amazing wood futures. Hardly any chopping to do in our 2015 winter period as this stack is only 1 of 4 other stacks that he recently worked very hard to create. He can put his feet up when it is raining and just stoke Brunhilda with joy :)

Stevie-boys amazing wood futures. Hardly any chopping to do in our 2015 winter period as this stack is only 1 of 4 other stacks that he recently worked very hard to create. He can put his feet up when it is raining and just stoke Brunhilda with joy 🙂

Earlier in the year we were gifted some very large, very old blueberry bushes from a friend who is moving out of the district. When we got them home we dug holes in the manure and oak leaf mountain that was in front of the deck at the time as a temporary home for them until we worked out where we wanted to put them. That was about 6 months ago and the blueberries that we expected to die, have taken off in their nice fertile home and are covered in berries that are all starting to ripen. We built a possum and wallaby proof structure around their perimeter and they have done so well (when everything that I read said that they hate being transplanted and would probably die) that they are going to be allowed to stay put where they are. My artichoke that was cruelly destroyed by anarchistic possums re-sprouted at the base of the stem and has regenerated enough to produce more artichokes. Aside from being magnificent architectural plants they are very hardy, are perennial and most importantly, they are edible. When you find a plant that is incredibly happy to grow in your particular environment and it isn’t a weed, treasure it. I treasure my artichokes and am just about to pot up 10 more to add to the mix when they get a bit older

Steve's new camera takes awesomely detailed images. My camera would just see this as a mass of shadows with a bit of blue water. His camera is much more detailed. This is the view through the Nikon 7100 from the deck. He hasn't learned how to use it properly yet so he says you are going to have to bear with him as he learns

Steve’s new camera takes awesomely detailed images. My camera would just see this as a mass of shadows with a bit of blue water. His camera is much more detailed. This is the view through the Nikon 7100 from the deck. He hasn’t learned how to use it properly yet so he says you are going to have to bear with him as he learns

This photo is one for the books. Steve NEVER reads anything, especially instruction manuals. He is actually reading this one for his new camera. I almost fainted when I saw this but recovered my composure enough to take this shot

This photo is one for the books. Steve NEVER reads anything, especially instruction manuals. He is actually reading this one for his new camera. I almost fainted when I saw this but recovered my composure enough to take this shot

The driveway looking back towards the house (just around the corner at the top of the driveway). I don't know how photos make everything look much better than it really does but I, for one, don't mind ;)

The driveway looking back towards the house (just around the corner at the top of the driveway). I don’t know how photos make everything look much better than it really does but I, for one, don’t mind 😉

We gave away 6 kitchen chairs that we no longer needed and Steve is going to re-purpose the kitchen table to make extra work benches in his shed. He plans on getting creative this year and his first project is to turn a large slab of myrtle that a friend gave us and a vintage wrought iron bed head into a bench for Sanctuary. We both have some creative plans that have us excited at the prospects of learning new skills and honing old ones. 2015 looms on the horizon as 365 days of wonderful possibilities, chances to grow, to learn, to live and to love. We are both planning on making the most of the opportunities that come to us this year, on expanding our horizons, on forging community, sharing our time and our energy productively and not wasting resources that come our way. We have lots of branches/debris littered all over Serendipity Farm and we could just burn them or we could cut up the branches into smaller pieces and make hugels out of them that we could cover with soil, leaves, compost, manure etc. and make the most of this resource, or we could turn it into bio char, another most valuable resource in the garden.

What have we here? It appears to be the glorious illustrations of one B.O. and half of the glorious team of Keith and Christi, the ex Olallaians who are now native Hawaiians. I wonder what they are sending me? (Steve would like it known that he is a hero for removing the address lines so well in Photoshop. Please feel free to marvel at his amazing skills in the comments below ;) )

What have we here? It appears to be the glorious illustrations of one B.O. and half of the glorious team of Keith and Christi, the ex Olallaians who are now native Hawaiians. I wonder what they are sending me? (Steve would like it known that he is a hero for removing the address lines so well in Photoshop. Please feel free to marvel at his amazing skills in the comments below 😉 )

Its an amazing banner! I am in the process of turning our spare room into a narfish craft room. Fuelled by Ms Pauline's glorious efforts I have decided to follow suit and get myself away to a creative place to commune with my muses. This 4 poster bed was built by Stevie-boy way back last century as a birthday gift to me. It was once 2ft taller than this but we cut it down to fit it into it's current situation. I am going to create an enclosed nook and this bed shall be my "creative space". Christi's banner and any other bunting/banners that I am most privilaged to receive from amazing people out in the wide world of the net that are not waterproof will be given a home in here. You will have to watch this space to see how this room evolves. I have wooden chairs to yarnbomb and a lampshade to do the same with so this is a work in progress. Thankyou with all of my heart to Christi, my twin in Hawaii who just knew instantly what I would love :)

Its an amazing banner! I am in the process of turning our spare room into a narfish craft room. Fuelled by Ms Pauline’s glorious efforts I have decided to follow suit and get myself away to a creative place to commune with my muses. This 4 poster bed was built by Stevie-boy way back last century as a birthday gift to me. It was once 2ft taller than this but we cut it down to fit it into it’s current situation. I am going to create an enclosed nook and this bed shall be my “creative space”. Christi’s banner and any other bunting/banners that I am most privilaged to receive from amazing people out in the wide world of the net that are not waterproof will be given a home in here. You will have to watch this space to see how this room evolves. I have wooden chairs to yarnbomb and a lampshade to do the same with so this is a work in progress. Thankyou with all of my heart to Christi, my twin in Hawaii who just knew instantly what I would love 🙂

Even Stevie-boys messy shed looks posed with his new camera ;)

Even Stevie-boys messy shed looks posed with his new camera 😉

Some of Steve's bonsai babies given the Nikon treatment

Some of Steve’s bonsai babies given the Nikon treatment

This one is for Linne. I love this shot! There is a pink t-shirt that had been used as a pumpkin sling last year in this image. Again, Stevie-boy has removed it. He did a good job didn't he? :).

This one is for Linne. I love this shot! There is a pink t-shirt that had been used as a pumpkin sling last year in this image. Again, Stevie-boy has removed it. He did a good job didn’t he? :).

There are so many possibilities for 2015 and it’s up to us to make the most of them. Here’s to a year of forging good community, of listening, creating, understanding and learning from our mistakes and here’s to each and every one of you, my dear constant readers, who has spent the time to come and read about what we are doing here and some of you have become very good friends. We thought about how to say thank you to you all and as we have been learning how to wangle some Adobe programs over the last few years we decided that we would attempt to make a calendar for you all to download and print off if you like. If anyone would like a background colour change or any special dates or text added please let us know and we can customise this basic calendar to your needs. Again, thank you all for your support through the year. Both Steve and I truly appreciate all of the comments, time and energy that you put into visiting Serendipity Farm. We have made some truly wonderful online friends through this humble little blog and hope to see you all in 2015. Happy New Year and here’s to many more 🙂

Calander 2015

I found YOU on the road to Serendipity…

 

Hi All,

 

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

http://behappy.me/i-found-you-on-the-road-to-serendipity-heart-21039

I found YOU on the road to Serendipity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bananasF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters A.W.O.L

Hi All

Yeah, that’s right…at the moment I am beavering away studying and am not typing this email at ALL. I thought that I would give you all an easy read today and so I have decided to just shoot a few photos around the property and share where Serendipity Farm is at right here…right now

First up…could you please all load and play the Youtube link below and just click “repeat” ok? We need some music for this post…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJkxFhFRFDA\

(Elevator music “tick”…proceed…)

Firstly my A.W.O.L. self would like to share a link with you that might give you a bit of a laugh. As we were searching the internet for how to search the Internet (got to be some kind of irony there…) we were required to follow a set of instructions that was so hopelessly out of date most of what we were required to do wasn’t possible any more. There was one interesting exercise that involved going to the site below and adding website links to tell you how the website ranked. It also has a most interesting feature (amongst lots of other interesting features I need to add…) whereby you can see what a site is “worth”. Now I am guessing this is its bankability rather than its intrinsic worth (spoken like someone who checked and whose sight is worth about tree fiddy…) but if you are like me, and you could care less about honing your site to the bone in order to make it an amazing you beaut money spinner to send your kids through college (SO lucky my kids are all adults! 😉 ) then check it out…

http://www.page-rank-calculator.com/

Velociraptor chooks

Someone once told me that chickens were descended from velociraptors… I would have been inclined to agree up until yesterday when I kept hearing a very loud commotion out in the outdoor enclosure and headed out (visions of quolls dancing in my head!) to find this…

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“I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with…BOLLOCKS!” That white goshawk is back!

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Not only was he back, but by the look of that stomach he had been pick-and-mixing himself a few of our poor long suffering orphaned chicks! I am starting to get the feeling that our chooks are living in a kind of Final Destination movie…

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By the way, this is our chooks view of the Tamar River. Some high end real estate for our girls, no expenses spared 😉

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I found out why spear thistles are able to grow like topsy just about anywhere in the world…I almost sat on this!

Living with Earl and Bezial has its challenges. I shared a video with you yesterday that showed a dog that was remarkably like Earl. He is a complete loveable larrikin and if I was to think of someone that reminded me of Earl it would have to be…

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He even has the same hangdog expression as Earl! If Earl could have tats he would 😉

Then we have Bezial who unlike Earl is NOT sociable in the least. He would rather be alone and asleep or be fed copious quantities of treats and shuns “the media” (that would be me…) in order to maintain anonymity and for the sake of a quiet life. If I was to choose someone that epitomised Bezial it would have to be…

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Yeah I “Pity the fool” who tries to get Bezial to do something that he doesn’t want to!

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I know what these marks are for! I KNOW! I actually learned something already from my printing course! 🙂 (If you want to know what these marks are for you can head off and do a bit of research…it’s good for you! 😉 )

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Earl cam…2 of the younger chooks who make a break for the outside world every morning

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Earl partaking of an egg that I tossed onto the ground to check if it was past its use by date…according to Earl it wasn’t

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This is a pile of rocks. This is what most of Serendipity Farm looks like except some kind previous owner hasn’t piled them up. By the way Stewart and Kelsey “you are on your own!” 😉

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Lots of piles of rocks. Not entirely sure what we are going to do with them but for now, they can stay where they are

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Those posts are the gateway to the back (bush) block and that’s my veggie garden 🙂

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This is a native hibiscus. For all of you horticultural genii out there, it’s a “Idontcare whatidis”

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This is closely related to that flower above in that it’s botanical name is something that I really am not interested in at the moment but it is a bit of a weedy species but it is one of the only trees that has done really well on the property. Might be time to reclassify “weed” 😉

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Another example following on from last weeks post of things that survive long hot dry conditions and things that don’t. That lonicera (yes…I care about that one 😉 ) is growing well where that brown thing used to be a hebe.

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The view from the front gates of Serendipity Farm. Directly over that road is the river

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I wonder where little red riding hood is? It would appear a big bad wolf is roaming in the forest!

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Ok…so this is little red eh? I don’t think she has anything to worry about ;). Note the squint, “its too bright outside!” he is angling for some designer shades…

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More of the tea tree garden

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Stopping at their favourite tap for a drink…this wandering around Serendipity Farm to take photos is thirsty work!

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Almost time to battle the possums and the rats for a few of these

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This fallen tree knows that its days are numbered so it is growing again from the root. Isn’t nature amazing?

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Nerines are just starting to flower…that means autumn is really here!

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Our crude attempt to prevent the wallabies from inhaling Steve’s weeping maple collection. That worked but we still haven’t worked out how to stop them losing their leaves due to heat stress 😦

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We walked the boys around Bonnie Beach early on Sunday and Steve took a few photos with his phone camera

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A tiny woman being dragged by a small dog

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She is still being dragged but at least she is smiling 😉

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Another drought survivor…pelargoniums and their close relatives geraniums are idea for anywhere that is going to be subject to very little water and no frost

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Foraged acorns (from Glads enormous trees next door) and damsons (just up the road) that I am going to attempt to grow and that pink flower is a Belladonna lily aka “Easter Lily”

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This was a “SQUEE” moment on what was otherwise a sad day…the day that we voted the Liberals in to govern Tasmania :(. I didn’t vote Labour this time like I have ever since I signed up to vote when I was 18. I voted for Clive Palmer because ANYONE had to be better than the rest! He didn’t get in BUT while I was voting I noticed a little plants stall out the front of the local hall and they were selling potato onions for $2 a bag…look what lucky narf7 got! 🙂

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This is rich yeasted dough

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This is a raw beesting cake

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This is a cooked beesting cake

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This is a cooked beesting cake filled with crème patisserie and whipped cream. It was just about to wend it’s way down the road to Jan and her brother Peter’s house in order to be appreciated by happy Germans who adore good cake. I am glad to say it went down well 🙂

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Poor Serendipity Farm is looking a bit the worse for wear at the moment but hopefully a bit more rain might give her a bit more character

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At least the deck steps look good 😉

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Leftover spaghetti bolognaise mixed with pasta which then got covered in a rich three cheese sauce and cooked…sort of Pastasagne. Whatever it was Steve loved it 🙂

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Steve found and foraged these walnuts when he was in town the other day. I have taught him well!

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And last but by NO means least, this was what Steve had for his tea last night (only they were cooked when he ate them…) 2 large Cornish pasties made with homemade cheesy shortcrust pastry.

That’s all for today folks. Not a lot of words but plenty of photos. Have a great week and like my old mate Simon Townsend (television presenter) used to say “The world really is wonderful” 🙂

 

Up in sustainable lights

Hi All,

 

Yeah…I know I only just posted yesterday but you know what? This tiny little post is to share another Serendipity Farm post that has gone overseas. This one has nestled at an amazing blog called Wodara.org where there are some completely amazing stories about how people live their lives productively and choose to make the most of what they have and do with what they are given. A while ago Krista, the owner of the blog contacted me about having our humble little story be part of this wonderful tangle of enlightening and uplifting stories. To say that I was chuffed was an understatement! Since Kym went back we have been “flat out like a lizard drinking” getting a backlog of horrendous studies out of the way and when I say “flat out” I am talking 4am starts and finishing at 2pm. No time for anything fun but I must admit I have been ducking off to pin a few surreptitious pins as a tiny aside to bolshiness but not for long! I completely forgot about Krista’s request and when I got a reminder email I knew that I was going to have to write this post. I spent my day off (Sunday) writing it and finding images and sent it off to her on Monday amid researching for media marketing information. Can there BE anything more boring than media marketing?! (Forget I said that…there is always quantum physics and economics to fall back on if my boredom quotient isn’t quite piqued 😉 ). So here we are, almost at the end of our hard slog of a unit and there is light at the end of the tunnel and I might just get to take another peek at my RSS Feed Reader. I miss you all! I haven’t had this long away from my RSS Feed Reader in ages and to say that I am missing you all is an understatement! I feel like I have lost a leg but the internet surgeons are just about to start sewing it back on and by this weekend (fingers crossed) Steve and I should have managed to knock these studies out of the ballpark. Till I am able to re-join the online community, please accept my apologies for neglecting you all but you do what you have to do and we are doing what we do best…bulldozering something difficult and turning it into a new pathway. Here’s the post at Wodara.org if you would like to head over and check it out along with all of the other amazing, inspiring and just plain great stories that Krista is collecting and collating…

http://wodara.org/2013/08/25/how-two-penniless-hippies-are-creating-serendipity-farm/

Till we step back on the online social media platform again…HUGS!

narf7 🙂

Bonnie Beach Post 1

Hi All,

We took the dogs down to Bonnie beach for their walk so that I could take some photos of the area for you. It’s one of our shorter walks and is good to do when it’s hot or we are a bit late taking the boys for a walk. We have to be mindful of Bezials blackness and his propensity to get hot and bothered very easily and Bonnie beach has many shady nooks for him to slink into while we walk. It is a glorious day with amazing blue skies and the sun is beating down on our green vista absorbing the moisture from everything and rendering us officially humid. That’s the problem with living in Tasmania. It might only be 25C, but the humidity is 99% and you feel like you have been slid into a wood fired oven right next to the pizzas. We are so lucky to be out on the river where we have a constant breeze. The house faces the right way to catch the breeze and fend off the sun and we open up all of the windows and let the blowflies zoom straight through (if you can’t beat them… join them). We put Pingu out this morning with her kith and kin and she had a great time pecking away at the grain that I tossed out to force mediation and poultry integration. It was lovely to see Effel doocark down with her 3 babies calling them over to the grain and the old grand dame blue Wyandotte (most probably Effels mum) sitting with Effel and the babies and minding them for Effel while she headed off for a dust bath. Pingu got the occasional peck and after a bit of a tussle with the largest chick (a Wyandotte rooster for sure) she hid under Steve’s saw horse for a while and then headed off for a bit of a scratch.

The problem with Pingu is that she thinks she is human. She races for the door in Steve’s music room whenever we open it in the morning and could just as easily run straight into the gaping maw of Earl, as find our outstretched hand for her to hop on. She is too tame. She doesn’t know what danger is and as she isn’t used to the other chickens, she avoids them. Everyone knows (from David Attenborough documentaries) that predators ALWAYS pick off the weak and the singular and heading off on her own makes her a prime target. I know that we have to let Pingu find her way in the poultry world, but we don’t want her to get eaten because she is one of only 2 dark barred Plymouth Rock hens that hatched from the 24 fertilised eggs that we bought. Once she gets a little bit older (for older read ‘bigger’) it won’t matter if she wants to head off on her own into the wilderness. The cats won’t tackle an adult hen so she will be safe. We can’t let her wander about on her own at the moment because she heads straight for us and there is a gap under the dogs compound gate that she can run straight under. Even if we put a board over it, she is an excellent flyer and good luck to her chances should she decide to come home for a visit! The ducks have decided that I am ‘friend’ and come a lot closer to me now. I feel very privileged to have the birds feel safe with me and make sure to reward them accordingly with little treats and lots of tasty free range grains to feast on. They seem to love scratching around in the dirt more than getting their food from their food bowl so I broadcast it about for them and they all race over to get their fair share.

I am planning on spending this afternoon finishing off My Side of the Mountain. I am most pleased to report that this book is exactly as I remembered it and is rewarding my faith in it with a very good read. I don’t read anywhere near as much as I used to or should. I have an excellent imagination that cursed me for the first 17 years of my life with terrible nightmares and fear of the dark. Once I started to age a bit and was able to reason with myself, it became easier to sleep without the light on. I think that the best horror writers are those that spent their earlier years cowering underneath the sheets and making sure that NOTHING was visible for the monster under the bed to grab and pull back down to it’s lair. Fear and knowledge of those monsters allows a writer to be more graphic and honest (believable) about those monsters. There are none more believable than those who have lived through their own private monster hell. I have been there. Mine were vampires, werewolves, killer whales (don’t laugh), tidal waves and the worst were wolves. I had recurring nightmares about them. The only way that I stopped my night terrors was to say to myself when I woke on the verge of screaming “there are no wolves in Australia!” forget you Bruce Springsteen… this is one of many reasons why I am so VERY glad that I wasn’t born in the U.S.A! I can’t remember the last time that I had a nightmare. I vividly remember the last nightmare that I had. I was scrabbling up an incredibly steep cliff trying to escape a massive tidal wave that was rapidly approaching. I reached the top of the cliff and a wave of instant relief flooded over me when I looked over the edge to see my children cowering below me on the beach behind a large boulder. In my mind, the most terrible sense of finality and terror settled over me and I knew that they were doomed. In my dream, I stopped the wave from killing them. I would imagine it was a bit like that place where hypnotists can’t go. I was NOT going to allow my children to die so they didn’t. Simple as that. I can’t remember a nightmare since then. I dare say I just set myself up for a doozy in the near future, but hopefully my newfound stress-free lifestyle and happiness have given me a foil for my nightmares clutches.

Here are 9 of the pictures that we took today to show you why we live, where we live (hopefully I won’t get sued by Macca’ on a Sunday morning!) I am going to spread the 27 photos that I isolated as being the best of today’s efforts over 3 posts.

This is where we park the car to head off on our circuit of Bonnie beaches lovely scenery. We found a rigged handline down on the beach that we took out to the locals on the end of the pontoon. It is a full moon at the moment and so they probably have bucklies chance of catching anything, but hey, looking at the scenery, sharing some time together out on the end of the jetty, there has to be many worse ways to spend a lovely morning.

Thank goodness for Steve’s genetics! Ta Pat for marrying Pete so that Steve would have shoulders that could handle those 2 rogue mutts! As you can see, Bezial can’t wait to get out up to his expanding girth in the lovely cool water. There is something most sad and pathetic about a hot black dog. Earl only likes to get his toes wet but when he comes out of the water he shakes all over like he has been in up to his eyeballs. It’s good to get them wet at the beginning of a walk on a warmer than average day because it keeps them cool for longer and so we can keep our cool for longer :o)

This is our “Little Hamster”. Although small, it is surprisingly resilient and can pull like a Trojan. It may not be as fast as a sports car, but who needs a sports car when the rain has eroded your driveway and nothing short of a tractor can get up there? This photo was to show you the sea wall. The Tamar River has some awesome tides and the water comes right up the wall at high tide twice a day. I am sure this wouldn’t dissuade Bezial from attempting to jump in but Earl would not be interested without the safety of sand/pebbles under his paws

I just had to show you the amazing colour of the sand on this beach. Tasmania is one massive great extinct volcanic range and this is no more obvious than when you see some of the beach sand around. Isn’t it amazing? It is actually a fair bit darker than this but for some reason our camera decided to implement its flash for this photo. No idea why, but I don’t argue with technology. So long as it’s doing a rough approximation of what it is supposed to do, I let it be!

These pine trees gave off the most amazing scent. There is NOTHING like the smell of pine trees on a hot day. Sorry, there is one thing better…the smell of the lemon scented salmon gums in Kings park Perth on a hot day :o). This is the first stretch of the walking circuit. Can you see why we like this walk? If it’s really hot we go the other way so that poor old tubby Bezial can hit this lovely shaded area last so that he is somewhat recovered by the time that we get back to the car.

This driveway leads to an amazing red house that reportedly cost a couple of million to build. I think it might be the house that my Certificate 3 lecturer James’ partner is producing a landscape design for. We have isolated it down to here James! :o) We couldn’t take you further down this inviting track dear constant readers because there was a private property sign just behind me and we don’t fancy pants full of buckshot

Here is the beginning of the somewhat steep ascent around the corner from the pine tree shot. This is a really pretty area with some very old houses. I decided against putting houses in my posts as I feel that is a bit of an invasion of someone’s privacy. Their gardens are fair play. You can tell that this area is an old settlement by the size of the European trees lining the road. It certainly packs a punch of aesthetic pleasure in one small walk (starting to talk like a landscape designer…hopefully should my lecturer EVER happen on this blog he will give me a tick for that attempt :o)

Here’s the hill. I don’t mind walking the dogs and hitting a hill now. We have built in tanks to tug us. It’s that good with the bad thing. Everything has good points and bad points and hills are where we appreciate the boys tugging ability. Bezial hauled me straight up a 45 degree slope today without pausing for breath. Not bad for a dog half my weight!

I just really loved the configuration of these large conifers. Someone a fair while ago could see what these would look like when they grew. That is what I am looking for…future vision! Sort of like X-ray specs but I don’t want to see through the garden, just what it is going to look like when it has reached maturity.

That’s your 9 photos for today. I enjoyed sharing them with you and despite not being able to sense what we sensed on our walk, you should get some sort of idea about why we love living in this area. These photos were taken in Kayena. We live over the water from here but we are not the only ones that liked the area enough to want to move in. Rebecca Gibney of “Packed to the Rafters” fame owns a property (and used to live) just around the corner from Bonnie Beach. She is selling up because of the imminent threat of the Pulp Mill going in directly opposite her large riverfront property. Can’t say I blame her. It’s another case of what’s bad in one situation, could have a silver lining in another…if the current economic climate keeps getting worse and Europe collapses, there is no WAY that Gunn’s will be able to fund their corrupt Pulp Mill and there won’t be anyone clambering for the pulp that they want to produce. Sorry Europe, I can’t help but have my fingers crossed that your misfortune will be our gain. See you all tomorrow when I will share some more photos of our delightful walk with you :o)