Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Blackberry Jam

I didn't do it on purpose, but I can see tiny 'me's on the black berries. I picked just over a kilo and probably ate half that much again while I was picking...

I was trying to get a shot of the comedically large zucchini that showed the true extent of its greatness.

 I did blackberry jam properly, this time, crushing up the berries before you start cooking them so that there isn't hard lumps of blackberry all through the sweet, delicious jam.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Work on Thursday.

Work on Friday. At the Village Larder in Woodend.

A shocking thing I found in the supermarket.

A door. 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

La Merced

 Yesterday seems like a thousand years ago. But, here was the flower in the morning. Complete with surprised bug.

I left work a little early and, much against my habits, caught a bus to go to Casa Iberica. It was a hot day and I revelled in the warmth (again - completely out of character). There was yarn bombing at the bus stop.

It was trying to storm when I caught the train home, but it was also sunny. I am long since accustomed to Melbourne having four seasons in one day, but four seasons at one time is a bit much.

I am reliably informed that this yerba maté is the best one and Casa Iberica has an abundance of it.

I remain obnoxiously cheerful.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

 Sunday was the day the dog lost half an ear.

 Monday was the day that I started work in town.

Today I learned about the wonders of North Melbourne station and how convenient it is to my life. There is a bus that goes from right there to where I am working. It leaves every four minutes, only takes ten minutes to get there and drops me right at the door of the building I am working in.

I don't know how I missed this giant wheel being built, but I did. And apparently they are taking it down now. I hear it cost a lot.

They often have a heart shaped hole punch on the train in the morning. But they didn't today, so I had to improvise. Happy Valentines day.

I feel like I am living in a wonderland of glorious sunshine, warm feet and nice things to do.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


 We went this morning to the Kyneton farmers' market.

You can't see what this dog sees, but the girl holding his lead has a hot sausage in bread in her other hand. 

I bought a chook to replace the one I lost. It is a different colour to the missing one and Jayne and Brad were standing right there when we bought it, but I am sure they won't notice a thing... I have named her Gilt. You will notice my cunning play on how words sound, there.

 I want to paint my kitchen this colour. This makes Jayne very glad that her kitchen is not my kitchen.

I really, really like it.

 This is a thistle on the way to the Sustainability Festival. It was a big morning.

Then we went to a pine forest for some cross country jumping.

I want to go to bed, now, but I just drank a giant pot of rooibos and mint tea, so I will only be up again in a minute. I can only say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Yes! but you don't go.

The residents of the abode, Jayne and Brad, have returned, thus relieving me of the crushing weight of responsibility that is two chooks and a dog (and, given what happened to one of the chooks, thank god they didn't leave me with the kid). I have been forgiven for losing the chook, but it looks unlikely I'll be allowed to forget.

I haven't quite got around to leaving, yet. They have been quite kind about not kicking me out. I am here muddling around doing stuff and things. Jayne got me organised and edited for an article I wrote on Iran. I have sent it off with my fingers crossed and I'm now obsessively checking my email to see if anyone likes it and wants to publish it.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I think I am still housesitting.

You see, they came back. The people who belong to the house.

But now they are gone again.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Housesitting, day fifteen.

I lost the dog twice yesterday and three times today. One of the times yesterday, right I fed her, she went over to the neighbours' house and told them she was hungry and lonely and could they please feed her dinner?

I was going to go to the farmers' market yesterday, but, owing to a comical series of events, mostly involving absent mindedness, I wasn't able to get cash out because my debit card is in another part of the state. Notice how I was not specific as to actually where it is? Indeed, I am only 80% sure it is in Australia. The last time I saw it was on the way to the airport for the flight to Singapore.

Nine months ago.

The chook is well. I have not let her out of her cage since she hit her head, but she has been enjoying all the little chook-treats I have been finding for her.

There were only three new zucchini, today. That was nice because, even though I have discovered this great new way of cooking them with cheese, my zucchini consumption has dropped to one a day.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Housesitting, day thirteen

I write the day number in the post title, and suddenly it all becomes clear.

I sent the dog to bed early last night because she'd jumped in poo and she stank. I did let her out for half an hour though at about 10.30pm so that she could take care of anything that needed taking care of.

When I got up this morning the smell of dog poo was quite strong. I thought 'Oh gross, she's got some on the carpet some how and I'll have to clean it'. Then I went through to the bit where she sleeps and, actually, there on the tiles was a giant pile of poo.

I took care of it and sent the dog outside.

And went to let the chook out for the day.

The chook that was fine last night.

And was now covered in blood.

I freaked out. I called Mum (that's what you do in a crisis, right?). I left the chook in it's cage with lots of delicious chook treats, then took the dog for a walk.

When we got back I decided to leave the dog outside. I may have been a teensy bit cross with her about having to clean up all that poo. And she smelled. And she wanted to sit on me.

The next thing I knew, she had eaten one of the plants I had been specifically told to take good care of. Eaten it. Pulled it right out of the pot and chewed it to tiny bits.

Then she chewed MY plant that I have been nursing back to health.

I nearly had an anxiety attack, right there on the spot.

The chook seems to be fine. I've taken the dog on another two walks. I didn't actually SEE her go, but she must have, right? She can't be saving it up to do a repeat performance, right?

I have given the neighbours all the zucchini and they are going to do a vegetable swap at the farmers market tomorrow.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

February second.

Train stations are fabulous. So much potential.

Ducks are better, so ducky.

When I was little, I was quite sure that dandelion clocks were magical.

I still think it sometimes, when no one is about to catch me.

I am coming back in a few weeks to help deal with these, yes indeedy.

Housesitting, day twelve

A splendid day.

I got plenty done on the train in the morning. Hung out with lovely, crafty people. Caught the train home. And got nothing done. When we got on, they said the air con would take a minute because they had only just hooked up the engine. We were on the train for forty minutes before they told us that the air con actually wasn't working in our carriage and we were welcome to go and sit in one of the reserved carriages.

I actually thought I might expire at one point, you couldn't even open a window. I have given myself RSI from fanning myself with my book.

The dog was so happy to see me that she couldn't stand up properly, her legs were shaking so much. I have banished her to her room because she accidentally stepped in something stinky.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Self portrait, with sunflower.

This morning I tried to take a self portrait with one of the sun flowers, but the sun was really really bright and I couldn't get a shot with my eyes open.

But while these crazy kids face the morning sun, they don't turn around to check out the evening sun. Problem solved.

Hello Sunflower!

I Love! sunflowers.

Housesitting, day eleven.

Is it weird that I am craving zucchini? Earlier today, I suddenly desperately thought, 'Can I have a zucchini, now?' and I counter thought, 'Not now, you'll spoil your dinner' and then I thought ????

The dog has forgiven me for scaring her and we are once again having an ongoing negotiation about personal space, boundaries and dog breath.

The chook has not returned and I have not heard her again.

When I was out mucking about in the garden, I decided to do a bit of weeding because areas are quite over taken. I stopped not long later when I went 'OOO deadly nightshade, let's get rid of that' and stopped just in time when I realised it had tiny chillies on it.

Check strawberries for bugs before you put them in your mouth.