Friday, 17 December 2010

I Can Yokel It Up Like The Real Deal

When it's called for, I can get quite country

Love the you-beaut-banged-up-ute and so does Bobby (our dog)
Love making dams and cut-outs in the rain, so the water will run off the road into the old creek bed
Love stomping around the bush in my gumboots with a big old piece of tree-branch as a walking stick, fossicking for wildflowers and fungi while Bob obsesses about finding rabbits
Love the vast, clear night sky full of a squillion stars
Love all the night noises of snuffling, scuffling animals in the bush
Love the early evening birdsong and the frog choirs
Love how Frank (our cat) prowls around the place like Lord Frank of Fryerstown
Love the native plants the previous owner popped in the garden that are flowering prolifically as a result of all the rain.

Not so happy about the spiders and the MASSIVE monstrous centipedes and humongous moths and the still hiding somewhere, very VERY poisonous, snickety-snakes.

Blog Slump Hump

Of late, I think of my blog daily and things to post, but just can NOT seem to get off my flat bum and post.

Why is that I wonder? The muse just doesn't strike me and I get distracted with slothing or pottering on the terrace with my growing tins of cuttings for our garden.

I am still settling in to our new life, here in Fryerstown central Victoria, and so far, so fabulous.

We have great, cheery, helpful locals and neighbours not too far away and Castlemaine - a vibrant, diverse, everything-you-need, gorgeous township, is only 10 minutes drive away.

We have already attended The Fryerstown Christmas Frolic which was wonderful, an old-school event with everyone bringing a plate, bbcue thrown on, an old gent on the drums, a large lady on the piano and some other locals singing a tune or too and adding violin, ukulele, guitar and accordian. There were streamers and little vases of roses on all the tables and kids weaving in and out of the crowd. We met heaps of like-minded folk which really helped cement in the fact that we have chosen a great spot to live.

The weather has been AMAZING. A few stinkers but mostly either WETWETWET or sunny and light-breezily lovely. Our tanks and our dam are full and overflowing.

After much research I tracked down a 6-star reverse cycle air conditioner, so I can set up a room as my Summer bunker, because EVERYONE keeps telling us how stinking hot it gets up here! Even though we are off-the-grid solar here, the new "super-inverter" air con is wondrously effective and using the teeniest amount of power. BLISS on a stick.

The ONLY thing causing me any angst, if I let it, is the thought and threat of bushfires. It is a constant up here, in the backs of everyones minds and on the tip of everyones tongues. The great unspoken dread is palpable.

We are smack bang in the middle of true, dense, bush forest. The Castlemaine Heritage Gold Diggings on one side and the Castlemaine State Forest on the other. No neighbours for about 2 kilometres. It is simply, sublimely, STUNNING. All the rain has bought the bush to glorious, vibrant, teeming LIFE. There are so many divine weenie wildflowers and the understory is sprouting like mad. Lizards, birds and frogs are scurrying, chortling and croaking their little hearts out.

Our plan is to get the hell out of here if we are threatened by those hellish flames.
I truly hope it doesn't come to that.

Here are some shots from our new piece of paradise - HOME

Fryerstown Frolic

My potting-up table

Lemon tree on the terrace and a pretty snow-white ti tree.

The pond where the froggies love to sing and some more cuttings

and some stunarama wildflowers.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Pen and Paper

I, like many others, have let my handwriting go to the dogs.
I even have trouble with my signature, so rare is the occasion that I am required to produce it. Almost 99.9% of my communication with family, friends, businesses, bureaucracy etc happens online via a keyboard or touch pad.

Even my old writers bump on the inside, left, top of my middle finger has almost disappeared.

I used to joke about one day opening up a shop called Ye Olde Pen and Paper Store so that people could ponder and marvel over the weird tools humans used to use to communicate...I think I'd better get cracking.

Thank (insert-higher-deity here), for Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire and their brilliant concept of gathering together some top-notch lovely women to write letters to a topic and to come together to read them out to who-ever was interested in popping along to listen.
Women of Letters event was born.

I attended two of these events over Winter 2010 in the beautiful, shabby, atmospheric Trades Hall in Melbourne, and marvelled at the relaxed, joyous, cheery atmosphere and the braveness of the women reading their correspondence to us, loosened up audience members, relaxed by the provision of alcohol! This letter writing caper had the women revealing themselves through open, frank, hilarious, raw, sad, emotional stuff and had the the audiences mesmerised.

At each "of Letters" event we are provided with aerograms to pen correspondence to whom-ever we choose and Marieke and Co. provide stamps AND a posting box. I have taken these opportunities to pen actual letters, glass of wine in hand, to recipients who shall remain nameless here. Somehow, pen and paper create an entirely different type of correspondence from me full of carefully crafted and chosen words (no delete button here) sincerity, and reflection. In signing off these letters a wave of emotion washed over me - why, I wonder?

What a brilliant way to waste a Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday October 31st I was fortunate to experience the inaugural Men of Letters and what a joy and a privilege it was. 10 top-shelf blokes reading us their correspondence to the topic "the woman who changed my life".

This time the event was held at the little-bit-swanky Thornbury Theatre and we sat at tables with candles, cupcakes and tablecloths! All very awards presentation night-ey.

I got to sit amongst strangers who all felt like friends and met someone I'd been very much looking forward to meeting - my new chum and cyber-sister from another-mother. Here's her blog Gourmet Girlfriend and her post on Men of Letters is there too! X

What we all witnessed was simply astounding and amazing and beautiful and emotional and raw and hilarious and soul-stirring and stand-up-applaudingly BRILLIANT.

It should have been filmed, there simply MUST be transcripts put up somewhere, so that those who missed it can get a minor grasp on why so many of us are FROTHING on about this momentous occasion.

The ones who reached inside and squeezed my gut were:

Bob Ellis - To his partner. I knew he would be erudite, ambivalent, verbose, pithy, witty and maudlin - and he was - as well as gut-wrenchingly poignant and raw and I wept as well as guffawed at his unexpected slights-of-humour.

Tim Rogers - admitted all his failings, scorned the buffoonery of his behaviour whilst inebriated and oozed his pain, sorrow and regret at having driven away the woman of his heart then showed us his musical genius by finishing with a song that rattled hearts and minds "Please Forgive Me"

Eddie Perfect - clever, pithy, funny observations to his partner and Mother of his young daughter. True observations on the often batty, nonsensical conversations between life partners and the acknowledgement that families, as they expand, just get weirder.

Ben Salter (The Gin Club) - a loving, entertaining, adoring, forthright and respectful letter of praise and comradery written in awe and admiration to his only sibling, his older sister who trailblazed 6-years ahead of him and rang so true for me (the eldest of 5). I teared up on this one too.

Paul Kelly *sigh* In my final year at high school we had, what I deemed to be, the misfortune of studying Shakespeare's Othello. Sooooooo boring....SO who "why didn't we get one of the funny ones or Romeo and Juliet?" I found out why, yesterday. Paul Kelly read his letter written as Othello. Writhing in pain and anguish, having murdered his Desdemona, lashing himself for having been consumed by jealousy and rage, after listening to and believing the poisonous and evil whisperings and mind games of the venomous Iago. So incredibly powerful - it was mind-blowing and to top it all off he broke into unaccompanied song full of the pain and anguish of Othello and his voice rang sharp and clear as a bell throughout the auditorium and over a hushed and astonished audience.

Thank-you Marieke and Michaela and all involved.

Yesterday took my breath away and I'm only just breathing out.

Now to lighten things up a little...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Fast and Furious

I love and just purchased THESE online from the U.S.A

I ADORE and am drooling over THESE

I WON these! Thank-you Frankie

I'm having some serious rose-coloured glasses memories about these 3 fantastic human beings

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Watch This Space...

I am suffering from a big fat attack of Blog neglect GUILT.
I am still surrounded by boxes and SO much to do my head hurts.

Please be patient, my lovely little blog...I'll be back VERY soon...I promise X

Meanwhile check out Mr Monkey Bond - and DON'T be messing with him!

And remember...

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

New Beginnings - Part 972

Right, SO I have been missing from the blogosphere for a while and once again it's because LIFE yanked me aside FIRMLY and gave me and Mr I a good old SHAKE-UP!

Another huge life change is upon us and just in time for Spring - "new beginnings" which hopefully is a fabulous and positive omen!

Within an incredibly short time - frame we sold our lovely property in Nth West Tasmania and bought a new home in Fryerstown, about 10 minutes or so South of Castlemaine in Victoria.

Talk about a whirlwind...SHHHEEEEEESH

We have set ourselves a big challenge because we are both lovers of ye-olde stuff and things and now we have gone and bought ourselves a modern, flash, fancy, 5 yr-old home. We have always favoured the gnarled, worn, interesting, creaky, well-loved, character-laiden home with a history and here we are moving in to a place that's shiny and new, ready for us to make our mark.

Me, I'm not so much a fan of CHANGE, it challenges every part of me, but this time I'm actually REALLY looking forward to it. Well, Hmmm MOST of it anyway.

I AM looking forward to being back in Victoria and only an easy drive or train journey away from my heart-town of Melbourne, my children, my family & my friends.

I AM looking forward to discovering a new local community, one that I know is full of diversity and culture.

I AM looking forward to making our new place OUR home with all our stuff some-how squished in to it!

I AM looking forward to living off the grid in a fully solar powered home.

I AM looking forward to tweaking things to make them just right for us.

I AM looking forward to planting and nurturing a new garden and managing 3 & a half acres rather than the demanding 42 acres we are leaving behind.

The things that are making me anxious about our new adventure are these...

I'm NOT looking forward to being alone a LOT of the time, as Mr I will be working and staying in Melbourne most of the working week : (

I'm NOT looking forward to the HEAT...I detest the HEAT...I WILT & MOAN & GROAN & can NOT function in the heat and leaving my ideal climate here in Tasmania will be an extreme challenge.

I'm NOT looking forward to leaving behind our chooky-chooks and our gorgeous goat, Stumps, but at least we have found them loving new homes. Here they are...

Meanwhile...TA DA! Here is our crazy (for us) and EXCITING new home! These photos are with all the previous owners stuff...

Friday, 16 July 2010

Projects - I'm a Start-Stopper

Not a stop-starter...

I'm a shocker at starting things with gusto and then my interest wanes and the project fizzles and peters out

I have over 50 crocheted granny squares I made in 1978, YES 1978! I was a CHILD.
The colours were black/moss green/BROWN - say no more
They are still in the bag I put them in all those decades ago
I bought truck loads of gorgeous teeny, cotton print fabrics when my babies WERE babies, with the intention of making cute clothes for them, I never did & that fabric? No idea what happened to it all. I DID manage to knit them some HILARIOUS who-needs-a-pattern, basic, plain-stitch, boat-neck SHOCKERS though! There are photos...but they'll keep for future blackmail purposes.

At the moment I have four wooly projects going on, two of which I started over a year ago
This time I am D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E-D to finish ALL of them
I shall and I WILL

here they are...

Project #1 some lovely heart bunting (isn't BUNTING a jolly great word?)
I got the pattern for the hearts from the fabulous Miss Pip @ Meet Me at Mikes & I used them here

project #2 some moss stitch squares to go around the edge of a knitted
patchwork blanket I made a few years ago
(oooo there's another ALMOST finished project I forgot to mention)

project #3 new THIS-century granny squares for another rug

project #4 knitted chain-links which will eventually be a necklace!

So you see, I really am a hopeless start-stopper

What about you?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Looking & Music

A musical discovery day today whilst looking at some gorgeous interior design...

I LOVE this entry and staircase...

and this stunningly vibrant room...

Two wonderful clips with some smashingly talented chikadees and no raunch in sight!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Truly and Simply Beautiful

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present Photo by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present Photo by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present Photo by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present Photo by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

Friday, 2 July 2010

Labyrinthian Blogosphere Meanderings

A collection of some of the mesmerising images I have come across in just one morning whilst fossicking & wandering around the interwebby...

So clever & so lovely...Fifi Lapin modelling the latest catwalk styles

Seriously, if someone in Australia sold these, I would do a deal with the devil to get my hands on one

I have no idea why but this hauntingly beautiful image by Tasmanian artist Chen Ping speaks to me...I covet it

What a clever fella Mr Ben Heine is...this confounds did he do it - draw it & get the cat in the exact same position? Or is there some new-fangled techno trickery going on?
ben heine cat drawing

Well just because it's it not?
purple cabbage via

I love this idea - playing around with photos with a bit of etching & doodling...charming
hairdoodling via alexintrouble

A stunningly-brooding, slightly menacing yet glorious shot
red angel via

How clever - a tea bag hidey-hole

Another nifty tea bag idea

I want it NOW with an Italian espresso! Lemon & pomegranate cake by stylist Kate Wesson

How GOOD is a macaroon? I reckon I could cheerfully stuff about 40 in before regretting it.