Friday, 4 November 2011

Glorious Garden Surprises

Today is a pretty speccy day in my part of the world.
Sparkly and sunshiney and not too hot.

I watered for about an hour and a half with the hose and a watering can and it was calming and simple and meditative.

I made two discoveries.

First, yet another weeny wildflower that I have not come across before, growing through-out the grassy parts our block.

Snow white and starry with a delicate pink centre.

Second, in my vegie patch, which has still to be weeded and re-stocked for Summer, a whole pack of what looked to be poppies have been growing. They are SO incredibly tall and I have no idea how they got there!

Today, I noticed some of the gazzillion buds had opened to reveal the most spectacular, show-offey, deep pink, frilly, ballerina-tutu like poppies I have ever seen.

A gorgeous day in the bush and a pretty good day in my head

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Up, Down, Good, Bad

Warning :: Misery Me Musings to follow

This year has been one hell of a humongous challenge, in my head most of the time and actually for a fair bit of the time.

We have had a lot, LOT, not go our way.

Many of the situations we find ourselves dealing with are universal - family fragilities, paying the bills, finding work and many of them, when gazed upon from the positive side of the viewfinder, are decidely "1st" world problems - bad investments, expanding debt, extreme job dissatisfaction, commuting time and money costs, money-pit home ownership issues blah blah blah...

My headspace is not helping. I am viewing everything through charcoal-coloured glasses rather than the rosey ones I would prefer.

I so admire those members of the human race born with the happiness switch. Those who are able to work at being happy until it infuses their daily lives without even trying.

My happiness switch is faulty, dodgy to-the-core and badly wired. It allows the negative stuff in way too easily. I try hard to tackle the negative energy super-force field with everything I've got, but often I haven't got much to throw at it and 97 times out of 100 I lose.

Tomorrow is my birthday

I am trying to focus all my energies in to making this a GOOD thing
The ageing battle is a doozy
My body is feeling and showing it
My brain is fighting it every step of the way

I have a monster battle on my hands as Mr negative pants, party pooper, downward digging, don't-forget-the-bad-stuff, part of my psyche is doing it's darndest to be the ultimate killjoy

Here is the GOOD...

I am alive
Apart from normal, ageing issues, I am healthy
I can read and write
I can dance and sing (sort of)
I can laugh and cry
I have a car
I have access to fresh water, free energy, plentiful foodstuffs
I have healthy, independent, beautiful offspring
I have an amazing, calm, supportive, hard-working, caring and loving partner
I live in a spectacular location surrounded only by the beauty and sounds of natural bushlands
We live in our own home
I have made new friends here in Fryerstown

As I finish writing these good points down, I have come to the conclusion that I will NOT write down the BAD

If I start, I know I will be here for hours

I wish there was a vacuum cleaner for the headspace...

pop the tube in my ear and suck all that negativity right outa there
Leave it sparkling clean, shiny and ready to fill with peace, joy and acceptance

Reflecting with iPad, pj's, on a Saturday afternoon = GOOD

Older, blotchier, crinklier, decolletage = Not so GOOD

Fryerstown neighbour and his serene horse popped in for a coffee = GOOD

Floppy, saggy, tissue-paper, swinging chicken wings = Not so GOOD

A beautiful, surprise find amongst our blooming artichokes, Mr Froggy = GOOD

How are things with you? Up or Down, Good or Bad?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Fryerstown Folly & Garbage Gardening

So, it is done.
The pergola of all pergolas.

I showed you it's early days a couple of posts back and here is the finished beast.
Originally, we were not going to go with the curvy, light fittings on top, but then thought "why the hell not?" It's bonkers already, so we just made it more so.

We don't, as yet, have light fittings, but they are wired up for the day (let's be honest here...most likely never) when we find the right ones.

I have planted four wisteria "alba" at the base of the poles and fingers crossed, they will be scrambling up the insane 10-metre high wire/pole contraptions in no time.

I have also been throwing things in to the garden.
When I say garden I mean cleared bits of central Victorian bush with rock hard clay soil.

I've also been scavenging stuff. Like old wire mattress inners, ancient corrugated iron water tanks, rusty fruit dipping baskets and banged-up washing machine drums. They are being born again as garden screens, a new vegie-garden bed and garden pots and containers.

The whole garden design/plan/sketch/drawing thing just doesn't work for me.
I really am an incalcitrant, against-the-rules, type of gal.

Actually, there is so much to be done, that I just cannot visualise it and quite frankly, we just don't have the cash.
So I just plant things.
I place pots, move them around, move them again and then eventually in they go.
I hunt out reduced-to-clear, pot-bound plants and trees and help myself to cuttings almost everywhere I go.

Mostly I ask. If there is no-one to ask, I just nip of a tip from a plant so you can barely tell : )

Here are some snaps of how it's all coming along.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Stormy Weather and Wanderings

Just spent a weekend in Brisbane with a fabulous long-term friend for birthday celebrations.
Imbibed. Relaxed. Laughed. Pondered. Wandered.
A much needed break, freshen-up and change of scenery and pace.
I had been feeling very stuck and stale.
Not being a hot, humid-weather type, we were indeed blessed with wonderful weather, mild and only a wee bit of humidity with cooling evening breezes.
Home again.
Yesterday, we had a humongous storm.
Black skies at 3pm on a Spring afternoon - everything in navy blue, darkness.
Then came the crashing, cracking, rolling, grumbling, house shaking, deafening snaps of lightening and thunder.
And the fat, pounding rain.
What a spectacular show.
I loved every second of it.
Safe in my house with tin roof and walls rattling and shuddering.
Bob, our dog, however was terrified, shaking, panting and miserable and wanted to hide but just kept wandering around with anxious eyes pleading for it all to stop.

I could feel the power and the energy and the force all around me, so magnificent.

More wandering through the Central Goldfields bush, where Spring is putting on another glorious wildflower show. Plants that have lain dormant during years of dry, crunchy weather have all come to life after all the rains earlier this year. I feel so lucky to be able to wander in such a soul refreshing environment observing nature at it's cleverest.

Salmon with dill, watercress, goats cheese and capers a la Brisvegas

3pm stormy darkness from my bed with cats

Fryerstown wandering


Gorgeous grevillea

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Stuff of Faerie Tales

Yesterday, my friend Gail and I took our dogs for a long walk through the bush.

It was incredibly peaceful and a joy to wander for hours without seeing another soul.

The Spring wildflower show is beginning and after all the rains of earlier this year it is truly spectacular.

Everything around this part of Central Victoria Is normally dry and crunchy, but this year it's all so lush and verdant and mesmerisingly beautiful.

It really enlivens me seeing all the gorgeous native plants springing to life and wandering through the bush accompanied by all sorts of flitting and fossicking birds and the orchestra of frogs.

Today we headed down a new track we came across, and after much up-hill and down-dale behaviour we came across a gate with a "private property" sign. This was no deterrent to me as there was no "keep out" sign! So, in we went.

I decided, if anyone was there, I would just introduce myself as their neighbour from down the track, "just passing, thought I'd drop in".

We walked down the driveway and then turned the corner to see a magical, higgledy piggledy two-storey, stone cottage with a tower and high curvy stone walls and rambling plants. All overlooking a large, frog-filled, deep, dam full of reflections.

No-one was there. We wandered around exploring for over an hour. It was bliss.

We were enchanted.

It really did feel like the stuff of faerie tales and Nursery Rhymes - the Gingerbread House or the Crooked Man and his Crooked House.

It was one of the most surprising and delightful things to have happened to me in a long time.

I felt a child-like awe and such a pure sense of joy at our magical discovery.

I half expect to go back there and find it has disappeared.

If I can't find it ever again, at least we took photos.
Here they are.

In the bottom of the tower through that red door is the shower!


Lovely Things for my Brain

Today, I am posting a few of the things I have been looking at that help me linger longer on the shinier side of my mind.

The dark, dank, miserable side has been with me, a lot, lately.

While frittering away hours on the interweb can leave me guilt ridden for avoiding all the other things, practical things, boring things I need to do and am clearly avoiding, it does turn up some amazing stuff.

But, sometimes my head gets overwhelmed by how many talented writers, artists, crafts-people, journalists, educators, thinkers and incredibly gifted people there are on this planet. I can be left with feelings of worthlessness and overloaded with just way TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

Do you find that?

I wish I could be content with my life, a simple life. I wish I could stop the comparison game. Sadly, my crazily wired up brain just finds it almost impossible to work that way.

I love to look and find, even if sometimes it does. my. head. in.

Here are a few things of whimsy and bringing me some joy...

Diane Katsiaficas

Divine Christening Gown from Kelly Gardner

Wonderful Wire Frocks from Karen Searle

lilac weeping rosemary at our place

goldfields purple rosemary - grows everywhere up here, including our place
stunning mintbush in Spring-flower at our place

Whilst writing this, I have been listening to and loving Zola Jesus and her moody, broody vocals.

Even though Spring is the harbinger of Summer with it's stinky, hot, crisp-everything-up temperatures and threat of bushfire...I must pay her her dues.

Thank-you Spring for the unfurling of new life and possibilities.

Monday, 5 September 2011

PerGOALa or Per-golla?

So we have a "project" happening at our bush hide-away and to us, it's a perGOALa. To others it's a per-golla. Either way, it's going to be a monster which-ever of those you prefer.

Part of our house faces West and even though this wall has no windows, it still heats up like a furnace in Summer.

Something drastic needs to be done to shade this wall and tree planting close to the house is not an option for fire risk reasons. Luckily for us, some of our lovely locals, Matt and his partner, Anna, have an amazing business building, extending and renovating using recycled everything. Pumphouse Design and Building.They have over an acre piled high with all sorts of reclaimed STUFF: windows, joists, beams, timbers, frames, bricks, all sorts of metal bits etc etc etc.

When I was taking Bobby for a walk, a few months back, I walked past his collection and saw a stack of galvanised iron street light poles and my mind went in to over-drive at the possibilities.

Contact was made, discussions were had and a plan was made.

We are popping three, 9-metre high, street lights in front of this (burnt orangey) wall, in an arc, and will be stringing cable between each of them.Then, I am going to plant glorious, pendulous, show-offey, white wisteria to ramble up them. Hopefully, they won't cark it and the blossoms will be a yearly spectacular.

This week, the concrete footings were poured in to massive holes and tomorrow the poles go up!

Work starting on the post holes
Digger digging

This hole is about One and a half metes deep!

Our street light poles - soon to be a pergola

Magnificent white wisteria. Fingers crossed ours will look this speccy.

Hope it will look as fab as it does in my head.
I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Techno-Machinery Issues and a Nutshell

Our p.c. recently curled up its millions of cables and died.
Just. Stopped. Working. Black screen, nada, zip, zilch, niente.

I consider myself to be (as with motor vehicles), a pretty-dam-good driver of a computer. Also, against type, I have an excellent sense of direction and CAN read maps!

I have no understanding, on a cellular level, of HOW a car actually WORKS, but I know how to drive it. I have a manual car because I like to drive and I don't like cruise control because to me, that's all about NOT controlling your car or paying sufficient attention.

I know, that if I had been taught, shown or included in discussions and explanations about cars, as my synapses were connecting and forming in the mechanical-understanding section of my brain, I would totally "get" how all the bits under the bonnet and that form the vehicle itself, work. But, as I was born with a vagina, I was not privy to that form of upbringing.

Now, where were we? Oh Yeah, the computer situation...
I can whizz around the interwebby and within numerous software programs with considerate ease. If I come up against something I can't understand or can't make work, I Google it and teach myself.

When I was frustrated with the blog designs offered as standard on Blogger, I taught myself some basic HTML and redesigned my blog. I do not know HOW HTML works or what it means or stands for, (and I don't WANT to know) I just know that once you learn to use it you can make it change how things look on your blog.

I see and read lots of stuff online about making your blog more successful by playing around in the back-end (Ooo Vicar!) and checking all your dooverlacky and thing-a-me-jig registrations and hits and bots and dots. As well as tricks and tips for getting found and tagged and and and...
But, just thinking about any of it, makes. my. brain. ache.
See? All tekky I am. Yep.

So, when the p.c. up and "dieded", I did heed the advice of so many, who for SOOOOO long had said "get thee to a MAC and never ever look back"

As I have developed a clear and possibly, unhealthy addiction to my wondrous iPad, I knew I would be fine in Apple-land and last week I went out and bought us a schoochzshee and fabulous iMac.

Talk about your jumping from left brain to right brain and wondering WHY the fuck it took me so long.

I now have a cardboard box, with the old p.c., monitor, 973 cables, speakers/ speaker wires, camera, mouse and keyboard sitting forlornly inside, awaiting its fate (the tip shop? or the op. shop?)

May I just observe, that the iMac is one hell of a gorgeous, sleek, glamorama, self-contained, GENIE with just ONE PLUG?.
I am NEVER going back.
And you know what?
The poor old p.c. seems so very Howardy Liberal and rear-view vision-ey whilst my iMac and iPad are so very Keating in a sparkly, sharp, snazzily-visionary kinda way.

As well as this wonderful world of Appleyness, I have had a pretty good week.

In a very large nutshell...

I found my favourite sunnies, that I have had for 15 years and NEVER lost before. I had looked for days, in, on, under everything and everywhere in my home, car, garden EVERYWHERE. It made no sense because the reason I have never lost them before is that I always, reapeat ALWAYS put them in their case OR in the bowl inside the front door if I am not actually wearing them. I had given up and felt a wee bit sad over the loss of these, my favourite of favouritest sunglasses. However, today, I popped on my trusty old jacket, which I have also had for a gazzillion yonks and there, IN THE POCKET, were my beautiful old faithfuls. I have no memory, at all, on ANY level of putting them there. It makes no sense. I have now resigned myself to the fact that I am simply losing my mind and that the AGEING nightmare is with me in earnest. Oh YAY and YIPPEE umm NOT.

I saw the magnificent Ms Clare Bowditch in her brilliant show in dedication to Ms Eva Cassidy, I may or may not have shed a happy tear or two over how wonderful it was.

I DID eat a perfect old-school lasagne in the kitchen at Pelligrini's.

I DID get my nails painted a glossy and cheery turquoise at the hilarious "Hello darling, pick a colour" Elwood Nails.

I DID pop along with my dear friend Dottore Lloyd to a taping of The Tuesday Night Book Club and Jennifer interviewed the thoughtful and engaging Christos Tsiolkas. Talk about your brain stimulation 1A right there!

Mr I and I did have a delectable dinner with and prepared by the gorgeous Gourmet Girlfriend. It was indeed a joy and a pleasure to be with her and her divine family.

I did reconnect with an adored and much loved, very special someone and a big, black cloud moved off my horizon.

Here's a pictorial grab-bag of some the highlights of my past week or so.

Castlemaine on a glorious late Winter's Day
Chocolate pavlova ingredients

The final result of my chocolate pavlova, using Nigella's recipe

Two gorgeous cushions from the lovely Peta Pledger

My old favourites, lost then found

Chocolate croissant, cup of tea and new reading pleasures on the terrace.

All-in-all, a very good week.