Thursday, 20 December 2012


First things first, our front door has finally turned pink.....or magenta:

In our house, the colour terminology depends on where you went/go to school. Pink may be considered a particularly feminine colour yet magenta, of course, is manly as it's the colour of valour, of blood spilt on the battlefield. It's all about  perception. The girls in our family are happy with pink, yet the boys console themselves with magenta.

The sample pot that I had decided on, way back in the dim reaches of time, turned out to be all wrong, so the painter had to randomly conjure up this precise mixing up a bit of this and a bit of that. Of course I had to endure lots of eye rolling when I explained that I was a simple girl and all I wanted was bright pink that could be passed off as magenta.....after the requisite four coats were applied he admitted that he was 'quite chuffed' with how it ended up. Me too, I love it. And in case you were wondering, so do the boys.

Why does our tree always undergo a dramatic growth spurt just at the beginning of December? I'm sure that it grows centimetres at this time every year, moments before we lug it inside to be all loved up. This was our tree, the first year it did Christmas with us.....nine years ago:

And this is how it looks this year:


So, while we've been wrapping presents and we made Turkish Delight and all day I've been in denial about how much gelatine, or rather gronund up animal hoof and horn, is actually needed to get it to set. Yuck/yum.....I've also been reminiscing about Christmases around our tree, which for the rest of the year sits forlornly potbound in a corner of the garden struggling to receive the attention that it craves. Miraculously, this year it has performed again and has now outgrown the whole family....and that's no mean feat.

In a blur of daydreams of Christmases past, I've been thinking about that first year when we lived over the river in a different house, when the not quite one year old was covered in the horror that is a bad dose of chicken pox and how the fairy sustained scorch marks on the pink tulle layers of her dress when she ventured too close to  the cooktop in the only just finished in the nick of time kitchen.....about the year when all of the hints and innuendo paid off and there was a pink KitchenAid under the tree....and about all of the hysterically funny dress up concerts over the years that it has inspired our children to perform.

So then, because Christmas is such a bittersweet time for tripping down memory lane, I started remembering all of the people who have helped us celebrate our own version of Christmas around this very same tree. About how, against all expectations, we have been so fortunate to have four amazing children to share our lives with. And about how my dad won't be joining in. This will be the fifth Christmas that he's been gone and while it's not as raw as the first...or even the second...there is still such a sense of absence always present in the shadows. For me, the magic of Christmas seems to be equally about the creation of new happy memories to add to the memory bank and an opportunity to unashamedly dip in and reclaim old ones.

My heart goes out to anyone reading this who has lost a loved one this year and who will be experiencing their first Christmas without them. I remember so vividly what it feels like, I think it's because Christmas rolls around, without fail, year in year out and acts as a prompt for hope for the future and an opportunity to indulge in recollections of the past.


Sunday, 16 December 2012


My husband usually goes to work on Saturdays and I spend the day in a blur of chauffeuring children between sport/dancing/parties. Yesterday, the stars aligned and he had the day off and with the children on school hols.....some of the day was ours to do as we pleased.  Because we live in Hobart, between showers, we all headed down to Salamanca, to the market:

And then, we ventured further afield, out to Berriedale to another market, MoMA, on the lawn at MONA. When we arrived, one of the mums from school was offering tastings of the sparkling that she makes for Moorilla, which is the MONA Winery. Yes please. There was also a chap demonstrating how to skin a rabbit, wrap it in prosciutto and turn it into a delicious meal. The theme of this years markets are 'Let's eat invasive species, like weeds and Bambi'......yesterday it was Peter Rabbit's turn. Apparently, one solution to solving the problem of introduced rabbits which have become pests and decimate the landscape and our native animals ecosystems, is to eat the problem. Makes sense......the children did comment that it smelt yummy.

We've been spending a bit of time on the lawns at Mona lately:

How could you not, as going to MONA is like entering a portal and slipping into a parallel universe where the outer Hobart suburbs have somehow morphed into being the ultimate in cool, and even better, fuelled by great food and wine.....and art.....and a soundtrack.

An artist friend of mine, Brigita Ozolins,  had set up 'The Chapel' in the teepee like structure with the gold pyramid on top:

If you live in Hobart, you've probably seen Brigita's work before, David Walsh commissioned a permanent work for inside his museum and she also has a work in situ on the ground floor of the State Library of Tasmania, in amongst the newspapers.

Yesterday, Brigita was doing bibliomancy readings inside the grotto that is 'The Chapel', under the gaze of an antique engraving of a long departed Thylacine surrounded by fairy lights and leaves and seeds. She had a stack of books covered in brown paper that she was using to perform divination. I waited my turn and wrote my question in the book......'What am I going to cook for dinner tomorrow night?' This is a question that I eternally ponder. Not a day goes by where I don't ask myself this pressing nice to have it answered for me. The lady who had her turn before me asked 'Are my children going to lead happy and fulfilled lives?' Hmm. I wonder what her answer was.

Brigita read my question, guffawed (not sure whether good or bad sign) and then consulted one of her weighty tomes. This is what she wrote in answer to my question, then folded it and sealed it in an envelope:

'Agitation within robs one of reflection and clarity of vision. The right thing, then, is to keep still until balance is regained.'

Profound. I had time to think about this as I walked back across the lawn to be reunited with my husband who was lying on a beanbag in the kids tent being jumped on by three of our children. I showed him my piece of paper and told him my interpretation, what I think the message is.....that it's obvious that I should ease off on my housewifely duties. Have a well deserved rest. Sounds logical don't you think? He then asked me if it would be possible to slack off any more and how could I do any less. Isn't he an outrageous tease.

Anyway, it's now 5.45pm tomorrow and I still don't know what's for dinner. Anyone got any ideas?


Friday, 7 December 2012


Frankly, I find this time of year just a little bit unsettling. It's the excess and the gratuitous commercialisation of Christmas that doesn't sit well with me. Scarily, next week it's the school holidays and I'm way behind on the Christmas preparation....although I have been to the health food store and bought all of the organic dried fruit for the Christmas pudding that we make every year out of the big orange Stephanie Alexander tome. It was meant to be made in November so that it could steep, oh well. Deep breath.

Anyway, I still need to wrestle more suet off the misogynist butcher down the road, who has had to wait for a new beast to come in so that he can remove whatever fat is left on it's kidneys. Suet is hard to get and in high really is like asking him to remove a particular part of his anatomy and sell it to me in a little plastic bag. That's how reluctant he is. Apparently, according to the same butcher, and this is a tad gross, yet I am a firm believer in knowing exactly where your food comes from so that you can decide if you actually want to eat it or the abattoir they remove the organs and the fat from the animal straight away to help cool it down. So, that means that most of the kidney fat goes into the bin before it gets to the butcher. As he then continued to lecture me...'most meat at other butcheries arrives already cut up in a plastic box.' I can't help but think that kidney fat is better in a Christmas pudding than thrown away in a bin. I have also ordered a free range, organic ham because I just can't bear to think about pigs in sowing crates suffering to become a Christmas ham as part of people's festive doesn't seem so festive to me.

Anyway, having just been to prize giving assembly and seen our 11 year old daughter awarded with a prize for spirituality, I've been pondering how to put more meaning back into our family's Christmas.....rather than just losing it in the whirl of drink and consumerism which you are encouraged to overindulge in.

Pushing the pram up the hill on our walk home after assembly we passed our local gift shop Rose's Cupboard. In we went and despite Tobes exclaiming at the top of his voice that his teacher doesn't like tea towels, I purchased three gorgeous and most importantly, locally made Dish Pig tea towels:

One for each teacher, as a thank you for their help over the year. Aren't they gorgeous, they look like a vintage scarf and would be beautiful framed or made up as a cushion cover.

While I was at it I also assuaged my conscience and bought environmentally friendly cards made from recycled cardboard and vegetable based ink and I'm thinking of taking up Mother Down Under's suggestion and having my children make wrapping paper.....although I recoil in horror at the thought of the mess.....we still have green paint on the dining table from when our eldest painted a plate.....8 long years ago.

On the final leg home, Tobes and I chatted about how it would be  good idea, on the first day of the school holidays to head into town to the bookshop and choose some of our favourite books to put under the ABC Giving Tree for children who might not be waking up to presents under their tree. With this plan in place, I feel a bit better about the whole Christmas carry on now. Especially as the children and I are determined that first and foremost it is going to be a happy day...and let's face it that's all that I want for Christmas.

I have spent the rest of the week toiling away writing an article for the next issue of Tasmanian Style magazine. I thought I'd blow the old cobwebs out and revisit the field of expertise that I dedicated  years and years of my youth to training in, by writing about the incredibly talented Hobart based painter, Nicholas Blowers who shows in Hobart and in Sydney. We have one of his works on our living room wall and love mother thinks it's depressing and of course she'd be right as his main concerns are collapse and decay:

I must say it was a surreal experience having Nick come over for a coffee and a chat about his work, on the sofa next to his actual painting and to hear all about where it was painted and what his inspiration was. And then he cast a critical eye over other paintings by other artists that adorn our walls....and I had thought I was meant to be interviewing him. Anyway, it was hard work.....way back before I had children, how did I ever think I was going to write an Art Theory based doctorate. How did I ever get a third of the way through and present papers at conferences and create lectures based on it? How. They may as well have given me a lobotomy when I had a caesarian....four times over. Saying that though, I'm quite happy with how the article turned out.....although it has to go to the editor next, fingers crossed.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, 3 December 2012


Well, on Saturday night can you believe that I discoed while Blondie sang 'The Tide is High' just metres away on stage:

This was a slice of wish fulfilment in my otherwise mundane life....let's face it, earlier in the year I'd dressed up as Blondie to go to a party.....where I watched my husband and his friends dance to Cold Chisel......with a mop. Anyway, tick, it's now off the list.

Doesn't Deborah Harry look amazing for 67....she is only just younger than my mum, who would never in a pink fit get up on stage in a blonde wig and rock and roll her old heart out. I think she's amazing, she still has an incredible voice and  she still does the punk rock with aplomb.

My fab old school friend, who still knows all the lyrics to the rap in 'Rapture'.....all these years later.....drove down with her husband and children from Launceston. In the car she demonstrated her talent to a captive audience.....her husband was flabbergasted and could't believe that they'd been married for 10 years and he'd never known that she possessed this skill.

To embrace the spirit of the 1980's, before venturing out on the town, we made pina coladas. Sadly, they didn't work.....I think I may have followed the wrong recipe.....or perhaps the poor excuse for pineapple available in not very tropical Hobart wasn't ripe and sweet enough. In hindsight,  I should have added extra pineapple juice. Anyway, we managed to get ourselves ready and fed and jim jammed up our combined 6 children in time for the babysitter's 6.15pm. We then hotfooted it down to Garagistes to see if we would be lucky enough to score an unreserved table:

We were running to a strict time schedule so the dreaded pronouncement that there was a 45 minutes wait caused momentary angst....until we mentioned that we were en route to the Blondie voila, 5 minutes later we had a table.

I love everything about Garagistes, the food, the communality, the buzzy vibe and the fact that it's in Hobart. We had an amazing meal there earlier in the year when it was just the two of us. Now that I've had dinner in a group of four, I think that the whole sharing concept works better with only two people as honestly, between four people, you really only end up with a minuscule taste on your plate. It was still delicious and booked beautiful, see:

Poached spanner crab, fenugreek and buttermilk.

Marinated calamari with sea herbs.

Broad beans with pea custard.

Poached striped trumpeter and nasturtium.

Pink eye potatoes with slow cooked egg.

And slow cooked pigeon with beetroot.

All week I'd workshopped what I was going to wear and this was how it looked on the the loos at the Derwent Entertainment Centre as in the rush I forgot to take a photo before I left home:

I'd momentarily toyed with completing the look with silver jeans yet when I couldn't find any in time I had to make do with the Victoria Beckam Denim white jeans already in my wardrobe, a Winter Kate top, Kate Spade jumbo jewels necklace and Dinosaur Designs beads......of course I left the concert kitted out in a Blondie tee shirt. As you do.


Wednesday, 28 November 2012


I'm afraid to say that I have been somewhat shirking my housewifely duties recently while I have been living through my flower/gardening obsession. This has been causing my husband some angst as dinners have tended to be tediously repetitive, usually something with salad.....every single night of the of the week and because he just doesn't understand my gardening fixation.....he doesn't hold back when he says that it makes me seem prematurely middle aged. Insert snort of derision from me.

In my dreams I live in an utopian idyll where in my suburban backyard I grow all of our fruit and my reality my vegetable patch is somewhat neglected and choked with inedible lettuce and coriander that has bolted to seed. I console myself with the fact that many of the flowers that I tend with such care....nasturtiums, pansies, borage and marigolds can be mixed into a salad and eaten, conveniently, as can the dreaded weed, oxalis. In my quest for self sufficiency I still long for a sheep....although my husband points out that I struggle to look after the 2 adults, 4 children, 2 geriatric beagles and 1,000 worms.....safely ensconced in the worm farm.....that are already in my care. I live in hope.

I used to find cooking everything from scratch therapeutic yet now I'm flabbergasted that I ever had the time. So, at the end of my tether last week I succumbed I bought Jamie's 15 Minute Meals: 

I must say that I was sceptical, yet so far it has passed my intensive testing and give or take 5 minutes, everything that I have made has been on the platter within the 15 minute timeframe and quite frankly, the food is delicious.

On Friday I made 'Golden Scallops Sun - Blush Mash & Greens':

On Saturday it was 'Chorizo & Squid Greek - Style Couscous Salad':

On Sunday 'Glazed Sizzling Chops Sweet Tomato & Lasagnetti':

And last night 'Incredibly Delicious Chicken Salad':

I've since learnt on Instagram that Jamie's 15 Minute Meals is available at Kmart for $25, so as a convert I might have to go and buy a few copies as Christmas presents.

As proof that we really aren't boring, staid, stay at home forty somethings, on Sunday we led a family expedition to David Walsh's free concert 'Standing in the Shadows of MONA' a Motown inspired sing along accompanied by the Southern Gospel Choir on the lawn at MONA. Most of Hobart was there from oldies in wheelchairs to newborn babies and EVERYONE in between.....there was barely a blade of grass to be seen:

Let's face it, MONA, David Walsh's own temple of art and hedonism has made Hobart cool. Thanks David!

My children are always embarrassed to see me sing out the supermarket....along with the radio in the car......on the lawn at MONA. Yet how could I resist as they worked up a rendition of one of those old disco anthems, The Jackson Five's classic 'Don't Blame it on the Boogie'. Memories of how wee used to boogie on down to this song at Launceston's nasty nightclub 'Hot Gossip' or rather 'Hot Vomit' came flooding back. For me this one song brought back in vivid detail the halcyon days of the early nineties.....on the multicoloured chequerboard back lit dance floor al la 'Saturday Night Fever' when we knew all the moves. I restrained from demonstrating them publicly on Sunday.

Brian Ritchie, one of the Violent Femmes was also on stage at MONA, as he too calls Hobart home. Remember the Violent Femmes? To me one of their albums takes me back to the year when a friend on a local B & S organising committee gave me and a couple of the girls a gig cleaning all of the dirty plastic glasses from the year return for a free ticket. The things that you do. There were sights in the bottom of some of those glasses that I wished I'd never clapped eyes on. Anyway, the night before the party, in a shearing shed somewhere in a paddock, the Violent Femmes was playing at full volume on the ghetto farmer kept turning it down....because his grandmother, who lived 8 kms up the road, might hear it and be offended by some of the lyrics. True story.

And this weekend I have another opportunity to regress back into my misspent youth, when we go to see Blondie live.....with a friend who used to know every single word to the rap part of 'Rapture'. I wonder if she still does.


Sunday, 25 November 2012


Yesterday, my husband came home from work early and took over the role of coordinating our children's hectic schedule of Saturday that I could flit off on a tour organised by Karen Wagner, a very talented garden designer around town, to Weston Farm in the countryside just outside Hobart to see Richard and Belinda Weston's heartstoppingly beautiful peonies in full bloom:

I dressed accordingly, digging out a very old flowery Collette Dinnigan skirt that I wore to a lunch the day after our wedding.....almost 14 years ago. Think that's old, the Pringle of Scotland knit that I wore is part of a twinset that used to be owned by my aunt and by my calculations it must be almost fifty years old:

Look how fab it all looked out amongst the paddocks full of peonies:

Yet again, I matched....see:

On this occasion, I didn't have a compliant husband to take photos for me and frankly, I was too embarrassed to ask anybody case they thought that I had been sniffing something other than the heady scent of peony flowers.

With access to real live peony farmers, I didn't hold back and asked a million questions. At one stage, I shamelessly pulled out my iPhone and showed Richard photos of the peonies growing in my garden in the quest to try and determine which varieties they actually are. Now let me properly introduce you to what could possibly be 'Adolphe Rousseau':

and what most definitely is 'Monsieur Jules Elie':

As for the rogue peony in my garden that has caused me no end of angst because it hasn't flowered for five long years....well, we narrowed the causes down to being that the plant could have been too small when we bought it (beware, always check the roots and the crown as there must be a minimum of three nodules to guarantee fast flowing) which means that it has needed the five years just to get to flowering size, or my husband could have planted it too deeply (the crown needs to sit just below the soil level). So, I'm going to feed it with lime around the periphery of the plant in autumn (never put fertiliser on the actual plant), which is prime fertilising time.....and hope for the spring next year. If that doesn't finally elicit a bloom, then I can dig it up in autumn the year after and re plant it.

And KAR from The House A Blog Built, as promised I quizzed the peony farmer all about growing peonies on the Adelaide plains. The upshot being that it's no problem growing them in the hills (yet somehow I don't think that you want to move just to grow peonies after you have put in so much dedicated work on renovating your gorgeous home), yet down on the plains you might just be lucky if you plant in a cool, shady place that gets some direct sunlight. It's worth a try, yet he did clarify that as peonies originated in Mongolia, Russia and Japan......Adelaide might just be too hot.

After tiptoeing through the peonies, there was an utterly magnificent afternoon tea put on in their glorious back garden:

I went home with a serious dose of garden much so that this morning I was out in my bathrobe demonstrating a new dedication to my garden by deadheading roses and the ungodly hour of 8am.


PS If you live in Hobart, Belinda from Weston's Farm sells peonies in season on Sunday's at the Farm Gate Market.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


How embarrassing. Today while on the phone I was forced to admit that I was at the bottom of the garden taking photos of the peonies. bud:

And full bloom:

I'm going to an actual peony farm just outside Hobart on Saturday.....needless to say, my excitement knows no bounds.

Perhaps my flower addiction may have become just a tad out of hand. As evidenced by the fact that today I may have selected my clothes while bewitched by my singleminded obsession. Look, here's a photo of me inside:

And then, outside:

See.....I match my garden:

And just for the record, it was my husband who suggested that I stand precariously perched on top of the heat pump you do.

I love this LK Bennett skirt, it brings back such happy memories of a trip to London almost 9 years ago when we stayed with friends in the way, same friend, if you happen to be reading this we need to talk to workshop next Saturday night!

This afternoon, between school pick ups, I rushed into town because my phone was beeping to remind me that today was the day that the Collette Dinnigan for the Australian Ballet at Target launched. One of my girls may have outgrown it, yet I was keen to deck the little one out in it....honestly what a gorgeous combination, Collette Dinnigan and ballet inspired outfits:

Source: Target Online

So imagine my disappointment when I had to take two turns around the children's department at Target and still couldn't find any trace of Collette Dinnigan's collaboration. I was somewhat concerned yet kept telling myself that they must have created a special display. I was deluded. When I finally found a staff member to ask it was only to be told that it was unavailable in Tasmania, the stock only went to Target in Launceston. Quelle horreur. Especially as various bits and pieces had already sold out online when I checked this morning. So what did I do.....I rang my Mum, who lives in Launceston, and she was only to happy to go shopping. Phew.


Monday, 19 November 2012


You could set your clock by my day to day, term time routine, so repetitive is my behaviour......although if you did you'd no doubt be running just a little bit late and invariably quite bored. During the week, the first thing that I do once my pulse has recovered from the panic induced by breakfast and school run preparation, is to go and lie in the hot room on the mat and do a Bikram Yoga class. Here I must apologise for forgetting to announce the winner of the Bikram Yoga introductory pass without further ado.....drumroll please....the prize goes to my newest follower A Smaller Pond....if you can email me with your details then we can organise your first Bikram Yoga class.

In the short window of time after yoga and before picking the children up from school, time which is enhanced by the fact that this is when my almost two year old conveniently has her nap, last week I spent it gardening:

Which has been reaping rewards as look at some of the flowers I've picked:

And finally, hurrah, the peonies are flowering:

Before we moved in, our house had been uninhabited for 18 months. The garden was choked with waist high ivy so I really had no idea what was underneath. In the year that it took for me to work my way around pulling the ivy out by hand, I was rewarded by red shoots signalling herbaceous peonies. I'd hit the gardening jackpot. Subsequently, I've planted two more peonies, one of which has been in the ground for FIVE long years and has never flowered. I had been hoping that this might be the year.......however it's not to be.

Our suburb has an annual streetscape prize which is awarded to a house which has beautified it's appearance. I'm disappointed to say that we've never won despite SERIOUS house and garden tarting up efforts. I'm thinking that the very front garden has let us suffers from the tyranny of distance as it's way away in the bottom of the garden, so it tends to get overlooked. Years ago, it used to be the home to an assortment of massive, self seeded cotoneaster trees and carpeted with the dreaded ivy. Having done away with the cotoneasters and waged a constant battle against the ivy, we planted hedges of box and Magnolia 'Little Gem' which are just starting to join together.  I used to have a hedge of white lavender in the middle yet last year I replaced it with the white flower carpet rose in an attempt to fill in all of gaps and smother any weeds which dare to show their ugly heads. As there are a lot of gaps while the plants are little, there have been a lot of weeds.

I used to have a chap who helped me with the garden yet he's upped stumps and because my husband is determined not to become my new garden helper, I've been carrying the can solo. Yesterday, he let himself be talked into a bit of a gardening session and we gave the front garden a good weed:

Last month a gardener around town quoted to undertake this task for a jaw droopingly huge amount of money as he said that it would take two men a whole took the two of us two hours.....AND I trimmed the hedges.....AND planted more roses.

I may have been gardening but all I've wanted to do is sit around and read this book which I am utterly besotted with:

Paris, travel, history, food and restaurant recommendations it's all here and written in such a charming conversational style. I've just finished the chapter about Orleans and Joan of Arc and couldn't help giggling when Ina recounted how on arrival in France before she set out on the Joan of Arc trail, she booked herself into a health spa in preparation for all of the delicious food she was anticipating eating. I've been known to do a similar thing myself.....I once did the cabbage soup diet for two weeks before our first trip to Italy as I knew that I was going to be consuming an awful lot of pizza, pasta and gelati. It worked. I will be sad to finish this book yet have Irrepressible: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford sitting on my bedside table all set to go, so that should be some consolation.

Maybe because my head has been full of thoughts of Paris inspired by this book, on the weekend we gave up our curry fixation and I cooked a French meal instead.....although how French it is exactly is questionable as the recipe came from a Rick Stein cookbook. Anyway, it was Duck Breast in a Chocolate Sauce with pommes puree and it was delicious and easy. So, if you are tempted to cook this all you need is a duck breast per person which you brown in a pan for 2 minutes on each side and remove to a plate. Then add a roughly chopped carrot, onion and garlic to the duck fat left behind in the pan and sautee, stirring occasionally for abut 10 minutes. Then pour in almost an entire bottle of red wine.....I purposely bought a bottle of Languedoc red from our local bottleshop which is from the part of France Rick said inspired the recipe and because if was only $15.....with a couple of bay leaves and a few thyme sprigs. Let this bubble away gently for about 10 minutes and then put the duck breast back into the liquid and give two more minutes each side. Remove the duck, cover and put in a low oven to keep warm. Strain the liquid and get rid of the chunky bits, then put the liquid back in the pan and add a handful of squidgey prunes (you may need to soak) and 15g dark chocolate. Reduce to a nice saucy consistency and then spoon over the sliced duck breasts. I didn't take a photo as it was late and it looked too brown and not particularly appetising, yet trust me, it tasted sublime. To make the pommes puree, all I did was make mashed potato with extra milk and an electric hand mixer to make them extra fluffy.

On Saturday, I led an expedition with our two youngest children to see the Myer Christmas Pageant. I must say that this year was better than in the past, yet once again, all of the strange Star Wars fetishists donned their kit and had the opportunity to parade down the main street of town:

It did make me laugh, yet there really is something quite nice, unpretentious and very Hobart about the homemade aspect of the Christmas Pageant.....I recognised four of various friends children skipping rope or dressed up in Christmas costumes and waving as and they participated......and the children loved it.

As my routine dictates, I've also been haunting various auctions around town. I missed out with my absentee bids when Mossgreen Auctions came to town to auction off the contents of a house just up the road, which was a shame as they had some very covetable miniatures:

Yet I struck success at Gowans with this hall table which I instantly gravitated to, even though it was in the ugliest part of the shed, because one of the legs looks like that of a lion:

I've put on the upstairs landing.....a part of the house which has previously been very sparsely furnished:

I wonder what I'll find at the auction this week.........when I'm perusing what's on 11.37am.....precisely.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012


I have been busily putting in the hard yards in the garden:

Weeding, weeding, weeding and mulching.....and weeding. Last year, when I was desperately trying to eradicate an outbreak of twitch in this very same garden bed I stumbled upon Organic Sugar Cane is fabulous as it turns into a sort of garden carpet which smothers weeds.....well, for a while at least. My husband snickers and says that it may be labelled 'organic' yet once a chain smoking truckie has driven it all the way down to Hobart from Queensland, he is sure that it's not good for the environment.

It's good for my gardening state of mind though. Look how miraculously neat it's made my topiary border look:

Along with the hours last week that I spent trimming it all with a pair of scissors. I have a bit of a thing for English Box topiary and grew all of my own from cuttings. It only took about six years for my hedges to join up:

And long periods of time were involved in creating these standards:

This poor rooster that looks like a reindeer is in a bit of trouble as it's roots somehow became waterlogged:

I'm hoping that I can resuscitate it by re potting it with new compost. Fingers crossed, as I've been cultivating it for eleven years.

Gardening is all about patience. A virtue I'll admit I'm not very good at, and I know this for a fact because I have a garden and four children. I'm working on it, though.