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It's been fun...

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say cook-coo cook-coo, cook-coo
Regretfully they tell us cook-coo
But firmly they compel us cook-coo
To say goodbye cook-coo...
To you...
So long farewell, auf weidersehen good-bye
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight
So long farewell, auf weidersehen adieu
Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you
So long farewell, au revior auf weidersehen
I'd like to stay and taste my first champagne
So long farewell, auf weidersehen goodnight
I leave and heave a sigh and say good bye - goodbyyyyyyeeeee!
I'm glad... to go.... I cannot tell a lie
I fleet, I float, I fleetly flee I fly...
The sun... has gone... to bed and so must I...
So long...farewell...auf weidersehen goodbye...
Goodbye Big Cat...
Goodbye Bell Girl ....
Goodbye Curly Pops and Flossy P....
Goodbye Blogtoberfesters - see you next year!

Veg about in the snowpeas

Joining in with Bellgirl's Veg About. Here are some scenes from the snow pea patch.

The broad beans are looking so healthy and lush. I made lunch yesterday with them, along with other produce from our garden, a sort of broad bean dip. I picked some young garlic, a weedy one to make more room for the more vigorous. The remaining garlic crop won't be ready until mid summer. Fresh young garlic is so sweet. Some mint and parsley. Some moistened stale sourdough. Mooshed together with loads of lemon juice, olive oil. Salt & pepper. Finish with a generous sprinkle of sumac.

Bloody delicious!


We're home! What a wonderful trip. Love love love Hawaii. Bad news is that my camera broke when we arrived, so two whole days of intrepid travel are unrecorded. Good news is we bought a new one. But, by then I didn't get to see so much of Honolulu, as there was a nice man who kept coming around to my ever so comfy lounge chair by the pool with pretty coloured fruit punch. Doesn't make for very interesting photos, but heck it was bliss...


We're off to visit tropical climes. Be back soon...

watch me fly

Hugo is obsessed with planes, rockets and helicopters at the moment. One! two! three! four! sixteen! twelve! blast off!

So this morning I made him a pair of aeroplane wings out of a cardboard box. He flew around the yard at such a pace. So, so fast! So, so adorably cute!

Big sister also joined in on the aeronautical action with a pair of butterfly wings.

All that warp speed action, I need a break....

Here's tae us of the Glen

I love our village's community hall. It's a simple weatherboard building built, I guess, between the wars. The walls in the supper room, with its cosy open fire, are lined with faded black and white photos of cricket teams from the 1930s and 40s. Along with the obligatory photo of a young Her Maj, in her post coronation glory. Polished floorboards, big old windows and beautiful utilitarian lampshades, I find the building's simple, informal country aesthetic so honest.

The hall was awash with tartan last night for a ceilidh (pronounced kaylee), a Scottish country dance. Not to be confused with Highland dancing, this is danced in groups of two, three or four couples, facing each other in lines or squares. And being held at a family friendly hour of 5.30, all the bairns had a chance to reel around the hall. Very special.

Little dumplings

You gotta love an activity that not only keeps the littlies occupied, but gets dinner sorted at the same time. And the dumplings we made tonight do just that.

It's so simple, and you can sneak in some vegetables too. Get some dim sum wrappers from the deli, mine only stock square papers but I think perhaps round would look better. Prepare the filling by browning some ground beef, or pork or chicken, whatever you like, with ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy. I also added grated carrot, finely chopped bok choy and a tiny bit of green onion.

Place a bowl of the cooled filling, a small bowl of water and a plate of wrappers on the table. Now to assemble, this is the part the smalls can do. Take one wrapper and using your finger, wet the edges with water.

Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into the wrapper. Fold over and squeeze the edges to seal.

To cook, heat a nonstick frypan then add a drizzle of oil and a splash of water. Quickly add a few dumplings, cover and allow to fry/steam for a couple of minutes on each side.

Serve with dipping sauce of soy ....

watch them being demolished....whilst feeling smug about successfully sneaking carrot and bok choy into children's dinner.

Das Gras ist grün

Today some mammas got together for a bread baking session at a friend's farm. Our friend lives in such a lush green spot. This is her glorious back yard. Well, it's more of a paddock really isn't it?

We spent the morning in a big sunny kitchen talking about things that mammas do whilst watching the children play in the wide green spaces. The whole process of making bread - watching the ingredients come together, kneading and shaping the dough and the delicious aromas that waft throughout the house while baking is so very comforting.

More green goodness awaited at home in the letterbox with a beautiful package from love you big.

Then a lazy afternoon spent dreaming on the lush green grass.

The Secret

The first time I heard of The Secret was when these guys did a parody. I haven't read the book, bought the DVD, signed up for any Secret Scrolls or really know that much about it.

But unwittingly I seem to have cracked The Secret - it really works.

You see, I put it out there that I wanted a holiday. Then we bought Hugo a ukulele. The Universe listened. Poof! Aloha! Next thing I know, my husband walks in the door telling me that he's WON a trip to Hawaii. Hooray!

Sound too good to be true? Well, there are a few catches, most importantly, the children aren't invited...(maybe I shoulda signed up for those Secret Scrolls to glean a few instructions....) I'm feeling quite anxious about leaving the children, even though they'll be here with their Nonna.

Second catch, my husband won the trip through the company he works for. It's a bit of a corporate love in for colleagues from around the country who will be joining us. There'll be lots of business dinners, and ahem, daily motivational sessions. For both of us. Yay Team...So while we won't be off on any romantic dinners, well, not without the business unit coming along too, I'm so excited to be heading off to a tropical paradise. Next week!

At the very least, the thought of nine and half hours on a plane without interruptions, a swag of magazines and a can of gin & tonic (hey, we're flying Jetstar) is so enough of a holiday for me ...oh bliss....oh happy days...Thank you Universe!

photo credit

Hip Hip Hooray - we're one today!

Can I join in yet?

I hope I'm not jumping the gun, over stepping the mark, breaking some blogging etiquette. But darn it, I really want to play and this week's theme is too good to resist. So before I'm added to the official Who's Playing list, I'm just going to go right ahead and start This Is...My Current Reading Material. But first I will say thank you to My Champagne Dreams for a theme very close to my heart and thanks to Angela at Three Buttons for hosting This Is.....

I love books, I have piles of books all over the house. When the AUD was at an all time high of around 98c, well, I just went crazy on Amazon, the recent free fall of our dollar has put the kaibosh on that little habit - poop.

Oh well, luckily we have an amazing library service - you can access the State Library catalogue from home, place a book on hold and get it delivered to your nearest branch. My lovely librarian thinks all I do is lounge around reading books all day, I go through so many. If only...Most of them I quickly skim through, drool over the pictures or pick and choose chapters to read. Great prize winning novels they are not. I'm just crazy about books on parenting, cooking, gardening, design and interiors. Big chunky hard covers, mmm mmmm.

So, at any one time, I might grab any one of these books for a moment's inspiration, starting from the bottom of the pile....

THINK PINK - I constantly have to have this book in my house, it's on high rotation. I'm always renewing it, or placing a hold. It's my Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies. I love the interiors but more than anything I love the gardens.
MODERN COUNTRY STYLE - this is a beautiful book full of simple contemporary photographs. There is also great pattern for a linen curtain that I want to sew, and you know me, the great craft procrastinator, so I've had to renew this too. Several times. And will keep doing so. Until the curtain is done.
JAMIE AT HOME - I bought a copy as a gift, now I'm reading the library's copy.
STYLE - Shannon's gorgeous new book
THE PERMACULTURE GARDEN - Really inspiring book.
MORO - Lots of recipes using some of my favourite ingredients, chickpeas, spinach, paprika and chorizo, so delicious.
YOU ARE YOUR CHILD'S FIRST TEACHER & THE CHILDREN'S YEAR - my two Waldorf inspired parenting bibles.
TOAST catalogues - real autumnal eye candy.
EAT YOUR HEART OUT - I'm only up to page 14 and I'm already spooked. Fascinatingly scary reading about why the food business is bad for the planet and bad for your health.
SOAP NATURALLY - I made the most amazing batch of soap from this book last year for Christmas presents, but forgot to note down the recipe. So I've borrowed it again to make some more.
Amanda's book needs no introduction. I can truthfully say it's had a profound influence on the way I approach motherhood.
LONELY PLANET HAWAII - more about that soon ;)

Next to this pile is a basket full of children's books - I'm constantly reading those of course, and hopefully instilling a love of books to my children.

And behind that is the ubiquitous Keep Calm and Carry on Poster that I bought from here. Now that's something I really do read everyday, because as a mother of two small children, at times, I really do appreciate that marvelous British stiff upper lip sentiment.

Busy Birds

My goodness, I'm so totally chuffed to be included in Bellgirl's Blogtoberfest Crawl. Thank you lovelie!

Speaking of lovelies. I love watching birds. We're so lucky to have an amazing array of seasonal visitors who come to our place each spring to raise their little families. From the first light of dawn to well past dusk, our yard is bustling with the comings and goings of busy birds raising families accompanied by glorious birdsong. I have no idea what most are called, I really need a copy of this.

But this little one is easy to identify - my favourite - the Splendid Blue wren, these guys are extremely very small and extremely very busy. Therefore impossible to photograph, so I've had to use someone else's photo. I could have shown you my attempt at bird photography but the birds are all missing from my photos, they are all way too fast for my shutter speed.

This morning my husband was clearing a large tangled mess of overgrown blackberry when he found their little nest. What a perfect nest! Such adorable blue eggs! We carefully put the blackberry back. That job will have to wait until the little ones have, proverbially, flown the nest.

Sweet Sunny Day

Hugo wrestles a giant bubble blower at a birthday party this morning....phoaw!

Picked up some gorgeous crafty mama goodness at the Mothers Market....kerching!

Elsa tests the new swing we made today in the yard...weee!

A bit of tree climbing - with a blueberry smoothie moustache....yeah!

It's for you mum...awwww

A rather lovely hour

I must admit although spring is lovely, I do like the cold weather, and autumn is my favourite season (as I type, a whopping big blowfly buzzes around the room to verify this thought). So I'm a little wistful reading about mamas in the other part of the world embracing "fall" by celebrating harvests, picking and eating new season apples and canning, canning, canning.

Meanwhile, we're at the seasonal crossroads here in Tasmania, still eating last season's apples while waiting for those juicy summer peaches, cherries, apricots and berries to appear....can't wait.

So, inspired by all those apple pies being made by the blogging mamas, Hugo and I made a monster one today. A rather lovely hour as I sat and peeled apples whilst Hugo contentedly played with his dough. Happy times.

I would have posted a picture of said apple pie, but alas, my camera batteries died - Aw Scheiße!

My favourite photographer

Miss E had a play with the camera today. Here are some of her snaps...

Last page from her favourite book, The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow...She did photograph the entire book, but I thought I'd share the best one.

Still life on bedside table. So, so pink, so, so Elsa...

Das Kind ist gut mit einer Kamera - ja?