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Look who arrived this morning along with four little siblings!  We are very excited!

Bruny Island Weekend

After a busy Saturday market, on glorious spring day, we drove south to catch the ferry across the channel. We were heading to a Slow Food event - a dinner cooked by Ross O' Meara at the Lunawanna Hall, a little village on the south of the island.

Everything we ate was sourced on this tiny island off the coast of Tasmania.  Olives, oysters, pork rillettes, wallaby terrine, possum and rabbit sausages, corned wallaby legs (so delicious!) really incredible ( I mean, really incredible) spit roasted lamb, some greens and buttery pink eyes finishing with a simple Scottish dessert called cranachan. All washed down with Bruny Island wines.

We stayed at Ross's busy farm nearby and after a luxurious breakfast, slowly meandered back to the ferry, stopping to climb the lookout at the Neck, take a quick paddle on sunny Nebraska beach and drive past Daisy Banks my dream cottage by the sea that's for sale. On the voyage back to the mainland, I dreamt of moving to this magic island one I always do every time I visit.

Groundskeeper please

Rhubarb, artichokes, lemons, apple blossoms and chives.  There is an abundace of beautiful things in the garden right now.

But in spring, it seems that no matter how long I spend in the garden, I never will finish all the jobs that need doing. Gardening certainly keeps those prioritising skills in good use. I could happily spend all day gardening (weeding) and still not make a dent in the list of chores. If only I had full time groundskeeper to keep on top of everything.

This week, the garden chores are::

  • Plant six new rhubarb crowns I was given 
  • Pull out the last of the winter greens and dig over the beds to make room for spring planting 
  • Finish planting my bare rooted trees (oops) 
  • Weeding
  • Sow some parsley seeds
  • Find some space to plant the rest of the potatoes 
  • String up the tomato plants in the green house 
  • Mow the lawn 
  • Extend the chicken run 
  • Build a net for the currants 
  • Weeding
  • Pick a few kilos of those lemons 
  • Give all the plants a jolly good feed with worm wee 
  • Did I mention weeding?
Righto, whilst the groundskeeper takes care of the garden, inside, I'd like to::
  • Paint the recently exposed wall, beam and ceiling before THAT oven arrives (any day now) 
  • Make 120 marshmallows for a special order 
  • Bake 180 odd cakes for the market on Saturday 
  • Have a good lie down 

That should keep me busy, although it's hardly likely I will get through the entire list. Not without the help of that groundskeeper.

A sweet day

I was thrilled when Gillian agreed to let me spend a day in her chocolate shop as work experience girl.  A chance to live out my Juliette Binoche fantasies and learn a little of the mysteries of the chocolatier.  I can't say that I'm much clearer on the magic of tempering chocolate, turning dull brown chocolate buttons into smooth shiny bars with a marvellous snap.  Nor did any Johnny Depp type gypsies come swaggering into the shop.  But I did have lots of fun, spending the day with fun and very clever people who make beautiful chocolates.

Social network peeps

 In the four years since we've had chooks, we've never managed to hatch any chicks.  Those hens have just never been broody, at least whilst there's a rooster around.  So when a friend put out the call on Facebook that he had some chicks to give away, we took three. Two black Hamburg/Frizzle crosses and a yellow fluffy something or rather.  They are so cute, the black ones especially with their white fluffy bottoms and the children adore them. Although Spoon is taking an unhealthy interest in them too.  The chicks will live in the kitchen under a heat lamp until they're old enough to go outside. About five weeks apparently. Although on sunny days they enjoy some sunshine on the lawn in a covered, hawk proof enclosure.

That takes the current total thirteen chooks living with us.  Of course, wouldn't you know it, this week two of the big hens have gone broody with both of them sitting on a clutch of fertile eggs.  Hmmm, we may be up for a few more chicks before this spring is through.