Life

“It’s never to late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be.  There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want.  You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing.  We can make the best or the worst of it.  I hope you make the best of it.  And I hope you see things that startle you.  I hope you feel things you never felt before.  I hope you meet people with a different point of view.  I hope you live a life you’re proud of.  If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Christmas Break

Still indulging in a relaxing, cosy Christmas time.

Things have started happening for us. I have my Truck License (so I can drive our bus around Australia).  I have been accepted into University to study Sustainable Development (by correspondence of course) – so am busy confirming, enrolling in units and organising my life so I am ready to do it come term beginning!

My friend and I have been getting into Henna tattoos and I am going a little bit crazy for them.  It’s a lot of fun and our plan is to take it with us around Australia, maybe set up some festival stalls around it – who knows.  Also am felting a bit and making some necklaces (felt is my textile passion) which is a whole lot of fun. Learning new piano pieces. Cooking lots of vego…

Me in a nutshell. Of course there’s so much more.

I was so proud of Sophia when she put some letters (sounds/phonics) together to make words. She is starting to recognise them of her own accord and I can really tell it’s all coming together in her clever little head.  It gives me enough encouragement to keep on going with her reading & writing.  We went on a coffee date yesterday and did some spelling together. Going on coffee dates is my favourite thing to do with her.

More later – perhaps some henna pics.

xo

Camping

What drives us to camp?  Is it a cry back to our primal days?  A chance to live as we used to? To absorb nature? Is it the dream of rest and relaxation? Because all these things seem to exist more in either the anticipation or in the reflection of the actual event.  The actuality is full of modern contrivances so that we do not have to live as ‘primitively’ as we might like to think ourselves capable of. In part I might welcome the opportunity to sleep out in the open and live off bush berries for a few days if it seriously cut back on all the cooking & cleaning I had to do!

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But, the memories make it worth it…

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The Australian bush is beautiful and it was fun to cook on the fire, build sandcastles, collect shells, discover our own ‘Mermaid Cove’, swim with the fish, dive in the surf.  And we saw a lot of wildlife, from crabs to possums, a red-bellied black snake, a very friendly goanna and of course kangaroos and a wallaby.

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We slept to the scratching and scrounging of who-knows-what animals, and gum leaves and sticks falling on our tent, in fact it was an area prone to trees falling and we saw one suddenly & entirely collapse only a hundred metres from our campsite.  Which kept me awake at night! In the morning it was noisy!  So many birds just having a party.

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I felt absolutely exhausted by the end, cooking & cleaning in makeshift conditions, dragging the kids around the beach and back, but times like these call for extra effort and the memories will always be special.

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Corinbank 2012

A photo blog post of the Corinbank 2012 festival held in the beautiful Brindabellas near Canberra.

This was one of the best festivals I have been to.  I tried to make the best of it, dragging the kids around from the wee small hours to the early night hours, but kids move slowly and they do not tolerate too many and varied adult type activities, so…? What can you do.

Things I didn’t manage to photograph:

Nudist in the nudie hot tub

Swimming in a secluded (freezing!) bush pool early in the  morning

Swagging it

Getting henna tattoos

In the chai tent, where we spent a bit of time each day! (This was the best chai most of us had ever tasted, by the way.)

The smells

The sounds

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Home Grown

It is sadly, satisfyingly novel to cook from your own garden.  Sadly because, really, it should be the norm to gather our own food rather than pay for it. Satisfying because there is a real sense of acheivement (though one does so little!) in watching a seed that you have planted grow into a tiny sprout, into a bigger plant and finally fruit to make its way to your dinner plate.

A few days ago I harvested Broad Beans, Garlic bulbs and Garlic flowers and Thyme to make a Broad Bean Casserole. (I will not include the recipe as I’m not a particularly fussy eater, and though I enjoyed it immensely, others may not, and really you would probably have the same results if you just played around with your ingredients as I did!)  The total list of ingredients were: Broad beans (pre-boiled), green beans, one garlic bulb, a few garlic flowers (with stems), sprigs of thyme, onions, mushrooms vege stock, cornflour. Short & simple. Everything could collected from the garden, it’s all in the timing. In fact I have all of these things in my garden a times

Speaking of garlic flowers, have you ever tried them?  The first time I ever ate one was in New Zealand whilst being hosted on the property of a woman who had the most incredible permaculture style garden I had then yet seen.  They are…sublime! The flowers are unbelievable exactly like a very young garlic bulb, without the dirt, a lovely subtle flavour.

Growing veges is easy peasy, I would encougage anyone to try it.  Sometimes all you need to do is push a few seeds under the earth, water them a few times a week, and wait and watch.

Glorious.

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Garlic Flower Head

Dandelion Head among Rocket Flowers (I like to grow Dandelion in my vege ‘patch’, they are edible and good for the soil, they aren’t given enough of a chance.  Great for the liver!)

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Leek Flower Heads

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All from my garden Garlic Cloves, Thyme, Garlic Flower Heads

The assembled dish! Don’t you just love my orange counter top!
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Friends

This week I have been thankful for good friends.

I was lucky enough to go to Corinbank this weekend.  Sadly, hubby couldn’t make it as he was drowning in assessment and looking forward to a week of tests.  So it was just me and the kids in our swag – which was surprisingly comfortable. I do love our swag.

So anyway. Me, kids, sans husband, but plus several wonderful friends.

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(On the farmost right hand side is our swag.)

I am a very lucky lady to be surrounded by this mob.

I was thinking a little bit about friends recently.  Thinking about how wonderful it is that, even though I have my faults and they have their faults, we can all lovingly put up with eachother whilst also gently pushing eachother to change or think of other view points – when they sense with their special spidey-friend-sense when the right time to do that pushing is, or possibly, more correctly, when it really is NOT the right time to bring such matters up.

I have my faults; God knows it, I know it, husband knows it, but the best I can do with those faults sometimes is to laugh about them and laugh at myself.

God help me if I ever take myself too seriously.  God help my friends if I ever do!  I think it is hard to be friends with someone who takes themself too seriously and refuses to either alter or laugh at oneself.

And I don’t think that you always have to change per se, but it is very important to know that you are not always right, and if you find you can’t change it is important to take yourself lightly and tolerate your own peccadilloes graciously.  That’s for sure.