Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not sure what was going on here? Fire drill??? The photo looks like it's been put together but it's just a straight shot. I really like it.

We had a date in the city, rode our bikes to the station talked on the train, ate laksa, drank iced coffee, read the paper, bought a Swedish goat skin hat/ tea cosy (for, you know, those snowy days...), looked at street art...I like hanging out with my husband. Just as well huh. we've just been to his father's funeral in Adelaide. A big, beautiful family affair with a wake in which we sang Irish songs around the coffin at the family home, everyone told stories, cried, laughed. So special. A perfect send- off for a much loved and respected man.

Random photos from the Hipstamatic. It's just so great. You can take a photo of your big toe and it will look so great (I'll do that tomorrow..)

Fan-bloomin-tastic to be on holiday, though I simply must attempt to find some gainful casual employment. Later....

Listening to - Laura Marling, the Felice Brothers.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Hipstamatic Lerv

Big Honey at desk looking rather 'Days of Yore' , apart from the computer, and the PJs....

Almost at the semester finish line. Last written exam today (History of Electronic Music - fabulous subject) - some of my answers were for example: "That french guy" and ''the other American one" but all in all a good effort I think. My recital is next Tuesday. Slightly freaked but prepared and fronting up nonetheless. I'm looking forward to being more mother, less student for a change.

The apricots are coming, the tomatoes are climbing the spectacular frames Big Honey constructed, inspired by our Greek neighbour who gave us the seedlings (last year he looked at our nursery purchased tomato plants and said "these are shit, pull them out, I give you mine, they are good". Can't argue with that wisdom. And he was right. Never eaten a tomato like it....except in Greece.....

Big Honey is in Adelaide with his family - his father is passing away and they are all by his side. Big connected, lovely family, there at the drop of a hat, sleeping by his side in turn. Pretty special. The kids and I are there next week.

May whatever you are wrapping up for the year be wrapping smoothly. May your fruits be fruiting and your loved ones be close. x

Monday, October 10, 2011


we had a holiday. a real one. the kind where you sleep a lot, wander the beach, stay up late singing old songs, eat ridiculous amounts of excellent food, go fishing, read books, dip a toe into country life even for a few days...glorious.

we stayed with our friends in their (most glamorous) shed (I've ever seen anyway!) and rekindled our love of morning coffee.

when we came home my gorgeous man turned 48 and there was much baking and feasting with friends.

I seem to make the same cake every time there is a birthday - it is always good. here is the recipe - you will love it..

flourless orange cake
  • 2 oranges boiled whole for 1 to 2 hours (until soft enough to mash with a blender/processor/bar mix..)
  • a cup of sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 250g almond meal
  • a cup of orange juice
  • orange rind
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 40ml grand marnier or cointreau
  • preheat oven to 190 celcius
  • mash oranges
  • add sugar, eggs and almond meal
  • mix well
  • poor into spring form pan lined with baking paper
  • bake for 50 mins
  • to make glaze put all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • remove cake from tin when baked and put on large plate
  • pour over the glaze while the cake is still hot.
  • serve with loads of cream

the sun is out and the bees are swarming
seedlings are sprouting and our garden feels like eden.
tomorrow I am back at uni to masquerade once more as a student!
the year is speeding past and the children are growing like weeds....beautiful weeds.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One more week of classes, then exams and recitals and more time to write here xxx

Listening to the Felice Brothers, Patti Smith, 9th chords, a naughty rooster every morning at 5am, frequency ranges, Martin's tin whistle and spoon solos,the kids' new songs, Balinese Gamelan, my very talented class mates and teachers.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Oh that's right I have a blog! Full time student - whole new ball game. It's really challenging and really fun and I'm learning so much and trying not to spread myself to thinly. I love my class mates and the teachers are amazing and I'm listening to so much fantastic music. Hard to believe a semester is almost over (in 5 weeks). The kids are really happy at school, Martin's business is rolling along (there's a great article about Martin and beekeeping in the latest GREEN magazine - issue #18)nicely and he has managed to keep our garden moving with the seasons, all the sunflowers, cosmos, tomatoes, summer veges are gone and more potatoes, broad beans, beetroot and carrots are poking up through the soil. We've planted seeds and saved many from the summer crop.
Look what came out of our garden this summer! Our land lord gave us the olives from the tree on their side - he has a simple recipe for pickling that involves no changing of water. Delicious. We have had apples galore and pears, and last weekend Martin and the kids picked the figs with some friends and I made fig and ginger jam. A couple of the chickens appear to be laying - our early morning Productivity Meetings might finally be having some effect. Most of the bees have moved on to new homes with the beautiful hives Martin has been building for clients.

I've been riding my bike to Uni in this glorious autumn weather. I do feel very fortunate to be studying something I love. I've had a few meltdowns but I anticipated some anxiety about performing again after all these years. No surprise. I'm the oldest person in my year - the youngest are old enough to be my kids! I'm trying to just be where I'm at without placing too high expectations on myself - trying not to sell myself short either. I'll let you know how that goes!!!

Right now the house is quiet - the kids have gone for another week and we are in the initial phase where we wander slightly aimless and empty for a day until we get used to their absence. I like that the house is getting a bit chilly and the heater goes on some evenings and when it's a little over cast like today I can justify staying inside and eating sweet things and drinking tea....We have almost been here a whole year!

Hope you are all happy and the season (whatever it is on your side of the world) is treating you well.

Listening to Esperanza Spalding, Tom Waits, the Beatles, the Beach Boys....

Friday, January 28, 2011

We had 6 adults and 4 kids at home over the weekend - it was wonderful - music, food and laughter - most of it happening in our back garden. Then we went to Somers for three days to stay at a friend's beach house. The kids are in heaven with sand, water and rocks. It all reminded me of my own childhood; being out in the surf until the salt stung my eyes and my body ached from catching waves; going to bed with sand mysteriously in every nook and cranny even after a long shower; people in our house all summer, kids all bunked down on mattresses in one room, parents drinking wine, playing John Denver and sleeping in while we rattled around happily in the morning as long as someone put some food out for us! I remember the blissful awareness that I was still up way past my usual bed time. Summer seemed endless and we were sun kissed, bright eyed and a bit feral.

I enrolled in music school yesterday and met some of my class mates - 17 years olds with strong musical opinion/identity and so happy to share stories. One girl (who plays bass) Said "I know it sounds dumb but I just discovered Stevie Wonder and I've been listening to him non-stop for the last month!" Excellent. I am in good company.

I will leave the land of organic fruit and veg behind - it has been kind to me for the last 7 years. I'm on the hunt for a piano. Maybe electric even. And I dream of learning the fiddle and stepping up at an Irish session and letting it rip, or glide according to the mood.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A bit infatuated with our garden as you can tell from the amount of photos. We utter daily words of gratitude for this place and pray to the gods that we will not be required to leave at least until the children have finished high school! There is already now so much food in our garden - apricots, apples, nectarines, peaches, plums, pears, chestnuts, berries, grapes, figs, olives - not all producing fruit just yet..eggs and honey, tomatoes, lettuce, silver beet, basil, parsley, oregano, chives, thyme, rosemary, kale, potatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, Italian beans, string beans, sunflower seeds..and the plan is to plant more variety - we have a big long fence line on which to espalier and more lawn space to dedicate to vege garden. We plan to save our seeds and some of the flowers have already sprouted again. The californian poppies, cosmos, nasturtiums, calendular, salvia, and sunflowers have provided delicate colour - purples, orange, yellow and so many shades of green, not just for our own visual feast but for our beloved bees who haven't had to go far to forage.

Golden delicious hanging over the neighbour's fence.

Martin's splendid shed. Inside he has propped up the work bench with two stacked Langstrop hives, empty, with no intent to use and then one evening he brought a swarm home that he'd removed from someone's garden. Left them in a bucket over night with the aim to set them free in the bush the next day but they had already moved on in to the shed. So now they fly in and out, we go in and out, everyone respectful of each other...One afternoon I went to fetch a spade from the shed and the door was shut. The bees were hovering in a great cloud, waiting to be let in....

Going to keep all the seeds from these big mamas. Anyone harvested them for eating purposes? How did that go?

Our four new hens appear to be in fact quite old and/or completely traumatised from extended time in cages. So freaked out they were it has taken them a week to venture out of their chateau, into their yard and only today have they worked out that scratching at the ground leads to leisurely snacking. Once they start bathing in the dirt all will be well. They have no idea that they have landed in paradise.


There will be saucing, and perhaps even some sun-drying and most definitely tomato, red onion feta and basil salad.

The spuds are gooood. 14 kg of creamy, sweet nicola, born of 8 sprouted ladies I brought home from work in springtime.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

rouge de marmande

Ode To Tomatoes by Pablo Neruda
The street
filled with tomatoes,
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it's time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

Four new ladies arrived yesterday, courtesy of our landlord. Handsome five star Rustica accommodation awaiting them.

Monday, January 10, 2011


We were planning to go camping this week, but our plans fell through so we find ourselves camping in our own back yard, which has turned out to be lovely, relaxing and full of visitors. The sunflowers and tomatoes are out, the pool is up, the tent is providing shade and the phone is off the hook as it were.

I'm sitting here reading the course outline for my Bachelor of Music, feeling quite excited at the prospect of immersing myself in it all again. I think it will be a busy year for us all, in a good way. Martin launching his Sustainable beekeeping business, Beau starting feels as though the last year was about finding our feet and now we can start walking. Or skipping as the mood takes us..

My friend passed on these gorgeous photos by a Finnish Mama who created these while her baby daughter slept. What a clever lady!!

Mila's Daydreams

Illustration Friday

Listening to The Black Cab Sessions.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In all her power and splendor, Bridget birthed her 4th beautiful boy Cruz, on Wednesday morning at home in the early morning, in the warm waters of the birth pool. It was very quiet, relaxed and reverent. What a wonderful thing to behold.

A gift for the wee one.

We spent New Years Eve with dear friends on the Peninsula. Paella, home made chorizo and top shelf bubbly. The latter causing some serious morning woah to its imbibers...

And just a picture of the garden because it's even more magnificent today......

Happy New Year everyone!