home appeal

Just imagine our veg garden like this but with no plants and chicken wire, and in Australia, and oh just better all around.

Just imagine our veg garden like this but with no plants and chicken wire, and in Australia, and oh just better all around.

I have pried the play dough from beneath my fingernails. breathed deeply of the fresh country air and reclaimed ownership of my side of the bed.

The three men, Mr FD, Son and Augie Dog, acquitted themselves very well in my absence. The dishes were washing in the dishwasher (I didn’t ask how many days worth of dishes they were), the floors had been cleaned, and while the sheets hadn’t been changed, the bed had at least been made!


The loveliest gift is the vegetable garden Son has grafted from our forest floor. This one is ringed by chicken wire in the hope of keeping out kangaroos and hares. He has planted tomatoes, beans and corn so far. There are raised gardens to accommodate at least a dozen different vegetables. Son has also arranged a number of large pots that my father made many years ago from cement, for our herbs. One already contains a capsicum plant. His grandfather would be so proud of his only grandson! He has even installed a watering system, which knowing him will soon be time activated.

I am scared to ask how his university studies are going in light of the time and effort he has spent on the garden, but he is an adult and so we won’t go there! I guess it is his third degree, he should know how to pace himself by now!

I feel energised from my time away from home, which is odd, I know, as I am physically tired. I think that just the change of place has made me see my home with fresh eyes. Sadly, school starts back next Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean a few little projects can’t still be accomplished. And I need to remember that it will only be 10 weeks until we have our 6 weeks of Christmas holidays.

Just 10 weeks, just 10 weeks…may the strength be with me!


dogs, foibles and the human condition

fence hole

The sun is shinning, the birds are chirping, Mr FD is still away…

The only downside of Mr FD’s absence has been Augie Dog.  Mr FD usually sees to Augie’s nightie toilet issues, but when he is away it falls to me. The uninterrupted nights I dream of become a bit of a farce when Augie starts whimpering bedside to go out for relief. A forty kilo Golden Retriever will not be ignored!

We don’t have doggie doors, as it would have to be the size of a small adult, and would just be an open invitation for snakes and other wildlife. Augie is more of an indoor dog as well, due to the snake issues, and limited fencing. That said, he does not suffer from his lack of independence.


Augie is also well trained. He knows exactly when it is time for me to rise each school morning. Sadly, he thinks I should rise at the same time on weekends and vacations as well! Sometimes, I just take him out to the toilet run before returning to bed, other times we take tea and toast together. He likes his toast still warm, buttered; peanut butter is permitted. So is vegemite, jam, honey and anything else Mama FD is having on her toast!

In the next couple of weeks, Augie will be getting a short back and sides trim for the warmer months, and maybe the piles of hair, full tufts, that he leaves everywhere will decrease. False dreams I know! Some days I do feel as though I just follow him about collecting hair. If only I was one of those women who turn animal hair into useful things like face washers or boot liners. As it is, I would probably vomit at the mere thought of it!

I did once in my earlier fashionista days wear a dress that had a portion of rabbit hair. That didn’t bother me until much later, but in the end I think I was almost relieved when I put on baby weight and we parted ways. And yet, I can tuck into a large beef steak with wild abandon. We are complicated individuals, we humans.

The issue I am grappling with today is : do I shed the pjs, or not?


over hill, over dale, we hit the boozy trail

lunch duo

Friend and I had a boozy lunch, if one glass of wine can be called a boozy lunch. Then we set to fixing the ills of the world. If you were sitting at the table next to us, we would have sounded like two grumpy old ladies, as we sorted politics, society’s meanness to others, childrearing, religion, dietary habits… oh, world peace and harmony in general, according to us!

After the caffeine of our  meal’s end coffee wore off, I realised how incredibly tired I felt. No doubt a combination of being nice for too long and righting the world’s wrongs.

I thought of many intelligent and witty comments to write as I drove home, but now that I am here with laptop and fresh tea I can think of none of them.

One thing has resurfaced – how much I love living in the country. To reach our rendezvous at restaurant in nearby village, I merely had to turn left out of our driveway, drive to the end of the road, turn right into the main street, waiting for three car to pass, then a left turn and follow my nose through the countryside to the restaurant, parking right outside the door. 7.4km – less than 10 minutes at a lovely country speed.

Dolce Far Niente.


Laying low


Last day of term commenced with Mass, then a joint morning tea where everyone, students and teachers, brought food to share. I have never seen so many packets of potato crisps in one place in my entire life (we call them “chips”; we also call fried fresh fries “chips”. It is a hangover from our colonial days!) After morning tea there was a “blow up” carnival – amusements all built on blow ups or inflatables – gladiators played in a bouncy air ring with balloon batons, a bouncy castle, a bouncy surf slide, bouncy boxing and … a rocking bull!

I must have finally lost all semblance of youth, for during my half hour of duty minding the students undertaking bouncy boxing and watching them hand the inflated gloves and head gear form student to student was “oh my, the head lice, and hand germs!” It almost made me ill just watching the communal gear…ugh. The high point was standing there and wishing and hoping that some of the more “challenging” students got a good biffo, even if it was with an inflated glove!

A group of students and teachers formed an impromptu group and jammed for the last hour which gave everyone time to chill out and then the bell rang, and I was no longer a Flamingo Dancer but a giselle racing to my car. I was in my favourite chair at home by 4.30!

car bye

Saturday morning, I farewelled Mr FD and his sister on a trip to visit an old family member with a milestone birthday. I have stayed home to spring clean and chill out. I just couldn’t face a nine hour drive  only the day after the end of term.

So, instead I made a huge dish of fruit salad to share with Son. We had strawberries, blueberries, pear, apple, mandarine, banana and black grapes. Delicious. I have also baked a classic chocolate coconut slice, the recipe I was given in year 8 at school, to have with coffee when Son’s mate visits this afternoon.


Augie and I are about to take an afternoon nap which is now my prerogative for the next few days.

Living the good life.

Season change


I spent the morning sorting winter clothes and washing the heavier items to put away until next year. Once again I wished that the gorgeous spring day would stay just as it was with its lovely temperate weather and blue skies. The birds were in full song and it was an absolutely perfect day in our country paradise.

We have been in our country abode for almost two years now and in recent weeks Son has been assisting me in reorganising the furniture in some rooms. If you have moved you will all know that flurry of initial placing of furniture that only time teaches you really doesn’t work, and so some reorganisation takes place.


We have been prompted a little by the knowledge that Daughter1, Mr Boy and Petite Fille are moving out of their house for a few months while renovation takes place and will be alternating between Mr Boy’s mother’s house and ours (ours will be weekend respite to give his Mum a break, as she lives in a small city house). Knowing that they will want to spend nights here means accommodating a small child and early nights as well as a house of adults and an Augie Dog!

So, the house is a mess on the way to becoming a thing of organisation and serenity. Then we shall all rest on our laurels in paradise!

Saturday in the country

open window

In an odd state of mind tonight.

Today would have been my Dad’s 90th birthday, so I have been thinking of him throughout the day. I don’t think I will ever stop missing him. Thinking of Dad leads me to thinking of BIL as the first anniversary of his death is not all that many weeks away. I guess mortality is on my mind.

I have more reasons to love my new doctor; for when I returned to have the stitches removed from where the mole was removed he informed me that the report stated that it was well on its way to turning into a melanoma. My new doctor may have just saved my life!

My body loves to make crazy cells : eye tumours, cancer cells and time bomb moles. I guess I have a fairly good idea what my end entails! But not tonight, dear…

minerva birthday

First Saturday in a couple of weeks that I felt half human so I dragged the mixing bowl from its cupboard and baked a batch of savoury muffins and cooked some vegetable fritters to restock the freezer with my school lunches. I also made some cherry and dried fruit muffins for a surprise morning tea we are going to have for Minerva’s birthday this week. The best thing is that we will close the library for one break to party! I think the closing of the library will be more exciting for Minerva than the food, as the students do try her patience some days.

I tell her that the way we deal with the issue is often the issue, but she hasn’t taken the hint. Then again, she has been there 10 years and I expect I may feel exactly the same in another seven years time. Every year there is a group that we are so pleased are graduating, but alas, there is always another troublesome group to take their place.

I sent six of my year 11 students to to work with another teacher in another building yesterday. All they had to do was walk from A to B, easy. It was only minutes later that I looked out of the window to see one of the boys being walked down to the detention room by the deputy head. What could he have done in just minutes to get into trouble, I have no idea, but then again that particular boy I am sure will either have his head kicked in or end up in jail once he is on his own.

Goodness me, I really am on a downer tonight. On the up side, only three weeks until September break. Spring is coming and they have predicted a 29C day on Tuesday! Today was glorious, about 25C with clear blue skies. I threw all the windows open to air the house and wished that it would stay just like this all year round. I am sure that somewhere it does, but we will be dry and oh so hot before we know up. They say air conditioning has been approved for the Library work areas… I hope it is not a cruel trick.  Too many of those already.