dog 6

I woke knowing I had to make pancakes this morning. I haven’t made pancakes in, forever. Augie Dog had his own pancake when Son and I breakfasted, and when Mr FD rose from his sleep in, Augie Dog lined up for another pancake.

He was so excited that he twirled around the kitchen while I cooked the pancake. Augie, not Mr FD. Alas, Mr FD’s twirling days are long ago. He can do a soft shoe shuffle though.

Afterwards, Son and I toured the vegetable garden and I picked some of the salad greens and included them on our lunch sandwiches. First harvest of salad greens from our new patch.

After lunch I settled down, a wine glass in hand, and watched one of those teary, warm and fuzzy Christmas movies that we all fall willing victim to at this time of year.

Just waiting for the Christmas tree to be brought in from the garage. What more can I say…



Peak hour and noisy neighbours

duck cow 2

Busy on the roads today. I had to wait for four cows and a duck to cross the road as I was driving down the long lane into the Village.


Five thirty am, I am standing in the kitchen crafting a sandwich for my school lunch when the alarm system starts shrilling. Mr FD starts shrilling from the bedroom, “What are you doing out there?”, which I ignore as I go to the control panel and start pressing numbers. Poor Augie dog hides in a far corner of the garage.

Son crawls from his room and takes over the control panel. We decide it is the fire alarm, but nothing is burning. I hadn’t even made toast.

Half an hour later the alarm is still screaming, so Mr FD phones the electrician who lives two houses away. His wife answers the phone with “The alarm, right?” before handing over to her husband.

No one came to check if we were burning in our beds.


not taking a leaf out of their book

bark 1

We have probably a dozen large gum trees on our property. They must be a hundred years old at least, some of the original forest in this area, before there was a Village, or streets, or houses. They are the tallest trees in the Village and can be seen for some distance.  Our trees provided the street appeal that had us falling in love with what is now our home, before we even got out of the car.  Majestic, stately, and once a year they shed bark.

Every single day, I sit quietly for a time and watch the trees growing, the birds living in their branches and thank the Big Whatever for leading us to our little piece of paradise.

This week, I arrived home from work to be told by Mr FD that our neighbours, who moved in about three months ago, had telephoned to complain about the leaves and bark that blew into their yard during a recent storm.

The inference was that we should chop down the trees.

Angry doesn’t quite describe my reaction.

How can you buy a house, next to a tree filled block and then complain about tree litter? None of the trees have any branches anywhere near their property, we are merely speaking of leaves and bark whipped up by the wind. Before the storm there was little litter on the ground as Son maintains the lawns as park like as is humanely possible.

Let me also share the information that their property also has trees, though not the type we have, ours are native. There are however the exact same trees on the crown land at the back of both our properties, land that is not maintained by the council and is therefore a fire hazard. There are also trees on the other side of their property adjoining with their other neighbour.

The trees are staying. They have no legal footing. If they want to return  the leaves to us we are quite happy to put them in our compost. Of course, they would need to confirm that they were our leaves and not anyone else’s.

Why do people have to go out of their way to be objectionable?

guess who is coming to town?


The G20 is taking place in Brisbane, about an hour’s drive from our Village. All week military helicopters having been flying over our house, first as training exercises and later, I can only surmise, as the world’s leaders started arriving.

Jacob Zuma of South Africa was the first to arrive on Thursday. The news reel showed only one wife, perhaps his others were in the luggage compartment.

I was in the school library, 2o minutes west of Brisbane, on Wednesday when Obama’s helicopters made a sortie overhead. Obama was still attending APEC in China, so it was a training run. They were such big, heavy craft that the noise made us stop speaking as we couldn’t be heard, and the sound waves could be felt. It really did feel like an invasion.

I support leaders getting together, but does it have to be in my back yard?


Update : food service, cake and Marie Antoinette.


For those who read my weekend post about my planned cooking frenzy, I am happy to report that I actually accomplished it!

I started with the Christmas cake by setting the fruit to soak in brandy Friday night, so that went into the over early Saturday morning. By the end of Saturday, I had accomplished aching feet, befuddled head, and eight meals x 3 servings to a total of 24 individual meals in the freezer.

The aromas in the kitchen drove both Augie Dog and Mr FD crazy all day as they were given no tempting tastes, well Augie may have scored a little bit here and there that might have hit the floor from time to time.


I would advise anyone attempting this to clean as you go. Once I had one recipe completed, I put all the dishes through the dishwasher before going onto the next. Far less stress in the end, and also no mountain of cleaning at day’s end when exhausted.  Also double the amount of storage containers you think you might need, so that you can portion appropriately to you family.

A little like a marathon I made sure I drank plenty of fluids and gave myself a lunch break. Pacing is important, otherwise you might find yourself putting the wrong ingredients in a recipe…not that I would ever do that! I can hear Daughers’ comments here, “Mum, remember the time you put a jar of mustard in a dish instead of a tablespoon? and the time…” 

Hopefully when the containers are taken out to eat, the food will be tasty and enticing, and don’t remain as rejects in the freezer for two years until we throw them out!

christmas koala

Every year, after I take the baked Christmas cake from the over, I always think “well even if something happens to me between now and Christmas, they will eat cake!” Marie Antoinette and I have a lot in common.

when the bloom of the jacaranda tree is here

The Jacaranda trees in the main street of our Village, are blooming in all their purple beauty.


“Too late to study when the Jacarandas are in bloom”.

The flowering season of Jacaranda has real and imaged meaning for students at the last year of high school and at university (school year ends November/December). The blooms signal the imminent exam season and some teachers warn that those who have not started studying by the time the trees start flowering cannot expect to do well in their exams. 


It also marks the end of our second year living in The Village, our secret Paradise. It really is true that life often takes you to places you never expected … and to happiness never contemplated. Counting blessings this day.