Sunday, August 28, 2016

A road trip and some realisations

Life can be full of glittering expectations.  Expectations of our home, family, children, career, holidays and so the list could continue forever.  Of course in reality these expectations are not always met.  Setting out on a road trip recently I was filled with hopes of new and exciting shopping and dining experiences paired with cosy accommodation and perfectly behaved children. 

While this trip was a lovely chunk of important family time which I am very grateful for, it also made me realise that the things that make my heart sing are actually right in front of me at home. 

A paddock full of winter wildflowers, almost too vast to capture with a camera. 

A cup of tea made with water from our tank and homemade biscuits.

Coriander flowers taking over my garden, too pretty to pull out and clean up, just yet. 

There is always bread, so grounding and dependable.  

Discoveries  in second hand shops actually fill me with more joy than purchases from new shops.  On this trip most of the new shops I visited felt cold, noisy and full of mass produced emptiness.  The exceptions to this are my friends at Fine and Sunny and another gorgeous shop, new to me, Hip Digs.

It made me realise that less is more, that our local outback town has almost everything I need including sublime coffee and that there truly is no place like home.  Of course, I knew this already, travelling just reminded me.  

I hope you have plenty of things to be grateful for this Sunday x

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Brassica city

When I look out from my house towards the garden I see an unruly tangle of olive trees, eucalyptus trees, rosemary, succulents and off to one side my pride and joy, the vegetable garden.  There are also weeds, mud, things that need pruning and paraphernalia belonging to dogs and children.  

There are creeks and dams expertly dug by George and Annabelle’s mud kitchen used for whipping up gourmet mud cakes.

Once upon a time my garden was polished and pretty, nowadays it is a lot more practical, shall we say!

In amongst all of this the vegetable garden continues to thrive, largely thanks to copious amounts of horse manure, plenty of winter rain and a little bit of luck.   This year I planted my entire winter crop from store bought seedlings rather than raising seeds as I have done in previous years.  Seedlings certainly got my crop off to a quick start. 


I have been gifting cauliflower and broccoli to friends and neighbours as well as using them in every imaginable way myself.  Homemade pasta seems like an obvious partner for home grown broccoli teamed with plenty of salt, pepper and chunks of parmesan. 

The warm weather has me thinking about my summer crop.  Manure and mulch needs replenishing and I am yet to decide between quick and easy seedlings or the rewarding process of raising seeds.

How is your garden growing?

Brassica city at your place?  

Wishing you some sunshine and fresh vegetables on your Sunday. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Goats and rocks

Mustering feral goats is absolutely nothing new for my husband or his team of offsiders.  But mustering in remote, rocky hills with a helicopter working overhead is something that only happens once a year.

The rough terrain and distances travelled mean that the crew are on the move from sunrise until the job is finished late in the afternoon with very little time to stop in between.

On a day like this every piece of prior experience counts. Handling unpredictable animals, knowing the environment, handling a motorbike, team work, patience, leadership, communication, resilience and a sense of humour are all skills and attributes that are required and tested.

As the unofficial photographer my skills were also tested.  The landscape meant that I was unable to get close to the action until right at the end of the job.  The end of the job also happens to be the most hectic part of the day.  The goats come down out of the hills and onto the flatter ground at a cracking pace.  At the base of the hills they are pushed through a fence and then through an enormous dry creek bed before they finally head towards the trucking yards.

This year I managed to get closer than in the previous muster.  Although I was closer I still deliberated over the best place to be.  The helicopter buzzed back and forth, the goats swarmed, the motorbikes and dogs swarmed behind the goats, the UHF radios crackled with instructions and I darted around that rocky hill with my camera in my hand and my heart in my mouth.

The kids and I could have easily stayed home and cleaned the bathroom, baked bread or weeded the garden.  Instead we chose to spend the weekend supporting this family venture while tackling a photography challenge.

Next year I might find a better position to be in, the light might be easier to work with or I might hold my nerve for a little longer.  I have twelve months to plan it out, all over again.

If you have recently set yourself a challenge I hope you nailed it.  

Happy Friday, friends.