Monday, September 9, 2013

How Fast Time Flies

Villa Sonia, Nyun Kuning, Bali.
Life just flies by and here it is 15 months since my last blog post.
In  my defense life is very busy with 2 teenagers, two demanding jobs and a fisherman to wrangle. Here are some highlights from the last year.
Actually make that one demanding job, I resigned from one job at the end of February this year and that was a very good decision for my health and for the family, even though I really loved what I was doing, I was too busy.

My advice to everyone out there is take plenty of time out. I really hit a wall in April/May and realised that I had been working hard (with a major project and management responsibility as well as the aforementioned two jobs) and parenting non stop and had no effective holidays for more than a year. This is a mistake.

We had organised a week at Pt Lincoln National Park in January which was a beautiful place but fisherman and I spent the whole time there in bed (not in a good way) with what appeared to be the flu and the kids and friend were left to their own devices as we were really sick.Fortunately we had lots of food as the cottage is 40ks out of Lincoln.  Highlight of the holiday lying in a small non air conditioned cottage in 40 + heat with a high fever; Not Good.

Fisherman then proved to have pneumonia,  then our son came down with pneumonia, I probably had it too but too busy looking after everyone else to have a Chest Xray. Our daughter inexplicably managed to avoid it.
As a consequence of all this we organised ten days in Bali in July and just had a very relaxing time in Nyan Kuning, just out of Ubud, at Villa Sonia, I can recommend it.

My daughter is doing year 12 so for many reasons we felt that having some relaxing time mid year would be a good thing. We all came back a lot more relaxed and it's nice to have some warm tropical weather in the middle of an Adelaide winter.

I volunteered at Bumi Sehat while I was there.

We also managed to take our 1977 Jayco poptop van on a little trip to the Corrong and feasted on fresh cockles. Note the very 1970s curtains

We saw this sculpture being made last year and it featured on a previous blog post. Here it is in position in the main street of Hahndorf with some admirers.

Sourdough Bread

 I have continued to experiment with bread and finally managed to make my own sourdough starter after many ill fated attempts. I suspect it's better to make it in winter in Adelaide, in the warmer weather it seems to go from just developing to toxic nailpolish smell in a few hours. I lost momentum with the bread making when we were away in Bali, however I have some sourdough starter in the freezer so will get back to it soon.
I have some large bags of flour from Weston Milling on Yorke Peninsula.
I have a San Francisco sourdough starter that I ordered as a fallback when I was feeling pessimistic about being able to make my own, I must try it and see if the taste is different

The Garden

How I love Camellias, but I live on the coast and up until now I haven't had a lot of success. We did have a cool wet winter which probably helps but I have had lots of blooms this year and there is one little spot in the back shaded by the veranda that seems to have a micro climate perfect for camellias and hydrangeas.

 We have quite a few pots. I could count them but I am a little afraid of what that might reveal!
It makes for a lot of work but I do like the variety and interest that they bring.

 Photo: Pot madness

 The jasmine is climbing up the fence next to the clothes line as planned, and it smells beautiful now while in flower.  (the clothes line is behind this fence with the rainwater tanks, and although it gets a fair but of shade this is small price to pay for now having to look at it all the time!)

While on the rainwater tanks, we have been running the house entirely on rainwater for the last 3 months, its probably not going to last much longer with the change of season but it feels really good to be able to do this.

I don't really like the Euphorbia where it is planted (by fisherman) in a bed with the jasmine, a persimmon in the center, roses, lavender and camellias but I must admit it looks pretty at the moment.

The front yard is really looking like quite a mature garden now. It needs work on the understory and over the winter I have planted out several different kinds of Correa grown from cuttings from plants already surviving out there and native pelagonium cuttings as well as trying some geralton wax along the boundary. I hope it takes off, I've always really loved it.

We have had a nesting box for Rosellas up in one of the casuarina for 2 years now and have had several families use the box. A pair have just moved in. We are going to put another nesting box up in one of the neighbors trees over the back lane way. (with their permission)
The vege garden has been quite prolific over the winter. I have concentrated on greens and we have had lots of kale, silver beet, spinach, parsley, cabbage, snow peas, lettuce and bok choy.

I have planted an avocado in the courtyard, moving a dwarf peach to make way for it. Fisherman is sceptical. I hope it does alright. Close to it is an another one that has been growing from in a pot for years, this was sprouted from a seed in a glass of water in the kitchen. There is also another very small one coming up in the courtyard from a seed I planted there as an experiment!

Well known Henley Beach celebrity Labradoodle.

 Only a few short weeks and child number one will finish her schooling and turn18 more or less simultaneously. The last few years have had their difficulties; welcome to parenting teenagers in the internet age. Fisherman and I are part of the first generation of parents dealing with young people having immediate access to the world, in all its beauties and all its horrors.
I strongly recommend caution about young teenagers having devices that connect to the internet (except under supervision).

I feel very proud to have raised a thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent and beautiful young woman who is a feminist and politically active. She just missed out on voting in this election but will fully participating in the next.

Yesterday we went to the open day at the Adelaide Central School of Art, how exciting to be stepping out into the world and to have the opportunity to explore interests and creativity.

We are still really enjoying living at Henley Beach. At the end of last summer we purchased a stand up paddle board so I am hoping to improve fitness and enjoy the beach with plenty of time on the SUPP this summer.
Swimming and walking will also be on the agenda.

A lot of time will also be spent protecting the garden from the fierce weather that is coming. Time to check the irrigation system and mulch, mulch, mulch.

How does anyone have time to blog? This has taken me hours when I should have been cleaning the house or weeding or paying bills.........