Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spring growth

There's a whole lot of Spring growth going on around here. The flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing and look at how big our Whippet pup "Rocket" is getting. If only he was as serene at midnight when he gallops onto our bed and takes up his new sleeping position on our heads.

The recently planted trees that looked like sad little sticks poking out of the ground are now either in blossom or covered in leaves. The Strawberries are looking sensational and have fruited and now just needing to ripen. A good number of them are a lovely new variety not widely available and I can't wait to get them into some recipes. I've been inspired in advance of the glut we'll have of Strawberries before the building is ready and have been baking up lots of Strawberry muffins - I popped a couple of choc chips on the top of this batch and they came out looking like faces which thrilled me no end. The fruit hanging off the branches in the photo are the Currants which are coming along nicely and will bush out over time to become an edible hedge along the front boundary.

The shipping containers are multiplying. Five have now been delivered here and will be used as part of the building, more on that later. In the meantime, it provided a nice backdrop for my latest shawl fresh off the needles and dry after overnight blocking. It's my second Follow Your Arrow Shawl by Ysolda Teague which I started 9 months ago as part of the Mystery Knit Along. It was made using the alternate clues I didn't use for the first shawl except for the final clue which was doing my head in and is the reason I set this one aside for 8 months. It feels good to have finished something around here I'm really happy with how it turned out and have realised I have a very strong preference for wearing asymmetrical shawls as this one can be thrown on and wrapped around like a scarf - no gaffing required.

Speaking of growth, all the Kids have had a massive growth spurt lately. They're all legs and arms and Eleanor is wearing size 6 shoes now! Flynn will be 2 next month and is eating as much as the boys, which is an obscene amount. He has joined the others rolling down the hill by the Bridge in Richmond, a tradition that has been going on for almost a decade.

And just to make me feel really old, we now have a kid with Braces. Just how did that happen? Eleanor has the teeth of a 12 year old instead of a 10 year old and so got them earlier than most which is just as well as back in my day the event was accompanied with a training bra, a new nickname - 'Braceface" anyone? -  and a warning to be careful kissing boys who also had braces on in case you got stuck together - a rather scary thought if you're the daughter of a Dentist. I don't think I'm quite ready for all that stuff just yet - jeepers!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Happy Campers

Well, I know I said taking a family holiday outside of school holidays was a good idea, but returning from a trip with just 5 days of the school term left is not recommended, trust me! In hindsight we should have travelled a week later so we came home during school holidays where we could have leisurely got back to normal. Instead, we had to launch straight back into a busy final week of term with all that that entails and by the end of the week I really started to wonder whether we had gone away at all. "Re-entry Syndrome" was coming on thick and fast. However, our friends then decided they needed to get the 'heck out of dodge' as soon as school was out and that we of course should join them on their impromptu camp trip - a mini holiday to get over the post holiday blues. You can't argue with that logic.

So we packed our little bags again and crammed into the car, with bikes and kayaks attached to any available surface and headed to Fortescue Bay where we camped back in January. We spent the whole time shaking our heads as we couldn't believe the whole place was empty - our own private beach and the entire camp ground completely to ourselves. Even the campsite manager left after the first night. "Did we miss the memo on the Tsunami or something?". No, apparently it only gets busy in Summer. We did the hike around to the Shipwreck again and enjoyed the beautiful colours of the native flowers. There were a few Beer and Bocci sessions, Night Fishing, Bike Riding and Kayaking. It was so nice to spend some quality time with good friends, chatting into the wee hours of the night in front of the campfire.

There's one week left of school holidays and with the in-laws arriving from Alice Springs last night and I'm looking forward to some slow and leisurely days at home with them this week.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Mel x

Monday, September 22, 2014



We slipped away to Fiji for a much needed family holiday. 

With all the plants in the ground and the promise of a very busy Summer awaiting us here at home we decided now was a good time to recharge the batteries and digest all that has happened over the past year. 

It was amazing - gorgeous weather, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, snorkelling with Nemo, Dory and all the other Sweetlips,  and being looked after by the friendliest folk on the planet.

We stayed out on Plantation Island, a solid 3-star resort - nothing fancy, a bit "tired" if you want to chime in with the negative nellies on Tripadvisor, but perfect for families with kids in our age bracket. There was so much to do yet you could do absolutely nothing too. The resort is really spread out and we had our own private 3 room Bure which was quite secluded. I think travelling outside of school holidays was a very good idea. 

The ocean water park was a hit with the Kids. We could supervise whilst sipping on our Pina Coladas from the deck chairs. The 4 older Kids enjoyed the freedom of cavorting around the island on their own for small amounts of time too.  Flynn slept for a good 2-3 hours every day so that was when I got to sit in the hammock and truly relax. 

I was totally strung out by the time we arrived in Fiji and I think it took 8 days to really hit that "zen" mode.  I managed to read an entire book during my hammock time - Tim Winton's "Eyrie" which I thoroughly enjoyed but I'm waiting for Daniel to finish it so we can "workshop" the abrupt ending. 

A great time was had by all and not even the 5 hour flight home with Flynn using our thighs as trampolines could completely undo the relaxation brought on by all that "Fiji-time". 

I've had quite a few breaks from technology lately, which has been good but I'd like to spend more time in this space. I've tarted up the blog a little to re-spark my enthusiasm, enlisting the help of Katrina to tweak some of the formatting that has been annoying me for only 3 years. Perhaps I'll get round to the "About Me" page soon as well.

Thank you so much for sticking around and for all your lovely comments of late. I'm looking forward to catching up on all your news!

Have a great week!