Saturday, 31 January 2009

Lunar New Year

This past week has been the week of Chinese New Year or the lunar new year. This year we haven't gone in to Little Bourke St in Melbourne to watch the lion dances outside the Chinese restaurants & groceries and smell the gunpowder from the fusillades of crackers. It is too hot.
Four days of over 40 degrees centigrade heat has withered us.

I took all these photos outside at 9.30 am on Thursday last and the heat was blasting, the sky too blue to look at, the shadows inky black in contrast.

The rainwater tank, our great luxury has kept the fruit trees alive through these burning days.
I chose a water tank over air conditioning & I don't regret that choice. We closed the windows, pulled the curtains and cooled ourselves & the dogs down with wet cloths and watermelon. Last night the long-awaited southerly blew away the worst of the heat and we all revived.

Now I can say it and mean it - Happy New Year!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Noodles and thongs

Today is Australia Day.

We ate home-made rice noodle rolls steamed with soy and sesame oil sauce. The chief chef of this household made them with a minced steak filling, because the rest of us prefer this to his more traditional pork or prawn filling.

I wore my new thongs for the first time. I bought lilac ones because I love them and because the blokes in the house won't borrow lilac thongs.

So I have celebrated Australia Day with Chinese-Australian rice-noodle rolls and new thongs. Seems about right.

To finish off we'll join the rest of the town tonight and watch the fireworks over the dry lake.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

More seeds

My everlasting daisies are seeding. You can see the seeds floating away from the daisies in the centre of the picture. The seeds are thistledown-soft while the flowers themselves are as crisp and shiny as glossy wrapping-paper.
I have to ration water to the garden, saving it for fruit trees, herbs and a very few vegies in pots, so flowers now have to get on as best they can.
I love this local flower that blossoms exuberantly when so much else is withering, living well on just what is here.

Dogs and gardens

In the picture above Miss Kitty (glimpsed far right) is approaching the zucchinis to nibble the flowers - who knows why as not even snails eat these as far as I can tell. The zucchinis now live beyond the pale, safely enclosed by chook netting and string.

Miss Kitty and Paddy the dog would sit happily on any young and tender greenery and eat any berries and tasty shoots.
So where the edibles grow there are fences and barricades.

The rest of my garden is a bit wild and messy and the dogs can potter as they please.

Behind the fences are quite a few treasures including my new camellia sinensis or tea bushes.

You have to peer closely to catch a glimpse of this camellia as it is thickly mulched against the scorching heat and closely cuddled by pots of mint, bushes of parsley and borage and marigolds to shade its tender leaves.

Camellias generally do very well here but they need to setttle in, put their roots down and grow masses of tough leaves to get through the summer.

I have hopes of my own fresh-grown green tea next spring.

Although the dogs make more work in the garden, they make that work more pleasant. I love their amiable company while I weed and fence and water and move pots.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Seed gathering

The heat has drawn back a little and this morning was cool. I walked the dog to the big park at the end of our street. The mountain seems to lie at the bottom of the park, and this morning it was folded round with mist.

Some of the wild local grasses have been left unmown in the park so they can seed.

The dog and I stood knee-deep and shoulder-deep in it as I took a photo of the kangaroo grasses. I took a some seeds home to sow in the front of my house this autumn when (and if) the rain comes.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Summer changes

After hesitating between spring and summer, the seasons have finally changed.
Each day this week has been bright blue and biting hot and over the week I've completed a summer ritual. I've washed and packed away my winter clothes and aired and hung up my summer clothes, and my windows, too, are now wearing gauzy white cotton.

Fine white cotton reflects the heat away and lets a soft light fill the room, a light that is easy to read and work in.

I made these last year, handsewing leftover indigo fabric pieces along the tops and sides. It's really summer now and I'm ready for the heat and glare of the sun.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Eagle flying over

I'm wrestling with making and posting images - until I got this digital camera I've not been much interested in taking pictures. Part of the fun of this whole thing is playing around with pictures.
That tiny dot up top is an eagle flying over a local mountain (mountains here are smallish and cherished). When I took the photo it seemed like such a huge bird, soaring so slowly, I was astonished to find this tiny dot was all I had caught of it. I'll get better!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Moving inland

I'm a writer an a maker of textile pieces. I moved out of the big smoke to an old goldfields town a couple of years ago and am still amazed at how lucky I am to be living here. I've been enjoying other people's blogs and have decided to try one too. I hope I can use the process to pay a bit more attention to each day.

It's been an unusually rainy and cool December , very welcome after 13 years of drought. I love rain and cool weather so I walked a lot, enjoyed the brief puddles and had a great burst of sewing.
All my quilts are handsewn from materials found in Op shops or that I've been given. I admire any well-made quilt but the heart of patchwork and quilting seems to me to be the magical remaking of something discarded or damaged.I've found 16 Op shops in this town to fossick in, and there are more in the towns round about.

Finishing a winter quilt on a rainy spring day with the last winter lemon.