Friday, 30 November 2012

Paper and paste play

It's the season of making cards and stuff - but I'm not quite Christmassy yet.

A few centuries ago, at the pub, they discussed if  women should write history.
"Fish will fall from the sky first!'

Thursday, 29 November 2012

First summer harvest

Lemons (well they are fruiting most of the year), artichokes and rose geranium to scent the baked custard.

The hay is from the stock-food store. I've been taking the dog off his comfy hay to take photos lately and he huffs very gently to himself as he is hustled off.

Sorry Mr Pip, you can have your brekky now.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Cake dreaming


I can't resist books like this - and I didn't.

 These are the cakes you would find in the agricultural shows of the 1950s and early 60s

This was the cake that all the girls in my primary school class wanted for their birthday,

and those marvellous mothers of the 1950s baked and iced them in every Melbourne suburb.

Although not my mother, bless her, she preferred to read rather than ice cakes.
I didn't get the Dolly cake, but she allowed me to read as much as I liked, took me on the long tram trip to the library every week and bought me many books. 

Now I'm truly grateful.

Summer begins

It's been hot and dry for two weeks now, fires have sprung up briefly around the state and  summer is here.
I am going through my cheering-up list, as this is the season I like least.


Cherries, Christmas, and clean, sun-dried cotton. 

Walking on the grass in the park in bare feet. A short black coffee and a freshly made gelati at Espresso late in the morning on non-work days. 

Long, long evenings.

There's more if I stop long enough to think about it, but I'm already feeling happy.

The welcome dog

Every evening I am warmly welcomed home.

Mr Pip has been here over 8 months, has settled in and we have got to know one another. He is a gentle, elegant, well-mannered dog.
He's not a guard dog like our beloved old sheep dog, Kitty, and  not a jester and adventurer, like Paddy the labrador. He is a meeter and greeter, a welcome- home dog.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Evening at the railway station

Back home from a day working in  Melbourne.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


While most of Australia (according to the TV) drank bubbly wine and watched the Melbourne Cup, I read a good book, planted out the coriander and drank green tea.

I found this unusual leaf-shaped tea bowl at the Ballarat artisan market last Saturday.   I have a couple of more tradtionally shaped tea bowls, but this one is surprisingly pleasant to hold and easy to drink from.

I was impressed by Blackseed Ceramics which was one of the few stallholders at the market to offer well made and individual work.
The other pieces I saw on the Blackseed stall were of less traditional colouring than the bowl I chose. There were some beautiful turquiose-glazed bowls and some fine, white porcelain painted in delicate paisley patterns and gently textured on the outside to suggest traditional paisley textiles.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Spring garden, Dunnstown


Some beautiful gardens around Ballarat are opened to visitors on Melbourne Cup weekend. Some years the gardens are mostly town gardens, but this year they were all in the country.
I went out past Warrenheip, through Dunnstown, to see this one.

The garden wrapped dense shrubs and trees around an old bluestone house, with small clearings full of sunlight and brilliant flowers appearing and disappearing as I walked around.

Careful planting allowed magical views into the hilly paddocks around the house.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

In Lydiard Street, Ballarat

Lydiard Street, where the great old shady verandahs have survived the destruction of the 1970s.

And the art gallery,  a Ballarat treasure. Sometimes I pop in every week, but the past couple of months I've been a bit gloomy and inert.
Now, however, I'm warming up with the weather.

I didn't go in to see the latest exhibition. Instead I caught up with
works by Clarice Beckett, Rick Amor, Joy Hester, Bruce Armstrong and Criss Canning -
and the Eureka flag.
Because entry is free I have the luxury of going in whenever I feel like it and spending time with my favourites.

I wish the Eureka flag wasn't going off to a pay-for-a view place in the new Eureka Centre.

Now look at what I found in the street outside -

Weird how the light is so different in this image, but I like it a lot.

Then I had this to look at while waiting for the bus, just a block down fromthe gallery.

Finally  I bought samosas and milky, fudge-like sweets from Masala Valley near the bus stop.

I ate them  in the newly cleared and beautiful back yard when I got home.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Everywhere, suddenly, purple.


Hibiscus by thye gate


Wildflowers in the park.

Garden blitz

Three days of pruning and weeding and digging out the blackberry wilderness. Then a day in the ruby recliner with a bucket full of rose clippings and a book.

Couldn't even  bring myself to throw a ball for the dog.