Turn off the news and build a garden.

Willie Nelson is one of the musicians we listened to when we were younger and still listen to now.  It is lovely to see his son singing this song which is appropriate during these difficult times.

See Willie Nelson and Sons Lukas and Micah Play ‘Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)’

A new hedge was planted last year but the hot weather did its thing

At the very back of our property we decided to plant a lillipilli hedge as they are well known to be a fast growing hedging plant.  The plants we bought were of a reasonable size and they were doing really well until last summer’s scorching hot days when the hedge was damaged by the sun and we lost two of the plants.  This year we replaced the two plants and again in the summer we had scorching days which damaged all of the plants and we thought the whole hedge was done for.

I continued to water just in case there was still some life left in the plants and low and behold the green shoots sprouted.  There are five plants in the hedge and I thought we had lost only one this time but I kept watering it and it too revived.

Hopefully all of the plants will get a chance to put on some growth before the scorching hot days of summer 2021.

This last photo lets you see how tall the plant was before it was scorched by the hot weather.

I live in hope.

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Fixing the ceiling on the portico.

The ceiling on the portico in front of our house was replaced a few years ago.  When it was replaced the new ceiling looked terrific and we were delighted with the result. Move on a couple of years and a few heavy rainstorms over time and the ceiling was beginning to look a bit suspect.

I thought the stain looked similar to mould so decided to give it a go with some bathroom mould remover spray.  I got out the ladder and set to work.  Sure enough after leaving the spray on for ten minutes I then wiped it off and the ceiling was back as good as new.

Well worth the effort.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the next heavy rainstorm.That is sun reflection in the centre of the ceiling.

The last book written by Andrew McGahan

What a strange book this was.

The book is set in Tasmania and I picked it up because I had read his Miles Franklin Award winning book, The White Earth.

I am not someone who would normally read books about the paranormal and at almost 600 pages, requiring some suspension of disbelief, particularly at the end, this book kept me reading right up to the end.  I will admit that the beginning had me doubting if I would continue to read as there was quite a bit of explanation of geological aspects of the setting but it wasn’t until later in the novel that I realised the importance of knowing this information.

The action chapters are interspersed with newspaper articles and scientific journal entries which interweave the history with the storyline.

“In the freezing Antarctic waters south of Tasmania, a mountain was discovered in 1642 by the seafaring explorer Gerrit Jansz. Not just any mountain but one that Jansz estimated was an unbelievable height of twenty-five thousand metres.

In 2016, at the foot of this unearthly mountain, a controversial and ambitious ‘dream home’, the Observatory, is painstakingly constructed by an eccentric billionaire – the only man to have ever reached the summit.

Rita Gausse, estranged daughter of the architect who designed the Observatory is surprised, upon her father’s death, to be invited to the isolated mansion to meet the famously reclusive owner, Walter Richman. But from the beginning, something doesn’t feel right. Why is Richman so insistent that she come? What does he expect of her?

When cataclysmic circumstances intervene to trap Rita and a handful of other guests in the Observatory, cut off from the outside world, she slowly begins to learn the unsettling – and ultimately horrifying – answers.”

Not my usual fare, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would highly recommend it.

An essential trip to Perry Bridge for tomatoes

Tomato sauce is an essential for my younger daughter’s family.  I make the sauce which has become the firm favourite for the family.  We had been hoping to get sauce tomatoes from the local greengrocer but the price was a bit expensive.  We have been fortunate in previous years to get our tomatoes from a farmer at Perry Bridge but last year he didn’t have a crop.  We were lucky this year as he had an advertisement in the local paper saying that he had tomatoes for sale this year so we made the 150 km round trip to get the tomatoes. $15 for a ten kilo box.

We also bought some capsicum from him and I already had the garlic and onions.

The box had ten kilos so I cooked the sauce in 2 kilo lots.

I prepared each of the spice lots and chopped the tomatoes and onions in 5 batches.

Here you can see I have completed two batches and there are three waiting for the next lot of cooking.I chop the onion in the food processor but do the tomatoes by hand.

This lets you see if the sauce is ready for bottling.  This wasn’t ready as you can see that the liquid has separated.  The mixture needed to be cooked for longer.

It took two days to complete the ten kilos but it was well worth it.