Sunday, 30 January 2011

Summer Harvest

I have spent this morning out in the yard at one of my favorite pass times with my hands in the earth. Weeding and watering and feeding and harvesting the back yard vegetable patch, and loving it.
So I am back to sharing...bragging...with my friend Tootsie on her site Tootsie time. Go have a look by clicking on her link in my favorite reads list on the sidebar.
It is high summer and this year has been a kind season in Canberra for gardeners.
So, I am here to brag about the produce I have been getting in this inherited via rental house that we are living in at the moment.
First pic above is the vege patch out the back. We planted Tomatoes, cucumbers, silver beet, butternut pumpkins, capsicums, basil, marigolds, beans and beetroot. The strawberry patch was already there, as well as the stone fruit , fig and pear trees.
These were picked this morning, we have so many cucumbers I have been sneaking them to the neighbours to get rid of them. I also made up a batch of bread and butter cucumbers to keep.There are 3 types of pears and this is the first few I picked today. I don't really know how to look after pear trees. So if you have any suggestions and tips I would be pleased to have them.
Strawberries. Bloody beautiful. These ones are small but at the beginning of the season they were much bigger, but these taste just as sweet and juicy. Also the first of the baby tomatoes.
This is a butter nut pumpkin. Many years ago I bought some of them at a fair in Tumut and the old man there gave me some of his seeds to grow. I tried them in a couple of spots in our house in Junee but they never came up. I thought that as the seeds were old it couldn't hurt to just put them up and see what happened this time. Look at the results, good size aren't they. Cool eh. I counted 8 pumpkins today and it is still flowering and fruiting so there may be more yet.
Silver beet. We have been harvesting this for a few weeks now. Nothing better than picking greens straight from the garden and putting them straight in the pot.
These are Lebanese cucumbers. Oh yum. Last night we had an antipasto platter for tea and used rings of fresh cucumbers instead of bicuits to put the cheese and bits and pieces on. On the platter: olives, cheeses, red capsicum, stuffed pepper dews, eggplant, sun dried tomatos, blue berries, cucumbers,chicken pate', fresh grain bread, pecans.
Tasty little strawberries. Quite a few of these that I picked this morning didn't make it back inside. Hehehe.

The fig tree is loaded. There were a few earlier fruits that ripened then it got a big second crop that are (as you can see) smaller and not yet ripe. I saw some black figs in the shop yesterday and they were $29.95 a kg. Bloody hell, I wonder how many kilos will come off this tree. I will be making lots of jam in a month or so.
Some of the baby tomatoes.
And the nice big tomatoes. I will go back for these in a couple of days. This is a grosse lisse tomato plant.

Green pear, might be a William pear I think.
Red pear. One of the 3 espaliered along the back fence.
Beautiful peaches. I have been eating these straight off the tree, they are the white fleshed perfumed kind. It is such a shame but a lot of these have been wasted because the stone fruit trees in the yard have brown rot. It is the wrong time of the year to treat for that but we will treat it when it is time.
This is a pic I took of my Mum yesterday afternoon. Her maiden name is Trenerry so I lined her up and captured her there to show her off. Hahahaha. This is at Weston Creek shopping area here in Canberra. When I took this she hadn't read the sign and hadn't worked out what I was doing.
As this name is spelled the same way as her family name there must be a connection somewhere along the line.
Another Canberra name "Curley" is related to my Mum via her first marriage to a Fred Curley, they were a pioneering family in the area, same family. There is a bridge in Canberra called the Sylvia Curley bridge, that was his aunt.
My maternal grandfather Joe Trenerry, was the head of the masonic lodge in Australia, so Mum thinks (hopes, surmises hahaha) that this Trenerry square has something to do with him. Who knows, but that would be nice wouldn't it?
Anyway. Enough of my gardening bragging. Must go and eat another beautiful, white fleshed, perfumed, tree ripened, to perfect sweetness Peach. hahaha.
Love Linda.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Memories on Mondays.

Here is my second entry into the Memories on Mondays prompt site, run by JTS 's blog, she is on my sidebar. Go have a look or join in the prompt if you wish. It is fun. And.... it does not have to be Monday to play.
Today is Wednesday and it is Australia Day. Pete and I went into the city to have a look at the festivities which run all day in all the towns around Australia. Ah........ I am proud to be an Aussie.
We partook of the freebie BBQ breakfast and had a barbecued sausage in bread and a cup of tea and bit of fruit. A nice nectarine, wonderful stuff we have acess to in an Aussie summer.
Today dawned hot with expectation of temperatures in the mid to high 30's. Summer as it should be. I am not complaining as we have so far this summer, had quite mild weather compared to the temperatures we put up with most years. There have been just a small handful of days with temperatures above the 30 mark this year.
Anyway. This post includes my memories of very very recent events, in fact they are just a few short hours old right now.
The park in the centre of Canberra is called Commonwealth park and it surrounds Lake Burley Griffin. Walter Burley Griffin is the bloke who planned and designed Canberra . He and his wife entered and won the competition to do so almost a hundred years ago. Our centenary is 2013. So, Canberra is a new city and is our countries capital.
We ate our breakfast and watched and listened to a brass band with a pretty good singer heading it. Swing and Jazz style music. There were lots of little kids running around together and playing with their parents. One small group was playing right in front of us with an elastic stretched between their legs, the little girls doing their version of jumping in and out of the elastic in the same game I played as a child. Their little brother, not quite big and coordinated enough to join in, was helped by Dad who lifted him over with huge smiles on his face. Another two little boys were playing and running with their Dad using long blown up balloons as swords. So cute, kids are wonderful. Other Dads played with blow up beach balls. One little bloke about 3 years old was sure to have a sportsman's future. Very good he was. It was a lovely place to people watch. It is also nice to see Fathers of today spend valuable time with their children on a special day set out for the purpose. Years ago the Dads drank beer while the Mums did the child raring, mostly alone. I am proud to say that the multicultural society we have today has been a positive improvement. Men from the Asian and European countries seem to be much more hands on with their offspring than the ones from the the U.K. countries.
While sitting under the trees this morning I was watching the colony of fruit bats that live there. They were disturbed by the crowd and the event activities. They are strange critters. They are quite large, and have taken up residence in a dozen or so large trees beside the sound stage. They spend their time there awaiting dusk each day, to fly out over the city and raid gardens for their food. Today they were screeching and squawking and fluttering their wings to cool themselves in the heat. Often taking off in flight when disturbed to resettle again in the trees. They are normally nocturnal but can obviously, by their antics, fly and move about easily in the full light of the day.
The bats were very upset by a flyover of three very noisy f111 jets and took a long time to settle afterward. I guess seeing and hearing those giant birdies flying past was a big threat to the bats who are the top of their own food chain. It really topped off the 21 gun salute in the flag raising ceremony for them. Hahahaha
We watched the flag raising ceremony and the citizenship ceremony. The flag didn't have enough breeze to open it out to its full glory and fly in the wind.They were both overseen by our Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She is our first female in that job. The style people have certainly been coaching her, her hair was beautiful and her dress, a white suit was immaculate. I want hair that color, hahaha. There were 50 new Australians naturalized in Canberra today at the ceremony. It was a happy thing to watch and I was pleasantly surprised to see our new prime minister's warmth in handling the people presented to her as she presented their citizenship certificates to them. There was an assortment of names coming from many countries. One of the awardees was a girl of probably eight or nine years old, while another woman was probably in her 70's. They both got a hug and a kiss off Julia, as did some of the others. Nice.
The part of the ceremony for Australia day that we watched is only a small part of the Australia day festivities. Which also include picnics, concerts and fireworks tonight as well as other assorted events around town. There was a concert on the lawns of Parliament house last night, just down the road from here, which was televised, including the Australia day awards. Citizen of the year etc. Don't ask me who was awarded, I don't remember names.
I have had 51 Australia Days in my life. Some lovely memories. Such as when we went with our cousins to the Hume weir near Albury from Wagga and spent the day picnicking, swimming and canoeing. I still love canoes, and to own one again is on my "To Do" list. Hmm, maybe after my little car is registered early next month, it will be allowed to move higher up that list.
Or, the days spent at the botanic gardens in Wagga when my children were little, eating ice blocks, fairy floss and BBQ sausages and playing on the water fountains and slides which are set out on the lawns for the day, and, handling the resultant sunburns that are endemic to the 26th of January in Australia.
Australia Day, yeah I know...( I should have put this explanation at the start of the post), is the day Captain James Cook first set foot on Australian soil and claimed it for England. So here we are, two hundred and twenty three years later.
Progress, good for some, bad for others eh?
Love Linda.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Sunday scribblings "Eternity"

It is Sunday Scribblings time again. Have a peek at what other participating writers are thinking about this weeks prompt by going to my side bar. Look at the favorite reads bit and click on the Sunday Scribblings link. There are some great writers in there. This weeks word is 'Eternity" Here is my tiny contribution.

Stare at the night sky
Right inside
not just a glance at the stars
and think isn't that pretty
Look deeper, how far can you see?
Deeper into the the night sky
that goes on forever
To Eternity.

We are minuscule
a mere speck of dust
A tiny nothing
In a universe that goes on for ever.

So why do we worry about such silly things as
the weather
or the way Mrs Whats-a-me-call-it
spoke to us yesterday
the myriad of tiny things that happen
to bother us so much
Why do they matter when we are
A mere speck of dust in

I have often stared into the stars and their huge immenseness, it makes me feel so small. It is one of the ways I use to work out how important I am to this world. I am not. When I am gone the world won't miss me. I will have done my jobs, left my genes behind, what the universe requested of me and why I was made, to continue my tiny bit of our species to the world. While I am here I will do my best with what I have and try to cause as little damage as I can in this consumer based society that I have been born into. Maybe someday, someday, an archaeologist may find a site from our generation and there will be a pot I made with my finger prints immortalized in it and wonder what the maker was like.
Love Linda.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

New Meme via JTS, Memories.

I have been invited by a blog friend to participate in another writing prompt. JTS is running, haha pun, a prompt called Memories. I will attempt to link in there so we can share each others stories. My apologies if the link doesn't work but I will try. You know all about my computer skills.
Memories. Well! I have 51 years worth of them, and since my scribblings in here are predominantly based on same, rather than my imagination , you could just scroll back to any of my old posts to find them. Welcome. But it sounds like fun so, here goes anotherie.
I thought I would go right back as far as I could go in my memory and tell you about my very first memory.
As we know our memories can be tainted by family stories and others remembrances but this one, well I was very young, but this is mine.
My dad was taking me for a walk and I was clinging onto his shoulder as he carried me on his hip along a darkish shaded pathway. The trees were really tall and meeting over our heads and the pathway was well worn and of damp feet beaten earth with leaves scattered across it. I was fascinated by the trees above and the sudden quick movements of monkeys scrambling in the foliage overhead. They were chattering and screeching but I was safe. That is my very earliest memory.
It is backed up by family story because when I was a baby we lived in Malaysia, my Dad was in the army and working there and we did live near a pathway through a jungled area where monkeys lived.
Hmm. My next earliest memory was of the back yard where my parents were building a house in Wagga. The same house where my children David, and Anne-Marie now live, so it is still a family home. My Mum's house.
The builders were digging trenches across the back yard to install pipes and I was exploring and fell into one of the trenches. The ground was damp and slippery and the sides of the trench were too steep for me to climb back out. I called and called for someone to help but there was nobody near enough to hear me so I cried myself to sleep. I can't remember how I got back out or who helped me but I remember being so scared nobody would ever find me. According to when the house was built I would have been around two years old at the time.
Another early memory was in the Wagga house also. My Dad had a cricketing friend who lived across the street from us and about 5 or 6 houses up the road. He would come and have a beer with Dad and sit on the lounge while my sister and I played with his daughters, I remember one of them names Rebecca, but the other girls name escapes me. Anyway his name was Harry Penrith. He was an aboriginal man who later became famous, or infamous, whichever your personal upbringing allows you to believe. I remember I liked him anyway.... and as my sister always was competetive for my parents attention I would climb up on Uncle Harry's lap for cuddles. Harry later became an aboriginal activist and went over to England to present a document to the Queen claiming England on behalf of the Australian aboriginals. I always thought that was cool considering our country's history. Ha ha ha, Go Uncle Harry. I have a book written on his life somewhere. It content does not always tally with family stories. The book is called Burnum Burnum which is his aboriginal name.
My mother tells me, (this is Australia in the early 1960's remember) that we were teased at school because we played with his children who were black. In those days it was frowned upon. My own father had aboriginal blood running through his veins and chose not to tell his girls about their heritage because of public opinion at the time, which I found really sad. I in fact, only found out about this side of my family by mistake from a cousin many many years later. I guess it was his way of protecting us from his own experience.
O.k. there is my first go at the new prompt, my first memories.
Now if linking in works.........?
Love Linda.
P.S. the link will hopefully show up in my favorite reads list in the sidebar.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Invisible"

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Invisible". is a milestone prompt for our site as our hostess Laini tells us that it is the 250Th prompt. Wow.
So let's see where this takes me. I have an idea , a feeling, what can I make from it?

When I was a child I wanted to be invisible. To be able to sneak into a room and listen or watch a strange adult happening or conversation. I remember being sooooo frustrated by the closed lounge room door and forbidden room beyond at my grand parents home at Christmas time. The terrible wait until my cousins arrived and we were allowed to see inside.
I wanted to be invisible so I could be there but not have to participate as well as snoop at what was going on.

Have you ever been invisible?
Become invisible against your will.
I hate it......
It is a far cry from the little girl who wanted to be invisible.
The invisibility of being on the side lines and cut out of a conversation
Left behind or not quick enough to keep up, or as if you are superfluous, unneeded, unwanted.
To wander off and nobody noticed you leave.
You can never be so alone as you are in a crowded room.
Why do people do that to each other.
Have you ever been made invisible because a newer brighter personality has entered the scene.
Now did it feel?
Was it you ?
Or have you taken pleasure in the ego building that it gave you to do that to some one else.
Human nature puzzles me.

The pic above is one taken a bit over a week ago in the low clouds on the side of Mt Kosciusko.
That's all.
Bye. Love Linda.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Sunday scribblings "A Walk in the Park"

Oh Wow, how well does this week's prompt fit in with what I wanted to write about.
Ha! Love it! What a walk in the park!
I have been for a walk in the park. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday last I was up in the mountains about 2 hours drive from here doing just that (hence the late response to this prompt). Let me take you with me with my words and pictures.
Kosciusko national park is Australia's biggest alpine area national park. This county's alpine area is pretty small compared to what other countries have and it has Australia's tallest mountain in it Mt Kosciusko. It was named by a bloke who first climbed to the top of it called Strezleki, after some freedom fighter from his country.
The park is magic, wonderful...... oh superlatives flow, what else can I say about how much I loved my short break up there. Summer in the mountains is full of color and life and the alpine meadows are alive with gorgeous wildflowers as is the forest below it. Plants and flowers, many of which grow no where else in the world, including just across the border in Victoria, they are so specialized to withstand their harsh environment. Pure magic for a wildflower freak like me.
OK the first picture above this text is of the Murray river at Tom Groggin camping area on the western side of the mountain between Thredbo and Khancoban. Places of legend in Aussie hearts and literature. the Murray river runs all the way from the snowy mountains across 3 states and drains into the sea in South Australia. Along the way just about all of the inland rivers run into and join it. Rivers right from the centre of Queensland, the Diamondtina, the Lachlan, all the rivers including my own lovely old Murrumbidge river that you may remember me talking about in here before. the Murray river in this pic is young ,cold and clear and fast flowing, as it travels along to the west it gets muddied and cuts through the earth into deep banks, it is the biggest river system in Australia.
These trees are snow gums. the have extraordinary colored bark that is absolutely gorgeous and their branches are short and twisted. This pic was taken on Sunday at Perisher valley in the park. That name, Perisher valley tells you a lot about what the weather up there is like in the winter.
And this! I am so proud! This is the summit marker at the top of Mount Kosciusko, Australia's tallest point at 2228m above sea level. To get up there you have to hop on the chair lift at Thredbo and go up the top. From there it is a 13.5km round walk to the top. It is listed as a moderate bush walk. Pete and I did the walk at our own pace it took us somewhere between 4 and 5 hours. Or rather I should fess up and admit we did the walk at my pace as he is fitter than me and had to keep waiting. Though most of the waiting was because I couldn't resist stopping every few meters along the way to check out the wildflowers and take pictures of them. Hehehe. I did it, I have wanted to do that walk for so long! Woo Hoo!
This pic is of a meadow full of silver snow daisies. Aren't they wonderful. The lady I spoke to at the rangers station said that this season is the best for these particular flowers that they have seen for 10+ years. Zillions of them.
Pete and I at the summit of Mt Kosciusko. We ate our sandwiches here and I listened to Led Zeppelin and Nat King Cole on our ipods. I wondered if it was the first time they had been enjoyed at the top of Australia. the Led Zep songs were strangely appropriate to the scenery.
Looking out west from near the summit.
Giant granite rocks scattered every where up there. Habitat for the rare and endangered Pygmy Possum who lives in amongst these rocks and shelters from the snow, hibernating in burrows inside them. These rocks are also shelter in the summer for the bogong moths which are the possums food source. Aboriginals also traveled to this area in summer to hold ceremonies and feast on the moths which were roasted on coals and eaten, they are very high in fat and are supposed to taste nutty, I think I will take their word for it. I loved the way these were stacked, as if piled haphazard by a giant.
this sign was near the toilets about 2/3rds of the way along the walk to the summit. And..... hehehe, the site of Australia's highest public toilet.
Snuggled amongst the rocks and boggy wet ground was life everywhere. Including this pretty fern.
This is a flower known as Billy Button. each flower head is made up of tiny tiny yellow flowers.
Mountain meadows on the way to the summit, full of flowers of all kinds, hmmm did I tell you that before?
Little rivulets ran everywhere across the landscape. One of these was marked as The head waters to the Snowy River. And yes, there were still a few patches of snow in January up there.
This pretty thing is called a Hoary Sun-ray. It has soft woolly leaves and papery petals and is an everlasting. I was so tempted to pick myself a bunch to keep but it is very illegal in the park to do that, if I was a kid I absolutely couldn't have resisted it.
This is a Candle Heath. It was very common up there, heaps of it.
This is called mountain celery. It was practically wiped out by cattle grazing up there but since the cattle have been banned from the park it has returned.
This is a closer view of the silver snow daisy.
Sign at the top of the chair lift. They even advertise up there. Hmph Toyota. Toyota didn't save my poor old fat legs. About 2/3rds of the way back down I was really feeling the walk in my knees, ouchy.
On Monday after our big walk we were sunburned and wind burned and our legs were not the best so we decided to spend our time exploring the area in the car.We drove from Jindabyne where we were staying and had a look at Perisher Valley then visited a Trout farm. Then we went past the ski village of Thredbo west to the other side of the mountains and down the hills to Khancoban, had an ice cream and turned around and came back to Jindabyne. Oh wow , oh wow again. It is so beautiful up there. The forest and landscape is quite different on the western side and it was warmer and protected compared to Thredbo where we were in the clouds and rain. Yep more superlatives. The road was tarred but narrow and very steep and windy. A fun place to throw your car around if you be so inclined. Would have bneen great fun in a rally car if you knew you were going to not meet another car coming from the other direction. It said in the sign that it was 77km to Khancoban and was a 2 hr drive, so that tells you what sort of road it was. It was great though. No picture could capture the beauty of the tall alpine beech trees that met above the road and enclosed it into a tunnel of big majestic trees. Or of warning signs that told to beware of wild brumbys, of which we saw evidence. Or of the blue and red crimson rosellas that abounded and the rare Gang Gang cockatoos and tiny wrens. Parts of the road were deeply cut into the rocks and I was thinking about the work and planning that went into the building of it.
Anyway, that is a small sample of the flowers that I found at the top of Australia at their summer glory.
Gotta work tomorrow, better get to bed.

Good night.
Love Linda.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Sunday Scribblings "Progress"

The Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is Progress.
Progress Hmmmm. Yesterday I went for a walk. Up a big hill puff, pant, hard work. It was a big hill.

She put me on. The business side of her, and softened my insides with short blue socks and we went. In the car at first, with me cradling her as she pressed the pedals in and out and moved the little car a few miles down the road and across the pathway to the shade of a gum. Then we left the car behind.
Mount Taylor is one of the nice size hills that are markers in this city, part of land designated to stay undeveloped. There was no height stated on the board but maybe it is a similar height to some of the surrounding hills in the vicinity which are in the upper portion of 800 meters above sea level. Not big by the standards of other places around the world but that is what we have here. A nice challenge to conquer. The lower reaches of the big hill where we were, is covered by the suburb of Torrens and as we walked up the lower reaches of the track we found it interesting to sticky beak into back yards and gardens that were proudly nurtured by their owners.
The day before was a down day and I didn't get to move off the shelf near the front door. I waited because I know she always comes back for me, sooner or later. I cradle her, I hold her firm and protect her from the cold and the heat and pain and I can feel her moods when we are together. As we have been for many years. She put me away once, for a long time, and used a newer friend but that friend wasn't as strong as me and soon wore out, then she came back to me. I was waiting, now I am in pride of place as a useful friend where I should be.
I carried her up that big hill and we saw wonders together. Wonders and wildlife that we don't get to see in the lower reaches of my world. We saw many pods of Roos and wildflowers. Oh..........wildflowers that I love as much as she does. The top third of the big hill was covered in them. I brushed through them and reveled in their softness and subtle perfumes and colors. There were minuscule pink and mauve flowers and tiny yellow ones everywhere. Tiny tiny yellow ones on fine spindly stems just a centimeter across with pale yellow petals around the outside and even tinier petals in a circle inside those around the black center. We haven't seen those kind before. Scattered amongst the undergrowth and high up on the rocky hillside were lots of bright purple fringe lilies and a stand of pale shrubby wattle in flower. And other spindly bushes that had clusters of tiny tiny white flowers at the end of their branches. As we climbed higher we were happy to find that the same bushes with the tiny white flowers hadn't began to flower yet on the shaded side of the hill. Analogous of so many other things. We didn't know their names but it was lovely that the landcare people had been able to keep most of the introduced weeds away from here and the bush was mostly in its natural state. Well except for those pesky yellow dandelions that I am sure could gain a foothold happily anywhere, even in the middle of the driest desert rock. I loved the way the rocks were stacked in the steep parts of the hill, no stone mason could have arranged them as perfectly. Though it was much nicer to have the man made pathways to travel over.
It was a pleasant late morn we walked through. Not too hot and the sky was soft and gray with gentle clouds that stopped her getting burned by the sun. The path was steep though and we were soon wet with perspiration, it was quite hard work in the steep parts. Half way up the hill I thought she would give up, she was so winded and melting from the effort. We rested for a while and went a bit further,then just a bit further, and the trig marker was visible at the summit. Well we had come this far and were encouraged by the sight of the marker and her sense of adventure kicked in for the last little climb. She had to see the top and the view from there and it was raining so it became a little cooler and she washed her face in the raindrops. The view was so so worth the hard climb. Though I know that it wasn't so hard for the fitter and younger walkers we saw along the way.
The little dog that came with us for the walk enjoyed his adventure. There were wonderful scents for him to investigate along the way and other people and their doggie companions to be met. Then there was the excitement of seeing those kangaroos, which looked so much fun to chase, if only he wasn't held back on the leash. The big Roos wouldn't have thought much of it if he had been able to chase them and I am sure he would have been a very unhappy little doggie if he had been able to do so as the big roos would have soon put him in his place.
Anyway..... Now I am back in pride of place on the shelf by the doorway, ready to be called upon to cradle her as needed on our next outing.
That's all Folks.
Enjoy your new year and rise to the challenges it is sure to present to you and you will come out on top.
Love Linda and her old blue runners.