Vegetable Gardening version 2, 2017


Giving this gardening thing another go, we relocated our vegetable beds and fruit trees to the other face of the house. This is a sunnier position and looks promising. One major lesson from the past year was irrigation. Having a timer to do the watering eliminated the task of remembering to keep the little roots happy.

The positives thus far:

  • A storm on Boxing Day last year broke our lemon tree at the base. We are happy to see it recovering and regenerating profusely, a few weeks later.
  • We have our first fig.
  • The tomatoes are clearly enjoying the new location.

The yet-to-learn:

  • Pests and diseases! Always a challenge when living with bugs.

A Month of Yard Work, The Hubs’ Edition, Dec 2015


The Hubs took leave this December and by leave we mean not travelling out of Adelaide!

The warmer weather flicked his gardening mode on and thus far he has:
– killed off all weeds (nasty, tall, invasive weeds);
– installed new steps and removed old rotten sleepers;
– evidently created a walking trail;
– essentially re-landscaped the whole place by clearing all ground cover.


Our regular visitors of the Roo kind still do drop by, sometimes leaving the nervous joey in our “charge” when mummy hops over the high fence… She does come back to retrieve it, after a while.


The man also got interested in composting our vegetation and have built a few compost bins… Roo-proofed all fruit trees… Gave every tree and shrub a good chopping so they are no longer brushing against the house and things are looking tidy.


He also became our irrigation expert by re-installing a water pump. Now the rainwater will be accessible at all points, and the veggie patch has its own watering system!

December is One Hot Month

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It’s going to be one long summer, with heatwaves happening at the beginning of December. (An Australian summer is December to February.)

The favourite tip I’ve picked up is: frozen bottled water. I believe a stiff bottle of ice is a true Aussie way of handling the heat when outdoors. It’ll thaw right before your eyes. We try to keep all gardening activity to the mornings or late evenings. Even the veggie patch needs shade from the blazing heat.

To cope indoors, we draw all the curtains, blast all the air-conditioning units and eat ice-creams for a large part of the day. Needless to say, a long stretch of days cooped indoors can give one cabin fever. There is so much of the internet we can handle and television we can watch.

Poor Pickle, though, having us in her hair 24/7 as a result and there’s nothing much she can do about that!

Veggie Gardening. Take 2.

Take two of our veggie gardening this year, increasing to 3 beds from 2. We have the usual suspects of tomatoes, zucchini, capiscum, broccoli, eggplant, and new additions of pumpkin, silverbeet and lemon balm. Getting ambitious.

The transplanted potted Comfrey is doing so well, its leaves so massive they don’t know where to flop.

For more fun and convenience, we have rocket and spinach salad this year on the balcony. Sweet chilies and the usual kitchen herbs get the full sun here.

Unfortunately, the cabbage moth butterfly caterpillars are leaving us bare.

Home Improvement in Jun 2015

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Very soon after our return from Alice Springs, we had Nigel and his apprentice over to attend to some things around the house. Our concerns were: ceiling insulation, rotting steps, and blocked gutters.

The steps at the back deck were rotting at the sides due to age, not white ants, thankfully. We replaced them with hardwood, hoping to last longer.

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While Millie the dog was free to roam while Nigel was working, I had to keep Pickle locked up in her “apartment” downstairs. Put the fire on and the cat is there, like magic.


However, you can’t trick this smart cat for long. The persistent ‘let me out’ cries and scratching were what I had to put up with in addition to the noise coming from the work around the house…

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The bedrooms required this much-needed insulation in the ceiling.

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While the insulation was being fitted, I stepped out of my room in good time and witnessed this big loud crack overhead. Oh boy, more work… But they patched it up at the end of the day.

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Nigel and Adam also went under the house and dug out the most random junk lying around.

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Most curious is this glass vase, which I have to keep…

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This all took 2.5 days, leaving The Hubs and I to take care of smaller details — sanding and painting — which are doable tasks!

New Vintage Leather Furniture Set


We scored a 5-piece leather set couple weeks ago off Gumtree from a family close by. The close proximity makes transporting a heck of a lot easier in 2 cars. Because we don’t pretend to be fancy people, we like the rugged look, even though there is not much of wear and tear. More damage might have been done in moving these pieces, instead! There was something satisfying about digging my nails into every crease with the leather wipes and seeing all the dust get removed. Yay, now there’s a spot for everybody’s bum, upstairs and downstairs!

Op Shop Vintage Finds: Copper Teapot and Chooks

Latest Vintage / Op Shop Finds: pair of chooks and vintage copper teapot. Friend @uanfink1 outdid expectations when she turned it into a teapot garden! I had imagined just a succulent. Thanks, Sue. Now by the kitchen window and makes us all happy.

These chubby ceramic chooks called out my name at the very last minute in an op shop hunt. Aren’t they the cutest? They’ve escaped being the garden and now rest in the home. Along with the chooks was this empty copper teapot.

A lidless teapot makes for a good planter, and I envisioned a succulent plant to go in it, so I asked friend Sue to fit that out for me. Little did I know, Sue created a miniature garden with 7 different types of plants in it. It looks great! So pleased with it. These now line the window by the kitchen sink.

Art Class Painting Gets A Makeover

01.May.15 A very unloved art class painting from eons ago

As we moved from home to home and country to country, this canvas painting never saw any daylight. It was done eons ago when I took an art class in Princeton. This was the only outdoor session — at Princeton Shopping Center — and I remember how I dragged my face to it, because I much preferred still life, then. Apparently how one feels does get translated into the work… It must have been a cold Spring day, too, given the lavender blooms and flourishing trees. (I also remember wondering how the model in shorts wasn’t feeling cold.)

Since we are enjoying the elementary pop style lately, this was what I did:

02.May.15 Reworked old painting

The spirit of the class model is still there. How mood-changing bright colours can be.

I realise that my favourite thing to do at the end of a painting session is: to mop up all the colours with a sponge and spread it on the sides.

02.May.15 Reworked old painting

This painting now lives in a guest room, finally.

Op Shop Vintage Finds: Photo Frames

02.May.15 Lounge area wall of photos
02.May.15 Lounge area wall

We went op-shopping in Unley for The Hubs’ birthday and brought home a few picture frames. I have since added more to the collection over the past couple weeks, and we worked on this wall of photos together. Gone are the pinboards of random photos — I like this organised chaos of old photo frames.

Bottom row is of our time in Princeton, New Jersey, the top row of Zurich, Switzerland. A very concise summary of the past 10 years.