Julie your quilt. A gift from Family

Recently we took a little break and travelled home to be with my gorgeous sisters and to visit our beautiful mum. I say home, because that is still what we call it, it is the home that we all grew up in, and love so very much.

After a five plus hour road trip, we arrived at home to find Sonnie and Jan working hard in the garden, they had arrived earlier in the day and had done some amazing work tidying things up.

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Fairy Tales & Love

Following on from my previous post, I had been asked to help our son, Christopher, to keep them here until a specified time on the Sunday. This was easy, so I sent a quick message to he and Olivia, as follows:

Ok guys, I hope that you don’t need to leave early on Sunday…  We have a farmer’s market here in Maffra on Sunday morning…  But I desperately want to take you to the Port of Sale – yes, there is a port in Sale.  There is so much to see and do, but I REALLY want to take you to the gallery. There is a piece there that is absolutely amazing, and there may even be something that the boys may be interested in.  Then maybe an early afternoon sausage sizzle at home before you leave

It worked, but we didn’t make it to the farmer’s market, instead, after a leisurely breakfast we traveled to nearby Sale and went to the Gippsland Art Gallery (we are so very lucky to have a gallery of this caliber on our doorstep).

The piece that I wanted the family to see was by local artist Klara Jones, entitled “Allerleirauh” and based on a story Allerleirauh, by the Brothers Grimm (1819), and Klara has cited the following: Continue reading

Bringing the colt back to the stables…

My husband Gary has been working on a little project with fellow volunteers, led by local artist, Gavin Roberts. Gavin discovered that the local counsel had flagged a historical building for destruction as it was seen to be derelict. Dating back to the 1870’s, the building in question was once the local police stables and cells.

Gavin had in mind to resurrect the decaying building and turn it into a working space for local artists, so with the support of the local Shakespeare Committee, Gavin sought and received funding to begin the work.

And so the work began… With a lot of hard work, the team of volunteers had the building standing upright (rather than on an undesirable angle), new floors in place, walls lined, new window frames and windows, frames by Gary with the glass etched by local artist Peter Cummings. A mezzanine level was constructed providing space for research and meetings, and it is up there that you will find a wonderful stained glass window created by another of the volunteers and artists, Bill Payne. Of course there are also bathroom facilities, with a touch of quirkiness in the design added by Gavin. Finally with a gallery space set up to display finished works for sale, it was time for Opening Night!

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Friends, flowers and figs

How wonderful are friends and how lucky am I!

Every week I spend time volunteering at a local community house called Segue, in Stratford, and it is here that I have made some wonderful friends. We love to share our experiences, plants and produce from each other’s gardens and stories and the occasional cuppa.

One friend, Shirley, often brings a bunch of beautiful flowers from her garden, and these flowers have convinced us we need to plant a protea or two in our garden.    She also has access to a neighbours’ fruit trees, and has kept me well supplied with figs. In return I give her fig vinegar, along with various jams, chutnies or relish that I may be making at the time. I also make sure that there are preserves set aside for our little produce stall at Segue where we raise money for our “Garden for the Community”.

I have written about making and using fig vinegar in earlier posts and recipes, but there was an issue that I had with it. After making the vinegar, the solids were thrown into the compost! This tormented me, it seemed such a waste! To me, figs are such a precious commodity – so what to do? It took me a while, but then I thought… well, really, the figs have just been steeping in blend of balsamic and cider vinegar, and relish has vinegar in it. Figs go beautifully with purple onion, and with the addition of few other ingredients, I soon had a use for the bi-product of my fig vinegar – Fig & Purple Onion Relish. Continue reading

My Morning Commute…

I love my morning commute – I cannot believe how lucky that I am to be driving the country roads, as I head out early in the morning to collect the produce required for our weekly cook.  The only problem is that nature often stops me in my tracks, quite literally!  I tend to drive the back roads, and have now taken to carrying my camera with me to try and capture natures beauty.

The morning light, the morning fog, the morning frost, the morning rainbow…  My Morning Commute #12

Today I almost stopped to take a photo of a puddle, but decided to keep going.  Wish I had stopped to take a photo of the puddle.

I often find myself smiling as I drive, thinking of the lifestyle change we have made.  Who would have thought that this ex-(city) secretary, is now cooking food for a local cafe, providing catering for meetings and even supplying a local farm gate with product.

This is where I live, and this is my morning commute, no traffic lights, almost no traffic, though occasionally stopping to allow the cows to cross the road, and of course, often stopping to take in nature’s beauty..

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Until next time…

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