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Home Sweet Home

I’m back…

After a lengthy holiday in France, we have now returned to our home and the Australian winter!  Short days and frosty mornings which means cold, but sunny days (at the moment) and very cold nights!

Naturally after such a long absence, the garden is calling for our attention, so if the sun is shining we are immediately drawn outside to enjoy the warm rays. But the place to be in the morning is the kitchen, where the sun’s rays shine through the window over the sink, providing a wonderful cosy atmosphere. I was absolutely delighted one morning this week, when I was drawn to a familiar twitter outside our kitchen – I know the voice of a very small and busy bird, the wren – we have always called them fairy wrens, and the male, if you are lucky enough to see one, is superbly dressed in the prettiest of blue.  However, I was enjoying their antics so much, I have no photos to share… In the two years we have been here this is only the second time I have seen them, with the last time just before we departed for our holiday – I await my next sighting.

In the evening, the open fire, glowing beautifully and providing the coziness needed, is the place to be as the dark crawls in, dragging along the chill and dampness with it. Something that is always a treat at this time of year is mulled wineMulled Wine - Feature ImageWith the wonderful aroma of the festive season, this drink always provides warmth and comfort with each sip. Continue reading

The Bard’s Banquet

I write this post from the opposite side of the world – my favourite place to visit – France.

Last year I was asked if I would head up the catering for the banquet at the 2018 Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Victoria. After talking to Gary about it, and asking my sister, Sonya if she would join me, I agreed. This was a voluntary role, and we would be catering for up to 120 people, including the volunteers and musicians. There would be four courses, but the meat would be managed by someone else. Continue reading

Glass Art

I was recently involved in a small catering job at the arts café, community hub and garden for the community where I volunteer. My role was simple, sandwich fillings, jams, pickles, shopping, homemade weed pies (including the gluten free pastry) etc. Then there was the making of the sandwiches, plating of all the food, with the help of my fellow volunteer, Shirley, who had made the slices and scones for the event.

While the food was being served, I opted to stay in the kitchen and clean up.  Of course, cleaning up means doing the dishes, and with only a half sized dishwasher on site, I opted to hand wash everything. As I mentioned above, this is also an arts café and one of the very talented artists, Peter Alan Cummings, wandered in for a chat. Seeing me doing the dishes, he asked for a tea towel and proceeded to dry the dishes as I washed. Peter and I often take time to chat in the café or garden at Segue, and on this occasion, the conversation turned to French artist Émile Gallé (8 May 1846 – 23 September 1904). Continue reading

A little boy’s holiday

I recently took a trip to visit my beautiful 87 year old mother. She lives in a nursing home in Stawell which is a 500 plus kilometer drive from where I live. I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to take our three year old grandson, Cooper, for a little holiday, but chose not to tell her.

When I told mum that I would be visiting, I also told her that I had been making quince jelly, and slow cooking and bottling the fruit as well, because our beautiful old quince tree had been loaded – I think we picked two wheelbarrow loads! Mum loves quinces and asked if I could bring a jar of jelly and a small jar of the quinces. While the food at the nursing home is wonderful, she obviously doesn’t get the homemade treats that she used to make herself, not so long ago. Continue reading

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