Archive for the ‘Cottage Life’ Category

Great White Hunter

Ziggy was intrigued by four ducks on the road outside.  He stood on his hind legs and pawed at the window as he watched them.  Then he ran outside, onto the fence, and stood there with his tail swishing.

He’s never been a bird chaser, and ducks are definitely beyond his reach, but he likes to pretend.

“He is a hunter without fear
at least that’s how he would appear.”

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Today we are again basking in warm sunshine.  The weather was mild enought for me to have breakfast outside (admittedly at 9am).

Plus, our very first daffodil is flowering.

You can see from the adjacent white violets that this is definitely a mini daffodil.  Is it possible that spring is sprung?  Or will we back to winter next week?

“Warm weather is a welcome thing
uncertain if it’s truly spring.”

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This cherry picker was parked across from our cottage overnight, and is still there at midday.  I wonder why it was parked with its cage extended.  Do you know?

“This cherry picker way up high
stands out against the clear blue sky.”

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I’m enrolled in a MOOC.   That’s a Massive Open Online Course, with unlimited participation and open access via the internet.  The course I’ve started is run by the University of Iowa, and is called “Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays”.   Registration is free.  It’s optional to pay $US50 to get a Certificate of Completion.   Certificate fees are used to fund the development of future MOOCs.

I don’t want a certificate, and am not sure whether I’ll complete, but I’ve enjoyed the two weeks (out of seven) that I’ve done so far.  Each week we are given video lectures, readings, and an assignment.  There are also optional group discussions.  The lectures are short – the longest I’ve seen was 24 minutes – and given by a wide range of academics from around the world.  Feedback on assignments is given by other students, and we are all encouraged to give feedback to each other (that’s one of the requirements of course completion).  When I submitted my first assignment I was pleased to get feedback from four other students, but I haven’t yet felt confident to comment on others.  My writing tends to be short and simple, and I’ve had difficulty understanding some of the other assignments I’ve read.  There are options to write either poetry or plays, and the discussions are graded for beginners (that’s me!) and experienced writers.

Some screens say “This programme was made possible by the generous support of the American people throught the U.S. Department of State and by the University of Iowa”.  It’s pleasing to think there’s something beneficial coming from the U.S. these days.  Have you ever studied on a MOOC?

“I’ve started on a writing course
thanks to the U.S. State resource.”


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Ginger Cake

On a day with persistent rain, baking was the ideal occupation.  I wanted to make something different and discovered this recipe in my book.  It’s so long since I’ve made it the temperature was still written in fahrenheit.

Ginger Cake (small)

125g butter, cubed
½ cup boiling water
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
1 egg
1 tbsp grated root ginger or finely chopped crystallised ginger (my preference)
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon

Cut butter in small cubes, and pour the water over them in a saucepan.  Heat until butter melts then remove from heat.  Do not let mixture boil.  Alternatively cook 90 seconds in microwave.
Add brown sugar, golden syrup, egg, and ginger.  Beat to combine thoroughly.
Sift dry ingredients.  Add mixture which must be no more than lukewarm, and beat until mixture is lump free.  Do not overbeat.
Pour into lined ring tin and bake at 180 degrees (celsius) for 45 minutes.

“This cake with ginger and with spice
produced a taste that’s very nice.”




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In yesterday’s torrential downpour two stalwart Green volunteers came to attach an election hoarding to our side fence.

Because we’re on a busy corner our site is ideal for notices like this, but we are particular about who we give permission to.

I’ve delivered hundreds of Green Party pamphlets, and now being host to an election sign, I feel I’m doing a small bit to combat global warming.

“Whenever there is an election
we have a Green sign on our section.”


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Bathroom Buddy

Ziggy loves running water.  If he’s left outside when we shut the bathroom door he will cry to be let in.  He runs straight to the shower, and laps at any water there.  He’s also rather fond of the bathroom basin.

However he shows no interest in going outside in the rain, especially today, when it’s pouring persistently.

“His love of water has its bounds
and he eschews the flooded grounds.”

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