Archive for the ‘Cottage Life’ Category

Yesterday evening we heard noises on the road outside and thought there might be more roadworks.  Then a workman knocked on our door and explained there’d been a problem with the electricity supply.  We’d noticed that several electric clocks had been flashing and knew there must have been a disruption some time during the day.  Apparently some important electricl cable goes right past our place.  He told us there would be noise and lights during the night, and there were!  When we got up this morning we found part of our footpath had been excavated, right up to the kerb, and a deep hole dug.  This was all fenced off with a ‘Danger, high voltage’ sign.

Soon other workmen arrived and started on the repairs.  They tied the lamppost to the cherry tree with blue tape, presumably to stop the post falling over.  The hollyhock which has been growing through the footpath for more than a year has sadly been removed.   The hole is deep and they’ve been working there all day.

I wonder how long it will take for the footpath to be re-sealed – again.

“Our path has been dug up again
by electricity workmen.”

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Crossword Cat

How will I ever teach Ziggy socially acceptable behaviour when Stephen allows him to sit on the table when he’s doing the crossword?

“It’s really hard to train the cat
when I am undermined like that.”

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Releasing Records

Our collection of LPs had been taking up room.  Although we still have a turntable we never play records these days, we’ve replaced many with CDs, and any tune you want can be found on Youtube.  So, I decided to sell the record collection.  I listed them on TradeMe as a “Collection of over 150 LPs from 1960s and 1970s includes rock, pop, folk, shows, classical, and women’s music” with a starting price of $200.  Fours days later there were 18 ‘watchers’ but as yet no bidders.  Two different young men came to look through them.  One was a serious collector, told me he was likely to bid, but wouldn’t go much over $200.  He also said I’d been wise to sell them online rather than take them to a dealer.

Nobody bid until eight minutes before the auction closed, then there was a flurry of 20 bids, and the closing price was $290.

Clearing the shelves where the LPs used to live has meant I’ve been able to properly arrange the CDs and that corner is much less cluttered.  Now, where shall I start next?

“With all the records gone away
there’s just C.D.s and tapes to play.”

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When nine motorbikes lined up outside the cottage I wanted to find out what they were doing.

They had L plates and it turned out to be a bike riding class.  I didn’t have time to ask more before they all rode away.  When our daughter wanted a motorbike we insisted she had lessons before she rode it on the road.  These people must be similarly sensible.

“This is the best way, if you like,
to learn to ride a motorbike.”

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It’s feijoa time again, and thanks to the generosity of friends I have an abundance of these fruit.  My own tree has produced well this year, but not enough to allow for baking as well as eating.  A couple of years ago I found a great recipe for Feijoa and Ginger Loaf, which I’ve since shared with a number of friends.  Recently I bought some mini loaf tins (or rather silicone moulds), and today I thought I’d try making little loaves.  The recipe suggested it would make eight mini loaves, but my mixture easily filled twelve, and they are superb.

Easier to manage than a large loaf which can be inclined to fall apart and require a cake fork.  It’s possible to freeze and store the mixture for this loaf, but our small freezer doesn’t really have room to do this.  Plus I like to eat things when they’re in season, rather than having everything available all year round.  If Myrtle Rust creeps south, feijoas may become endangered, so we may as well enjoy them while we can.

“Let’s relish our feijoa feast.
Hope they escape the Myrtle beast.”


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Peek-a-boo Petals

I’ve encouraged my Naked Ladies/Amaryllis to peep through the fence so passers-by can enjoy their beauty.

There are some inside the fence as well, which we can see from our bedroom window.

“There’s absolutely nothing shady
about this bright pink snazzy lady.”

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Myrtle rust has invaded the North Island, threatening native species such as pohutukawa, rata, and manuka.   I’m concerned about that, of course, but my more immediate worry is that the rust also attacks feijoa trees.  I can appreciate their relationship to pohutukawa, because in our garden we enjoy our feijoa’s Christmas display, similar to pohutukawa in the North Island.

Feijoa tree at Christmas 2009

I always thought feijoa might be related to citrus, because it’s recommended to give them citrus food.  Because of this I haven’t put feijoa skins in my worm farm, but I’ve learned today that worms are happy to eat feijoas, so that’s a habit I will change.  This year we’ve had the best harvest ever from our “Unique” feijoa which we planted in 2000.

Today I’ve baked a Feijoa Loaf – yum!  I just hope Myrtle may be contained in the North Island and keep away from the Avon Loop.

“I hope rust spores will cease to hurtle
down here I would not welcome Myrtle.”

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