Mad dogs and Australians


Well, Augie dog isn’t mad, rather just hot, as we were. We waited until 4pm but it was a 38C summer day, and so it was still more than hot, when Mr FD and I decided to plant some of the shrubs we bought this week.

The next fault in our plan was that where we had decided to plant was right on our front fence; that meant a walk down the hill. Mr FD must garden with Augie, so down we paraded : Mr FD pushing the wheelbarrow with compost and plants, Augie on leash beside him (on leash was we were working next to the road) followed by moi, carrying an assortment of tools and some fish emulsion. Not enough tools, as we soon realised that the ground was not only hard but had long established tree roots crisscrossing the area. A crow bar was needed.

It couldn’t be found in the shed, so Augie and I walked back up the hill to ask Son if he had any idea of its whereabouts. So that pulled Son into our adventure, much to his dismay.

I commenced pruning some of the nearby trees while the gentlemen dug holes, but I had to admit defeat as I became seriously breathless – the respiratory issue. Admitting defeat, I walked slowly back to the house, leaving the gentlemen to their endeavours.

When they returned, soaked in perspiration and heat exhausted, I was ensconced in air-conditioned comfort, cold drink in hand. Son had been bitten  inside his shoe by an ant- he is allergic to insect bites, so that meant antihistamines. Honestly, there was no nefarious plan on my part…

Mr FD has plans to finish the planting and to mulch the area tomorrow. It is expected to be 40C tomorrow. Son has already said not to speak to him.



first, peel your banana


Bananas don’t last long in the extreme Australian summer heat. Five were dying in our fruit bowl this morning. Mr FD manned up and added two to his lunch time salad, but two from five still left three. I decided to make the two ingredient cookies my granddaughters love (2 bananas : 1 cup rolled oats, bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes) . Except somehow I never manage to follow the recipe correctly – this time not quite enough rolled oats in the pantry- and so I topped up with muesli!

Earlier this morning I had noticed all the New Year Resolution posts popping up online. This year’s resolution for me was to be creative and I have given myself a 9 out of 10 for that resolution. Not quite a 10 because sometimes I am too lazy to do anything but sit and mindlessly flick through Facebook or mindlessly resort to old habits! By creative, I don’t just mean “arty”, I also mean trying too look at a world with a design mind – seeking new uses for things, being innovative in my life as well as creative. I am happy with what I achieved overall though.

Looking at the sad bananas in the fruit bowl, I though that maybe 2017 could be the year to work on food waste. We buy so many vegetables and fruits that just wither and rot in our refrigerator. Much of this is due to the fact that I have great plans for the week, but as each day passes and I get tired and the school work piles higher, I resort to pulling in for takeaway at night rather than even think about making a simple meal.  Bad girl!

Looking at it creatively, trying to minimise food waste also means that I am planning our shopping better – maybe even save money in the process. We will certainly eat better meals, and that will impact positively on my health, which we all know needs all the help it can get!

Mr FD  in recent weeks has become quite the hand at the barbecue, so if I  plan meals around that to start with, I can’t see how we can’t prosper. I have a slow cooker to use in colder months. It also continues on my 2016 creativity resolution, which makes me self-pleased. I am feeling superior already.

So, that’s it, folks – my resolution for 2017 is to reduce food waste in our home. Good for me, my family, the community and the planet. What’s not to love?

Just going to tell Mr FD what his first resolution for 2017 is…




Yes, I think it was today, or maybe it was yesterday


Mr FD and I ventured our into the summer heat to visit a new garden nursery in our area. As soon as we entered I felt sadness, as it is obvious that this venture has a slim chance of being a success. The centre has only been open three weeks, but already the plants look neglected.

Anyway, we soldiered on, determined to support a new local business, and chose three native grevillea shrubs, two native ground covers and some potting mix. The shrubs were obviously thirsty, so once home,  I sat them in a seaweed/fish mix for a couple of hours. Mr FD has promised to dig a couple of holes in the garden tomorrow, before the heat returns

Earlier this week, I was pruning a shrub on the boundary line. It was hanging over onto our neighbours drive, but as there is no fence, I was easily able to cross over to prune it. I cut a large section from the middle of the shrub and was trying to tug it out when the neighbour appeared. He offered to help me, and proceeded to give the branch a tug. Suddenly, he jumped backwards, releasing his grip on the branch. Something, possibly a bee or wasp, had bitten him on the lip.

Instead of going into his house for first aid, he whips out his mobile and calls his wife. He was about 10 meters from his door! His wife dutifully appeared with ice wrapped in a tea towel.

So I was trapped having to be nice. I had to stand and make small talk as he iced his lip, just in case he went in shock or something. Who said gardening was relaxing?

Mr FD, who had been further up mulching the prunings, decided he should find out what all the high society was about. Upon hearing of the misadventure, his only remark to our injured neighbour was, “Didn’t I tell you she is a dangerous woman!”

Just as dangerous he may yet find out.


And so it goes



Where was I? So the cardiologist, hearing I was close to fainting all over the place at very inappropriate times, told me to decrease one of the medications, and I must say that has resulted in an improvement. However, there is fluid in a close relationship with my lungs, so the next adventure is visiting a respiratory specialist. So much fun.

Christmas was such fun. Somehow, we managed to meld three groups of grandparents together for the day, so that Petite Fille and Peppercorn had all their grandparents with them for the day. Yes, that means Mr FD and I, Petite Fille’s paternal grandmother and Peppercorn’s paternal grandparents. As well, as my sister, and of course our Son, Daughters and their lovely husbands. It was an amazing day and more than once I saw Petite Fille cuddling up to Peppercorn’s paternal grandmother! I am incredibly grateful that we are able to bring an ever growing extended family together in peace and happiness.

Today, I at the half way point of my vacation. Sigh. I am just getting into the swing of vacation, especially now that all those “must do” items are off the list. A late breakfast, a little pottering around the house, lunch, a nap, then a lovely dinner that Mr FD often cooks out on the barbecue, to a lovely wind down at night reading, checking social media or watching television , sometimes (often) with a drink in hand.

Onward to the New Year. I think many of us are glad to see the end of this “shitty” year. May 2017 be a happy experience for all.

From here to there and back again

imageI have been so absent that I didn’t even see the notices warning me to renew my “flamingo” address and only just managed to pay my fee before it disappeared into an internet abyss. We are on our second week of summer school vacation, and I am still trying to stop the thinking from being thunk. I have to admit that I did a couple of hours works on a unit for a year 8 I am teaching next year. I woke with the ideas for a design inquiry unit and I guess it is better to write them down while they are still in my brain.

I am teaching 3 classes next year – in religion, which is ironic considering I am rather “lapsed”. Well, that was the notification I had when the school year ended, but as things go I could end up teaching chemistry or industrial design, subjects I have zero knowledge of, by the time school resumes!

The three classes I have are all the learning support students in those years. Usually, they main stream them, but many of them struggle with the abstract concepts of religion – you get your head around there being a “trinity” of three persons in one God when you struggle just understanding a simple direction – three into one won’t go! So, I am trying to develop a more “hands on” design inquiry unit.

In one class, I will have an assistant as one of the students is prone to violence when she escalates, so that will be helpful. I may not have assistance for the other two classes, despite the students receiving funding, as religion is not seen as being a core subject.

Anyway, enough of school – I am on vacation.

Last week I got the baker’s hat on to drown a couple of kilos of dried fruits to make two Christmas cakes. One for them and one for me… well, kinda. One half to leave with each daughter and the rest to feast upon. Perth daughter was home briefly over the weekend to play the role of maid of honour for a girlfriend. Luckily the wedding was in our Village so Daughter2 was able to stay with us for a couple of days. Peppercorn, who turned one last week, stayed back in Western Australia with her Daddy. D2 flew back home on Sunday, but the three will return for a fortnight next week. Many flying hours coast to coast, it must be like jumping on a bus for them now.

Today, I baked two ingredient (banana and oats) cookie as well as a banana and oat slice to freeze in anticipation of Peppercorn’s visit. Her favourites!

Tomorrow, I am back to the cardiologist to receive more test results. Elder granddaughter, Petite Fille, will be accompanying us during the visit, as her Mummy has an appointment at the same time, where she can’t take a child with her. Grandpa FD will be on child duty – he has the instructions that if all else fails, to take Petite Fille to the hospital cafeteria for a “treat”.  Her father will no doubt roll his eyes in horror, but some times you just have to adopt a survival tactic and a sugar load might be it!

I hope your Christmas is shaping up well – just remember, Christmas is never perfect, and it shouldn’t be. It should just be fun and a time to reconnect. Take care.