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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Yardwork and Skiving Off.

I made this!


It's been a stormy winter and so far we have three giant bonfires, nearly all from fallen trees rather than the planned grooming of the property that we do every year.  I made this one all myself! It is densely packed with soft green branches and represents hours of hard labour.  Who needs a gym? Hopefully they will be dry enough to burn before fire permit season begins at the end of August.

Today I finished piling up the last of the fallen tree, with the help of Gogs and Drew.  It would have taken me quite a few more more hours, but we were done in 40 mins or so and off to a cafe for cake and a chat!  What would I do without the Firey guys?!  I got Drew to take the above pic before they added any branches, though, while it was still genuinely all my work!

On Sunday, just for a change of pace, I took off in Andrew's Jimny, Timmy, to have a drive out to the old farmsite of Malmalling, where we had a lot of bushfires this year, and where I get lost every time.  I think it is because it is where two small rivers meet, so you tend to think you are on one river and suddenly realise you are now on the other one and facing a different direction.   It is very tricky, especially at night when at a fire and trying to get back for water or food.  Your GPS trail looks like spaghetti after you've done a few hours out there!

Despite being a good half hour's drive down gravel tracks into state forest, it is a favourite haunt of trailbikers, but I managed to find some peaceful places.  This granite outcrop was a great place to have my sandwiches for lunch.


I love Granite outcrops.  So much natural power.

There's Timmy waiting for me at the bottom like a good little Jimny.


The tracks were much wetter than they are in summer (Derrr, Tina!) and in places Timmy and I were up to our ankles in water.  I had a bit of a girly squeal to myself as we slipped a bit while crossing here!


Timmy did a great job though, living up to his rep as a good 4 x 4, despite being a miniature version.

I also came across the old farmhouse site.  These two magnificent old oaks stood sentinel over the rubble of the home that once they graced.


Their energy was so peaceful. I loved them at once and spent some time communing with them and thinking about the people who had once lived here.


These Friesias (?)  had grown all alone and unaided into a beautiful setting of their own.

   
Down by the little river (I'd call it a creek but it does indeed own the grand name of Helena River)  things were magically damp and a tad spooky.  I kept expecting to see a gnome, or the Oz equivalent of such, peering at me,


Google did this, and not sure if I like it or not, but it does better capture the green of the grass across the river, and the bright shimmer of yellow winter afternoon sun on the water.


Ahhhh, nature, how I love you!   Malmalling, I'll be back to visit again.  Maybe during the week, though, when I will have you to myself! 




 



Sunday, 1 July 2018

Winter Warm

It is hard to believe today, holed up inside while wind and rain beat the trees about outside, that yesterday sister Jen and I went to the beach.


We took Jen's two 'Yellows' as she calls them, Kelly and Pippa, and my Rosie.


 Poor Tuppy had to stay home with Daddy and her brother, Angus, because I didn't think it was fair either to her or the masses of dogs that go to the beach to take her along and let her brains get fried.  Some dogs, just like some people, don't do well in crowded social situations.

It was a wise choice, because as a result I was able to relax and enjoy the company of my very special and gentle ten year old girl, who got to be my only dog for the morning.

    
This cute and amazingly-marked dog was just one of the squintillion pooches we passed on our walk.


Blue eyes too!  Did you ever?


I love winter.  Stormy beaches.  Slanting light.  Bonfires...



Amazing dawns...



Those were taken from nearly the same place on two separate days.  Mind bogglingly inspiring!

And rainbows too.


The chickens are enjoying the green grass, guarded over by an almost fully mature Elvis.


In other news, I've been savaging this cheap new violin case to carry my lyre, because I am off east to go to the 17th OBOD Australian Assembly.


It has been kind of fun to hack apart something new.  :D  Let's hope I can get it back together!


At the Assembly, I am hopefully getting to be initiated into the Druid level, so it is very exciting for me!  I think it is been 13 years of study so far, through the Bardic and then Ovate grades, and now I begin the next stage of my journey.  Also, I get to meet heaps of lovely fellow Druidy people, some of whom I have been friends with online for years but never met IRL before!  Yay!

The live story readings are still going well and am now up to the fifth chapter.  I've made a playlist on youtube, so if you want to get the whole story in one place, here it is, or will be when I finish it.  There are maybe two more sessions to go, unless I decide to belt the story out all the way to the end next Sunday!  Beware, is not safe for work and contains some naughtiness and swearing.


Last week I finally took myself off to join in with a local ukulele group.  OMG, so much fun!  Do it!

And with all this winter busyness, what has Mr Kitty been doing, I hear you ask?  Did you really need to?  :D


See you next time I feel bloggy!


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Midwinter Frolics

I know Australia is supposed to be bright all year around, but here was our walk the other morning.


I love a misty winter walk.


And of course, winter means bonfires at last while we are safe from the threat of bushfire!

Sis Jen had a fab one, organised for her by her hubby Rowdy for her birthday, on Saturday night.   It was a biggie!  Many thanks to Gogs for these gorgeous pics!




This one was taken by our other sister,  PJ.  She came over especially for Jen's birthday and that was some dedication because she lives at the top of Australia on the very opposite corner to us!

     
It is always amazing to us how similar the three of us are, even though PJ grew up so far away from us.   There is magic in the three of us together.  Magic and power!  I am very proud of my two high-energy, intelligent, ethical and honest sissies!   I am sooo lucky to have them in my life!



Kelly loves his Aunty PJ too.

 
Midwinter is a time of stillness, and yet change is coming too.  Like a seed under the ground, we rest in the dark time and yet grow, and as the days begin to lengthen once more, we will burst out into new life and plans.   To my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, happy Midsummer!   Have a swim for me! 




 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Chickeny Love

The problem with getting behind on your blog is do you catch up or just start where you are?  The thought of catching up is enough to stop me posting, so starting where I am is the go!

The baby chickens are nearly all grown up now.  Two of the three roosters went to new homes last weekend.   They were good boys on the trip.  I am fond of them but you can't have three roosters in one flock, for reasons of economy even if they do get on, so they had to go.  Hopefully they will have a good life with their own wives in their new places.



Pellinore is the one who stayed. He was the biggest chick and had a little white on his face. He's growing up to be a very nice type of Wyandotte as far as I can tell.  And he's pretty sure he's all that!


He's no gentle, slightly-confused King Pellinore though, so his name has changed to Elvis.  He's flashy and showy and the way he looks past that comb that looks like a coifed hairdo, well, it was probably inevitable he end up an Elvis!

Here he is sunbaking on his feet, looking very flashdance.


I love how they spread a wing to catch the sun.  Here is one of the girls doing it.  I have no idea what to call the two girls now!  Can I have an Elvis, a Guinevere and a Morgana?  :D


In other news, I've been writing some fans from my Facebook author page into a Freya Fjordrider Sword & Sorcery story, and now I'm reading it live on Facebook video as I go.  It's actually a lot of fun and people seem to really love it.  The fast-paced, language-fun Freya stories are probably ideal for this sort of storytelling lark.     

 
 Walking continues.  Here we are about to try a new trail in the bush.


Life with Mr Kitty continues.


And for Andrew, life with bonkers me continues, bless him!  :D 




Sunday, 6 May 2018

I'm Bad...

Yep more blogging absence.  I've been so busy doing cool stuff, is my excuse, and I figure it's a good one. Only thing is, that means you don't get to see my cool stuff happening!

Ok, so this is my very cool kolrosing experiment...

Rubbing raw cacao into the carved lines of the design. 



After that, I burnished the lines back into timber with fine wet and dry.  It's amazing how it goes back to smooth wood and you can't feel the cuts any more, but the lines are still there as colour.

Not to impressive to look at yet, though...



Then, the moment of truth... Olive oil!

The first trepidatious pass.  Will it work?  Will it look good?


Yes is the answer!  Weeee!  I love it!


I'll get you a better photo for next time. this one was taken outside while it was still wet with oil.

The design for this lyre was taken from it's name: Fréowine, meaning 'noble friend' or 'wine friend' (someone you would go drinking with.)  I made a border of bees to represent the mead that the Anglo-Saxons loved to drink, and made a design of Odin's ravens, Huginn and Muninn knocking drinking horns for the central image.

The kolrosing looks quite delicate and decorative.  Every bee was drawn freehand, so they all have their own character, and the two ravens look like they are having a lot of fun. I love it!

I am still working on the tailpieces and bridges for both new lyres, plus a new tailpiece for Mondream, my original lyre. I am hand-sanding them so it takes a bit longer but I love the meditative state of hand-working wood.  There's no hurry. 

Other cool stuff? I have finished my non-fiction book on how to write first drafts of novels, the same way I do.  It is called "Wild Noveling: The First Draft."  I wrote it to be amusing and light and yet useful.  My very earliest report back from a first reader is that they loved it!  Yay!  More on that soon.

This morning we heard our very first rusty crow from our three baby roosters.  It was King Pellinore who first crowed, of course. He is half again the size of the other two.  He's a nice guy though... So far!  I hope he stays that way because he would be handful if he turns agro. He is huge!

I'll try to get you a pic for next time. In the meantime, here is Morgana the more adventurous little hen.  She's shaping up very nicely.
 
       
 The virginia creeper has been putting on its marvellous autumn show for us again.


I think this one below is my all time fave pic of it, and it also sums up how warm and cosy the cottage feels, when you approach it form the paddock on a winter's evening.


There have been some warm days, though, warm enough for picnics.


With amazing skies.



And there is still time to enjoy the extra air and space provided by our new screen door!  Yay!  The building of the verandah was aimed for this moment, and now it is here!

 
Next comes raising, levelling and paving the entry area. It never ends, does it!

 Mr Kitty would prefer that I did more sitting and crocheting. 


Sis Jen and I posted each other matching pics of cats on laps last night.  Funny!  You can tell the cooler weather is here!


Enjoy your changing season, and I'll talk to you again soon.