Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hobart sings in winter

Last Saturday, our little community choir from Franklin performed three pop-up gigs as part of the Festival of Voices in Hobart. We took the bus into town and sang in the lovely Wild Gallery in Salamanca, on top of a red double-decker bus parked at the Brook Street Pier and in the IXL Atrium behind the Henry Jones Art Hotel.

It turned out to be a glorious winter day in Hobart and aside from the fun we had singing, the hanging about at Salamanca Market and walking between venues was such a treat. David drove into town to meet me afterwards and we finished up the day with cocktails at Rude Boy and dinner at Restaurant Schulz at the Polish Club. A very long and happy day out "in town".


Friday, July 21, 2017


The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival is over for another year, and this year we again spent the Friday night in the glorious cold night air in the paddocks around Willie Smith's Apple Shed in Grove. Well, some of it was spent toasting ourselves next to fire barrels. Eating pork cracking and pork buns from Fat Pig Farm, raclette with cheese from Tasmania's Heidi Farm, burritos and divine doughnuts from Lady Hester. Stu from Tasman Quartermasters was wielding the blowtorch, his cooking method of choice. We warmed ourselves up from the inside by sipping hot mulled cider.

It must be said that the 'burning man' ceremony went on a little (OK, way) too long this year, with a man telling a "story" that wasn't and fire dancers who would have been awesome if you could see them. After 35 minutes of this, some Korean tourists standing next to me wielding enormous Samsung phones turned and asked "burning soon?" Then finally, Big Willie was lit and he burned brightly in the Huon Valley sky. It's absolutely one of the best festivals of the year, set up to cater for the crowds and the cold. All my photos were rubbish though. I'm blaming icy fingers!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cheese club

Join the club! The Bruny Island Cheese Club, that is. Even if you live on the 'mainland', you can still enjoy artisan products from Tasmania at home. The courier arrived yesterday afternoon with my latest cheese shipment and by 6pm, a fair chunk of the 'smoked truckle' was already gone. Delicious. My favourite Bruny Island Cheese is the o.d.o (one day old) marinated fresh cheese and the C2 raw milk... or maybe Tom... gosh, I'll just eat it all, shall I? The cheese and other products come packed in reusable ice blocks and it makes a great gift too... just saying. It's not my birthday or anything.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The chicken swing

I'm not talking about some new dance craze. No, after years of seeing me chuckle at silly videos of chooks on swings, David built one for me. It's not really for the chooks. More for my own entertainment, you understand. Clearly I'm not the only one, as there are quite a few commercial chicken swings available to buy. We're now hoping to catch one of the girls on it. One hen is very curious and has spent a lot of time peering at it, but I have not seen her on it yet.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Winter gardening

The rabbits have eaten the tops off all my snow peas, broad beans and garlic. Broccoli, leek and cabbage seedlings have been crushed under the weight of the snow. Now the earth is hard and regularly covered in frost or snow. So I give up for now. I am planning to start again next month, with peas, radishes and replanting the snow peas and broad beans, with bunny protection this time. The exception is my snow-covered greenhouse, where broccoli, lettuce and herb seedlings are protected from the ice and the rabbits and only have the slugs to contend with.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The real winter

It was a fresh zero degrees this morning. Yesterday's snow had frozen into slippery ice. My chickens had a snow roof over their temporary chicken run in the orchard. Winter started mildly, quite warm and dry for June. But now the real winter is here. The forecast for the next week includes a few days with sub-zero starts. We are wearing polar fleece socks inside our gumboots and enjoying the log fire in the evenings.