Hard Yakka

 


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It’s been a week of hard physical work and LOTS of sweat. Not mine. well, not much of mine in comparison to everyone else working in The Lane this week. Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that it is now Autumn and we have had a week of temperatures in the 30’s making it decidedly summery. Unfortunately I couldn’t leave the veggie patch any longer as we are going on a couple of little holidays in the next few weeks and I needed to get the beds cleaned out, turned over, fertilised and mulched so that everything is ready to go and I can plant the winter veg when we get home. No point planting seedlings when you cant water them twice a day for the first couple of weeks. So despite the heat (and the sweat) it is now looking much tidier and ready for the next season and I’m feeling chuffed I got it done.

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It helped that I worked alongside Joe – the new ‘Will’ in the garden – who spent 6 hours in the full 35 degree heat digging out my new hydrangea bed and scrambling under the prickly wild rose to try and track down the source of a rather annoying and persistent vine that has entangled itself in the same prickly rose hedge. It looks like we may have to gently bathe the leaves in poison in order to get to the cause of the problem as it is nearly impossible to see it’s origin. Much as I hate using Roundup (and refuse to use it in the veggie beds) it is sometimes the only thing that will actually work on those stubborn weeds such as wandering jew and onion weed. The bed is looking lovely following the curve of the other hedge and we will mulch it heavily until we buy the new hydrangea plants when the weather is a little more gentle. Lets hope that they will be established and strong by the time next summer comes along when they will have to deal with the full brunt of our Aussie sunshine.

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Hopefully it will look like this in a couple of years….

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Meanwhile next door has been a hive of activity as well. They are replacing their old septic with a new environmentally friendly system which basically necessitates digging up half of their garden to lay pipes, submerged tanks and spraying systems and they are simultaneously laying a slab for a huge shed to relocate all of his farming equipment ahead of the sale of the dairy. The chief plumber on this big job is going to be 70 next month and while the younger lads man the machinery he hacks away with his shovel, sweat pouring off him as he manually digs ditches in the tricky areas where the machines cannot go.He is friendly despite the conditions, wiry and strong and never complains – they sure do breed them tough in the country.

They had a break yesterday to attend the funeral of Old Man Morschel of the famous local family that live 2 minutes from us. He was born, lived his entire life and died in this house so it was only fitting that his funeral was also held there. You just don’t see this complete and utter connection to one place any more do you? I’m rather in awe of him as I LOVE moving and experiencing new places and couldn’t imagine for a moment how you could live in one place for 98 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To celebrate Cam’s”retirement” we are off on a road trip to rural Victoria and an area I have always wanted to see. I had imagined pretty towns with a European aesthetic full of deciduous trees and beautiful architecture however I’ve heard they are in the middle of an awful drought and there is not a blade of green to be seen anywhere so now I’m not too sure what we will see! We will embrace all the differences that our little mini adventure may bring, together with one bucket list dinner at The Lake House in Daylesford , a beautiful hotel and restaurant run by a chef/artist couple (www.lakehouse.com.au) and maybe some relaxation in the thermal springs in Hepburn Spa, or hiring a couple of bicycles and exploring various local haunts including the Macedon Ranges wine area and generally enjoying a bit of downtime somewhere new. I’m really looking forward to it. Bailey is going to stay in Milton at Claydon Park where I know Karen and Phil will look after her as if she is their own and she will have an absolute ball playing with Corona and Chloe (fellow labradors) on their 100 acre property! She may initially be slightly concerned as to why we are not there at night but it will quickly become a holiday for her too, just like those 80’s animal movies The adventures of Milo and Otis or Homeward Bound with Chance, Shadow and Sassy. Goodness only knows what those three will get up to in our absence!!! Good luck Rileys and thanks so much for babysitting.

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The skies have been amazing lately both early in the morning and at dusk. I have the hot days to thank for my early rising and the chooks to thank for being outside at sunset as that’s when we tuck them into their coop before Mr Fox comes out to play….

Early morning mist and  a sky that’s splodged with charcoal clouds2016-03-08 06.41.08

Someone has spilt peach and apricot paint on this sunset sky2016-03-08 19.12.56

I keep thinking I should take up yoga and be a bit more zen but every time I try this is pretty much the result……….

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