Remembrance Week

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I had an unexpectedly nice week with the surprise arrival of the youngest son who starts a new job next week and thought he would take advantage of his last few days of freedom to come down to The Meadow and relax. We had the house to ourselves as hubby was away on a golfing week and we enjoyed the simple things like going into ‘town’ for a coffee and happy hour with a cheeseboard on the veranda watching the clouds make patterns in the sky over the escarpment. We sat together mesmerised in disbelief as the American election unfolded, seeking solace in cooking up a storm as we felt the rumble of discontent from all corners of the globe and our world just felt a little bit more scary despite being on the other side of the world. Let’s hope that he surprises us all and puts aside his divisive ideas and seeks to indeed be a leader worthy of all the many many votes he received from a disgruntled middle America. Strangely enough the more the real world becomes scary the more I and many other people take solace in the simple things – appreciating them all the more when the world is a bit wobbly.

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Tom was here for Remembrance Day, always a particularly special day in our family, and we decided to go somewhere reflective and peaceful to mark the 11/11/11 occasion, venturing up the mountain to the Cambewarra Lookout where there is a 180 degree view of The Meadow and it’s surrounds. Even on a hazy day the view is a knockout and having a coffee on the veranda with gorgeous King Parrots perched next to us I gave thanks to those that had gone before to enable us to live here in peace.

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Bailey proudly wore her ‘puppy poppy’ sold this year to remember all the animals that also participate in conflicts – dogs, horses, camels and donkeys for the main part. She was all shiny and smelling beautiful after subjecting herself to the ‘dogwash’ in a nearby service station. Tom and I had to laugh as  she cowered in the corner and refused to jump up as if it was a fate worse than death. She doesn’t know how lucky she is, this has warm water and warm air for “blowdrying” whereas our last dog literally got the cold hose in the back garden and no such doggy boutique styling, her only option being to lie in the sun to get dry.

The poppy sellers in our local area are usually fairly old, having both the time and passion to sell to a sometimes reticent public but I just LOVED the picture of my great niece Amelia selling poppies in Wales, a great tin jingler and who could resist that little face? She sold loads of them needless to say!!!!

2016-10-29-23-51-35        2016-11-11-18-22-13       My poppy loving family!

Our fruit and veg are starting to be a bit closer to being useful with our passionfruit and blueberry bushes both fruiting and the raspberries, zucchinis, peas and beans all flowering ahead of theirs. Our asparagus is giving us about 12 pieces a week and our lettuce and silverbeet are in constant use. Yesterday we made a lovely homemade mulberry pie and we still get a kick out of using our own crops. We’re not quite back to the stage we don’t need to buy anything from a supermarket/farmers market yet but give us a few weeks and we will be!

With 6 weeks until Christmas I’m probably leaving it a bit late to make a Xmas pud. I have never made one before and have very fond memories of making them with my Mum as a child – back in the days that you used to stir in a lucky threepence to the mix before hanging it in calico in our cupboard under the stairs to mature (Mum’s word for letting all the brandy soak in….). For the past 20 odd years my sister-in-law’s Mum has made one for us but now I guess it’s finally my turn. Not that it will be eaten by anyone other than hubby and I as the kids are not fans of anything fruit-cakey and I instead spend hours making their preferred Xmas dessert – chocolate cream pancakes, a stack of souffle pancakes layered with chocolate powder and drenched in cream before baking in the oven. I can only make this a few hours in advance – a crazy hot pudding option considering we live in Australia and the last thing we generally want is an oven on! The things we Mothers do for their families……

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The mulberry pie which we devoured with lashings of fresh cream!!!

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