Monday, January 18, 2016


Just a quick one tonight because it's 9.44pm and we've just come in from organising tomorrow's chook move and I'm exhausted.

So let's do four photos with four short explanations and finish with a question for you. Sound good? Let's go!

Photo one is of a crate of rhubarb we picked while we were fencing off a part of the south orchard for the chooks to move into tomorrow. And on Wednesday they will be joined by four sheep. shEEP!  Did I tell you we're getting sheep? I'm so excited. Finally the beginning of the Daylesford Organics wool project is becoming a reality. I'll introduce you to them once they're here.

And the rhubarb? Well so far I've cooked it until it's mushy with some lemon rind and now it's straining through muslin. Tomorrow I'll make it into cordial.

I'm thinking tomorrow evening after a hot day on the farm we'll be sitting back drinking glasses of rhubarb cordial with a splash of vodka, lots of ice and a squeeze of lime. Oh yeah!

Photo two is of my broccoli seedlings poking their first leaves out of the soil. Funny how farmers and the fashion industry have working a season ahead in common. Hopefully these babies will be big and strong by the time the big chill kicks in and feed us all through the icy cold months.

Photo three is of the blackberries I picked this morning when I got up really early because I have finished my book and don't know what to read next. We ate some on our muesli for breakfast and the rest went into Sophie's Blackberry and Chocolate loaf. It was a huge hit after dinner at our house and felt like just the thing to celebrate our Indi's welcome home.

Photo four is of the apricot jam I made a few days ago being slathered on bread in the garden the yesterday when we had to have an impromptu picnic because our house was too school holidays messy to venture into. I love summer. And I'm happy to report that with all hands on deck we managed to get the house in order that afternoon and it didn't even take that long. But any excuse for a picnic hey.

So there are my four. And now what I'd love from you dear reader is some book suggestions. Last night I finished The Natural Way Of Things by Charlotte Wood. It is disturbing and haunting and at times it feels like a nightmare, but it is also incredibly fearless and beautiful and brilliantly written. I can't stop thinking about it. If I'd had the time I would have gobbled it up in one session, but I couldn't, and in the end I found myself limiting myself to a few pages at a time in an attempt to slow down the inevitable end. I loved it. I loved it so much that I'm scared the next books I read will feel inferior and crappy.

So please help me with your most loved book suggestions, I'll be so grateful for something good to read at night and first thing in the morning.

I hope you're in the middle of a book you are loving, it's the best feeling isn't it.

Ciao, ciao!



ps happy birthday mogus xoxo


  1. oh, that's the right question for me as I LOVE reading and books!
    I've written a blog post about my three favourite books a few years ago

    1. T.C. Boyle - The Women
    It's a book about the three marriages of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The story is told from the end to the beginning (something that I really like) and it left me breathless. It's not really about his works as an architect but about his love life, his women, jealousy, drama, pain and happiness.

    2. Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
    You've probably read this one already...

    3. Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex
    My most favourite book of all time! I book that I read again and again and again. Lots of pages, but the language is so beautiful, that it leaves you sad, once it's finished. A book that tells the story of three generations, that draws the bow from Greece to the USA, from poor people to the industrial revolution, from a girl to a boy, from love, to live, to happiness and sadness. My all time favourite book.

    Greetings from Austria

  2. That cake looks scrumptious! That is one I will try-but only when I have many mouths to feed . My book recommendations- Kate Grenville's " One Life " was wonderful! (you can read my review here on my blog Also, I have just finished reading Hazel Rowley's biography " Franklin and Eleanor" -I was so taken with the Roosevelt story I've progressed to a bigger biography "Eleanor and Franklin" by Joesph P Lash (723 pgs). Eleanor became such a radical and it is wonderful to see her changing over time as she becomes a fairly liberated woman. I am also reading Alex Miller's latest book-essays, reflections on his life's work. Simply divine writing-intelligent and soulful "Alex Miller:the simplest words". And one more I have been reading over the past few months: Sacred Dying by Megory Anderson. How do we treat people as they are dying and after death. Incredibly helpful and insightful. Is that enough for you? lol x

  3. I'm beyond excited to hear more about your woolly adventures!

    I don't read much these days thanks to 4 busy little boys, but last year the one book I read and loved was The Dovekeepers. I read it in 2 days because I couldn't put it down. Xx

  4. I could talk books forever so instead I'll ask- are you on Goodreads? I love it to keep track of books I've read, books I want to read ( any time I hear about a book I think I'll like or someone tells me to read something I put it on my " to-read" shelf) & then I also get recommendations too. And you can check out what your friends are reading too. It's super handy :)

    Last night I started The Dressmaker ( after abandoning We Were the Mulvanys) & you know when you pick up a book & it grabs you straight away? That's what this book is like for me. I really, really love books set in Australia in the early 1900's so this fits the bill.

    I hope you find something to read X

  5. I just finished reading Just Kids by Patti Smith. It's not the sort of thing I'd usually read, but found it beautifully written and compelling.

  6. I recently devoured Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, which tells the story of her grandmother in the American west. Another recent favorite was Liz Gilbert's The Signature of All Things. I didn't want either book to end. Happy reading!

  7. I echo Roseann's statement - The Signature of All Things was so good. I also just finished Ron Rash's Above The Waterfall and also One Foot in Eden. Currently, I am thick in the middle of Brene Brown's new book, Rising Strong. Also, I highly recommend anything by Anne Lamott. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd was life-changing and The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron has had a beautiful and profound impact on my life.

  8. I am just about at the end of The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild - my favourite book of the year so far. My other must read recommendations are: the Guernsay Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Schaffer, also The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Hope you can find and enjoy them - none of them are soppy romances either if you are going by the titles alone.

  9. I have to concur with those who suggested The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, a beautiful book. Also The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt would have to be in my opinion, one of the best-written books I've ever read.
    So looking forward to meeting the sheep.

  10. Oh, that drink sounds so yummy! I love rhubarb. If you're interested in non-fiction, I am reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and it's deliciously written non-fiction on the origin of our species. I seem to be the only person I know that was not a fan of The Signature of All Things. It started out really well, but I felt like the quality of writing went downhill the further I went into the book. I ended up disappointed by the end. I loved Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

    Can't wait to see pictures of the sheep!

  11. I have just finished The signature of all Things as well-- (talking book actually) very long and wordy and I got a bit sick of it. Also just finished. "Excellent Women" by Barbara Pym. It was written in 1952 and is written in first person singular by a 30 something yo single woman, in post war London. She describes the lives of her likewise single friends, no marriage possibilities in sight and called upon to be the supporters of married friends and church committees and so on, thus the 'excellent women' of the title. My Thirty something year old daughter is totally unrecognisable in this description of a lifestyle that has vanished. I felt as though it was describing ME at my age of 60 and a worthy supportive friend and worker.
    A really intense book which haunted me was The Light between the Ocean, M.L.Stedman. I thought and pondered and chewed this one for ages.
    But, for a change of pace, I am reading False Colours by Georgette Heyer.

    1. I loved the Light Between Oceans too, enthralling!

    2. Me too! I dont think I picked up another book for about 2 months because I just could not let go of The Light Between Oceans. I can't remember the last time a book had that sort of hold over me.....Now, I tell everyone to read it!Someone on Instagram toold me it was being made into a movie too :)

  12. I loved The Light Between Oceans too. If you haven't already read Prodigal Summer or Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver, I'd really recommend those too. I'm shockingly bad at commenting these days but I love how you blog and I'm glad it is still important to you.

    1. Prodigal Summer is one I keep rereading. I should remember to recommend that too.

  13. You know I was just reading about rhubarb cordial today....a recipe for it landed in my inbox from Pip magazine. I've never grown or tasted rhubarb before, but I'm thinking I might have to try it.
    It must get colder where you are sooner than for us, as I can't plant broccoli or cauliflowers until Autumn, otherwise they don't shoot. I grow a quick maturing variety so that they have time to flower before winter ends.

    That sticky jam looks amazing! Picnics are the best, along with bonfires too :-)

    As for a book suggestions, I think we might have different reading styles, but at the moment I am absolutely loving Jane Austen's books. I'm finally reading them after always wanting to, and have beautiful hardcover editions from Puffin Classics. I'm really enjoying them, especially Pride & Prejudice. I didn't want to finish it I loved it so much.

    Have a lovely week!
    Sarah x

  14. Oh and how wonderful that you are getting SHEEP! I'm so excited for you, can't wait to "meet" them xx

  15. I have just read Jojo Moyes "Me Before You", it has been around for a while but I only just got into it. It is a fabulous read, loved it and can't stop thinking about it, I read and reread the ending about 10 times. Highly recommend it.

  16. I haven't heard of Rhubarb cordial before. I'm not reading a great book at the moment... I might even skip to the last chapter which is rare. The interest is the involvement of an English naval officer in the early days of Chile.

  17. Hi Kate,
    All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Won the Pulizer Prize and you'll see why. Brilliant story, characters and message. A must read.

  18. I suggest this
    It's a classic.

  19. Kate......My Year Without Matches...Claire Dunn. A fabulous read, survival..yes, but also humility, awakening, shedding, raw honesty, a call to the wild and real good writing. This book for me is 'of the Earth' - "The Earth is a great healer. If you release into her, she will teach you what you need to know. Surrender." (pge 97)

  20. I just sat on my kindle and snapped the screen yesterday, which was very disappointing as I was a third of the way through The Luminaries, and loving it! I love Cate Kennedy's short stories, Anson Cameron for (often dark) short stories about Australian bush and Melbourne in the 70s, Tim Winton for words about the sea, Madeleine St John for lighter but very sharply observed female relationship perspectives. And Hilary Mantell's writing is wonderful - I kept putting off reading Wolf Hall because I don't gravitate to historical fiction, but once I started it I powered through in just a few days. And Laurinda by Alice Pung was awesome too - a very good description of high school years and a certain social circle and era in Melbourne.

  21. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - just finished it. It was great!

  22. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson an amazing read that I wasn't able to put down! The same event repeats but with a different outcome each time & the effect this has on future events or not....

  23. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson an amazing read that I wasn't able to put down! The same event repeats but with a different outcome each time & the effect this has on future events or not....

  24. those blackberries look amazing, I'm going to have to try out that chocolate loaf x

  25. ok, rather than list out a bunch of new books, i have been remembering books that have really stuck with me. my favourite book in the world, and has been since i first read it as a young girl is Obernewtyn, by Isobelle Carmody. it is young adult fiction - but every time i read it, it has a resonance with current politics around the world. its not something i picked up on when i was a kid, but as an adult, it has layers. There's 5 books in total I think, but I usually only re-read the first.

    Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - set in Melbourne which is lovely, talks at length about street art by Miso and Ghostpatrol! Classic! Her other book " A little wanting song" was also very sweet. I need to re-read it because it didnt stick as much, but I read it first, and i only give authors a second go if the first book was good.

    Letters Home - Sylvia Plath. It must be around 14 years since I read this, but i found it desperate, lonely, lovely, sad, inspiring.

    The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson. I recommend this book to everyone who loves books. The characters are so alive, so full of wonder, so beautiful. I couldnt put it down. It's the kind of book that will leave you smiling forever. You'll give it to your daughters and they will cry tears of joy. Her second book "I'll give you the sun" is a very close second. I listened to the audiobook of it, I feel it would be even more brilliant in print.

    Now onto my personal book obsessions, I am a huge lover of sci fi. I can't get enough of it, and if you through in a world ending, post apolocplyptic scenario i practically wet my pants. Zombies? Yes please!!

    I wont go on but excellent sci fi AUDIOBOOKS i've been listening to are:
    The Martian (it kills over the movie, the movie is shit, listen to the book)
    The Beam (futuristic internet world. pretty excellent)
    Until the End of the World (zombie series). I especially love the narrator, Julia Whelan. She does great voices. this isnt a typical zombie story, its more about relationships. I guess I like zombie relationship / survival books.

    Anotehr great post apocolypse series is called Ashfall. I read those back before I began all my reading as listening. I learned how to cure rabbit hides by reading it. Interesting.

    xx vic pemberton


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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