Friday, December 2, 2016

the lentil pancake blog

It's three o'clock on Friday afternoon. I'm sitting cross legged on the green chair in the picture above, with my laptop on my knee. It's quiet apart from the croaking of the frogs in the house dam to my right, and the crowing roosters in the distance to my left. My entire family have been gone since nine this morning. I've had the whole day to do with as I please. And yet since nine o'clock this morning I've found a hundred excuses not to sit here and do the one thing that I really have wanted to do all along, and that is to write my blog. 

I've done some knitting, I've hung out some laundry, I've washed the dishes, (I probs should have vacuumed the carpet in the photo above - oops), I've watered the garden and I've made sure that I'm up to date with all the social media, but it's 3.20 and my blog is still unwritten.

I've always maintained that the more I write, the more I write, the better I write, the happier I am. But something happened a few months ago that stopped me writing and I haven't known how to come back. Something made me ask 'so what' and 'who cares' every time I thought of something little I wanted to say, so I stopped wanting to say it. It can be so mean at times that internal voice of mine.

So I started looking at the bigger stories in my world, but mostly I found that they weren't mine to tell. Blogging as a mother of teenagers is such a tricky juggling act, a crazy adventure. I'm on my toes and my lips are sealed.

There's a little thing in our house called the lentil pancake. The lentil pancake is the first pancake you make in a batch. You always chuck it in the compost because it tastes like the lentils you cooked in the pan the night before, but you have to make it so you can get on with the important task of making the rest of the yummy stack.

So I've decided to think of this blog as my lentil pancake. I've been putting it off all day, it feels sticky to write and there's an excellent chance I'll chuck it in the compost once it's done, but I have to write it, I know I do.

So here goes - 10 random things about now;


This was the last pair of socks that I cast off. I made them for Jazzy's thirteenth birthday. These socks are made from yarn I bought off someone who didn't want it anymore, I made the pattern up but had to reknit parts when my tension was all wrong. These socks jiggled around in the bottom of my basket for about three weeks. I knitted them while watching episodes of Outlander and as I sat huddled by the fire and wished for winter to become spring. Although these socks contain the memories of two separate incidents where the recipient expressed her doubt in quite strong words, I'm happy to report that these socks, knitted extra long to be worn under Doc Martin boots, are being worn at this very moment and have been on and off for most of this week.

Details here


October/November being birthday season around here means we've all, with the exception of our farmer boy, turned another year older, and wiser, and more wrinkly (that's just me).  Miss Pepper celebrated turning nine with a pussy-cat roller-skating party, which of course makes perfect sense as she wants to be a roller-skating vet when she grows up! Thank goodness for Pepper.


Despite the fact that I announced loudly at the start of birthday party season that I was retiring from making pass-the-parcels and other party games, something crazy overtook me the night before each invitation had to be handed out and I became obsessed with the cutting and the gluing. I spent hours on Jazzy's flower pots, and Pepper's cats had arm and leg joints that actually moved!


After weeks of wind, rain and worry, the sun came out and then the apple blossom followed. It was patchy, and unlike other years there wasn't a week where all of the orchards were in flower at once, but we are hopeful of a medium-sized crop and are ridiculously excited to eat them.


The story this photo tells is of bonfires of apple prunings, of learning how to use the new lens I got for my birthday, of after-school barbecue picnics, and of shrieking girls lifting branches filled with flames high up into the air.


Six is for the music, because with four of the five of us now taking voice and instrument lessons, there is never a moment without a tune.

Actually, I wonder if the click-clack of my knitting needles could be considered some form of percussion? Do you think?


The flowers Indi picked for my bed and the books I'm reading.

The top one my mum passed to me this morning and I haven't started, Outlander I'm 160 pages in and loving, but I'm yet to come across a description of a knitted garment, which is disappointing, as any knitter will agree that was a highlight of the series. I've read some of the Tim Winton stories before and I've heard him discuss some of the others in interviews so it's at the bottom for now but my farmer boy has bookmarked a couple for me that he thinks I'll love and I look forward to them.


Eight is all about how we've been living in a renovation site for three months as we slowly turn our ugly duckling house into a swan. Indi has a new bedroom, we have a new studio/office, the lounge-room has new shelves and there are lots of new/old doors and benches and desks around the place too. 

One afternoon Bren's dad walked in to say hello and having elbowed his way through piles of boxes and kicked his way through drop sheets and tools, he called out BOMB SITE! BOMB SITE!! And for a while it did feel exactly like that. For even longer, because Jobbo our builder only worked with us for two days a week. But sitting back now, almost at the end of stage one, and seeing how beautiful everything looks, how every single piece of timber has a story and how happy it makes us living here, I can say that I'll be pleased to spend another three months living in a bomb site next March when we take on stage two.


These are the socks I'm knitting right now. I thought they were for Indi's sweet 16 year old feet, but she thinks they might just be too bright. I'm obsessively loving knitting them though and I won't be at all upset if I'm the one who ends up wearing them, that's for sure.


No random post of mine would be complete without a bit about the garden. As with the slooooooow arrival of the sunshine this year, so it is with our growing season. But I'm happy to report that I've filled up the kitchen garden, the hot house is BURSTING with seedlings, the poly tunnels will be planted out this weekend, and hopefully everything else will be going in next week.

So far we're eating snow peas, and strawberries, and lettuce, and spring onion, and garlic.

And that's it! I'll leave you with a photo taken from where I sit. I didn't clean it up before I took it, but hopefully that'll just inspire me to take some better shots soon and show you around all of our new spaces and tell you their stories.

Any finally, thank you if you're reading this, for sticking by me and encouraging me and making me happy. If you've messaged me asking if I'm okay and when I'll be back here, thank you for that too.

It's funny but at the same time as I want my girls to know that they are so much more than their social media stats or content, here I am rather hypocritically putting blogger in my bio. Go figure.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend my friends.

Oh and if there's anything else you'd like me to blog about please let me know. It might just shut that 'so what - who cares' voice up once and for all.

Love Love


  1. SO SO happy to see you and your words and photos make a comeback Kate. I will always read and smile x

  2. Well it certainly didn't take you long to find your blogging voice. Welcome back, I loved this post, all the happenings in your life, the colour, plants, books and food. I certainly wouldn't be unhappy to end up with those socks that Indi thinks are too bright. they're beautiful. Hope we see you a little more now. Happy weekending to you and your family.

  3. I love your green chair. I thought it was a cement floor :-D - we have cement floors right through the house.
    I love your backyard with all kinds of containers en beds, and the office with books and baskets and shelves. It is a real house with people living and moving about and nothing is styled to death - of which there is such an overdose online.
    en joy the new warm season! Have a bonfire for me in the clearing.

  4. You are absolutely a percussionist! Thanks for making the time to blog Kate, I always love seeing Foxslane pop up in my feed.... xx

  5. I am glad to see you back, I have been checking regularly and wondering if you had given up blogging. I am so glad you haven't!

    Kind regards,

  6. so lovely to hear your voice again xx

  7. I have missed you and your writing, glad you are back x

  8. Dear Kate,
    Your blog means to me what a candy means to a child so it is so good to have you back.
    Best wishes,

  9. Lovely to see you back here, I love your photos and your stories always feel comforting.
    Those shelves look great, and that chair looks so inviting.
    All that time to spend with yourself today, hope you enjoyed it. Isn't it strange how we procrastinate about doing something that we thought we wanted to do?
    I think I want to have a pussy cat roller skate party now, that sounds like so much fun, and I would definitely take my animals to a roller skating vet.
    The teen years.....what can I say, except they do pass and eventually become lovely humans again. But golly it's an emotional rollercoaster while we are in the middle of it.
    Thanks for writing again.

    cheers Kate
    ps I lost my first comment which was much more eloquent than this one.

  10. I love your blog. It was missed by me. I live in New York and love ready about your part of the world. Like what's going on there what's the weather like and what is growing there and what your family is up too. Thank for writing it again. I did enjoy reading and looking at your pictures. Can't wait for your next entry. Lisa Williams

  11. Welcome back Kate. Glad you didn't throw that one in the compost.

  12. Keep coming by! The beauty of social media is that we connect with people who understand us and probably go trough the same in life - no matter where we are in this planet.
    Your life's story is beautiful and inspires me to go on with mine :)
    Have a cozy weekend! Warm hugs from Portugal :)

  13. So delighted to have you back today.
    Your post made tears jump into my throat and eyes, although I can't quite pinpoint why.

    Your writing is so needed.
    Much love from the US!

  14. I am so glad to see you again! Your posts always give me a taste of your life and it was sorely missed. I'm in Michigan, staring out at our early winter it's so nice to see how eagerly you are welcoming spring!

  15. Hey I so enjoy your blog. I don't really mind what you blog about it's just so different from here. I look forward to seeing a new blog posted by you and I check nearly everyday to see if there is a new one. Whatever life sends we always get through and tomorrow is history we just look forward to another day. Enjoy your life and family I'm sure the building will be all done soon. When you're comfortable in your new house you forget about the mess. I'm so glad you didn't tidy your work space it shows how you work and it's still tidier than mine.

  16. Thank you for writing again. I do really enjoy the peeks into your life - the gardens, the farming, the always sounds so wonderfully magical to me. Please don't lose your voice. Even though it may not seem like it, people like me (who love to read but rarely comment) are here enjoying your words. Much love to you and your family. xo

  17. Thanks so much for writing. It's inspiring to hear your thoughts and to see the projects you and your family undertake. When something works for yoy, like blogging, and brings out your best, then go with it. If you feel compelled to take a break maybe it was needed.
    Your gardening, knitting, mothering, it's all inspiring. Reminds me to take a break from cleaning and dig in the dirt, knit a sock, be cleverer creative day to day.
    Glad you're back. I check often and was wondering if all was ok.

  18. Kate!
    Al fin, hace tiempo espero un update de tu blog y por fin hoy cuando ya casi estaba resignada a no leerte mas....apareciste. Me alegro mucho, me encanta leer tu blog y a pesar de la distancia hay muchos puntos de contacto. Saludos desde el otro lado del mundo: Argentina.
    Finally, I´ve been waiting to hear from you, and when I was almost giving up, you appeared again. I´m so glad, I love reading your blog, and despite the distance there are lots of pionts in common. Cheers from the other side of th world: Argentina.

  19. Welcome back. We missed you. That garden is absolutely gorgeous. It's a sign that everything is possible.

  20. I love your socks so much and I love that music fills your home by all the young people. So lovely.

  21. OUTLANDER -- makes my heart sing that you are loving it. Knitting patterns of Outlander have about as bigger following as the books and series. Pinterest, Ravelry, books etc.

  22. So glad you're back, missed your wonderful blogposts!

  23. Ooh it is so good to hear from you again - missed you and hoped that all was okay. I love all the socks and I'm in awe of the patterns. It is great to see you garden coming into bloom and fruitfulness while mine has been shrouded in deep frost this week. Take care and hope to catch up with you again soon.

  24. I love reading your blogs and seeing your incredible photos. Never question yourself, you have made a huge difference in my life and I am thankful for that. You inspired me to knit again after an absence of many years. I have been trying new things, knitted a pair of socks that fit, and knitted many things for a great granddaughter. It is a pleasure to sit and work on the current project. It makes me 😊. My yarn stash grows and grows. Also I have been encouraged to take more notice of what I eat! Your garden photos are just wonderful and I have been concentrating on eating more fruit and vegetables, organic most of the time. This is why you blog, you make a difference. Thank you, thank you!

  25. Love, love love it all. So glad to see you back again. Don't listen to the "who cares" voice - the best blogs are written for the blogger, and no one else! They have the most authentic voice and provoke the most genuine feelings - and ultimately they are a wonderful record for you and your family. Sometimes it's hard to stop and smell the roses (argh! teens!!), but your blog always reminds me to do exactly that :-) Thank you!

  26. Dearest Kate,
    Your blog posts are ALWAYS appreciated. I'm glad you and yours are ok, though I didn't wonder too much - I think it's a part of life that we can't always do everything in the same order and frequency that we like and are used to.
    Nevertheless your blog and your story is one that I follow for years now - going so far that I excitedly tell my husband about your daughters' newest exploits ("you will never believe how big Miss Pepper has grown since last time I told you! It's incredible!!").. he doesn't read your blog and still he talks with me about that faraway family at Foxslane as if you were old friends or distant (yet loved) relations. Your stories are part of our life and we would miss them dearly if suddenly they weren't.

    So don't doubt, dearest Kate, that we care. Because we do. And in that strange, slightly creepy, 21st century way you are part of my family. Your downs are accepted as part of you just like your ups. Now have a beautiful weekend.
    And when you're ready, your readers will delight in your new stories as we always do. We will laugh and cry and worry and wonder and revel with you just as we always do. Promise.

    Kindest of wishes from Germany,

  27. Lovely to hear your voice and see photos of your lovely home and farm. xo

  28. glad to see another blog post! Those socks in the first pic are so cute! love the colors you chose. is that the longing for gotland pattern on ravelry? I have those in my queue :)

  29. Welcome welcome welcome back! so lovely to hear from you again, always a treat. Gorgeous socks, and well sometimes life gets messy, happens to us all. With luck and time we get through it. Take care, and hoping to see you again soon. xx

  30. Thank you for coming back, for writing, for your photos, for your vague comments about the difficulty of parenting and how much to share or not share, for your inspirtation, for being you.

  31. Well, if that's the lentil pancake blog, it's done and I loved it. The next one will flip 'just right'.

  32. It's good to see you writing again. I've missed the updates on your world.

  33. Welcome back Kate - so so good to hear from you again - I've really missed your blogs x

  34. I'm selfish I really love reading your blog and looking at your beautiful photos I wish I could take photos like that so I say try not to stop writing as we would miss you too
    Elizabeth s

  35. I love your blogging so much, I wait patiently for your next instalment each time. I love your honesty and values. xx

  36. Good to see your entry-- I have wondered if you were OK-- and said little prayers for you along the way. When I look at other peoples' blogs where children are involved and notice the passing of time, I also wonder about them and how they cope. I like looking and hearing about life close to Daylesford-- so close to my home but so different to my part of the world overlooking the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. I think we are all good at listening to those negative voices and I wonder if they are so currently prevalent in Victoria because we have had such a cool grey Spring. With our sunny Saturday it was such a joy to be out and about in the streets and see people opening like the flowers you describe. Perhaps there's a collective SADness abroad in Vic: whatever, thanks for sharing on your blog-- it is a delight to read and ponder. I hope the hurt of that injury during the year heals .... Blessings to you and yours.

  37. i love reading your blog and miss it when you take a break. your voice resonates with me. Your gardening pictures fill a void that living in a little apartment in a small town creates in my life. you maynot feel you have anything to say. but i'm listening and i care.

  38. Glad to hear your back again, be kind to yourself. I look forward to your little snippets of life on the farm, and find it inspiring. I'm going through quite a stressful time at the moment, and have just got back into knitting
    to try and eek out a little bit of 'me' time. I have just finished my first pair of socks, and taught my 8yo daughter to knit!

  39. I got a little thrill of excitement when I landed here and you'd written a new post. Thank-you! I always enjoy your blog, your honesty and your pretty photos.

    In our house we don't have a lentil pancake, but a "Bindi pancake". My Mum had a Cavalier Kind Charles called Bindi not long after she and my Dad were first married, and the last pancake cooked is always the smallest because the batter had run out. She said she used to feed it to Bindi so that's what it became, and even now that Bindi is long gone I still call the little pancake the "Bindi pancake" and it gets given to the dogs :-)

    I hope you're having a good week, and next time your voice says 'so what, who cares?' say back to it 'because writing makes me happy, and there's lots of people who love reading my blog'

    Sarah x

  40. I am beyond thrilled to see you back here in your patch Kate, boy I have missed you! I hope you gently and sweetly remember how good it feels to share snippets of this and that and be a part of this marvelous bloggin community - no need to question the process my lovely, just be here if it makes you happy, take a break when you need. You are well loved xxxxxxxxxx

  41. I care that you write and share it. Just so you know. Thank you!

  42. I stumbled across your blog a few months ago, and enjoy the crafts, the gardening, and all that you have shared! It's fun for me to get a look at different places around the globe, and while I usually just lurk, I do appreciate those who share.

    I hope that you continue to write, as you able and willing to!

  43. Welcome back, hang in there and blog when you feel like it, I love seeing your photos and hearing about the garden, knitting, life in general! In our house we got sick of eating curry pancakes ( pretty much all of them, not just the first one!), curry schnitzel, stir fry etc - and ended up buying a new frying pan, with the old one bieing relegated to to sole purpose of cooking curries! I have just started book 5 in the "Outlander" series, and each book gets bigger ( while the print gets smaller...). There is not much mention of knitting/ knit wear other than shawls, although being set in France there is a lot of description of the dresses etc in the 2nd book. However in book 4 " The drums of Autumn" - set in America in 1767/68 there is some knitting action! Claire desribes a " basket full of dyed skeins of wool and linen thread. Some I had been given by Jocasta ( Jamie's aunt), some I had spun myself. The difference was obvious, but even the lumpy, awkward looking strands I produced could be used for something. Not stockings or jerseys; perhaps I could knit a tea cosy -that seemed sufficiently shapeless to diguise all my deficiencies.
    ..Jamie had been simultaneously shocked and amused to find that I didn't know how to knit... " Ye canna clickit at all?" He said incredulously " and what did ye do for your winter stockings...then?" " bought them" I said...." Since I dinna see any shops about, I suppose ye'd best learn, aye?"...and then he proceeds to teach Claire how to knit " of course I can ( knit)" says Jamie " I 've known how to clickit wi' needles since I was seven years old. Do they not teach bairns anything in your time?"

  44. Always a pleasure to find a new post from you. May your garden produce lovely this year, as I dream of mine as it slumbers, waiting.

  45. Glad you've blogged again, that was a long break and you were missed. I also have the Who Cares? So What? voice but you do have plenty to say and share that is interesting, and I love to follow your upside down Aussie seasonal news.

  46. I'm so excited to see you're back to blogging! Fantastic. I have just gone through a bit of a U-turn scenario myself with my blog... So close to just call it the day. I can SO identify with your words. But then something happened and things turned around. And with wobbly toddler steps I got back into and with that I realized how much I've missed it. I hope you will discover that too and continue to share your short stories, bits and bobs. It is pure pleasure to escape into your world on the other side of this planet. You sure have been missed. Welcome back my lovely.


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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