Friday, May 26, 2017

latest may

'October's [or May in the Southern hemisphere] a blink of the eye. The apples weighing down the tree a minute ago are gone and the trees' leaves are yellow and thinning. A frost has snapped millions of trees all across the country into brightness. The ones that aren't evergreen are a combination of beautiful and tawdry, red orange gold the leaves, then brown, and down.
The days are unexpectedly mild. It doesn't feel that far from summer, not really, if it weren't for the underbite of the day, the lacy creep of the dark and the damp at its edges, the plants calm in the folding themselves away, the beads of the condensation on the webstrings hung between things.
On the warm days it feels wrong, so many leaves falling.
But the nights are cool to cold.
The spiders in the sheds and the houses are guarding their egg sacs in the roof corners.
The eggs for the coming year's butterflies are tucked on the undersides of the grass blades, dotting the dead looking stalks on the wasteland, camouflaged invisible on the scrubby looking bushes and twigs.'

Autumn by Ali Smith
Pages 177-178

I didn't love this book. While we were away a few weeks ago I asked a woman on the beach about the book she was reading because I loved the look of the cover. She told me it was a difficult book to read but parts of it were intensely beautiful. Having read it now I have to say that I agree with her review completely.

Some parts of Ali's book are so stunningly written that they are almost poetry. She describes scenes and seasons and relationships in a way that had me sighing and rereading them over and over trying to hold onto them. But the story itself I found tricky. Flipping between past and present, dealing with relationships, contemporary politics, art and time in no particular order made it a tricky read for me at times, but I'm still glad I read it.

twenty first

The things I bought at the Daylesford Sunday market last week. The skirt is pure wool and made in Australia, the clogs look like they've never even been worn.

Obviously I'm never going to be a fashion blogger, but these days my girls are so conscious of where and how and by whom their clothes were made, that we're always going on excursions to find them new-secondhand things to wear. Coming home with bits for me just feels like a bonus.

I'm thinking a charcoal top, a denim jacket, a grey shawl, black leggings, my new kilt, some hand-knit socks and my clogs...

twenty second

Hot house progress.

twenty third

Bowl carving.

twenty fourth

The cleaned window view from inside the hot house.

That lunch time I passed a pot of soup through the kitchen window and we sat with our backs to the house looking out those windows at the view. Is it possible that the world looks even more beautiful framed?

twenty fifth

About a week ago I posted a request on our local buy, swap and sell site:
We're looking for some freshly cut wood (within the last six months) for bowl turning. Ideally the pieces would need to be 15-30cm diameter and length, or larger. And the preferred species include fruit wood, alder, maple, and sycamore.
I had quite a few great responses, one of which told us of a big branch that had fallen off an Ash tree on the the side of a main road near here. Armed with his chainsaw farmer Bren went and cut up a ute load.

And then turned a couple of beautiful bowls.

He's waiting for them to slowly dry out before he oils them, I'm excited to see all those beautiful patterns and colours come out.

twenty six


Years ago, when we were farming seriously, we had one long poly tunnel set up in the middle of the market gardens. In 2009, a huge flood came through the bottom of our farm and washed away most of what we had growing at the time and parts of that poly tunnel.

A year or so later we salvaged what hoops and bits of plastic we could and built two tunnels up the top near our house. They've never been the prettiest or the neatest of fixtures, but they've done their job ever since growing our cucumbers and tomatoes and protecting them from the cool weather and the frosts.

But this past season, maybe the fifth or sixth that we've grown in them, we felt like the crops struggled. Despite all the green manures and compost we've fed into the soil and the water we've irrigated it with, the fertility felt lacking. So over the next week or so we're going to take them down. We're going to plant oats and peas and barley and then dig them in, we're going to let the rain fall on the earth naturally, and then when it feels right we'll plant spring or summer crops. The poly tunnel we'll build somewhere else.

I'm excited to extend the in ground garden that we planted behind the tunnels, I'm excited to rebuild the poly tunnels somewhere else but I'm mostly excited to change the whole look of this place. Every photo I take of our garden has those ugly, patched up tunnels in the background, soon it'll just be the forest.

And that's me for another week.

I contemplated not writing my blog this week after the horrific events in Manchester. The stories I've been reading feel very personal and relate able and I worried that posting photos and stories of normal, happy life would be trivial. Insensitive even. But after much thought I decided that the way I cope with the big wide world is to find joy in the little moments of my own small world. To notice and capture and honour.

Still my heart is with all those affected. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.

Sending love to you wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you believe and wishing for peace and safety.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Love Kate xx


  1. Beautiful, as always. What kind of tree is that in your first photo Kate? Some kind of maple? The colours are amazing.

  2. Love it Kate, I love every bit of it. Happy weekend to you. x

    1. Thanks Jane, and a happy first day of winter to you. xx

  3. If we let them change our behaviour and we stop celebrating the good and the beautiful in the world then they win.

  4. All your photos this week are gorgeous. Love your new glass house and the view through those windows is beautiful.
    Im looking forward to seeing a photo of your new outfit in action.
    Thank you for sharing all those good moments this week. Right now I think we need to be reminded of the good that is happening in the world.
    Cheers Kate

    1. Thank you so much Kate, I always look forward to your comments on my posts. xx

  5. But by not posting, you let the terror and sadness win....we have to fight against the ugly with beauty and love.....yes have compassion and be sad, but don't let them change the way we live....then they win....I do know a little about this, as I am a teacher in the state where Newtown/Sandy Hook happened, and I've met some of the families....and I know people who lost family in 9/11...we have to spread beauty, love and compassion

    1. I think that's the whole aim of my blog. I hope you're enjoying lots beautiful moments in your week this week. xx

  6. Please keep blogging. You are inspirational. Your approach to life is to be admired. I know it takes great effort to share it, but you do bring great pleasure with your news and photos. Thank you.

    1. Thank YOU Sally, that mean so much to me. xx

  7. Thank you for deciding to post. Your photos and words are a balm during such a horrendous time; a reminder that goodness, kindness and beauty are still to be found.

    1. Thank you Katherine, that means the world to me. xx

  8. I am a sucker for a wool quilt and those sandals are too cute. I found a pair of Camper brogues for $5 at a car boot sale about a year ago. They'd also never been worn. The owner had lugged them back from New York - spurred on by being in New York and feeling she needed to buy something. They sat unused in her wardrobe and now they're worn by me. Lucky me.

    1. Yay, lucky you indeed! Funny, I hadn't thought about Campers for ages and just yesterday we visited their shop in Melbourne, still as gorgeous as ever. xx

  9. So glad you decided to post. They cheer us up if we're down and life has to go on despite the wickedness in the world. So thank you from a Brit who also has the victims in her heart.

  10. Thank you so much, Kate, for continuing to share your family life and your take on things. I love Ali Smith's description of Autumn as well. Your posts really brighten the day, and your photography is a treat for the eyes. Thank you for sharing your gift with us!

    1. Thank you so much Lisa, your comment has really brightened up my day. xx

  11. It's so interesting to watch your world turn into autumn while mine (here in the US) is turning into spring. I love the photo of the spiderweb in the autumn sun - so colorful and magical.

    1. ahhhhh i'd swap with you in a heart beat. the only good thing about winter having started today is that it's one day closer to spring. enjoy the sunshine. xx

  12. Thanks for posting, I savour your words and pics each week. I agree with everyone's sentiments about keeping others in our hearts yet continuing on.

    Oh, I'd dearly love a up-cycled glasshouse like this!!! I might have to get plotting ;-)

    1. Oh I hope you do get to make a hot house of your own, ours is bringing me so much already even though I have yet to plant anything in it. x

  13. What inspiring photos! The hot house is looking beautiful AND the wooden bowl!

  14. Beautiful photos! The bowl is great! i always wanted to try those non-electricity machinery. Maybe I should start with a spoon?

  15. Kate, that quote had me close to tears, thank you for sharing it. Although I would think your life hard going but it seems like perfection in your photographs and ideals. Your blog slows me down and I am greatful.
    I live in Northern Ireland and grew up through 'The Troubles'and have to tell you, 'getting on with it' is the only way to get through atrocities and let those who want to see the world burn lose any power over us. Life goes on and it goes on in love and hope, there is nothing more important that being normal. xx


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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