Friday, June 9, 2017

through a new lens

Hello honey bunches!

How are things?

The last week eh'. Luckily I snapped some photos or I wouldn't have a clue where the time's gone.

Pepper spent much of last Sunday up a tree. The cat joined her for a while but then lost interest and left Pepper up there to sing, make up stories, make herself more comfortable and dream.

I remember feeling like nine years old was particularly difficult with my other two. Aged nine and year nine we'd grumble under our breaths. Those fiercely independent, filled with attitude, eye rolling experts we'd made. It's funny how different this nine year old seems. I'm sure it's not her, it's me and my last chance for a littley. I can feel that she's stretching her wings out wanting more from us and her world, I can sense that she's wanting to keep up with her big sisters and also carve out new path-ways of her own. She's changing there's no doubt about it. But gosh I'm holding onto the unselfconscious dreamer, the silly dancer, the tree climber and the bunny rabbit pyjama wearer, whenever she allows herself to be seen.

While she was up her tree we started pulling down the poly-tunnels. As soon as we took the white plastic off the hoops the whole area looked and felt different. The colours looked brighter, the space felt less cluttered and more open and the view across the garden and into the forest, or across the garden and onto the new hot-house, made us wonder why we hadn't taken them down ages ago.

Then we got to work picking the last of the tomatoes that had been hiding away inside and clearing the space.

We found this red-back mother spider guarding her babies on one of the star stakes we pulled out and moved her into the forest to find new habitat well away from us and our babies. Funny, I'm nowhere near as scared of spiders as snakes.

Farmer Bren carved a tiny bowl.

And a rather large one.

The hot-house build continued with a potting table built inside the space to account for the different levels of the floor.

And a shelf to hold our coffee.

I'm convinced it's the most beautiful room in the house and am only half joking when I talk about moving my bed and a little pot-belly stove in. I guess I should probably wait for the doors to be hung, the gaps to be filled and the roof to be sorted out first though.

Some other things that happened over the past week -

I finished reading our book club book The People Smuggler which I found easy to read, incredibly gut wrenching and an important story to know. It's unimaginable that one person's life could be filled with such terror and torture and risk and horror, and yet he remains a caring, humanitarian. It breaks my heart that after all he's been through that even now Ali Al Jenabi's future is so uncertain.

I finished knitting one beanie and cast on another for the ASRC.

We started watching season two of Billions.

I got a horrible cold and have lost my voice. Funny how many things I desperately want to say all of a sudden now that I can't.

I got a new phone and I don't know how to connect my phone to my car so I haven't listened to any podcasts this week but lots of radio instead.

Miss Indi had a week of year 11 exams, Miss Jazzy did a first aid course at school and Miss Pepper wrote a book about a cheese monster.

We moved our chooks and dogs, planted more garlic and started a new compost pile.

We farewelled Rod May yesterday and feel very shaken up by his legacy and loss.

I clicked on my new lens and used it to take all of the pictures in this post except the one below.

And lastly, but most importantly, it's my Dad Ross's birthday today and I'd love to wish him a happy and wonderful 70th birthday.

Two years ago I wrote this about him on my blog - 'My dad, Ross Ulman, when he isn't driving his electric car as discussed in the latest issue of Renew magazine, he's walking 14,000+ steps per day, volunteering at my girls' school, working at a Ballarat hospital, baking and delivering challah to each of his Daylesford daughters each Friday, selling tickets at the local cinema, helping out in the local kitchen garden program, doing maths homework with my girls, pole-walking around Daylesford in the early morning with a bunch of people not scared off by the cold, and supporting and loving his five Ulman girls. What a man (or an honorary woman as we used to call him when were growing up)!'

Two years later and now he's also; teaching learner driving, writing study timetables and coaching exam technique, driving our girls to school and back a few times a week, smashing his PB at the gym, planning and recording a couple of radio programs a week on Hepburn community radio, and being on call 24/7 for advice and opinion and support for his girls, their partners and his grandchildren.

I feel so lucky to have my dad at the bottom of our hill, so interested and involved and part of our lives. Since we celebrated his last big birthday he's had heart surgery, built a house, moved states and formed a new life and community. This afternoon he told us that he's happier now than he's ever been and that makes me very happy indeed. 

Happy birthday Dad, I love you!

And that's me for this wintry week.
How about you?
What have you been reading, celebrating, making and cooking?
What have you got planned for the weekend?

Have a great one!
Keep warm (or cool).

Love Kate xx


  1. Wow Kate...I would want to move into that hot house too. I adore the windows and the light. The new lens looks like it is working perfectly. I love those autumn/winter photos of Pepper, bless her. For girls to be unselfconscious is a wonderful thing. Your dad is an inspiration, wow to him too! Have a wonderful weekend x

    1. Thanks so much Jane, I am actually so happy with the 35mm. I have only used the 50 for so many years now that it almost feels like a whole new camera. I highly recommend it. x

  2. Darling one ,
    Hugs for your loss ❤️
    We are all enriched by your voice (albeit croaky) ,and your images are a balm to us all xx

    1. Thank you beautiful, that means the world xx

  3. Lovely descriptions. Happy birthday to your dad!

  4. How completely amazing is our dad!Wow, what a man!
    And I kinda can't believe that Pepper is 9. I think she was about 3ish when I first started reading your blog...the years are fast.

    1. I know!! She was 3 on our caravan trip and all of a sudden now she is 9. Crazy times!! Love to you honey xx

  5. Oh to spend a day up a tree...
    I hope one day to be able to say I'm happier than I've ever been. Go your dad.
    Thank you once again for being the friday night cheer in my life.

    cheers Kate

    1. Thanks so much Kate, I really appreciate and look forward to your words xx

  6. I would brave spiders to spend time in that hot house...

  7. Lovely pics as always..what lens did you buy? My youngest now 11 still loves the park, climbing trees and all those childhood things as well. A couple of years ago she would sit in a tree in our back yard and take one of the chickens up there with her. When I say tree..the truck was the size of you hand in diametre. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Hi Kathy, I bought a 35mm lens. I hope our kids have many more years of tree climbing ahead of them. Oh and what a lucky chicken. xx

  8. Fancy a hothouse flat mate?

    Many happy returns to your dear Dad. x

  9. Your blog is the best :)
    Everything that you did looks amazing & happy birthday to your dad. How lucky you both are.
    Hugs from NYC

    1. Thank you so much! Lots of love from Australia. x

  10. These autumn photos are so beautiful! We are just entering summer here, so I have several months until I can see autumn leaves for myself.

  11. These autumn photos are so beautiful! We are just entering summer here, so I have several months until I can see autumn leaves for myself.

  12. Wow, that's a busy week! Lovely photos and what a dad! That looks like a black widow spider to me, yikes be careful if it is! Purging still going on here and line after line of freshly dried laundry (finally some sunny days for it). Have a great weekend!

  13. A lovely glimpse into your world as always. I showed your Instagram feed to my husband and he was stunned. "I know" I replied the look on his face. Meanwhile we've become obsessed by creating compost. We didn't get it right at our last place, but The War on Waste series has spurred us on to try again. Next will be worms. I've never been more excited by compost or worms in my life!

  14. Wow, I'm exhausted after all that and I was just reading it, not living it. You have incredibly bounty in your life and I love how you appreciate it all and are thankful. My father turned 70 last month but we have been estranged for 10 years so it was really emotional in a different way. We chose not to have children ourselves but I do so feel the jealousy when I think of watching them grow and become their own people. GREAT post and photographs as always. x

  15. We have fires :-( Our neighbouring town has been half evacuated, thousand of people displaced. Amazing to see how people all over South Africa are helping out with funding, donations, willing hands, transport, accommodation etc.

  16. Wow! Your father is one of those amazing people that bring the sense of community to everyone. What a special man.
    When I saw your title today, I was hoping it meant that the new lens had finally come out of its box. Like new friendships, I'm sure it won't be long until you are on excellent terms and you will wonder why you didn't introduce yourselves sooner!
    Lovely clear pictures. You have a great eye, Kate.

  17. Lovely photos well done you. Miss Pepper looks right at home up in that tree. How lovely to still see life so simply, what a shame we have to grow up and fit in with the rest of the world. So nice to see that she can still be herself at home. The build seems to be coming along well it's great to see the progress. I'm with you on the snakes (although we don't have many in the UK) I try to transplant spiders to a safer place too.

  18. I didn't even think that I could listen to podcasts from my phone in my car! I must work out how to do that! We are warming up here so allotmenteering with earnest has begun. I am currently crocheting a blanket for the winter and looking forward very much to the school holidays when me and my own nine year old can get out in the sunshine for adventures on bikes etc. Having had four children I agree with you about age nine and year nine but my littlest one is going against the grain so maybe it is to do with us allowing them to be younger longer. Me, I'm already craving the autumn. Is that wrong? Happy birthday to our Dad too! Xx


  19. Very nice post.really I apperciate your blog.Thanks for sharing.keep sharing more blogs.


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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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