Friday, March 16, 2018

10 things

Hello and welcome to another Friday here at Foxs Lane.

I hope that this finds you warm and well and happy in the thought that you've got a little pocket of time to yourself.

I wonder if it's morning or afternoon where you are? If you're reading on your computer or phone? If there are people around or if you're all by yourself? I wonder if you have a queue of blogs to read? If you clicked onto my site or got this as an email? And I wonder how many Fridays we've spent together you and me, through the internet, over the years?

I'm so happy that you've joined me today. I know how precious your time is and it means the world that you're spending some of it with me.

So I thought that this week, to make some sort of sense out of my jumbled up mind, we'd do one of those 10 things about right now posts. Are you ready? Okay let's get started.

Along with almost everything else in the garden that's ripe right now, we're picking and podding the scarlet runner beans that grew up the outside of the tee-pee in our garden. I love how those dried out, rattley skins slit open to expose the most beautiful purple beans.

We're picking armfuls of basil for salads, sandwiches, pizzas, sauces and for pesto.

We had a terribly wet spring and then a dreadful apple season last year, so this season feels a little bit lucky and extra special. Walking up and down the rows, watching the apples on the trees sizing and colouring up, tasting them to see if the starches have turned to sugar, and then picking bags and crates full is an apple farmers dream come true.

Once picked, most of our our apples go on the road side stall at the front of our farm. If you're passing by you should totally pop in - Daylesford Organics - 19 Foxs Lane Muskvale.

Right now the stall is full of Cox's Orange Pippin, with Red Delicious and Jonathan coming soon.

We're picking a crate of tomatoes a day, saucing them and then bottling them for winter time.

I'm sure I write this every year - but even though it feels like such a lot of work to do now, in an already crazy full autumn schedule, I love thinking of the sunshine filled gift I'm giving to winter-us by filling these jars with tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs and basil.

We're renovating again. This paving out the front of the sun-room, on both sides of the front door is the start, and from here we're heading all the way across the front of the house to the right. We're extending the sun-room, we're making a wood shed and who knows what else will come up while we're at it.

This is a picture of the first sleeve, but I've actually finished that one and now I'm knitting the second sleeve of my Mirehouse sweater. Gosh I really need to get it finished soon so I can start preparing for my toe-up sock knitting master class at Soul Craft festival.

We're picking flowers. How cool is it that with most varieties of flowers the more you pick them the more prolifically they grow!! Now why don't fruit and vegetables do the same?

After I publish this we're going to pick some bunches to pop on the farm stall for the weekend. Apples and posies, sounds like the start of a beautiful weekend.

I've got the door to the studio open and I'm listening to the birds calling to each other about the delicious grapes they've found growing over our back deck. I'm listening to the washing machine telling me that it's finished its cycle. I'm listening to the wind blowing through the eucalyptus trees. And I just listened to and loved the episode of Invisibilia called - I,I,I. Him. (I should probably warn you that I had to pull my car off the road for a bit because I was sobbing so hard.)

A few days ago when I came to the end of the pile of books on my bedside table I found this copy of Picnic at Hanging Rock in the bookshelves. The kind people at Penguin sent it to me a few years ago when they re released it with this cute cover.

I actually can't believe I've never read it before, but part of me is glad I waited. The story is set in the area where I drive my girls to school every day so the descriptions of the the landscapes feel familiar and almost personal. Whenever I read a book I get completely immersed in its pages and in its world and this one is no exception. A few days ago Indi took me on a drive around the back streets of Macedon and part of the way up to Mount Macedon and although the book was set over 100 years ago in a time before cars or made roads, I could almost see the horse drawn carriage go past with a flutter of white summer dresses floating behind and hear the clapping of hooves on the ground.

From the very first page the descriptions of the flower filled, carefully cultivated gardens have delighted me. Sentences like 'Out in the gay green garden beyond the schoolroom the bed of dahlias glowed as if they were on fire, caught by the late afternoon sun' were written more than 50 years ago but could easily be used to describe the scene outside our sun room on any given February or March afternoon.

I am smitten by this haunting tale, the characters, the eerie mystery, the landscape, the history. If I finish reading it over the weekend I think I'll get my family to watch the movie with me.

I'll leave you with this little Buddhist thought my wonderful friend Melissa sent me a few weeks ago and I've found helpful this week. What we strain to hold - slips through our fingers. By opening our hands, things rest lightly upon our palms.

And that's me!
Tell me what you've been up to?
Where you've been?
What you've thought?
What you've done?

See you next week.




  1. I wonder if it's morning or afternoon where you are? It's early evening and it's raining.
    If you're reading on your computer or phone? On my phone, which I find quite frustrating but our computer is old and so very slow that i barely ever use it.
    If there are people around or if you're all by yourself? My hubby is here, my daughter is at work and my other children are 4 hours away at their own lives. I miss them.
    I wonder if you have a queue of blogs to read? Not today as ive read them all.
    If you clicked onto my site or got this as an email? No email,
    And I wonder how many Fridays we've spent together you and me, through the internet, over the years. Lots I've been following your blog since, goodness forever ago. Before your caravan trip

    I'm excited for your renovations, for your flowers, for your apples and for Picnic at Hanging rock. I loved that book, i read it when i was a teenager.
    What do you do with your lovely beans? I've only eaten them as young beans still in the pod.
    Have a glorious weekend and thank you for sharing that Buddhist quote.
    Cheers Kate

  2. Those purple beans are spectacular. I want a huge necklace made of strands and strands of them. And I don't even like purple that much... I think plants keep on flowering because the flowers are only *potential*. Fruit and vegetables are the end of the line, and you pick them when the plant's work is done. Flowers are only future fruit, vegetables or seeds, and the plant keeps trying.
    I used to live in Melbourne, and a day trip out to the Macedon ranges was an autumn treat. I can visualise that country too... Now I live in the tropics, and there's no autumn colour, no apple orchards, and frangipanis bloom like fire instead of dahlias. Not complaining, just saying!

  3. Lovely words and photographs. It's morning here and raining. Its a work day but at least it's Friday and then the weekend. Tomorrow will be the usual domestic chores but Sunday is a girly day out to a craft show where I hope to get more yarn.

  4. I remember watching Picnic at Hanging Rock as a child and it scared me! I would love to read the book.

  5. I’m freaking out about the flowers thing, so I should be picking my dahlias...?

  6. And I think I have been reading your blog since about 2008? Since your girls were little and my Marlo was a toddler!

  7. Hi I look forward to reading your blog every Friday early morning on my phone. Here in New York it’s going to be spring and weatherman says we are getting another snow storm ugh!! Need warmer weather already lol. Is your new sunroom the most used room at your place? Just curious. Have a great week.

  8. I remember visiting Hanging Rock years ago, in the early 90s. After seeing the movie, it was quite scary. Very pretty though.

  9. I have a little tradition of reading your blog on Friday mornings in bed after I get my wife and little girls out the door to work and preschool. It is my little alone time treat before my workout and getting ready for work. It is cold here in Boston with snow blanketing the ground from a recent blizzard. Spring should be on its way next week but more snow is in the forecast. It's alright, though, as it is cozy in my house.
    Thank you for the Buddhist quote at the end. As a foster parent, it is something I need to remind myself often.
    Have a great weekend, Kate!

  10. Warm greetings from Germany
    from a small village
    hope my english is not to bad
    i also loves gardening ,knitting.....and i to read
    your blog....i make a cup of coffee and read you blog of my laptop
    every friday....its such a joy for me ... i love the picture and your
    writing style so much ....and its surprising to see that you have apples and
    tomatoes beans and so on...and in germany we are waiting for springtime...its funny
    At the moment its afternoon when i read the blog...iam alone husband
    is at work and i enjoy it to have time after cooking ....
    after time on the laptop i will beginn to knit a loop in green colours...because
    spring is comming...i the moment we have no snow..hooray

    good wishes for you and your family
    Barbara from Germany

  11. I love the 1975 film version of Picnic, and I see they have made a new miniseries of it now with Natalie Dormer in it from Game of Thrones. I will try to get the book to compare...

  12. Crumbs it only seems like a few days ago that you couldn’t wait for the tomatoes to ripen and were checking them everyday. Where does the time go? I also love the colour of the new seed beans from the Scarlet runners they are truly beautiful. I look forward to seeing your blog on a Friday and try to make sure I’m sat and reading it in the afternoon with my coffee. We are expecting another frigid blast from Russia here in the UK over the weekend so I’m hoping that after this we will start and see some Spring sunshine.

  13. Gorgeous purple beans! And your dahlias are spectacular. I'm in California right now, the wine country north of San Francisco, where it's been raining, so everything is lush and green. This was a fire area last year, so the rains are SO welcome. We are in the Southern Highlands of NSW just over half the time, and love the area where you live, too. I have to ask...where do you get your lovely dahlias? Love to add some to our Mittagong garden!

  14. When you described the birds calling to one another, I thought what a joy if you would do a video with the birdsong and the garden! I too have followed you before the caravan trip. My half Jack Russell is snuggled with me on the bed, our Australian Terrier Dougall is softly snoring in his bed next to ours. Spring is springing here in the Pacific Northwest USA. The frogs are singing every evening now in the slough near by! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and thoughts with us!xx

  15. Hi Kate, I usually leave reading your blog until early Saturday morning, leisurely breakfast, and a catch up,with what you have been up to. Updates come by email .
    I have too have been following since before the caravan trip.
    I was listening to radio national last Saturday on the drive up to Noosa and about lunch time there was an interview with the producer or director of the new Picnic at Hanging rock series, you might like to find it (possible ?) it was quite interesting.
    Your sunroom is outstanding, a place to spend soooo much time doing a multitude of things, it will be lovely and cosy in the warmth and light when the cold hits, looking forward to seeing the new addition and finishing of the pavers.

  16. We've just bought our seed potatoes and onion sets, but the weather here is pretty nasty, so we can't get onto our allotment yet. Your garden always looks so lush and inviting and I adore your sun room... that pelargonium is stunning!

  17. Hi Kate,
    I've been following your blog for a few years but this is my first time commenting. Loving the late season harvest and preserving pics. We moved interstate in late spring and so I missed my summer/autumn harvest bounty this year - but i've managed to procure a few roadside finds and gluts from friends to enjoy a bit of preserving fun at least. Those beans look so amazing. I'm adding those to the planting list for next spring (one bonus of the move is it's cold enough here to grow scarlet runners).
    I generally read your blog on friday if I can grab a quite moment amongst the kids and the chaos but this week it's Sunday. I'm on my computer so I can comment easily (for some reason I don't like typing comments on my phone - but i really need to get over that as it means I rarely comment anywhere because I don't have the time always to get out the computer). There are two kids around but they are 'resting' so it's quiet here except for the rustling of leaves outside the window - it's a VERY windy day today.

    I recently read your book and really enjoyed it. We are contemplating a big lap trip next year so it was nice to get the perspective of someone who lives a more simple life and has done it.

    Oh, there is now rustling inside the house so it looks like 'rest' time is over. Enjoy your week.

  18. It is Sunday evening @7:00 PM and I'm in the kitchen with my sister, Janet. It tried to rain this morning and was blowing a gale as we went to the Sunday Farmer's Market at the showgrounds in Bendigo. The computer is now working again after re-energizing my mouse with a new battery. Our tea is almost ready. Meanwhile, I soaked beans, nuts/seeds, rice and more this morning and have filled the slowcooker with yummy stuff for a meatless chili. This will make 12 meals for hubby and myself, as I am on a plant-based whole foods regime. I have used homemade Sweet Chili, Hot and plenty of vegetables. No sides required. We have been in Australia for 2 1/2 years visiting and helping my sister and her husband with a full out kitchen renovation; this is after we downsized our household, sold the house and donated the Canada.
    I do have a queue of blogs to read and enjoy that I see each morning in my email. We have just started businesses, so I have the tax preparation to complete shortly and got out another invoice for a job completed for hubby. Needlework, beading (sometimes in combination)and coming up with my own patterns keeps me happy and busy. Last weekend we traveled to Kyneton for the "Lost Trades" fair and really enjoyed the day. I find your blog quite refreshing and look forward to your future writing and photos. Thank you!

  19. I wonder if it's morning or afternoon where you are? It is late Sunday afternoon and bitterly cold...34F or 1C....but the sun is shining. We are expecting a possible two more storms this week before spring actually might get here.
    If you're reading on your computer or phone? The computer
    If there are people around or if you're all by yourself? I'm in the bedroom by myself, but my husband is wandering around
    I wonder if you have a queue of blogs to read? Yes, I tend to catch up on Sundays, when I publish my Year of Projects post and join in with some online friends.
    If you clicked onto my site or got this as an email? You are in my bloglist, but I also follow you on Instagram
    And I wonder how many Fridays we've spent together you and me, through the internet, over the years? Many, many...I think i've been visiting for 3-4 years....
    I am trying to talk myself into doing some correcting, as grades are due within two weeks...haven't gotten there yet though...

  20. I wonder if it's morning or afternoon where you are? - it's in the middle of the morning, March 27 and here in Sweden we are waiting for Spring to come, it's arriving late this year.

    If you're reading on your computer or phone? I'm reading on my (work) computer, it's coffee break time.

    If there are people around or if you're all by yourself? In my office it's just me and my dog who comes to work with me, but I can hear my colleagues talking.

    I wonder if you have a queue of blogs to read? If you clicked onto my site or got this as an email? I read a few blogs on a fairly regular basis, and mostly come to your blog via Attic 24.

    And I wonder how many Fridays we've spent together you and me, through the internet, over the years? Quite a few, I've been following you since you were on your Caravan trip, so I've seen your gorgeous girls grow up. Australia is very exotic to me :-)

  21. Its currently early evening on a supposed spring day here in the UK, but its raining and will be for days (or so the weather man predicts!)

    I haven't blog hopped for some time, work and life got in the way! things are changing here so I'm at handmade kitchen table on my laptop catching up with your blog posts first :)

    as I said, I'm at our kitchen table, an easter sunday roast is in the oven, a homemade victoria sponge is baked and waiting for movie watching later! my hubby is playing his guitar opposite me and we have a backing tune flowing through alexa (amazon)

    thank you for continuing to post and I'll carry on playing catch up so you may well see more comments from me :)

    Deanne (quirky_boots on instagram) x

  22. Kate!!! Your renovations are SO yummy. What a beautiful space you've created. Loving catching up on your world. Love to you all. xoxo

  23. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.



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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