Monday, May 30, 2011

Tea Cosies

Today the weather radar in our parts looked like this...
And this was before it got really bad
So it was a perfect day for getting on top of things indoors.  But, instead of rushing about like a madwoman, cooking, and cleaning, and trying to find the bedroom floor in the kids rooms, I parked myself in front of the fire and knitted this...
My very first tea cosy
The knitting pattern is called 'mistake rib'.  I made a mistake with my mistake rib and it turned out as normal rib for a few rows. So the normal rib was a mistake and my mistake rib wasn't.

Ah ha ha ha ha, cough, sigh.

Why yes, I had been working on that one all day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunshine on a rainy day

Teetering on the brink of yet another burnout at the moment.  There's been a lot of external stress here at Chez Nicholas (ie a serious lack of funds) and I've been pushing myself very hard to get Running With The Hunted finished, which is massively mentally draining.  (And that's the tip of the iceberg).

My classic symptom of stress is getting over-tired, ie, so tired I can't sleep or step back to see that I need to slow down.  Chronic multi-tasking morphs into a soul-sucking sense of being overwhelmed, anxiety follows quickly, then horrific self doubt, and as I creep towards depression I grind to a halt and cannot face something as simple as a trip to the supermarket.

I'm not in that state at the moment.  I'm in the over-tired stage, and I know it.  I also know I can fix it with sleep.  Classic over-tiredness means either not sleeping at all, or waking at 2am and not sleeping the rest of the night. To get back on track I take knock-out drugs for a few nights, get the sleep patterns sorted out and work from there.

Simple.  Well yes, because its been a reoccurring cycle my entire life, and I have a wonderful wise woman who has over four years of listening, has taught me how to recognise the symptoms and deal with them, before I get catatonic.

But the thing is, I was thinking it over the other day and I realised that... well... this is it.  Life stress (for want of a simple term) is not going anywhere.  Being a writer is not going to get easier (in fact its probably going to get a lot harder), being a mum, a wife, an 'insert activity here' is not going to simpler/cheaper.  If I'm lucky then the worst that'll happen is that it'll get different - still with its own stresses, but different.  No matter what the future holds, I'm not going to wake up one day and it'll all be sorted out.

I think I was sort-of waiting for that day.

I'm not one go to around chasing after 'being happy' - grasping at happiness is never going to work.  But its time, as I head towards my 40th birthday, to think about how I'm going to move into my Fabulous Forties.

Being in a cycle of over-tiredness and drugging myself to sleep is not on the list.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Even the stars are against us...

So hubs is a gemini and I'm a capricorn.  Apparently we're the two most incompatible star signs there are.  Here is what the Kidspot Love Meter had to say about our relationship...

  • What you two have in common is your dry sense of humor and your resourcefulness. Other than that, I can't really see much more common ground. 
  • Marriage
    • If you make it this far -- which is a big if -- Capricorn will be the rock of the relationship; 
    • ... it will be a wonder if you commit long-term. 
    • ... In fact, if you do decide to marry, it may well be a marriage of convenience. 
  • Passion
    • You're both very busy people, so it'll take a lot for you to bother making time for a physical encounter 
    • ... and the truth is, you may not get far before you both just give up. 
    • ... Ultimately, neither of you is interested in lying around in bed all day. 
Wrong. So very wrong. On all counts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

These are always worth keeping in mind...

Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

from the New York Times, Writers on Writing Series.


These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.

1. Never open a book with weather.

2. Avoid prologues.

3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” . . .
. . . he admonished gravely.

5. Keep your exclamation points under control.
You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.

6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.


Living in ColorLiving in Color by Trish Milburn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this beautifully written, heartwarming and satisfying story.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Apple pickin

It was the annual family trip to go apple picking in Bilpin on the weekend...
OMG We're going to pick apples, OMG let's run up and down and fall over
Why yes, I would love to pick all the apples for you and put them in your bag
Beautiful Sundowners
Yep, that'd be around 20kgs of apples just there
First kilo got dried
So now I have 30kgs of apples scattered around my house.  In hindsight maybe 30kgs was a little excessive, I've got one hell of a lot of peeling to do.

We've split them up as follows...

  • Blackberry and apple jam (lots, its our family fave)
  • Pie filling for x12 pies
  • Eating
  • Drying 
  • Apple puree for muffins etc
  • Bottling - ie, preserving whole apple slices
We went to Shields Orchard - a wonderful pick your own orchard, they're nearly at the end of their season now though, check their website for details


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hooters have an equal opportunity program, right?? right??

Dear Kidspot,

Thank you for the complimentary t-shirt.  This made the unfettered joy of being in the top 50 bloggers (vote for meee) complete.

I'm going to wear it for my job application at Hooters.  They have an equal opportunity program for 40 year olds who've breastfed two kids, right? right?

Best wishes
Caitlyn Nicholas

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Introducing the NEW Bane of my Life

Up until now the bane's of my life have included the following...

And him

And her

And also her
Yes, my cup runneth over, not necessarily in that order.

However, I now have one more item to add to this list.
Miss 6 has taken-up tap dancing.  Our house has wood or slate floors.

At first she was reticent to practice at home, but with some encouragement from ME (yes, I never learn), she now has her tap shoes adhered to her feet.

I get a 'going to bed' tap dance, a 'wake up in the morning' tap dance (my clear favourite), an 'I've done my homework' tap dance, a 'just because I love tap dancing' tap dance, and even a pre-dinner I-won't-eat-until-I've-practiced tap dance.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Have I ever made you laugh...

Well have I?

If I have, or even if I've just mildly amused you, can you help a blogger out, click on the pic below and vote for me in the Top 50 Bloggers??
Vote for meeeee :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Writerly Wednesday: Stagnating like a chlorine-less swimming pool

Stagnation usually happens around Chapter 5, and occurs when you are not exactly blocked, because you know where you are going with your plot, but you just can't face writing the rest of the book, because its so looooong, and so difficult, and takes so much effort, and... (fill in own excuse here)

Classic symptoms include...

  • Eating (the more chocolatey the better)
  • Wandering around the garden with a cup of tea
  • Moaning, often whilst clutching your head, and doing 'sad eyes' at your husband
  • The internet
    • Facebook obsession ("but I'm just setting up my author page")
    • Forums ("but I'm just getting myself out there")
    • Commenting on things you normally ignore, eg, newspaper articles ("but WHY are they having these slutwalks in WINTER??")
    • Buying things on ebay
    • Spending a lot of time on frivolous pages where you can design things to decorate your blog with...

    • Ranting on Twitter
    • Prettifying your blog 
    • Ranting on Twitter about prettifying your blog
    • Putting every random thought that comes into your head on Twitter/your Blog
  • Spending time with children
  • Unbearable sookiness which morphs quickly into irritability
  • Self-hate and loathing
  • Quitting being a writer FOREVER
  • Being bored, bored, bored with everything under the sun
  • Unnaturally clean house
  • Ringing Mother
  • Filling freezer with 'ready meals'

There are cures for Stagnation (however, you have to motivate yourself to do them, which is the practically impossible and extremely annoying bit)
  • Have a day or two off (careful, it can become weeks, and then you have to re-read what you wrote which leads to a rewrite and then more stagnation)
  • Lock self in room with computer and no internet connection (or tough love, does work after you realise you can't scratch your way through the door)
  • Bribe self to work (rarely works as bribe gets eaten before work done)
  • Change of scene (this does work)
    • Set up new writing nest in inconvenient place (eg kitchen table)
    • Get out of house and write in a cafe (cake helps here)
    • Jot down scene while travelling on train, in car, on cruise around Mediterranean...
  • Write differently (this works too)
    • Write whilst listening to music
    • Handwrite a scene in a notepad
  • Read a really terrible terrible novel (this ignites the indignant 'I can do better than this' response)
  • Set an embarrassingly small goal (say 150 words), achieve it.  Set another small goal, achieve that, repeat. (this works)
But the thing to remember above all, is that most writers stagnate at some point, its not a failing on your part. The trick is not to let it derail you completely.  You can finish this work-in-progress, you can.  I know you can.  Now get off the internet and go and do it.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Great Tomato Caper - Part 2

So I have been waiting for the Second Pumpkin-of-Hope to ripen before I could get on with The Great Tomato Caper. Part 1 is here.  Long story short; am planting self-seeded tomatoes as my main crop of tomatoes, and doing it months earlier than I usually would. (Wacky and radical me, sometimes I can barely stand it).
Second Pumpkin of Hope has ripened - Princess Zuzu is still not amused
Called Pumpkin of Hope because after garden annihilated by weather in late Jan, pumpkin sprang up on its own and produced two pumpkins
I moved the self-seeded tomatoes from their various locations, stuck them in the end of one of the veggie beds, and left them to see who survived (everybody).
Getting somewhat crowded
My tomato bed is actually two beds.  In the left one I cleared out the tatty remains of the pumpkin and dug it over.  In the right one I dug in the green manure that was growing there, with a few handfuls of leaves.  It'll be interesting to see the difference between the bed with the extra 'nutrition' and the one that just got replanted.
Why yes, the swimming pool is bright green again
Then I planted out my overcrowded tomatoes and mulched (yes it keeps the soil temperature low, but its so dry/windy at the moment that I chose mulch to try and keep in some moisture - also hides weeds)
Now to see if they survive the winter
So that's the tomatoes sorted out.  Tick.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Anniveristary

Today is Hubs and my 7th Wedding Anniveristary.

We are still in the 48% of marriages that don't fail.  Neither of us have any idea how. Our main theories of a long and happy marriage are as follows..

  • If you are angry, yell at each other and slam doors a lot
  • If you are going to get fat, do it together (preferable whilst watching the biggest loser)
  • Blame each other's parents for any problems the children may have
  • Have one set of rules for yourself, another set for everyone else in the house, be vigilant about enforcing these rules
  • Let resentment fester, and always go to sleep on an argument, preferable in separate rooms
  • Make sure one person is a tea person, the other is a coffee person
  • Make sure one person is a dog person and the other a cat person
  • Make sure neither of you are children people
  • Argue about small and pointless things, eg, which parking space to park in.
  • Never, ever, not ever under any circumstances admit you may be even a teeny weeny slightly bit WRONG.
Love yooooo.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cake Friday

First, apologies for no update yesterday.  Blogger died. Big time.

So, Cake Friday. As you will recall I was fired from making my mother's birthday cake last week by my sister.  Well, this is the paltry offering she came up with instead...
Why yes, that is solid chocolate on top
It was served with a raspberry coulis and cream
The sponge I had in mind would've been Just As Good.  It would've.


On an entirely different subject, I wanted to note here that I will not be entering into the Kidspot Top 50 Win a Ford Territory For A Year competition.  Why? Because I already have the X-Trail and the Mitsubishi and really don't need another car for a year.  And there are bloggers out there who really DO need a car.

I met the Ford Territory in question at the Top 50 launch last Monday.  Its lovely.  It really looks like a great car - and I'm going to be breathtakingly excited for the blogger who gets to have it.  So go to it, all 49 of you.  May the best blogger win.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Aliens and having an Eco-Vag

First, and most importantly I'd like to share with the interwebs that I am vastly regretting the three cups of tea I drank this morning. Peeing much?

Presently I am sitting in Hornsby Westfield before heading out into The Arctic to do my weekly shop at the farmers market.  For the record there is an extra large cup of tea cooling beside me - yes, its going to be my day for bathrooms.  Also I'm really hoping that someone around here has a mobile phone with the tones from 'Close Encounters' (you know when human kind meets aliens and figures out how to communicate in musical tones in eight seconds flat) and that it keeps going off.  Otherwise people, that movie may well have been non-fiction - as my mother frequently suggests - and we may have visitors.

I do feel strongly that, judging from the newsreaders on TV, we may have already Made Contact.  Have you looked at them? I mean really looked at them??  Next time the news is on have a close look.  Aliens. Everyone of them.  Especially on the ABC.  I point it out to hubs on an almost daily basis.  He tells me to ring my mother.

Speaking of aliens and my husband...
Its got man-flu and is not of this world - or is that not long for this world?
So easily confused
Anyhoo, a new product for women recently came to my attention (back of the stall door in the Westfield bog, now that's what I call a captive audience).  Its called Eco-Vag.  And I just wanted to share with you what a woman with balanced vaginal flora looks like...
No itching, burning or unpleasant odour for her
Oh yes, I'm going to rush out and get me some capsules to... to... no, I can't bring myself to write it.  You don't swallow them people. YOU DONT SWALLOW THEM.

I think I've said enough.


And I was being sarcastic about going out and buying them - just so we're clear.

Vote for meeee

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writerly Wednesday; Promotion... its biblical

Today I will keep it short (nooo, you gasp -  I'm not surprised at your surprise btw - I do crap on a lot, even my mother says so).


Today I am going to share the golden rule of starting out in promotion and marketing.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Matthew 7:12 (yes googled it, you guys know I'm religiously ambivalent), although really Matthew can't entirely take the credit for this quote, everyone has said it, even someone called Sextus the Pythagorean (oh how I adore wikipedia).

I'm not going to thrash this one into the ground, I know, you know what I mean...
  • You want someone to read your books, read theirs and put your positive feedback out there on the internet
  • You want lots of reviews in Amazon or Goodreads, give lots of reviews in Amazon and Goodreads - but if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all
  • You want support via Facebook, get busy on Facebook - and I don't mean mass friending, I mean interacting with people
And so on.

There is a second golden rule that its also worthwhile keeping in mind...

Don't expect it to work.

Yes, what the hell?? you may say.

If you charge in thinking you're going to get something out of every person you support, or give feedback to, people will abandon you in droves.  
Think of that annoying person who only ever calls when they want something, you resent them don't you? Be careful not to be that person.

Happy writing :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Afternoon in the garden :)

Stunning day today at Chez Nicholas...
Yep, imagine all the dog crap under those leaves
 After sleeping in until lunchtime (due to late night at Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers launch - vote for meeee) got busy in the garden.
Mulching around the spuds (dog is talking to next door's dog)
 Harvesting the last of the basil, for pesto tonight
Princess Zuzu not overly-whelmed by it all
 And getting Bed 2, the legumes bed organised.

Presently  it contains Broad Beans.
  • Earthed up around the base of the broad beans
  • Put in stakes and strung bailing twine between them to support the beans if we get another southerly gale like we did last night (crap it was cold, and there was me prancing around Oxford street in cocktail garb)
  • Put in a row of golden podded peas to grow up the fence at the back
  • Tossed some dead palm fronds down in-between the rows
  • Sprinkled with wood ash from the fire

  • Mulched, watered and ticked off the list


Monday, May 09, 2011

Big Announcement... and Its not that I'm mother of year (WTF???)

Yeah, so.  They announced Mother of the Year, and apparently I'm not it.

I'm wondering which thing they found out about...
  • Weaning at the first sight of a tooth
  • Larger screamie's 3rd and 4th words being fuck and it (1st being No and 2nd being Dad)
  • Locking screamies outside when behaving vilely IN THE RAIN
  • Threatening screamies with dis-ownership after they locked ME outside IN THE RAIN
  • Driving past face-down screaming screamie in car line, pretending its not my child
  • Being unable to attach right name to correct screamie, dog or cat
  • Feeding chicken nuggets that had fallen on the floor
  • Sending screamie to school with temperature and going to hairdressers
  • Not realising own screamie is ill
  • Using clothing to wipe dirty mouths (theirs or mine - clothing that is)
  • Forgetting sunscreen
  • Forgetting hats
  • Forgetting drink bottles 
  • Abandoning poo covered underpants in various locations
  • Singing a selection of eighties hits instead of lullabies
  • Falling asleep during story time
Well, I may not be mother of the year this year, but at least my two screamies know I love them.  Well they would, if I knew where they were. 

Anyhoo, big announcement I've been rabbiting on about for the last week...

My blog has been selected to be in the Kidspot Top 50. 
Click on the pic to see my entry and vote

It is rather huge in the bloggy world and I am rather massively chuffed about it.  

If you would like to vote for me, well that'd be very much appreciated.  You can vote for whoever else you want as well, whenever you want, but you can only vote for me once (if that makes sense - it records your IP address).

Programming during the voting time will be very much as usual; Mummy fails, gardening, cooking and cake bakery, writerlyness, ranting, raving etc... but there will be an extra special blog post on 21 May - and if ever you have had the urge to comment, that would be the day to do it.

So there it is. 

Vote for meeeeee.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I find motherhood a bit like this...
This is my life
 And today, in recognition of my efforts over the year I got...
Thousands of Minks died for these slipper
And this...
Because the laydee loves Milk Tray
Don't get me wrong, I love my $2 slippers and my chocolates, but I do wish the Milk Tray had come with the Milk Tray man...
Mmm, rugged (and slightly damp)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

No cake Friday :(

There will be no cake Friday this week.


Because I was fired, FIRED, from making my Mother's birthday cake by my sister.


I have been relegated to making rhubarb crumble.

No, no, I'm fine. Really. I will get over this.

Slow day otherwise at Chez Nicholas.  Have been working on my quilt and eating things.
4 squares quilted, 96 to go...
And have been admiring Miss 6s dressed up zuzu pet...
Introducing Princess Zuzu

North StarNorth Star by Karly Lane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book, wonderful story, made me laugh and cry. Can't wait for Karly's next book.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 06, 2011

Strawberry Guava Jelly

Mumndad have a magnificent strawberry guava tree/bush/plant.  Right now its loaded with ripe fruit which is just begging to be made into jelly.  Strawberry guavas have lots of really hard little pips, so they'd be awful as a jam.

As always my greatest challenge with making jams and jellies is getting the damn things to set.  You see I refuse, I just REFUSE to use jamsetter.  I see it as an additive, and if my English Grandmother could do without it, then so can I.

Strawberry guava jelly is notoriously difficult to get to set.  Being a life long adherent of Doing Things The Hard Way, for my first batch I ignored all the people on the internet and made the jelly in the usual jelly making way with just the guavas.

It did kind-of set, and it is delicious, but you sort of have to fold your toast in half and eat it in one mouthful if you don't want it down your front.

Batch 2 set like a dream because I added apples (so its strictly guava and apple jelly).  Adding apples sets almost anything because of the high amount of pectin they have.
Strawberry guavas about to be transformed
Strawberry guavas
Apples - half the amount of guavas you have (eg 1kg guavas then 500g apples)
Lemon zest
Sugar - 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar per cup of juice you end up with (eg, 4 cups juice needs 3 - 4 cups sugar)


  • Wash guavas, chop apples
  • Put in pan, cover with water
  • Boil until fruit is mush, squishing with spoon
  • Strain juice through two layers of muslin, or a teatowel or whatever, just make sure it doesn't let any bits through
  • Give left over fruit mush to chooks
  • Add sugar
  • Boil until it reaches 105 degrees celsius - this could take a while, and don't stir too much
  • Let cool slightly
  • Pour into warm sterilised jam jars and seal
Ready for afternoon snacks on toast, and gifts for friends
Total cost: $1.97 for the sugar, $1.50 for the apples


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Teacuppery; The Tragedy

Its been ages since I posted about my Shelley teacup collection - must be eighteen months or so.  I've had a few new acquisitions, not as many as I'd like of course :)

We had a teacup tragedy a year or so ago, and I think that's why things have been quiet.  Its taken me this long to get over it.  We use my cups, and I'm not precious about the odd one getting broken, its going to happen and I feel very strongly that you should use the beautiful things you have, not just dust them.  However, this was a bit bigger than that...

You see I had collected almost the whole teaset of this design (Shape: Queen Anne, Pattern: Garland of Flowers in black)
This one had an accident before The Tragedy
I had them all displayed in on a corner stand, and one day the kids were making cubbies and pegged blankets to the the top of the stand.  One thing led to another and the stand was tipped over by the weight of the blankets.  The whole collection was smashed and all I've got left is a cake plate. However, I kept all the broken bits and plan to make one of those mosaic table tops (or something) so they won't go to waste.


But I still have plenty of beauties left...

These two are probably the least gaudy in my collection.  I love them for their sleek shapes.
Shape: Regent (Late), Colour: Blue and yellow
 This cup is a demi-tasse, which means its half the size of a normal Shelley teacup.  These were popular with Victorian ladies who wore corsets - as they didn't have much bladder room!
Shape: Regent (early), Pattern: Swirls in green

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Writerly Wednesday; Goal Setting

New comment system? Breathtaking new header banner? Someone is tarting up their blog!  Could something be afoot? Could there be exciting news on Monday?  Tune in then to find out :)

Do you like my teacups?  I was messing about with google drawings last night when I should've been writing the last thousand of my four thousand words of yesterday.  Have plans for an upgraded version involving the ironing board cover (yes, I agree, am even more riveting than usual this morning.)

So, for this Writerly Wednesday (formerly Writing Tuesday), I wanted to blog about goal setting.  As I said I'm pushing for 4,000 words a day at the moment.  It is a lot and it is exhausting.  I'm also blogging, twittering, commenting, gossiping, cooking, cleaning, washing, dressing, trying to make Miss 5 sit still long enough to learn to read AND making sure I drag Miss 6 out of a book at least once a day to eat.  Oh and I have a husband, dog, cat and chickens who occasionally want attention. Not to mention the garden.

I could write something about how I have balance in my life, but it would be a load of crap.  What I do have is a lot of lists so that I remember everything I want/need/should do and/or ignore.  I love a good list.

This is what my writing list looks like at the moment...
  1. Running With The Hunted 
    1. Finished end of May (50,000 words to go), 
    2. Ready for agent by end July
  2. First draft short romance
    1. 50,000 words
    2. Write as part of 50ks in 30 days (which is something Romance Australia run)
    3. Finished end June, 
    4. Ready to pitch by August at RWA conference / or send to agent
  3. Submission for Samhain Olympics anthology story 
    1. 25 - 30,000 words 
    2. Finish end July
    3. Due 1st September
  4. Fat Chance
    1. 100,000 words
    2. Plot & research by September
    3. First draft done end December
  5. Short story for writing competition, or messing about on Smashwords
    1. 15 - 20,000 words
    2. Not taking this too seriously
Lots to do, but just looking at this list makes me feel excited and motivated.  I know where I'm going, I know what I want to achieve.  I know that its up to me to get there.

I cannot stress enough the importance of setting goals when you are writing.  Otherwise you may end up losing momentum or wondering where you are going with it all.

You want to finish a manuscript?

  • Set a date, an achievable date and work towards it. When you fill your daily word count reward yourself, boast on twitter, let me know, tell your mother (but be warned she may be somewhat underwhelmed!).
  • Have a plan about what you want to do with that manuscript when you are finished, be it, find an agent, submit it to Mills&Boon, self publish it.  Cyber stalk the agents you have in mind, the publisher or other self-publishers - its a great way to start getting your name out there.
  • And, always, always, have Plan B, Plan C and Plan D up your sleeve, and put a bit of effort into them as well.  Publishing is a rough businesses and it helps to know where you are going if Plan A does not come off as planned (and that is something I have experienced over and over).
I have a lot of other lists.  A marketing list, a cleaning list, a to do list, a menu/shopping list...  I don't get to what is on any of these lists in one day, and I don't expect to, but I know where I am, what has been done, what must be done and what hasn't been done for weeks.

Oh and speaking of what hasn't been done for weeks... Diminishing Lucy has a comp over on her blog to giveaway a years supply of shower cleaning wipes.  Apparently they are brilliant and given the state of our shower I'm going to get me some and give them a go.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Slime

I hate snails.  I really really hate them.  Time and again they have reduced an abundant crop of seedlings to nothing in the space of a few dark hours.  I detest snails so much that I can even bring myself to squish them with my fingers; well, the teeny weeny baby ones and with gardening gloves on. I am not the Bear Gryllis of the Upper North Shore Urban Farming set.  No siree.

But yes, I do slaughter baby snails with my gloved hands.  You read that right.

So imagine, if you will, my joy, my unfettered delight, when my children, eyes alight with excitement come tearing inside yesterday waving a tupperware container.
"We caught a snail."
"Its our new pet."
"We love it."
"How can you tell if snails are boys or girls?"

I rolled my eyes and promptly forgot about it until this morning, at around 6.30am when there were cries of horror from the playroom.
The snail had escaped.
Not a moment could be lost, Mummy AND Daddy must immediately IMMEDIATELY commence a search and rescue mission.
What if the dog had eaten it??
(The dog gets sniffy about eating gourmet dog food, so there wasn't much chance).
You interrupted my nap to ask if I ate a what??
And get that camera out of my face, my ears are all messy
Anyhoo, after a brief struggle the snail was recaptured.  It was making a bid for freedom across the kitchen bench (yes, ewwww), and had made pretty impressive progress from its container in the playroom.

After being christened The Slime, our snail was then re-incarcerated in its container, this time with a lid and a few leaves for company.
The newest family member
And now I find myself in the awkward position of having responsibility for my arch enemy.  Maybe I'll get stockholm syndrome and start to relate to snails and even love them.  Maybe I'll become The Mad Snail Lady.

Or maybe The Slime will escape again tonight from its sealed container and find itself having a new life in the garden of that neighbour with the wretched endlessly yapping Pomeranian.



Updated to add:  My husband read this post and said, "What about the slug?"
"The slug???"
"Yes there was a slug in there.  It escaped too."
"But you found it?"
"Not exactly."

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Autumn Harvest and also Lindt Chocolate.

First up, comments;  I've installed disqus so that I can reply to comments and let the commenter know that how much appreciate and love her/him taking the time to let me know what they think.  This is the only way I can do this in blogspot - unlike other blogging platforms, they don't have a comment reply function. So it was either disqus or moving the blog.  Let me know if its causing any dramas, and if you don't want to use it, do feel free to email me at

Thank you for reading about the comments.  Now I shall make the tedium worth it.  You see over at Singular Insanity, Dorothy has got this amazing Lindt chocolate give away going on.  Click here to enter.  I'm talking $250 of Lindt Chocolate AND $250 Myer gift voucher - and no, I'm not getting any extra entries for mentioning it here - I just think its a great competition, and Dorothy is one cool chick.

Frills in the Hills is doing a similar giveaway - enter there for a second chance :)

$250 of Lindt chocolate, yes that's it in the hamper... I can hear Jan my weightwatchers leader howling "Nooooooooooo," at the very thought.  Entries close Thursday 5th May.

So, we were over at Mumndads building site house last week, and I went for a forage in the much neglected veggie garden.  Came back with four pumpkins, a crumble's worth of rhubarb and another 2kgs of strawberry guavas.
Excellent haul
I see pumpkin soup in my future, and more strawberry guava jelly, I wonder if it will set this time :)