Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New kids on the block

We've been looking around for a new kitten, for ourselves and to help make Sunny happier again. Our dear friend Willa (who is a vet) recommended this lovely kitten through Northern Rivers Animal Services, a volunteer-run pet rescue and rehoming organisation. He was born at the carer's home in late August (the lovely carer supplied a whole CD full of kitten photos and clips!). He is Siamese in shape, jet black in colour, and he purrs constantly. We've named him India Giles Raven and he's here to stay :-)

Sunny's very happy with him and so are the girls, so to see!


Another 'new' arrival (well, appearance really) is the Eastern Rosella fledgling of the two rosellas who made their home in the nesting box I made. Unwilling to disturb the precious nest, I have resisted my burning curiosity and not looked in the box so we had no idea how successful (or not) the breeding season was for the young couple (click for previous posts).

Today Mr Eastern Rosella (we call him Captain Rainbow) the proud father was feeding his young one through the hole. I managed to get a blurry shot of the fledgling peeking out ...

Not to worry, the cats cannot reach the nesting box, and are locked up at night to help keep nocturnal native wildlife safer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Night time shenanigans

I wrote the description of night time shenanigans, below, in an email to various family members. They'd like me to share them with you. To reap the full benefit :-) you need some background information:
- Sunny is our ginger cat. He used to care for Remy our Russian Blue by providing food (mice, rats and rabbits) for him, which he would announce by yowling loudly until Remy came running.  Remy was killed on the road. Sunny misses Remy a lot.
- My father did recently accidentally chop through his foot with an axe (blocksplitter actually). 
- Marc my brother lives in the Netherlands, and he has six children, the youngest of whom are twin girls just turned five years old. Naturally, his children speak Dutch.



>>
Saturday, 3 am:
Sunny comes in yowling vociferously. He doesn't stop yowling. He wants us to see this amazing, incredible thing he caught. We've GOT to come and praise him for his magnificent efforts. He is actually willing to DONATE this massive meaty gift to us, poor insipid humans whose diet is peppered with green things.
He doesn't stop yowling. The walls are reverberating with his half-siamese yowls.
Oh, ALRIGHT, I'll come look. I shamble out of bed.
Sunny's sitting on the rug with a teeeeny, quivering mouse.

He's caught a baby mouse, I call to John. John hoots with disbelief "A mouse? Is that all? With all that noise I was expecting him to have brought in a wombat!".
I peer at the catchling, grinning. I can just picture Sunny lugging in a wombat...  Nope, just a baby mouse. Maybe it was a hard mouse to catch, who knows.
A snort of laughter emanates from the bedroom.
The mouse scampers away and Sunny hoofs off after it.
I go back to bed.


Sunday night, we're in bed, asleep ...
2 am, Sunny comes in carrying a large, extremely cross rat and offers sweetly to give it to us, on our pillows. He's very modest about this one. "I brought you this small token of my esteem", he says, "Nobbut a stripling", he manages to squark, though his mouth is stuffed with rat fur.
I take a look and shiver. That's not a rat, that's a small yak, I think.

Well, that gets dealt with and we go back to sleep. But not for long.

Same night 3.30 am, my mobile phone rings .... rings out, then rings again, and then the bleep signalling a voice message.
Uh oh, says John, this might be your parents, maybe something's happened?
I'm thinking, maybe Pap has put an axe through the other foot? Unlikely at this time of night but you never know.
I shuffle through the living room and kitchen looking for my phone. It rings again, briefly, then stops before I reach it, but at least that's helped me locate it. I look at the screen. It says "Marc".
I bring the phone back to my bedside table. It was Marc, I say to a very sleepy John. Well if he rings again I'll pick up. I hope everything's OK... Not much I can do at 3.30 am though ... I'll listen to the message in the morning.

At 5.30 when our alarm goes off, with some trepidation, I listen to the message. My furrowed frown quickly gives way to snorts of delighted laughter. I hit the replay and give the phone to John. Here listen to this. His sleepy looks are quickly replaced with a huge grin, he shakes his head in delight and hands me back the phone.

The voice message is this:

[a five-year-old's voice, distantly]

"Ja, kijk, die knopjes ... drukken maar... "

[translation: "Yes, see, those buttons .... Go on, push them ..."]

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday week one: renovations and restorations

John painting the ceiling boards
Both John and I were really needing a holiday, so we took two weeks off work. The first week was quite fraught really: having been so busy we had not really had time to work on our relationship and family, so there was some serious renovating to do on that front. Parenting is a minefield anyway but we have a blended family and that brings with it a unique set of issues, which require upkeep and attention. The stats on blended families are not cheering: 90% don't last five years, sadly. If anyone reading this would like more information or support on this topic I can recommend the University of Florida "Stepping Stones for Stepfamilies" series, and a number of other sites.

But we also had some serene times that week. We listened to some marvellous ABC RN  while we worked on restoring the interior of the living room, which when we bought the Grange was panelled in gaudy 1970's plasticised sheets. My brother Marc helped us pull those down quick smart, when he was here last year, bless him! The hardwood boards underneath were damaged but whole, though shrinkage had left many gaps in the walls. We fixed those with flexible gap filler (we used 17 tubes on the one room). Then sanding and filling of the many holes and finally a nice coat of paint. I still need to make more architraves (which had been removed in years gone by and are lost alas) and finish the cornices / scotia and skirtings. Good hard work but the net result is much better. Before and after shots are below.

I think the relationship is much better after the week's renovations, too.


Prior to purchase
Nearly finished
 
The living room after panelling removal but before painting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

50 years of love: Ton and Ellen, my parents

"You must remember this, / A kiss is ..."

My parents have been together for 50 years. To celebrate the anniversary of this lasting relationship we organised several special events. On the Friday we had a pub dinner for 50 local friends and family at our lovely local Eltham Hotel. Fine food, good guests, music and dancing followed.

On the Saturday we organised a catered formal dinner for another 50 people (well some of them were remarkably similar to Friday's crew ;-) ) at the enchanting Clunes Old School site, a federation building in lovely parklands in our village. Many old friends and family travelled from afar to join us: my sister Anna from Melbourne, our dear family friend Sybille from Adelaide, Mary Daly from Sydney, Heather (nee Russell) from Inverell. Speeches, more speeches, champagne, performances by our 'own' family ensemble groups: myself on guitar, Hans and Tess and Yarrow singing. The superb food was capably provided by Laura Hayward, a young local caterer just breaking into the market.
Heather came over from Inverell!
Diana M. made this amazing cake

Saturday's venue: Clunes Old School
Inside the Old School with teak floors

Sybille, Mam and Briony at Clunes



Dancing with the girls :)
Finally on the Sunday afternoon we finished up with a BBQ at our own place, The Grange. John cooked up a storm on the verandah bbq, Katka and I made salads and all ten of us gathered around the large kitchen table and had a chatty and relaxed lunch.

In all it was an excellent weekend and I think my parents really enjoyed it. Many thanks to all those who made the huge effort to travel so far and help us celebrate half a century of love!!

Resuming posting and catching up

Every now and then Life takes over and Things get too busy... I know I've not been posting much recently. I was quite busy with work; struggling a bit with health issues (I think my immune system was a bit compromised after the huge flu I had this semester and I got a staph infection on my thigh which slowed me down and made sitting down eXtremely painful!); feeling a bit down. But much has happened these past weeks which I will post in the near future, so stay tuned for updates on the following:
- My parent's 50th anniversary - we celebrated their lasting love with a whole series of festivities over a couple of days.
- John and I took two weeks holiday. The first week we did some excellent renovating on the house; the second week we went on an exciting motorbike tour...
- The eastern rosellas are inhabiting the nesting box: hopefully nestlings galore :)
- Romany Ruby Smudge our foal is now 3 months old and is changing her foal coat for her new adult look: a surprisingly smoky mocha body on siamese-coloured legs. For those of you who knew Skaila: well, *that* kind of colour.
- John and I have 'broken in' Rascal the affable pinto, who thought the whole process quite amusing and entertaining. Much training still to do yet but he shows promise.
- Major building work on the proposed back deck is about to start with our small project crew of local craftsmen and  women. Very exciting and much looking forward to it.
- Lot Three, the third clutch of this season's rare Belgian bantam breeding program is due to hatch on 6 December. Several of Lot One are with their new owners, Julie & Jenko; and Kevin & Steve. Lot two (there was only one of Lot Two) is still small and is promised to Gio's friend David when she's a bit bigger and can have a mate (a lucky rooster of Lot One).
- An Axe-ident happened! My Dad chopped through his foot with the blocksplitter. Incredibly, he hasn't severed any major tendons or bones, though he did manage to go right through his foot. Though in much pain, he's retained his sense of humour: he told the hospital staff at the Emergency Department it happened in a "split" second.
Postings and some photos of various to follow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yarrow sings

video
Last Sunday Yarrow performed in front of a fairly big audience for the Hothouse Music end of year showcase. The big challenge she had to face was that her own singing teacher who was to accompany her, had just left a few days previously. As a result she had to manage with a new pianist, with whom she had never worked before. Due to time pressure, they only got to meet twice for short rehearsals before the show. As a result Yarrow felt uncharacteristically nervous, but I don't think it shows. Great performaceYarrow, very professional! I'm very proud of you!

For a previous post showing Yarrow performing, click here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Marc's birthday

Today is 9 October and is my much-adored brother Marc's 49th birthday. With only 1 and a half years between us in age, we grew up very close. He was (and is) my playmate, my mentor, my friend, my co-adventurer, my protector, my ally, my sparring partner, my confidante, my consoler in times of great sadness, as well as a sharer of much mirth. In short, he is a fantastic brother and my life is richer because of him.

Marc, I love you very very much. Happy birthday my beloved brother.

Pre and post migration 1964

Erin our lovely house guest has a good way with Apple Mac computers and has been teaching my Mum, Ellen, how to scan and send photos. This morning in my inbox I found some lovely photos my Mum had scanned of our family: one taken just before emigrating to Australia in January 1964; and one taken just after arrival.

I'm the baby wearing white in both photos ... looks like I did a better job of staying clean than I do now (I couldn't get away with wearing white nowadays). Click on the images to enlarge if you like.


I'm looking at these photos and thinking it would have been a HUGE, huge thing for my parents to come all round the world with two small children, in those pre-cyber days when communication and information was sparse. Both my parents are intelligent and resourceful and good communicators, but even so it must have been a massive culture shock. But they coped beautifully.

I like the way the two photos portray a juxtaposition of European neatness and formality versus the Australian informality. Indoor vs outdoor. Black tie / dress vs polka dots and shorts. Styled hair vs curly hair. Smiles vs grins. There certainly was a heap of change taking place in the space of a month.

I'm also looking at these photos and thinking how very good-looking my parents were, and still are :-) 

My brother Marc's stuffed toy dog is called Bengel and he still has it, I believe.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The rain in Spain...

...falls mainly in the Wilson River catchment area?

We've got lovely house guests at present, Erin and David from America. (Erin in her undergraduate days used to come here on holidays with Oceane when Oce was at university; David is her partner). The weather gods have been treating them to an interesting time! 

After days of rain and storms, we had more huge downpours (160 mm fell overnight). The Wilson River rose nearly 8 metres in 48 hours, cutting off many of the valley roads as it broke its banks. This afternoon Tess, Erin and I went and explored the flooded areas and took many photos. We noticed an extraordinary number of insects trying to escape the floodwaters: spiders, crickets, beetles, and worms scrambled onto our legs for safety as we waded through the water (erm, worms can't scramble. They kind of slither... or wriggle ... sliggle ... writhle... whatever). What with them and the many leeches that appeared out of nowhere, it creeped Tess out a little: she's a brave lass but too many bugs are just *too many bugs*!

The downpour damaged our driveway, turning it into a small creek gully, as the masses of water washed our driveway gravel away. This afternooon John and David shoveled what gravel they could back into the wheelbarrow and carted load after load back up the hill to repair our track.

It's been hard keeping up with drying wash: all the available covered areas are now festooned with slowly drying items. In fact there was a load hanging out on the hills hoist for four days, getting 'special extra rinses', until I gave up and brought the dripping lot onto the verandah. Oh well! At least it's clean!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Figbird


This morning I'm marking & moderating assignments at my desk in the sunroom. Our local figbird comes for a chat, hanging out on the frangipani to see what I'm doing and to sling insults at Sunny the cat (who is asleep on my desk). Nice...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eye of the storm

Guess where we live :-)) Yup, just about right *there* ...
Rain and hail pelting down sideways, thunder and lightning... the lot.
House is holding up extremely well (for all it's an antique). Bits of trees flying past though ... Horses are OK, they're hiding among the rainforest trees on the western side, and in the sheds. Dog is unconcerned, asleep on the rug. Yarrow's worried about the cats though I assure her they're sensible enough to find safety.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A month old

By popular demand, here are some updated photos of our sweet new foal Romany Ruby Smudge. For the equine geneticists among you, or simply those interested in the family networks of our herd, she is the daughter of Nova, granddaughter of Duchess, niece of Rascal and Elara, half-sister (through sire) of Promise.

She's looking a little dark here because she's wet from lying down in the soft morning grass.

Front view ...

Rear view :-)
Nova's a placid, gentle and tolerant Mum who is caring without being over-protective. As a result, Ruby Smudge is learning to come when called and can already be touched and stroked all over. She's quite friendly and curious and is quite simply a delight for us to behold ...

Spring flowers :-)

"Yesterday, today and tomorrow" bush
These flowers are very close to the house ...  

This orchid lives in the old frangipani tree

John's new bike

(I don't know why this photo won't stand up ... weird)

Coming down the driveway 1st day
John used to have a great 850cc Yamaha sports bike that went like a scalded cat, but was very difficult for a pillion passenger (knees up to ears and so behind the centre of gravity that if the bike scooted forward, you had to cling for dear life not to come off the back). Very magnanimously, John sold his beloved Yamaha and instead researched which bikes were better for pillion passengers. He settled on the Trumph Sprint, a 1050cc sports tourer. After scouring many ads and sites, he bought a written-off Triumph from the saleyard auctions. The bike, though sporting what I'd consider minor scratches on the right side fairings has no mechanical defects at all and had only done 9000 km. Makes me wonder: though I understand the financial reasoning behind insurance dealings, still, how can such a valuable machine be declared a write-off? Crazy ...   Still, we got a bargain :-)

And it's a lovely bike to go on rides on ... heaps of fun!!! Very comfortable and stable for the pillion passenger.

Peter n Bronwyn's party

Morning cups of tea at the campfire
Earlier in September my brother-in-law Peter (John's brother) and his wife Bronwyn put on a wonderful party to celebrate Peter's 50th birthday (and also Bronwyn's birthday too), at their property in Kandanga, near Gympie, QLD. I very much enjoy going to their place because I find Peter and Bronwyn to be lovely, kind, interesting people with terrific (shared) values and ideas, and they have such a great eclectic group of friends with whom one can have such genuinely interesting conversations. Peter and Bronwyn breed and train horses on their property too, which of course I am much interested in.

John and I drove up there in the Hilux, cruising for four/five hours up the highway in the sunshine, sharing interesting newspaper snippets or listening to good radio and music. We arrived in the early afternoon and caught up with family and friends (new and old), shared stories and campfire, ate, drank, philosophised (during which of course we solved most of the world's problems), danced and made merry till late;  and eventually retired to sleep in the loft of the barn/shed in our swag, snug in each other's arms. The next morning Peter and Bronwyn treated us all to a scrumptious bbq'ed breakfast with fresh eggs and bacon and crusty bread, lashings of hot tea and fresh juices and more campfire.

Alas we had to leave early afternoon on Sunday. On the way we detoured to Tony and Tuffy's (= John's mum's) where we picked up a welder very kindly donated by Tony who alas, sadly, has to downsize his workshop activities due to ongoing health problems.

Briony and Nelson = Yin and Yang

Claudia's kelpie Gidgee demonstrating the technique of "mesmerising the bacon"
I had a wonderful time: thank you Peter and Browyn, and my newly discovered family and friends!

Way behind

SCU campus Lismore, looking towards Y block
I'm way behind with blogging because it's been so busy at university: end of semester assignments coming in, academic units to renegotiate and redevelop with partner institutions, lots of writing to do for the CHED (Communication in Hospitals Emergency Departments) research project. I'm not complaining, as it's very interesting work, but its been edging more and more into the weekends of late.
And the reason it edges into the weekends is because I don't structure my time during the week well enough!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fifteen years of smiles :-)

Our bonny merry daughter Tess turned 15 today. And in keeping with family tradition, she was treated to sisters, presents and birthday cake in bed at the crack of dawn.

Happy birthday darling lovely loving Tess. I'm delighted to be your Mum. You make me very happy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tess wears a 1940s Vogue dress

Tess (now nearly 15) & Yarrow (13) went to visit Nimbin with Hans and Niki just before they (H&N) went back to Portugal. They had a lovely day and visited a beaut retro/antiques shop where Tess tried on this lovely 1940s Vogue dress. It was well over her budget ($450!) but great to try on and get a photo. Tess then did some neat photoshopping with the photo for this result.

Stunning, hey ...



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Body art on live canvas

I asked Briony to ask her boyfriend Nelson whether I was allowed to post this beautiful photo on our blog and Briony says Lord Nelson says it's OK :-)

Briony had been practising her body art on his willing canvas.

It's so lovely when daughters have good, loving, amenable boyfriends. Nelson is good company, he is charitable and supportive and it's a delight to have him visit. And he makes our Briony happy :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Learning to run

video
Here's a movie clip of the new foal, Romany Ruby Smudge, (1 week old now) practising running. I mean, as a horse, you've got to practise these very important skills, right? Also, trying to catch a magpie. That's a good skill too ;-)

Friday, September 3, 2010

A lovely buckskin pony for sale ...

A hard decision to make but this *is* a farm and if I fancy myself as a bit of a horse breeder, well, then I have to sell some. So, Elara's for sale, and her ad appears in tomorrow's paper, the Northern Star.


Fingers crossed that some good buyers turn up and I hope she goes to a really kind and knowledgeable home!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Settling down

Such a lovely colour
Our friend Giovanni came for a visit on Sunday and took these lovely photos of out new foal and her mum. The big fright and exhaustion of the previous night fading away, she's ready to explore the world a little...

Practising trotting, pretty difficult with those long legs!

Horse thieves!!

Well! What a rambunctious weekend THAT was!

Nova and her foal are kept separate from the other horses in one of the two top paddocks. On Saturday night just after the foal was born, the other horses lined the fence and stood snorting and stamping, eyes lit up with amazement at this new scrap of life that appeared out of nowhere (“Correction!” says Nova.”Not Quite out of nowhere!!”).

We’ve had trouble before with jealous mares stealing each other’s foals; and I have been warned that geldings can be violent towards foals.

Then, sometime around midnight on Saturday, perhaps beguiled by the eager eyes and smell of the other horses, the foal must have stumbled or fallen through the electric fence (probably  zapped in the process), whereupon she was promptly dragged away by the herd, to the anguish of her mum. I noticed Nova calling in distress and went out to see, and saw the foal had vanished, along with all the other horses who from the sounds of it were calling and snorting and carrying on down in the gully. It being very dark, the only thing we could do was set Nova free and hope she’d find her foal quickly.

Nova charged to the other horses in a white streak of righteous fury and tried to take her foal back but even her bravery had not much effect against five overexcited horses milling around in a frenzy. As things got wilder and a serious horse fight was about to erupt, we saw the foal thrown heavily onto the ground by the solid weight of the big bay gelding Emu, and though she got up she was thrown heavily again and lay still. My heart nearly stopped, but she moved a little, and I hoped she was only stunned. But it was very dangerous with the big horses throwing their weight around, kicking and biting and the foal down. John shouted that if we got Saturn the crazy lead mare away, things might calm down. I yelled to John that I’d get help and headcollars, and raced back to the house and called Briony and Nelson (who was having his body painted for Briony’s school art project). We set back at a run and found the horses charging around like beserkers and the foal being battered left and right. I threw myself into the fray, I couldn’t see John in the dark, and anyway I needed my eyes and focus to catch wild Saturn. She wheeled and spun away and charged at Nova, and so I launched myself at her in a rugby-style tackle and wrapped my arms around her neck and hauled her to a standstill, forced a rope headcollar onto her head and dragged her off to the stockyard. Elara followed, bless her, but got out immediately through the stockyard race. Briony came soon after dragging a recalcitrant Emu, so I tied him up firmly near Saturn, and fixed the race closed. Rascal came hesitantly into the stockyard of his own accord and soon John came leading tall Gandhi, his eyes white-rimmed in the darkness. After that it was quite easy to catch Elara and put her in with the others. We tied all gates shut and headed back down towards the gully to see what the damage was.

Nova was there guarding her very spent and bruised foal, who despite all that was still standing on four miraculously unbroken legs. The poor shattered thing couldn’t walk though so John picked her up in his arms and carried her as I led a very worried Nova back to her paddock. We left the two of them in the middle of the paddock well away from fences and stood and watched rather helplessly as the foal stood wobbling in an exhausted daze, too tired to try and drink.

By the time we got to bed it was very late. Having done so much running, my cough worsened and I spent much time coughing up choking phlegm. Every now and then I would go and check on the foal, but she was thankfully standing or lying close by her watchful mum. I gave up on sleep by about 5 am and instead hiked off to see how the other horses were doing in their penitentiary. I brought them water, but they didn’t seem particularly thirsty. They just stood there blinking, as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouth.

The next day John and I decided that the wisest thing would be to entirely separate the big horses from the foal (visually and physically) by creating a separate paddock at the rear of the property, which meant running a new fence right across the property.  It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a while, as paddock rotation is far healthier for the pasture.  So we set to and gathered materials: we needed about 300 metres of wire; pickets, fenceposts, gates, and the strength of our legs and arms. We have a great posthole digger which brings earth up to the surface as you work: what a blessing that piece of engineering is. Another piece of clever engineering we couldn’t do without is the fence strainer, which I love using. But the ground is rocky and even despite the good tools it’s very hard work.
Recycling Peter Corones' old yard gate

As we worked on the fence we would occasionally throw sallies of rebuke at the big horses still imprisoned in the stockyard, calling them thieves and miscreants. John, watching Elara standing to one side as the three bay horses bullied Rascal along the fenceline, nipping his rump, suggested that Elara could convey to them not to be such arseholes in future!!
Eastern view

At about 3.30 pm Emily our young friend came and gave a hand with the fence building, bless her.
And by 6pm, we had finished a beautiful new fence right across the property. We let the prisoners out (So There you Idiots). By then we were well more than two hours late for our social appointment but our good friends David and Libby were most understanding.
Butter wouldn't melt ...

We had a lovely dinner there even though my hands were so incredibly sore and tired I had great difficulty holding the knife and fork. David told me wonderfully engaging stories about his time working sheep in New Zealand with his team of beautifully trained dogs. He has photos on his wall of bright-eyed Border collies, kelpies and mixed breeds, happy faces with tongues lolling. Libby gave us two whole buckets of avocadoes from her tree. They are kind and generous people and we had a lovely time.

We headed to bed exhausted at about 11 pm  … but not before checking on our little foal, of course, who was nursing from her good brave gentle mum Nova.

Sunday morning still tired ...


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yaaaaaayyyyy!!! Finally !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Nova! Well done gorgeous girl, what a BEAUTIFUL filly you have brought to us!!!
Born this evening (just quietly arrived while we weren't looking - we were at the Myth for dinner and a bonfire).
The first photo, taken by John
Mum and foal are very well.

More pics tomorrow, this is just a tantaliser ....

You can tell Nova's pretty pleased with her new baby (who is as you can see very tall for all that she's only two hours old).

Nearly there!

This photo may not be to the liking of the faint-hearted, but I think it's beautiful and it's a VERY GOOD SIGN of marvellous things to come very soon!!!! Stay tuned!!
Saturday morning :-)

Update on Mr & Mrs Eastern Rosella

Mrs Eastern Rosella had visited her potential new home a few times, and  I noticed she came out of the box each time with a tiny scrap of hay (I had lined the box with soft hay). She would then ostentatiously throw the wee scrap out.

Obviously not her taste in furnishings.

I checked with my dear friend Giovanni who knows much about birds, and he told me that rosellas like to nest on sawdust rather than hay or grass.

So, when Mrs E.R. wasn't looking, I sent in the interior decorators in and had them remove all the offending hay and replace it with lovely sawdust from our fallen river red gum tree.

Now she's *much* happier.

New arrivals: Spring has sprung!

Bantam brooding: last Friday, at 20 days
Our millefleur Belgian bantam hen worked very hard protecting her eggs against marauding snakes and rats. And she was rewarded with nine very cute offspring: tiny particles of fluff running around cheeping their heads off and keeping her very busy! She's very happy with them and so are we. Belgian bantams are quite rare and it's good to see some genetic diversity flourishing...
Hatched yesterday (Friday), on the 28th day

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Australian weather

Here's the weather report for you (from the radio, no picture, only sound):

I love radio... :-D

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hot property inspection

Inspecting the entrance
Mr and Mrs Eastern Rosella came for a property inspection last week, to check out the new rural development.

"Romeo Romeo wherefore art thou..?"
Mrs Rosella seemed quite chuffed with the architectural design and Mr Rosella looked satisfied with the terms of agreement.

"Lovely views from here darling ..."
They said they'd let me know their decision in due course.

More body art

Nelson's wings
Briony draws roses and thorns on Yarrow
Inspired by the computer game "A world of Goo"?
Briony has been practising her great talent on the willing live canvases of Nelson her goodnatured boyfriend, and her siblings Tess and Yarrow.

Tess had some jaws added :-D
If you like Briony's art you can some more here and here.