how does my garden grow?

Creating a balcony garden was one of the items on my “Things To Do This Year” list. And it’s going really well. We’ve used the mint a lot, thanks to its place in a delicious iced tea recipe. The radish all turned out quite tiny but they tasted good, so that’s something. The basil is growing well and I’m hanging out for the day I can start picking it. Oh, and we’ve used the oregano a few times in pasta sauces. But mostly I just like to sit out there with the plants and relax. That’s their real benefit.

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sculptures by the sea

This month Cottesloe beach is hosting Sculptures by the Sea which is exactly what it sounds like. At a guess I’d say there are about 50 pieces of art up, scattered over the beach and foreshore, and it’s a lot of fun to wander through them taking pictures.

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My favourite actually has an Indonesian title: “mengenang”, which means remembrance. It’s made up of tall bamboo poles, each with a wind-chime-thing at the top, and each pole represents the life of someone who died in the ’02,’05 bombings in Bali. The ‘meaning’ kind of irked me. I’d been running around the sculpture feeling free and perfectly happy and, well, the little sign kind of ruined that. But at least there are the right number of poles (I had cynically feared they would only represent the Australians) and it’s not my art so who am I to say how it should be displayed. Maybe it will bring comfort to some people. Maybe it already has.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a really amazing exhibition. It almost (but not quite) makes up for missing Fringe and Womad. And I still have plenty of really cool sculptures left to photograph 🙂

homemade iced tea

A few weeks ago Peter and I went out for breakfast to the crochet-covered, delicious-food-serving  Wild Poppy in Fremantle. We were a little disappointed when our iced tea came in glass bottles – rather than being homemade – but that only lasted until we tasted it.

I ordered a Peppermint, Lemon, Lime iced tea and it was the most refreshing drink I’d ever had. I can’t remember the brand name and it’s driving me nuts but when I got home I decided to make something similar.

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Several hours of trawling the internet later (okay, maybe it was more like 15 minutes) I mashed together a whole load of recipes to get this:

1 litre boiling water

1/3 cup of caster sugar

3 black teabags

1/2 a lemon

1/2 a lime

a sprig of mint (from my very own garden!)

Just add all the ingredients and stir until the caster sugar is dissolved. Take out the teabags after 3 minutes and the mint after about 15. Chuck it in the fridge til it’s cold and HOORAY ICED TEA.

It’s not quite as good as the mysterious iced tea from the Wild Poppy but it’s better than most shop iced teas and it’s a lot cheaper.

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rewrites

I finally bit the bullet and decided to go print out my novel at Officeworks. All my editing, up til now, has been on a computer screen. But I only have a few more publishing companies to send it to and I really want it to be the best story it can be, you know. And I heard that printing it out really helps.

Well I don’t know if it’s the time away from the story or the fact that it’s now on paper but I just spent an hour or so slaving over the first two chapters. Rewriting every sentence. It will be better at the end of this process than it was at the start. But will it be good? That’s the question.

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I’ve always had lofty ambitions. But they’re never out of reach.

a belated blog post

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So it’s been 10 days since I last posted. Life was relaxing and then busy and then blah. You know how it goes. I’m doing really well on some of my goals (ukulele, reading) but not so well on others (running, being less stressed).

I’ve decided to add another goal to that list, that will possibly replace the cooking goal (who knows!), and it is to have a little garden on my balcony. Are you excited? I’m excited. First up: basil!

But definitely the most exciting thing of the last week or so was going on a mini camping trip last weekend! It’s the first time we’ve used the tent my mum gave us for our wedding. Hmm, what? We’re a bit slack, yes. We drove down to Busselton on Saturday morning, spent a few hours there and then headed just a little further south to stay overnight near Cowaramup. Next morning we checked out some caves then toured some of the wineries/breweries/chocolate factories. I tried some amazing olive tapenade but when I attempted to buy it I was informed that the only jar they had was the one for tasting (which was promptly packed up so as not to disappoint anyone else).

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I hope all your goals are coming along swimmingly and the start of your year has been fun!

Grateful for.

It has been a tough year for me but here are some things that have been pretty great.

1. I found two sort of new hobbies: writing and photography, and they have given me things to think about and care about outside of work that distract me from missing my family and stop me from watching tv all evening.

2. Europe. Guys, I got to go to Italy and Austria and Germany because of my maths. I made new friends, ate delicious food, saw beautiful things and generally enjoyed the good things in life.

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3. Public speaking. It might seem like a strange thing to be grateful for but I enjoy the challenge/adrenalin of performance and I guess presenting maths is the direction that’s going to take in me for a while.

4. My husband. I find it hard to write about him, and our relationship, on here because it feels awfully personal and he’s more private about the internet than I am. Suffice to say he has made me laugh and comforted me when I was miserable and we have grown closer together in our separation from everyone else.

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5. Living near the beach. There’s not a lot to be said about this. It’s just pretty great.

6. Friends and family. I’ve really appreciated all the visits we’ve had from outernet friends and family this year. But also, internet friends, you’ve been exactly who I needed and I’m so happy that we met.

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And nope, the pictures from Europe are not even near running out so expect posts with unrelated pictures tacked onto the end all through next year too.

Happy New Year, guys 🙂

 

I’ve been away

I went to Sydney for a maths conference.
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And then to Brisbane for a wedding.
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I returned to Perth and then headed off to Adelaide for Christmas almost immediately.
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It’s been pretty crazy in my head lately. There’s been so much going on, so many things to do, places to be and people to see. All of it was great but also tiring and today we returned home to 40C, a car with a coolant leak and an air conditioner that is out of action. The photos make the present a little easier and I’m hoping for some relaxation on the horizon.

I’ll be back in a few days with NY resolutions, something I am newly keen on.