Thursday, January 29, 2009

Doctor, Doctor, we have a case of extreme heat!

Melbourne has been too hot to do anything but flake out in front of the fan today. For the past two days I've felt like an Emergency Room doctor sprinting round dealing with garden crises.
'Nurse, this blueberry bush looks critical! We need to mainline some fluids, STAT!'
So now many more of my plants have empty milk cartons with small irrigation holes dug in next to them, hopefully providing enough water at a slow steady pace to keep them alive. We spent a morning at the Brotherhood of St Laurence on Sunday, where we bought a washing machine, wardrobe and dining room table. I've been very grateful for the washing machine already, not just because I don't have to lug a few kilos of clothes to the laundromat, but because I can pour the rinse water all over the garden and watch it spring back to life.

Yesterday was slightly cooler, so I spent the day trying to fit all of our new furniture into the house. The old men who delivered it nearly had a heart attack bringing the wardrobe upstairs, so I had to shove that around to where I wanted it, I moved all the couches in the living room to make way for the table and just generally did painful lifting, pushing and pulling movements. I also cleared out a number of cupboards that had been hidden behind couches for years. I live in one of those glorious old houses which has been used as a student share house for decades, so digging around in cupboards always yields some finds. Our bathroom and my study now have hideous bright blue and purple curtains that look like a runaway circus tent, but at least they help keep the heat out. I also found useful bowls and cooking pots, and about 20 more tupperware lids (just to complement our already extensive range of lids without containers.) But at least I managed to feel productive while staying inside our comparatively cool house.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quick Summer Meal

There's something very satisfying about creating a pasta sauce fresh from your garden in the time it takes pasta to cook. Last night was too hot for proper cooking, so I picked all the full-sized Basil leaves from the garden.

Grind them in the mortar and pestle (or use a food processor) with about 35g of pine nuts and a couple of cloves of garlic. Add a bit of olive oil, stir it all through the pasta and sprinkle with some toasted pine nuts and parmesan. Voila! Proper fresh pesto. Hardly groundbreaking, but the process made me quite content.

(Sorry that the final photo is a little dim, in my excitement about impending consumption I didn't think to try a little bit harder to find some decent lighting in our house.)

Beach Art

On a recent trip to the beach I visited a pottery that for years I've just driven straight past. Of course it took visiting friends to point it out, and to also point out that just because we were At The Beach didn’t mean we couldn’t do some fun cultural outings near the beach. (The cellar door visit was another good idea.)
I bought this beautiful bowl; its blues reminded me of the rockpools in the area, and the colour around the edge is so like the seaweed that rims each pool.

I prefer owning art and jewellery which reminds me of a specific place, I find it more fulfilling when an object is memory-filled as well as attractive.

And the blues go very well with summer berries!