Saturday, November 27, 2010


Recently watched a tape of Who do you think you are, featuring the actor Kevin Whately. He discovered his one of his forefathers had been a 'turkey merchant', which all thought meant a trader in turkey (birds) and was considered with some disdain.

The synchronicity?  Not long after I came across the same term in the book "Strange Blooms - The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants" by Jennifer Potter.

So - what was a turkey merchant?  Well, they were Turkey merchants - Turkey, as in the country.  There's a good description of the Levant Company, or Turkey Company on wikipedia.  The Levant Company came into being in 1580, and went into decline in the early 18th century (when Kevin Whately's ancestor was working for the company) and was finally dissolved in 1825.  What an exciting time!  Think of all those exotic goods being discovered in the Levant.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pretty in pink and purple

The paeonies and cistus are blooming bright pinkly and the last of the rhododendron is in flower (as the first starts to drop its flowers).
The paeonies perfume is just gorgeous.

We've had so much rain the paeony heads can't stand upright.

Cistus - looks like an inclination to luminous pink flowers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First dye results

Avocado pits and the green leaves of red cabbage were the first veg used to learn natural eco dyeing on silk.  The gorgeous bronze of the avocado pit was achieved on unmordanted silk, the gold from the green red cabbage leaves was over 1/3 vinegar 2/3 water mordanted silk.
Green red cabbage leaves left and avocado pits others

Compare the green leaf of red cabbage outcome above with the red cabbage leaf outcome achieved by Lisa here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today we downed tools and went exploring to the Loddon Falls and Glenlyon Cemetery. Here's an interesting entry by someone who has recently paddled from the falls at Glenlylon along the river to Vaughan.  The vertical pipe-like structures are evidence of ancient volcanic activity.

Walking back up from the falls, we passed a paddock of cattle. Ever mindful of the response to "here kitty kitty" we tried "here moo moos" - and it worked! Well - sort of. They all raced to the fence, checked us out then decided we weren't worth anything in the food department and eventually wandered off.

Glenlyon Cemetery is small and seems little populated - but who knows what unsigned graves are under the grass.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In the house of the artistes

These are behind this fence below

Hope this was a joke !

Monday, November 15, 2010

Watch the amazing rapport and trust between horse and man

Chasing Wild Horses - Clip 2 of 4 from Roberto Dutesco on Vimeo.
This feature length documentary tells the story of photographer Roberto Dutesco and his passion for the incredible wild horses of Sable Island.

A friend sent this link - it's a superb example of the stupidity and cupidity of humans.

While (some) humans are allowed to visit this wildlife preserve, they must first obtain permission from the Canadian Coast Guard.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I've been to paradise

Finally got to see the "new" Oasis Bakery.

We've shopped there for years (decades in fact) and recently they underwent a massive makeover, relaunching a week ago.  So big, so much product and so much new product, room to sit and enjoy freshly made cakes and biscuits and meals, friendly helpful staff and what is probably secret pheromones pumped through the air forcing one to buy buy buy!

Now the cupboards are full of barberries, sumac, melange classique(a peppery French blend which builds its flavour on an herbaceous base of marjoram, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves - probably also known as herbes de Provence?), zaatar, orange blossom water, grape molasses and much much more.  Fresh foods - to eat straight away -  included spinach pies (huge), tabouleh, houmos, babaganouge, kibbeh (meat and vegetarian) ...

Now I can dig out the middle eastern recipes which have been languishing for want of ingredients.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Glenlyon Scultpure Show

Missed this year's Glenlyon Scultpure Show - these were the last sculptures awaiting removal.

And here's the wind gauge in action

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The things that happen

We were away from the property when a massive hail storm struck the other day - but the neighbours very kindly took photos so we could see what we missed.  It was both shocking and re-assuring. Shocking to see how low the netting sank, re-assuring that the netting survived!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You can colour my world with ....

The longing for color is a sad reflection on the fact that everything is GREEN GREEN GREEN - a shocking - and wonderful - sight after so many years of drought.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shock horror

We've just discovered that the guinea fowl we've nurtured as girls for the past eight months are in fact BOYS.  Now to get one's head around the sex change - but that shouldn't be an issue, should it?

This is how the discovery was made.  I'd had a brief "conversation" with Dru(cilla) Pettibone and she mentioned the sounds the birds make. So I headed off to the trusty internet here and the outcome was there between the ears.  No doubt about it.  Oh well - that's life!

Anyway - they are now Engelbert and Angelo!