Saturday, October 29, 2016

Time off

Roses grown at home, in one of my cornucopia vases

I have a couple of weeks break from the routines of the office -we call it TOIL -time off in lieu of being paid overtime. I am enjoying the fun of having the grandchildren, my son and daughter in law able to drop by when they can. I know what it is like when you visit home from interstate -you need to rest and have fun, not 'have' to visit people all the time! So we won't go away during this time, so that we can be flexible. 

We had a drink at a posh inner city pub where the courtyard has a pond. Somewhere up in the branches we could see a Willy Wagtail sitting on her nest. 

As well as taking a break from work, I am now not on the committee of the not-for-profit that I support. I will still be an active volunteer, but the break will be good for me. They held their AGM this week, and it was a real celebration. So many lovely people, such good work and good stories to tell. 

DD brought home this lovely box for my bedroom, from the Save the Children op shop in Subiaco. Goes well with the French theme. 

My plans for November include writing a novel during Nanowrimo!  National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

In order to complete the task, you have to write about 1600 words per day -which takes about 90 minutes for me. I have a couple of characters in my mind, a couple of places to write about and no real idea of a plot! That is the way I like it- I just write and see what happens. I have written two other novels this way. Once they are done I never go back and even edit my work -my Nano is just to get the story out of my head. Maybe one day I will feel like editing them? 

Celebratory glass as I start my little break from work.
So there will be some writing, some playing with grandchildren and some quilting. I have just oiled my favourite sewing machine and she is all ready to go. The garden is a lot of fun just now - I have tomatoes and strawberries growing along with a lot of lettuce and things. The weather is going to be more spring like I think, so I am looking forward to more walks down at the beach. 

This is the kind of thing I really like -just being able to appreciate simple things and make our own fun. How about you? 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A springier Spring week!

We have had one hot day -at last!- and some milder weather which is bringing the roses to bloom at last. This is the iceberg, which is first always. It is a generous bush, grows so big we have to cut it back at least twice before winter.

This is "Munstead Wood" -a David Austin rose with a lovely fruity perfume and a desire to take over the world!

This is "Glamis castle"  a slower growing white perfumed David Austin rose -not quite out yet -has lots of petals when fully open. 

Spring is a time when  I like to add some colour to my outfits. This is a cotton scarf I made from a sarong I found in an op shop. It has elephants on it!

My design wall is inspired by my spring garden - I am working on a design based on butterflies. Early days yet though. 

There are buds on the grapevines, the tomatoes are in flower, the mandarin is going crazy with new growth, everything is lush and active. 

Dora is loving the open windows. 

We are hoping the mild weather continues to develop -our grandchildren are coming over in a week or two from Victoria, and we have lots of ideas of how to entertain them -outside! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

That was amazing! Permaculture Fest WA-and that quilt

I was very excited to be able to listen to David Holmgren at the inaugural Permaculture Fest in the Swan Valley yesterday. It was really amazing to have a whole festival full of people who care about this stuff too! David's upcoming book "RetroSuburbia" was the topic of conversation. 

Here is David's explanation:
Due for publication in March 2017, my latest book builds on writings and presentations about “Retrofitting the Suburbs for the Energy Descent Future” that since 2005 have highlighted the ongoing and incremental changes to our residential landscapes to make them “fit for purpose” before Australia and the world slide into energy descent futures. My Aussie St story tracing four adjacent suburban houses and their inhabitants from the “1950s Golden Age of Suburbia” to the “Second Great Depression of 2020” has been particularly powerful at engaging with Australians who live in or grew up in suburbia.
RetroSuburbia explains and illustrates patterns, designs and behavioural strategies applied by those already on the downshifting path to a resilient future, using permaculture ethics and principles. It is organised as a pattern language of interlocking and complementary design solutions to perennial problems faced by those applying a more systematic, whole-of-household approach to retrofitting their houses, gardens and living arrangements. It includes some proven design specifications and pointers, references technical sources and case studies, but is more of a strategic guide than a technical manual".
I also attended a presentation by Tim from Ecoburbia who explained the story of the housing cooperative, community garden and alternative urban infill development project in Fremantle. 

Then we went to the Living Smart course presentation. Living Smart is a multi award winning behaviour change program. The course provides participants with the skills and knowledge to take action in their own homes to improve their quality of life and reduce their environmental impact. The Living Smart program consists of ten key modules:Water, Power, Waste, Simple Living, Gardening for Food, Transport, Healthy You, Gardening for Biodiversity, Healthy Homes & Community. I would love to get a course going in Perth's Northern Suburbs.
Meanwhile I have made progress on the quilt I showed you in August. 

I haven't forgotten my quilt -the quilting is now done -and this stripe below is being sewn on as the binding! 

Hopefully I can get this finished this week.