Slouchy hat bonanza
I started off making a hat for a friend who was feeling the cold. He has a serious lack of hair and the onset of autumn was making his dome turn blue and we couldn’t have that now could we? So I found a nice easy crochet pattern and I shared it with you all a couple of blog posts back. Since I shared that pattern I have made 13 slouchy beanies and have decided that I enjoy making them so much I am going to keep doing it. If you live anywhere close to me or are an immediate family member you are not safe. My beanie fetish reminds me of this book from my childhood called “Caps for sale” penned by Esphyr Slobodkina where a hat salesman wears a lot of caps and they get stolen by monkeys and he has to work out how to get them back. Early problem solving 101 apparently.
Autumn has finally decided to rock up and it would seem that as soon as El Nino decided to head north for the winter, the flood gates opened and we Northern Tasmanian’s couldn’t be happier with the week of rain that we have had. We lost our phone and internet for a few days to a tree falling over the line in Tuesday’s storms but we didn’t care because the rain that accompanied it more than made up for the inconvenience. Brunhilda is back at the fore of ambiance enhancement on Serendipity Farm and Bezial and Earl have taken up residence on either side of her wafting warmth and are currently fast asleep dreaming of chasing chickens and running in their sleep as I tap away here.
I have to admit that I am really enjoying TAFE this year. We are working through tutorials to learn our course content and that’s my perfect way to learn. It’s still hard to travel 100km a day to attend but our lecturer, who lives just around the corner from us, has to drive it as well so I should probably stop complaining. The neighbour behind Frank has decided to sell his house. We thought that we might have finally gotten to Frank and it might be him selling but when we got our internet back (on Friday) we found out otherwise. If you would like to be our neighbour and have a stray half a million dollars Australian to throw around feel free to buy the property and we will most generously allow you to cut down a few of the trees on our back block that limit the view.
Its funny how autumn hit and suddenly Steve has a cold and I am overcome by the desire to sit by the fire and read and crochet. I haven’t even looked at Sanctuary for over a fortnight now and I really should water the glasshouse (note to self “water the glasshouse!”) but it has been lovely to move indoors and take advantage of the blissfully cool and damp weather after such a long hot and dry season. I have been saving seeds like a squirrel hoarding nuts and will be attempting to grow as many of our own seedlings this coming season as I possibly can. I am doing a swap for some chilli seeds (slouchy beanies rock!) from a lovely lady called Debra in Hobart. She has some interesting varieties that I didn’t know you could get in Tasmania and has most generously offered to share them with me. Our new gardening system is just a whole lot of effort away from reality and chillies will grow well in our new garden beds.
I harvested a couple of large chillies from a small tree chilli (Capsicum pubescens) that has been growing in a pot. I got the seeds from a fruit a friend gave me before her tree chilli shuffled off due to frost. The seeds are black and I now have quite a few and will be growing them as swapsies at seed swaps as they are one kind of chilli that will take quite a bit of cold and they are perennial as well which makes them doubly as useful. They also grow to quite large shrubs and yield a decent crop of hot chillies that I am gleefully contemplating in future years to turn into gochujang and make me self sufficient in chilli powder.
Autumn brings lots of fun on our dog walks. The boys love rustling around in the fallen leaves and the cooler weather is a lot more comfortable than racing between trees and trying to drag Bezial from the shade. The holly berries are out in the middle of the year in the southern hemisphere and I am tempted each year to freeze or dry some to be used at Christmas time when its hot outside and holly berries are long gone. I guess that’s why we Aussies celebrate Christmas in July, in a vain attempt to harness the feeling of a Northern Christmas. If it really caught on it would be another string in the marketer and advertising bow to make a grab for mid year cash when not much is going on aside from the odd financial end of year/stocktake sale. Best of luck marketers. You might need to get the hipsters on board to sell that one 😉
Steve went through serious withdrawal over the few days that we were internet free. He couldn’t play his online game and took to twitching in the lounge room in the ad breaks whilst being forced to watch “normal” TV. I, however, really enjoyed my time away and have decided to limit my time online to my early mornings. After 7am I am staying away unless I am looking something up. No more trawling Facebook and Pinterest for this little black duck. I accomplished so much in the 3 days we were offline that I realised how much we have become addicted to living online. I have plans for autumn and winter that involve getting seriously good at baking awesome bread and have some excellent tutorials to follow. Brunhilda is going to be my faithful sidekick and together we can joust at bread shaped windmills to our hearts content. Much like my slouchy beanie hats, anyone in the immediate vicinity is likely to be inundated by bread as soon as I throw myself into baking it.
I read a wonderful book by Neil Gaiman called “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”. I read it in a day and wished that it had lasted longer. It was delicious and I will be heading to TALIS to order more of his books from the library as soon as I finish this blog post. I took a couple of Stephen King books out yesterday and am wallowing in horror. As soon as I finish ordering the Neil Gaiman books from TALIS I will be sinking into a comfy chair and immersing myself in the sequel to The Shining – Doctor Sleep. I am truly enjoying reading fiction again. I read constantly as a child and can’t believe that I have allowed myself to drop reading from my daily repertoire. Consider it firmly back on the menu.
Well the cuckoo shrikes are calling me to cut them some more cheese. They are joined by a bevy of blackbirds, a salon of sparrows, a whoosh of wrens and a couple of Currawongs who have returned to the fold for their biennial breeding event much to Earl’s disgust. He sees them as king sized freeloaders and takes every opportunity to remind them to “BUGGER OFF!” in no uncertain terms. Life is never boring (or quiet) on Serendipity Farm. I hope you are all having a lovely week wherever you are and whatever weather you are having. Catch you all soon and till we meet again, I can be found feet up near the fire reading a book with a big mug of tea at any given time.