When your phone dies and that’s a good thing

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Hi All,

As you may have ascertained by the title of today’s blog post, our phone died. We bought a phone with a Testra contract years ago. We were suckered into buying a Nokia Windows phone (yes…don’t wince) because it had a 40 megapixel camera and we figured we would be able to take good quality images without having to lug Steve’s Nikon around with us everywhere. We were wrong. The camera lasted all of 10 images before it packed it in and refused, point blank, to take any more photos. As what remained of the phone was next to useless and didn’t even allow us to download apps, we bumbled along with it for texts and actual phone calls (shock-gasp!) and not much else until a month ago, it decided to call it a day and cease to exist at all.

Commencement of the path to Paper Beach
This is the start of the Paper Beach pathway. It’s around about here that Earl REALLY starts to pull me…
Old oyster beds at Paper Beach
I think that these are old oyster beds. We walk past this area on the Paper Beach walking track. It runs parallel to the river and is a really lovely walk.
Earl standing near warrigal spinach plants
Earl standing near warrigal spinach plants. This is where I dug up my two small plants that are now threatening to take over Sanctuary.
Pretty pathway on the Paper Beach walking trail
Pretty pathway on the Paper Beach walking trail

We now know the value of NOT being under a phone contract and have gotten used to how lovely it is to not be paying an exorbitant amount for sweet buggery-bollocks all and so we decided to buy the cheapest phone that we could find with a 4g network. It turned out the salesman had no morals (are we REALLY surprised?) and told us that yes, indeed, the cheap phone that we were looking at in the catalogue (for $99) was 4g ready (it wasn’t) but so far, we haven’t had any problems getting reception with the Huawei that we bought. Unlike the prissy Nokia, this little Chinese beast works hard to make life easy for you. When you want the camera it’s there, ready to go and you just tap a little circle and “click” your image is saved unlike the Nokia where you had to stand on one leg, point towards Mecca, squint into the sun and wish on a star just in the vain hope that it MIGHT work just this once…

The reason why I am still wearing gumboots when it's almost November
The reason why I am still wearing gumboots when it’s almost November
Some romantic soul created this right next to the old pine tree
Some romantic soul created this right next to the old pine tree
Paper Beach cottages walk
When the bush track finishes you end up walking along the beach or along this nature strip at the front of the beach cottages. Earl prefers this nature strip as he gets to sniff EVERYTHING.
Lovely bush driveway/track
I often wonder who lives down this lovely bush track and what their home looks like. There are some very lovely houses in Paper Beach and the people who choose to live here seem to have a lot of character

So todays post is brought to you by our cheap Chinese phone and it doesn’t take bad pictures at all. Earl would like it known that he isn’t particularly enarmored of me taking photos on his favourite walk and that he has to sigh heavily to remind me of the sacrifice that he is making having to stop and wait while I muck around waving a piece of plastic at trees. “I”, on the other hand, would like it known that I am NOT a great fan of being hauled bodily down vinca lined tracks behind a determined dog who wants to pee on everything.

Rogers beautiful eclectic Paper Beach garden
This is Rogers garden. Roger is one of those wonderful eccentric Paper Beach gardeners.
More of Rogers Paper Beach Garden
Here’s a bit more of his garden. This eclectic mix carries on right around his house and echoes Rogers artistic talents.
Rogers front gate
This is Rogers front gate. As you can see, his eclectic tastes aren’t confined only to within his fence and I, for one, am most glad that he spreads that eccentric love around 🙂
The iron works lady's house
This house belongs to a lady who makes metal sculptures. Her house and garden have a wonderful mix of whimsical metal creatures where you would least expect them. She has called her house “Whimsy” and rightly so.

So what have we got for you to see today? Well, spring has finally sprung in lower Sidmouth on the Wey and the days are absolutely lovely. I have been beavering away in the garden trying to think of a place where we can put our poor potted persimmon that would dearly love to stretch it’s roots out and start the growing process and hopefully keep growing till it produces more persimmons that I can even imagine scoffing (and that is quite a lot for anyone who is interested). Everything is growing like crazy and I am beaming with joy about how amazing Sanctuary is at the moment. Everything we have done on what was a barren piece of compacted earth has paid off and the soil is dark, rich, full of worms and most importantly, productive. I have been shoveling holes to plant out perennial flowers to attract bees to the mix and I am happy to see that there are bees joining the throng in Sanctuary.

Rosa rugosa
I LOVE rugosa roses
Driftwood hanging Christmas tree with lights
Another touch of art on the walk in the form of this drift wood Christmas tree complete with lights hanging on the branch of a tree. I might just pinch this idea.
Our first ever home grown broad beans!
Our first ever home grown broad beans! I ate them this morning and they were absolutely delicious and sweet. I LOVE broad beans ❤
A maple bonsai swallowing Steve's gumboots
A maple bonsai swallowing Steve’s gumboots

Earl went to Beaconsfield with Steve today to pick up some salad as we often forget about salad in burgers at the beginning of spring because we haven’t had salad all winter long and we are out of the salad habit. While he was away, Bezial and I headed up to Sanctuary to seek the duck. She was hiding in the raspberries down near the muddy puddle that she has been wallowing in and was most unimpressed that I found her. Bezial had fun sniffing around and eating the grass that Earl can no longer eat as we can’t let him into Sanctuary as he has a problem with duck…(cats, horses, fish, eagles, eels, insects, chickens, aliens…you get the picture…)

Snow peas!
Snow peas! We already had some of these in a lovely stir fry the other day but they keep on coming and we will keep on enjoying them.
Oops that persimmon REALLY needs planting out!
Oops that persimmon REALLY needs planting out!
Narnia after it was whipper snipped this morning
Narnia after it was whipper snipped this morning
Happy strawberries and tomatoes in a fridge wicking bed
Happy strawberries and tomatoes in a fridge wicking bed

We are getting 3 cubic metres of topsoil delivered in the next week so that we can fill up the remaining wicking beds that have been breeding mosquitoes since we lugged them into place. Steve is not a fan of mosquitoes and as he is now vegan, they seem to have decided that “I” am fair game as well so I am not a fan of them either. We need to keep one bed for my long suffering water chestnuts that NEED to be planted out and a wicking fridge would be perfect. We will just add soil to the base of the fridge, plant the water chestnuts and then carefully fill the rest up with water and hopefully we will grow our own crunchy water chestnuts for our stir fries.

Meet Eggbert my Japanese eggplant
Meet Eggbert my Japanese finger eggplant
Much easier to walk in Narnia now
Much easier to walk in Narnia now
A wicking box with strawberries and tomatoes and a seed grown avocado
A wicking box with strawberries and tomatoes and a seed grown avocado
Happy chives
Happy chives

I have been wading through questions that we have to answer for our course this year. It’s getting to the pointy end and although I have filmed my drama, the flu has taken the wind out of my sails and I haven’t done much with the footage and sound yet. That will change over the next week or so as I finish up the paperwork that needs to be handed in to pass. Once that is out of the way I can get stuck into editing. I have learned a HUGE amount about what it takes to make a film and how much effort, time, energy and passion you have to pour into it. I also know that I won’t be making any more drama’s but I will be making documentaries and as soon as we save up and buy some sound equipment we will be sharing life on Serendipity Farm with you in vlog form.

Happy plants growing in harmony in wicking fridges
Happy plants growing in harmony in wicking fridges. They overwintered in the wicking beds in much colder temperatures than we usually have and just about everything lived.
Regrowing experiment with celery
This is an experiment in regrowing celery. Well, to be honest, it’s me being too lazy to remove the celery roots but they all regrew from when I hacked them down and seem to be growing well so lets just say that I meant to do it 😉
Perpetual spinach in a fridge wicking bed
Perpetual spinach in a fridge wicking bed
Mint regrowing after going dormant all winter long
Mint regrowing after going dormant all winter long
Pink English gooseberries that I grew from seed
Pink English gooseberries that I grew from seed. Most of these will be planted in Sanctuary when they get a bit bigger.

I am trying to tackle knitting. I remember how to knit, purl and cast on but casting off and everything else is a bit of a blur. I want to make socks. I want to knit lovely things but my wants and my abilities need to reach an amicable agreement. I have downloaded a nice simple shawl pattern that I will be attempting to start later on tonight when I finish this blog post. Wish me luck, how difficult could it be? 😉

Whipper snipped back yard
Whipper snipped back yard
Whipper snipped side of Narnia so that Earl can walk down here again
Whipper snipped side of Narnia so that Earl can walk down here again. Note the plum trees in the foreground. They grew here last year and I figured free fruit trees are not to be sniffed at so I let them live.

Steve whipper snipped inside the house fence as when we were walking at the park over the other side of the Batman Bridge the other day we saw a large tiger snake curled up basking in the sun and were suddenly reminded that whilst Bezial is wary of most things, Earl isn’t and the last thing that we wanted Earl to be meeting among the long grass is a large tiger snake. The grass is now gone and this morning Steve tackled inside Narnia and hacked down the mass of greenery that had invaded inside. It looks a whole lot neater in there now.

Jasmine and Clematis montana massing on the deck rails
Jasmine and Clematis montana massing on the deck rails
The big old maple and the deck stairs
The big old maple and the deck stairs. The possums are the main “users” of these deck stairs which reminds me, they need a good pressure wash this year!

Steve and I are thinking about the “C” word. I don’t want to say it as I don’t want to be responsible for giving anyone coniptions but it’s getting reasonably close now and we like to be organised. We are thinking about having a lovely luxury picnic in the park over the Batman Bridge. It’s lovely and shady, the boys adore it and even if it’s hot it will be lovely next to the river. Well I think that’s about all for today folks. I hope you enjoyed todays post brought to you by Huawei (“Who are we” as we like to call it 😉 ) and that everything is right in your world today. Catch you soon. I seem to have reignited my blogging desires as now I actually have things to share with you.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Kim says:

    All coming beautifully to life as everything goes into hibernation here in the UK.
    Keep up with the knitting – I knit toe-up socks as I’m awful at grafting. They are quite meditative once you get the knack.
    Thanks for the pictures of Earl. I’m sure he doesn’t really mean to pull…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I am quite sure that he does Kim but I love him anyway 😉 Hibernation is an excellent thing. Without it you get year round pests and we would be up to our earlobes in termites if it wasn’t for our cold winters here. Thank you for the knitting info. I am still very basic and downloaded a couple of shawl patterns to try yesterday that were called “easy” but I couldn’t work out how to make them so they can’t have been that easy so it’s back to the drawing board (and YouTube) for me 🙂

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      1. Kim says:

        You tubes good 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        It sure is! I learned how to hand card from YouTube 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. All the best people have a ‘Wah-way’ I have one 🙂 I love it – its the best phone I’ve ever had. And I take all my photos on it (which isn’t saying much as I still take not great photos or forget entirely ………. I also have just acquired a most gorgeous grafted and potted maple for the tiny courtyard – courtesy of the sublime Ms Alys who gifted me a garden voucher for my birthday. I am entirely over the moon about that! Your garden is looking sublime. I can imagine you both being utterly over the moon happy about how it has become a verdant paradise!
    But is that rust I see coming on some of the wicking fridges? Did you know that would happen? I love to see your neighbourhood too – even though it stirs up a slight tinge of green in me – I could settle in quite happily beside that lot!! Knitting is jut like crochet only with two needles. And a little slower. Sometimes more complex. More dangerous, time consuming and somewhat annoying if you drop a stitch, which you really can’t do in crochet…… Have fun! Good Luck! 😀 Lovely to see you posting again regularly xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I was prepared for the rust on the fridge wickers but I think I might rust proof them and paint them for longevity. I joined a couple of Facebook spinning groups and most of the ladies knit. I really want to make Steve a jumper with the homespun yarn that I have been spinning and I figured as I can knit, purl and cast on, I must be able to do cables (HAHAHA!) but seriously, I found a few nice simple looking patterns and most of what I need to do I can find on YouTube tutorials so I figured I should just throw myself in. I am also lusting after making socks. I saw a lovely free pattern for making socks on one of the Facebook pages and downloaded it. It’s for beginners and then another lovely lady on the Facebook page sent me some delicious sock yarn and a set of 4 pointed needles. She is going to send me a pattern today so I reckon I might make a pair of socks next. I would imagine my first pair will look a bit “Frankensteinien” but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉 I figure I should at least start out on something that I want to make and as these socks are made with 8 ply yarn they apparently don’t take too long to make. I would LOVE to see a photo of that lovely potted maple Ms Pauline. We don’t actually live near paper beach. Its about 15 minutes away from where we live but it’s Earl’s absolutely-very-favourite-EVER walk so we do it on a regular basis and he gets to meet new dogs walking on the track most of the time so he is very happy whenever we pull up at the starting point. I think I have my blogging mojo back now. I just did 5 straight days of answering questions for our course and am raring to get back into the garden now. On our walk yesterday I happened to look down in the ditch as we were walking and saw a small grape vine growing. It was directly opposite one of the massive vinyards for pinot grape varietals and so I carefully hoisted it out of the ditch and into one of Earl’s dog deposit bags and he came home with me in my bag. He is now potted up and will move into Sanctuary when he starts to take off. Thank you for still reading my blog posts Ms Pauline ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How cool to find that vine! I hope it does well for you. My aunt had a fabulous garden that was made from ‘finds’. She used to walk around the public gardens with her handbag open and a little pair of snips in her pocket …… My next post shall indeed feature my beauteous little tree 🙂 Of course I still read your posts Fran – I’m so rarely on any other social media I would lose touch if you didn’t post then what would happen. Good luck with the knitting – your support group sounds great and I love YouTube for tutorials – it’s my go-to place!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        My mum was the same with her found garden. She saved up for anything special but most of her garden was gleaned from talking to other gardeners and getting cuttings and free plants. I have lost quite a few followers since I ceased regular posting but my stalwarts are still checking in. Thank you for being one of my stalwarts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. foodnstuff says:

    Great post as usual! I’m envious of your morning walk….looks so beautiful. Yes, get that persimmon out ASAP so you can enjoy the fruits….it is one of the best things I’ve planted. I bought some new food plants at the B store last week and will be putting them on the blog when I get round to taking a photo. Posted the tiger nuts last Friday. Let me know if they arrive OK. I’ve got mine soaking in water…..nothing’s happened yet. No sign of the Luma seed germinating yet….it’s been sitting there for months. Hope the flu’s on the way out by now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Sometimes it takes a long time for seed to germinate. I was going to throw those pots of soil out that I planted those pink English gooseberries in till I realised that the small “weeds” that I saw in the soil were actually gooseberries. They took about 10 months to grow. We actually threw our bunya nut seeds out into the compost after 18 months in pots as we figured that they were defunct and they all grew in the compost pile! Can’t wait to see your food plants Bev. I get very excited whenever I see something new and I learn tonnes about where to plant them etc 🙂 We do live in lovely surrounds here. That’s Paper Beach about 15 minutes away from us but I walked up to Rowella yesterday with Earl (about 3km away) and walked past the vinyards that are all starting to grow new leaves and I felt incredibly lucky to be living where we live.

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  4. No way, my phone just died too! It was decidedly NOT a good thing though, since I was pretty much completely disconnected for 10 days while waiting for my exorbitantly expensive replacement. It’s pretty much impossible to live in a big city, by yourself, without a car, without a phone. It’s scary how dependent I’ve become on it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We ended up with a $99 replacement that not only takes better photos, but that is easier to use! Much happier with this one and we can even load apps if we want to. Sorry your phone died. I know it’s more important in cities with networking etc and it becomes a much more important tool. Steve and I pretty much only use ours for phoning each other when we are apart or texting my daughters/son and yesterday we used it to check if a power outage we had was scheduled. Other than that Steve can check the weather or we can use Google Maps if we get lost and that’s about all we use it for 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad yours is a happy ending! I’m sad to say that I paid over $700 (!!!) and the camera is WORSE than that of my old phone… I feel somewhat hoodwinked over here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        You are in reverse of our story. Our first phone was a windows phone that was supposed to have an excellent camera and we paid over $800 for ours but the phone died after about 10 snaps and never worked again, we couldn’t load apps of any kind and it was just lucky that we only used it to text and phone and the battery life sucked. You just never know what technology is going to hand you these days.

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  5. What a wonderful post Fran, so good to see .. Loved that you got Broad beans.. We planted some in Sept for early crops next year they are under clotches and are quite resistant to frost.. We have not planted in a couple of years for some reason.. I think we gave them up for french beans one year then like them, lol.. You know how it goes..
    So enjoyed that walk you took me on, even if Earl wasn’t too keen on letting us in on his secret path.
    Loved the heart beneath the tree, Someone loves trees, or each other. LOL..
    Roger’s garden is amazing.. and the sculptures etc.. WOW..

    Hows the knitting going? the shawl.. I am sure Fran as you master everything else, it will not be long before your are cable knitting and doing fancy stitches.. If your fine crocheting work is anything to go by..

    Looking forward to when you have your sound equipment and you take us on the grand tour of serendipity . Gardener’s World Look Out!! LoL

    Great you also go a new little phone and you are pleased with it. I was certainly pleased with the pictures it took
    I was counting up how long I have had my phone, and its seven years.. It too hangs on a wing and a prayer.. But until it dies.. its staying put.. too.

    Have a brilliant week both of you.. And So loving how everything is thriving.. Even if that means those flying pests are annoying..
    We have had a plague of midges in the allotments that drive hubby nuts.. They seem to hand under his cap peak and bite like billy oh..

    Have a great week…
    Lots of HUGS.. Sue xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Ouch to the pests! I haven’t been knitting at the moment as every spare moment has been dedicated to knocking paperwork out of the ballpark. I it all sorted now and now to move to finishing editing the drama I shot and filming Steve’s. I jokingly agreed to act in a fellow classmates film and now he is holding me to my word so I will be co-staring in a film on Wednesday. No accounting for my fellow classmates taste then! 😉 I have to be a bossy wife who yells at her husband. I was in two minds till I found out that the “husband” I get to yell at is one of our lecturers so I decided I could do that 😉 I hope those midges have up and gone. Nothing like midges to make gardening a chore and grasshoppers! We don’t get a lot of grasshoppers here, even when other properties are inundated. Our hens spend their days hopping around scoffing any insect life that dares to show itself on our property so I supposed that’s one good thing about the ninja chooks 😉 Have a lovely week Sue and I will let you know/show you as soon as I get back to my knitting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whoooooohoooo I am talking to a star in the making lol.. and yelling at the lecturer made me smile… Good thing those hens get busy with the hoppers.. And enjoy your time in front of the camera for a change…. xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        I am an old hat at acting now as Steve and I were actors in another class mates film just before we got the flu. This one has the added bonus of the yelling though 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. haha… can just see that.. lol… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Robbie says:

    I really enjoyed the tour of your garden. Such a beautiful place! I agree with Pauline- I have a bit of “green envy” of all the space you have to live and play! Your walks are like a vacation daily-LOL. You live in paradise.
    You really don’t need a vacation it is outside your back door; Minus the work in the garden-tee hee. I don’t know about the snake coiled up and worrying about my dog. I am a wimp and terrified of snakes, but not spiders – go figure. I have to go and look up that snake to “picture” it and what I would think finding it on a trail-LOL I assume it is a beautiful snake since you do live in a place with stunning creatures.
    I ran over a baby rattlesnake ( someone else killed it before ) the other day biking with a friend. I stopped to check it out, and it was right next to a restaurant on the Mississippi River. There are wild areas near the river, so I figure the poor thing just got lost. It was a rare rattlesnake needing protection due to urban sprawl. It was black and white so an interesting color scheme for a rattler.
    As for the phone, I hate the things.LOL. We gave up our landline thinking we could save money but now the cell phones cost TOO much here in the USA.They use to give you a trade-in deal with your phone. They changed that and now add an extra 20-40 dollars to your bill to pay for the phone since a simple phone is running 700 to 1000 dollars a phone. That is nuts!
    I am so glad your blogging again-keep mending:-)
    Happy Gardening and look forward to your new VLOGS…how neat can’t wait!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I have a camera at the moment that I am thinking I might head outside today if it isn’t too overcast and do a little bit of filming. I didn’t get the sound equipment as everyone is hurrying to finish their short drama films now and I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes but no-one is using the G7’s at the moment (and we have 2 of them in class) so I borrowed one to practice on as I will be filming a fellow classmates short drama in a few weeks for her and need to practice on this particular camera as that’s what she wants to use for her drama. I can’t believe that’s how much a phone costs over there! You can pick up a $30 phone here from Office Works if all you want to use it for is text and phone and you don’t have to be on a contract either. You just buy an “unlocked” phone and pay for a sim card (all of $2 at a local supermarket) and hunt around for the cheapest phone provider. Our phone cost us $99 to buy outright (unlocked) and we just put our existing sim card in it which is already linked to a provider and we only pay $30 a month for our calls and if we pay that before the end of the month our $700 worth of calls gets carried over. I think we are up to about $2000 worth of phone calls now that we will never use but at $30 a month and no charge for anything else it’s cheap. Are you sure you can’t get a no contract phone over there? They are cheap as chips from China. My daughters bought their phones online and got them set up in a local phone shop.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robbie says:

        I have Verizon as a carrier. It use to be we could get a “dumb phone” and it never cost very much. BUTTTT-LOL-I decided to upgrade to a smart phone. I have to stay in contact with my daugther in Sweden. I have skype on my phone. I am just a message away etc. The carrier no longer gives us free phones with our contracts. They bill us monthly for the phone, for example. the phone costs 700-1000 but you just pay for it monthly…Their new idea. I got rid of my land line so this is our main phone. I use it as a mini computer when I am away. I have my parents living near by so I have to keep my phone with me all the time in case they fall or need help. I will check into it but I”ve made the change and once you get use to them they are rather nice for they do a lot of stuff for you. I have a 5 yr old version so I don’t keep up with the new ones that come out each year.
        30 dollars a month would be cheap. Our bill for 3 phones, my son is still in college and we carry him on our phone until he graduates. It is 200 a month..yep:-) Our landline was 100 a month, so we did get rid of that and no longer have that expense. It is nuts how expensive some of this stuff is. It sounds like you have a better deal there in your country!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        Our landline (we need it for internet) is $80 a month but that includes unlimited internet. Our phone is a smart phone as well and is much better than our old Nokia (Windows) phone. Over here we can choose our phone provider and you don’t have to be locked into a contract with them. And they say that America is the “lucky country!”

        Liked by 1 person

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