who I am and why I’m here

I have been here at WordPress.com since 2007, but have been mostly off-line for the last couple of years. My interest in blogging was renewed by reading about the Zero to Hero 30-Day Blog Challenge as I thought that it was just what I needed to begin the habit of writing consistently.

Rather than create a “who I am and why I’m here” post, I am re-interpreting this challenge to update my Who I Am page having seen that it was first published on 12 November 2005. Which seems a bit weird because my first post begin at the beginning was published on 9 February 2007. In addition, I thought I would respond to some of the questions posed in the challenge.

Why are you blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I do keep a diary, but as it is personal, I don’t share this. Items that I want to share, I would like to take the time to reflect on and perhaps photograph. Because I’m aware that I’m writing for someone else, often these posts are the better record than the scribblings in my diary. I have often used my blog as a reference as to when I read a book, saw a film, what I planted and when.

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

I don’t have any particular focus, as I am interested in too many items to list. But common themes are living sustainably, gardening, reading, cycling as transport as opposed to sport, discovering new things to learn, university studies, and so on. For example, having just completed my first timed 5K run, I may mention running quite a bit in the near future as I’m still pretty excited about this. Also, I got a crochet kit for my birthday in 2011, that’s not the last birthday, but the one before. I still haven’t figured out how to crochet – it’s still on my ta-da list.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

Connecting up with other people who have similar varied interests would be terrific. I also look forward to reading topics that I am interested in on their blogs.

If you blog successfully throughout 2014, what would you hope to have accomplished?

Just as I am decluttering one item per day, I am aiming to blog more consistently throughout the year.

flour and water

Some people are fascinated by how planes stay up in the air, I’m amazed at how the combination of just flour and water with a bit of salt makes beautiful smelling and tasty sourdough bread.

  1. Beginning with the starter, add flour, salt and water.
  2. Mix and rest.
  3. Toss.
  4. Rest.
  5. Bake.


Lids for Propagating Trays

Yay, I now have umpteen clear acrylic lids for my propagating trays.

I have been trying to remember when this project started. It was after we got a shade house and while I was a member of The Digger’s Club. It was also when H was using acylic for another project, and used to go the company of a family friend to get it cut to order. Well, we no longer have the shade house, I have not been a member of the club for over ten years, and the plastics company no longer exists because the proprieter died.

I resumed propagating and growing plants from seeds last year, and completing the project was a way to clear the material from H’s shed.

H obtained a new tube of glue, and we set up the ultra-violet tube in my fish tank light fitting to fix the glue quicker. This was after H spent many painstaking hours scraping and cleaning off the paper that was adhered to the acrylic to protect it.

Today, I took some cuttings from the Santolina chamaecyparissus [1]. This is very hardy plant with silvery-grey foliage and pretty yellow button flowers. Once established, it requires very little water. I know this, as the plant from which I took the cuttings was the last surviving plant from my herb garden on the verge that had not been watered for many years.

Santolina also has a very pungent smell although I don’t find it unpleasant. When I checked my book for spelling the species name, I read that the plant is used “sweeten the air”. I’ll hopefully be using it as a fill-in plant while I kill and remove the couch from the side verge.

[1] Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures when it was flowering last month.

house renovation – main front gable

We took the scaffold down today because H has finished the main front gable.

Almost repeating the renovation plan from the north west gable in that the sheets and battens were replaced. Except that there are always fiddly bits to be found and recover from as you go.

We had to wait until a piece of material was machined for the bottom batten. Unfortunately, this was just before Christmas, so we had to wait until the new year before we had all the battens. Lesson from this, is make sure that have all materials for the job before you start.

The intention is to finish the gables and other uppermost sections of the house before we render the walls. The screw holes on the bottom batten have not been filled so that the batten can be removed prior to rendering.

Other work needs to be done on the verandah so we will do the south east gable next rather than the other front gable over the verandah.

house renovation – north west gable

Yay, H moved the scaffold around to the front of the house today.

What this means is that the first gable, that is, the north west gable is completely renovated. We don’t have a BEFORE picture of the north west gable, only the original south east gable..

The south east gable is similar structurally albeit in better condition than was the north west gable before renovation took place. The north west side of the house is the weather side.

But now with its new cream cement sheet and eave battens, and Deep Brunswick green wood both decorative and to cover the joins in the cement sheet, the north west gable we think looks the business.

five pots

The bottom of the concrete pots are marked ‘L.M.’ (initials of my Step-Grandad) and ’1974′. It feels good to have given these old pots a new life 33 years after they were made.

When choosing five colours (because I had five concrete pots), I knew that I wanted the three primary colours; red, blue, and yellow. Choosing two other colours was not too difficult, as I could discard green outright being as there were many shades of green already in the garden. From the remaining secondary colours (that I can make from mixing the primary colours), I can make violet and orange.

Across the front of the porch I could fit three pots, and up the side two pots. So I have positioned red, blue, and yellow across the front, and violet and orange up the side.

Five Concrete Pots

Painted concrete garden pots containing (from left to right), Lovage, Chives, Greek Oregano, French Sorrel, and Perpetual Spinach.

I had to swap the French Sorrel from the red pot into the violet, as there is more shade on the side of the porch in the afternoon. The front of the porch, i.e. the red, blue, and yellow pots will be in the afternoon sun for most of the day.