Monday, 29 February 2016

Pear O'Clock

It is the first official day of Autumn and the fruit is amassing on the trees.  The early pears are ready to eat or process.  Soon we will be buried for weeks under a mountain of pears, apples, peaches, feijoas, grapes, walnuts and more. 

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Big Red - A Tomato

One of life's pleasures surely is succulent, fresh tomatoes,  picked straight from the garden and full of flavour.  Dad picked this large beauty last night.

Monday, 22 February 2016


At what point do you say "I have enough"? 

Our culture teaches us that to be successful is to have more and more and more.  Strangely enough it's often the case that the more someone has the more they want.  Their "need" becomes insatiable.

More house.
More land.
More money.
More possessions.
More clothes.
More shoes.
More books.
More overseas holidays.
More, more, more.

It's been said by wise men and women for millennia that this is the worst kind of poverty there is, a constant need for more, the inability to ever be satisfied.  

It is an unending ravenous appetite, one I equate with an addiction.

To be rich is to be satisfied with what you have.  At what point do you say "I have enough"? Enough money, enough house, enough land, enough shoes, enough stuff, enough everything.

Human material needs in their truest form are really fairly simple.  We can as easily live in a one-room cabin in the woods as in a palace or mansion.  Personally I would rather live in the one room cabin in the woods, a home which would not only meet my material needs but feed my soul.

And perhaps therein lies the revelation.  We are trying to feed our souls with things which do not satisfy them - more house, more shoes, more money, more and more of the wrong things.  It doesn't matter how much we put in if it's the wrong thing. That's like trying to run a motorcar on orange juice - pouring more and more orange juice into the petrol tank just won't help.  Instead you'll end up with a mess of orange juice.

We can say "enough" of the wrong things.  We can stop the madness of wanting more and more of that which does not truly satisfy us.   That allows us to ponder, seek and find that which fills us, which gives our lives real meaning and real joy.

It seems this can often be discovered in our own creativity and the simplest things - it was not the big things after all.  It was the little things.  Baking our own bread.  Growing our own herbs. Keeping our own chickens.  Sitting in the sun with a good book. Enjoying a simple picnic with friends.

A popular saying says "less is more".  Another way to look at it is "more is less"  - more house but less peace, more possessions but less good health, more money but less time to spend with your loved ones.  At some point "more" has the capacity to consume us and all of our freedom - all of our life.

Knowing when to call "enough" is a skill it seems we all must learn to be truly happy and fulfilled.

 We need to know when we've had enough.

Sometimes you just need to chill.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Friday, 19 February 2016


A few weeks ago a little black kitten turned up in our backyard.  She was clearly wild - and hungry. She had however attached herself to our male tabby cat Leonardo and was following him everywhere.  

We started to feed her and inevitably this cute little minx decided to stick around and finally - adopt us!  She won't let us touch her yet but she comes into the kitchen of the main house and my cottage and makes herself at home.  She is quite relaxed so long as she knows the doors are open. 

Hopefully she will get tamer and tamer.  We have called her Tabitha.


I am a flower addict.  I just can't help myself.  Big flowers, tall flowers, meadow flowers, small flowers.  Vegetable flowers, sunflowers, weed flowers, cactus flowers.  Any flowers.  I love them all.   I tend to like my flowers though - wild and free, rambling and riotous, just as Mother Nature intended.

Daisies are "simply" beautiful - a lesson for us all?  Sometimes less is more.

Friday, 5 February 2016


My hobbies include....sneaking up on bumblebees!  

 Luckily we have many bumblebees here, in part I am sure because of their love of echiums and sunflowers, which seem to be two of their favourite plants.  The echiums in particular are often covered in dozens of baby bumblebees.  Bumblebees do not have ears so it isn't known for sure if they in some way "hear" or not but it appears they can sense vibrations.  We've often come across their underground nests here which we leave protected and undisturbed. 

European bumblebees were introduced to Canterbury in the 1880's to pollinate red clover and later spread to Tasmania. The bumblebees pollinate many crops and flowers, including broad beans and tomatoes and are much valued in our garden.  They are just one more reason to stay organic as pesticides decimate these wonderful little creatures.