Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

where I went today

One of Adelaide's very few Community Gardens had an open day today.
Eight months ago, I donated my entire pot plant collection to them.
Today, I went along to see the garden, and get a look at my "babies".
Sadly, I didn't see them all, several were still in storage waiting for the ground to be prepared in the places where they were to be planted. Some had been sold and were now happily living in other gardens.
Here are some of the things I did see.

This lovely sign at the entrance to a site that used to house a Jam Factory.
Inside the gate this path leads past garden plots on both sides which are "owned" by community members and they grow whatever they want to grow. Some grow vegetables, some grow herbs, I saw strawberries in one plot.
The path leads to the "house", which is really just a large meeting room, with a kitchen, and at the back of the building is a waterless composting toilet.
The garden is run on permaculture and organic principles, with no pesticides or chemical fertilisers, as evidenced by the many caterpillar chewed leaves I saw.

I loved this strawberry pot sitting in a plot that bordered the path,

and this quirky little chooken, guarding her patch.

This spectacular yellow flowered bush, (believe me, in real life it looks much more spectacular than the photo suggests), which is taller than me and several metres around... a Jerusalem Sage. I'd recognised the leaves as a sage, but hadn't ever seen one with these gorgeous yellow flowers, so I asked what it was.

Oh, I want one.....sigh.
Regular sage is growing and flowering really well in a plot a little further up.
Sage and Lemon Balm iced tea is very cooling on a hot summer day.
In one corner there is a children's play area,

with this an old door frame hung with cutlery and spoons to tinkle in the breeze. Although the day was very windy and I didn't hear any tinkling. I think they're spaced a little too far apart.

When I arrived several people were already partaking in the tea and scones, coffee and muffins provided.

Over to the left was a table with seedlings for sale. They had seedling tomatoes of a variety I'd never heard of. Yellow Peach. Naturally I bought one, because now of course I want to know how big it grows, how much fruit it might produce, what they look and taste like.
If it grows and survives, I'll let you know.
(just lately my green thumbs have the kiss of death......)
This is a young grape vine, I'm hoping a frame gets built for it to climb over.

In the corner beyond the grape vine is this young apple tree, it looks very much like the one I had, maybe it's the same one.

Borage is growing well and bringing plenty of bees to the garden.
Aren't the flowers beautiful? And so blue. Borage is another herb that can be used to make a tea. The leaves and flowers are sometimes added to salads, some people freeze the flowers in icecube trays to add to drinks.

Just inside the entrance gate is a good sized stand of banana palms with plenty of fruit forming.
They're small and plump, so I'm guessing they're lady fingers.

Over on a side fence there is a young elder tree, with a laminated information sheet attached that has some information about what the tree is used for. For instance the wood from the elder tree should only be used for white magic. Furniture made from elder wood will crumble or break, a baby placed in a cradle made from elder wood will fail to thrive.

This can, however, be overcome, by a rhyme and a promise made to the spirit of The Elder Woman that resides in the tree. In essence you ask permission to take and use the wood and promise to return some to her when you have grown your own elder tree.
The fruit from the elder tree was used to make elderberry wine in days of old.

The spirit of The Elder Woman.

Spinach and broad beans were everywhere and more than a few plants of several varieties were being allowed to go to seed in preparation for the next seasons planting.
I saw a celery plant almost as tall as me that would soon flower and onions and garlic were flowering too.
In the corner shading the children's play area was huge old persimmon tree, the biggest I've ever seen.
Many loquats were scattered throughout the garden, heavy with ripening fruit, some of which I picked and ate, yum.
I saw the tub with the baby loquat trees that I'd grown and went over to say hello. Because everyone knows that talked to plants do better than those ignored, and I'd always talked to them when they were in my yard.

This is part of the information sheet attached to the elder tree.

I'm going back one day, maybe the next open day, maybe sooner. The people who congregate there are all so friendly and anyone is welcome to come and help out.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

sorry I'm late

It's been an odd kind of day.
I planned on sleeping late, since I didn't have to be at work until 10am.
Well, that didn't happen, I woke up at 6.45.

I pottered around, cooked my porridge, (ate it too), made my bed, took a look at my pots of seeds, which aren't showing the slightest sign of life apart from the beans which are starting to climb already.
I must remember to plant more seeds.
I knew I had some shopping to do, but I also knew that if I went to Coles and shopped, then I wouldn't want to be bothered going back by 10 to start my shift.

So I dithered around for another couple of hours, did my shoulder exercises like a good girl, ouch, they still hurt, and I don't seem to be making any more progress with the shoulder movement.

When I eventually got to work, having been up doing nothing much for quite some time, I was feeling a bit tired. Boredom will do that to you.

I felt like I was doing my work in a dream. The store was very busy, as is normal for Saturdays from about 10am onwards. It seems that Saturday is still the main shopping day for families.
Several staff members had called in sick, so there was a shortage, especially when the shoppers would all turn up at once to the checkout area.

Why does this happen I wonder? There will be people all over the store with trolleys or baskets, even people who have rushed in for "just a couple of things", so they don't bother with a basket, but then on the way around they'll spot other things they either need or want and get those too.
Watching them juggle armfuls of stuff while trying to pick up just one more thing is quite funny.
If I happen to be doing the basket collecting, I'll sometimes offer them a basket, only to have them say, Oh no thanks, I'm fine. So I walk away as they chase that tin of soup they've just dropped.
But I digress. These customers are all over the store, with no-one checking out.

Then it's as if a buzzer goes off in all their heads at once and like a mob of sheep they all follow each other to the front of the store, lining up at all available checkouts. The staff there work as fast as they can, but the odd customer still gets a little impatient. Maybe if they'd headed to the checkout earlier they'd be out by now? Most of them are happy enough to stand in line and chat to everyone else.

Because I felt like I wasn't really there, all this seemed like I was dreaming and I kept wanting to wake up and still be home.

Eventually my shift was over and I came home, changed my shirt and headed straight back to do my own shopping. Grabbed my granny trolley and off I went, zipped around the aisles, checked out and finally was home for the rest of the day. I planned on reading the paper, reading a few blogs, checking my email, but my feet insisted on a rest first so I lay down on the couch and promptly fell asleep!

Woke up about a half an hour ago...... and just like that, *snap*, the day is gone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the walking. OMG, the walking

You all may or may not know that I'm trying to lose a little weight here.
Not a lot, I don't want to look like a scrawny plucked chicken.
I just want to lose enough to take some of the pressure off my hips and knees and to lessen the discomfort of the varicose veins.

So I've been eating less, no snacking between meals and smaller portions on the plate at dinner.

This wasn't working out so well, so I decided to add some extra walking to the routine. I already walk to and from work, and walk all around the store doing whatever the boss wants me to do.
That takes care of my mornings.

Now I've added a 3km walk to the afternoons. Easy enough, for an old lady who has let herself get very unfit.

I've been reading around the interwebs about people who walk or run for 6-8-10kms at a time.
Now, I used to be able to walk 6kms without even thinking about it. Not so long ago either. What the heck happened in the last six months? I can barely make it out the door some days.

Anyway, I decided I'd give the 6km a try. I promised myself I'd give the 6km a try. 3km up the road, 3km back down the road.
I set off slowly, i-pod clutched in my sweaty little hand, and tried not to trip on the very uneven footpath.

There's a McDonalds a little less than a quarter of the way along and as I passed it, I thought to myself, well that's almost a quarter of the way, I just have to do that again and again and again.
To get to the halfway 3km mark!
I'd chosen a sunny breezy afternoon, but forgot to carry along my water bottle.

By the time I reached the first main road, I was feeling a little tired, so was glad to stop for a minute while the traffic light was red. Crossed the road and kept going. I was really starting to feel it now, my knee began sending me little distress signals so I slowed down.

What I wanted to do was forget the whole thing and go home. But I'd promised myself.

Trudging onwards, reminding myself that I was already past halfway up, promising myself a 5 minute rest when I reached the second main road. The 3km mark.

By this time I was just blindly carrying on, not noticing the beautiful weather anymore, not nodding and smiling at passersby, just wanting to get there.

At this point, I remembered the going was a bit harder than I'd thought because I was going uphill! It's a very gentle slope, but still uphill. For 3kms.
When I finally reached the 3km mark, I walked around that corner, out of the sun, and sat on a low fence to rest while two full songs played their way through.

Enough resting, now I just want to get home. So off I went. oh boy! This was much easier! Downhill.
Getting a bit thirsty now though. I really should have carried water. But I thought it would only take me roughly an hour. I was wrong! The full trip took me an hour and forty minutes!

I made it home and was never in my life so glad to kick off my shoes and lie down with my feet up. My feet were burning, my face was burning (not sunburn, I'd worn sunblock and a hat), and I laid down for almost half an hour before my face felt cooler. Then I showered, had coffee and told myself it hadn't been so bad. After all, I'd made it home without having to crawl on my hands and knees, I was still standing. Sort of.

The next morning was a different story.

Massive headache. Painful shins, achy thighs. And a blister on the ball of my foot right where it meets the big toe. Blisters are something I rarely get. It hadn't yet reached full size, was only beginning to swell, so I massaged it gently with castor oil and put my soft old bedsocks on. It was gone the next morning.

I am definitely going to stick with just the old 3km walk from now on. One and a half kms up, one and a half kms back. Different road, no hill! Until I can do it easily, then I might stretch it to 4kms. Maybe. I need to remember I'm no spring chicken. I'm an old chook, with a dodgy knee, a bad back and varicose veins.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

hey look!!

Hahndorf has a White House!!

Not as big as the American one, but much easier to get into.

It's a restaurant!!

The Birkenstock shop:-
-: has this amazing design painted on the entrance door.

Inside, I asked and was given permission to photograph some shoes.

I love how pretty they are.

Wine served and sold all day long...

and isn't this one of the prettiest Cellars you ever saw?

Udder Delights has free cheese tastings, which I didn't try since they were already quite busy, plus I knew it would take me forever to decide which cheese to try. They have so many choices.

As you can see it's also a licensed cafe.
The Udder Delights cafe is housed in this very lovely building.

Can you see the railing in the mid left there? By the long window.
Beyond that is this fairly steep old stone stairway leading down to what I assume is the cellar where the cheeses are stored.

Another old thingummy from days of yore.
Some type of press, but again, no signage indicating what it is exactly or when it was used.

Look at the twist on this verandah support. That's craftsmanship, that is.
I believe this building is a private residence, and it's clearly not as old as the heritage buildings.
It's more similar to Adelaide's Californian Bungalows in style.

We'll give the Hahndorf trip a rest for a couple of days, which means I'll have to rack my brains to come up with something else to write.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

second installment

I was disappointed to find that most places in Hahndorf had signs on doors or in windows that said no photographs allowed.
I took this to mean no photos inside the establishments, so happily snapped away at



Check out this one; non-German foods, yes, but look, not a single misplaced apostrophe!

and window displays, most of which didn't turn out because of glare or reflections from passing traffic. See my reflection in this one?

This next building houses the Puppet Shop on one side and something I can't remember on the other side.

These marionettes put me in mind of
The Sound Of Music,
the scene where the children make a puppet show of the song The Lonely Goatherd.

Most of these are shops I didn't go into, I'd already peeked into so many and thought I'd leave a few for another trip.
I did go into the souvenir shop, (pictures 2 and 10), and wanted to buy one of everything....
Inside were cuckoo clocks in many different designs and sizes, and little weather houses just like the one we had when I was very young. It had a thermometer and two openings, with a man holding an umbrella in one and a woman holding a bunch of flowers in the other.
In cold weather, the man came out, in warm weather, the woman came out.
Mum brought it out from Germany when we came.

There's more to come....another day.