We resume our regular programming

tap tap, Hey, is this thing on? Can you hear me?

SQUEEERRAANNNGGGG!!!!

Yikes! Sorry! Guess it’s working again, heh. Sorry about that.

Well, much as I’d love to report that this month’s silence was down to us finally winning the lottery and fulfilling our lifelong dream of living on room service in the penthouse suite of a five-star hotel while the house is renovated to include a second storey entirely committed to hobby space, the truth is of course more mundane.

I had to move the website to a new host, and even with help that process exceeded both my skillset and my attention span. In the end it was solved through a quick exchange with the host’s marvellous help people, but for most of the past month that was an adulting too far.

It’s “winter” – if you can call it that when we still have mid-20s daytime temps – which means I want to spend all my time out getting dirt under my nails. People more organised than I are already harvesting their autumn planting. But the timber borders were all laying at about 30 degrees from horizontal, so after tearing out cubic meterage of hyacinth bean and sweet potato, we did the whole, digging-holes-and-concreting-in-posts thing and then I spent several happy days laying down manure and lucerne, transferring good sexy compost into garden beds. The avocado tree didn’t survive its transplant although the lime tree, which is only a foot high, started flowering immediately it was moved. I’ve finally got chard and spinach in, plus some optimistic peas, and the chook forage patch is growing: arrowroot, comfrey and Brazilian spinach (Alternanthera sissoo). We are getting 3-4 eggs a day, perfect miracles. I’ve been walking, too, mapping routes up and down all the hills in the neighbourhood, trying to counteract all the hours I seem to be spending behind the wheel at the moment, driving from the centre of Brisbane to its farthest northern reaches on various errands.

Indoors the usual circus continues: the oven joined the list of this year’s deceased appliances, prompting another wild round of over-thinking and spreadsheeting, and I replaced my HP laptop with a Mac so nothing works how I expect – hence the lack of photos for this post. We satisfied Mr Pixel’ yearning for a 3-D printer and all of a sudden my recalcitrant learner is teaching himself TinkerCad, slicing software and a lot of blah blah blah. CraftyFish’s new laptop has choked a few times which hasn’t suited us AT ALL, because she’s started school – there will have to be a whole ‘nother post or three about that – and someone asked exactly the right question leading me to rewrite two key conversations in the fiction MS I thought was finished. I’m really happy about that and very much hope I get my mojo back to, y’know, actually DO the writing.

Instead I have been jamming – a massive batch of sweet chilli sauce, a smaller one of lime and gin marmalade (limes from the neighbour’s prolific tree), and strawberry that hasn’t set and so will be all tipped back in the pot for a bit more boiling this afternoon. The other day I took Mum for a slow walk up the street, and when I gently took her arm because it looked like she was veering into a parked car, she pulled away, deliberately rubbed her cardiganed arm along the length of it, gleefully declared, “I’m dusting it for them!” and then laughed, so, yeah, she’s FINE. (Though Mr Pixel, who accompanied us, may never recover.)

And I’ve been doing an absolute ton of social stuff, both IRL and online, where I’m feeling my way into using my powers for good with a fabulous new friend who lives in Switzerland. (Isn’t that GREAT? Isn’t it AWESOME that we can make these connections and chat in real time with someone 16000kms away, whilst eating dinner and watching back episodes of Would I Lie To You?) (Oh and if you have never watched that show, give it a whirl. If David Mitchell doesn’t remind you of your kid, Lee Mack will.)

Ooh that reminds me, while I was looking for that episode I saw something that reminded me, I bought some gorgeous fabric in an op-shop that I want to make into trousers.

… Poor new friend. She thinks I’m like this because we’re in lockdown. Ah, well. She’ll learn.

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