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Howdy everyone! Happy new year to you! Yes, I know it was ages ago but it’s been a while since I thought about coming here to write something. To be fair, it has been a very busy time for us in the past few weeks. We moved house right before Christmas, then had the usual festival of eating over the Christmas break. Plus we had to unpack a million boxes. Okay maybe not a million, but it seemed like it some days.
Happily, the hard work is behind us now and we are settling in to our new and fabulous home. We’ve ordered a new couch (6 – 8 weeks delivery, pffft) then life will be complete.
I posted a photo of my new kitchen on Facebook, but for those of you who aren’t friends with me there, here it is:
And the walk-in pantry:
And over the past three weeks we have had a steady stream of visitors, which is fun but exhausting. I’m back at work properly next week, so I’m sure it will feel like getting back to normal life then.
You may have noticed (or not) that I have removed the shoe and wardrobe challenge counters from the sidebar. I decided last week that I would stop the challenge. When we moved, I got rid of some more shoes and some dresses and other clothes, so what I have in my wardrobe are clothes (and shoes) that I actually wear. I’m actually happy about stopping the challenge, as I can go back to wearing what I want, instead of always thinking about things that I maybe haven’t worn for a while, and that may require saving.
And just to make you all jealous, here is my pool:
No, I don’t know why you need a pool in Melbourne but it came with the house. It’s heated, so at least we’ll be able to use it for more than 3 days a year.
But not just any fruit. These are the lemons I grew myself in my backyard!
Eagle-eyed viewers will notice a slight white blur in the background. I was being snoopervised.
Disclaimer: the man planted the tree and installed the watering system. I added one dose of citrus tree food and watered the tree once when the watering system was unplugged for a bit. But I’m claiming these as mine!
Long time readers will remember that we had our garden renovated last year. It went from an unappealing block of concrete to a lovely deck with green plants! Anyway, the designer put in a little garden outside the kitchen window, and this is what it looked like back in August last year:
And this is how it looks now!
Actually, this was taken three weeks ago before all the leaves fell off the mini Japanese Maple. What a difference a few months makes!
As we’ve been in a drought in Australia for, oh I don’t know, about forever, we are forbidden from regularly watering our gardens with domestic water. So last year the boy and I had a water tank installed as part of our garden renovations. The garden is going great guns and I had to prune back some bushes last week. Excellent!
On an unrelated matter, it is impossible to buy good garlic at the supermarket here. For some reason Australian garlic is not sold in the supermarkets and we only get tasteless crap from China. Now I have nothing against China, having recently visited there and I liked it a lot, but their garlic leaves a lot to be desired. So instead, I buy my garlic online from a place here in Melbourne and I pay eleventy billion dollars for it. But it’s so tasty, it’s almost worth it. This week, however, I decided to be a rebel and plant some of my own garlic. So I sacrificed two of the hideously expensive garlic cloves and put them in a pot.
This might even work out!
Also, the boy continues to buy me flowers (he is such a good boy!) but he says he must find a new place to buy them from, because this is how my tulips looked after two days:
Oh sure, they are pretty, but they are also pretty sad. AND some of the stems were mouldy when I took the paper off to put them in a vase.
What you see here are the walls in my back yard. They are different colours for a very bad reason. The man we hired to oil the deck actually stained it in that awful dark brown colour. It’s faded since he did that – it was a few months ago – so it was even worse when it was first done.
The rear wall is the original wood, which the boy has spent WEEKS stripping. It’s bloody hard work and he only does a few boards at a time. Those walls are about seven feet high, by the way.
People have asked me why we don’t get the original man back in to strip the deck, but I don’t want him anywhere near my house ever again.
This could take a while.
As part of the garden renovations, we got a lemon tree, lime tree and orange tree, all in pots. I’ve been watching them closely for ages and at last, there are blooms on the lemon tree!
I might actually get some decent lemons out of all this.
I can’t wait.
There are also some blooms on the orange and lime trees, but not nearly as many. Just wait though!
Today, for reasons I still don’t fully understand, I agreed to make the boy a Massaman Curry. From scratch. Including making the curry paste myself.
Now, I don’t know if you know much about making curries, but it seems to me that there are always at least 123 ingredients, usually half of which I have to go and buy because I can’t find them in my house. Like Cardamom pods. And shrimp paste. Not two ingredients I use regularly. But anyway. I assembled the 258 ingredients required for the Massaman curry paste, and started chopping and slicing and dicing and pounding and mincing. And that was just the five different spices required. Not to mention the 20 (TWENTY) dried red chillies, or the onion, or the ginger, or the lemongrass, or any of the other things which I can’t remember right now.
So I chopped and minced and soaked and dry-fried and roasted and blended and whizzed and now I have one cup of Massaman curry paste. The recipe for the actual meal part calls for two tablespoons of curry paste.
I don’t have any coconut milk so we’ll be having the curry tomorrow. If it turns out well I’ll take a photo for you, because I know you’re all dying to see the results.
Hey, the man is coming tomorrow to do the deck staining! At last! It will all be finished and then we can get the table and chairs out there, just in time for some warmer weather. I can’t wait.
Oh, I invited my parents for dinner on Saturday night. Does anyone know why?
Also: my little cousin turned 30 yesterday. Thirty. Man I feel old.
I realised that I’ve forgotten to show you the front yard, which is also being renovated. I completely forgot to take a photo of it before the work started, with all the stylish weeds and such, so this one is from a few days after the work started.
I’m not sure if you can tell but that is our letterbox – the Leaning Tower of Preston – lying on its side ready to be taken to the dump. The stupid person who was delivering the junk mail that day actually put something in the letterbox. Look a bit more closely. What the…?
This is what the back yard looks like at the moment. The deck still has to be stained, and the plants have to go in, and then it’s done.
This is the view looking back toward the house. Along that fence and solid wall will be three pots with miniature lemon, lime and orange trees in them.
This is the planter box. There are going to be tall plants across the back, then other things in front. No I don’t know what any of them are.
The plants are going in this week so hopefully by the weekend I’ll have some green photos to show you!