Monday, January 26, 2009

busy being at home

Darn it, spoke too soon... I need to get a new medical and TB x-ray done for my visa. Ho hum, I was going to need them this year anyway to apply for residency, so I guess it's just a matter of getting a to it sooner than I'd planned - and budgeted for!

I've spent much of today uploading photos of Summer Gathering to Flickr - almost done now but not quite. I took a few near the beginning of the event, then almost nothing until the last couple of days then went crazy... I decided against uploading the 20 photos of the goldfish in the pond that Liam took, I figured that one would do, but don't tell him though eh?

Well, a long weekend has come and gone, and my to do list really doesn't look any shorter. However there are now about 14 more jars of plum jam in the cupboard, 5 ice cream containers of stewed plums and a shelf full of bags of frozen plums stoned and halved! I'm currently experimenting with making fruit leather with some of them (ta for the idea Jo!) - it tastes very nice and decidedly more-ish, so it can't possibly be good for you... I drafted in the troops to help harvest (and take them away, with compulsory courgettes thrown in for good measure!) - I reckon between us we've picked 60kg of plums this weekend, and there are still some on the tree ripening up to eat.

With all the home produce that's around here it was rather odd to hear on the radio this morning Alison Holst (sort of a Kiwi version of Delia Smith) saying that there's a whole generation of those 35 and under who won't buy potatoes because they need peeling!

Personally I find that rather hard to get my head around, especially given that you can buy them ready scrubbed and not needing peeled half the time anyway. She was recommending some frozen potato product that comes from Belgium on the grounds that it was better that people ate that than not eat potatoes at all... well I guess in terms of diet maybe, but the idea of an 'extruded' potato product from half way around the world (no offence Belgium!) instead of freshly dug spuds from the garden a few meters away or locally grown really does not compute. Considering the concern there is about the rising cost of foodstuffs and the weekly shop it seems even crazier.

Oh well, it looks like our next glut of garden produce will be beans or tomatoes - the race is on. I'm not complaining though, it will sure beat chosing between tinned tomatoes from China (hmmm.... maybe not) or Italy (ouch food miles...).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

another update

Hmmm, so much for more regular updates! Well it transpired that I either made an attempt to circulate my end of year epistle OR blogged... if you received neither my humble apologies, will aim to do better next year...

Well, where to start? Christmas arrived with a whoosh and several flushes - a nasty tummy bug did the rounds making it a memorable Christmas but probably not for the kind of reasons any of us affected want to dwell on; although a certain episode of projectile vomitting will probably go down in family folklore around here (it wasn't me!).

Thankfully Liam and I recovered in time to head off to Summer Gathering where I p(r)oxy parented him and the younger Bradley boys for the week - for the record they were absolute angels and not a pick of bother, yay! There are many things I thought of blogging about from that event and they may or may not surface over the coming weeks... we'll have to see how much energy I have left over after finally starting my first salaried job in over 3 years! I visited Wellington in between and found the walk between M&Q's and town just as thought productive as usual (and I even discovered a new, shorter, route through the Town Belt!) but somehow those posts never got written either. I have a serious amount of catching up to do!

Anyway my main task this evening has been completing (yet another) set of visa/work permit forms to be couriered off tomorrow. For once the passport photos I have are still new enough, my UK Police checks are within date and so is my medical certificate - woo hoo!

Right now though I think it is time for a cuppa and another early night....