Interior delights

The weather has turned and it is definitely feeling very wintery here. The trees have mostly lost their leaves and the garden is looking quite bare.

Sofia has new waterproof overalls (so she can frolic around in the wet without getting soaked)...

... and we all have new garden footwear.

As we are spending more time indoors, I thought I would take this opportunity to record some of the more colourful aspects of the house. When we first viewed the property, we joked that the heritage listing must be due to all the interesting wall coverings. The use of wallpaper in various rooms of the house is really quite special - these are not modern 'feature' walls, but entire rooms of interior busy-ness delight.

Sofia's room
'utility' room
toilet (this a shot of the ceiling!)
breakfast room

Not to mention the colour combos and use of feature tiling and taps in the bathroom.

And last, but not least - the floor to ceiling curtains in the master bedroom.

They make me want to channel my inner Fraulein Maria ;)


But what about the house?

We haven't forgotten about the house - it's just going a bit slower than hoped. Once there is an overall plan we want to start work on the front four rooms of the house. We can do this part of the renovation and still live in the house but we'll definitely need to move out for the big remodelling of the back of the house. 

In the mean time, we've made a few changes to how we use the house and cranked up the wood fires. One of the problems we have encountered is that a lot of the window and door frames don't really meet up so there are quite bad drafts. We've dealt with this by using the very latest in environmental technology.

Clear packing tape covering a hole in a window

 As any fan of Mythbusters knows, gaffer tape can do anything. It can fix a plane that has had its side ripped out by a grizzly bear, it can hold together a car that has been completely smashed apart, it can be used to make a functioning cannon, it can be used to lift a car off the ground and it can make a boat that will sail across San Francisco Harbour - among many other things. It can also be used to seal off drafts and it's been getting a workout at our place as there are a lot of gaps.

A gap between the glass and the frame

Southerly facing windows get special treatment. This one in the kitchen was one of the worst but is now ready for winter which appears to be starting this Saturday with snow down to 600 metres and a maximum of 11 degrees in Hobart!

No more drafts!


The Gourmet Gatherers

On the weekend we had a visit from Amanda and Stephen (the Gourmet Gatherers).  I came across the Gatherers in March when Amanda posted on the local freecycle group looking for surplus produce and she said in the entry "I am also really interested in odd fruits such as medlars and figs".  I remember thinking at the time "we have a medlar tree".  This was one of the fruits in the garden that initially no one seemed to be able to identify (or not our visitors anyway), so I went on a google hunt and eventually came up with some images of fruit that looked like ours.

Medlars are a bit different in that they have to be bletted before they can be used.  We have a large tree with lots of fruit and I have to say I wasn't feeling very enthusiastic about either processing the fruit or seeing it go to waste.  Then I saw this post and was reminded that someone else might be interested in the fruit, so I emailed them.  Luckily Amanda and Stephen were keen for the fruit and were happy to come over and take a couple of bucket loads off our hands.

They also came bearing homemade gifts - including some lemon mead, elderberry vinegar and a green tomato pickle.  I think we made a good trade!


The list

For a quick overview, this is a list of all the fruit and nuts we have identified in the garden (so far):

  • apples x 2
  • almond
  • apricot
  • currants (black, blue, red)
  • cherry plum
  • cherry x 2
  • chestnut
  • crabapple
  • cumquat
  • elderberry
  • feijoa
  • fig
  • grape
  • lemon
  • loganberry
  • loquat
  • medlar
  • mulberry
  • nectarine
  • peach
  • pear x 2
  • plums x 2
  • pomegranate
  • quince (regular and ornamental)
  • raspberry
  • walnut

Quite a list!   Some of these produced quite well over the few months since we arrived (the plums and apples for example).  We are hoping others, with a little tlc, will do better next year.  I have my fingers crossed for more apricots (we only got five or six this time round, but boy were they tasty) and I am thinking we can do better than the one measly pomegranate fruit that is currently hanging in there.  We have some work to do.