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Hey there! Sorry to have been a stranger the past few months. I’ve been busy with work, wedding and whooping cough! All have been quite unrelenting.

But now our time has arrived – AA and I have a REALLY BIG WEEK —

THURSDAY we’re going to be on this week’s episode of one of my faaaavorite shows Costa’s Garden Odyssey. Check it out, here’s a short preview:

Excuse the closeup of the funny look I gave my housemate – when he said to me, before 10.00am ‘I’m dying for a drink’ – and he wasn’t talking coffee.

I just hope they don’t use any bits of me talking, I was particularly inarticulate that day!

FRIDAY – we’re going to the Old Treasury Building to ‘do the paperwork’ to make us married in the eyes of the law

SUNDAY – we’ll be in Olinda, The Dandenong Ranges to have a ceremony lead by a close friend, to be married in the eyes of our dearest family and friends!

See you on the other side
xo Moo

Happy New Year everybody!

Hoping 2010 is treating you all well. We had a lovely Xmas and NY break, heading back to Adelaide and spending time riding old bicycles around the leafy suburbs, going to the local pool, going on bushwalks and of course catching up with friends and family. Then we headed down the Limestone Coast and stuffed ourselves silly on crayfish, but were too scared to go swimming too far from shore after hearing scary stories of white pointers in the area. We went out for a paddle on my birthday (NYE) in Beachport, the town is so pretty, and the water was so blue – but then I saw something with a fin swim past and I refused to go in past my knees after that.

Anyway, here I am on my very lovely Christmas/ birthday present. How lucky am I?! I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions, mainly I just don’t think you should have to wait for the start of a calendar year to decide to do something differently. BUT I have decided I want to have more physical activity in my regular days. I feel so much better when I am on holidays, and I am sure it’s because I’m not just sitting at a desk for 7 hours straight! So I’ve decided I have to consciously do something to change that.

So first up (and this is totally nanna, but anyone who knows me knows I’m rock-nanna so it’s hardly a revelation), when we were out Xmas shopping this year I picked myself up a pedometer. I have always heard people say it really worked for motivating them to walk more and you know what? It totally works for me! Instead of thinking “oh I can’t be bothered walking all that way” or wanting to park the car really close to where I’m going, everything’s an opportunity to get more steps on the pedometer to meet the 10,000 steps/ day target! Highly effective psychology, tick!

As a result our dog is getting much longer walks now, an hour a day and he loves it as do we. It’s a really nice way to come back together after a working day, and spend sometime with your partner. I’ll be really sad when daylight savings end.

And secondly, my beautiful bike. I have only ever had mountain bikes in my adult life. I don’t know why. Some old boyfriend must have told me it was the best one to get and I was too dumb to know otherwise. I had no idea what a huge difference there is to riding a mountain bike and a road bike. My mountain bike used to stick to the concrete like it was TAR!

My new bike (who I have named “Harriet”), which is beautifully vintage style, a step through with the cushiest brown leather seat EVER, has road tyres and it glides seamlessly over the road! It makes cycling a JOY! So easy. I can’t believe how smoothe the gears are! I am sounding like someone who knows something about cycling and believe me, I don’t. I have terrible balance and not very confident on the road. But this bike feels GOOD, and stable and I’m working out a route to ride to work so I can try and do so at least once a week.

Plus it’s good to have inspiration for looking stylish on your bike:

Anyway, it’s already a stupidly busy start to the year, but while it’s summer I’m still determined to make time to enjoy it!

Only thing is, I have this little thing called a wedding coming up in 3 months time. Can’t it just organise itself already? All I want to do it plan the honeymoon!

Yesterday, Scott came around for an initial site visit of our yard to start scoping out it out for our Permablitz next year. So excited!

But I realised I have been very slack and have been HOARDING photos of delectable gardens that I really must share with you all.

First up, here’s a Permablitz we did a month or so ago at Nyree’s place in West Footscray. It was a lot of fun, and so organised! Nyree emailed out an overview of what we would be in for so we knew what tools would be needed and what kinds of things we’d be doing. Then when we turned up they had details of the projects to be done displayed with instructions and lists of materials to be used for them up and everything:

It was a relatively small site, but it’s always so exciting to see just how much it’s possible to fit in!

Here’s the before shots of the front yard – concrete and geraniums.

With an army of ‘blitzers though, the fence was dismantled,

concrete was smashed and ripped up,

beds built and paths made

Look how much bigger the space looks now! Sure beats unproductive concrete

This space has now been planted out as a FRUIT FOREST, veggie beds and sawdust paths.

Meanwhile out the back…

We ripped out some concrete in front of the brick shed, to create a raised veggie bed. Here we’re measuring out where the bed will go by seeing how long the sleepers we have to work with are.

Ripping out that wretched kikuya grass, it even survives under concrete!

Digging a sharp trench to try and stop the kikuya from growing back into the bed

Building the frame

Recycled piece of sheet roofing used as a water barrier so as not to damage the brick of the shed

Thick layer of wet newspaper laid on the bottom, again to hopefully retard any kikuya regrowth

And now the great raised bed lasagne mix. Here a layer of food scraps on the bottom – the bed is quite deep so these will just break down into compost.

Layer of compost and soil

Then a layer of peastraw litter from a friend’s chook house (!), compost, handfuls of blood and bone

Filling up! Though of course, this always breaks down and goes down a fair bit.

Don’t forget to water between each layer.

Ready to plant!

And what was a disused little corner is transformed into a highly productive, sizeable garden bed!

And in true permie style, making the most of every bit of available space, this space under the is being converted into a chook run, and a raised chook house built (no, the cubbie’s not being turned into a chicken mcmansion!)

What a day!

If you live in Melbourne, you may have heard astrologist Stella Woods on RRR or read one of her columns. I’m on her mailing list and she’s generously given her followers $50 gift vouchers to give to friends and family, to go towards either an astrology or tarot face to face reading or phone reading.

The phone readings are a lot cheaper than the face to face ones, so with the voucher you could get a half hour reading for $40. Perhaps you’d like to hear Stella’s take on what 2010 holds for you?

If you’d like one of the vouchers, please drop me a line with your email and postal address.

Let me know by Monday 15th Dec Melbourne time as she is only offering it for a limited time!

Permaculture Out West are holding an open BYO picnic at the Maribyrnong Living Museum this Sunday and you’re all invited!

It’s our end of year get together, and will be part of a full day of festivities as part of ‘Memorybyrnong’ project – celebrating all the stories of people living in the area of Maribyrnong.

If you haven’t been to the Living Museum, here’s a great opportunity to check it out! Situated by the Maribyrnong River in Pipemakers Park, off Van Ness Ave, Maribyrnong (Melway Ref Map 28 B10), it’s a beautiful site. My favourite part is the History Of The Land Garden. View Map

There are other groups holding events throughout the day, Permaculture Out West will be having the BYO picnic from 4pm-7pm. You can come down to say hi, see what we’re about, but it’s also going to be the opportunity to put some faces to the email addresses on the mailing list! Should be a lot of fun.

If you’re REALLY keen, POW will also be having a stall at the Braybrook Big Backyard adjacent to Braybrook Community Garden on Churchill Ave too:

Braybrook’s Big Backyard
Sunday 29 November, 12noon to 4pm
Braybrook Community Centre
107-139 Churchill Ave, Braybrook Park

So much happening out west!

ALSO while I’m at it, this looks like it’s going to be lots of fun too!:

Hope to see you at one of them!

Finally back at the sewing machine!

Here’s the winnings from my efforts this Melbourne Cup Day:

Got up early. Saw my acupunturist before 9am. Went to yoga at 10am. Came back had lunch and got my teeth into this project – a refashioned batik op shop shirt.

Used the trusty Simplicity 3742 pattern that I have used a couple of times. This pattern is SO EASY. It’s in the ‘Easy To Sew’ range for a reason. A good one to do when you haven’t sewn for a while. It’s the first time I’ve used the Elna since I got served and it was so smoothe and quiet and running like a dream! Little workhorse that it is.

I made an obie belt using a very simple pattern out of the June 2009 Burda Modern magazine.

I tidied up the fabric stash this weekend too. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before but all it took doing was clearing out the linen closet, which really doesn’t have THAT much stuff in it and there is more than enough room to fit the fabric stash in there! Now the key is to USE UP the stash, not just keep adding to it. No more fabric shopping allowed until I make a sizeable dent in it.


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