Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Warm Spring Weekend

This weekend was a big one. On Saturday morning we bid our final goodbyes to Hayden's Grandma Ellie. Though we wished we could have been at the funeral in Palmerston North with the rest of the family, we saw that she had a good send-off via webcam. Who said that technology was impersonal? We felt like we were really there. We sobbed along, and laughed along, with everyone else. It was a really nice goodbye.

The rest of the weekend we spent in gentle celebration of spring, and of life. I worked in the veggie garden, planted spring onions, potatoes, lettuce and basil. Hayden took me for a ride on our tandem bike, all up and down the other side of the river. We walked along the beach together. We spread the weekend papers out in the sun and read a bit ... dozed a bit. It was good to feel so warm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good Beans

Coffee drinking just got even more serious at our place.
Hayden got hold of some green beans (ordered off the internet, where else) so he could try his hand at roasting them himself.

Because he wanted to make it a proper trial, he compared his beans to all the other kinds that we currently have in the house (from L to R): Javan, Nuiginian, East Timorese and Indian. Have you had coffee from India recently? It's one of my new all-time favourites.

Hayden's green beans were from Ipanema (you know, like the girl in the song).

Marny and I watched on while Hayden swirled the beans around on the stove in one of our old frying pans. He gave them a nice dark roast and the smell that came out was absolutely nose-tingling. The beans cracked and glistened, just like the proper ones from the shops!

And the taste?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just add Juleps

Mint supply 2, originally uploaded by &Naomi.

So most of our veggie garden is languishing in the 'ideas' stage, but the herb section is going nuts. Look at our mint! Perhaps it's not surprising that the mint has spread out a bit over the last couple of weeks - good rain, spring coming, mint being mint and all that - but I can't help willing it to come on even further. I'm fantasizing mostly of ripping out big handfuls of the stuff to mix into our summer drinks.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Spring 3, originally uploaded by Town and a Half.

It's here!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Living Room

Living Room, originally uploaded by Town and a Half.

Oolong Tea

PICT0035, originally uploaded by Town and a Half.

This time around, I'm trying to be a calmer student. Instead of coffee around the clock, I'm going for Oolong tea.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I've started a course! I'm studying writing - long distance of course, from my laptop out on our sunny verandah.

I'm really enjoying it. The format for contributing my responses to tutorial questions online is a lot like blogging, so no great stretch so far.

But can you imagine blogging - and then getting a mark at the end of semester? Hmm maybe it's time to knuckle down?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Munda Biddi Trail

Opportunities for outdoor exercise are everywhere around here. Hayden is, of course, planning to be part of the Ironman (big triathlon) down the road in Bussleton in December, so recently he has been ramping up his training and we've been out to explore some of the local trails - together.

The Munda Biddi Trail is an enormous mountainbike trail which starts just north of Perth, passes us by in Bunbury and carries on down to Albany on the south coast of Australia. The whole trail is off-road, running mainly through tall eucalypt forest. The Bibbulmun Track is a similarly huge hiking track, on which hikers spend days walking and nights camped in tin sheds. Both of these enormous tracks conveniently criss-cross just a short distance from the door of Hayden's office. I picked him up from work this afternoon with my bike in the back and we gave the Munda Biddi Trail a bit of a go.

The trail is commodious - built for groups of mountainbikers to ride together - so it's perfect for my favourite kind of exercise with Hayden: the Run-Ride. On a Run-Ride, Hayden runs on foot while I pedal effortlessly alongside him on the bike. It does look a bit sadistic when we're going along, and I get lots of comments from people we pass by (including the old 'whip-crack' sound), but really it's a brilliant piece of solutioneering. I could never keep up with Hayden if I was on foot and he would never get enough training in if he slowed down to walk with me. On a run-ride, however, I get a nice long easy ride though the forest while Hayden sweats, working hard beside me for a couple of hours. Also, I get to do most of the talking. If Hayden is really training hard he'll be too puffed to interrupt.