Listening, reading, planting and planning

So here we are in February. The kids are back at school, our eldest back to boarding school and our youngest closer to home. As I write they are both off doing their own independent things and having new experiences with different people. Just like that.

Since school has returned I have been trying to get settled back into a productive routine with some purpose and dusting the cobwebs out of my blog felt like a good place to start. I did actually discover a few cobwebs but that is another story.

I know I have mentioned podcasts before but when I have chores/cleaning or just general things to do, an upbeat, interesting podcast just makes the time disappear.

Right now I am enjoying Blue Print for Living . The episodes are short and cover everything from design to travel. I have particularly enjoyed the episodes with chef Annie Smithers. Annie shares practical kitchen skills from cooking a duck to using salt.

I like to stay updated on the news of the British royal family and Pod Save The Queen is a respectful and interesting conversation.

Also, Company a podcast by Skye Manson. These are just beautiful, dreamy Australian stories that feel like a chat with a great friend.

I listen to my podcasts through Overcast but I am sure there are many others out there.

When it comes to cookbooks these days I am really only interested in books that contain recipes but also some background stories and snippets.  Family, Food and Feelings is cheerful and full of realistic food alongside honest stories about motherhood and life. It feels warm and genuine with Kate’s signature style that just makes me smile.

It is still very dry in our part of the world but thankfully we have enough water to keep the garden and trees alive.  The longer our paddocks remain parched, the more I appreciate the eucalyptus and olive trees that we have planted over the years.  It makes me even more determined to keep them alive.  Lemon verbena has proven to grow well through the hot weather so I have continued to plant this fragrant shrub where ever I can.  When you are on a good thing…

Whenever we take our next holiday it will probably be to one of the bush-fire effected areas of our state. As a family we believe in supporting those businesses and communities and it would be a chance for us to explore somewhere new. Any suggestions from any locals would be great!

If you appreciate old buildings you can get quite lost looking at these Landmark Trust properties. I quite like the idea of renting an actual castle or a charming seaside cottage. A holiday for another time perhaps!

So that is a little of what is happening here. Very soon I hope to share some details on a sourdough workshop that I plan to host in the Broken Hill area. Stay tuned while I wait on a few logistical issues to fall into place.

Happy Sunday, friends x

12 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rose-Marie Appleton

    February 9, 2020

    I cannot tell you just how much I look forward to hearing from you, and life on this parched land that I love so much. So please don’t stop your posts. I only have a desktop computer, not any other whizz bang technology, sadly.
    I love to follow all the new things that you are interested in. A very welcome gift, thank you!
    I live in in East Gippsland, Victoria. A beautiful area now decimated by bushfires.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      February 9, 2020

      Thank you for your lovely comment Rose-Marie. I hope the threat of bush-fires has gone in East Gippsland, for this fire season at least. I appreciate you calling in. Jane

  2. Reply

    Alison

    February 9, 2020

    Dear Jane, thank you for your post. I was only thinking of you last week, wondering how things were going out there in the west. My father is in Orbost and was putting out spot fires. We have been lucky so far in the Dandenongs, we have had an amazing amount of rain. I work in a nursery and one of my customers, who frequently has an open garden, said she had the most rainfall in 16 years. Wow, this country is incredible with its diversity. Thank you for your pod cast recommendations I have been fudging my way through Oxford University lectures on literature and philosophy …. very dry 🙃

    • Reply

      Jane S

      February 11, 2020

      Hello Alison, I am sure your friend who opens her garden will be happy with that rain. That is quite a record! My podcast recommendations seem very frivolous compared to Oxford lectures! Thank you for calling in.

  3. Reply

    Reannon

    February 9, 2020

    Jane, these are my very favourite kind of posts to read. I’m so glad you got it up & posted.
    If you’re looking for any new pods to listen to I’ll recommend How To Fail. Her recent one with Marian Keyes is a bloody corker!
    It’s very dry here in Perth too. While I’m not quite ready for the cold of winter we really do need the rain. Everything is dry, brown & stale. But we are very lucky that fires haven’t been too close to home so I shouldn’t complain.
    Have a lovely week xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      February 11, 2020

      Hello lovely Reannon. Thank you for the recommendation, I will give that one a go! Yes, I am looking forward to autumn. I hope you are having a good week. x

  4. Reply

    Elizabeth

    February 10, 2020

    Hi!
    We have received just over 80mm of rain since Friday morning!!!
    We are in the Eurobodalla area, near Narooma.
    We spent 3 nights this year sleeping in our cars with our clothes & valuables, due to bushfire threats.
    Still haven’t unpacked the boots of our cars but looking forward to that now we have had rain!
    Living in the south coast of NSW, we noticed that the volunteer RFS seemed to be the most regular & largest consumers when it comes to cafes & takeaways over summer. It has been tough with a distinct lack of job opportunities around as well.
    Narooma is a great place to visit, it is less than 1 hour to Batemans Bay, and south you have Tilba, Bermagui and Cobargo in the Bega Valley, all of these towns have been severely affected by the lack of tourists over summer

    • Reply

      Jane S

      February 11, 2020

      Hello Elizabeth, thank you for those suggestions on visiting the south coast, I have noted them! Sleeping in the car through those fires must have been terrifying. I hope the threat has now passed and life is back to some kind of normality.

  5. Reply

    Anne

    February 10, 2020

    I feel my gardening skills are rather lacking as I managed to kill my lemon verbena! I shall have to try again. I have phases of listening to podcasts but can never get into the habit of doing it regularly.
    Storm Ciara has just blown through here. Luckily we weren’t as badly affected as some parts of the UK, but we have trees down and overflowing ditches on the farm. How lovely it would be to escape it all for a few weeks and support some of the places affected by bushfires.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      February 11, 2020

      Lovely to hear from you Anne. I hope those storm conditions have passed, the weather is savage in all parts of the world it seems. Jane x

  6. Reply

    Kate

    February 11, 2020

    I am so with you on Blueprint for Living. It’s such a salve isn’t it? I listen to it while doing chores too, or plug in while I am in the garden.

    Cook books. I read them like they’re an actual book – is that the intent when these things are designed? I imagine it is. I read old cook books much the same way. I’ve not ready Kate’s and have only just come to Ottelenghi’s ‘Simple’. My sister gave me a beautiful cook book for Christmas and I’ve been making my way through these two books but have a yearning to head back to Hetty McKinnon’s books. I always come back to Community and Neighbourhood.

    Your photos, as always, are so beautiful.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      February 11, 2020

      Yes Kate, I do love Blueprint for Living, just a bit of everything isn’t it? I don’t have Community or Neighbourhood but I have admired them often! Thank you for calling in. Jane x

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