Our Garden – July



It’s been a quiet month in the garden. I’m trusting that seeds we’ve planted are germinating and growing underground, waiting to shoot when warmer weather arrives.

A highlight has been these deep pink camellia blooms. The buds were covered in aphids and ants so I was delighted that one spray treatment resulted in such beautiful flowers.

We’ve trimmed our variegated hedge.

We used sprigs pruned from the rosemary bush to make lamb kebabs. They cooked nicely on the barbeque. Yes we are the crazy neighbours who barbeque in the dark on cold winter evenings.

I’ve been buying a gardening magazine and watching back shows of Gardening Australia on tv. I have a lot to learn about gardening in this vast southern land.

As we come to the end of the month there are signs that spring is around the corner with dwarf narcissus appearing. And today, another camellia has bloomed. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the colour in our winter garden.

#PlasticFreeJuly – Positive Changes


Three weeks into this challenge and I’ve made some positive changes

I’ve stopped using plastic produce bags that are provided in our supermarkets. I’ve bought reusable produce bags, some cotton ones, others that are made from recycled plastic bottles. They work well for shopping and keeping cauliflower, lettuce, etc in the fridge.

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Where possible I’ve bought produce from farmers markets or at local shops.


Some items on the checklist have been easy to tick. For over a year, I’ve been using a keep cup for any take away coffee. We have metal drink bottles that we take out instead of buying water. At home we have a Soda Stream for sparling water or flavoured drinks. I don’t use straws and haven’t bought balloons for many years, although balloons were always a part of birthdays when our daughters were young.

I guess I’ve been making conscious decisions for a while. When we moved and had an outdoor washing line again, I bought metal pegs, not plastic ones.


We have also changed to a sustainable, ethical, plastic free toilet paper, made from bamboo.


We are far from being “plastic free” but we are making changes and reducing the amount of plastic that we buy and place in our recycle bin.

Work anniversary



I have been in my current job for twelve months. It’s nice to celebrate my first anniversary with this Aged Care service provider.

I enjoy my admin and finance work, processing supplier invoices, creating client contribution bills, taking phone payments and reconciling our bank account. I admire colleagues who deal directly clients, organising the services they require. I admire our Social Workers, Exercise Physiologists and others who visit clients in the home. I’m happy in the background working the numbers. And I can knit at work!


This company has a great ethic of health and wellbeing for clients and staff. We have a monthly staff program that encourages us to step away from our desks, computers and phones for a few minutes during the work day. We have team exercise challenges, we’ve had “Where’s Wally?” hunts around the office. Most recently we were all encouraged to knit squares for a charity blanket. We all took turns knitting a few rows of the squares, during our work day. It inspired several new knitters and created a warm, colourful blanket.

We write on the bathroom mirrors, compliments…. a gratitude journal. All these ideas create a friendly and joyful workplace.


Sunday Stroll – Tranmere Coastal Path



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This morning I stepped out for a stroll along our local coastal path.

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It was a chilly 8°C with a good covering of snow on Mount Wellington, across the river. But with more heavy rain forecast it was good to get some fresh air.


Yesterday was rain all day so I did some chores then spent the afternoon with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. The joy of afternoon movies on a winters day 🙂


#PlasticFreeJuly – Beeswax Wraps


Beeswax wraps are an easy alternative to cling film or single use plastic food bags. They are reusable, washable and last up to twelve months. They are becoming increasingly popular here.

We started using them to wrap cheese in the fridge and they have been great. We now use them for wrapping leftovers, cooked meat. Also for sandwiches and snacks. I must try them in the freezer.

Beeswax wraps are made by infusing squares or rectangles of cotton with a mixture of food-grade beeswax, pine rosin and oil, usually jojoba or coconut. The waxy coating makes the cloth waterproof, but breathable and “sticky” like plastic wrap. I have bought ours but apparently they are easy to make yourself. That is a challenge for another day.

Have you seen them or used them?

A Big Sing



It’s the fifteenth year of The Festival of Voices in Southern Tasmania. A two week celebration of choirs, solos, a cappella, duets, various music styles, many free events, some ticketed concerts, workshops.

The highlight is the free open air “Big Sing Bonfire” held in Salamanca Place. Last night was a perfect still, mild evening, attracting a large crowd covering all generations.

The crowd was in good voice, joining a band and performers on stage, singing along to Queen, Abba, Carole King, Aretha Franklin and others. The finale was “Love is in the Air” by John Paul Young which everyone sung in three part harmony. Such a joyful evening.


Before the bonfires and once they were alight.


A foggy morning




Hobart and its suburbs were shrouded in fog when we woke this morning. The fog ebbed and flowed down the River Derwent all morning, giving glimpses of the opposite shore.


This particular river fog is called “Bridgewater Jerry” and is rather stunning, fast moving, appearing like a scarf or ribbon flowing down the river.IMG_3632IMG_3628IMG_3645

Plastic Free July – Single use plastic bags


The first Australian town to completely ban non-biodegradable plastic bags was Coles Bay in Tasmania, back in 2003.

In 2013, Tasmania banned single use light weight plastic bags. So we were dropped straight into the expectation of taking our own reusable bags to shops and supermarkets when we moved here. We have a stash of bags in the boot of our car, I have a couple in a drawer at work and I have a few … ok… lots of canvas bags at home that I swap about and use regularly.


I am turning into a bag lady. My Mum has always carried her own shopping bags. I now appreciate the habits of previous generations. I remember going to local shops with my Nana, where the greengrocer would weigh and drop produce into the bottom of her shopping bag, potatoes first, then carrots and other heavy vegetables, lighter or fragile fruit and salad on the top. No plastic bags, no separation, just occasional paper bags.

A few retailers in Tasmania offer reusable plastic bags. Many offer paper bags.


Saying no to single use plastic bags is an easy challenge for me to tick.


Plastic Free July



I’ve signed up to be a part of “Plastic Free July”.

The campaign started in Western Australia in 2011. Last year, 120 million people across the globe took part in the challenge, across 177 countries.

I won’t be able to be totally plastic free but I can begin by simply saying no to the top four most prolific single-use plastics:
~ plastic bags
~ water bottles
~ take away coffee cups
~ plastic straws

I hope the month will make me take notice of the plastics I do buy, what habits I can change or products I can switch to reduce our overall household waste, to reduce our recycle bin and make a contribution to tackling the worlds plastic pollution problem.

Here is a link to their website for more information, suggestions or to sign up for the challenge.

Our Garden – June



Our front garden has become more colourful this month with this show of nemesia flowers.
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I have pruned the half dozen rose bushes and had some pretty blooms in a vase indoors.

We planted a herb pot on our balcony which is going well. Mint, thyme and coriander were established plants. The rocket seeds in the top section are growing nicely.DSC03886IMG_3550

In the back garden we have kept it tidy. I planted a few seeds in our veggie patch. The spinach is looking strong, carrots and Romanesco broccoli were sown a few weeks later so have yet to appear.

I cut back a rosemary bush and harvested some rhubarb. There wasn’t enough for a pie or crumble so I chose to make a rhubarb relish, which we will enjoy with cheese and biscuits.

We have a compost bin again and are happy to make productive use of our food waste.IMG_E2923

It’s been a relaxed and pleasurable month in our garden 🙂