in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea



leaf studies

Episode 3 of the 2010 Harvest continues!

And it contains some of my all time favourite greenery – gum leaves, soft spongey moss and sillouettes at dusk.

I wish I had a backyard like this…


tea break and breaking news

Let’s take a quick break from the 2010 Harvest episodes for a moment shall we? I have some news.
First – a cup of tea and a biscuit.

tea break

mmm anzac biscuits

You’d be correct in guessing that those are still harvest shots. But how hilarious/retro/kitsch is that crocheted owl tea cosy?! My nana made it and EVERYONE hated it and yet it still survived the decades and continues to grace us with its presence at tea time. I’m also glad that Anzacs biscuits have survived the decades since the first batch popped out of the oven. These ones were particularly delicious, THANKS MUM!, and my brother and I ate more than our fair share when we thought no one was looking.

Now for my news. I’m not sure whether it’s good or bad but…my nannying days are numbered. My sister in law has got a spot for my nephew in a daycare centre now, and even though he is 3 months younger than what they’d decided was a better age to cope with daycare, they are worried they won’t be able to get him a spot when the right time comes.

So I won’t be needing my bottomless carpet bag or flying umbrella for much longer. I will however, be needing a new job. bugger! Which is fine and perfectly reasonable for a women of my age and skills. bugger bum poo! I am sure I will find my dream job advertised on Seek, with a ginormous salary to boot, and they’ll probably hire me even before my interview – as this is my new resume/career plan, a la David Shrigley.

cloud studies

Episode 2 of my harvest shots.

We had some glorious weather over the week – but also some serious rain. 30 mms over night on the Saturday evening. But you can never complain about rain in the country, even if it’s spoiling your productivity plans. Olives have to be pressed within 2/3 days after picking otherwise they start to ferment which wouldn’t make tasty olive oil. Thankfully we weren’t washed out of the grove for too long and after a leisurely breakfast we were back picking olives by 10am. Just in time for morning tea break!

I just get blown away by all the different colours in the sky sometimes. I’d love to know what all the clouds are called too. I’ll put learn cloud names on my To Do list, next to learn all the capital cities of Africa. (I can do Europe already, smart huh!)

And for those who are wondering what happens next, after the olives are all picked – I am working on my ‘school project – How Olive Oil is made’ blog post! Just need to check up on some technical details…wish I’d paid more attention now, don’t I?

Honey, I’m home!

 *Over 10 hours round trip of driving later…*

Home from the Farm. Sigh. I could definitely spend more time in the countryside… I’d be a weather beaten farmers wife any day. In fact I’m ridiculously brown after just one week. And sad about taking my Blundstones off. They were the first thing I’d pull on as I stumbled out of bed each day…I’m dreaming of living the good life with a sheep or two and some pigs and a dairy cow. I rather fancy myself as an Australian version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. River Cottage Down Under! I’d churn my own butter, grow our own vegies, pluck my own chickens…well, I did say I was dreaming!

But did you miss me?! You know I missed you! But I was brave, and lasted over a week without internet or mobile access. Impressive stuff, no? There was much to keep me busy/distracted at this years harvest though. There is never enough time in each lovely day spent in the countryside…

I have a million and one photos to share from the harvest, as you can imagine. So I will try and stagger them over a few posts, so as not to overload you all at once. And then back to my (ir)regular posts of crafting antics and adventures in the city!

But for now I present to you my shots from the East Ridge Olive Grove 2010 Harvest!

**Storm clouds roll in but we’re not scared…**
**A crate full of olives! Just one of many!**
**Brumiracking with the olinet, 
i.e shaking the olives off the bigger trees and catching them in a net!**

**There is always time for a quick pat.**
**Handpicked by Vicky, her motto was “No Olive Left Behind!”**

**Cuddle time. Harvesting is tiring work!**

**My excitable brother**

**Obligatory family photo…**
**Those nails, much like those olives, 
were wrenched from their branches uncerimoniously. 
Such is life.**

And if you like what you see, you’re more than welcome to join us for next years harvest! Stay tuned for more rural themed shots…

it’s harvest time!

Sayonara city – I’m out of here! I’ll be offline for 9 or so days (who’s counting?!) as I head off to my parent’s farm near Mudgee for the annual East Ridge Olive Grove Harvest Festival.

I look forward to this time of year even more than Christmas. It’s got all the elements needed for a great festive holiday – family, friends, copious amounts of good food and wine, good conversation and a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – with the added bonus of fresh clean country air, gentle exercise and the satisfaction gleaned from being involved in the making of the most delicious tasting, award winning olive oil you’ve ever tasted!

Okay so I’m a little biased due to the fact that I helped plant these olive trees for mum and dad and have helped harvest them every year. I think this might be our 5 year anniversary too (I’ll have to check with mum about that though) so it’s going to be extra special. And we’re hoping for a bumper crop – harvest is being held over 2 weekends this year instead of just the one. That’s if the birds don’t eat them all, hail doesn’t destroy them, fires don’t come through the area or Icelandic volcanic ash decends upon us. Tom’s parents come every year and this year they’re bringing extra help all the way from Stockholm. Fingers crossed Dory gets to hop on the plane in time, what with all the delays due to the Icelandic (int)eruptions…

So I’ve packed my Blundstones, an array of colourful beanies, a large stash of wool for making granny squares, my cameras, a book (Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami) and I’m keeping Dad company while Tom and the rest of my family head back home mid week for work/uni. Dad’s hired out a few seasons of The Darling Buds of May for our viewing pleasure. Oh, and The Brittas Empire, which would be loudly voted off the island if the rest of the clan were still there. We share a love of British television, the good, the bad and the extraordinarily, painfully woeful. But that’s just for the evenings of course – I plan to spend my time off scouring the local op shops and snoozing. Bliss.

Just like this…

I’ll miss you, you know. I’m sure I’ll have loads of catching up to do on the interwebs upon my return. Don’t do anything too exciting while I’m gone, will you?

I’ll also miss you Snouting Girl. Sad you won’t be eating rotting rabbits and then getting sick, grousing at the other dogs being the grumpy old fun police, getting dirty with a filthy stinking beard, carrying kindling for the fire and generally being the loveliest dog we’ve ever had. (Sorry to all our other dogs, Cleo will always be my favourite, it’s true…)

R.I.P Cleo Sept 2009

Harvest 09

Forgive me Blogfather for I have sinned. It’s been more than a week since my last post.

I have been slack indeed. It’s just that I came back to the city to find the company I work for has made another round of drastic redundancies (including my entire team) and I have been struggling to pick up the pieces since returning to work. Even though I was not one of the unlucky ones to suddenly lose their jobs it’s still taken a rather large chunk out of my energy and confidence and I just want to crawl into bed and stay there for a very long time.

And so I have put off posting these photos from the farm because that would mean that harvest is well and truly over for the year and I have to go back to my desk and computer. sigh.

Harvest was, as it always is, glorious. I really love being a part of my family and think it’s so wonderful and amazing how people just come and help out, all for free, just cause they love my parents so much.

I wish I had a green thumb and knew more about growing things. I guess if i listened more to my parents I might learn.

Here are some pics from the Harvest. There’s more on my flickr page if you are interested.

The ‘driveway’ up to the house. What a lovely sight to behold after a very long drive…

The sunsets were amazingly stunning each night. A lovely way to end a hard days work. Who needs tv when you have the sky? (Nature’s tele?!)

That’s me upfront. Handpicking the olives was tough this year due to water stress. The poor little things held on for dear life.

Axel the Beagle and Cleo the Old English Sheepdog were some of our official four legged Grove guards!

The spiders webs were amazing that morning, all the dew made them look with pretty beaded necklaces.
My love resting after a lot of hard work! Mum and Dad would be lost without him. (so would I!)

I’ll work on a post showing you exactly how your olive oil is made and get it up soon.

Oh, I also made some tasty baked beans for harvest and a really lovely rose lemonade so I will post recipes soon too!

tree change

I am very pleased to announce that for one whole week and I am fleeing this town and heading to the country for some serious fresh air.

It’s not a sea change, as I already live by the ocean, but more of a tree change. I’ll be swapping Moreton Bay Figs and telegraph poles for Olive trees, Cypress Pines and Eucalyptus.

It’s harvest time at Eastridge Olive Grove and we have several tonnes of olives to pick and process for delicious olive oil!

It’s a special time of year when close family and friends all stay at my parent’s farm to help out with the harvesting. Tom is already there helping Dad & Mum with the pre-harvest activities and I am driving up tomorrow morning with the Cat.

Hopefully, the drive there will be stressfree, unlike last year when I managed to do this to Dad’s Landrover…
It is a funny story in retrospect but at the time – rather bloody awful actually! Although I wasn’t the one who had to run for several kilometres to get help…Thanks Bean!!

Here are a few shots from last years harvest. I’ll be back in a week to take you through the whole process, from tree to kitchen shelf!

P.S Bean we will miss you so much this year. Go Team Slow!! Now with new improved slowness… Bring some European backpackers for next years harvest will you?

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