Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year to all of our Asian friends!

Happy Chinese New Year !!!!!!!

(painting of Lin Yue )

Though not as elaborate as Claire would have it among her family home but we had a veritable feast last night :-)
We've been up to Hobart to pick up Max and Sharon from USA who will join us for nearly 2 weeks on HelpX. After arriving, Claire started cooking for us all. Max joined in with some creative interpretation on the dumpling making :-) and Sharon provided the conversation topics while the dumplings boiled.
There was a chicken dish also but we missed out on the whole fish. Claire was too shy to ask me to get it in Hobart and by the time we set down to discuss in depth her customs on Chinese New Year, there was no place to buy a whole fish.
Everything was delicious! Thanks Claire!
The wines I've sent to Hong Kong got there just before the new year celebration began :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Boring you with yet another hike...

Yuko from Japan and Claire from Taiwan are staying with us now. We drove up to the Hartz and hiked 2 hours. Unfortunately the weather wasn't kind to us today and the howling gale and icy wind turned us back from the foot of the summit :-(
But the flora compensated ( the waratahs, the cushion grass and every other plant is in flower) and on the way home we pick up boxes of cherries and apricots. Yummmm....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sour cabbage

Finally we harvested the cabbages and pickled them. They were HUGE! but -most shredded - we could fit all in the pickling barrel.
I use the same formula as for cucumbers. Just salt, spices and herbs. It will take a few weeks for it to go through the fermentation process before it will be ready to eat as it is or used in cooking.
Otherwise last week was like all the others. Work, changing weather, work and some more work :-) It's nice being out in the vineyard. The grapes finished flowering, set the fruit nicely, now they just need sunshine and a bit of warmth to grow. We have plenty of water in the ground, they'll be OK even if will not rain for a month.
I've finished arranging them all under the 3-rd foliage wire, Paul slashed the grass between the rows and he's preparing to spray today, if the wind stops.
The hay is cut. We had 300 bales. We'll sell most of it because the 11 head of cattle doesn't need this much for winter. ( YES, we have a new calf :-) Another brown teddy-bear, this time to Ili, who is the smaller one of the twins.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Duck Hole Lake and Russell Falls

It's good that visitors twist our arms to stop working and smell the roses :-)
Eszter wanted to do the Duck Hole lake walk (where that girl, few weeks back, got lost and the helicopter woke us again at 2 AM flying over the house...she was found safe next day! I'm saying "again" because unfortunately it's a frequent thing in our part of the world that visitors underestimate the seriousness of our backyard. It doesn't look that threatening to wander off the path but within minutes you can get disorientated and lost! Your city sneakers easily slip off the rounded, wet stones or your feet get trapped between gnarly tree-roots breaking your ankle if you fall. The rescue chopper came out twice this week.) This is the lake at the foot of Adamson's Peak. DON'T wander further up the hill! The track ENDS there. It's not signposted further up and the path leads to nowhere from there! It was trodden by other foolish visitors who don't ask for local advise before walking into the wilderness.
You can't get lost at Russell Falls ... ... only if you try very hard :-)) We went with Eszter and Jonathan to check out the Mt. Field NP and drive up to lakes Pedder and Gordon.
Horse Shoe Fall at Mt.Field On the way up we met some locals :-) An echidna busily looking for food and a trout doing the same in a fast flowing creek a small lake and some unusual, fluffy flowers
Next week will be Bruny Island with helpx guest Tammy.
The hand basin in the wash room is ready , so are the cabbages to pick and pickle. They are HUGE ! The biggest cabbages I've ever seen, let alone grow them :-))
Paul is preparing the site for the new shed which will house the wood workshop. He has to move everything out of my living room! :-))

Friday, January 2, 2009

Last week of 2008

It was very busy :-)
Paul installed the kitchen doors and windows and the vanity Since then it has the splash-back tiled.
We went down to Lune River to board the Ida Bay railway It was a pleasant trip through the forest, down to the sea.
The nurses from our small hospital came to celebrate Christmas at St Imre :-) They were full of prise for my first function, despite the less then perfect "function venue" :-) Proper chairs and tables are still in Paul's head, not even drawn on paper yet :-) They will be made in time...he doesn't do drawings :-) I'll see them only when he will start making them.
Later that day we had our family dinner Nice Chrissy this year! We had everybody home in Tassie :-)
Jonathan arrived for New Year's Eve.
They went to climb Mount Wellington today and we'll be driving to Lake Pedder tomorrow.
New additions to St Imre fauna were brought out by their parents from the marshes
4 new black balls of fluff hatched :-)