A while ago I made the fatal 'buyer mistake' of not really letting my mind do the maths when my eye's were busy popping over the choices in AYU's special 'Bali Buy' for LE members. Being keen to fill up my somewhat empty Biagi bracelet I opted for a few choices that would help fill it quickly. My bracelet, in all reality, was a bit too big - even when I tried filling it will all the glass 'rejects' I had.
Others involved in the buy helped me save on shipping by getting my order in with theirs, so when I got emails jokingly saying "your bracelet wont be to big once these are on it" & making other references to the sizes of my choices, it didn't really concern me too much. How bad could it be?
I knew what I had chosen - & well, 15mm isn't really that big...is it? Oh yes it is!!! What was I thinking? Usually I am pretty good at spatial perception & such, but I'd had an image in my minds eye of all my 10mm diameter spacers & went from there quietly confidant that, in general, beads for the European style bracelets tend to be a bit larger than your normal spacer.
When the Bali beads made it here - I think I just collapsed into a heap of laughter. A single glance at the smallest of them told me they were going to positively dwarf every other bead I had on my bracelet. So they just sat in their plastic bags looking pretty. Until recently.
Fortunately, for me, the fabulously talented team of glass artisans at Seraphim FlameWorks have been producing some stunning large hole beads in a style that I am particularly attracted to. Actually I don't think I have ever seen a bead of theirs that I didn't think was beautiful - some I am just more enamoured of than others. I know full well that their beads are even better in hand than their excellent photo's portray & it never ceases to amaze me that each bead has such a fabulous depth to it, that often they seem to portray a wonderful feeling of movement, almost as if the glass is still flowing.
In particular one of the first sets of "Three Large Hole beads" that Seraphim FlameWorks listed in their Etsy Store caught my eye, or rather just seemed to call me above all others. I am indeed blessed to now be the 'keeper' & wearer of these beads.
The second I saw them I knew exactly what else would now work on my bracelet. Finally some beads that would not be overshadowed by those honking great Bali beads. This combination has drawn a lot of positive attention so far. It certainly got more than one look from the sales assistant at the Pandora counter the other day - I have to admit to feeling somewhat sorry for her, what with the very limited & very stock standard choices in Pandora's range of glass beads.
Now all I have to do is dress up the rest of my bracelet, those centre 3 big hole beads certainly deserve to be accompanied by something a bit better than my 'big hole' rejects & riff raff!!
If you are in the market for some big hole beads - be sure to check out Seraphim Flameworks' Etsy Store when they reopen on January 5th! I know I will be - I have Christmas 'loot' to spend ;o)
guests departed, frantic tidying done so I finally have space & time to torch. Torch area all clean & sorted waiting for some new creations to happen, but what actually happens next? I get sick!! Ah yes - get out the worlds smallest violin & play an appropriate dirge!
Most things I can handle...well actually most things I just don't catch. You know the story - everyone gets sick & start dropping like flies with bugs or bots, but the Mother doesn't...why? Because her system is just built that way, it knows it can't take time out - so if it catches anything it's usually just enough to slow her down & make her feel a bit 'yuk' but not enough to lay her flat out. Well that's my theory for not having had a serious cold or the flu in I don't know how many years.
I have a stupid head cold, body aches & I am feeling darn sorry for myself. My body seems to think that it's OK to adjust it's temperature in dramatic steps...one minute deciding that I am in some overly hot, humid tropical location & the next in Antarctica. Talk about short private vacations!!
When I go to bed at 7.30pm one night (after a 1 hour nap from 5.30 until 6.30pm -lol) I know I'm not well - this owl does not do 'early'. The Mailleman seems to think it's natures way of telling me to slow down - but I have plans for nature. I'm going to pretend it isn't happening & therefore it wont ;o)
Oh well one can still blog in between the temperature changes, even if she can't bear the thought of not being able to hang her stuffed up nose over a hot torch. Of course a certain kitty got wind of this & decided to bring a mouse inside last night & then proceed to chase said mouse around my torch area. Talk about take advantage - just like a naughty child ;o)
So much for an astute studio cat - when he's not doing this, he's bringing mice into the studio. Time for some retraining methinks!
Materialistically I don't have much that I couldn't walk away from if I had to...but there are some things in my possession that are quite precious. Weird things to some maybe - but then again, that's me to a 'T'.
One of those things is my paternal Grandmothers recipe books - not 'antique' by some standards, but I do recall as a youngster that it seemed incredibly ancient to a 7 year old. Come to think of it, when I was 7 anyone over 20 seemed incredibly ancient...there were just varying degree's of ancient ;o)
Honestly, to me at that age, this looked as if it had come from some dig or discovery that had unearthed treasures 100's of years old.
But the reason it's precious to me, the reason that I keep it, is not for the recipes (although there are some goodies in there that I recall fondly) - it's for the handwriting. The fabulously neat & tidy penmanship that these days seems to be something from a by-gone era. written in fountain pen, no less. I recall Granny's writing even seemed old people'ish back then. My Mum's was somewhat more rounded & modern. When it came to my turn to learn to write rather than print, I just couldn't develop a style that I liked - it all looked imature in comparison. So sometime in my early 20'sI finished up with writing & just stuck with some pretty ordinary printing. Maybe I should buy myself a fountain pen & see if that makes a difference. I am a sucker for nice pens!
In complete contrast:
The gift that keeps on giving...well, at this moment in time anyway, that just has to be my new computer. I honestly didn't realise how much ongoing excitement I could get out of what is essentially a 'tool'. I have gotten over having a race with it every time I plug in my camera to upload photo's. Each time I plugged the camera cable in I would squeal with delight at the fact that the photo's were finished uploading before I had chance to sit down. I eventually managed to win that race by sitting down before plugging my camera cable in ;o) My latest excitement is that on Boxing day I decided to test how easily it would get photo's off of other peoples camera's while they were all here, without the need for their camera drivers or cables. I just love that ugly card reader slot on the front now!!!
Put in their card & 'zap' there are the photo's straight into the right folder on my HDD. Plug in the new Digital Video camera that Kieran bought Kerry for Christmas.... & windows picks it up right away & now I have all the evidence needed to hold a smartass son to ransom right there on my HDD as well. Oh yeah I love technology - life is grand, especially when things happen a little easier, a lot faster & with a whole heap less frustration than they have been!!
or at least I know what we did. Kieran, the eternal 'game ho' around this place decided that we needed to play "Cranium" ....slight problem, we dont have "Cranium".
Not to be deterred Kieran made a quick trip to the Mall & back he came with the latest edition of "Cranium WOW".
Now there is a wee story about Kieran. I used to love paying games against him, at least for the first few times. From the time he was 4 years old that kid was a strategist - so any strategy games you could just not win, Battleships, Monopoly, Risk... you name it. I recall getting this awesome game at the time "Connections" - hopefully to play against other adults - because lets face it a 'kid' wasn't going to win unless you let them. WRONG! The 4th time Kieran & I played 'Connections' together he had it figured....after that no-one beat him. He's pretty much the same with any Trivia games - an absolute wealth of useless knowledge, unless it's music & his big brother, Jeremy takes everyone out on that score.
However, Kieran is not at all artistic....he he he!
Soo after the board was set up & the rules explained to us, dear Kieran split us into teams. The cunning little darling composed his team of himself, the Mailleman & Kerry. Mum, Gabriela & I were the other team. Given that Kieran & Kerry have played before.....& Gabriela would need help I don't quite see that as fair. I guess that was the only strategic move Kieran had - since this is not a strategy game. Their team won the first game. Cheats. We shuffled members for the second game, Gabriela went to the guys team & Kerry came to ours. The guys still won. They got lucky. Both the Mailleman & Kieran do have a penchant for knowing facts that can only ever be of any use in a game like this. The best move for game 3, split up the guys - it can only ever lead to trouble anyway ;o) My team won! Finally.
I really do have to say that it was an absolute blast of a game though. I thoroughly enjoyed it...even though I did my best drawing blindfolded. The clay modelling was fun & I don't think we had a answer that wasn't correctly guessed in time. The miming was something else....especially when I had to mime out "Nut Cracker"! That one was a 'Club Cranium' which meant both teams had to have a mime up at once & each team had to try to guess before the other. Guess my miming was a bit better than Kierans .... but then I didn't have an 11 year old on my team & I turned so their team couldn't see me ;o)
If you want to spend an afternoon amidst shrieks of laughter, playing a game that is pretty much suitable for all ages I thoroughly recommend this game. We have Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Dingbats, Win, Loose or Draw...but I really think this one beats them all for the sheer fun factor.
December 26th, Boxing Day & no 'sales' madness for this family. There never has been - although the Boxing Day Sales are only a concept that have developed over the last few years anyway & I'm sure there are many more who ignore them than those who buy into the madness. Fortunately New Zealand hasn't brought into the extremely early opening, mass stampeding mentality that Australia has. For that much at least I am extremely grateful!
Boxing Day in New Zealand is a fixed holiday & always celebrated the day after Christmas irregardless of what day of the week it falls on.
Mum has great stories of Boxing Day celebrated during her childhood in England.....some of them concern her Birthday being forgotten. Her family was a big one. My Papa was one of 7 children, as was my Nana & a large portion of them & their children used to get together at a boarding school, where one of their Uncles worked as a caretaker, while it was closed for the holiday season. I suspect this made for a fabulous, fun filled, family orientated extended Christmas celebration - providing a lot of adventure & mischief opportunities for the kids.
This was passed on to us as children. Both Christmas & Boxing day were always huge family events, & have continued to be so in the traditional way even though nowadays more often than not we don't get to spend it with our adult cousins, scattered around the country as they are.
This was going to be a long post & something of a tribute to my Mum, but for now anyway, I think I shall just leave out all the other stuff, say bugger to all the commercial crap that has now become associated with Boxing Day & wish my darling Mum the most wonderful 71st Birthday a girl could wish for. Yes - she still is a girl inside, no matter what the packaging says. Her somewhat naughty sense of humour & fierce independence will attest to that! Not to mention the fact that apart from the youngest crop of grandchildren - we are all now taller than her! Oh, how she does complain about that one - saying that she has always been 5'5 1/2" & wanting to know where that other two inches has now gone. She's not kidding either - we were the same height!
A few visuals of a wonderful day shared with family.... & far too much food, as usual! Did I say we had Christmas in summer? You could have fooled me, it dawned overcast & proceeded to try & rain on & off all day. Never mind though! A wonderful time was had by all... especially the kids, & I don't just mean the little ones ;o)
Gabriela's main present was almost forgotten, & left tucked behind the tree (so as not to be too obvious). She was not terribly amused.lol!
Darling wee Sasha, one of my nieces.
Michaela offering Finn a helping hand on the 'family' Christmas present my brother bought for his tribe.
This is what happens when my mum is let loose with a camera. She's threatening to have it printed & framed....apparently the nicest photo of me in a while.
I got 'the look' - probably more so for what I said. I'm calling this one "Military Exercise" ;o)
Jeremy - I really like this photo of him.
Michaela - this is priceless. Her big brothers surprised her with an electric guitar & amplifier. At this point it hadn't quite sunk in what had just been put in her lap. Her later reactions were the highlight of my day.
A relatively decent shot of the boys, Kerry & I...well OK, it's a good one of the boys anyway!
It's officially Christmas here in New Zealand, a little after midnight & now 25th December!
I'd like to take the chance to wish everyone who visits my blog a wonderful Christmas. May you & yours keep safe & warm, enjoy precious time with family & extended family
A bit of a mixed bag really - I've always wanted a nice nativity to display at Christmas time, but have never had one, so thought that I'd treat myself & display this image on my blog.
The other thing I'd like to share are my favorite lines from "The Grinch"
He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it came! Somehow or other it came just the same. And the grinch, with his grinch feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling & puzzling "How could it be so, It came without ribbons, It came without tags, It came withoutpackages, boxes or bags!"
He puzzled & puzzed 'til his puzzler was sore, Then the grinch thought of something he hadn't before "Maybe Christmas", he thought "doesn't come from a store." "Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more...."
I have been trying to grow my hair.... trying being the operative word. I did longer hair through until the early 90's & frankly - it was just too much like hard work. My hair is fine & silky, it has a will of it's own, a cowlick in the front & some pretty darn determined idea's of what direction it wants to grow in in other area's - if I want it to stay in any given style, it takes two things I have very little time for these days, product & a blow dryer. Blow dryers & product are not the best of things for fine hair.
Frankly I liked it about 8 months ago - dead short, probably about an inch long all over, textured & all it took was a squirt of shampoo the size of half a peanut to wash it, about the same conditioner (not that it even needed conditioner) & it was dry before I had been out the shower for a minute. Self maintaining - yep that's my type of hair. If I wanted it to look a bit 'trendy' I could put a tiny bit of product in it & give it a lift..... & risk being called 'sonic' the next morning.
I am also extremely picky about my choice of hairdressers as fine hair isn't that easy to cut, without leaving scissor marks & such. Lets face it when you are going that short....well there ain't a lot of room for error. The problem is that my two best ever hairdressers have issues - they get pregnant.... the cheek, I know!!! ;o) It appears they take turns at this, then take maternity leave for ages before going back to work part time....& it seems one can never get an appointment with them because they are always fully booked out, then when you finally do start getting appointments - they get pregnant again.
So today I got a little radical, decided to take my life in my hands & went to the first hairdressers that had a 'slot' before Christmas. I made sure that she wasn't planning on getting pregnant - just in case I liked what she did. She seemed reluctant to cut my hair as short as I wanted it, so I just went with the flow as I had to admit that at least when it is longer it does have some colour to it - it just looks kind of mousy when it's dead short.
I don't know that I am entirely thrilled - but hey at least I can get the rest cut off if I decide I really can't live with this.
So here is the before - fluffy fine frou frou approximately 8 months growth......
And here is the after - just a bit shorter.....
Yep - in both shots you can see that it grows & goes in whatever direction it wants to! Believe it or not that cutting across the back is perfectly even - it just dried in whichever kinky way it wants & looks as if a chunk has mistakenly been cut out. Another good reason to have it cut close in to my head if you ask me.....I mean who has time to look at the back of their hair every day?
The front - well you aren't seeing that. It still reminds me of Hugh Grant when his hair flopped all over his face. If I get used to it who knows, I might get brave. If I don't the next step will be back to my Jamie Lee cut ;o)
I'm still wondering what it is with female hairdressers & their aversion to cutting another females hair dead short. I'm sure that Jamie Lee Curtis never has this problem ;o)
Well the title's not a complete fabrication - I'm sure the reason Mum was named Carole is because she was born on Boxing Day (26th December), not due until the New Year but my Nana ate too much Christmas dinner...or so the story goes ;o)
On Friday I'd rung Mum & suggested that we get together & make some shortbread. I love Mum's shortbread I told her my memory needed refreshing & that I'd like to watch the seasoned maestro in action - hehehe. She brought it????
Knowing my penchant for sunshine, & the likelihood of me cancelling if it was a hot sunny day - I rather suspect that someone was watching me when we woke to this!
Of course I donned appropriate summer footwear for a rainy day (ever practical....that's me)
Let the baking begin!
Mum's 'basic' Shortbread recipe:
1/2 lb butter
2 1/2 cups standard flour
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
When I saw Mum squinting at the scales I suggested that she actually wear her glasses.... then quickly took a photo of her when everything was mixing up. She has her shortbread recipe down to an art - & is more concerned with the correct texture than the exact amounts of anything.
Cream the softened butter, & icing sugar until light & fluffy, almost white. (Pour gin & tonic each whilst these are creaming away merrily.)
Gradually add the flour & cornflour, sifted together . Now when Mum says gradually - she means gradually & letting it mix in well between each addition (this gives you time to throw together some crackers & camembert to have with the G&T).
You may or may not use all of the flour, the important thing is to stop adding when you have a soft dough that has just reached the stage where it no longer sticks to your mixer or fingers, if you pick up a bit & pinch it between them.
Have a sip of your G&T, & empty the dough onto a lightly floured surface & form into a log.
Rolling, rolling, rolling until you have
Slice, not too thinly (Mum makes each slice about 10mm thick)& squeeze the log back into shape between each slice.
Place on a baking tray that is carefully being guarded by the G&T.
Place in an oven that has been preheated to 150 celsius - 300 fahrenheit for 30 minutes, checking from 20 minutes onwards - it the bottom is lightly golden, it's done! If the bottom is still pale it just doesn't taste the same.
Ahh the part I was waiting for, licking the mixer - a 40 something year old daughter who really only wanted to relive her childhood & see if licking the mixer was the best part of the whole process! Perhaps it's the second best thing - these days it seems that warm shortbread fresh out of the oven is the best part.
** This was my Grandmother's (Granny Batten) recipe & traditionally it was rolled flat, cut into squares, pinched at the corners & pricked a couple of times with the fork before being baked. I clearly recall 40 odd years ago watching Mum make it that way & it all sticking to the bench top & tearing when she went to put the spatula under it to remove it. With an exclamation of 'bother - there has got to be an easier way than this' she scooped up the lot rolled it into the log & started slicing , the method she uses today.
Just imagine for a moment that money wasn't an issue, price was no object & you could buy anything that took your fancy....anything at all! I somehow suspect that after a very short while it would become a hollow form of fulfillment, but in the meantime a girl can dream...can't she? I'm not talking the big things like cars, luxury holidays or the lastest electronics & gadgets (although no doubt I could compile a list of those in no time flat!). More like the smaller stuff - something that you can put on, or immerse yourself in & just for a wee while be somewhere or someone else, items that enable one to imagine a different time or culture just by looking at it or touching it.
I've always had a taste for the exotic or tribal & have always liked things that are just a tad different from the 'norm' - here in conservative New Zealand, it doesn't take so very much to fall into that catagory, so Etsy provides me the eye candy with which to fuel my daydreams.I don't 'drip' with jewelry on a daily basis - but I do love the stuff. So I'm starting with that!
The hardest part is narrowing down the choices - there is still so much on Etsy I haven't discovered, & for fear of you all wearing out your scroll buttons with my picks I am limiting myself to 7 items from stores I've been watching & want to share.Be warned I tend to look for my favorite stones & metals when it comes to Jewelry - topping that list would have to be silver, turquoise, silver, carnelian, silver, coral, amber, silver, onyx...oh & did I mention silver?
Dragon Elements Necklace
#1. First up a store I discovered a few days ago. Instant love at first sight on my part I'm afraid. Designer Liz Hall's Store "Lizards Jewelry" on Etsy is a showcase of her incredible talent & obviously an inherant eye for putting just the right elements together. Also take a look at her website at www.lizardsjewelry.com - everything is absolutely stunning. A quick tour of some of her pieces can also be found on Youtube.
The Ultimate Stacker Set - 8 Rings in Sterling Silver
#2. Yum! Hand forged & shaped silver. Isn't this set of rings just divine? Imagine the combinations & possibilities - I love concepts like this. Jen's bio states "A Blond And A Torch offers artisan crafted metal jewelry that is simple and organic, yet elegant" & that pretty much sum's it up perfectly. More enticing combinations can be found at Jen Nixons Etsy Store A Blonde and a Torch .
Big Copper Carnelian Pendant
#3. This wonderful pendant was discovered (& added to my favorites whilst looking for something entirely different) in Jeannie Wray's Etsy store "JW Style" was this superb copper & carnelian pendant. Jeannie lives in Missouri & is a multi talented artist. Her store is well worth a visit.
Decorative Dangling Earrings
#4. These artists don't give a name, but I like their work & in particular some of the mixed metals showcased in their earrings. Years ago I figured the secret to being able to mix metals in other jewelry was to have a central piece like these. Check out the items in "NorthWest Goods" store.
Tibetan Ghau with Coral
#5. Anne Singer of Silk Road Jewelry obtains focal pieces from all over the globe to use in her creations. Some are new & some are vintage pieces, irregardless it seems that she has a great talent for finding just the right accent beads to go with them to create a wonderful timeless piece & is able to showcase many fabulous items in her etsy store, including this fabulous Moroccan Tuareg Pendant.
On A Turquoise Cloud Bracelet
#6. I can't find out a whole lot about this seller, but could not bring myself to leave out this fabulous Tuquoise & Silver bracelet....simply because I love the less structured effect of naturally shaped chunks of turquoise combined with the wire wrapping. Take a peek at the Etsy storeSirensDesigns.
Lhasa Mens' Necklace
#7. Linda creates some very cool, very tribal pieces. Happily mixing old & new she comes up with some great results. Even though this is a males necklace - I'd wear it, & quite happily. This & many other tantalizing creations can be found in Linda Lou's Etsy Store Glasspondstudio. There are also many more collections on her website at www.glasspondstudio.com.
New Zealand's Pohutukawa tree - because of the fact it flowers at Christmas it is now known as the Kiwi Christmas Tree.
Well I have to do something that is remotely 'Christmassy' - so I figured some images of things that us Kiwi's associate with Christmas might be in order. I look at the blogs of others & they are resplendent with images that I associate with my Mum's tales of a white northern hemisphere Christmas.
You know this 'heat lovin' southern hemisphere chick almost feels kind of envious!
Over the years New Zealand has taken on it's own Christmas icons, even whilst retaining a lot of the northern hemisphere traditions bought here from the United kingdom by our fore bearers. We still have the traditional turkey, cake & fruit mince pies, Christmas pudding & brandy sauce, trifle, eggnog, Christmas crackers, & always, always a batch (or two or three) of buttery shortbread. Then there's the traditional Christmas tree, although I did see one not so long ago decorated entirely in brightly coloured miniature flip flops!!
Some of it has always seemed rather incorrigible in the southern hemisphere sunshine & heat - with not much likelihood of snow & no need for wonderful roaring open fires, so many traditions have evolved. My memories as a child consist of a bunch of tanned youngsters spending all the time they could at the beach or in a pool swimming, many picnics & numerous family outings. We sat down long enough to eat dinner....if forced!
Fresh Fruit Salad - almost like mine!
These days a lot of Kiwi's now have BBQ's instead of the traditional dinner, years ago we replaced turkey with chicken (my fault - turkey is not something I have ever enjoyed that much) & glazed ham.... I don't like that either, but hey I'm content with chicken & Mum's stuffing! With too much of the heavier winter fare not sitting well on warm summer days, desserts often consist fresh fruit salads, & pavlovas - although I have yet to see a Christmas without the pudding & more often than not the trifle as well, albeit a lighter version.
Ahhh Kiwi Christmases can be a real blend of the old & the new.
A Real Kiwi Pavlova
Now Australia likes to lay claim to having invented the Pavlova - while searching around for a good description (instead of just saying an 'over sized meringue') I found this:
“The pavlova is an Australian or New Zealand dessert, a single-layered meringue cake with a crisp crust and soft, marshmallow centre, topped with whipped cream and fruit. The confection was popularised when the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured Australasia in 1925. Whether the final perfecting and naming of the cake was the achievement of Australians or New Zealanders is a matter of national rivalry. One explanation of the pavlova’s origins is that a West Australian chef found a recipe in a New Zealand women’s magazine and adapted it – an explanation which happily gives each country its own piece of the cake.”
Sorry – but this just tickles me. It has long since been established that the first published recipe for it was found in a New Zealand cookbook. So given the fact that this states it was published magazine…the real question is “should there even be any debate?” – lol! The aussie's at best might have re-named it ......
Another jewelry design created by my friend, Rose, using the bead "Distant Shores". She has named it Meriel which is gaelic for Shining Sea, what a perfect name. I'm thrilled that she is keeping this piece for herself, hopefully I shall get to see it worn at some point.
Inspiration has eluded me recently, somehow suffocatingly close 6" wooden fences doesn't quite cut it. I've looked back through past bead photo's to see if I am tempted to revisit anything - the verdict there was 'not really'.
Not a particularly great time of year to go for a cruise around the city & take in the sights. Out there is busy, everyone seemingly consumed with the pre-Christmas rush....so all that I feel tempted to do is flee home to the relative peace there.
What to do? A quick trip around the garden, such as it is, & I found myself patting myself on the back for at least bringing one of my favorite flowering plants with me to this place.
The delicate tracery of Astrantia major. I have always loved the simplicity of this flower. It reminds me of fairies somehow & to see it growing en masse is a magical sight to behold.
I picked a few that were starting to open the other night & brought them inside. Today I went back outside & wondered if these would ever look as they had in past my gardens, planted in groups & allowed their freedom.
Whilst they may not be my beloved english roses, lily's, iris, or many of the more colourful scented perennials that I so miss, I did realise that I was pleased that I had thought to at least bring a few little pieces of my favorites with me in order to put my stamp on this rental we moved to a little over a year ago.
Things have established themselves quite well in the last year, I've managed not to lose a single hosta, the Thalictrum rochebruneanum (meadow rue?) looks like it has always been there & the Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantel - see I do know some of the common names!!) is settling in nicely.
While I love the soothing effect of the all greenery I brought with me - I do miss having having some distinctive colour & a house situated in such a way that the garden can be viewed from the living area.
Hmmmmm! I just realised that some rather insidious convolvulous is creeping it's way in. One day I shall be blessed enough to have a garden without that particular nuisance!!