If October could be summed up in one word, that word would be mulch.
It’s been a good month for gardening with lots of warm, still days, so the Big T and I have been super-busy making new borders and raised beds, sewing seeds, weeding, planting and transplanting — you know the drill.
Early on we took possession of a mulch mountain and have gradually eroded it to barely a hillock.
And while the garden now looks significantly different, it’s really not photogenic. But with luck (and a bit of rain), by November’s Changing Seasons, I’ll have something to show you that looks more interesting than relocated piles of mulch.
In the meantime …
Apart from gardening, I don’t feel as though I’ve done mulch at all in October (see what I did there).
NZ’s general election seemed to split the month in two, and it’s only with hindsight I realise how anxious I was about the outcome. In the end, the Labour Party made history by being the first under our proportional representation system able to govern outright. While this does mean the government can’t blame inaction on conservative coalition partners, it also means that the Green Party, despite an increased number of MPs, won’t necessarily have a place in government. And NZ’s woeful record on addressing climate change and basic issues of social justice will probably remain woeful.
But in the spirit of accepting personal responsibility for our part in the climate disaster, T and I abandoned the car and took a ferry into central Auckland on a recent visit to the art gallery.
I continue to play with art materials; more for the joy of experimenting than with any particular result in mind. Alcohol inks and air-dry clay are my current favourites.
About the Changing Seasons
In last month’s Changing Seasons post I asked for feedback about the guidelines for posting, which have been unchanged since this challenge was established by Cardinal Guzman in 2015.
Thanks for all your comments.
The general feeling seems to be that we’re mostly happy that the structure allows us to share our reflections on the month in whatever way suits us, and the guidelines are mainly for anyone new to The Changing Seasons.
The things that were mentioned were the limit on photo numbers and the requirement to only use new images. Most people who mentioned the shot limit agreed it was a good idea (though we all admitted to exceeding it).
I am aware that most of us follow a very large number of blogs and do so actively — engaging with the content beyond simply hitting the “like” button. My own view is that having people read my blog is a privilege I must continue to earn by doing my best to be interesting, and respecting the value of your time and engagement. For me that means editing the text (and then editing it again) and trying to only use images that help tell the story.
As for the requirement to use new images; I’ve always seen that as a request not to bore readers by recycling shots they have already seen.
I had planned to include draft text of some updated guidelines here, but as I’ve already written more than usual, I’ll do that in a separate post.
Until then, feel free to add comments to my musings, and of course link to this post in your own so that I can update accordingly.
Tracy from Reflections of An Untidy Mind
Tish at Writer on the Edge
Sarah at Art Expedition
Suzanne from Life at No. 22
Pauline from Living in Paradise
Natalie from Natalie the Explorer
Lani from Life, the Universe and Lani
Ju-Lyn from All Things Bright and Beautiful
Brian at Bushboy’s World
Gil at Talking Thailand
Wherever you are, and whatever is happening in your world, Kia ora koutou katoa (Greetings. Hello to you all).
I thought we’d take our tea outside this month. In the last 24 hours, the wind has dropped and the sun has come out. And while my back garden is very much a work in progress (yeah, ignore the wheelbarrow full of mulch), there is plenty of space for us to spread out and share a cuppa.
Last month I joked I might resort to serving shop-bought gingernuts with our tea. This month, without the excuse of surgery, my energy levels seem to have dropped even further, and I haven’t felt much like baking.
So I am actually serving gingernuts.
But they are home-made.
And they hold together quite well when dunked.
And I found a pretty plate to serve them off.
I’m not entirely sure why I feel so meh. I know it’s been a crap year, but I also know that the impacts of Covid-19 are rather less in New Zealand than in many parts of the world. And we’re heading into summer, while many of you are facing rising infection rates and the approach of winter.
I suspect that a major source of my anxiety is that we’re in the midst of a general election, and I am genuinely concerned about the outcome. Our current Labour-led coalition government is far from perfect, but the prospect of the right-leaning National party regaining power horrifies me.
Election day is this Saturday.
In the meantime, I continue to plant seedlings, shovel mulch and direct the Big T’s splendid efforts in constructing new raised beds.
And when my hands aren’t covered in dirt, I’m baking bread.
Why a virtual tea party?
When Del (at CurlsnSkirls) and I started talking about a virtual tea party, we saw it as a fun way to share our love of kai and korero. It is that of course, but for me at least, it’s also an affirmation of how important you — my blogging whanau — are to me. Over the years you’ve shared your thoughts, stories, advice and support and I really would like to invite you all round to mine and cook for you.
But since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, I hope this will do instead.
I’d love to hear from you. What are you doing/reading/making? Your thoughts on the food, the drinks, and whatever I’m rambling about. What’s making you happy or pissing you off? Your comments make blogging so much more interesting.
And if you’d like to contribute a post of your own — even better. Maybe a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it. A recipe if you like.
I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.
#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)
Yvette at Priorhouse blog brings us oolong tea (or coffee) and cashews
Jo from Restless Jo always brings such yummy cakes. I’m a lemon meringue pie fan, but pop over to Jo’s post to see what else is on offer.
Ladyleemanila is enjoying some jaffa cakes with her cuppa — and a fab-looking jigsaw puzzle.
Irene at My Slice of Mexico has made some delicious-looking finger sandwiches with fresh herbs from her garden, cream cheese and home-made bread. Heaven! Oh and there are some Garibaldi biscuits too.
My friend Sarah at Art Expedition has a wonderful way with flavours. Who can resist toasted banana bread with walnuts and goji berries — topped with Nutella. Yum.
Sheree at View from the Back has an absolute feast of afternoon tea treats.
Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind has made a delicious apple and ricotta cake. Excuse me while I go make a coffee to drink with it!!
Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful has not only brought delicious-looking gingerbread cheesecake bars, but shared the recipe too.
And Amanda at A Home by the Sea has used another of Ju-Lyn’s recipes to make some fantastic cinnamon rolls.