Monday, July 26, 2010

Lazy Day, Scones and Flat Bread

A really, really, really lazy Sunday after the excitement of Saturday. 

I sat in the winter sunshine for huge lengths of time and knitted (bliss). Linus and Astrid played quietly with not a hint of a "hangover" from the day before and the Historian pottered around in his shed. Oh, the gender stereotypes! Anyway, we had a lovely relaxing day. 

We had scones with blueberry jam and cream for morning tea (A Country Women's Association (CWA) speciality of course. They are perfect looking but can be somewhat rubbery scones (psst. I don't use the recipe in the link, I merely included it for the photo of what a CWA scone looks like for comparison). Mine are rather  ugly looking, irregular, crumbly, crusty on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside...I'm sure they wouldn't pass the muster with the CWA  but am I a terrible person for preferring mine?

Then I made my absolute staple; Crispy Caraway Flatbread to nibble with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc  in the late afternoon. I love this recipe and make it pretty much weekly, I found it on Smitten Kitchen but I find caraway far nicer than rosemary. (of course that's because I adore caraway ). The only other thing I do differently is that I roll it out very thin between 2 sheets of baking paper to make things easier. Then I break it into shards when it cools . . .


Sunday, July 25, 2010


We had our belated birthday party for Linus yesterday. 12 small ones running around hyped up on sugar and excitement! I was too busy to take any decent photos, although I did get my blank canvas cupcakes with meringue decorated them with EVEN more sugar (yay!)

Fortunately we had 5 girls included into the mix which was brilliant when things started to look like they were going "Lord of the Flies"-ish (they keep the testosterone down to a dull roar). Yes, that's the tree-house gang throwing plastic balls at the trampoline crew and vise-versa! I had all manner of clever party games lined up but as always happens - 12 children will make their own faux blood-lust fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm not perfect

I'm far, far from perfect! I try to be non-judgmental but there are whole people and even trees that I can't stand. I can be snobby and impatient and vain. I'm frequently hypocritical and downright bitchy.

And I often feel exactly like this picture. Astrid has brilliantly captured "angry", the caption reads: 
"I feel angry sometimes when my brother says I can't play with his Uberstix until I make a satellite for him but I don't know what they look like" (teehee)

As we're heading towards a Federal election on the 21st of August. I expect to be making this face quite often.  We have the real risk of this pair taking power!

Yes, they are every bit as loathsome as they look.

Let's see: He thinks he's pretty sexy in his speedos and gets his gear off at every opportunity (Tony, just so you know, this isn't working on me, if fact it's pretty much the epitome of "unsexy") and  he has some really dodgy ideas on women (all we apparently really want is to have more children), homosexuals (they "threaten" the "natural" order), refugees (lock up children behind razor-wire) and education (bible studies in all schools).

She is a creepy plastic "Stepford" deputy (on her 3rd Leader of the Opposition) with a death-stare for anyone who dares to disagree with her and a disgusting habit of getting all kittenish around any men.

No, I'm not perfect and I have faults but the world these two represent sends shivers up my spine. Brrrrr....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chitty Chitty

There's a lot of birds living with us. Well, they were here before us, so they kindly share the space with us.

I love watching birds (not in a Gould League sort of way, I think they are nature's entertainers). We have crows and magpies residing out the front and honey eaters and doves out the back.

We also have a fabulous Chitty Chitty (the Noongar name for a Willie Wagtail) living in our backyard.

They are such tiny balls of fury with their wagging tails, flicking wings and the angry chitty chitty sound. This one is, however, extremely happy (and fat) and sings a lovely song most of the time, despite his frown. And why wouldn't he be happy? He has hit the mother-load of bugs in our compost bin!

Going to plant more vegetables in our new vege patch today...digging the ground should make him ecstatic!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Our children are comic geniuses. We're always doubled over in belly laughs at their antics, ideas and conversations. We write down things we remember but I thought this would be a good place to chronicle some of their pearls of wisdom and hilarity.

Ghosts (July 2010)
Astrid - You know, I'm not scared of ghosts. They can't pick anything up because it would go straight through them. So they can't get a sword or anything and those sheets with the eyes cut out aren't scary at all.
Linus - Ghosts aren't real Astrid.
Astrid - (pause)... and that too.

ps. Astrid looks so serious in the photo as she has painted herself to be a tyrannosaurus and they are not funny!

Monday, July 12, 2010


I've been feeling a little glum. I think it's the stress of the past week, the huge amount of kilometres travelled and that many birthdays (including mine) have been disrupted...of course I can't completely rule out a hormonal element.

So to lift me out of the funk, I've been looking at colours to paint our dining room and hallway. This is becoming quite a saga for me. I'm usually a lot more decisive in these things but one of my many problems comes from having got a hold of a paint manufacturer's fan deck - oh, too much choice is turning me into a ditherer.

I love the colour of this room in the magazine (by the way, the chandelier... wow) but "is it this colour? Or more this colour?" etc. Our lounge room and kitchen are both finished (green/blue and blue/green respectively) and since the dining room is in between them, the colour has to tie the other two together (blue/grey would be good). I "think" it's one of these........Rats!!! This isn't working. I think I'll go scrape the door and swear a bit, maybe that will un-glump me!

Winter is still swimming weather...somewhere

Winter holiday in Kalbarri. It's a seaside holiday town with more than a touch of dagginess about 7 hours drive to the north. It is also where the Pale Historian's mum lives.

We had an important 7th Birthday while there. What better way to celebrate than home applied face paint, Tiki-style Mini golf, ice cream and beach cricket at sunset.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Things to Remember

I had to make an emergency road-trip to the Western Desert over the past two days. It was a 1300kms (808miles) round trip. These are the things I already knew but was reminded of on that trip:
  1. The complete incredible wonderfulness of my parents and my sister Dette (well, she isn't actually my "sister" but she is closer and more important to me than just a best friend).
  2. Black coffee and licorice allsorts do not make a good breakfast.
  3. Overtaking 37m (121') road trains is made easier by long straight roads (see above) and sweet truck drivers.
  4. You can find incredible beauty anywhere...although it was easier to appreciate on the return trip while my precious love was back with me.
And one thing I didn't know till now:
  1. When you're alone and frightened the "Free Coffee for Driver" signs can make you feel like you are loved and supported by the whole of humanity (although I didn't avail myself of the offer....yuck!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Elbow Grease

See this door? It's the new bathroom door, or it will be when I've managed to strip off the dirty old varnish and got it back to the lovely Tasmanian Oak. This renovating nonsense is all about elbow grease. Things are constantly rubbed and scraped and rubbed some more with a lot of huffing and puffing and barely audible swearing.

We're all about words (and not always the profane ones) and labour at Aardvark Cottage, so I while I was cursing and scrubbing I got thinking about the etymology of the expression "elbow grease". Sounds like it might have a colourful story, doesn't it? I imagined the phrase being some "Olde English" reference to putting some poultice made of pig fat on your poor aching elbows after a long day vigorously rubbing the family silver (you'll note I didn't say "jewels").

Before moving house our 2 volume Oxford English Dictionary went to live at the Pale Historian's office (wouldn't want anything untoward happening to the OED, would we?) and it hasn't come home yet. The Pale Historian dreams of one day owning the whole 20 volume OED. Mind you, to keep him happy we will need to build a hermetically sealed library to house it and it could only be viewed wearing cotton gloves!

Without the OED to refer to I took to the internets and to my disappointment I couldn't find anything interesting about "elbow grease", save a reference to it being mentioned in 1670 meaning "hard rubbing". But as often happens when you're wandering throughout the internets you can find (well, fall into and I'll be here a while) wonderful things like this site...look up "rule of thumb"...times have changed!