A funny thing happened on the way here 1

April 20, 2014



I live in a pretty conservative little neighbourhood. There are picket fences. Birds chirp pleasantly, dogs are sniffy and friendly on approach. But today I ran into a neighbour and, well, she wasn’t wearing any pants. That’s right. Top? Check. Undies, beige and satiny? Check. Trousers? Pffff. Hell no. It was….shall we say…a *brief* greeting (ho ho!) and quick chat as she got a few things out of the car. We made small (s?!) talk and then went our separate ways. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. I did the most mature thing. I acted like sans-pantaloons was completely normal and then, as I walked out of earshot, starting giggling uncontrollably. It was Awesome. I am really hoping she is not wearing pants next time I see her as I think I will give her a high-five.

Neighbourhoods are funny things, aren’t they? We’ve not really been part of a neighbourhood, a regular one, for a long time. We’ve been nomads for so long I am finding it really fascinating to finally settle down into a place. A nice, normal neighbourhood with good schools and a low crime rate and where the locals sometimes strut about in just their knickers. Meh. Shrug.

{To be honest I’m relieved and buoyed to encounter a little crazy. I was just saying to a friend recently that I feel a bit uncomfortable and find it hard to trust people who keep all their crazy on the inside. Everything’s fine! I’m fine! Life’s fine! C’mon now, show us a little no-trousers calamity.}


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Sweet Little (Easter) Something 1

April 18, 2014

Hi there, Easter Weekend! It’s time for a Sweet Little Something – an end of the week morsel that we would love your comments on. It may be a photograph, a link, a poem…some tidbit of inspiration. Leave us a note or create a haiku for a photograph if it takes your fancy. We love hearing from you.

From Hannah:


From Ria:


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Sick Tea 4

April 13, 2014

I wanted to write a post about the arrival of spring, the chirping of birds and the buzz of bumblebees in our glass-walled studio. (Maybe I just did, in a single-sentence-blog-post kind of way). Okay–have a photo too.


But, I am sick. This is supposed to happen in the winter, right? What’s this sneaky virus doing bothering me in April? (I know, I know, plenty of sickness occurs in the warm months, but it should be confined to winter, I say. Universe: make it so.)

Instead of reaching for my garden spade, I reached for the ingredients for my go-to sick remedy. Sick tea. I should really rename it. I’m a writer. I mean, come on.  “Sick” is not one of the ingredients, and all of the actual ingredients are perfectly good recipe-name possibilities. But I’m sick. So I haven’t. You can have a go if you like.

[In a perfect world, I'd also be making Jeni's Influenza Prescription sorbet, with all the best things for a sore throat. I digress, but you should check it out.]

Sick tea has only three ingredients. Well, four if you include the water. Ginger, lemon and honey. But it is the best, THE BEST for sore, scratchy throats and general malaise.

You peel a good two inches of fresh ginger and chop it fairly small, then boil it in a saucepan full of water for about ten minutes. I let mine steep in the water overnight, or all day, until I’ve drunk all the tea and need to start again. The longer you leave the ginger in, the spicier (read: better) the tea gets. To drink, just pour the tea through a small strainer into your tea cup (either hot or cold-t0-be-reheated), add a few squeezes of lemon juice (and throw the lemon slices in too if you want), and a bulging teaspoon of honey. I always want to be generous to myself with the honey when I’m sick. (Or when I’m healthy, come to think of it.)


And now I must shuffle to the kitchen to make another batch. What do you like to drink when you’re sick? And what comfort foods do you crave? Don’t get me started on the cantaloupe I’m coveting right now…

XO (sniff)



Sweet Little Something 6

April 11, 2014

Hi there, Weekend. It’s time for Sweet Little Something - an end of the week morsel that we would love your comments on. It may be a photograph, a link, a poem…some tidbit of inspiration. Leave us a note or create a haiku for a photograph if it takes your fancy. Like these musings for Homer the alpaca, bless him. We love hearing from you.


From Hannah:


From Ria:



Oh the places you will go 6

April 5, 2014

There are so many exciting things to tell you.


photo 1


When I was in my mid-twenties I travelled around Europe with my friend Brad in a second(probably fourth or fifth)hand campervan named Fred. Fred was a beautiful Frankenstein – white and bulky, a bolted together thing of at least two different vehicles. It had a bed over the cab and another in the back that had to be put together by deconstructing the chairs and table. There was a lilliputian fridge and gas stove. We hung a dangly toy monkey as our nomadic mascot. Brad drove (very capably) while I navigated (poorly). In Fred we visited at least one hundred churches, dozens of stone villages, museums, galleries, canals and fields. We ate a lot of baguettes and baked beans and laughing cow cheese. Every day we woke up with a different view from the one before, the season turning from balmy summer into chilly autumn, the tiny windows by my bed beading with condensation.


To start, we took the car ferry from England and driven into France. We had no plan except a couple of key dates to meet up with family. We bought a couple of big map books and a guide to European campsites. The extent of our strategy was: to go clockwise. I’m pretty sure we stopped at the very first campground we came to off the ferry – quiet and small with awful bathrooms. It was the first night of our Grand Adventure. After setting up Fred we walked to the beach and watched people flying kites. Laughed. Took photos. It was almost too exciting to go to bed. The next morning, the one I remember best of all, I woke up early with the sun. I couldn’t remember where I was. The ceiling was awfully close. Oh yes, I am in a sleeping bag, high up, wedged into a nook between driver’s seat and roof. I am in France. I think I lay up there and grinned, non-stop, for at least thirty minutes.


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