Bit more of a ‘test’.

Well that was a fizzer. I’d not realised we’re still limited to a 2mb image upload. The phone takes images of 4mb and upwards which means at least on extra step to reduce the size. I’ll go look at Lightroom mobile and see if they have a simple and straightforward method.  🙁

And here comes the 21st Century.

Ok that was both a bit late and a bit early in some ways. What got me worked up was being able to finally update my blog via my phone. It’s probably my been possible for years but I’m probably a bit late to the party.

Next step is to activate the gallery to let me add photos on the fly. This would mean I could almost abandon Facebook and ‘socialise’ via the blog. I’m almost excited.  🙂



Information overload.

I’m getting heartily sick of the news lately. For many years I’ve almost religiously read ‘the news’ almost as a duty. I’ve thought it essential to be informed so that I can form an opinion based on as wide a range of sources as I can find… online of course. Lately tho ‘the papers’, i.e. the news sites, seem to be filled with dross, trivia and more tragedy than you can poke a stick at.

There’s no way to shut yourself away from the world entirely if you want to have at least *some* idea of what’s happening around the world, but I think there are times when the information overload is too much to bear. Lately I’m finding it harder to resist the urge to abandon the outside world and retreat into my own space, internally *and* externally, perhaps the blog is symptomatic of that( ?), but I can’t tell. What I *do* know is that there is more to life than the ‘macro’ world and it’s time for me to take a break, even with the way the world is shifting to the political ‘right’ around the world.

Perhaps it’s best for me to just plant veggies, pick nuts and forget the outside world for a while.

Fed up with Facebook?

Me too! Not because of the lack of ‘privacy’, or them being able to capitalise on our personal information and buying preferences, but more because it’s so *addictive*. In addition it ‘captures’ you. Once all your friends and family are using it you’ve really got no other choice than to use the program or miss a lot of what’s happening in your world.

Still, I’ve at least made a start by resurrecting the blog. I had another one for years but it was more of a repository for ‘opinion’ than a more general one like this.

I wonder already how easy it will be to move between platforms when next to nothing I write will be seen by anyone except myself. Actually, I might not even tell many friends and family about it. This blog is more personal and I’m not sure I want them to read it anyway. Maybe I’ll just post ‘opinions’ over there on FB and keep this for the personal stuff?? Open-mouthed smile

Money makes the world go around.

So here we are living in a beautiful part of the world with acres of ground, orchards growing all sorts of fruit and a theoretical source of income from 10 acres of hazelnut and olive trees and yet… no *real* actual cash income. Unfortunately over the last 30+ years I’ve been totally spoiled with the wife earning a huge salary and being able to pretty much spend what I liked on whatever I liked so now, with no income at all, I’m feeling the stress a little. Aha thought I, so go get a job!! Well I obviously *have* worked in the past on occasion, most recently for IBM via Manpower as a customer complaints agent. Great job, with low pay and no regard from anyone but lots of fun. However, that was some time ago and since then have remained a ‘house spouse’.

In this part of the world however jobs of any sort are hard enough to find for young people and even more so for those of us of ‘advanced years’. The ideal of course would be to find a job that requires only access to the internet. That would suit me down to the ground, but of course *finding* that job is the problem. No doubt out there somewhere is the ideal job but as always how to locate it and sell myself to a prospective employer?? Right now these are unanswerable questions. I’m doing ‘research’ (necessarily online) but so far have come up with nothing. It’s not really urgent right now and I would assume (rightly or wrongly) that even with a nominal farm we’d still be eligible for some sort of state pension if our income dried up completely. I’ll be looking and asking questions but… who knows?

Nice ‘ere innit?

Had to go to Bega Hospital this morning for an x-ray. We can ignore the 2.5 hour round trip as an inconvenience because it can’t be helped, it’s one of the little niggles of living in an area with such a small population. Anyway, as I was driving along I was reminded time and time again how beautiful it is to live in this area. There was a lot of low cloud today misting up the mountainsides and valleys and giving the whole area a romantic look.

Sadly I was on a main road so couldn’t just stop to take photos but here are a couple I took few days ago of the area immediately outside our front gate… now I’m asking myself why the image is so small. There are times I hate computers. 🙂



Oh… I see. it’s only after it’s been published is the expanded version available. Makes sense I suppose. Either way not the best of pictures and doesn’t really display what I saw today. Next time maybe.




Discovered a new old favourite!

A long time ago when I was blogging regularly on my “Opinion Australia” site, I used to use a handy little program released by Microsoft as part of their ‘Live’ suite. As is usual with MS they decided to make dramatic u-turns and after some huffing and puffing decided to make this part of the suite ‘open source’. The result has been the creation of Open Live Writer which has all the functionality of the original, and more. Essentially it allows you to use time when you are out of reach of wifi, more common than you might think, two write blog posts and upload them when you get home, or uni, to work or maybe to o free hotspot!

This is the first post I’m making using the new software but I’m already pleasantly surprised with how it functions. For me of course it’s going to be *really* useful because our internet connection is almost permanently throttled down to 128kps… ridiculous in the 21st century but that’s what we’re stuck with out in the bush.

So. That’s all for now. This is really a ‘taster’ post so no pictures, no funnies, just a hmmm… this is nice! Open-mouthed smile

To market, to market…

I think I might have mentioned already that the ‘harvest’ this year will be minimal to non-existent. We have a few olives in brine ready to pack and sell but otherwise the farm produced little in the way of the hazelnuts and olives that should provide our living.This throws us out onto our own resources so we sat down, thought a bit, and decided I could make lots of pickles, jams, chutneys and the like to sell at local markets until we had a decent harvest of the other produce.

Since then I’ve been working slowly towards creating a variety of products, tho necessarily in small batches. They have to be small because we don’t have that much fruit from the orchard to process! We had quite a few Nashi pears, Damsons, Conference Pears and a lot of plums but not really in commercial quantities. Still, we have *some* things to sell.

Another challenge has been the labelling. Apart from having exactly *no* experience or expertise in producing the pickles etc *(so have to play it by ear), I also have no knowledge of *labelling* either which is making the entire process both time consuming and *very* frustrating! Ok it’s a learning curve I have to climb… and a steep one at that, but in all honesty I can say it wasn’t high on my ‘bucket list’ of “things I want to do before I die”. Even now I’m prevaricating. I managed to make some form of label for most of the jars, at least for the front so people know what they’re buying, but I’m yet to compete the backs. It’s a legal requirement to have nutritional labelling on the jars etc so I have little choice but do it, nevertheless it *is* a struggle.  😀

Lorst ma dawg!!

Had a massive thunderstorm the other day whilst we were in the local town. Got home to find one of the dogs, Wolfie, had disappeared. We got his as a ‘rescue dog’ from the local pound and he’s been a great companion for the year or so he’s been with us. Unfortunately like many other dogs, he’s scared of thunderstorms and whilst he manages when we’re there… when we *aren’t* and he’s locked outside, he bolts


He’s done it before but came back an hour or two after things had quietened down. This time however he was gone overnight. Got to admit I was seriously worried about him and got quite depressed at the thought of him out there in the wilds, soaked through, bitten by snakes, spiders or paralysis ticks and us unable to help. Living where are is wonderful but there are drawbacks. Our own plot is nearly 65 acres of bush and there is even more surrounding us! Anyone, or anything, that ventures too far in could well get lost!!

My daughters both suggested laying his blanket out on the fence so he could follow his own smell home. We both thought this was silly as if he couldn’t find the scent of our Alpacas, geese and chickens etc why would his own scent be any more use?? Anyway, as a last resort we did hang the blanket out. Two hours later, and after over thirty hours of worry, he padded into the sitting room and sat down. So *was* it the blanket?? Or was it all coincidental?? You decide.  😀

What outcome on the income?

The obvious problem with leaving a well paid job and moving away from the sort of company liable to employ you in a similar role is that you end up in a situation where you have no income. So in those circumstances what do you do?

If you said ‘panic’ I’m right there with you. Well I sort of was but again obviously, that couldn’t last and we had to start trying to make sense of our situation.

To begin with we had bought a nut farm so our first step was to check the potential harvest. Wonderful. We’d arrived in a drought period and there were no nuts. To add to our delight we discovered out olive trees cropped biennially… and we were in the wrong year. More joy.

Something needed to be done and the answer was simple… no, not to panic again but to make something. With that as our inspiration we set out to creat things ‘farmy’ that we could sell at local markets until the nuts and olives fruited etc.. Over tha opast few weeks we’ve set to making pickles, jams and chutney’s, bottling them and preparing ourselves to set our stall up (literally) in local markets.

I should point out here than we have as much experience in creating, bottling and selling pickles, jams and chutneys as we do farming, in other words none. More on that in the next post and probably the next twenty-five or so!!