As any of you who know me will realise, the "Making it in Mandurah" words on the right of this blog are somewhat tongue in cheek. For many people around these parts "Making it" seems to mean holidaying in Bali and owning a huge house, a huge vehicle, his 'n' hers jetskis plus and various other things I am not the slightest bit interested in.
My version of "making it" is considerably more modest and involves having time to, well, make things including our vegetable garden and good meals. I am happy to report that in gardening terms, we have recently met a couple of criteria I set myself and have officially made it.
Late autumn and early winter are great times in the garden here as the temperature stays in the twenties or below and it rains fairly frequently and heavily. This means that we have finally got to the point where our garden is providing most of the vegetables we eat. Given that we started with a sand dune this is no mean feat. Every morning I head out into the garden with my colander to pick salad greens for our packed lunches. Every evening I head back out there to harvest more food for our evening meal.
I have been repeating that pattern over
and over again
for several weeks now. The big winners have been kale, chinese stirfry greens, chillies, beans, rocket, mizuna, herbs and pumpkins.
But I set myself another criteria when it comes to "making it" in the garden. Our garden must also be a great and safe place for local wildlife to live in and visit. I've been on a couple of courses about creating wildlife-friendly gardens (thank you City of Mandurah) and read about how various chemicals can be problematic for wildlife so we've given them all a big swerve.
We have succeeded in attracting numerous birds to the garden and we now also have masses of lizards. There is one creature I am not too excited about. Here is a calling card it left us in the shed.
Yes that is a (tiny) snake's shed skin. Our planned frog pond is still just a concept but frogs have moved in anyway. In the evenings we hear a chorus of burrowing frogs in the front garden (put put put) and here is a motorbike frog who has recently shifted into the back garden (vroom vroom vroom).
I woke in the night with a raging temperature to hear a Boobook owl right outside the window (bookbook bookbook bookbook) and today I'm just admiring our garden from the great indoors (and mucking around creating repeating patterns) as I have woken up with a lurgy. I've swapped my work day for tomorrow and was still in bed reading when I heard a squeeeak in the driveway then the cheery hellooo of a friend who had popped by while out doing chores. She's never popped in unannounced before and was a little apologetic about doing so. I however was delighted and would have loved to have said "coffee?" and welcomed her in despite the fact that my house is messy and I am wearing PJs and have bedhair like a crazy chicken, but we thought it best that I don't share my germs.
It is three years today since we left New Zealand. I still dearly miss my NZ friends especially my closest "swing-by" friends. The fact that I finally have a swing-by friend here means that I really am making it, at least by my definition.