Monday, 3 October 2016

The Joys Of Spring

It is the first week of October and Spring is - as the old joke goes - really springing.  The cherry blossoms which line the streets of Southbridge are bursting forth in all their glory.  Below are some photos of the cherry blossom outside our house and some other snapshots from our place.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Daffodil Time

Spring brings it's cascade of gorgeous flowers and blossoms, none more lovely than the daffodils. Here's Andrew after paying a visit to the farm stand of the local daffodil growers. 


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Of Hens And Blossoms

Spring has turned dull and grey for several days but we still managed to get a few shots of the pullets and blossoms.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Oregon Joe

Another picture from the past - Oregon Joe out in the paddock in the Spring.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

An Early Garden

Looking back through a box of old photos the other day I came across some snapshots I had taken of a garden I had planted around my sleepout when I was in my early twenties some thirty or so years ago.  It amused me to see how well fenced off it was then to keep horses and dogs off it! 

Still I think it had quite a nice cottage garden like effect and I'm surprised by how quickly that ivy had grown up the wire archway which I had placed over the brick path to the door.  Ivy seems to like our place and wild ivy will rapidly grow anywhere it can get a hold, particularly around the old oak tree.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Darling Buds Of September

It's mid September and Spring is springing.  Down in the new orchard area the gorgeous pink blossom of the young apricot tree and the white of one of the plum trees have begun to appear.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Feeding The Chooks

Looking back through some old photo files I found this picture from 2011 of "Tiny", our Border Collie bitch (now sadly passed on) helping Dad feed the chooks.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Of Cats And Flowers

"How many times do I have to tell you I don't do the cute cat with flowers in a basket thing?" Crabapple is less than impressed with the daffodils on Dad's mobility scooter.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Spring Flowers

As we approach the first official day of Spring the early daffodils begin to flower, Andrew gives me three beautiful roses and there's a new snapshot of me wearing my favourite antique aurora borealis brooch (also a gift from Andrew).

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Winter Fades With Promises Of Spring

The young fruit trees have come through the Winter well - all still alive and thriving. We think we have room to squeeze another half dozen or so in so in the end we will have around 25 fruit trees, young and old.

Agria, Red Rascal and Jersey Benne seed potatoes have been laid out to sprout for planting in September and meanwhile we have been working on some new planter boxes. It's always an exciting time planning the new Spring garden! 

Shelters For Lemon Trees

We have been putting frost cloth over the young lemon trees.   The young trees are looking very healthy and we have already had some lemons off them over the past year.  I can't wait till there is a lemon glut!

Snow On The Alps

Lots of snow on the Southern Alps today. Andrew took these photos.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A Baker Boy & A Birthday

Andrew's lovely mother Verna turns 81 years old today so last night we baked her a big batch of chocolate chip cookies to give her in a special ANZAC biscuit tin.  This will go with the chocolates, necklace, coffee liquer and other gifts we will give her.

Here's my adorable "baker boy" with some of the cookies fresh out of the oven.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Children Of The 60's

Our old family photos record the innocent, carefree days of our childhood.  Here we are in the 1960's at K. Cottage.  On the left is my brother Allan who died when he was 14 years old from a brain tumour.  In the middle is my little blonde haired, blue eyed sister Shirley, who passed on in 2015 at the age of 52 years from cancer.  Now only I remain - the red haired, green eyed girl on the right.  How quickly the years roll by.

The brevity of life is it’s biggest surprise.
-      Jim Rohn

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Morning Breeze

The morning breeze has secrets to tell you
Do not go back to sleep.

- Rumi

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Many Words

Many words lead to exhaustion.
It is better to center on the true essence within.

- Tao Te Ching

Kewmarnic Gift From Above
and that she was

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Warming World

This photo shows the clothesline five years ago when we had snow on the ground in July.  This winter has been warm but I cannot say "peculiarly so" because the world has long been warned we were changing the climate.

How hot will it be this summer? How will the changes in climate affect us all? Will we be able to grow new things? I fancy kumaras, oranges and mandarins! But what will we lose? More berries? How will changes affect our ability to grow food, it's ripening process and it's harvest?  How will they affect food prices?

These are the things I ponder as I observe the times they are indeed a'changing and we will surely need to adapt. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

A Little Acorn

There's an old saying, "A giant oak tree is just a little acorn which stood it's ground".  Around here hundreds of little acorns stand their ground every year, cast off from our old oak tree.  They seem to grow readily, almost like weeds but there's nowhere they like better than landing in one of our $5 planter boxes. We managed to get these from a local farm when they were wanting to get rid of some of them some years ago and they're really great to start seeds in and to give plants a good start. 

Here's one little sapling growing amongst some parsley and a good sampling of weeds! 

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Original Cottage

The old house here is one of the three oldest in the Southbridge village, built in 1879 when it was still a fledgling town on the Canterbury Plains.  

Southbridge was on the "bullock trail" which went from Timberyard Point on Lake Ellesmere across to Dunsandel and the nearest railway tracks.  The bullock teams hauled timber which had been floated across from the sawmills at Little River.   Some of this same timber was used to build the original Manson house at Bridgefield Farm at Lakeside.  

This house at Southbridge however is concrete block and was bought by my maternal grandparents in the 1940's.  My mother Edna spent her teenage years here after they shifted down from Milltown.  We shifted here when I was 5 years old from Sundowner Cottage, half way between Leeston and Southbridge.

Speaking of bullocks - my paternal great-grandfather John Manson had driven 16 bullock teams in Australia for some time while en route to New Zealand from Six Road Ends in Northern Ireland.  There is an old family story of how when he and his wife Martha were finally settled in at Lakeside on their farm that Martha had one of her best petticoats hanging out the back of the house on the clothesline drying when a rogue bullock team which had been passing along the nearby track with the driver ran away onto their place and through their backyard. One bullock ended up with Martha's best petticoat caught in it's horns and was last seen running towards Southbridge with my great grandfather running after it at his wife's urgings desperately trying to retrieve the petticoatDespite what must have been the shock of it Martha was still the first person in Canterbury to live to be 100 years old, surpassing her mother who lived till she was 98 years old.

Below : I think this may have been in the 1880's. 

Below : Perhaps the 1890's or early 1900's?

Below: 1970 after my parents bought the property from my grandfather.  My brother Allan is at the front with Tiny his dog, I am in the centre and my sister Shirley is on the right with my pet lamb Sally.

Below : 1970 in colour.