Splashing through Summer

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The hot night shadows speak to each other. Everything seems noisier when it’s 34C at 11.30 at night. The heat sits there like a uncomfortable blanket you can’t pull off.

A fan overhead spins relentlessly. Cooling you it isn’t. Just moving the hot funk of night time round a bit.

Thoughts wonder. Back to the early morning swims of today, the late afternoon swims followed by hot chips of the day before and then all the swims in the middle. This is what this summer has been made of, salty sea water dips that do far more than just cool you off. This is soul building time. It’s memory making and it’s person defining. What that even means at 11.30 at night when you brain has been reduced to hot mush, you’re not sure. But water, it’s an important part of our life, that much is certain.

This summer there is no emptying of removal boxes and no building raised garden beds. No this summer is a little different. A slower pace, a sandy barefoot pace.

Sand has snuck into small people’s beds, swimmers dry on the line in perpetual rotation.

They’ll go swimming again in the morning. Before it gets too hot, well hotter. The laughs, the jumps, the squeals of delight. Splash…

A child’s cry cuts through the salt water thoughts of tomorrow. Listening intently, for the signal to commando roll out of bed and reassure as needed. I’m not though. Not needed. Just a dream, just hot night fuelled dream.

Back to the ambitious fan overhead, and thoughts of tomorrow. Splashing through summer that’s what we are doing.

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Along with countless swimming time, this summer period I’ve been given a beautiful reminder to have fun. Don’t ever forget the fun. This is truly the good stuff of life, and just because you are an ‘adult’ doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Sometimes I do forget though and this year I’m going to make damn sure that this doesn’t happen often. 

If you look for us by the sea. We’re the ones, skimming rocks, playing tips and holding handstand competitions.

* If you are looking for an easy Summer dessert, I still love this one. Summer Berry Tart. An easy one to prep ahead of time.

Loving… summer days

splash || cityhippyfarmgirl swim || cityhippyfarmgirlsea || cityhippyfarmgirl

Fierce heat and warm blue green seas,

that’s what summer days are made of.

While this is the last

 day left of the calendar season,

the summer days still linger on.

There’s still corn to be eaten,

 basil seed to pinch off,

and a pile of hidden tomatoes ready to ripen.

Hot nights and a scant breeze,

to gently nudge sleep

just a little closer.

…summer days you haven’t left us yet.

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What are you loving at the moment?

[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

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Thank you to all those who left such great comments on my last post. I loved reading them all.

You are an inspiring bunch, and I love that!

Vanilla Plum Jam

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Making Jam || cityhippyfarmgirlOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vanilla Plum Jam. It’s my all time favouritey-favourite kinda jam. It’s tarty, has vanilla tones and dollops particularly well onto, well anything that I match it with really.

Lucky for me I like it a lot as I’ve made batch after batch of these babies. It’s that time of year. Vanilla Plum Jam time.

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Have a read here if you are new to jam making or are a bit hit and miss with your jam making methods. It really is a wonderful skill to be able to preserve the season and have even just a little of that knowledge under your belt.

Go on, give it a whirl. Try your hand at jam making.

Banana Smoothie Ice Cream

Banana Smoothie Ice Cream || cityhippyfarmgirl
 This isn’t rocket science here. It may not even be life changing…

but it might just be helpful!

What to do- Make your every day banana smoothie as you normally would (go on, add in an extra banana for good measure.) Now pop it in the freezer and leave it for a little. For ease of eating, don’t wait until it’s frozen through.

Guaranteed to make small people happy on hot summer days, and big people rather content.

To make this, I whack in…

4 bananas

1 tsp vanilla

some milk

Whizz it all up and into the freezer. Drizzle on some honey just before eating and spoon out as you would regular ice cream. Just the thing for cooling off on a hot day.

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Do you have any regular foods you tweak for extra hot days?

 

How does your garden grow?

chillies || cityhippyfarmgirl summer patch- ecolosophy

Our gardens couldn’t be more different. Mine in small pots, neatly aligned along a big city urban fence. A tiny garden that grows intwined with the sound of other city dwellers, the soft murmur of traffic and the occasional summertime song of hidden cicadas.

Her garden? It meanders. Through seemingly endless acres, aligned with a neighbouring rugged, blue coastline. The gentle honking song of Cape Barren Geese flying over head at dusk and dawn, and frogs…lots of frogs.

Now who’s garden am I speaking of? Well that would be Tanya from Ecolosophy (remember the one I wanted to face plant into last year?) I caught up with her recently to hear how her garden was growing and also to find out who won the giveaway.

boys and beans- ecolosophySo it’s been a little while since I face planted in your garden because of the sheer beauty of it all. What’s been growing since we last caught up?

Oh Brydie, we’ve been pretty lucky this year. Ordinarily at this time of year, our patch would have been burnt to a crisp by a few blazing hot days with northerly winds and no rain but so far we’ve had an exceptionally mild summer in Esperance, most days mid twenties, rain every so often, not a single day so far over 40 (please don’t jinx me weather fairy!) The Patch is churning out tomatoes by the bucket load so I’ve been making lots of slow roasted tomato sauce. I’ve been as inventive as possible but the yellow button squash have (FINALLY) come to an end so I can relax on finding new and exciting ways to hide them in the family meals.

My black frilly kale and I are at a standoff of sorts because on one hand, I learned how to make kale chips…and they’re lovely but on the other hand my kale just keeps getting prettier and prettier so I’m loath to remove a single leaf. Most of the greenery in the Patch now is assorted pumpkins, melons and gourds that are the obsession of my other half.

Every summertime there is a quest to grow the worlds largest vegetables (so far the biggest pumpkin has only got to about 50kg which is a few hundred kilos off the world record) but we do grow a nice big New Guinea Bean (here’s a snap of last years beans with my boys) We eat them when they’re small (about zucchini sized) but then we let them grow and grow and grow. 

That bean picture is amazing. I’ll bet the boys were impressed with them. I’m certainly impressed! Now tell me also, who won the giveaway?

Well quite a few of your lovely readers popped in to the Ecolosophy Shop and had a wander through. And one of those lucky shoppers has won themselves a sweet eco giveaway of Ecolosophy goodness. Can I get a drum roll please?….. the winner is…..Diana Sayes.

tomato window sill- ecolosophy

Excellent! Well done Diana*. Tanya your garden is once again enviable and sadly, I’m now hesitantly going to go back to my small collection of pots…hmmm, three tomatoes anyone?

tomatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

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 * Diana- Ecolosophy will be sending out your lovely little package soon.

Loving… The quiet time of summer

sunrise || cityhippyfarmgirl

There’s a warmth to the air at 5.25am. If I close my eyes it almost feels like a soft sheet brushing over my skin. I don’t though, for I’m riding. Riding to catch a sunrise. Riding in the quiet of the pre-dawn. The city around me is quiet, nobody needs my attention at this time. Too early to start the day, I have left my loved ones at home, while I ride to welcome in the sun.

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It’s 12pm and it’s quiet. The chaos creators have paused in their carnage and instead direct it to their lunch plates. After a busy morning doing busyness. They have stopped for a minute or two and hungrily wolf down their food, it’s good to see after so long of sickness and not wanting to eat.

Quiet except for the odd slurp, munch and muffled noises of food appreciation. It won’t last long, their recharge time is blink and you’ll miss it.

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It’s 2pm and it’s quiet. Small girls still need naps to enable them to conquer the afternoon of possible dragons, rumbles, leaping, soccer and tea parties. Air outside so hot, it drapes itself over your shoulders, if you dare to step out that is. Lulling you and everyone in its path into a sleepy slumber. Summer holiday time, and those hot weekend siestas are a welcome respite.

cityhippyfarmgirl.comcandles || cityhippyfarmgirl

It’s 9pm, and it’s quiet. A candle flickers. A summer time bug gets lured a little closer. The small ones sleep, the sleep of the contented. Nightmares have been banished for tonight as there is a small posse of dinosaurs and lego figures standing guard. The night-time sleep of summer holiday children.

Our adult voices are lowered and our thoughts quieted. Sandy shoes at the door, tell a story of late evening beach wanderings. Another hot day, but this one ending with deep chuckles and muffled belly laughs. Loving that.

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[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

Things you do when you are not in the city

The lead up to the Summer holidays were a little bit angst ridden round these parts. There was rather a lot of breath holding, a lot of thinking, a lot of worrying and maybe a few tense words pushed about. When things aren’t particularly in your control, but effecting your loved ones in different ways, well, things can be a little stressful.

Then the storm finally passes, and you exhale just a little. A long, slow exhalation, that hadn’t been there for what feels like a very, very long time.

And then, you exhale a little more.

So what does one do with loved ones after a lengthy period of worrying breath holding?

You get out of the city, that’s what you do.

pizza making || cityhippyfarmgirl

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While you are out, you might also….

Make pizza, lots of it. Enough for a small clan anyway.

Start to build a veggie patch just because you can.

Play board games with family members that don’t often come together. (Also get introduced to the eye water laughing of Cards Against Humanity.)

Afternoon siestas are compulsory. Especially after Christmas pneumonia for a small one.

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The beach finds it’s way inside with tramping sandy feet.

Food tastes better as it’s lingered over, and chewed rather than gulped…ahh, the novelty of it all.

Gardens are visited. Big ones with cars on the edges.

books to read || cityhippyfarmgirl

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

Books are contemplated and thought over. Instead of trapped under “stuff” that needs tending to first. There isn’t hours of lingering book reading, but there are consecutive minutes and that’s a good thing. (Nikki Gemmell your writing is the bees knees.)

Of course some bread gets made. Double Spelt sourdough, (wholemeal spelt flour and cooked wholegrain spelt in these.)

Thinking also comes in much needed extended periods instead of five second snippits. As a mother of three, and woman of many, many thoughts. This is also a good thing. Actually it’s a marvellous thing.

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Tell me, what have you been up to?

 

so long summer

summer- cityhippyfarmgirlafternoon light || cityhippyfarmgirl

sea pools || cityhippyfarmgirl

And just like that summer was gone.

No drawn out goodbyes, and long lingering looks back.

The windows are now lowered as the cooler dusk air sneaks in.

A quiet goodbye to the carefree summer bare-feet,

next summer those same small bare-feet will be bigger.

The warm early morning starts that have you throwing open back doors,

the kitchen air still thick from the heat of the day before.

So long summer, with your long golden lit afternoons,

and to the melodic cicadas singing their songs.

Farewell to the invitingly warm sea pools,

with their noisy jostling swimmers.

The pools once more reclaimed,

by those that don’t fear the sharp coolness of the water.

Until next time summer,

so long.

this is the sound of summer

cicada- cityhippyfarmgirl

paddle pop- cityhippyfarmgirl this is the sound of summer

with the shrill drone of cicadas

the slurp of a first chocolate paddle pop

the quiet lap of the sea on bare toes

the soft hum of fingers strumming the ukelele

cricket bats have been whacked

soccer balls have been booted

bare feet have known the prickle of the bindi and small spiky sticks in the park

the same feet that bounce from side to side on the hot tar of the carpark, on the way down to the beach

the sound of a soft ahh, as they hit the sand and excitedly splash through the water

this is the sound of summer

grass- cityhippyfarmgirl