Friday, December 27, 2013

A few images post Christmas

Slow cooked lamb, hydrangeas, vases and cushions.

I was pleased with the number of visits to my pre Christmas posting about  my completed bush track in my garden.

Now I no longer do any work for schools my garden has occupied me. A couple of times  walking around contributes to my fitness regime!

As I walk around I observe changes in the growth of plants and keep an eagle eye out for Tradescantia ( commonly called Wandering Jew) which is always poised to recolonise the garden.

Mostly gone but...
I often think , while walking around, that it is amazing what can be remembered without recourse to making notes  and compare this to the on-going demands of  assessing progress  of students in a teachers class!

I often also walk around the track at night to see if I can observe native trout  as well as admiring my very own glow-worms. I also often see eels.

I was invited out to friends Christmas dinner and made a decision to contribute a leg of lamb  I heard a well known cook say on the radio that she was slow roasting a leg of lamb for her Christmas dinner so I thought I would give it a go. I Googled for a recipe and , after being a bit confused with the choices, decided to combine the best of them all. The trouble was it required seven hours cooking so I had an early start!

 It was to be a long day. After a few hours I began to worry it might be over cooked and reduced the heat - as it turned out it was just about right. It looked very impressive - I had covered it with a topping of crumbs, olive oil and  anchovies as well as pushing in sprigs of rosemary and slivers of garlic.

An excellent dinner - and I  am now sold on pomegranate seeds ( for main course and dessert).

To brighten my home I decided to pick some flowers from my garden and displayed them in a vase given to me for Christmas. The vase was made by a friend whose painting I had previously bought. I liked the vase because it reminds me of the Japanese prints Vincent van Gogh used for inspiration.

At this time of the year the hydrangeas in my swamp are in flower so I picked  a couple of bunches.


One bunch ware lacewing hydrangeas   ( below) which look a little different.

To complete this mix of post Christmas images I couldn't resist a  photo of a wonderful cushion given to me by my talented sister-in -law  featuring a kokako based on a photo take by my brother when we visited Tiri tiri Matangi an island nature reserve in the Hauraki harbour.
After a visit to Auckland for New Year my new year Resolution is to take up painting!! Watch this space. 
 In the meantime I am saving up ideas for serious blogging when the new school year ( in the Southern hemisphere) begins.
Enjoy your holidays.

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