It is the end of March, 2018, and I have just completed my post on Honfleur which I visited on July 7th, 2017! I managed to do the post on the fabulous B&B Un Parfum de Violette, that Corinne and I stayed at, just outside Honfleur, a couple of weeks ago, but life just keeps on getting in the way in the form of wonderful weather which means I work in the garden, or doing things for my grandchildren. I have so many more posts I want to write – about my 2 weeks in Paris, and Giverny, and the rest of the Normandy tour in the Loire Valley! But it will happen! So come back and check….
The weather today is quite autumnal here in New Zealand – cold (20 deg C) and raining, so I am quite happy to be inside working on the computer. Yesterday it was a glorious autumn day – it got to 27 deg C !!! And the sky was blue and there was no wind, which is something to be treasured here. Isn’t the English language odd – autumnal has negative connotations, and yet both types of weather are typical of autumn (fall for the US readers) and spring.
Daylight saving will be finishing soon (1 April this year), which always means to me that summer has well and truly gone. This year we have had a really hot summer – we are lucky and have heat pumps that are also air conditioning units, and we have never used them as much as we have this year. However, those same heat pumps mean that we can have a warm and dry house.
Writing the blog posts brings back the memories of my travelling – I have to look at my photos to choose which ones to use in the post, and this helps me remember the experience. I won’t be travelling this year as we are building a new house and I need to be here (hopefully it will be finished by Christmas!) So I will be travelling vicariously through a friend going to Italy for 7 weeks (envy) and writing my blog posts. Maybe Italy will happen for me on a future trip.
Actually, I don’t really mind being here during a winter – in some ways it is easier to be here, get used to the wetter and colder weather and enjoy hibernating, rather than enjoying a couple of months of Northern hemisphere summer and then coming back to a cold and damp New Zealand. Having said that, where I live in New Zealand can have some wonderful weather in winter – if we get a frost, usually we get a fine, still, cold day, with blue sky and sunshine. But it can rain…. but of course, in the summer, during the periods of low or no rainfall when we are heading towards a drought, then I, and the plants, just wish for it to rain.
And in autumn and winter I get to enjoy my homemade soup for lunch – which I have done today. I make chicken stock with the bones from whole chickens, (they get stored in the freezer until I have enough), then I add onions, carrots and whatever other vegetable I have around in the fridge or the freezer (sweetcorn from cobs my neighbour grows!)
And I grew a butternut pumpkin (maybe they are called acorn squash in the US) and after quite a few applications of worm tea, it has produced 13 large butternuts, 4 of which are stored on the trampoline. the plant would have kept going but the 2 young steers (male cows) that graze the paddocks out the back, escaped, and had a lovely time in my vegetable garden and ate the growing tips off the butternut and my zucchini / courgette plant that still had quite a future ahead of it!
Luckily they missed the cucumber plant which has produced so many cucumbers, also due to the worm tea applications, that I keep missing them and finding escapees that I then have to pickle as ‘bread and butter pickles’. Rather yummy though, in the winter with cheese and crackers.
We also have a quince tree that is producing large yellow fruit that I have to give away, and the fig tree has just started a really good year – they are the best tasting figs we have had for ages – it will be the hot summer we have had.
Next to come will be the feijoas – they don’t grow in many other countries and they have a very distinctive flavour – you either like them or you don’t! When they are ripe they drop off the bush or tree, depending on how old it is.
My next door neighbour (the sweetcorn one) has a full height feijoa tree as well as lots of bushes. I have 5 bushes and I will have to buy new plants to have at the new house.
You slice the green ‘eggs’ in half and scoop out the white flesh. None are ripe enough yet to cut in half to take a photo.
Autumn certainly is a busy season on this property – we also have an apple tree but once I move from here, I won’t have room for fruit trees. So that is another reason not to travel too early in the year – there is too much to do.
These are my autumn thoughts 🙂 . Maybe I will have to start a separate blog!