Okie Weather

I saw the big Sydney dust storm on the news, and assumed it must've passed us by. But that same evening the sky darkened too early, and the next day there was wave after wave of gritty, chewy dust in the air, and deposited across everything, including my lungs. I'm still finding things that are covered with it and wiping them clean three weeks later.

Our genocidal campaign to rid the bottom of the garden of camphor laurels has resulted in an ever-growing view of Blue Knob and Sphinx Rock from the back verandah - I'l put a photo up once we can actually see the whole ridge of the mountain.
We have booked a local tradesman to insulate the roof, to take advantage of the federal rebate of $1,600 for insulation materials. With luck that should be done before the height of Summer, and should make a big difference to how long the house stays cool on Summer mornings.
We've been busier than ever at work - tackling multiple projects and keeping fingers in various pies, including our first ever local client - the excellent networking wizards at www.magedata.net.
I was very excited that our friends from Wisconsin, Alex and Linda, were sending us a present. Unfortunately, the Australian customs did not approve of the packet of (doubtless delicious) wild rice, and confiscated it all. Probably to make a risotto.
My latest improvement to my diet is learning how to make chocolate walnut liqueur brownies. The way I see it, at least I know what's in them (fat, carbs, and alcohol) so that's got to be healthier than eating shop-bought biscuits. There's a picture of K tucking into a plateful on her blog here.
The first weekend in October saw us at the Nimbin A&I show (what would in England be called a country faire - local crafts, farm produce, awards for best iceberg lettuce and so on). This was a rare opportunity for us to mingle with the "other" Nimbin - the respectable one. And extremely nice folk they are too.
Apart from the always excellent Perch Creek Family Jug band (shown above) the most interesting event was something I had always assumed would be very much in-your-face in Australia, but which I hadn't come across until now - snake education and awareness. Radoa did an outstanding presentation, and condensed into five minutes all the information required to not die when coming face-to-face with taipans, death adders, and king brown snakes, all of which are native to this area. Any doubts about the danger posed by the snakes the presenter was handling were dispelled by counting the fingers on his right hand. Later the same week, Ben, who is helping us sort out the studio downstairs, spotted a red-bellied black snake in a wood pile less than ten foot from the door (yes, yes, I know, I shouldn't have a wood pile ten foot from the door).
On the following Friday we took advantage of a very generous invitation from Marcus to share his campsite at Woody Head for a night (he had 2 large tents set up, and it was just him plus his daughters, so there was plenty of room). It only took an hour and 40 minutes to drive there, and it is the prettiest campsite I've seen in Australia so far, and far and away the best for a family camping trip, with a safe beach, rock pools, gum-tree forest down to the sand, and great facilities including a cook-to-order facility for those days whenyou don't feel like camp cooking.
When we got home, we discovered our mulberry tree was heavy with fruit, so we got busy picking the ready mulberries (K on a strict rota of one for her, one for the pot of course, followed by a very generous impulse to share the sweet black juice with all the soft furnishings in the house).
Now I must stop blogging and get busy making a mulberry and apple crumble. And custard.

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