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Life Change

Tracee Cook – The Dirty Gardener Aus, shares her new, very busy lifestyle at Woodrising soon…If she ever gets time!


Who is the boss?

My Favourite Gift Site – Buy From The Bush

Actually my favourite gift site for mee is French Cargo in Sydney, but during the Covid-19 Lockdown one really good thing to emerge was a site for small businesses in the vast Australian Outback on which to promote their goods, and it has proved the first goto for sending quality but reasonably priced gifts within Australia. Shipping overseas is at the discretion of the business, but does prove very expensive at present.

My (Volunteer) Exec Assistant, Angela and I decided to try the Ready Mixed Cocktails set (the result of which is my embarrasubg disco dancing on Youtube, but that is another story). The beautifully packed kit of four bottles ready for two to share, or one to be greedy, is a great success. In fact we only needed one bottle to see us through the evening of Ang’s burpday/birthday, so we have three bottles on hold for my birthday in three weeks, when we are going to share with Karen, one of my loyal chums on here.

No I do not have permission to opost this. Angela half way into the first cocktail mix. Highly recommend.

This week I was struggling to find something my son does not already have or want, but thanks to it being Father’s Day here this weekend I followed the lead into Buy from the Bush again and came up against this retro-styled waxed cotton briefcase/satchel , for men, which I think is infinitely cool, especially for city businessmen to show some individuality. There are more sophisticated ones  on the Little Echidna from Tenterfield  page. If that rings a bell Peter Allen, the late musician/ Entertainer, used to sing ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ basedon his family member who made more traditional items of the time, but here we have a modern take on the subject.

Then I realised it would make a perfect weatherproof handbag to slip into the front of my rollator. Easy to slide in and out, but can be secured. There is a waiting niche market for bags that would look good in a rollator. So I am putting in my own order.

So my son i s getting A Stig soap on a rope from another site featuring that former boys’ toys car programe. I got an unusual blue nylon zipup bathroom bag to keep in the car, that will also unzip to hang from a hook. Inside is a $5 scratchie, unscratched despite the temptation; a special pen with the Logo and phone number of his son’s new business, ad a pack of wipes. That rather odd collection will probably please as much as anyhing, since the outside announces him as:


His wife will be appalled.

Every Home Should Have a Gnome

Seems every country has its legends of little people
Of course Santa could not cope without them and elves at Christmas
Then there is Effie. Is a female gnome a Gnomette?
Barrie was one of my favourites but not very strong. Sadly he came to a nasty end. Keep hoping to find him again in the Reject Shop
Effie has had a makeover since this
John McCarron’s gnome takes guarding his English garden very seriously.8
Nigel and Effie get around depending on the weather
They had fun at Xmas with fairy lights at night
Sometimes Nigel and Effie come indoors

The Sweet Smell Of Success

This is what you get when you forget you have put a tomato plant in the planter box. Oh dear.

Everyone is making a fuss about growing your own veg and in this day and age it is a great thing, if you do it properly and have the time and the water.

There is nothing nicer than being given fresh- off- the- vine tomatoes, and everyone agrees they taste nothing like the store-bought ones, but it takes dedication and acquired knowledge to gtow tomatoes successfully. Mine got obscured by the flowers in my planter box, and were not discovered until the spent plants were pulled out and the poor things had struggled and put out these as their best offer, and who can blame them. Feeling guilty.

Even with the escalating price of vegies here now due to Covid staff shortages and the floods, I am not successful at growing my own. Except parsley. Fortunately I love parsley, full of iron and stuff and great for the kidneys. They used to say parscley tea could dissolve kidney stones but I suspet you would need to drink buckets of the stufff, which may cause bladder problems, just saying.

Mint is my other survivor, as long as I keep it wet. Mint tea or chewing mint leaves is very good for soothing the bowel contractions of IBS, I can vouch for that. Mint leaves are great in fresh Pimms cocktails, aren’t they Karen? (my Ace Follower)

Basil is a bit touch and go. Last summer it did very well, but usually it lasts a couple of weeks and decides not to carry on under my care.

Something you must check out if you plan to garden in a new suburb. Some soils are quite toxic due to having been used by manufacturing in the past, when no one knew anything about cancer causing chemicals in the back garden. You can stil l grow flowers etc but dont eat them – not even nasturtiums, that could be nasty. Sorry if I am cooling your enthusiasm. Go for the frozen peas, is all I can offer.

So my best option is to have a mixed box of fresh veg delivered every fortnight. That makes me try different recipes with the items I do not usually buy. I stop at the meals that come only needing cooking not preparing – for a cost.

Anyway, give growing something a go. Youtube will teach you what to do in lots and lots of videos.( Youtube can even show you how to change a light bulb, which used to be so easy, but dont get me on to light bulbs, have you seen how much they have changed and how complicated choosing one ?, burble, burble, burble.

Olive trees are very tolerant and long growing in the right places, but Matt and Ainslie’s wedding tree is not having an easy time with this global warming change of weather.


Michael Gerard Collins (“The Barefoot Poet”)Nails This

Very powerful poem. Ode to Greed and Power

Australian poet and friend of mine Michael Gerard Collins says it for us all in Ode to Greed and Power

‘They’ believe that they are born to rule you
when all they really are is out to fool you.
Yet another ostentatious house-on-the-hill…
These bastards seem to never get their fill.

When will enough ever be enough… ever satisfy?
They would own the Earth… must they own the sky?

More gold and coin for the over-filled coffer!
No…I do not want what they have on offer:
their billion-dollar relentless greed;
their pathological obsessive need…

They would lock their own children in their gaols
when it falls apart… when the madness fails:
when their kids take to the streets and scream and shout …
“This is not what living is all about!”

Yes… when this obscene train of thought derails.

Their accumulated wealth they do not require…
For a very good reason, there is a limit to desire.

More on Michael Gerard Collins

Picnic in the Pergola – Easter 2022

Actually we were round in the rotunda for lunch yesterday. How lovely our village gardens are loóking, Hundreds of little bright green lorikeets flashed ín and óut, Hundreds óf these little birds gather here àround 3-4pm

Setting up picnic with Angela Bennett and Pamela Butlin

LNice weather for a change. We have had a terribly wet and unusual summer

Enjoy the sound of the recently refurbished fountain which I’d also a popular bird bath,

pleasant sound of running water

Video çourtesy óf Àngela Bennett

After I installed my $18 watering system!

Hello again, if you look hard you should the black spaggetti-like tubingb to which zI attached little red drippers. It just works on wafer pressure rrom the tap at this stage.

The strange thing is that I havent needed to use it since then because it has puoured every day with so much rain for weeks that any towns have been completely flooded. All very strange.

The plants are very happy though!

State of Limerance

l limerence is such a powerfull thing
tThe light within.
The tingling
The world is wonderrful

tFour months jt lasts
the experts say
By four months.
My light has dimmed
my candle burned
no torch has lit
No fire has started.
I walk away
. nice while it lasted

Ì orgot the
state of limerance
when someone came
to light my life
burn my torch
ring my bell and
sweep me off my feet
and I fell fior you.
From my courtyard

Eunice C  Engĺish  ( c) 22

Just Saying

If life was all milk and honey we would all be craving salt and lemon

And tequila

This is supposed to be hot sunny weather this time of year. Been absolutely pouring for days.Maybe enough to lift drought restrictions?

Meanwhile, Nigel and Effie are outside, happily setting up their xmas fairy grotto, complete with tiny Gnome home. Effie is excited to be getting a red dress for Xmas, but Nigel is really an Elf, and says they don’t dress up as Santa. They dress up as Elves!

Through the Lens

A search Done by opening the Google Lens app over the picture, then setting to search brought up the most delightful array of still life paintings  and ‘yes’, there was THE same painting, plus lots more. Wonderful but worrying. Now anybody can do this and breach coyrìght? But oh what a lovely surprise to have an art Gallery at my fingertip.

You can actually tap each to goto the source and buy if on sale.

Slideshow here from Google Lens

Flower Arranging in Pictures

Name of demonstrator to come adding more photos
Australian flower arrangement decals are available through ebay

Some of the simplest arrangements can be pleasing to the eye

A crystal whisky glass and woven drink mat
Straight from the garden
Blending colours
Hard Wedgewood in,of course, Wedgewood Blue, and a soft yellow rose
Tiny bursts of colour
One of my favourites on my late Mother’s dining table
A conglomeration of pleasing shapes and colours at Worn Out Wares Singleton, NSW. Taken years ago. Çheck their lovely pics on their amazing HERE
Worn Out Wares, Singleton
Lovely colours
Àn Australian painting up there with the best Impressionists, It was in a local exhibition in the Art Gallery of Newcastle NSW Im trying to source the artist. Margaret Olley?*Love the background and the calm busyness of the whole.*
This magnificent orchid grows out in a neighbour’s garden and is huge! She gave this branch to me as I was passing.
At the entrance to our village hall
My flowers never die when I take photographs
Or you can have a beautiful permanent fabric display like this fom Ikea!

*Update: Just had an amazing experience trying to source this painting and yes it is by Margaret Olley (Brownie points to me for getting it right)! See Through the Lens HERE

Recipe For Peanut Butter Cookies

Courtesy of Whittaker’s chocolate

NOTE ONTAINS NUTS (well someone is sure to ask!)


250g Butter, softened

200g Brown sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

300g Plain flour

50g Cocoa

½ tsp Salt

200g Whittaker’s Peanut Block, roughly chopped

200g Roasted, salted peanuts

Flakey sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C fan bake and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix on a slow speed until just combined.
  4. Add the Whittaker’s chocolate and peanuts and mix very briefly to incorporate.
  5. Roll dough into balls (~50 grams each) and place on prepared baking trays – leaving enough room for spreading.
  6. Press down to flatten slightly and sprinkle over a pinch of flakey sea salt.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are firm. Leave on the tray until firm enough to handle then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

peanut slab 200.g


PeanutView chocolate

Gift Idea for That Person With a Hobby

coming up to Xmas if you cant find the right gift,  try typing  ‘gifts for…’and the name of the loved one’s hobby.

 This way I found this tee shirt for my son, plus a surprising number of gifts just for kayakers. After choosinģ this I found more funny ones. Fortunately he saw the humour in it.

I also liked is one

I Aĺso found a heavy metal tee-shirt saying ‘when life gets complicated I play my guitar’ for him, and an old rocker friend. Both were delighted.

The witty Boo bees was bought by my canadian cousin. Seems tee shirt humour is escaping the Political Correctness Police wherever you go.

Long may it last!


You can buy a silly hat! These come from Scotland

Roses For Posies – Poyum by EC English

Roses for Posies

I supposes

Held in front of

bridesmaids’ clotheses

Scent to waft up


Perfumed romance

Eunice C English 7/10/2021

Have You Seen My Silly Blog ?

Life With the Cardigans (referring to old people wearing long, comfortable knitted jackets)

Not a lot to be silly sbout at the moment so we are in my courtyard – again. Oops just spotted that typo! Visit from here

Why Raised Garden Beds Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up to Be

Image from article. This is just like the onec I had but with healthy plants!

This is a very good article, by Sarah Showfety, and exactly what I found when starting one in England. I used newspapers to cover and kill grass and weeds before starting, but the results were very unsatisfactory, and for one person it worked out much cheaper to get fresh vegetables from the Farm Shop in Raymoth Lane, just around the corner!

Raymoth Lane Worksop,England

If you cant be there during Lockdown, this is how to do it.

Together with family members and friends in their own homes who could not fravel due to Covid-19 restrictions at this time, we watched Samantha and Dylan getting married ĺive on television.

Beamed live from Port Douglas, Australia

CONGRATULATIONS! The Celebrant could be heard clearly taking them through their vows as waves beached happily behind, including Samantha’s Grandmother Lorraine – (my Best Friend), in Singleton. It was extra special to be able to see the faces, beautiful gown, and the waves rolling in so clearly.

Samantha’s beautiful wedding gown

The poor bridesmaids would have been a lot less happy to see full-sized photo cutouts standing where they should have been. But at least they were part of the live event long distance.

Sorry I only got the back views of them.
Of course I had to join in with a selfie from my living room,!

For others who would normally have travelled by plane or road to the event and were devastated by all the restrictions preventing travel this was the light at the end of the tunnel.

We had all clicked the private link leading to the tv broadcast and were excitedly texting each other then suddenly “Wow!”,there we were about to mingle!

We had only just been forced into Lockdown the day before due to the sudden spread of the Covid-19 virus from Sydney, so it greatly brightened up what would have been a very dismal day unable to leave home.

Exchanging rings
It was all very romantic, and quite historical

Best wishes for the future, Samantha and Dylan Hall. Thank you so much for sharing xxx

Thank you

All That Glítters –

Something from nothing Desk

When I began this using nail Polish mainly, glitter glue and gold wax I could not actually see in the middle what I was doing. I could always see from a distance.

This week I have just been adding bits and pieces has the mood shook me and as the cataract operation took effect and I just wanted to monitor any changes. I have surely been able to see more of what I have actually been up to and yesterday I could see to put little green dots here and there This is really exciting thank you God.

However on looking back I think lesss is a more and the original simple Tree of life was much nicer than the ather over worked version but it is easily cleaned up. What do you think? It is pleasing to sit opposite to.

It has a different look depending upon which light catches which area. Now if it should have a name to it like Hockney or Banksy people would rush to pay millions for it from all directions.

My initials are in the right hand corner of course. Somewhere I have an app that will cut out the background and let me put a plain background in.

I think it would be rather pleasing as a design for a mug. Watch this space.

It is day 2 of our latest Lock down after all and I have to do something. There are only so many cupboards you can sort. Again.


Spreading the Love – with Chocolate

I will have to keep this short because I still can’t focus but a lovely thing happened on the day after my eye operation which had it been a bit traumatic because the anaesthetic didn’t work.

Nevertheless on Saturday afternoon the carrier arrived with a big box inside which was another box inside which were 10 bars of beautifully gold- wrapped chocolate from Whittakers.

they had been in touch saying they’re liked what I wrote last time about the new hazelnut chocolate and I said they would send me a surprise! Well it’s not been too much fun lately and as I said I had this operation on my good neye so it was all a bit touch and go as to how things would be. But by Sat afternoon things were beginning to look hopeful then as I say this chocolate turned up and I could easily make out the gold packaging.

It was too good to keep to myself so I have shared it out and the people who have helped me lately including Damon who wrote the story in the paper about my story about the chocolate on the blog. So here is a picture of me still wearing the patch but looking suitably greedy with all that gold bullion in chocolate. I have written people’s names on the bars of Hazelnut chocolate which I can’t yet read without a magnifying glass but which means I cannot open that particular named bar.

and anyway it is amazing to be able to see things without spectacles and even with these magnifying glasses I can read this week what has been so difficult for so long.

E everybody has been absolutely thrilled to get the big bar of gold wrapped lovely chocolate and Whittakers Chocolate have just made me feel really good. I’m feeling very virtuous by sharing my gift around -bearing in mind I know exactly which shelf this chocolate is on in Coles and Woolworths haha.

Thank You Whittakers Chocolate for Your Lovely gift.

Divine Whittakers Hazelnut

My Sixties Wedding Dress- part of Mee Memoirs

New Year’s Eve 1967

All very trendy. Mother disappointed that I refused the bouffant-style bride gown. I have never done bouffant except with my hair.

Bet you don’t recognise me, eh? The skinny one with chestnut hair and the amazing silver leather sling back gorgeous shoes with diamante and silver leather flowers.

Bell-shaped sleeves, A-line dress shape with rainbow shape seam shaping the bodice. The fabric was treebark satin with a lovely sheen and texture. Mine caught the ultra violet light in the fabric creases. My Mother had always been a good dressmaker. She made underwear from damaged silk parachutes during the war and kept her sisters looking glam at the wartime dances.

She never knew that my favourite dresses were the ones she made. An ungrateful daughter aged ten, I complained that I didn’t want home made clothes any more, but over my teenage years she finished off many a hem for me on the dresses I made from the latest patterns. Gt grandfather was a successful tailor, Grandma çrocheted and taught me. Creating with fabric was in the blood.

My Mother was understandably reluctant to sew my wedding dress, but it was important to me. Hopefully it showed my appreciatin for her skill and all the love she sewed into our clothes that she did not voice. Satin-lined, it fitted perfectly and was so comfortable. No, I was adamant that it din’t need pearls or crystals around the neckline, but I settled for a large single pearl on a gold chain, and that was perfect.

.I was 21 when I married, and we bought a very modern house. That was what you did in my area in 1967. My marriage was a disappointment, aren’t they all? 16 years we lasted, my life a combination of Shirley Valentine before we emigrated to Australia and Educating Rita as the Seventies stirred up Women’s Liberation. I thought I was marrying Heathciffe from Wuthering Heights. He fitted the description. He thought he was marrying a grateful housewife. Well the poor man got t hat wrong. Between us we have two wonderful sons, and what I refer to on forms an ‘amicable divorce’. We never married again. But on the way we did a lot of amazing things that only happened in the Sixties and Seventies.

By pure coincidence the dress sits next to me as I write, in a wooden chest made by my younger son. I was 21 when I wore it. I turn 75 in September, all being well. In all those years I have never seen a wedding dress I liked better.

Love you Mum

In memory of Kathleen English. Passed away aged 91. Adored by her husband Tom every day of their lives together. Made her own wedding dress during wartime in 1944. From net lace curtains.

The Shabby Chateau Look

Something from nothing

Gold wax. Crystal knobs. Anything goes,,!
Soft Gold wax comes in a tube from Ebay

Roll Top Desk in Glitter Glue and Nail Polish

Glitter Glue and Naíl Polish

Plus Old Gold wax

One of the influences for my decorating style Chateau du Gudanes

Life With the Cardigans 2 Update

-Let’s just be silly

Should I make Life With the Cardigans its own Blog? Here is my new Geriatric Social Influencer Look lol

Life With the Cardigans – (no not the Kard…)

My hairdresser Annette comes and cuts my hair out on the patio. Much better than sitting facing a salon mirror! (hair colours Natural)
Cant see to read at the mo. Hmm, what to do?
And then the glitter glue came out. Some nail polish and gold wax highlights. Click to enlarge
Today I watched a live wedding from Queensland during lockdown. More later
My nearby lake as phone wallpaper
Under my window
See, we do get the odd wet, miserable day in Lake Maquaurie.
Damon had run out of news again! Always happy to fill the space and provide light relief. We even have a ceertain following who appreciate our humour (yes you Brian)
Great idea sent by John. Sorry dont jnow the source

– advice from Alyce

Fake it till you make it

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Mee Memoirs are at:

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