Monthly Archives: June 2015

Swimming in Judge’s Bay

A couple of weeks ago, Lloyd found us a place to swim: Judge’s Bay by the Parnell Baths. It’s a bit cold in the water now (about 16 C) so we both bought wet suits. Lloyd bought a shortie and I bought I full wet suit since I get cold pretty easily. This Friday was the first time that we both went swimming there. Lloyd had gone the previous week and reported the water “not bad” so I gave it a shot. Surprisingly, I agreed with Lloyd’s water judgement. Of course, I got cold first and got out and took a few pictures while Lloyd kept swimming, but we’re both planning on going again. It’s certainly a pretty place to swim and looks like it might be swimmable year round – with wet suits.

The swimming area is really pretty! I enjoyed the scenery while Lloyd did his extra swimming.

The swimming area of Judge’s Bay. I enjoyed the scenery while Lloyd did his extra swimming.

We really did get all the way in!

We really did get all the way in!

MDF Frame

Jasmine made a rather cool looking fillet crochet Viking longboat a couple of months ago and we needed to get it up on our wall. The problem is that it is more or less like trying to hang up a scarf on your wall – and that wouldn’t look too pretty. So we needed to mount it on something in order to put it onto the wall.

We did the simplest thing that I could think of: purchased some Medium Density Fiberboard, some upholstery thumbtacks, and some wire. I then painted an ocean onto the MDF and we tacked the crochet on top. Then we put two more tacks in the top of the MDF, attached the wire to them, and we were good to go.

My watercolours are getting somewhat better.

My watercolours are getting somewhat better.

The boat on the water. It actually looks nicer in the picture than in person. I think we might need some brighter lights in our room.

The boat on the water. It actually looks nicer in the picture than in person. I think we might need some brighter lights in our room.

If we had to do it again, I think the only thing we would change is the colors on the fillet crochet and maybe the yarn gauge. Jasmine will get it looking nicer and we will then certainly post directions here.

Nasturtium

We were walking around over the weekend and noticed a field full of Nasturtium, just growing like a weed by the side of the trail. Nasturtium is a flowering annual plant that grows on runners and propagates heavily via seeds. It has pretty flowers and foliage and is edible – both the flowers and the leaves. They are good for salads, with a bit of a peppery taste.

As we are in the middle of doing up the garden, I figured why not give it a go. So we came back later and dug up some of it for the garden.

It seems to have transplanted OK; my technique was digging it up with some soil still on the roots, then carrying it back in a bag, and just putting it in the garden soil. I’ll have to do a follow up post on how they like the new environment.

A giant field of Nasturtium. As it isn't native to NZ and growing next to ivy and dill I figure no one would be bothered by my digging.

A giant field of Nasturtium. As it isn’t native to NZ and growing next to ivy and dill, I figured no one would be bothered by my digging.

Our transplanted Nast. It is looking a little sad, but I think it will perk up in a day or two.

Our transplanted Nast. It is looking a little sad, but I think it will perk up in a day or two.

Rhubarb Pie from the Garden

Our new house came with a very neglected, but once well-stocked, garden. We noticed there was quite a bit of rhubarb so we decided to make a pie. All of the filling inside came out of the garden in our backyard. This is the first pie we’ve made with completely homegrown ingredients and we were pretty happy with it.

The rhubarb post harvest. You should always leave a  few leaves on the plant as rhubarb is a perennial

The rhubarb post harvest. You should always leave a few leaves on the plant as rhubarb is a perennial.

Cut up stalks for the pie. ONLY USE THE STALKS! Rhubarg leaves have large quantities of the toxic chemical oxalic acid. Fun fact, it is chemically palindromic HOOCCOOH.

Cut up stalks for the pie. ONLY USE THE STALKS! Rhubarb leaves have large quantities of the toxic chemical oxalic acid. Fun fact: it is chemically palindromic HOOCCOOH.

I found a recipe here and made my usual pie crust recipe to go with it. The pie turned out well and was much enjoyed by all – including our flatmates.

I actually made a pretty crust! This is a first for me.

I actually made a pretty crust! This is a first for me.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

House #2

Now for the backyard. The house is on about half an acre split pretty evenly into thirds: a front yard, the house, and a back yard. The backyard has a little shed with a washer dryer, but enough room that it will probably be repurposed as a brewery at some point in the near future.

There is a deck with a little hot tub. This will be nice through the winter.

There is a deck with a little hot tub. This will be nice through the winter.

The shed. It has some brewery potential.

The shed. It has some brewery potential.

The garden, or currently weed patch. It will mostly be lettuce and root vegetables until the end of winter.

The garden, or currently weed patch. It will mostly be lettuce and root vegetables until the end of winter.

And our pleasant grassy backyard. The flatmates are getting a dog leading to potential landmines and the quandary - is dog shit compostable?

And our pleasant grassy backyard. The flatmates are getting a dog, leading to potential landmines and the quandary – is dog shit compostable?