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We’ve moved back to the city, into a little flat, swapping a big backyard full of roses for a balcony and shared garden. There are mature trees and lawn, some impressive camelias, and I can walk to work, which is why we came. The possums ate most of our potted plants on the first night, so I’m working towards a barricade of prickly cacti. They ate mint, Vietnamese mint, succulents and lemon leaves, the olive tree is fine though. I am coping with the destruction by laughing at our garden being reduced to bare earth by native wildlife in the city in a way it never was in the country.

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The boy likes his new school, but change is always tricky, so I am putting a bit of effort into his room to make it feel really his. Top of the list was replacing the revolting faded purple curtains with some orange ones. He loves bright colours and this one coordinates with his Nanna ‘lanket. The curtains are an unconventional three drops, so they’re easier to use again wherever we live next, no matter what shape the window is.

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We ate this cauliflower “pasta” with peas and ricotta last night. It was excellent, and not only because all I had to do was email the recipe to the Bloke, go to work, come home, sit down, eat. I ate the leftovers cold for morning tea, it was still good. I’m going to go out on a limb and say best thing ever to do with cauliflower.

Did I ever mention we bought and have been using bamboo toothbrushes? Well they’re good too. Buy them online in a box, and then forget about buying any more toothbrushes for months. If there is more than one person in your house you will need to invest in a quality texta though, because they don’t come in different colours.

We’ve eaten the first few peas of the season, the broad beans are twice as big as we’ve ever grown them (it turns out they like rain! Who knew?) and the parsley and coriander are going to seed. There are self-sown tomatoes popping up, the garlic is nearly ready to harvest and I’ve bought replacement Vietnamese mint.

We’ve even eaten a few dinners outside this week.

Snow in Trentham, early October

Of course, a fortnight ago it snowed just down the road, so we’re not quite out of the frosty woods.

It’s been a cold winter. I’ve been working during the week, it’s been dark when I leave home and almost dark when I get back, we’ve had lots of family events that keep us away from home on weekends, and one way and another I’ve seen very little of the garden. This weekend we stayed home, we did a bit of pruning and weeding, surveyed the frost damaged plants and acknowledged that a few probably wont re-sprout this Spring. The camellia I thought had died during the heatwave of 2009 has rewarded patience though – two thirds of it was dead, dead, dead but the other third started flowering last week. I’ve cut out all the dead stuff, I’ve pulled out armfulls of weeds, and I’ve tried to focus on the stuff that is growing well and not a weed. It’s less overwhelming that way.

Broad bean Aquadulce in flower

Raspberry with new shoots

Surrealist curly wurly garlic

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