Sickness and Shakespeare

It’s been a wild week – in more ways than one!

In truth, I feel more than a little cheated. After unseasonably warm weather, I was out in the rain and wind and got cold early in the week. I even picked ripe strawberries earlier in the week!


I started to get the sniffles on Wednesday and by Thursday I was a mess! I’ve spent (for me) a lot of time in bed with David Tennant and a box of tissues.

Now before you get the wrong idea, I’ve been watching and (when I’ve been able to) reading a lot of Doctor Who for my current unit at Griffith University. Doctor Who has become a legitimate area of academic study, which makes me even more inclined to consider post grad work in Screen Studies! So I re-watched a good deal of the Tenth Doctor. Although I really like all the actors cast as the Doctor, I think Tennant has been my favourite so far, largely because of his versatility 😀

So I’ve been watching Tennant in Hamlet (Doran 2009) with Patrick Stewart and Much Ado About Nothing (Rourke 2011) with the utterly brilliant Catherine Tate. That led on to Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and (somehow) to Excalibur (Boorman 1981) which features the late Nicol Williamson as Merlin, one of the greatest actors of his generation and reputedly the best Hamlet ever.

Last night I moved on to The Hollow Crown: Richard II and tonight I’m planning to snuggle up with Jeremy Irons in The Hollow Crown: Henry IV and if I last long enough, Tom Hiddleston in The Hollow Crown: Henry V. Apparently, there’s a new season coming out this year and I also want to  – more DVDs I need to find room for 😀

As you might have gathered by now, I love Shakespeare. I was thinking recently with all the celebrations for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death that I should re-watch what I’ve got and replenish my collection. For me it’s the musicality of the language, the silliness of the comedies, the depth of the tragedies – it’s pure comfort food when I’m feeling like this. While I’m still sniffly, it’s nothing more than an autumn virus but it’s left me very foggy and aching.

Those of you who follow my blog will be pleased to know that the Elderberry Cordial I made earlier this year is a winner! I’ve been having a hot cordial before going to sleep and it’s really helped break this virus – and it tastes lovely 😀

So there’s been little gardening but the autumn vegetables are booming (next week I must plant onions!) and the six baby rabbits are turning into eating machines!


Finally, (and I’ll likely be soundly told off for this!) it was this beautiful little cherub’s 24th birthday earlier this week and I think this is my favourite photograph of him as a little boy. I cannot begin to express how much this man has changed my life – undoubtedly for the better – and how proud I am of him and to be his mother. Of the many things I’ve done in my life, he is without doubt the finest.


Anyway, I’m off to bed with Jeremy Irons and an Elderberry Cordial. Wherever you all are, I hope you’re well and happy ❤

Do you like Shakespeare? What’s your favourite play? Leave a comment below – I love to hear from you all! 

Surviving the Storm – A Sunday Night Recap

Well, it’s been quite a week! I’m not sure where it disappeared to, but I’m rugged up on the couch and it’s Sunday night here in Hobart.

At the moment, Tasmania is in the path of a series of westerly fronts, bringing much needed rain but some very damaging winds. There was some respite yesterday so I took the opportunity to spend some time in the garden, rearranging mulch, repairing torn bird netting and salvaging what I could of the broccoli crop.

And of course, I got to spend some quality time with the chickens and the now month old rabbits ❤


Earlier this week I processed the rest of the chestnut crop, which was pretty poor this year due to very little rain in summer and no water to spare for the trees. But I find them so delicious and useful that every little piece has become precious to me and my family. I’d never really paid much attention to chestnuts until I moved here, with a mature tree in the backyard that provides several kilos of nuts every autumn with minimal care.

For any of you interested in how I process them, I did a post here a couple of years ago.

On Friday, I got a parcel in the post from a woman I met through Facebook, who lives in northern Tasmania. In it was a self addressed post bag for some chilli seeds – and two beautiful, handmade beanies.


The photo doesn’t really do them justice, they are really a very dark black and a luscious purple – my favourite colour 🙂  Fran is also a blogger and you can find her here. I finished packaging her seeds during the week, I’ve been drying them slowly on paper.

IMG_20160513_210229Like most repetitive tasks, I think there’s something incredible meditative about sorting seeds. For me it’s akin to weeding or planting but a little more demanding, particularly when you’re trying to keep track of numbers and sort out obvious broken or dud seeds – much easier with peas and beans!

Nevertheless, it’s one of those jobs that I really enjoy doing on a cold night with some good music or a favourite movie on.

One thing I should’ve done though is wear gloves. Despite using broad head tweezers, I still got enough capanoids on my fingers to sting!

Once sorted, I put the seeds into paper packets I make from old (preferably heavy weight) paper. The recent batch for all my seeds this autumn came from some old (and quite dreadful) music books I found in the local tip shop. Although I revere books, I’ve recycled these so that no innocent child is ever forced to play those songs again – they are truly dreadful!



I think the finished product looks rather nice and I hope Fran and her family enjoy the produce. One day we’ll meet in person I’m sure 🙂

The rain and wind came back with a vengeance today, so I took the opportunity to catch up with my current studies at Griffith University. I’m doing an online degree and this unit is Television Studies. My head is still full of textual analysis and particularly David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. For something most of us take for granted, television is really quite a complex and surprisingly demanding area of study – and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning some of the history and depth of the medium. This week I have to finish drafting my major essay on the enduring appeal of Doctor Who which has meant I’ve had to watch quite a lot of it (mostly David Tennant) in recent weeks.

Seriously, I love my life 😀

Stay well and be happy wherever you are ❤