field and flourish


















Back in November I got to enjoy my August birthday… a gift to attend the fabulous Field and Flourish workshop run by Tamsin from Tamsin’s Table and Mel from Cecilia Fox. I adore Mel’s flower arrangements and I’ve long been a fan of Tamsin’s Instagram feed, her images feel like they’ve been plucked from my dreams – rolling green hills, beautiful farmhouse, lots of fresh homegrown produce, and so many pretty flowers and table settings not to mention delicious food… just gorgeous. Funnily enough I didn’t seem to capture any food shots, I guess I was too busy eating it, all of which was homegrown and homemade, sprinkled with pretty flowers and love.

The day began with a wander through the Rose paddock…. yes paddock! Tamsin planted a whole paddock full of Roses, not just any Roses either but a carefully curated collection of Roses that not only travels through history as you travel down the hill, but blows your socks off with perfume and petals and colour. Then it was time to wander through the veggie garden, collecting all sorts of lovely foliage and veg that was purposely left to go to seed. Did you know Leek seed heads make for a stunning addition to an arrangement? They do! Most of us ventured beyond the veggie garden to collect some grass seed heads and other goodies and of course to check out the free range Turkeys and their babies. Who knew baby Turkeys were so cute?

We prepared our flowers and dethorned our roses under the cool shade of the magnificent old Ash Tree that graces the garden surrounding Tamsin’s farmhouse, listening to the lovely stories Mel shared about all sorts of things including becoming a florist in New Zealand. All the while Tamsin and her friendly team were busy preparing our lunch, the smells wafting out of the kitchen were amazing. Back inside and under the gentle guidance of Mel each student made a posy and a large arrangement, whilst delicious snacks were served and we sipped rose syrup spritzes. Freshly dug heirloom radishes, with a generous slathering of butter and a sprinkling of salt and deep-fried onion anyone? Oh my that was a taste sensation that had to be eaten to be believed. Divine!

Before we knew it first course was served and my taste buds were in heaven again. Tamsin kindly accommodated all my tricky food allergies and blew me away with a flavoursome 3 course lunch. Everything looked pretty as picture and almost too good to eat. Blue potatoes with pretty little blue flowers scattered throughout the fresh greens may give you an idea of the kind of pretty I’m talking about. But it couldn’t convey the deliciousness. Nor could my description of a quince syrup sorbet with sweet tangy poached Rhubarb (so fresh I saw it being carried from the veggie garden whilst we were eating first course!) and sprinkled with the tiniest but most divinely flavoured fresh rose geranium petals. I guess you’ll just have to trust me when I say the food was as pretty as it was delicious and fresh. We ate our fill and chatted around the beautiful big table, surrounded by gorgeous old windows with views to die for.

What a lovely day it was. Mel’s stories and helpful advice with the flowers and arranging, and Tamsin’s welcoming hosting and delicious food made for the most perfect combination. I learnt about arrangements having ‘ins and outs’ and giving each bloom room to breathe. I learned that the right variety of zucchini will make the most amazing noodles you’ve ever tasted and you can grow a huge amount of produce in a relatively humble plot… and of course so much more than I could eloquently share with you here… If this dreamy day sounds like your kind of cuppa tea, then you’ll be pleased to know Tamsin and Mel run this workshop every year, but they always sell out within days of being announced so you’ll need to be quick if you want to book into this gem of day.

Wishing you dreamy days flourished with delicious prettiness x

2016 the year of the farm





I guess you may have noticed it’s been rather quiet around these parts of late… life gets busy in the lead up to Christmas doesn’t it? For me it was busy not only with Christmas preparations, but also with dreams coming true. You see exactly 5 weeks before Christmas eve we found ‘the one’… that little house on a couple of acres we’ve been dreaming of for years. It was a bit of a surprise to be honest as we weren’t at the serious looking stage yet… still researching for the most part and only checking out properties that really caught our eye. And then, BANG! when you least expect it – you find it. ‘The one’ that ticks all your boxes and then some… boxes that weren’t even on your bonus box list. I think I was there 5 minutes before that overwhelming feeling of destiny swallowed me whole. I was gobsmacked at what we’d found and couldn’t believe our luck. It was perfect!

I still can’t quite believe it’s happened… it all moved so fast. Within two days of first seeing ‘the one’ – we bought it, and 16 days later our house was sold. During those 16 crazy days we jumped for joy, crammed a few years maintenance work into our home, said ‘OMG we bought a farm’ 50 times a day, listed our home and sold her. It was nuts! And wonderful! And exhausting! And easy! It made us feel so incredibly sure that we were on the right path. Which is lucky ‘cos it’s pretty darn scary leaving your home of nearly 20 years and moving to the country to start a whole new life. And then there are the trade offs too, as is only natural. I will no longer be 5 minutes drive from most of my family… this is by far the toughest trade off of them all as I’ve ALWAYS been 5 minutes from my family *sniff*. And I will be commuting a decent trip to and from work for a few years. We’ve got a number of things to do to the farm to achieve our semi self sufficient plan before I can think about not working. I know the 3 hours travel a day will be a struggle at times, but I’m sure it will be worth it… eventually.

As this first day of 2016 unfolds, our excitement for the future is palpable… We’ve plans to start packing things into boxes and sketching out garden designs for the farm, where the collection of existing fruit trees can be expanded, where the chookhouse might go, where the veggie gardens will go, which fields will be sectioned off for animals and which ones for growing, and how we can rotate some of those spaces. We have much to learn… but today I just can’t get my head out of the clouds, imagining us sitting on the verandah and watching the sun go down in the huge big expanse of sky, over the rolling green hills dotted with our neighbours cows and sheep. I know there’ll be back breaking hard working long days too, but for now I am dreaming of the beautiful sweet moments that await us in 2016… the year of the farm… the year of our farm… the year of our dream.

May 2016 be the year of your dreams… and filled with peace, love & harmony x

dear monday 28.12.15 … the last one

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The bustling busy Chinchero Market… trinkets, treasures, gem stones, jumpers, beanies, fruit stacked in balancing towers, vegetables, weavings and baskets and everything else you can think of… women in traditional dress and well worn hard working farming clothes… tourists and locals and kids buying fairy floss… a traditional wedding in the historic old church up the hill… cool crisp short sharp breaths, warm bright sunshine and a chilly breeze direct from the snow capped mountains in the distance… steep stairs up big breathless hills… haircuts on chairs at the front entrance… traditional toilets for the locals, and unsuspecting tourists that didn’t know there were also regular loos at the other end of the market… babes on backs wrapped in woven patterns significant to their heritage… ancient stone terraces… traditional ways with fibers… happy knitters knitting the finest yarn into the most intricate patterns that represent history and stories gone by… flags and flimsy looking but somehow stable constructions ready for a big celebration… and so much more…
Chinchero Market, Peru, September 2014.

There is a great deal to love about Chinchero Market… and in honour of this being my very last ‘dear monday’ I thought I’d share a few more photos with you. Some of these may have appeared before on the blog or on my Instagram but I’ve picked them as a collection today so you can pick up on the vibe of the beautiful traditional Chinchero Market… Thanks for all the visits to my year of ‘dear mondays’ it’s been a lovely to way to welcome in the new week and share some photos with you, plus it gave me a wonderful opportunity to relive an amazing year of travel I enjoyed in 2014. Peace Love & Harmony to you x













 

 
What? Greeting Mondays with gratitude and memories of dreams come true.

How? Sharing a favourite 2014 holiday photo every Monday in 2015. 

Why? Cos I don’t like Mondays so I’m going to fight them with sweet moments.

You? Feel free to join in #dearmonday2015 (leave a link in the comments below so we can see it!)

See? You can see other dear mondays here

more about how this all came about <a href="http://bearlovesdove.com/2015/01/02/hello-2

dear monday 21.12.15

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My favourite wintertime beach where you can dig a hole in the sand and sit in a natural hot thermal pool at low tide, watch the steam rise from the sand and feel like you’re on another planet… The healing hot waters rejuvenate even the weariest of bones … Low tide in the morning gets busy, but the low tide in the moonlight, well that was something very special indeed. We couldn’t really see the waves rolling into shore but we could hear them… there’s something quite surreal sitting in hot water, on the beach, at night, with just the sound of the ocean, the murmurs from a few other mad bods, and odd flicker of their flashlight as they search for the perfect hot pool spot and their own dose of twilight healing. If you ever visit New Zealand, be sure to make the trek to the Coromandel Peninsula and find the Hot Water Beach, I’m pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.

Hot Water Beach, North Island, New Zealand. March 2014.

 

 
What? Greeting Mondays with gratitude and memories of dreams come true.

How? Sharing a favourite 2014 holiday photo every Monday in 2015. 

Why? Cos I don’t like Mondays so I’m going to fight them with sweet moments.

You? Feel free to join in #dearmonday2015 (leave a link in the comments below so we can see it!)

See? You can see other dear mondays here

more about how this all came about here

dear monday 14.12.15

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We left Napier after a final stop at our new favourite fish & chip shop, with two little crayfish tails on board for our midday pit stop planned at Lake Taupo. The scenery changed quickly from coastal to mountainous and the windy road opened to gorgeous vistas of untouched rugged New Zealand beauty often. Hungry and keen for our crayfish lunch at Taupo, we decided a little detour to follow a waterfall lookout was worth investigating, and it did not disappoint, not only was it huge, hard to gather the scale in this photo I know, it was so beautiful! It was here I saw my first New Zealand Bumblebee #bestname! We don’t have Bumblebees in Victoria so I have a little fascination with them. I have seen them before in Tasmania, but this guy had a pilot – he was huge, and so fluffy! We watched him buzz busily about the native flowers for a while, and enjoyed the waterfall for a bit before the call of the crayfish became too loud to bear. Back in the car on the roadtrip to Taupo and before long we were sitting by New Zealand’s largest lake, tucking into fresh crayfish and pondering waterfalls, bumblebees and how much stunning beauty Aotearoa offers.

Waipunga Falls, New Zealand. March 2014.

 

 
What? Greeting Mondays with gratitude and memories of dreams come true.

How? Sharing a favourite 2014 holiday photo every Monday in 2015. 

Why? Cos I don’t like Mondays so I’m going to fight them with sweet moments.

You? Feel free to join in #dearmonday2015 (leave a link in the comments below so we can see it!)

See? You can see other dear mondays here

more about how this all came about here

dear monday 7.12.15

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Pastel beauty in Napier. March, 2014. New Zealand.

What? Greeting Mondays with gratitude and memories of dreams come true.

How? Sharing a favourite 2014 holiday photo every Monday in 2015. 

Why? Cos I don’t like Mondays so I’m going to fight them with sweet moments.

You? Feel free to join in #dearmonday2015 (leave a link in the comments below so we can see it!)

See? You can see other dear mondays here

more about how this all came about here