Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Flinders Island is doing a passable imitiation of Cape Town in winter - which was rather what B and I feared when we moved here (and has not been true so far). The rain today is thin and damp-making and persistant (most of the time rain here is big drops, and a lot of them - very wet, but not persistant, if you get the difference).

We went into Whitemark PO this morning and posted off a smell-o-gram to Roland. A niffy t-shirt... hope it helps. It should be with him by tomorrow as we sent it express. Then we had tea with Inge and came home before leading fringe of rain. This sort of rain makes staying indoors and warm and dry attractive (I've HEARD gung-ho types (inevitably with desk jobs) say how they like being on a heaving deck in a force ten gale and sleeting rain etc. By the time you have tried it for a few years you may still like the excitement, but well, just being out in the persistant rain and cold wind is not fun. I've tried it. The good part is coming in and being safe and warm and dry afterwards. Facing the elements when you can do that is bracing stimulating, yes. But not day after day - as someone who once fish-farmed through a Cape winter can tell you) So it's been a good day for the fall of Galata. We move on in the book. Only about 2K words, but it was a hard piece to write.

The fire is warm (and thus the house reasonably so) we've had a tasty supper of a clam pasta, and a piece of choccy (BIG treat. Chocolate is one of those things I'm not even prepared to go all self-sufficiency on.) It left me thinking that this phase of our move has to start moving along soon. By next year we might heaven help us be in a shed or a yurt or a tent...

But that is for next year.


  1. That's one of the things that always left me wondering about certain Army schools...the idea that people have to practice being cold, wet and miserable.

    Meanwhile, my friend in Texas mentioned that he also uses "hoop houses" to grow cold hardy veggies in the winter. Seems pretty cheap and easy. I'll look into it and if I find a good site I'll send you a link. It sounds ideal for Flinder's weather.

  2. Well, Quilly, while some of us needed more 'practice' at that like we needed an extra hole in the head, I do recall some little cotton-wool wrapped darlings who simply had never been allowed to be. And learning how to deal with it was valuable for them I guess. Also I think it might be more about putting you under physical distress to see if you crack, and possibly more important letting you share misery that is the real purpose.
    Everything is still growing (no frost yet) - at near dead slow. I'm wanting to get more spinach and carrots growing and it won't even germinate.

  3. What is your ground temperature?

    Here's the hoop house.

    My friend uses 1/2" PVC pipe for he hoop and slips it over sections of rebar. He uses painter's clear plastic drop cloth and only closes off the end of the hoop as it gets colder. Something like this might get your ground temp up inexpensively.

  4. Just in case you change your mind about the chocolate.



  5. Matapam, that's just plain evil. Sigh. Someday, if ever have the money, I'll find the time.

  6. Quilly, Not sure of the soil temps - be quite low here I think as the watertable is close. I think I will try for a lower version - somewhere between a cloche and this, just to get seeds going. I can have that below the wind-sheilds. A tunnel like this would probably stick up too high. I've put the word out for clear plastic drink pbottles as per your earlier suggestion.