Sunday, January 15, 2012

First tomato 5/365

First tomato 5/365 by *Jilltoo
First tomato 5/365, a photo by *Jilltoo on Flickr.

Homegrown tomatoes are the best! We have to grow them in a glasshouse here in southern New Zealand but it's worth the effort.
When you grow tomatoes in a glasshouse you should really change the soil each year to avoid the build up of disease. We usually buy a load of superdirt which is great stuff if you don't think of where it came from (I won't go into details here :-) )
To this I add some peat, dolomite lime and long term slow-release fertilizer granules. The problem every year is what to do with the soil you've removed, we tend to spread it round the garden as a mulch.
Strangely this year I've got many plants of plum/Italian style tomatoes when I didn't plant any of that type of seed. I suspect it was a contaminated pack of seeds. Just hope they taste okay. I guess I can always preserve them if they're not good for salads.
Although it's probably cheaper in the long run to buy tomatoes from the supermarket I'll keep growing them, the taste is unbeatable!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rain 3/365

Rain 3/365 by *Jilltoo
Rain 3/365, a photo by *Jilltoo on Flickr.

It was sunny this morning, honest! In fact it's been sunny for most of the day. I left taking my daily photo too long so a rain photo is what you get, I do kind of like the watercolour effect it gives to my garden though.

Talking of gardens, I've spent most of the day harvesting - broad beans, raspberries and the tail end of the currants and weeding. I really need to get out into the garden more often!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breakfast 2/365

Breakfast 2/365 by *Jilltoo
Breakfast 2/365, a photo by *Jilltoo on Flickr.

And because I started the 365 yesterday and didn't blog, there will be two posts in one day! Miracles never cease :-)

Breakfast with the newspaper....
I make bread almost every day, using a breadmaker as it makes it so easy and we much prefer the bread to the bought stuff. I should eat my crusts though!

It's rained here today, the first decent rain for over a month and it's certainly welcome as everything is getting dry.. It's been a great summer down here so far this year, unlike last year.

Blackcurrants 1/365

Blackcurrants 1/365 by *Jilltoo
Blackcurrants 1/365, a photo by *Jilltoo on Flickr.

What a shock! A new post after almost 3 years!
I've started to do do a 365 picture a day project from my second Flickr photostream and it seemed a good opportunity to blog them at the same time.
The blackcurrants are ready to pick, we have several bushes and they give a good crop each year almost without fail. After the very messy of job of cleaning them (I try and farm this job out to other family members) they are frozen and used for jam and deserts. Mmmm.....

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Originally uploaded by borealnz

Every Sunday when I was a child, we went "up to Grandma's" for the afternoon.Grandma still lived out in the country on the family farm and took care of an unmarried uncle. The highlight of the afternoon for us kids was of course afternoon tea. Grandma was a great cook, and her tins were always filled, there was usually a wonderful sponge cake which came in different flavours, a yummy chocolate square, little "buns" and of course my favourite, shortbread!
I made this batch to her recipe especially for "photographic purposes" of course it's nowhere as good as hers..
Anyway, here's the recipe for Grandma's Shortbread (probably real Scottish shortbread too, as my great grand parents were from Scotland.

Grandma's Shortbread
8oz butter
4oz sugar
14 oz flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour, then make into a ball and either roll out and cut into squares or shape into a long rectangle and slice into squares. In earlier years grandma used the first method, but in later she used the latter.
Prick the top with a fork. Bake in a slow oven 325 -350 F

Enjoy! I know I did :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Portrait of a mother

Portrait of a mother
Originally uploaded by borealnz

The sheep over the fence at our country hut have just started lambing so there were lots of the cutest little lambs for me try and take photos of when we were down there today. Try being the operative word, as they're devilishly difficult to get close enough to and you have to be very quiet and move slowly or you end up with an entire paddock of ewes baaing for their misplaced lambs.
This lovely lady posed beautifully for me, I think the fact that there was a fence between me and her helped :-)

This was processed using one of the new textures available from   Flypaper Textures, the site Paul and I launched just yesterday. I used one called Grande Tour very subtly to add a little more depth and it worked a charm :-)

Monday, August 03, 2009

home brewed

home brewed
Originally uploaded by borealnz
I grew up with the smell of hops in the house, my father was a keen home-brewer and there was almost always something bubbling away in the corner of the kitchen or the garage. The earlier brews were made in the traditional way with real hops and malt and were bottled in the old tall type of beer bottle you see in the photo. Because there was always a couple of centimetres of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, the beer had to be decanted into a jug and from there poured into his favourite beer mug (ceramic with a picture of a stag)....(it's strange how you suddenly remember these small details). I don't remember too many dud brews but I guess there must have been some, nor can I remember exploding bottles.

When beer kits became available he switched to those for ease of use and while the resulting brew was more predictable it wasn't nearly as exciting as the old home-brew stinking hops and all.
He also used to make his own wine, but I'll write about that another day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lost and found

blue bokeh
Originally uploaded by borealnz
This isn't what I had intended to post today, I wanted to process a photo of a conifer with raindrops, but after searching through countless folders for what seems like hours it refused to show its face. I know it's lurking there somewhere because I saw it only last week.

This leads me to my problem, how do you sort your photos so you can find things easily? At present my photos are sorted into folders by date taken and each individual photo is named once I've processed the Raw file, the problem is that the names I give them are usually very general, flower, beach, garden and as a result I can't find anything easily. So when I want to do a manipulation and want to lay my hands on a certain type of landscape to use as a background, do you think I can find it without having to spend forever searching?

So what's the secret to organising your photos, do I have to bite the bullet and learn how to use Bridge properly, or is there an easier way?

And the conifer....I've still not found it!