South to the North

September was a busy month for us. A quick trip to Bruny Island, Tasmania (a great mate of hubby’s was turning 60) meant stuffing into a suitcase appropriate clothes for the cold, jeans, jackets, boots and jumpers.

Beautiful Bruny Island

Windswept and 60 .. Stephen B

We were back home for a couple of days before a complete repack of same suitcase with bathers, dresses, shorts, sandals, sarongs, sun hat and suntan lotion. Ten days on Vanuatu with our good friends Grant and Juliana, staying at Eratap beach resort, which is quiet and secluded and tucked away on Efate Island.

Eratap Beach

Vanuatu is a group of islands located in the South Pacific, the perfect place to visit to shake off the winter doldrums. Beautiful days with temps sitting around 25 and nights around 18. Balmy weather and not a mozzie in sight. Vanuatu is lush and unspoilt, although Port Vila is busy and not the easiest place to get around as the roads are super busy.

My holiday summary.

I …

  • loved paddle boarding but would recommend against learning where there is a current
  • have been kayaking with hubby now for over 20 years – and yet he still tells me how to paddle?
  • used to love snorkelling! It is now appears to be one of my least favourite holiday past times – who cares that the sea snakes don’t bite
  • really enjoyed reading ‘The Woman in the Window’ by A.J.Finn
  • now realise mobile phones should be treated with caution. Viewing Insta on mobile while wearing a long dress and walking is not a great idea!
  • over indulged in food no doubt about it, but it was outstanding
  • was so pleased to note the absence of single use plastic bags in the Supermarket!
  • love seeing hubby with a beard – handsome man

I wouldn’t hesitate visiting the Resort again … thanks so much to all the amazing staff you made the visit so special!

So there we have it … life has been busy. I love going away but I’m a homebody so coming home is special.

The weeds certainly enjoyed my absence and with a relatively mild start to spring, they had attempted a fairly good take over of the veg gardens. They had done a terrific job of smothering beetroot, spring onions and herbs while shouldering aside broccoli and kale. Not for long though – yours truly attacked them with vigour over the weekend, I won’t mention my back.

Wanting to contribute to spring growth, I have started throwing about some liquid seaweed fertiliser in the general direction of my brassicas, broad beans and leeks. I have a grapefruit and lime that need some TLC, so they have been given a liquid brew of Epsom salts and more seaweed .. next up for them will be some coffee grounds and some wood ash, oh the joy of organic gardening.

Our weekend will no doubt mean more fertiliser fun feeding the orchard with Rok Solid – which is a wondrous black brew of basalt rock, fish fert and seaweed.

My heritage spuds are eagerly awaiting the dirt … I’ve given them the thumbs up and assured them it won’t be long now and they will be planted.

A Sheep with attitude!

Life is grand isn’t it?

Happy gardening

72 thoughts

  1. What a beautiful place, holiday and photographs dear Julie… Fascinated me all your photographs. But especially the sun and the sheep hit me. Thank you dear, Have a nice day, Love, nia

    • Hey Nia .. so nice to hear from you. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the photos 🙂 I couldn’t believe the sun that evening it was electric! As for the sheep, she really does have attitude 🙂

  2. Hi to you both. Once again thanks for your beautiful photos. And showing Tasmania to folks that haven’t had the privilege. Joyce and I loved it. It’s always a joy to visit. The South Pacific looks beautiful,your photos do it’ justice. So it’s back to your smelly fertiliser! Well it’s still good weather here. And your coming into spring but still have the rain. Going to my house today. They have finished drying it out. So let the builders start work. Might be in before Christmas? All for now love to you both.

    • Hey Mr Bonner how lovely to hear from you! I agree, Tasmania is a joy to visit. Did you ever get to Bruny Island? It really is something else. Yes back to that particularly smelly fertiliser .. the garden loves it! Yes spring is well underway and we have had rain the last few days – but much needed. Glad to hear that the house is finally progressing. It would be super if you were in before Xmas. Hugs J x

      • Hi to you both again. No Joyce and I didn’t visit Bruny . We only spent about seven days going round the island. But when I’ve been back we seem to spend it with Stephen and family. Good luck with that smelly stuff. I’m surprised that you get slugs. They must be wearing gas masks ! Really missed my trip this year. Good luck with the fruit etc. Plenty of bottling coming?
        Lots of to you both. Bill.

  3. Well, someone sounds footloose and fancy free. NZ-Aus-NZ-Van-NZ in a couple of weeks. Glad you had a great time, and it seems you had a photography buddy in Tasmania. I’m imagining you both overindulging in food and the good life in Vanuatu. Now you have to make up for it in the garden back home. 🙂

    • Hey Mr Draco .. not as footloose and fancy free as you though 🙂 ha ha … We had a great time! Yes Stephen is a photography buddy – he and his son are amazing photographers and love shooting b&w. I did overindulge, but that’s what holidays are for right 🙂 Great to be back home.

  4. What a beautiful place to visit! A warm spot to feel the sun and the sand is a wee bit of heaven in winter. There you are with Spring and us, now, with fall…It is always a pleasure to visit your wondrous world.

  5. If life has been busy for you, it must have been good and enjoyable also!

    The mix of photos in this post, resort and farm shots, is unique. I know very few people who live live like you do.

    • Life sure has been busy! And it was so enjoyable getting away. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the mix of pics .. we are very lucky to live the way we do. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

    • Hey Cynthia .. oh I love that, a post with gratitude and attitude! 🙂 Lovely to be able to share with you .. isn’t it wonderful to be able to take friends on journeys with us 🙂

    • Hey Anne always great to hear from you. It’s great to get away. As for that sheep Mookie … she is outrageous, has the character to go with those looks! LOL

  6. so wonderful Julie…my brother inlaw worked as a locum tenens physician in Vanuatu…that’s what I know of this place…happy gardening Julie ~ smiles from snowy etown 🤓💫☺️ hedy

    • Hey Miss Hedy … thank you! I bet your brother in law enjoyed working there – it is so relaxed and the people are fabulous! Yep, I’m happy to be back in that garden. Big smiles to you in snowy etown .. 😀

  7. That last picture of the pier could be made into a poster! Vanuatu seems like a lovely place
    I’ve fallen for organic liquid fertilizers too, though all I have are some pots not a few fields. 🙂

    • Vanuatu is special … 🙂 Ah so you are using the organic liquid fertilisers .. super! Great stuff your plants will love it …

  8. I can’t ever look at a post of yours without thinking that you live in paradise:). Beautiful, no matter the season. Thank you for sharing the pics! And second, I am so glad to hear about the supermarket bags. I sigh when I’m the only one in the grocery line who has brought reusable bags. They’re just starting to charge for plastic one-time use bags here and I hope it makes a difference!

    • So pleased you enjoyed the post! Thankfully loads of people are using the reusable bags in our local supermarket. Our govt is banning single use bags next year. Yay bring it on!

    • There is lots of beauty out our way! We’re very lucky … As for that sheep, she has loads of attitude as well as good looks!

  9. Vanuatu looks like a great choice for a holiday. And it’s good to know there are times when mozzies aren’t around. Re the coffee grounds; I’ve been wondering about putting some on the garden. Do you just put a light sprinkle? And does it have to be mixed with wood ash?

    • It sure was a choice holiday! And no mozzies … bliss. I’m a fan of coffee grounds, although some recommend against using them as they are very acidic (blueberries would love them). I think a light sprinkle is fine and the worms do rather enjoy them while the slugs aren’t fans. I don’t mix it with wood ash – but thanks to our winter fires I’ll be adding some of that too. A friend put me onto wood ash ages back, I believe they help to sweeten the soil.

  10. fabulous photos. so nice to get away on a break. we were in tassie a few weeks ago. always beautiful, always chilly.:) love the black faced sheep and the hens. cheers sherry

    • Hi Sherry … glad you enjoyed the photos! Getting away is always great. Isn’t Tassie special? We have been there several times but never to Bruny Island which was beautiful. That sheep of ours is such a character .. loads of attitude! Thanks for stopping by ..

    • Thank you I’m so pleased that you enjoyed the post 🙂 That sheep of ours is hilarious .. so much attitude. She looks a little different now as we have just had her shorn. Pics to come.

  11. There is nothing quite like a busy life when you get to spend time in such incredible places as you do ~ Vanuatu looks like a perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy the diversity and good life has to offer.

    • Hey Randall … So good to hear from you!. I couldn’t agree more, Vanuatu is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the company of good friends. We sure are lucky … Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  12. I absolutely agree, dear Julie, life can be so good and I’m pleased to see that you’re both enjoying it. Never been to those places but oh, I’d love to some day! Your pics are stunning as always. The one with the hens and the sheep is gorgeous, well spotted. As I said I’m ready for the island after 3 months of drought and temperatures of 30°C+. Can’t wait for autumn as this will help in justifying the poor state of the place. Big hug for you both xx PS: Hope Bill is in good form!

    • Hey Annette, knowing the way that you both love travel, I bet you will get to Tasmania and Vanuatu one day. 🙂 So pleased you enjoyed the pics. I love the one of the hens and the sheep too! Thanks … Autumn is my favourite season, I just adore the colours and I’m sure your garden will relish the change in the weather. Big hugs right back at you … and Bill is fabulous! thanks for asking 😀

  13. hi julie and andrew,tasmania looks beutifull and so nice to visit somewhere a little warmer afterwards.callum spent 3 weeks with us july/august , over from the gold coast.bill, so glad to hear your house is on the move again, thanks so much for sending us the lovely photos again,best wishes , martin and esther,croxley green.

    • Hey Martin so nice to hear from you. Tasmania is very beautiful as is Bruny Island 🙂 It must have been great to have Callum visit! Glad that you enjoyed the photos. Best wishes to you and Esther

  14. Oh yes, life is grand! First, what a gorgeous place Bruny Island is – I love that first image! And then Vanuatu – the stuff dreams are made of, lucky you! Your summary was so amusing, the book looks like a good read (I looked it up), and how amazing that the supermarket manages to go ahead without plastic bags. There is so much more plastic we need to deal with, any step in that direction does my heart good. Then the way you chat about the garden, there’s something I love there. I think it’s the way you maintain your sense of humor and a certain lightness of being, while taking it seriously. Have a great week, Julie!

    • Life sure is grand! And what a spoil for us going to such lovely places. I’m glad you enjoyed the summary (lol) … The book is very good, I handed it over to my friend when we were away. My nose was stuck in it at every opportunity. I agree wholeheartedly, there is so much plastic that we have to deal with – but every bit counts that’s for sure! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my garden bit – I do so love it and I’m very passionate. Thanks for your super comment – people like you make blogging so worthwhile 😀

  15. That looks like a wonderful vacation, Julie!

    I look forward to seeing your gardens in spring as we move into autumn in our hemisphere. It’s been so busy here I am looking forward to winter.

    • Hello Lavinia … it was a wonderful vacation 🙂 My garden is growing like mad … I was out the other day with liquid seaweed fertiliser admiring the spring vigour. Enjoy your autumn Miss, it’s such a lovely time of year.

  16. Such beautiful spots you visit. I looked them both up. It should have been cold in Bruny Island, that’s down there! Paddle boarding is big out here. Folks do Yoga on them, headstands, positions I couldn’t think up, but they have names for. Then again there isn’t any current. Great shots of the homestead. Wishing you the best with your spuds. I am not sure I’d have the energy to haul seaweed with all the chicken and sheep manure hanging around. Wishing you and the guy with the beard the best back at Frog Pond Farm. Take care.

    • Hey Bob … pleased to hear that you looked them both up. Bruny Island is an amazingly beautiful place .. but it sure was cold while we were there. I couldn’t imagine doing yoga on a paddle board, certainly not downward dog! LOL Those spuds are due to go in any day, I have the absolute best homemade compost for them and I’ll probably wrap them in comfrey leaves. Laughed when I ready your last line Bob – the holiday beard has departed! Great to see you here as always 😀

  17. WoW! just another beautiful Post. Truly Adore all Pics. and I love this: > “and yet he still tells me how to paddle?” hahaha. Enjoy your Life Julie! 😉

    • Ha ha your comment made me laugh! So pleased that you enjoyed the post … thank you!!! You enjoy too … great to see you here!

  18. I hope walking seeing insta on the cell phone wasn’t dangerous, have you seen there are crazy persons that make posts from skyscrapers that could end with their lives? :O The resort is a good place to just forget the world a bit and just enjoying. Hoping your days are nice, Julie. Greetings from the other side ^_^

    • Hey Francis … great to hear from you! It’s so nice to get away and relax (a good excuse to read some books). Greetings from NZ .. 😀

  19. Better late than never Julie. I read this when I was still in Bali then forgot to comment but had it tucked away in the back of my mind. I love Bruny- can; go to Tassie without a drive down there for some clean air and lovely oysters. Great location for a 60th, hope the lad had a good one. Followed by a tropical island paradise- what a contrast. Looks very inviting.

    • Hey Francesca … ah you have been to Bruny! I had never been before and was absolutely taken with the place. Really beautiful and the perfect location for a 60th. Loved going to Vanuatu after .. the warmth was divine, and so nice to get into some summer clothes!

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