Coffee time

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The kids gave mum & dad a new pod coffee machine for their anniversary, so we inherited their old machine. I admit I was a bit snobbish about not needing one, but I must say that we have been enjoying the freshly ground and brewed coffee without having to deal with a plunger.

Me Time!

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Oooo, check out these new flavours of Moccona! They have a new flavour-infused range, I am especially partial to the caramel… mmmm. And the nice part is that it is flavoured but not sweetened, so I am able to add as much milk and sugar as I want.

It is perfect for an evening cuppa. Coffee and toenails, anyone? Perfect night in!

St Matthew Passion

Last night we got to see the Opera Queensland performance of St Matthew Passion by JS Bach.  It was my first time to the opera, and I was so excited and equally nervous. I wasn’t sure how I would go with 3 hours of German with projected subtitles, but everything I had heard about the piece was that it was a must-see. Even the program said that this work is to musicians as the Olympics are to athletes.

It completely met my high expectations, and the hours flew by. It was first performed in 1727, which is sort of mind-blowing if you think about it. I especially appreciated the staging and street clothes on the performers. It felt a little more accessible for my first time. The Australian had a lovely review as well.

This piece in Part Two was one of my favourites:

A couple of things irked me, and maybe moreso because it was quite a mature audience. Sadly, I have come to expect people younger than me to lack a certain standard of manners.

#1. If you are going to go out to eat prior to sitting in close quarters with a bunch of people who don’t know you and thus may be less forgiving of your indigestion, please reconsider those garlic prawns, gyoza, onion rings, spicy curry or whatever causes you to burp that smell up for three hours. I mean, really.

#2. Hold on to your crap. Put that phone in your purse, set it under your seat, or wedge it under your leg. Is it so hard to not drop things on to a hard floor during a performance?

Espalier – Yay!

Monet's Garden - Espalier

Monet’s Garden – Espalier by Hetx

The other day I came across a this pin on Pinterest that showed apples growing on little vertical trees in pots. This blows my mind, because while I’ve seen lemon and lime trees in pots… apples??  I can grow apples on my porch??  (Turns out that it’s probably too hot here, but I’m not dissuaded.)

This revelation inspired a huge Google tangent which now has me completely obsessed with the art of espalier (“es-PAL-yay”, for us non-French speakers).

It turns out that you can espalier many different trees in all kinds of patterns. From the somewhat ordinary-plant-shaped informal espalier to fancier trained shapes like the Belgian fence and u-cordons to complete works of art like the ones in the drawings at the bottom of this post.

I need to go to a nursery and see what can grow nicely in a pot in this climate, and then I think I’m going to give it a go. I love the idea of having my own fruit trees. And because they grow flat, it would be easy to cover with a net to keep the pests away.

Links for my future reference:
♥ The Fine Art of Espalier from Everything French GardeningPart 1, Part 2, Part 3 (that whole site is beautiful)
The Enduring Gardener
♥ Long but thorough article “How to Espalier Apple Trees

Someday I may graduate to the amazing world of arborsculpture, and I’ll make a chair, a bench, or a table… even a playground or a house!