Gift story

We have two sets of keys for our home. We gave my set to our friends so that when we fly back from Perth next Friday they can bring Stan home, ready for our arrival from the airport. 

The temperature in Sydney hit a sizzling 36oC earlier this week. With one of us sipping a cocktail in the pool I needed a way to get into the house. In good old fashioned style, a key under the doormat did the trick. 
The cool hall appeared gloomy after leaving the intense heat of the late afternoon sunshine.  I spotted a narrow striped object lying on the coir runner, about five inches long. A gift for me, I thought, perhaps chocolate? I picked the cylindrical parcel up. As I walked into the light of the dining room I noticed a corner of the white and gold paper had been torn. The name Stan was written on the paper, not for me then! Inside, one of his favourite treats sealed in a plastic wrapper. I walked into the study. On the floor lay a medium sized box containing more gaily clad items.  
As I sank into the cooling water, an Aperol spritz in hand, I relayed my journey through the house. We laughed in admiration at the stealth Stan had employed in retrieving his gift. It had been tucked deep inside the box. None of the others were disturbed. 

Seeds of enjoyment


At the Portuguese festival in Petersham, NSW, the local council had a stall, advertising events and giving out packets of seeds. At the time we were living in a house with a sun baked courtyard, scant shade and ducted air conditioning. The house was not well insulated, this combined with floor to ceiling glass, resulted in sweltering temperatures inside during the Summer months. The temptation of switching on the aircon and not venturing outside was too great.

Thankfully, we moved to a house with shaded windows on four sides which provide cross ventilation and a garden that catches the eastern sun at the front and the hot western heat at the back overlooked by a large shaded deck. Since moving into the house just over a year ago we have spent more time outside than in any of our previous homes.

I enjoy cooking with ingredients grown in the garden, however, herbs are the limit of my foray into horticulture for the time being. I was pleasantly surprised when I came across the seeds and realised that they were not all chili peppers, as I first thought. My partner in his usual encouraging way bought me seed raising mix and trays. I set about planting basil; the first time I have grown plants from seed since primary school. I have experienced such good feelings about sewing the seeds, watching their progress, imagining how sweet the basil taste with tomatoes, salt and olive oil and working out how to maximise the number of people who will receive a basil plant gift.