My Blogging Workshop

Thank you to New Farm Library for hosting my blogging workshop yesterday.

I was delighted to meet the lovely group of people who turned up.

I have been following Maria’s blog The Next Stage for some time now and yesterday I met her in person. Thanks for taking this pic Maria. (I should have got someone else to take the photo so that you could have joined me. Sigh.)

At my blogging workshop, all ready to go.

At my blogging workshop, all ready to go.

We had a couple of authors in the audience, Rhyll and Wayne Paul. Rhyll has written Pebbles in the Road and, for children, Friends of the Flood. Check out her website.

Incidentally, Rhyll is giving a writers’ workshop at Sandgate Library on 26th February and Corinda Library on 26th March.

Wayne Paul is an illustrator with a heightened sense of humour and his book is Crutches. Check this link for his website Droopy Draws (I didn’t dare ask where he got his nick-name from). Watch out for his name in The Courier Mail shortly.

Wayne Paul and me with his book 'Crutches'.

Wayne Paul and me with his book ‘Crutches’.

Debbie came along from Brisbane Booze and Books (I quote) “A bookclub for like-minded people who enjoy great food, alcohol and books.”  They have nearly 300 members.

I was going to write about my workshop, but I found that there was much more talent in the audience than there was standing in front of the overhead projector!

I havn’t mentioned everyone who attended by name, but they were all a wonderful lively bunch, for that I thank you.

A talk about blogging

I will be talking about blogging at New Farm Library at noon tomorrow (Sat 2nd Feb).

Here is the link. Scroll down to All About Blogs.

It’s free, all are invited.

A stroll through New Farm Park

My local library is in the grounds of New Farm Park so while I was there today I decided to check out the trees to see how they had stood up to the weekend storms.  (I promise not to turn this blog into a regular weather forecast.)

The council have already been tidying up after the storm

New Farm park

Dappled sunlight, New Farm park

It was a beautiful morning. It’s lovely to have this park on my doorstep.

A school garden

I attend the garden group run by Tatiana at the New Farm Library every second Friday. And yesterday Tatiana arranged a visit to the New Farm State School garden. Complete with chooks (chickens!).

It’s great to see what parents and volunteers have achieved in setting up and maintaining this garden. Thank you Nicole and Leanne for showing us around.

It’s a wonderful environment for the children and they love it.

New Farm State School Little Farm

Centre bed in the round garden

A colourful corner

Plenty of dirt to scratch in

Happy gardening.

Exotic Herbs and Spices

I spent an interesting morning today at a workshop on “Exotic Herbs and Spices to Grow at Home” given by Annette McFarlane as New Farm Library.

This was something new for me.  Raised in England I know a lot about growing mint and parsley!

It was an opportunity to learn about the sort of herbs and spices that we can grow in South-East Queensland, except for saffron – you would need to move to Tasmania or New Zealand to be successful with that.  We covered garlic, tamarind, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, galangal, peppercorn, coriander, saffron, vanilla and horseradish.

I already have a bed of garlic and coriander at the allotment but I’m certainly going to be more adventurous after what I learned today. After morning tea we went outside into New Farm Park and potted up turmeric and ginger and were able to take them home. So that’s a good start.

If you want to know more about growing these exotic herbs and spices you can check out this link to Annette’s website  where she has posted a PDF of the workshop.

The camellias are out at New Farm library

The camellias are out at my local New Farm library.  The library is set in a wonderful location on the edge of New Farm Park. However, the library itself has rather a nice garden which I couldn’t resist ‘snapping’ when I went in the other day to change my books.  I was especially taken with the camellia bushes outside the front of the library, and surrounding the metal bench which you can see in one of the photos.

I have tried to thin out the photographs but could only manage to get down to eleven!  I don’t think they need any additional narrative, the photos speak for themselves.

Bench outside the library surrounded by the camellia bush. A nice little sheltered spot to read your book.

A single camellia bloom but I’m not sure which variety

Camellia blooms

Camellia bush beside the metal bench

I love this tree at the front of the library, it throws wonderful dappled shade especially welcome in the summer. Must be some variety of Gum Tree I think. I just love the silver trunk. It could even be a ‘Ghost Gum’. I’d love to find out.

And here’s it’s neighbour.

This lovely palm tree grows near the steps as you walk into the library.

The birds love this bush. I waited for ages watching a bird with it’s tiny beak in the flowers and tried to capture it in the picture, but I was making it nervous so I left him (her?) to it.

This lovely bloom grows in the border outside the library window at the front. Looks like somebody has had the ‘Pledge’ out and given the leaves a good polish.

Not sure what this plant is but I find it interesting, and love the variegation.

No wonder it takes me ages to change my library books. I think the Council or the Parks Department got something right when they planned this library.

Friday morning with the Book Group

I had a great morning – and it wasn’t a visit to the allotment!  In fact this has absolutely nothing to do with my passion for growing my own vegetables.

Today was our regular monthly meeting of the book group at New Farm library. We meet at 10am on the first Friday of every month and discuss our book of the month.  These are always lively meetings and everyone has the opportunity to give us their (honest!) opinion of the book we have been reading. Usually Tatiana at the library orders the books in for us. However, if we decide to read a more obscure book we purchase those ourselves, but they are not expensive.

The decision about which book to read is made within the group, we all have the opportunity to choose. It is an interesting way to discover new authors as we have such diverse tastes.  You may love the chosen book, or you may struggle through it.  That is obviously where the lively discussions come in … “I couldn’t stand the hero!” …. or what is more likely “I must read more by this author”.

Today it was “Paris Without End” by Gioia Diliberto which tells about the time that Ernest Hemmingway lived in Paris with his first wife Hedley. This has opened up a whole new interest for me in what was going on in Paris in the 1920’s and all the amazing writers who lived there at the time.

After the meeting we adjourned to the Moray Cafe our local coffee shop. A decadent way to spend a Friday morning.

A lively meeting of the gardening group at New Farm library

I went to the monthly meeting of the Gardening Group this afternoon at New Farm Library. The group meets at 3pm on the second Friday of every month.

Tatiana, Group Leader at the library, lead the group but there was a lively discussion all round. We covered topics such as community gardens, gardening workshops to be held at the library, open gardens – Jerry Coleby-Williams’ opens his garden at his home in Wynnum this weekend – and lots more.  This is also an opportunity for the group to swap seeds and discuss what is growing successfully (or otherwise!) in our own gardens, or in my case, allotment. Two hours flew by and it was 5pm, closing time, before we knew it.

I will be visiting Jerry’s open garden tomorrow. I have been to a number of his workshops around Brisbane, and followed him on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia, but this is an opportunity to see first hand how he lives sustainably on an urban block. More about that in tomorrow’s blog. Hopefully I can take photos.

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