Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

You know, I thought the little ‘Honest Scrap’ images people  have in their sidebars were something to do with supporting recycling…don’t ask me why!

Well, Clare over at Curbstone Valley Farm was kind enough to bestow this award/meme on me recently, so I had to find out what an ‘Honest Scrap’ was.

It seems that if you are awarded this meme you have to list 10 things people may not know about you from your blog and then highlight 7 blogs that you enjoy and would like to pass the award on to.  Then I discovered that Bernie from Queensland over at Bush Bernie’s Garden Blog had kindly given me a mention too – so here goes…

1.  I trained as a Secondary School English Teacher. Surprisingly I qualified. What makes this really interesting is that my spelling is atrocious, my handwriting nearly illegible and my grasp on grammar marginal. Plus I say things like ‘slightly verbose’.  I hope this doesn’t reflect too badly on the Victorian education system. I’m sure they are more stringent these days.

I did teach, but not as an English teacher. I worked as a TAFE Community Services teacher instead.

2.  My favourite author is Sir Terry Pratchett. He is often billed as a ‘comic fantasy’ writer and unfortunately that puts a lot of people off. He uses this genre to look sometimes tenderly and sometimes sorrowfully (but always humorously) at the human race. Even if you don’t like fantasy, think about giving ‘Feet of Clay’ or ‘Small Gods’ a go. You might like them!

3.  I have a small collection of books on manners.

I didn’t buy any of them. For some mysterious reason friends keep giving them to me…I do love them though (the books…and the friends). I especially love the book that advises a young lady to always keep a pair of clean white gloves in her handbag…just in case she should be unexpectedly presented to royalty. I’m still waiting.

4. I’ve had two near death experiences. One of which when I was only just 18. I grew up in suburbia a bit of a distance from the beach and had never heard of a tidal rip.

Image by Paul Prescott sourced from Dreamstime Stock Photography

A race with a friend into the water at Gunnamatta surf beach almost ended in disaster for both of us. I was hauled out of the water by a surfer. There is nothing to recommend ingesting a lot of sea water and being thrown over a surfboard is not at all romantic.

5. I am an introvert. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just need time on my own or with my little family to re-charge. If I have a busy social day I close my door at the end of the day and let out a huge sigh.  I sometimes wonder how many gardeners would consider themselves more introverted than extraverted as we all seem to find joy in those quite moments in the garden.

6. I am verbose in the written form (but you knew that already), sparse in the verbal (that you didn’t).

7. I’m ‘mildly creative’ I like painting, making beaded jewellery and cards. I’m not particularly good at any of them, but I find them relaxing. Well, sort of.  I get caught up in the colour and texture of things and sometimes have trouble re-forming the parts into the big picture…sort of like gardening for me really.

8. When I was a child I lived for a year on the outskirts of London. I think because I lived there for part of my development I carry a longing to return to England. It’s like part of me is still over there somewhere. Having said that, there was nothing quite like coming home to Australia either. I think I spent the first two weeks just marvelling at how blue the sky was. What I didn’t enjoy was the teasing from my friends about the English accent I had picked up!

9. My daughter and I share an obsession with owls.  I guess they aren’t cute and cuddly critters, so they might seem a strange choice. But we came across a Mother and baby Southern Boobook blinking out from us in a tree one day. We were looking for owls in a vague sort of way, but didn’t expect to find them!

We have been intrigued ever since and I seem to have an ever-expanding collection of little owls popping up all over the house. Owl collections seem to occur when you leave one owl ornament sitting on a dresser and everyone you know tries to outdo each other with the most unusual/ugliest owl they can find. I love them all!

Genuine 70's macrame owl!

10. I have an incredibly bad memory. I can sit through two-thirds of a movie before I realise I’ve seen it before, and be half way through a book before I realise I’ve read it before. For a long time my daughter took great delight in calling me ‘Dory’. Still. It does make for a life of fresh and new discoveries. Don’t be surprised if I have the same gardening dilemmas year in, year out!

Wonderful Blogs…

Now for the fun bit, where I get to pass on the albatross…I mean award! I enjoy lots of different blogs for very different reasons and wasn’t sure where to start with this. On top of that, many of my favourite blogs have already had this award…so I took some inspiration from Bernie at Bush Bernie’s Garden Blog and went with a theme.

My theme is ”new’ or ‘renewed’ – the blogs I have chosen all have a element of newness to them. They may be bloggers who are getting their hands into their own piece of dirt for the first time, bloggers quite new to gardening, or experienced gardeners discovering a new way to garden.

So on goes the ‘Honest Scrap’ award to the following people (no stress if you don’t accept memes/have done it already etc, just take it as a compliment 😉 )

Jess at Children of the Corm. Jess is establishing a new garden and I enjoy having the chance to watch it evolve. But most of all Jess cracks me up, I love her sense of humour.

Flo at Intemperate Edibles blog. Flo is also establishing a new garden in some fairly difficult conditions  in New South Wales. Flo is also becoming well practiced in the art of Bokashi!

Ami at Southeast Florida Garden Evolvement. Ami describes herself as someone who has recently developed a passion for gardening and I can relate to that. She also has some lovely roses!

Shyrlene at The Bunnies’ Buffet. Shyrlene is another gardener establishing a new garden.  I like Shyrlene’s gentle humor and the pictures of her garden taking shape as each week passes.

Mr IG at The Idiot Gardener. Most of you probably know MrIG. I think he spends most of his time trying to scare his seeds into growing. They’ll give in and get on with it one day I’m sure.

Chandramouli at In Art Lies My Heart. Chandramouli is gardening is a small Space and experimenting with new and interesting plants is what he is all about.

na at Ombra mai fu. I’ve included na’s blog as a fairly ‘new to me’ and new to Blotanical Blog. I’m enchanted by na’s photos of cherry blossoms and can’t wait till it is rose season in Japan!

I hope you have a moment to pop in for a look at all these wonderful blogs if you haven’t already!


Comments on: "Honest (and slightly verbose) Scrap" (26)

  1. Great post…although you left us guessing what the second near death experience was 😛 I’m terribly familiar with the ‘comic fantasy’ genre, but now I’m intrigued! As for the memory thing, I’m right there with you. I remember the strangest things, but I’m the same way, especially with things my movies. It’s like my brain doesn’t even try to remember! Collections are funny things, and you nailed it. We have a rule in this house. No chicken art, no rooster statues, no hen or egg posters…it’s a slippery slope. If people see one, they assume you collect them, and before you know it, you need to build an addition on your house. Your owl collection though is adorable, and I remember macrame …actually, I remember MAKING macrame. The Boobook owl is thoroughly adorable too! I enjoy some of the blogs you’ve listed too. Mr. IG is hilarious, and I love Jess and Shyrlene’s blogs too…now I’m off to go check out the rest! 🙂

  2. I love when bloggers respond to these awards and we can learn so much more about them — I guess I’m nosey! I told someone once that I really miss hedgehogs (– don’t have ’em in U.S.) I now have the largest hedgehog collection you can imagine. I used to display them in my office, but now I’m retired I had to pack some (most) of them away, and I’ve put some in the potting shed. Oh, and I find some non-Australian, non-English people confuse my accent and ask, “Are you from Australia?”

    • Ah, now a hedgehog collection sounds wonderful Pam – especially the idea of finding them in the potting shed 🙂
      I’ts interesting that people mistake your accent for an Australian one…I would have thought the two were pretty different! Then again, I’m hopeless at picking accents myself!

  3. Oh, I love learning more about my blogger friends. Like you, I have a manners book that was given to me by my mother-in-law. But, I didn’t take it as an insult because she bought one for herself and her daughter 🙂

    • Hi Noelle, I’m glad she bought one for herself and her daughter too…I could just imagine how it would feel being the daughter-in-law who recieved that as a present! 😀

  4. I so enjoyed learning all of those details about you, Heidi. It’s amazing what important bits of our lives can go completely AWOL in the virtual world. Now you’ve inspired me to get off my butt and do an awards post, finally. I was fascinated that you’d lived in England for a year of your childhood; that must have been quite formative. I’m also left wondering about the other near-death experience.

    When I was single, living with two other single girls in the city, we had a copy of an 18th century text, “Manners for Men,” displayed prominently on our coffee table. 🙂 Sadly, some dates still didn’t take the hint.

    As for the memory, I used to think I had a great memory. Now I realize it is *extremely selective.* Just a month ago, I sat through nearly an entire movie with F. before I said, Hey, I know this one! He was so shocked. He’s a film buff and remembers details like directors and actors. But he wouldn’t know a tomato plant or a cilantro seedling if I didn’t point it out to him! I figure as I get older, I only have so much room in there, and I save it up for the good stuff. 😉

    • Oh Meredith – a book on manners for men – what fun I could have had with that! 😀 I just love the idea of it sat on the coffee table for dates to flick through!
      My D also has a very good memory, but he is used to me now. He generally tells me if I’ve seen the movie before 😀
      As for the second near-death – I took it out because the post was already wayyyyy too long. Now I think I’ll just leave it as a mystery as it seems more interesting that way :p
      I’m looking forward to your awards post!

  5. Wow, Heidi, a gift for me??? My, it’s an albatross, just what I’ve always wanted 🙂 Thank you for the compliment. I do hope to expand my repertoire beyond the ancient art of Bokashi 🙂

    I enjoyed reading Bernie’s scrap and certainly yours. I wonder how many of us have those “me too” moments as we read along. I personally find Mr Pratchett to be a very insightful man; that more than 3 is a crowd; and wonder why anyone would express a thought in one simple, concise and elegant sentence when 120 rambling and repetitive ones would do. Oh, and telephone conversations are best if they’re under a minute 🙂

    I’m not sure I have the courage to respond to the Honest Scrap challenge, but this comment is a small step towards greater openness. It’ll be 15 minutes breathing heavily into a brown paper bag to recover though 🙂

    • Hello Flo – Glad to hear that you were in need of an albatross, it can be so hard to find gifts these days 😀
      No worries if you don’t feel like doing the scrap – I mainly just wanted you to know I enjoy your blog and wanted to share it with others 🙂 I was also happy to read that you had a few ‘me too’ moments as well – and that you are another Pratchett reader!

  6. Heidi: Haha, when I started reading your post, I even had no idea what a “honest scrape” means, and certainly did not expect you passed this to me as one of the seven blogs!!!

    I enjoyed your post and also went to Bernie’s blog to read hers ( I obviously missed hers since recently the things at work have been a little hectic, and did not get much time to follow up all my favorite blogs). I too think myself is more introverted since I really feel relaxed working alone in the garden.

    This meme is a great way to have people to know you better. Although I am not sure if I am ready to do that yet 🙂 I do take this as a compliment though! Maybe someday I will have the courage to accept this award, even it might be way overdue 🙂

    • Hello Ami! There is nowhere quite like the garden to recharge some energy is there?

      Don’t feel any pressure about the award – only do it if/when you feel like it! Passing on the award was another way for me to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog and looking at your roses!

  7. This was lovely to read, Heidi, and I must admit that it’s great to know more about you…the real you!

    That said, I seem to have stopped participating in memes after having completed a few;^)

    Maybe it’s not fair to enjoy reading them, but there you have it!!


    • Hello Alice – I’m glad you enjoyed it, writing a more personal post was certainly a bit of a challenge. It made me feel a little nervous, something that writing about my garden doesn’t seem to!

  8. I really enjoyed your “Honest Scrap”! I too thought it was something to do with recycling scrap materials into the garden. Hmmm… Fun read. (Your grammar and writing seems excellent to me.) I’m becoming more Dory-like with age myself….

  9. Heidi! Thanks for your support and mention! I’m glad at least someone gets my humor. You are one of my favorite garden bloggers/blogs too, but I guess I can’t hand it back.

    As to your being an introvert, I wouldn’t have guessed it. I feel like I know you and I’m still waiting for that coffee out by the General. The fact that you have a little purple flower for a face is going to make you pretty easy to spot in a crowd too.

    As to feeling like ‘a piece of you is in England’, well, funnily I feel that way too and I grew up in the southern USA. Never even made it to the UK until I was 21. I think it was reading as a kid. All the good kid books happened in the UK, right?

    • Jess! Don’t worry, I’m not completely antisocial, but now I’m going to have to get a purple flower face mask for when I meet you 😀 That will give your neighbors something to look at other than the oversized statuary!

      Or maybe we could meet in the UK one day instead, reliving ‘The Railway Children’ or the novel of your choice?

  10. How great to see your Honest Scrap post … it’s always fascinating to learn about what’s behind the gardener we meet on these blogs. So …. another teacher huh? There seem to be quite a few teachers/ex-teachers who love gardening out in the gardening blog world!

    Loved the book of manners … what an interesting gift and it would make an interesting read too! Don’t like the sound of these two near-death experiences … frightening!

    I remember macrame … I used to have macrame hanging pot holders years ago! Your jewellery is just beautiful … what a great hobby! I bet your lucky friends get some gorgeous gifts!

    As for being an introvert … that sounds just like me. Hubbie is the social creature … loves being out and about, mixing with all sorts of people. I much prefer being home or being with my family, or being out in my garden!

    Well, thanks for sharing Heidi … I’ve already previously popped in to most of the blogs you’ve mentioned … only one I haven’t visited yet, so I’ll have to do that.

    • Hi Bernie – and sorry for being so slow in replying to your lovely comment – it’s been very hectic all or a sudden at my place! My partner D is the more social of the two of us too! He is always wanting to get out and catch up with people and I’m wanting to get out into my garden!

  11. How lovely your post is! You are not only a teacher, you are a writer and it is showing prominently in this post. I am glad to know you better, hehe. About being Dory, i think many of us in the plant blog association who are also members of the Mutual Admiration Society are already fans of Dory! hehe, in fact i have Dory link in my Facebook. Most of those consistently showing up in your blogs are good writers too, except me! thanks and take care!

  12. Hello Andrea 🙂 Thank your for such a lovely compliment – I’m blushing!

  13. Hi Heidi, Thanks for the comment about my blog. I’m really glad to get kind comment.
    It is easy to take photos though it is hard to write English for me.
    Anyway, owls are good-luck animal in Japan. They will certainly bring you luck. 😉

    • Hello na, It’s great to hear that all my little owls might bring me some luck!
      Photos might be easy to take, but it involves skill to take such beautiful ones as yours and I do enjoy visiting your blog to see them 🙂
      As for language, I can’t write or speak Japanese (or any language other than English) so you are well ahead of me!

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