Gemeinschaft – und ein Vorsatz des neues Jahres

Ich muss Deutsch üben!!! Hier ist mein Vorsatz.

Okay, hier ist mein Problem. Well, es ist nicht ein wahre Problem, aber ich liebe mein Dörfchen. (Ist “Dörfchen” ein Wort? Ja, dass ist wirklich mein Problem!) Unser Dörfchen ist nicht so groβ – es gibt vielleicht hundert oder zweihundert Leute. Aber wir haben gute “Gemeinschaft-heit”. (Ist “Gemeinschaftheit” ein Wort?).

Doch, jedes Jahr machen wir vielen Dorffeier – wir singen Weihnachtslieder, es gibt uns Weihnachtsfeier bei mir zuhause, es gibt uns auch ein Silvesterfeier bei andere Leute zuhause… Ja, ich liebe mein Dörfchen.

Wir sprechen mehr als vier Sprache in meinem Dörfchen! Dieser Abend, in den Silvesterfeier, gab es deutschsprachige Leute und französischsprachige Leute (und naturlich englischsprachige Leute). Und ich habe Deutsch gesprochen.

“O, du kannst Deutsch sprechen!” (Es gab Freundin der Groβsmutter der Kinder die ich habe babygesittet, als ich in Gymnasium war – aus Melbourne, aus Deutschland).

“Nee,” fragtet ich, “Ich kann Deutsch nicht so gut sprechen.”

“You have an accent, but es gut ist that you can Deutsch sprechen.”

“Well, ich lernte vier Jahre beim Deutsche Schule anns an… im Adelaide, und in der Schule kommte alle andere Schüler aus Deutschland oder Österreich, und wir haben nur Deutsch gesprochen, aber jetzt bin ich zu alt und ich spreche kein Deutsch jetzt… tha mi anns an oilthigh a-nis, chan eil mi a’ bruidhinn mòran Deutsch a-nis.”

“In der Schule? Two languages ist gut.”

“Ja, genau, aber two years I haven’t spoken German. Zwei Jahre hab’ ich keine Deutsch gesproch’n.”

Ja, kannst du sehen, dass mein Deutsch jetzt so schrecklich ist?!?! Ich hab’ an Akzent! Nie hat jemand diese Ding emir gesagt – über Deutsch, sowieso. Aber ich konnte meinem Akzent hören. Aber sgramhail! Wie schrecklich!

Also, mein erste Satz: ich muss Deutsch üben.

Wo? Wann? Wie? Ich weiβ nicht.

‘N uair a bha mi fertig leis an ardsgoil, hab’ ich gedacht, “Was jetzt? Wäre es nicht schrecklich, ob ich vergessen, wie man Deutsch sprichtst?”

Vor zwei Jahren, gab es nicht. (Well, vielleicht gab es Gruppe aber… in my defence, niemand hat uns gesprochen über den Gruppe. You’d think when teenagers graduate, someone should provide some sort of social language activity for them. Aber es gab nichts… auβer Disco in den Deutscheklubbe, aber… wirklich? Es gibt so viele middle-aged immigrants. Es war nicht so cool!)

Aber… ich habe im Internet gesucht, und ich denke jetzt, dass es zwei Möglichkeiten gib. Es gibt den “Deutsch Stammtisch”, zwei Mittwoch ein Monat, und es gibt den “Deutscher Volksliederchor”, auch Mittwoch.

Ich hoffe, dass ich zum Sprachgruppe oder Singgruppe gehen kann, nächste Jahre. Ich muss Deutsch üben. Ich kann jetzt Deutsch nicht so gut, und dass wirklich schrecklich ist!

Strawberry Jam

… is absolutely impossible.

Strawberry 01
Chop strawberries. If they’re a little bit soft, that’s still fine.

Strawberry 02

Add between half and three-quarters the weight in sugar (personal taste) and stir well.

Strawberry 03

Leave it to soak overnight. The sugar will extract all the delicious juice and leave you with a bright red syrup which tastes like the strawberry ice-cream topping you get from the shop.

Strawberry 05

This is the part where I have problems. There is a lady at church who says that you boil for 7 minutes, add lemon, and boil for 5 minutes. Whenever I try boiling berry jam, it always without fail burns.

So, at the suggestion of a friend, I tried doing it in the crock pot.

Strawberry 06
Strawberries in the crock pot.

Strawberry 07
Mixed strawberries and blackberries in another crock pot.

I heated them on low for a few hours, added the lemon juice, and then cooked on high for quite a few more hours.

Strawberry 08

When you do it slowly like that, it goes very dark. I think cooking it quickly is the key to bright red strawberry jam. But it still tastes the same…

… it’s just very runny. The mixed berry jam turned out about right, but the strawberry one is very runny. I should try doing it in smaller quantities next time.


Banana Jam

… still tastes like bananas.

Banana 01
The bananas were beginning to go a little soft.

Banana 02
Chop roughly to about 1 inch.

Banana 03
Add roughly the same weight in sugar as bananas.

Banana 04

Banana 05
Mash lightly. Add lemon juice.

Simmer until reduced to jam consistency. Don’t be worried if it turns pinky-purple. Bananas do that when cooked. My sister tells me it’s probably the high levels of potassium.

Christmas Presents… In the Fireplace?!

Fireplace Eve

Don’t worry, we’re not going to burn them!

But we don’t have a Christmas tree (because it’s paganistic and possibly idolatrous [Jeremiah 10:2-4], and because my sister and I are both allergic to pine), and we’re obviously not using the fireplace for it’s natural purpose in this weather, so it seems a pretty cool place to store the presents.

I mentioned it in a Gaelic oral assessment the other week, topic of Christmas (Nollaig) with another student, and she mentioned presents under the tree and asked if I did that… and I said, “No, we’ll put them in the fireplace” (“Cha chuir. Cuiridh sinn na tiodhlaidhean anns an aite-teine”), and there was just an awkward silence for a bit as she struggled to process that thought.

Anyway, the fireplace was cleaned out a few months ago, and we put a purple sheet down (partially because we don’t actually have any red and green sheets, and partially because I’m trying to bring purple in as the Christmas colour), and have been putting the presents in there as we wrap them.

Why purple?

1 – Red and green is because of mistletoe, and mistletoe fruits in July and August here.

2 – Purple is the colour of Advent.

3 – When the bloom of the jacarandah tree is here, Christmas time is near.

4 – Agapanthas bloom at this time of year, too.

The Sheep Are Here!

Thor and Beamo 02

The sheep-goats finally arrived! While we were at church, which was a bit disappointing, but nevertheless, they are here.

They were meant to arrive yesterday morning, but never mind, they made it.

Thor and Beamo 01

The brown one is Thor, and the beige one is Beamo. I think they were named by the eight-year-old boy in the Sheep Share.

Yes, these sheep-goat-things are part of a Sheep Share with two other families just down the road. None of us has enough land to warrant full-time sheep, so we pass them on once the grass is gone.

This is the first time they’ve been at our place, and as you can see, we really need something to eat some grass.

They’re some form of African sheep, which is why they look more like goats, no doubt, but that also means they moult or something so we don’t have to worry about shearing.

Thor 01

Thor is the more timid, so it was easy to get a good photo of him.

Beamo is much friendlier, so I had a pit of a harder time getting a decent photo of him…

Beamo 01

Beamo 02

Christmas [Week]

The Mitcham-Hills Ecumenical Council (or whatever they call themselves) is determined that you shouldn’t have a spare moment left to fill this week.

Sunday the 20th
–> 6pm, Carol Singing & Finger Food, Blackwood Uniting Church

Wednesday the 23rd
–> 7pm, Blue Christmas Service, Holy Innocents’ Anglican Belair

Thursday the 24th
–> 6pm, Family Service and Play, Belair Uniting Church
–> 6pm, Nativity Play and Camel Rides, Blackwood Hills Baptist
–> 7pm, Family Christmas Presentation, Blackwood Uniting Church
–> 7:30pm, Carol Service, Upper Sturt Uniting Church
–> 8pm, Carols By Candlelight & Puppets, Blackwood Hills Baptist
–> 11:30pm, Midnight Candlelit Mass, Holy Innocents’ Anglican Belair

Friday the 25th
–> 9am, Celebrate the Day, Blackwood Uniting Church
–> 9:30am, Christmas Day Service, Holy Innocents’ Anglican Belair
–> 9:30am, Christmas Day Service, Blackwood Hills Baptist

Saturday the 26th
–> 10am, Music of King David, Beit Netzarim Messianic Church

Sunday the 27ty
–> 10am, Combined Final Service, Blackwood Uniting Church
–> 10am, First Sunday of Christmas, Holy Innocents’ Anglican Belair

Okay, the Saturday one isn’t in the Mitcham-Hills area, but I plan to go to it all the same. If your church is in the region and has an event or service happening, particularly an unusual one, let me know!

Ecumenical Christmas

A Little Dress


A friend of mine from uni has a daughter who’s turning one in a few weeks, so I’ve been working on this dress to give her.


I adapted it from this pattern we had around the house in order to get the sizing right.


These are the pattern pieces I ended up with after my adaptations.













Close-up of the back bodice – pleated.

Close-up of the sleeve – elastic casing in the contrasting material.

Close-up of the smocking.

Panel 1 Embroidery
Close-up of the panel 1 embroidery.

Panel 3 Embroidery
Close-up of the panel 3 embroidery.