#10 It Happened in New Zealand…or Was It Australia…

YalcaMORE Sights and Sounds at Home on the Range…where the sheep and the kangaroo play…

Since returning to the USA (we’ve been home 7 months now), I’m pleased to say Len’s behavior is back to the way it was before leaving for NZ/AU.  However, when I recount my 2014-2015 adventures, I relive the uncomfortable feelings in our relationship.  Sooo…in keeping with my SOH, I will continue to include updates of our Dueling Egos.  You know…Lights!  Camera!  Drama!  And now…On with the show!


We meet Charmaine, Jeff and Colleen.  Charmaine is a friend of MarIMG_1923gi’s and occasionally brings friends to stay at Yalca, which…upon request…opens as a B&B.  This is one of those occasions (this event also accounts for my 2nd all terrain vacuuming expedition!). We become fast friends.  Here we are posing beside the 400 year old Post Office Tree still standing in Beechworth.  Len is on left and Charmaine is on right.

Take 1  Episode 1    Lights!  Camera!  Drama!
My Journal entry for 1/13/15

He’s the Pied Piper of Yalca.  Not only has he captivated an audience with his sparkling conversation, but now he’s added  his creative photography to his “show and tell” agenda! Yes, he’s an amazing man…but one with an insatiable ego!!

All tenants (except horizontal me!) are now rising at 5:30am (or is it 5??) to join him exploring the grounds and taking/showing off his artsy pics, after which the gang gathers together for early morning coffee, tea and more sparkling conversation.

Good god, I’m beginning to feel I’m on the set of “The Big Bang Theory” !  I just “knew” there was “movie making” in the air when I arrived! Len plays Sheldon, a walking, talking book of knowledge with a Black Hole ego.  (To be fair though, my Len does have Leonard’s (TBBT character) Care Bear qualities which Sheldon definitely does not.)  I play Penny, the down-to-earth,  don’t-mess-with-me, cheesecake queen.  This episode is entitled, What’s Cookin’, Gina? which alludes to the stream of steam issuing forth from Gina’s head!  I’m still not a happy camper, but I’m working on it!

Take 1 Episode 2:  Gina’s Black Hole Cheesecake Recipe.

One of Margi’s five bedrooms serves as her library/study.  It was there while perusing her book shelves, Margi stopped by and inquired about IMG_2009my taste in books.  When I told her I was catching up on my childhood reading, she pulled a copy of Enid Blyton’s, The Magic Faraway Tree from the shelf and handed it to me.  Original copyright?  1943…the year of my birth!  I retire to my room and begin to read…

“‘You can go there by climbing up the top branch of the Faraway Tree, going up a little ladder through a hole in the big cloud that always lies on the top of the tree – and there you are in some strange land!'”

No doubt in my mind…I will be joining my new friends – siblings: Jo, Fannie and Bessie and their cousin Dick – and  tagging along when they decide to visit a strange land, like the Land of Dreams…or the land of Take-What-You-Want…or the Land of Presents…or the Land of Do-As-You-Please. In the Land of Goodies, I could ask for Black Hole Cheesecake and probably get it!  Now that’s a winning recipe!!  (More about Black Hole Cheesecake later!)

Note:  When I arrived back in the States, I ordered a copy of The Magic Faraway Tree for my own rereading pleasure. Some interesting changes have taken place.  The illustrations – including the cover- are copyrighted for 2007, and, although the text remains copyrighted for 1943, the names of the children have been changed.  Apparently the more modern nickname for Elizabeth has evolved from “Bessie” to “Beth,” hence, the change.  Jo is now “Joe,” perhaps to clarify his gender.  Due to evolved sexual connotations, Fanny is now “Frannie” and Dick is now “Rick.”  Thank goodness, no one has messed with Silky, Moonface, and Saucepan Man!


Take 1     Episode 3:  Bet Me and Lose!

IMG_2159Before Len discovered how to open this gate (Sorry…I didn’t take a picture of the “whole” gate!),  we had to either climb over a wall or go through the picture frame, probably 2 feet in diameter.  I chose to frame myself.

First, I put my right foot through the hole and plant it on the other side.  Simultaneously ( or almost!), my hand catches the metal frame on the other side while I squish my body head to knee, squeeze through… then hang on.  Laughing causes my right foot to dance a bit while I pull my left foot through.  I wobble like a weeble but amazingly do not fall down!  The whole process is hilarious!  I’m laughing most of the time…well…not when I’m “head to knee”  anyway.  I did this twice! And I thought practice would  make it easier!!

Take 1     Episode 4:  Yalca in Pictures

Let’s try another approach to my Yalta Picture Gallery:  Note Margi IMG_1765continues the “church” motif in her chicken coop design.  I put the chucks to bed at 8pm.

When you’re ready to take your outside shower (designed and built by Margi…ain’t it IMG_2110cute!!) you just yell, “Hey everyone, I’m taking an outside shower.  Absolutely NO peeking!”

IMG_2152Here we are readying the grounds for a scheduled 60th birthday party.  I had some unexpected fun getting to design/paint the lettering for the “Gents” bathroom sign.  Can you see my goof?  I was pleased with my “fix” and told Margi it takes a “goof” to create a piece of art!

This is the “other side” of the  tree where the men “do their duty.”  I painted the Poo Pot, the Dribblers’ Pot and the Target for PIMG_2148ee Shooting practice.  All in fun of course!


I love artsy pictures!  This is Margi’s kitchen in the glow of her evening lights.  Note the vaulted ceiling and the drying bar from which she’s hung a variety of kitchen gadgets and utensils.


 Take 1    Finale:  Farewell in Rhyme

Reading The Magic Faraway Tree also jump started my  interest in making up silly rhymes like the Saucepan Man’s.  His rule was each line must begin with “Two” except the last one:

Two trees in a teapot.  Two spoons in a pie.  Two clocks up the chinmey.  Hi-tiddley-hie!

I used a different rhyme scheme to say goodbye to Margi:

There once was a gal from Wodonga

Who wanted to weld for so longa.

  She said, “Stay with me

   Turn the junk I got free

    into art before you go longa!”



6 thoughts on “#10 It Happened in New Zealand…or Was It Australia…

    • Wow! I’m really behind…Been busy canning apple butter and volunteering at PetFix. Thanks for your comment. You bet…it was a very restful place to spend an evening chatting! Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be posting soon!

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