Anniversaries

It's important to remember the past. That's why I have a journal on the internet.

I like eating passionfruit, which is also important to remember.

Last January I planted a cutting that I took from my brother's passionfruit vine in December 2020 and had propagated successfully by putting it in a bucket of potting mix and keeping it wet for a few weeks. On January 26th, 2021 I planted it by the fence on some land the council owns next to my driveway. And for the last 52 weeks I have taken a photo of it each Tuesday.

image 2317 from bradism.com

I like that I have a brother and that my passionfruit vine and his passionfruit vine are also brothers.

Hopefully now that it has reached the sun it will make some flowers next spring.


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If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?


What I did on my Summer Holidays 2021 Edition

It's semi-often that I get eleven consecutive days without work. That's like an Easter, an Adelaide Cup long weekend, plus Anzac Day, and plain old regular Sunday all wrapped up.

Given this is my journal I thought it might be pertinent to repeat my previous summer break traditions of preserving an essence of those long summer days for posterity, unlike the other 354 days of the year which are abandoned in the mists of time, distance, and as usual the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain.

December 25th
Christmas morning started with a beach walk with Nash on the sands of Grange. Lunch was at Dad's with many extended family members. It was a nice time.

image 2299 from bradism.com

December 26th
First thing on Boxing Day was a hike up Mount Lofty where for the first time ever I got a car park at Waterfall Gully. After we reached the summit we sat down for some choc-raspberry-oats and yoghurt. I saw black cockatoos and sulphur crested cockatoos.

image 2300 from bradism.com

After that was a trip to the homemaker centre and big box hardware, and following a salad I set about knocking off half my break's todo list with the things I brought home. Alas, these were all the easy things like attaching sticky hooks to the shelf by the front door, and attaching a new hose head.

Finally, before the sun got too low, I rode to Alex's to meet up with Wilhem and throw a lot of tennis balls.

image 2301 from bradism.com

December 27th
The ten person household limit kicked in, and I attended a small BBQ with Josh, Claire and Timmy.

In the evening I drank a beer and started reading From Russia With Love.

December 28th
After breakfast I rode my bike to St Clair for an Albanian coffee, some more reading time next to some birds, and then I bought heavily discounted custard and rode home.

image 2302 from bradism.com

That evening I ate a sticky date pudding and played Borderlands 2 with Josh and Sam.

December 29th
It was very hot, and so we stayed inside in the dark and watched Matrix Resurrections and had a smoothie.

Later in the afternoon we drove to Aldinga for dinner and another walk on the beach. Nash tried to hunt and kill a partially submerged rock, and got bopped on her bottom by an unexpected wave. Much mirth was shared.

December 30th
Another stinking hot day where we tried to get a long walk in before breakfast, again along the Torrens.

image 2303 from bradism.com

It was around this point that another item on my todo list - Upgrade bradism.com to newer version of PHP and framework - began. I expected it to take me most of the day.

At some point I got sick of holiday software development and drank a beer while making pizzas.

image 2304 from bradism.com

December 31st
Omicron hysteria was everywhere. We went on another Torrens walk, then after breakfast to Costco to buy bulk strawberries and salad.

image 2305 from bradism.com

I did more Bradism upgrading.
In the evening I made Afghan chicken kebabs and then we rode to Semaphore, swam in the ocean, drank champagne in the dark and then rode home.

image 2306 from bradism.com

January 1st
I fixed my flat tyre. The Bradism Upgrade efforts continued. Vanessa made me a mousse cake.

image 2307 from bradism.com

January 2nd
We went walking on the beach in the morning. I forget which beach.

image 2308 from bradism.com

Later in the afternoon I strapped a Bluetooth speaker to my handlebars, told Spotify to play radio based on Don't Stop Believin' and Boston's More than a Feeling. I rode to Glenelg for another ocean beer, and watching the sunset at the Unit with Gus and Timmy.

image 2309 from bradism.com

January 3rd
Invigorated, I slow cooked a pork leg for eight hours and set about trying to finish as much of the second half of my todo list. I ate pulled pork for dinner. The Bradism upgrade continued...

It was a nice break.

Gas Oven Pizza

In 2021 I did not use the woodfired pizza oven once, and I replaced our gas oven in the kitchen with an electric one because I bought the new oven without checking that the old one was electric.

Tonight I made pizzas with a pizza stone on the gas BBQ and they turned out so well I felt I should capture the recipe for future reference.

348g Bread Flour
7g salt
7g yeast
hearty pour of mixed herbs
196ml warmish water
25ml olive oil

No need to activate the yeast, just mix dry ingredients then add the wet stuff. Knead with bread hook for 7m 30s using low knead for first 50% of time and to one higher than low for final 50%.
Lightly coat hands with oil and form dough into a ball, then cover and leave to rise for ~1hr.

Put pizza stone on the Weber and heat with lid down at full power for at least 30min, target 200 degrees C.

Roll out 3 bases and leave covered with towel to rise for ~15m.

Cook on hot pizza stone for ~10 minutes to get crispy base and smoky, well cooked top.

image 2297 from bradism.com

Today I also discovered that one of my neighbours trees is a plum tree, and that the rainbow lorikeets have also discovered this. I'm partly disappointed because I like free plums but also happy because I like free rainbow lorikeets.

image 2298 from bradism.com

Nothing else important happened today, albeit I did not check the news.


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Things Which Make Me Hate Myself

Despite having a rudimentary understanding of business strategy and predatory corporate practices, buying tools at Bunnings.

Reading supermarket catalogues while I'm eating.

Trying to use tools that I bought at Bunnings.

Over editing work emails for no return in value.

Realising I forgot to buy something at Bunnings and having to go back there for a second time in the same weekend.

Pinched Off

The backyard...

image 2291 from bradism.com

It was only after the tomato plants grew over my head that I realised I had an indeterminate variety. I'd been feeding them Seasol and keeping them trussed and partly shaded and hydrated and protected by a layer of pea straw. These were some healthy, in-tune with nature tomatoes. Too healthy, it seems. Doing everything right had backfired. Long limbs are a source of weakness in plants. They need a strong trunk to be balanced. The best method? Pinch them off at the top. Only once the plant stops growing up will it dedicate its energy to the existing structure to thrive and produce healthier, heftier fruit. It's a little bit of pain for a lot of potential. Don't overthink it. Just find the top shoots, squeeze between your finger and thumb and squeeze. Don't worry if you get one wrong. The frost will kill them come winter regardless.

Ornithologism

A moist spring, and a few buckets of Seasol, have provided a bumper mulberry crop this month. The grass, and the bottom of my shoes, is nearly pure purple.

One of the benefits of this has been observing the song spreading around the neighbourhood that there's a good feed at the end of my cul de sac. The feathered friends that visit me are typically limited to blackbirds, starlings, new holland honey eaters and spotted doves.

image 2288 from bradism.com

As the season has progressed I've seen willie wagtails, wattlebirds, house sparrows swooping in over the fence and under the canopy to shake berries loose. Every time I've felt stressed or square-eyed recently I've just had to sit outside and watch the birds fossick through the grass and fill their gullets. Often accompanied by Nash.
image 2287 from bradism.com

In the last few days I noticed what I thought were some kind of finches but were actually silvereyes - a bird I didn't even know existed! I caught a photo of one today.

image 2289 from bradism.com

A baby blackbird has also been growing up in the backyard this spring. I noticed it as a fledgling last week as it hopped out the way of me and Nash in between its parents feeding it mulberries. It did not take many days of a high sugar diet for it to balloon up bigger than its parents. I got this photo of it when it landed on the wrong side of the pergola roof on its way out for more food.

image 2290 from bradism.com

Maybe I was wrong to bemoan the backyard. Maybe the backyard is the best place in the world, and the rest of it is what I should avoid.

Caught on Tape

This is true.

I'm pretty sure the birds are pecking my strawberries. I wanted to stop them and so I traded some weekend to buy Bird Scare Tape from my least favourite big box hardware store.

However, I've been holding off stringing the tape up because October 18-24 was Australia's Backyard Bird count and I was keen to participate by sitting in my backyard with a coffee and counting birds for twenty minutes. I was even going to write a journal entry about it! And you thought I was being cynical about the excitement in my life happening exclusively in my backyard.

One noisy miner, five New Holland honey eaters, and pair of common blackbirds later I decided I was ready to start scaring birds away from my garden. Today I opened the packaging and inside was not really tape, just a crinkly ribbon that was red on one side and shiny on the other. I wasn't entirely sure how this was supposed to scare birds. A flash of reflected light and a crinkle in the breeze was apparently enough to trigger some ingrained hindbrain instinct to fight or flight in my tiny bird frenemies. Oh well, more berries for me.

The tape was not sticky. I figured I would string it up on the truss for the raspberries growing over the strawberry patch. I cut a decent length and walked into the backyard to peg it up. On my way to the strawberries I noticed one of the million mulberries on the tree was looking pretty plump and ripe, so I stretched up to pluck it off and I popped it in my mouth. At the same moment a gust of wind blew in, and the tape in my hands fluttered briefly, appearing in my peripheral vision for long enough to trigger some ingrained hindbrain instinct to shit myself.

I guess my berries are going to be safe.

Purple Drank

The cherry tomatoes and I have our end of weekend beverage.

The cherry tomatoes and I have our end of weekend beverage.

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