Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life

Just shooting the breeze on a rainy day …

November 2, 2019

It’s such a rainy day here.

After two or three very hot days in a row the cool change came through and it has been bucketing down since the exact moment I pulled my car onto the freeway on a last minute urgent errand from home in the eastern suburbs of melbourne to the very inner north.

I’m a bit of a white knuckle driver when the rain is coming down in sheets and you can’t see the line markings on the road. The mist that passing cars spray on you adds to the drama, as does the windscreen fogging up for no good reason (except to torture me even more?)

Anyway, we did that and then came home and we were in once piece so praise be for that.

I dropped Ari (not a morning person) back at home and then I (a morning person) headed off on errands I had excitedly scheduled the night before, scribbling them into my notepad so as not to forget – OP SHOP!!! PARSLEY and NASTURTIUMS!!! WHOLE CHICKEN, LAUNDRY LIQUID, DISHWASHING STUFF (liquid and tablets), ENGLISH MUFFINS!!

I’ve been reading Ann Hood’s delicious book, Kitchen Yarns, and it made me very hungry for English muffins with Vegemite. Hence those making the list. (She does not mention Vegemite, but if she knew how good it was, I am sure she would.)

The whole chicken on the list is for roasting in a cast iron fry pan – alongside a tray of spring veggies – small potatoes tucked around it’s neatly trussed form. I’m doing this new thing where I make too many veggies and then the next day I chop them all up and put them in a frittata (cooked in that cast iron fry pan … bless you Lodge!)

Of course the leftover chicken gets eaten with salad and the carcass saved to put in the stock pot. Fear not, champs!

Now back to the list.

The OP SHOP! bit is pretty obvious, but I have a new thing I am doing (ANOTHER NEW THING!) where I buy old food magazines that match the current month and then I spend an hour reading them and putting post it notes next to the good recipes so I can come back to them later.

There are definitely LOTS of great NEW cookbooks with fresh ideas in them – like Kate’s book and Charlotte’s book – but I have been feeling very nostalgic for recipes from the 90s and 00s and early 10s, so that’s the reason behind that new ritual. 

Also? It’s really nice to read magazines. AND? So much nicer than looking at recipes online. In my opinion. So I am loving doing that.

Clearly the laundry and dishwasher bits are on the list because the washing and dishes are never, ever done. I mean they are, but then there they are again and it’s very SIGH inducing and magic. (The not good sort of magic.)

The parsley and the nasturtiums are because I finally bit the bullet and put a raised garden bed in my quite big back yard – with lots of help from Ari. It’s hard when you are renting because you are never sure if it’s worth spending the money on doing stuff like that, but I know that it will make me happy so I just blinking well did it. And it didn’t cost a lot. But the budget is tight at the moment. Let’s put another sigh her due to that.

I have put in tomatoes and beans and basil and parsley (OTHER parsley from the parsley I got today, but it took off so quickly I though I should get more!) I put potash on them too because Gardening Australia told me to and I think they were spot on.

I also planted rocket seeds and chilli seeds in egg trays and the rocket sprouted overnight, so that is pretty brilliant and bodes well for very many salads in the near future. I got some aquilegia seeds today – as well as nasturtium ones – to see if I might be any good at growing those. They’re so pretty when they flower so I truly hope they like me and do that.

I have some other things yet to plant – baby cucumbers, zucchini and more mature chilli seedlings –  but I need to trawl roadside rubbish for things to plant them in. Of COURSE I got a bit ambitious and bought way too many plants, but it was so tranquil and green that night at Bunnings and I could not help myself.

I’ve also been doing some other things today – beside the list things – which include:

  • Chatting to Rin on the phone.
  • Urging Rin to read Pain and Prejudice.
  • Reading Sweet Little Lies – so good!!!
  • Renting BookSmart to watch later.
  • Trialling Apple TV+.
  • Making plans for a trip to Venus Bay very, very soon.
  • Patting pups.
  • Making Italian-ish Potato and Pasta soup. So good. From this book.
  • Eating English Muffins with Vegemite on them. Also very delicious.
  • Drinking very, very many cups of tea.
  • Tidying up.
  • Thinking about whether I should make Pad Thai for dinner. Should I? Vote now!
  • Listening to the rain.
  • Getting read to do some crochet (I’m working on a granny stripe using 12ply yarn!)
  • Reading Clare’s new book!!

And yesterday I braved the heat and went to the library where I borrowed a bunch of excellent books and found this in one of them. So stinkin’ cute.

What have you been up to peaches? Have you been doing some rainy or non-rainy stuff?  Write soon!

x pip


  • Reply Reannon November 6, 2019 at 1:02 PM

    Somehow I missed this post so I’m so glad it popped back in my feed because these are my favourite.
    Life seems nice Pip. Time cooking, gardening & visiting the library just makes the days better don’t you think? I am all about those things xx

    • Reply Reannon November 6, 2019 at 1:23 PM

      I forgot to say, I’m also pleased to see I’m not the only one who buys old magazines (I also still buy new magazines. Always have. Always will. Please don’t die magazine industry.) I got a heap of old Feast magazines a while back & always find Donna Hay ones too. A bit of time spent reading a magazine is time well spent in my world.

  • Reply Isabel November 3, 2019 at 1:11 PM

    Hey Pip! How good was yesterday’s Melbourne rain after all that heat? I loved it.

    I’m inspired by your veggie planting. I’ve been spending a lot of time down at Veg Out community garden in St Kilda lately with my 1 year old, wondering whether I should go on the list for a plot. Our shared garden (apartments) is lovely but very shady, too shady for veggies, I think. So maybe I too should bite that bullet and jump on in. Rocket is yum and so much better to grow your own! When you say egg container do you mean just a dozen egg cardboard box?

    Also, I’m looking forward to reading Your Own Kind of Girl. I read the excerpt that you linked to, and I just think, yes, that is the exact kind of self-talk we women need to be having. What if we told ourselves a different story about our bodies? Every time I start to self-criticise my slightly wobbly belly or my thicker-than-a-super-model upper arms, I think NO. STOP RIGHT NOW THANK YOU VERY MUCH. You are beautiful and strong and your body can climb mountains and give birth and dance the macarena, it does everything you ask it to, don’t be so mean to it! So, thanks Claire, and thanks Pip for your blog and for spreading good things and honesty and positivity. It’s so appreciated xxx Isabel

  • Reply Belinda November 3, 2019 at 8:06 AM

    After a long and rather gloomy winter this weekend really is the first hint of summer in New Zealand – warm!! And dry!! I spent yesterday waging jungle warfare in my garden, and am feeling rather stiff and sore this morning so am catching up on paperwork and laundry. Although the temptation to bask in the sun will probably get too much for me and I’ll find something to do in the garden that doesn’t test my aching bits too much.

  • Reply Kate November 2, 2019 at 8:35 PM

    It sounds like you’ve been having a lovely time, except for the driving bit.
    Your garden sounds great.
    The secerets booklet, how gorgeous.
    I’m on my third day of feeling headachy and coughing, all the coughing. It was rainy here too, but I tell you I’m sick of myself, I’m going for a walk somewhere tomorrow no matter what.
    I love your idea of the magazines, I think I’ll have a look in my oppy next time and see what’s there.
    Cheers Kate

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