What a glorious autumn it has been in Melbourne. The trees have been magnificent, including my own two crepe myrtles. They are just three years old and this was the first year they displayed such magnificent foliage. It has all gone now and I am resigned to a few months of bare boughs, which have their own beauty. As I drive around suburban streets the vistas of golden and russet leaves are just so beautiful. And the autumn air seems soft and the evenings darken much earlier. I invested in remotely-controlled blinds and I have been so pleased with the new skyscapes I can see from my bed with just a flick of the remote. The sculptural trunks of the giant gums that dominate my near view can just be glimpsed, but the tracery of leaves against the early morning sky is a daily joy.
The year is well advanced and I have been out and about, reinforcing my commitment to the Kitchen Garden Foundation; helping celebrate the launch of Annie Smithers’ book Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen; having a lightning-fast book tour of regional cities for my own new book, Kitchen Garden Companion: Cooking and then curating a delightful Producer’s Market at Eastland in the pouring rain.
Holidays are over. For two weeks I enjoyed a daily long morning walk in perfect weather. A gentle breeze each morning. My friend and I mostly walked at low tide on a wide expanse of hard-packed sand with just the glitter of the ocean as a distraction. My body feels much stronger than last summer, when my two hip replacements were less than a year old.
Tradition has it that I cook, but not at breakfast. Sometimes we finished up at a favourite local café (a la grecque) for our coffee and a Greek breakfast of grilled baguette, chopped tomatoes, olive tapenade, and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil. Other days we went to a rival café Onda where we shared a gozleme filled with pumpkin and fetta.