Inspired by Contessa's plum jam and paste making activities I raced outside to see if our next door neighbours plum trees were fruiting.The Contessa lives in warm climes than I and so she is usually a few weeks ahead in the garden (flowering and fruiting) than us. The long cold winter and the late spring , and the very inclement summer has delayed the growing season.The other weekend I managed to speak to our neighbour M who is a very private person and asked if I could harvest the plums, pears and quinces that border our property, she said that was fine and I was welcome to them and the apples that are in the 'forest'. 'One of the only plants flowering in the garden, along with the roses, I haven't had to water at all the last 2 weeks.I Had to laugh this morning in the Sunday paper someone wrote, it's too cold to play sport in England, too hot to play in sport in Aussie, why doesn't everyone come here it's always average. Had a call form Mrs A., a friend who is the most amazing quilter, I shall endeavour to photograph her quilts next time I go to her place and show them to you because she is so talented. She had even lit her log fire the other night, that must be a record.I leave you with a picture of our silk tree, Autumn 2008 it got a really very decent haircut( about a 2/3rds, short back and sides) and as you can see this must have been taken as a incentive to do better , not sure it current status in Basil shade tree eliminating standings. On a less destructive note AJ passed his NCEA level 2 exams and will advance to Yr. 13, he has some idea what he would like to do when he finished, so we have told he must knuckle down and concentrate on some real work this year, sounds so fimiliar doesn't it, I do try to change the script with each year but even to me it's depressingly similiar, I wonder if girls pay better attention to their parents in these matters, but I expect teenagers are the same, regardless of their sex. Naggers away, as I sign off for now. Aunt Bee.