Thursday, December 23, 2010


Our son and daughter-in-law and their little girl have arrived from Singapore, there was some worry that the nasty weather in London would cause them to be delayed but luckily their plane was one which got through.

This is all the Christmas present I want. Thank you Santa!

I hope all the readers of this blog will have such a lovely wish fulfilled.

Happy Christmas to everyone.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Be nice....

Just a thought when you are rushing around buying all that stuff that you can't afford for people who have everything they need endeth the sermon.
Maybe this is my way of justifying my lack of Christmas shopping this year, anyway, have a good one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lotus eaters...kindof


Every year I 'eat them with my eyes'. They are so beautiful that I feel as if I have captured a magical creature for a brief time, I could just sit and watch it for the two or so days that each bloom lasts.
My very first blog post was a photo of the lotus in bloom last February.
Christmas matters proceed apace (a snails pace) and we are just marking time 'til the arrival of our Singapore family.
Granddaughters are here for some of the holidays, we have been baking up a storm and watching movies. The baked goodies hardly make it past the kitchen door the heat makes it a different experience, baking in 30 degrees celcius and 90% humidity. Sometimes I remember the cold Christmas times in the USA when we were students there and how Christmas preparations were so elaborate . Here we are as like to put on our cozzies (swimsuits) and go to the beach for a barbeque for lunch. The Prof. however still insists on the full baked disaster, ham, pork, chicken (we don't like turkey) with all of the trimmings. Thank goodness we have been able to dispense with the plum pudding and mince pies...Our English/Irish ancestors have a lot to answer for.....I confess that although it is a lot of work and we usually sit eating it in an airconditioned room, I would miss it. Besides, we wouldn't have a few glorious days of left overs to give the cook a rest if we didn't do it!Today it was making meatballs which we had for lunch and froze some...exciting stuff!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Steam powered internet

I just want to say, if you are contemplating using a 'dongle' for mobile internet, forget it. A dinosaur could deliver a message faster and they are dead! Have tried every which way to upload a photo this morning and just would not do it. Grrrr!
So, all that is left is for me to bore you to tears once more dear friend with Ta Da...

                       Chapter 2
It is not to be supposed that Frederick alighted from his post chaise onto the steps of the great house to universal approbation.
His election as the future inheritor of Pemberly did not sit well with the daughters of the house and their opinions had been loudly voiced by their elder sister Jane, So named in honour of her well beloved aunt.
"Mother, are we still to be denied the freedoms and rights so long withheld from our sex when a woman, the princess Victoria is to come to the very throne of England? Rational men cannot cling to these outmoded customs! The placing of an entail directing property away from a natural inheritor denies a woman her rights and is abhorrent, it must and should be addressed by an act of Parliament to right the   wrong!"
"Be still Jane, that is as it may be  replied her mother, the prevailing state of affairs is that you and your sisters MUST marry well, moreover it is as easy to love a rich man as one who has only his personality to reccommend him, even though his family be ever so worthy. Love grows in time in the case and you have only to look to  the example of poor silly aunt Lydia to educate you on the evils of the path she chose in marrying for what she supposed to be love thus disregarding her future."
Privately Lizzie felt all of the injustice of her daughters' situation having experienced a similar imperative in her youth.
"Thank goodness I was able to see the goodness in Darcy and the evil in Wickham before it was too late, even though one had all of the virtue of it and the other the mere appearance of goodness" was her thought as she reviewed the many happy years  she had spent with one whom she had first perceived as a proud haughty man. Fortuitously for her, love had come with a large estate attached. Indeed her first  glimpse of Pemberly and its magnificent grounds had cemented the growing regard that she fostered for  its owner, the taciturn but tender hearted man whom she had loved these twenty odd years past. Lizzy could only hope such good fortune  would befall her daughters.
It is here we must enumerate and name these beauties who while having all of the cogniscence of their position in life but none of the hauteur usually associated with it were, nevertheless Darcys and proud of it. Jane we have met, a girl not unlike her namesake, possessing beauty and a calm nature but with  perhaps a little more sharpness of wit than she. Her capacity for outdoor sports was boundless and it was said that "No one sat a hunter like Miss Darcy".  Miss Darcy was admired for her energy and  and would think nothing of tramping miles in the mire in search of an interesting wildflower specimen to draw. Her energy stood her in good stead also at county balls where she was so much sought after as a dance partner and many a young swain was observed to sport a black eye gained in a contest to see who would become Jane's next partner in the waltz (waltzing being a fashion come lately to the county but much practiced during the London season).  Her unfailing good humour did not prevent her from peevishly noting that they "Had much better be using their time playing at tiddlywinks than fighting as if they were disputing the ownership of the better pack of hounds!"
During the course of the last London season she had successfully parried at least five declarations that "A chap might just shoot oneself" if his suit were not successful, a boast happily never executed to her profound relief.
Jane's good looks and friendly nature exerted a powerful inducement to these many declarations from admirers who chose to ignore  her lack of real prospects in pecuniary matters when the melancholy day of Mr. Darcy's demise should eventuate.
Still Jane would not be swayed.
"Pray do not make of my Jane an old maid" thought  Lizzy, "There is too much goodness and beauty in her to waste in a lonely spinsterhood".

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dogoo (plus stamps)

Thank you to my blog buddy in Japan, 'Senior' for sending me an interesting etegami of Dogoo (I think she is a character in a popular Japanese TV show).
Also in the envelope were the name stamps for me to use on my etegami, carved by Senior as well as a blank postcard that he has made himself using plant matter to make the paper, very clever! As you can see on this postcard the paper is a very interesting texture and colour.
Thank you very much for these, I will use them on an etegami to send to you and maybe you can put it on your blog?
As usual, a misunderstanding, Dogu, which I think the TV series  (Dogoo) is loosely based on, is a warrior woman clay figurine of the Jomon period, a Japanese national treasure.
So, I looked up Wikipedia for Dogoo and in English it is Dogu also in Wikipedia ???? Thanks Senior hope that clears that up.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time and tide

Lawks a mighty! is it Christmastime again so soon?
Well, bah humbug, Scrooge that I am I just cannot get into the Christmas spirit. Two people in the family battling cancer, a total of forty seven days in hospital this last 12 months for me and I am just getting older and no better looking! Things have got to look up.
The BIG bright spot on the horizon is that our family in Singapore will be here for Christmas, a whole week enjoying the granddaughter I never see from one year to the next. The worry though is that they are booked on a Qantas A380 jumbo, surely they will be ultra cautious by then and all of the safety tests will be totally rigorous.
My token effort towards getting into the mood is to have made these rather festive origami earrings in all colours for friends, too bad if they don't have pierced ears. I do make a lot of stuff out of origami, mostly cards but I never seem to post them here
 I am managing to waste my time in many other ways, chiefly in fantasizing about the next chapter in the lives of the  characters I have hijacked from Pride and Prejudice. The thing has taken on a life of it's own, however I will possibly ditch the whole thing in embarrassment when I hear what other people have written on Wednesday. It sure is fun though.
Then there is the New Year greeting  etegami to think about and ponder the  many ways to draw a rabbit. Thinking, thinking.......

Friday, December 3, 2010

A picture postcard from Japan

Etegaminikki ( sent me this very cute card she had made in response to my email. As well as the card there was a beautiful set of calender cards , I shall think of her every time I look at them for a whole year.
Her grandchildren love Nutella and the jar she buys is made in Australia so she made this connection!
While I do not read or speak Japanese I understand she is the person who organizes to display etegami in train carriages in her region and many people submit work for her to put in.
Sounds like a fun idea and gives commuters something to look at .
Still hassling with OPTUS over the internet connection, looks like they are upgrading our package to 500 mgb but we still haven't canceled the old service...maybe this afternoon....sigh.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

There will be a short interruption to programs.............

We have (foolishly as it turns out) decided to change our internet provider and learned to our dismay that there would be a hiatus of THREE WEEKS between disconnecting from the old one and reconnecting to the new, after we had signed up.
This despite being assured by the smiling rep. from, the company that such would not be the case.I think the words seamless transition and you don't have to do a thing were uttered.
Himself is not pleased and is going around with a pained look because the company's solution to my squeals of horror was to give us an apology and free mobile broadband for the interim and it has taken us 24 hours to solve all of the problems associated with installing the software on our MACs  (OPT...oops, the company does not provide any technical support to MAC users of course).
NOT HAPPY, it is as slow as a wet week. To add insult to injury the company is now offering a download limit of ten times what we signed up for three weeks ago for less!!!!!!!!
I will leave you with this smiling face which bears no resemblance to my expression at the moment.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jane Austen tragic.

Like a lot of ladies of a certain age (and some not so certain), I loooove The writings of Jane Austen.
While I am glad not to have been born in that era  (anything pre the discovery of penicillin can be as romantic as it likes but I won't be time traveling there anytime soon) I really love the language she uses and the studied way life was lived among the upper classes at that time. Leaving aside the fact that I would have probably been a scullery maid in Jane's era, the doings of the Bennets et al were endlessly fascinating to me as a younger person. However, it was not until Mr Darcy (AKA Colin Firth) burst onto the TV screen in the now famous wet shirt incident did I become a true tragic. So much so that I have just finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the umteenth time (on my Kindle :) How do you do a smug smiley? ) .
Well, the point of this post is that my friend Cathy alerted me to the fact that the library is having a"High Tea with Jane Austen" next week, so of course I signed up. One of the fun things they will be doing is to ask you to write an opening for a sequel to  P&P -after the honeymoon.  Rather than go for  a description of Lizzy and Darcy's early married life (and any possibly private happenings) I have jumped  20 or so years ahead, so dear reader.......

                             Chapter One. (Draft)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young couple in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a male heir.
Thus it was with Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, but alas while their estate at Pemberly had been blessed with the birth of five beautiful, but headstrong daughters, the looked for son had failed to appear. The ensuing births of these girls had been met with stoicism by Mr Darcy but was a source of much disquiet for his still beautiful wife Lizzie whom the years had treated very kindly indeed.
It was on account of an entail placed on the estate by the late Mr Darcy senior (an otherwise kindly man who feared that the rise of female independence would ruin the country ) that Pemberly and the fortune attached to it would devolve to the nearest male relative on the death of Fitzwilliam Darcy.
In the absence of a kindly brother to secure their futures, Elizabeth held fears for what perhaps lay ahead of her spirited and accomplished daughters  all five of whom were determined to marry only for love. They  would have but a small portion for their maintenance if they took as an example  Lizzie's foolish sister, their aunt Lydia in following their heart in spite of all reasoning to the contrary.
This then was the state of affairs twenty two years after the nuptials of Elizabeth and Darcy.
It being the established custom in such cases to adopt an heir from within the family, the Darcys cast about for a likely candidate amongst the children of Elizabeth's three married sisters. The scholarly Mary her fourth sister remained happily at Longbourne still as companion and tutor to the children of her cousin Mr Collins and Charlotte Lucas. She was moreover invited to dine not less than thrice a year at Rosings the country seat of the de Bourghs which now rested in the hands of Colonel Fitzwillian through his late wife the former Miss Anne de Bourgh.
An immediate and enthusiastic offer by the impoverished Lydia Wickham to allow the Darcys to adopt one of her six wild and dissolute sons was under no circumstance  to be countenanced.
The mere contemplation that an offspring of George Wickham and Lydia Bennet would pollute the shades of Pemberly saw a tight lipped Mr Darcy quit the dining room for the solitude of his study until all talk of such an abomination should cease.
Darcy could only speculate in what manner his late aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh would have greeted such an  outcome! His sister Georgiana was of course spared these speculations owing to the infamous way that Wickham  had attempted to abduct and marry her and she barely fifteen, the memory of which had led perhaps to her confirmed spinsterhood.
Unhappily for Elizabeth, Jane Bingley  her best loved sister, while the very model of a doting aunt, had remained childless. She was able then to look only to her younger sister Kitty Winton, the wife of a kindly country parson of good family to supply their want.
Mr Winton's steady guidance and maturity had made of Kitty a sober, sensible kind of woman who bore little resemblance to her younger self under the influence of the foolish, rebellious Lydia.
It was this state of affairs that saw the young, handsome Frederick Winton arrive in his twenty second year to take up residence as the putative heir of Pemberly.....................................................................

I think Jane could do something with that!
Kindly meant criticisms will be taken, all the rest of you need not bother :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Etegami experiment.

I thought I would try out a couple of the postcards I have for etegami  to see how they reacted to basically the same drawing.
The first one is the one I ordered from Japan which has quite a bit of 'bleed'.
I am learning to control it a bit better but still can't get that 'blobby' look, Maybe I just have to accept the fact that you have to be steeped in Japanese culture from birth to 'get it'
I do like the juxtaposition of words and pictures so I think I will persevere. Another thing is that I have hooked up with some Etegami bloggers in Japan and I am enjoying that interaction at the moment. It certainly seems to be an older persons 'sport'
The second card which I bought at Kinokuniya yesterday when I went to Sydney is more like a sheet of watercolour paper and it saps the colour right out of the ink. It came out more like a conventional watercolour.
I did receive a card yesterday from a lovely lady in Japan (etegaminikki) done on watercolour paper so I guess it is not unheard of to use it.
Stay tuned for exciting developments re my initial stamp .

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A bit of doggerel

doggerel: n. comic verse composed in irregular rhythm.
  verse or words that are badly written or expressed (Oxford dictionary of English)

On my trip to the country I was very moved to see an old man waving to the train, it was kind of touching and naive , something a child might do so while I was on the train I wrote this;

A Country Child
I remember as a little girl,
waving to the train
imaginings of brighter lights
dancing in my brain.
I remember as a teenager,
waving to the train,
hopes and dreams of other lives
time and time again
Now time is short, I've seen those things and
I've come home ,but fain,
my head upon the pillow ill,
it does not stop the longing still,
and waving to the train.

Sorry about that folks, had to get it off my chest. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Taking some leave...

The world of blogs will just have to do without me for a few days, I am off to see my darling Mum who is recovering from a big operation. Luckily my two brothers have done a fabulous job between them of taking care of her in my absence but I do want to see her before she starts a further round of treatment.
She lives about 5 hours away by train so it will take me one day traveling two days there and back on Wednesday so hopefully I will be back in reasonable health and on the internet by Thursday.
It is going to be pretty scary not being connected for four whole days, not keeping up with my favourite blogs the one consolation is that I will have my new Kindle to keep me company (an early Christmas gift from my family in Singapore, nice to have a tech savvy son who wants you to have the same experiences that he has).
I'll leave a couple of pics for you to stare at and just hum a tune 'til I get back :)
This is the garden furniture that  I painted so laboriously last week, I love the black, in a funny way it kind of disappears into the background. Phew! what a job though.
This is of a sempervivum "Pacific Red Rose" which has formed this lovely fairy ring in the pot.
 And yet another attempt at etegami.
Toodelooo Chaps.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some good, some not so good.

The Good The Bad and The Very Ugly.
First to the Very Ugly ...... yesterday was our 47the Wedding did we get so old? (I was a child bride but nonetheless).
The Bad...Two hours in the dentist's chair.
The Good...still waiting for that to happen! Just kidding, every day breathing is a good day right?

Remember that I sent off an entry to Debbie's call for autumn etegami? well here it is.

PS. an update on the veggie garden, had our first (small) meal of chard Monday along with some  rocket (arugula) and mitzuna. Yum.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I have been wanting to use that word for yonks, not necessarily applying it to myself though...sigh. Just when I thought I had this etegami gig under control, this happens. Like a true poor tradesman I am now going to blame my tools! The postcards seem to eat up my sumi ink and make it  wishy washy and the water colours are bleagh!
The zucchini one gives the nod to my favourite illustrator Gay Mckinnon at Silvergum Studio. Check out her zucchini wearing a teeny weeny bikini :D. See link at right).
Gay, hope you don't mind  my etegami 'homage'?

The good thing is I am now the proud possessor of some gansai paints. I hope they will do the trick. Trouble is they are too perfect to use. Typical Japanese presentation, a symphony of colours, a Mondrian of rectangles, in short  a feast for the eyes. (have I waxed lyrical enough?)

I have recently linked up with a Japanese lady at etegaminikki (see blog links)and tried to write to her using Google translate with the usual hilarious consequences, sadly I think in the future I am  going to be like one of those readers of Playboy who 'only look at the pictures' from now on.
The neatest thing that has happened lately is that through Facebook (still not sure about FB) I have reconnected with one of the Japanese girls who lived with me in the 1990's when she was on a working holiday. I had many girls stay over 10 years but lost all of their contact details in a flood. Viva la Internet is all I can say.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To Bee or not to Bee...

A bit of excitement this morning. Awoke to find a beeswarm right near my front gate.
Nor bee-ing of a nervous disposition this didn't worry me too much but the thought of them taking up residence in the walls of my house was not an attractive one. The sound of buzzing would probably send me over the top as readers of this blog will know there is already a plague of locust singing in my head (tinnitus).
Quick, onto the internet and find Mr bee swarm expert! Result!. Wow, he was here within the hour and shook the majority of them and the queen into a hive box with honey in it which the bees found very attractive. Not only that but he gave me a jar of honey as well! He will return after they go to bed to take them to his apiary. A man who obviously loves and cares for bees (he kept calling them 'girls', the girls are the what's new lol), he is a very successful local businessman who runs an apiary as a hobby/business, thanks so much Steve.

 Apparently they are 'caucasian' bees a darker (?) variety, good producers and quite gentle (as bees go)
Another not so happy thing to happen this last weekend was that I gave away my old flood damaged dollhouse that I had built as a Bicentennial project in 1988.
I could have refurbished it I suppose but I just did not have the psychic energy to do it. The flood destroyed a good many of the things I had valued in life , every drawing I had ever done as well as all of my art supplies and a few canvases. Three years later after much disruption and sadness I just do not want to go there again.
I listed the dollhouse on Freecycle and within a couple of hours a lovely lady and her husband had arranged to pick it up. They were thrilled and I was so happy to see it go to such enthusiasts.....Letting go of possessions is so cathartic.....I may become a trappist monk yet. lol.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A bit of this and....

Vegetable gardens are a"Good thing" but keeping one productive is easier said than done.
I have battled variously sandy soil,fruit fly, humidity and laziness to try to establish a garden that would give me that visceral connection to the earth that growing your own food provides.
Because my garden is now so massively overplanted, finding a sunny spot for a garden was impossible. I do have little plot in a neighbours yard (sharecropping) but the soil is so poor it is a real effort to keep things growing,one day without water and the plants die, A big problem when I go into hospital for a 'tune up' . My neighbour is not at all interested in gardening but she is happy to be kept in parsley and basil, anything else is a bonus.
So, I  am unveiling  the latest attempt to grow the most expensive veges on the planet....the above ground garden bed, ( one of two purchased at great expense) look forward to updates and a feast of goodies (or not)!
 The cherry tomato which overwintered here has grown enormously, climbing the trellis to about 10 feet and spilling over to produce lovely early trusses.

While on a garden theme, here is one for my friends in the succulent world, a lovely aeonium, this photo is a few weeks old and it is even more lush now.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween anybody?

Opinions are very divided on Halloween here in Oz. A lot of folk say it is just more American cultural imperialism...we're a bit sensitive about that (not as much as the French though).
I was struck by one correspondent to the newspaper whining (we do that a lot though we call it whingeing  lol ) about the  "stupid American custom", just an excuse for merchandising yaddah yaddah (isn't that a Seinfeld export? well wash my mouth out with soap honeychild..oops! there I go again)who (you still with me here?) signed off with 'As if', an Americanism if I ever heard one. I rest my case.
All this leads me to the fact that while we don't take it too seriously Halloween can be fun and I spent a delightful afternoon with my 12 year old granddaughter yesterday making two Halloween cakes for a family gathering in the park this evening..just a few friends and neighbours, a chance for the kids to dress up and eat too many lollies (Sweets, candy).
Here is one of them hibernating in our refrigerator waiting for it to get dark.
BTW do not be concerned about the amount of margarine in the frig! Seriously, we don't eat that much, it was for baking!
In the truly creepy spirit of Halloween, I will leave you with a picture of this dessicated fruit bat I found in the park yesterday...coincidence or be the judge. Creepy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Autumn etegami (or not?)

Finally plucked up the courage this afternoon to sully the surface of one of the etegami postcards I ordered from Japan.
I have been struggling to find a subject which would relate to Autumn even though it is Spring here.
The reason for this is a challenge on the Etegami Fun Club on Facebook  run by the inimitable Debbie (of Dosanko Debbie's Etegami blog).
Well, I came up with this image because..drumroll...the Ibis, those once majestic birds return to the parks and gardens near us in the Autumn scavenging for food and generally making a nuisance of themselves, pooing and tossing rubbish out of bins. Not only that but their white feathers are frequently dirty and disheveled, presenting a very sorry sight. A long way from their depiction in ancient Egyptian art.
Having done it the Prof has planted a worm of doubt in my brain, "A bit lateral don't you think?"(a callous almost cruel remark I thought given my artistic temperament lol)
So that is why the postcard is here and not on Facebook dear friends.
Still looking for a subject...something to do with the tv remote and football season maybe?

Edit: Okay it's now on Facebook!

Things that amused me today #2

All quiet here at 'casa chaos'. so quiet in fact that I had to take my pulse to see if I was still alive.
It was while I was pondering my life and looking at my shoes (don't you do that? much easier than navel gazing, you don't have to disrobe lol) that I noticed my green socks,"How very Halloween", I thought, that combination of green and black (Do you use quotation marks if it is just a thought?.. just a thought). So, (begins sentence with a preposition)...damn who is doing this commentary ooops it's me (sigh)I just thought that you might, dear reader, think it was a minty, halloweeny, ghouly kind of colour combination as well.TaDaah! (sorry about the unpolished shoes but they are my favourite Rockports that I wear every day).   
Oh, and Just to make you envy my lifestyle a little more...Here is a photo of what I had for lunch today,Cheese slice,nut and fruit mix,cherry tomatoes watermelon and red bean mochi. (I think I covered all of the food groups there, I'll just waddle off now Toodeloo!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Learning to Photoshop Grrr!

Sounds harmless, learning to Photoshop, just like shopping right? You stroll down the aisles picking up what you want, putting it in your cart? Wrong, it is mind blindingly frustrating and tearmaking when you have never used computers much in the past. Who knew that you had to "RASTERIZE" a layer before you can overlay another one????What is rasterize anyway? It's all Greek to me.
I did finally muddle through the process of making a banner for my Etsy shop (which remains empty, I still have to tackle the problem of postal charges). My shop is at  if you are interested. Suggestions as to layout, legibility etc welcome.
To add insult to injury I wasn't able to upload the banner on my Macbook Air something to do with conflicting IP addresses with the other computers we had in the house, took all day to figure that one out with prompting from computer literate son in Singapore.
At the rate I am going hell may freeze over before I get my stuff on the net. 
To return to more pleasant things, remember my good neighbour Jan who bakes and plants her sweetpeas on St Patrick's Day? Well, Here is a bunch of said sweetpeas to be going on with. Thanks Jan.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My new obsession.

You guessed it! Cicadas!
A few pics of my wall to show the hanging vases I got last week. They are copies made with moulds from the south of France where the vases are positioned near the front door and filled with lavender as a welcoming sign. A very crafty lady here in the Hunter Valley of NSW  makes them.
I have one large green one and two small white ones (I couldn't make up my mind!).
Some of my friends don't get it. I guess my relationship with cicadas is a bit love/hate really as I suffer from very bad (Medication induced) tinnitus which sounds like cicadas, so in one way for me it is Summer all year! Ya gotta laugh.

Here is the large one (with fresh picked lavender) in the little 'tokonoma' (?) beside my door.

These are the smaller ones. I think they have a lovely Deco feel, but some of my friends just say"ALIEN" and run away screaming.

Monday, October 4, 2010

My first attempt at etegami

My first try, using ersatz materials, sorry Debbie, it probably makes the purists cringe, just couldn't wait for the real thing to arrive.

'Catnap' in situ.

As a special Birthday gift to myself I ordered an original etegami from Dosankodebbie over on Etsy and it arrived with a bonus. The  work I ordered was 'catnap' and she included a print of another work 'snapping tortoise' as a bonus because it was my sweet.
I promised Debbie I would post a picture of her work 'in situ', the photo does not do them justice, but here they are in my 'animal corner'. Tortoise will eventually hang under cat when I can get a suitable hook!
And just another picture to remind me of why I love Spring so much. The funny looking things on the ground are from our now defunct passionfruit vine, ruthlessly cut down over the weekend, never fear we have a baby vine ready to go.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Purple prose.

Funny thing about wisteria, until a few years ago I could not smell it without gagging.
This possibly dates back to a memory associated with the funeral of my great grandfather when I was about 9 years old.
Visually it was a feast but the feast was also nauseating. Luckily (perhaps with aging) my brain does not tell me to throw up when I smell it anymore. Hallelujah!
I planted this about 7 years ago and each year I have tolerated it better and can enjoy the lovely flowers. Just thought I would share a photo. (If you look through the trellis you can just see some of our new solar electricity panels - not hooked up to the grid yet...waiting,waiting).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mixin' it up!

How about this for a nifty garden junk idea?
My granddaughter knowing my penchant for old stuff, especially metal found this mixer for me at a Trash and Treasure meet and just knew I would love it and I do!
I thought the spiky succulent gave it a nice retro feel.
Looking now for a suitable bowl to complete the look.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things are looking Up!

A few tentative steps outside the front door this morning, harnessed up the dog and stepped  into a world exploding with spring colour.
Two weeks in a hospital ward leads to a kind of 'white out' or sensory deprivation I guess. All sensations are heightened,sight, smell (yes I did pick up the dog poo) and even touch. The highlight of my small excursion was the four leafed clover I found. Is this a universal sign of good luck? As I said, things are looking up!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tender mercies

I'm Baaaaack!
12 days in in a private room, a view over the city, all meals included, sounds like heaven right?
No internet, lousy tv, plenty of books a few bunches of flowers, more sweets than are good for me  only made bearable by the ministrations of the wonderful girls and guys on ward F2 (my home away from home) and the physios, not all bad. Mercifully no photos.
All good.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Birthday, smirthday

Well, my birthday has come and gone and I can say that it was the worst yet.
Sorry  to be a downer but the news that I am going into hospital for a "tune up" of an ongoing problem is not the best gift to get. It is particularly galling because spring has come with a vengeance and I will miss it.
See you when I get out.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Three days to go.

A fun morning at the local Girl Guides' clubhouse where they are having a "Trash & Treasure" sale.
Just went to support my granddaughter's troop. The money raised will help pay for their insurance for the coming year, a necessity nowadays.
Last year I had a stall but not able to this year besides, I have donated most of the succulents I grew to the children's  school which is currently having a remodel of their gardens. The plants do look nice in the ground, shall post a picture when they get established.
Snooping around my damp (yes again!) garden this AM these two beauties caught my eye, first a bulb which is I think a hemerocallus, a spectacularly flamboyant producer of stamens (very butch!) and the white plant is the common Australian native rock orchid which has a heavenly vannillary scent.
Winner in the olfactory stakes though at this time of year is surely the gorgeous freesia, an indescribably lovely perfume with undertones of cow manure LOL. That's how it seems to me  anyway, just a little counterpoint to the nice notes rather like a base note.
The other  thing about freesia perfume is that when I smell it I am 17 years old again. My Birthday party that year was a biggie (why am I thinking about birthdays?) and was made memorable by the bunch of freesias I got, plucked from his mother's garden, by the latest heartthrob.
Smells are very powerful in pulling out those long forgotten memories or is it just age that makes one remember the past so vividly and forget the last thing you heard?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Six days to go

Six days to go to a BIG landmark birthday. I mean BIG. Let's just say I could collect the pension after the 7th of September.
Am I unhappy, you betcha, then on the other hand I never expected to reach this age, I  expected not to reach the millennium so it is all good.
Onward into the 21st Century and we are installing solar panels on our roof to generate electrickery.
 As usual there is a hitch, the frames will go on the roof but no panels. The scheme to encourage installations has been so popular that installers cannot keep up with the workload or the materials.
No use getting upset but delays are so frustrating.
Just a glimpse into my riveting life LOL.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I know, I know, boring to talk about the weather but it has been such a fabulous day, 18C and sun, sun, sun.
Ate breakfast on the verandah today and this was on my table
These orchids often have the tattiest looking foliage and then from bare sticks, kapow!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Things that amused me today.

Maybe I am easily amused but this amused me.
Recently I have been following this blog and decided that I would try out the elegant art of Etegami. This lead to a trip to the art supply store in search of a bamboo pen.
The thing that amused me was the barcode on this ancient instrument, 100% bamboo , which has managed for centuries without a barcode.! Almost you could say an anachronism. Anyway, looking forward to trying it out and being frustrated at not being able to do as well as the inimitable Debbie. (Still looking for the washi paper postcards though.
Just to be going on with here is an image of my latest drawing,?collage? for my greeting cards. Hope you approve.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's a pink day!

The sun is shining after a couple of very gloomy months and the garden is showing it's true colours. To celebrate this happy day I searched out some of my beautiful pink succulents which have coloured up beautifully in the cold. Okay, so some of them are a little more on the mauve side but they feel pink!
The top one is very much larger and more vigorous than the others and is I think my favourite.
Another reason to celebrate: I have sold some of my cards and a monkey today, all in a good cause.
With Spring approaching I will have to get serious about having a market stall somewhere to sell off all of the things I have been making this winter.