Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



Those who have hinted that I may not be  compos mentis can form a queue to apologise. My marbles may have been temporarily misplaced, but they were NOT lost.


Did you ever read the Kapeks’ play about insects?  Karel and his brother, Josef Kapek wrote a satire which kept popping into my mind as we battled black ants.Again. We’re still battling. In fact, if we win anything it will be a minor skirmish, not the war…

And this is how I found my marbles, at the back of a cupboard where I kept seldom-used baking trays and dishes.

Oh! Something else came to light during this de-anting of cupboards…The Man’s onyx chess men, bought many years ago in Mexico. I’d show you a picture of them, but I’m not sure where we put them! No, wait, I think -yes!IMG_0349.JPG

No, I’m afraid the “black” pieces are NOT tourquoise, just onyx dyed to look like tourquoise.

Time for another ant salvo. I’ll leave you with some pretty things…

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Cassia fistula.  Neighbours across the street see more of the blooms than we do, but it is lovely.



Mussaenda  Also called Bangkok Rose. Those white bracts are like crumpled silk!

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And an old favourite, to finish, Trachelospermum jasminoides  Cut back rather brutally last summer when The Man was re-painting, it’s forgiven us and is rewarding us again.






Spiraling Paper Ornament

Paula has (as usual!) an interesting paper construction.If anyone out there has more information, feel free to jump in.And, if you make one, please come back with a link.

Playful Bookbinding and Paper Works

I came across this complicated looking but simple paper structure and have been happily playing around with it for days.

I’ve been able to locate only once source for these, which is at, an exquisite site by German artist Manja Burton. Fact is, her site has enough about these globes that, really, no one else needs to ever write about them again ever, but, oh well, here I go.

Manja calls these Triskele Globes. I have no idea whether these are a traditional paper-folding design, or if she developed it herself. “Triskele” is a symbol which depicts three interlocking spirals. These paper globes appear to be interlocking spirals, but the spiraling is simply a wonderful illusion.

Bonus Update: just as I was about to hit the Publish button for this post, I received a note from Manja, responding to my questions about this structure.  I’ve added her response…

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UPDATE…I found the missing tiki! 

Long time, no blog. I have been doing other things…

One of the “other things” has involved gardens. Most of the gardens here just have to tough it out when rain is infrequent. I do water potted things, like orchids and herbs, but cannot see much sense in buying drinking water (via the annual water rate paid to Council) for plants that just let palms “steal” it anyway.

So, here are some of my simple pleasures…



A Yucca;I’m not sure which one as it’s in a garden down the street!


A pot of lilies that just begged to be added to my cart of groceries one day…They were indoors for a while, then I put them out on the deck where I could water them when I did the herbs’ water routine. Not the intense fragrance of some, but after the sun has been on them it’s a noticeable scent.


“Grand Duke of Tuscany” jasmine. Jasminum sambac  I’ve cut this wretch back to almost nothing and tried to dig it out since it seemed so unhappy.And then we have a good shower and off it goes again. There’s a story about it’s introduction to Western gardens (via the Duke) and I’ll do some research and tell you the tale another day…

Zyzigium wilsoniiIMG_2538.JPG

Syzigium wilsonii  aka “powder puff”. Another that struggled for years and seems, finally, to have settled. We only ever saw one or two flowers, but last Spring there were several and this year it looked spectacular! Of course, I didn’t get in with a camera til the show was almost over! I daresay Mr Google has a better range.

The Sunbirds re-used their little nest attached to the  cord on the front verandah awning and two chicks fledged a few weeks ago. And then…


Sunbirds (not the same pair) began building a nest on a string of chimes over the back deck




Mrs Sunbird is now incubating 1 or 2 eggs.

And now, some of my small treasures…


Chinese jade ear-rings


A brooch of NZ nephrite. It belonged to my maternal granny so probably 19th century.


Another piece of NZ nephrite, left to me by an aunt.


More NZ greenstone. I bought this when I was in my teens and I should probably give it to someone who could wear it as it certainly doesn’t go over my old knuckles!


And this, which I bought from a chap in NZ who does some beautiful carving. I’ll give you his Facebook address  His work is well worth looking at.


A Maori Hei Tiki. Like all Maori artwork, rich in symbolism, in this instance, a fertility charm! And now, having found it, I must get a jump ring for it so i can put it back on a chain.


Alas, not NZ nephrite. Not Chinese jade, though I believe this is from China. I have several and wore them as hair clips before I had my hair cut.I wonder if anyone else has them?

And now it’s almost time for lunch! I’ll close with a picture of one of “my girls.”

Breakfast.Oct 10 .JPG

Nephila pilipes  Yes, a big one, but does us no harm.She’s one of the spiders who spin a golden thread. If you are brave or curious, go here



I’ve just noticed that this blog seems to have become a monthly publication. Not sure whether that elevates it to a rather grand literary status or whether I’m just a slack writer.

But let’s not argue the toss. I went to an orchid show today and have a few pictures to share…in no particular order and , annoyingly, mostly not named.

The womon selling cut stems of this said it’s a “tiger orchid.” But when I googled for more information, its leaves look different.

UPDATE: After trawling through books and websites I am convinced it’s an Epidendrum, but I have no further info. 


Here’s the stem I bought, with  alternate leaves and robust aerial roots (balancing in a bucket in the laundry.)


I may have mentioned that I love the swamp orchids and have a small plant which is yet to reach flowering stage. I think I should have taken it with me today, to encourage it!

A small selection of Phaius sp


Phaius alba  It opens a pure white and yellows as it ages.


Those were on a sales table; inside the Orchid House were more, in colours I’d not seen (mind you, I don’t know much about the orchid tribe and have a lot of “homework” to do!)

Isn’t this gorgeous!


…and this


…and this.


On to a Dendrobium (It had a tag reading “Samurai”)


Another nameless one…



I apologise for there being few names, but I’m hoping to go back in a day or so and will try to read the labels. Today I was mostly dodging prams and grannies!

Leaving orchids for the moment…

I had to take my car in for service the other day and I met a friend while the mechanic did the work. We wandered through a new new-ish art supplies store, had  a lovely lunch and saw a cushion. Twice. And the second time it “spoke” to me…IMG_0189_1.JPG

….    gave me a goofy look and said: “c’mon, you know you want me!”


So I bought him.



Just popping my head around the door to let you know I am still alive.

We , or as her Majesty might say, “my husband and I…” have been/are still very busy, doing all manner of jobs around the house. Busy, but utterly boring as blog fodder.

Mostly things in the garden.With the weather beginning to get warmer I needed to clear space for new plants. And, with The Man at home most days, we finally cleared the **$&! pergola of dead vines. The problem now is what to plant as replacement? I would dearly love Mucuna bennettii but fear it might be as rampant as the previous Petrea. And the same applies to the Jade Vine, Strongylodon. Ruddy great trusses of 3metres+ flowers might be a bit of a problem, given that the head room under the pergola is a scant 2m!Ooh!but I am so tempted…

Maybe I should just stick to the more manageable orchids…at the moment I have several Phalaenopsis in flower. (Not named varieties*)




and an Oncidium…a wonderful dark wine-y chocolate colour013.JPG

There are lord knows how many purple and mauve Spathoglottis in the gardens! They drop seed and from time to time I give away some or move them about.Consequently, until they flower I have no idea where each colour is! But I have just bought a white one and it is safely in a pot on the verandah!That’s it, at the back, in bud.014.JPG

Two more Phalaenopsis live in hanging pots, out in the garden.(*I see this one has a name! Phal. Brother Lawrence x Brother Taida…and some faded writing I can’t read.Hardly surprising since it was a gift almost 12 years ago!new orchids 002.JPG

A very brisk wind has sprung up so this one needed a steadying hand. A bit like raspberry coulis dripped on ice cream!

new orchids 005.JPG

A couple of years ago we acquired an Anthurium. Poor thing became horribly squished in its pot, but the other day I got around to splitting it.I think we now have seven or eight! It’s currently beneath the front steps but will need a new home orchids 006.JPG

And here is the newest Spathoglottis

new orchids 001.JPG

I know some of you would love to be “over-run” with things like bananas and tropical palms, but it’s not all beer and skittles, y’know. Mrs Next Door doesn’t like the bananas dropping their untidy stems over the fence. And Mr. Up The Back gets his shorts knotted if any of my plants put their heads above the parapet. So I’m stuck with an ugly, bare fence…

Banana bell dangling over the fence.

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…maundering in in-action might be closer to the mark. Three months is almost “death” in Blogland.

Oh well, here I am again. And I’m going to kick off with…the weather! Winter here so that means, mostly, blue skies and bright sunny days. The sort of weather that encourages strenuous outdoor work. Garden beds can be weeded, dug-over, mulched.Plants can be pruned, moved, re-potted.

And then the sun dips below the horizon and we don extra layers and waddle about looking like the Michelin Man. And I can tell you that, Chez Dinahmow, the Michelin look lasts from sunset to mid-morning.

But it is nice to see the BARE pergola, just waiting for something new and less rampant than wisteria and petrea… 001.JPGI’m tempted to try another climbing rose, but then my memory gives me a sharp dig in the ribs, telling me not to be such a silly fool.

In the meantime, I seem to be having some small success with orchids. 001.JPG

These Phalaenopsis sit on my keyboard (not this one, the musical one), but I move them outside for more sunlight when they start to flower. I move lunches out there, too, in sunny weather. Of course, there can be stiff competition for a seat…002.JPG

The Man, who is no longer working full-time, has not had much go-to-work work lately, but he has been busy here!Oh yes…de-rusting and re-painting various bits around the house. And he cleared all of the tangled mess atop the pergola. And replaced the old TV aerial which was all a-dangle after the cyclone modified it. Ooh, it’s all go here, innit!

I’m off to see about some breakfast, but before I do, here’s a link to a Canberra friend’s blog. Yet another reason to visit  that city!