Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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



…. because Irwin Shaw used that title, way back in the 60s.

But the calendar shows that it’s been two weeks since I touched this poor, abandoned blog!

There has been a lot happening Chez Dinahmow and coming up with witty, pithy writing is not it!

Artwork, housework, garden work (why do we write that as two words?) and various factors could all be blamed. I suppose “slack attitude” might be justified…


I used to live in climates where the winters were long and , let’s be honest, could be downright bloody miserable! We looked forward to spring the way small children await Santa Claus. And the first snowdrops , the first blue sky, the bright,tight buds, the first catkins … these sights and many more, filled us with delirious joy.

hawthorn forsythia pussy willow

I have been known to turn cartwheels on Primrose Hill

(yes, the same Primrose Hill where I tobogganned on tea trays)

in sheer delight at seeing spring blossoms.

So of course I love seeing the pictures blogging friends far away post when they and their gardens venture forth after a lousy winter.

But I feel a great wash of nostalgia, too. Beautiful though tropical gardens can be, they are not the gardens of my heart. I daresay folk who grew up with coconut palms, bougainvillea, strelitzia
and bananas have similar spikes of homesickness. Maybe it’s the human tendancy to look inward more as we grow older?

Whatever! So I thought I’d show you one of my favourites… not strictly tropical, this beauty. In fact, it probably fares better in more “normal” climes.

Over the years I’ve grown dozens of the Salvia family (they number in the hundreds!) with mixed success/failure and I love them all. This one, whose name I’ve forgotten (some gardener I am, eh!), manages to fight back against clumsy-footed dogs and people, careless hosepipes, floods and very likely Martian invasion. How could one not love it!

But apart from the salvia and the “Rose of Sharon” and the odd common hibiscus, things are a little slow in my garden. Soon the acacias, cassias and that weedy wild daisy will spill bright gold over the driveway and, if I’m lucky, some late-sown nasturtiums will tumble cheerfully out of pots.

In the meantime, we play the waiting game…


Who’s up for a quick quiz? Once again, no cigar, but answers in the comments, please.

what am i?

Now…a lino block must be cut, printed, corrected if necessary…

It’s called LIFE, folks.
Back soon.

UPDATED Thursday 17
Vivien Blackburn has challenged bloggers to do a comic strip of “a day in the life of…” I sketched this one while I waited in the carpark for The Man to finish work. It’s really ratty and the pen was running out, but, guess what? It was fun! So I think I’ll do it properly, as a journal. Thanks for the idea, Viv!

dinahmow's photos more on flickR


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!


  1. Are you implying that NZ has seasons, or are you thinking UK-ward?


  2. Oh, yes, NZ has 4 distinct seasons! Less marked in the northern zone, but parts of the hill country have better skiing than Grouse Mountain!
    Although, my memories of heavy snows are from European days.


  3. Answer – a car engine – sorry can’t be more specific! 🙂 but it’s NOT a Ford Fiesta, Renault Megane or Saab – cos I know what they look like!

    Oh, you’ve been looking at all our pics of Fritillaries in meadows and getting nostalgic – while we’ve been looking at your pics of blue sky and hearing how you’re picking lemons from the garden and wishing we could feel warm when we venture outside!

    BTW – I thought it time I claimed my Royal Horticultural Society ‘free’ allocation of seeds this year – 25 packets chosen from a vast directory of botanical latin names. I just hadn’t time to research what was what so ticked all the salvias. They’ve germinated well and I now have a greenhouse shelf full of rapidly growing plantlets. Just right if we get a dry summer.

    Take care


  4. celia…yes, it is a car engine and,no, none of those!
    Our weather is fast approaching “winter” which is laughable to you , but I rather welcome the respite.
    I look forward to pics of your salvias when they flower.


  5. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog today and chatting. This is my first visit to yours and it’s cute. Yes, I have been to Viv’s but I haven’t drawn my day yet. Perhaps I will tomorrow. Anyway I will be back. Have a great day!


  6. I hate to say how I would respond to any cat that spoke to me at 5am! Also had to laugh at hopeful cat. A cartoon journal is an appealing ideal isn’t it? Of course, you have the best blog title for it.


  7. Strange synchonicity, my daughters’ teacher just came back from NZ and told the class yesterday there were only 2 seasons! tsk-tsk, teachers should know better. Of course, the exception would be Mordor, where there’s only one nasty season:) I bet you get tired of all the Lord of the Ring comments being a New Zealander.

    I also love those resilient plants that keep coming back inspite of all the abuse they endure. For me it’s a geranium I planted and ignored years ago in my garden. It’s stubborningly staying put, I relate a little to it.


  8. Kate…welcome! I ‘m keen to see your cartoon strip;the pansies were prettty good!

    robyn…sometimes, I fall back on the language of Chaucer!And I think maybe I ought to re-name the blog ‘cos I seem to be more frantic these days!

    ellen…ooh! I wonder where that teacher went!A dime to a dollar she didn’t spend winter in Taumaranui or Te Anau!
    When the LOTR movies were released we had people asking if we knew this or that place, as if it was the size of a city suburb!


  9. a rusty car engine!

    the blue bells are out, where is spring?


  10. ziggi…spring? probably the same place as my Turkish Delight!


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