I have not been practising as often as I should. I have a lot on my plate, print-wise. So the piano has been gathering dust. 

Until the other night. The Man was out of town and I just felt like doing something that did not involve sharp implements, sucking-hoses-on-end-of-noisy-machines or smoothing irons.

“I played rumble,rumble,rumble with the left hand.

I played tinkle, tinkle,tinkle with the right.

Rumble,rumble,rumble –

Tinkle,tinkle,tinkle –

I played piano all through the night…”   *

Well, perhaps not ALL night, but I did give my noisy neighbours a little of their own medicine 🙂

This keyboard has a very handy mute so I can wear head phones and hear all my duff notes, but the amplifier is not broadcasting the mistakes to the wider world. And I’m sure the wider world would be eternally grateful if it knew!

I’ve been doing other things, of course. Yesterday, I finally potted-up some lettuce seedlings. They can sit in semi-shade under the back deck for a few days, then I’ll lug the pots back upstairs, within easy reach of the back door when I need a few “Lollo Rosso” leaves or maybe a “Green Oak Leaf” for salads. I’ll get some tomatoes in next week and probably some more parsley.

Oh! I just love this time of year when the sun is warm enough for seedlings, but not harsh enough to shrivel them. Or the gardener!

Still, it’s a bit of a juggling act, I find. The first year we were here, there was more space in the garden and I enthusiastically sowed seeds of all manner of things. Only to lose most of them to excessive heat. Cherry tomatoes (golden and red) thrived and free-seeded all over the place, along with the passion fruit. Swiss Chard sulked. Sulked big-time. Sweet corn did well then, but I’ve not got space for it now.

But after that first expensive lesson, I’ve not bothered with seeds, except for nasturtiums. I buy seedling punnets and tuck them in wherever I have space and I now grow the “essentials” in pots. I hope I can get some advanced seedlings of a variety of Asian salad leaves. Bit of a gamble, that. Well, the labels are a challenge! Bok choy can also be bak choy or buk choy. Or sometimes, simply “Chinese cabbage.” 

Usually beset by caterpillars, this year I have a Secret Weapon. Well, two weapons. Geiger and Sporran love butterflies! And they are pretty handy when it comes to grasshoppers, too, so perhaps I stand a chance in the Dinah versus Bugs war. Perhaps…

sisters-1Resting, after a day of bug-chasing.

Somehow, along with pianoing (it is so a verb!) and gardening and printing I’ve been trying to keep up my sketching. 



Young  hare

We had a lot of hares (no rabbits) at our former home. I know farmers see them as pests, but I’m rather fond of the “big bunnies.” And they have a very long and honored place in the folklore of several cultures. This sketch is from a photo of a pencil sketch, scanned,printed, scribbled on with pencil, sloshed with a little water colour and re-scanned. Hardly warrants the effort!

And, of course, I’m doing sketches for our book exchange. My book has arrived in Leicestershire and will probably be on its way to Pakistan very soon! You can read and see more on our book blog. Click the link, over on the right, below the Flickr link. We’ll try to keep up-to-date.

 I am still managing to swim…

…usually 2 kms whenever I get to the pool. And I try to do that 3 times a week.

What’s that? Write blog posts more often? Ooh, you are funny!Even  the hare’s laughing…

laughing hare

Now, back to the real world…

* Betty Hutton in a movie called,I think, “Sewing MAchine.” Late ’40s. It’s probably Googleable, but I’m running late.


  1. It seems like whatever garden edibles fail for you, will work for me over here so I think I’ll try my hand at Swiss chard this year. For the sketchbooks, Pakistan and England this time around as well! Sounds so interesting.

    As for not blogging more often, I understand. I’ve adopted Donn’s shortened form these days. Need to be more in the RW.


  2. Well, busy, busy, busy. I envy your ability to play piano. I love this instrument, but was never able to master reading music. Someone has to be the appreciator, so I’m the appreciator. How interesting that yours has a mute! I’ve never heard of that on a piano. Cool.
    You just gave me a great idea. I’ve wanted to have a small garden this summer, but I really don’t have time for all the work that goes into it. So why don’t I garden in pots? What a great idea! Duh!!!
    It’s difficult to blog more often when we are busy. We all understand. Life is what happens when we are trying to have fun, to paraphrase J. Lennon.


  3. Nice and chatty. As for me, it’s pictures, just pictures, for me these days. I want to plant tomatoes again this year but spring seems an awful long time in coming. I’m moving to Queensland…


  4. ellen…I can grow chard, but not in the summer. But in BC you should get a good summer’s worth.(And have you thought of a worm bin instead of a compost heap? Much better idea if the dogs a re a nuisance!)

    katie jane…don’t be too envious – I can’t read music so I need to have an idea of how something’s supposed to sound. This is where the mute comes in! 😉

    andrea…what’s wrong with pictures? I’ve just been wandering around the Lagoons clicking away at all sorts of things. Then I did some sketching.


  5. What a scene of domestic bliss! Music, art, plants – perfect.

    I guess you have our problem of delicate things, like coriander, bolting in the heat. We can usually keep enough salad leaves alive to pluck fresh for each meal. And tomatoes – well I have a man for that.


  6. robyn…yes, things do bolt here. And the summer humidity gets those that haven’t bolted; even the Asian things can be tricky. I find the way round it is to pick constantly, even if you don’t want to eat them that day.


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