From what I hear, newspaper readers fall squarely into two camps when it comes to the tabloid press: the fors and the againsts.

On the for side is the argument that tabloids are easier to fold for reading on public transport. The purists on the other side of the fence (mostly) don’t ride public transport so they pooh-pooh that idea. They also, somewhat sniffily, say that people who buy tabloids can’t read anyway and only look at the nubile nymphettes and the sports pages.

My own view? Well, for me, the big boys win, hands-down, every time.You see, those scrappy little chip-wrappers just aren’t big enough when I need to cover my dining table!

print-tableLaying out some ink for a morning’s printing…

I now have a routine, after some initial messing about: first, I clear all the accumulated “stuff” from the table. Sometimes, I find things I’d thought lost! Mostly, I find things that should have been dumped!

Then I tape several sheets of newspaper over the table. My inking slab is a glass shelf from an old refrigerator. It’s also solid enough to take the (minimal) pressure required for monoprints.

I have a bucket under the table for the dirty wipes and I’ve learned to keep a rag soaked in baby oil on a glazed tile. In case my fingers get a bit inky. 😉

I also learned (the hard way!) that it’s a good idea to decant my linseed oil into a plastic squeezy thing. I use one of those bottles that you mix hair dyes in; it has a nice, controllable nozzle so no more big splats of oil gushing out of big bottles!

Not very hi-tech, but hey! it works for me!

(Sorry – no prints to show you as I’m still working on them. )


Back to last week’s day at Botanic Gardens…

Water hyacinth(Eichornia crassipes) covering much of the surface of the lagoon. I suppose the Council will drag the weed eventually. It’s less a problem on a pond than in streams, but it’s such a rampant spreader it can (and does!) get out of control in some places. Raked off and dried, it’s a wonderful addition to the compost bin. Oh yes…ponies whiched were housed in a field by a river used to graze on the stuff. Probably little nutrient in it, but it did no harm to the horses.


And it’s so pretty!

2009_0405birthdaykay0018I walked to the far end of the boardwalk (which is in desperate need of clearing, fellas!) and managed to pick some for sketching. The yellow is something whose proper name escapes me, but I’ve heard it referred to as a false marigold, also wild mallow and water buttercup. It comes closer to a mallow in flower, though not leaf, so if anyone has a positive ID, please leave a comment.Update 12/9/09 It seems this is a water buttercup, Ranunculus lingua grandiflora.

One more pretty picture? Yes? Oh, alright…kitesKites, hanging at the Lgoons Gallery.

These come from Indonesia; toy shops and some of those high-end design stores sell them in flat packs. You slot the light-weight canes into the designated points, attach strings and hang them. 


And now…I have work to do…


  1. I like your use of the dining table. I knew there must be a reason for them. I don’t even have one because it would never be used. can’t wait to see what it will produce.
    As for the water hyacinth, they are lovely and we have to pay big buck for the “weed” you refer to. They charge $10 for three small ones here, but they do multiply. They die in winter here, so you have to go through the process again each spring.
    Those kites are wild. Great inspiation for a painting! Those Indonseians art so colorful and artistic. Love it.


  2. The trick is to stand behind the person with their grocery cart filled to the brim. Then you get enough time to read the tabloids without paying. When they show bikini bodies with the faces blacked out and headings, “Guess who?!”, I have to check. I admit it. And I am ashamed.


  3. Dinah – The tree with the red thingies in Brooklyn? Red maple, according to Amarilla at brooklynometry.

    Scourge of Hyacinths, opera by Tania Leon, story by Wole Siyonka…I was in Geneva for its premiere, where my boyfriend at the time (BFATT?) sang the baritone role.


  4. marie…thankyou.(I did wonder if it was an early-fruiting Maraschino;-) )

    Curiously, I heard a piece from that opera just recently. It seems little-known.


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