Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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



Let’s start with the bread. I’m not sure what came over me, but I thought, quite recently, that I should bake a sourdough loaf. I don’t know which neurons in my cerebral cortex  might have mis-fired, causing this daft idea to spring up. I mean, this is summer. In the tropics! It’s hot. When the rain starts, the insect population explodes. And I have to muck about with gooey flour-and-water paste?

This was Attempt #1. It was fermenting very nicely and I was reducing/feeding it every day for about a week, then I put it in the fridge, only feeding it once a week. But when I came to proofing it (in readiness for actually baking a loaf) the hooch had built up to an alarming level! And it did smell more rancid than I thought was right. No reason to suspect contaminated flour, but I was not happy with my brew, so i ditched it. Just in case

sourdough starter day 2 002

And I read even more recipes and suggestions.Blimey! The interwebs are full of advice, a lot of it conflicting! Finally, for my next attempt, I settled on Hugh Hyphenated -Wotsit, probably familiar to tv viewers in England. He has a televised growing-and-cooking show.

So far, so good. Although I have had to keep this batch in a glass bowl as I could see the monster escaping from the jar I’d been using. I’ll start reducing  it when I feed it this evening. I think it will likely be early next week before I bake…

Now, tell me, do you think 12 years is old for a car? I certainly don’t. Hell’s teeth! The Man has two cars, each almost fifty years old. Granted, they’ve needed a little TLC, but they both go. My 12 year-old workhorse went back to the dealer yesterday for the third time in 3 weeks! Last Monday/Tuesday, the changed tappets (deemed to be the cause of a minor but messy oil drip). While doing that, they changed the timing belt. Fair enough, it was beginning to lose its grip. But oil was still marking the carport. Not quite a “spot” drip;more a “dribble” drip, if you see the difference.

So…yesterday morning I drove to my friend’s house, dumped my sports bag there, then took the car to Toyota again. Friend and I went to the pool and thrashed out a few laps. After our swim we had lunch at a fairly new cafe with drinkable coffee and  went to see “The Butler.”

Good movie? Not really, in my opinion. Far too long and a rambling, clunky script.

And then I went to collect my car. They say this drip came from a leaking sump pan.A sump pan which sure as shooting was not leaking before they dealt with tappets and timing belts! But they sealed that leak ( band aid? bubble gum? weld? ) and said they’d also checked out “everything else” (which they should have done last week) and oh, dear! the power steering pump is about to go to that car yard in the sky. New part + labour will come to chump change from $1,000.00. I’m seriously considering getting a horse!

It was almost 5pm when I got home. I thought I’d better squirt some water on my newly-transplanted ferns. And pull a weedy plant that was likely to collapse on them. And in grasping the weedy stem…I didn’t notice this fellow. He/she objected to being squeezed and bit my finger.



It felt sharp, like a bee sting.I thought “Ice will be the best thing.” But I had no ice cubes in the freezer.Oops! So I toddled across to a neighbour. She has just bought a rather posh-looking new fridge/freezer and hasn’t quite got to grips with its workings…no ice cubes! But she did have one of those dinky little gel packs that you freeze to put in lunch boxes (presumably, kids know not to eat them!) The finger was throbbing  by now and becoming very sausage-like. Kylie said “Call me if you get any worse!”

The thing is, after a long, hot day and  the car drama, I was looking forward to a long cold glass of bubbles. Not sure alcohol was the best idea, but the ideas department tends to be pretty much depleted by 6pm when the digestive forces take over. Oh, bugger the spider! I thought and poured a glass of Prosecco and cut an apple and some sharp Cheddar. I say “cut” but it was more “hack” since I couldn’t hold a knife very well. And I thought I should take some photos…

The reason I switched from left-handed to right handed was because it’s a right-handed world. As a child, I found it so awkward to use can openers, sewing machines, clockwork toys, inkwells-in-desks…I became right-handed. And where, on any camera, is the shutter release? Yes! So using Rebel was no good, but I was able to take these wobbly snaps with the little Powershot. Of course, I have no problems drinking from my left. I’m ambivalent.

So…yesterday was a little more eventful than most. But entertaining, I hope. And now, I think I’ll tease you. Tell me what you think this is1-IMG_4200


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. Ah yes, Hugh Thingummy-Wotsit. Went to college with him! Seem to remember a recipe book based on how to cook roadkill. Yummy. Hope your finger swelling reduces soon! Doesn’t alcohol thin the blood? That’s sure to reduce the swelling!


  2. No, twelve years is not an old car. Though the car before our current one was of voting age (in the US of A) before we traded it in.
    Ouch on the spider front. I remember a spider swelling on my thumb quite well. Painful. And glad to hear that yours is subsiding. Bubbles are good.
    Your mystery photo? I am thinking wasp (or similar) nest – or corrugated cardboard.


    • Today I got down on my knees and inspected the cardboard under the car…sigh…still a drip.

      It’s not a wasp nest.And while corrugated cardboard is a brilliant guess, it’s not the answer, I’m afraid.


  3. We had our old Audi for twenty years….bubbles are good for anything’
    Leo had a tarantula attack – dispute as to ownership of bedclothes – whicb spread alarmingly for days and then subsided.


  4. you’ve had quite a day — definitely time to go back to bed and start over. having lived with a fleet of junk cars for decades, i’ll agree that 12 years should be at the ‘just breaking in’ phase. that said, i’ve also learned that i can spend a lot of time and money chasing leaks – and have learned to place cardboard underneath my junkers to protect the garage floor.

    the car i’m about to marry is a 2007, with an enormous engine. it better not leak…

    your spider tale reminds me as to why i will never live ‘down under’. you have some rather gnarly critters in that part of the world. i’ll stay up here and take my chances with the armed rednecks!


    • We’re utilising the flat pack material from some purchase as a drip catcher. And, yes, we do have some spectacular creepies here, but most people never see them. And we can trump you with both red-backs AND rednecks! 🙂


  5. My last 2 brooms have got to 13 before they became uneconomic to keep and had to be sold on to people who were less good at sums than us.

    While our oldest car is 80, Mr BW can mend anyting on that… modern cars, once they start costing money, are best replaced. Everything is made to a price these days – and components have finite lifespans. There is always a point where everythign goes at once, and once it starts, it’s never-ending. The parts themselves are super-expensive, but the labour is a killer – and few people can DIY as modern engines are so complex. Manufacturers don’t make their money on new cars – they make it on repairs and servicing.

    The question is – when to draw the line. If you’ve already spent good money, it’s hard not to keep spending just a bit more, as surely you must reach the end of the repairs soon? The safety/reliability/peace of mind argument usually wins for me. Eventually.

    Good luck!.


  6. Oh – and – sourdough starter – always smells quite acidy, IME. A bit like vinegar gone mad.

    I’d love some of your weather, on this cold and grey drizzly day…


  7. Horses feet in flour makes it difficult to control especially in such a small pot.

    Spiders (shudders), Biting spiders (screams and runs) all I have to say on the matter. Fool!

    I have just purchased a wadge of Australian $s for FirstBorn. I’m not happy about her leaving for Xmas for the land of spiders, sharks, crocodiles, snakes and the mad people!


    • Zigalinda! My favourite Wagnerian heroine! Well, beats the pants off Brunhilda!
      FB will be fine. She’ll only encounter crocs if she comes up here. And we’d protect her.I have plenty of spider bite medicine in the fridge! 🙂


  8. I hope the swelling has gone down now, I am not a fan of creepy crawlies.
    Is it a picture of stretchy doughy stuff?


  9. Do hope the finger is improving steadily. Those bites on areas with confined blood flow are always the worst.
    Your photo looks like tripe to me! Where’s the white sauce? 😉


  10. It’s a little rough reading about summer winds and thrashing about in a pool. The winter winds are starting their howl here. Soon, the holiday jingle-jangle and Manhattan all sparkly.

    I hope you gave him-that-bit-you a taste of your heel.


    • Ooh! Manhattan sparklies.! You will have a picture of Times Sq. tree, wont you? Or Bryant Park? Please?
      No, I didn’t squish the spider.I think I damaged a leg in the initial encounter;it had gone from the place where I took the photo so I hope it’s OK. The only things I kill without compunction are mosquitoes and any ants that dare to come into my kitchen!


  11. Moulting snake skin!!? I have just seen something similar on Pinterest.


    • Hahaha! I was waiting for someone to come up with that.Certainly looks like it, but it’s not. I went next door to water my neighbour’s garden and I see he has a sloughed snake skin draped over the water tank.Going by the length of it (about 6′) I’d say it’s from a fairly big carpet snake. I told the cats to watch their step as a snake that size could take a small cat. The cats, of course, just did the equivalent of an eye roll!


  12. hope you’re all better from the spider bite but where were your gloves girl ? Old Man Crow & I never ever touch anything in the garden without gloves on, I have very thin ones for the delicate work and heavy duty ones for things like cactus moving and bougainvillea pruning !
    Have no idea what your lacy membranous mystery photo is!


    • Hahaha! My gloves were in the back of the car of course. I do wear them for the heavier jobs and even have thick welders’ gauntlets ( for lemon or rose pruning.)Know any thick welders who’d like them? I’m too cack-handed in gloves.

      I thought you’d be the one to guess my mystery.Oh well, perhaps later today I’ll reveal the answer…


  13. I don’t know if it’s because of a Clive James book, or some misinformation of mine, but I’d always thought that the spiders of Oz are deadly. I’m glad you’re alive and well!!!


    • Thank you, GG. The worst of our arachnids would be the Funnel Webs.And, since the develoopment of anti venom, if you get to a hospital fast enough you survive. White Tailed spiders are also a bit of a worry as they cause necrotic lesions. And hurt, so I’m told! Red Back bites hurt, but probably wouldn’t kill you.For those, apply ice NOT a pressure bandage. You might have got that from Clive as I know he doesn’t much like spiders!


  14. that was a nasty spider bite!
    A few decades ago (that sounds ancient) I used to make sourdough bread every Saturday and I do remember the trouble it was to get the sourdough starter, started! And now I wish I still had it going because I still make bread, just not sourdough. The memories of how long it takes and how involved it is to get the ‘starter’ going is enough to hold me back from going for round two! :0)


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