No grovelling apologies! No feeble excuses! And, quite possibly, no readers left…

You are all friends and I should not have been so neglectful. So…onward!

About one year ago we felt the wrath of a cyclone and I was not thrilled at the prospect of another, last week. But somewhere up in the clouds the good fairies were working their magic and the beast whirled out to sea.

Getting back to the topic of blogging…I have been pondering the state of this platform for a while now. Some of the “old guard” are still active, but so many changed horses and went to those “other places.” Yes, those. And many seem to communicate only via Facebook and Twitter, while others use Instagram for photos.

But in recent weeks I’ve heard a whisper of , what shall we call it? Dissatisfaction? Discontent? Some wonder whether blogging really did die out and some speak of a Great Revival.

I still read good blogs and I’m in touch with several of you via email and even the Ancient Snail reaches me sometimes!

But I have other things that call on my time. And, perhaps the major factor, I find I have nothing much to say on the blog that is not a dusted-off repeat of “what is flowering in my garden.”

To this end, I’ve been wondering about a complete overhaul of Idle Thoughts.But you know me – I’m great at shucking stuff onto someone else’s plate!

I did wonder if a once-weekly post, like our friend in NYC writes so well, was the way to go. Or perhaps a pictures-only post, also on a weekly basis. And, of course, the comic strip never did get off the ground! maybe a Musical Moments, which works well for one of us…

But, getting back to this business of making you make my decisions…let me know your thoughts on this.

And while you’re thinking, here’s a little colour…


Brugmansia. I cannot exaggerate how happy I am to see this flowering! Another blogging friend sent me some cuttings AGES ago and I had so many disasters with them I thought I’d never get this far. The evening perfume is worth all the travails!


Carissa macrocarpa

I think I rescued this shrub from what we call the “Death Trolley” in a hardware store (that ubiquitous Big Green Box-yes, that one!) ages ago. It’s growing right beside the driveway and I keep it clipped or it would be squashed by tyres whenever we get the car out! It’s had a few white, starry flowers, but other than being tough I couldn’t sing its praises. But last week – I saw this smaller-than-golfball size fruit and thought birds had dropped a wild fig.  Nope. This fruit was growing on the Carissa (identified by my South African friend in New York -see how wonderful the cyber world can be!) and I left it for a few days then weakened and picked it and ate it! I daresay it would be good in jam or chutney, but a single plum does not a chutney make! It’s flowers are pretty and sweetly scented. But if you do plant it, beware its vicious thorns!IMG_0404.JPG

Our wonderful recent rain has done its magic thing and the Clerodendrum nutans, which has sulked and generally behaved like a teen-ager is flowering! When the camera battery has recharged I’ll take a picture….

Well, I was a bit out in my expectation of “flowers” It’s still not open! But here’s a snap anyway IMG_0408






  1. Huzzah! It is a weird thing about blogs, I know, but I’m still using mine. Of course, sometimes it is a longish bit of time between posts, but so it goes, right? Anyway, when you blog, I’ll read, sweetpea! xoxo


  2. I am quite happy with “what’s flowering” as the main theme, but then I live in a place where it has been winter for five months, there is still snow on the ground, and night time temperatures are still well below freezing. Whatever you want to post —text, pictures, music— is fine with me. It’s just nice to feel I have some connection with the Antipodes.

    Just checked on the internet and the actual antipodes of my location is a spot approximately equidistant from South Africa, Australia, and Antarctica, but you know what I mean. ; ]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there! Lovely to see you in comments. Yes, “Antipodean” is something of a “blanket” term. I think mine is Iceland! But do pop in as I am hopeful of botanical pics, even if I have to wander around the neighbouring places!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The merest sight of Brugmansia immediately gives me a feeling of anticipation of our holidays in Spain – there’s a particularly pretty one we look out for every time we’re there. And we’re there next month, so fingers crossed! It’s relatively hardy here in the micro-climate of London, too (albeit late-season flowering); there’s one round the corner from where I work that’s very pretty in about September-October. We don’t get many garden-worthy Clerodendrums as exotic as that in the UK, however; mainly houseplants such as “Bleeding Heart” vine. And Carissa is a rare conservatory plant here, apparently. Jx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jon. It’s interesting to know where things do well and where they hang on by mere wisps. My first flat in London was back in the old coal-gas days and I think that spiked the trade in plastic flowers! But I did quite well once we were converted to North Sea gas (all those jokes about Fanny[Craddock] by Gaslight!)
      Today? My biggest struggle is managing things in competition with GINORMOUS palms.
      Spain in May can be lovely-ahead of the worst tourist rush. Where are you headed?


      • We’re just about to try and conquer this new garden – all paved, unfortunately, except round the edges, where (rather than palms) we have instead a hideous crop of weed trees (sycamore, ash and the like) that need some severe taming, their seedlings popping up in the cracks everywhere – and the dreaded Japanese Knotweed, to boot! Ho hum. I see a flamethrower-and-machete combination coming on. Jx

        PS RIP Fanny

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back! I am happy that y’all survived the hurricane intact, and the extra rain was beneficial to the plants.

    I am terrible at recognizing plants and their proper names, but I do know that you’ve got some spectacular specimens!

    I love the header foto. It looks like a glorious blossoming white peonies plant. Whatever it is, it is absolutely lush and heavenly!

    Your angel trumpets are fantastic! Mom grew them in her garden. They always look so intriguing! We had to replant them in the fenced, gated garden, a more secure location, after some idiotic hoodlums got it into their heads they could get high off the tea made from the flowers. All they got was the runs and a trip to the Emergency Room. Still, a few more idiots were convinced they could get the special high tea recipe right. So we had to put the plants out of public reach.

    Your Nom Nom looks fantastic with the one bright red fruit! It is delicious! I hope you’ll get more fruits in the future. And your Clerodendrum nutans is stunning. It’s like a skinny, ballerina version of a pua/plumeria!

    Here’s to hoping your wonderful garden continues to blossom and bloom! Cheers!


    • Oh, I didn’t say, but the header is an “Iceberg” rose (climber) in my sister-in-law’s former London garden. My god! That thing is unstoppable once it gets going! In fact, I’m thinking about putting another one in here. I probably shouldn’t listen to my brain sometimes!

      About the Brugmansia and the hippie-juice. Yes, it’s poisonous and can be deadly. It’s close cousin, Datura is probably higher up the dodgy list.Here’s a link


  5. I enjoy your garden photos – always learn something about the flora (and occasionally insecta) in the other hemisphere. But it’s your words that bring it to life!

    Like you, in not getting what I need from snippets and smattering of social media – so I’m back to (attempting) weekly blog posts. Do what feels good – We’ll be here!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll always read you, Di! I haven’t written a thing on my blog for about 18 months, feel bad about it but just can’t get motivated. I occasionally remember to look at Fbook but I really don’t like it at all. I find Instagram is a lot more entertaining with lots of photos of gardening and arty stuff and I do make an effort to contribute. I don’t know what the answer is, I enjoy your garden pics and your snippets of life in the tropics. Hang in there…


    • Carol! I thought you’d emigrated or something! I did email you a while ago, but it bounced and I confess I didn’t make a greater effort! I’ll address that right now…
      And thank you.


  7. Good morning!! Funny how some of us just didn’t take to Facebook. I’m there just to keep an eye and a ‘like’ on old bloggers, but I don’t think they’re that bothered about keeping in touch with me. It’s not a mutual feeling thing, so I might scrap FB altogether. Instagram…. yes…. but I do that to keep in touch with calligraphers…. it’s not blogging!
    I think we are so similar in some ways, Dinah, I keep meaning to make a social media plan…. but I never sit down and make it so…. maybe this post will encourage me to do it! Lovely to see a post from you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • No Facebook for me, either! Occasionally I pick up the iPad and it’s open to my wife’s FB page. I scroll through and before I know it, :15 have gone by and I feel empty inside. Like you, I was never tempted to dive in. We should start a support group.

      Oh…wait…we already have.


  8. Yes, Facebook has become more and more ugly.I often just turn it off to get away from the nastiness. And the thing that bugs me the most is the ridiculous repeats .Facebook could surely do better than to re-post things in my feed. grump-grump-grump!
    I shall have a chat to the Magic and Ancient Snail when s/he (hermaphrodites, y’see) gets back from the latest deliveries.


  9. Decisions, decisions ! WHat comes out of decisions – deadlines ! And these are evil.

    I try to “go with the flow”, and usually it works. The Sunday Music – really I have no clue when I started it. From some point onwards it became a ritual. It had a predecessor when I was on blogger, it was called “Catch of the Week” and simply was a link to a website I found interesting. Then my interest in music took over. And yes, it gives a structure, with all good & bad sides to it. But mostly it’s an excuse to trawl youtube …
    LẌ is going with the one-post-a-week strategy too.

    I like your garden posts, even when I can not discern one green thing from another green thing in real life. But I like the Carissa – scent, a fruit, and thorns ! Like wild roses, strong , beautiful, and fragrant.

    As others have saied before – You write, I read. I have no idea why some people kept on blogging, while others went to fatzebook etc. It may all be caused by stubbornness.


  10. Thank you for the link, dear. Very thoughtful. My posts are not really on any regular schedule. I regurgitate one about every 1-2 weeks. When I get the itch. It used to be more frequently in the beginning but it’s too much to ask of readers. I tend to unfollow people who post 5x per week. Raymond Carver is one of my favorite authors but I don’t read him 5x a week. And I’ve never seen a blogger who could write as well as, or better than, Raymond Carver, myself included. ESPECIALLY myself.

    Blogging is so dead and I’ve thought so for quite some time now. But I don’t seem to have the ability to just up and quit. I’ve tried a couple times but it just never sticks. It’s the only thing I do that’s even *remotely* creative so I guess I need it to counterbalance my insufferably dull job. But blogging is dead.

    Having said that, I would prefer to continue to post and, if we’re being honest, pick up the pace a bit. I don’t think 5x per week isn’t necessary but a little more would be better. It’s just about spring here in NYC, FINALLY, so your pics fill me with hope. They always have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …and Raymond Carver had a very good editor, or so I read somewhere. Yes, I sort of agree that blogging is dead – our type of blogging, not marketing blogging…. but this is sort of good because it means we get the playground all to ourselves 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think “playground” is the key. It is homo ludens facing the un-lambent.
        While “playing” does not exclude “serious”. But fatzebuk and Co are realms of the homo faber, those who know how it has to be.
        In the end it may be about a mind-set, an attitude perhaps – while I am not sure if / that word “attitude” is the correct translation for the German word Haltung I have in mind.
        Blogging is not dead as long as people like to play. While fatzebuk & Co struggle with themselves building structures, hierarchies, finally try to determine what people have to think (because the basis is to earn money : Via influence – call it advertisment or propaganda, it’s the fucking same !), playing requires to think for oneself. And blogging is this nice niche.
        As long as this technology is not cut out & as long as there is one human thinking for himself, there is always the possibility of a blog. A post & comments. In all their wonderful freedom & liberty, and all their trollish shame.

        What makes me wonder is how bloggers find others. How does it work that you read someone for years, do not go near others,stay in the shade etc.- how do you determine (& keep) the distance ? The basic idea of “circles” by google+ was not that bad after all, I assume ahead of its time. Is this only a personal “thing” or is it something more or less universal ?
        I do not know, it’s just a thought.


      • In response to Mr Mags, mainly – how I ended up with the “rag-tag and bobtail” that constitutes my regular readership is a convoluted path: meandering from my original “host site” MySpace; to discovering the (now-defunct) Blogger sites masterminded by the likes of Thombeau, TJB and Muscato and deciding (because MySpace pissed me off) to transfer everything I had ever posted to Blogger; to stumbling upon the fun’n’games published people like Mistress MJ, and basically clicking through to her readers’ own corners of the blogosphere and subscribing to them… Jx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Just like almost everyone else here has said, I will quite happily read or gaze at whatever you feel like posting here. Although, I must say, I would very much like “what is flowering in my garden”, repeats or not (so I can realise my exotic garden vicariously)!
    As you know, my own blog is chock-full of repeats (groynes, anyone?) mainly due to my laziness, but even though the subject matter may be the same (or similar), I try to take the photos in a different way, or from a different angle/perspective to stave off my own boredom, nevermind anyone else’s who’s viewing. I used to write loads (well, Witchface used to), but the last couple of years have seen photos and pictures replacing the writing as I find the Witch generally leaves me to it, and I have very little to say (as you’ve mentioned, too).
    An overhaul, or redecoration of ‘More Idle Thoughts’ may be just what you need to begin again, or at least reinvigorate both you and the blog?

    Oh, and I’d like to see more of your art, spiders (and other wildlife), and beaches (and countryside). And orchids!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Be careful what you wish for…”
      The local orchid society has a show this very weekend and The Man said “when do you want to go?”

      Your photos of the local woods and coastline are fabulous! And although you don’t write screeds your writing is very entertaining.

      As to overhauling this site…Wordpress has changed quite a bit since I moved here. I had a couple of other blogs where I did other writing, but they seem now to have discontinued those particular “looks” I’ll have to find a different spanner and see if I can unscrew a few nuts…


      • Dare I suggest you come over to “The Dark Side” and see what Blogger has to offer?

        When there was all that trouble with Google’s threatened “nudity ban” way back in 2015 – which came to naught, by the way; they backed down in the face of massive opposition from users – I did try and look at WordPress as an alternative “home”, but found it over-complicated and less convenient in comparison.

        In the end, I stayed “over there”, and it seems relatively benign and unproblematic nowadays…

        As for blogging being a “dying art” – over the years I have expressed my own frustration (well, ranted) at the occasional “droughts” that subsume the blogosphere – see here and here. But I have also sung the praises of just why this “esoteric artform” is such a joy – see here, here and here.

        No matter the host site – our blog’s OURS, and I think that is the point!


        Liked by 1 person

  12. Replying to Jon.
    Yes, that’s how I feel about blogging. Casual and friendly;well, at least on the blogs I read!
    I started at Blogger, in 2006!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But ran into such trouble with things [I think they were trialling Beta, or something] I switched to WordPress. Now, I find that there seems to be a different engine under my bonnet! I’ll keep fiddling, but you me see me resurface on Blogger.
    But first, I need some clean, bracing sea air…


  13. I can’t be arsed with Facebook I find it soul destroying, seeing people you went to school with looking old. Hopefully, they will move on to something else soon, remember friends reunited?

    There’s a Brugmansia near our hotel in Fuengirola, Spain, you smell it before you see it. My maid of all work Carmen thought it was a fuchsia.


  14. Hello Jon.
    I was on the “dark side” (blogger) for some years, until they cut out The Mistress and Leni Quinan. I was so angered that I switched to wordpress. and despite the fact that it is (perhaps even today) more complicted to use, I do not want to go back.
    The Infomaniac was – and still is – a “knot”, where people come together and all this, and in being so it has a function besides caring for our entertainment. I came there via Old Knuddy, who once described her as “disturbingly sexy”.
    I generally ttry to avoid google and fatzebuk, I only hope that wordpress and ello do not betray their users as the others do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, we all have a convoluted history of how we got to where we are now, complicated software or no – and the fact that we are all participants in a little “knitting circle” of fellow blog enthusiasts gives me joy!

      As for “I only hope that wordpress and ello do not betray their users as the others do”, there’s another story. We all of us have to get used to the fact that every single one of these services – be they blogs, discussion forums, tumblrs, social media, whatever – is unlikely to continue offering a free service without expecting something in return. MySpace killed itself by its inane misunderstanding of its users, and its attempts to get a foothold in the social media market instead of the music promotion/blogging world in which it had sat for years; Google/Blogger made a major f**k-up with its aforementioned “no nudity” threat, to appease its puritanical advertisers; Photobucket found that millions of its users deserted it when it hiked its fees by 1000%; F**book is currently in the spotlight for its shady data-mining, which earned it mega-bucks in back-handers – yet somehow people out there still believe that they’re getting “something for nothing”, and that these companies are not just trying to make money out of them. Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying a (modest) “hosting fee” for the ten-years-plus of random meanderings that I have stored on Blogger’s servers – as long as it was an honest, reasonable and up-front deal. However, I am under no illusion that until that day arrives, I am just another algorithm in the game-plan of the Google empire to make money out of what I write/upload via their search engine… Jx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. oh my heavens — look at all these replies! You are so popular my dear! Though I’m late to the party, again.
    You know I still read a few blogs, albeit not on a regular basis. I truly prefer a blog to FB, Instagram, etc. In recent months, I’ve adopted a post-each-Monday routine. That works well because it has me posting without the long lags in-between. What has worked best about it is that I sometimes have as many as 3 weeks blogs written up and scheduled. They post automatically for me while I’m busy at other things.
    That said, I feel like I should really keep it up. The benefits are that I tend to be (somewhat) more focused and also I’m photographing more after a long-ish dry spell.
    My opinion on what I think you should do: do what suits you. Blog more, blog less, change it up, or not. I’m no help am I? Truly though, I think you should do what works for you and is something you _want_ to do.
    As far as topic: freestyle it. That’s what I do. My readers get a bit of everything. It all relates to my life in some way. I quit trying to focus on one topic some time ago. Works a lot better for me. A few folks even show up once in a while ;-D
    Happy blogging my dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a feeling you might pop in and say something like this. Thank you.
      Yes, I do very much write stream of consciousness stuff.Sometimes I focus on one topic, but I’m a butterfly brain!


  16. oh goodness, I forgot to say how much I love your Brugmansia. They grow here but only if taken in during winter — too much trouble for me so I admire those that others nurture.


    • Oh yes, a friend in Seattle (or somewhere there) had a beauty in a big Versailles tub.Of course she had it on a little trolley so one of the boys could pull in into garage in winter. But man! it got all the water it needed! 🙂


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