Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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


12 Comments

FROM CANBERRA TO EDEN

I’ve been home for over a month and have almost forgotten what I wanted to say!

The bus trip down to the coast was a lovely, comfortable run, though I didn’t see much after Bredbo as daylight faded to  stars-and-headlights. But it’s a good road and I’d be happy to drive it. Another time…

The nice driver told us remaining passengers, at the final scheduled stop, that if any of us wanted to be let off he’d stop. (Farming country, so some people might have taken that opportunity and been met at their farm gate.) My friends were meeting me in Eden so I stayed til the end of the run.

I’d travelled all that way to see Margaret and Bevan, friends from the time we lived at Tamborine. We’d not seen each other for 17 years! 

Margaret is an artist and for many years sculpted wildlife forms  alongside running their Arabian horse stud. Keen gardeners, I remember helping to divide, re-pot and pack many plants when they headed south.

A vastly different climate and habitat, they began a new garden on a comparatively small (well, much smaller than their former one, measured in acres!) suburban plot. I have a few photos…

Hebe.One of several
Magnolia. Not sure which one

Viburnum opulus. Guelder rose.Happily scrambling into the neighbour’s trees.That’s a bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)below it. Size matters!

Marg and I are both hazy on the name of this gorgeous rose, but I think it may be David Austin’s “Graham Stuart Thomas.”
I’m not sure if this was ever named, but it came from a mutual friend’s Brisbane garden. I do know it has “Dorothy Perkins” in its lineage and has the prickles to prove it! But such a sweet thing.

Liriodendron tulipifera. American tulip tree. Well-budded in October so would have been stunning when the flowers opened.

The harbour at Eden. Once a thriving fishing port, the catches have dropped dramatically, but the harbour is being dredged and extended to take big cruise boats. We ate a fish’n’chips
 lunch there;fish landed that morning. Oh, the local gulls are well-fed!

Once again, the clock is mocking me. Also, it’s raining again and I have windows wide open  … 

Advertisements


28 Comments

MORE FROM CANBERRA …

Yes, I have been slack in updating things. 

We had a visit from a niece and spent some time showing her local sights. But that will be for another post. Back to Canberra.

Sunday in Canberra is  a market day and we meandered through stalls, some selling handmade wares, but quite a few offering rather tacky clothing, perhaps made locally, but from cheap, hideously-coloured fabrics from somewhere in the north western Pacific. One day, people will wake up to the fact that we have put far too many eggs China’s basket!

These were, somewhat, offset by hand spun and knitted garments. Higher prices, but at least locally produced. 

Something else, also locally produced, caught my attention. Black garlic! How can I not have come across this before? My life has been missing a significant taste treat all these years! Some enterprising chaps have set up a company near a hamlet called Bredbo, about an hour south of Canberra.  https://capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au/directory/listing/bredbo-black-garlic-ingelara 

We sampled it at the market. We bought some . We ate most of it at lunchtime! And Sue said she was sure she had seen black garlic in Coles supermarket.Yes! Not the Bredbo garlic, but an import from NZ! (The other supermarket giant does not carry it, but my local branch of Coles does, so for Australian readers, you can buy on-line from Ingelara or the NZ brand).Do yourselves a favour and try some. You can thank me later.

Another highlight of my visit was the National Library. It has a stunning entry, featuring some amazing stained glass. I could write much more about this, but this link will do it far better, and with professional photographs, far beyond my clumsy phone cam attempts (which featured quite a few photo bombs!) 

see what i mean!

  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-19/stained-glass-window-art-national-library/10126590

I could have spent the rest of the day there, but the weather was not sure it wanted to cooperate, so we cruised the bookshop (!) for a while then went outside to look at the sculptures. Next time I’m there I think I’ll spend more time and with a bigger camera!

The thing about Canberra that strikes me is that its modernity of lay-out allows for  BIG features, some permanent, some temporary displays. And you don’t have to brave chaotic traffic to get close to things.

The steps of the Science Museum feature cut-outs of famous scientists.Here are some…

Marie Curie
and Charles Darwin



Faraday and above him, Newton and the apple.


Some more from Sue’s lovely garden…

Camellias. 


Flowering cherry

Rosa banksia alba

Alba again.Just look at all those buds!

And, finally, the bus that carried me up over the crispy-dry Monaro and down to Eden .(see current header)

Bus to Eden


18 Comments

MY DAY AT THE ZOO.

And I’ll own up right now…this is copied from my friend’s blog as I am a busy beaver as we have company coming to stay for a few days.

Besides, Sue had many, many more photos than I managed that day!

Here are a couple of pictures from my garden…the Dove orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum)does nothing for months on end, then it rains and overnight we have this…D. crumen atum.JPG

 

Black Bean* (Castanospermum australe) seeds I brought back from Canberra.

20181111_095415.jpg

One day, they will be 8m (25 feet) tall like this…Castanespermum australe.JPG

*Please note, these are NOT the black beans of your kitchen.They are poisonous. Indigenous peoples  did use them as a kind of flour, but only after extensive and elaborate treatment.

 

Now, for some zooperlative  shots from our zoo trip, please go here: https://myjustsostory.blogspot.com/2018/11/sunday-selections-405.html

 

I’ll be back when the dust settles…


35 Comments

KAMBERA…

…or Canberra.  Kambera is a word meaning “meeting place” in one of the native languages and may have led to Australia’s capital being named Canberra. But there is no hard and fast evidence for this, which I find rather sad. I can understand names being muddled in the early days of colonisation [in any country], when even English spellings were barely standardised. But Canberra only became the official name in 1913! A tip of the hat would have been nice…

But I don’t really want to tread that path, fraught as it always is.

I want to tell you a little about my recent visit to the Capital.

Now, some of you know that I met and was royally hosted by someone whose blog I’ve followed for several years. Yes! Another blog-meet. And from the airport pick-up we both felt like old friends.

We share so many interests I wonder sometimes if we are not,somehow, kin.

So, my first time in ACT and my head was swinging from window to window as we drove out. Most of the wattle (Acacia sp) was past its bloom, but I still saw enough for “wattle fix.” I can imagine what it must be like late winter/early spring. Here’s a link to just one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_baileyana.

Jazz, the resident cat, must have known a stranger was coming – he hid in a closet! Eventually, he decided I was not a Major Threat and even allowed me to play with his ribbon …20181012_155443.jpg

There were birds! Oh yes! Regulars at the feeders kept us highly entertained. Currawongs, magpies, pigeons, king parrots and even bearded ravens. Most of my photos still need editing so you might have to wait a while.Here’s one of the male Kings (Alisterus) being hand-fed.king male

And then there were  gardens. My kind of gardens. I’m not going to overwhelm you with photos, promise! But just look at this wisteria! And that’s only SOME of it! 20181012_100202.jpg

 

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is an old favourite of mine.It loves cold winters or I’d probably go a bit  mad with it here!

20181012_094018.jpg

 

A pure white Aquilegia in Sue’s garden

20181012_093523.jpg

 

Flowering quince  Chaenomoles japonica  Another one that likes a colder climate.

20181012_095826.jpg

 

I will share more another day, but here’s another wattle/Acacia. Just because. No, I don’t know which one!20181012_095014.jpg

And something I loved…just around the corner someone has set up a street library, with a notice inviting people to help themselves to a book and to add books to the shelf if they wish to. Thoughtfully draped in plastic sheeting to keep books dry and topped with this splendid fellow…

20181012_094609.jpg

Next time, I’ll take you to the zoo!


23 Comments

TEN OF MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS

For those not decrepit enough to know…I mean vinyl records.

Not sure who started this;Scarlet, perhaps? Whatever…here we go.e

I don’t have release dates for all, but you can probably find them on Youtube.

Back in the 50s I was keen on rock n roll  and short on pocket money…many of my favourites were 78 rpm singles. Like Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lot o’ Shakin’ ”

And we had a cabinet stuffed with my parents’ show tunes and classics. Yes, I played them, too, but here, for your delectation, are MY TEN. In no special order.

Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out” was released in 1959, I think, and I might have got that as a present.I wanted it because “Take Five” was on it.

Frank Sinatra put out  “This is Sinatra” in the mid 50s and I bought it about 1960.

Scott Engel, still known as Walker in the mid 60s, released “Scott Walker” his classic(I think) solo album, featuring Jaq Brel  songs, among others. Over the years he has   changed his style, but still has the voice.

The soundtrack of “Pal Joey” was something I taped (Frank Sinatra, see!) on reel-to-reel and then, one day about 30 years ago, I was mooching in a junk shop and saw the record. For about the price of  2 cups of coffee it came home with me.

Like Sinatra, Cole Porter was a big part of my younger years and Porter albums and those of Noel Coward shuffled back and forth between my parents’ collection and mine.

I’ll move closer to “modern” music now. Anyone else like The Eagles? Today, we have CDs, but I did have one vinyl disc – the “Witchy Woman” LP.

Bob Dylan. Oh yeah. The Man still has “Blood on the Tracks”  and I think we doubled-up on the 1967 “Greatest Hits.”

I’ll leave you with one more…”American Flyer.” Only around for a couple of years, but I have a nostalgic attachment to it.

So…you might be wondering why there is no Presley in my list? I couldn’t stand him! If he’d stayed Down South and stuck to blues  I might have.

I had a few Buddy Holly singles; good dance tunes in the days when shoulder throws were “a thing.” Never bought an album though.

I should have mentioned “Carmen” as it was my favourite opera. No idea whose recording we had at home!

OK, kiddies, you can wake up now. The rest of you,totter off to your armchairs for a nap…I’m going to!

 


15 Comments

WOULD I CHEAT?

No, but I am teasing you. Just a little.

I did set out to write a post, but am having  some problems with my computer. So, instead of regaling you with the next episode of my recent trip, which included a visit to Canberra’s beautifully laid out zoo, I will leave you with a link to the story  of Solo and Zama. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/his-name-is-solo-but-canberras-new-cheetah-cub-has-an-unusual-playmate-20180328-h0y2qp.html

I hope to be back on-line again in a couple of days…

Oh, alright, here’s  photo of my friend feeding a male King parrotking male.jpg


31 Comments

BACK HOME AGAIN

Yes, I have been travelling again. And I’ll tell you about some of my travels, beginning with the new header. This is a view, looking west along Asling’s Beach in Eden, NSW.

But before I got to Eden (oh, go and look at a map…) I spent a couple of days in Brisbane with an old friend …

We were neighbours when The Man and I rented  the house next door to her. She was a keen gardener and our many trips to garden centres, garden parties and gardening discussions probably saved my sanity. There were other things…ginger beer, bread-making various kitchen experiments come to mind

Brisbane seems hell-bent on becoming like Los Angeles…traffic is appalling, it’s often smoggy and buildings are getting taller.

But there is a good bus service operating from  (relatively) close to where my friend now lives. So we parked the car, hopped on a bus and went to Brisbane City Centre. First stop was a concert, put on by the Council for old folk. I think they banked on the fact that most old people are deaf! The sound levels were waaay off the scale and the featured singer screeched. We left after a couple of “songs” and wandered off in the direction of Southbank.

And half way down a main street, H. showed me a Thunbergia mysorensis – alongside some delphiniums, which I thought surprising! It’s  native to the tropical parts of India and ought to do well here, but I’ve never seen one  locally. Maybe I should address that …

I cannot seem to get a link to work, but try Google Images

On to Southbank, site of Expo, 1988. Today, a lovely place to wander or cycle or even run, if you’re that way inclined. Huge trees along the river and garden areas with some seating. And it’s the permanent home now of the giant Ferris wheel. Why the numeral 7  in the hub? I’m guessing that Channel 7 tv is a major sponsor.20181009_112745.jpg

We passed an elderly man (Chinese, I think) squatting  beside the river with a fishing pole. No reel, just a fixed line and old, practised hands gently manipulating it. 20181009_113207.jpg

I’ll leave you with one of the popular areas of the old Roma Street  rail yards. A display, beside a pond, of Brugmansias.20181009_132745.jpg

I’ll be back, maybe tomorrow, maybe later, with more “eye candy.” What’s that you say? I haven’t posted anything funny? Oh, alright. Just as a special treat for loyal readers…20181009_123542.jpg