here we go again…

You know that feeling of “been there, done that” that is somewhat more prosaic than deja vu?

Well, chez Dinahmow, we’ve hit the “repeat” button. In 2008, when still a very young cat, Sporran broke a leg. 

And on Tuesday, Mr Ginger Stanley, who is/was the neighbours’ cat, broke his leg. Same leg, same break, same repair. Because the neighbours were at work, I took him to the vet, suspecting possible fracture or ligament damage. Yep. X-ray confirmed that the tip of the femur was broken. And the only solution is surgery to remove the hip “ball” as there is no room to pin the break.

A simple enough matter, but the vets were crazy-busy with several emergencies so Stanley was given pain relief and settled in a cage til his op. on Friday morning.

We brought him home late Friday afternoon. “Home” now being here, at our place. He’s on meds til the stitches come out next week and so far, is taking it all in his slightly wobbly stride.


Sporran was not at all pleased with the “stink” that came home with him! But he’s managed to groom most of the hospital smell away.

We are in for some more rain this week, though not the volume expected north of here. Serious flooding already and worse expected.

Meanwhile…Tasmania and Victoria are battling fires. And dead fish continue to float to the surface in the Murray-Darling debacle.

Let me see if I can find a “pretty” for you.

Allamanda in a corner of the front verandah. We eat breakfast and lunch here most days, though by evening its NW position is too hot to be out there. But the scent of the flowers is reminiscent of daffodils…



I think the thermometer might be broken. Even this far north it’s not usually giving such consistently high readings ! Still above 30 C this late in the afternoon is not funny!

A couple of weeks ago…I saw a strange little plant in hardware store’s garden section. I didn’t have a camera with me so thought I’d look up the name when I got home. You know what’s coming, right? Yep. By the time I’d run several errands, stopped to chat with a friend and put away all the groceries when I did get home, I’d forgotten the name!I thought it began with S or maybe C or was it Ts? Searching images without a name was no help whatsoever.

So next time I was in town I popped back to the hardware store…no plant.

However, yesterday I had to go back to town again and, while waiting to have something fixed, I went to the store and there it was! Well, two small pots of The Thing. And no name tag. Stay with me, it gets better! First assistant I asked had no idea, but said she’d call the senior lady. The senior lady couldn’t remember, but said she’d ring the grower. The grower was not available. Oh, look, why don’t you pour a beverage of choice …go on. I’ll wait. (I’m getting lots of practice at that!)

I couldn’t hang about any longer so I left. But today…the name still eluding me, I went back to the store and there, on a rack, two pots with hand-written name tags. Dischidia pectinoides . 

I bought one!

Dischidia pectinoides

And right now, it’s in the “day spa.”

Update for Jon, who asked about the “day spa.”

Orchids, enjoying some humidity
Vanda- those roots need more room than the tub affords!

The days between rain are s t r e t c h i n g out alarmingly. At this rate I’ll have to bring the orchids back for some “spa treatment.” When it did rain there was a rush of growth and masses of things have filled bare patches, in some cases crowding things I planted for colour. I’m leaving it, weedy though it may be, as it’s an effective mulch, helping to keep soil cool and moist. Besides, if I get all sweaty trying to weed the mess I’ll add unwanted salts!

View from the back deck
The sunbirds fledged.We missed it!

And this morning, The Man found a scrunched-up moulted ‘skin’ of a Huntsman. It was all dusty with bits of fluff and grass.

The grubby little molted skin.

And when I got back from town he showed me this…he’d painstakingly cleaned away the fluff and straightened the legs.

Huntsman skin after careful cleaning!

And now I do believe it’s Happy Hour! Bubbles time!With Cheddar and Corella pears.(I removed the feathers!) 🙂

Home, Home on the Range….

Borrowing someone else’s story today.Thank you, Terry.

The Dorset Rambler

Worbarrow Tout Worbarrow Tout with momentary brightness lighting up the sea

‘Home, home on the range’…..the MOD Artillery Firing Range that is 🙂 ! This week I made the most of the school holidays to walk the Lulworth Firing Range paths – these are normally closed to the public apart from some weekends and holidays, Christmas/New Year being one of them, so I made the most of it. It didn’t work out quite as I’d hoped in that the weather didn’t perform as forecasted, and my ankle didn’t perform as hoped either, but I didn’t care, I was out on the coast path again! In fact, the weather probably helped in many ways because on more sunny days, these walks can be very popular.

I set off on a very cloudy morning with the temperature barely above freezing, and I walked along a two mile stretch of the Purbeck Ridge, passing above…

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So…a little more tinkering and tweaking and I think we can call it done.

But I should back-track a little…I have also tinkered with some photos .

My friends’ Eden garden.

Dendrobium speciosum
Here’s a link, should you live in a suitable climate
A pretty little grouping of soft pinks on the front terrace.Perfect for that early morning cuppa.

Castanespermum australe.  This is down near our beach and is what my “bean trees” would grow to if I let them!

Acacia holocericea spent seed pods. Known as Velvet Wattle for its very soft leaves.

And we had a visitor! A niece was over from NZ for a conference in Sydney and she spent a few days with us. We took her out and about, walked along the beach, paddled in the sparkling water. And decided a swim would be just the ticket! So good, we did it again the next day!

That pesky cyclone that was hanging around finally went out to sea after making a bit of a mess up north. No serious damage here and most of us were very happy with the rain!

My sweet little Pigeon* orchid, Dendrobium crumenatum,  was, perhaps, the happiest- it produced 7 sprays of flowers! True, they do not last long, but they are so delicate.

*And I’ve been calling it a “dove” which is the common name of a different one, a Peristeria. Mine is the “pigeon.”

Well, folks, in my world breakfast beckons. And I have a busy day ahead…

As you can see, I have been tinkering.Not nearly as effectively as the late, lamented John Clarke tinkered! But I will continue to tweak things and hope to do so  later today…

Might even change the pretty image,up there /\, for one of my own. Come back after tea …


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  … 


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. 

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!

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…


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