…the things that you’re lib’le to read in the bible, ain’t necessarily so.

If that were the case, today I’d be dead!

About that half-arsed promise to come up with an idea to celebrate the blog’s birthday…um. Sorry. It’s been a bit manic  Chez Dinahmow. I didn’t forget, I just had rather a lot of more important stuff that required my attention.

Growing up in a much cooler climate there are some things about life  north of Capricorn that I miss. Cherry blossom, for one. So yesterday, The Man got behind the wheel and I snapped some pink-blossomed trees from tourist class. Pretty ropey pics, but every spring, when these Tabebuia  are in flower, I’m reminded of cherry blossom.IMG_4625


Now, needs must…back as soon as this busy-dust settles. Actually, busy-dust is a bit like bloody glitter – you can’t get rid of it!

Someone has been to look at one of the old cars! Please cross whichever bits of anatomy you think will be helpful. (Muriel, NO! Oh dear.Nurse!)



The intention was for The Man to creep out in the dark of the pre-dawn to watch the World Cup Rugby match between Australia and Wales. On TV. Of course.

Well, that plan sort-of worked…but it might have been wise to rely on an alarm clock. Despite my channeling Max Boyce and singing “Hymns and Arias” we both over slept. And, anyway, The Aussies beat the boyos. I didn’t sing loud enough, isn’t it!

It’s been blowing hell west and crooked all week and then yesterday we had heavy rain. We stuffed as much garden debris as we could into the car and off I went… aren’t wing mirrors great!

I always have the car radio on and heard “Zorba’s Dance” by a full orchestra (turns out it was Montreal Symphony) with rather more brass than bouzouki but damn! it was good. So I turned it waaaay up. Such a cracking piece of music from a cracking film I thought I’d poke around on youtube and share it…


And, for a laugh, there’s this version…


And I’ve looked at this thing til my eyes hurt and I need to lie down in a darkened room.


Have  picture to take away the hurt!IMG_4617I spotted this magazine in the supermarket and it made me laugh…that’s an oilskin coat, known here as a Drizabone,  on the back of the chair.

It’s Wine O’Clock Chez Dinahmow. See ya….I shall give some thought to a blogiversary prize. Yes, this lame old thing has been running, albeit in fits and starts, since 2006!


…this blog was 5 years old. W’appen? How did a whole year slip by so fast?

Traditions. Are they outmoded fancies? Relevant markers of important occasions? Should Dinah have an annual give-away to celebrate the fact that she still has a blog and readers?

And, should there be a great clamouring from the gallery, what should she give away? Cole Porter springs to mind here!

Another new banner. Croton leaves, this time. Apart from the vibrant colours, I love that all these different colours and patterns are on the same plant! I bet if I walked down the street wearing  such a mish-mash people would think (probably say!) “Poor old bat has no idea how ridiculous she looks!” But I get away with it in the garden.

Dwarf Heliconia (crab claw)

I love the bright blue seeds! They are beginning to lose their “blueness” now as they mature.

Peace lily Spathyphyllum. Generally called a Peace Lily, but I’ve no idea why. (I did ask Mr.Google, but he was no help.) Anyway, mine was overcrowded in a pot so, once we started to do something along the side fence I split it and brought both pots to the front. Oh boy! Both are flowering madly. And, so far, not objecting to having  more light. Confused creatures, like the gardener.

Clerodendrum ugandense

Clerodendrum ugandense  With the common monica of “blue butterfly bush.” Wonder why? This  is relatively young, so only about 20cms (8″) high, but it will eventually reach 1 metre or maybe more.

Right! So let’s consider this anniversary. If you think we should have a give-away, leave a suggestion in the comments. Yes, I am making you do the work! You can’t expect to wander in and have it all laid out on a plate! What am I – Liberty Hall!

When I hit the “publish” button, WordPress took me by the hand and led me to a page with a quote. Just for me! “I am a drinker with writing problems.”

(That’s Brendan Behan, in case you wondered.)


… still in the hat! Haha! You thought I was going to tell you in the opening sentence, did you? You should know me better than that, gang!

I’m going to make you read the whole post first. (once we get these sound bytes sorted you will hear  evil  laughter here mwahaha!)

And, because I can, I’ve decided to have another little mystery pic.

No prizes, but please tell me what you think it is. As Max Boyce says: be specific.

OH, damn! I shouldn’t have mentioned Max! I mean, I’m not unhappy with the World Cup result, but I did have a lot of faith and my past resting on Wales. Ah, well, there’s always next time, isn’t it. Cymru am bydd!

The talk this week is all of cups. The Race That Stops A Nation is tomorrow. Melbourne’s going to be full of private aeroplanes and choppers! Qantas* birds? Not so much!    update, Sunday: Fair Work Australia has decreed that Qantas must get  airborne again. Now!

And cartoonists had some fun with that shamefully over-indulgent talk fest in Perth. I had a bit of cartooning fun myself. No, not putting that on the blog. Mrs Queen might sue me. 🙂 Seriously, isn’t it time the old colonies grew up and just settled for sending Mummy a card on her birthday!

Friday was a painful day Chez Dinahmow. I had some burly chaps with seriously big tools in to remove some trees. Sad to see them go, but they were far too big(and potentially dangerous after losing some limbs in storms) for a small yard.

                                                                                                                          Dangley bits.

                                                                                            One of the “offenders.” 

                                                                                                  The Muncher

The cats, of course, scarpered as soon as they heard the trucks. They did come out of hiding afterwards for a brief sniff around. But, being savvy girls, they didn’t stay long – too many green ants! I had to chuckle at the chap feeding branches into the muncher – he looked like one of those Tyrolean schuehplatterl dancers! By next day, most of the ants had gone. Re-grouped in another tree no doubt.

A friend sent me an amusing email, which I’ve shared with some of you. But damn! it’s too good not to put up here:

I don’t know WHY I didn’t figure this out before !!!!! 
I wash my hair in the shower and the shampoo runs down over my whole body. 
Printed very clearly on the label is the following warning: 

No WONDER I have been gaining weight!!! 
Well, I have gotten rid of that shampoo and I am going to start using Fairy Dish Washing Liquid instead.

Its label reads, 

Problem solved!       If I don’t answer the phone . .. . I’ll be in the shower! 

                            And now (insert drum roll sound)….the winners!

ZIGGI    first out of the hat (which was actually a waste paper basket, but it was quicker to type “hat” and, besides, hats are traditional, right?)

ELEPHANT’S CHILD  drawn second.

I’m delighted ! Ziggi was among my very first readers and we almost know each other. Her daughter and friends visited us  while on their fabulous World Tour. She’s not blogging these days (cut the girl some slack – England didn’t win the Rugby!), but she was a very funny little witch back in the day.UPDATE: Ziggi has revamped her blog here

And I’m happy to see a print go to Elephant’s Child, who has more than most of us on her plate.

Now, if you ladies would like to email me   and tell me your postal addresses I’ll take a packed lunch and join the Post Office queue. Ziggi, being first draw, has first choice.

Thankyou all for playing along. And I’m sorry you couldn’t all win.

* Ever since Warren Mitchell did those adverts, years ago, I’ve always thought of it as “quaint arse.”


…somewhat late!

Those of you who have been idling here for long enough might recall that yesterday, October 23, 2006, saw my blog launched, with great fanfare and popping of champagne corks    somewhat tentatively, 5 years ago.

Yes, I have been boring the pants off readers for 5 years! And I did plan to have a small blogiversary give-away for a lucky reader (drawn from names of commenters by a person above any suspicion of cheating. Of course.)

Friends, one or two other things got in the way of that. First, I had some paperwork to tidy-up. And then I was out to lunch, in the nicest possible meaning of the phrase, and my good intentions went pear-shaped.

So…here’s what I’ll do…I’ll let this “lucky draw” run til next Sunday. That will be October 30 on my side of the IDL. But I’ll hold the draw until  the Monday so that all the lovely readers who are a bit behind also have a chance to win.

What’s that? Oh, the thing to be won? Hmmm…let’s see…

“Beyond the Palisades”                                       


Of course, the prints would be shipped unframed, for obvious reasons.

In the 5 years I’ve been blogging I have come to regard many of my readers as friends. I’ve even met some of you! There is, I find, a genuine warmth among bloggers. Well, on the sites I visit, anyway. 🙂

I really did have to think carefully about the “prize.” Not all of my scribblings would have wide appeal so I tried to go “middle of the road.” Which, of course, is a pretty stupid place to put oneself, especially with some of the bloody hoons on our roads! If neither of these pieces is your cup of tea, that’s fine. I shan’t be offended.

But if you fancy hanging one of these on your wall, just leave a comment before  October 30  and I’ll draw 2 names. First name has first pick.

And now, it’s time to don my chef’s hat…


I got quite a kick out of this giveaway lark.

At first.

Then I had doubts,awful doubts, about the prints I had offered.Y’see, Iam never entirely satisfied with my work. Folks, I have sent more paper “up the chimney” than Mr. Hefner has had bunnies.

So I felt that perhaps my work was not prize-worthy.

Then I happened to glance through an art magazine while waiting for a shop assistant.
probably could have translated “War and Peace” in that time!). If I’d had the camera I’d have taken a picture of a really ugly,badly-splodged picture that sold for somewhat more than my monthly grocery bill. Slightly less than my wine bill, but let’s not split hairs!

My point is that I am not a professional artist; I muck about in ink and play with cloth and thread for my own amusement. If, occasionally, I sell something, well, that’s a kick and a bonus.

So I stopped feeling bad about the Blogiversary pieces. And anyway, it’s too late now!


The Man of the House and supporter of my hobby draws the winning name….

I did snap him holding aloft the winning paper, but it was spookily too much like Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich!

And the winner is…First Nations, from “Paul, because Paul is a nice Name.”

If you have never read that blog now’s your chance to sample the menu. Be warned, some days the dishes are pretty salty! But this gal can write!

Thankyou, everyone who commented, whether you had something to say or just wanted to change the odds.


Now, I’m going back to my jungle…because, a couple of hours ago, I noticed a flower on a plant that has given me more grief than most in my gardening life.
If you really want to know, it’s Syzigium Wilsonii and, if I can get a good angle, I’m going to come back and show you( bore you with?) a picture.


Friday, October 26. The winner has been drawn from those who have left comments to date. So you can still have yer ha’p’orth, but not be in the draw. Thanks to all.

Yep! One year ago I ventured, somewhat hesitantly, into this blogging lark. And here’s the funny thing…I was so focused on not hitting any wrong keys, copy editing and scribbling notes about what to do if… that I did not even notice the date.

So when I decided to have this Blogiversary Give Away thing I had to go back to my archives to see when I first posted.

And only then did the penny drop. Well, not so much drop as rattle down with a thunderous clunk.

You see, this date should have been more to the fore in my mind as it’s also my own birthday!

But no, I didn’t notice. Maybe I’ve had so many birthdays they have lost their excitement? Maybe I’m so conscious of the Big Numbers I try to forget? Dunno.

Anyway, today is “our” birthday and I would like to say a big thankyou to all my readers. If I had not had such encouraging comments a year ago I would not be here today. Although I have been writing for many years, the journal style of blogging was a new angle and it has forced an adaptation to the style.

This is what I’d term a “safe” blog. That is, I am aware of the fact that anyone can roll the blogging dice and land on my square. Anyone, including kids and staff from the school where I work. So I make an effort to keep my language suitable!

I also keep references to family and friends vague, out of respect for their privacy.

Over the past twelve months I have become a little more selective in my blog reading, tending to read “favourites” first and come back to others when time allows. You probably notice that sometimes my comments are a couple of days after the post.

You have also noted, I’m sure, that while I now have a reasonable camera and try to include photos in most posts, I have stayed away from all those tricky things like music and youtube and linky widgets and doovalackies.

I am still not that techno-savvy! And I do have other demands on my time. Like right now.

This is a short post as I’m going out to lunch (British readers will note, please, that I am referring to a mid-day meal with friends, not a psychological evaluation!) so I will leave you with a whimsy that came to mind as the builders toiled on the hill behind us.

(I tried to upload a photo, but Blogger informs me that there is a problem and that they are working on it.)

Several hours and a delicious lunch later…you might remember when I posted a picture of the Guantanamo-like scaffolding behind our fence? Well, here’s a progress shot and a suitable poem to go with it. I think you can understand why I’ve allowed the wisteria and palms to “go troppo.”


There was movement at ”The Castle” for the builders had returned

And the Boss had been on site to crack the whip.

There was yards of plastic wrapping, steel pins and wire strapping.

And very little of it in the skip!

Now the site was steep and tricky. On the northern side the scree

Made it hard to keep a foothold on the slope.

We nearly lost ol’ Gazza, but his shorts were grabbed by Bazza,

And after that, we linked-up on a rope.

The blokes who brought the girders were out-of-work sheep herders,

Forced North by the Monaro’s record dry.

Why they saw how high the roofline stuck up ‘way above the skyline

Well, they figured there were better ways to die!

Like a giant praying mantis, rearing high above the ground,

A concrete truck was beating out a rhythm

And cement trucks, in a fleet, were growling up the street

And every driver had a Heeler with him!

All the ruts were full of muck and a concrete truck got stuck

And no amount of revving got him clear – the Readymix was axle-deep in swill.

When a kid who had been watching said :”I’ve got a good idea!

Vere’s a farmer wiv a twactor down ‘ve hill.”

So off we all went trooping like an ANZAC Day parade

With the little boy leading, with a dog.

(One, his nose a-twitch, had gone seeking out a bitch

and some had chased a possum up a log.)

The sugar farmer chappy wasn’t really happy

That some dork’s truck might cause him a delay.

But the chance to make a buck by hauling out a truck

Just might help to off-set the FTA.

He said: “I’ll see youse fellas right

If y’ come back here tonight.

If you want the tractor now

You’ll have to pay!”© 2004

What a bald post this is! Bah! to Blogger. Oh well…

Thankyou again to those of you who have stayed with me or joined the gang recently. I am thoroughly enjoying the ride and intend to stay.

Well, this was a rather limp effort so I’m back to share with you what a friend thought sound birthday wisdom…

Deep thoughts for those who take life way too seriously

1. Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

2. A day without sunshine is like……night.

3. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

4. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

5. He who laughs last thinks slowest.

6. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

7. Support bacteria. They’re the only culture some people have.

8. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

9. How many of you believe in psycho kinesis?…Raise my hand.

10. OK…so what’s the speed of dark?

11. When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

12. Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don’t have film.

13. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

14. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

15. I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

16. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

17. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what

18. Just remember—if the world didn’t suck, we would all fall off.

19. Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear
bright until you hear them speak.

20. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates. It’s more like a jar of
jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

All comments today will go into The Hat and a winner will be drawn when Mr. Secret Agent returns in a couple of days.