Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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


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BEFORE THE RAIN WASHES US OUT TO SEA…

…a quick update, with the answer to the mystery image.

We don’t usually get such heavy rain at this time of the year, but last night and today it’s been, to say the least, very tropical. Let’s see if I can show you a met.office video  https://www.facebook.com/ABCtropic/videos/10153424710481681/   And that’s what I was driving in this morning.

It was really a day for curling up on a comfy chair and reading a book.But, no. Dinah heard about a good deal on a 300mm lens.So far, this is all I’ve done with it, but, weather permitting, I hope to do more.IMG_2043.JPG

And the mystery pic from the previous post? A seed from  the Commersonia, brown kurrajong in the local parlance. Mitzi came close.

Oh, I suppose you want to know what those dangly things are? Seed pods on  the Cassia fistula. And the trunk of a palm whose name I don’t know.

I have a feeling I’ll have to sweep the rain water out of the carport  again…

Have a few more from last week’s walk…

Can we say “Gulag.” Well, it looks pretty grim!IMG_4901.JPG

I counted about 20 of these homes, all with lovely views and NO GARDENS!Sheer madness if you ask me.

But wait! At the end of this row of “luxury jail cells”…a garden! IMG_4904.JPG

Maybe it’s easier to sit and look at the view than to create your own. Here’s their view…IMG_4906.JPG

As they say Oop North (England, that is) “There’s nowt so queer as folk!”

Busy, busy here so I’ll leave you with one more…water lilyIMG_4913.JPG

 

 

 


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A BIT DAMP. AGAIN!

Oh dear…the rain I thought might have come with Cyclone Dylan last week noodled around, here and there, until yesterday. And then Whoosh!  Heavy rain all morning and after lunch great crashing thunder claps. At 3 o’clock the drain at “that place” behind us could no longer cope.We spent almost 2 hours clearing our drains (me) and neighboring drains (the Man). The thunder rolled away and the rain eased by 5 o’clock. We were lucky.Much luckier than people in Somerset.Or people in Victoria’s fires.Never mind the gas  and oil pipelines – we need a water pipe to take floods away from the flooded to the burning!

Winter Olympics? I could, possibly, have been a medal contender yesterday. I’d been next door, helping in that clear-up and, the path  having been washed downhill and onto the road, I was picking my way VERY CAREFULLY across the lawn. Suddenly, I was on my backside, in a magnificent glissade, finishing with a full back ankle twist and an elbow brake. I’m sure the judges would have been impressed.

The ankle hurt for a while, but is not sprained or broken. And the good news is that a nasty splinter under a finger nail worked its way out when my hands got all prune-y.

Sunshine now so the street is humming with washing machines. Including mine.

But, before I get back to the dirty work, I must tell you about an art swap that is doing the rounds. If you’d like to receive something from me, please say so in the comments. By doing so, you’ll be agreeing to take part  and will, in turn, “pay it forward.”

Here’s the deal:

Step 1 Copy&Paste this (see below) in your latest blog post

* Pay It Forward Art-making Project for 2014 *

I promise to make a small work of art for the first four people who comment on this post and say “YES, I WANT TO BE IN THIS”. A ‘like’ alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.

You must in turn post this on your blog and make something for the person from whom you got this (that’s me) plus the first four who comment on your blog asking to play.

The rules are simple:

– It has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends.

– It can be anything art-based: a drawing/illustration or a conceptual work of art, a photograph, a knitted item, cross-stitch, paper maché – or anything in between.

I’m paying this forward thanks to  Ersi Marina  who picked it up from JackOudyn. Yes, you can be on each other’s pay it forward lists.



PS. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t an artist, try something out, google/ YouTube how to make stuff, step out of those boundaries.

Step 2 For the first four people who comment on your blog entry saying they want to participate, plus the author,you will do an art trade with them that must be completed by December 31st 2014. I would count as the first person, so technically you only need another four. If you find your friends are keen, you can do as many as you want. Similarly, if you do not get four comments within, say, one week, simply swap with those who do want to take part.

Step 3 All forms of art count including creative writing , photography, digital, anything goes! I’ll leave this up until next Monday,Feb.17. You’ll find my email at “about me” so you can let me know your postal address.

I’ll leave you with a rain picture.

 

 

 


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MORE RAIN…

…though, mercifully, this stopped after only four hours! I did hobble* up to the back fence to look at the neighbour’s drain; it looks clear. I also picked a few flowering stems that had been snapped by the wind and rain.

So…a bit of lull in blogging.That’s because I still have books to finish and I am still somewhat at the mercy of unreliable deliveries. Supplies, from lavatory paper and dog food to wine and pasta all reach us here in the North, via fleets of trucks, along the great Bruce Highway (and at the very mention of the name I think of Monty Python. Don’t you?).

But that route was been closed due to flood damage far to the south.https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTi-0cCtodDvQb8c8ZibA6dkd8bDJMSHmvX9ARjWk1xQopgHU3X (image from Gympie Times web page) 

Some supplies are coming through. But not haberdashery supplies. Which means that I must either wait for the thread colour I need…or change my chosen thread. I know. Small potatoes.

But, while I waited for some glue to dry I thought I’d join the floral parade over at Jane’s blog. Not much in my garden is pickable, but today I have some Ixora, Duranta and a ground orchid and some rather battered Angelonia.

Duranta “Geisha Lady”, Angelonia and an almost-spent Spathiglottis.

 

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Ixora

Ixora

gratuitous cropped shot

 

IMG_3498

* Hobbled because I have a sore foot. Not quite sure why and as the bills mount I think I’ll just mutter something about the passing years and try not to spend too much time on my feet.

IMG_3506


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YES, THE EARTH MOVED !

Yesterday saw what is being called the “greatest defeat “(or victory, if you favour that side!) in Queensland politics since…I don’t  know. A long time.

But I promise  this is NOT turning into a political blog! For one thing, I am easily bored by political debate. Besides, I don’t follow these particular gee-gees with much interest so can’t name them, their trainers, track records, betting odds…

But I did grab a pencil and make a very quick scrawl when I heard the new Member for the seat  previously held by the  Treasurer. One of the things she “absolutely wants to address” is public transport.

And this rang a silly bell  as her new boss, incoming Premier Campbell Newman, was once Mayor of Brisbane and one of the things he spent public money on was a free public bicycle scheme. Laudable? Perhaps. But no one rode his bikes!

I don’t think John Kudelka has anything to worry about!  If you click the image you should be able to read it.

Of more interest to me is some other earth-shaking news.* The other day, ‘way out  west of Oodnadatta, a ‘quake was recorded at almost magnitude 7.  That’s quite a shake! Of course, out there there are no high-rise apartments and crowded cities. And, fortunately, no nuclear reactors  or “waste facilities.” There are small settlements and these would feel after-shocks. You can read more here. I suppose my interest in  this stuff comes from having been knocked on my  butt  by ‘quakes as a little kid. Today? I could probably hold my balance in all but a big  shake!🙂
I could make this a meteorological post. But I wont. I still have some mopping-up to do!
So I’ll leave you with these chaps. 
Pee Ess…it’s raining again.
*   Don’t be rude! You know this is not a naughty blog! 


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I WONDER IF…

…I made a carrot cake with these beauties, would it be purple?

Yes, these are purple carrots. Aren’t they just gorgeous? If you’d been around a few hundred (or thousand!) years  ago they’d have been common. The orange colour was only introduced, from a natural mutation, by Dutch breeders/ growers relatively recently. A popular story has it that a zealous Dutchman, hoping to curry favour with the House of Orange, developed the orange carrot. The Carrot Museum (yes, there is a carrot museum!) has some interesting facts.

Purple or orange, I love carrots. *

Just when we thought we’d skipped our Big Wet…

Torrential rain made the drive to work “interesting.” Lots of drivers taking risks. Not a policeman in sight. ** And My Man couldn’t travel out West, as scheduled, because roads were closed. In some places, serious flooding. Yes, some of the places still reeling from the 2011 floods.

I have been clearing rain pits here and next door. I’ve given up on trying to clear water from the carport. The sun and the breeze can do it. I’m flat-out dealing with laundry!

Oh! As if floods were not bad enough, we have the State Election on Saturday. It rather looks as though the Labour Party will lose. In a landslide. In this weather, I’d say “mudslide” might be the word!

I have a printing day tomorrow so I’m off to sort some inks.

 

*If Afghanis make a powerful alcoholic brew from carrots, maybe that’s why the West is hell-bent on staying there? Carrot-based rocket fuel? Hmm…

**This afternoon, in brilliant sunshine, a few metres from the end of my street, with sod-all traffic, Mr. Plod had stopped someone.


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SOMETIMES,WISHES TAKE A WHILE…

But, if you wish hard enough…

http://www.weather.com.au/qld/mackay

So far, it’s all good, but I’m prepared to lay a sizable chunk of the housekeeping money on some folks in town looking nervously at the puddles!

And already there are roads underwater  and rivers over roads in some inland areas. And you should see the happy grins out there!

See full size image

www.theage.com.au/…/02/17/1234632797397.html

Of course, had that cyclone crossed a more populated stretch of the coastline there’d have been much worse damage.

To put this in perspective for some who don’t know our geography –

Imagine, say, parts of Oklahoma battling raging fires while Florida battens down for a cyclone (I think they say “hurricane”).

Now imagine the cyclone crossing the coast, weakening to a severe rain depression and heading towards Oklahoma. That rain would be OK in OK.

But spare a thought for the southern part of West Australia which is ablaze.

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And now, a little self-survey. Your responses will not be shared with marketing companies, but I would like you to answer honestly.

during the Christmas break did you:

a   eat as you usually do

b   eat “special” meals

c   eat more meals per day than usual

d   prepare all meals yourself

e   eat whatever anyone else prepared

f    eat at home (yours or another’s)

g   eat at restaurants

h   gain (or lose) significant weight

And , since I’m sticking it to you, I’ll tell you my answers!

a   no

b   yes, but only one

c   yes

d   yes

e   see above

f   at home

g   no

h  hoo boy! See you at the Weigh-in?

And the tragic thing is that it was all such good food. None of that burger trash, no TV dinners-on-a-foil-tray, nothing so full of additives I’d need Ritalin*.

Hell! I even cooked some meals! That’s “cooked” as in not raw. In this climate we pretty much live on salads, but I did serve a couple of “hot” dishes. I even made that gnocchi that Marie swears is as easy as it is delicious. I’ll go along with the delicious, but easy…we..e.ell, not so much! I think the heat and humidity were its undoing; the gnocchi just wouldn’t hold their shape, despite having been locked in the fridge for a couple of hours.  I’ll make some adjustments and get back to you…

But I  was not chained to the stove, sweating into the gravy.  And, for the record, I haven’t made gravy for years! I did not eat cheesecake, ice cream, candy. No, I ate as I usually do. Just more often.

So how in the name of Escoffier did  my waistline disappear?

Back to the hamster wheel…

*Ritalin is the drug commonly used to treat Attention Defficit Disorder.


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THE BIGGER PICTURE

I’m hitting my “replay” button today. My blog, my button!

This is from an email exchange, earlier this morning, with a friend who was asking how things are on my side of the world…

I wrote

Yes, when we (ie, everyone) step back from our troubles and look at them on the broader scale…

But right now, that’s pretty hard for me. We had a torrential downpour at tea time last night. The Man was just out of the shower and we were about to have a small glass of Chardonnay and a nibble of cheese before dinner. Man! It rained. I went to the back door and saw a mini-Niagara pouring under the back fence and rooster-tailing over the patio. I think I exhausted all my multi-tongue expletives!

The Man  grabbed a rake and hung over the fence clearing the back neighbour’s drain and I did my best clearing the 3 rain traps along the back and shouting rude words at the other back neighbour (who would not have heard above the noise). Did what we could, slowed it down to a mild deluge and had dinner.

2005_0419flood0007
I slept fitfully, constantly alert in case we had to go again.

This morning…water everywhere, of course. This is normal. But The Man had  Mustang parts all over the floor of the basement workshop. 2″ of dirty water are not the best treatment, so we’ve been picking up, mopping up and drying up.

To add to this, we disturbed our

resident possum, who scrambled out from his sleeping alcove (behind the  wall) and sat, watching, unsure whether to make a run for it or sit tight. And then Geiger paddled in, spotted Poss and decided she’d like to make his acquaintance. I’m up to my oxters in dirty, swirling water and about to become the meat in that sandwich.Hoo-boy!

Yes, when we step back from the immediate short-range focus…

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This morning’s the first time Geiger has seen Poss up close. Sometimes, the cats watch through the window as Poss heads out on his nightly jaunts. It’s also the first close look I’ve had of this fellow. A young male, he’ll be making his own way in the world, having to fight for, and hold onto, territory and females. Mind you, the mating fights are just that; these guys do their thing and shoot through. No happy-families bonding in possum land!

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I really must put the New York Times back in my reading list.(the list was muddled after the last trip to the computer hospital.)

You see, not being a reader of the local daily papers, whose appalling journalistic cock-ups do nothing good for my temperament, I miss a lot of stuff that is “newsworthy” from my viewpoint, if not seen that way by local editors.

So I didn’t know til I read m’s blog this morning that Blossom Dearie had died.

I met her during one of her London trips, back in the 60s. We’d usually have a chat and a coffee whenever she was in town, but then I changed jobs, went abroad, lost touch, in the way so many of us do.

Still, I have fond memories of her. If you’ve never heard her “Bruce” go out now and get it!                                                                                                                         “See you after the show, Blossom!”

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Now…the basement puddle has re-puddled so I’d better use my broom for its non-transport purpose…

Have a look at these lighthouses. Couldn’t you just see yourself in one of these? Of course, the romantic in me thinks it’d be fun to live there, but it wouldn’t be long before I got tree-twitchy and had to go ashore!Still, they do have a charm…

Lost at Sea: 7 Beautiful Abandoned Historical Lighthouses