Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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



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.

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…


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!


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!”


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




This is a devastating time for many Australians. And the end is not yet in sight.

The worst of the horrors to have emerged is the belief, almost a certainty, that an arsonist is responsible for much of the terror in Victoria. One hour ago, a radio news bulletin put the death toll at 173.

Switchboards and websites of charity organisations are being jammed as ordinary , decent people donate whatever they can.

Flooding in the North has eased a little, but damage is estimated in the millions and the full extent will not be known for some time.

Ingham floodsState of emergency … SES volunteers wade through the floodwaters in Ingham.


Pictures from ABC News

Perhaps I should leave you with a happier picture…


I told you they’d be back. With their friends. It was raining, but that didn’t deter the rainbow lorikeets. No siree! And this is what they come for. Brassaia flowers, which appear to be berries.2009_0209lorikeets0011

I’m off to mop up some more puddles…




Well, here we are, after our Day At The Vet’s. You can see from the pictures why we had to be there. We were not scared, but we are VERY PLEASED TO BE HOME. Apparently, these stupid bits of string sticking out of our middle parts have to stay there for at least TEN DAYS! Oh yeah? We’ll see about that…

Sporran, who bounced back , bright as a button, almost the minute she came indoors. (But seen here having a wee snooze…)

Geiger, now fit as a fiddle, was a bit slow to recover; the anaesthetic left her very groggy for 24 hours. OK now, though. Oh, yes!

No cigar for the winner, but would anyone like to guess what this is?

The clean-up continues. Yesterday, I hauled two loads of garden trash to the tip. On the first trip, I had to queue at the entrance! I’ve never seen so many trucks ‘n’ trailers on a Sunday morning! And why? Well, because the City Council has waived tipping fees while we all deal with flood damage. I usually go once a week as the palms are constantly shedding fronds. Clearly, some people are too close-fisted to pay $6 (per pick-up truck) on a regular basis.

I popped over to my friend’s studio this morning to see the extent of damage. Apart from soggy carpets (now out on the pavement to be collected by Council and disposed of) and disintegrated cardboard boxes (learned that lesson, haven’t we!), things are not too bad. The crumbling rubber underlay will have to be scraped up by hand and we’ll get started on that tomorrow. A heavy-duty, super-duper industrial vacuum would be good. But guess what? There is nary a one to be had, either for hire or sale! And neither of us wants to tax our new domestic models!

Mme. Isaac Pereire, called by some the ultimate hat rose.

Around the garden…I have lost a few things, but most of them were from cuttings so I can scrounge more! The beautiful Bourbon rose “Madame Isaac Pereire” which I “rescued” from a nursery garbage trolley and coaxed back to health caught the worst of the deluge from the neighbour’s blocked drain. She may yet recover, but she looks pretty sad.

The pawpaw’s dying leaves make me think of ghosts…

And the pawpaw is struggling to stay upright. Come on, pawpaw, just a few more days of sunshine to ripen your fruit then you can croak!Everything else is toughing it out.

A ripening passion fruit. I’ll need to keep a sharp eye on this and pick it before the possums do! Not an easy task as this is one of the yellow varieties and not as easily seen as it’s purple cousin. However, being rather fond of passion fruit, I’ll be on the look-out! Apart from the juicy pulp, I adore the smell of the vines. It takes me back to holidays at an aunt’s home where a passion fruit vine covered the front porch and where my cousin and I would sit astride the verandah rail (heavily influenced by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, we were!), biting into the purple skins and sucking the pulp.

Back indoors…and over to the Fearsome Felines…

Not only do we have to put up with these tickly bits of string, we are not allowed to go outside! Well, Dinah does take us on a leash for a VERY SHORT WALK. Sometimes. She says we must not scramble through the garden or roll on the grass in case we get GERMANS. Or something like that. So we must amuse ourselves …

Nobody said anything about Germans on the floor…

Before I go…does anyone want a clue to that mystery picture? A zambloni would be good!



…when the only thing left was hope…

I love zinnias. Actually, it would not be stretching it to say I’m nuts about them. Nuts to the point where I’ll even try to grow them in this climate. With limited success, I admit. And then only when I can sow them early enough, to flower well ahead of the wet season.

I was not successful this year. Well, not until now. I spied this tiny thing, peeping out from behind an overgrown orthosiphon beside the drive. Poor little scrap! It is having one last roll of the dice and hoping to set seed. (Difficult to see its size, but think a 5p piece.Or 5c Australian.)

Hopeful of a walk outside…

Hoping the rain stays away while he snoozes…

Some things thumb their noses at hope and just fling themselves about with wild abandon, like this “weed.”

Gloriosa superba On the Weed Police’s “hit” list. Poisonous in all its parts, this pretty thing seeds as if it’s going out of fashion. But it’s super-easy to rip out so what’s the big deal, I ask?

And some things have the tenacity of an investigative journalist. This Mussaenda philippica
is right on the edge of the drive so it’s been ” vehicular- pruned” many times. I just hope it can bear the weight of a passion fruit vine!

Yet another member of the great tomato tribe…

Solanum seaforthianum. The “Weed Police” are probably getting my canvas blanket and tin dish ready as you read… “Well, yes, Your Honour, I do know it’s poisonous. And, yes, I know it’s illegal to sell it. But it’s the birds, y’see…they eat the berries and… And yes, I probably should rip it out. But it’s pretty!” I hope Her Majesty doesn’t still serve cauliflower cheese!

Yesterday, I heard that the official count of flood-damaged houses in town is over 4,000. While we have a muddy mess in the garden and back yard, the house is fine. Well, it will be once I’ve washed the mould off the walls. And checked that framed paintings haven’t got mould inside the glass. And cleaned the windows. And aired all the linen.

But at least I have a house. And hope.



Saturday update: the rain continued all night and it is still raining at 0830. Crocodiles have been seen. Hardly surprising and unlikely up on our hill, but it’s just another of the joys of a tropical paradise!

Firstly, we are okay chez Dinahmow.

Well, more okay than some (see link) since we’re on a bit of a hill, but I may not post for a day or two. We’ve had a Niagara from That House up the back, the tarmac is cracking open in several parts of the street, everything smells muddy. But the worst of it? THE OFF-LICENCES, ALL THREE LOCALLY, ARE CLOSED!

See you when we dry out a little.