Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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



…maundering in in-action might be closer to the mark. Three months is almost “death” in Blogland.

Oh well, here I am again. And I’m going to kick off with…the weather! Winter here so that means, mostly, blue skies and bright sunny days. The sort of weather that encourages strenuous outdoor work. Garden beds can be weeded, dug-over, mulched.Plants can be pruned, moved, re-potted.

And then the sun dips below the horizon and we don extra layers and waddle about looking like the Michelin Man. And I can tell you that, Chez Dinahmow, the Michelin look lasts from sunset to mid-morning.

But it is nice to see the BARE pergola, just waiting for something new and less rampant than wisteria and petrea… 001.JPGI’m tempted to try another climbing rose, but then my memory gives me a sharp dig in the ribs, telling me not to be such a silly fool.

In the meantime, I seem to be having some small success with orchids. 001.JPG

These Phalaenopsis sit on my keyboard (not this one, the musical one), but I move them outside for more sunlight when they start to flower. I move lunches out there, too, in sunny weather. Of course, there can be stiff competition for a seat…002.JPG

The Man, who is no longer working full-time, has not had much go-to-work work lately, but he has been busy here!Oh yes…de-rusting and re-painting various bits around the house. And he cleared all of the tangled mess atop the pergola. And replaced the old TV aerial which was all a-dangle after the cyclone modified it. Ooh, it’s all go here, innit!

I’m off to see about some breakfast, but before I do, here’s a link to a Canberra friend’s blog. Yet another reason to visit  that city!







Not only have  I been hampered by the weather I have been side-lined by back injury. As it turns out, not as dramatic as first thought, but it’s certainly slowed my progress.

So I’m a tad late with posting these pictures. What are you going to do? Sue me? Don’t bother – I’ve spent all my money!* hahaha!

Pi has been in the news lately. That film “Life of Pi” scooped some well-earned plaudits in Hollywood. And Pi is also a mathematical constant.

A few years ago someone decreed March 14th International Pi Day and mathematicians, cooks, book artists and  well, anyone, really, celebrate the day. I always say I’ll make a pie for Pi. And I always forget!

But not this year! To celebrate the day and to perpetuate a silly running joke Chez Dinahmow, I made this…

Pie are square 1A square pie, with the TT symbol on the lid.Filled with apple and apricot and very tasty, according to The Man. And the joke? Little boy comes home from school and says his teacher don’ know nuffink. “She told us pie are square an’ we all know CAKE are square an’ PIE are round!”

Moving on…I think I’ll just make it for Jane’s  Monday Flowers In The House.

Apricot NectarThe beautiful old rose, “Apricot Nectar.” Plagued by grasshoppers and, recently, battered by storms, I was delighted to see one new bud swelling. And then the birds zoomed in, chasing bugs and snapped the stem. I waded in with secateurs and performed a mid-season pruning.The wind eased, the rain worked its wonders and the rose put out three more buds. The grasshoppers, meanwhile, had had their own reproduction orgy. So I picked the remaining bud and here it is. Want to see what else people have in their vases? Pop over to Jane’s blog

Those of you with sharp eyes  and good memories will see that the vase is on top of my mini-piano. Only for the photo shoot!

Good grief! I didn’t realise the time had flown. It’s Wine O’Clock. Time for fizzyotherapy.   Salut!   🙂

*Most of it on medical bills!



Yesterday, I rather fancied some steamed asparagus for lunch. With ham or salmon, it makes a nice Saturday lunch, especially with a quaffable Chablis.
Alas! Three supermarkets came up blank. We did not go hungry though. Smoked tuna and salad, with crusty garlic bread, satisfied us.
Spare a thought, then, for villagers in  Cyprus, as reported in Reuters “Oddly Enough” column:

NICOSIA (Reuters) – U.N. peacekeepers have upset traditional wild asparagus harvesters on the ethnically divided island of Cyprus by preventing them from entering a buffer zone to gather the tasty shoots.

U.N. soldiers, restricting access to the buffer zone which splits the island from east to west after Cyprus was divided in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a Greek-inspired coup, say they are only doing their job, but residents are livid.

“This is unacceptable behavior and I have demanded that action is taken,” said Nicos Kotziambashis, leader of the Greek Cypriot village of Mammari which has been particularly hit by the U.N. ban. “The situation is explosive.”

“It is not something we particularly like to do but unfortunately if the asparagus is found in the buffer zone the peacekeepers have to do their job, which is to regulate access to that part of the territory,” a U.N. spokesman told Reuters.

Plentiful rains ensured a bumper crop of “aggrelia” this year exacerbating the standoff between soldiers and the army of locals who flock to pick asparagus, which tied in green and red burgundy bunches, sells for up to four euros at local markets.

Asparagus harvesting has never been for the faint-hearted with pickers crawling into dense thorn bushes to pick the delicate shoots from the undergrowth.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas)

It made me grateful that my argument is with grocers, not soldiers. It also made me think of this:

Roasted Asparagus With Prosciutto and Pine Nuts

This serves two hungry people or up to four dainty nibblers. Adjust accordingly (as with any recipe I give you!)

2 bunches of asparagus

3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic,finely chopped. (2 cloves if it’s that miserable, small garlic!)

sea salt and fresh black pepper

pasta of choice; I like small penne or macaroni

prosciutto, if available. If not, as close as you can get; I’ve cooked this with very thin strips of ham and, once, with thin-sliced bacon.

2 tbsps toasted pine nuts

parmesan cheese 

Put the asparagus, cut into 5cms (2″ ) strips, garlic and oil in a shallow oven dish, stirring to coat the asparagus. Roast in hot oven about 10 minutes, or until asparagus is soft. In my oven, that’s about 200 deg.C. Probably 400F, but you know your own oven.

While this is roasting, cook the pasta as per packet instructions. When cooked, drain, add a little sea salt, generous grind of fresh black pepper and combine with the prosciutto, asparagus and toasted pine nuts. Top the whole delicious thing with grated Parmesan cheese. That’s cheese grated right now, as you need it. Not that ghastly stuff that sweats in a plastic bag, OK?

Accompanied, of course, by your beverage of choice. A dry white is hard to beat! 😉


web photo from bbc.


A short post. There are reasons for this, not least being my enforced upgrade of the housekeeping. Ants, presumably driven by rain to find a dry home, decided to colonise my linen closet. I did not see things their way. I think I may have won the battle…



Ok, so maybe the ark didn’t just fit together like a model sail boat. But, really, all the old boy had to do was round up a few breeding pairs, some hay and some grain (for them), enough bread and shrimp paste for sarnies and a box of tea bags (for self) and sail around til the rain stopped.

I don’t recall anything in that story about Noah (or, more likely, Mrs. Noah) having to weild a ruddy great shovel to clear away mud. And they must have had a shovel. For removing the obvious.

I have a shovel. It’s called in the trade a wide-mouth shovel. That’s because it has a big square front. When I say “big” I mean 12″ or 300mm across . You can shift a lot of stuff with this shovel.This is a good thing. Because there is a lot to be shifted.

Gardeners of the old school will know what a spit is. The mud and pebbles and sand blocking this drain was a spit. And as I’ve just told you how big my shovel is…

It was enough to make me spit! This is a drain on neighbouring property.

And this is (some of) what it caused to flood onto our property.


And this is the drain when the builder FINALLY cleared it and replaced the teeny-weeny pebbles with bigger rocks.

Mind you, the silt is building up again because the silly little builder-person (gosh! I’m polite!) has still not addressed the problem of silt from above the drain…

Still, at least I have a big shovel. And a powerful backhand!!!


And I’m a lot luckier than some…

I wonder if Igor Sikorski ever thought his strange craft would be so relied on in the civil sphere? Developed for war and almost mandatory for rescues. You can’t say the same for a tank, can you!

I have been trying to write. And I keep hitting the wall. (some of us know its bricks only too well!) This creative struggle can be more draining than physical exertions, can’t it?

I know some artists have favoured methods for dragging themselves out of their sloughs and slumps. Some go for long walks on windswept beaches; some swear by a pot of Lapsang Souchong. For some, it’s hard liquor or a work-out at the gym.

For me? Well, sometimes a brisk walk helps. Sometimes music. But usually, when the right words are just beyond my grasp the best thing I can do is…something else!

So I’ll leave you with this bit of nonsense, written a few years ago as part of a running joke with a poet friend.

Has anybody seen my muse? (not the one by A.A. Milne)

I turned on my p.c. this morning, quite early.
The sun was just rising, the dew drops were pearly.
I stared at the keyboard and waited to hear
The voice of my Muse, whisp’ring soft in my ear.


You can tell that these limping and weak little rhymes
Were never inspired by Musical chimes.
D’you know what I think?I think that my Muse
Has won the Gold Lotto and gone on a cruise!

Has anybody seen my Muse?




Do you really know what you’re eating? ____________________________

I am, perhaps unreliably, informed by a friend in England that the humble bacon butty has been elevated. Maybe not to gourmet level, but considered worthy of exhaustive and expensive research…
Four researchers at the Department of Food Science at a university in the north of England spent more than 1,000 hours testing 700 variations on the traditional bacon sandwich. They tried different types and cuts of bacon, cooking techniques, types of oil and a range of cooking times at different temperatures. A shortlist was then tested with computers to measure the texture of each sandwich. Fifty volunteers also judged each sandwich according to its taste, texture and flavour. The scientist who led the research said: “We often think it’s the taste and smell of bacon that consumers find most attractive. But our research proves that texture and the crunching sound is just as – if not more – important. While there was much debate within our taste panels on the smoked or unsmoked decision, everyone agreed that tough or chewy bacon is a turn-off.”

And, because we need to know these things, here is the recipe, expressed,of course, as a serious scientific formula.

C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta = N

N=force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon, fb=function of the bacon type, fc=function of the condiment/filling effect, Ts=serving temperature, tc=cooking time, ta=time or duration of application of condiment/filling, cm=cooking method, C=Newtons required to break uncooked bacon.


“Dj’you want Aitch P wiv that,darlin’?”