I was all set to be ready, this month.Even if I had to resort to a “grocer’s bunch”…I was going to wow everyone with my Flowers In The House.

And then it rained. I mean, really rained.The sort of rain that whooshes down, drenching everything, then goes out to sea and we all dash about washing the curtains that got wet and rejoicing in the lovely, soft, damp earth that makes weed-pulling a picnic in the park.

And then it rains again.Look, not to bore you, but we have had quite a few rainy days.And some thunder storms.

So…back to the “grocer’s bunch.” Um, no. I think someone left the grocer’s would-have-been contribution out in the rain!And the cheeky blighter was still asking half my housekeeping budget for the wilties!

So what does Dinah do? Calls on an orchid to step into the breach…IMG_4346


Phalaenopsis. It may have a cultivar name, but its label is long gone. The Man brought it indoors last week, fearful that the rain would mash its petals.Mostly, it sits on the dining table, looking lovely. No, this is NOT the dining table! This is a scruffy old table where we do all sorts of grubby things. Like mixing shellac, painting things and potting seedlings. But the orchid is indoors in the top picture.

I’ve done a massive amount of weeding and some more pruning and hope to get some things out of their pots and into this rich, soft chocolate-y soil. Soon, very soon. And I re vamped the herb boxes and put in some rocket/arugula which is coming along very nicely.I always have trouble with that in summer heat, but it’s looking good. If I can find a space that gets enough sun I might plant some chard(silver beet).

The orb spider’s cocoon is still under its leaf and tied back to a pole for safety.Another female spider is looking quite plump on her web, but the other one was gone yesterday morning. Still very slender, I think she became a snack.ūüė¶

Is it just me, or are other people struggling to keep up with blogging? I know some of you feel “empty” and I can understand that. But blogging , for me, was ¬†a comfortable way to write. And I felt connected.But lately? I find it harder to write what I think people might like to read. Maybe I’m being pulled in other directions? Yes, I do venture into Facebook’s waters, but that’s hardly “writing.”

I suspect that I’m getting a taste for gallivanting! Good thing I renewed my passport!

I’d better get back to the kitchen and show my Kerala coconut curry some respect…

Here’s my spider and her beautiful golden egg sac…020

IMG_4338 IMG_4341

If you click these pictures you will (should!) see that beautiful golden silk shining in sunlight.No wonder it was used on the raiments of the wealthy and clergy!

Time has passed…the curry was, indeed, delicious. As was the juice of the crushed grape. And, to top it off, we enjoyed a re-run of QI.




And I note that my previous post, back sometime in the Iron Age * is called Flowers In The House. So I can’t really use that title.

But it is why I’m here. If Jane, with all the hassles she’s had, can manage FITH, well, the least I can do is poke a few chrysanths and carnations in a jam jar and head over to her place….

Well, not the only reason. My friend, Mig, who also has not posted for a while, reappeared today and I thought “Blimey! Someone else with an over-filled plate.”

Really, though I say I’ve been busy, my life is not quite as hectic as some lives. So here I am!

I continue to be distracted by the local wildlife.Nothing new in that! The other night we heard a possum thump-scritching across the roof and swishing down through the palms. First for quite a while. Still haven’t seen him/her, but there has been evidence.

And on Saturday I saw a “new bird.” Well, it was new to me.Turns out these are common , but I’d never noticed! Yellow Fig ¬†Birds are or were a sub-species of the green ones. They look like this ¬†

And the spider! I mustn’t forget Ms.Blue Eyes! I must have seen dozens of them, but only the other day did I see her in the right light to notice her eyes (well, some of them!) – like tiny blue diamonds! She has made her bronze-gold web in the carport and, so far, is safe from any birds that might fancy a snack. Here she is, in ¬†the best image I could get without triggering a trap line. If you google you can find images of beautiful textiles made with her web.Well, not this one, of course, but some of her kin.

And, since I seem to be blathering about birds, bugs and suchlike, here is a short video of some Spangled Drongoes. We often hear them, calling, a harsh chit-chit-chee. Their song is much more melodious and on this occasion, we had three, in a palm outside our bedroom.

And now, for Jane, some Flowers In The House. 005 006


I’m off to Arlington to see who else has flowers…

The Iron Age…the ridiculously long time it takes me to get through a brimming basket of laundry.Probably because I so dislike the chore I put it off for as long as possible. I could do with a Laundry Lucy !



(and a spider alert!)

The 3801 (train folk say thirty-eight oh one) is probably the most famous steam locomotive in Australia. Oh, OK, I might be shot down by those who like others better. But there is no denying that 3801 is  one helluva train.

I’m not going to type up all the specs; you can read the details here.¬†

Back in 1988, as part of the Bi Centennial celebrations, the Flying Scotsman was brought out to Australia and the 3801 was run with her.

It was a drizzly day when a friend and I drove up to Brisbane for our run of a lifetime. Two of the best loved trains in the world and we had tickets to ride!

On parallel tracks, slowing and overtaking (there were a lot of cameras on both trains!) from Brisbane to Ipswich and back. The ride of a lifetime.

We were on 3801, which meant we got some wonderful shots of the Scotsman and, back at the station, despite the rain, some decent film of “our” engine, too. I should still have the negatives, but, despite ¬†a search of several boxes, I can’t find them. This poor sketch hardly does the grand old lady justice.

Now, at about this point the arachnophobes can leave us and go and make a cup of tea. Check the teapot, first!ūüėČ

edited to add this     gotta love the Goose!

When I was much, much younger I hated spiders. I kept telling myself I wasn’t scared, I just didn’t like them. This didn’t stop me from playing “up in the bush” as we called a rough patch of weedy trees and manuka ¬†¬†
And lots of spiders! I remember, chiefly, the nursery spiders 
And one nasty little boy, knowing I hated the  things, delighted in chasing me with a manuka branch, complete with a web and, usually, a rather cross Mrs.Spider attached. 
One of my natural phenomena books had a photo of a tarantula and for years I kept a piece of paper folded over that page. Yes, really! I was such a sook. But that tarantula,or rather, the picture, helped me. How? 
I traced the photo. Then kept drawing around the outline, enlarging it each time. And then I pasted the ever-expanding spiders (I just glued the feet so that they “came up” from the page) into a book which I used to look at every day, telling myself they were “my” spiders and I was not scared. But I never did grow to like Charlie!
I was, however, quite enchanted with this when it popped up (ooh! see what I did?) in my reader this morning
And that segues nicely to something else I’ve been doing…
More details of that when all the books have been completed and sent to their various homes.
Time to put on my chapeau de cuisine…