Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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


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MAKING A COMEBACK

No, not about one of those ever-returning pop stars who can’t quite seem to leave their spotlight.

This  post features some of the garden plants that are thumbing their metaphorical noses at cyclones. Some things were damaged beyond help, but I’m happy to see others romping away.

Beginning with a flower stem of Canangra odorata When the rain and the roaring wind eased and we ventured out, this was on the front steps. (And, for the moment, it’s also my header!)

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David Austin’s trouper, “Abraham Darby” I snapped this in a shower this morning.

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Cestrum nocturnum Night-scented jasmine. Utterly gorgeous! It needed vigorous pruning a few weeks ago, but it kept flowering and so I left it. Some of the taller stems were “pruned” for me. I did eventually get stuck into it, cutting two bushes back rather brutally and allowing this one to remain reasonably tall. It helps to screen two neighbouring houses.

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Clerodendrum nutans Delighted to find several flower buds on this as it struggles and almost croaked during the heatwave. And no, I cannot move it as the roots will be impossible to untangle from the  {insert any rude adjective } palms. I might try striking a cutting to grow in a pot…

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One of several crucifix orchids, this one was on a grevillea we had to cut back.I’ve poked it between fence palings for the time being.Those background cordylines belong to the neighbour. It’s known as “the borrowed view.” 🙂

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My poor swamp orchid!Phaius australis. It’s been crushed by shed palm fronds, sat on by a ruddy great toad,almost cooked in the heatwave and, most recently, blown over by the stormy winds. But it’s fighting back!

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Stag or Elk? I always have to look them up! These were both rescued from a palm that was blown down a few weeks ago.

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And this one was attached to a palm next door and the neighbour had nowhere to put it so she and I lugged it down here and yesterday The Man wired it to a post. It looks a bit ragged (well, so would you if you were hurled from a great height!), but I think it’ll survive.

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I’ll post one more comeback…the Michaelia figo, “Port Wine Magnolia.” Another fragrant plant for pathways below windows.M.figo port Wine.JPG

The removal of storm-damaged trees continues though we have no indication of when our suburb will be cleared. But we did get off lightly, compared with many others.


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT…

…Dastardly Debbie was heading for landfall just a few miles north of us.

In case we lost power, I did a hasty menu revision and baked a quiche.Because my oven is electric and if the power runs away and hides (our power is a total wuss!) I can still cook fish and curry and soup on the gas hobs.

So…quiche and salad and a nice bottle of wine and and a night of whine and moan and crash as the wind whipped through palms and trees.

In daylight we could see lots of leaves and twiggy branches and seed heads littering the lawn and pathway. But no major damage. Of course, it will get much rougher in a few hours, but we should be OK Chez Dinahmow. Thoughts are with others who have already suffered some damage.

What does storm damage along a tropical coast look like? Well, not Brochure Blue, for a start! More Battleship Grey. We did a brief run out a while ago and I took the little camera and snapped a few frames from the car.

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This is a Casuarina at the Lifeguard Station.

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And a sister Casuarina, a few metres away.

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I was hoping to “catch” a big wave breaking, but another  tourist came along! 

We did not stay out  long. I may go down to the beach when this nonsense has blown itself out…

In the meantime, I have some small plant pots taking up space in the laundry, but that’s OK as I shant be doing any laundry til the storm has passed!

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A Plumeria (frangipani to Australians) and 3 small cuttings of Dichorisandra.

 

…and then the power went out.Followed a few hours later by the ‘phone…

Monday, April 3.

The world, or at least my small corner of it, is returning to normal. That cyclone has left millions of dollars worth of damage in its wake, all the way down the Queensland coast and into NSW.

Some of the near neighbours joined The Man and me yesterday in removing fallen trees, branches, palms. The City Council will organise kerbside clearance over the next week or two. I have a lot of work to do in the gardens here, but it’s relatively small and can wait til things are more settled.

Thank you all for checking in, via email and Facebook. Let’s close this chapter with something amusing.Not to say apposite for anyone still facing power cuts. (think about it…)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ

 

 

 


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IT WAS SCARLET’S BIRTHDAY…

So i thought I would bake her a cake. Yes, I can bake cakes.I have even been known to cover them in icing.

But we’ve been suffering a hellish heatwave here and I couldn’t face having the oven on as well. What to do? What to do? Ask Google, of course!

I wanted something a little more grown-up than the plethora of Barbie confections. ..so I added “adult” to the search.

Oh. Dear. Me. Don’t go there, people. Really.

I did find  something that I thought might suit the well-honed wit of Ms Scarlet.Not quite as classy as her famous towering fountain of Ferrero Roche. But I thought this black tie affair might make her day.

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Happy birthday, Scarlet.

I may have some spider sex for the next post.It depends on the spiders.


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BOOKS ON SHELVES. OR NOT

Some of the blogging community have been sharing pictures of their book shelves.

I don’t have “proper” book cases here. Books in this house live mainly in wardrobes, cupboards and boxes. Unless currently being read, in which case they’re probably on  the kitchen counter, the dining table, a desk, a bed, a side table.

We had great shelving in our former house. The living room was lined in pine and when time came to put up shelves, we drove over the mountain to a lumber yard that had good deals on seconds.

I spent ages, scrambling up and down stacks looking for exactly the right pieces. I’ve long forgotten what the planks cost, but they were certainly not expensive!

You see, I had a length of shelving in my sewing room that still had rough bark along one edge and I wanted that look for the bookshelves.

So, no shelves to show you, but here are some of the books.

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All showing years of love and use. I’ve left out the several large dictionaries and the thesaurus and most of the ENORMOUS art and garden books. And I didn’t even begin on the boxes!

And now i am going to stand under a cold shower. I know it’s worse for people in NSW, but I’m done with this heatwave. The Met Men mentioned a storm, but I don’t see anything on the horizon. Must fill the ice trays…

 

 

 


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SUNBIRD UPDATE

Popping in briefly to say that the sunbird eggs must have hatched, because…012.JPG

Mrs Sunbird has been leaving the nest for brief feeding flights and appears to be feeding chicks on her return.I snapped several pictures yesterday and will keep a camera handy.015.JPG

The Rainbow Lorikeets have been keeping a beady eye on the Schefflera flowers, which are almost ready…003.JPG

I took this the other day when we were still being monsooned by lashing rain and wind. Brilliant sunshine today so I may get some better pictures.

We picked the first soursop of the season last week and have more small ones on the tree.

Strange-looking things, aren’t they? But tasty!

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We’re heading off to have coffee with friends shortly, but I’ll be back.

 


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THE HAPPY CAMPER

Do you camp? Or do you run faster than Yusain Bolt as far from a tent as possible? Does “camp” in your lexicon mean blokes in ball gowns?

Well, this may not be your billy of bush tea…on the other hand, you might like to start your shiny new year with a new hobby.In which case, I’m happy to explain some of the terminology.

 

Once upon a time…when we “went camping” it involved a canvas tent, half a dozen wooden poles with iron spikes in one end (and if you didn’t have the smarts to know which end went uppermost…you found out the hard way) and fiendish fold-up camp cots whose hinges were known to sever fingers.After a few years of hauling small children and clumsy husbands off to ER for sutures, someone had the idea of sleeping on  a Li-lo, that inflatable bed which is more comfortable and affords a nice lie-down when you’ve come close to a heart attack after puffing into the damn’ thing for half an hour, before you have to wrestle with a folding card table whose hinges were designed by the cot people. (It might be a good idea to take a couple of bricks or off-cuts of timber because the odds against camping on perfectly level ground are roughly the same as David Cameron leading Britain back into Europe’s embrace.) All cooked food was cooked over open flame.No, Muriel, not a whopping great gas bottle-with-a-dish-rack. A proper fire of dead, fallen  branches with a cast iron pan for the frying of bacon.And a kettle big enough to boil enough water to wash the greasy pan and plates.Entertainment on such trips was very much d.i.y. Hiking, swimming in creeks or the sea, reading in the tent if it rained. Packing up the whole soggy mess if it kept raining and heading home.
And then came  “glamping.” This is a recently-coined term for “glamourous camping.” This new way seems to involve rather more money than I ever spent on a couple of days at a lake or seaside…For starters, one seems to need an all -terrain gas-guzzling behemoth to tow another behemoth which affords box spring bunk beds, slide-out table (ah! learned your lesson from those old camp cot hinges, did you?) microwave oven, TV/video,an extensive range of cookware, fridge,gas-fired cook top…Oh, you can have  an electronics chap sort out a suitable satellite dish to be mounted on the roof so you can watch the footy/cricket/ASE updates.
For only a little more money you could have ALL this in a single vehicle package. Big plus, you could add bike racks, allowing a BMX-y work-out before you sit down to your evening meal and the new season of  whatever TV show you absolutely must see.
Well, today I learned that an ancient tradition is being revived and is known now as “champing.”
In days of  yore, devout pilgrims walked miles to places of holy worship. Along the way, they were given shelter and basic food within the walls of monasteries, churches, convents. At no cost, though the wealthy hedged their bets with a donation of coin!
In England, You Can Camp in Abandoned Medieval Churches [article from twitter] http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/in-england-you-can-camp-in-abandoned-medieval-churches
The Sunbirds have finished their nest and Mrs Bird is (I presume!) sitting on eggs. I’ll keep an eye on things. My camera software and computer are,apparently,not speaking so I have no new pictures today.If continued bad language still doesn’t work I’ll use a camera whose obsolete software is running on The Man’s computer…are you keeping up, you at the back! Here’s one from the other day…IMG_2615.JPG
And because “pretty” is important, here’s an impulse purchase of a Calla lily…Calla lily   IMG_0520.JPG
Oh! It’s December  the thirty oneth. If you’re off to drown the last of this decidedly iffy year, be careful. I need my readers to support my scribbling habit in 2017!
I wish you health, happiness and fewer idiots eligible to vote!


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IN WHICH WINE MAY FEATURE

Well, why not? After all, those vintners have been slaving away in the burning sun, torrential rain, even frost ! It would be churlish not to offer them support.

I found this floating around the interweb, ages ago.If I ever knew who dreamed it up I’ve forgotten, but it’s clever.

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So…things have been a bit quiet on the blog front. I’ve been doing other things.Like sitting on the steps, camera ready, as the sunbirds construct their beautiful nest. They have not nested at our house for a few years, but they’re back now and we’re delighted. The cats have taken up bird-watching. Hopefully, that’s as far as they will take it.

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Mr and Mrs Sunbird begin work on the new house.

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Mrs. S flying away for more material-bits of spider web, feathers, grass, leaves…

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As of today, the little porch overhang seems to be finished and they’re working on lining.

Yes, I have lost some time to watching them! But I must get on with some work of my own…

I’ve bought a press! Quite compact. In fact, I have bigger hand bags! But it will be ideal for my restricted work-space.IMG_2587.JPG

It is a machine designed for die-cutting;probably geared towards people who like to make their own greeting cards. But a couple of professional printmakers trialled it as a printing press, liked its performance and posted their results on-line. Blimey! They should get commission – I think the local stores have sold out and I know printmakers overseas have been buying the Xpress.

So why do I not have any samples to show? Too busy watching birds and spiders! Also need to clean old plates and cut new ones and mix new shellac. But I will share my results.

Did I say “spiders”? Yes, I did. Having “lost” 3 to bird dinners, I was chuffed to find another good-sized Nephila pilipes . And a young (quite small) one had the temerity to make a web from the front of the Mustang to the house supports! The Man needed to move the car so I had to move the spider. I carried her across to a part of the garden where others have had webs and at last sight she was in the big cycad.

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I’ll leave you with one more picture from the garden…IMG_2625.JPG

A small chrysalis. Nope, don’t know whose.If it goes to term I’ll let you know.(I’ll also manually remove that  white mess. Damned scale!)

 

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Not Christian? Never mind, I still wish you health, happiness and a much, much better year than this has been.Wherever you are, whatever you believe, may it not lead to bloodshed.