Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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




The Oncidium “Mayfair Trinity” has finally opened and has been a very cheering sight on the rainy days we’ve had. But lordy! difficult to photograph indoors as it matches the paint colour!



So I chose a moment between showers and took these on the back deck.

No discernible fragrance with “Mayfair,” but the Midnight Blue is deliciously scented.


Not what I’d call midnight blue, but let’s not quibble; it was darker in bud.

I was at a garden centre buying potting mix and spotted a lovely “red thing” which looked promising.The  *&*$#!!ing label merely called it “Flaming Beauty.” Turns out to be Carphalea kirondon, “Flaming Beauty.” I snipped off one stem and popped it into a small bottle with a sprig of Clerodendrum nutans (which is not known as a cut flower) and for a day they looked nice.IMG_3015.JPG

The Carphalea’s flowers are the tiny, white things.The “flame” is properly called bracts.

Ooh! hold the press…I’ve just picked a whopping soursop…

The Man called me to help relocate a spider whose web was attached to the car and he didn’t want to break it.So, spider relocated, I thought I’d just check on the soursop. Wow! I haven’t actually tested it for ripeness for a few days and it’s just as well I did it today or the thing would have plopped very squishily into the garden.


Yes, it’s a big ‘un. Needs an entire crisper bin to itself! IMG_0488.JPG

That’s all for now. I have delivered on my promise of orchids and now I must go to the purveyor of pussy fare…






Writers – What Not To Say

Just in case you wonder why I don’t blog on a regular basis.Also, you were such a slack lot, allowing me to “go with the flow” Well, I did and now I’ll probably be swirling around in this maelstrom for the rest of the decade.
Read this instead

Evie Gaughan

celebration-3301738_1920 Top Tip: You can do a practice run with some old teddy bears

When you write books, people are gonna want to ask you stuff.  It is very important that you LIE when answering these questions.  Lie through your teeth and don’t ever let them find out the truth.  As a helpful resource, I’ve put together a mock interview, a mockterview if you will, to guide you through  it.

  • Do you have a writing routine?

Yes. I like to see how long I can spend not writing before the guilt kicks in.  Then I simply distract myself with the kind of housework I wouldn’t normally do if my life depended on it… like cleaning the oven, descaling the kettle, washing my make-up brushes or, worst of all, clearing out THE DRAWER OF NO RETURN.

  • Where do you get your ideas from?

Right at the back of THE DRAWER OF NO…

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Back again! Just as well I didn’t “make a plan” because, clearly, I’m rubbish at such well-ordered things.

Some pretties from my picture box. (All taken with my little camera)

I mentioned a local orchid show.Well, we went, we saw and one of us was smitten. There was a rather nice orchid with several flowering spikes and many more buds,well worth its $35 tag.

And this is where my title comes into play. The chap selling his orchids was a cash-only chap. There might have been the odd bit of shrapnel, chump change, in the bottom of my handbag.But certainly not $35. So I wandered further along the displays…

No name labels that I could see!


But this gorgeous blue, below, is a Vanda.


I did come home with two smaller plants. Luckily, one of the stall-holders was able to take the ubiquitous plastic!

One is  Bolopetalum , apparently a zygo hybrid, according to one site. I’m still on training wheels in the orchid world! But its varietal name is “Midnight Blue-Cardinal’s Roost”.


The other purchase is an Oncidium “Mayfair Trinity.” If the buds open today I’ll post a picture, though I suspect it will be later in the week.

Never mind! I do now have the Clerodendrum nutans that I just know you’ve all been dying to see. No, Muriel, not NUDE ans. Muriel, put you skirt on!IMG_0452.JPG

And after another few rainy days things have been having a final fling before we move into what we call winter here.

Hibiscus mutabilis. Due for a major cut-back once the flowers finish. Here it is in its early morning pristine white…IMG_0409.JPG

and about half way through the day…IMG_0460.JPG

By about 4pm it will be a deeper pink and the next morning a soggy blob. So pretty! And a most obliging “striker” which is a boon to gardeners like myself.

All manner of bird and insect life is making the most of this late season rain. The Antigonon leptopus (coral vine is one of its common names) is crowded with bees all day.Antigonon.JPG

That’s a honey bee, with a much smaller native stingless bee.Can’t see them? OK The honey bee is directly above the word “native” and the little one above the letter”b” in bee on the first line.

And the Cheilocostus have had a mad late flush, too. This is usually sold as “ginger.” (Right after I clicked the shutter I wobbled off the rock I was balancing on!)ceilocanthus.JPG

This is a great thing for autumn colour. Another obliging striker!

Plectranthus eckloniii


I made a start on cutting down the hibiscus on the back fence…IMG_0458.JPG

And now I’m off to drag this monster heap down to the carport.

This strange-looking thing used to be called Justicia. Now, apparently, it’s Ontonaema tubaeform. Or possibly O. strictum   And this particular  one has what’s known as fasciation.








No grovelling apologies! No feeble excuses! And, quite possibly, no readers left…

You are all friends and I should not have been so neglectful. So…onward!

About one year ago we felt the wrath of a cyclone and I was not thrilled at the prospect of another, last week. But somewhere up in the clouds the good fairies were working their magic and the beast whirled out to sea.

Getting back to the topic of blogging…I have been pondering the state of this platform for a while now. Some of the “old guard” are still active, but so many changed horses and went to those “other places.” Yes, those. And many seem to communicate only via Facebook and Twitter, while others use Instagram for photos.

But in recent weeks I’ve heard a whisper of , what shall we call it? Dissatisfaction? Discontent? Some wonder whether blogging really did die out and some speak of a Great Revival.

I still read good blogs and I’m in touch with several of you via email and even the Ancient Snail reaches me sometimes!

But I have other things that call on my time. And, perhaps the major factor, I find I have nothing much to say on the blog that is not a dusted-off repeat of “what is flowering in my garden.”

To this end, I’ve been wondering about a complete overhaul of Idle Thoughts.But you know me – I’m great at shucking stuff onto someone else’s plate!

I did wonder if a once-weekly post, like our friend in NYC writes so well, was the way to go. Or perhaps a pictures-only post, also on a weekly basis. And, of course, the comic strip never did get off the ground! maybe a Musical Moments, which works well for one of us…

But, getting back to this business of making you make my decisions…let me know your thoughts on this.

And while you’re thinking, here’s a little colour…


Brugmansia. I cannot exaggerate how happy I am to see this flowering! Another blogging friend sent me some cuttings AGES ago and I had so many disasters with them I thought I’d never get this far. The evening perfume is worth all the travails!


Carissa macrocarpa

I think I rescued this shrub from what we call the “Death Trolley” in a hardware store (that ubiquitous Big Green Box-yes, that one!) ages ago. It’s growing right beside the driveway and I keep it clipped or it would be squashed by tyres whenever we get the car out! It’s had a few white, starry flowers, but other than being tough I couldn’t sing its praises. But last week – I saw this smaller-than-golfball size fruit and thought birds had dropped a wild fig.  Nope. This fruit was growing on the Carissa (identified by my South African friend in New York -see how wonderful the cyber world can be!) and I left it for a few days then weakened and picked it and ate it! I daresay it would be good in jam or chutney, but a single plum does not a chutney make! It’s flowers are pretty and sweetly scented. But if you do plant it, beware its vicious thorns!IMG_0404.JPG

Our wonderful recent rain has done its magic thing and the Clerodendrum nutans, which has sulked and generally behaved like a teen-ager is flowering! When the camera battery has recharged I’ll take a picture….

Well, I was a bit out in my expectation of “flowers” It’s still not open! But here’s a snap anyway IMG_0408






Those who have hinted that I may not be  compos mentis can form a queue to apologise. My marbles may have been temporarily misplaced, but they were NOT lost.


Did you ever read the Kapeks’ play about insects?  Karel and his brother, Josef Kapek wrote a satire which kept popping into my mind as we battled black ants.Again. We’re still battling. In fact, if we win anything it will be a minor skirmish, not the war…

And this is how I found my marbles, at the back of a cupboard where I kept seldom-used baking trays and dishes.

Oh! Something else came to light during this de-anting of cupboards…The Man’s onyx chess men, bought many years ago in Mexico. I’d show you a picture of them, but I’m not sure where we put them! No, wait, I think -yes!IMG_0349.JPG

No, I’m afraid the “black” pieces are NOT tourquoise, just onyx dyed to look like tourquoise.

Time for another ant salvo. I’ll leave you with some pretty things…

IMG_2966 (2).JPG


Cassia fistula.  Neighbours across the street see more of the blooms than we do, but it is lovely.



Mussaenda  Also called Bangkok Rose. Those white bracts are like crumpled silk!

trach jas 2.JPG

And an old favourite, to finish, Trachelospermum jasminoides  Cut back rather brutally last summer when The Man was re-painting, it’s forgiven us and is rewarding us again.





Spiraling Paper Ornament

Paula has (as usual!) an interesting paper construction.If anyone out there has more information, feel free to jump in.And, if you make one, please come back with a link.

Playful Bookbinding and Paper Works

I came across this complicated looking but simple paper structure and have been happily playing around with it for days.

I’ve been able to locate only once source for these, which is at, an exquisite site by German artist Manja Burton. Fact is, her site has enough about these globes that, really, no one else needs to ever write about them again ever, but, oh well, here I go.

Manja calls these Triskele Globes. I have no idea whether these are a traditional paper-folding design, or if she developed it herself. “Triskele” is a symbol which depicts three interlocking spirals. These paper globes appear to be interlocking spirals, but the spiraling is simply a wonderful illusion.

Bonus Update: just as I was about to hit the Publish button for this post, I received a note from Manja, responding to my questions about this structure.  I’ve added her response…

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UPDATE…I found the missing tiki! 

Long time, no blog. I have been doing other things…

One of the “other things” has involved gardens. Most of the gardens here just have to tough it out when rain is infrequent. I do water potted things, like orchids and herbs, but cannot see much sense in buying drinking water (via the annual water rate paid to Council) for plants that just let palms “steal” it anyway.

So, here are some of my simple pleasures…



A Yucca;I’m not sure which one as it’s in a garden down the street!


A pot of lilies that just begged to be added to my cart of groceries one day…They were indoors for a while, then I put them out on the deck where I could water them when I did the herbs’ water routine. Not the intense fragrance of some, but after the sun has been on them it’s a noticeable scent.


“Grand Duke of Tuscany” jasmine. Jasminum sambac  I’ve cut this wretch back to almost nothing and tried to dig it out since it seemed so unhappy.And then we have a good shower and off it goes again. There’s a story about it’s introduction to Western gardens (via the Duke) and I’ll do some research and tell you the tale another day…

Zyzigium wilsoniiIMG_2538.JPG

Syzigium wilsonii  aka “powder puff”. Another that struggled for years and seems, finally, to have settled. We only ever saw one or two flowers, but last Spring there were several and this year it looked spectacular! Of course, I didn’t get in with a camera til the show was almost over! I daresay Mr Google has a better range.

The Sunbirds re-used their little nest attached to the  cord on the front verandah awning and two chicks fledged a few weeks ago. And then…


Sunbirds (not the same pair) began building a nest on a string of chimes over the back deck




Mrs Sunbird is now incubating 1 or 2 eggs.

And now, some of my small treasures…


Chinese jade ear-rings


A brooch of NZ nephrite. It belonged to my maternal granny so probably 19th century.


Another piece of NZ nephrite, left to me by an aunt.


More NZ greenstone. I bought this when I was in my teens and I should probably give it to someone who could wear it as it certainly doesn’t go over my old knuckles!


And this, which I bought from a chap in NZ who does some beautiful carving. I’ll give you his Facebook address  His work is well worth looking at.


A Maori Hei Tiki. Like all Maori artwork, rich in symbolism, in this instance, a fertility charm! And now, having found it, I must get a jump ring for it so i can put it back on a chain.


Alas, not NZ nephrite. Not Chinese jade, though I believe this is from China. I have several and wore them as hair clips before I had my hair cut.I wonder if anyone else has them?

And now it’s almost time for lunch! I’ll close with a picture of one of “my girls.”

Breakfast.Oct 10 .JPG

Nephila pilipes  Yes, a big one, but does us no harm.She’s one of the spiders who spin a golden thread. If you are brave or curious, go here