Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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


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KAMBERA…

…or Canberra.  Kambera is a word meaning “meeting place” in one of the native languages and may have led to Australia’s capital being named Canberra. But there is no hard and fast evidence for this, which I find rather sad. I can understand names being muddled in the early days of colonisation [in any country], when even English spellings were barely standardised. But Canberra only became the official name in 1913! A tip of the hat would have been nice…

But I don’t really want to tread that path, fraught as it always is.

I want to tell you a little about my recent visit to the Capital.

Now, some of you know that I met and was royally hosted by someone whose blog I’ve followed for several years. Yes! Another blog-meet. And from the airport pick-up we both felt like old friends.

We share so many interests I wonder sometimes if we are not,somehow, kin.

So, my first time in ACT and my head was swinging from window to window as we drove out. Most of the wattle (Acacia sp) was past its bloom, but I still saw enough for “wattle fix.” I can imagine what it must be like late winter/early spring. Here’s a link to just one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_baileyana.

Jazz, the resident cat, must have known a stranger was coming – he hid in a closet! Eventually, he decided I was not a Major Threat and even allowed me to play with his ribbon …20181012_155443.jpg

There were birds! Oh yes! Regulars at the feeders kept us highly entertained. Currawongs, magpies, pigeons, king parrots and even bearded ravens. Most of my photos still need editing so you might have to wait a while.Here’s one of the male Kings (Alisterus) being hand-fed.king male

And then there were  gardens. My kind of gardens. I’m not going to overwhelm you with photos, promise! But just look at this wisteria! And that’s only SOME of it! 20181012_100202.jpg

 

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is an old favourite of mine.It loves cold winters or I’d probably go a bit  mad with it here!

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A pure white Aquilegia in Sue’s garden

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Flowering quince  Chaenomoles japonica  Another one that likes a colder climate.

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I will share more another day, but here’s another wattle/Acacia. Just because. No, I don’t know which one!20181012_095014.jpg

And something I loved…just around the corner someone has set up a street library, with a notice inviting people to help themselves to a book and to add books to the shelf if they wish to. Thoughtfully draped in plastic sheeting to keep books dry and topped with this splendid fellow…

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Next time, I’ll take you to the zoo!

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BACK HOME AGAIN

Yes, I have been travelling again. And I’ll tell you about some of my travels, beginning with the new header. This is a view, looking west along Asling’s Beach in Eden, NSW.

But before I got to Eden (oh, go and look at a map…) I spent a couple of days in Brisbane with an old friend …

We were neighbours when The Man and I rented  the house next door to her. She was a keen gardener and our many trips to garden centres, garden parties and gardening discussions probably saved my sanity. There were other things…ginger beer, bread-making various kitchen experiments come to mind

Brisbane seems hell-bent on becoming like Los Angeles…traffic is appalling, it’s often smoggy and buildings are getting taller.

But there is a good bus service operating from  (relatively) close to where my friend now lives. So we parked the car, hopped on a bus and went to Brisbane City Centre. First stop was a concert, put on by the Council for old folk. I think they banked on the fact that most old people are deaf! The sound levels were waaay off the scale and the featured singer screeched. We left after a couple of “songs” and wandered off in the direction of Southbank.

And half way down a main street, H. showed me a Thunbergia mysorensis – alongside some delphiniums, which I thought surprising! It’s  native to the tropical parts of India and ought to do well here, but I’ve never seen one  locally. Maybe I should address that …

I cannot seem to get a link to work, but try Google Images

On to Southbank, site of Expo, 1988. Today, a lovely place to wander or cycle or even run, if you’re that way inclined. Huge trees along the river and garden areas with some seating. And it’s the permanent home now of the giant Ferris wheel. Why the numeral 7  in the hub? I’m guessing that Channel 7 tv is a major sponsor.20181009_112745.jpg

We passed an elderly man (Chinese, I think) squatting  beside the river with a fishing pole. No reel, just a fixed line and old, practised hands gently manipulating it. 20181009_113207.jpg

I’ll leave you with one of the popular areas of the old Roma Street  rail yards. A display, beside a pond, of Brugmansias.20181009_132745.jpg

I’ll be back, maybe tomorrow, maybe later, with more “eye candy.” What’s that you say? I haven’t posted anything funny? Oh, alright. Just as a special treat for loyal readers…20181009_123542.jpg


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A HISTORY LESSON

Because too much of our past is slipping by unrecorded and uncared- about.Tweets don’t last! But I have found a most entertaining record from England’s Tudor times. Seems there were other dangers, besides the risk of the executioner’s axe or incarceration in The Bloody Tower.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13762313

I’ll certainly take extra care next time I go prancing around a maypole. Or play Christenmas games!

Sporran hi-jacked my laptop yesterday, claiming unfair monopoly, and wrote a post on the cats’ blog. I wish she’d take over all my secretarial duties!

And several people have asked for my no-knead bread recipe. Well, I use the method of Carol Bates, with a bit of Dinah-tweaking. And I don’t want Carol sending the Copyright Police after me so I’ll just give you a link to her site.   If you thought baking a simple loaf was just too laborious I urge you to try this.

I was introduced to Carol’s method ‘way back in the early 1980s. My then neighbour had bought a bread-making kit and the method was so easy-peasy  and the recipes so delicious I bought my own book from Carol.

And it’s nigh on impossible to “go wrong” with this  bread. I recall a day when my neighbour had put her bowl of dough on the roof of her laundry, several steps lower than the kitchen and in a beautifully sunny spot. Then she nipped out to the shops, forgetting about the dough. Dear God! That bowl of flour, yeast and water turned into a heaving, oozing mass, escaping its bowl and threatening a rooftop takeover!

                                                                                            Invasion of Dough-Heads?

But H. , on returning from her shopping foray, simply scraped it back into the bowl and put it in a cool place til it recovered. The resultant loaf was fine.

We did have some yeasty adventures. The ginger beer story can wait for another day.

I actually sat down at my other keyboard on Saturday! I am unlikely to be offered a Carnegie Hall gig, but I managed to find all of the notes in a short practice piece. Some of them in the right order! Of course, I have had some training from the most excellent Mr. S. Fry. 😉


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DRYING OUT SLOWLY!

In our part of the world we’ve been more fortunate than some, but we have had some very heavy downpours.

Yes, I know it’s our “wet season” and I know we need good rainfall to flush algae from waterways and top-up reservoirs….but jeepers! enough with the mouldy stuff , OK?

I’m beginning to feel like a character from a Somerset Maugham novel!

My chief concern is that I can only proceed slowly on the books. I don’t want to have too many damp pages at once. So how do I manage? Well, I think Heath Robinson would probably have come up with a better contraption, but I use this:

With ceiling fans whirring gently (as opposed to clattering like mad helicopters) it does help. Of course, it’s in the middle of the floor. And a great temptation to little black furballs. But, like Mr. Hobson‘s clients, I have limited options! And I can’t use this when drying glued pages.

But I’m not the only one suffering. If you’re interested you can read more about this “project” on our blog.

And for further notes on the daily doings Chez Dinahmow, the cats can help.

Back to work…


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THE CATABLOGUE FOR GINGER CATS

Contrib: Rusty

Dinah tells us about these many ginger cats she sees at the place where she swims. So we tell her to make contact and bring us proof, not that we think she is making free with the truth, but people do not always have the same perception as we cats; indeed, people are given to exaggerations on many occasions, such as the stories they tell about sporting victories and the reasons for not returning from the Emporium with what we consider to be sufficient supplies of Crunchies and Jellimeat.

It seems there are, indeed, “many” ginger cats.

ginger cats at pool 1Breakfast (Just waiting in case she leaves any…)

playing with a plastic forkA discarded plastic fork provided kitten fun.

after breakfast washA good wash after breakfast is important and if you can find a sunny spot, all the better.

after breakfast snooze…all the better for snoozing, too!

2009_0220snake0004This is as close as you’re getting, Two Legs Person!

Dinah says she has counted 7 ginger cats and I say this is a Ginger Fellowship and the Lady  Boss says there more than 7 and she says it is a Conspiracy! She also says that she would like to catch these Fellows (Ginger Order) and take them to the Person-Whose-Name-We-Do-Not-Speak, thus ensuring that the Fellowship will be limited to present members.

Rusty.

GGGGGGGGGG

And at this point, I reclaim my blog…

It’s been a run of break-downs and blow-ups and various failures Chez Dinahmow…the microwave (marvellously handy place to hide food from Feline Thieves as they can’t open the door!) ping-ed and arc-ed so I’m guessing its magnetron is kaput. My sewing machine went pffft! and belched smoke yesterday in what could be a blown motor or, more likely, since it’s engineered by Swiss genius, burnt circuit board and the bonnet hinges on the Mustang need replacing.

I felt I could use a little cheeriness…and look what was on my doorstep when I came home from the pool……a parcel of sketchbooks! The exchange we began a year ago. This is my book, all finished except for the cover.


2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0001My opening page

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0002…and the facing page.

My book then travelled to Melanie in The Bronx2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0003who added this embroidered piece, picking up my black and red colours and swirls and sent it on to…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0004Katie Jane, in Cincinatti, who does lovely stained glass work and has made this page a look-alike.

From Kate  it went international again to Ellen in Mission, B.C.  Knowing my fondness for corvids…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0005…Ellen has added this!

From Canada, the book came back to Australia…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0006…and  Brigitte, again picking up my swirly lines, gave me this and sent the book to Alison…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0007…who added this linoprint, plus…

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an embossed version of the same plate.(difficult to see here)

Alison passed the book to Heather…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0009…for her collaged linoprint.

From Heather to Frankie…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0010…the first half of Frankie’s spread…

…and the second half…2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0011

What a lovely collection of friends and memories! I am so glad we did this and I hope everyone else has had the same frisson whenever the postman knocked.

Sure, some of us feel our artwork  leaves much to be desired, but the whole point of starting this exchange was for fun. I’ve had fun and perhaps, just maybe, my sketching is improving.

Thankyou to all of you who added your colourful, whimsical pages to a book I’ll treasure.

I’ll post pictures of the covers once they are added.

******************

What else is happening in my world? Printmaking. Of course. I am, once again, up to my ears in ink. (see what I mean about the human tendancy to exaggerate? – Rusty.)

Perhaps the cat is right. Perhaps the ink is not quite that deep. But I do have a lot on my plate(s) so the blog may be neglected for a while…

But I’ll be paying a few cyber visits. Oh, thankyou so much for asking! Yes, I’d love a coffee. Straight-up, no sugar. A glass of wine? Don’t mind if I do. Shiraz would be fine, thankyou.

 

 



 


And now, for your delectation, a test of your cognitive abilities. Keep in mind (as I try to now that the birthday cake is going into candle-overload!) that the brain will last longer and wear better with constatnt use and stimulation. So, Auntie Ethel, turn off that stupid  TV show and give your neurons reason to fire. Synap out of it, as a friend of mine says!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? 

 

Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you scroll down.

 

 

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

 

 

2 How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? 

 

 

 

 

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

 

 

 

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. 

All the animals attend …. Except one. Which animal does not attend?

 

 

Correct Answer : The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.? This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

 

 

 

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and 

 

You do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

 

 

 

Correct Answer:? You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the 
Professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.





 

 



 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 



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THE SOOTY PAWS SAGA

continuing the wild and wacky adventures of wildlife carers…

2008_1218oldiestamborine0013

Part of the extensive garden. Sometimes, I actually had roses!


We were not to know,  when Spike had that disagreement with another possum, that we were about to be gate-crashed.

Spike left us early in December and although we half-expected him to come back from time to time, we were not surprised that he didn’t. Nature’s hard-wiring usually beats human “interference.”

Besides, there were other things needing attention. With  holidays looming, the duty roster (we took turns to answer after-hours calls for help) suddenly featured our telephone number more often! And The Man’s mother was coming to stay. I didn’t want calls at all hours while she was here so I did extra time beforehand.

And there was some re-arranging of the spare/sewing/writing/junk room to be done.

Everything ordered and slotting nicely into place, yes? Well, not quite…

When we built the house we stopped  the walls of the central hallway about 18″ short of the rafters (open-plan with exposed ceiling beams), to allow for greater air flow. And to be a bit “different” from most other houses!

Biskit, one of the cats, used to like sleeping on a shelf above the water heater in the bathroom and, from there , she could climb onto the top of the wall and swing from rafter to rafter til she reached the kitchen. Then she’d jump down to the fridge, then the counter, then the floor. Until one day she mis-judged her swing and fell from the ceiling! So The Man added an “extension” piece of rafter, making it too far for her to stretch her paw around. Boy! was she cross at that!

Where was I?  Oh yes…On the opposite side of the hall was the spare room, with a built-in cupboard. Open at the top. And this is the cupboard that was to become the home of our next possum.

At night, with mosquitoes and other bugs bothering us, we closed the doors when the lights were on and opened a back door at lights-out.

Jolly convenient for the New Boy! He’d rock up at about 4am, scrabble around in the kitchen and wake me. I’d grab him by the tail* and take him down the yard, into the goats’ paddock and tell him to “go find a hollow tree!”

And he’d be back up at the house before me!

One morning, after this ridiculous ritual, he went up the wall and over the edge and into the spare room cupboard before I could catch him. I could see the little bugger on the top shelf, blinking at me! And he used the Biskit Method of getting to the kitchen, much to her disgust!

I’d had enough of 4am possum patrols. As far as I was concerned he could stay there. Anyone who wanted to evict him could do it with my blessing. But not my help.

And then Mother arrived and I had to explain that she’d have a room mate. I think she was a bit nervous at first and afraid room mate might mean bedmate!

Sooty Paws (I’ll leave you to figure out how he got that name!) lived with us for about 7 years. Longer than many survive in the wild.

2008_1218oldiestamborine0010The front pergola – aka Possum Highway

* This is not cruel; possums evolved for a life in trees and the muscular tail is used for grasping, swinging, balance. Also, you’re clear of those sharp bits when you are holding the tail!


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Check out my Slide Show!

I was playing around with the “slide” thingummy. I will probably use this to post the travelling sketchbooks when they are done and getting my foggy brain around it seemed a smart move…

So here is my test run. I thought I’d added captions. Clearly, not!

That inelegantly sprawled creature with the white flashes is Sporran. If you can pick Geiger from Sporran in the second shot, you’re a better man than I am! And Rusty, well, you don’t need telling the third one is Rusty, do you?

It seems an easy tool to use so come back another day and I’ll show you my etchings sketches.

And now it’s time, once again, to run the gauntlet of the Friday supermarket crowd. God! I miss real, proper markets!

Yes, I have changed my header. This is  of high  tide in the mangroves at the bottom of my street.