Well, admittedly, I’m very much safer than Samuel P. was in London, in 1666, when fire tore across that city.
When the fire storms raced across Australia’s southern parts I was some 2,000 kms from the closest threats.
But we have friends who live in southern NSW, Canberra, Victoria and the Blue Mountains. And I have to say, for the first time ever, that my best link for news was via a Facebook friend. Yes, of course all the TV stations had film crews out there…with super-long lenses and fast getaway transport. And probably a couple of sarnies and a bottle of water!
But I got accurate and up to date information from a book-making buddy, 

And when I say “accurate” I mean filming with a phone camera and wearing a P2  P2 Respirator Mask With Valve (box Of 12)


In other news, I have shingles! But I now have some lovely drugs that take the edge off the pain.Yes, pain. Specifically, nerve pain, especially in upper midriff, lower abdomen and legs.
The lovely drugs also make me feel as if I’ve partied too hard and too long (I wish!) and need to sleep it off.

So I’ll leave you with this little gem, which surfaced when we had a MASSIVE, MONSTER, FAMILY SIZE de-cluttering. Still a lot to do, but we’ll put that on hold as last night’s rain has washed some more sand down to block the storm drain and overflow onto our place… have I mentioned that I hate developers who manage to get Council approval and then blatantly ignore regulations? 

Here is the gem. Who else think this toad looks rather like one of Tove Jansson’s Moomin

With luck and the lovely drugs…I may be back to speed soon.


Oh dear…the rain I thought might have come with Cyclone Dylan last week noodled around, here and there, until yesterday. And then Whoosh!  Heavy rain all morning and after lunch great crashing thunder claps. At 3 o’clock the drain at “that place” behind us could no longer cope.We spent almost 2 hours clearing our drains (me) and neighboring drains (the Man). The thunder rolled away and the rain eased by 5 o’clock. We were lucky.Much luckier than people in Somerset.Or people in Victoria’s fires.Never mind the gas  and oil pipelines – we need a water pipe to take floods away from the flooded to the burning!

Winter Olympics? I could, possibly, have been a medal contender yesterday. I’d been next door, helping in that clear-up and, the path  having been washed downhill and onto the road, I was picking my way VERY CAREFULLY across the lawn. Suddenly, I was on my backside, in a magnificent glissade, finishing with a full back ankle twist and an elbow brake. I’m sure the judges would have been impressed.

The ankle hurt for a while, but is not sprained or broken. And the good news is that a nasty splinter under a finger nail worked its way out when my hands got all prune-y.

Sunshine now so the street is humming with washing machines. Including mine.

But, before I get back to the dirty work, I must tell you about an art swap that is doing the rounds. If you’d like to receive something from me, please say so in the comments. By doing so, you’ll be agreeing to take part  and will, in turn, “pay it forward.”

Here’s the deal:

Step 1 Copy&Paste this (see below) in your latest blog post

* Pay It Forward Art-making Project for 2014 *

I promise to make a small work of art for the first four people who comment on this post and say “YES, I WANT TO BE IN THIS”. A ‘like’ alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.

You must in turn post this on your blog and make something for the person from whom you got this (that’s me) plus the first four who comment on your blog asking to play.

The rules are simple:

– It has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends.

– It can be anything art-based: a drawing/illustration or a conceptual work of art, a photograph, a knitted item, cross-stitch, paper maché – or anything in between.

I’m paying this forward thanks to  Ersi Marina  who picked it up from JackOudyn. Yes, you can be on each other’s pay it forward lists.

PS. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t an artist, try something out, google/ YouTube how to make stuff, step out of those boundaries.

Step 2 For the first four people who comment on your blog entry saying they want to participate, plus the author,you will do an art trade with them that must be completed by December 31st 2014. I would count as the first person, so technically you only need another four. If you find your friends are keen, you can do as many as you want. Similarly, if you do not get four comments within, say, one week, simply swap with those who do want to take part.

Step 3 All forms of art count including creative writing , photography, digital, anything goes! I’ll leave this up until next Monday,Feb.17. You’ll find my email at “about me” so you can let me know your postal address.

I’ll leave you with a rain picture.





I’m hitting my “replay” button today. My blog, my button!

This is from an email exchange, earlier this morning, with a friend who was asking how things are on my side of the world…

I wrote

Yes, when we (ie, everyone) step back from our troubles and look at them on the broader scale…

But right now, that’s pretty hard for me. We had a torrential downpour at tea time last night. The Man was just out of the shower and we were about to have a small glass of Chardonnay and a nibble of cheese before dinner. Man! It rained. I went to the back door and saw a mini-Niagara pouring under the back fence and rooster-tailing over the patio. I think I exhausted all my multi-tongue expletives!

The Man  grabbed a rake and hung over the fence clearing the back neighbour’s drain and I did my best clearing the 3 rain traps along the back and shouting rude words at the other back neighbour (who would not have heard above the noise). Did what we could, slowed it down to a mild deluge and had dinner.

I slept fitfully, constantly alert in case we had to go again.

This morning…water everywhere, of course. This is normal. But The Man had  Mustang parts all over the floor of the basement workshop. 2″ of dirty water are not the best treatment, so we’ve been picking up, mopping up and drying up.

To add to this, we disturbed our

resident possum, who scrambled out from his sleeping alcove (behind the  wall) and sat, watching, unsure whether to make a run for it or sit tight. And then Geiger paddled in, spotted Poss and decided she’d like to make his acquaintance. I’m up to my oxters in dirty, swirling water and about to become the meat in that sandwich.Hoo-boy!

Yes, when we step back from the immediate short-range focus…


This morning’s the first time Geiger has seen Poss up close. Sometimes, the cats watch through the window as Poss heads out on his nightly jaunts. It’s also the first close look I’ve had of this fellow. A young male, he’ll be making his own way in the world, having to fight for, and hold onto, territory and females. Mind you, the mating fights are just that; these guys do their thing and shoot through. No happy-families bonding in possum land!


I really must put the New York Times back in my reading list.(the list was muddled after the last trip to the computer hospital.)

You see, not being a reader of the local daily papers, whose appalling journalistic cock-ups do nothing good for my temperament, I miss a lot of stuff that is “newsworthy” from my viewpoint, if not seen that way by local editors.

So I didn’t know til I read m’s blog this morning that Blossom Dearie had died.

I met her during one of her London trips, back in the 60s. We’d usually have a chat and a coffee whenever she was in town, but then I changed jobs, went abroad, lost touch, in the way so many of us do.

Still, I have fond memories of her. If you’ve never heard her “Bruce” go out now and get it!                                                                                                                         “See you after the show, Blossom!”


Now…the basement puddle has re-puddled so I’d better use my broom for its non-transport purpose…

Have a look at these lighthouses. Couldn’t you just see yourself in one of these? Of course, the romantic in me thinks it’d be fun to live there, but it wouldn’t be long before I got tree-twitchy and had to go ashore!Still, they do have a charm…