We have been busy. Still clearing some areas of what I laughingly call “the jungle.”

This morning I braved the back steps up to the boundary line and discovered…flowers on one of the (many!) crotons!


This is not far from the Grevillea, revealed when The Man chopped some overgrown ,weedy stuff a couple of weeks ago.

Grevillea insignis

I did start counting crotons…that sounds like a remedy for insomnia. Perhaps it is! But I gave up – they seem to be everywhere! Not that I’m complaining as they are so colourful and such hardy plants, especially in a “wild” sort of area. The experts will tell you they need regular, deep watering, blah-blah. Well, not here! Most of these plants have been here for 20+ years and survive on rain which, in the monsoon season, can be much more than mere “watering.” Tough as old boots! But I will lay a soaker hose along the top boundary and hope we don’t need to have a hose ban!

Another Croton (with bonus moccasins!)

And a Croton, with “modified” leaves

There is a row, almost a hedge, of Raphiolepis indica in front of the deck. A few months ago I started pruning it, then we had a decent couple of rainy days and it flowered! So I left it for the bees. But I will try to reduce it somewhat before the wet season.


And two or three Draecenas are flowering! Useful fillers and, if you’re lucky enough to have flowers, deliciously scented. A bit ( to my nose, anyway) like clover. The thing is, they are not what I’d call reliably performing bloomers! All sorts of insects work them for nectar. And their strappy leaves are often chomped!

Dracaena flowers

And, since I’ve used the chomp word…I used a few other colourful words yesterday when I discovered that almost ALL the flower buds on a new Callistemon had been chomped, presumably by a caterpillar, though I couldn’t see one. Bastard! I only bought the plant last week and was very much looking forward to…this. Oh well, fingers crossed.

Callistemon “Dawson River”

The big pot of Eucharis lily is flowering. I will probably keep it in a pot (maybe split it when this flowering is over), but yesterday I noticed a hitherto unseen white flower just off the deck. A careful tug of some other things revealed another Eucharis!

Eucharis lily
The second one, not planted by me!

Two of the papaw trees are fruiting, but whether we’ll get any ripe fruit is a 50-50 gamble. Possums, birds and bats also love pawpaw!


One more picture before you nod off, bored to death? Oh, alright! Here’s Grevillea “Moonlight.” Long overdue for a serious pruning, but, being about the only thing keeping the birds and bees going we hadn’t the heart!

Grevillea “Moonlight” probably around 20’/6m


Yes, I have been a bit quiet. But I am back at the coal face. Ooh! I shouldn’t say things like that. People might think I voted for the idiot that wants to sell what’s left of this country to foreign mining interests!

So…not the coal face. Back in the saddle? Haven’t got a horse, but I think you get the meaning.

There is no easy way to explain my absence. So I’ll just tell you, briefly, that Stanley has gone. We did not know that his heart was enlarged. It just couldn’t keep going. But, man! he packed a lot into his short life!

His friends sent this gorgeous bouquet for him.


Or, as is more likely to be heard in the northern parts of Australia: “Strewth! It’s bloody hot already!” Indeed it is. Some areas are getting the storms and some are getting left out.

I went with a couple of friends yesterday to see some linocuts which had been printed by a road roller. We drove south, watching the darkening clouds, quite expecting to get wet, but the clouds rolled away and dropped their load somewhere else. What I call Clayton’s storms.*

And the prints we’d expected to see were not on display!  We’d got the date wrong. Oops! So next week, perhaps we’ll try again.

There was a small exhibition by two local artists and the local handcraft store was open and we found a place to have some lunch so it was not a wasted day.

We were having lunch the other day when the garbage truck roared up the street and it was not our usual platypus-decorated one.So I grabbed the camera and raced out, bare feet hopping on the hot stones,just in time to catch this


A bit fuzzy, but this truck ‘s scene depicts the Mackay Marina. I wonder how many cities have such swish garbage trucks?

In my last post I didn’t think to mention how I carry my alcohol. Literally speaking! In England a few years ago, I often popped into a small supermarket near my bus stop and got a couple of bottles of wine and some cheese, olives, grapes. The small necessities of life. And this supermarket is one that sells mostly “Fair Trade” comestibles.They also sold strongly-made cotton canvas six- bottle bags and I brought two back with me.They’ve been in regular use for over three years and show no signs of wear.Wish I’d brought more as everyone seems to want one!

Anyway, yesterday, I spotted thisIMG_0497.JPG

A two-bottle wine bag with a sense of humour. Mr LX, I’m sure your machine could do this! 🙂

I’m on watering duty for my neighbour and it’s time to swap out some hoses so I’ll leave you with a quick pic of a new Callistemon in my garden. It’s called Taree Pink, should any locals want to plant one. This is an accurate photo of its colour.IMG_0495.JPG


And the title of this post? Here’s a little musical accompaniment. I think you can follow the old English.Feel free to join the singers. Perhaps even skip about.

I’m going to christen my new pizza stone. Thanks for the tips, Mr.LX




*the storm you have when you’re not having a storm  see here: