WHAT IS IT? Alcedo pusilla

The clock’s on steroids again!

But I’ve managed to find a ” little bit of spare ” and I have another quiz for you. No cryptic clues this time. What is this?

I’ll give you…a week? Yes, answer next Saturday. MONDAY UPDATE. Well, silly Dinah didn’t clear the label, did she! And clever Miss Scarlet and Christopher and Celia knew how to sort-of cheat. Only a little bit.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Kingfisher  the link has  a little more information. The bird in my photo(yes, Celia, in my hand) had flown into the house and was sitting on a window ledge. Since we have louvres and screen there was no way it could get out, but I managed to drop a napkin over it and pick it up. No harm done and it flew away none the worse for wear.Just as well the Little Black Devils were not around! 

Don’t s’pose anyone’d like to take a guess at the Emmeline reference? A sort of two-for-one quiz. Go on, waste a few minutes!

It’s raining! And most welcome it is, too. Still chilly, but soon well go straight from winter, whammo! into summer. I miss the “proper” Springs of the Old World.

The rain is doing wonders for the terribly neglected garden. There are several  many things that need to be lifted, pruned, repotted, dumped…my excuse is that they must wait until I’ve finished my current art projects, as my hands, like Emmeline’s, must be ” purfickly clean.”

But I was happy to see buds on one of the orchids

I think this is a yellow one.

And...drum roll …I have two “back from the dead” darlings! My rose “Apricot Nectar” was all but gone…sniff,sniff and I decided I’d try lifting it this winter and putting it into a big pot. Even bought some “proper” rose potting mix. Just didn’t get around to it, did I? And then I noticed the tiniest green shoot, low down on the stem. Very low. Oh dear! Had it reverted to root stock? Only one way to be sure – let it grow and see if it flowers. And it did!

I’m so happy. And yes, it will still be lifted and grown in a shrub tub. It may be a valiant little thing, but I’m not taking any more chances!

And my other Great Revival Story is a yellow justicia.

It doesn’t look very spectacular here, but it’s been in a frightful sulk and I was about to consign it to the compost. I think it would be happier and certainly a better performer in  really good soil. Perhaps this, too, will “go to pot.”

And, for once, I remembered to take a photo before they were added to the salad…

Heartsease, Johnny-Jump-Ups, call them by any name, they look beautiful, scattered on fresh greens!

Now I’m hungry!


And does it really matter…?

There, that’s a philosophical poser for you. Why? you ask. Well, I am (once again!) somewhat distracted by other things and when too many pots boil over at once blogging is the first thing to be bumped down the list.

No, that’s not really true, is it? I think the dust bunnies are first to be relegated…

Of course, if I sit here all day pontificating (does the Pope pontificate?) and arguing the merits, or otherwise, of daily blog posts the entire metaphoric pot collection will burn dry.

So, since you all said such encouraging things about my scribbles, here are a few more. That’ll teach you not to be so cheeky, Ziggi! 😉

Yesterday morning was…interesting. Not necessarily fruitful, in terms of artistic achievement, but I did learn something.

It was supposed to be an exercise in basic shapes, pushed and pulled out of the norm. Picasso and the Cubists were supposed to be riding on our shoulders. I think the beggars had swanned off and were sampling the local brew in some dim bodega!

teapot practice 1

We practised on some lovely work by a local artisan, Arthur Rosser.http://www.users.bigpond.com/arosser/

Readers who wander through here regularly will, I’m sure, also wander through Andrea’s blog But if you’re new to “Idle Thoughts” do take a day or so to have a look at her work.

teapot practice 4

And then, tiring of my boring black-line teapots (I was getting a headache, folks!)…

teapot practice 3I threw some colour around. Probably still not recognisably Rosser, but it was fun. I think.

‘nother hat now…

I saw the buds the other day and said to myself: “Self, keep an eye on those.” Then forgot!

But this morning… the buds have opened and it was the perfume that made me look up.


Eucharis amazonica (syn. E. x grandiflora) Daffodil-ish in appearance,though with broad, hosta-like leaves, icy white with a green tinge in the centre and the scent of citrus-spice. Hey! I’m goood– I could write advertising fibs. Oh, wait – I did.

eucharis 3

Mine are in pots, but down near the beach a gardener has masses of them along the driveway, amongst ferns and orchids. Probably naturalised.

And what did I learn from yesterday’s exercise? That angularity is not me! I think I’m hard-wired to scribble and fling loose lines about.

Back soon. Maybe…


Lest any kind folk think I have no vices ( or less kind folk think I’m lacking in virtues 😉 ), let me state that I, being a Libran,* have one of each.

And in combination these make me an incredibly frustrating person to work with at times!

So what are these traits that I can discard any and all other characteristics so nonchalantly?

Procrastination and impatience. Yes, together.

Take this blog, for example…I felt I should write something fresh, but I can’t really sit at the keyboard for long so I kept telling myself “later” and “tomorrow” and “perhaps after dinner” and on and on.Putting off the moment, see.

But the hasty side of me wanted it done and dusted (did I just say the D word!) and so, here I am, at the keyboard. But not writing a pithy or witty post. Just grabbing a couple of photos, which are probably the blogging equivalent of a sop, a dummie for a crotchety baby. Too bad! It’s what you’re getting today, because I’m impatient to get to the pool!

2009_0122gardenhome0004Rainbow lorikeet feeding on Brassaia actinophylla. So far, no more than 2 birds, but when word gets out there will be dozens of them.

ylangylang-in-rainCananga odorata (ylang ylang) in rain. I know I say harsh things about the appearance of this tree and, certainly, I’d never again plant one above a stairway, but now that it’s finally flowering so well…even the dried-up fallen petals are fragrant. Maybe I should add some to the pot-pourri? Oh, wait! I’m a procrastinator!

2005_1001brasnudes0009It’s been sitting in the carport in this crippled state for so long…

steady-as-she-goesWe were all impatient to get the wheels on and roll it out onto the driveway.Geiger had the con. “Left hand down a bit!”

2005_0220mustang0003Eventually, all these shiny new parts will be in their allotted places…

And so, while The Man continues with his project, I return to my self portrait challenge.  Can’t procrastinate any longer! But I still want to swim first! Just a quick few laps.

* When it suits me, I can be a well-balanced Libran. I’m on the cusp, y’see. But I can also (mostly!) be a feisty Scorpio.