Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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

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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 …

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




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



Well, ready to do battle with a couple of onions and some parsley…


We’ve had this magnetic knife holder for a couple of years and today The Man installed it.Why did this take so long? Mostly we were not certain where any live wires might be! And that short bladed chap on the left? Used to be longer until She Who Shall Not Be Named used it on a coconut…

Not a lot to write about , but I thought I might show some recent pictures.

The passion fruit vine which was slugging it out with the wisteria and Petrea volubilis is producing fruit.In fact, we’ve eaten several already and might have had more were it not for some late night thievery.I suspect possums.empty shell.JPG

Several empty “shells” litter the garden…  

Here’s one that we’ll have!IMG_2488.JPG


Two of the jasmines are doing well after the unseasonal rain.


Jasminum officinale (above) and J. sambac (below)


The Man called me outside this morning to see this…IMG_0206.JPG

And here’s a finger (mine) for size comparisonIMG_2480.JPG

When I find out what it is I’ll let you know.Meanwhile, if any of you can ID it, fire away! 

Mr Google tells me it’s the larva of the Four O’Clock or Peacock moth  we found a few weeks ago! Dysphania numana for those who need to know.



Callistemon. I think its label called it “Green Ice”



I’ll leave you with this Dendrobium orchid. Mr/Mrs Caterpillar has munched through its leaf and now it’s our turn to eat…





…when the thermometer climbs above 30.

The cats have already hi-jacked  helped me out with Jane’s “flowers in the house.” And I had a coffee break and looked at some of the other floral delights on her blog. Well, I felt  a bit deflated, didn’t  I? So I admit I stole  borrowed Deb’s clever idea and snipped some sprigs of rosemary. But what to put with them? Hmm…something I have never tried before so have no idea how long before the Cape Primrose drops its petals, but here it is, with some white Penstemon.

2013-10-21 05.55.06


And one of the ginger-y  Tapeinochilos which hangs over the pathway was snapped so I trimmed it back and added a stem of shell ginger (that’s a current menace at the back gate as it’s crawling with green ants-ouch!)

2013-10-21 05.56.08


A very paltry contribution, Jane, but things are grim just now. Also, I’m cutting back a lot so that the tree chaps can get in to remove the trees.

And yesterday, I had a little surprise in my mail box – another book in the BookArtObject exchange. I think this completes my group swaps, but, to be honest, we’ve been going for so long on this round I’m really not sure! But here’s a peek …

2013-10-21 05.58.13 2013-10-21 05.58.36


And that’s all for now, folks.* I still have some palm trash to drag away from the back pergola and I think making pastry before my hands get bloody and grubby is a good idea, don’t you!



*was it Bugs Bunny who said that?



…this blog was 5 years old. W’appen? How did a whole year slip by so fast?

Traditions. Are they outmoded fancies? Relevant markers of important occasions? Should Dinah have an annual give-away to celebrate the fact that she still has a blog and readers?

And, should there be a great clamouring from the gallery, what should she give away? Cole Porter springs to mind here!

Another new banner. Croton leaves, this time. Apart from the vibrant colours, I love that all these different colours and patterns are on the same plant! I bet if I walked down the street wearing  such a mish-mash people would think (probably say!) “Poor old bat has no idea how ridiculous she looks!” But I get away with it in the garden.

Dwarf Heliconia (crab claw)

I love the bright blue seeds! They are beginning to lose their “blueness” now as they mature.

Peace lily Spathyphyllum. Generally called a Peace Lily, but I’ve no idea why. (I did ask Mr.Google, but he was no help.) Anyway, mine was overcrowded in a pot so, once we started to do something along the side fence I split it and brought both pots to the front. Oh boy! Both are flowering madly. And, so far, not objecting to having  more light. Confused creatures, like the gardener.

Clerodendrum ugandense

Clerodendrum ugandense  With the common monica of “blue butterfly bush.” Wonder why? This  is relatively young, so only about 20cms (8″) high, but it will eventually reach 1 metre or maybe more.

Right! So let’s consider this anniversary. If you think we should have a give-away, leave a suggestion in the comments. Yes, I am making you do the work! You can’t expect to wander in and have it all laid out on a plate! What am I – Liberty Hall!

When I hit the “publish” button, WordPress took me by the hand and led me to a page with a quote. Just for me! “I am a drinker with writing problems.”

(That’s Brendan Behan, in case you wondered.)



…  from my friends. And from my garden.

When I started gardening here (ten years ago.Ten years? Waappen?) I made some pretty silly mistakes. Mainly because it was my first experience of tropical, as opposed to sub-tropical, planting. And also because I thought, smarty-pants that I am, that 50+ years of gardening in other places made me something of an expert. Wrong!

Anyway, one of the plants I bought, trusting my own judgement and believing the label that it would perform brilliantly was a Viburnum odoratissimum

Bloody thing has been growing here for, what, 8,9 years and never shown any inclination to flower. I left it there since it filled an ugly gap. But I’ve been in a ruthless mood and have consigned armloads of stuff from the closet, the studio, the pantry to the various bins and yesterday I headed across the drive with my heavy-duty ratchet loppers and a determined mind-set.

Hacked a fair bit of branchy stuff off and was about to go in low when something caught my eye…

Buds! Flower buds on the recalcitrant Viburnum! And I’d done such a hatchet job the poor thing was ill-balanced! Never mind, a short session with secateurs and I’ve restored some shape and discovered more emergent buds. I also stank. People, if you want to plant this, take my advice and do NOT plant it where anyone will brush against the foliage. Horrible foetid pong.

Of course, spring in these latitudes is not what most of us think of. If I’m in the mood for daffs I wander around the blogs. Elephant’s Child is a good place to start.

But I do have a few stalwarts, beginning with the Hippeastrums. The dark reds are always first, with pink-and-white closing out the season. One had its stem snapped, but that was no problem – The Man had obligingly finished a bottle of port and the tall, black bottle was just the ticket!

And because I’m a sucker for blue-purple flowers I picked some Angelonia, some Duranta and Petrea. Angelonia very obligingly roots in the vase, but the others sulk and drop their petals after a few hours. Never mind. They are pretty when fresh.

And right now, pretties are scarce around here. I have picture frames all over the place as I sort work for a small exhibition. Yes, I will tell you more about that next time. Right now, I am threatened with mutiny by two cats if I don’t throw them bone…A bone each, that is.

Trachelospermum jasminoides(web picture) is in bud and another of the jasmine tribe ( whose name I forget, but may be J.nitidum) is halfway up the tamarind…

and probably needs to be pulled into line. One day. And the one by the front stairs  …

…is slugging it out with a rubbish common fern. Both ideal in this position as they are about the only things that can stand up to rain storms and look or smell good.

And a final word on flowers…the banner is a picture of wallflowers. Can you smell them? I can! Memory is a powerful thing.



UPDATE: No time to re-write, so pop over to the cats’ blog for the story

What a good thing I don’t sign up for those silly post-a-day blog things! You want regular, try prune juice.

Driving through pot-hole-y road works (yet again!) last week with my box of arty bits securely wedged so ink or oil or tools would not fall out…I discovered this morning that while it didn’t actually spill, the linseed oil was somewhat shaken . So I unscrewed the cap and wiped the threads (a thin layer of linseed can dry like glue) and reminded myself as I pushed my hair out of my eyes that I need a haircut. I’m  “The Girl With the Flaxen Hair!”

It’s been a funny old week. I spent several days planting things in the spaces left after tree removal. Just low-growing fillers as I don’t want to risk bigger shrubs and trees at this time of year. Apart from the punishing heat,  there is always the risk of severe storms and I am a little concerned that we now have some mighty big wind funnels in this yard! Time will tell…

Elsewhere, politics has hogged the headlines. Yes, I have some firm opinions and waspish comments, but I don’t “do” tub-thumping here. Well, not much! But I certainly don’t want a star-spangled banner as a bulls-eye on the national arse! Mr. Obama can come back and have a little chat about parking his nukes in Darwin Harbour AFTER he’s hauled his troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. OK?

I think I’d better go back to Youtube and find something  lighter… like these chaps

In all my zipping about I had no opportunity until yesterday to pull over and grab a quick pic of this:


         Hardly a “mystery picture” although some readers who live in city apartments may be scratching their heads.

Off to the library now. Oh god! the excitement!  🙂