Anyone else out there who’s fed up with junk mail? We all get it, don’t we? Advertisements for stuff we don’t want, can’t afford and don’t have time for.

Around here, we seem to have three days when the mail boxes are stuffed to the gun’ls. And, usually, I bin these ads for pizza, A-mart sales, K-Mart sales, Target sales, Woolworths specials, liquor store specials, and whateverelse, ad nauseum. Don’t even bother to bring them indoors.

But the other day the junk trash was muddled up with the genuine mail so I put them all on the table. And went off and did something constructive.

The Man sorted the mail that day. “Um…what is this?” he asked , handing me a leaflet and looking a bit puzzled.

Well, wouldn’t you be puzzled?


C’mon, guys! I have two words for you: whisker burns.


In between trying (with limited success, it must be said) to tidy the most overgrown and ratty bits of what we laughingly call a garden…I have found time to scoot around and look at a couple of exhibitions.

First, one at the Botanic Gardens. All prints, this one, and very well displayed. Here’s a slightly less fuzzy picture of mine.


And “Precious Life.” A lino cut by my friend.

Another lino cut by another friend.

Lunch on the deck, overlooking the lagoon, to celebrate a birthday. And then some of us decided to drive up the Valley for a sneak peek at another show.

No point taking 4 cars so we went in mine, after I’d put the seats up and brushed the palm trash off!

Prints, paintings, hand made books, woven items, decorative and practical and some nifty fascinators made by a 12 year old lad. Yes, really.

So, drinks and nibbles, a harpist, lovely art and lots of laughter.

Not a bad way to pass a rainy Sunday.



web image of Humphrey Bogart

web image: tangerine boutique

The lights near the centre of the platform were glaringly bright. Too bright.

But towards the end there was enough “lovers shadow.”

“I wish you didn’t have to leave.”

“I know. I hate being apart, too. But I must go!”

(train whistle; choo-choo sound; steam from engine…)

“Goodbye, darling!” (passionate embrace.)

Director: Stop! Your hats are falling off. It spoils the kiss! Once more, from “Goodbye, darling!”

…how many times did we do this? Just as well the leading man and I were good friends!(No, it was not Humphrey Bogart!)

I was reminded of this just the other day, when I watched a couple of teenage kids, both wearing those ski-hat things. A quick snog and he jumped on the bus and she walked along the street. They didn’t have the problem of brim bumps!

A hat pin solved my problem, but  lover boy’s hat kept slipping. Someone suggested a skull cap under the hat, which we could pin  the hat to. But then it was a rigmarole to remove  the skull cap for when he had to doff his hat.

I think, in the end, we just let his hat fall and hoped the audience didn’t think it mattered!

Tell you what…the back-stage chaps were kept busy with the steam machine!

Perhaps this is why (most) men don’t wear hats today? And perhaps the wearing of hats curbed our manners?

Do you wear hats? I seldom do. Here I am, living in the tropics and I rarely don a titfer. Stupid, really. Especially as I was once a very hatty person. Oh, lord, yes! I remember making a frothy concoction of tulle (red, for goodness sake!) and proudly wearing it to Town one day.

“Town” was a 3 hour bus ride away, so the hat sat on my knee all the way. And about 10 minutes after I’d arrived in Town the sky opened.

When I lived in London I always wore warm, woollen hats in winter and quite often straw hats in summer. The “Sloane Rangers” were always decked out in Hermes scarves, tied-under-the-chin (emulating the Queen!), but that made me look like Laundry Lil.  If I wore a scarf it was a very big one, folded to a triangle  and tied around my head, gypsy-fashion. A bit like this See full size image Or sometimes one of those hippy-fashion  Indian silk numbers, about 2 metres long, which could be wound into a turban.

Hats weren’t the only fashion item…in the “old days” there were gloves, too. When I was a littlie, my mother always wore gloves for a trip to Town. And stockings, well, it went without saying!

Do I miss the old ways?  In this climate ? Not much! I have closet full of sarongs!

But I think what I really need is a closet full of sou’westers and macs. Ziggi…any spares, pet?

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE (because politics is anything but!)

After yesterday’s ballsup ballot in Canberra, I was stomping around, wondering how people could be so self-centred and uncaring of our chunk o’ rock when I received an email from a friend somewhere on the far side of the rock with this link And here’s the URL, in case the link is dodgy.

It made me feel better 🙂

I found something else yesterday that cheered me. On Youtube, yes, my detested  bête noir! Can’t quite remember what I was doing there, but my eye was caught by the word “trout.” So I let my mouse have free rein and it found this for me:

I was among the fortunates at that concert. There was rather a lot of giggling.

Perhaps I have been a little too harsh on Youtube. I wonder what old Franz would think?

In comments yesterday, Hilke said she had trouble seeing my hat. Hmmm…I did a little fiddling with that photo and just did a cut and paste of it so here we go with a “proper” photograph…

I keep my broomstick nearby! 😉


Talk about low-tech shoots! The pink hat is perched atop a stack of CDs!

Want a hat like this? Get a crôchet  hook (medium), a ball of paper string (or kitchen twine) and go for it. Don’t know how to crôchet? I should think a quick Google will remedy that.


I am not superstitious. Wandering through cemeteries never bothered me. I have two black cats. I most emphatically do not believe in ghosts. The only ladders I fear are wobbly ones…but…I’ve had this strange prickling sensation over the past few days. As if someone is standing behind me. Right behind me. Perhaps if I post a more flattering picture of my mother …

Now will you go away, Mod?

Over at the Mancunian Mansion of my blog buddy, Kaz…some people have been reminiscing about former homes. God knows why, in most cases, since some of us lived in some pretty grotty student digs. But, on a whim, I did a little Googling myself. Not letting away too much information, but this should take you to my old stomping ground .Generally called (with much affection) Belsize Village. The horse chestnuts, in summer, were a canopy across Belsize Avenue…

One night, at the cinema up on Pond Street, I saw a charming short French film, which, for a host of sentimental reasons, stays in my mind. Here’s the music…

Did I just post another Youtube ?  Can’t have this becoming a habit! Time for a cold shower, I’d say.


I suppose at least one younger-than-60 reader might ask “why?” Well, kiddies, this is why we have Wikipedia.

No, seriously, I feel I owe at least an explanation, if not an apology, for my absence from the blog.

You see, I, like most women (and even some men!) wear many hats. And lately I seem to have had an over-burden of chapeaux.

many hats1 This, of course, is a regular hat. Sometimes I might get away with calling it a chef’s hat. Mostly, though, I just make things  “look pretty on the plate.”

many hats 2_Well, the easel is a bit of a fib since I’m not a painter (can you tell!), but my artistic trials continue.

The local group of printmakers have just held their inaugural print awards and, following a good reception, we’re hoping this will become an annual or biennial event. But it was not without some heart-stopping moments! I suppose organisers of any exhibition have similar “now what?” crises. Which, in the end, are mere blips on the radar. Not every blip is an in-bound meteor!

many hats 4I’m ashamed to say it’s been a l   o   n   g time since I wore this hat with any degree of professionalism. But Idid a little judicious pruning of the calendar and managed to get a few more pots of herbs started, ripped out some disgracefully overgrown, weedy shrubs and old annuals, had The Man take a serious saw to some kind of scrawny tree ( wild fig, I suspect), cut away the last of the passion fruit vine and whooped in excitement at the first tomato flowers. Then stamped and cussed when something ate them. 😦

I binned a leakier-than-necessary soaker hose, put in a new one…then had to race around looking for the cigarette lighter.*  But, slowly, the trash I can’t compost is being hauled off to the tip and I feel virtuous.

many hats 3_0004Hmm…my teaching hat was side-lined while we sorted the print exhibition, but I’ll be back in the classroom tomorrow….

unless I have to don another hat…

…and I have no idea how to draw whatever hat a motor mechanic’s gofer wears. But I’ve been wearing one of those, too. And very soon I hope to have a picture to show you of the shiny “new” Mustang!

2009_0127julymustang0006In the meantime, instead of a bikini-clad bimbo draped across the bonnet, a la motor show (or Mr. Clarkson’s dreams)…

A few posts back, Ronell mentioned in comments that she’d love to see cane harvesting. Well, there are still a few fields being cut and I managed a very rough sketch of one on my way home the other day.

For those who have a romantic idea of cane being torched, then lines muscular men swinging blades…sorry! they don’t do it that way now. Nope! Today the cane farmer has an enormous machine, with two worm-screw things  which push into the cane and, as they turn, the screws carry the stalks up into a chopper wotsit (I’m talking technical stuff here) where the leafy waste is stripped and blown clear through a cowl, leaving the “good” part (the stems) to be discharged into  a waiting trailer. The trailer is hauled by a tractor and I guess it must take some nifty co-ordination to have the trailer under the spitting-out-part when it’s doing the spitting-out. I’m sure if you Googled you’d find  even more technical explanations.

But it’s sort-of like this. Sort-of…cane harvest

And now it’s time for the chapeau de chef again. But first – the sommelier…  


*Being non-smokers, we only have one lighter (for incense and mosquito coils) and I needed it to seal that leaking hose.

** There was some wine left over from the opening night and I brought it home to “cellar” until we have another celebration. Someone rather unkindly remarked that having me look after the wine was rather like putting Ronnie Biggs in charge of trains!