Yes, I have been slack in updating things. 

We had a visit from a niece and spent some time showing her local sights. But that will be for another post. Back to Canberra.

Sunday in Canberra is  a market day and we meandered through stalls, some selling handmade wares, but quite a few offering rather tacky clothing, perhaps made locally, but from cheap, hideously-coloured fabrics from somewhere in the north western Pacific. One day, people will wake up to the fact that we have put far too many eggs China’s basket!

These were, somewhat, offset by hand spun and knitted garments. Higher prices, but at least locally produced. 

Something else, also locally produced, caught my attention. Black garlic! How can I not have come across this before? My life has been missing a significant taste treat all these years! Some enterprising chaps have set up a company near a hamlet called Bredbo, about an hour south of Canberra. 

We sampled it at the market. We bought some . We ate most of it at lunchtime! And Sue said she was sure she had seen black garlic in Coles supermarket.Yes! Not the Bredbo garlic, but an import from NZ! (The other supermarket giant does not carry it, but my local branch of Coles does, so for Australian readers, you can buy on-line from Ingelara or the NZ brand).Do yourselves a favour and try some. You can thank me later.

Another highlight of my visit was the National Library. It has a stunning entry, featuring some amazing stained glass. I could write much more about this, but this link will do it far better, and with professional photographs, far beyond my clumsy phone cam attempts (which featured quite a few photo bombs!) 

see what i mean!

I could have spent the rest of the day there, but the weather was not sure it wanted to cooperate, so we cruised the bookshop (!) for a while then went outside to look at the sculptures. Next time I’m there I think I’ll spend more time and with a bigger camera!

The thing about Canberra that strikes me is that its modernity of lay-out allows for  BIG features, some permanent, some temporary displays. And you don’t have to brave chaotic traffic to get close to things.

The steps of the Science Museum feature cut-outs of famous scientists.Here are some…

Marie Curie
and Charles Darwin

Faraday and above him, Newton and the apple.

Some more from Sue’s lovely garden…


Flowering cherry

Rosa banksia alba

Alba again.Just look at all those buds!

And, finally, the bus that carried me up over the crispy-dry Monaro and down to Eden .(see current header)

Bus to Eden


Actually, by definition, shouldn’t “turf” involve green stuff, like grass? Hmm…not very green around here!

However, all will change when the rainy season kicks in . Since coming home I’ve trimmed, weeded and ripped out rather a lot of what I thought of as my garden. And still have much to do!

But it can wait…if I have any readers left I should make an effort and post something,right?

From start to finish, my Vancouver jaunt was fantastic.Yes, even the long hours in a skinny metal tube. Having a window seat (and a small camera in my pocket) was helpful!

Mt.Hood, from 30+ thousand feet. 

Mt. Hood   IMG_4092

Crater Lake which our captain told us is the second largest lake in North America.

Crater Lake  IMG_4093

Interesting places, yes, but I was heading North to meet a long-time blog friend, Andrea. What can I say? Quite a lot, but mere words don’t always express feelings, do they?

We managed to pack in quite a lot over the 10 days. After  catching up with old friends in North Vancouver, and meeting a new friend,Sonya, in New Westminster (where something must have tickled our funny bones!)  Di ande Sonya (1)


we drove East to meet Ellen, who took us to a place I can only call a treasury of rusty old things! I have never seen so many wacky and wonderful collections. Old typewriters, trays of metal type, sewing machines, farming machinery,baby carriages and perhaps the pick of the crop, old electric hair curlers.Yes, really!

curling apparatus


Another day, we took a ferry across to Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, to meet another photography blogger. Diane drove us to several local “top spots” and the cameras all got a good work-out. And for lunch? We ate the best fish-and-chips I’ve tasted in a long time. No pictures, though – we were all intent on  eating!

On the ferry ride back to Tswassen I got a lucky click…


And then Linda and her lovely daughters hit town, after first doing a little exploring in the Rockies. So much laughing, talking and general jollity…the trip we tried to put together last year, to visit Linda in England, didn’t happen so this blog-meet was extra-special.

Andrea,Linda,Kirsty and Freya. (In Stanley Park, looking West, with a bit of Lions Gate Bridge passing through the ears of Freya,Kirsty and Linda.)

Andrea, Linda,Kirsty,Freya.Stanley Park

I fell in love with Vancouver on my first visit. I am still in love.

Huge thanks to everyone who made this trip so much fun. In fact, such fun, I think we should do it again…any takers?


Still busy, folks. And I was reminded today that Monday is a public holiday for most of us. The westerners like to dance to their own music so they salute Her Majesty on a different date. No, I don’t know when and can’t be bothered to consult a calendar.

Anyway, what I’m getting to, in a very roundabout way , is that, despite most people having a day off to celebrate a birthday which was actually almost two months ago, some of us will still have to apply olfactory organs to whetting devices.

But just to keep you lot on your toes…

What is this?

No clues, but I’ll leave it up til Saturday. (No, Nurse, it is not a whalebone corset!)

And for those of you who say you’re no good at guessing, perhaps Messrs. Fry and Laurie might be of assistance. ( I was about to type NSFW in the title line, then realised that might attract some kinky people. And we don’t do kinky Chez Dinahmow, do we? *)

* No, we all go to other blogs for that!

One final observation – had I been the contestant dismissed for being dirty, I’d have claimed a different spelling and meaning.


…so, for your delectation and as a reward for your patience while I was off-line, a further selection of some of me ‘oliday snaps.

Sometimes, the departing soldiers take their toys home. Sometimes not. I have no idea how long the manufacturers expect a tank to last, but this has been a-mouldering in the mangroves for more than 60 years!

It was Kava Night at the hotel and these two fellows are part of a traditional dance troupe who entertained us. The nut shell anklets and the swishy headgear didn’t seem too uncomfortable, but the palm leaf penis sheaths…ouch!

One afternoon, we met this group of kids, dawdling along the shore, en route from The French School. One lad asked if we spoke French and I said: “Oui, mais je ne parlais pas le francais depuis…oh, quarante ans.” Eyes like organ stops! He’d probably never met anyone that old! And in a delightful mixture of French, Bislama and broken English, they told us about the big seeds they’d collected to play with. A knock-down game, perhaps like conkers without the string?

Of course, a holiday is not a holiday without a leisurely lunch at a fine restaurant… and, while we waited for our meal, this was the view. God! Life is tough!

Remember those laundry ladies (previous post) ? Well, after the washing comes the drying. Love those soccer boots!

And that, for a few days anyway, should be a sufficient “fix” for you. I have a couple of art shows looming and very little work ready! So, to the blades, to the blades…

Oh, if anyone wondered why I’d not been blogging, it seems my browser was the problem.

Tales of the South Pacific. (not by James Michener.)

As I see it, one of the world’s problems is a loss of social intercourse.

Come on, be honest, all you folk with automatic washing machines in your houses…don’t you ever wish you had someone to chat with while you’re sorting the socks and going through pockets for any stray “folding” or credit cards or stuff that might shred confetti-like over the whole damn’ load?

These ladies were laundering their linen, talking, laughing and generally having fun while they “worked.” Mind you,the little kid with the boogie board had the aunties in spades when it came to fun. And they were more than happy to have an impromptu photo shoot.

I was fascinated by the intricate sand drawings (in Pidgin: sandroing) which tell cultural stories. Like many communities, these people had no written language before the arrival of Westerners, but they have a long and rich oral and artistic tradition.

This turtle looks “simple.” I challenge you to try to copy it. Oh, by the way, Eddie did this in less than 5 seconds! Of course, if fractals and Celtic knots are your “thing” you’ll be a shoo-in!

Street art? I love it! And the more community-based, the better. We need more of it. Like this:

Great gloopy splodges of cement slapped on the walls then formed and painted. These are on the front wall of the Chief Post Office, Port Vila.

And, oh joy! I went horse-riding! Years (actually 25 years!) since I rode so this was my treat to myself, my companions being less than enthusiastic about VERY BIG ANIMALS.

The ride began with a leisurely walk along the black sand of Mele Beach, then the horses waded into the sea, stirrup-deep and salty water splashed up. (If I’d had the time I could have ,definitely WOULD have taken a longer ride with time for bare back horse-swimming…)

This is Spot, my noble steed. A trustworthy and reliable fellow;a plodder, one might say.I did coax a trot once or twice, but Spot is, these days, reserved for first-timers and elderly ladies so prefers to amble.
Before anyone asks…I have no idea what petals those pink things are.Remember, I was wearing my riding hat, not my horticultural hat.
Yes, I do have some more photos.But, having been computer-less for more than a week, other work is a little backed-up.
Lukin yu, as the say in ‘Vila.



In a few hours, I shall be groping my way downstairs in the dark and heading for the airport. There I will board a plane for Brisbane to make the connection for my flight to….VANUATU.

Go here to see some of the things I’m looking forward to.

Behave yourselves while I’m away! Alternatively,kick up your heels and have fun.I shall!

(waves goodbye to the screen…)

Update… a friend sent me an email with some brilliant pictures of pencil art.’Way too big for Blogger, but I went a-googling and tracked down the artist,Jennifer Maestre. Try this:


Remember what I said about windows and reflections? Well, I finally took these off the wall to get a halfway reasonable shot! And still not the best!

This is a watercolour by Harvey Stone, a local artist. A kite, I think.


A New Zealand stitchbird, Notiomystis cincta, called ‘hihi’ in Maori. For more information, go to :

This is my first attempt at etching! It’s a proof which I floated on red paper as a birthday card for P. I wrecked the plate while trying to “add a little background interest” so this is pretty much the Alpha and Omega.
However, a couple of weeks ago I came across my original cartoon for this so perhaps I’ll do a photopolymer print…

And that is all I have to show you today, folks. We do have more pictures, but you’ll just have to wait!

One more clue to my holiday destination?
Oh, alright… go here: