….Callistemon  (probably C.viminalis) 

This is the photo of an emerging flower I cropped …


…and this is the flower fully open.

Elephant’s Child was so close with her guess! And I know Carol is going to do an acrobatic trick and kick herself in the pants!

These photos were taken in my friend’s garden in Spain.


The Man has been out of town for a week. He asked me to put the covers on the Mustang last Sunday when it had cooled down from its drive home from the Marina. “Yes, dear.” He didn’t actually say I was not to drive it….

But he’s home again. Damn!


I think someone must have been feeding a butcherbird as one came and sat on the deck rail when we were having lunch and made it quite clear he expected  a hand-out! I don’t want to encourage him as the cats’ ancient instincts would kick-in  in a second.And I don’t like feeding wildlife, as I’ve said before.* When Sporran came out to ask for her own hand-out, the bird skraarked and flew to a tree. They eye-balled each other from a safe distance for a while then the cat wandered off to have a snooze and the bird, with no free meal forthcoming, also left. But it was lovely to see and hear him.(Or maybe her; they look the same.)

The Man often brings me gifts  when he returns from his work trips. Yesterday, it was a dead butterfly. Be honest now, guys, how many of you would give your ladylove  such a precious gift? I identified it  from a web picture this morning.It is, or was, a Tailed Emperor,Polyura sempronius.


...and back.

Well…this is a pathetic little offering, isn’t it? It’s actually taken several hours to write this, ducking in and writing a few lines, ducking out again to deal with other things, in and out like a fiddler’s elbow.

Perhaps I should leave you with a tasty morsel…some of you will have seen this, but it might be new to others. Guess what Dinah wants to try next!

*Edited to add a few facts. Feeding wild critters. I know it’s a buzz to have a bird sit on your hand and accept food or to feed cute animals like possums or kangaroos, or have deer so tame the fawns will graze on your lawn. But we shouldn’t do it.

It encourages (in some cases) dependency, fearlessness and often illness from being fed inappropriate foods. And it can lead to spread of disease. Case in point? People  here often feed honey to birds. It is not a natural food for them and can lead to a range of problems.And putting out honey attracts honey bees.If the honey is infected with a bee larval disease this is then transported back to the hive, where it wipes out larval-stage bees. Harmless to adult bees and animals, including human, it’s devastating to apiarists.

But my greatest irritation is the taming of wild creatures. This is not domestication, which takes place over generations of selective breeding, it’s just plain damn’ silly. The animals become bold enough to stick around for their hand-outs and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see how quickly bigger animals come for their “hand-outs” of easy meat.

By all means, put out fresh water for birds, but make sure the dish is cleaned regularly and please, don’t put it where predators can have easy access.

Plant  the sort of garden that includes natural food species, provide clean water (hook your garden hose into a tree, pour yourself a cool beverage and sit back and enjoy the variety of entertainment.) An occasional scattering of appropriate seed or a chopped-up apple core or melon rind wont hurt. But remember the key word should be occasional.




These suckers come around quicker than ever. Or so it seems.

If you’ve been following me for a while you wont be expecting a list of things I promise to do. You know the sort of twaddle…I will lose weight. I will write a really clever, witty blog post every day. I will get behind the Tony Abbott campaign      Almost had you there! 🙂

No, 2012 will slide in like most of the the other recent years. Possibly with fireworks down at the beach (weather permitting), maybe  a wing-ding up the road. But the days when I partied all night are far behind me.

Over the years, I’ve welcomed January 1 in places as diverse as a kindergarten creche with a 10′ high plywood cut-out of this fellow*

and an old folks’ home.

On a yacht like this one *      

In a shearing shed. Beside oceans, rivers, lakes and even hot mud pools. 

But I no longer feel compelled to join the masses. Besides, I have an early start tomorrow and our pony needs shoes 😉

But don’t let me stop you!

I’ll be back next week…

I found these pics on the web because I think Noddy’s Nursery disappeared years ago and the boat I sailed in had a rather nasty argument with a rock. 😦


I have spent rather more time than I can spare on this time-gobbler lately! I needed to do some research and the computer screen was closer then the Town library (and, knowing the way Murphy’s Law works, the library probably would not have had what I needed! 🙂

But it did set me thinking: how much internet time is too much? Like television, it sucks us in sometimes.

“Dinner’s almost ready.”

“Yes, OK, I’ll just print this…”

“Dinner’s on the table!”

“Almost finished…”

“Yours is on the stove!”

“Yeah, thanks…”

“I’m going to bed!”

And for some (I suspect, a great many), social sites like Facebook and MYspace and even blogging provide a contact that may be lacking in lives. Sad, but probably all too true.

So…when does a healthy interest in a hobby become an insidious consumer? 

I could probably stretch this to essay length, but I have letters to answer, lino to carve, all sorts of pressing issues. And I must just read my favourite blogs first…

I’ll leave you with this. No, not one of mine. I told you, I’m busy!


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

And this…



Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp post how it feels about dogs.

  – Christopher Hampton

Seemed like an appropriate way to begin today…Certainly, more droll than the Reuters’ report of Cameroonian thugs smashing street stalls so that the place will ” look tidy for the papal visit…” I think I’ll check my Kiva account to see if I can do something useful there. The Vatican certainly isn’t helping.


I wonder how many readers noticed that the cyclone map I posted last week was “live” and updated every few hours? I thought that was pretty cool, especially as I only put it up by the “posting for dummies” method of  copy and paste.! 🙂 I see it’s half-off the screen today as Wee Hamish heads out to sea.

No major damage here and, thankfully, not as much as there could have been along the coast to the south. Tremendous seas and some flooding  of flat spots, but, given that Hamish had a top rating, not bad at all.


For years I have encouraged and supported organic growing, especially in school systems. Sometimes, the best teachers take up the challenge and, believe me, it IS a challenge! Sometimes, it all seems too hard and the enthusiasm wanes. But pop across to m.heart’s blog and see what can be done.  Warms the cockles, this does.


I spent some time yesterday messing about with shellac and turps and other smelly chemicals. The weather was right out of a tourist brochure – blue skies, sunshine, light breeze. Perfect for drying stuff out of doors. I almost forgot to bring in the last of my “art” at dusk. Almost.  If  I’d left things out…Man! Just after midnight, I was woken by the sound of palms lashing the house and rain drumming on the roof. Think: Trinidad steel band and you’ll have an idea.

I raced around, tilting windows and shutters, flung down a few towels where rain had already puddled and went back to bed just as the violence eased. The weather map sure as shootin’ didn’t tell me that one was coming!

This is some of what I was doing. Collograph plates which (when I’m satisfied they are worth printing!) will be inked and printed onto paper.







I still have some work to do on them…

A change of pace now…


This is what I call shiny!



The chaps putting their backs into it. 

The Mustang is back in our carport, awaiting the next procedure. And what is that? I hear you ask.  “That” is a piece of bureaucratic nonsense in my book.

In order to register this car, which is being restored to its original state, we must comply with current regulations. These regulations state that ALL vehicles must be fitted with child restraints in the rear compartment. Yes, even if it’s a sports car and even if we don’t have children and certainly no intention of  allowing miniature trolls in the car. 

I don’t see why we cannot run with the “original” non-belted rear compartment and leave the child restraints to the next owner. But , no. Somewhere, some pen-pusher has a job to do. So…we are having special plates welded-and-bolted to the rear panels. Funny, my definition of “original” must be from a different dictionary.

I’m off to have a haircut.  Oh! Can life get any  more exciting…


update 0930 hours, Sunday. This is what Hamish looks like.



update 1400 hours Friday. Mackay officially on cyclone alert.

The weather gods are taking another turn of the screw …there is a severe cyclone  building up North. When I say “up North” I mean that it is far enough away not to be an immediate worry here, but it looks like coming South; even now coastal communities only a few hours away are on cyclone watch.


Hinchinbrook, Cardwell, about midway between Townsville and Cairns. To make the geography lesson simple: Townsville is about 4 hours drive north of us. 

And Ingham. Remember Ingham?

picture from

That’s the town that had record rainfall (multiple times!) a few weeks ago when most news media were focused on southern bushfires. Well, Ingham’s inundated again! Thank goodness the worst of the bushfires are under control. But it will be years before bush regenerates and homes are rebuilt. And for some, the heartache of loss will never go away…


My brother sent me an amusing Youtube film this morning. I am a complete cyber dunce when it comes to embedding and live captures and all that stuff. So you’ll have to copy and paste the link. Deal with it!

With all the horrors in this world of ours, it’s good to see something that raises a smile, yes?

Actually, I was reminded of Marilyn Monroe standing over the sidewalk vent, with her skirt billowing…ah, you’re probably all too young to remember! Here’s a clip from

Did any of you ever see that movie, “The Seven Year Itch“? A huge hit in 1955, it became a Wilder classic. And Monroe’s line, all breathless and eye-lashy: “when it’s hot like this, you know what I do?[eyelash flutter] I keep my undies in the icebox!” 

I hope it’s been re-mastered onto dvd at my local store ‘cos I think I’d like to see it again.


I cleaned my disgustingly dirty car the other day. Well, alright, this is maybe not blogworthy news, but it was a prettty big deal to me. I have to drive at least twice a day through road works and now that the asphalt’s being laid I’d got more than a few tarry splatters. And the interior was still wearing leaves and twigs from a tip trip. 

Anyway…that night, when The Man came home , he said: “Wow! The car looks fabulous! I can see my reflection in the paint!”

“Thank you, dear,” said I. 

“Oh, um, yes. I see you’ve cleaned the Toyota…”

He was, of course, referring to the Mustang. It may be coming home at the weekend so I’ll be doing a brag on the blog when it does!

Damn! I’ve just realised that the “extra” space I’d acquired in the carport is going to be reclaimed…

2009_0222mustang0001Various body parts at the paint shop…

Betcha can’t wait for more!  I’m off now to look for Geiger’s collar. 


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.