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.