Moreidlethoughts Weblog

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


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NO LONGER M.I.A.

Just popping my head around the door to let you know I am still alive.

We , or as her Majesty might say, “my husband and I…” have been/are still very busy, doing all manner of jobs around the house. Busy, but utterly boring as blog fodder.

Mostly things in the garden.With the weather beginning to get warmer I needed to clear space for new plants. And, with The Man at home most days, we finally cleared the **$&! pergola of dead vines. The problem now is what to plant as replacement? I would dearly love Mucuna bennettii but fear it might be as rampant as the previous Petrea. And the same applies to the Jade Vine, Strongylodon. Ruddy great trusses of 3metres+ flowers might be a bit of a problem, given that the head room under the pergola is a scant 2m!Ooh!but I am so tempted…

Maybe I should just stick to the more manageable orchids…at the moment I have several Phalaenopsis in flower. (Not named varieties*)

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and an Oncidium…a wonderful dark wine-y chocolate colour013.JPG

There are lord knows how many purple and mauve Spathoglottis in the gardens! They drop seed and from time to time I give away some or move them about.Consequently, until they flower I have no idea where each colour is! But I have just bought a white one and it is safely in a pot on the verandah!That’s it, at the back, in bud.014.JPG

Two more Phalaenopsis live in hanging pots, out in the garden.(*I see this one has a name! Phal. Brother Lawrence x Brother Taida…and some faded writing I can’t read.Hardly surprising since it was a gift almost 12 years ago!new orchids 002.JPG

A very brisk wind has sprung up so this one needed a steadying hand. A bit like raspberry coulis dripped on ice cream!

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A couple of years ago we acquired an Anthurium. Poor thing became horribly squished in its pot, but the other day I got around to splitting it.I think we now have seven or eight! It’s currently beneath the front steps but will need a new home soon.new orchids 006.JPG

And here is the newest Spathoglottis

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I know some of you would love to be “over-run” with things like bananas and tropical palms, but it’s not all beer and skittles, y’know. Mrs Next Door doesn’t like the bananas dropping their untidy stems over the fence. And Mr. Up The Back gets his shorts knotted if any of my plants put their heads above the parapet. So I’m stuck with an ugly, bare fence…

Banana bell dangling over the fence.

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NOT MISSING IN ACTION…

…maundering in in-action might be closer to the mark. Three months is almost “death” in Blogland.

Oh well, here I am again. And I’m going to kick off with…the weather! Winter here so that means, mostly, blue skies and bright sunny days. The sort of weather that encourages strenuous outdoor work. Garden beds can be weeded, dug-over, mulched.Plants can be pruned, moved, re-potted.

And then the sun dips below the horizon and we don extra layers and waddle about looking like the Michelin Man. And I can tell you that, Chez Dinahmow, the Michelin look lasts from sunset to mid-morning.

But it is nice to see the BARE pergola, just waiting for something new and less rampant than wisteria and petrea… 001.JPGI’m tempted to try another climbing rose, but then my memory gives me a sharp dig in the ribs, telling me not to be such a silly fool.

In the meantime, I seem to be having some small success with orchids. 001.JPG

These Phalaenopsis sit on my keyboard (not this one, the musical one), but I move them outside for more sunlight when they start to flower. I move lunches out there, too, in sunny weather. Of course, there can be stiff competition for a seat…002.JPG

The Man, who is no longer working full-time, has not had much go-to-work work lately, but he has been busy here!Oh yes…de-rusting and re-painting various bits around the house. And he cleared all of the tangled mess atop the pergola. And replaced the old TV aerial which was all a-dangle after the cyclone modified it. Ooh, it’s all go here, innit!

I’m off to see about some breakfast, but before I do, here’s a link to a Canberra friend’s blog. Yet another reason to visit  that city!

https://myjustsostory.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/warm-trees-2017.html

 

 

 


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A BIT OF AMIXED BAG

Not necessarily the author, although after the last few whirlwind days, that descriptor may apply.

Nothing much blog-worthy, but minor domestic upheavals.

And an orchid show! The Man and I went to see the hundreds of blooms on Sunday, along with hundreds of people. Someone, who shall be nameless, left the cameras at home.Twit!

But on Tuesday, after an early morning walk around The Gooseponds  I redeemed myself and went back to the orchid show with a camera. Yay! Hardly anyone there.Double yay! I took over 70 pictures! Oh, it’s alright, I shan’t flood this page. Here’s a Vanda, with a hand beside it for scale.If I had the room, I might try growing these beauties.

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I suppose most of you know what “baking weights” are? No? Oh, well they are[usually] small ceramic marbles, used to weight pastry when blind-baking.Oh, google it! Anyway…once upon a time, I used to have some proper baking weights. But I moved house and went on journeys to too many places to take such non-essentials. And then, when I did settle (sort-of,I’m a vagabond at heart!) I simply dumped a load of dried beans in my pie dish. But when we moved to the tropics I found that so many things went mouldy I might be risking Ergotism.So I improvised.How? I plonked a handful of pebbles from the back yard in a pot of boiling water to kill any germs and have been weighty my pie crusts with them for 15 years.

My stone pastry weights, looking remarkably like a Bora ring!

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What’s that, you say? You’d like to see more orchids?

A Cattleya. (I think!)

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This beauty IS a Phalaenopsis .IMG_1813We have several,much smaller varieties.

And I’ll stop with a picture of a once-common, now-endangered native swamp orchid, Phaius australis I bought a young plant, not yet flowering, but it will look like this…the tall flower spike on the right of the picture.

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And now it’s lunch time! It’s also asparagus season….yum!


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I’M BACK!

Oops! I inadvertantly typed an L in there. I am not black. I am varying shades of pink, with a light spotting of paint-chart-mocha.

Waddyamean, you didn’t even miss me?

Oh well, let’s not quibble.Here’s little mystery pic for you.IMG_1540

You know how it works – leave your answer in the comments. Sorry, no prizes.It’s been a taxing time Chez Dinahmow!

I have been and, indeed, am still a trifle busy.Busy lugging hoses around gardens. Up here, we are still waiting for the wet season.Yesterday, Brisbane was hit with the worst storm in (“they” say) a decade.Rather a lot of zeros and commas in the damages bill.

And I’m , a-hem, helping my friend’s class to make a puppet for their carols night. A rather large carried-on-sticks puppet.Of a brolga. Oh dear! I seem to have done my usual thing and jumped in without actually considering the depth. So if I dash off leaving you with a short post you will understand that I need to get another layer on the armature…

IMG_1549The grocer had some marked-down Phalaenopsis on a stand.Couldn’t resist, could I!  They’re indoors for the moment, as a welcome-home for The Man, due back tonight.Tomorrow, the orchids will be moved to the ferny corner, with their kin.

That’s not the picture I intended, but the sharper focused one shows too much clutter and I wouldn’t want you to think I was an untidy slob!

On a sad note…most of you know that I have been to New York twice to be a cat sitter to a most remarkable cat, Don Estorbo de la Bodega Dominicana. A cat of great charm and huge personality, he left all of us who loved him with some wonderful memories. And a vastly enriched vocabulary of bastard Spanish. Bless you, Storbie.on patrol

 


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IN WHICH I APOLOGISE FOR SOMETHING I DON’T THINK IS MY FAULT…

Something is screwy with this blog! (Not just the author!) I clicked “publish” but only the previous post is showing. Until I figure out what th’eck is going on…I might have to use the cats’ blog

Comments are either not showing up, or are taking  longer than usual to show. I’ve checked the dashboard comments panel and there they are! There have been a few squirly things happening on other wordpress sites over the past day or so.

I tried to contact the “happines engineers” as WordPress likes to call its tech team. Guess what? They’ve all chuffed off to St. Louis for a couple of weeks!

I suppose someone will sort out the muddle. But in the meantime…

In answer to that curly question on the previous post

The picture I showed was cropped from  this. I took the photos on an early morning walk along the beach. Weird-looking, but interesting plants. Here’s a wiki link for more info.

Alison guessed, eventually!

And  now, I’ll leave you with this to look at while I go and tear my hair since I can’t find a “happiness engineer” whose hair to tear!

My wonderful cat-feeding, Man-feeding neighbour sent her son across the road with these this morning. Enjoy!


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WHAT IS IT? Alcedo pusilla

The clock’s on steroids again!

But I’ve managed to find a ” little bit of spare ” and I have another quiz for you. No cryptic clues this time. What is this?

I’ll give you…a week? Yes, answer next Saturday. MONDAY UPDATE. Well, silly Dinah didn’t clear the label, did she! And clever Miss Scarlet and Christopher and Celia knew how to sort-of cheat. Only a little bit.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Kingfisher  the link has  a little more information. The bird in my photo(yes, Celia, in my hand) had flown into the house and was sitting on a window ledge. Since we have louvres and screen there was no way it could get out, but I managed to drop a napkin over it and pick it up. No harm done and it flew away none the worse for wear.Just as well the Little Black Devils were not around! 

Don’t s’pose anyone’d like to take a guess at the Emmeline reference? A sort of two-for-one quiz. Go on, waste a few minutes!

It’s raining! And most welcome it is, too. Still chilly, but soon well go straight from winter, whammo! into summer. I miss the “proper” Springs of the Old World.

The rain is doing wonders for the terribly neglected garden. There are several  many things that need to be lifted, pruned, repotted, dumped…my excuse is that they must wait until I’ve finished my current art projects, as my hands, like Emmeline’s, must be ” purfickly clean.”

But I was happy to see buds on one of the orchids

I think this is a yellow one.

And...drum roll …I have two “back from the dead” darlings! My rose “Apricot Nectar” was all but gone…sniff,sniff and I decided I’d try lifting it this winter and putting it into a big pot. Even bought some “proper” rose potting mix. Just didn’t get around to it, did I? And then I noticed the tiniest green shoot, low down on the stem. Very low. Oh dear! Had it reverted to root stock? Only one way to be sure – let it grow and see if it flowers. And it did!

I’m so happy. And yes, it will still be lifted and grown in a shrub tub. It may be a valiant little thing, but I’m not taking any more chances!

And my other Great Revival Story is a yellow justicia.

It doesn’t look very spectacular here, but it’s been in a frightful sulk and I was about to consign it to the compost. I think it would be happier and certainly a better performer in  really good soil. Perhaps this, too, will “go to pot.”

And, for once, I remembered to take a photo before they were added to the salad…

Heartsease, Johnny-Jump-Ups, call them by any name, they look beautiful, scattered on fresh greens!

Now I’m hungry!