…is because I always honour them. If I don’t make ’em I can’t break ’em. Or something like that.

I thought that this would be a year of catching up on things at home. Boring stuff, mainly, but stuff that needed doing. The house needs cleaning. I mean cleaning beyond the regular Hoovering. Repainting, maybe. The garden! Well, that had become a jungle, and a very scruffy one, at that. Other things, too. I thought I might draft some new pattern blocks and start sewing again. And the only keyboard my fingers touch these days is this one. And various art and writing projects that I’d started and then lost my focus. And things I had agreed to do, assuming I had plenty of time.

Funny  how the things one thinks seem to rearrange their order, quite independently.. .

Suddenly, a trip to New York seemed, then was, doable. New York! What a mad, magnificent place. I was on a ‘plane to JFK ( with further bookings to England and France!) before any more dust had had time to settle. Or maybe it did settle and I just didn’t notice!

Back home in July, I thought I’d tackle the overdue art projects (only 3 of them;piece of cake, really.No great rush.)

And suddenly, I was fastening my seatbelt for landing at Vancouver!

And now the shops and lamp posts have tinsel and ho-ho-ho-ing* Santas and I’m still nowhere near that fabled land of Allcaughtup. Where the hell IS it? Not even Google Earth has co-ordinates.

But…I promised. So these things will be done.

Now, back to domestica. We share our home, our lives,  with cats. But you know that. Mostly, they are good cats, discounting Geiger’s sworn intention to shred every shoe and all upholstery, not matter what deterrents we apply. But they do use their litter trays.Oh yes. Not so the cats that wander the streets at night. There’s a tom who, almost every night, sprays the wheels of the car. And they do not have litter trays…

Some of the tamarind pods were knocked off the tree when the casuarina was felled. I picked up as many as I could see amongst dead leaves and mulch. Remarkably like dry cat turds…*

Tamarind 2


While my neighbour has been away I  have been watering his garden. I regard it as an extension of my garden! The other day I took the camera and was glad I had.

Koel in palm 2 crop

Not very clear, but he was rather a long way up a very tall tree and I was standing on a delicate wrought iron chair and trying to avoid a garden sprinkler. It’s my friend, the Koel. A lot of people think his call is annoying. It doesn’t bother me, but I think there is an audio clip in that link (if not that link, I’m sure google can find one!) so you can determine whether he’d  annoy you.

And the header? It’s a Cedar Bay Cherry.Yummy! Birds had already pecked at the fruit so I ate what was left and planted the seeds.

2013-10-28 05.34.26


And now, having kept that promise (to write a blog post) I had better do further hose duty. If the Met chaps honour their promise (rain) I might be able to get on with other unfinished symphonies. Geiger is still on about the comic strip…


*you don’t want to know how to tell the difference!

* why does Santa say that? Doesn’t he know he could be arrested?




I have not been practising as often as I should. I have a lot on my plate, print-wise. So the piano has been gathering dust. 

Until the other night. The Man was out of town and I just felt like doing something that did not involve sharp implements, sucking-hoses-on-end-of-noisy-machines or smoothing irons.

“I played rumble,rumble,rumble with the left hand.

I played tinkle, tinkle,tinkle with the right.

Rumble,rumble,rumble –

Tinkle,tinkle,tinkle –

I played piano all through the night…”   *

Well, perhaps not ALL night, but I did give my noisy neighbours a little of their own medicine 🙂

This keyboard has a very handy mute so I can wear head phones and hear all my duff notes, but the amplifier is not broadcasting the mistakes to the wider world. And I’m sure the wider world would be eternally grateful if it knew!

I’ve been doing other things, of course. Yesterday, I finally potted-up some lettuce seedlings. They can sit in semi-shade under the back deck for a few days, then I’ll lug the pots back upstairs, within easy reach of the back door when I need a few “Lollo Rosso” leaves or maybe a “Green Oak Leaf” for salads. I’ll get some tomatoes in next week and probably some more parsley.

Oh! I just love this time of year when the sun is warm enough for seedlings, but not harsh enough to shrivel them. Or the gardener!

Still, it’s a bit of a juggling act, I find. The first year we were here, there was more space in the garden and I enthusiastically sowed seeds of all manner of things. Only to lose most of them to excessive heat. Cherry tomatoes (golden and red) thrived and free-seeded all over the place, along with the passion fruit. Swiss Chard sulked. Sulked big-time. Sweet corn did well then, but I’ve not got space for it now.

But after that first expensive lesson, I’ve not bothered with seeds, except for nasturtiums. I buy seedling punnets and tuck them in wherever I have space and I now grow the “essentials” in pots. I hope I can get some advanced seedlings of a variety of Asian salad leaves. Bit of a gamble, that. Well, the labels are a challenge! Bok choy can also be bak choy or buk choy. Or sometimes, simply “Chinese cabbage.” 

Usually beset by caterpillars, this year I have a Secret Weapon. Well, two weapons. Geiger and Sporran love butterflies! And they are pretty handy when it comes to grasshoppers, too, so perhaps I stand a chance in the Dinah versus Bugs war. Perhaps…

sisters-1Resting, after a day of bug-chasing.

Somehow, along with pianoing (it is so a verb!) and gardening and printing I’ve been trying to keep up my sketching. 



Young  hare

We had a lot of hares (no rabbits) at our former home. I know farmers see them as pests, but I’m rather fond of the “big bunnies.” And they have a very long and honored place in the folklore of several cultures. This sketch is from a photo of a pencil sketch, scanned,printed, scribbled on with pencil, sloshed with a little water colour and re-scanned. Hardly warrants the effort!

And, of course, I’m doing sketches for our book exchange. My book has arrived in Leicestershire and will probably be on its way to Pakistan very soon! You can read and see more on our book blog. Click the link, over on the right, below the Flickr link. We’ll try to keep up-to-date.

 I am still managing to swim…

…usually 2 kms whenever I get to the pool. And I try to do that 3 times a week.

What’s that? Write blog posts more often? Ooh, you are funny!Even  the hare’s laughing…

laughing hare

Now, back to the real world…

* Betty Hutton in a movie called,I think, “Sewing MAchine.” Late ’40s. It’s probably Googleable, but I’m running late.