time to tease you again!

Yes, I know, when a writer has little to write about he or she falls back on childish devices.

And here’s mine! All you have to do is tell me what you think this is.


And because I like music to take off its black tie sometimes and get a little funky…I give you The Goat Rodeo. Enjoy. I’m off to be taxi service.


By the way…if any of you are scrabbling around looking for a new reader after the demise of Google Reader, then Old Reader, you could do worse than move to RSSOwl. I did and found it easy to set up and I’m only called “high tech chicky-babe” in jest!

Well, Carol guessed it was a Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides), some of you thought it was an owl. Man! I wish I had sixpence for every time I’ve heard these birds called owls!

They are not, despite the Latin strigoides in their name. They feed mainly on insects and most of the time, they just sit in a tree with their mouths open and catch their supper that way. Sometimes, they’ll come down to ground level for bugs.But, unlike owls, frogmouths have weak feet, totally useless for grasping and holding prey.So they are not raptors.

And why are they called “frogmouth”? I guess because they have  such wide mouths, a bit like frogs. This one is the first we’ve ever noticed in this garden.Mind you, they are difficult to see when they’re perched, camouflaged, on a branch.

Wiki has much more info here




…yes, I do! Hotter than a jockey’s saddle, but hey! It’s New York.

So very different from my first visit! IMG_3825

Trees with leaves! And the banner, above? Some of the roses on my friend’s terrace. I do have some other pics, but I’m a bit pushed for time, so here’s a small amusement for you…

Wylye Girl, over at the River Cottage (no, not Hugh get-yer-hair-cut) has a post about ageing and how to tell whether you are showing the signs of same. It amused me, possibly because I am approaching that time of life when people expect one to show such signs. Unless, of course, you’re like me and quite happily get on a bike (eventually!) and pedal around Central Park. (no photos of that, I’m afraid. Daisyfae and I were intent on not being taken out by a herd* of skate-boarders.More later…)

Anyway, while you wait to hear more about my cycling adventure, see how you score. This is an Anglo-centric quiz, but I’m sure you can adapt it for your own locale. These responses are mine.

…came across some new research that claims to have found the top 50 signs that you are getting older so I thought I would see how I stacked up against them, so here goes:

1. Feeling stiff. Yes, but some things have been stiff for years.

2.  Groaning when you bend down. No. Might groan if I can’t bend!

3.  Saying ‘In my day’. Probably.

4.  Losing my hair. Yes, to the extent that I no longer tear it out when ranting. The cats are looking a bit mangey…
5.  You don’t know any songs from the Top 10.  Didn’t even know there still is a Top Ten!

6. Getting more hairy (nose, ears, eyebrows, etc). I notice they don’t mention the Menopausal Moustache. So neither shall I!

7.  Hating noisy pubs. Yes.

8. Saying it wasn’t like that when I was young. Does repeating #3 suggest the author is getting old?

9.  Talking a lot about joints/ailments. What is “a lot”?

10. Forgetting people’s names. Like the new James Bond? Or the fellow who wants to be my next MP?
11.  Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than fashion. Honey,comfort has trumped fashion for more than 40 years.It is possible to have both, y;know.

12.  Thinking policemen/teachers/doctors look really young.  Well, given that most who are older than I have retired…

13.  Falling asleep in front of the TV. Oh, yes.

14.  Needing an afternoon nap. Only at weekends when we have leisurely lunches involving wine (sorry, Z!)

15.  Finding you have no idea what young people are talking about. I often have no idea what ANYONE is talking about

16.  Struggling to use technology.  Like DVD recording and electric can openers?

17.  Losing touch with every day technology and tablets. see #16  Oh,wait! Maybe they mean the pill kind of tablet? Forgetting to swallow them. Um, yes. But only because I forgot to pack them…

18.  When you start complaining about more and more things.  See! Repeating questions again!

19.  Wearing your glasses around your neck.  Good God! No. When I need them, I need them in front of my eyes. Not dangling around my navel.

20 .  Not remembering the name of any modern bands.  I’d also like to forget that I heard some of their music.
21.  You avoid lifting heavy things due to back concerns.  Hey! That’s not age, that’s the wisdom that comes with age. Says she who was side-lined 6 months ago!

22.  Complaining about the rubbish on television these days. Doesn’t seem to have any effect ,does it?

23.  Misplacing your glasses/bag/keys. Does it count if you did these things at 20?

24.  You move from Radio One to Radio Two. For me, that would be like switching from Triple J to Classic FM.  (All radios Chez Dinahmow  have been tuned to Classic FM for 20 years.Sad.I know)

25.  You start driving slowly. Start? With constant roadworks and heavy traffic slow is the norm (except out by the golf course!)

26.  Preferring a night in with a board game rather than a night on the town. I wonder if this is not a typo?     Broad? Bored? Knight?

27.  Spending money on the home/furniture rather than a night out. Probably.This is a small town.

28.  You talk to colleagues so young they can’t remember what an Opal Fruit is. Who the bejeezlehoop has conversations about Opal Fruits? In my day (!) colleagues talked about a)other colleagues b) the boss c) the chances of snagging a Saturday date.

29.  Taking slippers to a friends’ house.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

30.  Listening to the Archers. Blimey! Is that still running? No, never did

31.  Falling asleep after one glass of wine. Define “glass” in terms of size

32.  Never going out without your coat. I live in the tropics.Don’t have a coat

33.  Getting bed socks for Christmas and being genuinely grateful. Pretty unlikely.On both counts
34.  When you can’t lose six pounds in two days any more. Wouldn’t you need to be bulimic?
35.  Gasping for a cup of tea.  Not me. I’m a coffee gal.But I still don’t see that tea-drinking qualifies one for an Old Fogey award.

36.  Taking a flask of tea or coffee on a day out.  Nope

37.  Joining the WI. Here, that would be the CWA. And my answer would still be no.

38.  Taking a keen interest in the garden. Less keen than when I had a much bigger garden and much younger body

39.  Spending more money on face creams/anti-ageing products. I don’t spend any money on such things. Probably why people think I’m old!

40.  Taking a keen interest in Antiques Roadshow. No. I have a lot of “old” things. And one of them refuses to throw the rest of them away.

41.  Taking a keen interest in dressing for the weather. Again with the “keen interest.”No, I don’t

42.  Putting everyday items in the wrong place. My bone folder in the pantry does NOT count. That’s not an everyday item…

43.  Obsessive gardening or bird feeding. Not obsessive.And I don’t feed wildlife (unless in rehab.Them, not me!)

44.  Really enjoying puzzles and crosswords. Nope. Too busy.

45.  Always driving in the slow lane or under 70 in the middle lane. No. see #25

46.  Consider going on a ‘no children’ cruise for a holiday.NEVER! sprogs or no sprogs. not.my.thing.

47.  Your ears are getting bigger. Are not!

48.  Joining the National Trust. Why?

49.  Drinking sherry. Hmm…the elderly ladies whose tipple is sherry have probably been drinking it for years in the belief it would not make them tipsy.So, no.

50.  Feeling you have the right to tell people exactly what you are thinking even it it isn’t polite. It is seldom polite.
* is there a collective noun for 200+ skate boarders? Herd suggests Serengeti wildebeest, which certainly was what it felt like the other day!


Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I’m working a new seam.Hoping for the motherlode, but hitting deadlines!

To keep the faith, I give you a small amusement and something else….your challenge, should you accept it, is to decide which is which!


Computer Generated.    

My brain, like my computer’s hard drive,                                                                                 Is full of fragments of wit.                                                                                                              And stuff I’ve writ                                                                                                                                          (Or not,as I only jot                                                                                                                                    it down when there’s a pen.)

The difficulty, quite plain                                                                                                                          in either case,                                                                                                                                          Is finding the key                                                                                                                                      that brings it back again.

  In a friend’s pool, Cairns.                   

Probably a collared whip snake. More information here http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/wildlife-ecosystems/wildlife/living_with_wildlife/snakes/what_snakes_live_near_you/snakes_of_the_townsville_region.html

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!


Brr! Just a short one today, folks, as my fingers are too cold to type for more than a couple of minutes. [Even now, I find I’ve inadvertently struck a “wrong” key!] 

The Chilean volcano continues to get up noses. Literally, in some cases! Still, it did add to our moonglow the other night…

But it’s difficult to adjust camera settings in the dark. And cold. And on sloping ground. What an excuse-fest!


I have another small amusement for you. Not too difficult this time!

My first is in P. Like swimming!

   My whole sounds like a recent figure of speech.    

Answers in the comments, please.


And now, for all the thirsty masochists…ginger beer.

For this, one must begin with a “live” plant. Like this:

In a screw-top jar big enough to hold more than 600ml/1 pint combine the following:

8 sultanas

juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp lemon pulp

4tsp sugar

2 tsp ground ginger

600 ml cold water


Leave this in the jar (lid screwed closed) for 2 or 3 days (longer if in cold weather)

When fermentation begins, that is, when it starts to move, begin feeding it. Give it a name, if you like! Every day, for one week, add 2tsp ground ginger and 4tsp sugar.

It will bubble and swirl and keep you entertained.

After  a week of feeding this “thing” you can make and bottle the ginger beer. (I’m digging into the dim recesses of memory now, so it might be a good idea to seek out other recipes for comparison!)

But as I recall … add 1200ml(2 pints) boiling water to 1kg of sugar and stir to dissolve. Add juice of one lemon to the plant and strain through muslin into the sugar-water. Squeeze cloth dry and add 8.4 litres (14 pints) cold water and bottle in clean air-tight bottles. Keep for 3 days before opening.

Your muslin strainer will have a rather unpleasant lump of sludge after you’ve squeezed all that ginger-y goodness through it. Scrape half of it back into your (washed) screw top jar, add 600ml cold water and commence to feed as before.

Now, it goes without saying (or should!) that all equipment must be super-clean. Sterilise the bottles. And, whatever you do DO NOT, EVER, LEAVE  THE BOTTLED BREW IN A HOT PLACE! If you do, be prepared for a visit from the bomb squad…

One hot day, The Man requested some ginger beer to take to work, ” because the other chaps asked where I’d got my refreshing brew.” So I put a dozen bottles in a box and gave strict instructions that it be put in the fridge at work. sigh…

What do they say about men and instructions? The box was left in the workshop, a big ol’  galvanised steel barn of a building with no air-con and a thermometer close  to bursting  its tube. Man! 12 exploding bottles of ginger beer covers a big area.Noisily. And messily.

About the bottle caps – I used a small device that fitted over the crown cap and was struck with a mallet to seal the cap. A bit scary since whacking it too hard might shatter the bottle and not sealing it properly would mean an air leak and wasted brew. But it is possible to buy a capping device that’s operated by a lever-thingy, which, so I’m told, exerts just enough pressure to seal the cap, but not so much force as to crack a bottle. Hmmm

I got the ginger beer bug, along with the home-made bread craze, from my neighbour. She learned, the hard way, that at the height of a Queensland summer, protective clothing is advisable…

Happy days!



















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.


Yes, I did take the camera down to the gallery. Yes, I did take some pictures. No, you can’t see them yet!

I had to contend with people walking into frame, glare from lights and my own questionable ability. But I will fiddle about in the editing programme and see what improvements I can make.

But I wouldn’t want all you lovely people to come all this way (after all, most of my readers are on the “dark side” of the planet) and not see some artwork.

So here are a few pictures of one of my favourite sculptures. Look closely and you will see what these critters are made from. And if I can find out who made this I’ll come back and tell you.

The big picture…

…and some smaller parts thereof
bird bath

frogs and a platypus

How many people would have consigned these rusty relics to the tip? It’s like Meccano for Big Boys, isn’t it?

A short post (again!) because I have places to be other than in here. Ooh! And I must get some more massage oil. (That’ll be interesting if some bored person is googling !)
And, speaking of being bored, isn’t it tedius, sitting at the computer waiting for some programmes to do whatever it is they do? In such an idle moment the other day I did this little quiz. My answer was BMW

But of course…

What should you be driving?