Once again (yes, I’m very boring!) I am battling rain n drains. With the very real possibility of a cyclone revving up …

But Carol sent me a link to some fantastic sculptures and I’m sharing it .http://www.crookedbrains.net/2009/11/design.html 

Those horses! 

Now, I must get back to work…well, as much work as I can do in this unfavourable climate.

“In tropical climes, there are certain times of day…”



I’m not the busiest woman at this frenetic time, so I shan’t bang on about how I’ve been so busy I haven’t sent  any cards yet…

I am going to be busy. Very busy. On Saturday night the long-awaited rain arrived. From, apparently, one of those monsoon buckets they use in bushfires. About midnight, a Niagara roar woke me and by the time I’d stumbled around closing windows and doors…the rain had stopped.

But it started again at 3am, a nice steady drizzle, soaking into the soil. Mmmm…a lullaby to those of us who need it.

And it hasn’t stopped since! So we might be able to get some of the heavier work done in the garden while The Man is at home.After the Christmas break he’ll be off to the mines again.

So I’ll leave you with a small amusement…the very cheerful young lad on the check-out  at the supermarket said to the woman ahead of me:


The lady was wearing traditional Muslim garb!

The cats have posted their own decoration (which they cribbed!) and here is my greeting to all of you, wherever you are and however you celebrate.I wish all of you good health,happiness and good times in the year ahead.







Well, that was a deluge! I had to drive home, lights and wipers on, when the sky ripped open. And as I pulled into the driveway I could see mail sticking out of the box. So I inched open my door, grabbed the mail* and continued to the carport. Talk about wet T shirt time!

I’d been up to the Post Office to collect a parcel. And, now that the rooftop Taiko has stopped, I must make some phone calls before people shut down for the weekend.

The cats would love to tell you about the parcel.Details on their blog. 

And one picture to get you started…

“Jim” by Ann Wood

* Needn’t have bothered – one flyer from a politician wanting my vote, one from a real estate agent and one from some obscure church.


If the rain stops NOW and if the sun shines…maybe the poor, bedraggled vines can be trimmed and encouraged to try again.

Or maybe I should just consign them to the compost bin!

This will be a short post…the pong from the neighbour’s stinkhorns is somewhat overbearing. No, really!

They just love bark chips mulch!

Yes, I’ve changed my header again! Why? Because I can! This time I’ve chosen the berries of a Dianella. I think it’s D. caerulea.There are several!

Feel free to correct me if you know otherwise. These are at the local Botanic Garden so I can probably find out for sure when I go  to our “meet-the-artists” day during our exhibition.

Very fuzzy, but this is my piece, “Dig!”


In our part of the world we’ve been more fortunate than some, but we have had some very heavy downpours.

Yes, I know it’s our “wet season” and I know we need good rainfall to flush algae from waterways and top-up reservoirs….but jeepers! enough with the mouldy stuff , OK?

I’m beginning to feel like a character from a Somerset Maugham novel!

My chief concern is that I can only proceed slowly on the books. I don’t want to have too many damp pages at once. So how do I manage? Well, I think Heath Robinson would probably have come up with a better contraption, but I use this:

With ceiling fans whirring gently (as opposed to clattering like mad helicopters) it does help. Of course, it’s in the middle of the floor. And a great temptation to little black furballs. But, like Mr. Hobson‘s clients, I have limited options! And I can’t use this when drying glued pages.

But I’m not the only one suffering. If you’re interested you can read more about this “project” on our blog.

And for further notes on the daily doings Chez Dinahmow, the cats can help.

Back to work…


So far, I haven’t seen fridges floating down the road, but the cane field not far from my house resembles a rice paddy!And the pretty little stream that flooded dozens of homes two years ago was almost at their boundary fences this morning. Too bad I can’t send the wet stuff to friends in southern NSW!


Does anyone recall the Naica crystal discovery? Several years ago, silver miners in Mexico accidentally broke through into a cave in Naica, discovering some amazing gypsum crystals.I was poking about on the Web looking for something else and found this. A difficult and dangerous place to film, the BBC nevertheless managed this spectacular footage. National Geographic has more pictures here.

I was reminded of my mother’s “coal flowers” although her kitchen chemistry was not quite on the same scale. 🙂 Coal flowers? you ask. Why, yes. Google can find you several instruction sheets if you’d like to “grow” some for yourself. It’s a simple process, seeding a lump of coal with some salts.

from one of the instructional web sites

Mother also brewed beer, both ginger and alcoholic varieties. In pre-fridge days, an exceptionally hot summer put an end to the beer. Man! That stuff went everywhere!I used to make ginger beer, too. Commercial ginger beer’s alcohol content is strictly governed. I think mine might have exceeded that. I don’t make it these days, preferring either water or wine, but Jamie Oliver has a “quickie” version on his site


I was back in the studio this morning, re-printing as some of last week’s prints were not “good enough.” Hopefully, this run will look OK when dry. They’d better – delivery date is next week!


The Man and his friend spent the weekend tinkering with the Mustang’s carburettor. And other technical stuff. It was noisy and smelly. And the resident possum was NOT impressed.

On Sunday afternoon, he’d had enough and who could blame the poor critter, with that thundering 289 engine reverberating around his little iron cubby hole!

He headed out, along the beam to await the night in comparative peace on the far side of the house.

So… the “master mechanics” were engrossed in choke levers and and general gizmometry when The Man said:”Hold it! We’ve got  a fuel leak somewhere!”

Um…no, actually. What they had was a possum leak!

Ah! Revenge is sweet!


There are those times in our lives when we have to address harsh realities. Some of us, neat, tidy thinkers, possessed of neat, tidy minds, address these realities before they develop their sharp edges.

But most of us procrastinate.

I have been writing this post post in my head for a while now and various factors came into play that have pushed it forward. Not least, the ghastly business of trying to pick up the pieces after  a disaster, like the bush fires.

HAVE YOU MADE AND FILED A WILL? Because if you answer “no”, you may be setting up your family and friends for a long, painful and expensive court battle.

This  is traumatic for those dealing with small estates. For people with extensive “intellectual property” it is a nightmare.

If you are an artist (by which I mean writer, painter, poet,musician…you know what I mean), don’t just think that it’s all too left-brain and assume someone else will do that. And if your “domestic arrangements” have changed clarity of intent is even more important.

Neil Gaiman, who is currently very much in the news, following the huge success of the film Coraline, has a pertinent post here. (If the link is not redirecting, go to October 30, 2006.) I urge you to read it, then go back and re-read my post title. Lecture over!


I’ve been humming an old George Formby number this morning. English readers over the age of, say 50 or 60, will get it if I say you’ll be surprised the things I see, when I’m cleanin’ winders!

Well, truth to tell, I didn’t see a lot. Too much grime. And almost enough dirt in the sill well to start a window box ! Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike cleaning these windows? Probably! I bitch about them all the time. Great for tropical summers, but a sod to keep clean.


It’s done! Cut, inked-up, pressed, dried (I hope!) and ready to be signed. The exchange is on Sunday so book your seats for Monday’s show. Roll up! Roll up!

New readers to this blog will not have a clue what I’m talking about. It’s called, in the writing game, “a hook.” The writer gives a hint of some portentous event, to be revealed in the next chapter. Roll up! Roll up!


Somewhere, out in the wide world,  are our travelling sketchbooks. Exactly where, I’m not sure, but they must be almost due to wing their way home to their starting points?

When they are all back with their people the whole jolly venture will begin again. So if any of you want to give this a whirl I say: round up a group of like minds and get cracking. It’s fun, it extends your abilities and you might even pick up a little more html know-how! No guarantees, mind!


rhinestonesLike rhinestones?

garden-puddleMy new garden pond. After torrential rain this puddle was about 3 or 4 inches deep (nearly 100mm). And because it would have taken a couple of days to drain, I sprinkled a few drops of vegetable oil on the surface to kill mosquitoe larvae. (Frogs can still eat the larvae; the oil does them no harm.)

The sky is looking ominously pewter again so this might be a good time to nip out for some essentials (yes, the usual essentials.Of course.) before another cloud-burst. At least we’ve had 24 hours of dry weather and the forecasts are not for further flooding. Just a damn’ shame we can’t send some south…