This clown crossed the solid line from TWO lanes, then, for his finale, squeezed his low-loader into the turning lane(actually, he was half in the bike lane !), cutting off some poor bugger driving a truck and dog.

Never a policeman when you want one…

Once Mr. Clever had got out of my lane I continued across the river to the pool. Swam 2kms. Zipped across to the shops  and got some essentials (yes, cat food!), posted some letters, popped in to see the travel agent and flash my plastic.

And then I went to school. To play with paint. Lovely Grade 5s, all fresh and eager, positively shining in their clean, new uniforms.

The class have been reading and discussing Emily Rodda’s “Deltora Quest” and their teacher asked if I’d come to school and help with some artwork based on the books.

I have to admit that I’ve had to do very little, as Kylie has already done a fine job of producing outlines (bless the OHP!) on fabric. It was just a matter of guiding the brushes and trying not to splatter too much paint. But hey! these kids are nine-year olds and who am I to poor cold water on their efforts!

Next week, we’re going to tackle the dragon!

It’s always entertaining to work with these youngsters. Sometimes, challenging. And tiring! So this morning’s swim was a  very slow, lazy 1200m. My muscles kept sending signals that they didn’t want to do this. I countered with “it’s good for you”: and “you’ll be glad later.”   I’m not so sure…I took one look at the Hoover when I got home and decided a nap was in order!



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.