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




Not good! But if “idling” means the motor is running, that’s better than nothing, right? And I can’t do much until my paper dries.

So…I’m messing about in here. Yes, that is the right verb. A lightbulb blew. Blew right out of the socket. Made a bit of a mess. And I made this…

This is Buggi.

We continue to work on the strip of garden with our like-minded neighbour. I have two Malaysian stool palms in pots and I moved them to the shady area by the fence. Personally, I feel very sorry for the Malaysian!

When I googled to confirm the name (a year ago it was reclassified from Livistona rotundifolia to the Saribus genus.) I found it is called the foot stool plant. Oh.

The nights are still comfortably cool, but the daytime mercury is climbing. The shell gingers are flowering and the torches will not be far behind them. I brought a stem indoors…


…and added some Petrea. Which promptly twisted sideways.

I also brought in a snapped hippeastrum stem . I think two black cats may know something about that! They are five years old today. Seems like yesterday….

I’d like to have flowers indoors more often, but they wilt so quickly in the heat and when the ceiling fans are on things in tall vases are prone to tipping over!

But, since I do have “flowers in the house” today, I thought I’d join Jane’s floral dance.

Now, back to work,woman!





Though probably with limited success!

I never did find the post I’d written about my Cambridge jaunt and sinceCelia and Lizzie wrote so well about our day out I think I’ll just take the lazy option and use links!*

I’m still zipping around, meeting old and new friends, popping into pubs and cafes (it rained rather a lot and one needed shelter) not doing much in the way of work…

I went to Spain! Stayed with old friends who decided they’d rather spend their retirement in a warmer clime. Still a tad chilly while I was there, but not raining. Here are some Spanish views…

from the roof of the house..towards Maroma Mountain

the lake/reservoir…

Nerja, a coastal town…

Sense of humour in Torre de Mar!

also in Torre de Mar…

Back in London, where the rain was still being a nuisance, I managed to dodge showers, by now becoming pretty good at jumping onto buses and staying reasonably dry. Sometimes.

from one bus, view of another..

London Eye-a Bus Eye view.

Before leaving Australia, I Googled an old friend, with little expectation of a reply to my message. So much for expectations…not only did he respond with an invitation to dinner, he also invited another oldie who is now a near-neighbour! We had a lovely time, laughing at stupid old jokes, recalling former (some deceased) colleagues, marvelling that we’re all still relatively compos  mentis and physically fit. And still eminently capable of keeping the vintners solvent!

names witheld to protect the innocent?

*Perhaps, once I’m home, I’ll re-cap.


Yesterday saw what is being called the “greatest defeat “(or victory, if you favour that side!) in Queensland politics since…I don’t  know. A long time.

But I promise  this is NOT turning into a political blog! For one thing, I am easily bored by political debate. Besides, I don’t follow these particular gee-gees with much interest so can’t name them, their trainers, track records, betting odds…

But I did grab a pencil and make a very quick scrawl when I heard the new Member for the seat  previously held by the  Treasurer. One of the things she “absolutely wants to address” is public transport.

And this rang a silly bell  as her new boss, incoming Premier Campbell Newman, was once Mayor of Brisbane and one of the things he spent public money on was a free public bicycle scheme. Laudable? Perhaps. But no one rode his bikes!

I don’t think John Kudelka has anything to worry about!  If you click the image you should be able to read it.

Of more interest to me is some other earth-shaking news.* The other day, ‘way out  west of Oodnadatta, a ‘quake was recorded at almost magnitude 7.  That’s quite a shake! Of course, out there there are no high-rise apartments and crowded cities. And, fortunately, no nuclear reactors  or “waste facilities.” There are small settlements and these would feel after-shocks. You can read more here. I suppose my interest in  this stuff comes from having been knocked on my  butt  by ‘quakes as a little kid. Today? I could probably hold my balance in all but a big  shake! 🙂
I could make this a meteorological post. But I wont. I still have some mopping-up to do!
So I’ll leave you with these chaps. 
Pee Ess…it’s raining again.
*   Don’t be rude! You know this is not a naughty blog! 


…I made a carrot cake with these beauties, would it be purple?

Yes, these are purple carrots. Aren’t they just gorgeous? If you’d been around a few hundred (or thousand!) years  ago they’d have been common. The orange colour was only introduced, from a natural mutation, by Dutch breeders/ growers relatively recently. A popular story has it that a zealous Dutchman, hoping to curry favour with the House of Orange, developed the orange carrot. The Carrot Museum (yes, there is a carrot museum!) has some interesting facts.

Purple or orange, I love carrots. *

Just when we thought we’d skipped our Big Wet…

Torrential rain made the drive to work “interesting.” Lots of drivers taking risks. Not a policeman in sight. ** And My Man couldn’t travel out West, as scheduled, because roads were closed. In some places, serious flooding. Yes, some of the places still reeling from the 2011 floods.

I have been clearing rain pits here and next door. I’ve given up on trying to clear water from the carport. The sun and the breeze can do it. I’m flat-out dealing with laundry!

Oh! As if floods were not bad enough, we have the State Election on Saturday. It rather looks as though the Labour Party will lose. In a landslide. In this weather, I’d say “mudslide” might be the word!

I have a printing day tomorrow so I’m off to sort some inks.


*If Afghanis make a powerful alcoholic brew from carrots, maybe that’s why the West is hell-bent on staying there? Carrot-based rocket fuel? Hmm…

**This afternoon, in brilliant sunshine, a few metres from the end of my street, with sod-all traffic, Mr. Plod had stopped someone.


Time, I think, to tease some of the people who stumble in here.

I’m not going to go all cryptic like I did on that mangrove question. But I am going to ask you for more than a one-word answer.

What is it?

I was back in the water yesterday. Brrr! Lovely sunshine, but that South Easterly was nasty. Yes, even in a heated pool. I did think about a wet-suit.  Then I thought the Michelin Tyre Company might sue for breach of copyright! 🙂

Is your town twinned with another city? Our twin is Matsuura, in Japan and the school where I do the occasional stint as “helper” has just had a visit from a group of Matsuura students.

I spent the afternoon folding origami shapes. Lots of laughter and some very creative folding from some of the children. Moi? Not so much! I have perfected one or two folds, but I have a looong way to go in this field.

My origami crane. Sub-titled: don’t give up your day job!

Actually, I haven’t had a “day job” for a long time. The last place where I was on the payroll was a vineyard.

Which reminds me…it’s almost Happy Hour chez  Dinahmow… I’ll leave you with a small amusement to make up for my lack of witty content.  Take it away, Mr. Laurie…

GUESSING GAMES updated with the answer

A little something to amuse you while I get on with some serious work.

Actually, he’s more in the range of “big” as frogs go. This is a pot saucer I keep filled with fresh water for our nocturnal visitors, like possums. I wish we saw more frogs, but I suspect all my house-proud neighbours and their over-use of cleaning products have been, in part, responsible for froggies’ low numbers. Well, we can’t blame the drought!

Possibly one of the Justicias, but I didn’t get that from a botanist. Feel free to correct me!

And this little guy is the latest in the growing line of  “free-loaders” Chez Dinahmow. We don’t feed all the wildlife (that’s a bad move; ask any Ranger), but sometimes some critters need help.

This one was still “learning the ropes” from his mother when she was injured (probably hit by a car) and although The Man managed to get her to the vet her injuries were too severe  and she was euthanased. Oh, put your hankies away! Possums are pretty much at the top of the table when it comes to hand-outs! They have cuteness in spades.

He continued to take the nightly shortcut over the deck and we left some fruit out for him. No, we’ve never tried to make a pet of him; we just help him along on his journey. Some nights he doesn’t show and we wonder if he’s met his end. In case you’re worrying, the little bugger crash-landed on the roof at 4.21am today so I guess he’ll want his piece of fruit tonight…

And it’s a fuzzy photo because I took it from inside and I stopped the flash!

One of the nice things about the lap top is that I can follow the sunshine. And, believe me, today I need some sunshine! Drove past one of those light bulb thermometers  this morning and it read 12 deg.C. I swear that thing is faulty!

So now I’m going to take my lap top out of this shadow and find some new sunshine. First- find a cat. That should give me the best sunny patch!

But I’ll leave you with this.

What is it? Answers on a postcard, please. What, you want a prize if you guess correctly?  I’ll think about. Let’s say the prize is part of the mystery!

Move over, Geiger, I need me some sun!


Since no one guessed correctly the “prize” will be held over. Actually, I’m thinking of having one of these silly little contests on a regular basis.Tell me if you think it’s a good idea. And now…the answer.

Gecko footprints on the outside of the glass door. 

And, yes, more than one gecko. Given the huge numbers of geckos, it’s pretty obvious that they must  like each other. But man! can they fight!

True story .…It was a dark and stormy night… and I reached into a jacket pocket in the closet where I kept a slim chain belt. My fingers closed around something that was NOT chain…I withdrew my hand slowly, gently, a small part of my brain calculating the odds of the “thing” being a highly venomous creature and the chances of my getting medical help in time.

It was a gecko. And I should think it was doing some rapid permutations of its own!

Here’s a link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gecko#Gecko_toes:_setae_and_van_der_Waals_forces