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.


I suppose at least one younger-than-60 reader might ask “why?” Well, kiddies, this is why we have Wikipedia.

No, seriously, I feel I owe at least an explanation, if not an apology, for my absence from the blog.

You see, I, like most women (and even some men!) wear many hats. And lately I seem to have had an over-burden of chapeaux.

many hats1 This, of course, is a regular hat. Sometimes I might get away with calling it a chef’s hat. Mostly, though, I just make things  “look pretty on the plate.”

many hats 2_Well, the easel is a bit of a fib since I’m not a painter (can you tell!), but my artistic trials continue.

The local group of printmakers have just held their inaugural print awards and, following a good reception, we’re hoping this will become an annual or biennial event. But it was not without some heart-stopping moments! I suppose organisers of any exhibition have similar “now what?” crises. Which, in the end, are mere blips on the radar. Not every blip is an in-bound meteor!

many hats 4I’m ashamed to say it’s been a l   o   n   g time since I wore this hat with any degree of professionalism. But Idid a little judicious pruning of the calendar and managed to get a few more pots of herbs started, ripped out some disgracefully overgrown, weedy shrubs and old annuals, had The Man take a serious saw to some kind of scrawny tree ( wild fig, I suspect), cut away the last of the passion fruit vine and whooped in excitement at the first tomato flowers. Then stamped and cussed when something ate them. 😦

I binned a leakier-than-necessary soaker hose, put in a new one…then had to race around looking for the cigarette lighter.*  But, slowly, the trash I can’t compost is being hauled off to the tip and I feel virtuous.

many hats 3_0004Hmm…my teaching hat was side-lined while we sorted the print exhibition, but I’ll be back in the classroom tomorrow….

unless I have to don another hat…

…and I have no idea how to draw whatever hat a motor mechanic’s gofer wears. But I’ve been wearing one of those, too. And very soon I hope to have a picture to show you of the shiny “new” Mustang!

2009_0127julymustang0006In the meantime, instead of a bikini-clad bimbo draped across the bonnet, a la motor show (or Mr. Clarkson’s dreams)…

A few posts back, Ronell mentioned in comments that she’d love to see cane harvesting. Well, there are still a few fields being cut and I managed a very rough sketch of one on my way home the other day.

For those who have a romantic idea of cane being torched, then lines muscular men swinging blades…sorry! they don’t do it that way now. Nope! Today the cane farmer has an enormous machine, with two worm-screw things  which push into the cane and, as they turn, the screws carry the stalks up into a chopper wotsit (I’m talking technical stuff here) where the leafy waste is stripped and blown clear through a cowl, leaving the “good” part (the stems) to be discharged into  a waiting trailer. The trailer is hauled by a tractor and I guess it must take some nifty co-ordination to have the trailer under the spitting-out-part when it’s doing the spitting-out. I’m sure if you Googled you’d find  even more technical explanations.

But it’s sort-of like this. Sort-of…cane harvest

And now it’s time for the chapeau de chef again. But first – the sommelier…  


*Being non-smokers, we only have one lighter (for incense and mosquito coils) and I needed it to seal that leaking hose.

** There was some wine left over from the opening night and I brought it home to “cellar” until we have another celebration. Someone rather unkindly remarked that having me look after the wine was rather like putting Ronnie Biggs in charge of trains!