Queen Agapanthus


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Well, Dear Reader, here it is, at last. Those of you who know the saga of ‘Naughty Agapanthus‘ may remember from the comments that there was a mysterious sequel, ‘Queen Agapanthus’. I had no memory of this book at all, until a very kind commenter, Fiona, sent me photos of her copy. Then the memories came rushing back. How could I have forgotten? The story and the pictures are so vivid and vital, still so much fun after all these years. So here it is, to share with you all. I apologise for any distortion in the pictures, I had to skew them all in Photoshop and I’m afraid some may have ended up looking rather odd. But the freshness is still there to see, I hope. And thank you, Fiona, for making this possible.

Queen Ag coverad

At lunch-time, Agapanthus was very naughty.

“Eat up your spinach”, said her mother.

“Oh, no”, said Agapanthus. “Spinach! I just hate it!”

“YUK!” said Agapanthus.

“Just sit there till you eat it”, said her mother.


Agapanthus was cross.

Agapanthus was FURIOUS.

“If I were the queen”, she told her little brother, “then no-one could tell me what to do.

I’ve always wanted to be a queen”, said Agapanthus. QA4ad

Then Agapanthus put on her mother’s fur.

“My mother won’t mind, because when I’m queen I’ll buy her another. She’ll really be very pleased”.

Agapanthus made a cardboard crown and put it on her head.

“I crown me Queen Agapanthus”, she said.


Queen Agapanthus went out in the garden and called the girl-next-door.

“Come quickly”, she shouted. “Come here at once! For I am the queen and you must obey”.

The girl-next-door came running.QA8ad

“We must have a party”, ordered Agapanthus.

“A party for me”.

And she sat on her throne.

“Go, people, and bring me food and drink.

Hurry up, or the queen will make you sit all day eating spinach!”

The girl-next-door ran home and brought a chocolate cake.

The little brother ran inside and found some lemonade.

“The queen is very pleased with you”, said Agapanthus.QA10ad

Queen Agapanthus looked down from her throne.

“Now let the feast begin”, she said.

So they ate and they drank till they nearly burst.

“Quite delicious”, said the queen.QA12ad

“Now the queen is going to dance”, said Agapanthus.

And she did.

She whirled and twirled as fast as she could.

“Now dance and sing, you people”, yelled the queen.

So the people did, too.

They danced and sang and leapt on the grass.

At last, they fell, exhausted.QA14

“I am too, too hot”, said Agapanthus.

“Please, people, make the queen a bath”.

Her little brother turned on the water.

It poured into the bird bath.

Agapanthus jumped right in.QA16

The queen splashed so much water that the people got very wet.

So they jumped into the bath as well.

Up and down, up and down they jumped.

“Yah! Yah! Yah!” they yelled.

Plop, into the water they fell.

“Eeeeeeh! Ooo-ee-oo-eee!” they screamed.

They made so much noise that their mothers came out.QA18

The girl-next-door had to go straight home.

“What a shame”, said Agapanthus.QA20

Then Agapanthus’ mother was FURIOUS.

“Look at my fur! Look at my dress! Oh, look at them!” she cried.

She took her children in and dried them hard.

“Please, never be a queen again if that’s how queens behave”, she said.

“Alright”, said Agapanthus.

“When I wake up tomorrow, I’ll just be me”.QA22

And so she was.QA24

Weekend in Hobart



Such a pretty house. I'm going to live there and wear a flowery patchwork dress and make my own bread tra-la-la

Such a pretty house. I’m going to live there and wear a flowery patchwork dress and make my own bread tra-la-la

The French fountain in the Botanical Gardens

The French fountain in the Botanical Gardens

Beautiful old brick wall

Beautiful old brick wall- with someone’s dumb ugg boots sticking out like a muppet

water words at MONA

water words at MONA

wind powered drawing at MONA

wind powered drawing at MONA

wind drawings

wind drawings


Hobart. We ate great food. We stopped to have a beer in a pub where a dozen people were sitting around a big log fire playing traditional Irish music. We met a puppy in a pirate shop. We went to the Salamanca Market- don’t bother. We went to MONA- absolutely DO bother, what an amazing place. We came out with heads spinning.

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens were another highlight, the prettiest I’ve ever been to. Perched on the hill overlooking the Derwent river, it has a beautiful aspect and some lovely big trees, not to mention a delightful conservatory. I’m sounding all Elizabeth Bennet now. And, of course, they have an extensive vegetable garden.

All the people we met were lovely, the wait staff at cafes and pubs couldn’t do enough for you. What a contrast to surly old Melbourne. The air felt clear and sparkly, like it had more oxygen than usual. Both suffering head colds, but somehow we still had energy to burn. We had a great time, thanks Hobart.

anzac day 2014



Sorry this is a really old photo, but I’m still having technology ish-oos…

Cold, cold morning air cut through by brilliant sunshine. Zadie and I took a walk around the world’s smallest lake, which is not too far from our house. The good folk of Lilydale were out early, pushing prams, walking with dogs, jogging diligently around the wide gravel paths that surround the water. The ice cream van and the coffee truck had pulled up when we were leaving, and families with young children were already colonising the playground and barbecue areas. It’s going to a busy holiday day at the lake. So grateful for these simple pleasures, but it is a day that is shadowed by war and all it’s myths, so there is always a feeling of some sadness as well.

we go to the gallery


Thanks to blue milk for making me aware of this marvellous Ladybird spoof by Miriam Elia.





Not posting much lately because I am having issues with technology. Namely that my home pc is so old and decrepit, it has lost the will to live. And the work pc is a hussy who hates my phone pictures and insists on uploading them to WordPress on a 90 degree angle. So there it is. Should I get a shiny new laptop, I am wondering?

items of mild interest




1. A micro-brewery and boutique beer bar has opened up conveniently close to the office. They play vinyl.

2. I could now ride my bike to the a local sourdough bakery and do yoga there on a Wednesday night. If I owned a bike.

3. Not far from the bakery is an organic farm store. Beautiful fresh vegies, organic groceries and a food school as well.

Are we finally getting hipster cred in this unfashionable part of the world? I sure hope so. We could do with a bit of Portlandia round here.IMG_0672   IMG_0675

4. I dithered for ages before I ordered this Mark Hearld book, wondering if I should be so indulgent. I am very, very glad I did, it is superb. His work inspires and delights.

5. I have been caught up in the whirlwind that is the school community’s annual art show for the last few weeks. It was fun and exhausting and energising. I love being a part of the team that brings this event to life. Now to try and get some normal back.


6. I now have creepy jewelry hands to hold my necklaces. This is good.

7. Normal is relative.

News from the animal house





Keiko likes to watch me paint. Sometimes he likes to help me paint.

Notice the pronoun? That’s right, our little girl cat IS A LITTLE BOY CAT.


He’s pretty relaxed about it.


My poor little Zadie had to have surgery. She has a luxating patella, which basically means her knee was dislocating and making her lame. Corrective surgery entailed deepening the groove in her bone and pinning the ligament in place. Hopefully, this will keep her bouncing around like a loon for the rest of her life.

Our old dog, Scamp, is having ongoing treatment for arthritis and Keiko is booked in for his de-sexing. I am getting to know the team at the local vet clinic uncomfortably well.




Update to the vegie garden situation. I am too lazy to take photos, so all these are taken by Leo. From spring into summer…



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The sunflowers are HUGE. The zucchinis are out of control and making a bid for freedom across the path. I ate all the rocket. The radishes went to seed and then the aphids ate them. The carrots are delicious and so were the broadbeans.

The vegetable garden is now everyones favourite part of the garden.


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