springing along



2014-10-22 18.45.41

It’s high spring already, the weather is warmer and drier than usual, storms notwithstanding, and the garden is changing quicker than I put these posts up. No surprise, really, I’m pretty darn slow. Already the yellow banksia rose in this photo is finished and the dark red rose that is only just buds is in bloom.

It feels like we are galloping towards summer. I’m not ready!

2014-10-22 18.46.05

I didn’t notice the hose going through the vegie patch when I took this photo. It’s not usually there as the vegie patch is irrigated, but we were burning off that day and needed the hose on standby further down the hill.

2014-10-22 18.46.15

This is the door to nowhere- have I shown this before? I don’t think I have! We put it there to facilitate wheelbarrow access to the vegie patch, then prettied it the hell up.

2014-10-22 18.46.48

These Othello roses are now in full bloom- I’ll have to take more photos to show you.

2014-10-22 18.46.55

2014-10-22 18.47.07

I’m getting vertigo looking at this photo.

You can see my parents little dog in the background. He was visiting while they flounced off to New Caledonia and did holiday things. They came back complaining of expensive everything and dreadful coffee… ah Melbournites! We always complain of the coffee everywhere else. Max in the US said to me, very gravely, ‘they just don’t take coffee seriously here, Mum!’. That’s my Melbourne-born boy!


spring garden and journals

A long time coming, sorry faithful readers (all three of you), but this body has been busy all over the place. Finally got my phone out and clicked away yesterday evening, because I was pleased with the beds under the trees, which have always looked too bare for my liking… until this year, when they have finally filled out. The bluebells are blooming and the liriopes and rock lilies add height and hopefully will keep things looking good once the bluebells are done and collapsed in a heap.

IMG_0964 IMG_0965 IMG_0966IMG_0969 IMG_0970

Plus I have lots more daffodils and jonquils also very springy under the trees.

Nice just to look around and appreciate it all sometimes.

News from the small concerns front is that younger son is in the US studying for 6 months. I miss his beardy face badly but am happy to report that he is having a fantastic college experience and doing well. Excitingly I am going to visit him for Thanksgiving! Late November I will whiz over and visit, oh gosh, so don’t know what to expect from the US but there I will go…

Also I have spent less time here as I am journaling in the physical world quite a bit lately, after going to some inspiring workshops on art journals. Less words and more pictures is the result, and I don’t know that I really like the end product but am persisting because the process feels worthwhile. I even wrote a post about it but I couldn’t bring myself to hit publish, the pictures feel a bit raw, a bit more of my inner world than I used to exposing. Here’s a little bit of it…

IMG_0878 IMG_0943

So that’s me, running around doing workshops, being ruthless and cleaning out my wardrobe and cupboards (lots of stuff to the op shop, some gone on e-bay), getting acupuncture for my sore hip, joining a women’s circle, trying to do a short meditation each morning, some yoga, working as per usual, went to some fiftieths, went to a 30 year school reunion, visited the zoo and the royal melbourne show, arranging my trip away… all good things and fun.

Reading the news depresses me no end, so it is a good thing to remember and list all this lovely stuff and think on all the good people I know, and oh boy life is sweet and full of juice, is it not?

love to you all xx



Queen Agapanthus


, , , ,

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.