Today in the garden

Camellia in bloom at the moment and they made a beautiful pink carpet.

A superb pink double frills

Winter is really upon us. Mornings are really cold and it takes ages to warm up in the morning, so bed for now is the best place you could say. But not for long. In spite of the chill there is plenty to do and above all I want to show you around the garden and what is going on at the moment.  I have planted the the broccoli, the cauliflowers, the turnips, radishes of course, the lettuces, the leeks and not to forget the broad beans. The bandicoots (type of big rabbit like marsupial typical to Australia, but they are not rats as they have a very long nose to DIG )  have also rallied around the garden beds and they are making sure that everything that I plant is turned upside down. Dug deep, scattered everywhere and asking me to fix it so that next time they’ll do the same thing. Not next time, in fact this very evening it will be back to square one. Peter has plugged all the holes…in vain!

The rain has arrived and we are back inside for a coffee and a cake.

The other day the Monty mighty resident pythons managed to infiltrate the chicken coop and had one for dinner. After it went back into the shed an rested for the day or a few days. Well, you can see for yourself the photos were taken just a little while ago. Since then, after doing a mix of concrete for the studio, there was a little left over and all the holes in the chicken coop have been plugged. Hopefully no more rats or pythons.

In fact around here we do not have any of the big rats that are found in towns but bush rats which are different and not so aggressive. Nevertheless they never miss a chance to eat my peas or any other seedling that I just manage to plant. So, I do them indoors now and plant them when they mature enough. BAd luck!

It found a pack post for a rest!
After a good feed, staying put in the shed

From a fabulous pattern from Wolf Crochet

Easy to make and attracting lots of comments

Many thanks to Wolf Crochet for the lovely pattern that I have attempted to knit. Originally, it was done with a crochet and I have adapted it for needles following recommendations as I feel more confortable knitting. The easist I have done done for years. You should have seen the knitters at the Gallery where I volunteer, they all wanted to do the same one. I think we have started something there.

Thanks again.


The Stiches are as follow for a 14 size

50 stiches on number 5.5mm needles

Then reduced 1 stich to 49 as you need multiple of 8+1

8 ply Merino wool

12cm hem and any rib patterns you like. Mine was easy,

First row: right side K1 P1

Second row: Knit

Repeat these 2 rows

Length including hem: as you wish but made mine 1.40m long

Pattern is as follow:

First row right side: knit

Second row: K1,*P7,K1 repeat *to end

Third row: K4,*P1,K7 repeat*to last 5 stitches, P1 ,K4

Fourth row: K1*P2,K1,P1,K1,P2 repeat * till end

Fifth Row: K2* (P1,K1) twice,P1,K3 repeat from* till last 7 sts((P1,K1) twice, P1, K2

Sixth Row: as 4th row

Seventh Row: as 3rd row

Eight Row:  as 2nd Row

Repeat these rows



A day in the Gallery seeing and looking.



Today was a beautiful day. Sunshine, crisp and real fresh and cool air. Many people dropped in and looked around. Nobody bought anything. Visitors from many continents. But mainly the Euro zone, and given the state of this currency comparing to the Aust.$ the mood is not for spending but for hanging on to your cts as long as possible. That was clearly the mood of the day. Lovely smiles, easy conversations.

I wonder what they saw. Seeing and looking are different state of mind. Seeing implies a deep (how deep I am not sure) of a world that is not necessarily according to you description of the world.
Looking is just glancing with no particular topic in mind. No effort or concentration. No reflection, or in depth of our immediate surrounding. One thing struck me… they all looked. Very few saw the meanings of these painting or collection that was on display. So hard as everyone looks for something that is going to appeal to them. No one person stayed in front of a painting and actually saw what it meant or said. They fleeted by nonchalantly, bored, blaze, aloof. In and out. Been there done that! Oh! yes I have been to Nimbin Artists Gallery, that glorious Sunday. Yes, beautiful. Yes, they had some nice stuff!  ANother Sunday spent in a little village in Northern New South Wales where the Hippies from the 70’s still hang around. looking haggard, eyes bleary and much much more.


A week of sunshine and the butcher bird

Yes, a week of sunshine after a days and weeks of rain in our valley. Suddenly a renewed energy has transformed our activities and from the hopelessness of being inside and not being able to go out in the garden, here we are working like bees on the new nectar.

The birds are also out in force and demanding food, I am talking about the butcher bird. This one lives here. Bird in residence. He comes in, sits on the sofa, looks around and starts singing…Singing? I just wonder. I truly thinks that the is begging for food. So I reach for the fridge door and get him a little minced beef. He knows what I am doing. He follows all my gestures and mouvements. He is on the look out for my next gesture. Will I throw him the bit or will he take it out?

After a second of reflexion I decide to throw it and he catches it on the wing. Then settles on the sofa, drops it on the edge and starts to nibble . He forms little balls so that he can swallow them, tear it a little more. But as he does that the meat flies everywhere…on the carpet, on the other side of the sofa and on the wooden floor. But there is one little problem. When it lands on the floor, the dog is watching. He looks at the bit on the floor and pauses for a few seconds before deciding if it safe. Hesitation? Fluttering? He looks again sideways to gage if it might be within his range to grab and quickly fly away from the dog. One seconde later, he dives on the floor and low and behold he eats right there. Cutting the piece with his beak, and when he does this there are bits splattered everywhere. But that does not bother him as he hops from one to other picking it sideways and swallowing them. And at the same time of course watching the dog in it slightest move. But the dog does not move. All is safe.Though the dog eyes him in a funny sideway look. “how come he is getting a bit and not me” surely does he think.

The butcher bird, hops across the sofa to an other side, sits there as if to enjoy the company and the inside of his newly found little place. If friends drop in for a bite or a cup of coffee, “butchie” as he is nicknamed flies in and sit on the edge of the sofa or the wooden table soaking in the atmosphere of the chatter and clinking of cups. He stays there for minutes at a time. Just resting. A sofa is softer than a branch of a tree, has he already learned the soft comfort of a plush sofa?

But it does not stop there at all. Come 5 o’clock he rushes towards the backdoor and perches on the top.It does swing from side to side. Why this hour? the answer is very simple it is the time of feeding the dog. He knows that there would be some extra for him. And everyday the same scene re-occurs, punctual. Does he hear the noise of the dog’s bowl?Maybe? does he have a time in his memory that more food is coming his way? Maybe? But,  he certainly knows that he will be getting more.

This morning the smell of the bbq spare ribs brought in a family of magpies. Will they stay around for food also?

Now, did I tame and trained this little creature or has it trained me and tame me? Relationship is a two way channel that is for sure.