Sunday, January 15, 2017

How was your Christmas?

Preparations for Christmas were underway. We decorated our front yard with lights. Hadn't got around to putting up a Christmas tree just yet.... but that's as far as we got.

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I'd just left work and was looking forward to the lighter traffic which the school holidays bring, when suddenly an out of control car sped across three lanes, spun around and hit my car head on. All I saw was a quick flash of red car, then smoke, pain, air bags and the other car planted where my engine used too be. No time to brake or react. It happened in an instant.
My first thought - I'm alive that's good. A passer-by came to help me out of the car and another called the ambulance and police.
Although my chest, arms and legs were all painful, I could stand and walk (with help) to the side of road. Someone brought a chair for me to sit on.
 The police arrived a couple of minutes after the accident and the ambulance a minute or so later. They took me off to the hospital emergency department where I was checked out and declared OK to go home - no fractures, just severe bruising. Luckily the air bags and crumple zone in my car had worked together to prevent any serious injury. Both the police and ambulance said it was the car's safety features that saved me. So I'm replacing it with the same type of car. (a Hyundai i30)

Not funny at the time, but later maybe.... While I was on the roadside I tried to call John but his phone was engaged, so left a message saying I'd call again later. But, I forgot to hang up so he got a couple of minutes of the police explaining that they would be taking the car away to clear the road but first I would go in the ambulance. As you can imagine he was relieved when I finally got to call him back.

So Christmas came and went and I spent most of the time lying in bed or sitting with my feet up. We went to my son's house for Christmas lunch which was very nice, but I never did get to put up the tree. I had 2 good nurses though. One brought me food and cups of tea. The other lay at my feet and slept all day to keep me company.

I'm back at work now - still have a few aches and pains but healing well. I pick up my new (same as the old) car this afternoon and life goes back to normal.

Friday, December 9, 2016

How does your garden grow?

The garden is a little over a year old now and although I don't get to spend much time looking after it, it doesn't seem to mind.

All the plants are doing what they're supposed to do. Since I haven't posted anything about the garden (or even taken any photos) for ages I thought it was about time.

The bird bath we brought with us is used by local willy wagtails. We don't get the range of parrots visiting that we used to in Missy's garden but they are around. We see them flying overhead so I hope as our garden matures they'll find us.

The heliconias (Rostrata) are beginning to flower even though they look a bit shabby from being knocked around by the wind. I planted 8 different heliconias. Most haven't flowered yet, but generally they take two years after first planted, so I'm not concerned.

A smaller heliconia.

The brugsmania was blooming well during the week but by the weekend the flowers are starting to wilt. For such a small young tree it's doing well I think.

The clump of pink shell ginger is so huge in just a year we'll need to divide it once it's finished flowering.
Our hibiscus hedge has almost reached fence height. In a while I'll prune it back so it can thicken up.

So, our postage stamp garden is coming on well, all things considered. There are still a lot of gaps where extra plants can go, but for now I'd like the taller plants to grow and create some shade before filling in the understorey.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

John's boat

This is a very long story  

years in the making

much less in the telling

about a man who built a boat.

There's a happy ending - the boat has been launched.
and it didn't sink.
It didn't leak.
In fact

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Missy's day at the beach

The weather was perfect last weekend for a walk on the beach. As a bonus it was low tide ... and at low tide there is a sandbank that stretches out into the passage - Perfect for a nice long walk.

There was not a cloud in the sky... the night before we'd had thunderstorms but today no sign of rain.
The seagulls were out in force as well looking for snacks. People go fishing an the sandbank. I'm not sure whether anyone ever catches anything. Maybe they do.
For a old dog Missy did well keeping up with John. He strode ahead and Missy and I brought up the rear.

She didn't notice the soldier crabs. Her eyesight's not the best these days.

but the heron was having a feast
Missy's never been overly keen on swimming but she did have a little paddle in the water.

After such a big walk, it was nice to sit under the trees and have a drink of water while John went off to buy some lunch from a nearby take-away shop.
All in all - a perfect day

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A couple of paintings

Even though the weather lately has been very mild, Winter isn't my favourite time of year. I've had the dreaded flu etc but did find time for some painting. Thought I'd share a couple I've done recently.
more lorikeets

and sailboats

I took the photos with my phone and try as I might I can't rotate the last one sorry.
If anyone knows how to do it I'd appreciate the advice.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Garden Visit

Lindmar Garden
We took advantage of the beautiful weather on Saturday and visited a local open garden. This garden had planned to open the weekend before but postponed due to wet and windy conditions and there was more of the same on Sunday, but the weather behaved itself for our visit. 

The garden is set on 3 acres and has been cared for by the same people for 25 years. The most striking feature of the garden is the sheer number of bromeliads.

Pathways wound through garden beds

overflowing with bromeliads 

....literally overflowing

Of course, there were also annuals and perennials and succulents and begonias

 but the stars of the show were certainly the broms

Rows and rows of bromeliads most planted in garden beds beneath the trees - not a weed or a dead leaf in sight - many showing off blooms

They had topped up the wood-chip mulch throughout the garden. Everything were as neat as a pin. Having had a large garden I couldn't help thinking of the amount of work it takes to maintain a garden so large. Ours was never this neat and tidy.

Even the little touches of whimsy through  garden featured bromeliads - shakin' them tail feathers

An assortment of red baskets replaced the foliage in the frangipani tree, with red impatiens and begonias as well as broms.

Not one of our native birds, but the flamingo must feel at home to have so many eggs.

The "sculptures" throughout the garden made we wonder whether grandchildren were regular visitors here.
Plant stalls were set up on the lawn - orchids, perennials and (of course) bromeliads for sale.
There were also talks on various subjects throughout the day and a morning tea area near the house.
The Australian Open Garden Scheme folded a while ago -- don't understand why. I'm grateful though that gardeners like these carry on regardless to open their gardens for us to enjoy.
Thank you, Marie and Lindsay. You have a beautiful garden.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Free seed - Come and get it!

The land across the road from us has been released for sale.

To make it look it's best, the developer has been busy levelling topsoil then covering it with a mix of grass seed, fertiliser and mulch.

It didn't take long for the locals to realise there was a free feast on offer.

By nightfall we were wondering whether there would be any seed left to grow.

The birds had a party!