Thursday, 20 July 2017

Hyacinths

Is it possible to grow hyacinths in the tropics?
I did.
Our daytime maximum is around 30 degrees Celsius, but it is usually cooler inside because of the thermal mass of the building.

I'm not a skilled photographer so it may be a little difficult to get a true idea of how lovely the flowers were.
These flowers had a surprisingly strong perfume that did not fade away in the heat. That was an unexpected bonus.

There were three bulbs and eventually there were six flower spikes. The tallest flower reached about 25cm, that's all.
The leaf and flower stage lasted for about a month.
I have saved the bulbs for next year. Happy days in the fridge.

The hessian shape slips over an ordinary black plastic pot and looks neat but casual. An extra layer of cellophane helped with waterproofing.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Grammar

I saw this clever cartoon on a Facebook page about grammar. I hope you are amused; obviously, Queen Victoria is not. I like simple puns and grammar jokes.

For the history purist, this cartoon does contain some inaccuracies. (The grammar nerds are busy with guidance.) The animals should all point the same direction. The skin tone should be a little darker; although I find it more engaging this way. Maybe the stool is an anachronism??

I appreciate the joke and am not really concerned with the faults. Happy smiles to you.

At the bottom of the cartoon are the source, the artist, and the date. The artist is Dan Piraro.
http://bizarrocomics.com/

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Keanu's quilt

Another quilt for a little baby.

Keanu has been waiting since March, but, at last, his quilt is finished.

It looks a bit better than this.  The gentle tropical breeze(!) would not cooperate and be still while my hero took the photo.

Quite a few dramas along the way. I have such a lot to learn. I am pleased that my quilting is improving. There are parallel lines, one set following the strips and one set at an angle to those but not at 45 degrees. The corners are still not as neat as I would have liked, but the important thing is that the child receives a gift made with love.

Keanu is a dear little boy, very happy and calm. I'm sure he will use this quilt for years and for many purposes.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Diffuser reeds

My sister-in-law brought back these lovely diffuser reeds from South Africa. The ornamental ends are ceramic and are attached to bamboo sticks that absorb perfumed liquid. Two proteas and one wheat.


We received three lovely reeds, but it took quite a lot of searching to find the correct perfumed oil. Only difficult, not impossible. I have tried replacing the liquid with a homemade perfumed oil a few years ago, but it was not as effective as the bought product. No faking it this time.

Perhaps some other enterprising artists should jump on this bandwagon.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Driving about

We drove down to Batchelor and Adelaide River.

There was a little market at Batchelor which we supported by purchasing some coffees and the ubiquitous sausage sizzle. And bought some other useless ornaments that I did not need but felt might disappear in a puff of smoke if they did not come home with me.
Thankfully my husband hauled me off to visit the local museum. Absolutely loved that. Batchelor has a long and interesting history starting with farming, branching into mining, then military stuff, mining again, and lastly education. It is a very pretty place in the middle of not-quite-nowhere.

Off to Adelaide River and the Railway museum. Loved that too.  I'm not sure why, but I really enjoy looking at old engines and things. I looked at the water tower and immediately thought of those television shows where people convert similar structures into homes. The museum has a lot of material. Some of the displays deserve better attention, but the manpower is not available.

Adelaide river has seen more prosperous times, but it hangs on. It is a popular stop for the grey nomads with their big cars and caravans. There's an amazing war cemetery. We of the Never Never country. Gold mining comes and goes.

The reservoir that originally provided water for the steam trains is gorgeous.


The Adelaide River Railway museum has quite a few buildings
and interesting bits and pieces.

Time and the tropics.


It's a bit tricky to maintain the site but the old equipment is fascinating.
This reservoir is not used now, but once supplied all the water for the steam trains and the little community.
It's big. This photo hardly does it justice.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Pacific Requiem

During the performance.
I'm in the middle row with the altos but partially obscured.
The Darwin Chorale performed Pacific Requiem last weekend as part of The Territory Remembers commemorations. It was quite challenging to learn and perform well, but the result was worth every second of all those rehearsals.

It is 75 years since war came to Australia and the Northern Territory was bombed. The Pacific Requiem, by Michael MacNeill, is a work of reconciliation. This means it is one way we can all come to feel that the war is long over and that participants should be forgiven. Those who fired the weapons were just ordinary people doing what they were told was right. They have friends and family who mourn their loss too. This requiem is for all.
MacNeill's requiem contains pieces in Latin, English, and Japanese. It is based on the traditional requiem service of the Christian church, in Latin, but supplemented with folk songs from Australia, USA, and Japan. A children's choir sings some sections.
Our performance was in the Uniting Church in Darwin. This church is itself a war memorial. We were lucky enough to have the composer present at the final rehearsal and at the performance.

Afterwards, Michael MacNeill addressed the audience.
The church was decorated with cherry blossoms, red roses, and wattle flowers. All the singers and musicians wore sprigs of those flowers too.

The following morning we sang at a church service to bless the new Peace Garden at the same church. The Fujita family sponsored that event. It was so moving that tears poured down my cheeks.

Who is Michael MacNeill? He is an Australian now, but he was born in the USA. His father had served in World War II in the Pacific as an American Marine. Michael MacNeill taught English and Drama in schools, and also developed a sound reputation for composing musicals and operas. He is no musical lightweight.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Storms and bubbles

The large bubble at the bottom is 10cm across.
Last night we had a couple of very windy storms coming from the west. The strong winds forced water and air into tiny cracks or openings in our building.

This morning I found this.

This window is completely exposed with no shade or shelter at all.

The bubbles are a combination of air and water. The force has been enough to lift the paint away from the concrete wall. I wonder who invented such strong paint.

A small amount of water had leaked in via the window fitting, but that has not caused the paint to bubble.

Our body corporate management has been notified, because if it happens in our flat then it also happens in every flat directly above and below us - 28 floors. Our building is insured for storm damage and an insurance assessor will have to inspect this. Nothing is actually broken. Let's see what happens as the monsoon continues.

During the afternoon the weather was fine, warm and sunny. The sun shines directly on this window every afternoon of the year. The bubbles decreased dramatically. I wonder if they will grow again tonight while I am dreaming.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone. May your 2017 be filled with good fortune and good health.
Not my picture. Found it on the internet, but have no idea where.
The rain stayed away yesterday afternoon and last night just long enough for everyone to have a great celebration. Fabulous fireworks.
Today the sun shone brightly and the washing cheered in its usual fashion.
Now there are refreshing breezes - otherwise known as blowing a gale.
I have one New Year resolution and it will probably last as long as all the others have done. But I will briefly feel that I tried. Optimism springs eternal, and all that.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Will it rain?

"Save us," whispered the plants.
Will it rain tonight?

This month we have had 530mm rain here in the CBD. Usually, we get around 240mm. Our annual rainfall is about 1 540 mm. Not our wettest month. Not our wettest year.

My poor pot plants have been battered by the strong wind that comes with many of the December storms. I move them around so they get fresh air and sunshine without too much windburn. Now the poor helpless things are shoved at the ends of the verandah in a bid to shelter them from the wind.

Will it be fine enough for the New Years Eve celebrations? It is sunny now. Will it last?

Each New Years Eve there are two free concerts and two fireworks displays at the waterfront, just walking distance from our home.
This year the children's concert has characters from TV. Later is the adults' concert with Diesel.
One fireworks display is at 9.00 and the other at midnight.
I like the crowd, the excitement, the noise, and of course the fireworks. Yes, I'm a sook and do not stay until midnight.

But, will it rain?

I am wishing you a very enjoyable evening. Promises to be good can wait a while. Eat something high in calories!