Let’s just gloss over the fact that my blog-writing has tapered off. To say the least!

But here I am again and all set to talk about rites and writing. Prompted by some discussion of pens here and by a promise (yes, it IS a promise, Ms Scarlet!) by the talented Scarlet to post about her various pens.

It seems that there still some of us who are a bit fussy about our writing implements.Me, I can scrawl a grocery list with any old pen that comes to hand. But I do like a good pen.

I grew up in the days when penmanship was still taught in schools and until we were about 10 years old all our school lessons were written in pencil. My carpenter father made me a lovely wooden pencil case .And he taught me to sharpen pencils with either a pen knife or a chisel.Since knives were verboten at school I always sharpened my pencils at home.

And our first pens? Oh, dear! Those ghastly “school nibs” that splayed quicker than a bandy-legged jockey. And the school ink – arrgh! I think it came in big drums and was watered-down by the teachers who then chose well-behaved children to be “ink monitors” to fill the porcelain ink wells at each desk.No, I was never an ink monitor.

But I’d been given some money for Christmas or birthday and I added some of my savings to buy my first fountain pen. It came with a matching propelling pencil, in a leatherette case.. Of course, I promptly took it to school. And was just as promptly told I was not to use it in class.

At about this time, Mr. Biro’s invention had caught on and ball-points were being produced in mass quantity and their price came down. Sadly, so did quality and I never had one that didn’t go all blobby.

I don’t recall what brand my father used, but my mother’s pen was an Osmiroid and woe betide anyone who borrowed it! Over the next few years I owned several different pens, but the beloved Waterman was a favourite. A pricey pen for a kid;I think an uncle gave me his old one.

Spin the time machine forward some 50 years … for drawing I generally use a Staedtler Lumocolor or a ZIG or something similar. And I bought myself a Lamy Safari a couple of years ago! A cartridge style, I wanted to use various inks so  I bought a converter to enable that. These days, I find that my old fingers don’t do very well with skinny pens and the Safari is nice and chunky.


And did you know (I didn’t!) that Lamy developed it for German school use.

I used to have some good calligraphy nibs, but gave most of them to a friend when I left London. These old fingers will not be doing any more fancy writing.Mind you, I wouldn’t mind something like this! http://walyou.com/montblanc-steampunk-pens/

The Great Disposal of Old Stuff continues. With The Man no longer working full time we’ve embarked on re-painting the house. Well, he’s done all the hard work. I poured the wine! The walls (you’re dying to know, I can tell!) are a lovely sunny yellow. A little like Dulux Dandelion, but the shade changes with the shadows.

Work about to begin in the living room… old paint was a pale primrose.

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In this, if you squint beyond  Geiger, resident ladderologist, you can see the original, pale yellow, with the new , brighter yellow.

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And this is looking along the passage.See what I mean about the shifting shade!


Gradually, things are going back in place and some of the artwork is back on the walls. These are prints by a blogging friend http://havedogswilltravel.blogspot.com.au/  although she seems to be non-blogging these days. More will follow when we’ve re-wired some frames.




This blogging lark is thirsty work! But before I address that, here’s a natty bit of promotion…it is not my birthday, but the optician sent this as a reminder that I’m due for a test…IMG_4566



A very lazy,uncaring blogger. But I have had one or two other spanners in the works. Hopefully, said spanners now removed and flywheels operating normally.

Around the traps (the blogging world, that is) there has been some discussion of similar laziness.Why do so many of us seem so disenchanted with what, after all, has been our chosen means of expression and intercourse with other writers? Some of us write for a living  (hah! in my case, a few miserable coins.Occasionally.), some of us write as an adjunct to other work, some of us just enjoy the company we find on the platform. But for whatever reason(s) we have not felt the old urge. No, Muriel, not that urge! Muri-  Nurse! 

The long, cold winter? The debilitating heat of summer? No, I think it’s a relentless overburden of what we’ve been told is “news.” It streams at us, endlessly.Repeatedly.And it’s not always nice. In fact, it’s almost always bloody horrible.

The lovely Miss Scarlet has had a similar malaise, but she’s pulled up her brastra    bootstraps and is posting again http://wonky-words.com/2015/04/28/drive-sexy/

The Banished One never really left us. He sometimes says he has nothing to say.He lies. Even when he’s economical with words, he has pictures. Today, he reviews a New York play.

And the lovely Jane is hosting another round-the-blogs flower show. She’d also noted that many had slipped off the carousel of blogging.

There are many others. And many reasons for slipping quietly away (no, Muriel, not you.)

But I’ll try to pop in here , maybe with something worth reading.Maybe not. But I’ll start with some flowers.


A proper, professional bouquet! My Main Man had a spell in hospital and his office staff sent him these gorgeous beauties. The gerberas’ heads were collared and stems wired.Very impressed, I was! And, with a little trimming of stems and fresh water they survived very well.

Sadly, there is little  that is pickable in the garden Chez Dinahmow, this being the edge of what we call winter. But two of the plumeria and several Hibiscus mutabilis have put on a good show.That old stand-by, Dietes always stumps up.


Plumeria (aka frangipani)


Dietes.Grows with all the vigor of a weed.

Michelia figo

Michaelia figo, “port wine magnolia” outside the back gate. It has set seeds this year!

We walked down to the beach the other day.First time we’ve been there since the wretched crocs and jellyfish closed it a few months ago. I had the little camera in my pocket…


Looking south east through the curtain of Casuarina. Those clouds? The remnants of the storms that battered the Brisbane area.


Looking north, across Sunset Bay to Bucasia Beach.


And I’ll close with a Calliandra, also from the beach walk. I think they’re garden escapees, growing beneath coconut palms at the edge of the mangroves.



Plumeria  (aka Frangipani ) 2014-12-01 01.48.46

The picture I posted last week was of the buds. And while these things are ridiculously easy to grow, (heck! I had one in a pot in London!) I have been frustrated at every turn in this garden.Mainly damage from stonking great palms dropping fronds onto the flower stems, but also hungry bugs (not sure what as I never saw the beasties) and general malaise when we don’t get good rain.

Ah, but this year I have flowers coming through on this pink one and two more which I believe will be a lovely apricot shade.And one might even be cream. I shan’t break into the happy dance just yet…

Here is something else that makes me smile…Cassia fistula The tree needs serious pruning (again!), but we’ll wait til the flowers have finished.



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And a yellow Heliconia.This is next door and I much prefer it to the harsh orange ones that keep reappearing in my yard!



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Small Cat,Sammy,Biskit

And, because I can, an old picture of long-ago cats.The ginger one and the tabby were sworn enemies…except on a cold night when they agreed to suspend hostilities and share the fireside sofa! The Siamese Fighting Fish  Cat didn’t give a damn, one way or the other!

And here’s something else that pleases me.Very much! Geiger, despite training, deterrants,cussing has always been a shredder.Of shoes and furniture, mostly.When they were itty bitty kitties I got them a scratching post.Nope, Geiger still went for shoes and sofas.But last week I bought a fancy-dancy scratcher made of compressed corrugated cardboard (yeah, the makers know a sucker when they see one!).It came with a small sachet of cat nip, to encourage  the cats to use it. Well, guess what? Geiger LOVES it.I am almost allowing myself to dream of  new furniture. :-)