Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Who knew?

Before my gardening obsession reached its current levels a daffodil was a daffodil was a daffodil.  And now my eyes have been opened.

There are just so many different flowers, all bearing the daffodil (or jonquil) name.

His high and skinniness still can't often get outside, so yesterday I trotted out and picked one of most of the daffodils and jonquils which are flowering at the moment.  And yes, for a change, if you click on the photo is will magically enlarge.

Aren't there a lot of different colours and shapes?  And these are just the early flowering variety.  There are more (lots more) yet to come into bloom.  Woo Hoo.

And I love these crocus too.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

No more willpower than a soggy paper bag.

I have failed (again) and this time I am laying the blame at the feet of my friends in the blogosphere.  I don't like shopping.  I have almost total sales resistance except where books or plants are concerned. 

I can only resist if I don't go near anywhere which sells either of them.  Drat you, my resolve on the book front is frequently tested here in the blogosphere.  Many of you are talented writers and others of you tell me about books which I lust after.  My unread pile is substantial and I have been resisting (mostly) temptation as I work through it.  And, during the medical mayhem, rereading comfort books was about my limit. 

And on the weekend just gone I fell from grace.  Dramatically.  I love the library, and cannot imagine not being a member.  But NONE of the books I weakened over are held in our library.  And are not likely to be purchased in the foreseeable future.

A review here started the rot.  El is herself a talented author, and the review she posted about' The Sexual Adventures of Time and Space' by Brian Sfinas whetted my appetite.  Big time.  I had not heard of either the author or the book, and was intrigued.  Drat you El.  So I rationalised (dangerous) that I had been very busy and very stressed and very good and deserved a reward.  Oh dear.

And dived in the deep end.  Yes, I have bought it.  But did I stop there?  Did I hell.

Some time ago Geo. told me that Laurie King had another book out in her series about Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes.  Which I resisted at the time.  No longer.  And while browsing I found another one I didn't have.  Oops.

But wait, there's more....

librarygirl introduced me to Ben Aaronovitch  a couple of years ago.  And recently reminded me that there is another one in the series...  So I succumbed again.  And worse she has also added 'The Children of the King' by Sonya Hartnett to my wish list.  I didn't get it on this binge, but I will...

And more.

lynners told me recently that she had purchased and loved 'Station Life in New Zealand' by Lady Barker.  I love biographies, autobiographies and memoirs.  I bought it too.

And one more.

Susan Flett Swiderski has written  'Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade'.  Resistance was obviously useless so I added that to my hoard.

Oh dear.  And I don't even feel (very) guilty.  Reviews will follow in the fullness of time - they are not expected to reach me before the end of next month.

What can I say, but thank you - and drat you.

And, while still obsessed with books, I found 'Who will I be when I die?' by Christine Boden at a Lifeline bookfair in June.  A book which terrified me and inspired me.

Christine Boden had just escaped an abusive relationship and become a single parent who also filled a  high profile and stressful job.  And, at 46 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  I am terrified that MS will eat my brain, so my heart lurched in sympathy for her.  And she lived and worked in my city.

This book is the story of her emotional, physical and spiritual journey in the three years after her diagnosis.   Mike Munro summed it up superbly 'Who will she be when she dies?  A mother remembered and revered by her family and a woman who gave a great deal of herself to strangers.'

A moving and inspirational book - and she has also written two more books and is working on a third.  I hope I could face life with a fraction of her grace and determination.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sunday Selections #134

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River, I generally run with a theme.  This week it is mornings - which have been very varied, and beautiful this week.  As always, click to embiggen.

On Tuesday morning I awoke to bright sunshine, and a dusting of snow on the nearby Brindabella ranges.  Not a lot - but it was very pretty.

On Wednesday morning, a beautiful dawn got me scurrying outside doing mad woman in dressing-gown with camera dances.

And, naturally, the garden continues to give me joy.  I will only inflict a few images on you this week though.

This is a King Alfred daffodil - the skinny one's favourite variety.

Crocuses - tiny little splashes of colour and enchantment.

And the first of the Lachenalia  (also known as Soldier Boys).  I hope the rest of the pot flowers as well.

The smaller portion continues to do the hard yards.  BUT, and it is a big but, this week he had two almost reasonable days, and while the rest of the week was vile, I hope we are turning the magical corner.  Thank you one and all for your good wishes and support.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sunday Selections #133

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River, I generally run with a theme.   And, for something completely different I am in the garden (jungle) again.  Each and every time I turn around more things burst into bloom.  Which is bliss.

A pushy (and demanding friend) has complained that she never sees enough 'long shots' of the garden, and that I focus too much on individual blooms.  Whose blog is it sunshine?  That said, I will include at least a couple of wider angled photos to keep her happy.  As always click to embiggen.

Over the next few weeks this garden will change from largely white to yellow as different daffodils come out.  With a lot of freesias too.  And grape hyacinths.  Then the irises will bloom then rather a lot of liliums.

A Japanese Iris, given to me by a neighbour.

Anemones.  There are ranunculas here too, but they are not blooming yet.  A vandal bird (not certain which one) has been having a fine time beheading the flowers just before they bloom.  Hiss and spit.

Towards the back of this photo is a cat.  Who loves our garden - much to the displeasure of Jazz n Jewel.

Hyacinths.  I particularly like the deep purple ones - though they all smell delightful.

This hyacinth is lurking (with violets and daffodils) in a narrow bed under the clothes line.  There are some magenta ones which are nearly out too.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Back to Antarctica. Again.

I mentioned that the smaller portion is having an awful recovery (if that is the right word).  He is still in the one step forward, two back stage and I don't think his condition has improved since he got out of hospital.  Which we are both finding difficult.  And frightening.  And he is being a toad and refusing to see or talk to a doctor before his follow up appointment next month.

I could dwell on the negatives but, since denial is not just a river in Egypt, I have chosen  to ignore them as far as I can.  I am concentrating very firmly on pleasant and/or beautiful things.

My last post was about the furry tyrants.  This time I am going back, yet again, to Antarctica.

In the last month nearly 300 people have visited an earlier Antarctic post,  It is far and away my most popular post so I hope that this isn't just self indulgence.  And if it is, feel free to tip toe quietly away. 

Some of you will remember that after my mother's death significant amounts of my inheritance were squandered invested in fulfilling a life long dream.

I cannot remember NOT wanting to go to Antarctica and my trip lived up to my dreams - and surpassed them.  The scenery was awe-inspiringly beautiful and the wild life incredible.  There are restrictions on how close you can go to the birds and the animals - but no-one told them that.  I was, as I have whinged before, appallingly sea-sick - and it didn't matter.  If my health or my finances would allow me to do it again I would go in a heart beat.  I hug the memories very tightly to myself.

There will be a LOT of photos, many of which I have posted before, but I hope you enjoy revisiting them.  As always, clicking on the photos will embiggen them.

I was away for three weeks, seeing the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and some of Antarctica.

On the principle of never letting a chance go by, I swam twice.  Sans wet suit.  Since MS means I really don't feel the cold it (for once) gave me an advantage.

And now for the beauty and wonder.

The birds...

Adelie Penguin

Baby King Penguin in its first moult

More baby King Penguins - with adults in the background

Gentoo Penguin

Magellan Penguins

King Penguins

ChinStrap Penguin

Rock Hopper Penguins and Albatross

Skuas - rushing to a carcass

Stormy Petrel
The seals...

The scenery...

Do you wonder that when I am dribbling in my rocking chair at the retirement home I expect these are the memories I will be hanging on to?