Friday, March 30

A tale of a tail

This little tail tale took place on Wednesday.
I decided it was time to bath both dogs, plus, they both really needed a hair cut. More particularly Leo, who sees the brush & runs to hide.
I bathed Honey first, as she is more docile, & less likely to protest the shampoo, consequent hair trimming & brushing.
It was a very warm day, so I took them outside to tidy them up. The result was piles of hair all over the table & the pavers.

"Never mind" says GOM, " I have my super new leaf blower/mulcher, & I will clean it all up later"


So Honey is duly bathed, clipped, & let go, to shake & run about in the sun.
Next comes Leo, who had been lurking out of sight in the bedroom, hoping noone would notice him.
Once I got him into the tub, he was more biddable, & allowed me to give him a good shampoo & rinsing. GOM carried him out for me, as he is very heavy. I set to work clipping all the matted lumps off his wool. And what a lot there were!
Finally I tried to brush his lovely long tail, but he would have none of it, so I decided I would have to cut it all off & start again.
And here is one sorry tail! "Where are my lovely tail feathers?"
This is a before pic, of the lovely wooly tail. I feel so mean.
And here is Honey, post clip, complete with her tail. She lets me brush it.

And now the story gets distinctly 'off'.
GOM goes downstairs to get his wonderful machine to deal to the wool all over the yard.
I am sitting watching the dogs leap about in the sun getting warm & dry.
All of a sudden my nostrils are assailed by the most terrible stench.
Unmistakable dog excrescence!!
I glare down at GOM waving his infernal mulcher machine backwards & forwards.
I mutter to myself " Surely he could have avoided the dog shit. He's deaf not blind!"
So I get up, call the dogs & go indoors. Peering out at him as he comes up to my end of the yard. Then I see it! The bag is unzipped! All the wool, leaves & no doubt mulched-dog-shit are flying all over the yard, straight out the back of the mulch bag! Holy Crappe Batman! No wonder the yard has a stench almost unbearable.
I tap frantically on the glass door, waving my arms, pulling faces. Finally he notices. Turns off the infernal machine. I gingerly open the door, a fraction, tell him the horror story, & he says sheepishly. "I wondered where all the fluff was coming from".
He is a definite worry where mechanical things are concerned. Or any 'garden type' activities really.
Here is some of the 'recycled wool', lying about the yard.
And here is more of it.
I dont really want to deal with it. He went over it all with the zip closed, but he didnt get it all.
We had Mr & Mrs Nice Neighbour over to visit, & I told them the story, as we sat outside in the yard. Mrs N N had mentioned how nice it is in our back yard. I told her "Dont be too sure, it has had a 'mulching'!"
There is no residual smell, so hopefully it has dispersed & gone.
There is one thing about my life with GOM, I could never say it has been dull!

Thursday, March 29

Family Photos

I just love this old photo. It would have been taken around 1931/2. It is of my Mother with a friend. My Mother is the girl on the right in the photo, & that is as tall as she ever grew. She looks so tall in this pic, but in reality she was a short adult. I love the clothes, so typical of that period, and the straight way they are standing tall.

In the background you can see the poor steep denuded hills that the Pakeha (white man) came & stripped & burnt off all vegetation. The idea was to farm the land, but as you can see, it was a poor land for farms, & many failed.

My Grandparents went to live in the isolated area when their children were very young. My Grandfather became the Roadman, who maintained the roads to keep them open for traffic. My Grandmother was the Postmistress, & loved doing her job wearing that hat! We always had wonderful old stamps -leftovers from her days as Postmistress.

When my mother & her brothers went to school, it was in a local school house which was built for the children of that lonely area. Locals built it & were very proud of it. There were initially only about 4 families who attended, but a few more children came later. I dont seem to have any photos of the school, but think my brother might have some still.


My other Grandparents lived in the district & were farmers, & part of the original families who settled the area, & built the school house.




******
This is a new generation of family. My dear Daughter J, with my now, almost Adult Granddaughter S. She was about 2 when this pic was taken. She has her Dolly with her, which was her constant companion, until she lost her, then she had another doll called Kelly.
And this pic is of Meggie, Mary, my mother, with S on her knee, and DJ sitting next to Mum. That was four generations of us. S was 8 months old. We went to NZ to visit Mum, & it was the first time she met S.

And this pic was taken during that visit with my Mum, & is of S, with my youngest nephew, Little D, who is now almost 19. I am sure I have another pic with a better pic of D, but I cant find it. It is time to tidy my photo collection!
The years seem to flash past, & S will be 18 in May. It hardly seems possible.
It was just yesterday that she was born!



Wednesday, March 28

Singer Sewing Machine

This is a pic of my Grandmother's Singer Sewing machine. I learnt to sew on this when I was young. It was made in 1915, & my Grandmother bought it new. It had to sit on a dirt floor for some time, in a tent, as my Grandparents were living in a very small house, & their children had tents, as there was not enough space in the house, for them to sleep.

I learnt to sew on this old Treadle, & my mother used to sew all my clothes for me when I was little with this machine. My Mother used it right up until just before she died, & it still works very well. I love it, & could never part with it. My Mother was surprised when I told her I would keep it, & treasure it.
I would love to restore the surface of the machine, but feel I might spoil it, with all the accumulated patina, of the years. There is damage on one of the drawers that has happened somewhere along the way. It has been there as long as I can remember.
This is Whitney, who sits on top of the machine, which is down in our entryway.
I made her about 12 years ago, & made her clothes, & decorated her hat. The pic is not a great one, you cant see her elaborate dress. It is calico, but has a lot of pintucking on the bodice.
I dislike the brick wall of the entryway, so like to think Whitney takes some of the baldness off the ugly bricks.
*****
This is a set of drawers belonging to my Nice Neighbours. They found them dumped on the side of the road, when they stopped for a comfort break for their little dog. What treasure! Mr Nice Neighbour has done them up, & put a handle on the top. Isnt it just a lovely little set of drawers? Obviously it has come from a Singer Treadle, & it is sad to think it ended dumped on the side of the road, in a ditch. But it now has a new life, & is beautiful again.

There is treasure to be found in the strangest of places!
And this pic is of Mrs Nice Neighbour's wonderful Beach Theme garden. I think it is fantastic. She is so talented at these little gardens. And the plants all live!

It is one of those beautiful days here today. Clear, crisp & there seems to be NO humidity.
A Magic day. Perhaps a miracle will happen, ...it always seems possible on a day like today.
Or perhaps the miracle is here - GOM is vaccuuming for me! He is such a treasure.




Tuesday, March 27

Honeymoon

This wonderful old photo is of my Grandmother & Grandfather on their Honeymoon. They stayed at this wonderful Maori Marae & while we love the photo, we have always laughed at the body language of the two of them. Standing so far apart, with hands tucked behind their backs. The lady on the right in the picture is their Guide or hostess.

My Grandmother was from Yorkshire, England, & my Grandfather was from Eden, Australia. They had both arrived in New Zealand for differing reasons. My Grandmother had come with her family when she was 18 years old. Supposedly the family had emigrated for the benefit of her mother's health, as she suffered dreadful arthritis. New Zealand is not a kindly climate for Arthritis.
My Grandfather had come to New Zealand to seek work, as there was very little to be had in Australia, & Eden was a fishing village, & if you were not a fisherman, you were a forestry worker, felling timber.

Their different backgrounds were a fascinating contrast for us to learn about. Our Grandmother had been raised 'High' Anglican, our Grandfather came from a Catholic family, & even had a sister who was a Nun.

For some reason, they chose to be married in a Methodist Church! No one is quite sure why, since my Grandmother has been employed as a cook & Nanny for an Anglican Minister. Perhaps it was a compromise, but neither of them really bothered much with religion, though my Grandmother read her bible most nights before sleep. My Grandfather seemed happy to forget all about it, though I think my brother still has letters from his mother, hoping he is 'going to Mass regularly'. I dont think he ever did!

Three of his brothers emigrated to New Zealand too, & married & had families there, but a lot of them drifted back over the Tasman to Australia, so there are plenty of relatives both sides of the Tasman now.

When GOM & I married we never had a honeymoon. We had our health & about $25 between us! We had a few days off to get our flat into order, & then returned to work. We used to promise ourselves a honeymoon 'one day'.

We had a disastrous little trip to Timaru, once after our daughter was about 2. We went & stayed with a friend who was a publican. I have never had such a terrible hangover in my life, & it taught me never to drink 'Harvey Wallbangers' again!! Lying with your arms around a porcelain bowl is not conducive to romance! So much for Honeymoon!

Probably our next attempt, at an "Official" honeymoon, was our first trip to Sydney, & I must say, though we came with another couple, we did have a magic holiday, & enjoyed every single minute of it.

And we had a magical trip to Thailand & Phuket, which could have passed for 'honeymoon.' After all, Honeymoon is just a word. Perhaps our honeymoon has been our life together, with all it's ups & downs.

When we first bought our little cottage, I used to think, when things got ugly, "Never mind, I can always take the kids & go home". It was 8 years before I thought that 'home' was living with GOM!

And that was brought about on a trip into the city of Auckland to visit friends, who lived in a flat at the top of a multistorey building, which looked out over the Park. Accross the Park, there was the High Court, visible among the trees.

My mother took us into the city, & we went up to visist our friends. It was one of the trips home to visit my mother, that GOM used to give me each year, because he knew how much I loved & missed my mother, so it was usually just me & the kids who went.

These friends had a rooftop patio area they used for their 'backyard'. They told the kids they could go out but 'be careful.' While we were sitting having coffee & catching up, there came a knock on the door. Jean went to the door & came back alarmed with a large policeman. The policeman wanted to know who was in charge of the "the two children dangling over the edge of the parapet on the top of the building, hurling things into the street below!"


They 'Were in immenent danger of falling off" and a "Judge had been sitting in court watching them, and having a near heart attack"m & had sent the policeman to "deal with it immediately."

I cant begin to tell you the horror I felt, the shame, the guilt! I was stricken! My mother was equally horrified & guilty. We had no idea the children had gone anywhere near the edge of the rooftop, & were aghast, as indeed had the Judge been.

I couldnt wait to get the kids out of there, & once my legs had returned from jelly, I just shook & shook. I phoned GOM, in tears once we got home to Mum's. GOM laughed, which I didnt find appropriate at all.

The children were punished by being denied any money to buy me a mother's Day present, & they lost a lot of other priveledges too. It was a lot of years before I could laugh about that, & I am still terrified when I see children near edges of heights.

And I was so glad to get 'HOME' to GOM, & my comfortable house.

Monday, March 26

In the beginning.....

This is a black & white flash-back.
When we bought our first little cottage, our SB was 6 months old.
We bought the house from an old French couple, who were getting frail, & wanted to join their only son, who lived in South Africa with his family.

They had made the little cottage quite cosy, & had done a lot of work on the backyard, planting several varieties of grapes, & the husband made their own wine from the grapes.

Ha had planted apple trees along the back boundary fence, & had espaliered them so neatly. There were gooseberry bushes, which bore huge crops in the summer. There was also a big patch of Rhubarb, which I detest!

The lawn was lovely & green & a generous size. It was an ideal house & garden for young children, as there was a gate & good fences to the back yard.

This is a pic of Meggie with SB when he was about 7 months old. Meggie was very thin, & looking at her knees, it is a wonder that they didnt cut her pants!!

And here is GOM about to set off for work, with SB on his knee, laughing.

Here is GOM harvesting the potato crop his mother & father had come & plantd for us- against our wishes. SB is helping his father, as small boys do Of course he was considerably older than the 7 months of the first pics. And he had a little sister too.

And here is Meggie picking some grapes with kinder. DJ was a real little blondie then!
Alterations to this pic were done by SB recently. It is his skill, & he made a cover for an album using this pic.

And here is GOM with SB lying on the lawn with the dratted rhubarb in the background. I used to give it away by the car load.

And here is GOM, who was really Happy Young Husband, & Father, in those days.

We lived in our first little cottage until SB was almost 5. We had many happy times there, & I think the blessings the lovely French couple said they gave us, had an effect. We loved the grapes, & the different varieties all had their own flavour. We never made wine!
The last time we visited Christchurch we went to see if the cottage was still there, & it was! We were surprised, to think it was still standing as the land was quite considerable, & most of the surrounding houses had been pulled down, to make way for more substantial mansions.



Sunday, March 25

Raining!!

This is a rain kissed flower on our Ixora, or Prince of Orange. It is surviving in a pot, in spite of me! It must be loving this rain we are having today, & last night. The winds came up last night & blew like billy-o as my Grandfather used to say. I listened to it gusting & hoped it would do no harm around our area. And it was so nice to be able to lie in bed & hear the rain, & wind, & feel comfortable, after the hot unbearable day -weatherwise- behind us.

It has drizzled on & off all day, & it is nice & cool temperature wise, but there must still be humidity, as every now & then I get a hideous hot sweat attack, & that only happens when it is humid. But enough moans. At least the garden will be delirious with joy.


This next pic is of a little stitchery I did of a cat, thinking to frame it. I used damask as the background to work on, but it doesnt show in the photo. It is actually a nice cream damask & looks nice in real life!


The next pic is of a bag in progress. I have been working on this for some time now, & seem to have really gone off it. I think I was disappointed in it somehow, but one of these days I will finish it. Again the photo doesnt seem to have worked very well, it is much darker, with tea staining, & the colours are slightly different to the photo.


Even though it has been tempting to begin some knitting or stitchery, it seems I have lost my impetus & I have read & snoozed this afternoon! Shame on me. Or not.
The beaches are wet, hence no sandy strutting -or staggering.
I have had word of a health problem, afflicting a friend. We have been promising ourselves a face to face meeting, as we dont live all that far apart. We once went off to Sunday School together as little girls, & began our school days together. An awful lot of life has happened to both of us since those far off days.
I think we should meet, as she suggests, lest time run out on us.
We have just made new Wills, GOM & I, & of course it has brought thoughts of our mortality to the fore. We had very old, outdated Wills, which sounded quite comical to us in this day & age. Our children were not mentioned by name, as they were quite young when we made those old Wills.
I was discussing the new ones with our SB, & he shied away from the subject, much as I used to do when my Mother used to raise the subject. In the end though, our Mother had it all well covered with us, & I think that was all to the good.
Noone wants to think about their parents mortality, but by the time our Mother passed away, we had had many discussions with her about her funeral preferences, & details, & we had even managed to joke & laugh with her about certain aspects of it all.
And when the time came for her Funeral, we were so glad she had forced us to laugh with her about it all. Nothing could make her loss easy, but as time goes by, & the grief becomes scarred over, it is nice to have the memories & the thought that she would have approved of most of the proceedure.
And we knew the music she had loved, & knew her wishes about various things, to do, or NOT to do.
I tell my children of the music I love, & I know I should write it down, because if I go first, GOM will never remember my choices, & they probably wont either.
I have just recieved an invite to my Uncle's 90th birhtday Party. He is as proud as punch to be reaching that age, & he is so full of the joy of his life, he is wonderful to be around, & he tells such hilarious stories of his life, & readily tells the joke on himself whenever he thinks it appropriate, & sometimes when it is not. He is wonderfully irreverant, & has seen a lot of life. He still loves his wife as dearly as the day he married her, & they always seem so happy together. According to both of them, they have only ever had the one occasion when things were less than rosy.
Unless a miracle occurs I will be unable to attend the Party. Still, I can dream I might.



*****
This is a little edit.
GOM has the football on- yes it is that hideious time of year again!
He cant just watch the footy though, he has to channel surf between, & I just heard the most absurd statement coming from some commentator on some race car thing...." O the car has just come down on it's haunches!"
Do cars have 'haunches'??
I never cease to marvel at some of the STUPID statements I hear on those sports commentations!
I should have had my music on!!
I need an ipod!

Friday, March 23

Dogs & Kids

This is a picture of Ralph, my eldest son's good & faithful little dog. He is getting old now, & he has gone quite deaf. He has always disliked cats, but now the neighbour's little kittens come & sleep in his kennel during the day, & he doesnt seem to notice.


I dont know what SM will do when Ralph passes on. He has been one of the best things to happen to SM & is a loyal & affectionate little dog.





The pain of losing a pet is as bad as losing a human family member. I think it is hard for people who dont have pets to realise this fact. They lack the understanding of how attached people get to pets.





Or how therapeutic it can be, for children & the elderly to own a pet, & be met with devotion unlimited, and totally unconditional. SM has his problems, & he has found a great compaionship & love in the quiet devotion of little Ralph. And I think Ralph has helped him through some dark times.





Dogs, in particular dont sit in judgement of you, nor do they care how you look. Dogs are very forgiving of all human frailties. I guess cats are just as forgiving, if they like you, so be it.








As a child I badly wanted a pet, but because we lived with our grandparents we couldnt have any. I did have a cat for a time, but, several times, he almost tripped my Grandmother, who was lame, & she was very distressed by his presence, so we gave him away.





We had cats when our children were quite young, & when we could we got 2 dogs, & loved them dearly. And of course, now, we have our two little ones, & they are just part of our family. When our son & daughter & grandchildren come to visit the dogs get so excited & treat them with boisterous welcome.









This is a picture of another beloved & old friend who has now gone on ahead. He lived with BFJ, & was her brother's dog. He was a lovely patient dog, & BFJ's Granddaughters were always safe in his company.
He is greatly missed, as he was a wonderful companion.

*****

And a little story of children. Sisters. Miss 8 & Miss 5 years old.

Miss 8 is very precise & likes things to be ordered in her life. She is usually obedient, & concious of 'doing the right thing'.

Her mother worries that she is too much of a follower. She seems a little easily led by her peers, & her mother used the old story we have all heard, about "If your friend jumped off a cliff would you follow her?"

She hates that story, & if it looks likely she might hear it again, she quickly gets in first, & says to her mother, "And dont tell me the cliff story again!"

Little Miss 5 is an altogether different child. She has the face of an angel, the sort that compels people to comment about her angelic appearance. And she is the tomboy! And she knows her own mind, & is not frightened to let it be known. She is likely to reply, "No" when asked by a little girl friend's mother if she would like to come & play with little Sally. Miss 5 would much rather play with the boys.

Occasionally Miss 5 has a little girl friend to play. Imagine her mother's surprise when little friend's mother comes to collect her, & little friend runs up & says "Mummy, Miss 5 showed me her bottom!"

And Miss 5's mother is horrified, & looks down the lawn to see where Miss 5 is. And they see Miss 5, with her bottom exposed to them, wagging it in defiance!

Miss 5's mother is not sure where Miss 5 is heading in life.

There is never a dull moment with children. They never cease to amaze.

The weather is still the pits, & I still didnt get my walk upon the beach. And there will be no time tomorrow.


Thursday, March 22

Hectic Pace.

I have nothing sweet to share, nothing sweet to show.

I am still waiting for my longed for walk upon the beach. Maybe tomorrow.

I will need a hat, I dont own a big hat, I only have what I refer to as 'dickhead' hats. Those awful caps that make your head so hot, & leave your neck to burn.

Yesterday afternoon was a hectic time.
The campers arrived home a little earlier than expected.
Tired a little sore from sleeping on flat mattresses & a little burned from the sun, though they slathered themselves in sunblock.

Our son stayed here so Mum went all out last night on a special dinner- his favourite Roast Pork, with homemade gravy. No there are no photos, by the time it was ready to eat we were starving, & I had almost melted from the humidity.

What was I thinking?? Things we do for our kids!

Today was hectic too. I had got Broadband for the Internet, so had connected that up yesterday, & now we can get phone calls while connected to the Net.

I am not sure whether it is such a good plan! The phone never seemed to stop ringing all day. I have just had my last call- I hope.

We had people coming & going all day, it seemed, & a lot of laughs. It has just been so humid, I dont like sitting outside, but it is a pleasant area, & it is nice to sit out there. There have been a lot of butterflies this year, & they seem to know we are happy & there have been several visit us every time we are sitting out there. And there are some birds who have claimed the Grevillea as their own & they sit there quite boldly as we sit & chat, & seem to be quite comfortable we are so close.

And we had a nice little visit from our AAGranddaughter, so it was lovely to see her. Last time I saw her, she had the bottom of her hair blonde! Awful, but I didnt tell her that. Anyway she has got it brown again, so it looks much better, & she has had quite a lot cut off it. She has the nicest hair of anyone in the family. She tends to always wear it up, so we dont get to see her curls very often.

I had a wonderful surprise call from a loved Niece, in NZ, this afternoon, & it was so nice to hear her news. And her stories of her lovely daughters.

And finally those pesky 'papers' are all done, & posted away. Thank Goodness!

And finally our Son left to go home, so our day was nearly done. We had our tea outside in the slightly cooler air, & wished this dratted humid patch would GO AWAY!! Even GOM has felt hot, so it must be bad.

Wednesday, March 21

Jogging about the blogging world

On going through some papers, I discovered these 'art works'.
The first is my granddaughter's little poem. She did this for me when she was abut 6, & I have always loved it.



This next was an art assigment our son had to do, at school when he was about 15.
He got 5/5 for it, so they must have liked his work. He loved art, was good at it, but he hated the classes at school, & hated to be confined to do as he was ordered.

I think he was right, art should be spontaneous, but I suppose if it is going to be taught as a school subject, some instruction is necessary.
He doesnt really use his skills in art now, although I suppose his work is called an art. Computers have taken the place of much of the skill that used to be required, & though he has to operate the computer, it takes away from the skill factor.






****
On Jogging about the Blogosphere, I am fascinated with the huge variety of styles of blogging. I shouldnt be surprised I suppose, as we are all very different.

A lot of bloggers are seemingly open & happy to be 'themselves'.

Others appear to have just simply appeared on the planet by magic. A result of such immaculate conception, indeed, they had no need even of a womb, to effect arrival. They blog not of ancestry or family. It becomes obvious upon reading their blogs, that they are the centre of the universe! Their charm is exceeded only by their arrogance, it would appear.

But usually I dont bother to linger for long. I like reality. I was never a teenager to moon over some actor or singer whom I had no likelihood of meeting. Not for me the posters on the walls, or dreams of some distant star.

I enjoy fantasy -the sort that allows inanimate objects to have thoughts & feelings & conversations. I am not so taken with science fiction. I do love fiction, but intersperse it with autobiographies or stories based on fact.
And I love funny- as in humour. I dont even mind funny- as in odd!

I am sure in the scheme of things there is a blog to suit everyone! And variety is the spice of life, & other old platitudes.
My favourite platitudes tend to be the ones that are altered a little.
Such as 'Absence makes the heart grow absent'. Which is more likely to be true, than the usual version.

I love movies too. I used to quite enjoy TV, but these days the screen is filled with such tripe, I would rather read or or or... do anything but watch laboured sitcoms, with tired lines, & waspish characters whose main claim to humour seems to be sarcasm, & insult. I dont think I need to fill my life with crap like that.

And the "NEWS" is just more of the same crap. With politicians as the 'stars.'

****
Perhaps I am just feeling disgruntled by our ongoing 'legals'. Should all be over soon. Just detest the process.

My B Brother has a much worse dilemma on his hands, so who am I to moan.



Tuesday, March 20

Non Garden Blog.

I have been out in the garden. Briefly. The Garden Vandal, aka, GOM has been out there also.

He tends to lay waste to all the lies before him.
Tender ferns I tried to nourish.
Autumn Crocuses.
Herbs.
It all falls to his 'flat earth' policy.
Much of the stuff of his clearance are weeds, and need to be gone.
But he doesnt discriminate.
Off with their heads!!
"That wasn't even growing!"
"Well, what are those healthy roots doing there, on the bottom of the plant?"
"It was dying"
"Where is my parsley?"
" I wasnt even over there, on that side of the path!"
And the sun pours down like liquid treacle, on the heads of the hatted GOM, & the hatless Meggie.
And the sweat falls like tears of rage, down into Meggie's eyes.
In the steaming garden, Meggie debates with herself, silently.
"Is this worth making an issue about?" "Doest it really matter?" "Will it matter in a 100 years?" "GOM has never, in 41 years, recognized a 'plant' vs a 'weed'. Is he ever likely to change now?"
"Let's face it Meggie. The answer is NO."
"O.K., forget it. Go inside, turn on the fan, & the computer, read a little. Cool down. Think happy thoughts. Retreat to the blog. GOM doesnt go in there, doesnt wreak havoc on everything he touches in there. Have some pretty garden type things on that."


So. From my childhood. A favourite book. Little Miss Pink.
Miss Pink smells the roses.

Miss Pink Meets Grandpa Puff.



Miss Pink dances while Grandpa Puff plays some music.




Miss Pink meets a wonderful butterfly.
The book is by Rodney Bennett, the illustrations are by Astrid Walford.
And I still love this book.
Even though I know rodents are nasty creatures, & not to be loved.


***
Sod Blogger!! All my spacing & paragraphing in the composition are gone, on viewing the published article. WTF!!


Monday, March 19

Fairly Tales

Isn't this a frightening image for a child? It is from a very old book from my childhood, called Grimm's Fairy Tales. This is the Valiant Little Tailor, & is the only colour illustration in the book, apart from the cover. The illustrations are credited to Anne Anderson, though the cover illustration seems to be done by someone completely different, or at least in a totally different stlye.

This is Rumplstilz. That is how he is spelled in the book, & the story is called the Miller's Daughter.

I love his ugly little Hobgoblin face of rage. I can remember being quite intimidated by some of the illustrations when I was small.
The book cost 3/6 which was 3 shillings & six pence. In our money, 35 cents! I cant find a publishing date, but it was published in England.
When I was a small child I believed in fairies, elves, pixies & gnomes- all the 'little people'. I imagined they lived amongst the mosses & lichens, & I would study those, hoping to catch a glimpse of one.
We had moss which grew behind the tankstand, & it was always green, since the sun never reached that spot. And the wonderful mosses which grew among the ferns & beside the rivers was always like a secret world, somehow. I wonder, do all children believe in such creatures? Perhaps not boys? I am sure my little SG would not beieve, though I have never asked him.
I remember finding a dragonfly wing, & thinking it must resemble a fairy wing. I knew it was not a fairy wing, but I wonder how? When I was small I had an imaginery friend, & it was she who got me into trouble, suggesting I do the 'bad' things. We still laugh about her in the family, & I still get teased occasionally.
In spite of having little rain, we have plenty of little mossy patches about our garden.

This is a little mossy crown for a rock.


And this patch of lush green beside the garden wall.


And this is lichen on the trunk of our old Lilly Pilly. It is somewhat scarred from lower limbs being taken, but still stands strong & tall. It is a haven for the birds, & the nectar eaters love the blossoms. When the 'petals' fall from the fluffy little blooms they look like a carpet of snow on our pavers, & the grass beneath the tree.
The berries are never very attractive, & seem a very poor crop each year, largely deformed looking little things. As far as I can tell, the birds dont seem to find them attractive. The new modern varieties of Lilly Pilly have large bright pink berries, which can be very attractive.
*******
I had this post completed, & Blogger stole the whole damn thing!! GRRRR.
The Two Tattoos.
The large, colourful, but somehow oddly disproportionate Unicorn sitting on the woman's shoulder looked about him with disdain. He looked across at the stunted Fish, across on the other shoulder, & snorted. "Hey, hideous!"
The poor doubled-forever Fish squirmed to catch sight of the Unicorn over her shoulder. "Are you talking to me, you ugly creature? How dare you call me Hideous. I never saw anything quite as ugly as you are."
"Well, at least I am larger than you, & I dont have to spend my life twisted in two, like someone who cant decide what direction she wants to go in!"
"Oh, so what!" snapped the Fish, "At least I dont have a twisted silly looking horn on my head! You look as if you ran into a brick wall, with that silly thing! It is all twisted. And besides, I am lovely bright colours. You are just a boring old thing in mostly black & blue."
The Unicorn was shocked to be spoken to in this fashion. He had been feeling very proud of his new self. He hadnt thought about colours. He didnt need those anyway, he was 'noble'.
Suddenly he looked down, & he saw what appeared to be some lopsided bird of some sort, on an ankle! And the 'bird' appeared to be carrying a flower!
"PSST!" he called to the Fish, "Look down there. There is UGLY!"
Fish peered down, & burst out laughing in a gurgly sort of way.
"Oh my gosh What is that??"
"Who are you?" called the Unicorn. "And what is that strange thing you have to lump around?"
The 'Bird' did his best to be dignified.
"I am a Cartoon Duck!" he said, "And this is my Eternal Sunflower".
The Fish & the Unicorn sniggered together.
"How foolish you look, down there around an ankle" called the Fish. "You are all boney, & lopsided looking."
"I am a new Trend, I am a Self Styled Tattoo, so there!"
The Unicorn & the Fish thought about this for a while, not quite knowing how to respond.
"Well," said the Fish finally, " I am a Zodiac Sign, I mean something"
" Yes" chimed in the Unicorn, "We have Real Meaning."
"Well so do I!" snapped the Cartoon Duck, "I am owner designed, so I am a secret for the owner to know about, & others to wonder about."
Fish & Unicorn thought about this for a while. Then they decided the must be superior, after all they were up on shoulders, not down around ankles. So they told the Cartoon Duck what they thought.
They boasted about how broad the shoulders were, & how comfortable they were up there. The Cartoon Duck sneered, & said he wouldnt want to live on some blubbery leathery shoulders, getting more withered with time & the ravages of the sun.
So the Fish & Unicorn thought about that, & they said well at least they were reasonably stable all the same, at least the shoulders didn't swell in the heat, or shrivel in the cold, & so they assured the Cartoon Duck he would spend his time misshapen, & either bloated or withered. And, they didnt have the added burden of an Eternal Sunflower to lug about, & cringe under.
But it didnt really matter much, for the wearers went their seperate ways, never realising what a sensation their tattoos had caused to each others tattoos.
Based on a slightly true story. And would I ever get a tattoo? Never.





Sunday, March 18

Distant Drums

I remember a song by Roy Orbison, called Distant Drums. It haunted me in a shattered, broken hearted, phase of my life, when I felt I could never recover, or ever live some kind of 'normal' life again.

Most of Roy Orbison's music did that to me, with his haunting voice, & pretty melodies. And though his is the voice of the darkest hours of my life, he is also still a favourite. Perhaps a reminder to me, I am stronger than I ever knew, & I survived, in spite of that being the last thing I wanted. ***

I saw an interview with Bob Geldof- it was before he was Sir- & he described how he felt that his heart had literally been broken in two inside his body, when Paula left him, and how great that pain felt. I know that feeling, & I have felt the pain of it. It is a real, physical pain, crippling, clouding, & more painful than mere physicality. Perhaps it could be described as a trial by fire, I dont know how to describe it with words.

********

This lovely rock. I noticed it in the garden some months ago, & have been meaning to take a pic of it ever since. I love the different colours in the lichens.

And here is a picture which suggests a serenity to me. The person is a keen fisherman, & unlike his brother, who also loves to fish, this brother also loves to eat his catches. It was taken in a beautiful part of the world, north of where we live.


And this gorgeous little boy. He had just been for a dip, & looks for all the world like he is thinking "I will just have a nap here, I seem to be sooo tired"
Another lovely part of the world, again north of us. A beautiful place to vacation, right on the water, & great for fishing.

This could be paradise! I love the colours in this shot taken at dusk. Mr Nice Neighbour enjoying the wonderful serenity.

It is raining lightly here today. People I love have left to go camping.
I hope they find happier weather for their 'tenting'.
The rain is so welcome for the gardens & everywhere, but of course it is not really what you need when camping.

******
I just wanted to add, if it hadn't been for the wonderful support & friendship of Best Friend J, I dont think I ever would have made it. I love you dearly as my friend BFJ!!

Saturday, March 17

My Letter From Suse, is "C"

Cuddle, cap, cuteCockatoo on our balcony



Cosy cushions...come on winter!


Seeing clouds are almost my signature pics, I had to have some.


Contrast in a crevice, chips of mulch


Crystal in the window



Clinging creeper



Crust & crumbs



Cucumber, celery, & capsicum.



Chomped leaves, crimson flowers.



Colourful cottons



Concentration.




Collection




Fun to do, but not as wonderful as Suse's .
But thankyou Suse for the letter, & the enjoyable time I had deciding what to post about.