Thursday, 28 October 2010


I've got a heap of stuff to do, and lots of projects on the go, and things waiting to be sewn together or finished, or sorted, but today I've wandered round the big warehouse chemist lie a stunned mullet (worked late last night) and stared at the nail varnish while I waited for my script to be filled.
I only ever buy Revlon, and I love the pale caramels, but as I've five or six of those at home, I chose an orange, then reckoned it was too ker-pow bright, so I swapped that for a pearly purple, then put that back and chose a coral.
I came home, painted one of my nails, reckoned the coral shade is a bit on the ker-pow bright side, made coffee, and now I'm about to start teaching myself to crochet amigurumi critters, thanks to YouTube.

:: Having said earlier in the week that we were unlikely to get any rain between now and next autumn, we've had a lovely rainy day, then lots of rain last night, and a bit today. Yay!
:: I was still a theatre widow when I got home at 10.30 last night — David was at a first night. If you haven't had a gander at David's blog, do go over and have a look. He is such a naturally gifted writer, and his reviews and other arty posts are short, clever and very sweet reading. He ought to have been writing for years.
There's a link up there on the right -----> just click on the picture (it's his favourite pic of himself, one I took of him when we were strolling down Park Avenue, New York, on our way back to our hotel after a Broadway show, on a romantically rainy spring night ... sigh).

Monday, 25 October 2010

All over the shop

I'm in my room drawing all afternoon - love, love, love it.
This morning was a disaster.
I called in at the office first thing to organise something I'd forgotten on Friday.
Found I'd left my mobile at home.
From work I went to see Wayne about some artwork he wants me to do.
I found my mobile right at the bottom of my bag, but also found I'd left my notebook with sketches at work.
From there I went on to see my mate Jane, to talk about the Big Chrissy Stall Fest we are working towards.
From her house we drove to Calico and Ivy so I could pick up some more felt squares and fabric.
Found I'd left my glasses at Jane's.
Got home (finally), got indoors, unloaded all my stuff, went to put on the kettle and found I'd left my glasses, phone and notebook in the car.
I think I may be a hazard; I don't think I'll leave the house for the rest of the day.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sunday scrapbook

I was looking for pictures of rain for Dawn's Sunday Scrapbook — to cool us down as we come out of one of our driest ever winters and head towards a very long summer. We may not see much rain again until April or May next year, and there are already talks of even more serious water restrictions.
Anyway, as I was enjoying pics of puddles and wet streets, I came upon these pics I took as the Big March 22 Hailstorm swept in from the north.
I was initially alerted by a news bulletin on the car radio that said a severe storm in two fronts was heading south and would cross Perth, and everyone was warned to take cover within the next 15 to 20 minutes.
I just got home as the sky darkened ominously and a strong wind picked up, swirling the clouds in all directions.Will and I went out on to the back deck and then we heard what sounded like a plane engine roaring to the north.The sky (above) turned an eery green — this pic, which also shows the first big hailstones, has not been doctored by me in any way. I later learned a green sky is an indicator of a severe hailstorm; it must be something to do with light refracted through ice.
Within minutes all hell broke loose. We were not in the eye of the hailstorm, but the thunder and lightning were very, very close, and the power station on Bourke Street, just a couple of kilometres away, was struck by lightning with an almighty explosion.
The worst affected areas were in Shenton Park, near the office of the newspaper where I work, and in a line from there to the University of WA, which lost in seconds $1 million worth of historic stained glass in its almost 100-year-old main hall.
The hail damage at work was so bad that we needed an entire new roof. And so many houses near here were similarly damaged, that we've had to wait seven months, until last week, for ours at the Post.
The city's total damage bill is over $1 billion.
The hail was so ferocious it stripped leaves, small branches and bark from trees, covering streets in what looked like mulch and blocking stormwater drains so roads and driveways and houses flooded within minutes. All that on top of hail-pocked roofs that let in torrents from above.
One house near the office was so badly damaged that its owners cannot yet live there. Their neighbour's damage bill was $300,000.
Cars parked outside our office actually floated in floodwater about 60cm deep. People rushed outside to stop them banging into others.
Everyone who was at the office that day has a new car. Their old ones were so battered and dented by the hail that they were written off.
It's amazing no-one was killed.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sunday scrapbook

Some seaside pics for Dawn's Sunday scrapbook.
(Will about to launch himself into the warm, deep blue, at Gull Rock, Albany.)
I'm not a beachy-swimmy-surfy type of Australian.(South-West coast, between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.)
Kids here start swimming lessons when they're old enough to walk — I bet very few of my mates here would even remember a time when they couldn't swim.(City Beach, our best and most beautiful metropolitan beach.)
I was born in England and learned to swim only when we knew we were going to emigrate, as one of my aunts had been to Australia for a holiday and assured me that, judging by the people she'd met, I'd never get any friends, and no one would even speak to me, if I couldn't swim.
This rang true with me, as I recalled being on holiday in Germany in 1967, and feeling very ashamed of myself when friends of the family I was staying with growled at my hosts in startled incredulity: "Sie kann nicht SCHWIMMEN?"
(Eagle Bay, down south.)
So, fearing absolute social ostracism, in the autumn and winter of 1969, I made weekly trips to St Augustine's Baths in Norwich and gradually taught myself to swim. I can still feel my nasal passages contract and my eyes stream at the very memory of that steamy, chlorine-infused fog at the baths.
And when I say I can swim, I really mean I can propel myself while floating.
Of course, Australia is beach crazy, but I made a lot of friends despite my lack of technique, so ya booh sucks to you, Aunty June.
On my first week at my new Australian high school, skinny and pale from the long English winter we'd just left,I got roped into the swimming carnival by a very cruel, heartless phys-ed teacher. Took a day off though. So ya booh sucks to you, too, phys ed Nazi.
Today, I love looking at the beach, and walking along it, and hearing it from my bed at night when we're down south. I don't mind not swimming while everyone else is heading for the horizon in an easy, relaxed crawl.I'll just sit on the sand and take the pics.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday in the hood

I'm so loving the Menora - Mt Lawley - North Perth area.
Yoshi and I go for great walks. At this time of the year, the houses and gardens are at their best, before the worst of summer kicks in and everything regresses into survival mode.
This is one of my favourite houses round here: Its combination of Oldee-Worldee English pastiche and American-style screened porch always makes me smile, and it reminds me a lot of some of the original Californian bungalows in the Bel Air - Westwood part of Los Angeles.
I'd walked past it many times before I noticed, high above the screened porch, this:I love it even more! I can only imagine the house must have some American connection for there to be a grizzly bear guarding its entrance!
It's a bit like the loyal, hard-working cattle dog honoured by the owner of this Subiaco house:Meanwhile, in the North Perth side of the hood, the gardens of many of the Greek and Italian migrants who've lived here for a generation and more and added a real Mediterranean flair to the streets, are coming into their productive best.
I'll get more pics of this amazing verge just a stone's throw from our house:These are broad beans, and there are all sorts of other fruit and vegies growing here as well, like olives, loquats, lemons ... every spare centimetre of soil is put to work. Just brilliant.
:: I'm off now to buy a bra before an afternoon at work. See ya!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tempus fugit

I'm working today, tomorrow and most of next week, plus my Dad's coming to stay from Monday for a few nights so he can go to hospital and have his cataracts fixed.
So every minute I have spare, I'm in my room, making stuff.
The big sale is scheduled for the end of November, and I'm starting to work out how many days I have left and therefore how much needs to be made every day. Which is a big mistake!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Production line

Components of 10 Our Lady tea cosies, ready for assembly.And an early batch of ornaments getting their first coat of white paint, ready for decorating with paint and paper.It's busy round here.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday scrapbook

As I was collecting all these pics for Dawn's Sunday Scrapbook, I realised they were all pretty much cliched images of Australian birdlife!
Ah well.
One of the kookaburras we often see in the plane tree in our backyard. So we hear a lot of this.A magpie (maggie) down south. It's nesting season now, and these get very protective and will swoop to scare intruders away, which can be quite something with that massive beak coming at you. They have a distinctive warbling song, which is one of the first weird and wonderful sounds I heard at dawn on my very first day in Australia.Mack meets an emu — keeping a safe distance!Black swans at Hyde Park, not far from where we live.Mack meets some twenty-eights, which are one of many Australian ringneck parrots and a very common sight around Perth and the South-West. Not usually as tame as these two.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

For Caroline ...

... who wants me to post more often!I'm at work all day tomorrow, and then, at sparrow's on Thursday, we'll all be jumping in the car to head off to Albany and my parents' diamond wedding anniversary.
I have a thick envelope to take down, stuffed with important-looking documents bearing well-wishes from Julia, Quentin and Liz, and I think Colin might be in there as well.
There's a big dinner on Thursday night, for which David and I are taking our Hollywood gladrags complete with bling. You don't get many chances to pull on the full regalia, and if a 60th wedding anniversary isn't one such occasion I don't know what is.
So I shall see you again early next week!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sunday scrapbook

Originally uploaded by
Lesley (Z).
More loveliness from last weekend down south.
If I've done this correctly, clicking on this pic should take you to my wildflower pics stored on flickr.
As I didn't grow up in this part of the world, I have a pathetic lack of knowledge of the names of these plants — and there are so many of them that appear for only a short period in spring. They'll all have Aboriginal names, of course, and it's a shame we don't get taught them.
As well, there are the utilitarian Latin names and classifications, but few common names that have entered the vernacular.
Further north right now, the entire landscape will be blooming with dense drifts of everlastings. We don't get called 'the wildflower state' for nothing.
Posted as part of Dawn's lovely Sunday Scrapbook series — thanks, Dawn!