Thursday, December 31, 2009

Old shed

More from yesterdays class. This old shed was a lovely subject to do in pencil, although I still think I like pen better.
Terribly hot and humid today, about 39 degrees C by the back door in the shade, but there is a cool change trying to push through.
Thank you to all who commented so nicely on last nights post, and I am sorry I cant send some of our heat over to you but truly I dont think you would want it.
I have tidied up the guest room and made the bed, tidied stuff off the other guest bed in my work room, but now I need to find the floor!
Made the cold cucumber and leek soup for tonight, 7 of us get together each year for New Years Eve and who ever's house it is does the main and the rest bring entree or dessert and befores, I forgo entree in favour of cold soup.
This Haiku by Teitoku was a bit apt today, not that it is autumn!
No wonder today
all the men need
mid-day naps...
Oh that Autumn moon!

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A lesson with Joe Penn

Today I went off for a drawing lesson with some one whose name I didnt even know, because my local art teacher had him and about 12 of us gathered for one of the best drawing lessons I have had.
It was fun and very instructive.
I am not known for my drawing, and when as it was today, it is hot I have trouble concentrating, but I came home with several drawings some of which I thought for me, were quite reasonable.
I have never in my life drawn sheep and when I saw what Chris who sat next to me was doing I thought I would have a go, and so these were born.
Everything was done using shading and a 2b pencil, I never seem to have time to concentrate on drawing like this and perhaps, just perhaps I will try to do 10 minutes a day for the next few months.
Having said that I am feeling worn out and this well over 37 degree C heat has got to me.
Kyoshi's Haiku is lovely
Deftly the new moon
a silver haiku
on the tips of waves.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Frenchmans rock

I am home and I am tired, so back to sketches!
This is the little edifice that covers or is supposed to cover the place where Nicolas Buaudin found fresh water in a spring and carved his name on the rock. The rock is now in a museum.
I did this from the ferry yesterday morning as we waited to leave.
I hate leaving the Island.
After packing up and then unpacking again I was too tired to post yesterday but there are some photos on my other blog here
Today is hot and sticky and I have washed floors and dusted and John has helped vacuum and there is washing on the line so I do feel a bit better about things.
I havent got my wished for new Haiku book but there are still some in this little book, interestingly mostly about spring or winter, not a lot about summer but this one by Otsuji could be appropriate.
Idly, a ship glides,
the tip of its sail
the polished water.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We have had a very long but wonderful day. I was hoping fo something a bit better than this but now after walking hours over rough terrain both my knee AND my back dont like me!!
I was really just playing to see if my flowers were ok and messed this up when I put a wash over the top. So much for having a lazy day, I finished my book, you cant stop reading a Peter Robinson a few pages from the end, and John decided that we would have an early lunch and go to the mouth of the Willson River.
Now we did this about 12 years ago and I thought it was a tough walk then, today with a gammy knee it was tougher but I made it.
To read more about it go to my other blog here
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hanson Bay

This is a bit fast and splodgy but is a little like lovely Hanson bay.
We made the long trip along the south coast road to possibly fish but the tide wasnt right so we just walked and I did a very quick impression of it all.
I would love to catch the absolute blue and clarity of it but limited time and lets face it, lack of ability mean I cant.
It is amazing how far it is, about 139 kms from here.
Off for a pre dinner drink looking out over the bay here, only one more night after tonight, I dont want to think about it!
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Quiet Christmas

A calm sea and a pinkish sky.
We have done very little.
A day for reflection and regeneration.
May all our friends be well and enjoying life.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The edge of the dunes

We went over to Antechamber bay this morning and while John fished, (not much luck again but one unlucky sandcrab came home for lunch!) I walked the wide sandy beach, not a lot to find but enough bits and pieces to keep me happy and this to paint.
There is thick scrub and a National Park at the back of this so the sand dunes rise to the scrub and all along the lower dunes this wonderful grass grows, usually blowing with the wind.
We havent done a lot,we are due out to drinks shortly, the cool weather today has made us slow and sleepy.
I picked some samphire to put into tonights salad, yummy stuff if you know where to find it.
I havebeen watching the little blue wrens out the front, they have longer tails than the ones at home, I suppose they are an Island sub species. One day I may try to paint one but they are so quick I would have to refer to some one else's photo which I am reluctant to do.
My thanks to all who read my blog, it means a lot to know someone is interested.
A Happy Christmas to you all.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rocks at the end of Penneshaw (Hog Bay)

This was still a bit damp when I took its photo so there are some shadows on the sky that are not there.
A very hot and muggy day here but no where near as bad as I had expected, the high winds that were experienced in other places didnt seem to happen.
We went into Kingscote this morning and had coffee with a friend who makes hats and lives in a lovely cottage at Shoal Bay overlooking the sea. She had a gorgeous hand reared and very tame zebra finch zooming around and sitting on our shoulders, making his lovely zit zit noise.
Her partner who makes wonderful things out of found wood and metal wasnt home but we saw some of his stuff.
Some shopping and lunch a look in all the galleries and home.
More friends for dinner tonight, I have walked the beach and am about to make salads and crumb the fish, this is the life!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

KI landscape

I am using picasa to put this up as I cant do it the way I normally do so I hope this works.
We have just poured our glass making friend out of the door, having fed him more than adequately I think, a fun evening full of deep and meaningful chat and moments of hilarity as well,
I hope I can see the key board as I may have had a little more to drink than normal.
This flat topped mallee is very typical down this end of the Island, most of the crops have been rept and things are drying out.
A hot day in the 40's is again forecast for tomorrow but I dont think it will be as bad as that here as the north wind tends to blow over the water and cools us down.
Still relaxing, visiting friends, bought some interesting books at the book exchange, always worth a look as so many overseas visitors come.
I am having a go at knitting some mitred squares while I can sit and concentrate, I have to say my first attempts were pulled apart! I dont think I am very good at working out new patterns, it looked deceptively simple!
I hope you who read this have a bit of time to relax and enjoy as well as prepare for family and friends.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Flowers from the KI garden

With no scanner I am having to take photos so only the larger stuff comes out. I am managing a few sketches and if you go to my other blog here you will see some of where we went today.
It is John's 72nd Birthday and we had a lazy morning until after lunch he decided to go to my most favorite bay on KI where I could walk and he could fish.
I did the painting this morning, agapanthus, fuchsia and a white buddlia.
As we didnt catch any fish he has gone to another spot but as that means more walking through sandhills and my knee says it has done enough I am home resting it.
We will go out to dinner tonight to celebrate.
We must be getting old, we are taking things very slowly, not running around like mad things but I am relaxed and enjoying it.
I am loving some of the photos of all the snow, but realise it probably isnt much fun for those of you who are on the count down to Christmas.
Keep well I am enjoying hearing about what you are doing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cape Jervis

I did this quick sketch while on the ferry to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. All rocky headlands and rocks running out to sea.
We had been up very early this morning packing the red ute for our week in the nicest little house overlooking the sea on my favorite Island.
The crossing takes just under an hour over some of the roughest bits of water around our coast, but this morning although windy it was relatively calm, but cold.
As we were on the first ferry the friend who owns this little house was still cleaningso she sent us off, we went to the farmers market and I hope the lamb chops I got are as good as last years.
Went to visit a friend who does the most amazing things with glass to invite him for drinks later this week and then back to unpack.
I have had an afternoon nap, John is playing pool with himself and I am listening to Katherine Jenkins, she has such a beautiful voice, before that Bryn Terfel who we saw collecting his mail while we were in North Wales. (He was a neighbour of the friends we stayed with, what a voice he has!)
We are about to walk on the beach and then I will think about dinner.
Finally I can relax.
No Haiku while I am away unless I can talk John into writing some.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Playing with shapes

I have had this vague outline in my head for a while and finally today I found a few minutes to get her more or less on paper. I think this may be the first of several versions, I wanted flowing draperies and a feeling of style. I dont think I have quite done yet what I want but it is a start.
So nice to get back to doing a bit with paint.
Yesterday was stinking hot and we were in Adelaide, my lunch was canceled as two couldnt make it so we decided as it was such a hot day we would try again for the new year.
The days have been quite comfortable with lovely weather and then we get an over 40c day and then last night we had rain and a thunderstorm and today it is really cold and all you want to do is sleep!
Any way some presents have been delivered, I saw both my sisters and my mother who was quite bright while I was there, although she complains I am the only one of the three of us who talks to her and tells her how the family is.
I have made the biscotti so I think that is the last of the baking I have to do before we leave.
This evening we are delivering more presents and having a drink with friends, we only catch up about once a year, terrible when we dont live very far away.
John has had continuous meetings, final once for the year etc and half my children seem to be down with a terrible cold so I hope I dont get it.
None of us seem to have much money so it will be interesting to see what we do for Christmas presents. I think almost all of mine have been made, at least they seem to like the jewellery I make and at least I can still make it. So far the ageing joints havent fallen into a complete heap, at least if I keep them moving my hands seem to be ok but there have been mornings when I have woken and wondered if they will ever work again.
I am not sure this 70 bit is a good thing I have just had a card from an old school
friend who fell over a garden stake and broke bones in her foot and is still in trouble with it, she is bemoaning the fate of her garden but does say she has read a lot of good books and has been doing jigsaw puzzles which she felt terribly guilty about until she read that Margaret Drabble has written a book on jigsaws and always has one or two on the go, I love them but always feel guilty too about spending time on a jigsaw when there is so much more I can do.
I have been having a lovely time visiting blogs and seeing how the northern hemisphere bloggers are getting ready for Christmas with snow and cold and thinking how different it is here, possibly beach and seafood for us although many still have turkey and hot lunches I am afraid that if we have hot we have an evening meal and usually if it is not stinking hot we have roast duck, when we had geese it was always a goose, but you need more than 2 for a goose and home grown ones were always better than bought.
I may have used this Haiku by Basho before but it is so beautifully evocative
Over the ruins
of a shrine,
a chestnut tree
still lifts its candles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Too tired to think

I sat sketching some of my china pieces, in pencil and I think I made them too dark when I tried to darken them. Just a small hodge podge of what I have, cheese dishes, spill vase a Staffordshire dog and a glass hen on a nest. oh and I forgot the little Staffordshire house I bought in London in 1971.
I had a good day today, tidying up the house and washing and doing things that needed to be done around the place, it is going to warm up but at the moment it is a lovely evening.
Weaver had made some comments about ageing and I have replied in my other blog Back Valley Seasons which you will find a link to in the side bar. I thought it was a good topic but I am not sure I know how to deal with it.
Perhaps Soseki in his Haiku comes near to it.
Dreaming of shouting
I waken parched
from my noonday nap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Naughty hen

I went up to feed the hens this afternoon and left the door a tiny bit open while I filled the water up and one wandered out, normally they just peck around my feet but this one decided to have fun with me and shot off at a great rate with me in pursuit as the old male pug loves killing chooks,you wouldnt think they could but they do so he normally is kept well away from them, so he went off after her as well and there she was trying to fly squawking and carrying on as she went. I did finally manage to round her up, after shutting Tuppy, the dog away.
Such silly things but I do like the eggs they give me, but drawing them! I still havent got the knack. I suppose if I had time I should go up and practice when they are out but at this time of the year!!
I managed to wrap a few presents this morning after going in to the farmers market and I finished another bracelet. Only about 2 more of those to go but will I have the time.
I felt quite wicked this afternoon doing the bracelet and watching the Kirov Ballets tribute to Nijinsky, I only saw the Polotskian (?) dancers and the Firebird, I missed the other two, but the costumes and the dancers were so lovely. I saw both of these ballets here in Australia as a teenager and have loved ballet ever since, I once thought I might like to be a ballet dancer but my toes were not right and I am sure I would never have had the dedication. Unfortunately I dont see it these days, it is so expensive and would mean a night in Adelaide.
Shiki is the writer of tonight's Haiku
Enviable leaves,
so beautiful
just before falling...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Angels angels every where

Wherever I have been lately there have been little girls scurrying along, usually with a parent in tow heading for the end of the school year nativity plays. Mostly dressed in some form or another as angels.
I remember that during my early years at school I really wanted to be something other than an angel, but an angel I was, dressed in white muslin and holding a Christmas lily who always made me feel faint as I stood in the sun on some wooden staging at least 2 feet from the ground in the sun. At our school it was always outside, and always in the late afternoon when the sun was at its hottest as in those days schools did not have halls, this was during and just after the war.
This all came back to me this afternoon as I sat trying to get my aching back into some form of submission after a busy day, again. (I will be so glad when I am on the Island and can relax.)
I started drawing an angel who is by the tv and it went on from there.
Cake no 4 is done and I have sorted out some of the Christmas presents into bags, I dont think I am going to make any more, I seem to have plenty of left over ones from last year and there is no point in stressing.
I walked over to take a photo of the latest foal this evening, and the camera had a non existent battery, very annoying but the light wasnt terribly good any way.
I have put in a request for a new Haiku book but was told I could get them off the net, somehow its not the same and I like books.
Tonight's is by Onitsura, there is more to this one than you may think.
A voiceless flower
to the obedient
in-listening ear.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The tree is up and from the kitchen marvellous smells are coming

I have spent most of the morning finding all the tree decorations and all the other things that normally go into one cupboard and obviously last year had to go into two. It is only a little tree but it is the first one we ever had and it fits into a very cluttered room reasonably well.
I did the sketch of all the things on the kitchen table that were waiting to go into no 3 boiled fruit cake. One possibly two more to make.
I have had a terribly tiring few days, and so blogging has not been at the top of my list. I came home from Adelaide pretty tired and although the rain we have had has been wonderful the changeable weather does make joints ache.
My mother was really quite with it when I saw her, but it was virtually one of those drive up and almost straight home again although I did call into a friend who gave me lunch and then I decided to drive the less stressful but longer way home through the hills. I noticed as I drove in that we had another foal, I think we are up to 20 odd, far too many, and about another 2 I hope to go, although a colt got in with the fillies and goodness knows if he got many in foal or not.
I have written out almost all the Christmas cards today too, the overseas ones must go or they wont get there. I always worry that as I have written them a few will come in from people I decided not to send to this year! Much easier if we were all on the net.
I would like a new Haiku book for Christmas but I dont think I will get one.
This one is by Kubutsu
Gazing at falling
a baby almost
looks like a Buddha.

Actually at a certain age most babies look like a Buddha!

Monday, December 07, 2009

My Christmas doodle

When the brain feels like mush but one has finished a Christmas stocking, baked another cake, baked a loaf of bread and had blood taken perhaps one is entitled to sit on the new couch with the cat in the sun room and do a doodle which special people might get as a Christmas card.
Then again I might do another one, we will see.
The forcast is for rain this evening, I hope so as although it is not very warm it has been dry and every drop of rain will count this summer.
I am afraid if you want to see the stocking you will have to go here, I do run two blogs and this one really is for sketching and the other is for all the other stuff. I do hope people sometimes go to both.
Tonight's Haiku is by Buson
When the autumn wind
scatters peonies,
a few
petals fall in pairs.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I have been busy.

There is a bit of this and a bit of that in this blog post. We went for a walk late this afternoon and I did this quick sketch of Wright Island and the beach and a few granite boulders, the beach has a lot of sand on it here which normally it doesnt, we have had a few high tides but also the new breakwater built for the boat landing facility may be making a difference.
It was a glorious day and afternoon with boats in the bay, a cool breeze and if my knee wasnt being such a pain I really would have enjoyed it more. I am beginning to think that falling off that table was the worst thing I could have done.
Then there is Oscar, about to jump into a sink full of fish, he was so excited he made a great lunge, as you can see John had a good day fishing and we had a plaki (Greek fish dish) for dinner last night.
Then there is a photo of what I did yesterday, as well as feed ponies, I made 3 tote bags to put Christmas presents in instead of buying paper bags , I aim to make a few more, they were so easy and they are lined. I am using up lots of material that I dont use.
Then the first of about 4 boiled fruitcakes that I am making as Christmas presents for the children. This one has rum in it and came out really well, so easy and it is called a boiled fruit cake as you boil together the sugar, butter, fruit, golden syrup and rum for a minute. Then make as a normal cake, it is always so rich and not in the least bit dry. Yum.
If you want more photos go to my other blog here.
Finally tonight's Haiku is by Shiki
Frog- school competing
with lark-school
softly at dusk
in the art of song.

Friday, December 04, 2009

De commissioned Church in Kelso

Well I dont quite know what else to call it as it is one of the many in the UK and I presume Scotland which have been sold as they are no longer economic, or there are too many churches in one place or perhaps they amalgamated, I dont know. I am not sure but I think this magnificent one, of which I sketched a pretty scrappy piece, is used for some sort of community thing.
What do you do with old churches? Not much fun to live in, cost the earth for upkeep and yet some are far too lovely to pull down.
I may not be on this blog much for the next week or so but I will keep up the other one, trying to find time to sketch or paint is not easy in the run up to Christmas, especially at the moment with the girls away and me having to do the feeds, of which there are an awful lot.
We had another foal this morning, thank goodness this one knew all about what he should be doing.
However my knee is being an absolute pain which is now transfering to my hip so I am being awfully slow.
The best thing is that I have had Gaby out with Mason helping me and although he is a very busy little boy he is also quite delightful.
I was also given a sofa bed I need another bed for when people come but this was rather larger than I thought it was and I have had to re organise the sun room so it can go in there, it did however make me do a thorough clean and tidy out which has been good.
A Haiku by Basho.
The oak tree stands
noble on the hill
even in
cherry blossom time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Night sky

After a day doing house work, and I still havent finished, this is the best I can do, lurid pink sky after a hot day.
We have had about 40mm of rain in the last few days, which is good, and certainly at the moment the sky does not look like this.
Not much to say, a worrying day which you can read about here if you are interested.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am afraid this is a bit of a splodgy sketch as I had been in the garden all day and am tired so when I decided to do this I stood by the bedroom door and did the outline but when I went to put some paint on I am afraid I made a bit of a mess of the colors I was trying to put on.
It was lovely early on this morning, then down came the showers again and our walk flew out of the window and we decided to get wet here, cutting back and pulling weeds and doing a bit more potting on.
I have planted a pink clematis as well but I am not sure if the spot I have chosen for it is going to be very good, lots of roots in the soil but this one has been amazingly adaptive so I hope the other is too.
My lemons are all falling off the tree, they certainly dont like 43 degree C days, and on looking for my shasta daisies I cant believe it but I have three tiny plants left which I had better rescue and pot on, normally they take over. Other things like the glory vine have taken off and already need taming.
After the wild few days we have had perhaps this Haiku by Shiki is appropriate,
The thunder has subsided.
Evening sun on a single tree.
The cry of a cicada.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thunder and lightning

We lost power yesterday and the storm was so fierce I didnt turn the computers back on so therefore no post.
I sat for a while watching the rain pelting down and drew the little birds and then added some extra bits, and then a snail appeared and finally a vine with leaves and what was supposed to be a flower but it doesnt look much like one, and somewhere in the middle the bell appeared.
It is still blowing and I can hear the sound of chain saws so I suppose branches are down along the road. I have been planting some herbs I bought in the market today and throwing out old potting soil and repotting a few things. Stuff I should have done weeks ago.
I have had to watch my timing as when the rain comes it is incredibly heavy, if only for a few minutes. The garden is loving it.
The other is a little bit of nonsense I am doing a few of these, scraps of material, sewn on the machine and then some hand stitching, on some more than others. Layers, such fun.
Haiku today is by Buson
Spring rain falling
On the roof a child's rag doll-

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The stable yard at Castle Howard

This little corner had a barrow with vegetables on it and piled up pumpkins and a box of brussel sprouts, a lovely little bit to sketch.
Yesterday I saw my mother, who slept for most of the time I was there, so I arranged the flowers I had brought and after 3/4 of an hour slipped away.
It wasnt as hot as it had been but is now muggy so feels a bit worse. I was hoping we would get some rain but nothing so far.
I went to the garden center looking for dahlias, couldnt get any tubers I must be too late, we saw such lovely displays of them in the Jardin du Plants in Paris I wanted to get some in, I did find a couple of potted small ones so they will have to do. I also brought home some petunia seedlings and some geraniums, I know I usually grow my own from cuttings I have pinched but I feel I am running out of time so a mixed punnet looked like a good idea. Boy they are not cheap though.
I was hoping to have a quiet day but John decided to get the rods for the curtains up, that meant moving a heap of stuff and then having to sit and sew on the curtain rings, but it is done now and looks heaps better.
We are off tonight for a friends 70th Birthday.
The Haiku tonight is by Hyakuchi
Thinking comfortable

with a friend in silence
in the cool evening...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When in a doctors waiting room

Actually I was outside in the car waiting for John to have a small nasty cut from his back. I had wandered around the town and he still hadnt rung to say he was ready so I doodled. I must say I would quite like a vase looking a little like the one at the bottom of my sketchbook page.
I find doodling a lot of fun and I dont really feel as if I am wasting time.
Warmer today and I am still trying to get things sorted in the close bits of the garden. Pots are being moved around and a few new ideas being thought about. They may happen this season but I am not sure. A huge succulent that keeps falling over in a pot has been moved into the garden where I hope it wont get frosted.
We took the black mulberry my friend Paddy gave Tab for a wedding present over to her today, as she says mulberries have been part of all her life. We have always had one and the children will never forget the one at Cape Cassini on Kangaroo Island which covers about 1/2 an acre which we used to go and collect ripe mulberries in our bathers for the most wonderful feasts.
I have just discovered that I can get my flower stitcher onto my Pfaff sewing machine, after breaking 2 sets of twin needles on another machine so I am terribly pleased about that and plan a lot of practice on it in the next few days. I tried and tried but was obviously attacking it from the wrong direction.
Adelaide tomorrow so I may not post, I will see how I feel when I get home.
tonights Haiku is again by Basho
My horse clip-clopping
over a field...
Oh Ho!
I'm part of the picture!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sketch done on The Holy Isle

I just liked this little vignette as we walked around the Holy Isle and so it became a rough sketch and a photo, I suppose you could say it is still a rough sketch but it pleases me. A tiny corner of a house with a rose growing up the wall, the castle and farm houses in the distance.
To day I tidied up the bit of garden by the bedroom door, didnt look as if much had to be done but it was two wheelbarrows later and still a couple of things to get done.
It is so much cooler but I can see so many tough old plants that would normally be looking fresh and bright but after over 40 degrees C are burnt and quite miserable looking. Thank goodness we have several days of cool weather and perhaps some more rain.
Tonights Haiku is by Onetei
Briefly the sun shines
brightly between
cloud and sea
fading as rain falls.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trying to catch up

John has gone fishing today and although we had some lovely rain last night and it is cooler and I should be outside pulling weeds I am trying to catch up on a few things that need to be done.
The bread is baking, the dishes are done and the inside is relatively clean but not tidy. Oh no not in the least tidy as I am trying to get stuff done for Christmas presents.
John informed me that if I wanted to go to Kangaroo Island for Christmas we had no money for presents.
Now that is 2 sisters, one mother, 4 children 4 partners and 11 grand children and 1 great grand child.
Plus friends.
What a head ache, we dont give each other presents as the trip away is that.
So I am trying to think of things that dont look too home made and might be appreciated.
I am making a few of these little frames stitcherys for some, I have other things as well and need to get these done so I can make some earrings and necklaces etc for the others.
I will just have to buy for the boys, a bottle of wine each will have to do.
Time is going fast and I know that as well I have 4 birthdays just before Christmas.
Sometimes I feel like saying, this is it, no more presents but then they will be disappointed and I The sandals were sitting by the ramp down to the beach the other day, I think they belonged to the lady in black with the large dog. I had to sketch them, if nothing else.
Basho's Haiku today
Oh that summer moon!
It made me go
round the pond all night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Sketchbook page

I should have a painted sketch up but it is over 40degrees C here and my sun room where I usually paint is shut up and hot hot, I do not want to venture in there.
I am thinking of joining a group who sketch daily, but am still making up my mind, so I sat last night fiddling with a few thoughts about textiles that were going through my mind, not very deep thoughts I might add and this was the page that some how emerged.
I am doing Christmas presents and things and have just sewn up a bunch of hearts and forgot to put ribbon or lace on the material before I sew, and I am doing a bunch of painted dolls who are such fun but you cant see them either.
We did go walking on the beach this morning, the first since before I did the ligament in my knee back in July? August? It was hot even at 9 am which should have been 8 am but with daylight saving isnt. A lovely walk but a forgotten coffee order afterwards left me fuming. If people want to run efficient places that people especially locals will come back to they need to watch what is going on and not forget orders.
Enough of my rant.
Perhaps it is the heat, there is a fire out there on York Peninsular where my daughter and son in law and grand daughter are and where all their girls will be going tomorrow. Not actually near them but the forcast of very high winds and lightening strikes is a worry. We will probably be up most of the night watching if the thunderstorms start.
So far all we have to look forward to is Schoolies weekend getting old and grumpy? well yes I suppose so.
This Haiku by Soseski might do the trick!
The mightiest Gods
loom naked
in a black wind
laughing at demons.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The fun things you find

In the narrow back streets of towns.
This is a sketch I did in Berwick upon Tweed, the houses with rooms over the street. This little lane was blocked off as there were painters closer this end but I did manage a quick sketch and a photo and this is a slightly better pen and wash of the room jutting out over the street.
I have no idea what or why but I do know the where.
The scan hasnt done the colors justice.
My Biscotti recipe,
1 3/4 cups plain flour
3/4 tspoon bicarb soda
3/4 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1 dessertspoon instant coffee
80 gms toasted whole hazelnuts, I use what I can get straight from the packet.
120 gms dark chocolate dots or dark cooking chocolate in small chunks
125 gm unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
11/2 tspn vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 180 degree C
Put flour, bi carb soda, baking powder, salt and coffee in bowl and whisk well . Stir in nuts and chocolate to coat and set aside.
In mixer beat butter and sugar untill light and fluffy, about 6 mins, add eggs one at a time beating well and then add vanilla.
On low speed add the dry ingredients until combined.
Divide dough into two, in your hands roll out into two log shapes and put on baking tray covered in baking paper about an inch or so apart as they will flatten and spread.
Bake until golden about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
Reduce oven heat to 160 degrees C
When the logs are barely warn carefully cut them cross ways about 1/2 inch across. Lay biscuits on baking sheets with cut side down return to oven and bake until crisp and golden brown about 15 minutes.
Remove and cool on trays, bisuits will be fragile at first but then ok. Put in an air tight tin when cold.
Tip. I keep my nuts in the freezer to stop them developing a rancid taste before I use them.
I hope you like them, they do take time but are worth it, or at leasty John thinks they are!
No Haiku tonight, I am late and tomorrow sounds like a nast hot day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Ideal Garden allotment

India Flint, a fellow South Australian and dyer extraordinaire has a give away on her blog relating to garden allotments, here.
I love garden allotments and whenever, if ever we are away I love looking out of train windows looking at them.
This is my ideal and has in it what I know we can grow here. Our soil is very light deep sand and can get non wetting if we are not careful with it. Using the stable manure from the ponies in the stable is a help, when I can get someone to cart some for me.
I dont know if you can see or read what I have done, click on the photo to see it larger.
I have laid out a very traditional garden with fruit trees that I love, apples, pears, apricot, nectarine, fig, peach, plum, loquat, and of course a lemon on the right root stock and a navel orange. No cherries as they dont grow here, apricots I have to say are a bit iffy too.
I have a garden shed and an area of shade with a seat to rest on after a hard days work, with a grape vine over it and a few table grapes on the back fence.
IN my garden plots are all the vegetables that I can grow and that we eat. Poles with beans, peas, tomatoes, and a passion fruit.
Beds for strawberries, asparagus (that is growing well at the moment and so are the strawberries!) Potatoes and onions, oh gosh I forgot the garlic, that is always tucked in in odd corners. The broad beans are just surviving the heat at the moment and the bush beans well, I am having a few problems with salt in the water but there should be a reasonable crop.
Beetroot and radishes, a must for summer salads, as are the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.
The herbs, some in some places, others like the basil around the tomatoes, the chives and parsley can run a little wild and the couple of artichoke plants are doing well, just not too much heat please.
Then the pumpkins who tend to get very rampant, the lebanese zuccini is my favorite and I must have something lovely to look at so a few roses over the entrance and beside them and some marigolds to keep the white fly at bay. Talking of Bay, there is a bay tree in a huge pot by the shed but I forgot to put that in as well. Visually the Jerusalem artichokes are lovely in late summer, huge sunflowers and very nice tubers to make into a rather embarrassing soup.
I dont bother too much with mid winter vegetables, too cold and the rabbits have a field day.
I hope you like my garden allotment.
As I live on a farm, there is no water barrel, all that would do would be to breed mosquitoes, and in our heat there would be nothing left in it very quickly, our water comes from the dams.
In reality I do have to battle with the peacocks eating everything so anything I get is a bonus.
What would I wear? Oh jeans and a shirt with long sleeves and a collar and sensible shoes, but then sometimes shorts and t shirt and sandals and a hat and sunscreen.
To eat for my elevenses, well normally I dont have elevenses as I am always trying to lose weight but I suppose I could have a mug of green tea and a biscuit, one of my gorgeously naughty biscotti with chocolate. Would you like the recipe? well leave a comment and I will put it up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Only time for a couple of doodles

This is what you do when you have a sort of cool change but you know it will only last for 2 days and then it is back into the 40's, well over 100 degrees in the old money.
So the house is sort of clean and tidied, I have washed, I have been watering the garden and pulling a few weeds and then its flop in a chair in front of the fan and doodle.
Lovely and relaxing.
Haiku by Basho
He who climbs this hill
of flowers
finds there a shrine
to the kind Goddess.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The wedding

Yesterday was my lovely youngest daughter's wedding. This was a second wedding for both and if you go to my other blog here you will see more photos and a bit more of an explanation.
The first photo she was explaining in her speech that she had actually asked him to marry her as it was a leap year!
The next is of their small daughter Millie gathering rose petals during the ceremony, and then both of them cutting the cake with a meat clever!
It was a terribly hot day, most uncomfortable but we were all dressed to be comfortable, it was a Scottish wedding of some tradition with a lot of Australian flavor mixed in. The bride looked stunning, and the groom was pretty good too and the others in the family did very well and I was proud to be the mother, grandmother, great grandmother of those who could get there ( and those who for other reasons couldnt).
The caterer (me) didnt fall in too much of a heap and there was certainly more than enough food, and even though it was a hot day the oysters my John had to open in the morning were almost all consumed, about 14 dozen of them!
Record breaking number of over 35 degree days, I dont want to count them, and more to come.
We are off to a 90th birthday in a few minutes.
Back to sketching in a day or two!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

House by Berwick upon Tweed

This house is right down by the Tweed, I loved its many gables, I did wonder if it was liable to flooding being below the town walls.
We had a lovely night last night sitting on friends balcony by the sea and eating and drinking and chatting until about 10.30, catching up with the friends we met in Paris and talking about our trips, probably boring for others but fun for us.
I had forgotten I was to meet Tabby at 8 am in Woolworths this morning so there was a mad scramble to get off, and as I was going realised that Sarah was in the paddock with the young mare who had foaled, of course it was a filly and it hadnt drunk and the mare was very good but the foal was so dumb, happens sometimes and had no intention of finding her mothers udder. I had the vet out at 12.30 as it was 37 degrees by then giving it electrolytes, at 3.30. after we had moved it it suddenly got up and had a huge drink from both sides of its mother. Whew was all I could say but I didnot need this!!
I now have the airconditioner flat out, the oven on and am cooking 8 chickens, I think that will do for 40 people with all the other stuff we have and as it may well be 39 degrees by then they probably wont eat much any way.
Tomorrow I make the cooked salads, I think we are sort of under control.
Tonights Haiku is by Kubonta and sometimes I feel like this.
When the tight string
snapped, the kite fell
It lost its spirit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Caernarfon Castle

On a day such as this it is lovely to go back through and think of what we saw on a damp day in October, this was Caernarfon Castle where John nearly scared the pants off me by taking me up a dark and steep stair in one of these tall towers, I hate heights and as my nearly blind left eye is a liability at the best of times steep and uneven stairs are not good, hanging on to a rope was not made easier either. Of course we later found a well lit and much easier stair to come down.
I couldnt help thinking of the very young Prince Charles who became the Prince of Wales here, I had skied with friends who had been at school with him here in Australia and I am afraid still have a soft spot for him, shows my age I suppose.
I had a ball with all those battlements and odd corners in this building, there will be more to come.
Adelaide was horrendous, unbelievably hot, poor Tabby the new forecast is for it still to be 39 degrees in Adelaide on Saturday, about 36 or 7 down here, and yet in Victor when I got there it was only 26 degrees, lucky them, it is awful out here.
My mother was a bit lost about where she was and who I was when I got there but soon perked up. I dont know how long the flowers I gave her will last.
Most of my Haiku seem to be about spring or autumn and not a burning hot spring like this one, so I thought I would have cool thoughts this one by Etsujin
Not until I'd looked
a long time
at the new snow
did I wash my face.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It is hot hot still

and likely to be for the next 4 days at least, breaking some sort of record that I dont want to know about.
I am going to Adelaide tomorrow and it will be 39C . I have to see my mother so I will go early and come straight home.
Yesterday was messy and so will the next few days be, one tends to get up really early while it is still a bit cool and then settle to not much during the day and water and do things late when the sun is going down.
I find it extremely tiring and have to find things I can do with my feet up as the wretched things tend to swell in this weather.
This morning in the early morning light when I went out to see if I had a foal I thought from a distance, oh yes there it is, until it hopped away, it was a kangaroo!
This is Kelso Abbey which I found a bit about, it says it was founded by David the first in the 12th century and it was destroyed in 1545 by the Earl of Hertford.
Onitsura wrote this Haiku.

How hot and dusty
these sunstruck
cobwebs glisten
between dry branches.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Not sure what my scanner is doing as this should have more colour on the right, the mysteries of getting it right.
I loved Conwy, this small walled town with castle overlooking the sea and estuary, we had a lovely time in the rain wandering around, well it only rained a bit and we had umbrellas.
Yesterday today and the next week are going to be horrid here, hot and gradually getting hotter with tops of at least 37 degrees, it is over 35 by the back door at the moment. Poor Tab's wedding on Saturday is going to be about 34 and I hope by then the temperature has gone down and not up.
Yesterday was the show, all I can say is read about it here although we had quite a good day it was far too long and tiring and the ridden is on today, I am not there!
The poor garden is going to turn up its toes as it hadnt had time to get used to these temperatures. We live in a country where there are floods on the east coast and stinking hot and dry here, but that is what usually happens, if it is wet there we get no rain.
Basho's Haiku feels a bit like the way I feel at the moment (not that I have a fever but heat does this to me)
Wandering, dreaming,
in fever
dreaming that dreams
forever wander.