Friday, July 31, 2009



August will be a Meme Free month! I won't follow a single one!*
There are so many other things in life that just have to be done!
Look at the dust beneath the beds! Look at the mail unwritten!
The trouble is, when I see a meme, I find I'm hooked, I'm smitten!
I've 'pre-ordained' my daily verse so I'll still keep in the swim,
But my output will be rather sparse, even verging on the slim.
I never cared for homework when I was a child at school,
So why, when I chance upon a meme, does 'Do it!' become the rule?
It's becoming an addiction! Is there a 'patch' for this?
Will August find me frustrated or living a life of bliss?
* Except for ABC Wednesday  because I don't want to get out of sequence.

More on the subject of memes here:

P.S I jumped the gun on this one, publishing it a day early. So I've republished it. I'm printing copies of the two very welcome Comments I've already had and zapped!

Poopsie aka Blue has left a new comment on your post "Abstinence!":

Your contribution on TCT will be missed - do remember to come back after your break.

Best wishes

Jo has left a new comment on your post "Abstinence!":

I'll miss you on meme's and look forward to September. I often wonder if I'm addicted (ha) as I don't miss one of the three I follow. 


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Red, White and Blue

I was strolling along in town one day when this Junk Shop caught my eye.
Now I was only idling, dreaming as I passed by.
I was thinking of writing a poem about Red, White and Blue;
( When 'True Colours' suggests it, that is what I do.)
'I must avoid the Union Jack!' was going through my mind
Followed by 'What alternative am I possibly going to find?'
Being a Brit, 'Red, White and Blue' had me standing to attention,
But then it seemed too obvious to even rate a mention.
When suddenly a window seemed to flash across my gaze!
And it filled the said criteria in really perfect ways!
Now, when the owner made a plan to change her window theme,
What made her think of this decor, this blended colour-scheme?
And what made me walk down that street? It's not my usual route!
And what made me glance at her window, so crammed with pre-loved loot?
I'm really not superstitious! I prefer reality.
But this was a great example of SERENDIPITY!
Sometimes luck can be bad here:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fern Gully



Seen on a walk along the track
The ferns all in full leaf.
Which made me think back to the past
And a very strange belief.
How could the ferns be propagated?
Seeds did not exist!
Maybe the seeds were invisible!
Then they could be missed!
Shakespeare believed this theory
In 'Henry IV, Act Two',
He speaks of the invisible seeds
So he believed it true.
Another interesting point
Of which I've recently heard
Is that seed was only collectible 
On June 23rd!
At all other times the goblins
Snatched the precious seeds
Or caused them to drop on the ground
Among the twigs and weeds!
The discovery of spores, of course,
Ruined this charming theory;
A scientist called Lindsay
Gave the answer to the query.
What a lot of history
Attached to the humble fern!
(The more I blog, the more I read,
And, also, the more I learn!)


Dreamtime ferns here:




Grey sky, grey water.
Fish flashing under my boat.
Everything waiting and watching.

More patient fishermen here:


Biorhythm is one of those things I believe in and yet I don't!
Some days I'll go along with it and other days I won't!
According to the theory three rhythms rule our lives,
Though many say this story is very much 'Old Wives'.
Circadian rhythm is a fact; we're ruled by day and night,
But Biorhythms can't be proved so are they wrong or right?.
First, there's the Physical rhythm; affecting our bodily state.
Some days we feel we're dying; other days we feel just great.
Then there's the Emotional rhythm. Are we happy? Are we sad?
We'll all agree there's a difference between miserable and glad.
Finally, there's Intellectual. Do we feel alert and bright?
Or have we hit a day when two-and-two just wont come right?
According to the theory each rhythm waxes and wanes,
So there are days with losses and there are days with gains.
The Physical rhythm is twenty-three days; the Emotional twenty-eight;
The Intellectual, thirty-three, or so the pundits state.
Now, once in a while they'll all be high, you'll feel you rule the earth.
But, once in a while, they'll all hit low, and you'll feel you have no worth!
Most of the time we coast along having an average ride,
But we really feel a difference when the rhythms coincide!
We all have days 'on top of the world.'! We all have days that stink!
So Biorhythms stand a chance of being correct, I think.
A typical chart.

All 'up' here:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Flowering

suggests a line from John Lennon as a starting point.
It's written here in blue.


Love is the flower you've got to let grow.
Maybe the seed is deep in the snow.
Maybe the bud is tightly curled
And the nascent leaf still coyly furled.
Maybe the flower fears the frost,
Fears that its blossom will be lost.
Maybe it doubts that it will last
If it yearns for the blazing sun too fast.
Wait and wonder. Love has the power
To grow, in time, to a bounteous flower.
The tender shoots of love here:

Five Years from Now


In five years time I'll be eighty-three! I write it, feeling aghast!
How did the days of my lengthy life go flashing by so fast?
The thought should make me feel morbid, should make me weep and cringe,
Should make me dread the era of memory-loss and twinge.
The tragedy of age, it seems, it that ones stupid brain
Imagines one is still sixteen! One wants to start again!
Yet the tragedy is the boon, I think, for the plain and simple truth
Is that, inside, we all enjoy a never-ending youth!
At fifty I felt done-for! Ready to pop my clogs!
Ready to say that, already, I was going to the dogs!
That was nearly thirty years ago! Thirty fantastic years!
I've felt I was going backwards, away from the 'vale of tears'.
I've shed my responsibilities! My hobbies fill my life!
It's the middle years that test us.....parent, worker, wife.
'So twenty-fourteen! Welcome!' (Let's hope that's what I say!)
Although, of course, at seventy-eight, I might drop dead today!
Self-congratulation here:

The Red Baron


Isn't it strange how enemies seem to lose their stigma!
The changing face of prejudice is rather an enigma.
I'm British, and the Germans were once seen as Dirty Dogs,
Though we didn't like the French too much; we labelled them as 'Frogs'!
Yet now we're all united, apart from some minor spats,
The currencies are intertwined! Prime Ministers have chats!
There was once a dastardly devil we felt deserved his end!
Yet now we feel, had we known him, he could have been a friend!
Manfred was an eldest son, a German aristocrat.
The Richthofen's had vast lands, the family purse was fat.
His Uncle Alexander, a hunter, was admired,
And Manfred's imagination by the hunting game was fired.
At the Military Academy he didn't really shine,
Academically he was so-so; athletically he was fine.
He joined the Cavalry at first, seeing life from a horse's back,
But the fighting in the First World War took the form of a tank attack.
The Cavalry was disbanded, Manfred was relegated
To the Signal Corps, which, without a doubt, he absolutely hated!
He saw the airplanes up above and he knew they'd play a part,
And the urge to fly an airplane was embedded in his heart.
When first he qualified to fly it wasn't on his own
And the need to be a solo pilot must have grown and grown.
He knew he could get up closer to the hated enemy
If he flew a small plane on his own; he'd feel more in charge and free.
Thus began the flying career for which he had been bred,
And it was now his solo craft was painted a brilliant red.
Since he was heir to a Baron, the 'Red Baron' he was named,
And this is when so very many enemy scalps were claimed.
Soon he had 52 victories, 52 planes destroyed!
And the people back in Germany were utterly overjoyed.
Then there came the fateful day when a bullet grazed his eye;
He had cranial injuries; people thought that he might die.
But he now had 80 victories, and although his head kept aching,
He persisted in many daredevil acts, impossible risk-taking.
In the end it was from the ground that bullet-fire caused his death;
Australian soldiers shot at him and he took his final breath.
No doubt he was foolhardy; and an egotist, to boot,
But what a tremendous hero! To fly, to aim, to shoot!
He will always be remembered for his wonderful bravery .
'Red Baron' is a name that chimes throughout all history.

A German pilot from a very different angle here:

Monday, July 27, 2009


                                      Brenda Bryant



The young man returned
After long years away.
He ran up the old familiar steps.
And then he stopped!
Where there should have been 
Where there should have been
Where there should have been
For a moment he stood nonplussed,
Not daring to go further.
A passer-by called out
'Pulled down five year ago, mate.
The owners died.'
The young man returned to his car
And drove away.
The same mood here:


You can't get much more domestic than this homely little shot!
I took this from my balcony, a pleasant little spot.
A walk down to the left will take me on into the shops,
I walk there almost every day, with conversational stops.
The hospital is on my way, also the local school;
Just ten minutes in the sun, well, that's the general rule.
So picture me with my trolley, little-old-lady style,
Making-up verses as I walk; wearing a secret smile!
And here's the very balcony from which I took the shot.
Is it any wonder that I'm happy with my lot?
A more romantic balcony here:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yellow Peril!

It's odd how people differ in their passions and desires!
It's strange how quite a humdrum thing can light a person's fires!
To me this is 'a yellow car'. (Ah! something for 'Yellow Monday').
But Malcolm saw this in the show he visited on Sunday,
And, since then, he's been sort of vague, with a look of desperation!
The need to own a 'Spitfire' enters every conversation!
I say 'It's just a car.' but he has quite a different view.
Supposing he goes and buys it! Whatever will I do?
I'll have to do some drooling and pretend that I can see
Something more than a vehicle that goes from A to B!
Now Poetry's a different thing, quite worthy of obsession
It's obvious I'm quite normal when I have a writing session!
But cars! My goodness! They're just things that happen to have wheels!
I'm afraid I'll never really know exactly how he feels!
A similar theme here:

Peachy Pizza

Invite a friend round for a pizza then give her a crazy surprise!
It wont be what she's expecting and you'll see her widen her eyes!
No cheese, no bacon, no olives! Well, nothing Italian at all!
No savoury, sizzling aromas to waft to her nose down the hall.
For this is the sweetest of pizzas! Yes, this is a peach of a pie.
A wonderful treat for the summer when peaches are in top supply.
For the crust take the butter and sugar and mix in the flour with a will;
Then press in a pizza pan firmly. (There! That didn't take too much skill!)
Let it cook fifteen minutes (350) and then set aside. Let it cool.
Then brush it with jam that you've melted; I use some peach jam as a rule.
Beat together the rind and the cream cheese, with the whipping cream there in the mix.
It will thicken and blend very quickly. (So that was quite easy to fix!)
Take six peaches and peel them and slice them. (Yes, take out the pitted parts too)
And arrange them on top of the cream cheese as the pastry-chefs all seem to do.
Make a glaze out of juice, jam and sugar, with some cornstarch to help it all blend,
Then boil it all up till it thickens. Don't worry! You're right at the end!
Paint it over your pizza to glaze it, let it cool and sit down and admire!
You'll agree it's a peach presentation! And you didn't even perspire!
CRUST 1/2 c Butter 1/4 c Sugar (confectioners) 1 c Flour

FILLING 2 tb Peach jam melted  1/4 lb Cream cheese  1/2 c Whipping cream
1 ts Orange rind grated  6 Peaches peeled, pitted and sliced

GLAZE 2/3 c Orange juice1/2 c Peach or apricot jam2 tb Cornstarch
2 tb Sugar, brown

Another perfect peach here:

Not So Mellow Fruitfulness!

Alphonse Mucha


What a curious expression! What on earth did Alphonse say
To give rise to such a very withering glance?
It can't be all that easy holding armfuls of fresh fruit!
So is she feeling put-upon, by chance?
Has he told her to be gentle with the apples and the pears?
Has he questioned her involvement with the grapes?
Has he told her to be careful how she warms them with her flesh?
He may not want some over-ripened shapes!
Is she just a little peevish with that head-dress on her head?
It must prickle like the blazes, I'm quite sure!
Such foliage is charming when it's growing on the trees,
But to stand there wearing it! Well, that's a chore!
Certain leaves have slipped their moorings and are very uncontrolled!
There's an orange one that's tickling her cheek!
And Alphonse is quite ungracious if she dares to move an inch
So she's certain he would never let her speak!
Did I hear aright? He's saying that she's getting overweight!
He says she's getting heavy round the chin!
He's looking for a younger model with far less derriere;
One who's prettier and verging on the thin!
Seek no further for a reason for the baleful, chilling look!
We've solved the problem! Hence the curious pose!
As soon as he has finished she'll throw caution to the winds
And come and punch old Alphonse on the nose!
P.S. I came upon this gorgeous 'steal' on someone else's blog!
I can't resist including it with mine!
It seems 'that look' was common! One just can't help but think
That Mr Mucha was a perfect swine!
Charla Pettingill
Another intriguing model here:

Ghost Track



Shouldn't there be a Ghost Train running along this track,
Running right out to the end , and never never coming back?
The reflections are illusions, so another piece of whimsy
Won't do anyone any harm, even though the concept's flimsy.
If the trees we see are upside down then you must understand
That this poor ancient photographer is Alice in Wonderland.
Imagination can be a curse here:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday Diary

July 26th

Last week was miserably cold, but this week we had a mini-heat-wave, as can be seen in the press photo published on Wednesday.
 The temperature got up to 24 degrees in some areas and we found we were all improperly dressed! Now we have proper winter weather, chilly but bright. I am the only member of my family not making the most of it! Malcolm has gone off to a British Car Day on the Foreshore! Rebecca, Brian and Blake have hired a houseboat on the Myall Lakes for a day or two and have gone fishing. While Greg, Michelle, Harry and Max have 'gone to the snow'. This is a 'must' for many Australians, although the skiing in the Snowy Mountains is erratic and expensive. Anyway, we hear that conditions are ideal there now so I look forward to some great photos for my blog when they all return. Here are Harry and Max demonstrating their hired snow-gear.
And just to demonstrate last week's weather, this is what Max wore to sweep our yard straight after the snow-gear picture!
World news hasn't impacted on me much this week. But I was horrified by the New Jersey arrests in America! Not that there isn't corruption here (and all over the world) but it was such a consortium! And I always wonder about the mass of other criminals getting away with it! Our local news was dominated by coal! We saw a very sad documentary featuring the glorious farmland in NSW being dug up for coal! Beautiful country and the miners swear they wont ruin it but one wonders. Lots of protests in the wind. My cartoonist friend, Peter, published this in Saturday's paper. It sums up everyones' feelings.
Last Sunday was a quiet day. I went on a shadow-hunt for my blog. This entailed a long coastal walk on my own clicking at every opportunity. With the sun winter-low there are more shadows than in summer.
Monday saw me in Entertainer mood. I went to a local VIEW club performing poetry. They were having a Lavender and Lace Day and they'd gone to a lot of trouble with the theme. I brought home a pot of lavender as a gift. Here you see the audience and the 'theme cakes'!
On Tuesday evening our Book Group met. Only we didn't discuss a book. A discussion about WW1 novels recently gave rise to an evening of watching Malcolm's old copy of the ancient film 'Oh What a Lovely War!' which I have always found fascinating. I'd like to see a new version of it but I doubt if it would be a popular commodity nowadays.
 We had the usual convivial supper, here depicted.
On Wednesday I spent the day writing. I'm in the midst of writing a shortened version of 'The Red Barn' so I was very happily occupied. Thursday was more exciting as I organised the entertainment for a 'Xmas in July' lunch at Malcolm's Probus Club. We had a gargantuan festive meal first. Here's a decorated table.
And here am I instructing my somewhat unwilling 'cast' in how to die tragically in a melodrama! Linda is the dead one (she was the Old Hag!)
On Friday we rehearsed 'Jeopardy' again and I was delighted with it. I had severe doubts about it ever getting off the ground as we had problems with cast sickness etc, but it's all coming together. I feel I'm able to book the hall for our November 'Family and Friends Night' now.
As I write I am all alone in the world. Well, not quite. We're dog-sitting Rebecca's dog, Banjo, while she's off house-boating. I'd better take him for a walk!
Till next week.

What Did He Say?



"Better let me navigate!
Aren't you going to accelerate?
Careful! You took that corner fast!
Keep to the left! He can't get past!
See! I told you the tyres were worn!
Easy does it! Not on the lawn!
Actually you should use second gear!
Turn here! Turn here! Turn here! Turn here!
Double-parking is a crime!
Remember you did it that other time!
It's getting late! Mind! Mind! Mind! Mind!
Vehicles coming up behind!
Empty parking over there!..........
Rudeness wont get you anywhere!"
More rash driving here:

Useless Loop

suggests the meme
Where in the World?


Where in the world is Useless Loop!
I've certainly never been there!
And with it having a name like that
I wouldn't want to be seen there!
It's over in Western Australia;
It looks an arid place,
But with a name like Useless Loop
It can't be commonplace!
In fact it's the home of salt ponds
So at least it has some worth!
And from those salt ponds comes, they say,
The purest sea-salt on earth.
So Useless Loop isn't useless!
It has its part to play.
But if I ever visit it
I don't intend to stay!
More 'what's-in-a-name?' here:

Balloon Bonanza!

publishes a picture almost identical to this.
By coincidence this happened this week!


In the spare bedroom what did I find?
The boys had left their balloons behind!
When they'd arrived not all that long ago
These balloons had been all on show.
' Daddy went to a party last night!' they said.
'He came home after we'd gone to bed!
He brought us balloons! Yippee! Yippee!
Those for him and these for me!
I like the red! He likes the blue!
I'll show you what balloons can do!
See mine bounce! Yeah! Mine's the best!'
I was suitably impressed.
For half an hour excitement reigned.
Lot's of noise! No-one complained!
They bounced, they biffed, they flew on high
With many a giggle and happy cry.
Balloons were the greatest things on earth!
Lots of merriment, lots of mirth!
But as is the way with little boys,
Lots of laughter, lots of noise,
But lacking powers of concentration!
Along came some other new sensation.
When they'd gone, what did I find?
Those balloons had been left behind!
More sharing with Grandma here:


Ours is a very wide road divided by this strip;
We enjoy the pleasures of these shadow-making trees.
Dogs chasing sticks, and children playing ball-games!
A fine little place for relaxing at ones ease. 
But listen! Can you hear them, rattling and clanking,
Smothered in their coal-dust and reeking with oil?
Can you see the driver, his face grey and careworn,
Struggling with the burden of unremitting toil?
This was a railway line in another century,
Carrying the coal from the mines to the port.
Now we enjoy it as our own piece of parkland.
And we hardly give the days of old an even passing thought.
A modern coal dilemma here:

Hay! Monet!


'Pose by that haystack!' I said to him, in my normal bossy tone!
Even as I said it, I sensed it was a clone.
It reminded me of one of Monet's many painted scenes,
Where the golden haystack stands amid the country's brilliant greens.
After I'd got my picture I peered at the board to the right.
Our haystack looked like a Monet! Yes! Well so it might!
An advertisement for a gallery, that's what we'd chanced upon.
When we returned days later the edifice had gone!


Another artist here:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Guess the Season



The sky of an Australian winter; imagine a chilling breeze
But all the leaves left growing on the eucalyptus trees.
We rarely see bare branches and yet we often know
That somewhere in the hillsides the rain has turned to snow.
So, although this looks like summer, remember the winter chill
And the snow that's falling gently on some high but distant hill.

Brrrrrrr here:

Happy Birthday Leo!


Lucky lucky Leo, truly born under a shining star!
Let's hope you're very grateful you're the person that you are!
Love triumphs over everything from a Leo's point of view;
The heart is first and foremost in everything you do.
Totally devoted and faithful , you'll love long as you live.
But if anyone ever breaks you're heart you wont bother to forgive.
Should you be spurned you have the power to shrug and just move-on,
You'll never hanker for lost love after that love has gone.
But the break will rarely come from you; you'll be the one who's left,
But, because of your sunny nature, you wont remain bereft.
There's a very robust ego lurking in Leo's breast;
You love yourself (in the nicest way) so you cope with all the rest.
Everyone likes your wit and charm but you must be centre stage,
And you must be a lion adventuring, not lurking in a cage!
Because you desire the larger-than-life,  your tastes are....well....they're tasteful,
And this may result in spending-up and being very wasteful.
Public Image is important; there's lots of 'Look at Me!'
And that's O.K. because most people like what they can see!
You have the power to go through life with a sunny smile, Amigo,
But don't forget, not everyone  likes an overdose of ego!
I hardly need to wish a Leo a Very Happy Year,
Because they're all set-up for it; that is very clear!
Happy Birthday Leo!

Find out how Aries copes with Leo here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Days



This photo, in the summer shade is not a recent shot.
It was taken several months ago and things have changed a lot.
I wanted a photo of the group, so we posed beneath the trees.
(Our city's very fortunate, to have palm trees such as these.)
Here you see a group of friends who met to act out plays.
Some of my happiest hours were spent with them in former days.
The group's still in existence, but many have departed,
And there has been one certain change that has left us heavy-hearted.
One of these charming ladies has been utterly devastated
By a quite appalling accident, never anticipated.
But roots go way into the ground, and shoots are Evergreen.
So this is not a sorrowful shot but a bright and hopeful scene.
A different sort of friendship here:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Foot In Mouth Disease!

'Spontaneity versus Planning' 
as a theme.
One aspect of my life could certainly do with more consideration!


It's dangerous stuff, spontaneity!
I've tried it and I can attest 
That thinking things over quite calmly
Is always undoubtedly best.
I've opened my mouth far too often
With what I consider a quip
To realise I should have waited,
Avoiding a terrible slip.
It's pleasant to make people giggle,
One feels like a really bright spark,
But the horrible pause on completion
Shows I've been over-stepping the mark.
I've made more than one nasty boo-boo,
Upsetting the people I love.
Avoid those spontaneous wisecracks
Like those in the picture above!
The consideration was too lengthy here:


Here is my young friend, Tracey
Seen with her two little boys.
Sam, the older of the two,
Is clearly making some noise!
Nathaneal has just been adopted,
 And he is rather subdued,
Surrounded, on his journey,
By a loud, strange multitude.
He is a child of Africa
And he is Canada-bound.
No wonder he looks bewildered,
Almost scared to look around,

But here is Nathaneal later
Discovering his new homeland.
See how he strides out firmly
Holding Sam by his helping hand!
Two brothers have found each other
And here's where the fun begins!
When there's so much sharing to hope for
Who cares that they don't share skins!
Such families and such children
Are the hope of all the earth.
We are all bound to each other
And not always by our birth.
Less racial harmony here:



No wonder they believed, as I know, for sure, they did,
That The Little People lived down in the grass!
They imagined little houses, little gardens, little paths,
And little tinkling voices, just like glass.
As the green grew deeper, deeper, more mysterious it seemed,
And they dared not part the bushes and explore,
For they knew that Faery Magick could carry them away
And their loved ones would be seeing them no more.
Oh that emerald Fairy-Land! We too once felt it true.
We too were Changelings, not quite of this Earth.
And still I can imagine them watching me from below,
And I hear the scented music of their mirth.
We have the taming of the green here:

Cruising Down the Murray

I took this shot earlier this year when we cruised the Murray River.

I'm afraid I've been reminded of a rather corny song from my youth so I've parodied the words.
'Cruising Down the River' won a BBC competition in 1945. I think it must have been the seed for the present Eurovision Song Contest!


Cruising down the Murray on a sunny afternoon,
Beneath the trees
We took our ease;
Life was just a boon.
The sky above was blazing
Like a gorgeous blue balloon!
Cruising down the Murray on a sunny afternoon.
A boy ran by
And shouted 'Hi!'
And we all waved a hand.
The gum trees made
A welcome shade
Above the golden sand.
Aboard our paddle-steamer
We were in our own cocoon,
Cruising down the Murray on a sunny afternoon.

"The authors were two middle-aged women who wrote the song to win a British songwriting contest in 1945. In June of 2005, I received confirmation of this from the niece of Lou Preager, the gentleman who actually conducted the contest and awarded the 1000-pound prize to two such women".

"The two women worked at Kennards department store in Wimbledon, a place frequented by my mother in days gone by. I'm not so sure they were middle aged, as some suggest, they might have been younger, I'm not sure. But I well remember the event!"

"The song was written by two members of Tolly and her trio, who played in the genteel café at Elys, Wimbledon. They wore long black gowns, and played an undemanding repertoire of light classics and popular songs on violins, cello and piano. I was at school nearby, and we used to drop in sometimes for a quiet giggle. They certainly seemed middle-aged to us, though that's unreliable - everybody looks middle-aged when you're fourteen. "
Another corny parody for the housewives here: