Merry Christmas!

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The day after tomorrow I’ll be hopping onto a plane to Western Australia to spend the next couple of weeks with two offspring. I’m taking my paints to see what happens when I work from life. Can I keep my brushes clean? Once the suitcase is full of paints and easel, will there be room for clothing? How long can one T-shirt last mid-summer? These and other questions will be answered. I’m quite excited at the prospect.



Cheryl, owner of the hairdressing Salon (Contours of Hair, Gordon) where some of my paintings are hanging, has asked if I’ll do a painting of her garden. That will be an exciting project for next year - I’ve said I won’t give her a price until it is finished, and then she can take the painting or not. That way I can treat it as an experiment and adventure rather than trying to live up to a particular expectation.



I was stocking up on dog food so my trusty house-sitter and Susie will be all set.



As you’ll notice from the photo, not only is tinned kangaroo on the menu, but a completely new, unexpected, and somewhat disturbing ingredient...



I hope that whatever Christmas or not you have is a good one in whatever way/s mean something for you. I look forward to chatting again next year - my trusty laptop is taking a break for the next two weeks so no blog for a little bit.

Merry Christmas!


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Look, Dick, look. See the snake. Watch Sally run.

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Last week I looked up one evening to discover a little brown frog sitting at the door to the living room. Being a bit inhospitable, I know, but suspecting s/he was lost I ushered her/him outside.

A few days later I met a frog in the toilet first thing in the morning (no photo available). The situation being slightly more urgent, I managed to catch it (after it had slipped momentarily up under the rim...who knows what else could be living up there?...who invented that place?) and popped it into the pond just below the house, figuring that even if it is a terrestrial frog it would be good to start out knowing where water is. Besides, it WAS in a toilet...

Then a couple of days ago I came home from the vet (Susie’s annual vaccinations, a year’s worth of flea/tick prevention etc - $370.00...gulp) and noticed somebody on the railing outside my floor to ceiling living room window, looking in. It was the most beautiful, exciting, graceful, exquisite slender green snake. Something I have never seen before. The underside was fluorescent yellow/green, and the large gemlike scales shades of blue/green/grey. They glittered when the sun caught them.

I sped glidingly off to get my camera without frightening it away (it isn’t easy to glide quickly - you end up feeling like Groucho Marx) and took a few shots from inside. As I stood watching it from a metre and a half away, I racked my brains but couldn’t remember if green tree snakes are venomous or not, if that’s what it was. I thought maybe they are, but it looked shy, so I was then set with the age old problem- do I stand at this distance watching it for ages, or go outside and try to creep closer with the camera, but risk frightening it away. I chose the latter. I managed to film it a bit, but it decided to slither down off the verandah and across to the pond.

It was indescribably beautiful. What an exciting few moments!

I Googled it. Yes, it was a green tree snake. No, they aren’t venomous. But they do eat frogs. Aha...no wonder I’ve been having froggy visitors wanting to move in!

I don’t know snakes well enough, but wonder if it was attracted by the blue pot which has lived in the pond for years as the filter and which I have just moved up onto the verandah. Using the pot as a landmark, it may have thought the pond had moved up here too.

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And then there’s the St Andrew’s Cross spider who weaves a white cross in its web...to look like a flower?...to look like it has REALLY long legs? Is this nature’s equivalent of falsies?



11 of my paintings are now hanging by invitation of the owners at a local Cafe (Little Gem) run by Bryant and Cindy, and at a local hairdresser (Contours of Hair) run by Cheryl who is very active in supporting local women in business. It will be interesting to see what feedback they inspire! And it’s about time to get back to painting!


Incidentally, we had a by-election yesterday. 22 names on the ballot, and you had to number each one from 1 - 22 to make your ballot paper valid. If your first choice doesn’t get in, then your vote goes to the second and so on. Each party therefore hands out a “How to vote” card at the entrance so if they don’t get in, they hope their nemesis won’t either, but because of that may find themselves throwing their support behind such entities as the once upon a time Party Party Party Party.

I vote at the local school which has a barbecue going to raise some funds. Democracy smells like sausages.


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Hello December

...........................In answer to a couple of questions posed last time: No, if a baby spinach is eaten off twice by something or somethings unknown, it does not grow back; yes, if the growing top of a bean gets nibbled off ditto, it grows back with two tips!

I gave up and raised a bunch of baby beans indoors and THEN planted them at the site where two batches didn’t grow - and they are doing well. Could be the beer I’m putting out in containers for the slugs...I feel mean but hope they die happy - the level of the beer goes down overnight enough to make me suspect that the beans may be helping themselves to a tipple as well.

I was asked to be a backing singer with a rock ‘n roll band of cartoonists at the recent Stanley Awards- annual event of the Australian Cartoonists Association - it was fun (some great musicians) although disconcerting as due to being wedged in between drums and electric bass and guitars, and a sound guy who mustn’t have pressed the right buttons, I couldn’t hear what was coming out of my mouth! The first time we played together as a group was when we stepped on stage for the performance as people came from all over the country. It was quite surreal not even being able to hear my voice in my own head. Luckily we got through it OK and everybody said it sounded great so phew, and phew that the set was cut short as a few trickier harmonies WOULDN’T have sounded great! The event was held at Darling Harbour - amazing city views. ....

I have been painting, creating a new card with my gallery website on it, ,


not making postcards (have a nice new printer person but the trial cards had awful colours), hanging a new batch of paintings in the bank, building compost bays with one of my offspring, a vege garden in the middle of the front yard,

(getting compost from the local tip - they process MOUNTAINS of green waste which 5 or 6 years later is beautiful for the garden - we had big sacks in the car and were shovelling it in through the windows - must have looked like we were simply filling the car) (here I am with Susie in the half wine barrel which the lemon tree is about to be transplanted into - the barrel is from France and had red wine in it - the colour of the inside is just beautiful and the stained wood grain - except now it’s full of dirt - oh well, I guess the worms can enjoy it) ......and finally saying goodbye to paintings which have been sold and taking them to their new homes - mainly to get offered a cup of tea as I had run out of tea leaves.

The male bower bird collects blue things to attract the female - like clothespegs -although why they attract her and don’t make her suspicious I don’t know - and in fact his eyes are blue. Here a bower bird sits at the edge of a billabong. I think milk producers here stopped using blue plastic lids for a time because birds were being choked in the rings and were redistributing them into the bush- but I could be making that all up.


There’s a tea shop where you order at the counter, then instead of being given a number, you’re given a teapot or coffee pot. I LOVE it! And what a gorgeous teacup! (Mind you. the milk comes in a paper container, but you can’t have everything)......

Have you seen the movie, “A League of their Own”? It’s about a league of women baseball players who toured the USA during WW2 when the men were away. Started as a bit of a novelty, but the women were actually crack players and ended up with a big following. War ended, they were disbanded. One of my kids was working in California recently and while riding around on a bike, came across a garage sale of items from the estate of a woman who had recently died. Turns out she had been with the league and had helped to make the uniforms. My offspring bought and packaged up the most wonderful array of thimbles, unopened bias binding, packets of needles, zippers and more, including an enchanting wooden box full of spools of thread in wonderful colours. They were sent to a sibling who will give them a new life in Australia and turn them into items their original owner would never have dreamed of but would probably have been excited to know about...I love that. ......


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