izmeina: (Crazy Cats)
The Crim Reaper



On this darkest witchiest of days, such a pity Izzie could not find a pic of Don the Con wearing a Dementor's burqa with his axe or sickle in one hand and a giant bacon Whopper in the other

He has been disturbingly quiet over the last few days. Maybe it's the calm before the Tweet storm. Or maybe Steve Bannon has taken a midnight flight to Argentina and left him home alone


Did attempt to indulge in the usual sunset ritual but the critter had gone hiding behind some clouds and for the last few hours it's been raining cats and dogs. Just as well because it has been an incredibly dry and warm winter. If they got this weather in England it would be called a wonderful summer.

In spite of making a special visit to the garden centre for this witchiest of weeks, did not get around to planting the new peach tree or the Buddhas' hand citrus today as originally planned. Made do with a few mulberry twigs that had been sitting in a bowl of water.
Rescued them from Privet Drive more than a month ago and forgot all about them with all the distractions and dramas there lately.

Only yesterday noticed that buds had come up on all of them, the tiniest curl of a leaf or two and even some green feathery baby berries on one twig.

So did manage to plant something for the day. Most importantly, added the magic ingredient of several handfuls of kitty litter into the planting hole for the mulberry twigs

Now the shops have taken to stocking some dodgy brands such as Purina from the USA which are twice the price of the perfectly good local stuff. But the big prize goes to the muck from Middle Earth also known as New Zealand
It's not your average clumping clay but volcanic rock zeolite which happens to contain all sorts of interesting trace elements and of course holds lots of liquid which is precisely why it gets used for soaking up cat pee. It also happens to be a home brand which means it's less than 1/4 price of the competitors.

Izzie with her mad hat and bags and stuff looks like your average crazy cat lady, so when buying a bag of this stuff at the supermarket talk invariably turns to those elusive feline creatures. Folks are always surprised to find me buying the stuff when I haven't even got a cat. Visits from the neighbour's moggies don't quite count.

But any would be burglars who come lurking around the Lair on seeing the big orange bags of kitty litter and the angel's trumpet flowers near the gate along with an assortment of ghost chilies are hopefully sufficiently scared off. If they did get inside they would probably get attacked by the stacks of books and not a TV or half decent tech toy to be seen.

It is just such a pity that some of the more interesting plants find this bit of the world just a bit too warm for their tastes. But then there's always an assortment of pitcher plants or durian fruit to add to the Witch list of weeds.
izmeina: (Default)
Last Saturday was a grey and rainy day. The only motivation to stir the Izzie from her serpent snooze was the Farmer’s markets in Subiaco. Now that I’m working every second Saturday, it would be a shame to waste a free one but there was another more important method to our madness.
Knowing that it is infinitely easier to honour commitments to others rather than to myself, on my previous visit on the Easter weekend I had asked one of the stall holders if she had any saffron bulbs to spare since every other year they have a surplus. Of course they also sell the bright and shiny precious in little glass vials as a side line to the main business which is olive oil.
Several years ago I had bought some bulbs from their stall and was pleased as punch to get my paws on such precious specimens. Following their instructions plus those obtained from the Oracle of Google, I planted the critters and waited patiently. It did not take too long for little green shoots to appear but the flowers never did follow. Izzie was a foolish creature back then and had hogged the precious corms all to herself. I learnt my lesson the hard way when they all shrivelled up and this time decided to reserve one third for Petunia to plant in her own veggie patch. She has magic powers when it comes to green and growing things so this is a sort of insurance policy.

The lady running the stall said that she did not have any bulbs for sale that day but I could order some for the next few weeks before the end of the season. So I chose a specific date and number.
So the thought of six precious saffron bulbs was sufficient motivation to be out and about reasonably early especially since it was 3 years ago since last setting eyes on them.

It was a very pleasant surprise to be handed the little brown paper bag and told that since they were rather small this year we would be getting 12 for the price of 6 but that they would need to be planted pretty quickly. Within a week or two at the most.
Several were already sprouting and some cute little devils had two little horns on the side rather than one at the tip.
They don’t like wet feet and live quite happily in nasty sandy soil. With 8 specimens to play with, there is no need to put all the eggs in one basket so the chances of survival should be greatly increased.

They will most definitely not be sharing beds with the ginger and turmeric which are growing like crazy. They like it hot and wet and are very happy indeed lurking in the Lair.
They will also not be lurking amongst the angel’s trumpets with their bewitching and intoxicating perfumes. Two of them are now displaying their pretty poisonous pendulous petals.
The lavender and cactus patch will be the perfect place to put these precious specimens.

So they will be kept separate from the other green and growing things in little pots of their own that can be moved around according to the weather.

Since this is the time when everything comes to life in the garden, it is essential to make the most of the opportunity to get critters planted and pampered and set up for the nasty stinking sizzle to come at the end of the year.
izmeina: (Default)
Last Saturday was a grey and rainy day. The only motivation to stir the Izzie from her serpent snooze was the Farmer’s markets in Subiaco. Now that I’m working every second Saturday, it would be a shame to waste a free one but there was another more important method to our madness.
Knowing that it is infinitely easier to honour commitments to others rather than to myself, on my previous visit on the Easter weekend I had asked one of the stall holders if she had any saffron bulbs to spare since every other year they have a surplus. Of course they also sell the bright and shiny precious in little glass vials as a side line to the main business which is olive oil.
Several years ago I had bought some bulbs from their stall and was pleased as punch to get my paws on such precious specimens. Following their instructions plus those obtained from the Oracle of Google, I planted the critters and waited patiently. It did not take too long for little green shoots to appear but the flowers never did follow. Izzie was a foolish creature back then and had hogged the precious corms all to herself. I learnt my lesson the hard way when they all shrivelled up and this time decided to reserve one third for Petunia to plant in her own veggie patch. She has magic powers when it comes to green and growing things so this is a sort of insurance policy.

The lady running the stall said that she did not have any bulbs for sale that day but I could order some for the next few weeks before the end of the season. So I chose a specific date and number.
So the thought of six precious saffron bulbs was sufficient motivation to be out and about reasonably early especially since it was 3 years ago since last setting eyes on them.

It was a very pleasant surprise to be handed the little brown paper bag and told that since they were rather small this year we would be getting 12 for the price of 6 but that they would need to be planted pretty quickly. Within a week or two at the most.
Several were already sprouting and some cute little devils had two little horns on the side rather than one at the tip.
They don’t like wet feet and live quite happily in nasty sandy soil. With 8 specimens to play with, there is no need to put all the eggs in one basket so the chances of survival should be greatly increased.

They will most definitely not be sharing beds with the ginger and turmeric which are growing like crazy. They like it hot and wet and are very happy indeed lurking in the Lair.
They will also not be lurking amongst the angel’s trumpets with their bewitching and intoxicating perfumes. Two of them are now displaying their pretty poisonous pendulous petals.
The lavender and cactus patch will be the perfect place to put these precious specimens.

So they will be kept separate from the other green and growing things in little pots of their own that can be moved around according to the weather.

Since this is the time when everything comes to life in the garden, it is essential to make the most of the opportunity to get critters planted and pampered and set up for the nasty stinking sizzle to come at the end of the year.
izmeina: (Noodles uber alles)
It’s been a busy week around the Lair. Due to the intrusion of a certain centenary, many of the usual weekend events in April did not keep to their usual schedule. Two of the serpent favourites - the annual garden festival and a school fete in the city all got crammed into the first weekend of May.
The garden festival is a bit of a rip off. It costs a lot to get in and they are not exactly giving away the pretty plants. But it is a chance to find unusual weeds and seeds and this year was no exception. However this time the location was moved to a gorgeous park right next to the city and the local council were offering two for the price of one vouchers to encourage folks to turn up at this new venue.

So Petunia and myself packed up a picnic and had a wonderful day. We were especially happy to find Hellfire Chillies selling some of their wicked weeds at half price since they are going into the dormant season.
Especially amusing was looking at the tree nursery stand. Now that no one has land anymore, fruit trees and vegetable gardens have become quite a status symbol and the fruit trees have prices to match. Avocado trees were a ridiculous $60 and they were no bigger than medium sized shrubs. Most ridiculous of all were the tropical guavas at a mere $150. There’s one five minutes walk down the road and I am constantly collecting the dropped fruit and burying it in the hope that some of the seeds may germinate. No luck so far. It might be time to dry out the seeds and see if that makes a difference. Being a tropical tree, it should take less than 6 years to get some fruit on it.
There were a wonderful selection of Angels’ trumpets but after one of the speakers claiming that they are really easy to grow from cuttings, will most definitely try that first before forking out $20 for a specimen. There’s also an Italian lady who sells them at the university markets who has them a bit cheaper.

Wicked Weeds and Bad Books )
izmeina: (Noodles uber alles)
It’s been a busy week around the Lair. Due to the intrusion of a certain centenary, many of the usual weekend events in April did not keep to their usual schedule. Two of the serpent favourites - the annual garden festival and a school fete in the city all got crammed into the first weekend of May.
The garden festival is a bit of a rip off. It costs a lot to get in and they are not exactly giving away the pretty plants. But it is a chance to find unusual weeds and seeds and this year was no exception. However this time the location was moved to a gorgeous park right next to the city and the local council were offering two for the price of one vouchers to encourage folks to turn up at this new venue.

So Petunia and myself packed up a picnic and had a wonderful day. We were especially happy to find Hellfire Chillies selling some of their wicked weeds at half price since they are going into the dormant season.
Especially amusing was looking at the tree nursery stand. Now that no one has land anymore, fruit trees and vegetable gardens have become quite a status symbol and the fruit trees have prices to match. Avocado trees were a ridiculous $60 and they were no bigger than medium sized shrubs. Most ridiculous of all were the tropical guavas at a mere $150. There’s one five minutes walk down the road and I am constantly collecting the dropped fruit and burying it in the hope that some of the seeds may germinate. No luck so far. It might be time to dry out the seeds and see if that makes a difference. Being a tropical tree, it should take less than 6 years to get some fruit on it.
There were a wonderful selection of Angels’ trumpets but after one of the speakers claiming that they are really easy to grow from cuttings, will most definitely try that first before forking out $20 for a specimen. There’s also an Italian lady who sells them at the university markets who has them a bit cheaper.

Wicked Weeds and Bad Books )

The Lair

Apr. 3rd, 2015 10:10 pm
izmeina: (Default)
It was exactly 17 years ago that a certain serpent came into legal possession of the location known as the Lair.
Friday 3rd April 1998 was a good Friday for Izzie but Easter was actually a week later. It turned out to be a very wise decision despite all the chaos and craziness at the time. A year or so later the mob on the hill in Canberra made some sneaky goblin friendly reforms concerning capital gains which triggered a crazy housing bubble. There’s been the odd pop here and there but even the gloom and doom of 2008 did not knock much stuffing out of the over inflated market.
The days of a burger flipper or pot scrubber buying a roof over her head without too much drama are now long gone. The Great Australian Dream of owning one’s own home has become pretty much unattainable for most folks under forty unless they are prepared to sign up for 30 years of debt slavery.

Weeds and Seeds )
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie's been slacking lately on the squiggling front. There's just too many temptations both online and in real life.

Not much has been happening anyway. That is not a complaint. I like a quiet uneventful life. If I want drama, there's plenty of that over in Canberra. I'm already cackling in evil anticipation of the entertainment that will be Question Time in the Lower House tomorrow. Just got to love the logic of passing draconian legislation and then debating it later which is exactly what we have in store for tomorrow.

The weather has been glorious lately. The equinoxes are always interesting. Everything is blooming and blossoming. The birds are singing and little buds appearing on the trees. The days are long enough to get stuff done in the garden but without the glaring overpowering light and sizzling heat of summer. Dawn and dusk are even more magical at this time of year than usual.

Was very very good this weekend and stayed away from all sorts of temptation including the annual spring festival plants sale in Kings Park and a big charity book sale south of the river. All the recent pottering in the garden and sorting out the serpent book collection is a constant reminder that another two life times would be needed to read what I already have and that there are too many plants from previous sales that have nothing to show for themselves but the plastic pots that they came in. Such decadent unsuccessful experiments and indulgences can no longer be justified now that there's no longer a proper goblin job to pay the bills.

Presently reading Chuck Palahniuk"s "Haunted". That is one wicked, sick and twisted book and the perfect inspiration for November's novel adventures. Turning a writers retreat into a mini Hunger Games is an ideal environment for creating plot monsters. The only thing missing are a few pots of carnivorous flame lillies.
I must also add "The Shining" to the very long reading list. Dystopias and haunted houses are such irresistible ingredients for this ghoulish gothic morbid serpent.

Must be slinking off. Some of those online courses are giving the old grey cells a serious workout.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie's been slacking lately on the squiggling front. There's just too many temptations both online and in real life.

Not much has been happening anyway. That is not a complaint. I like a quiet uneventful life. If I want drama, there's plenty of that over in Canberra. I'm already cackling in evil anticipation of the entertainment that will be Question Time in the Lower House tomorrow. Just got to love the logic of passing draconian legislation and then debating it later which is exactly what we have in store for tomorrow.

The weather has been glorious lately. The equinoxes are always interesting. Everything is blooming and blossoming. The birds are singing and little buds appearing on the trees. The days are long enough to get stuff done in the garden but without the glaring overpowering light and sizzling heat of summer. Dawn and dusk are even more magical at this time of year than usual.

Was very very good this weekend and stayed away from all sorts of temptation including the annual spring festival plants sale in Kings Park and a big charity book sale south of the river. All the recent pottering in the garden and sorting out the serpent book collection is a constant reminder that another two life times would be needed to read what I already have and that there are too many plants from previous sales that have nothing to show for themselves but the plastic pots that they came in. Such decadent unsuccessful experiments and indulgences can no longer be justified now that there's no longer a proper goblin job to pay the bills.

Presently reading Chuck Palahniuk"s "Haunted". That is one wicked, sick and twisted book and the perfect inspiration for November's novel adventures. Turning a writers retreat into a mini Hunger Games is an ideal environment for creating plot monsters. The only thing missing are a few pots of carnivorous flame lillies.
I must also add "The Shining" to the very long reading list. Dystopias and haunted houses are such irresistible ingredients for this ghoulish gothic morbid serpent.

Must be slinking off. Some of those online courses are giving the old grey cells a serious workout.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie's not been slinking much in Cyberia these days or rather has confined her lurking to an assortment of online courses. It won't be long before the days of educational freebies will be over and it is time to make the most of the opportunities while they last.

It's been the crispiest crunchiest most gorgeous weather this winter. It's the only time of year when the light is somewhat delicate rather than bright and glaring. It is also the perfect time for planting.

Once more, big fat patches of the garden have been devoted to garlic in the hope of a bounteous harvest of bulbs in November. One can only live in hope.

This year a new weed will be taking pride of place in the Garden of Arcane Delights. There's an old Italian lady who is a regular at the Wednesday markets at the university. She sells dried herbs, eggs, tomatoes, olives, lemons and peppers from her own garden but also has a rather extensive collection of plants for sale. There are the usual specimens such as loquats, olive, mulberry and citrus trees and more exotic plants such as dragon fruit and pomegranates. But the one that caught the Izzie eye a few weeks ago was a single solitary Angel's Trumpet tree. As of this week it now has a new home.

Like its little cousin the daturas (also known as devil's trumpets) this pretty specimen has long pale fluted flowers with sinister powers. Not least of these is its habit of producing an intoxicating perfume at night.
It is still sitting pretty in its pot waiting to be transplanted to a spot worthy of its wickedness. In dappled shade but also sufficiently close to the door so that its charms can be admired from near rather than from afar. The full moon of Friday 13th will of course be the most auspicious time for performing the transplanting ritual.

June will also be the month for one last Diggers binge. That's when the last two year membership expires and there's little point in renewing since there's simply no room for more wicked weeds and seeds. Then there's the fact that the critters in their catalogue are just not quite as cute and useful as Cerbera Odollam which looks rather like a feral frangipani.
Wolfsbane is not happy in this hot climate and hemlock is also not easy to come by. As well as the weather, the Nanny State conspires against interesting plants but gives the green light to the truly evil specimens such as Monsanto canola.

Sunday will be devoted to a grand planting session. There's lots of garlic bulbs, coriander seeds, mangelwurzel and an assortment of beans and other strange beasties to be put in their beds.
Unfortunately none of them are from this particular pretty collection of curiosities
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie's not been slinking much in Cyberia these days or rather has confined her lurking to an assortment of online courses. It won't be long before the days of educational freebies will be over and it is time to make the most of the opportunities while they last.

It's been the crispiest crunchiest most gorgeous weather this winter. It's the only time of year when the light is somewhat delicate rather than bright and glaring. It is also the perfect time for planting.

Once more, big fat patches of the garden have been devoted to garlic in the hope of a bounteous harvest of bulbs in November. One can only live in hope.

This year a new weed will be taking pride of place in the Garden of Arcane Delights. There's an old Italian lady who is a regular at the Wednesday markets at the university. She sells dried herbs, eggs, tomatoes, olives, lemons and peppers from her own garden but also has a rather extensive collection of plants for sale. There are the usual specimens such as loquats, olive, mulberry and citrus trees and more exotic plants such as dragon fruit and pomegranates. But the one that caught the Izzie eye a few weeks ago was a single solitary Angel's Trumpet tree. As of this week it now has a new home.

Like its little cousin the daturas (also known as devil's trumpets) this pretty specimen has long pale fluted flowers with sinister powers. Not least of these is its habit of producing an intoxicating perfume at night.
It is still sitting pretty in its pot waiting to be transplanted to a spot worthy of its wickedness. In dappled shade but also sufficiently close to the door so that its charms can be admired from near rather than from afar. The full moon of Friday 13th will of course be the most auspicious time for performing the transplanting ritual.

June will also be the month for one last Diggers binge. That's when the last two year membership expires and there's little point in renewing since there's simply no room for more wicked weeds and seeds. Then there's the fact that the critters in their catalogue are just not quite as cute and useful as Cerbera Odollam which looks rather like a feral frangipani.
Wolfsbane is not happy in this hot climate and hemlock is also not easy to come by. As well as the weather, the Nanny State conspires against interesting plants but gives the green light to the truly evil specimens such as Monsanto canola.

Sunday will be devoted to a grand planting session. There's lots of garlic bulbs, coriander seeds, mangelwurzel and an assortment of beans and other strange beasties to be put in their beds.
Unfortunately none of them are from this particular pretty collection of curiosities
izmeina: (Default)
Not been lurking or posting much in journal land lately. There’s been plenty of distractions both online and in the mundane muggle world. Whether that is following the antics of our new Fearless Leader as he flies off to Jakarta or listening to a certain ex prime minister offering him some invaluable advice, there’s plenty to amuse this ancient serpent

It’s been a wild and wet September weatherwise. It’s a full time job these days to stop the nasturtiums strangling every other living thing in the Lair. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the soil to dry out once the months of endless rainless sunny days begin.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost October. It will be Christmas before we know it. The year is almost over and there’s so so little to show for it other than a few more grey hairs and spare tyres. Still stuck in a rut on the inspiration front. There’s tons of books to read and things to do but no mojo whatsoever. Still trying to find some bright shiny goal that gets the old eyes twinkling. It’s not like there isn’t already a list of them but there’s none that are particularly inspiring.

Finally got around to googling the Guardian's "3 Little Pigs" advert. First seen it on the ABC's show about advertising and spin more than a year ago. Been meaning to watch it again ever since.
It's amazing how many make overs those old stories get and they still sound good.

izmeina: creepy spooky old house infested with crawling critters (Haunted house)
Not been lurking or posting much in journal land lately. There’s been plenty of distractions both online and in the mundane muggle world. Whether that is following the antics of our new Fearless Leader as he flies off to Jakarta or listening to a certain ex prime minister offering him some invaluable advice, there’s plenty to amuse this ancient serpent

It’s been a wild and wet September weatherwise. It’s a full time job these days to stop the nasturtiums strangling every other living thing in the Lair. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the soil to dry out once the months of endless rainless sunny days begin.

It’s hard to believe it’s almost October. It will be Christmas before we know it. The year is almost over and there’s so so little to show for it other than a few more grey hairs and spare tyres. Still stuck in a rut on the inspiration front. There’s tons of books to read and things to do but no mojo whatsoever. Still trying to find some bright shiny goal that gets the old eyes twinkling. It’s not like there isn’t already a list of them but there’s none that are particularly inspiring.

Finally got around to googling the Guardian's "3 Little Pigs" advert. First seen it on the ABC's show about advertising and spin more than a year ago. Been meaning to watch it again ever since.
It's amazing how many make overs those old stories get and they still sound good.

Stalk Soup

Aug. 19th, 2013 09:35 pm
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie’s got the munchies. The other week one of the local supermarkets had cauliflowers on sale for $1.70 when they usually sell for somewhere between $3 and $4. So this was just the excuse to indulge in something a bit healthier than cheese, bread or potatoes

They also had broccoli for $1 a head so added one of those to the basket too. Did get to thinking that anyone who has ever grown these critters knows how long it takes and how hard it is to get a half decent sized head. If the supermarket can sell them for $1.70 one can only imagine how little the grower is getting. But of course there is the age old problem of been torn between paying a fair price to the producer while having a limited stash of cash for food.

serpent snacks )

Stalk Soup

Aug. 19th, 2013 09:35 pm
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie’s got the munchies. The other week one of the local supermarkets had cauliflowers on sale for $1.70 when they usually sell for somewhere between $3 and $4. So this was just the excuse to indulge in something a bit healthier than cheese, bread or potatoes

They also had broccoli for $1 a head so added one of those to the basket too. Did get to thinking that anyone who has ever grown these critters knows how long it takes and how hard it is to get a half decent sized head. If the supermarket can sell them for $1.70 one can only imagine how little the grower is getting. But of course there is the age old problem of been torn between paying a fair price to the producer while having a limited stash of cash for food.

serpent snacks )
izmeina: (Default)
A certain serpent has been somewhat psycho of late. Not the axe murdering, baby munching, cat killing uncontrollable and sadistic sort of psycho but just plain neurotic and as mad as a hatter. Jittery and agitated and totally unable to snap out of such a crazy state. So it is simply pointless to go pottering on grand adventures as it is simply a waste of time and train fares. As there’s a rather large pile of mulch on the verge and and a botanical monster needing to be tamed, termite infested den of iniquity that it is, figured that it made more sense to linger about the Lair and sort this stuff out rather than go on any pottering, plotting and planning camp nano coffee crawls. Not quite coffee as that is well and truly off the menu but a pot of tea or two

Yesterday in a fit of nostalgia paid a visit to the Muse cafe located appropriately enough in the grounds of the state museum. It was exactly six months ago yesterday since discovering the place in its new incarnation. It used to be a quaint place selling crappy coffees and sandwiches at exorbitant prices. So it was hardly a surprise that it closed

The new mob are big into retro and the 1950s look but most importantly of all they have loose leaf tea in real china pots and cute cups and quirky spoons to match.

The very first visit did think that six silver sickles for a big pot was a bit decadent but chose to indulge anyway. But the whole ritual with the gorgeous china pots and a good four cups of real tea per pot made that six dollars most reasonable indeed. So been pretty much a regular since then.
That particular day had brought a stash of papers printed out the day before but waiting for a suitable occasion before a proper peek. These pages were several weeks worth of home work assignments for the Coursera “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking”

Spent a good few afternoons doing that stuff there as well as the crypto course homework. There is just something about sitting outside under the trees with a cup or two of tea rather than staring at a blinking computer screen that makes the old serpent green cells function a lot more efficiently
It was also an excellent spot for nano plotting, planning and squiggling and almost became an unofficial city HQ for a certain serpent

But it was a muggy day and the magic was just not there. It was not the bus ride but some phone dramas that had made the Izzie crazy and even cups of tea at the Muse cafe were not going to cast their usual spell. Did resort to pulling out the very same stash of maths assignments from six months ago and doing some of assignment 6 sort of served as a circuit breaker. But it is very easy to be reasonably calm when it is quiet and there are no distractions.

Crazy Izzie and the Chain Saw Massacre )
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (The Fool)
A certain serpent has been somewhat psycho of late. Not the axe murdering, baby munching, cat killing uncontrollable and sadistic sort of psycho but just plain neurotic and as mad as a hatter. Jittery and agitated and totally unable to snap out of such a crazy state. So it is simply pointless to go pottering on grand adventures as it is simply a waste of time and train fares. As there’s a rather large pile of mulch on the verge and and a botanical monster needing to be tamed, termite infested den of iniquity that it is, figured that it made more sense to linger about the Lair and sort this stuff out rather than go on any pottering, plotting and planning camp nano coffee crawls. Not quite coffee as that is well and truly off the menu but a pot of tea or two

Yesterday in a fit of nostalgia paid a visit to the Muse cafe located appropriately enough in the grounds of the state museum. It was exactly six months ago yesterday since discovering the place in its new incarnation. It used to be a quaint place selling crappy coffees and sandwiches at exorbitant prices. So it was hardly a surprise that it closed

The new mob are big into retro and the 1950s look but most importantly of all they have loose leaf tea in real china pots and cute cups and quirky spoons to match.

The very first visit did think that six silver sickles for a big pot was a bit decadent but chose to indulge anyway. But the whole ritual with the gorgeous china pots and a good four cups of real tea per pot made that six dollars most reasonable indeed. So been pretty much a regular since then.
That particular day had brought a stash of papers printed out the day before but waiting for a suitable occasion before a proper peek. These pages were several weeks worth of home work assignments for the Coursera “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking”

Spent a good few afternoons doing that stuff there as well as the crypto course homework. There is just something about sitting outside under the trees with a cup or two of tea rather than staring at a blinking computer screen that makes the old serpent green cells function a lot more efficiently
It was also an excellent spot for nano plotting, planning and squiggling and almost became an unofficial city HQ for a certain serpent

But it was a muggy day and the magic was just not there. It was not the bus ride but some phone dramas that had made the Izzie crazy and even cups of tea at the Muse cafe were not going to cast their usual spell. Did resort to pulling out the very same stash of maths assignments from six months ago and doing some of assignment 6 sort of served as a circuit breaker. But it is very easy to be reasonably calm when it is quiet and there are no distractions.

Crazy Izzie and the Chain Saw Massacre )
izmeina: (Default)
The garden is filled with the intoxicating scent of pine needles and tree bark. A most unexpected surprise indeed

Returned from this morning's goblin taxation class to find the verge overflowing with an enormous pile of mulch. Freshly chomped up street tree prunings literally delivered to the door. Had signed up way back in November for the 'Free mulch" service and kept renewing the request every four weeks as required. Had pretty much given up hope. There usually is no such thing as a free lunch but the logic behind the business is that tree loppers and lawn mowing contractors often have to pay to get rid of their waste so that if they can have a network of gardeners offering a drop off point then everyone gets to benefit.

So it was a most delightful delivery indeed. Pity the news is not so good on the roof front. These buggers have been playing the waiting game. Rang several times in the last week or so to find out when they are coming back to do the job that should have been finished back in early February. They have finally replied. But it just so happens that the date they have chosen is the Friday kept reserved for the annual garden festival. Thursdays are out due to the goblin taxation course and weekends are pure pandemonium at any sort of event as that's when all the crowds are there


Here's hoping the buggers finish the job and don't come up with yet more excuses. It would be awful to end up with a roof still leaking and missing out on the gardening show

On the camp nano front, still not yet unleashed the Zombie Deck of Doom. Went to the writers group instead of lurking around the Lair carting barrows of mulch or tossing several thousand words on the Camp nano fire

It looks like the icky sticky sizzling weather is back to bother us. Having the month of March dead buried and cremated is no longer a guarantee of cooler weather
izmeina: (Default)
The garden is filled with the intoxicating scent of pine needles and tree bark. A most unexpected surprise indeed

Returned from this morning's goblin taxation class to find the verge overflowing with an enormous pile of mulch. Freshly chomped up street tree prunings literally delivered to the door. Had signed up way back in November for the 'Free mulch" service and kept renewing the request every four weeks as required. Had pretty much given up hope. There usually is no such thing as a free lunch but the logic behind the business is that tree loppers and lawn mowing contractors often have to pay to get rid of their waste so that if they can have a network of gardeners offering a drop off point then everyone gets to benefit.

So it was a most delightful delivery indeed. Pity the news is not so good on the roof front. These buggers have been playing the waiting game. Rang several times in the last week or so to find out when they are coming back to do the job that should have been finished back in early February. They have finally replied. But it just so happens that the date they have chosen is the Friday kept reserved for the annual garden festival. Thursdays are out due to the goblin taxation course and weekends are pure pandemonium at any sort of event as that's when all the crowds are there


Here's hoping the buggers finish the job and don't come up with yet more excuses. It would be awful to end up with a roof still leaking and missing out on the gardening show

On the camp nano front, still not yet unleashed the Zombie Deck of Doom. Went to the writers group instead of lurking around the Lair carting barrows of mulch or tossing several thousand words on the Camp nano fire

It looks like the icky sticky sizzling weather is back to bother us. Having the month of March dead buried and cremated is no longer a guarantee of cooler weather
izmeina: (Default)
As a dyed in the wool militant emerald serpent, the Izzie despises a certain colour with a pathological passion. It’s all fake bright and cheerful and a wishy washy attempt at being both smily and sunny and fiery and passionate. It also represents a bunch of bitter twisted prudish puritanical people who cannot stand the thought that some one out there just might be having fun.
But for four weeks each year this serpent abandons her detestation and not only embraces this colour but positively and utterly adores it and is intoxicated by its presence

Yessss. In this bit of the world, September is Orange Blossom season. It is a week or two later than usual but as intoxicating and as magical as ever.

It is reassuring to know that in spite of all the toxic toads out there, some things don’t change. The seasons are generally shifting but they remain just the same.

After the turmoil of the last two months, it was time to return to some semblance of normality. The scheduled programming of gardening days on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays had been somewhat neglected of late due to a combination of rainy days and being so brain dead due to toadish toxicity zapping the Izzie green fingers.

Was supposed to be planting tomato seeds but in the end was contented with doing some serious weeding. Assorted grain grasses and nasturtiums had been running rampant and it was time to do a bit of sorting. Weeds are better than bare soil but there’s some serious planting to be done in the six week window of opportunity.

The Chemical Centre had an open day two weeks ago and were offering not just free Ph testing for soil samples but also analysis of trace elements and water repellency. Due to a last minute promotion on a local ABC gardening show they were totally inundated with samples. As well as providing a free service to gardeners and good public relations there was another motive. They wanted a diverse selection of soil samples to map the local area

Normally it would be a complete waste of time doing such tests as the cost of getting them done would be better spent buying a few cubic metres of lupin mulch, blood and bone or all sorts of other soil improvements.

Izzie took advantage of the opportunity to get such an amazing freebie. Figured that it would make most sense to snatch a sample of our crappiest unamended soil. No point in turning up will a pile of piggie poo totally overloaded with nitrogen and other useful elements

So was out with a container and garden tools at 10 in the morning. Picked a crappy patch amongst the rampant nasturtiums. It was kind of reassuring to be told that they could not do the water repellency tests due to the soil sample being damp. Had not watered the patch in question. The water content was basically morning dew which lingered due to the soil being protected by all those wicked weeds preventing evaporation

It was a wonderful geekish day but had to leave at 1pm due to needing to be at work for 3pm. August is seriously the most nerdish month of the whole calendar. Not only do we have four university open days but the Chemical Centre has its open day that month and of course there is the wonderful National Science Week

But September is wildflower time and an opportunity for serious gardening. Time for planting tomato seeds and taking a chance with pumpkins. Everything is coming to life. The fig tree has tiny little new leaves slowly unfurling along with the teeny weeny fruits. The woolly bush has little red flowers and the wattles are all yellow and fluffy.

The almond tree has finished flowering and now is covered in leaves. It turned out not to be self pollinating as the label claimed. Any day now the grape vine will be producing little buds that will turn into leaves and the mulberry tree has scrawny green fruits and lush leaves.
All the citrus trees are blossoming and the aroma is totally intoxicating.

Tomorrow will be time for planting all those seeds. Soon last week’s Diggers order will arrive and this serpent will have her very own wasabi plant and a juniper berry bush. Petunia will be getting that one as part of her birthday stash as she has a much better record for keeping plants alive and well than a certain serpent. Still regretting not giving her half of those ten very precious saffron bulbs.

They were not available at the markets this year and last year’s lot never did make it through the sizzling summer. The serpent has learned her lesson the hard way. Number 4 Privet Drive is our own personal version of the Svalbard Seed Bank. Ever precious plant that ever comes our way must be shared with Petunia. She has much greener fingers than this wannabee. Her and her two girls Thelma and Louise have magic powers when it comes to gardening.

Izzie is still a dabbler in the dark art of gardening. A bit more practice and some constant never ceasing vigilance might prove to be the secret.
The two months of sizzling summer will separate the wheat from the chaff. Maybe this time the Izzie will be prepared. Only time will tell
izmeina: (Default)
As a dyed in the wool militant emerald serpent, the Izzie despises a certain colour with a pathological passion. It’s all fake bright and cheerful and a wishy washy attempt at being both smily and sunny and fiery and passionate. It also represents a bunch of bitter twisted prudish puritanical people who cannot stand the thought that some one out there just might be having fun.
But for four weeks each year this serpent abandons her detestation and not only embraces this colour but positively and utterly adores it and is intoxicated by its presence

Yessss. In this bit of the world, September is Orange Blossom season. It is a week or two later than usual but as intoxicating and as magical as ever.

It is reassuring to know that in spite of all the toxic toads out there, some things don’t change. The seasons are generally shifting but they remain just the same.

After the turmoil of the last two months, it was time to return to some semblance of normality. The scheduled programming of gardening days on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays had been somewhat neglected of late due to a combination of rainy days and being so brain dead due to toadish toxicity zapping the Izzie green fingers.

Was supposed to be planting tomato seeds but in the end was contented with doing some serious weeding. Assorted grain grasses and nasturtiums had been running rampant and it was time to do a bit of sorting. Weeds are better than bare soil but there’s some serious planting to be done in the six week window of opportunity.

The Chemical Centre had an open day two weeks ago and were offering not just free Ph testing for soil samples but also analysis of trace elements and water repellency. Due to a last minute promotion on a local ABC gardening show they were totally inundated with samples. As well as providing a free service to gardeners and good public relations there was another motive. They wanted a diverse selection of soil samples to map the local area

Normally it would be a complete waste of time doing such tests as the cost of getting them done would be better spent buying a few cubic metres of lupin mulch, blood and bone or all sorts of other soil improvements.

Izzie took advantage of the opportunity to get such an amazing freebie. Figured that it would make most sense to snatch a sample of our crappiest unamended soil. No point in turning up will a pile of piggie poo totally overloaded with nitrogen and other useful elements

So was out with a container and garden tools at 10 in the morning. Picked a crappy patch amongst the rampant nasturtiums. It was kind of reassuring to be told that they could not do the water repellency tests due to the soil sample being damp. Had not watered the patch in question. The water content was basically morning dew which lingered due to the soil being protected by all those wicked weeds preventing evaporation

It was a wonderful geekish day but had to leave at 1pm due to needing to be at work for 3pm. August is seriously the most nerdish month of the whole calendar. Not only do we have four university open days but the Chemical Centre has its open day that month and of course there is the wonderful National Science Week

But September is wildflower time and an opportunity for serious gardening. Time for planting tomato seeds and taking a chance with pumpkins. Everything is coming to life. The fig tree has tiny little new leaves slowly unfurling along with the teeny weeny fruits. The woolly bush has little red flowers and the wattles are all yellow and fluffy.

The almond tree has finished flowering and now is covered in leaves. It turned out not to be self pollinating as the label claimed. Any day now the grape vine will be producing little buds that will turn into leaves and the mulberry tree has scrawny green fruits and lush leaves.
All the citrus trees are blossoming and the aroma is totally intoxicating.

Tomorrow will be time for planting all those seeds. Soon last week’s Diggers order will arrive and this serpent will have her very own wasabi plant and a juniper berry bush. Petunia will be getting that one as part of her birthday stash as she has a much better record for keeping plants alive and well than a certain serpent. Still regretting not giving her half of those ten very precious saffron bulbs.

They were not available at the markets this year and last year’s lot never did make it through the sizzling summer. The serpent has learned her lesson the hard way. Number 4 Privet Drive is our own personal version of the Svalbard Seed Bank. Ever precious plant that ever comes our way must be shared with Petunia. She has much greener fingers than this wannabee. Her and her two girls Thelma and Louise have magic powers when it comes to gardening.

Izzie is still a dabbler in the dark art of gardening. A bit more practice and some constant never ceasing vigilance might prove to be the secret.
The two months of sizzling summer will separate the wheat from the chaff. Maybe this time the Izzie will be prepared. Only time will tell

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