izmeina: (circle serpent)
Izzie has been missing in Dreamwidth Land for so so long lately. Was almost time to send out a search party.
Both Daisy and Dudley have gone back home so slowly getting back to the usual routine. It was nice spending so much time over at Privet Drive but it all got too much for this introverted serpent and needed to escape and get away from it all now and again.

Aside from Dursleyish dramas, been distracted by the nightmare across the pond. It is like watching a train wreck and being unable to look away.
In fact, stalking and snarking the Donald on twitter was pretty much the only link to Cyberia over the last few months or so.
November is around the corner and it is time to get back in the habit of squiggling. The magic is gone. Totally uninspired lately and not even managing to do the usual 20 minutes here and there just dumping stuff from the green skull into the Pensieve. That could explain the current crazy distracted state of the serpent.
Too much stuff out there and no time to sort it all out and make sense of it all. So so needing to get back to to the rituals of squiggling just to preserve some semblance of serpent sanity.
Sensible sorts use cycling, walking or sport to let off steam. Then of course there’s art, music and other such creative activities. I guess it’s good to diversify. I have all those eggs in the word basket. Not so bad if I had not been neglecting it so much lately.

Maybe it is time to diversify. Doctor’s orders and all that but that is a tale for another day
As well as squiggling, also getting back into the routine of pottering around and doing stuff in the garden. The orange tree is having a second flush of flowers. That is the first time this has happened. Weather has been so weird in the last few years.

Was up in Kings Park today drooling over the wicked weeds. It is the height of the wildflower season here and for folks who cannot get out into the countryside, the botanical gardens at Kings Park are a perfect place to see them. The botanical gardens are well worthy of being on the bucket list of anyone who is nuts about weeds. Australia really does have so many amazing and interesting plants as well as cute and cuddly creatures.

The birds are squawking and the bees are buzzing. It is the most amazing time of year.
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: (Don't panic)
Izzie has been a bit of a strange serpent of late. There’s serious drama over at the Dursleys. By next Friday all will be revealed. Until then there is nothing to do but keep the forked tongue crossed.
Combined with some recent posts from Catness and crazy troppo weather, it’s sort of triggered a serpent mid life crisis.
Last year had a lucky escape with a dodgy witchy wart gone feral. It got nuked in the nick of time but in the light of recent events, I cannot help but think that if I had lived in the USA a simple 1 hour nose job would have cost an arm and a leg.

But the autumn equinox brings relief from the sizzling summer and the promise of all sorts of green and growing things.

The whole business of goals and the search for some worthwhile purpose on this earth got the serpent to thinking that all the happiest times had one thing in common without exception - some project to be working on - be it tiny like a simple zentangle, a bit more ambitious like an 8 week online course with homework assignments and deadlines or some crazy hairy scary audacious goal like paying off a $25,000 mortgage in 250 days (it actually took 200 but was overshadowed by the evil scheming of DodgyDonald clone Dolores)


So it might be an idea to dust off and rejuvenate those long dormant spark plugs with some new grand project.
There’s been plenty of those that end up getting written down over and over again in the little green 5 year plan notebook. But it’s time to tweak those rituals a bit
Like Nanowrimo - what is needed is a real rather than an arbitrary deadline.

Grand Plans )


The Sneaky Tricksy way of getting stuff done.
Next best thing to having a private army of Zombie minions

izmeina: (oro)
Dursleyville is in the middle of 3 sizzling stinking days where the temperature reached 39 - 40 celsius for every one of them. Relief is in sight with a mere 27 forecast for tomorrow. Here's hoping they got that one right because the water tank is bone dry and I hate using precious drinking water on the weeds.

So it's a real struggle to keep all the pretty weeds and trees alive. There are 8 baby mangoes on one tree which is the most I have ever had and it would be awful to think they will turn into mango chutney if we get any more days like this.

It's strange being in such a state of limbo where all the grand plans for the garden have to be put on hold. Only consolation is that while it has been hot, at least it's not muggy. That is the worst thing of all. Everyone goes troppo especially Izzie.

But at least there is Cyberia and the wacky big bad world to keep a serpent amused when it is too hot to be able to do stuff outside.

Had no idea what an insidious evil influence Twitter could be and have vowed that today for once it is time to slink off to the serpent sack on the stroke of midnight rather than lurking for a fix of the latest words of wisdom from Agent Orange.
Just over two weeks now and shit will get seriously real. I will definitely be staying up after midnight to watch the whole bread and circuses pomp and ceremony live. I suspect it will be all circus and no bread. The crowds will just have to eat yellowcake.

The Russian drama has raised its ugly heat at Livejournal once again. Maybe it's the last straw for most folks. Still cannot believe that such an ancient site is not dead yet gone the way of internet dinosaurs such as geocities and countless text based forums.

Looks like Putin will be getting his puss on the front cover of Time magazine this year.
izmeina: (Default)
It’s now 2 weeks into the Plastic Free July challenge which involves avoiding all single use plastics such as water bottles, take away coffee cups, straws and the ubiquitous grey plastic shopping back so freely handed out at the checkouts here in Oz.

It just so happens that I do not have a problem with any of those except on the odd occasion of forgetting to bring a shopping bag. It’s not a proper coffee unless it’s in a cup. For me the point of a coffee is not the buzz nor the quick fix but a chance to sit in a cosy cafe, preferably in the garden with the newspapers or some magazine and watching the world go by.
Same goes for plastic water bottles. I can get the stuff delivered to the tap for $1.50 for 1,000 litres so why would I spend twice that much for 600ml of the stuff sitting on a shelf? Plastic stagnant muck.

But it is everything else that is the problem.

Plastic plastic everywhere )
izmeina: (Default)
Well another month has come and almost gone. It's scary how they seem to get faster and faster.
It's also amusing to think that back in the bad old days with no laptop and certainly no Portkey in the Lair I was posting online snippets far more frequently than now. It's not like there's even an excuse for more posting and less lurking. No evil toxic toads to drain the serpent soul, no 30 hours per week devoted to a job and another 20 devoted to 3 units studying. But maybe it's simply old age. Cyberia is no longer the bright and shiny place full of tempting treats and toys that it used to be. I guess when you hit the half century it gets harder and harder to deny the inevitability of mortality and the ancient real world begins to look rather more interesting.


But in some strange ways it has been the adventures in Cyberia that added to the appreciation of the other world.
I finally seem to have under control a past addiction to online courses.
It was like being a kid in a candy store or a glutton at the buffet. Just pile the plates higher and higher and never ask if it is even possible to gobble so much stuff let alone take time to enjoy each tasty morsel. I have rationed myself to just one at a time and actually kept to it this month.
Like with most things, the first experiences are the most formative. One of the first courses I took and still one of the best was called "Introduction to mathematical thinking". As well as learning fascinating stuff like formal logic and the art of deciphering much of the arcane mathematical symbols of "Godel, Escher, Bach - an eternal golden braid" (a definite desert island book for this serpent) the other really important thing I learned was that persistence, practice and constant vigilance usually win in the long run over innate talent without such grit. That a lot of what looks like natural ability is so often simply the result of years and years of practice.

The relevance of this to reality is rather simple. I no longer expect to pick something up quickly or give up when it becomes a struggle because that surely is a sign of total unsuitability. If it is difficult then it means that the old grey cells are getting a good workout. Of course the stuff has to be interesting in the first place or else there would be no incentive to overcome the frustration of making such slow progress.

So this meant that the last four Monday evenings spent learning the dark art of book binding could be enjoyed as a learning experience and a useful chance to learn something practical rather than a never ending exercise in frustration because everything is going so slowly and my efforts are not looking as magnificent as the folks at the next table.
But it did become increasingly obvious that even with following the maxim of "Measure 5 times and cut once" was still producing some definitely dodgy edges. A millimeter or two out here or there does not sound like much but it all adds up and looks ever so wonky.

It turns out that the man teaching the course used to be a carpenter and had to give it up for IT when his eyes were no longer up to the perfection in measurements required. Ha added that if he had been doing roofs and not furniture he could have gotten away with it for a whole lot longer.

So it's no longer possible to pretend that the beady serpent eyes are perfectly fine thank you very much.

So in spite of some incredible wonkiness, it was still fun and I have already signed up for the intermediate class. Most of the enjoyment came in no small part to just going with the flow and not expecting perfection. Of course anything to do with books is always a very big plus.
Meanwhile will need to get some glasses and a whole pile of practice measuring and cutting so that it will almost be on autopilot by the time the next course comes around.

In the meantime, the weeds are thriving and there's garlic, sweet potatoes and nasturtiums growing like crazy. Been making the most of the gorgeous mild winter weather to experiment with seeds and to see what pops up.


Still searching for some grand project to ignite the long dormant serpent spark plugs. Here's hoping to find something suitable before the solstice.
izmeina: Strange Spiral Clock (Time Turner)
Well another month has come and almost gone. It's scary how they seem to get faster and faster.
It's also amusing to think that back in the bad old days with no laptop and certainly no Portkey in the Lair I was posting online snippets far more frequently than now. It's not like there's even an excuse for more posting and less lurking. No evil toxic toads to drain the serpent soul, no 30 hours per week devoted to a job and another 20 devoted to 3 units studying. But maybe it's simply old age. Cyberia is no longer the bright and shiny place full of tempting treats and toys that it used to be. I guess when you hit the half century it gets harder and harder to deny the inevitability of mortality and the ancient real world begins to look rather more interesting.


But in some strange ways it has been the adventures in Cyberia that added to the appreciation of the other world.
I finally seem to have under control a past addiction to online courses.
It was like being a kid in a candy store or a glutton at the buffet. Just pile the plates higher and higher and never ask if it is even possible to gobble so much stuff let alone take time to enjoy each tasty morsel. I have rationed myself to just one at a time and actually kept to it this month.
Like with most things, the first experiences are the most formative. One of the first courses I took and still one of the best was called "Introduction to mathematical thinking". As well as learning fascinating stuff like formal logic and the art of deciphering much of the arcane mathematical symbols of "Godel, Escher, Bach - an eternal golden braid" (a definite desert island book for this serpent) the other really important thing I learned was that persistence, practice and constant vigilance usually win in the long run over innate talent without such grit. That a lot of what looks like natural ability is so often simply the result of years and years of practice.

The relevance of this to reality is rather simple. I no longer expect to pick something up quickly or give up when it becomes a struggle because that surely is a sign of total unsuitability. If it is difficult then it means that the old grey cells are getting a good workout. Of course the stuff has to be interesting in the first place or else there would be no incentive to overcome the frustration of making such slow progress.

So this meant that the last four Monday evenings spent learning the dark art of book binding could be enjoyed as a learning experience and a useful chance to learn something practical rather than a never ending exercise in frustration because everything is going so slowly and my efforts are not looking as magnificent as the folks at the next table.
But it did become increasingly obvious that even with following the maxim of "Measure 5 times and cut once" was still producing some definitely dodgy edges. A millimeter or two out here or there does not sound like much but it all adds up and looks ever so wonky.

It turns out that the man teaching the course used to be a carpenter and had to give it up for IT when his eyes were no longer up to the perfection in measurements required. Ha added that if he had been doing roofs and not furniture he could have gotten away with it for a whole lot longer.

So it's no longer possible to pretend that the beady serpent eyes are perfectly fine thank you very much.

So in spite of some incredible wonkiness, it was still fun and I have already signed up for the intermediate class. Most of the enjoyment came in no small part to just going with the flow and not expecting perfection. Of course anything to do with books is always a very big plus.
Meanwhile will need to get some glasses and a whole pile of practice measuring and cutting so that it will almost be on autopilot by the time the next course comes around.

In the meantime, the weeds are thriving and there's garlic, sweet potatoes and nasturtiums growing like crazy. Been making the most of the gorgeous mild winter weather to experiment with seeds and to see what pops up.


Still searching for some grand project to ignite the long dormant serpent spark plugs. Here's hoping to find something suitable before the solstice.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been a very greedy serpent this week. The annual ritual of the Garden Festival has just finished. The event runs for 4 days and has recently changed location. One advantage of this is that it is so much nearer to the Lair. Now it only takes one bus rather than 3 to get there. But best of all the locals now get 2 for the price of 1 entry.
Last year there were a whole bunch of interesting events on that particular weekend so I only went once but this time was different. The grand plan had been to go with Petunia on Thursday and today but she wasn’t feeling so well today so I ended up going alone.

First port of call was to be Hellfire Chillies who had a whole bunch of the wicked weeds at fire sale prices last year. With a survival rate of 75% was quite happy to chance another 4 specimens at $2 each. Of course for that price you could get jalapenos or habaneros. The ghost chillis, scorpions and Carolina Reapers were rather more expensive.
It seems silly to have such a fetish for growing such hellish beasts when even a baby bird’s eye is way too fiery for this serpent’s taste but they are such gorgeous plants and they are just so wickedly witchy.
It turned out that another nursery was giving away free chilli plants. They had grown them for the recent chilli festival but they had not been ready in time. So going to the show twice meant that I scored 2 pretty little plants - bishop’s hats which are a bright shade of orange and rather reminiscent of habaneros and the rather smaller red salsa chillies
It is amazing how many interesting weeds belong to the Solanacae family. Deadly nightshade and the adorable Angel’s trumpets being just some of this Addams family of the plant world.
The Hellfire chillies folks had no fire sale this time but it paid to come back a second time. Today they had a rather large selection of actual chillies for sale rather than just the plants or seeds.
The scorchers were 50c each or $10 for 250 grams. Considering that the supermarkets charge upwards of $20 per kilo for the common garden varieties, such prices were most reasonable indeed especially since by buying the fruit it is possible to get the best of both worlds. Packets of the really hot seeds are ridiculously expensive but armed with a sharp knife and lots of gloves, they are a useful byproduct.

Then there were the various nurseries specialising in trees with some rather exotic specimens at exorbitant prices. The delights of the Durian fruit could be all yours for a mere 100 silver sickles.
It is said that they smell like hell and taste like heaven. The fruits certainly look gorgeous but I have never cared to try them.
The citrus and stone fruit were more reasonable. The peacharines at $30 were quite reasonable but there’s then the problem of carting them around. On the bus that’s not so much fun.

There were also some absolutely adorable carnivorous creatures such as venus fly traps, sundews and the very elegant pitcher plants.

In the end I decided to go for strawberries and kale. The strawberries to lure the blue tongued lizards and skinks to the Lair and kale because it is so curly and tasty. Oh and how can we forget the ubergorgeous Romanesco seedlings which when they grow up look like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower and are simply a feast of fractal frenzy.


Fractal Frenzy.  A feast of spirally grenness

If God were to take physical form then this would be about as good as it gets.
At least with with decent sized seedlings there is a chance of getting some sort of crop. Seeds are way cheaper but most seem to get gobbled by the snails and an assortment of other wee beasties.

It was a wonderful day and now there’s so many wicked weeds to plant in the Lair. So it is finally time to pull out all those feral sweet potatoes to make way for more interesting plants.

There’s already ginger, garlic and turmeric growing happily and even the odd green shoots of a saffron bulb. Here’s hoping that there will be pretty purple flowers this time.
izmeina: (Default)
Izzie has been a very greedy serpent this week. The annual ritual of the Garden Festival has just finished. The event runs for 4 days and has recently changed location. One advantage of this is that it is so much nearer to the Lair. Now it only takes one bus rather than 3 to get there. But best of all the locals now get 2 for the price of 1 entry.
Last year there were a whole bunch of interesting events on that particular weekend so I only went once but this time was different. The grand plan had been to go with Petunia on Thursday and today but she wasn’t feeling so well today so I ended up going alone.

First port of call was to be Hellfire Chillies who had a whole bunch of the wicked weeds at fire sale prices last year. With a survival rate of 75% was quite happy to chance another 4 specimens at $2 each. Of course for that price you could get jalapenos or habaneros. The ghost chillis, scorpions and Carolina Reapers were rather more expensive.
It seems silly to have such a fetish for growing such hellish beasts when even a baby bird’s eye is way too fiery for this serpent’s taste but they are such gorgeous plants and they are just so wickedly witchy.
It turned out that another nursery was giving away free chilli plants. They had grown them for the recent chilli festival but they had not been ready in time. So going to the show twice meant that I scored 2 pretty little plants - bishop’s hats which are a bright shade of orange and rather reminiscent of habaneros and the rather smaller red salsa chillies
It is amazing how many interesting weeds belong to the Solanacae family. Deadly nightshade and the adorable Angel’s trumpets being just some of this Addams family of the plant world.
The Hellfire chillies folks had no fire sale this time but it paid to come back a second time. Today they had a rather large selection of actual chillies for sale rather than just the plants or seeds.
The scorchers were 50c each or $10 for 250 grams. Considering that the supermarkets charge upwards of $20 per kilo for the common garden varieties, such prices were most reasonable indeed especially since by buying the fruit it is possible to get the best of both worlds. Packets of the really hot seeds are ridiculously expensive but armed with a sharp knife and lots of gloves, they are a useful byproduct.

Then there were the various nurseries specialising in trees with some rather exotic specimens at exorbitant prices. The delights of the Durian fruit could be all yours for a mere 100 silver sickles.
It is said that they smell like hell and taste like heaven. The fruits certainly look gorgeous but I have never cared to try them.
The citrus and stone fruit were more reasonable. The peacharines at $30 were quite reasonable but there’s then the problem of carting them around. On the bus that’s not so much fun.

There were also some absolutely adorable carnivorous creatures such as venus fly traps, sundews and the very elegant pitcher plants.

In the end I decided to go for strawberries and kale. The strawberries to lure the blue tongued lizards and skinks to the Lair and kale because it is so curly and tasty. Oh and how can we forget the ubergorgeous Romanesco seedlings which when they grow up look like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower and are simply a feast of fractal frenzy.


Fractal Frenzy.  A feast of spirally grenness

If God were to take physical form then this would be about as good as it gets.
At least with with decent sized seedlings there is a chance of getting some sort of crop. Seeds are way cheaper but most seem to get gobbled by the snails and an assortment of other wee beasties.

It was a wonderful day and now there’s so many wicked weeds to plant in the Lair. So it is finally time to pull out all those feral sweet potatoes to make way for more interesting plants.

There’s already ginger, garlic and turmeric growing happily and even the odd green shoots of a saffron bulb. Here’s hoping that there will be pretty purple flowers this time.
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: (Default)
The serpent had such grand plans for the day. There were so many options to choose from. There was the party in Hyde Park famous for its Cthulhu trees or the monthly morning meeting of the local Nanowrimo mob who like to squiggle during the other 11 months of the year followed by a visit to my favourite lunatic asylum which is now an arts centre or yet another Fringe festival show or just slinking or lurking around their gorgeous venues and there are just so so many to choose from.
For the less ambitious there was the local shopping centre's Chinese New Year celebrations.

But all of these were laid low by the evil geeks in the Bureau of Meteorology and their grand plans to impress the new boss above with a stinking sizzling whole week of 40+.
Presently it is the pleasant dry kind of heat that just sizzles you to a crisp rather than makes you murderous while you melt in a stinking sticky pool of sweat but with the thermometer expected to stay above 25 all week then a whole bunch of sleepless nights are on the agenda for those folks without air conditioning.

As long as the icky sticky humidity stays away, the heat wave will be just about bearable for a pot bellied python such as Izzie but it is the weeds that are the worry. Been so so proud of the achievement of planting 15 trees since May and managing to keep all except one alive and well all through December and January. But even watering both mornings and evenings over the next week will not be sufficient to guarantee their survival. Once the air temperature goes over 35c most plants get stressed out and go into survival mode and a whole week at 40 is going to be way too much for some of them.

It was just such a heat wave in February of 2012 that was the final straw for a big fat macadamia tree that had been happily living in the Lair for some 10 years or so and had been producing nuts for 3 of those years. I had a proper funeral for the poor thing and used its remains as the basis for a new nut tree patch and vowed to never again let a tree die on my watch.

While lurking in the garden this evening with a glass or two of red and some cheese and crackers, I realized that it was exactly 25 years since a certain significant serpent anniversary. If I had remembered earlier in the day i would have more likely made the effort to slink down to the local shops to buy some brie and a bottle of inky black Wynns Cabernet to celebrate "Dark Mark Day" which to the outside world looked rather like a failed suicide attempt but in a strange way marked the first stirrings of the inner serpent after many years of being neglected and ignored in favour of the fickle gods of reason and logic.

But maybe it is a good thing to spend less time in the past and more in the here and now even if it is a sizzling stinking 40 something.
izmeina: a snippet of Escher's circle of serpents (escher)
The serpent had such grand plans for the day. There were so many options to choose from. There was the party in Hyde Park famous for its Cthulhu trees or the monthly morning meeting of the local Nanowrimo mob who like to squiggle during the other 11 months of the year followed by a visit to my favourite lunatic asylum which is now an arts centre or yet another Fringe festival show or just slinking or lurking around their gorgeous venues and there are just so so many to choose from.
For the less ambitious there was the local shopping centre's Chinese New Year celebrations.

But all of these were laid low by the evil geeks in the Bureau of Meteorology and their grand plans to impress the new boss above with a stinking sizzling whole week of 40+.
Presently it is the pleasant dry kind of heat that just sizzles you to a crisp rather than makes you murderous while you melt in a stinking sticky pool of sweat but with the thermometer expected to stay above 25 all week then a whole bunch of sleepless nights are on the agenda for those folks without air conditioning.

As long as the icky sticky humidity stays away, the heat wave will be just about bearable for a pot bellied python such as Izzie but it is the weeds that are the worry. Been so so proud of the achievement of planting 15 trees since May and managing to keep all except one alive and well all through December and January. But even watering both mornings and evenings over the next week will not be sufficient to guarantee their survival. Once the air temperature goes over 35c most plants get stressed out and go into survival mode and a whole week at 40 is going to be way too much for some of them.

It was just such a heat wave in February of 2012 that was the final straw for a big fat macadamia tree that had been happily living in the Lair for some 10 years or so and had been producing nuts for 3 of those years. I had a proper funeral for the poor thing and used its remains as the basis for a new nut tree patch and vowed to never again let a tree die on my watch.

While lurking in the garden this evening with a glass or two of red and some cheese and crackers, I realized that it was exactly 25 years since a certain significant serpent anniversary. If I had remembered earlier in the day i would have more likely made the effort to slink down to the local shops to buy some brie and a bottle of inky black Wynns Cabernet to celebrate "Dark Mark Day" which to the outside world looked rather like a failed suicide attempt but in a strange way marked the first stirrings of the inner serpent after many years of being neglected and ignored in favour of the fickle gods of reason and logic.

But maybe it is a good thing to spend less time in the past and more in the here and now even if it is a sizzling stinking 40 something.

Sizzled

Jan. 4th, 2016 10:22 pm
izmeina: (Default)
Nostalgia for grey and rainy wintry Amsterdam is looking very attractive in the last few weeks. The solstice has well and truly unleashed the evil yellow beast and it has graced us with at least 8 sizzling days of over 36 celsius including 3 39s and a rather nasty 41. More of the same is predicted for the coming week so the Izzie has prepared by filling an assortment of plastic bottles to dole out to the prize weeds tomorrow morning so that they don't die of thirst when the serpent is not around to water them.

One good thing is that Christmas and New Year's Eve did not get caught up in the heat wave. But not to worry. Easter is just around the corner. I used to find it totally ridiculous that the supermarkets had the hot cross buns on the shelves for the first shopping day of the new year. Now they have truly excelled themselves and put them out for New Year's Eve. I should have gone and complained to the management about the lack of Easter eggs. (I am sure they will have arrived by the end of this week)

Also been busy planting an assortment of climbing beans with the intention that they will provide shade for their neighbours and cop the brunt of the sunshine.

The fact that every single tree planted since early May is still alive and thriving is a first for this serpent and the plan is to keep things that way. Getting to the end of February with no tree funerals will be the true test of progress.
There are still pecan seedlings popping up all over the place and only one of them has bit the dust.

Today was the first day back at the book store and that New Year's resolution not to add any more to the collection did not last very long.

But most of the other lessons of last year have been learned such as having a regular routine to lurk around the lair watering and looking after the weeds. In summer, either very early morning or between 5-8 in the evening are the best times to be doing stuff in the garden.

It is so much nicer outside in the evening since inside is so hot and stuffy. Even leaving a bunch of windows open to let the breeze through is bugger all use when the weather is all still and clammy.
I cannot really justify getting an air conditioner when there are only about 15 days or so in the year where the ceiling fans alone do not do the trick. It's the times when we have 3 or more days in a row over 36 or when the overnight temperature does not drop below 22 that are the killers. It's then like living in a double brick pizza oven.

Maybe we need to find some more magic beans that will grow and cover all the windows in summer and then die off in autumn.
I guess if I had planted those 3 pecan trees 10 years ago, they would already be doing that.

Yesss. Yesterday is always the best time to plant a tree but today is better than tomorrow.

Sizzled

Jan. 4th, 2016 10:22 pm
izmeina: (Default)
Nostalgia for grey and rainy wintry Amsterdam is looking very attractive in the last few weeks. The solstice has well and truly unleashed the evil yellow beast and it has graced us with at least 8 sizzling days of over 36 celsius including 3 39s and a rather nasty 41. More of the same is predicted for the coming week so the Izzie has prepared by filling an assortment of plastic bottles to dole out to the prize weeds tomorrow morning so that they don't die of thirst when the serpent is not around to water them.

One good thing is that Christmas and New Year's Eve did not get caught up in the heat wave. But not to worry. Easter is just around the corner. I used to find it totally ridiculous that the supermarkets had the hot cross buns on the shelves for the first shopping day of the new year. Now they have truly excelled themselves and put them out for New Year's Eve. I should have gone and complained to the management about the lack of Easter eggs. (I am sure they will have arrived by the end of this week)

Also been busy planting an assortment of climbing beans with the intention that they will provide shade for their neighbours and cop the brunt of the sunshine.

The fact that every single tree planted since early May is still alive and thriving is a first for this serpent and the plan is to keep things that way. Getting to the end of February with no tree funerals will be the true test of progress.
There are still pecan seedlings popping up all over the place and only one of them has bit the dust.

Today was the first day back at the book store and that New Year's resolution not to add any more to the collection did not last very long.

But most of the other lessons of last year have been learned such as having a regular routine to lurk around the lair watering and looking after the weeds. In summer, either very early morning or between 5-8 in the evening are the best times to be doing stuff in the garden.

It is so much nicer outside in the evening since inside is so hot and stuffy. Even leaving a bunch of windows open to let the breeze through is bugger all use when the weather is all still and clammy.
I cannot really justify getting an air conditioner when there are only about 15 days or so in the year where the ceiling fans alone do not do the trick. It's the times when we have 3 or more days in a row over 36 or when the overnight temperature does not drop below 22 that are the killers. It's then like living in a double brick pizza oven.

Maybe we need to find some more magic beans that will grow and cover all the windows in summer and then die off in autumn.
I guess if I had planted those 3 pecan trees 10 years ago, they would already be doing that.

Yesss. Yesterday is always the best time to plant a tree but today is better than tomorrow.
izmeina: (Default)
It's scary to think that it is exactly 14 years since the Serpent's 'birthday'. It seems like centuries ago but only yesterday.
The magic is long gone but the memories remain.

It was a stinking sizzling 37c today and oh so very tempting to be a lazy snoozy serpent and abandon the annual rituals. Sometimes I wonder if the whole purpose of festivals and rituals is to provide some sort of external structure or deadline to override the lazy lousy inner beast.
Well it certainly worked and it was worth the effort.

Of course there was an added incentive to visit certain sacred sites due to last year's unexpected interruptions to the scheduled program.
In some strange way, not so much the fact of not being at Cottesloe Beach to watch the last sunset of 2014 but simply being unable to watch the last sunset at all because the faint and sickly yellow blob of the northern winter was hiding behind a hundred grey clouds, it was as if the year had never really ended.

So the annual ritual consists of a visit to a certain old lunatic asylum which has been converted into an arts centre. It used to involve a picnic with a bottle of Wynns Cabernet, water crackers and camembert, a quill and bottle of emerald ink and most important of all - a bright shiny new green notebook.
The wine and cheese picnic got left at the Lair for later in the evening since it is a waste of good wine when the day is so hot as well as just being another heavy thing to haul around.

A bright shiny new book to read has also found its way onto the list. This year it is "Wake" from Elizabeth Knox which I managed to snaffle for 3 silver sickles at the charity shop a few months ago. It got rave reviews about six months ago.

So I got as far as one paragraph of this entry when the Keeper of the Keys came to do the lock up ritual at 5pm. But it was a good omen to start in such an auspicious location. That was the main point since hunting and pecking with a horrid tablet keyboard is too much hassle when there's the nice Big Mac serpent friendly keyboard lurking at the Lair. The Big Mac had its 6th birthday last Wednesday and the warranty has long ago run out. It's still doing well and had a much longer shelf life than the ibook got in 2005 with its pissy 256kb memory that was slow as a snail by 2009.

It was amazing how it was like another world within the walls. The plane trees had lost half their leaves but it was quite cool and breezy and not nasty and muggy like it had been when I had set out on the visit. This is largely due to the sea breeze which comes in the afternoon, removes the doom and gloom and lifts everyone's spirits immensely.

It is a day for indulging in nostalgia, for squiggling and doing all the plotting and planning for the new year and review of the old that most folks save for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Last year's little black book also got switched over for the bright shiny recycled diary from 2011. January and February are one day out thanks to the pesky leap year but the rest is just fine. I had been using an old 2009 model for 2015 until I got tempted by the pretty Moleskine diaries reduced to the very tempting price of $3. I bought a couple of extras for 2020.

Tomorrow there is more sizzling weather forecast so the morning will be spent watering the weeds and devising devious means to keep them alive. There's also magic beans to be planted which will provide shade for some of the more sensitive baby trees.

2015 was a very productive year in the Serpent's Garden and 2016 is going to be even better.
izmeina: a snippet of Escher's circle of serpents (serpent)
It's scary to think that it is exactly 14 years since the Serpent's 'birthday'. It seems like centuries ago but only yesterday.
The magic is long gone but the memories remain.

It was a stinking sizzling 37c today and oh so very tempting to be a lazy snoozy serpent and abandon the annual rituals. Sometimes I wonder if the whole purpose of festivals and rituals is to provide some sort of external structure or deadline to override the lazy lousy inner beast.
Well it certainly worked and it was worth the effort.

Of course there was an added incentive to visit certain sacred sites due to last year's unexpected interruptions to the scheduled program.
In some strange way, not so much the fact of not being at Cottesloe Beach to watch the last sunset of 2014 but simply being unable to watch the last sunset at all because the faint and sickly yellow blob of the northern winter was hiding behind a hundred grey clouds, it was as if the year had never really ended.

So the annual ritual consists of a visit to a certain old lunatic asylum which has been converted into an arts centre. It used to involve a picnic with a bottle of Wynns Cabernet, water crackers and camembert, a quill and bottle of emerald ink and most important of all - a bright shiny new green notebook.
The wine and cheese picnic got left at the Lair for later in the evening since it is a waste of good wine when the day is so hot as well as just being another heavy thing to haul around.

A bright shiny new book to read has also found its way onto the list. This year it is "Wake" from Elizabeth Knox which I managed to snaffle for 3 silver sickles at the charity shop a few months ago. It got rave reviews about six months ago.

So I got as far as one paragraph of this entry when the Keeper of the Keys came to do the lock up ritual at 5pm. But it was a good omen to start in such an auspicious location. That was the main point since hunting and pecking with a horrid tablet keyboard is too much hassle when there's the nice Big Mac serpent friendly keyboard lurking at the Lair. The Big Mac had its 6th birthday last Wednesday and the warranty has long ago run out. It's still doing well and had a much longer shelf life than the ibook got in 2005 with its pissy 256kb memory that was slow as a snail by 2009.

It was amazing how it was like another world within the walls. The plane trees had lost half their leaves but it was quite cool and breezy and not nasty and muggy like it had been when I had set out on the visit. This is largely due to the sea breeze which comes in the afternoon, removes the doom and gloom and lifts everyone's spirits immensely.

It is a day for indulging in nostalgia, for squiggling and doing all the plotting and planning for the new year and review of the old that most folks save for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Last year's little black book also got switched over for the bright shiny recycled diary from 2011. January and February are one day out thanks to the pesky leap year but the rest is just fine. I had been using an old 2009 model for 2015 until I got tempted by the pretty Moleskine diaries reduced to the very tempting price of $3. I bought a couple of extras for 2020.

Tomorrow there is more sizzling weather forecast so the morning will be spent watering the weeds and devising devious means to keep them alive. There's also magic beans to be planted which will provide shade for some of the more sensitive baby trees.

2015 was a very productive year in the Serpent's Garden and 2016 is going to be even better.
izmeina: (Default)
It's October and spring is well and truly in the air. Aside from the return of the sizzling stinking hot weather which usually arrives some time in late November, there's plenty of things to look forward to this time of year.

The flowers are blooming like crazy and the pecan trees have finally come out with their first leaves. All those nuts I planted several months ago have also come to life.
Even the acorns gathered from the serpentine spiritual home in Eden Vale have survived several summers and are now on their second sets of new leaves.

This was also the time of looking forward to visiting the Festival of Country Gardens down south. That had been a ritual for a good 12 years but has been off the agenda since 2013.
Slinking in the gardens and the squiggling frenzy that is Nanowrimo have been associated in the serpentine mind for a long time. There will be special cause for nostalgia this November since the days and dates exactly match 2009 when I signed up for the insane venture for the first time.

This year there's so many workshops and events in assorted libraries that I will be too busy to indulge in too much reminiscing about 'the good old days' but I have dusted off the old Dark Grimoire tarot deck in memory of 2009.

Then there's also Halloween to look forward to. It's sort of silly being in the middle of spring but nowhere near as ridiculous as Christmas where the media and retailers insist that we are in the middle of winter.
Instead of carving creepy pumpkin lanterns, will be planting giant pumpkin seeds and looking around to see who has got the spookiest party and looking to find the creepiest adornments for the Lair.
The Mexican Day of the Dead festival has become a big thing here in the last few years.

But one thing above all has marked the real return of spring, boom and bloom in this wide brown land. Monday 14th September was the day the Mad Monk got dumped and the grown ups got back into government.

The honeymoon will not last for long but it is such a pleasant change no longer hearing endless snark, fear mongering and three word slogans.

Still trying to find the appropriate 3 word slogan to carve on the Mad Monk's political tombstone. I think it would be fun to invite his ghost to the serpent's Halloween party along with his pet rottweiler - Eric Abetz - the Terror from Tasmania.

Actually the pair of them would make great characters for November's adventures as card carrying members of a crazy Cthulhu worshipping nihilistic death cult.

But it's time to slink off into the darkness. Got to be out and about early tomorrow for the Tuesday day job.
izmeina: a wicked witch on her broomstick by moonlight (wicked witch)
It's October and spring is well and truly in the air. Aside from the return of the sizzling stinking hot weather which usually arrives some time in late November, there's plenty of things to look forward to this time of year.

The flowers are blooming like crazy and the pecan trees have finally come out with their first leaves. All those nuts I planted several months ago have also come to life.
Even the acorns gathered from the serpentine spiritual home in Eden Vale have survived several summers and are now on their second sets of new leaves.

This was also the time of looking forward to visiting the Festival of Country Gardens down south. That had been a ritual for a good 12 years but has been off the agenda since 2013.
Slinking in the gardens and the squiggling frenzy that is Nanowrimo have been associated in the serpentine mind for a long time. There will be special cause for nostalgia this November since the days and dates exactly match 2009 when I signed up for the insane venture for the first time.

This year there's so many workshops and events in assorted libraries that I will be too busy to indulge in too much reminiscing about 'the good old days' but I have dusted off the old Dark Grimoire tarot deck in memory of 2009.

Then there's also Halloween to look forward to. It's sort of silly being in the middle of spring but nowhere near as ridiculous as Christmas where the media and retailers insist that we are in the middle of winter.
Instead of carving creepy pumpkin lanterns, will be planting giant pumpkin seeds and looking around to see who has got the spookiest party and looking to find the creepiest adornments for the Lair.
The Mexican Day of the Dead festival has become a big thing here in the last few years.

But one thing above all has marked the real return of spring, boom and bloom in this wide brown land. Monday 14th September was the day the Mad Monk got dumped and the grown ups got back into government.

The honeymoon will not last for long but it is such a pleasant change no longer hearing endless snark, fear mongering and three word slogans.

Still trying to find the appropriate 3 word slogan to carve on the Mad Monk's political tombstone. I think it would be fun to invite his ghost to the serpent's Halloween party along with his pet rottweiler - Eric Abetz - the Terror from Tasmania.

Actually the pair of them would make great characters for November's adventures as card carrying members of a crazy Cthulhu worshipping nihilistic death cult.

But it's time to slink off into the darkness. Got to be out and about early tomorrow for the Tuesday day job.
izmeina: (Default)
Today was a time for some serious nostalgia and a visit to the serpent's favourite old lunatic asylum which has been converted into an arts centre.

There's been a bit of a makeover in the garden with a new stage and some tidying up of the wormwood patch which seems to have included removing the wormwood. It sucks when yuppies take over serpent sacred sites.

Out there in the big bad world there's just been so much gloom and doom and creepy crawliness.
If it's not the state government and their mining company minions trashing areas containing significant ancient antiquities then it's that mob in the Middle East smashing old temples and murdering 82 year olds in their zeal to banish from the planet everything that does not reflect their ridiculous and most miserable interpretation of reality.

The idiots in government here then want to use such barbarity as an excuse to indulge in yet more of their own. Instead of bombing Syria back to the stone age maybe they would be of more use allowing some Syrian refugees to come here instead of expecting the European Union to do all the heavy lifting.
It was so weird hearing the news on the 76th anniversary of the start of the second world war that the huddled masses of the world (well the Middle East at least) view Germany as the land of freedom and a fair go. They are literally dying to get there when for so many years it was the place people wanted to escape from.
Just even thinking about those nasty people smugglers' trucks is seriously creepy let alone contemplating how truly desperate one must be to get in them.

Life is such a lottery. I was over in Europe in January this year and could move about freely on planes, trains and trams with no need to be crammed like a sardine and paying exorbitant prices for the privilege yet others who live much nearer to Europe are so unwelcome and go to such desperate measures to get there.

It's one of the most magical times of the year in this bit of Oz. All the wildflowers are presently putting on a most amazing show. Only the most jaded barbarian could fail to appreciate the gorgeousness. Along with the wonderful weeds come the birds with their joyful squawking and cackling. Australia is filled with the most amazing of critters.
Will be off looking at the pretty little critters tomorrow in Kings Park. Was there last Thursday and got to thinking that once a week is simply insufficient at this time of the year.

Even ancient serpents feel the sap rising in early September. Everything is blooming and blossoming and it is wonderful to be alive at this time of year. Magic is afoot.

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