Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Gardening 2013

It's the Easter long weekend. My plans are all gardening.
I nearly always have a small stock pile of plants on my front veranda ready to plant when time and enthusiasm coincide. However this approach has been backfiring. If I leave them on the back veranda, Ponyo eats them. If I leave them on the front one, I forget them and they bake in the western sun. So last weekend I had planted every single last potted plant. 

All the shops today are shut being good Friday so my gardening plans would have been thwarted if I hadn't cunningly accumulated a few more pots during the week. While at Bunnings nursery, I checked out the reduced plants. They had marguerite daisies in very large pots for $8- reduced from$16. I swiftly included them in my trolley however on reflection, I ended up leaving them. The reason? Daisies are pretty darn easy to propagate.  And those pots were pretty darn huge. I was going to have to dig an awful lot of clay to get them into the ground! So I bought a few smaller (and cheaper) ground covering daisies and that is what I planted today.
With Ponyo's help
(note the worn dog path with dog centred)

Things are coming along. I need to work on the back half of the yard now as the top part is pretty much in maintenance mode now.
April last year and almost April 2013- with the insert of computer generated lawn dream from last year. Reality is almost as good as the dream!

Looking towards the deck and over the top of the Japanese Maple courtyard
The Japanese Maple Courtyard- today I added some nandina. The taller one rather than the ubiquitous small one. I think I will buy a couple more tomorrow
Circles indicating where all the shrubs are that you can't see.
I have planted a load of things down along the fence now. By Easter 2014 I imagine this photo will look very different.
My next goal is to work out a path to go beyond the existing path that the dog can follow and that won't wash away. When I first moved in, Mum suggested covering the whole back yard in bark chip to keep the dust down until I was ready to put things in. So I see it strictly as a temporary thing.
I wonder if I could just have lawn through the centre. I would prefer that to be honest. Easier on the eye.

And so in my mind I imagine into the future again. I hope the 2015 prediction is a good one too!
Easter 2015?

Dream corrected for Ponyo reality

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Playing in SL

I haven't been in SL for such a long time, but I have recently been popping my head in to see how things are.
Today, while home with a very hideous cold, I have been stretching my graphics-muscles and seeing if I can remember all the things that used to be second nature.
Today's goal was to put new windows into the bedroom. The old ones were for a crowded street where the view was nothing much, so I allowed for them to be opaque. I have replaced those windows and changed the cornices and colour and tadah.. prettier bedroom :)

Monday, March 11, 2013


4.5 years ago I was dancing with Eleanor in Caledon. It was an odd dance and people didn't seem to be mixing much so after a while of talking between ourselves we left and went about our business.
I was quite surprised then to get a tap at my virtual window from a virtual stranger. He had been at the dance, seen me there and thought he should introduce himself.

The rest is history and I have recorded it all before now. Mark has now come twice to visit me in Oz. And now I have, stored electronically, my tickets to  visit him.

It's pretty darn exciting.

Any other mention of a trip to the UK and I would be planning to see castles and museums. This time? Well if I happen to wander amongst some history while I am there, it will be the marshmallows on my hot chocolate.

After building a friendship-turned-romance on the internet, over so many years, I have to say the distance factor is driving me crazy. And I do get concerned that it is more than a hyperbole when I use that expression. It is so hard!

We sit with headsets on for hours. Sometimes my ears almost beg me not to. And sitting staring at the screen when you work at a monitor all day? Not the activity of first preference.

Sitting for hours with words swirling through your head and no presence, there are misunderstandings. And there is the other-side-of-the-world thing where he is falling asleep just as I am struggling to wake. 

So what next? How to move on from here? Well the Ozzie government doesn't recognise this as a relationship. I don't really blame them, but cripes it makes it difficult. To bring Mark here, I have to promise to marry him within 7 months of his arrival. That's if he wants to work. 
And he is proud.
He wants to work

And I guess that would be on the lists of reasons why I am willing to risk it all again.

And so we talk about it. How. When. How. When. 
Back and forth.
And the sad thing is that to be together, there's just the one choice.

Sometimes I am terrified. I have been married. It terrifies me to be put in the position of trusting someone again. On a bad day, marriage looks like a trap, solitary confinement.

One regular issue of contention: calls to work place. Neither past tense nor current partner respond well to an impromptu call. I have never had the luxury of building a habit of wasting their time, so I don't understand why neither would/will receive my calls with a hint of pleasure. My job is stressful. My phone rings all day long. The demands on my attention are not insignificant, but it pleases me to hear Mark's voice enough to be distracted from these things. Enough to make it a desirable event. A happily anticipated one. (Is this a man thing?)

And so I feel bars of the trap inching around me. Where I am literally on call, but can not reach out myself.

The trouble with this 'internet' relationship: Too much thinking. Too much talking. Plenty of things said that can be taken the wrong way, given too much importance. And then sorted. And reconciled. And that is where the phone-calls-at-work struggle sits - In the reconciled basket -but I am so ready to move beyond this.

We have had so little time being together. And yet have spent more time together than any couple I know of. I know what Mark's intentions are. I know that he is completely unselfish in his desire for me to be happy. We are actually, quite devoted to each other :)

(Mushy alert)

In the three weeks we had together in January, our happiness in being together was as crystal clear and as bright as the Australian January days were. Being together. Doing together. That kind of happiness is worth marrying for!! So we are working our way forward.

And I am waiting now for the next step in this very slow journey - 93 days the counter says. Doesn't matter what kind of summer the Poms put on for me, I think it will be bright and sunny.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A day at Hobbysew

On Friday I had a day teaching at Hobbysew. I haven't done that for ages. In the class were Moonbi, Sue and Denise. At this stage, Denise and Sue were still cutting while Moonbi charged off ahead. Cutting fabric for a job gives you a head start. (Note: I did not say for a living LOL)
Moonbi was the first to be able to see her fabrics spin, once her cutting was done.

Denise got the hang of things despite needing a confidence injection, and completed the two plates above. She knew by then that she was good to finish the rest at home, and then wandered into the store for some retail therapy.
Sue's are pictured below and are in Australian native flowers. They would make a great gift for some one overseas,
Moonbi finished her set completely. Only accomplished by a few in the history of the class. Her plan is to make more and make a sizable quilt I believe!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Top left is my drawing from back in June. Remaining three as at March 2013
It is a long time since I have been blogging!
It doesn't mean I have given up on the things in the story of the blog, just running low on energy for blogging. I think the main reason would be the heat! Such a hot January we have had. 5C hotter average temperature for January.
It turns out that watering a new garden - through a summer like that - is almost as difficult as planting it in the first place! February wasn't as hot, but by then everything was dry and stressed.

The suburb's water tower is hardly any height above us so the water pressure is not enough to have two spinklers running. In Pollyanna-form, I say I am glad that I have only a small yard. Nonetheless my trees have really struggled. Especially the Japanese Maples.

Top left in the photo above I have the drawing-over-photo I did back in June illustrating the path I thought I would lay. And then three shots of the real thing. It's now almost done. It's laid, though I have yet to push the soil and bark back to the edges.
 It looks exactly as I imagined
 Now I wait for the plants to mature and then I think it will look rather nice. And a lot cooler and soothing. The fish pot has a little solar powered fountain in it....until the dog discovers the cord connecting the solar panel to the pump. Then I would guess the pump will become wire/plastic/ex-dog food for me to collect in my rubber gloves in my weekly dog poop round...ewwww.....

The dog (seen blurring the shot in bottom left of the collage) has run through the garden as well as all the photos I tried to take tonight. His tracks are in the bark chips and lawn. His impact, bodily and toothily, have been felt by all the plants. His mouth has a curiosity that means that new, woody plants will be chewed down to stumps.

Above (bottom right, though a bit hard to see) is the Lilac tree he ate in October. After he mauled it, it sat stump-like for months until I did what mum suggested; cut off the chewed bits. Hardly anytime after its operation, it sprouted! It had been sending all its energy into trying to repair. Mothers sure know stuff!
And above that in the same photo is a Magnolia I am growing as an espalier. Originally I had it tied with strips of stocking. The dog stood on his hind legs and undid the stockings leaving plant intact. How is that possible? And why the restraint after so much carnage? Having perfected the technique, he then untied all the other tethered trees around the yard. I have had to replace all with nylon cable ties.

Since laying the pebbles between the pavers, a crop of chewed pebbles have appeared on the back veranda. Not good for his teeth. But better for my hoses. (Think 30 m of hose reduced to 50 cm or less pieces)

Someone remind me why I wanted another dog?