Garden’s coming on   :)

I took some shots this-morning, before it got hot. Well, hot-tish.

Here are two from the side garden: first is Phyllis the epiphyllum oxypetalum who, in spite of appalling lack of care from moi (most of which consisted of moving her pot depending on sun), insists on flowering. I’ve already had a beauty, and as you can see she is about to produce a motza of ’em !

I will confess to being a bit puzzled by the long thin stalk; but it does remind me of what this extraordinary plant looked like when my friend D first gave her to me .. Am I going to get a kind of whole new plant, then ?!

Second are my new prides and joys, the trio of herbs. Beautiful Debra, turn your eyes this way, please !: here you see the curry leaf tree in all its teeny weeny beauty, as well as a long red chilli plant and a Tuscan rosemary. The people in that on-line shop up in Queensland really know what they’re doing: you should’ve seen the way the herb plants were packed ! Plus, they sent a video to show me how best to prepare for them; and a subsequent email of helpful hints after they’d arrived.

The only other thing in that frame you’re allowed to look at is a small passing moggy. He is definitely worth looking at; only it happened so fast that I was unable to take proper advantage.

So: out to the front gardens. First on the extreme right is what will one day be a wonderful attraction for bees (of both kinds, I very much hope) – the ceanothus. It don’t look much right now; but it is very much larger than when it was planted:

As for all that hose stuff, it’s where my friend S is working her butt off to enable a hose to be threaded through the fence so as to be attached to my tap – as up to now I’ve been using the public tap in the ‘lawn’ out front. S came by later and finished the job, btw: I can tell you that having friends like that is A Very Good Thing !

Then the rose garden with .. bugger it ! – the name’s gone. It’ll come back. Aha – bacopa ! Told yer !

The bacopæ are not at their best right now, but they keep flowering and stopping flowering, flowering and stopping flowering; so I am not one iota concerned.

And the front bit is in the process of having me stick in another plant – that’s what the seat and tools are about. It will be a salvia that’s currently growing in my big planter in the side yard:

See how well the gazania is doing ? – there will definitely be some of those gorgeous dark bronze flowers ere long – can hardly wait ! And the daisy has come from a cutting I kind of faffed around sticking in, which took. Amazing. The little lavendar has mauve buds on; and the two ‘geraniums’ just keep on with their wonderful red blossoms. I shall transplant also the terrific butterfly bush also currently in the big planter: it needs its soil to be emptied and a new lot put in.

Et maintenant au pièce de résistance .. the native garden.

From right front: the silver thingy (at least I got it into shot this time !); the geraldton wax; the correa ‘Dusky Bells’; the eutaxia; the—  bum. Must look this up (again) .. Yep – goodenia ovata; otherwise known as .. poop ! – the hop plant. Horrible name; and lastly a ground-hugging grevillea.

From the left back (ignoring Rolando’s stuff that starts with something white) is the callistemon – not dead after all; another one I don’t know the name of; and just past the last window another one I don’t know the name of. Sorry about all this ignorance. I will get my research done, promise.

In the middle are a dampiera, of which you can see barely more than the name-card; another one I don’t know the name of; slightly back another grevillea; a prostanthera and just seen beyond that, all yellow flowers, another one I don’t know the name of. Oh, I could SPIT !

I’m going to have to spend an awful lot of time trying to find images of all these unknown ones. I am a dickhead, no doubt about it. (I put the names of those I do know into the tags so that I look as if I’m knowledgeable. I’m not.)

But I love my gardens !

P.S.: the yellow flowering one is a chrysocephalum apiculatum, and it’s a really interesting one. My friend S made me buy it because she has one she loves; but mine has flowers that are like doubles ! – haven’t seen any images like mine on-line ! Oh; and the silver thingy is a calocephalus brownii. I’m gettin there ..

P.P.S.: the blue/grey/green one against the wall under the l.h. window is Dianella caerulea ‘Cassa Blue’. ONLY TWO TO GO !    :)

 

 

If only we’d turn to our first nations ..!

That’s a really interesting article if you haven’t previously read about how our Aboriginal peoples handle fire.

And if you have, it will make you hope that this bloke’s voice, and the voices of all his brothers and sisters, are heard by our ludicrously denialist (?) government.

On the topic of this latter group, I was included in a ‘pass it around’ email bewailing the way we have been treating our Prime Minister during this terrible time of the fires. I scanned the first few par.s and concluded that if the bloke who wrote it wasn’t involved in social networking, he wouldn’t have reason to be so indignant. Then I thought: “how in the name of all the gods can he wax so offended by the rage felt against the government, at a time when both federal and state members were found to be overseas on holidays while their country burned ?”, and answer came there none.

Apparently, though, this writer’s beef is just about Smoko: what a good-hearted bloke he is, what a good man all ’round, etc., etc.

Well, gritting my teeth (yes, I still have ’em), I’m obliged to admit that I’m just as guilty as is that bloke (whose name raises no recognition in my ancient thinking) with regard to chucking my political opinions in readers’ faces. And it concerns me that readers passing by MRSMRS may be rendered just as choleric by ’em.

Anyone to whom this applies, PLEASE tell me so ! That’s what the comments space is for.

Oh, YUM !

Cooked this last night, having included another packet of fiendishly expensive Cyprus Halloumi in my Coles delivery order –

And btw, please note:

From experience I can say that anything else isn’t of necessity rubbish, but in general a bit less solid. Chacun (à) son goût. Including whether to use the preposition.

Two packets are a bit more than required, and I did have difficulty getting it all marinated .. should’ve left some out.    :\


Spiced haloumi pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g cooked short pasta (Too much, imnsho: I used 275g, and frankly it should be 250g. Penne lisce are my go-to short pasta.)
  • 400g haloumi
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 fresh curry leaves (I dropped in a number of dried ones)<*>
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsps chopped parsley

METHOD

  • Cut the haloumi into 1cm cubes. Toss it in 1 tbsp oil and all of the dry spices.
  • Heat the other tbsp oil in a large (and deep !) frypan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the haloumi and curry leaves, and cook until haloumi is golden. (This is problematical, inasmuch as it’s just been tossed in turmeric .. I played it by ear)
  • Add the tomatoes and chilli flakes, then bring to the boil.
  • Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Stir in the pasta and cook until heated through.
  • Remove from the heat and stir through the parsley.
  • Divide among bowls and serve with mango chutney.

My change for next time will be to (1) add another half tin of tomatoes: were you to cook this exactly as listed, definitely use TWO cans ! – and, almost more importantly, to (2) use a bigger bloody pan !!!

I was amazed at how delicious this recipe is ! Throughout the evening, in fact, I kept hoping that Boodie would get off my lap so that I could return to the scene of the crime, the pan of .. THIS STUFF, and have another forkful.

Alas that I have no idea how it’s going to re-heat: I think I’ll have to add some evoo and stir it in well. But in spite of reducing the amount of pasta – thank heavens ! – and of having nibbled at it several times, I have another three meals in storage thinggies in the fridge.

BIG success !   :)

Update !

It reheated in the microwave brilliantly: I didn’t even need to stir it ! Must’ve been the spiced oil, of course .. D’ohhh ..

Now only two meals left.

 

 

<*>I must find out how to grow a curry leaf plant !

The lazy woman’s guide

Since I’m never going to work out how to crochet long rows without having to count stitches, and since I’m far too lazy for such dedication, from the moment I realised how ‘non-meeting’ were the edges of the top-down cardigan it was always going to be frogged. So, I thought, I’ll frog it NOW and start again with something else.

Then I considered the amount of yarn that had been consumed by the pattern, and thought again: all that winding ! Far from good for the arthritis in the ancient thumbs.

Once having decided to try simply making a rectangle-or-square-depending-on-how-it-fits-my-back, on making two rectangles to match for the front and two in-the-round sleeves, I undid the slip knot on the bottom of the unfinished cardi and frogged a few rows. Then I made a (rather enormous) chain and started on the single crochet ‘rib’.

And thus have I progressed: crochet frogs brilliantly – much better than knitting ! – and all I had to do is dump the unfinished cardi in the basket and pull from it as needed.

I’m using ‘Crunch stitch’, which isn’t meant for garments. Me being a total smart-(_|_), I couldn’t see why not so gave it a burl. It turned out to be like nothing so much as a cuirass: I reckon it could stop bullets.   :\

Hence the couple of mesh rows in the middle: they’re my attempt to loosen it up. Somewhat.

Bet you can’t recall ever seeing a garment of any kind crocheted in crunch stitch.

Still, the sides don’t wander in and out. Every cloud ..

The US governmental system: HUH ?

A friend and I often share enraged thoughts about Trump; but we almost equally often come back to the fact that there are some unbelieveable (to us, anyway) facts about the .. ahh .. format ? – maybe design of sections of how the US government works, and these act as enablers for him.

For instance: gerrymandering. Someone explain to me how it is that political party members get to redistribute the voting boundaries in their own party’s favour ?

For instance: in the Senate its leader decides which bills – that Congress has already passed – are even looked at by the Senate, This little beauty enables Trump to go on and on about the “do nothing Democrats”, when in fact they’ve passed hundreds of bills – which are sitting in a pile (possibly under a ‘coffee’ mug) on McConnell’s desk.

Also, this appalling situation is what allows McConnell to ensure that only the White House’s choices get voted on to sit as judges on various – and many ! – courts.

He gets my vote, btw, as the worst villain in the entire setup; because he has so much power and chooses to use it in so partisan and unethical a manner.

For instance: he’s currently outraging the Democrats any American with a brain by boasting that he intends the Senate to work hand in glove with Trump’s legal team during the Senate part of Trump’s impeachment; but to my amazement, a Republican senator has come forward in her own outrage on that ! A brave person in the Republican ranks: who could’ve known ?!

For instance: judges – VERY non-partisan judges ! – being able to simply wipe hundreds of thousands of The Other Party’s supporters off the voting rolls.

I suspect I could go on; but I’m so gobsmacked by that quartet that I haven’t the energy to do it.

:(

(Oh, and P.S.: if your’e wondering why I’m even interested in all this shit that’s going down in America, it’s because I’m a devotee of Obama’s, then and now. Perfect he wasn’t; but in his first term he was effective, and in his second completely stymied by the GOP-led Congress. I’ve come to think of Republicans as .. not nice.)

Boodie says ..

.. season’s greetings.

:)

Well, he would say it if he could talk.

This delicious photo was taken yesterday by K, his erstwhile foster-mum. She brought a son with her; and they spent a happy 45 minutes or so playing with him and chatting with me. (I don’t think it was the other way ’round; but it was 24 hours ago.)

I believe he’s still small. I pray that he never gets bigger.

But on the other hand, what’s the point of praying ? If there’s a god of some sort s/he will know that I haven’t led an exemplary life; and the only other option is that there isn’t. So I don’t actually pray: I just .. hope.   :)

As always, there’s a problem :\

Yes, I realize it looks like an infant’s garment: that’s because the sleeves aren’t there. And that‘s because I haven’t made ’em yet.

You can see the problem, yes ? – I appear to  be incapable of crocheting a straight line. Even in the so-far-last 5 or 6 rows, in which I assiduously counted all stitches, it doesn’t line up !

I may have to top meself. (I wonder how many times I’ve said that ?)

If someone would inform me WHY my edges wander all over the place, I would be very happy indeed. The trouble is that crocheting a garment is always going to mean a whole shitload of stitches – especially with top down, of course – that, it seems, need to be constantly counted. At least, they do with me.

Any hints from anyone who can crochet without needing to count, 24/7 ? Please ?

 

Crikey !

It will get hotter than this today.

The real climate change thing is not only the appalling heat (outside), but the fact that it’s predicted to be a maximum of 22 tomorrow.

Go figure.

There is not a single sound outside my unit. Not a vehicle on any road. No matter how distant they normally sound,  there is total, utter silence. No birds. No people, of course. Nothing.

We have become a nation that knows its limitations. When the temperature goes above 110 degrees Fahrenheit we remember that we are only human, and we give up.

If all the “leaders” in the world had acted on the scientists’ warnings back in the day, this would not now be happening.


Yep, we made it to 45°C – that’s 113° in US terms. Hope everyone’s impressed. Not.

I just cooked this for my tea, and it ain’t the first time

CHICKPEA COCONUT CURRY

  • Chop finely a 10cm piece of ginger
  • Chop up 2 medium (ripe) tomatoes
  • Chop up half an onion
  • Chop up 3 cloves garlic
  • Drain/rinse 1½ cans (c. 540g) chickpeas
  • Oil into pan, add onion garlic and ginger
  • Sauté for a few minutes
  • Add 2 tsps curry paste
  • Add 1 tsp garam masala
  • Add seasoning
  • Stir and cook for a minute or two until fragrant
  • Add chopped tomatoes
  • Cook for a few minutes until they start to break down
  • Shake wildly then add full can (c. 400mls) coconut milk
  • Stir; bring to the boil, lower heat to medium
  • Add chickpeas, cook for 7’-10’
  • Taste, adjust as necessary
  • Squeeze lemon juice only over portion/s to be eaten – NOT over any remaining for another meal !

Coupla things to note: remember the seasoning. I forgot it – often do – and had to add it to the portion on my plate. Doesn’t work as well as when it’s cooked in.

Don’t bother to peel the ginger. I got this tip from the beautiful Alison Roman in her recipe for “The Stew”; and it works fine any time the dish you’re making will be cooked for a while. Let us all give thanks to Alison !    :)

Oh; and btw – don’t reheat leftovers in the microwave. It tries to turn the chickpeas into popcorn. [grin]

There’s a link to the video of the bloke from whom I got this, under the recipe’s name.

Trying something new

Just because you have no idea what it is don’t mean it’s no good, you know. [grin]

I’m crocheting a cardigan in a top-down pattern ! – first time for top-down, ever ! Of course, a knitted top-down cardi would be the ultimate challenge (yesyes Anna – I hear you saying “Not for some !” and sniffing); but that’s for STITDF. Work that one out if you can.

(Also, I am using yarn left over from a unsuccessful project. Well, in truth it wasn’t actually unsuccessful: I just totally lost interest in it. Wait till you see the third colour ! – and yes, I’m determined to use them all.)

This is a pattern from Angela at Little Monkeys Design, and I was going to begin it roughly six months ago; but I was distracted by The Shawl. Sighh ..

One of two current WIPs. T’other one is purely practical, and not for showing. Pardon ? No, it isn’t a toilet-paper cosy !

How does this make me feel ?

I have a friend over in Perth; a man who is, I think, my very oldest friend of all – meaning the one who comes from farthest back. Longest ago. You get the picture.

Roger is a serial emailer: he receives emails of humour or interest from all over, and re-sends them to various groups of his friends and colleagues. A couple of his thread topics cause my blood to boil, and I tell him so in no uncertain terms. But there – you don’t agree with everything your friends like or do, do you ?!

Today he sent me one that has an introduction saying

which is followed by the series of images, pasted one after the other within the email.

As I usually do with emails of this kind, I went online, knowing I’d find the photos there, and probably larger. And there they are, on Hussey’s professional site – https://www.tomhussey.com/PROJECTS/REFLECTIONS/1. I can’t show you any of the photos, as I’d be breaching his IP up, down and sideways. Just follow the link to get started on the first of these wonderful photographs. (Sorry that I can’t frame it within an ‘open in a separate window’ call.)

So. How do I feel after looking at them all ?

They make me cry. They’re so absolutely … so absolutely TRUE. So RIGHT. They say everything there is to say about growing old.

It happens to everyone, if s/he is lucky (you’ve heard that weak joke about “getting old is so much better than the alternative”, right ?). We all become ancient versions of the young creatures we once were; and yes, it does seem like the week before last. That’s because inside our heads we’re still that age, and we can manage to forget our wrinkly casings until we catch sight of them.

All these people are actually studying them. So the viewer understands that this is not the usual light-hearted situation in which they’re dismissing the wrinkly casings with a laugh, but actually thinking about what they were really like as those young creatures.

And it’s sad. I was young once, and so was Chic.

Oh, he was a lovely bloke !

That’s The Doctor reclining upon his reclining mama. Chic saved his life several years before, and the Noom<*> doted on him at least as much as he did on me.

I do remember those times. How not ? – living with Stringer was glorious.

But to cheer myself up again, I simply remind myself how happy I am that I’m not young: what the world has come to is not a place I want to linger in.

 

<*> all cats have several names !

 

 

Climate change for deniers

I suppose I shouldn’t grump that this video comes from Facebook: most people who use Facebook do so because it doesn’t involve pecuniary outlay (but it certainly isn’t ‘free’).

But this Greenpeace video is good. Whether or not it has the slightest effect on the wilfully deaf and blind pollies is another thing.

I remember fulminating wildly against Tony Abbott and his bloody collection of morons when I was first blogging: Scott Morrison and his band of beasts are actually worse, inasmuch as they are as clever as a wagonload of monkeys. Cunning as sewer rats.

How in the name of all the gods we ever managed to vote these fuckers in is beyond me. Except that it’s not, really: it was sheer greed. GREED.

https://wp.me/p6zYMn-4wq

Still feel the same way.