Things I saw in February

I love to look around me in this gorgeous world of ours and I am lucky to live in a beautiful part of it. Sometimes I see things that strike me as hilarious, or stunning and amazing, or just plain wtf?  Here are a few things I saw in February 2015:

Near where I live is a lovely walk around a wetlands area, home to an enormous number of creatures and birds. There’s always something to see on this walk but  I was struck one day by two pieces of spraycan writing on the path.F abbottabbot did this

You can just see the absolute inarticulate rage here can’t you? The first was on the footpath, the second on a lovely little spot where people sit and contemplate the ducks and the frogs.  There wasn’t quite enough room for the “s” in “THIS”, but it looks quite arty like it is. But there was certainly enough room to add the extra “T” to our PM’s name. If Abbott really did do this he may have spelled his name correctly.  Get it right angry spray painter!!

I well remember reading “Snugglepot and CuddlepIe” when I was a little tacker and I read it to my own child as well. We loved the fierce “Banksia Men”, and the delicate flower dress of Little Ragged Blossom. These reminded me of those times.

gum nut flowersBanksia man

When my daughter was little, she asked “Are the Banksia Men real”? And when she recognised a tree full of them for the first time she was delighted. “They are real!! Mummy, I thought that was just a made up story”.  We delighted in examining each one very closely, marvelling at how different they all were, and how spot on May Gibbs’ illustrations were.

gumnut blossoms

Kidnapper and Banksia lout

Kidnapper and Banksia lout

The banksia men were pretty fierce in May Gibbs’ story – a lot of angry kidnappers and louts, and in real life they can look fierce too. The one I photographed looks rather benign though – all big lips and kind of friendly.  Maybe this particular one is a peaceful and relaxed Banksia person without kidnapping and mayhem in their background.

In February I was lucky enough to walk along a track, (accompanied of course, by the Frequent Urinator – see featured picture), with million dollar views at the South Coast. Some savvy South coasters have parked picnic tables and chairs alongside the track or out the back of their homes, to take advantage of said views, while they share an ale or a meal with family and friends. The dining furniture ranges in quality and ingenuity, but here are a few of my favourites:

This one’s definitely seen better days…table 5

Who table 1cares what’s on the menu when you can look out at this?

Might get a few splinters with this one:table4

Fancy pants and well-maintained!table3

A few old besser bricks and a bit of wood and we are all set for a Chardy at sunset!


The world is a funny and beautiful place isn’t it?  I look forward to sharing more things “”I saw last week” with you.

Photo credit: me and my iphone; May Gibbs’ illustrations from “Snugglepot and Cuddllepie”.

Two weeks off

Downstairs the house smelled of wet dog and mould, and unwashed socks that had been worn too many times.  I didn’t care. That was what Exit Mould and Pine-o-clean were for. I bought bottles of the stuff and cans of Glen 20 and I washed and dried everything, including the dog, and I shut fast that room with its smell of ancient foot odour.

I went for long, punishing walks with the dog. He had to run to keep up with me and he was only small – a maltese terrier -type crossed with something or other. He had a penchant for bullying much larger dogs and was annoyed when I didn’t let him off the leash to run after what he thought were fair game. I’d learned my lesson last year when he decided to take on a huge mastiff. She weighed ten of him, with a head the size of a basketball.  I was the one left with the 800 dollar vet bill, a mutt with a plastic collar of shame around his neck and a drain in his chest, and an earful of virulent abuse from the mastiff’s owner.

Occasionally he’d balk at the pace as we pounded along the beach or the bush tracks behind the dunes. I’d play Green Day as loud as my ears could bear, so I wouldn’t have to think or feel or hear anything else but Jesus of Suburbia and American Idiot. With my headphones, sunglasses and a hat jammed on my head I could be anonymous and separate.  Every now and then, the leash would jerk and pull my arm backward. I’d turn to see the dog sitting stubbornly in the middle of the track and he’d look at me balefully as if to say “slow the fuck down, will ya?” I’d jerk the leash back my way, and off we’d go again. I did not slow the fuck down, and he with his tongue sticking out, bright red and dripping, had no choice but to run or be dragged. I’d make him jog along the shoreline and he kept a wary eye out for any encroaching waves, for he hated to get wet and would bark in a shrill voice at me if I got too close to the water.

When we eventually returned home, the dog would throw himself onto the tiles downstairs in an effort to get cool, panting mightily. When he thought I wasn’t looking he’d curl up on the couch.  And then he’d sleep for hours and hours, only occasionally shifting to get more comfortable. Sometimes his legs would jerk and his body shuddered as if he was having a mini-seizure, and he’d moan in his sleep.  I took to walking by myself in the afternoons so  the dog could rest and I could trudge along unimpeded, without the need to examine other animals’ excrement or stop to wee on fence posts .

We were both a little leaner at the end of those two weeks.

*Picture credit: me and my iPhone