Monday, 27 April 2020


THIS PAST WEEK I have had one visit into town for some spotlight goodies - e.g.  a pompom maker, not really essential shopping but a treat to use, i've finished a beanie in soft brown alpaca for sunny with a lovely pompom on top.
Also finished the fairisle jacket for weebaby.   next i'm starting a jumper for great nephew jules, mid blue shetland with some fishbone fairisle, then a jacket for myself which is more of a major project.

No painting yet, although i'm going to do some utilitarian touching up around the house.  gotta get romeo and juliet done, the last spreads are all suicide, i'm having trouble making them work without it looking gruesome.   gothic is what we want, not gore :0)  maybe dark mood lighting would work

the garden's getting sorted, 
lots of weeding and
rearranging my pot plants,
it's looking good.

i had an exciting visitor the other day.  Nursing a throbbing tooth which has troubled me for months (even though i've been to the dentist)  i was on the couch watching telly and knitting when i glanced out the window to see a tortoise in the middle of the lawn.  a decent size, around large dinner plate, he made his way slowly across to the riverbank and half lumbered, half slid down the bank into the welcoming waters of the murray.

ANZAC DAY  no dawn service for the public, people went to the front driveways of their homes with candles, the occasional instrument to play reveille in the dark.  i was up at 5am making anzac biscuits and spent the morning delivering them to sam and di, sue and derek, and marg.  all at a distance - that's the most social day i've had since mid march.

Sunday, 19 April 2020


HOW MANY DAYS has it been since we've been at home - for me since the 19th March when i decided to self isolate when Rene and family returned home.
love this pic of cal and friend on their way home from their first school day

I'VE NOTICED -  how creative everyone is about carrying on with huge restrictions on personal contact.   the podcasts i listen to are all managing to relocate to their loungerooms, kitchens etc and hook up with their team via the net etc.

People are getting into their cupboards and sorting, rediscovering.  For me phone calls are suddenly more important,  they always were but now i'm having one major phone call with a friend each day and it's been really lovely to just sit and talk.

RECIPES and COOKING are suddenly being rediscovered, shared and enjoyed.   i made this cake form Annabel Crabbe's podcast CHAT 10 LOOKS 3 which she does with her close friend Leigh Sales.  i've shared this recipe and various people  have made it too.

TIME  i've really enjoyed the time to do things in an unfussed way,  all the things i'd normally do but somehow with nothing in the diary, no deadlines or expectations and knowing everyone in the world is in the same boat - it really takes the pressure off and i've enjoyed weeding (sometimes with a G&T), rearranging the garden, sewing, lots of knitting, 

also good uninterrupted time to work on romeo and juliet.  time to research costume etc and go down rabbitholes on the net without
the pull of other distractions        well, distractions are everywhere but i'm not going into mildura, op shopping etc.  i'm at home so
it's grounding in a way

the one thing that surprises me is that i haven't been in the studio at all since rene left and sonja's portrait is sitting there waiting, also a stack of square little canvases that i intend to use for still lifes.  and a plate of pomegranates that's probably rotting on the table out there :0(
i think when the weather gets colder, rather than keeping the house warm all day i'll just move out to the studio and spend time painting. i hope so, these things are unpredictable.
i saw a clip of archibald prize winner and lifetime artist guy warren at age 98 still as passionate and working as much as ever.  this self portrait really grabbed me, i'm keeping it for inspiration  -  big brushes!

IN THE MEANTIME i feel incredibly lucky to be where i am, if i have to be isolated there's not more beautiful place i could be, space to go out and walk around, the birds are constant company, and i love this house and everything in it.  having said that i need to downsize my stuff, so hopefully this is also time i can sort things, throw out some, give things away and get into my photo albums and throw out about 3/4 of what's there, keep the good stuff.

the beautiful easter
moon, another
thing about being
here - skies are
almost always
clear to see
the full moon
pelican at lock 10 when i was shooting the moon

this gorgeous egret is a joy to have here - the sight of it flying, almost in slow motion is a beautiful thing

no social distancing in the bird world

autumn arrives   i delivered some of the annabel crabbe cake to my friends sam and di, they weren't home so i wandered under their beautiful pergola of ornamental grapevines

the swans - so beautiful, here at lake hawthorn on my last trip to mildura, only the second in a month - to buy wool :0)  i've got enough to knit until the next century
on the way back i stopped in curlwaa to try and photograph the white winged wrens, i've only seen one once.   the local magpie tribe obviously decided i was a suspicious character

 walking across the golfcourse, thought this was a ball but it's a
perfect funghi

another gorgeous sunset

Saturday, 11 April 2020


SELF ISOLATION - everything changes so much from week to week, even daily.   Boris Johnson PM of England has been in IC with the virus for about a week, finally improving.  Our Government has passed 130 billion in support and wage relief for workers and employers, we're only to go from home for essentials. no more than two people gathering in public.
America is a mess, Donald Trump has blundered along making terrible mistakes and crazy statements without actually doing anything positive until it became so disastrous he had to take notice.  surely he's just plain mad!    my friend angela in NY has thankfully been able to go up country to a family home.
I've seen only tom the electrician who came to disconnect the bungalow so i can have it knocked down.  and marg, who i've visited with cake that i made and returning things to her.  we sat at a distance out the front in the sun for a short while. 
Other than that, just the newsagent when i buy the paper and the supermarket staff.
It's fine for me, i have space and beauty and life all around me. i wonder how working couples with kids are coping, suddenly all at home. 

RENE and family are ok, Cal had his formal graduation from kinder, this week it was the first day of school. not the usual family and friends big 'do' in the assembly hall, but parents and kids only and held out on the oval at social distance.   as usual, these events are formal and sayaka has put together the most sartorial outfit for cal, all bought 2ndhand on the net.  she certainly has a flare.   rene looks pretty cool too.  the kids get an intro to school then they'll stay home for the foreseeable future.

SON :0)

 blue steel

lovely that it's
cherry blossom
time over

POSITIVES OF BEING HOME  - no deadlines :0)
it's actually a really productive time, i've made so many things for weebaby, a plush dressing gown for mara, a jacket for myself, i've cut back a lot of the garden (more today) and have made good progress on Romeo&Juliet.   also cooking, today i'm making a nectarine upside-down cake,  then i'll deliver most of it to sue and marg, and eat a bit myself :0)   i'll do the 'drop at the door and run' when i go to the supermarket.  we have to think about everything we do.  but it all seems to be taking effect, thank goodness.  nevertheless, i think we can just write off the rest of this year, all exhibitions, shows, live concerts etc are rescheduled for after october.

of course, the beauty is all around me



birds down
on the
- first one
joined by
a great
egret then
a second

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

graduates from kinder. rene was surprised that it was a quite formal day with cal making a speech to rene and sayaka separately, thanking them for looking after him, making money to look after the family etc.  naturally rene said they were  both teary messes  :0)


I'M GETTING A LOT OF THINGS DONE - cooking for the freezer, tidying up the yard, stacks of cuttings to dispose of.  Sewing, knitting and getting work done on Romeo and Juliet.
I'm wondering when i'll finally venture out to the studio and pick up the brushes and oils.   it's a weird thing, the creative process and procrastination.

herb rice

made with
stacks of basil, chives,
spinach and parsley, a
risotto made with white
wine, garlic and parmesan.
it's delicious and the
recipe made heaps. my
freezer is getting stocked

the frangipani has produced one flower, it's been perfuming
the kitchen for days now. reminds me of my study days in
sumatra, when a frangipani on my desk kept me sane,  it was
such an intensive time and so hot, but a deep inhale of the
frangipani and i was ok
 white-plumed honeyeater

the week has been lovely, first heavy rain then warm autumn
days, what a shame we can't be having group barbies

I made annabel crabbe's lemon and olive oil cake recipe,
poured myself a champers
and sat out in the setting sun
on the verandah for a
get together with sue and
derek on the phone.

we talked for two hours!!