30 November 2011

Rango plus snacks

mmm yum

minstrelsy provided by mariachi

Rango was directed by Gore Verbinski

The production designer was Mark "Crash" McGeery

gotta fly

Rango at IMDB

All images owned by Nickelodeon or someone else with heaps of money


My succulent collection arrived yesterday. Don't get me started on Australia Post who don't ring my door and just leave a card in the letter box. Anyway, it was $30 including postage for 35 cuttings, but I got over 40 because there was a three delay to my order. Succulent Delights.

They came packed in shredded newspaper. When I was unpacking it all on the lawn, a neighbour's kid came over to have a look, then wandered away saying, "See you, holiday-man."

It is quite an impressive collection, even if I have maybe five or six of the varities already. It will be fun planting today, but daunting as I want to improve my groupings and don't know their final sizes. Perhaps a book or the internet will help. Or I will use the force. Colour, shape and size are all variables.

This collection is probably going to max out my balcony space, but I am working on hanging pots from the rail. Alas, still have not found any old teapots suitable for turning into pots. A row of them would look cool hanging. Preferably metal, maybe ceramic. Either way need a drill too.

28 November 2011

By the Lakes of Canberra on the shores of Burley Griffin in fact

I was surprised that the winged creature - I thought it was a baby dragonfly - let me get so close. The spider actually jumped onto the magnifying glass and then my phone. While I was dealing with that, another type of insect landed on my leg, also keen for attention. But it flew away before I could photograph it.

Palazzo Borromeo, Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore

On the way to making another photo-essay of Napoli, got distracted with a gallery of the Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore.

27 November 2011


Ladybug feeding time. (Not all ladies! Females are usually larger than the males, but if you do not find a pair midst coitus, you will need a microscope and the relevant owners manual to tell the sexes apart.)

They go to sleep at night and then they wake up in the light.

Louis Armstrong is my elephant's name. He plays trumpet, horn and cornet.

plate and sea shells at table with scarf $48.95 (scarf, plate, table not included, includes gift wrap and postage, excludes chair and any other fixtures, this is for the shells only people)

Naples, view of

Large increase in insect activity following the cessation of rains.
Butterfly, moth, fly, wasp, beetle and spider.
More webs than I have noticed in a while.
A full canopy of green beckons to my balcony.

How did I convince myself at the shop earlier today that I would not wish to eat chocolate later on?

Wish list item number one - pet turtle

18 November 2011

Mainly plants

There are a number of Australian websites on succulents:

The Succulent Garden - best for identifying plants, comprehensive range for sale

Succulent Delights
- where I bought a mixed box, review to follow

The Plant episode of BBC's Life is on iview now

Intermittent rain all week in Canberra, but I enjoyed singing with the rain on Sunday. Songs from the poem Savitri set to music.

The Radar Map makes entertaining viewing for the stimulus starved and contains quite an astounding array of scientifical information.

All about fracking. Hmm.

I planted a Haworthia or called Zebra Plant due to its markings.

I watched all of The Hamster Wheel on iview, in reverse order, in a day. It is so clever, the fake tweets were the best bit. It tickles the funny bone in a peculiar way, a bit like MediaWatch on testosterone. The inquiry into Australian media should watch highlights, not that they will be able to legislate intelligence into we, the masses.

The small succulent in the thumb vase has been that size for nearly four months, it is possibly a miniature.

My cactus is flowering, it really appreciated coming off the window sill overnight.

My cypress seedlings look very happy, here is one:

Some kind of cupressae

Still shot National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Random succulents from the neighbourhood in a pot I painted (pond sealant plus acryclic paint).

Still shot National Lampoon's European Vacation

17 November 2011

My novel, cactus and Venice

Inventing conspiracy theories is fun, only sometimes, sometimes... they turn out to be true! One boy's extraordinary adventure to save the world with the Lochness Monster, a Polaris Missle and four brave dolphins.

I might rework the second sentence a bit before coming back to this novel.

Unable to identify this cactus photogrpahed in Sorrento below, but it was at least 12 foot tall. My best guess is Lophocereus which is prone to mutations. I am going to try and grow a decorative prickly-pear. Who knew growing an invasive weed would be so confusing from reading the internet? All I need is well-drained soil and sunshine.

Prickly Pear can be grown into a fence, which might make an interesting feature wall in a dry climate. Against a turqouise, sky-blue, cerulean what are you? coloured wall. The problem with having a good cactus garden is the Mexican desert ain't safe for homesteading no more since the narcos took over.

The thing about Venice was that I remembered it from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, so I was a little dissapointed with the experience. No-one chased me in a speed boat while I was hunting artefacts. There were certainly a lot more people about than in the fantastic film below. Italy should totally hire movie stars to live in and wander through their famous cities. I am sure they used to do that. Not enough Senators are buying festivals for the people anymore it seems.

Berlusconi is to blame for the massive banner ads for cars around St Mark's Square as they undertake restoration work underneath. In a country full of tourists, for shame. I met someone who paid big money to look after pandas for a week in China and they only got to touch one once! Mario Monti now needs a Tourism Minister who charges foreigners to come and undertake restoration work on their holdiays, for a specified period, otherwise they are not allowed entry into Italy.

Murano, most likely if memory serves, where I bought my glass animals
These are mosaics with marble work on the floor of the church in Venice where I wasn't supposed to take pictures.

This is Venice bits and pieces, which it is falling to, you can see.

From Russia With Love. Padlocks are the new graffiti.

Way of the dead - limited lunch options.