Category Archives: australiana

Puppies and gumblossoms.

Bet you’ve never seen that blog title combo anywhere before.

I’ve been sidetracked with pre-Round 1 netball madness.  (Round 1 is this Saturday, and on top of trying to get the website updated, I’ve been trying to get the handbook done, ready to be printed out tomorrow. And wondering why I’m doing this.

And yesterday, with Himself taking a rare day off, we spent hours debating bathroom and plumbing supplies, and the colour of carpet… But that’s a whole other story.

The fallout from the hours I’ve spent on the computer compiling the netball handbook has been – suddenly this afternoon – pains in my upper arm.  Oh dear. Hello RSI. I emailed the wretched thing off tonight, so the smart thing to do (especially according to a certain husband, while rolling his eyes) is to give the computer a rest for few days. (Guess I’m not cut out for a job spending hours wrangling a computer mouse then am I?)

But just before I do that, I bring you … PUPPIES!

The lovely cattle dog owned by the next door neighbours had seven puppies in the early hours of yesterday morning. I went for a visit today – and even though my eldest daughter thinks cute puppy photos are a dime a dozen, I took a couple anyway.

Pretty cute, huh?

Although I think the cute factor will be ramped up somewhat once their eyes open and they start getting around.

And I’ll have to start fending off the ‘can we get a puppy’ requests.

As it is, this afternoon Ms 16 (who is clearly cut out for a career as a union organiser) said “Hey Mum, can we get a horse?”

While I was in their yard, I took the opportunity to take a photo of OUR gumblossoms.

They are going to be sensational soon.

I might just have to keep going over for a visit to take update photos of both the puppies AND the flowers.



Filed under australiana, miscellaneous minutiae

In the name of progress.

The greenie in me is sad.

We have started getting some trees lopped down in preparation for our extensions.  Even though we live in a patch of suburbia, on an averagely small suburban block. (About 680 sq m) – we’ve still had trees around us. And I like it that way. They provide some privacy – screening from the neighbours. Shade. General ambience. And birds.

So it goes against the grain to get rid of any. Well – the native trees anyway. I couldn’t give a stuff about the others – or the tangle of shrubbery (as per our Valentine’s day pruning epic…)

The time has come, though. Time for some of the bigger trees to go.

Five years ago we cleared along that back fence :

but neglected to poison the shrubs we cut down

and it all grew back. And up.
(Where the heck did those casuarinas spring from?!)

So, back to the future – I mean the present-  the gum tree – to the right – is not actually in the way of the extensions – but it’s been sick for a while – presumably something like dieback.  It’s also right on top of the sewer line that runs along this side of our back fence – and we’ve had some root blockage issues there – so there really wasn’t a choice . It had to go. Even if every other time it died back, and we thought ‘oh dear, I guess we’ll have to cut it down’  it would get all this new growth and provide nice shade on summer mornings.

Like tree euthanasia, really.
So I’m coping with that one going.

We also have to make room in that back left corner of the yard –  (like for a trampoline that I had the genius idea of buying last Christmas) – so a couple of scraggy casuarinas in the left corner came down too.

What I’m really sad about though, is the paperbark tree closer to the house. My paperbark.  From our bedroom verandah – and indeed our bed – you feel as if you are up in the treetops with the birds!

And, given that it’s on the north side of the block, it makes good shade.

But it’s right in the way of where the new lounge room is going.

And even if the walls could have been designed to miss the trunk, the roots would wreak havoc with the foundations.


The rest is coming down tomorrow.
(Other random smaller trees along that fenceline have also got the chop.)

I’ve been a bit emotional about it all day today.

The only plus (and you’ve got to find pluses, don’t you…?) is that now I can see OUR gumblossoms, that, in their quest for the sunlight, have been adorning the neighbour’s yard.

And on the agenda will be planting nicer native shrubs in other places around the fence line to make up for our environmental vandalism.


Filed under australiana, renovation rescue, wah!


The thing I love about blogging  – both reading and writing them – is that you get the opportunity to share other people’s worlds, and their passions in life.

The obvious plus is that internet brings us closer to people from across the other side of the world in a way that you just couldn’t do when I was growing up.  The whole penpal/snail mail thing, while wonderful, just doesn’t rate in comparison.

Something I didn’t quite anticipate when I embraced the blogosphere was feeling so passionate about other Aussies doing their thing in their little patch of the country.  In hindsight – ‘well, duh!’ – Australia is a diverse country! What did I expect?

I don’t know exactly … what I do know is that even when I’m reading about someone’s life in another part of my own country that is so very different to my life (in regional, coastal suburbia!) I still get this ‘chuffed’  feeling –  of a sort of Aussie pride.

So I’m really CHUFFED to introduce – and heck, yeah, to promote! –  a new Aussie blog!

I’m doing the whole fanfare thing, because I’m also chuffed that Cheryl is a local cycling friend – and so she doesn’t live very far away from me at all – barely 20km as the crow flies. And she says that my blogging has inspired her! I’ll take any kudos I can get, frankly…  But I also can’t wait to read and see more about her little slice of life that is so very different to mine.  She calls a kangaroo her ‘daughter’ for heaven’s sakes!  You can’t get more Aussie than that.

Her blog, as you’ll see though, promises to deliver a whole lot more than just furry marsupials! Cheryl is a very inspiring woman who has been through the mill, but come back out fighting!  I also watched her throughout her cycling journey, and am so proud of what she achieved!

Anyway…  choof on over and say g’day. (And then I’ll hit her up for a couple of coffees!)


Filed under australiana, click on over

Letterbox surprises

Yesterday afternoon my neighbour invited me to have a look in her letterbox.

On the  (umm…?) 29th day of Christmas, my true love sent to me….

One greeeeeen frooog….

Geez, I don’t know about the frog, but it would have made me jump when I bowled out to check the mail.

(Reckon he might be thinking “Just close the bloody door and leave me alone, ok”)

He’s been there for a week or so now. Not always during the day, apparently, but late afternoon, he’ll be back there, in his penthouse suite.

Somehow, I don’t think it’s quite what they were expecting in their letterbox in the lead up to Christmas!


Filed under australiana

Word of mouth

Ad break!

I hope you haven’t bought yourself a 2010 calendar yet. Because you’re going to want one of these:


I daresay I’m preaching to the converted – I’m pretty sure most of my few regulars are already fans of BushBabe’s blog and her gorgeous photography of Aussie country life.  But I suppose you just never know, so just click on the pic of the front cover there, or click here, and get on over to her blog and find out how to get one.

++ If you’d like an idea of what sort of images you’ll find in it, here’s a clue. ++

Anyway.. I’ve sent my order in. Can’t wait to get it, and can’t wait for January now!

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Filed under australiana, click on over

Comin’ for a walk?

I’ve checked the time.  Well, it’s around 3.00, but, more importantly, it’s  low tide o’clock.

tidetimePerfect time for walking on the beach.
(No I don’t know what we did before the internet. I mean, there are tide charts you can buy in the newsagents, but seriously.. when you can get this online, for the current tide situation for your local beach, why would you?!)

Yeah, it’s cloudy, but I don’t think it’ll rain on us  yet.

november_island1Hello island. You’re looking a bit sombre today.

Heading north again… should go south every now and then, but I seem to swing automatically north all the time. Easy walking I suppose…..
Continue reading


Filed under australiana, miscellaneous minutiae, our beach

A spring in my step.

Spring has sprung. Just ask the azalea bush outside my front door:


It’s hard not to feel just a teeny bit upbeat with that profusion of pink to greet you at the front of your house. Sad thing is, I know it won’t last long.


How about that one spray of deep pink?  It’s there every year – making a statement – not centre stage, but off to the side, doing it’s own thing.  Dare to be different, it says. Be individual. Who needs to follow the crowd?

Not sure if the change of season has anything to do with it, whether I’m still buzzing after going to the 30 year school reunion last Saturday night, or whether it’s just that I’m in a good hormonal phase right now, but I’m feeling … alright!

I feel like writing again. I feel like maybe I can write. And that  it’s ok to be me, to be different. Also that there’s no reason why I can’t get stuff published. Other people do, why not me?

So last week I got off my bum and explored an opportunity that might open some doors, or at least get one article published in an actual magazine. Probably doesn’t pay much, but whatever. Never mind that I drafted it first, then contacted the magazine, and discovered that I needed to prune what I’d already written by about fifty percent!  [Still, at least they are interested!] I got part way on that effort and decided that maybe a total rewrite, with a slightly different approach, might be in order. Still got to do it, but I’ve got another week up my sleeve.

That, however, inspired me to get my mojo back with composing some more stuff for PRG; I sent off a couple of drafts and got some wonderfully supportive feedback. So I’m on a roll.

I think.

I could babble on and on about the school reunion, because I had a blast. But I’ll wait and see what makes it to “print”  first.  Yep. It’s “article fodder”. (And I thought I was bad when something would happen and I’d be thinking  “I’ll have to blog that” – Is it wrong that I spent the plane flight home scribbling notes for an article about it while it was all still fresh in my mind? )

One thing I have concluded is that I can’t manage to compose anything particularly read-worthy while I’m sitting here at night with the telly on in the background. Like now.  So I’ll give up on the words,  and show you some more things that made me feel good this afternoon when I decided to swing out the door and take myself for a walk.

But first I had to stop and admire the bottlebrush growing between the carport and the fence, which has suddenly burst into flower.

bottlebrushI love me my native flowers. Bottlebrush round here tends to flower in autumn as well – and lasts a heck of a lot longer than the azaleas.

lorikeetThe rainbow lorikeets love the native flowers as well.
And I could quite happily stand there watching them for ages.

Then I headed down to the beach. I’m working on doing some exercise EVERY day, and when I checked the tide time at around 4.00, it was bang on low, which is a sign from the gods saying ‘Tracey, get off your backside and go for a walk, you idiot. What more incentive do you need, woman?”

And if this can’t put me in a better mood, then I’m not sure what will.


Filed under australiana, miscellaneous minutiae, our beach