Thursday 29 May 2008


here's a link that popped up in my mailbox...called Learning to Love You More

a curious site that offers participation in an intriguing range of projects and tasks. a refreshing change from sudoko or thumb-twiddling for those with time to spare?

Saturday 17 May 2008

the heavens have mercy

the quality of mercy is not strained, but falleth like the gentle rain from heaven...give 'em an inch and they'll measure it? this time it was just "give 'em an inch and they're jolly grateful" and so is the earth as she soaks it all up (Andy Goldsworthy's stone river pictured above does not admittedly have much relevance to this post, other than the name...but I'll paste in whatever I want, thanks)

most folks (myself included from time to time) consider the dry times in Australia to be droughts. suspect a radical shift in thinking is indicated here. MOST times it's dry, in most places here (remember South Australia is after all described as the driest state, in the driest continent). we should be considering dry as the normal state of affairs, taking the rain as a bonus.

and i do.

stone wall in the rain...not by Andy Goldsworthy

Thursday 15 May 2008

rain? what rain?

the weather bureau forecast bucketloads of rain for today. batten down the hatches, secure small dogs and canaries and make sure Granny wears spiked shoes kinda rain. ha.

from the sharpness of the shadow above it should be pretty clear that skies are as well (clear, that is) and there ain't a whole lots falling other than the occasional dehydrated bird

got my fingers crossed hoping for the prophecy to be fulfilled despite all indicators to the contrary...

Sunday 11 May 2008

b is for blue

The Blue Booby
by James Tate

The blue booby lives
on the bare rocks
of Galapagos
and fears nothing.
It is a simple life:
they live on fish,
and there are few predators.
Also, the males do not
make fools of themselves
chasing after the young
ladies. Rather,
they gather the blue
objects of the world
and construct from them
a nest—an occasional
Gaulois package,
a string of beads,
a piece of cloth from
a sailor’s suit. This
replaces the need for
dazzling plumage;
in fact, in the past
fifty million years
the male has grown
considerably duller,
nor can he sing well.
The female, though,
asks little of him—
the blue satisfies her
completely, has
a magical effect
on her. When she returns
from her day of
gossip and shopping,
she sees he has found her
a new shred of blue foil:
for this she rewards him
with her dark body,
the stars turn slowly
in the blue foil beside them
like the eyes of a mild savior.

and here is where i borrowed that gem

Wednesday 7 May 2008

¿Por qué muestra mi pasaporte una imagen de mi abuela?

no more travelling now for a few months. back to home and cats in the sun, and playing with the spanish translation website...

como un pequeño búho hervido el oso diminuto de comadreja de siluro se sentó mirar en el sol

(in other words) like a small boiled owl the tiny catfish weasel bear sat gazing into the sun

and in case you needed to know, the title of the post translates as
why does my passport show a picture of my grandmother?

Monday 5 May 2008


these botanical treasures spotted at Filoli (a little south of San Francisco) last week. paeonies are some of my favourite flowers, capable of inducing knee-trembling delight and excessive photo-documentary activity

they don't survive here on the farm and yet in this neck of California that receives a couple of inches less than we do in terms of annual rainfall, they flourish with great abundance

another one of life's great mysteries...

Saturday 3 May 2008

pennies from heaven

for a wandering dyer every new destination offers some sort of treasure, whether as-yet-untried plant material, roadside ironmongery or the thrill of the thrift-store bargain

some of these were found trackside at San Jose, others here and there on the streets of San Francisco. they're resting on a bargain silk shirt

windfalls on Russian Hill

and this is what became of that shirt after being bundled into my travelling dyepot...

Thursday 1 May 2008

secret gardens

San Francisco has a plethora of jewel-like gardens tucked between its streets. here and there are sets of steps from which magical corners can be seen while leg muscles are tested to the limit

i'm willing to bet that very few of the residences along the Greenwich or Filbert steps boast grand pianos...and if they did then only as a result of herculanean feats of strength and balance as simply everything that goes into a dwelling here has to be carried in....step by step by step