Tuesday, 29 November 2016


GETTING SORTED - snappy new phone, water working again in the garden. phew.  dark brown water in the taps, but gorgeous weather and a big big river.

Monday, 28 November 2016


WHEN I ARRIVED home on saturday, mimmo and i ended up having dinner at friends sue and derek's home.  mimmo made a traditional italian salad using old hard bread soaked in water, with fresh tomatoes and oregano,  delicious!


MIMMO LEFT YESTERDAY around midday and now i have my lovely house all to myself again, having coffee in bed this morning in this beautiful cup and saucer, a gift from the lovely denise

Sunday, 27 November 2016


is here and i've finally spotted him after hearing him for a month or more


in melbourne after arriving at tulla at midday, a couple of movies in the afternoon, dinner with sunny and luke and a good big sleep.
fantastic mass planting on the median strip in wellington street

down to torquay to stay with gail. we spent the most deliciously relaxing day having a 3 hour hammam at the jan juc racv club, floating in warm water, lying on a heated slab and sauna, lying in a bubbling spa.  how much can a koala bear

brunch with susan and jenny down at the torquay foreshore.  a good catch up time for us sisters :0)
in the evening a dinner for many birthdays at anne and den's, mine belatedly, freddie's (early), deidre and jenny.  lots of presents, talk, great food and drinks, candles, a lovely night seeing my dear friends and family

I did a drive 
past susan and seans, it's looking great all gutted and ready to be done

this lovely shrike thrush is one of a pair madly feeding
babies inside helen's roof, we watched them all evening

FRIDAY a drive to helen and don's, a big country meal waiting :0) and a good evening of scrabble and family time.  always good
the garden is looking wonderful

in the morning, masses of lorikeets were deafening but beautiful

Helen's garden

a day of driving, couldn't wait to see the river. i could see no results of the terrible storm that trashed so many crops in mildura, all the vineyards looked terrific.  and as i approached wentworth, water everywhere.

                   flood levels are almost up to 1990 levels but
                     there's a long way to go before the 1956 height
                     and my house is still above that level

Wednesday, 23 November 2016


FLYING IN TO MELBOURNE yesterday, a long flight, 7 hours to cairns and a couple of hours in transit, this time always feels wasted and tiring.  then about 3 1/2 hours home with a headful of cold, trying not to be too noisy.  i had the window seat on the sunrise side of the plane, beautiful sparkles on water all the way down, and great clouds

Monday, 21 November 2016


WE'RE JUST BACK from a long morning at the fabulous market at the temple, the grounds are gorgeous, bright golden gingkos and dark pines everywhere, a collection of stunning old traditional temples and shrines with a turtle pond in the middle and stalls packed with old japanese kimonos and obis, glass, china, prints, secondhand clothes, memorabilia, all sorts of fascinating things.  the kids are both asleep and i'll have a quiet afternoon before training it to the airport for a 9 o'clock flight.

Sunday, 20 November 2016


lock 10 lawns  - the cormorants have lost their perch
THE WHARF at wentworth is underwater, no riverboat trips at the moment


cute pics from the bamboo forest


IN THE LAST FEW DAYS cal is getting the hang of who i am, apart from the grandma/grandpa confusion (just an english language thing) he's caught on that i'm 'papa's mum', although yesterday he also mentioned 'sunny's dad'.   family connections are a complicated thing to comprehend.
we had a nice night together last night while rene and sayaka had a dinner date :0) during which there were two costume changes

Saturday, 19 November 2016


LAY DAY - sleeping in, shopping with mara, looking after cal tonight while rene and sayaka have a date night.


RENE, MARA AND I took the train - well four trains - to kyoto yesterday to visit the bamboo forest.

perfect weather, soft sunshine and whoo hoo - the autumn colour was still there, fabulous red and gold in maple trees with the tiniest leaves - light canopies of lace overhead.

a beautiful great egret, it would've been over a metre high. it was dancing in the river shallows chasing a fish. i wish i'd been closer

we walked through the bamboo forest (with 1000s of other tourists) up to a hill under the canopy of gold and red and thick green moss-covered slopes scattered with fallen leaves.  a truly beautiful and serene place despite the large numbers of people, and lovely to have a day with rene.

lovely lights at the station on the trip home

at the supermarket on the way home from dinner,
christmas decorations are big here although
christmas is of no great significance other than
an excuse to have fun, sound familiar?

Friday, 18 November 2016


a few more pics from cal's big day - taken by sayaka and the photographer

               arriving at the dresser/hairdresser with cal's costume
this pic of cal's hero michael jackson was used to
encourage him to wear his costume, it worked :0)

pleased to see the back of my obi, i didn't on the day

    aw, what a little darling

TODAY WE'RE going to the bamboo forest, not sure if it's just ren and me or the family too. i'll be leaving this great airbnb which i've enjoyed so much.  a lovely big space to be in, it works really well. 

i stayed an extra night and just enjoyed last night, champers and creme caramel in bed!

both couches click easily into double beds, sleeping space for five for $50 a night