Archive for the ‘menagerie’ Category


Stinky jeans

March 4, 2012

Last night the Curmudgeon and I went to the flicks. We ate choc tops and jaffas and saw The Artist – I loved it. I was spellbound but for one thing.

About half-way through, I noticed a mild stink. A sort of unwashed persony stink. I sniffed the Curmudgeon to my right… it wasn’t him. And the pair of ladies to my left were terribly nice nice nice and unlikely to be the culprits. Which left… me. I was generating a cloud of unpleasantness, confirmed when the lights came on and I investigated further. I’m sure the nice nice nice ladies discussed the foetid person sitting next to them as they had a post-flick hot chocolate. Eek!

I was wearing my one and only pair of jeans which have been loitering in a drawer for most of summer. I suspect I wore them once then put them away for months when I should have washed them first. Oh, the shame. Today they were soaked and scrubbed and are drying in the sun and I promise I’ll never do it again.

However, the reason why I’m airing my dirty laundry on teh interwebs is because the NGV has an exhibition called Nobody was Dirty running from 10-31 March that features jeans worn and unwashed for three months. Apparently it’s to explore social norms around cleanliness and germophobic mindsets, blahdy blah.

Now, I must protest… I like cleanth, generally, but I’m not a clean freak. I consider garden dirt to be clean dirt and I consider compost under the fingernails is the mark of a great weekend rather than suboptimal personal hygiene. I buy most things secondhand and dive in skips for treasures. I fear germs not. I think the folks who fall for all the advertising propaganda about germicidal hand wash and room fresheners are nut bars. But I have a sensitive nose – at least, it’s much more sensitive than the Curmudgeon’s. And I do not like to be on either the receiving or delivery end of human-generated stink. So how could anyone wear the same pair of dacks 90 days in a row? How could they bear their own odour? Or does it get to the point where a second wave of bacterial colonisation chases off the first stench-generating germs?

When we got home last night, we startled a possum that was on our front fence. It hurled itself to the ground via the Curmugeon’s shoulders when we opened the gate, then skittled up the back of my leg. Just above my knee, it changed its mind, jumped down and climbed a nearby tree. Was it, too, repulsed by the stinky jeans?


Happy sights to see

January 17, 2012

An assortment of visual awesomeness of weeks recent:

Canine that knows how to work the dramatic lighting –

Spider that is doing an excellent impersonation of a nubbin on a twig. Only, perhaps, a poor choice of substrate –

Spotted by the Curmudgeon in a suburban shopping centre. A penguin that will test your skills indeed –

Finally, roots shooting (is that an oxymoron? Do shoots, in turn, root? I think not.) on my tomato cuttings, as per everydayinthegarden’s instructions

So, what’s been delighting your eyeballs? Rewarding your retinas? Percolating pleasingly in your pupils?


Urban farming

January 5, 2012

Tis that time of year again, when the quantity of tasty things in my garden exceeds the capacity of my belly. Yum. However behold my first ripe tomato:

Boo to you, rot. Boo.

The peach tree is splendid, as always:

Last night while doing the rounds before bed – I like to go out with a torch and watch the spiders building webs – I saw a marbled gecko hanging out on a peach! Probably feasting on the many tiny beetles in the bird-pecked fruit, methinks. Forgive me for linking to the Hun, but apparently lots of folks are reporting geckoes this year.


Dogs and names

October 13, 2011

The Curmudgeon, Squid and I went for a long walk on the weekend. So long, in fact, that we had to stop at the cafe/nursery in Yarra Bend Park for tea and mince pies to be sure we’d make it home alive.

As we sat, a woman walked past with a lanky black dog called Max. (We know he was called Max because she addressed him as thus.) We admired his gleaming coat and general handsomeness,  except Squid who was concerned he might get mince pie crumbs that should be hers alone and glared accordingly. His owner took him into the nursery and tied him up.

A minute or two later, an illegally liberated Max trotted out, lead a-trailing. He stomped over to the gate and looked around. Cars were driving in front of him and the possibility of a flat Max was very real. I leaped up and called, “Max! Maxie!”

He jerked his head towards me and pricked up his ears and tail. He ambled over with a look of cheerful bemusement. His demeanour seemed to say, ‘I don’t know who you are, lady, but you know my name so we must be friends.’ I told him he was most excellent and grabbed the end of his lead, delivering him back to his owner. “Excuse me, Max was looking for you over near the gate.” She was a bit concerned but ultimately delighted, as all us dog nuts are when our dogs are delivered safely from potential disaster.

I returned to our table and Max, securely held, kept staring at me for some minutes, amber eyes steadfast across the nursery. He peered around his owner’s legs. I could almost hear the cogs turning in his head. ‘Who the dickens is that? Where have we met before? Was it at the Henderson’s last summer?”

Dogs don’t call one another names, do they? How does Max know that he’s Max, and Squid know that she’s Squid? If a stranger says, “hey, dog,” to Squid, she generally ignores them. Whatevs. But if they say “hey, Squid,” she wriggles and writhes and grins even if she’s never met them before. Maybe, to a dog, their name means “I’m a friendly human who wants to pat you” and each time you use it you’re actually introducing yourself.

Whatever it means, ain’t dogs grand?



September 27, 2011

Beestung lips are so hot right now that I went back to the dermatologist today to get injected, sliced and stitched. Never let it be said that I don’t suffer for beauty.

Yup, the Thing grew back. I was decidedly unimpressed. The dermatologist felt a bit guilty, I think. She took extra special care this time. Bigger slice, neater stitches. Fingers crossed. I need my whistle back!

These lads were less keen for the beestung look:

We walked through Edinbugh Gardens on the weekend and spotted a bunch o’ boys who had stopped their soccer game to stare at bikes. Can you guess why, reader?

Because a swarm of bees had landed on one of them. See the handlebars thick and furry with beeeeeeees?!

On the plus side, that bike was in no risk of being stolen.


Constant gardener

July 3, 2011

Well, I’m not, really. It’s in fits and starts these days. However I’m delighted to find that the dog is willing to take to take up some of the slack.

Here we have two avocado trees sprung forth from said fruit that I have devoured. The big fella is one I planted but the little one, well, that was planted by the little one. She has a Dedicated Chewing Spot in the backyard where she hauls things to gnaw upon. It’s where she grinds her bones to make her bread, so to speak. Seems that she pinched an avocado pit from the compost and left it in the Dedicated Chewing Spot. Lo, it sprouted, and when I went to cut the grass, I saw a tiny treeling. I transferred it to a pot on her behalf and now we think of it as Squid’s avocado. Seems like the little dog’s green thumbs (ahem, dewclaws) aren’t just green from grass stains and pond scum. I’m so proud.


Autumn glow

June 1, 2011

Clear skies bring frosty mornings, sunny days, and glowing Squids.