Friday, April 22, 2011


There'd been quite a few things to get out of the way before the big long weekend away. The shopping was the main job, and I'd even replaced the whatever-they-were in pots in the little courtyard off the bathroom with Raphis Palms which I'd found time to buy during the week (being slow means you can't really buy small and wait and watch them grow, and for the same reason decent-sized means scandalously expensive).

We'd been back to Darlinghurst for the bread (OK, and a dozen hot cross buns; oh alright, and a cake - the 'Classic Financier', a moist sweet French vanilla sponge which you serve with gorgeous things like berries and cream and coulis). After grabbing a quick dinner it seemed probably late enough to try out the traffic except that what with all the busyness and a full stomach, somnolence had crept up.

A little nap before we set off sounded a good idea, the traffic would be clearing, and we'd arrive at midnight. Next thing it was 4.30 am.

All of which is by way of saying that instead of driving through the little villages in the black of night, or moonlight at best, we, unusually, saw things along the road in glare of the early morning.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The season moves on. Last night a huge Easter Moon floated over the gully, as it does every year, and every year it takes my breath away. I sat on the verandah steps, stunned by its creamy pockmarked beauty, binoculars on and off, its silver glow dancing off the tree tops far below. A huge chunk of rock spinning around us, spinning around, lit by an invisible sun. It was just so beautiful, and still.

Since the last cool wet change moved through, the days have been quiet. The earth is still warm and the grass keeps just enough growth to dress its tips in fresh green. Wrens and robins jump and run, dart and poke. There's whipbirds and lyrebirds calling, waiting. Black cockatoos make a late low sweep before disappearing into the fade.

Except for the banksias (there's always banksias), flowering has nearly finished. The native honeysuckle (Lambertia formosa) is having its usual late summer flush,

and the flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) throw up their last, small but still proud stutters of their early form. They're finished this year and I'll replant, if not in the same big numbers, then at least some.

The remaining paper daisies are small and look tired. Being everlasting isn't easy.

Grasses catch the morning sun.

And of course there's the rosemary, with banksias (Banksia spinulosa) behind.

Speaking of rosemary, I've trimmed up the Westringia (native rosemary), making 'waves'.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Anne Sofie von Otter will be here in November. She sings The Songs of the Auvergne (well, some of them, if 'highlights' means that) with The Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a mixed bag, which sounds fun. Nicolas Carter conducts.

Arguably more interesting, she is in recital in the Utzon Room - Brahms. Schubert, Schumann, Sibelius, Sibelius, Sibelius, and *Dean*. The gods-of-just-in-time guided me and I booked today. The Utzon Room is general admission, and seats 200. I booked seating 153 and 154. I think that means there are 6 seats left. Repeat, six left.

For this