Judge Not

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Today I have chosen the main theme from the movie, Cinema Paradiso. The theme was composed by Ennio and Andrea Morricone and the performance took place in Venice in 2007. Unfortunately, I was not able to ascertain the orchestra in this performance. Do you know the film? I will just leave that with you. I can’t help wondering why love between consenting adults should be anyone else’s business? I also wonder why anyone would want to impose themselves on the lives of people living peacefully?

Let’s listen.


Love, not war.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

The Changing Seasons – June 2022

June in Canberra (the Australian Capital Territory) – Winter officially begins. It has been the coldest start to winter since 1964. Opening the house to the elements due to household Covid infections made June a particularly cold month. Life on the outside was better even if it was freezing. The sun came out occasionally and reminded us that winter days in Canberra can be glorious. Here are the highlights, largely courtesy of my True Love who took photos before and after his Covid infection. The poor man still seems very unwell to me but he takes beautiful photos nevertheless.

It snowed on the ranges in the period after my TL’s surgery and prior to his Covid infection. It was bleak but we were happy, happy, happy.*


The majesty.*


Then life got more complicated so I snatched a few moments in the garden.
My Eutaxia obovata (egg and bacon plant) that I planted last year clenched its leaves to conserve heat.


The galahs were contemplative.


The sun popped out and so did my TL and Pimelea physodes.* Lucky for us.


The Eastern spinebill chimed its arrival and stopped to freshen up.*


The prodigal Golden Whistler returned.*


The sun called me and I was off. T-shirt weather, baby!
The brittle gums (E. mannifera) up the hill were celebrating too.


The Eucalyptus cinerea were covered in galls. Something should eat those.


By this time (3 hours later), I wished I had packed my jumper.


Finally, one last photo for my neighbour, J, who is home with Covid. You had visitors today. They seemed to be gnawing on your tree rather than eating the seeds.


Anyway, back to the Covid situation. Canberra seems to have the highest rate per 100,000 people than any other Australian state or territory (NY Times tracks this stuff but maybe their data is wrong). Perhaps the number of infections is only now catching up with the rest of the country? On the other hand, there are now 122 people with Covid in our public hospital. That’s 122 people with Covid in a public hospital system that has somewhere between 600 to 670 public hospital beds and a huge number of hospital staff off sick. At the same time, elective surgeries in the public hospital system have been cancelled again. By my rough calculation, 15-20% of our public hospital beds are being occupied by people with Covid, as they should be if those people need hospital care. These stresses on the system do not seem to merit a “business as usual” approach. Furthermore, several patients and staff in the cancer ward have also caught Covid on the ward. I understand that staff, patients and visitors are required to have a RAT test to enter those highly sensitive areas. If our experience with the uselessness of the RATs is anything to go by, then that does seem like a Covid breach waiting to happen. That’s my opinion.

Anyway, anyway, I send my best wishes to my neighbour, J, for a speedy recovery. Ditto, my friend, Martha, in the States. My TL is none too well and he is in his third week post onset of his infection. Who knows what July will bring? Hopefully, cake. And a few sunny days. And good health. Especially good health.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons photo challenge, jointly hosted by Ju-Lyn (Touring My Backyard) and Brian (Bushboys World). Click on the links provided to check out Ju-Lyn and Brian’s challenge and create some memories by joining in.

But enough of me, how was your June? I hope you found a space for things that make you happy and keep you sane.

Take care, everyone. Stay safe, be kind and be you.
Kind Regards.
Tracy.

*Photos preceded by an asterix were taken by my True Love.

Backyard Bandits

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new night vision camera. We occasionally get bats eating our figs in the backyard. We will be ready to capture them on camera next summer should they decide to pay us a visit. Of course, they are not the only animals that help themselves to our produce at the night market. Here is a taste of our backyard fauna.

The brushtail possums are frequent, noisy visitors. Normally, there is a furore after sunset when the possum exits our garage/shed. The dogs go crazy. However, I didn’t really expect the possum to stop by at 2am in the morning.

This photo was taken a couple of years ago. My neighbour has a much better shed but the possums prefer to slum it with us.

Mr Possum, that is not your best angle.

The rodents have been a huge problem over the last few years. We have caught quite a few in a snap trap that my True Love designed. The trap is placed in what is effectively a tunnel. This is the culling method that is preferred by the (Australian) Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (see here). Unfortunately, the rats are very canny and after a successful night trapping, the trap must remain unset for several weeks until the rodents get hungry enough to try their luck again.

Our fig tree fruited prolifically this year, but it seemed none but the rodents would enjoy the fruit. We tried collaring the tree with an Elizabethan dog collar to prevent the rodents ascent. It worked.

Here is a short clip of one of the little bastards. As yet, we have not worked out a way to keep them from our tomatoes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the backyard antics. Perhaps we will set up the camera in our banksia rose hedge. It appeared to shimmy with movement this afternoon.

Thanks for joining me.
Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Winter’s Warmth

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you. But first, a poem.

Winter’s Warmth
The week has its own pace.
It takes it at its leisure.
Time slows in mid winter’s lull –
after autumn’s sprawling fall and
before spring’s high fever.
Warmth and comfort, the must-haves
of the season. Cottage pie and casserole.
Walk a little faster.

Photo by Ana M. on Pexels.com

I mostly have been an island unto myself this week. The dogs have kept me company. The young men of the household have been leading their own lives and my True Love has returned to work. My brain has been resting. Friday song day had not even entered my head until a couple of hours ago. I suppose I must pick something.

Today I have chosen not to overthink this task. So let’s get comfy and listen to Erik Satie’s Gnossienne 1 for koto, electric bass, vibraphone and flute, arranged and performed by Ensemble Delydious, fronted by Günter Wehinger. Enjoy.

Take it easy, everyone. Be your own sun and share your warmth with those around you.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Choc-Chips, Pillow Fights and A Jazz Tune

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Consistent with our local health policy where you only have to isolate for 7 days if you catch Covid before being allowed to return to the family fold and your beloved kitchen to make chop chip biscuits, my youngest son burst out of his room last Wednesday with joy in his heart and a new job. Since then, my darling child has touched every surface you can possibly imagine, including my mobile (cell) phone. He likes to share (my cooking chocolate and Covid with his father). My True Love is now resting up in his bed chamber while I try to avoid any lingering germs and at the same time, prepare suitable refreshments for my TL’s confinement.

The dogs have learnt that not every meal tray is for them. They can’t believe it and this betrayal is only compounded by their banishment from the infirmary (their sleeping quarters which they share with their people). They now have to sleep with me in the lounge room but the couch can accommodate only one in repose.

“Your pillow is my new favourite pillow, mum.”

That is the same pillow and couch that the choc-chip monster has been lounging on for the last two days.

But enough of my musings, it is time for a song. Today my pick is St James Infirmary performed by Hugh Laurie. Enjoy.

No really, I’m fine. Maybe a bit of a sore throat. My TL is mending.

Be fine, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Damn Hard Work

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Like many cities, Canberra’s daily Covid case numbers continue at high levels. Across Australia, many more have died in these last six months than the previous two years combined. For thousands of others, long Covid has left its mark and some have died prematurely due to the mental and physical damage that a Covid infection caused. Most people want to carry on as best they can but it is hard, exhausting work. They can do no more but they can’t do enough either to meet the huge ongoing need for, well, everything. There are often two or three courier vans servicing our street at any given time. In other jurisdictions of Australia, essential workers are striking for better pay and conditions. Their workload is not sustainable.

Meanwhile, my youngest son hasn’t been able to crack a job yet. He is in a difficult position where he gave up an exploitative job that underpaid him, so that he could concentrate on finishing his studies. [I did offer to picket the bakery but my son didn’t think that would be such a good idea.] Unfortunately, he doesn’t yet have any work experience in his profession of choice, so winning a job is proving tricky. Further afield, other employers seem unwilling to hire him because they think he might soon leave them for greener pastures. I am confident that my son will get a job eventually. However, that will have to wait because, right now, he has Covid after I sent him out to buy a decent shirt so that he would look prettier at his next interview. Thankfully, although he is quite unwell, he seems to be doing okay. In other positive news, the rest of us in the family have not succumbed to the virus. Not yet, anyway. I’m a bit wary about going into the shared bathroom and had a shower yesterday with my mask on.

But enough of my musings, it is time for a song. Today I’ve chosen an Aussie classic, Chained To The Wheel, performed by The Black Sorrows. The song was written by lead singer, Joe Camilleri, together with Nick Smith. Can you believe John Denver did a cover of this hit? Anyway, here is the original. I hope you enjoy it.

Take care, everyone. Work hard, stay as well as you can, and make ’em pay.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Driving Me Crazy

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

The new hearing aides are driving me crazy. They itch. My concentration is even more shot than usual. I’m also afflicted with a new blogging glitch. I can’t comment on others’ blog posts. There is a time consuming work around which I won’t bore you with. Enough of my problems which are insignificant in the scheme of ruinous global conflict. Let’s sing instead.

My song today is dedicated to the internet, you, bitch. It is Fine Young Cannibals singing She Drives Me Crazy. Sing it with me. One, two, three, four ….

Have patience and be your most compassionate self, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

The Changing Seasons – May 2022

May in Canberra (Australia) – Moments in May, momentous May, May in triptychs. But first, a poem, a kind of triptych of course.

May Change

Filaments of May morph and coalesce
‘twixt pearlescent rain and golden light,
while rising power bills outstrip inflation.

Leaves and pamphlets flutter in the breeze.
People power in technicolour. Rejoice!
Winter is upon us and Australia is infectious.

Sadly, little bird flies the coop. Man in repose,
rises. Listen, do you hear that?
Tick-tick, tick-tick, as we turn the corner.

What does it all mean, I hear you ask? Autumn finished slowly. It rained on and off, but the sun broke through often enough to dally with our affections. Jack Frost flirted, adding impetus to deciduous trees still reluctant to toss aside their colourful costumes. The wildlife has begun jockeying for power and has cleared out the pantry in preparation for next Spring’s bounty. There was, nevertheless, time for bathing. Speaking of bathing, a national election was held. The government changed amid pledges of a new, kinder, more collaborative polity in the future. My True Love survived his surgery. Our canary, Pan of the Wild Music, died. I got hearing aids today. I wish I could have heard Pan sing one last time. Apparently, I still don’t listen to my husband.

Triptych – black and white theme for the magpie juveniles who still haven’t left home.

Triptych – Crimson theme for crimson rosellas bathing.

Triptych – multicoloured mixed feelings.

Winter is now upon us. As I returned from my hearing aid fitting, the Brindabella range was shrouded in snow clouds. Rain hammered loudly on the windscreen. We’ve definitely turned a corner. It sounds like tick-tick, tick-tick.

This is my response to The Changing Seasons photo challenge, jointly hosted by Ju-Lyn (Touring My Backyard) and Brian (Bushboys World). This post is also doubling as my contribution to the triptych themed Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

Goodnight, everyone. Be well, be kind and try to listen.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

About the Photos:
The last photo in the first two triptychs were taken by my True Love. I snapped the rest.

Gardening SOS – 28 May 2022

I thought I might do some garden posts since, well, it cheers me up. Today I am making my first contribution to Six on Saturday, a weekly gardening get-together hosted by The Propagator.

1. As some readers will know, I have been taking advantage of our extended La Niña event to establish a new garden with plants native to Australia on the front verge. The plants are tiny and as yet there is very little form or colour to the garden to give it depth and interest. So I whacked up this old gate that I had lying around out the back and hung my mosaic on it for the kids to enjoy when they walked past. The gate will also provide a frame for the climber, Appleberry, Billardiera scandens (not shown), that I have planted in front of the gate.

2. I have also planted a variety of native grasses in the new garden, including barbed-wire grass (Cymbopogon refractus) pictured above. A friend told me that barbed-wire grass is beloved of blue wrens and red-browed finches. I’ve not seen red-browed finches in our suburb so barbed-wire grass might be a grass to plant in our nearby reserve once we get rid of some of the dreaded African love grass.

3. For the last few winters, the Australian National Botanic Gardens has been showing off Qualup Bells, Pimelea physodes. It grows in Western Australia. When I saw it at the local nursery, I couldn’t resist it and brought it home with me. This plant has been grafted making it possible to grow in Canberra (which is located in eastern Australia). Mine is planted in a pot. It is covered with buds that are poised to open (above). I can’t wait.

4. Speaking of pots, I took a cutting of the pink salvia, Salvia microphylla (above), growing out back. It is now established in this pot out front. The Eastern spinebills love it. Winter frosts will inevitably knock it back. When that happens, I hope the spinebills will be tempted by the Qualup Bells.

5. In the backyard, it is a shower of autumn leaves. This coral bark maple, Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’ (above), has a few leaves that have not yet been washed away by today’s deluge. This tree was originally a rescue plant. We had to lop it as it did not have a central leader so it is unlikely to grow more than 3 or 4 metres. I really enjoy this tree, as do the little birds who swoop in to gather the fine sticky branches for nesting material.

6. And finally, a pink camellia (species unknown) peeks out from between the salvia and chocolate vine which are attempting to overwhelm it.

Happy gardening, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

We Feel Love

Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

Today my choice for Friday song day is I Feel Love, written by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellopertte, and performed by Donna Summer. It was inevitable that I would choose this song one day. It was Pan of the Wild Music’s favourite song. We played this song for Pan two days ago when my True Love got out of hospital. Pan, our last little, old canary, died this morning. Some time during the night he had a stroke. He was incapacitated and we took him to the vet this morning and ended his suffering.

Pan’s life was eventful, full of adventure and narrow escapes, song and good friends. I will share his story separately when I’ve had a few days to collect myself. He deserves that. My youngest son dug Pan’s grave. My husband would have liked to have done this one last thing for Pan but he was unable to because of his surgery. As is our practice, we buried him with three coins to pay Charon, the ferryman. A magpie perched on the powerline above us and sung him out.

Let’s listen to Pan’s song now.

The world seems full of anger and sorrow at the moment, ladies and gentlemen. Our fury and narcissism demean life. Love and kindness bring us together. I hope one day that we can all join together in song.

It rained overnight here but the sun came out this afternoon. Pan loved to sing in the morning and bask in the afternoon sun.

Sing it with me, everyone.
Kind Regards.
Tracy.