Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Prior to breaking my ankle I had planned a few weeks of gardening makeover.I would purchase some new roses(thanks to Marina + Tracey for their suggestions)I would re-do the potager with vegetables and herbs, The other gardens would get a good tidy-up and mulch.
BUT!...little did I know, lurking, waiting to seize the moment(+ most of the front garden too!!)was a trifid like botanical being of super-growing potential....
The nasturtiums are here...and there...and everywhere. In colours myriad,with tendrils strong and potential long-lived....
However they do look rather nice in this display which ds just brought in to me.
Lesson to be learned: take joy in the moment

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Scenes from our street earlier in the week

Ds saw these when he returned from a walk in the rain on Friday(think thunder storm)to get some shopping.At first they were in someones yard but then they wandered out into the street.

then off they went, we're not sure where,but hopefully they made it back safely to the River Torrens!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Yep what a dumb thing I did Saturday evening, to just walk on the back lawn and collapse on my right ankle only to rolley-polley onto my left one which shattered it. So dh is there with his first -aid book reading through it and asking me questions while I'm intermittently bellowing in pain....funny to look back on but not so at the time. Finally the kids got me upright and sort of man-handled me inside. Dh said as it was almost certainly just a sprain to put ice on it and they'd check after they got back from Mass.Dd decided to stay home with me.

Well after they left my good friend Mary came round + bundled me into her car and up to Modbury A+E where after 4 hours in pain they told me I'd smashed some bones in my ankle broken some bone in the heel and did some pretty impressive ligament damage.The orthopaedic surgeon was very pleased to hear we had private cover and wrote a referral to a see a specialist on Monday.
Anyway to cut it short had op on Tuesday + am horizontal for 6 weeks doctor's orders.thank you so much for your kind thoughts + prayers.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Nativity of Mary

Geometer moth

Not the best of photos but because its Spring and we have been watching the progress of this little fellow every morning while we read this book... (which by the way has a lot of nature study in it; we really recommend books by Elizabeth Enright.)
And here are the words of that song made famous by the late Danny Kaye(now I'm really showing my age(!))

Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two
Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigold
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far
Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigold
Seems to me you'd stop and see
How beautiful they are

Monday, September 07, 2009

Rocks and water

We had a grand time with "Aunty Mary" at this spot not far from home.

The day which started out looking as if we'd need jackets,scarfs and thermal underwear turned into one of those perfect days of early Spring.

The boys ran ahead clambering up and over boulders and discovering new parts we hadn't yet explored plus revisiting "old friends". One highlight was the discovery of a large piece of rock containing imprint fossils; great excitement for our junior geologists. Just don't ask me how many incredible specimens we already have at home!!A wonderfilled day...where to next Mary?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Blossom everywhere!

Because I couldn't decide which picture of our crab apple tree to choose I decided to add them all. The tree is probably as old as our house.
Okay history of house: this is an ex-housing trust house,the houses were purchased by the government from Scandinavia soon after WWI to house return servicemen and their families. The houses came in kit form and were packed with a lot of mysterious padding which soon after was disposed of in a huge bon-fire a few suburbs away. Anyway it turns out that the mysterious packing was in fact insulation(which you probably guessed already!). Just think all these timber frame houses might actually have kept warm in winter and cool in summer if "we" hadn't had a big bon-fire.
Back to the tree:since our last couple of summers with severe water restrictions it has looked quite stressed at times and I am wondering if it will last much longer. If anyone would care to leave a comment or suggestion on what can be done to prolong its life,please don't be shy!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

This is not playdough!

Silly putty is one of the all time favorite toys of the baby-boomer generation (and every generation after them!). Silly putty can be formed into any shape just like regular craft clay, with the added plus that it bounces. In addition, when it is pressed against any of the words or pictures in newspapers printed on standard news pulp, the image is copied onto the silly putty. Kids enjoy lifting an image of their favorite comic strip character and distorting it by stretching and squeezing the silly putty.

Silly Putty (or Dow Corning patent 3179) was invented in 1943. It was originally intended for industrial use as a synthetic rubber, but was not usable because it was not as firm as rubber. Silly Putty was scrapped as a potential product until 1949, when an unemployed advertising executive thought it might be a good idea to market it as a toy. He packaged a run of the substance in plastic eggs, and the familiar plastic egg filled with the mysterious goo has been an American toy icon ever since, with sales in the multi-millions of dollars.

Silly putty is a polymer, or to be more proper, an elastomer. A polymer is a substance with long string-like flexible molecules. An elastomer has these same long molecules, but they are connected in several locations on the side to produce a sponge-like texture. Because of the molecules’ natural flexibility, they can be stretched, and absorb mechanical energy in a similar way to rubber.

Actual silly putty would be difficult to produce in a home setting due to the chemicals needed for its production, but a similar substance that has all the same qualities can be easily made with some basic ingredients found in your home.

What you need:

A bottle of white glue

Powdered Borax


Food coloring of your choice

A measuring cup

Empty Soda Bottle

A plastic zip lock bag

First, mix one tablespoon of Borax powder and one cup of water in the empty soda bottle. Replace the cap and shake the mixture until the Borax has dissolved completely. Now place one tablespoon of glue in the plastic bag along with one teaspoon of plain water. At this point you can add a drop of food coloring to make your creation more colorful. Next, add just one tablespoon of the Borax mixture to the bag and seal it. Now massage the mixture for a few minutes until it begins to set up. It will gradually take on a putty-like texture as the polymer chains grow and interconnect. When you are able to remove the putty from the bag in one piece, do so and begin rolling it between your fingers. The more you roll it the more similar it will be to silly putty.

Finally, as a word of caution, Borax is not for human consumption – so this putty should be made and played with under competent adult supervision. Have fun!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Curvey lines

For maths today we had a lot of fun making curves from straight lines.

When straight lines are put through at least two points in a pattern, Bezier curves emerge, giving the illusion of rounded shapes, when in fact no curved lines are used.We're off to find some coloured string to try it like this next