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Bugs and Bee Bums

It's a springtime and the weekend post! Featuring bugs. Saturday was muggy after the rains during the week. But it dried up marvellously by the late afternoon. Sunday was bewilderingly cool even in the early morning sun, but it warmed up beautifully in the afternoon. We saw this flower blooming in our hedge. It doesn't belong to the hedge but to a rival vine snaking through. If it's a weed or invasive species, it's got the most insolently beautiful flowers! Springtime also means the return of bugs. Brisbane has lots of them.  It's the tiny, almost invisible ones you need to watch out for. A quarter of the size of fruit flies or smaller. Midges, I think they're called. They've very wily, fast, and their bites itch mercilessly for days. They're the one bug I'm unapologetically nasty to 😳 A baby dragonfly with a blip of bright blue greeted LittleOne by hovering overhead as we went down the stairs! This was our awesome bug experience of the
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An Extra-Ordinary Spring Saturday

Saturday the 10th of September was one of those magic spring days.  It started like this: It was the kind of day where the sun is beautifully warm and the breeze is playful and joyous.  The kind of day where, when LittleOne and I went out onto the deck in the morning and the breeze ran up to say hello, we each instinctively, impulsively inhaled and exclaimed about how lovely the day was!  The kind of day that LittleOne said felt just like the beach.  The kind of day where the air is watermelon-scented, and you just want to both bottle it and let it soak in your very cells forever.   That kind of spring day. We saw the first hibiscus flower in our garden in a lovely shade of pink-red that was just slightly more deep pink than red. We saw bees merrily visiting the white-and-pink-edged blossoms all over our prolific lemony-lime tree. We saw a kookaburra bird come and perch on the arbor in the garden. It gave a couple of its deep-throated chuckles, but didn't break out into

A soft spot for Blue Smarties

LittleOne has reached the age of treats now. Which means we have a lot more treats in the house. The treats have, for various reasons, focused on chocalatey delights. But not any old chocolate. Plain Cadbury chocolates have been given the thumbs up. Terry's Chocolate Orange has been deemed too strong (we're working on this), and Caramello Koalas, with their liquid caramel centres, have not been a hit (I get this, LittleOne - it took me ages to like them too). Smarties have been a ...moderate hit. They're often on the "please, can we?" list at the supermarket, but LittleOne's intake at home can be quite low. Even when I suggest them with rattling, dancing packets. Which means there are often Smarties in the cupboards looking at me, Which is such a pity.  You see, I have a funny old soft spot for Smarties. You see, when I was growing up in Mauritius in the 1980s, we had Smarties, of course. And they were your standard chocolatey treat. But, when we m

Painting petit-à-petit

I've never done much painting. Between being too daunted to try it - despite being an enthusiastic drawing doodler, and having a cripplingly fierce inner editor/ inner critic, I never really explored the painting side of art.  Until LittleOne came along - at which point, paint supplies, painting and arty-ing became staples of our playing and learning time. Then I figured I really should take advantage and learn to paint and play . I tried to play with this piece, and ended up jumping between physical and digital media to reach a final painting pic which I think is pretty cool. I started off here: I started off here because LittleOne wanted to be the one to pour out the paints. Which meant we had quite a bit of leftover paint. Which also meant it was my job to use up the rest of the paint when paint-play was deemed over. I quite liked the effect of the original painted image. It initially didn't have a sky. But I liked it enough I thought it deserved one. Now I actua

I got locked out of Twitter

So. On Sunday morning, I was up at my usual pre-dawn hour. After a Saturday of clouds and rain, when Sunday started with golden pre-dawn light, the birds got very excited and had a glorious symphony of chirruping-chitter-chatter and clear calls to each other. I put down my teacup and slipped into the cold outside to record a soothing 13-odd seconds of it.  Social media might appreciate this lovely clip of peace and zen, I thought, and shared it to Twitter and Instagram.  Well. Within 30 seconds, Twitter got its knickers in a supreme knot about the video, declared I'd violated their rules, and locked me out of my account for 12 hours.  For the record, here's the offending vid: Now, I'm the mildest of the mild social media users, focusing exclusively on things that interest me like writing, creativity, nature and animals. In other words, I don't go near the creepy edges of content that might violate Twitter ToS. Being locked out was absolutely a new experience for me. It&

Twitter, deep breaths and kintsugi hearts

I realised recently that I've been needing to brace myself before I open my Twitter account. Deep breath. Do I really want to go in there?  Deep breath. Get-ready-to-skim-scroll-really-really-fast-to-find-friends'-tweets. For me, this has become a necessary, if over the top, approach to entering twitter, simply because of the relentless politics and social issues commentaries that seem to be clogging my feed lately.  The thing is: I'm not trying to follow these issues on Twitter. I want to use Twitter to be inspired and to develop connections with writing and creativity communities. Yes.  I know it's hard to have focus on something like writing without social issues. They are, in many ways, intrinsically interconnected. I have a higher degree in sociology/cultural studies, for goodness sake! I know writing - and who we are - is connected to the world and to issues we care about. But. Yes. I know Twitter has always had politicking and sharing of personal experiences and

I deleted 300+ titles out of my Kindle

I purged some 300+ titles out of my kindle recently. And I don't mean just deleting them out my kindle app library.  I mean, I actually went into my amazon account and went to the 'manage my content and devices' link and jettisoned them permanently. When you do the permanent delete, you get asked 'are you sure?' for every single title. So that's 300+ 'yes, I'm sures'. I'm not sure if this would be considered a drastic move or standard housekeeping. Regardless, it was a well overdue step for me. You see, back when I set up and downloaded my first kindle app (circa 2012-ish), I was thrilled by the number of free ebooks available. I downloaded tons of stuff with carefree abandon. All of it. Fantasy-chosen-ones, bodice-rippers, classics, thrillers, chick-lits, dystopian sci-fi, kids books, recipe books... and everything in between.  It was probably the least picky (discerning?) I've ever been with my reading choices. I mean, they were all free, I