Monthly Archives: January 2016

It Didn’t Just Happen to Me

At Flemington’s produce market this morning I felt for the fig growers.  Like me, their crop has suffered from the rain and storm but the show must go on so their Brown Turkeys turned up with their faces split into … Continue reading

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Term II: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy

At the end of last year I taught an eight weeks course on Chinese Calligraphy.  A number of students requested a continuation, so after an eight weeks break we will resume class next week. I am not a professional teacher … Continue reading

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Keeping an Eye on the Prize

As summer progresses, it is my daily chore to check for ripened figs –if you can call it a chore.  I took my eye off the trees for a day or so because of the rain and storm and the … Continue reading

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Crepe Myrtle

My Crepe Myrtle always flowers as Chinese New Year approaches.  At home in Hong Kong the flower markets would be selling pink peach blossoms at exorbitant prices.  Here Down Under it is summer and Crepe Myrtle would have to do to … Continue reading

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Let It All Unravel

I’m not one to look back; it’s my defence mechanism; my survival instinct.    Move forward.  My favourite caption by Michel Leunig the poet/cartoonist (from memory so please excuse mistakes): Let it go Let it be Let it all unravel … Continue reading

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Good Intentions

Other than bugs and other pests that I need to combat everyday, occasionally a friend calls in.  Sometimes a friend bring friends and all would give me advice when they see my garden. They tell me how to get rid … Continue reading

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The Figs are Ripening

My orchard is under the shade of a jacaranda tree so it’s relatively late in providing a harvest, but that time has come. Early worries of rain spoiling the fruit still hang overhead, as the forecasts are warning of days … Continue reading

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Making Changes and Being Different

They say that if you’re normal, like 97% of humanity, you would effect change by doing more of the same or less of the same things that you’ve always done; work harder perhaps or procrastinate less to achieve success.  Only … Continue reading

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One for Me, One for You

Once the first ripe fig has been consumed, the fig petrol begins.  There would be at least a fig a day until they come in threes and fours, or more. Today I spied a large ripening one on my neighbours’ … Continue reading

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Perfect Day for Gardening

Minimum 17ºC, Maximum 22ºC, Mostly Cloudy–thank you, Weather Maker–though you’ve created most of the work I have to do today. That rain brought more bamboo shoots to snap; those giant grasses grew a metre a day and would soon swallow … Continue reading

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Citrus Bugs

My urban orchard has a number of citrus trees. As I have neighbours who treat trees as outdoor ornaments rather than living things, their trees are infested with bugs, and as these bugs have wings, I have them. We call them … Continue reading

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Forty Minus Twenty is Twenty

Yesterday the thermometer went up to 40ºC  (104ºF) in harbour side Sydney; I hate to think how hot it was out west.  People ask me how I can knit in summer; well, the heat was followed by lashing rain and … Continue reading

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Every Beginning Has an End

As we Chinese say, 天下無不散之宴席; there is no unending feast under heaven.  We all have to say goodbye to old friends. I am better at starting projects than finishing them, but in time, however long it takes, I finish them, one by … Continue reading

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First Fig of the Season

I spotted a fig ripening on the one of the trees yesterday.  I fetched a ladder. A few days ago Office Works delivered this three-step ladder that I’d ordered for just this purpose–to reach the top of the Black Genoa. … Continue reading

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Being Literate

I can speak, read and write in Chinese and in English so I claim to be bilingual. However, being literate in Chinese can mean many things and two people claiming that status may not be able to communicate with each … Continue reading

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Tuesday Morning in Suburban Sydney

6:00 a.m.  The sun rises and the garbo arrives in his fluorescent green shirt, closely followed by the garbage truck. He empties the bins of the apartments opposite me into a large wheelie. My view was blocked when the truck … Continue reading

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A Trip to the Nursery and a Near Disaster

A trip to the nursery is always a treat as I do not have a car and rely on the goodwill of friends.  Yesterday Ben and Ang took me to my favourite place, the Four Seasons Nursery and as an extra … Continue reading

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If the Shoes Fit

I bought myself some ballet flats.  Why not?  For me, at 63, it’s time to ballet! I am unfit and looking for motivation to exercise. After checking the local community college programme,  I enrolled in “Ballet for Over 55s”.  First, … Continue reading

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