Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Happiest of Days

'You see Wendy,' he said, 'when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.'

As my friends here at The Hedge know, I really, really love books. I have 2 very special books I treasure from my childhood, big beautiful story books with the loveliest colour plates complementing the text. The first one I found tucked in my Santa Stocking as a 7 year old in 1962. It was J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Wendy. Barrie requested that Mabel Lucie Attwell illustrate this particular 1921 edition. Miss Attwell was a well known British illustrator of children's books & her cute, nostalgic drawings were often based on her young daughter Peggy. I remember being smitten with the book & enjoying it immensely.

Then 2 weeks later on my birthday, I received the companion book Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. Inscribed on the title page in my Mum's very distinctive hand-writing is 'To dear Millie on her 8th Birthday with lots & lots of love from Mummy & Daddy xx'. Published in 1906 this was Barrie's first book in the Peter Pan series & famous British artist Arthur Rackham was the illustrator. On opening this book I knew immediately here was something else entirely. Rackham's haunting & dreamlike artistic style was very, very different to Attwell's work. I immersed myself totally in each picture, if fact little Millie glided into each of them & became part of the composition. The joy his work gave me was overwhelming.

I wanted to share some of the work of both artists from the books. I'd love to hear your thoughts on their individual illustrative styles & your favourite image.

Illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell

Peter kept watch

They are the children who fall out of their perambulators
They don't want us to land

A Mermaid caught Wendy

The Never Bird

The House under the Ground

The Strange procession set off

When he had freed Wendy

When Wendy grew up

Ilustrations by Arthur Rackham

The Serpentine is a lovely lake, and there is a drowned forest at the bottom of it. If you peer over the edge you can see the trees all growing upside down, and they say that at night there are also drowned stars in it

Old Mr. Salford was a crab-apple of an old gentleman who wandered all day in the Gardens

Away he flew, right over the houses to the Gardens

A band of workmen, who were sawing down a toadstool, rushed away, leaving their tools behind them

There now arose a mighty storm, and he was tossed this way and that

When they think you are not looking they skip along pretty lively

These tricky fairies sometimes slyly change the board on a Ball night

The fairies sit round on mushrooms, and at first they are well behaved

Peter Pan is the fairies' orchestra

The little people weave their summer curtains from skeleton leaves

Fairies never say, 'We feel happy': what they say is, 'We feel dancey'
Image 1: Wiki (of Michael Llewelyn-Davies) All other images: J.M. Barrie

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lost in Translation

While researching lighting for the Bathroom From Hell yesterday I stumbled across this online article from an Asian Distributor. As I'm still sharing a bathroom with my Beloved, I particularly enjoyed their scientific conclusion that a powerful exhaust fan in a shared bathroom lowers the divorce rate. While the article addresses the somewhat 'delicate' issues of communal ablutions, I think they either just hit the Google translate button & copied & pasted literally or employed Dodgey Brothers Translation Services. Either way, it made for such hilarious reading I just had to share it.

'Couple Bathrooms

It is very common today for a wedding couple or significant others to own separate bathrooms. Equivalent married people need their privacy. For those unlucky enough to have to share their antique brass bathroom accessories not tell a spouse, a bathroom exhaust fan is absolutely capital.

As we all know, when sex perform their trouble character the toilet odor is intolerable. A diverse toilet area with a shared bathroom has helped these couples out immensely; however, a bathroom exhaust fan is still needed to satisfy everyone's needs. Exceedingly gentlemen who proceeds their bathrooms with their spouses are relegated to the powder hope to cause their biz. Powder rooms, because of their trifling area, generally keep the strongest bathroom exhaust fans. Manufacturers are so confident shoud new designs they are right away putting a guarantee of 10 seconds on many exhaust fans!

In that a woman spends twice as much time string a bathroom being a individual, bodily is of utmost importance that the gentleman perk his very personal career in a bathroom or at maiden a separate lavatory, preferably onliest subaqueous instanter from the master bathroom.

Turn your showering area into a merriment meadow. The idea of separate bathrooms for couples has saved an enormous amount of money whereas these couples on marriage counseling or tantrum charge. Statistics show that the divorce rate is higher in marriages setting there is one master bathroom with no bathroom exhaust fan. Sensible is funny how particular little piece of hardware, congeneric as a bathroom exhaust fan, could make such a distinction in a marriage.'

Image & with apologies to: James Michael Howard

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Wrong Turn

I honestly think Spring has taken a wrong turn on its way to South Australia, as this weekend we didn't wander away from the fire for more than a couple of minutes before scurrying back. It has been bitterly cold & wet here in the Hills & on Saturday afternoon we experienced a huge hailstorm. MOTH had been given a leave pass to sit in front of the fire & watch the Footy Grand Final on the telly. He needed to break the glass on the emergency Scotch bottle cupboard at about 3p.m., due entirely he said, to the inclement weather. A quick walk around the garden at half-time revealed not much is happening except in the culinary Herb Dept. So hurry up Spring, we need you desperately!

A quick dash outside to capture all the hail on the garden path down to MOTH's wood pile on the old Tennis Court.

The Mint this year is the best. We've enjoyed many yummy Little Lamb Choppie Casseroles (as the boys call it!) full of fresh Mint during the cold Winter months.

The Rosemary has also been prolific. Always wonderful with the boys favourite Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Smashed Potatoes.

Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley in mega amounts. Great in the Veal Ragu MOTH loves so much.

The Kaffir Lime tree is still doing well despite the freezing conditions. I always pop a couple of crushed leaves in with the Jasmine rice as I steam it. It adds a wonderful dimension to the rice when served with a Thai curry.

Coriander is my second favourite herb (after Basil), & I adore using it fresh from the pots.

I struck a cutting of Vietnamese Mint from a friend's garden last week. I'm not holding too much hope that it will strike after being pelted with all these hailstones on Saturday.

All is well with MOTH's famous Christmas Lillies. These are just a few of his many pots. I spent one icy cold Winter's Sunday in July transplanting all the 'Pup's' as MOTH calls them, from the Parent's pots into their own. You can see some of the new babies in the foreground.

Image 1: Chesneys

Friday, September 25, 2009

Red Dawn

I arrived back home last night from my week in Sydney with MOTH waiting for me at the Airport, vacuum cleaner in hand, ready to remove the 2 inches of red dust topsoil that I had bought back with me. Wednesday was a truly awesome day in the Harbour city, I woke early at 5am. to find my hotel room enveloped in this weird red-orange dawn light. Even though we were tucked up inside, as the day progressed my eyes became dry & irritated & my throat prickly. The wind was so strong & whipped the air around ferociously. One of my colleagues commented it was like being on a movie set for an apocalyptic film about the end of civilization due to nuclear holocaust or some other general catastrophe. And as this person is generally the 'Class Clown', I was concerned.

Thank you to everyone who left messages of concern. My cell phone ran riot as well, with family & friends enquiring after my well-being on Wednesday. MOTH suggested I change my phone message to 'Hi this is Millie - cough, cough, splutter, splutter!'.
Image: The Times

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On The Road Again

It's our mid-year Company Meeting so I'm flying up to Sydney again this morning for the rest of the week. The Agenda looks challenging, but I'm really looking forward to seeing my lovely interstate work colleagues. Memo to self: pace yourself girl! I'll call by on the weekend to see what you've all been up to.

Image: Ninemsn

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wildflowers in the Desert

Hello Mother Dearest,
Seeing as its Spring now, the Sturt Desert Pea’s have sprung!
It’s a really special moment up here, because all we see year round is red dirt - haha!
Love Son #4 xox (Who works in a remote site in far north South Australia).

Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona Formosa) is the Floral Emblem of my home state South Australia. It occurs in arid woodlands and on open plains, often following heavy rain. It can also withstand the marked extremes of temperature experienced in the inland deserts - searing hot days & often light frosts at night.

The original collection was made in 1699 by William Dampier on Rosemary Island in the Dampier Archipelago in Western Australia, where he collected a specimen from & described it as :
'A creeping vine that runs along the ground ... and the blossom is like a bean blossom, but much larger and of a deep red colour looking very beautiful'.

The name commemorates Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1869) a notable Explorer of inland Australia, who in his early notes refers several times to the beauty of the desert pea in flower and the harsh nature of its habitat.
'We saw that beautiful flower in splendid blossom on the plains. It was growing amid barrenness and decay, but its long runners were covered with flowers that gave a crimson tint to the ground'.

Ahoy Me Hearties!

and MOTH......

who's struggling with the worst case of conjunctivitis I've ever seen! He eventually donned the eye patch on Saturday to try & keep the light out of his poor, afflicted eye & he looked so realistic, the only thing missing was the parrot. He said he needed some medical attention from moi, so I wrote him out a prescription for a weekend working in the Bathroom From Hell. Though not quite what he was expecting, he was a real Trooper & spent a productive 2 days in there, eye-patch & all. Quite by coincidence it was International 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' on Saturday so he was in his element. But let me tell you, I'm keeping my distant from Pirate MOTH until the eye-patch comes off & he stops with the 'Aaaarrrrgggghhhh, c’mere, me beauty'.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Busy Weekend

Millie's Big Weekend List

  • See Char today @ Richfields to finalize this.

  • Dash up the road to see Mon @ Balhannah By Design tomorrow to check out these

  • .....and this

  • ......and these

  • .......and this!

  • Catch this.

  • Stop in here this arvo.....

  • for coffee, goss & laughter with Annie at our favourite long table.

  • A sprint up the road on Sunday to see Brian & Merredy at the The Flower Garden in Nairne

  • to drool at their David Austin & Delbard roses.

  • Get ready for a hot date with MOTH here in Stirling tonight

  • for our favourite plate of Tapas & a glass or 2.

Happy Weekend!

Image 1: Manuel Canovas Images 2,3,4,5: Balhannah By Design Image 6: The September Issue Images 7, 8: jones the grocer
Images 9, 10: The Flower Garden Images 11,12: Locavore

Related Posts with Thumbnails