Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trippin' on out


Miss Eagle is signing off for a few weeks. She departs at the weekend for The Nine Mile where Mad Max and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert were filmed. For more details of Miss Eagle's destination see here. The focus at this time is not on blogging but on preparations. Miss Eagle is getting the desk cleared at work; getting the Mitsubishi in order (it has new tyres, it has been detailed, and to-day the mechanic comes); and organising the gear.

And, dear Reader, your correspondent does not travel light. She has tried it and it doesn't work. She wishes she could say differently. So the spare bed has two small suitcases on it (one for undies - it already has the thermal underwear in it, one for the rest); an old Persil box full of writing materials - journals, coloured pencils and markers and calligraphy stuff; and camping and camera gear and a stack of CDs. To this will be added a box of books but a lot of those are still in her bedroom on the bedside table. Miss Eagle will be camping in her Mitsubishi wagon.

After The Nine Mile, it is over to Robertson to check out all that stuff that Denis and Anni blog about. Then down the south coast of New South Wales and across Gippsland to Upper Gully. So a few ks will get notched up as well as lots of good times.

So, blogging friends, see you in a while.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Thank heaven for little girls!

Lazy Cow has the most beautiful celebration of The Girl's sixth birthday. It led Miss Eagle to recall something she wrote back in January 1970 about Herself who was then six weeks short of her sixth birthday. So she has dusted it off and, 36 and a half years later on that electronic whiz-bang thing called a blog, here it is.

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VACATION IN RETROSPECT
Tomorrow, school will resume. Girlish hands will be pulled and pushed into gloves and unruly locks covered with the regulation hat. Feet that have run free for most of the summer will be reluctantly shod in brown lace-ups.
As I look back over the past summer, I wonder what will happen to the companions of vacation time.
It all started with the "fair damsel in distress". A passion for pretty ladies found an outlet in an old green skirt (garb for many a tropical fishing expedition) and the torn-off bottom of a large paper grocery sack to which was attached an old very worn lace curtain. All this added up to one lady, mediaeval.
Through this love of pretty things, we discovered two of the greatest artists of all time - Goya and Michaelangelo. Goya's paintings of beautiful women ran a little ahead of Michaelangelo's wonderful "David".
Now, a school opening looms closer, culture and prettiness have given way to an adapted version of an ancient pastime.
Matt Dillon strides around the homestead with his Marshal's badge made from an out-of-date Chronicle; an old, upturned straw hat to shade his eyes; and a popgun and cap gun slung in an old port strap around the hips. We are asked to "holler" for a Marshal.
Tomorrow can't come quickly enough, and being in Grade 1 is a grand thing. New events will take precedence, and I wonder what will remain.
I hope that the colour and wonder of beautiful things will not fade, but I pray that Matt Dillon will, as all good cowboys do, walk off into the sunset.
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Miss Eagle reports that the colour and wonder of beautiful things has never faded. Herself is a collector and a decorator and a stylist. A beautiful shop has come - and has just gone - but it is clear beauty will never fade from her life as she styles a corner here and a laundry there. Matt Dillon remains somewhere off in the sunset.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A garden meme

It's not fair, I tell you. That Denis! Wait 'til I see him! I'll hit him over the head with something round and heavy that has a handle! You see, dear Reader, Anni tagged each of us with a literary meme. Your correspondent did her bit and completed her meme and tagged some others. But what did that Denis do? He piked and changed the rools with Anni's permission. He says that he doesn't read ordinary books any more. He says

"In the past I have been a very enthusiastic reader. In recent years, I have found myself reading plant books - reference books about native plants, Orchids, Peonies. I love these books. In the past I have been a very enthusiastic reader. In recent years, I have found myself reading plant books - reference books about native plants, Orchids, Peonies. I love these books."

So Denis has transposed the literary meme to be a meme about plants. Now, as far as Miss Eagle is concerned that's OK and his plant meme is wonderful. Trouble is he tagged your correspondent. Now she gets to do two memes to his one. And Miss Eagle knows stuff all about plants compared with Denis who calls things by their proper names as well as their nicknames and seems to be on really intimate terms with them.

Anyways, Miss Eagle will NOT be known as a piker. She will struggle on and see what comes out the other end of the sausage machine.

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1. One plant that changed your life.

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Miss Eagle can't think of a plant that changed her life but here she wants to talk about two plants that live in her memory. When Miss Eagle was but a slip of an eaglet, her school used to have an annual ball in which we little ones turned up in long dresses and suits. Miss Eagle's mother always made her a beautiful coronet of flowers. These were made from crucifix orchids and sacred bamboo which just grew wild in our garden. We didn't yet have a refrigerator so once made the coronet was put on the block of ice in the ice-box to stay fresh.

2. One plant you've planted more than once.

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Miss Eagle loves her herbs. It is hard to choose between them but for this exercise she has chosen Italian parsley and has a picture of it growing in her own garden.


3. One plant you'd want on a desert island.

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This is a no-brainer. Miss Eaglet would want the Tropical Lima Bean otherwise known as the Madagascar Bean. Miss Eagle, when she was living in the desert in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, came across the description of the Tropical Lima Bean in the Permaculture Journal. It was described as capable of being grown to make a green wall - just what Miss Eagle wanted for her back fence. She asked everywhere - no one knew of it. Miss Eagle has only just discovered its proper name. In desperation she wrote to the people who had written about. They were in WA and back came a packet full of beans. They are wonderful. They are productive. Miss Eagle had a teeny weeny garden in TC but what she grew made her rather sustainable if not 100% so. The garden grew rocket and silver beet. A wonderful basis for salads. Tomatoes and basil - those wonderful companion plants. And the tropical lima bean. The bean cooks wonderfully and becomes beautifully tasty and tender. It is wonderful in a salsa accompanied with pasta. It is ideal in bean burgers. Just keep on picking and it keeps on producing and it does become a very high green wall if you train it on a trellis.

4. One plant that made you giddy?

Miss Eagle thinks the plants that make her giddy are the breathtakingly beautiful ones. She recalls a rose from over forty years ago. It was so red it was nearly black and it was like velvet. And the scent. Miss Eagle longs for a rose like that.

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But there are other beautiful flowers. Here is a picture of one, a camellia, from her own garden.


5. One plant that wracked you with sobs.

The ones that wrack me with sobs are the ones that are needlessly destroyed. Miss Eagle recalls the declaration of the World Heritage listed rainforest in North Queensland. It included the Daintree. This area received all the publicity during the campaign to save the rainforest. But the rainforest covered by the listing began just up the road from Miss Eagle's home at Bluewater, half an hour north of Townsville. The National Party was still in power and it, along with its cohorts, fought tooth and nail against the listing. Miss Eagle remembers travelling along a road she wasn't supposed to be on behind the Wallamin Falls near Ingham and seeing absolute destruction - the width of a four lane highway through the forest. No coverage for this. This was out of site and out of mind. When will we ever learn!


6. One plant that you wish had been grown.


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Miss Eagle can't answer this. There are so many. The wishlist is best summed up in the Garden Plans ofEdna Walling. Edna's garden, her choices of plants, her designs are the stuff of dreams and wishes.

7. One plant you wish had never been grown.

For a Queenslander like Miss Eagle, this is a no-brainer. It is of course the Prickly Pear.

8. One plant you are currently growing.

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Currently this Azalea is in full and glorious bloom. It is a gay plant in the best sense of the word. It reminds Miss Eagle of a wonderful dancing lady in a gay yellow ball gown. It is a joy in this season of Risorgimento.


9. One plant you've been meaning to grow.

Miss Eagle realises her limitations as a gardener and her ignorance as a plantswoman. So she is not meaning to grow anything. It is all she can do to maintain what is there now and replace those that are annuals or of limited life span.

10. Now tag five bloggers.

Alice at A Growing Delight

Tanya at The Purple Giraffe

Mary at Devonhouse Recollections

Jane at yarnstorm

Kali at Enjoying the Journey

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