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Monday, 16 July 2018 Dereel Images for 16 July 2018
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Garden flowers in mid-winter
Topic: gardening Link here

Middle of the month, and also middle of winter, time for the monthly flower photos. It's been a surprisingly mild (but dry) winter, and the garden shows it.

We only have one Anigozanthos (kangaroo paw) left, the one that Sasha tried to eat years ago. It has recovered with a venegeance:


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For some reason, probably inappropriate soil, the ones that Petra Gietz gave us have apparently died. We'll see for sure in spring.

The Grevilleas are doing well, both the grafted Grevillea bronwenae that we bought last year and the remaining ground cover Grevillea that we bought two years ago—the other one was drowned.

 
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The Hebes are starting to flower again:

 
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I can only assume that they suffered from lack of water, fertilizer or good soil in the past.

As ever in winter, the roses are a mixed bunch, but a couple are still trying to flower:

 
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The Tropaeolum are confirming my opinion of the quality of the soil south of the house (first photo). Those have been there for three years, and they have hardly grown. The ones in the second image were planted last year, and despite the exposure to frost recently are looking much better:

 
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And our little tree fern, the one that was recovering after being attacked by a whipper-snipper last November, has lost all its fronds:

 
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Hopefully it will recover in the spring.

The Buddlejas that I admired so much when we moved in to Kleins Road ten years ago are still (barely) flowering:

 
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And our Banksia integrifolia has a (single) real flower now, nicely hidden by the leaves:

 
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And one red Canna has defied the weather and formed new buds:

 
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More garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Did a little more work in the garden. Planted the Quercus rubra (red oak):

 
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Also replaced the Schinus molle (peppercorn tree). There's no doubt that the new one is bigger:

 
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Also started planting the pansies in the boxes in the north garden, but it was almost completely full of bulbs that hadn't started to sprout, and I had to give up half way. I'll have to find somewhere else to plant the rest, probably in front of the house.


Nice-smelling jacket
Topic: animals Link here

Yvonne has bought a new jacket. It seems to smell good:

 
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More vitreous detachment?
Topic: health Link here

Flashes in my eyes again this evening, like I had last summer. Posterior vitreous detachment? I'll be seeing Paul Smith on Thursday, so we can discuss it then, but based on the last time (where the symptoms were worse), it's not overly dangerous, and there's not much to do about it except wait.

But why did it happen? Last time I thought it was because of exertion, and today I did my first digging for a long time. But it was hardly exertion. To be discussed.


Cat door woes
Topic: general, animals Link here

We've finally attached the sealing strip to our cat door. Not a spectacular success:

 
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The protrusions in the panel mean that it can't seal properly. More head-scratching, but one obvious “solution” is simply to accept it. It's the laundry, after all, and not heated.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018 Dereel → Geelong → Dereel Images for 17 July 2018
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Periodontics again
Topic: health, general Link here

Today was my 6-monthly periodontics checkup in Geelong, at 14:00. Early in the morning I heard that there was a bus strike there, from 9:00 to 13:00. Should be over by the time I got there? Yes, but what about the people who normally go to work by bus, but had taken their cars today? Car parking chaos?

Called up the surgery and tried to postpone my appointment, but the next one would have been in October. But they had a solution for me: they have a patient parking place behind the building, and I could use that. Accordingly off and found only a single parking place, conveniently blocked by a car which had parked fully 2 m from the end of its parking place:

 
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That's my car at the back of the first photo, so somehow I managed it, but I was proud enough of myself that I took these photos. In to ask the reception to find the owner of the Audi that had blocked my way. That was easy: that was the receptionist, and she would move it. A good thing that I didn't express my opinion of such parking more forcibly.

In the waiting room, received confirmation of my concerns about parking: another patient was complaining about the difficulty of finding a parking place.

Later I was called in for my examination, but it proved to be a different nurse, the owner of the white car in the middle. She suspected me of having scraped it and pointed to a small scrape on the bumper bar. Could I have been it? No, for a number of reasons. Firstly there was no mark on my car, secondly the scratch was at a height corresponding to an indentation in my car, and finally I could hardly have hit it the way the Audi was parked (by the time we examined it it had been moved forward).

The appointment itself was routine: teeth OK, come back in 6 months, $250 please.

After my appointment I spoke to the receptionist again, and she explained that where I had parked wasn't intended for parking. Why? Looks OK to me. But it seems that the trees on the left leave spots on the cars, which is why they park so far back, and I should have parked in front of the cars on the right of where I parked, since the owners weren't going anywhere. At least the nurse (with whom she checked) had accepted the fact that it probably wasn't my car that did the damage.


Trump's latest disasters
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

Donald Trump has been in power for 18 months now, and he continues to go from one disaster to the next. His visit to NATO was bad enough, but then he continued in the United Kingdom, a country where he was so welcome that he did not appear in public at all, bad-mouthing Theresa May, then denying it the following day. All that we're left with is a collection of photos:

`

But then he was off to Helsinki to meet with Vladimir Putin. Given his treatment of his friends, how would he treat his foes? Two hours behind closed doors, and the only thing worth mentioning was that Trump reported that Putin had reported that Russia had not meddled in the 2006 US Elections, and that he believed him! And this despite CIA intelligence that showed clear meddling, and after arrest warrants had been issued for 12 Russian spies, and just before another was issued. As The Shovel put it, Winner Of US Election Meets With Donald Trump In Helsinki. This spectacle has caused even his own party to label his behaviour “treasonous”.

In that connection, it's interesting to note this statistic from Statista, showing that most of the world distrusts both Trump and Putin, but Trump more than Putin. Only countries that have something to gain from Trump, here Israel and South Korea, find him more trustworthy than Putin.

Where do we go from here? Treason is a ground for impeachment. Will the opinion find a majority?


Reading old diaries
Topic: general, history Link here

Mail from Paul Robbins today, the bloke who sent me the information about 1066 And All Saxon. It seems that he's reading my entire diary of the 1960s! I had typed it in mainly for my own use, and, indeed, I use it frequently. But for other people? He even wrote

This would make a great television series, It would run for years.


More food adventures
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

While in Geelong, and arrived at the Indo-Asian Grocery Store in heavy rain—there must have been over 10 mm in 20 minutes—to find them mopping the floors. Finding Masa harina is becoming more difficult all the time. They had Minsa harina, but only blue, which I don't really like, and something called P.A.N. “Maíz precocida”.

 
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What's that? The owner assured me that it was just like the masa I knew, but that's “Harina de maíz nixtamalizada”, and there's no mention of making tortillas on the package. Still, there's small choice, and so I bought a package. If I had seen the price in advance, I may not have. The flour that Yvonne bought in Ballarat two weeks ago cost $3 for 1 kg. This cost $7. And to add to my annoyance, I discovered that it was “white maize”. That's my fault: they had both white and yellow maize, and I grabbed the wrong one. What do I do with lots of (potentially) useless maize flour?

Then on to the Gourmet Asian Grocery, where I bought my normal supplies and also a lot of Yum cha style dumplings. Back home and steamed some of them:

 
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They didn't taste bad, but there wasn't enough differentiation. I think we've been through this before: one or two each are OK, but more gets boring.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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