Monday, January 28, 2013


Been watching the havoc being caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald as it moves south. In hindsight, I think I was lucky to have been in Townsville and to have flown out when I did. Although the rain was quite intense and there was some minor flooding, the weather system seemed to have caused far less damage in Townsville than in other areas.

flowers in the loft

Went and bought these today. They are called pineapple lilies (I guess because of the leaves that sit on top of the flowers). The plants are native to Africa and look rather exotic don't you think?

Back from Townsville

Wow, we sure picked a good week to head to north Queensland. Trying to collect aquatic animals in streams during a torrential downpour was an experience I won't be forgetting too soon. The "highlight" was having dozens of cockroaches and spiders crawling up our legs and perching on top of our heads to escape the rising waters.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

savage garden

Check out my new pet. It's a Nepenthes (also known as a tropical pitcher plant or monkey cup). I have to give it water and the occasional housefly but I won't have to worry about it pissing on the carpet.  

heading north...again

I've been back in the office only three days and I'm once again heading off...this time to Townsville. I'll be going up with a couple of my grad students for fieldwork. I haven't been up there since my own PhD days and I must say I'm kinda looking forward to it – even though Townsville isn't quite as lush or glamorous as Cairns. I'll still have to keep a look out for crocodiles though...but fortunately the areas where we will be going are only meant to be inhabited by freshwater crocs which, unlike the salties, are not known to consume humans. I am more worried about bumping into red necks (in the course of my research, I've been subject to more xenophobic comments in North Queensland than anywhere else in the world). On the plus side, I'm looking forward to spending some free time gorging on ice cream at Frosty Mango.

sexy stag...

I bought this from a vintage shop last week. I think it's made of brass and only has one antler. I'm trying to figure out what it might have originally been attached to as there is a chain near the back leg. The shop owner thinks it might have sat on top of an old clock. Any ideas/guesses?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


There was the obligatory trip to the Fish Market for lunch and a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW to see the Francis Bacon exhibition. The highlight, however, was a giant 'rubber ducky' moored at Darling Harbour.

On the whole, it was a flying visit...we decided to go back to Canberra super early on the Tuesday due to the catastrophic fire warnings. Am now back in Melbourne enjoying some cooler weather. Truffles seems to have turned into a giant in the week I was away.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the holidays

My folks have been in town for Christmas and New Year. There has been a lot of wallowing in excessive feast, from turkey and ham on Christmas Day to pho in Springvale a couple of days ago. So it was nice to finally spend some quiet time at home last night. Nathan and Truffles went to a friend's place at Point Cook for New Years Eve, while I spent the last 24 hours or so home alone, eating pasta and cleaning up the apartment. I'm heading back to Canberra tomorrow with the family and will be making a flying visit to Sydney while I'm up 'north'. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see the Francis Bacon exhibition at the AGNSW. It's going to be a busy 2013 but I'm going to ease into it slowly (I'm on leave until mid bloody research grants to write or worry about this year).