Another Country Diary gumboots
Another Country Diary


Links to images and other pages are in blue, mouse-over pop-up comments when I have them are burgundy.
Week of 23 September to 30 September '02
'It's just like Cuba' Aurore said. It was while I was in Melbourne last week and we had just left Lever & Kowalyk ( Williamstown's best restaurant as far as I can tell). At the end of the dark side lane we stopped as the headlights hit this green car against the green building, both looking tatty. She explained how she'd been watching a documentary on TV about Cuban food production and loved the old cars. (She's that kind of student of media, makes her father proud.) I said she'd like Wim Wenders "The Buena Vista Social Club" and that she was right,  it did look like third world and very Cuba. Click on the picture for a larger image.700 pixels wide 70k
I'd pruned the peach tree heavily and so there is less blossom. But what there is is all intact, blooming after the winds and with bees in fair number. The branches were so heavily laden last time I had to prop some of them up. Walking through the backyard at this time of the year you get hotspots of scent that eddy and cross over as you move. I'd be hard pressed to identify the trees by their scent but I can tell the blossom. My favourite is still the quince, old fashioned, single layered, it's all William Morris woodcuts and English gardens. The buds are so pretty as well, tightly curled and peaked, with tinges of pink on the swirl of closed petals.
When I was picking up the dead wattle branches I trimmed a few weeks ago, it was striking how purple/mauve they were. A soft delicate shade that doesn't photograph well but you'll get some idea from the image. All the dead wattle had this colour. I thought I'd scan it, to see if I could hold the colour more accurately but it's all so brittle that the small leaf spikes crumble in your hand. Those dead branches have an 'otherworldly' feel about them as if they don't belong to the original plant once they're cut from it.
Leaving North Sydney and heading back to Ultimo, I was stopped at the lights under the freeway leading to the Glebe Bridge (Anzac Bridge). Against the concrete canvas of a pylon, the setting sun cast a tourist industry shadow of the palms near the fish market. I watched it thinking how great it looked and how it made me feel like I was in some other city (I remember LA's palm trees). I spent too long thinking about it and when I dived for the bag and the camera, I managed one shot before the shaft of sunlight dropped and it turned to just a bleak cityscape. 
Are Fruit Loops safe for possums?The possums like our kitchen compost heap. The dual bins fill quickly with vegetable scraps (no meat) and layers of garden weeding and lawn clippings. It gets a bit more rain then the two bigger bins down the back garden so it seems to rot down quicker. This layer was the cheap bag of grapefruit we got at the Fyshwick market when Aurore arrived, and the packet of Fruit Loops that I used in the Canberra Sunday times commercial. Aurore and I got through the grapefruit in a week but I knew no-one was going to eat the Fruit Loops. I'll see how the birds and possums go before I cover it with the lawn mowings this weekend.
Fred Harden  
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