31 December 2007

feed the cat

Happy New Year everyone, and don't forget to 'feed the cat.'

28 December 2007

Sorrel info for Zanne

Hello Zanne,
Tried sending
an e-mail
but it
back so;
Thank you
for visiting
my blog.
As with all the
successes in the garden , our sorrel thrives
on healthy neglect.

The seeds were planted, 3 to a hole, about 4" deep. The soil there is a heavy clay loam, quite wet but well draining, at the top of a south facing slope. We are about 1800 feet above sea level and here it is cooler and with high humidity. The seeds we planted were from Tropica who appear to be a French company called Technisem. Of course we now have lots of seeds from the plants but I am slightly hesitant to use them as there was some mealy bug on some of them. We didn't use any manure, or fertiliser, as the soil in that spot has been nourished by years of leaf fall, mangoes, kitchen waste etc. All we did was watch them grow. If you are interested there are more garden stories here, Garden ,although, with my usual efficiency, I seem to have forgotten to note when we planted the sorrel. I think it was in June. The plants are now producing new flowers. I have visited GoGrow lovely blog, I will be visiting often.

24 December 2007

Season's Greetings




all of you who comment on this blog, with love and best wishes to all,
from Zooms and T. xxx

23 December 2007

I'll be down by the river




21 December 2007


last night,
original two hundred and fifty, remaining in the shop.

19 December 2007

Ho, Ho, oh no.

For those of you not looking forward to the festive season, (or even if you are)
may I suggest that you find some solace at

A Kite Rises

where there are words that delight.

18 December 2007

It's almost Christmas because......

I really, really want to write a poetic, artistic, amusing post but , with only one week before Christmas and, trying to be a good Grenadian wife, I have cobwebbing to do, walls to wipe, closets to clear, chair set covers to wash, paint and varnish to buy, and , of course, new curtains to sew and hang.

7 December 2007

Sorrel, story and secrets.

This is West Indian sorrel
which we grow from seed.
Sorrel is the traditional
Christmas drink in the Caribbean.
It is refreshing and delicious,
it has healing properties
and is the perfect partner
when mixed with rum.

After harvesting the waxy

they are cleaned,
by removing the seed pod,
and washed,
before combining them with
'sugar and spice and all things nice.'

This website
has more information and includes this delightful
Anansi story.

I like to put ginger in my sorrel,

if you are passing on Christmas day,
you will be very welcome

6 December 2007

Technology, or not technology, that is the question.

It seems that the real challenge, for me, at Illustration Friday is not, in fact, to create a suitable image, but to upload the required thumbnail. Having spent all of this afternoon trying to do this, using all the permutations of my 50x50, yes it is a jpeg file, renaming, resizing, re saving, I was ultimately left with the option of not submitting, not using a thumbnail or using the image from last week, which I did, out of desperation.
As usual, all, or any, advice will be gratefully received.



Charcoal on paper 7" x7"

Continuing with the self imposed discipline, by participating in the Illustration Friday weekly challenge, 'Excess' was difficult, which is why it was posted so late.
Of course the obvious interpretation would have been me, lying in the gutter, with my favourite bottle of red but things aren't quite that bad yet and, besides, it would have to be a drain as we don't have gutters here and even I can't go there.

3 December 2007

Our day out.

Our days are usually spent
hard at work.
The garden, construction, art and craft,
together with the daily cycle
of domestic dalliance,
tells of a life that is full and fruitful,
rewarding but structured.

Which is why, when we get the chance,
we run away to spend a day
just us two.
Saturday found us here, at Levera Beach,
looking out at Sugarloaf Island.
T was feeling the heat,
a momentary diversion
from our island tour,
a need for sand and sea water
and sun on my skin.
He indulged me,
sustained by the promise of a soon to come
ice cold Carib.

Driftwood of magnitude
lay brazen
by the shore,
whilst the island chain of the Grenadines,
seemingly strung
a little closer than usual,
invited and dared,
come visit, come see.

30 November 2007


Apologies for the layout of the post below, it didn't look like that in the preview, but then, I find the preview seldom looks like the actual post . Any helpful suggestions will be gratefully received.


This morning I wanted to write
about Xena and her new friends

and about the enemy in the garden

who ate all the leaves on my lime tree

and how yesterday, when the house rumbled
and all the glasses jangled

and the bottles and the fridge walked
and how I worried about my two best friends,
but, instead, I have to got to town to pay bills.

26 November 2007

The Zoo.

The Zoo
8 1/4" x 6"

Having long been an admirer of the Illustration Friday website, the time has finally come to rise to the challenge.


T returns from the garden with the fruits of our labours. We are not great meat eaters but usually treat ourselves to a little chicken something on a Sunday. Today T is cooking baked chicken.
In the photograph, clockwise from the top left hand corner, 'Common pork,' the local small leafed basil, parsley, large leafed basil, cucumber, squash, chadon beni and cabbage.

His seasoning mix is a feast for the eyes, the pungent aroma of fresh herbs pervades the senses and primes the appetite.

Whilst stealing this sumptuous image,
of chicken smothered in succulent secrets,
I spy the slivers of cinnamon spice.

And so I hope I succeed in sharing with you our special Sunday delight, that tastes of time spent under the sun, of seedlings tenderly nurtured, of showers as blessings, of love and joy and the fulfillment of wishes.

T's baked chicken with rice, sweet blugga plantain, salad and squash.

22 November 2007

Pay It Forward

Having read about the 'Pay It Forward' game at Christine's blog

Passion for Painting

and realising that if I was quick I would actually have the opportunity to receive a piece of her unique and beautiful work, I couldn't let this pass me by.

Here's the deal for "Pay it Forward"---
"I will send a handmade gift (it will probably be a small painting) to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

How inspiring. Please visit Passion for Painting to see Christine's work and to read more about other artists who are participating in this excellent idea.

River stones.
Acrylic on ply. 1'x1'

21 November 2007

The walking tree

Banana trees are called fig trees here. They are very easy to grow and constantly reproduce themselves. If you are starting from scratch and buy a little plant it will take about three months for it to bare fruit. When the fruit is still young it is called green fig and these are used for cooking as a savoury vegetable. If you want the fruit to grow into a banana you leave it on the tree until it is full, cut it and leave it to ripen. Our fig trees are called Gummyshell and have a delicious, creamy, subtle flavour. Once the tree has born fruit you cut it down but at the base of that tree will be another little tree and the cycle continues. So you see, it is also true to say that fig trees can walk.
I am fascinated by them, the way that they grow and the beauty in the detail. This is the first of a series of paintings inspired by these bountiful trees.

Fig tree. Leaf and trunk detail.
Acrylic on ply.
1'x3' and 1'x1'

16 November 2007

Cat and Mouse

I am feeling better today, not 100% and still a little wobbly,
but more like my old self, the self that T says he misses and wants back, the one who gardens and paints and has ideas, who likes to walk up in the forestry and along the beach and find things, to watch the river and the clouds and listen to 'rain coming'. The one who likes red wine and simple food and the murmur of moonlit conversations.
I am feeling better today.

1 November 2007

Cold cure

This is 'Bitter Fence'. It is for The Cold. You make tea with it. As nice as the rum and lime remedy made me feel, it didn't actually make me better, so we have moved on to more traditional methods.
As its' name implies, this tea does not taste nice but I hope it works because the one they give you if this doesn't work, tastes even worse.
That one is called 'Zeeberpik' or 'zibapik' or something like that.
T's grandfather knew a lot about bush medicine and taught T a lot.
Today, Thursday, the Doctor comes to the village medical station and I could go up there but this is just a cold and I have every confidence in T's tea.

The butterfly effect.

One of the things I like most about blogging is the unexpected surprise that greets you on an ordinary day. The kind of surprise that changes your whole perspective and opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Passion for Painting is where today's delight came from.

31 October 2007


Ginger jars on the green table with a white napkin and the blue tea towel.


30 October 2007

Time for change

The green is beginning to get to me, think I will have to make some changes tomorrow.


It was funny when my daughters first came to the house, how they were scurrying around with lots of oooh's and aaah's and what's this and where did you get that. When I first saw these pictures it was so different seeing home through someone else's eyes and their finding hidden corners that I didn't think they would notice.

I thought it would be nice to have you all here too.

I miss my daughters

I miss my daughters.

I miss their company, their laughter and their reprimands.

I miss their teasing, their jokes and their good advice.

I miss their knowing, their wisdom and their bickering.

I miss loving them, hugging them, spoiling them,

I miss my daughters.

26 October 2007


I did something reallly stupid today, one of those things that you wish you had never done, could forget about or blame on someone else. The kind of thing that leaves you squirming, uncomfortable within, the kind of thing that won't leave you alone until you do your best to rectify the matter, the kind of thing that you thought you were old enough not to do anymore.

So what exactly can you do when a thing is done and can't be undone?

Own up, apologise, learn from and acknowledge and deal with that part of you that isn't nice, yet demands attention, and try not to let the same thing happen again.

24 October 2007

Poor thing



a cold,


Here, the cold is usually given a name, I don't get colds very often but I have previously had, The Stadium, The Briefcase and Traffic. I don't know what this one is called but it isn't nice.

Here is The Cure;

freshly squeezed juice of one 'big race' lime,

2 lge teaspoons of demerara sugar

1 lge shot of Clarke's Court rum

Combine all the above ingredients, stir well and knock 'em back.

Repeat as necessary.

feeling 'poor thing.' Blended and distilled here in Grenada.

23 October 2007


In the garden this morning
a large and beautiful butterfly
was flying around me.

Not knowing what it was I looked for it at Father Sanchez's excellent web site,
if you ever want to find or identify flora, fauna etc. here in the Caribbean, this is the place to go.
'The largest nymphalid in the West Indies:
the orion, Historis odius odius.
This is the butterfly with the most powerful flight
in the islands of the Caribbean,
rivaled in that sense only by its relative, Archaeoprepona demophoon.'

It was happily feeding on the Golden Apples that had fallen from the tree.
these apples are about 2-3" long,
which gives you an idea of how large this butterfly is.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Orion was the son of Neptune,

a handsome giant and a great hunter.

The sweet scent of fermenting Golden Apples was intoxicating,

the butterfly seemed a little tipsy,

Orion did bad things when he was drunk

but this beautiful creature simply wanted to


22 October 2007

H H The Dalai Lama

With thanks to Helz at Art and Soul .

HH The Dalai Lama
By HH THE DALAI LAMASunday, October 21, 2007; Brute force can never subduethe basic human desirefor freedom.The thousands of people who marched in the cities of Eastern Europe in recent decades, the unwavering determination of the people in my homeland of Tibet and the recent demonstrations in Burma are powerful reminders of this truth. Freedom is the very source of creativity and human development. It is not enough, as communist systems assumed, to provide people with food, shelter and clothing. If we have these things but lack the precious air of liberty to sustain our deeper nature, we remain only half human. In the past, oppressed peoples often resorted to violence in their struggle to be free. But visionaries such as Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr have shown us that successful changes can be brought about nonviolently. I believe that, at the basic human level, most of us wish to be peaceful. Deep down, we desire constructive, fruitful growth and dislike destruction. Many people today agree that we need to reduce violence in our society. If we are truly serious about this, we must deal with the roots of violence, particularly those that exist within each of us. We need to embrace "inner disarmament," reducing our own emotions of suspicion, hatred and hostility toward our brothers and sisters. Furthermore, we must reexamine how we relate to the very question of the use of violence in today's profoundly interconnected world. One may sometimes feel that one can solve a problem quickly with force, but such success is often achieved at the expense of the rights and welfare of others. One problem may have been solved, but the seed of another is planted, thus opening a new chapter in a cycle of violence and counter-violence. From the Velvet Revolution in the former Czechoslovakia to the popular pro-democracy movement in the Phillipines, the world has seen how a nonviolent approach can lead to positive political changes. But the genuine practice of nonviolence is still at an experimental stage. If this experiment succeeds, it can open the way to a far more peaceful world. We need to embrace a more realistic approach to dealing with human conflicts, an approach that is in tune with a new reality of heavy interdependence in which the old concepts of "we" and "they" are no longer relevant. The very idea of total victory for one's own side and the total defeat of one's enemy is untenable. In violent conflicts, the innocent are often the first casualties, as the war in Iraq and Sudan's Dafur crisis painfully remind us. Today, the only viable solution to human conflicts will come through dialogue and reconciliation based on the spirit of compromise. Many of the problems we confront today are our own creation. I believe that one of the root causes of these manmade problems is the inability of humans to control their agitated minds and hearts -- an area in which the teachings of the world's great religions have much to offer. A scientist from Chile once told me that it is inappropriate for a scientist to be attached to his particular field of study, because that would undermine his objectivity. I am a Buddhist practitioner, but if I mix up my devotion for Buddhism with an attachment to it, my mind will be biased toward it. A biased mind never sees the complete picture, and any action that results will not be in tune with reality. If religious practitioners can heed this scientist's advice and refrain from being attached to their own faith traditions, it could prevent the growth of fundamentalism. It also could enable such followers to genuinely respect faith traditions other than their own. I often say that while one can adhere to the principle of "one truth, one religion" at the level of one's personal faith, we should embrace at the same time the principle of "many truths, many religions" in the context of wider society. I see no contradiction between these two. I do not mean to suggest that religion is indispensable to a sound ethical way of life, or for that matter to genuine happiness. In the end, whether one is a believer or a nonbeliever, what matters is that one be a good, kind and warmhearted person. A deep sense of caring for others, based on a profound sense of interconnection, is the essence of the teachings of all great religions of the world. In my travels, I always consider my foremost mission to be the promotion of basic human qualities of goodness -- the need for and appreciation of the value of love, our natural capacity for compassion and the need for genuine fellow feeling. No matter how new the face or how different the dress and behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people. When I first saw a photograph of Earth taken from outer space, it powerfully brought home to me how small and fragile the planet is and how petty our squabbles are. Amid our perceived differences, we tend to forget how the world's different religions, ideologies and political systems were meant to serve humans, not destroy them. When I traveled to the former Soviet Union in the late 1970s, I encountered widespread paranoia, even among ordinary people who feared that the West hated them so much that it was ready to invade their country. Of course, I knew this was mere projection. Today, more than ever, we need to make this fundamental recognition of the basic oneness of humanity the foundation of our perspective on the world and its challenges. From the dangerous rate of global warming to the widening gap between rich and poor, from the rise of global terrorism to regional conflicts, we need a fundamental shift in our attitudes and our consciousness -- a wider, more holistic outlook. As a society, we need to shift our basic attitude about how we educate our younger generation. Something is fundamentally lacking in our modern education when it comes to educating the human heart. As people begin to explore this important question, it is my hope that we will be able to redress the current imbalance between the development of our brains and the development of our hearts. To promote greater compassion, we must pay special attention to the role of women. Given that mothers carry the fetus for months within their own bodies, from a biological point of view women in general may possess greater sensitivity of heart and capacity for empathy. My first teacher of love and compassion was my own mother, who provided me with maximum love. I do not mean to reinforce in any way the traditional view that a woman's place is confined to the home. I believe that the time has come for women to take more active roles in all domains of human society, in an age in which education and the capacities of the mind, not physical strength, define leadership. This could help create a more equitable and compassionate society. In general, I feel optimistic about the future. As late as the 1950s and '60s, people believed that war was an inevitable condition of mankind and that conflicts must be solved through the use of force. Today, despite ongoing conflicts and the threat of terrorism, most people are genuinely concerned about world peace, far less interested in propounding ideology and far more committed to coexistence. The rapid changes in our attitude toward the Earth are also a source of hope. Until recently, we thoughtlessly consumed its resources as if there were no end to them. Now not only individuals but also governments are seeking a new ecological order. I often joke that the moon and stars look beautiful, but if any of us tried to live on them, we would be miserable. This blue planet of ours is the most delightful habitat we know. Its life is our life, its future our future. Now Mother Nature is telling us to cooperate. In the face of such global problems as the greenhouse effect and the deterioration of the ozone layer, individual organizations and single nations are helpless. Our mother is teaching us a lesson in universal responsibility. The 20th century became a century of bloodshed; despite its faltering start, the 21st century could become one of dialogue, one in which compassion, the seed of nonviolence, will be able to flourish. But good wishes are not enough. We must seriously address the urgent question of the proliferation of weapons and make worldwide efforts toward greater external disarmament. Large human movements spring from individual human initiatives. If you feel that you cannot have much of an effect, the next person may also become discouraged, and a great opportunity will have been lost. On the other hand, each of us can inspire others simply by working to develop our own altruistic motivations -- and engaging the world with a compassion-tempered heart and mind. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. Since 1959, he has been living in Dharamsala, in northern India, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.

More fluff

What Kind of Empath Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Shaman

You are a Shamanic Empath. You are at one with nature and can speak with animal/plant life. Your powers come from the Sun & the Moon, and the elements. The weather moves with your mind and all of nature is at your beck and call. (from The Book of Storms by Jad Alexander at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Empaths/)















Fallen Angel


17 October 2007

With apologies

This post was going to be
an interesting story
for you, from me,
but now, the day is spent
and so are we,
but all our dreams
will be of
fig tree.

15 October 2007

Creative commitment

sugar and the dust must of wholemeal flour, that perfect alchemy that promises to reward and nourish.
There is other cooking to be done, soul food to make and ingredients to combine, the right environment and correct conditions to provide, all measured with feeling and purpose.
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