Posts Tagged ‘Lobelia’

Ladies in black with Clivia.

September 23, 2018

IMG_0118 Clivia.JPG


As one can see, the sun graced this beautiful plant enough time to take the photo. Each year they seem to multiply. It goes right against the advice of the experts. ‘Clivia are strictly for the sub-tropical areas.’ ‘They don’t grow in the Southern-Highlands.’ ‘They hate frost and you won’t see them for sale here.’

This year the frost has been merciless and even grasses have died. Yet, Helvi’s careful nursing of the Clivia by hiding them underneath the bay trees and away from open areas has paid off. We can look forward to weeks of flowering Clivia as we now have at least a dozen or so spread around both front and back garden. Not only do they survive our climes but seem to multiply while we are not looking.

IMG_0113 Lobelia.JPG


The Lobelia is a different story. They love it here and thrive on neglect. The primary colours are our most favourite. Amazing to think that all other colours come from combining red, yellow and blue. Black is not really a colour, merely the absence of colour. That’s why even a bright yellow tulip looks black inside a box. White is the combination of all colour.

The photo of the lobelia is another example of how Helvi gets it so right. It’s never a forced effort. Her gardening is always natural and doesn’t ever have this ‘planted look’ The Lobelia looks as if it came there on its own volution. Look at the lovely contrast between that and the succulent below it.

Another delight this week-end has been a movie; ‘The Ladies in Black’. Another must see film by Bruce Beresford. You must know he never makes a bad movie. This is again a masterpiece. Last week we saw ‘The Wife’ which  we were knocked over by.

The ‘Ladies in Black’ is loosely based on a book by Madeleine St John named ‘The Women in Black.’  A very witty and heartfelt story of Australia in the late fifties and the influence of European migrants, especially Eastern Europeans.

Please, go and see it. But please-, refrain taking food inside the cinema. It is not that difficult to go without eating for a couple of hours. At the end of Ladies in Black we had trouble exiting our row of seats. A large lady blocked the exit and did not leave her seat. We waited for her to go but she did not or could not move. We finally climbed past over her. Perhaps she was waiting for a carer to lift her out. We don’t know what happened.


The wisdom of Lobelia.

December 15, 2015


Seeking counsel from  Lobelia is simple, effective and very cheap. Just pull a chair up and sit next to her. Soon, most worries, heart-pain and general burped up dyspepsia combined with obstinate corns, will disappear together with anxiety and guilt of having forgotten some Christmas cards recipients. She will help you overcome.

When I think of all those books written for those suffering from  deep and clear-sighted despair and those that habitually sink in gloom or heavy thoughts, I can’t think of a better cure than to try and unburden yourself with Lobelia. It doesn’t take much time and it can be done at home provided you have a small garden or even a balcony. The books written on self discovery and finding happiness now almost outnumber cooking books. Yet, the cure is to be found within the blue eyed Lobelia. She is there at your behest almost all year around.

(How perplexing that words so often seem to offer themselves out of nowhere. Why did I write the word ‘behest’? I hardly know what it means. After looking in the dictionary it fits the sentence.)

I don’t know what it is. Lately when switching on TV, hoping for good news, we get someone stirring or tossing something and saying ; ‘oh how yummy,’  repeated again, ‘oh, really yummy’. It can be so exasperating. Do people that watch it, jump up, run into the kitchen and start cooking? Or, do they dip into the box of chocolates in front of them on the coffee table or even held in their lap? With the increasing problem of so much weight gain around, one would expect cooking shows to feature the tossing up of just a single spinach leaf or celery stalk infused with just a drop of virgin oil.

Am I the only one waiting for a heartfelt, ‘oh what a disgusting dish this was’. Surely, sometimes a recipe fails? Am I the only bad cook? All dishes on TV turn out yummy. That’s all worked out beforehand. Scores of people and programmers work and write those cooking shows. Nigella Lawson is always right on queue giving those seductive side-way glances while licking her creamed ladle. Don’t be fooled it is spontaneous. She fakes it!  A little man in the corner of her kitchen holds a  folder and reads out every word, every lick, smile and every gesture. There are endless re-takes and each show costs millions.

It is therefore so pleasing to have Lobelia. She is all true and without pretence or haughtiness. You just know,  that when life becomes too over or under whelming, one can find the help, solace and peace deep within the heart of a simple Lobelia.


Don’t shout. I can hear you.

February 9, 2015
Milo on possum watch

Milo on possum watch

Today is when life will once again be beckoning. A positive lift in spirit has taken an unexpected hold. A boldness surging up. Just now I took the reckless ‘two steps at a time’ in climbing the stairs without the extra aid of grabbing the handrail nor pushing down on my knees to gain extra leverage. Not a bad effort for someone often steeped in self reflective autumnal downwards, downstairs mood. I will have to watch my heart. Take it easy, old man. Sprightly but not foolishly stupid.

The reason for this yellow-orange exuberance might have something to do with finally getting my new hearing aids. It could be nothing more mundane than that. It seems puzzling. No spiritual awakening or fresh insights, No, just hearing aids from the Australian Hearing Centre here in Bowral. The old hearing aids were not working and causing increasing isolation. As I have said before, I just guessed what people were saying by answering yes or no. I took a gamble which of course has a success rate of fifty percent. If the facial expression showed my stab to be wrong I would do some verbal gymnastics, hoping it would become more acceptable. At best, it would be a conversation twisting and turning, often with unusual results, at worst I was seen as someone ripe for the funny farm.

The effect of hearing loss cuts both ways, H became isolated as well. I mean, we are each others best, and often only friends. It is hard when conversation becomes so difficult that at times H wrote down the words. We are both lovers of conversation and used to chatter and hearing the sounds of each other’s voice. We don’t listen to radio nor watch much TV, preferring to talk instead. Nothing profound, earth shatteringly evocative or enlightening, just about jingle bells or the state of the Lobelias. In that you need reasonable hearing. Hence, going without for almost three months was a punishment my lovely H did not deserve.

The old ones were going to be repaired but somehow after waiting for a month was told they were beyond repair. It is a long boring story, but three months without hearing aids wasn’t fun. Things became pretty quiet and at times terse and sad.

Today, at 1pm sharp I will be fitted with new ones. They will come in their own little box and pamphlet on how to care for them. The box will have a little brush and other tools on how to fit batteries and keep dry with a pouch that will drain moisture when stored during the night. I am excited, can’t wait! I decided to accept for an extra $ 800.- a better version of hearing aids that have an option to keep out background noises. The idea is that in restaurants or places with lots of people talking, the chatter will be cut out and I’ll hear better those talking close by. The idea is though to try and be situated with a wall as background. I can just see myself entering a café with Helvi scanning the seating arrangements ideally suited for maximum use of my new hearing ‘devices’.

In any case, “don’t shout, I can hear you now.”