Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

A very mixed bag…

It’s been a funny old couple of weeks since I last posted. Lots of good things happening and a few bad. The good things included me finding out I was a runner up in a photography competition I entered a few weeks ago. This is the image they liked, it’s East Cliff, West Bay, Dorset.


I’ve always liked this as we think that one of the clouds looks like Milo running across the sky. There is no prize for the runners up but we do get our photographs displayed in an exhibition so I am well pleased.

Another thing that has pleased me greatly was getting an orchid plant to flower for a second time. You know the ones – you buy them looking like this.


They flower for ages but eventually, all the blooms drop off and you try to follow the instructions to make it flower again. It tells you to cut it back to the first node which means in my book, you chop the flowering stem right back almost to the base to the first node from the bottom, so it ends up looking like this.


And so it remains until (if you are me) you lose patience, bin it and start again with a new one. However, I now discover that it means the first node FROM THE TOP  and lo and behold…


I have BUDS and NEW SHOOTS!! Glory be! There is hope for me as a gardener yet.

The other good news was seeing this on the Falkiners (now Shepherds) blog (which you can also reach from their web site). They have extended their famous and already impressive wall of paper and it now looks like this. I feel a trip to their fabulous shop coming on. They are also starting to run beginners courses and master classes – read all about it on their blog.


Other good things include my Dad’s 80th birthday weekend over Easter which passed smoothly. My niece arrived, terrified of dogs and screamed at the sight of Milo. With some patient intervention, she was transformed within 10 minutes into Milo’s biggest fan and she followed him around the house the entire visit. I almost had to check her bag to make sure she wasn’t smuggling him home with her. One of my sisters invited me to go sailing in Corfu with her and her husband in June – I accepted immediately and booked it all yesterday. Fab, can’t wait.


Needless to say Milo sulked for days after they went home.  The bad news also involves Milo. He is now 9 months old and after being a perfectly housetrained little sweetheart for most of this time, even learning to use the dog flap without prompting, he has suddenly started doing all sorts of unsavoury things like peeing all over the house and getting frisky with his toys and people’s legs. He has hit dog puberty! I’m hoping it’s just a phase he is going through but I’m going to talk to the vet and if this is likely to be a permanent problem – then I will have to make a big decision…

The book project continues. I have completed 7 books and matching clam shell boxes and am well into the 8th set. I ordered some new inkjet cartridges for my printer. It uses 10 different coloured pigment inks and the new set arrived today – in 10 separate padded envelopes. How wasteful and ridiculous is that?

To end, I want to point you to the Britweek website, it’s an event going on in Los Angeles to publicize the British contribution to LA life. This is my ex. He is now a rock star and a photographer and has an exhibition called ‘Poetry in the Streets’ at his gallery in LA. You can also see a video of him performing with his band GTA, at a Teenage Cancer Trust concert a few years ago at the Royal Albert Hall.



22 responses to “A very mixed bag…

  1. Teresa April 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Congratulations on your being a finalist in the photo contest!! It is a gorgeous photo; maybe you should make limited prints to sell on Etsy because I know you don’t have enough to do and really don’t need the sleep so you may as well add an extra activity to your life. LOL!

    I still don’t get the node thing for the orchids so I guess we’re doomed to never have another bloom on ours.

    That is a gorgeous array of paper; how do you resist the temptation to buy them all?

    Poor Milo – neglected and now in the throes of teenage angst and mischief. Or should I say, poor Diane, having to deal with Milo in his throes. Our dog was a bit nutty in her teen years. She’ll be 3 this summer and has finally settled down. Phew. Good luck!

    So envious you get to go to Corfu! :)

    • Diane April 21, 2009 at 9:17 am

      Thanks about the photo – I always liked it – one of those flukey shots that just works!

      The orchid thing is just to cut them back after they finish flowering to the first node before the flowers and not right at the bottom of the stem as I was doing. ie just cut off the bit of each stem that has had flowers on it.

      I don’t resist – that’s my problem and why I need a big plan chest!

      He hasn’t been bad so far today – so fingers crossed – but then it is only 10am :)

      • Teresa April 24, 2009 at 6:31 pm

        Ok, I’m going to take your advice because our sorry little orchid flower is just about spent and I’d love not to have to wait another 3 years before it blooms again. ;D

  2. strugglingwriter April 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Congrats on the photography. You always post lovely stuff here.

    Sorry about Milo. If it makes you feel any better I had to clean pee off the carpet twice yesterday and I don’t have a dog. We’re trying to potty train the daughter for real now. Quite messy!

    • Diane April 21, 2009 at 9:20 am

      Oh I remember those days well. And I don’t want to scare you but they do say boys are harder to potty train than girls.
      That is a gorgeous photo you posted of your daughter with the cat – sooooo sweet!
      Can we see more Tristan pics too please? :)

      • strugglingwriter April 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

        Diane, you can see more pictures of “Mr. T” (nickname for the baby). I have a few on Facebook. Did you see those? I’ll have to put one on the blog too :)

        I love that one of my daughter and the cat. My wife took that one.

  3. Steven Caldecourt/Gitwizard April 21, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Beautiful shot, I won a camera years ago in a competition that the Independent magazine used to run. It’s on my Flikr widget, the field of pumpkins, unfortunately I don’t have a scanner so it doesn’t look as good as the hard copy.

    BTW, I thought of you when I saw this site on StumbleUpon,

    • Diane April 21, 2009 at 9:32 am

      Found the pumpkin photo – really good I like it a lot. The lines in it are very effective.

      That Stumbleupon site is amazing, I love it! I’d love to have a go at that – right up my street. Paper and calligraphy….

      NO! Diane, do not be distracted, bookmark it and get back to work!!

  4. Daddy Papersurfer April 21, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Love the photo young Diane – it’s very difficult to capture the depth of the sky. This works very well aided and abetted by the glimpse of cliff and the shingle in the foreground.

    [Note to Milo – KEEP YOUR LEGS CROSSED!!! – particularly if your mistress is waving her scissors around pretending to tend the orchids and mumbling ‘nodes’]

    Corfu!!! Sailing!!!! …… now this is going to upset the TG …… oh dear …….. somehow it’ll be my fault I know …

    …… and links to ‘ex’ …….. fascinating! Does he really achieve $250 for t-shirts? – a talented chap with excellent marketing ……. perhaps he’d buy me my yacht ………

    • Diane April 21, 2009 at 10:18 am

      As I said before, it was a complete fluke but does work very nicely!

      Ha! I’d forgotten the link between orchids and the relevant bits of Milo’s anatomy. I must have subconsciously associated them in my head!

      I know! Corfu! How exciting! Not been sailing for years so it will be good to be going with people who are ‘old hands’ – so to speak (sorry, Jules!)

      As for whether ex achieves $250 for a t-shirt – that remains to be seen – but I’d say if it is going to be achievable anywhere, then LaLa land is the place :-)

      As for your yacht – get behind me in the queue…..

  5. Diane April 21, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Can’t stand that song! Much prefer the Beach Boys singing ‘Sail On, Sailor’ ….I LOVE that song!

    All together now…. “Sail on, sail on, sailor….” :-)

  6. Daddy Papersurfer April 22, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I always change Nora Jone’s song ‘Come away with me’ to ‘Sail away with me’ – partly because I forget the words of course …

  7. creechman April 25, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Nice post.

    One among many of the things I love about you is your attention to details that matter.

    Attention to the perfect photograph.

    Attention to the exquisite color or plant or scene.

    Attention to fine clouds lazily wandering across a blue sky.

    You like flowers. You know dog flaps.

    Got an older father you care for. Got a young son with recent birthday. What’s not to love?

    I say you are a keeper.


  8. Diane April 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you, very kind of you to make these observations. What is it they say? ‘God is in the detail’. It’s very important to notice what is going around you and try to appreciate little details – a beautiful sky, a dog shaped cloud, an exquisite flower, a glorious sunset.

    My sons and my ex are all like that – probably why we all take nice photos.

    As for your last point, all I can say is – apparently not.
    (unless you mean I am like a zoo keeper…cleaning up after Milo these days certainly makes me feel like one :-) )

  9. barbara April 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    I have a very old orchid plant that looks half dead. I don’t do anything to it (water once in a while). Every year it breaks out in beautiful little flowers. I say they like neglect. But I have a very black thumb.
    P.S. Orchid plants and dogs are forever…no matter what. Til death do we part.

    • Diane April 26, 2009 at 12:13 am

      That may be why this one is thriving – once I had pruned it I put it to one side and then forgot about it for ages!

      I agree – I couldn’t part with Milo now but I’ve heard that if he has the snip it might stop his ‘anti-social’ behaviour! He has actually improved this last few days so he might have escaped the chop :)

  10. barbara April 25, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    P.P.S. I like your photo and your ex sure is cute! I even liked the music and I’m old! You’ve got good taste all around.

  11. Diane April 26, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Why thank you! I like the music too – that song is probably my favourite.

  12. Lynda Lehmann April 30, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I like the photo and I CAN see MIlo running across the sky, on the right hand side of the sky! He’s a cutie–hope he stops peeing and such.

    I watched the video of your ex and I like his sound. Did you ever sing with him?

    Sounds as if you are one busy lady. But you got that orchid to thrive in spite of it!

    • Diane May 1, 2009 at 10:06 am

      Fingers crossed, Milo does seem to be over the worst. He might yet escape the vet’s ministrations!

      Singing together? Well, every party or social event usually ended in a sing along! My particular favourite was ‘Take the Weather with You’ by Crowded House – we used to sing the harmonies together but as for singing in public – no way! I so admired him for having the guts to do it – and at the Royal Albert Hall no less :-)

      I think the orchid thrived on benign neglect!

  13. Lynda Lehmann May 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Poor little Milo. I hope he shapes up fast, so as to avoid complications in his life. He was probably just stressed.

    That must have been fun, to have those song fests. I guess his ship has come in; I wish him luck.

    Unfortunately my entire house is forced to survive on benign neglect. ;)

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