Gypsy

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, servo pie…

With apologies.

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My history has made me train wild animals but I’m more famed
Because I’ve really trained myself to be as spry as any elf
The circus life taught me a lot, now the circus is finished – but I’m not.
For I’m not afraid to potter round the dark
I’ll breakfast on tomorrow’s question mark
Adventure is in my blood why any lion could smell it well
But I always hold the whip and I’ll never let it slip
Whatever comes I’ll take the good and send the rest to hell

Roaming free as the breeze
What’s to stop me and why?
I can live as I please
Open road, open sky!

My lion taming acting was enough to create quite a buzz
From Timbuctu to Samarkand I wowed them in the hinterland
I was king of the king of the beasts on the stage
Why, the public wouldn’t let me out of my cage
They loved it when the lions licked my paws
And I got the lion’s share of their applause
I follow with the bold and the brave when the bold are gone
Whatever I wish I’ll be when the wish appeals to me
For there’s a thing worth more than gold
My creed! I must go!

English words by Anne Ronell (1939)

The music for “Open Road Open Sky” was originally composed by Johann Strauss for his 1885 light opera “Der Zigeunerbaron Wikipedia16“. The English version of this song became popular in 1939 after Ann Ronell adapted Strauss’s music and wrote new lyrics.

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Being Green

A Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea).  Larger fatter, less wrinkled and a lighter green than I am used to seeing here.  (S)he’s very well fed.   Maybe it’s Eric all grown up?  I am not sure but I think this one’s nose is a little different.

I found her lurking under the outside light last night.  Looks like she had a successful time catching insects.  Maybe even a gecko.  It seems she has been climbing through spider webs or roof litter.

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Paradise

“Paradise” comes from the Persian for “walled garden”.

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In My Memory Garden

In my memory garden
At the centre, under hazel
Grows a single shamrock.
A spiral path of babies’ tears
Gravels out through blackberries
Bluebells, balm and celandine
Snowdrops under oaks
A solitary silver birch
Pansies, pinks, carnations.

 

Play here amongst the toitoi
Flax, raupo, tadpoles, frogs
A tree hut in an aged willow
Sliding down a scented macrocarpa
Roses from Home
Daisy, dandelion, buttercup
Gorse and gooseberry
Mushrooms.

 

Turn
Sea-salted pohutukawa
Seaweed, rocks, sandy sedge and sunshine
Ferns, moss, forest and waterfall
Jasmine and jonquil,
Mallow and mint
Daffodil and dahlia
Yellow tulips

 

Turn again
Here are hibiscus, frangipani,
Mud, tides. corals, sands,
Tropical palms.
Crabs and coconuts.
Birds and fishes
Chirping in mangroves.

 

Return;
Kowhai, tui, fantail
Rosemary, rocket, sorrel
Bay and cultivation
Potato, bean and brussels
Moonflower, lily of the valley
Holly, wild honeysuckle, rue
Milkweed and butterflies

 

Wandering now
Wattle, Eucalyptus , bottlebrush and banksia
Jacaranda, poinciana, poinsettia; parakeets
Little dragons and honeyeaters
Spinifex and bindii

 

Turn once more, return at last
At the spiral’s end
A little thyme alone
Lichen, lilies, nightshade
And a standing stone.

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Insight

An insight into my character; I
Am the sort of person who,
If told I’ll never walk again,
Will embrace my never-walkingness
And never walk again.

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Worm

Seriously

I fear sometimes I am losing my whimsy.
The Wise man warned me not to let that happen.

The Bonny Earl O’ Moray

Believed to be the first assassination of a head of state by use of firearms, the story of the Earl of Moray became a timeless ballad.

It is also the song that coined a word.  Mondegreen.  In 1954 Sylvia Wright wrote the famous piece for Harper’s Magazine; The Death of Lady Mondegreen.  Still entertaining all these years later.

There have been some good examples of Mondegreens since.  Excuse me while I kiss this guy being very famously misheard by fans of Jimi Hendrix.

In my opinion, the very best version of the song The Bonny Earl ‘O Moray is this one, sung by Bobby Eaglesham with Dick Gaughan in the band Five Hand Reel.

Ye Hielans an’ ye Lowlans
O whaur hae ye been?
Thae hae slain the Earl o’ Moray
An they’ve laid him on the green
He wis a braw callant
An he played at the ba’
O the bonnie Earl o’ Moray
He wis the floer amang them a’
Lang may his ladie
Luik o’er frae Castle Doun
Ere she sees the Earl o’ Moray
Come soundin’ through the toun

O woe betide ye Huntly
An whaurfore did ye say?
O I bade ye bring him tae me
But forbade ye him tae slay
He wis a braw callant
An he played at the ring
O the bonnie Earl o’ Moray
Ah, he micht a’ bin the king
Lang may his ladie
Look o’er frae Castle Doun
Ere she sees the Earl o’ Moray
Come soundin’ through the toun

Ye Hielans an ye Lowlans
O whaur hae ye been?
Aye they’ve slain the Earl o’ Moray
An’ laid him on the green
He wis a braw callant
An he played at the glove
Aye the bonnie Earl o’ Moray
Ach, he was the Queen’s true love.
Lang may his ladie
Luik o’er frae Castle Doun
Ere she sees the Earl o’ Moray
Come soundin through the toun

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Great song, based as they say, on a True Story.

Child Ballad No. 181.

Holiday Happy

Here I am in Halls Creek, just as last year, minding a friends house and Lani the dog again.  The poor thing has a broken leg and is limping around in a cast.  She is a sweet and affectionate girl and follows me wherever I go.  So I try to sit still a lot and scratch behind her ears.

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My own dog, Zeus, I left behind in Bililuna.  The neighbours were sorry when they heard I would be away for a month and was taking Zeus with me.  He is a good guard dog and his barking alerts them when someone is prowling around.  And there has been quite a bit of prowling lately.  Several break-ins over the last few weeks.  I have to admit I was worried about leaving the donga again, remembering always what happened while I was away last year.  Even with the cage, three padlocks and three deadbolts I am still a little paranoid someone will break in.  So I suggested that maybe they would like to keep Zeus with them.  I was happy they enthusiastically agreed.  Joe emailed me the other day to tell me Zeus has adapted to being with them without any fuss or bother, and that he had awoken Joe at 2AM the other morning to tell him someone was outside.  So Joe is happy too.  I am just hoping that Zeus’ range of observation extends across the road to my place.

It might have been problematic had I brought him up to Halls Creek with me anyway, so I guess things have worked out well.

For Christmas this year I have invested in new camera gear for myself.  I replaced the Olympus Tough that was stolen last year, with the latest model and I have already found it is a big improvement on the one I had, while still being submersible, rugged, and sand proof.  It is capable of taking some pretty amazingly sharp macro photographs.

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For the long range nature photography I ordered myself a new Sony Cybershot DSC-RX10 Mark IV 20MP Digital Camera. This will be my fourth Sony camera.  They have never disappointed me and I am told by a knowledgeable expert friend that I will not be disappointed this time.  I am hoping it will arrive in the coming week.

In the meantime I am just chillin’.  Sleeping in, having a quiet time.

I found a little visitor in the dog’s water bowl yesterday.  I rescued him, took a few photos and let hi go in the pot plant area.  Lani the dog was quite cool with it.  So I hope it is safe.  It is a Little Red Tree Frog.  Litoria rubella.  Which I now realise was the same species that I found accompanying the Green Tree Frog in the shower at the SPQ some time back.

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Love’s Labours Lost

It’s a disaster.  I am a fool!

Worse; I am a relationship wrecker.  Before it even started.  Oh, the ignominy of it all.

Eric RimLeaper is still behind the washing machine!  He is calling louder than ever.

He is still here!

So who was that green tree frog I guided out of the house the other night?  Have I just ruined Eric’s only chance at finding his one true love?  Was it a she, and was she wandering the kitchen uncertainly in search of Eric while I wrestled with my conscience before sending her out into the night?   Why didn’t Eric call or come out to greet her if he was there?  He must have known she was nearby, surely?   I am not well versed in frog etiquette, but I would have guessed there must be some way they can sense each other’s presence?

The only other explanation I can think of is that Eric knows a secret way to get back into the donga that I am not aware of.  I sincerely doubt that however because the whole place was cleared out for new flooring and doors etc after the great burglary.  If there were a gap or hole I’d have spotted it before I filled the house up again with all my junk.

If that wasn’t Eric the other night who was it?  How did the stranger get in?  Did I have two resident frogs all the time?  Why was Eric so quiet the last couple of days?  Was he sulking?

Any way you look at it, it is a conundrum.

Oh the mysteries of nature.

On reflection, if they can come and go as it seems they can, who am I to worry?  They are welcome to share the house.  I enjoy their company.  Zeus ignores them, and they seem content to be here.   Or one of them does.

It is not easy being green.    Or being landlord to someone green.

 

 

Later:  Bloody Hell. He’s louder than ever.  Every call seems like a recrimination.

 

Released

I had an exhausting day today (Yesterday! – it is another day already).  The kids and I decorated and assembled kites.  I was grateful for the help of the ladies at the Art Centre, because twenty five kids can decorate a kite in no time flat, but my job, assembling them one by one,  takes time.  Before I was halfway through on the assembly line the first ones were coming back to be repaired.  I hadn’t allowed for the fact that none of these youngsters have had a kite before.  I wanted to get some photos but I had no time.  With luck and a breeze we can fly them tomorrow and I can get some drone footage.

It was a blazing hot afternoon and we kept going until darkness fell.   I returned to the donga drenched with sweat and desperately in need of a shower, a quick meal and some sleep. I was in bed by 7.30.   Which is why I am up now at 3.30 , wide awake.  I have just had a cup of cocoa and watched a bit of Netflix on my off peak quota.  I watched a really excellent movie made here in Australia:  Otherlife.  I recommend it.  Aus is making some really good SF movies these days on modest budgets.  I have already written about Predestination.  This one is just as good.  But a movie review was not the point of this post.

While I was watching the movie, Eric the Green Tree Frog emerged and wandered aimless around the kitchen/living room seeming to be looking for something.  Zeus the dog checked him out, looked at me for instructions, and on my suggestion to leave him alone, did so and avoided him from then on, which I was pleased about.  Eric did not seem to be concerned about our presence.  Then I heard a frog calling outside and I realised that perhaps my previous decision not to put Eric out might not be in his best interests.  So after wrestling with my conscience over whether it was the right thing to do I finally opened the door and let him go.

Farewell Eric.

It’s sad when they grow up and don’t need you any more.

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