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Sneaky little blighters…and my revenge!

January 17, 2018

Ol’Untucked thought the cushiony-cotton scale had been subdued. But I was wrong. Sigh.

Ever since the adults, with their fine, fluffy white clothes, sucked the life out of my pig-face I have been keeping a watchful eye for any strays and also checking the plant’s health. They killed 3/4s of the plant the little blighters.

Anyway, it’s been fine. The plant was recovering a degree of health and even appeared to have some new growth. Until today, when I noticed it was looking a little…saggy.

Hundreds of baby scale had settled into the creases and were trying their best to kill it! Expletives followed, as did a fair amount of researching for something I could do immediately to kill them, without spending a back-breaking day hunched over the pot with tweezers. The internet gardening-gods were kind and pointed me to an oil and detergent mixture. Hopefully, it’s worked.

Just in case I lose it – I have an emotional attachment to this plant! – I took a few cuttings and scraped all the scale off them manually. The cuttings are now in a garden bed, very far from their infested parent plant, getting to know their new neighbours. Here’s hoping they like settle in okay.

I don’t love killing critters, but in this case it was them or the plant. Seems almost unnatural that a bug should kill what’s sustaining it, but scale and mealy bugs seem to have decided that’s the way to go! Anyway, I’ll share the recipe if it works.

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Flight of the high-vis

January 13, 2018

Back when Ol’Untucked was working at The Quirk there was a strange phenomenon in the middle of the afternoon which I called the “flight of the high-vis”. You’d get to a point where suddenly the streets flowed with fast moving yellow and orange vests. They flooded onto and then off trams. They washed passed you in a rush for the train station. They bucketed down escalators, onto platforms.

In a part of the city where you mostly saw dark suits the rest of the day it was fascinating and kind of funny.

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A weeding reward

January 9, 2018

Once I tried to hire a garden shirt to weed my yard – this is back at Little House – and they didn’t understand the idea that they could get paid more for hand weeding than poisoning.

After a long day of pulling weeds I sometimes see the garden shirt’s point, but then on days like today I get a small reward that makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes its a lizard or some other thing that weed killer shouldn’t hurt but might, and then sometimes its the critters I worry about the most… frogs!

I think the little guys are awesome.

This time it was an Eastern Froglet.

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The scar of Umber

January 5, 2018

Around the Chez at New Year there are a lot of fireworks. Most of them are illegal and over the time I’ve lived in Umber there have been a few nervous moments. This New Years we had the first big accident… and now one of Umber’s hills has a big black scar.

It was surprising that the grass caught fire given how much rain we’ve had, but when the sirens wailed and the red and blue lights bounced off the hills it was obvious what had happened.

As far as scars go, it’s curvy and almost like a shadow, but – importantly – it didn’t get into the heart of Frogland. Each year I worry what the illegal fireworks do to the wildlife, but this fire could have done real damage to the local frog habitat.

Ol’Untucked loves fireworks, but I wish shirts would leave it to the experts!

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The unexpected flower

January 1, 2018

As a part of recent building works around the Chez – my future back neighbours – I scored a couple of succulents. Now, one of the mystery plants is flowering and I like it.

A top view of succulent with its flowerhead

It’s cool that green plant has a mauve flower stalk and yellow and pink flowers!

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Endless Fridays of a Small Island Nation

December 28, 2017

Weird thing has been happening to me at the end of each work day for most of December. I pack up my stuff, wish my work-shirts a good night, wander out of the building and drift toward one of many things that I usually do after work… on a Friday.

When I get home, I watch some drama while I eat dinner and then… I contemplate things I do on a Friday night.

Is Ol’Untucked’s mind going? Of course that is a possibility. But no, I think it’s the doing of my current work situation. Up-front I’m going to point out that I don’t mind this Friday thing at all. Except for being mildly confused about what day it is, it has no downside.

The reason every day is Friday is that I have absolutely no work pressure on me. I’m busy enough, but I have no deadlines, no one waiting to look at what I’ve produced and, honestly, no control over anything that’s happening on the project beyond my desk! If I were any more relaxed, I’d be asleep.

Over many years, in many workplaces and with many employers, I don’t think I’ve ever been this occupied and yet relaxed. It’s very nice.

Of course it probably won’t last, but you can believe it when I say I’m enjoying every moment!!

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Bring the bling!

December 24, 2017

Ol’Untucked’s xmas present to self, was going to be… something not yet decided on. Then my dentist made a suggestion, by way of telling me that my troublesome tooth did need a crown. She suggested gold. I suggested that was a cool idea.

My sense is that most shirts opt for the more natural, tooth-looking option, given how many times she checked on my willingness for gold. Not sure she believed me when I basically said “bring the bling”.

Gold lasts. Gold is shiny. Gold is good.

Considering I’ve cracked the tooth and three subsequent fillings, I think the durability of gold makes it worthwhile for my mouth. But it is also nice to look at.

As xmas day approaches, I can contemplate how I’m going to put a bit of wrapping paper around my head so I can unwrap my new tooth on xmas morning. Sleeping under the tree seems a step too far, but I did think about it!