Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Dogs and Roses - A letter from Julie

After I published Julie’s previous letter Diane from Always Crave Cute left a comment suggesting that Julie needs a blog of her own I agreed with Diane and asked Julie about it. This is what she said; You asked if I have ever done a blog, and truthfully, I haven’t as yet! But I adore the written word and have even written articles for magazines over the years. Many folk have asked if I am a writer by profession, and it always makes me smile. What a huge compliment!! 

Now for the next instalment - over to you Julie;

So ... is the weather still gorgeous over in UK? We have been in the throes of a rather chilly snap which has affected the southern half of Oz as well as most of the Eastern coast. We are far enough North that it has not affected us up here! Thank heavens as the cold and I am not fond bedfellows at all. So many youngsters have been seeing and touching snow for the very first time in their lives this weekend. Amazing! Brrrr....

Cobweb in Julie's garden. 
It's beautiful Julie but did I ever tell you about my fear of spiders? I can only imagine the fearful eight-legged nightmare that built this. 

I am smiling as I think of your family members in Adelaide. My step mum, Adele, is from the Adelaide Hills and snow is so very rare in that area. The news reports were filled with children who were having such a fabulous time as they made their snowballs and even Snow Men. The huge smiles on their mesmerised faces was a real delight to see, after all the awful and sad stories which the news has been filled with for what seems like ages. Of course, though rather chilly here in the tropical area of North Queensland, it is gorgeously sunny, so the early-morning  temperatures climb very rapidly to the mid 20s, and it is just wonderful at this time of year and quite heavenly really!  I know what you mean about the warmth you are having, which means that a raincoat is quite a nuisance. And to think that our idiot Prime Minister (who no one admits to liking) keeps on about there being no such thing as Climate Change!! (Julie wrote this when Tony Abbott was in power. Malcolm Turnbull, a former investment banker and lawyer, is the new prime minister.)  




Our seasons have changed so radically in just the past three or four years, that even the fruit crops such as Mangoes, don't know whether it is winter or summer. A good thing about the lovely, if weird weather though, is the amazing strawberries which are available at the moment so cheaply in Queensland. I can easily live on them! I love all sorts of fruit and with everything growing to perfection here, I feel so lucky. We have got passion fruits on the vine at the moment, but my banana tree decided to curl up its toes recently!! I chop up my strawberries and then scoop the passion fruit pulp all over them, with just a small amount of sticky brown sugar. Too Yummy! And I love stewing the winter apples with a few strawberries tossed in too.

Another visitor to Julie’s garden

The weather the whole world over is just mad ... I think you and I had almost identical temperature ranges the other day, from what I saw on the World News! Your poor dahlias seem to be suffering the mixed up signals from Mother Nature, just as all the plants here are doing with the summery climate we are having during our winter. The mango tree which is in my neighbours yard, but overhangs into my yard is FULL of fruit and blossoms all at the same time! We do not usually see even the start of its flowers till late September for December fruit. It is totally bizarre! The Fruit Bats are not even aware of their favourite fruit being there so these mangoes are actually seeming to grow without being destroyed, unlike when they are on the trees at the normal time of year. 




My girls are all out lazing in the sun right now. Bless their hearts.... They felt the chill earlier on, that's for sure! It was MUCH cooler than yesterday. We had just 6.5 degrees at 6.30 this morning. However, it had climbed to 14.3 by 8 o'clock, and now at 9.30am it is already 18.  We should get to the mid 20's by lunchtime and stay there, till late afternoon hopefully. Mmmmm...Beautiful! My big chairs have lovely fleecy throws on them so it is little wonder that the Fur Babies love curling up on them early in the morning and late at night. Well dear Barbara, I shall head off and have a nice hot cup of tea. I think that going out on the veranda with the dogs and enjoying the warmth sounds like a good plan. 

Much love and many smiles too, Jules xoxoxoxo
August, 2015





PS The wrinkly teddy bear is LouLou, my almost totally deaf Shar Pei. The big dog with the floppy ears is Georgie, who was so badly abused that my vet had to keep her over for four months to get her well enough for me to adopt. The small dog with the pointy ears is Koo, who has adopted us by coming over from next door after she decided that she loved the company and being allowed to sleep on my bed with the other two every night when she stayed for a weekend when Kylie and her sons were away.  The boys still come to play with her all the time and it works out perfectly for us all.  

All photographs courtesy of Julie Drew

Previous letters from Julie here and here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A follow-up from Julie 

I too had a shocking fear of spiders as a small child, and was cured of it by my darling dad!  One evening there was a huge huntsman spider up in the corner of my bedroom and I was beside myself with fear, screaming for Dad to kill it! He flatly refused, instead catching it and putting it in a lovely big jar. He made me catch insects for it and basically have it as a sort of pet, telling me that it would be far more afraid of me who was so much like a giant to it, than I had a right to be frightened of IT!!  I did release my new friend into the garden after a few days, by the way!! My dad is such a clever man to have thought of such a thing!

Well, it worked, and ever since I have had a healthy (if respectful where venomous ones are concerned) fascination for these amazing critters. I even did a long assignment when at high school, all about their web-spinning abilities!! I love to see the very delicate little webs in my garden as the sunlight catches them. They truly are beautiful and so amazingly complex.

Thanks so much Julie, I'm sure readers of this blog will enjoy hearing from you again, just as I do. 
Love Barbara xx


This talk of spiders reminded me to wish you all a Very Happy Halloween.  

31 comments:

  1. Good morning dearest Barbara! What an enchanted garden indeed, with smiling frogs, roses, silken spider webs?And how I miss my blog....the beautiful cycle of storytelling through blogs continues....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anita, I miss your blog too but my visits to your Instagram page always lift my spirits. The smiling frogs in Julie’s garden are incredible I’m sure they are all princes in hiding! xx

      Delete
  2. What a lovely post, Julie does indeed have a talent for the written word and obviously has an eye for a good photo opportunity as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Tracy, how right you are! Reading Julie's words is just like holding a conversation with a friend.

      Delete
  3. What a great post. I want one of those tree frogs - now!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just love this blog and the beautiful frog. We have a small decorative pond in our new garden and hope, once the water feature is pumping water in to it, that we will get frogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue,
      We get big brown toads in our back garden, which just shows how wet it is. They always make me jump when they jump!
      I'm looking forward to seeing your new place, glad we have a date in the diary. xx

      Delete
  5. Enchanting Garden! I love the frog... similar to what we used to have here.. and the roses are stunning! Barbara, I to am an Arachnophobe and have a hard time looking at spiders, even the illustrated cartoon kind! I think I'm too old now for the cure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diane, you can imagine the kind of fun I have when visiting our son in Australia – I don’t get into bed without first checking the covers & never, ever leave anything on the floor. To be fair it’s very rare to find a spider in the house because they have a barrier spray done every few months, but I still can’t get past the fear. Your frogs have obviously not returned then, what a shame.

      Delete
  6. A lovely letter from Julie. We had a dog that visited the neighbours a lot and finally moved in with them. They were retired and we were busy working so they had more time to spend with him. We would take him for walks every evening before bed though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Darlene, I think that was a very sensible solution and at least you got to take him for lots of walks. It’s hard for dogs to be left at home all day. Ours didn’t like being left for two hours and made a real commotion each time we went out the door. I don’t miss that but I do miss the welcome when we got home.

      Delete
  7. Such a lovely post overall! And the garden is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How lovely to gain an insight into Julie's life on the other side of the world. The photographs are stunning too. :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks Linda and Heather, I know Julie will be delighted by your comments.

      Delete
  8. It's nice to learn what things are like in Oz and that the U. S. doens't have the monopoly on idiot politicians! Wonderful pictures. The first one of the spider web is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bish, the U.S. certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on idiot politicians – most of them are in the UK! I agree about the photos; Julie is a brilliant photographer.

      Delete
  9. It's very nice hearing from Julie! Her father is a great teacher of overcoming fears. I'm not a fan of spiders either but I still can catch a small one (in order to release it from my house). The blooms and dogs are beautiful and that frog, I admit my shoulders were scrunching up when I saw the close-up shot but that smile (not that it could help 'smiling') melted me. Happy Halloween, Julie and Barbara!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Claudine, I can just about deal with tiny spiders. Anything bigger and I have to call for backup the trouble is Terry is almost as frightened of them as I am! Happy Halloween xx

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your lovely comments about my darling dad!! He will be 86 in Feb,and I just cannot think of him as other than the young man who helped to raise me so long ago! He still retains all his humour and clever wit,still writing limericks and little poems for all family members!! How extremely fortunate I am to have such a truly amazing man for my father!
      The spiderweb in the photo is actually barely 4 inches(100mm) across,and if you look carefully you can see the tiny little lady who spun it so very beautifully!!
      And THAT frog!!! Oh my goodness,I am the luckiest little human on the planet,or so I often believe! My frogs are so delightful,and come in all shapes and sizes.Some have gold eyes,some have black one which glow a stunning red when caught in the flash of a camera!! Their green tones can change depending on where they happen to be,but they are ALWAYS smiling! I hope to introduce you to more of these darling Princes in Disguise in the future....
      And thanks for the Halloween Wishes to both of you! It is becoming more and more celebrated here in Oz all the time.I even have Bats here, which eat all the ripe mangoes which the lorikeets do not get !!! Seriously though, they are NOT bats,but Flying Foxes and very cute!!
      My wishes are sent back to you,and many warm smiles of course,as well!

      Delete
    3. Dear Julie, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to everyone. Your letters and comments are a delight, and you always make me smile. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. Barbara x

      Delete
  10. So nice to share this with us, I love the photographs. My camera recently got broken on a night out so I need to replace it. I also have a big of spider fear but what a spectacular picture of the web. I think the smiling frog is my fav

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lainy, bad luck about your camera, the same thing happened to me last year. I was heartbroken, especially as I hadn’t had it very long. I tried to get it repaired, but it was going to be so expensive I ended up buying a new one.

      Delete
  11. Happy Halloween to you too!

    So fun to hear from Julie again. Her garden sounds lovely and the spiderweb is so beautiful. I was afraid of spiders as a child, but my mom helped me get rid of my fear when I was in 4th or 5th grade. Now when I see them I feel like they are good luck. :)

    I am smiling imagining all the kids touching and seeing snow for the first time. Sad that the reason has to do with climate change- but a wonderful, magical sight to picture.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How kind you all are to make such warm and genuinely lovely comments about my letters!! Thank you SO much dear Barbara for inviting me to write for your blog! I am enjoying it immensely,as you know. Funny to read these wintery paragraphs now after a couple of months have passed by and it is now 30 every afternoon here in my tropical paradise!! And PARADISE it truly IS,with so many new blooms inviting, nay... BEGGING me to take more gloriously cheerful photographs each day!! My camera is like an extension of my hands really,and I always have it at the ready! I can hardly wait to share some pictures with you of my tropical lorikeets...... not to mention so many other magical things I am always discovering!
    And as for this smiling tree frog.... I am so thrilled to see so many complimentary comments about this wonderful critter!! Thank you so much for loving this darling friend who proves that the atmosphere in my garden is so healthy. I am sure you will love more of these happy fellows when you get to meet them! Aaaah! how delightful and truly special it is to share my world with you.You do humble me with your overwhelmingly positive words.
    Until next time,Many warm smiles to you all, Julie

    ReplyDelete
  13. I can live anywhere as long as they sell lots of bug spray!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear Barbara,

    Such a lovely letter from Julie and I enjoyed seeing all her gorgeous photos - the sweet smiling frog, the pretty roses and the spider web.
    I have a fear of spiders and lately we have had a couple of white tail spiders come inside the house. The other day I saw one walking up the wall and don't know if it was one of those, so I managed to get it inside a jar and when my husband came home I asked him and he said, no they were harmless so I was able to go and let is outside.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend and wishing you a great November.
    Many thanks for the kind visit to my blog
    hugs
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Carolyn, I was bitten by a spider while visiting family in Australia. The bite was incredibly painful, and I still have a mark on my hand to remind me of it. My daughter-in-law said it was a white tail spider. I had never heard of them before, but I have a healthy respect for them now, and my paranoia has grown no end!
      I’m so pleased you enjoyed Julie’s letter and photos. I feel very lucky to be able to share them.
      Have a lovely week, Barbara x

      Delete
  15. Another fun post. I love the beautiful flower photos and that personable frog!

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...