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Blue skies, blue flowers and random thoughts

The true blue Lechenaultia

We are getting some lovely weather at last and carpets of flowers are starting to appear. I especially like those unbelievably blue ones, be they in gardens or in nature. I turned our snails loose this morning, thinking that they had suffered enough in the name of science, not to mention that I seemed to be the only person who was still feeding them. That’s another good thing about snail pets. There’s no problem releasing them back into the wild. The small ones were now twice as big as when we first got them and possibly getting a bit big for their strawberry box homes.

Blue Lady
The council here has been doing its annual kerbside collection of hard rubbish lately – that’s the stuff that won’t fit into the bin. What a treat it was. A bonanza of lounge suites, old chairs, outgrown bikes, hot water cylinders, broken prams, useful building materials, old tiles. We would have killed as children to have been let loose in a treasure trove like that – wheels for go – karts, construction materials and furniture for forts.  It wasn’t called recycling or repurposing then.
Even my sons would still have relished the bits of electronic equipment and especially the abandoned satellite dish.

Sorry, no idea
Western Australia also does a nice line in pea flowers- the "Fabulous Faboideae" here are some blue ones, but they also come in pinks, orange, scarlet and yellows

One of several types of Flame Pea

Looking over this stuff now I could see great possibilities for the girls’ cubby - little tables, carpet offcuts, old curtains - all nice and clean and without that tip smell. However, I have been banned from suggesting such a thing and am not allowed to encourage the girls in such endeavours. This area is much too respectable for that but the rubbish is of very high quality. I mean, if you are going to go tip -ratting, you should certainly pick an area like this. Perhaps it’s a kind of status symbol if your junk is so highly desirable that it’s all gone by morning, before the collection truck gets there.

In nature's garden

In Tullah, the little old mining town where I spent some years, they had a special section just before the actual tip, where you left the stuff that was still reasonable and maybe of use to someone else. It had a sign on it “Tullah K-Mart“ (that’s the Australian version of Walmart for those of you in the States) and was where you might find bulky items like beds, old but working toaster ovens, parts of trampolines, children’s bikes and outgrown toys since being rather remote, it was usually too costly to take everything with you when you left. Where I live now there are lots of impoverished students, elderly folk and unemployed people, so I often leave out books and magazines, rosemary cuttings and the like, and they are always gone by morning. Since people are always moving there too, I once scored an excellent coat rack that way.

There is a good system for books. Outside the Community Centre where my sister lives, there’s a little glass case where you take what you want and leave what you’ve read. It turns out that it’s part of the Little Free Library movement of which there are now 40,000 worldwide. Begun by one Todd Bol in Wisconsin in 2009, when he built a model of a one-room schoolhouse outside his house and filled it with books, the idea has now caught on in over 70 countries.

It is a worry that they are occasionally stolen, but  read what happened to one community after the little library one lady had built as a memorial to her husband was taken. I particularly liked the idea of themed libraries such as the archaeological one outside the Kentucky Heritage Council offices, or the one centred on food and sustainability outside a food emporium. If I had somewhere to put it, I would definitely start one. Click here if you fancy starting one yourself.