I am basking in unabashed admiration for my garden; not because it is my garden, though being me, it could be enough reason to admire it. No, I am in awe of Mother Nature.

By day I stand in gob smacked appreciation of the sheer beauty that Spring and the recent rains have created in the garden. From many point in my house and in fact even standing outside my front door looking in I can see the star jasmine in all its bounty, flowering over the arbour in the back yard. The arbour is just off the patio and is a thing of beauty to behold.

my arbour veiled in jasmin

In the evenings we can smell jasmin fragrance throughout the house. It makes watching television a more pleasant experience as one reaches a higher level of calm due to the fragrance lofting in on the night air.

scented gardenias and lush green leaves

The front garden is a wash of white at the moment. White gardenias, white lilies, white daisies. Lush green leaves and crisp one flowers; what says spring more than that? The scent of the gardenias is on the air and greets anyone walking up the driveway to our front door. The mock orange  (murraya paniculata)  plants are a week or two from flowering and will then add the perfume to the mix. This morning I gained a sense of spirit renewal dead heading the gardenias encouraging continuing flowering.

gardenias, lilies, murraya

The birds nest plant (Asplenium australasicum) that my father gave me from his garden in the first weeks of my marriage, 33 years ago and I have carried to 6 different homses now and fed banana skins from time to time, grows lush and green in the side garden under the palm trees and I can see it from the living room window and it lovingly links me with my Dad, gone 10 years now.

There are little violets of white and purple sneaking out from the garden and into the lawn and along the edge of the pavers. Sword ferns have also escaped and are growing in cracks between paths and the house and are creeping between the patio and the house. I let them have their way.

In the back garden there are flashes of colour. Red from the potted chinese lantern growing under the arbour, tropical red hibiscus flowers, dark red Canna lilies and the soft mauve of a potted lavender plant.

Chinese lantern hiding under the arbour

That Australia touch of geraniums of mauve and pink and white and red growing in pots on the small rain water tank stand near Mr FD’s study window . Our salute to Australian culture of eras past, when everyone had geraniums growing in tins on tank stands never ceases to make me smile as I hang the laundry on the clothes line to dry in the warm sun.

Bees, dragon flies and butterflies are flying and dancing and twirling in all corners. Garden spiders spin their pretty webs. The neighbour’s cat sleeps under the dappled shade of the lime tree.

A black crow helps himself to one of my just ripening tomatoes (again!) and I go out and chase him away, coming back in to complain to Mr FD about the birds getting fat on my vegetables. He tells me that they follow him when he mows waiting for the worms to come to the top of the grass. We decide we can’t beat them and laugh that at least we are feeding something if not ourselves, but I make a mental note to gain the upper hand someway, someday. I do not expect to win but every gardener knows that from the outset. It does not deter us from our quest though.

My garden renews me, restores me, and brings me peace, escape and solitude. Serenity grows in my garden.

just another day

My Day at Fanny and Maude’s School for Fine Young Women

I went in the back door of the library to get some resources before classes started and was there before the library assistant arrived and when he did he rushed over and opened the doors so that all the girls tumbled in and then I noticed he had blood pouring from his chin. He said that he had suffered a little accident. I suggested that he go to the school nurse for first aid and I would look after the library until someone else arrived. I waited until class time and then threw all the girls out of the library to go to form class and then raced over to admin to report they needed someone to front the library as I had to teach. Turns out his little accident was a blackout that he suffered at the train station and he fell and hit his chin. He was sent home to recover.

Morning tea duty with the junior school. One girl came to  complain to me that her friends were saying she was doing things she wasn’t.Another girl was sitting huddled in a corner crying because her friends were saying she took some crackers when she didn’t. I comforted her and then continued my patrol. Two little boys came up to me and told me jokes – one good and one bad, but they were jokes and I needed some.

The bell and loudspeaker system was down due to yesterday’s weather and so all we had was a bell from the 19th century to ring. School had to go into lock down because a known paedophile had been seen in the grounds of the special school next door and without a speaker system teachers had to run from room to room alerting students to stay in their classrooms. We all wondered who it was that memorised some list of known paedolphiles. That is both a good thing and a very worrying thing to do.

I have a new student in my year 8 class. She is an Aboriginal girl from North Queensland and she is a very undisciplined little person. She has no attention span and wants to sing all the time. I had to be a little firm with her and insist that she do some work, and she first told me to  “go away” and then gave me a look like she was about to punch me, but I remained consistent and got her to read a little. English is her second language though she is Australian born. She is going to be a sharp learning curve for me, as I will be for her. I suspect that she won’t return after the Christmas holidays.

I completed my week of bus duty today. I became quite professional at using the megaphone and announcing the buses as they arrived. “501, bus 501!” There are always two teachers on bus duty and one announces the buses and does crowd control and the other writes down the name of any student trying to leave the school grounds without their hat on, or any other uniform infringements. Parents actually complaint when they see girls walking without their hats on…When I went to school you dashed out the gate and jumped on a bus. The buses weren’t numbered as they are today, a teacher didn’t stand near the bus announcing the bus for us, in fact there was no teacher to be seen outside the school. We just made our own way home right from grade one. The kids are so reluctant to think that when they have a query about a bus they won’t walk and look at the number of the bus to make sure if it is the correct bus for them, they will walk the entire length of the bus stop (about 6 bus lengths long) and come back and ask us if their bus had arrived and which one it is, even when they have been standing next to it – talking 16 and 17 year olds here. Sigh.

Today was Canteen Day and so I wore a bandana to help raise money for the cause. One of my students is still grieving from the loss of her 12 year old sister from cancer last year and she became quite excited that I was wearing my bandana in class. Sad.

Today was also World Teacher’s Day…yipee.

alien fonts easier to recall

Difficult-to-read fonts make for better learning, according to scientists.

The finding is about to be published in the international journal Cognition.

Researchers at Princeton University employed volunteers to learn made-up information about different types of aliens – and found that those reading harder fonts recalled more when tested 15 minutes later.

They argue that schools could boost results by simply changing the font used in their basic teaching materials.

read more at : making things hard to read