I was struggling to sleep again last night so I got up at 5am to have a warm drink. Sometimes I can sleep in the armchair.

I decided to turn the radio on for something to sooth my nerves. There was a programme called Test Match Special on. It was a cricket match between England and Australia. Australia were ahead three games in a five game series. This was the fourth test match.

The match was likely to go Australia’s way because they were well ahead on runs (in cricket you run between two sets of wickets with bales on top called stumps) . The bowler throws a ball at the stumps and tries to knock the bales off. The batsman has to defend the stumps. They try and hit the ball with a cricket bat. If they hit it they try and get runs. There are two batsmen (or women) at a time. They run between the stumps. You get four runs if you get the ball to run over the boundary line and six if you hit it over the boundary in the air.

Anyway, Australia was well in the lead. England had lost six men out of eleven and were batting. The commentators said that the last four of England’s batsmen had either suffered injuries or not done well in previous test matches. It looked very bleak!

I listened and was enthralled. There were missed catches and the Australians were trying hard, bouncing the ball high and hurting the batsmen (cricket balls are very hard). Lots of calls for leg before wicket (the batsman has his leg in the way and stops the bales being knocked off). Slowly the score crept up, three batsmen were caught or given LBW. (leg before wicket). I couldn’t sleep, this was too exciting! There were two batsmen left. Each round of bowling is called an over (where six balls are bowled) the last two overs came up. The first batsman tried to hit some runs so he could get to the other end and take the strike for the last over, if he did the last batsman would not have to play. But the Australians managed to stop him and the final over started with England’s last batsman waiting to be bowled at or bowled out! They couldn’t win but if he didn’t get knocked out they would have a draw.

Six balls. One after the other. It was radio so I couldn’t see what was going on, I could only listen to the commentary. Five balls to go, the daylight was going, the floodlights were on. Four balls, my heart was thumping. The batsman (Anderson) calmly prodded the ball away. Three balls. If the batsman tried to hit the ball the fielders (the rest of the Australian team) might catch the ball and get England out. Two more chances, the batsmen again stopped the ball. This was the last ball coming up. Australia had to dismiss the batsman to win. The bowler ran up, pitched the ball at the batsman and…. The batsman carefully pushed the ball away (I didn’t actually listen to what he did, I was too busy jumping up and down!) He ended the match safely not out. England drew the fourth test! Not a win, but a hell of a lot better than the previous three tests. The next text match is starting in Hobart, Australia on Friday. I’m expecting at least another sleepless night.

From Australia

This arrived in the post this morning.

A card and two fridge magnets from an old friend. She lives in Australia and these are her lovely art works. I love them and it’s so kind of her to send them. Goodness knows how long it takes to post something all that way.

I know the sun is probably set on the other side of the world, and they are in mid summer. Their new years day will be later (no earlier! Oops) than ours by about twelve hours. Hope she has a good new year x

More mad weather?


I watched several pieces on TV about the weather in Australia recently. I have a few friends over there and I want to know they are safe.

Looking at the map on thunderstorms I can see one in the North of Australia at the moment. With all the wildfires that have happened over the continent I know they have been praying for rain. And some of the fires were so hot and high that they triggered thunderstorms. Unfortunately the lightening from them set more fires alight.

Then a few days ago there was rain in the East, which turned out to be torrential, and caused flooding. Then yesterday there were reports of hailstorms where the hail was golf ball sized. No sooner did we see that than today there was a report of 180 mile long dust storm of red top soil, travelling across parts of the country on strong winds. We also saw pictures of dead fish, who’s gills had been clogged by the ash from the fires.

We in the Northern hemisphere should be watching this with trepidation. There were fires in the UK in recent years on moorland in the North of England. There were fires in Europe, there have been massive fires in California.

The view seems to be getting more biblical. The idea that climate change is fake news is increasingly unbelievable. Politicians must take responsibility, not stick their heads in the sand.

Time to think, time for change. Before its too late.

Hoping for rain in Australia.


I have been thinking of friends over in Australia that are being affected by the wild fires. I’m not religious, so I don’t say I pray for them, but I do hope they get rain, even though its the height of summer.

I saw a photo yesterday from the international space station, it showed the extent of the fires. It looked as if the whole country was burning, all at the same time. The photo was a composite over several days and weeks, but people were misunderstanding it.  I think that was wrong. If people are going to combat climate change they need accurate data, otherwise reports could be classed as fake news. That would effect the credibility of reporting. The world needs to forget about starting wars and get on with helping the environment.

Australian fires


I’ve been watching the news about the bush fires in Australia an it is awful and devastating. Not only are there hundreds of fires, but they have spread over a huge area. The started around Sidney which has been smothered in smoke for weeks. But then more have started in the West and South of the continent. The Southern hemisphere is moving into summer and the temperatures are rising. They have measured the highest ever temperature there in the last couple of days. Over 40°C and rising. The fires are being fanned by 40 mile an hour winds. They are burning out of control in some places, and the drought affected land is so parched there isn’t the water to put them out. I have friends out there and I worry for them. Meanwhile their prime minister went away on holiday to Hawaii and is only  coming home because of the outcry from its population.


Australian kestrel. Wip.

I’m having fun painting this Australian kestrel.

About half way through. I went out to paint with some artists called the Orme art group. Today was a self development day which means you could paint and draw what you want. I had seen the photo of the kestrel my friend in Australia had taken. I asked her if I could paint it and she said yes. It’s quite difficult but I’m getting there.

X apparently it’s a Nankeen kestrel at Woolangong Harbour.