Chin wag

I was looking ‘rough as guts’ after my morning session at the gym. It’s bad enough when you aren’t strong enough to put your ‘head in a pony’ but one glance in the mirror and I balked at the idea of heading back out. I ‘didn’t look like anything to write home about’ so wasn’t keen for a catch up over a coffee. The ladies are always so well groomed! Did I go? Betcha life I did. ‘Life’s too short’ and the weather was awesome. ‘Not too hot, not too cold, just right’! Better than hanging round at home.


So I’m headed down to the harbour with ‘a skip in my step’ and ‘happy as Larry’. I was about 20 minutes late but ‘better late than never’ as they say. When I ‘rocked up’ I was greeted with a sea of smiles. Now that really ‘blew me away’. I’m usually the first one there. It ‘never crossed my mind’ about what it looked like from the other side.


A cuppa coffee and a bit of a ‘chin wag’ and I soon forgot about my ‘manky’ hairdo. Instead I ‘squirmed in my seat’ ‘with my skin crawling’ as we spoke of escaped phythons, red belly black snakes, and funnel web spiders. All of these can be deadly and are Australian natives. I may be an Australian but spiders and snakes ‘really do my head in’.  


Well that’s my everyday adventure with a few sayings ‘thrown in just to mix it up a bit’.

  • Rough as guts – (Australian) Not well groomed. A bit rough looking
  • Head in a pony – Wear your hair in a ponytail
  • Didn’t look like anything to write home about – Nothing flash or noteworthy
  • Life’s too short – Life doesn’t last forever so enjoy it while you can
  • Not too hot, not too cold, just right – From Goldilocks and the 3 Bears fairy tale from 19th century England
  • Skip in your step – happy as I walk
  • Happy as Larry – (Australian) Happy – “Larry Foley, an undefeated Australian middleweight boxer in the 1890s” https://metro.co.uk
  • Better late than never – You eventually got there
  • Rocked up – Arrived 
  • Blew me away – Surprised / Impressed / Did not expect
  • Never crossed my mind – Didn’t think of it
  • Chin wag – friendly talk in a relaxed way
  • Manky – not great, rotten, dirty (in this sentence I mean it was not great)
  • Squirming in my seat – Feeling uncomfortable
  • With my skin crawling – Feeling frightened in an uncomfortable
  • Really do my head in – Can’t cope with the thought of it
  • Betcha life I did – Bet your life I did – I certainly did
  • Thrown in just to mix it up a bit – Added for some variety

Lens-Artists Challenge # 128 – Here Comes the Holiday Season

Christmas in Australia has always been about holidays, sunscreen, and bushfires. Summer holidays seem to go hand in hand with bushfires.

Fires last year were so fierce they gained international attention. A year or so before that we packed up the car for fires had reach our suburb on the outskirts of the city. We lived near the bush.

Australian trees regenerate and germinate after fire

What most people don’t know is that our trees naturally regenerate. Their blackened trunks after a couple of months begin to sprout leaves. It’s pretty weird but they actually germinate through fire.

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Australian Waratah

Below are some artworks of my Australian Waratahs. I love their intricacies. They are so beautiful. Over the years, and through the various styles they have been created in, I still go wow.

My first Waratah was drawn in colour pencil over 25 years ago when I was studying fine arts at college. It is a small A3 size piece. (image 1)

Another signature piece was a large acrylic painting on stretched canvas. Sydney Waratah was first presented at a joint exhibition in Rose Bay in the early 2000’s as part of my botanicals series (image 2).

2017 saw a change in focus as I began exploring the use of smaller canvases. I shifted from stretched canvas to creating smaller pieces on board. The style of Waratah Sky (image 3) is different to the previous two works with bold edgy lines and colour. Surprisingly I found this more challenging than my larger pieces.

The final piece here is a bit less intricate. Almost a sketch where I have just pulled out a few colours in pen and coloured pencil. I like it’s simplicity. (image 4)

Hope you enjoy a few of these as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

Artwork by Dee Grant all rights reserved

#Art – Train sketch – Robotic Voiceover

The monotone robot voice “this train will stop at…North Sydney”. Clackety clack clackety clack is what I hear as the morning train makes it’s way over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I am struck by the solid stance of a health care worker with her badge dangling off her uniform in the main carriage. A girl in school uniform is about to get off when the train arrives.

I sketch basic lines to show the directions that eyes are facing. Not caught up in the detail. This is a basic drawing technique used when artists begin deciding on facial features.

Over the Bridge
Pencil on Paper – 2015 – Dee Grant

#Poetry – Cusp of summer

Photo by Larry Snickers on Pexels.com

(with ausio) I love a good summer it’s a signature event. We watch Bondi Rescue and hang near the air vent. It’s an Australian way of life much like barbies and beer, but on the cusp of summer you may well need to fear. Cause there’s nothing reliable when you’re in this space. One day hot then it’s cold. It’s all over the place. You pack up the doona given it’s November and all, and then shiver and shake as you walk up the hall.

Now don’t get me wrong cause we’re getting well prepared, the sunnies are out and no thought has been spared. We’ve checked that the beach gear is right to go, and the weather more reliable…shouldn’t be a mo. Day light saving kicks in so a bit of a lurk, you can go for a swim once you get home from work. In the meantime have that brollie and doona at hand, cause you don’t know what’s coming…in this great southern land.

This is todays little rhyme. On the cusp of summer Sydney goes through these topsy turvy days. One week with icy blasts from the south pole, thunder storms, rain. Today it’s hot and humid with a warm wind.

Photo of Bondi Beach by Larry Snickers from PexelsPeople Running in to the Water

#True story: Eaten alive by mozzies

Tonight was the last night to breathe in the smells of loamy soil and listen to the sounds of the night chorus. A chorus of birds, frogs, cicadas and other creatures that greet the night. I’m on 6 acres of fertile soil here in the  northern rivers region of New South Wales in Australia. It’s about a 10 minute drive in from the coast. Yep, it’s glorious here this time of year.

I’m leaning over the balcony of this beautiful bush retreat. There’s bush all around and a series of ponds making their way down the hill toward the road. I’m taking in the dusk and ‘gobsmacked’ at just how loud it gets. I thought the road noise in Sydney could get bad! Check out the audio and you’ll see what I mean. Pictures just ‘dont do it justice’.

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Now that would get my goat

I’ll do my best not to ‘chicken out’ of this challenge.

This blog has been created after an Italian friend of mine wanted to know about phrases to do with animals. Her favourite is ‘the cats pyjamas’ which is about feeling like the ‘bees knees’. It hails back to Jazz happening in the 1920’s in America, that’s around about the same time pyjamas became a trendy thing. They used to say that you were ‘a cool cat’ back then. I guess it’s a blend from there. Maybe that’s where we get the word ‘cool’ from today. While that’s a tad American that’s what seems to happen in Australia. There are a blend of idioms and phrases from here, there, and everywhere that we use.
If the ‘cat’s got your tongue’ then you’d be having trouble getting your words out. If you ‘can’t swing a cat around in it’ then your room must be very small. Your not literally swinging the cat thank goodness. Poor cat! If you were that would really ‘get my goat’. But I kinda feel sorry for chickens too cause if your freaking out you’re ‘running around like a chook with its head chopped off’.
Now you might think I’m a ‘bit of a galah’ but these phrases are fairly common. While they are common they are not used this much in a conversation. You wouldn’t think so when you read some of my posts. Guess I’m just ‘pig headed’ and ‘don’t give a hoot’ about opinions so am being a bit of a ‘show pony’ instead.
So remember, people might just think your ‘silly as a cut snake’ if you blurt them out with the frequency I am. If you want an excuse just tell them your ‘horsing around’. Otherwise just ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and use them occasionally because you don’t want that ‘monkey on your back’! ‘Because how much can a koala bear?’
Idiom or phrase meaning
  • Chicken out – not game to do what you say you will
  • The cats pyjamas – the best, highly sought after
  • Bees knees – the best, highly sought after
  • Cool cat – cool, fantastic
  • Here, there, and everywhere – from everywhere
  • Cat’s got your tongue – lost for words, can’t think what to say
  • Can’t swing a cat around in it – tiny space
  • Get my goat – annoy me
  • Kinda – kind of, a bit like
  • Running around like a chook with its head chopped off – anxious and fretful
  • Bit of a galah – silly, bit of a larrikin but not always making the right choices
  • Pig headed – stubborn
  • Don’t give a hoot- don’t care (an owl hoots)
  • Show pony – showing off
  • Silly as a cut snake – silly
  • Blurt – say without thinking
  • Horsing around – mucking around, having fun
  • Let sleeping dogs lie – leave things alone.
  • Monkey on your back – be your problem (this one is visual)
  • Because how much can a koala bear? – Because how much can you tolerate? (This is meant to be a question so always say it this way)

ESL Level – Advanced

Painting Dee Grant – Acrylic on canvas digitized – 2014