Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Time For Another Tunes On Tuesday

 While I recover from the exhausting hosting duties of the Garden Photos Event - which I thought went fabulously, so thank you once again to everyone who took part - I thought I'd share some of the "snappy tunes" that I was listening to while putting the event together (thank you for the suggestion, Mr Tonking*).

 Hopefully you'll find something you like amongst this rather eclectic collection.  So, in no particular order... 

"Moonlight Rendezvous" - BEAST IN BLACK (discovered at the Star Trek forum that I frequent)


"Cry Little Sister" | Theme from The Lost Boys - Gerard McMann (love the film, and this song!)

Sunday, 28 November 2021

GPE #13 : The Finale



Garden Photos Event

2021 Finale

It's hot work being a gardener's boy!

 Yes, we have reached the end of this year's Infomaniac Garden Photos Event, and what a year it's been.  Your gardens, vases, and dog-bums have been eye-opening, enviable, and a little bit sick-making!  Thank you so much to everyone who took part - whether you opened your garden (outdoors or in), provided snacks, or just visited & commented - I hope you enjoyed it and that you've been inspired to undertake another year of gardening, whatever your skill level.  

 And an especially big thank you to The Very Mistress, without whom we wouldn't have a Garden Photos Event!  A potted history - complete with links to Events past - can be found at last year's 10th Annual Lady Garden Presentation Anniversary premier, with links to all the 2020 gardens included in that year's finale, up my, I mean, in my, I mean at the rear.  Oh, you know what I mean!

 Anyway, let's get on with with wrapping this thing up, shall we?  We have the links to this year's gardens followed by some interesting stats to get through.

Friday, 26 November 2021

GPE #12 : Mind-Your-Own-Business, IDV!

Disappointments and Delights

H E X E N H Ä U S L I   D E V I C E


Delightful as always were our Pineapple lilies
 I'm not overly thrilled with how our garden has grown this year.  The prolonged cold from winter, through spring and into summer, plus the lack of sunshine and more rain than we're used to in England's driest county, meant that some of the more tender plants haven't done so well, or just didn't even make any effort to grow at all!
 That was directed at the Starfish Iris (Ferraria crispa) and Batflower (Tacca integrifolia) tubers I planted - nothing!  The Starfish Iris may grow next year as the tubers are still firm, but the Batflower rhizomes were attacked from the top by mould, and from the bottom by fungus gnat (sciarid fly) larvae and eventually carked it.  Bah!
 I did get some Tacca chantieri seeds from Madam A & Jon at the beginning of the year, but they haven't come up either (although they can take several months, apparently...).  My Gloriosa seeds did sprout however, managed a handful of leaves each, then were either demolished by slugs or succumbed to the cold - although I did get a couple of small tubers out of them for next year, though.  And the Iris Burgemeister was doing quite well until a week of exceptionally cold, wet weather caused all the flower buds to fall off (plus I planted it in completely the wrong place - not enough sun).

Top left: the hideous batflower stump which taunted me with that small patch of green for months on end.  Bah!  Top right: Gloriosa superba seedlings giving false hope.
Bottom  left: The strappy leaves of Iris Burgemeister can just about be made out to the left of the birdtable.  And bottom right: Starfish Iris tubers doing nothing.  Nothing!

And this is how they should have looked.  From left to right: Close-up of Tacca flower buds (looking for all the world like a couple of hanging bats) chez Dinahmow, (I probably should have taken note of her 2008 post);  Gloriosa superbum superba also courtesy of Dinah;  Irises found at Maddie's (I was going to snatch one of Ms Nations' examples, but the colours of Maddie's were a better match);  and Ferraria crispa (no one has grown these as far as I'm aware, so this photo came from the internet and forms the basis of the packaging featured in my Happy post), the Starfish Iris.


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

GPE #11 : Savvy Cancels Christmas

The Garden Photos Event presents

(by the skin of her teeth)



 Surprise!  Yes, Savvy made it!  Well past the deadline (I received these only a week ago), but what's new? 

"A gift from the MITM"
[Note the lovely clear water in the vase.
'Petra, if you're reading, this is how it should be done! - IDV]

"I have a brown thumb"
[Fortunately, Dracaena fragrans "Warneckei" (if that's what this is)
can tolerate a variety of neglect...]

Monday, 22 November 2021

GPE #10 : A Fan of Peenee's

A Case of 

M I S T A K E N   I D E N T I T Y

at the Garden Photos Event

 Now, this is a bit of an odd one.  I received this email along with the following three photos at the end of October:

"Good day Mr. Peenee,

I am a new fan of your blog as I enjoy uncut dick* and they are hard to find here in the U.S. 

Sending you some humble pictures of my home and two rose bushes that came from my Grandfather’s garden. They have graced my yard (family home) for over 60 years.

Thank you for all the wonderful posts!"

-- A fan of Peenee's from Portland, Maine

 I have withheld the senders name to respect at least some of their privacy as they didn't respond to my query about whether they were really meant for the GPE, or just for Peenee.  But, equally, as there was no response, I feel perfectly justified in sharing these garden photos:

Saturday, 20 November 2021

GPE #9 : Melanie's Nature-led Naughtiness

In  Proximity  to  Purple

a Garden Photos Event installation by



 Here we are in Melanie's garden for the ninth stop on the Garden Photos Event tour.  Let's see what she has for us:

Fuchsia and ferns

Thursday, 18 November 2021

GPE #8 : Jon & Madam Arcati's Garden Show'n'Tell

Jon and Madam Arcati
welcome you to

D E L O R E S   D E L A R G O   T O W E R S


A Garden Photos Event feature

 Yes, it's the turn of Jon & Madam A with their ever popular efforts in the Extensive Gardens of Delores Delargo Towers.  And it starts with a star...


"Star of the Year": Geranium maderense - after a three-year wait, this magnificent 3ft-by-3ft gem flowered from early May to the end of June!

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

GPE #7 : Gardening for Gratis, by Mitzi

M I T Z I ' S

T A L E S  F R O M  T H E  L A N Ā I

a Garden Photos Event feature

 I was going to attempt a witty introduction, but it'll be clear when you read through that I have no hope of matching Mitzi's wits, so I'll just let her get on with it.  Take it away, Mitzi!

Variegated ivy cuttings, taken from the local graveyard!
See the summer house in the background?  I caught the maid in fragrante delicto late one night in there with a grindr meet!  Least said, soonest mended.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

GPE #6 : Pam Demic's Veiny, Purple Love Cabbage

Maddie, the Mistress Borghese

stars as

P A M   D E M I C

in the

Garden Photos Event

 I'm looking forward to seeing everybody's garden or succulents again.  Of course the Mistress is ready and dressed for the tour this year.

 Since I am torn between the Casa du Borghese which has no garden, and the ancestral manor, I was able to potter around in my Mother's garden and bring some of the splendor back from what my father had done in his gardening hobby days.  This year the new back garden or shade garden turned out lovely from plants my father had originally had in the garden... mostly hostas and Astilbe, with some mountain mint thrown in for good measure.  The shade garden had in it this spring some lovely peony and alliums. 

Friday, 12 November 2021

GPE #5 : Ms Scarlet and her Pulsating Pink Bush!

The Great Blogging Gardening Show


M S   S C A R L E T

and her

Pulsating Pink Bush!

 Ms Scarlet renamed The Infomaniac Garden Photos Event to "The Great Blogging Gardening Show" (possibly due to a bout of overexcitedness.  Or forgetfulness...).  But, whatever it's called, it wouldn't be complete without a showing of Ms Scarlet's Big Pink Bush™ so, for your delectation, here it is in all its pulsating perfection:

 Now, let's hear what Ms Scarlet has to say about her gardening efforts, shall we?

 Dear Mr Devine,

 As you are aware I am not much of a gardener, I don't like getting my hands dirty, nor do I like unearthing live electricity cables [commonly found beneath the gardens of Devon], despite this I have done my best to provide enough pictures of my back yard to have a post all to myself.

 Firstly, some pretty flowers, freshly bought from the garden centre - to be honest it might have been kinder to rent them as I think they are dead now.  I believe they fell victim to the enormous slugs.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

GPE #4 : Clue - The Dinahmow Edition


at the

Garden Photos Event

with the

Sensitive Weed! 

I am going to try sending some garden pics.  Well, you managed it, Dinahmow.   On the day, if my memory marbles have not rolled away, I'll try to put more on my blog!  And you managed that, too!  But huge thanks, in advance, for hosting the garden party.  Ooh!  Did I say "party"?  I wonder if there will be crocque em bouche and Black Forest?  She's thinking of this.

1. Red Anthurium

Monday, 8 November 2021

GPE #3 : Top-Dressing with Hound


at the

 Gymkhana of Gardening

 Hound is not a gardener - he lives in Birmingham, for Christsakes! - but has seen fit to take part in this "gymkhana of gardening" (his own words) in his own inimitable way.  Let's see what he has to show us:

"Against my better judgement, a picture of me gardening"

 Now, Hound only sent me two images displaying his gardening 'skills' - the one above, and another that beggars description, quite frankly.  But, before we get to that one, I scoured his 2021 blog posts in an effort to find some greenery to pad this out a bit.  The results were... lacking, let's just say.  I found two pictures only very tangentially related to gardening - both from April:

Friday, 5 November 2021

GPE #2 : Rancho FirstNations

The Gardens of

R A N C H O  F I R S T N A T I O N S

'The Crap Fence'
 Now, Ms Nations got herself a new camera phone earlier in the year, and was so excited at the prospect that she had this to say: "Hold your horses, get ye ahold of The Mistress and Inexplicable DeVice and let them know the news:
FIRSTNATIONS HAS TAKEN PICTURES OF HER SPRING GARDEN!!!" and, consequently, was the first of you to provide snaps for the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021.

 In fact, she sent me reams upon reams of garden photos - well, 48 or so - back in May!  (Now that's dedication to the cause - take note for next year, the rest of you).  But, in the excitement of the moment, the only thing she had to say about her garden was: "Here it is! Today everything began blooming! Squeee!!!"

 However, with a little research, I was able to find some of these photos (along with many others) on her blog, Steve.  Because 'Steve' is almost as a nice a name as 'Paul' was., and have lifted some of Ms Nation's comments from there to use here (linked to for your convenience).

 So as not to create a post ten miles long which would wear your scrolling fingers out to get through, I took the liberty of grouping some of the similarly themed photos together in what I hope are pleasing combinations.  Oh, and I'm sure you all know by now, just click the photos to embigulate them.  Or, right click and open in a new tab/window.  FYI, the photos on Ms Nations' blog are even bigger still, so if you see something that you want a real close up view of, just go there for a proper snoop.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

GPE #1 - Terrifying Triffidery Results & The League of Extraordinary Gardeners

 Yes, it's that time at last!

Welcome to the


 Garden Photos Event 2021!

I see many of you managed to get through the Terrifying Triffidery exhibit relatively unscathed.
No matter, there's always next year...

 Right, then.  We'd better start the show.  First up, a little background for any newcomers or the easily befuddled:  The Garden Photos Event first appeared on our screens ten years ago, brought into existence by The Very Mistress (then known as MJ), the Infomaniac herself!  It was an occasion for Infomaniac Bitches to show off their green fingers and thumbs by displaying their gardens/windowboxes/houseplants/salad drawer for all and sundry to gaze at in wonder/mine for ideas/critique with scathing derision - no, not that last one, forget that.  For you see, the GPE was a safe space to mingle and enjoy the greenery, and NOT a competition (as The Very Mistress had to stress more than once).

 It was so popular that it became an annual event and, in 2020, The Very Mistress relinquished the reins to me (a great honour indeed) which is why the GPE is now being hosted here at Inexplicable Device.  A little more of its history can be found here, along with links to all the featured gardens up until 2020.  Links to 2020's gardens can be found here (or just click my Garden Photos Event label/tag-thingy).

 So, onto the gardens.  Let me just throw open the French doors so we can all go outsi-

 Ah.  It appears that my League of Extraordinary Gardeners haven't quite finished all their mowing and hoeing.  Apologies.  Um...  Oh, what to do now?  Ah!  I know: let's take a look at those Terrifying Triffidery specimens and find out who sent in what.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Terrifying Triffidery 2021: A Garden Photos Event Attraction

- "It is amazing, really, how many plants we think of as benign are actually merely biding their time before they kill us all and conquer the planet!" Jx -

I couldn't have said it better myself, Jon.

 Ah, welcome to the 2021 edition of Terrifying Triffidery! 

 Before we get going, you'll be a little taster for-
 No!  The line is "Here's a little taster of what's coming up" and point to Venus and her many mouths on the right there.
 But she's hungry!
 You're not to feed the visiting Blogorati to the Triffids!  What do you think we stocked up on all those commoners, chavs and other people for?
 Oh.  Well, yes, okay then.  I did wonder why the gift shop's pick-n-mix dispensers were full of oiks.  
 I knew I should have done this myself...
 Oh, you're such a worrywart.  I'm sure the Blogorati weren't even paying attention.  Look!  They've already tired of your nagging and wandered off to see if they can guess which of them sent in what.
 Hmmmph!  I hope you remembered to label the specimens?
 Of course I did!  I hope...

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Art Trek: Creepy Cosplay

 Disaster has struck!

 Okay, so that may be a bit overdramatic... 

 I'd just finished sewing a couple of bits of gold ribbon around the cuffs of a cheapo red long-sleeved T-shirt, went to put it on so I could pin on the narrower gold ribbon for the shoulder yoke and...

... couldn't get my hands through the sleeve cuffs anymore!!!

 "What is that silly witch going on about?", I hear you ask.  Why, it's (nearing*) the end of a month so that means it's time for some Star Trek fan art.  My Star Trek fan art!  As my piece, "These are a few of my favourite things!" got the most votes in the previous challenge, I got to set the theme for this one - and here it is:

The theme for this challenge is Creepy Cosplay!

Friday, 22 October 2021

Wet Shags with Old Groynes

 Oh, there's so much to do and yet so little time!
 Where has the year gone?  And why do I have the feeling that something important is coming up?
Well, why don't you look at the calendar, you dolt?!
 But what a splendid idea:

 Ah, just in time!  Allowing for time zones and other time travel-related nonsense, while still the 22nd here, it is the 23rd in Queensland so: Happy birthday, Dinahmow!
 And in a couple of days time, it will be Mistress Maddie's turn on the birthday merry-go-round!


Sunday, 17 October 2021

Cetacean Ops!!!

 It's happened! It's finally happened!!  After over 30 years since its first mention in televised Star Trek (TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise" in 1990), cetacean ops (operations) has made it on screen in Lower Decks' final episode of season two, "First First Contact"!

 Cetacean ops is an area aboard Federation starships (and spacestations as well as planet-based facilities, I shouldn't wonder) for crew who prefer a certain moistness, i.e. being submerged.  In the Star Trek universe, whales and dolphins are sapient (as I'm sure they are in our universe, but getting the majority of humans to recognise that is a topic for another place & time) and seem to enjoy the same privileges as other sapient beings, including joining Starfleet and serving on a starship.

 In Lower Decks (LDS), as with the Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual, and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Blueprints, the cetaceans (beluga whales in LDS, and dolphins & Takaya's whales (a type of Orca] in the TNG tech manual and blueprints) are navigation specialists. 

 Here are some screenshots I took of USS Cerritos' cetacean ops from "First First Contact" (owner/creator ViacomCBS) - minor spoilers ahead for the episode:

The Lower Deckers - Rutherford, Mariner, Tendi, and Boimler - enter Cetacean Ops.
The logo on the floor seems to be inspired by the Cetacean Institute logo (from ST IV: The Voyage Home) which was itself just the logo of the Monterey Bay Aquarium where the Cetacean Institute scenes were filmed.
Note the balls, foam swimming noodle, and buckets of fish on the left.  Those whacking great rocks on the edge seem to be a nod towards a more natural work space.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

"grumbumblegrumpf ..."

... Mago muttered at yet another of IDV's nags about the
impending deadline of this year's Garden Photos Event.


Yes, it's time for another reminder to submit your snaps for the 2021 

Garden Photos Event

So I'm expecting more muttering when he sees this post...


 Just like last year, the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event will be held here at this very blog in November.  So, for those of you who wish to take part - and for those of you who don't but are going to anyway so that you don't get nagged/berated/turned-into-a-frog-or-woodlouse etc. - please email me your garden photo/s by Thursday 28th October!

 You can submit just one photo (of a prized specimen/object of ridicule, or your whole garden), or a multitude of snaps showcasing all manner of green-fingered/thumbed efforts.  And please include a brief - or verbose - blurb with each photo/set-of-photos, ideally something that amongst other things (gardening tales, tips & observations, full on rants about shovelling horse shit, for example) states what the plant is, because I'm not Jon (The Official Plant Spotter of Blogdom) and I don't want to do any more research than I have to!

 If you submit three or more photos (and blurb/s) you'll almost certainly get a GPE post all to yourself.  One or two photos will probably mean that you'll end up sharing the limelight with another member of the Blogorati - Except for Hound who has already sent me his "photo" and, due to the subject matter, will be enjoying a post all of his own. 
 I'm sure you'll thank me when you gaze upon his gardening methods!

 Almost forgot: As well as your GPE photo/s, if you have something suitable, please also send me a photo/photos of terrifying Triffids, poisonous plants, or carnivorous Caryophyllales (look it up) for the Hallowe'en warm-up event: Terrifying Triffidery!  And if you don't have anything suitable, just take some extreme close-up/weirdly lit/oddly angled photos of otherwise ordinary plants for that creepy look.  If you get stuck, why not take a look at last year's Triffids for ideas. 

 And for any of The Very Mistress's old guard Bitches, or any lurkers or only occasional/sporadic visitors here who would like to take part - please do!  If you're not sure what this is all about, please click here for info and a little history. and here for links to last year's gardens.  Oh, and don't worry if you haven't ever commented here before, and don't concern yourselves with not knowing who we are/us not knowing who you are - the more the merrier!
Besides, we'll need a few extra bodies to placate the Triffids...
Shhhhhh!!!  We're supposed to be encouraging people to join in,
not scaring them off!
 Don't listen to them.  No one will be thrown to the Triffids.  Although, if you stumble over an errant plant pot and fall in, well...
 Anyway, photos and blurbs can be sent to my blog's gmail account (just click on my profile link on my Sideboard to get it), or to my personal hotmail account (for those of you who have it) - by Thursday 28th October (Savvy!  This means you!!). 
 I'm really looking forward to seeing how your gardens grow!

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Migration Time

Not quite as dramatic as the stripes seen here.

 As it's my day off work, I got up a bit later than usual and made my way down to the seafront around the time the sun was rising.  Of course, it was far too cloudy to actually see the sun, but I did see something else...

"There's a firey star hidden out there somewhere."


Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Of Triffids and Tribbles

A sunless slipway

 Don't mind me - I'm just dumping off some photos from the start of the month.  I wasn't going to post them but I'd already made the effort to resize them, so I didn't want all that hard work to be in vain

 Oh, and here's something to listen to while you scroll down (don't worry, you'll have finished scrolling well before the song finishes).  I discovered "Call Tokyo" by White Lies on 30th September just after I'd posted my third quarter review.  And then played it at least 10 times.  In fact, I'm listening to it now (over and over and over) as I type this out...

The slipway later in the day (1st October)

Thursday, 30 September 2021

"How to Use Venetian Blinds as Weapons"

Oh, absolutely, Marco!
 I'm not going to go into too much (if any) detail about the books, and films/TV, and music I've read, watched and listened to this past quarter as, quite frankly, I don't have much time.  Besides, much of it you've seen me witter on about before as I have found myself re-reading, re-watching, and re-listening to things I know I enjoy and that are comforting.  (In the "Re-" sections, I've linked to previous posts in which they've featured, or at least been mentioned)


TNG: Shadows Have Offended, by Cassandra Rose Clarke - A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set in the seventh & final season of the show "starring" Counsellor Troi, Lieutenant Worf and Dr. Crusher, with a wonderful turn by Troi's overbearing mother, Ambassador Lwaxana Troi.
 This novel read like an extended TV episode to me, but that's of no detriment in my eyes as I expected as much seeing as this story is set within the series timeline.  Troi and Worf take the Enterprise to investigate the theft of some Betazoid artifacts while Captain Picard and Lwaxana remain on Betazed to "manage" the distraught Betazoid House Leaders (who are one-dimensional hand-wringers with barely an ounce of sense between them!).  Meanwhile, on another planet, Crusher, Data and Riker deal with some strange goings-on at a Starfleet science team's research site.
 Overall, this was a perfectly competant addition to Trek Lit, but one thing managed to push SHO over the line and into an "above average" rating from me: the description - and resulting mind image - of Worf clad only in dark leather pants, boots, and a cape.  Cwwwwoooooorrrrrrr! (think Kenneth Connor in the Carry On films)

A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers - The first book in a new series from one of my very favourite authors.  This story of a travelling tea monk who meets a robot out in the wilderness (the first person to see a robot in about 200 years) does not disappoint.  It is charming, thoughtful and comforting - just as I'd expect.


To Ride Pegasus (Anne McCaffrey)  ∘  Trillions (Nicholas Fisk)  ∘  Star Trek: Final Frontier (Diane Carey)  ∘  The Essential Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson)  ∘  The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson)  ∘  The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) - from which this post's title is taken (page 51)

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Fire in the Sky

 Well, it's that time of year now when I'm up before the sun manages to struggle above the horizon.  However, it does make for some dramatic and colourful early morning skies, as these photos (hopefully) show.

 The panoramic view above, and those below are from yesterday:

The slightly out of focus slipway

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Sunshine, Seal Snouts, and Sigils

 Well, my week off work is rapidly coming to an end and I've got shit-all to show for it, really.  So, it's a good job I've got another week off in October to do all the things I didn't get around to this week!  
 One thing I managed to do on Thursday was to chalk my eye device sigil on the sea wall so I can see what's going on should I not make it down to the seafront.
 Oh, I do have a handful of photos from various early mornings and countryside wanderings though, so sit back and prepare to feast your eyes on almost nothing that you haven't seen before!


The branches of this giant oak tree reach down into a disused Northrepps gravel pit

Blue, No.3 (Ms Scarlet's original can be seen here.  I don't know where my No.2 went?)

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Sunny Side Up II

 I couldn't bring myself to torture you with any more photos than I did on Thursda-
Ha!  What a fib.  You just couldn't be bothered to sift through and sort any more out!
 Shush, you.  So, anyway, as I was saying, here are the rest of the carefully selected sunrise photos from Thursday, plus some from yesterday, and an exclusive bonus from the 12th.  
First up: Thursday 6th

What could be better than watching the sun rise over a big, wet groyne?

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Sunny Side Up

 Brace yourselves!  Photo-heavy post coming up.

 Well, not so much coming up as already here.  Yes, Camera insisted on coming with me every morning that I ventured out to stretch my legs and get some fresh air before work (and even on Saturday when I thought it'd want a lie-in).  And as you may have already guessed by the mention of "morning" - and that not-quite-Drama-Queen-dawn on the right - these photos are almost exclusively of sunrises.

 But first, a little completely unrelated music to accompany your scrolling - brought about by the title of Mistress Maddie's recent post: "Midnight....."


Monday 6th

Sunrise at the slipway - Monday edition