Swan Plant

Been doing some research into growing swan plant (Gomphocarpus fruticosus) and found that strictly speaking it is a noxious weed here and shouldn’t be grown in the home garden! It’s native to South Africa, spreads like a weed here in South Australia, noxious because its sap is toxic. The purists won’t countenance growing it as butterfly food for the Monarch as this is a feral too! They insist we should not grow food for the foreigner at the expense of natives. Not very Christian if, like me, you extend care for others to the whole of creation.

The quote below is from one of my online resources. http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/plants/apoc/gomphocarpus-fruticosus.html

Sums it up nicely…

“Whilst neither Gomphocarpus fruticosus nor Danaus plexippus are natives to Australia, if that is going to be held against them then most of us are going to have to pack up and move out with them.”

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Just had the joy of watching a pair of Monarch/Wanderer butterflies (Danaus Plexippus) circling close around my head in a beautiful mating dance. My hair is currently purple, so maybe I need to change my name to Buddleia? 😄

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My candle

Burning a candle at both ends can have more than one meaning…

The Book Keeper Book Shop

“My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, A Few Figs from Thistles

Image by Christophe Blain

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“A book is not only a friend, it makes friends for you. When you have possessed a book with mind and spirit, you are enriched. But when you pass it on you are enriched threefold.”

Henry Miller The Books In My Life (1969)

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Sermon: Putting one foot in front of the other

“Sometimes we cannot fly; we cannot run. In those times God offers us the much less impressive power of walking without fainting.”

Rev Doc Geek

Reflection for North Balwyn Uniting Church
7th of February 2021

Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 147
Mark 1:29-39

We woke up on Thursday morning to a new case of community transmission in Victoria. The covid19 journey is truly a wild rollercoaster of a ride. This week we swung from celebrating effectively eliminating covid19 by going twenty-eight days without community transmission, to once again masking up and reducing the size of our gatherings. It is exhausting.

The Book of Isaiah, that wonderful ‘fifth gospel,’ offers us perspective. The last time we heard from the prophet we know as ‘Second Isaiah’ was in the second week of Advent, when we were given the beginning of his words of comfort from the ‘Book of Consolation’. Whenever I preach from Second Isaiah I remind the congregation of the circumstances in which he was prophesying so, in case you have forgotten: Jerusalem had been conquered by…

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A small look at a bit of world outside

I am as besotted with words as bookshop owners are (obviously) with books… Petrichor – the word for the smell of rain.
Mind you, I’m passionate about books too…and owls…

The Book Keeper Book Shop

I stood outside at the fence today and ate a sandwich and watched everything go past. A grey day, warm, and some rain, and a group of tradesmen over at the picnic table drinking coke and iced coffees.

A couple came past. They looked in my windows. They don’t notice me up the street a little, at the gate of the little carpark. So they don’t lower their voices. He says, ‘Wonder why Strath has two bookstores!’


‘Don’t reckon there’s a need for either of ’em myself, I don’t.’


As they pass me, they join hands and lean against each other.

The thing about bookshops is that their owners are so mindlessly besotted with them that nothing can dampen our enthusiasm or distract us from our purpose. Except other bookshops. Obviously.

Chris drove up in her gopher and said a bit of rain is always useful.

We stood…

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Collecting collections

The Book Keeper Book Shop

Collecting books for collections is intensely enjoyable. Many people do it, especially young readers. It doesn’t matter what the book is, if it fits a collection, then it is worth having. I now do it myself. If a book has been published by The Nonesuch Press, I want it. I don’t know why and seldom bother to worry about it. Books in collections are slices of something good; fruity, restorative, rich. When a reader says, ‘I’m adding this to my collection’, I know what they are referring to. They are keeping it for later. Later is a realm of time ahead of us that has seats, shelves, warmth, and wooden tables of quiet food.

 A set of books is something you can enter, like a realm, and inside, it is complex and never still.

Images from PenguinBookADay

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I have a small Gingko (also known as a Maidenhair Tree), in a pot, about 8 inches tall, which I have grown from a seed given to me by a friend. It took about 10 months of watching and watering bare soil before my little tree decided to grow – patience rewarded Hope my little tree lives as long and becomes as beautiful as this one!

Once a year, thousands of leaves on this towering 1,400-year-old tree change into a radiant shade of gold.


Located within the walls of the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple, in the Zhongnan Mountain region of China Thought to have been planted for Emperor Li Shimin, the founding father of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), this famous tree draws in people from all over China.

Grow well little one!

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Reading should not be a luxury – it’s soul food.

The Book Keeper Book Shop

“We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate.”
Henry Miller

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BC/AC – new calendar for 2021?

The idea to count years from the birth of Jesus Christ was first proposed in the year 525 by Dionysius Exiguus, a Christian monk. Standardized under the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the system spread throughout Europe and the Christian world during the centuries that followed. AD stands for Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord”, while BC stands for “before Christ”.

In the 1980s we became more multifaith and politically correct and began using BCE/CE. CE means “common (or current) era”, and BCE means “before the common (or current) era”. Although these abbreviations are really not so new, dating from at least the early 1700s.


But 2020 has been such a significant year (for all the wrong reasons), that I’m thinking we should start again with BC/AC – Before COVID and After COVID. Here’s hoping that AC begins soon!

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