Art and myself have had a long distant history, I have always admired and liked the art done by others but rarely do I feel inspired to do my own art rather relying on other methods to placate the creative urges.

Sometimes though I have a little twinge that says do art.


Growing vegetables on a balcony in pots

Smokeycastle grows some Vegetables

Gardening is a pastime that I have always enjoyed. I live in a unit so I do not have much space to garden but my balcony gets a lot of sun and is great for growing plants in pots.

As you can see I have a number of plants growing from pots here and am decently happy with the outcome of my spring planting. From left to right I have a 1 million scoville chili, A tomato plant, A honeydew melon vine (that also has baby chili plants in it, A pumpkin plant that also has two chili plants growing in it. The last pot has a succulent that grows year round that I have had for a couple of years now that even survived a house move too!

I have been growing plants on balcony’s for the last 6 years and have had decent success with the best harvest being chili plants. I have grown brassicas, herbs and broad beans to varying success previously.

I am thinking that I will during summer maybe invest in buying a solar powered water pump and build my own hydroponic vertical column. It remains to be seen if the plants in that will survive being that they will only get water during the brighter days. I have never done hydroponic setup and am looking forward to the challenge. With vertical hydroponic setups you can get a surprising amount of plants growing in a small amount of space, and being in Australia getting enough sun is not an issue. hopefully even though Canberra winters are cold I should still be able to grow year round with that setup. Currently I use the winter months to recondition the soil in the pots and to make a compost from the household scraps.

Summer trips to Casuarina sands

Smokeycastle goes for a dip

Over the summer months it gets rather hot where I live. With my new flat not having air conditioning I needed to find ways to cool off and relax. Going to Casuarina sands for a dip and a swim is one of the ways I have found to do this that is very enjoyable.

Casuarina sands is a park on the Murrumbidgee river near the cotter dam quite close to Canberra that has barbecue facilities as well as places that are quite good for a dip and swim.

Summer fun!

Going with friends there is highly recommended as it has an excellent atmosphere and I find the other people who go there are very nice people also. Just remember if you are going there to bring cleaning supplies for the barbecue and a rubbish bag for your rubbish to take home as I do not think there are any bins.

Dragon painting

Smokeycastle commissions a new painting

So a while back I commissioned a painting from my friend Ana Hanson. The painting is of a dragon holding a metal sphere.

Smokeycastle’s commissioned painting.

The painting took 2-3 months to complete but the wait was totally worth it and I am very happy with the result.

The painting (Neither myself or Ana has given the painting a name as yet) sits proudly in my lounge room as a centerpiece and I get quite a few comments from people new to my home.

For anyone interested in Ana Hansons artwork or interested in commissioning a piece from Ana, her website is