If anyone should ask, tell them mandarins.
Tell them eucalyptus sap that rubies on the bark.
Tell them snow crunch and grass burn
and skipping a hosewater rope.
If anyone should ask, tell them
bluebottles, cuttlefish, sea glass
and wild raspberries that charge
blood for fruit…
From ‘Such riches’, Michelle Dicinoski
This week past was a bit of a comedy of errors. W had been pretty sniffly over the weekend prior, and by Monday morning both S and I woke up with sore throats. We were feeling hopeful though, confident that if we dosed up with honey & lemon tea and stayed home all day, we’d knock it on the head and be fine. We were wrong.
By Tuesday morning we were both feeling pretty crook. It’s the first time I’ve been sick since W was born; it didn’t matter how much I wanted to stay in bed drinking tea until midday, W was up and ready to play at 6am. After brekky I sat down at my desk with a cuppa to check my emails. W was crawling around and wanted up, so I scooped her into my lap. In a split second, the tea was all over my laptop. Continue reading
One of the reasons we moved somewhere warm and tropical after Melbourne was that we were sick and fucking tired of the endless Melbourne winters. Every year it seemed as though the bitter cold weather dragged out for longer and longer. Our small terrace house was narrow and old, and only had heating in the lounge room; in winter going to the bathroom in the middle of the night was an extreme sport.
Brisbane, on the other hand, has over 300 days of sunshine a year. It is warm enough to wear sandals most of the year, and even in the heart of winter there is really no need to wear gloves (my poor leather gloves have been sitting unloved in the closet for over three years now!). It is so lovely to live in a climate that doesn’t demand a scarf collection, but every now and then I miss the trappings of cold weather…
Stuff on toast – a staple in every diet! Avocado on toast is probably the most popular one in our house. There are few better breakfasts than fresh toasted sourdough spread thickly with ripe avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice, cracked pepper, sea salt, and a sprinkling of dukkah.
Another staple at our place is goat cheese – chévre – on toast. There is a small French stall in the market we go to that sells baguettes and croissants, home churned butter, and the BEST cheeses. While I was pregnant a role of their brie was all that I craved. They also have fresh goat cheese which they sell by the container. We often get some during our Saturday morning market run and then it’s goat cheese on toast for the rest of the weekend! So easy, and so good.
Before we moved up to Brisbane we lived in Brunswick, Melbourne. One of the great things about that part of the world is the network of bluestone alleyways that wend their way through the suburb. They are fantastic for shortcuts, for getting lost; like secret pathways, they indulged the childhood part of me that loved stories of labyrinths and hidden world. Best of all, they are fantastic for a spot of clandestine fruit picking.
Walk through the alleyways at the right time of the season, and hanging over the fences are ripe apples, pears, persimmons. As uni students, we would often help ourselves; we figured that if it was hanging over the fence, it was ripe for the picking (!). Having a boyfriend who was 2m tall definitely helped. And it wasn’t just uni students who helped themselves to the low hanging fruit. One day riding by the train line I saw a elderly gentleman and his wife collecting prickly pears; he had a long stick for knocking the fruits down, she had a bucket for collecting. Continue reading
I recently bought a new bicycle after having my old one stolen from under the house (I’ve no luck with bikes – that was the third one I’ve had stolen!). Although I used to ride daily to and from work, it had been over a year since I’d been on a bike; once my pregnant belly started getting in the way at about seven months I had to stop cycling, and since W was born there was never the chance. Now that she is almost one, though, I can steal a few extra hours for myself on the weekends, so on Saturday mornings I jump on my new bike and head into work while S hangs out with W.
From our house to get to my work I cycle alongside the river, sun reflecting off the water, in and out of the shady trees. I had forgotten how much I love bike riding; the sense of freedom in movement, the ease of propulsion. Cycling is both rhythmic and effortless – legs go up, legs go down – a meditative motion. Much like swimming laps, I find the physical exertion clears my mind. Daily life is so full of stimulus; while I’m on my bike though, my mind is free to wander as it wants, letting the debris settle. It promotes untethered thinking, that balanced space where ideas and dreams rise to the surface. Continue reading
“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.”
-- Vandana Shiva
This weekend just past we celebrated International Women’s Day. A day to honour, acknowledge, and pay respect to women and women’s movements, both historical and present day. I’ve spent most of the week reading the work of the wonderful poet Judith Wright. Not just a poet, Judith was also an avid environmentalist and activist for Aboriginal land rights; only a week before her death, she was marching for reconciliation. One of my favourite Judith Wright poems is South Of My Days - the following lines always move me:
Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening
South of my days’ circle
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep. Continue reading