Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fire is the very essence of camping. Finding suitable wood, choosing the place, preparing to cook, boiling the inevitable billy. All part of shedding domesticity to take on the more essential role of survival in the wilderness. Smoke and flame, sparks and fire glow. So very satisfying on a dark night when the cold creeps around behind, sneaks into the shadows.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My sister is a resourceful woman. Self reliant, courageous, undaunted by the considerable obstacles life has placed in her way, she soldiers on, dealing with the road conditions as they arise. Many years ago, the road offered up a tiger snake, right there in front of her. She tackled the situation bluntly and without hesitation, bludgeoning the snake till it lay dead at her feet. She saw this as something of a rite of passage; her first close encounter with a serpent and she came out a winner. Proud of her victory, she put the body into the boot of her car, as evidence of the battle. At home she opened the boot and lifted the snake out onto the driveway, then went to gather her family to show off her triumph. As they hurried out side they were just in time to see the snake disappearing into the shrubbery, battered but not yet beaten.

This morning I woke early, with time to tuck down for a while, listening to the wind and rain battering on my window. Time to dream up new ideas, to plan methods and reasons, stories to justify the making. Exciting, daring ideas, that push boundaries, expanding possibilities.
Enough. Get up, out of bed and begin the day. Light the fire, cook the porridge, talk about the practicalities of farm, animals, water. The realities of every day are the fabric of life.

Later, there is time to think about the pleasure of the early morning idea. The dreaming time has gone. It is time now to test the reality. Where did I put that excitement I had earlier? Cannot be found. The daring has faded, the boundaries spring back into place when pushed. The idea has retreated while I wasn't looking. It could even be dead. I try to breath life into it, but it is just a husk, dried and lifeless.

I met a man the other day who grows fruit. So cleverly has he planned his orchard, that he has something to harvest every month of the year. Early plums, midseason and late. Apples, starting with Gravenstiens in January, ending with Fuji in June. Guavas in May, avocados when there is nothing else at all.
I have never thought of planting with such foresight. My plantings have been a response to juiciness, to crunch, delectibility; luscious mouthwatering memories of warm summer fruits, gathered in sunshine. To the idea of plenty. To a vision of abundance, gathered, preserved and stored like gems, to be brought out when the winter sun is brief and the wind is cold. Eaten by a fire, with a dressing of smug.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I have had ants in my pantry over the last week. I think they are planning their tactics. I see them gather for meetings, not bothering at all about food, but grouped closely, conferring. Then they are gone without trace, only to return and attack a honey jar.

Gone again! Another conference in a different venue, then a guerrilla strike on the fig jam. Hunter gatherers or opportunistic thieves, depending on your viewpoint.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For Artsake

Is Art...........?

a means of expressing ideas that cannot be communicated in words.
a visual language.

an exploration of the relationship between the physical and the conceptual.
an act of doing to express a concept.

a concept that is larger than the act.

a random act of kindness as a means of expressing something larger.

Oh, what an idea.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I never did find enough tomatoes for a bottling session. They are so handy for the quick pot of pasta sauce, or to put a bit more body into a soup.

The summer just gone..... is it May already?... was not the best one for tomatoes. Well, I hadn't planted any, so nothing was ever going to happen here. Now its all over and I will have to wait till next year.

Tins will have to do.


Here I am, all set up with a shiny new page to write on and nothing much to say.

Strange how a blank page reflects a blank mind. If I make a mark, will it be the right one? If I write a word, how will it be read?

A word is like a doorway. Many things inside. We have so many to choose from its scary. The familiar ones with the time marked old doors are the safest for now.