Chronicles

It’s been fairly quiet, with hubby out working and many little things to do. Gradual de-cluttering (it is hard letting go of stuff isn’t it, but it sure does feel liberating when you do! – evidence of a slowly changing awareness.), cleaning, writing, studying, teaching (kiddies), walking, playing, party planning cooking, all that…and, oh, catching up with the dearest of friends who have come back to Canberra. That has been wonderfully refreshing.

I was sad not to take pictures of the mid morning – stretching into mid afternoon – ‘brunch’ we had with these friends. It was such a precious time with us four couples who so naturally and sweetly slot together, whose children play very well together, who so comfortably talk about anything with no judgement, but perhaps a bit of laughing at ourselves and at each other, which friends are so good for, all of it couched in love.

I’ve found I’ve grown the most through these committed, loving, natural friendships where the stretch is gentle and self-awakening. And so I assume, by being involved in these most beautiful of friendships the growth occurs all around, and my only hope is that everyone has wonderful friends like I do.

That was Easter Friday.

Today we are couching it in, the kids are having a video day. I’ve been making sure not to give them any TV time except when needed and so we intentionally go days without any videos, so that I can give them a big sit in with some fun videos without any guilt!!

Here’s a glimpse through our week, showing you how we got to this day where we are going to sit on our bottoms all day and r e s t.

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It started with this beautiful ringlet on this beautiful forehead. Chronicles 20002

We dropped their daddy off at the Governor General House open day to work, and we ducked next doorish to my Nonnas house with their Nonna (my mum) and went for a walk through ‘the forest’. Autumnal colours are just beginning to emerge.

Chronicles 20003 Chronicles 20004 Chronicles 20007 Chronicles 20008Sophia, of course, found a tree to climb.
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And daddy found them.Chronicles 20013 Chronicles 20015

I really love this man.
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I’ve started my early morning running up again. Now that the weather has cooled off, and my favourite fogs and sharp, crisp morning air are back to greet me in the morning, it is something I anticipate and savour. The earliest mornings are the best of times.Chronicles 20018

And the Folk Festival.  It’s an annual family event. The boys band played. I spent a bit of time chasing kids around – meaning: no pictures, sadly. I took a few afterwards when Henry was free to help. He has a calming influence on the children, I don’t know what I’d do without him sometimes.Chronicles 20019 Chronicles 20020

Gunther tried his hand at ‘daddys work’. We have a picture of Sophia doing this at the Folk Festival four years ago. She was five days old.Chronicles 20021

Look at her today. We tried to join in on the dancing, but Soph was too tired to enjoy it. She was clamouring to go home, which we shortly did.Chronicles 20022 Chronicles 20023 Chronicles 20024

But not before doing a few essential jumps.

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And here we are. Movie day. Thank you very much. I’m ready for this day.

Happy Easter all.

xo

Options

I have been thinking a lot about options and limits lately.  It has been my studies that has brought this on, I will concede.  That, I guess, is what uni studies are supposed to do – draw your thinking out into areas previously left unexplored.

LIMITS.  We feel pretty unlimited, don’t we?  We have umpteen career choices, cheap enough travel options, the pick of places to live. If we don’t like something we change it fairly easily. New bedspread. New couch. New TV.

We could spend our lives getting new things. Upgrading. Forever upgrading. Upgrade suburbs. Upgrade house (in fact upgrading houses seems to be the major drive for many of us westerners. (Rental > buy small house > buy larger house > buy/build dream house > die > live in coffin.)

Seems a bit petty looked at like that, doesn’t it.

We feel free, but we, like everyone else, are constrained by limits.

We can choose between this, this and this dress. This one made in China, this one made in China and this super duper expensive one made in Australia…so either ten cheap dresses or one pricey one? Well, what’s your choice?

We can wear these, these or these shoes.

They haven’t made this shoe yet, so it’s not an option.

We can choose to live in this house on the beach, this one in the city centre, this house in the country, but oh, we can’t live in that one because there’s no work there and to get a house you have to go into debt and there’s no work where that house is. Options.

If we’re a bit game we could think outside the box a little. We are going to live in a converted Bedford bus. Another person lives in a smallish sail boat and goes around the world for the next three years (yes, there are people who do this – even some with kids). Another person chooses to be homeless (yes, there are people like this too). Sometimes these choices come with unfavourable consequences. Homelessness really limits your social life, you can never really have anyone over for dinner. You can’t really have anyone over for dinner when you are in the middle of the Pacific either, you will have to put your career on hold if you are sailing, too. Sailing a boat takes up a bit of time.

Travel! We are unlimited when it comes to travel, aren’t we? I could travel to Greenland, Africa, Britain, South America. What fun. Me the tourist. Footloose, fancy free. Never mind the appalling polluting force that airplane travel is. The world can worry about that, not me.

Well, yes. See this graph.-VVV- The consequences of my polluting force will affect people other than me. My choices will limit other peoples options. As long as my options remain unfettered what have I to care about?

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That there is typical Western nonchalance. But….I find…that I can’t be like that, much apologies.

We think we have options, but we are sold our choices. We can choose between three thousand and thirty three toys, but you can’t have no toys, not in our culture. We can drive a car, catch a bus (I can’t, not where I live), catch a train (again, not I), walk (20ks to the shops for me), ride a bike, but try living locally – you just can’t – not in most places! We are expected to use our cars, especially in Australia.

Further afield. I would love to travel. I would gladly go by ship. But why? Ships are so s l o w, and one couldn’t be slow, could one. Faster is better, isn’t it? Well, is it? Flying would greatly grate on my principles, and ships don’t go everywhere these days. So I am limited.

We are surrounded by limits. But we fear them. We must be able to choose between several pairs of shoes, so be offered the option of ‘this pair or nothing’ feels constricting. Why can we not limit our consumption ourselves? If we do not do it now, if we do not choose a life of self-imposed-limitations, surely into the future either someone else will do it for us or the earth will do it for us.

Since 1971 heatwaves in Australia have been getting more frequent and longer. Some people like to ignore the science. Ignorance is bliss. With knowledge comes power and also responsibility (to change). And we do not want to change. We do not want to give up this (illusion of a) limitless life which we have inherited. We feel entitled to all these options – never mind at what or at whose expense.

Eventually our inaction will lead to the earths reaction. And that can not be ignored or changed or simply overcome. There is little you can do about the weather.

Throughout history we have managed to fit our options around the weather.  Air conditioned & heated cars. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter fashion. Houses which are inefficient and plug into terribly costly (in every way) external energy sources in order to cater to the comfort of their inhabitants.  And I know, some of you enjoy the heat and hate the cold. But a Summer which differentiates between blisteringly hot and just hot? No thanks. And brief winters in which we experience fierce hailstorms, incredible cold snaps, extremely cold night and warm days? Some of us may adapt, some of our precious cars and houses and things may get through, but will our crops and animals? Nature doesn’t adapt quickly and the past century has accelerated pressure on the earth in many ways.

There is lots of fear mongering around this subject. But to me it’s clear.

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Chart from here.

We are greedy and we are selfish and we are driven by money, fear and power and we ought not to be.

The world has chosen a path, it has chosen between its options. We are on a path. The path doesn’t fit. Our tower of babel ambitions do not fit with the limitations of this world. We are gods on this earth and we are making our presence known. The less powerful are suffering under our weight but still we go on. We are gods and we must continue to be gods. If we are not the gods who will be? We fear. We fear life. We fear death. We are only safe in our consumerism.  When we consume we know we are powerful, we know we are limitless, we know we have options. When we consume we can define ourselves by design. We applaud our growth economy, we see it as a way out of the limitations of nature, of localism, we do not (well, I do) see it as a hungry, greedy creature out to consume more and more of the worlds resources.

I love this beautiful world. We have created nothing better than the natural wonders of this planet. This planet should form our limitations, not our own greed. We can be humble about it. We can humbly accept natural limitations, not fearfully strive to overcome them.

There are other options out there, not just the ones we create and sell.

Change

Hey,

So I’ve changed this blog around a little bit, including the title. I’m guessing you’ve noticed!

This blog sprung out of my former website as a photographer.  That photography thing is no longer happening – for so many reasons, not least is the fact that I am no longer going to be in one spot for very long at all for the next couple of years.  So the time for a developing photography business is definitely not now, if ever.

I didn’t agonize over a name, that not being my style. I waited til one made itself known.  And it has. Funny title. Perhaps. But I opened my internal ears to something that described me and my family and particularly me and my family as we will be on this trip, as that is the central motive behind this blog. Something that wasn’t ‘Travelling ’round Australia with my fam’.

And Anyway. It’s true. Collectively we are fairly wild and scruffy, when it comes down to it.  And also, in advocating alternative lifestyles (i.e. less consumerist, less indulgent…etc.), the title seems appropriate. I wouldn’t want to be scared of being a little bit wild and a little bit scruffy, a little bit untamed by modernisation. I really don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

Tip off: to keep with the corporate nature of the title the site address (url) will also be changing in the next couple of weeks – just fyi.

Grocery Lives

Sometimes, when I am waiting in line at the Supermarket checkout, I stare, dully, at the groceries of whoever is ahead of me, and because I am a sticky-beak I put the story all together in my mind. A story which is full of questions. I wonder how much you can tell of somebody by their groceries.

There is the older woman, she must be a pensioner, she buys the barest of essential ingredients. Milk. Tinned fish. Rice. Pasta. Tinned tomatoes. Onions. Bread. A few cup-o-soups. They are all home brand. I wonder if she has children, how old they are, if they live near her, if she has grandchildren, what has happened to bring her to this point where affording the simplest of groceries is difficult. Maybe, though, she is quite wealthy and saving even the smallest amounts of money on her food is strangely satisfying to her, a way she can feel in control of her life, of her expenses. Perhaps money is something to be squirreled away instead of spent on living.

A shiny woman in her thirties. Her hair is voluminous & well cut, she is about a size 18-20.  Her clothes look expensive, but she is bulging out of them.  There are two types of women in this category.  Those who buy cake and those who buy diet soft drinks.  One doesn’t care, loves her size, flaunts it and enjoys her food; the other one is really trying…but not really.  I’ve been in the overweight camp after each of my pregnancies, and it is hard to lose it, so I sympathise.

The trendy looking couple, with fair trade everything.  Checking the back of every label.

I like to note how many fresh ingredients I see in peoples trolleys. Sometimes it is hugely encouraging, seeing the clearly competent and confident mums with trolleys full of greens, other times a sad commentary on the state of our food system, with near everything in said trolley in a plastic bag or a brightly coloured box with brand names screaming loudly.

Well.

Food has forever been a centrifugal force in relationships and storytelling.  So many stories converge in a supermarket. People passing like trolleys in the aisle, words unspoken, but the contents of trolleys speaking volumes, uttering a myriad of questions, stating simple facts about this increasingly complex world. Supermarkets are an icon of lost community, where even getting food is done without any need for relationship, especially with the introduction of self-serve checkouts, before these however ‘checkout chicks’ were merely human machines, just another cog.

This is the 20th century version of foraging. With the 21st century still in its infancy I wonder what they’ll think of next. I wonder if I will like it.

Dandelion Tea

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Drying Dandelion roots to make Dandelion tea.

Dandelions are one of those incredible plants which are often thought of only as an invasive weed, but instead are so much more.  They make great companion plants in the garden, their long tap roots bringing up nutrients from below, making them available to other plants.  The leaves, flowers & roots (everything but the stem) are all edible and great for the liver.

Better than buying the tea from the supermarket, which can be expensive, it is absolutely simple to make your own, just make sure you don’t pick all of them and I would avoid those which have been mown over, just not sure about the possibility of lead accumulating in them.

Pick

Wash

Dry

Grind

Steep

Tea!

Chronicles

It’s been an absence. I’ve been struggling along with an essay, my first in seven years – or more.  I’m rusty!

Canberra had its 100th birthday, I had my 28th.  Henry and I are officially in our late twenties and thirty is just around the corner.  I don’t mind. I intend to live to 112 and have each year more productive than the last.  I just feel I have so much to learn here on earth and so much I could potentially give. I want to give it all.  Spend myself into the earth and into its people like nothing else.  Of course, as a mum, you’ve got to spend yourself into your kids.  Like everything, large scale change depends on the small actions of individuals.  It is a wonderful and daunting concept.

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In between Henrys absolutely exhausting work schedule the past week (I get the benefit of seeing the monumental effort that goes into these festivals that Canberra likes to throw!) We managed to squeeze in an early morning excursion to the balloon spectacular.  We’ve been going to these since Sophia was in my tummy.  I love early mornings and I love family outings, so this has been one of my absolute favourite events over the years.

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Crazy balloon shapes have only recently popped up in this festival, what a highlight! Darth Vader. No way.
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I’m not sure if the Peacock or ‘Franklin’ were Sophs favourites, I guess it doesn’t really matter. They were both cool.

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It was a super early morning! 5.30am out the door, it was still dark. It was totally worth it, even though I paid for it through the day with super tired and crotchety kids.

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Just to prove all four of us were there: Sophia, Gunther, Me & Henry.Balloon Fiesta0012 Balloon Fiesta0013 Balloon Fiesta0014 Balloon Fiesta0015 Balloon Fiesta0016 Balloon Fiesta0017 Balloon Fiesta0018 Balloon Fiesta0019 Balloon Fiesta0020

 

We ducked off to get a coffee before I dropped Henry off at work. These kinds of dates make me jump for joy inside. I just love those happy, carefree times with my family. It’s absolutely right and delightfully fitting.

A few days later Henry was working again, this time at Skyfire.  I am not generally a fan of Skyfire, fireworks: great. Crowds: totally not great.  The music: not into it.  But, showing kids fireworks for the first time: yes please!

So mum and I took them down to the lake, we made sure to go a good distance from the main area, with still a good view, and we did find the right spot.

Fireworks0001The tower was rather thrilling for Soph as it changed from Pink to Red to Orange and on through the rainbow.
Fireworks0003I only took a couple of photos as I mostly just wanted to cuddle my kids and enjoy the view with them. It is just beautiful seeing things like this through their eyes. Their ‘Wows’ and ‘oohs’ and ‘Look! It’s a shooting star!’ bring big light to older, staler senses. Children are one of the best things for us adults.

So our week wound on with a few resting days at home, a few gigs to go to and an Uncle up from Tasmania to spend time with.

Then came birthday day. Mums birthdays are never much I think.  Mums are the ones who make birthdays happen for children and for husbands, but this time I had my first taste of my daughter taking care of birthday traditions.

Henry was sick as a dog, poor thing, he had to pop in to work, so we all went together and I dragged the kids around. We had fun jumping around Civic sculptures.

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I feel this is rather an unusual fountain for a city centre, but when I read that it was bequeathed by Alexander Downer in honour of his father I saw it in a new light.  Now I see a father raising up his son and passing on a gift which the son is reaching for. That is appropriate and a close father-son relationship ought to be honoured.Birthday0004 Birthday0005 Birthday0006 As our time in the city fast ran out and Henry was still working I did get cross.  I hadn’t had a chance to do that retail therapy Henry had promised.  So palmed the kids off on him and I dashed of, getting a few presents for the three other friends who have birthdays around mine and bought some new dresses from a favourite shop. (natural fibres and potentially ethical – though I’d definitely like to look into that!) It was very very brief, but when you become a mum even five minutes of rushed time alone is luxury – and retail therapy! Unheard of!

Then on to the Arboretum where we had a spot of lunch with my mum, dad and brother.  I always think it’s appropriate to spend the anniversary of your birth with the people who are responsible for your arrival on the firmament. We had lunch in the absolutely amazing construction of the Arboretum ‘Village Centre’, high ceilings with wood highlights through the entire building. Then we rolled around on the lawn ampitheatre, well the kids did.  And finished off with a chilled out stroll through the Himalayan Cedars and the rust coloured words, ‘Wide Brown Land,’ on the hill.

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Finally, at home, Henry soldiered through cooking dinner, then crashed into bed for a nap. I whipped through the cleaning, then with two exhausted children finished off with a ‘birthday’ cake.  By then though, I was totally over it, so I cut it up and headed outside to eat alfresco.  Sophia was not too be put off. ‘Are we singing happy birthday?’ ‘No, we’ll just eat it and go to bed.’ ‘No, let’s sing happy birthday.’  A little pause. I just waited to see what she would do. ‘Come on Gunny, let’s sing Happy Birthday to mummy.’ So Gunny began: ‘Happy Birthday’, then Sophia: ‘To You!’,  Gunther again: ‘Happy Birthday’, Sophia: To You! Then Soph sang all the way through to ‘Hip Hip!’ where Gunther joined in again with the ‘Hoorays!’

It was a beautiful moment, one of those times where you see and really notice how your little baby is growing into a big person with responsibilities and the ability to think of and look after another person.

The sun set and shone through the leaves of our plum tree making them glow and then it was bedtime.

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Uncle David came with two of his mates, Henry crawled out of bed and we finished the day with beers and interesting conversation.

Now we are looking ahead to a PINK birthday party for Sophia in two weeks time and finally our move out of our village which has been home for 5 1/2 years, ready to step into life’s next adventures.

 

soleRebels

My birthday is just around the corner and I’m looking to invest in some shoes.  I need some flats as the $20 flats I bought about 8 months ago have fallen to bits. I have a few new priorities when it comes to investing in a pair of shoes.

1) I don’t mind the price so long as the style is classic and durable.

2) I expect these new shoes to last me at least 5 years, preferably 10 – I don’t think this is unrealistic, my wedding flats, which are of a pretty flimsy design, though the build quality is excellent, have lasted me 5 1/2 years, I feel shoe builds could be way better than they are and easily last this long.

3) They must not be produced by a multi-national corporation and definitely must not be made in a sweat shop.

4) Would prefer if they were made in Australia.

So into Google goes: ‘fair trade shoes’ and a few companies pop up. Some of them are not right style wise, but then I find soleRebels.

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I am very impressed with the 101 page which describes why a small business model is much better than charities for pulling Individuals up onto their feet and investing in their local economy.

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I am impressed with the way all their supplies are sourced locally, including using recycled car tyres as their soles.

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I am so glad I’ve found a company I can support.  I don’t want to follow the trends. Trends demand constant consumerism, which to me is a waste of time and, indirectly, an exploitation of people. I don’t want to be thinking about my clothes all the time. I don’t want to put more thought into my next fashion item rather than the people who are slaving away to produce that fashion item.

You might say: ‘it’s just the system’ if so I reply: ‘the system is bollocks’, the system, while creating wealth for the west is creating poverty for almost everywhere else. I really don’t want the dollars that come my way to go back into creating poverty.  Although this company is a way away and I will have to fly my fair trade shoes to my feet I think Ethiopia deserves some of the Western Dollars that have callously contributed to poverty and environmental destruction.

If they shipped their shoes I would be happier.

If a totally locally supplied footwear producer and retailer opened next door I would also be happy.

And perhaps (and I will) I will make my own!

The expression a woman wears on her face is more important than the clothes she wears on her back.— Dale Carnegie

What does chocolate taste like?

‘What does chocolate taste like?’

This question was asked by the son of a cocoa grower in Africa of a journalist tracking the sources of his food and ‘stuff’.  (Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, Fred Pearce)

When the time came for the abolition of slavery I wonder if people ever said: ‘It is unsustainable to get rid of slaves. If I don’t have slaves people won’t have cotton for their clothes.’

I wonder if that is the same thing as people saying these days: ‘It is unsustainable to get rid of intensive farming systems. If we get rid of these (horribly exploitative) farming methods there won’t be enough food to go around.’*

To say such things ignores what humans have proven their whole existence on this earth and that is that we are a very ingenious bunch. If there’s a problem we will find a way.  It also shows the extent of our greed. For the sake of more: more profit, more production, more things we will do…anything!?

I see this battle of getting our farming practices right, learning to work with the environment, treating our animals and the worlds people** kindly, shifting our paradigms around from Capitalism to….who yet knows what…, as the great struggle of this age.

I can not believe that the people from whom our chocolate comes from have never themselves tasted chocolate.  Locals along a certain coast in Africa are forced out of traditional fishing grounds, with nowhere else to go, by massive trawlers fishing for the far off European Union.  Beans are exported from countries where people are starving. These things are not right and ought never to be.

I’ve had it argued to me that Environmentalism (to put that blanket definition over it) ignores people for the sake of animals & plants. I disagree entirely.  Taking care of the worlds environment cuts right to the root of many people problems.  Living in balance with the earths capacities to sustain us is essential to long-term human health & survival.  I’ve also had people say: ‘I don’t believe in global warming.’  All I can say is that there are some cases where simply choosing to ignore something does not make it go away.

Would we drive our cars and refuse to put fuel in them, change the oil, check the fluid levels or take care of our brakes and simply shrug it off with a ‘I don’t believe in looking after my car.’ and ‘I don’t believe in car breakdowns.’ I think the same holds true with looking after our land, air & water.  If we refuse to maintain it then it will break down.  I think most people don’t tackle this problem because it is bigger than one person can handle, and that is true, but it takes individuals. It takes every individual making little decisions every day.  The poor of this world do not have the benefit of having information available to them at the click of a button.  We do. We have no excuses.

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* By the by, there are actually extremely successful methods of increasing production 100 fold through ethical, natural, organic farming methods, one of which is Permaculture.  Farmers are also finding higher percentages of Carbon in their soils (Carbon Sequestering) through better management of livestock grazing.  (My dream is that every locality will be surrounded by permaculture farms providing for its food needs, rather than massive monoculture farms shipping all around the country and the world. Of course different diets will need to be adopted – e.g. no cheap mango & papaya for Southern Australians, but instead a rediscovery of temperate climate foods!)

**We are now a global world and therefore the people in South America who grow our coffee, the people in China who grow our beans, the people in Africa who grow our chocolate, the people in NSW who produce our eggs, are our responsibility.  If we exploit them simply for our own benefit we will have to answer for it.  Ignorance is no excuse. The information is readily accessible for anyone who cares enough to access it.

 

Park Time

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These days I am not so scared of blurry images, in fact sometimes I prefer them, there is a sense of movement and conveys so much of the energy and happiness of childhood.

 

 

 

Sutton Walks

Many evenings after the dinner dishes are done the kids and I go for a final frolic out-of-doors.  We have been doing this all Summer as, truly, the best part of those hot Summer days is when that fierce sun sinks down into the faraway hills and his glow dims to a deep golden.  It is best for young porcelain skin and my light-sensitive eyes.  

For us it is the best of ways to relax, a way for my kids to witness nature going to sleep, and a time to stretch our limbs in new ways.  Sophia, such a monkey, climbs higher every time up the tree next to the park.  We hunt for natures goodies, climb down rocks to be near the tiniest pond which flows under the bridge, and find that there is beauty even in the smallest details.  We watch the bees, find where ladybugs set up for the night (a few dozen all on one plant), we see galahs cawing to eachother before they go off to sleep and we always see the rabbits out on the grass eating up before they wriggle into their burrows for bed time.  I love seeing these things through my childrens eyes. Everything is unique and wonderful to them and I find myself joining in and encouraging this wonderment. We say goodnight to all the living things as we go back to our house. I point out the ants who are extra busy before it rains. I follow the flight path of the bee, one of my favourite of all living creatures. I share their enthusiasm entirely and I hope I foster it too.

I will miss this wonderful space we have had in this little village. It has been most pleasant for our family to have this massive expanse as basically an extension of our backyard. I am totally grateful to Australia for the vastness it provides. I love this feeling of space, room to stretch legs and be private whilst being utterly surrounded by practically nothing but nature and while still have neighbours in calling distance. It is perfect. I am thankful.

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We actually found some leeches in this water hole, so this is the last time we will be doing this here!Sutton Walks0011

Frogs eggs, it has been many months since there was such a big batch of eggs, today also we saw many bugs mating and I think it must be time for the Autumn baby boom.

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That lovely, dominating, fatherly structure, the Sutton Village Hall. Here, in this village, the community spirit of the past still carries on. Just one reason why I love this village so much.Sutton Walks0030Ladybug0001

Lady bugs seem to love this plant. Plantain is great for so many things, not least totally alleviating insect stings. The leaves, roots, seeds are all edible & also can be used medicinally as a poultice. Sutton Walks0032 Sutton Walks0033 Sutton Walks0034Sutton Walks0042 Sutton Walks0041 Sutton Walks0044

Yes, we did eat these, and no, we did not die.  I am growing more confident in my ability to identify and cook wild mushrooms, so far there are only about 3 that I am totally confident with.  Books and experienced mushroomers are the most help here.

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Another day:Sutton Walks0114 Sutton Walks0115 Sutton Walks0116 Sutton Walks0117 Sutton Walks0118 Sutton Walks0119 Sutton Walks0120 Sutton Walks0121

To me, this picture is Sophia all over, free, abandoned, expressive, wild. She is a lot of fun.

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The humble bee. This creature is not to be underestimated, as those around the world experiencing colony collapse disorder in their hives are now learning first-hand. (Many American fruit/nut growers ship hives upon hives of healthy Australian bees over to their shores where our bees are destined for certain death.  They pollinate and await the Varroa Destructor mite which heralds their demise. Thankfully this mite has not made it to Australia…yet…let us hope it never will.) Decades of pesticides are biting us in the rear-end. I hope Australia learns before it is too late. Anything we can do to ensure the vibrant future of our natural habitats and animals is not enough! I never understand people who couldn’t care less about these creatures. If it were not for these tiniest of animals the naturalist and scoffer alike would have no food; no fruit, no nuts, no veges, even flowers would shrink from sight.  God built all sorts of wonderful systems into the way this world works and it is out of a pure love of His creation that I am driven to protect it. I can not understand the apathy.

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This one I did not eat, often these mushrooms, if they are too close to trees, will carry slaters, and this one did, though in every other respect a superb mushroom.

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Sophias finds.Sutton Walks0133 Sutton Walks0134 Sutton Walks0136

This is a tree I never see in flower. I suspect it is a brief, once a year event.Sutton Walks0137 Sutton Walks0138 Sutton Walks0140 Sutton Walks0141 Sutton Walks0142 Sutton Walks0145Sutton Walks0150 Sutton Walks0152

And an au natural slippery slide.Sutton Walks0160 Sutton Walks0161 Sutton Walks0163 Sutton Walks0164 Sutton Walks0165 Sutton Walks0166 Sutton Walks0170

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This boy, that face, that hair! <3

Skater Family

We went out for a skate. We haven’t done this in too long.

Henry went skating the other day and met boys of 7 or 8 with hair past their shoulders able to ‘shred’ on their skateboards and so he came home wanting that for Gunther.  He already has the hair. He just needs the skills.

We dressed (the kids dressed themselves) and our little family looked so funny/cool that I had to take a few pics.

We do appear to be slightly sexist about the whole thing. The girls roller skate and the boys skateboard. But this is just the way it’s worked out, truly. I swear.

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Tea Time

Today one of our usual activities: A cup of tea!

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Gunny helped by ‘stirring’ which I think is code for secretly eating the sugar.

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Yes Gunny, you’re very cute and it’s hard to be mad at you.

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Sophia helped by cleaning which isn’t code for anything, she is simply becoming a divine domestic goddess!

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We settled into our couches – which I have rearranged to attempt to shut out all the mess and chaos of moving boxes and Henrys inventions which are currently lying around the house. We have actually never used these couches so much, it’s amazing what a simple rearrangement can do!

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While they sipped & supped I read them Rapunzel, we are working through a book of fairytales.

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And Sophia is loving it.  Reading and being read to are some of hers (and mine) favourite activities to do together.

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Oh yeah, and my dear friend (who is studying Beauty Therapy – lucky me!) came over last night and gave me a pedicure.  I have never been one for nail polish, having never had the knack (or skin tone) for it, but I am enjoying toting these traffic light toe nails around town.

xo