The challenge this week is to share some of the attractions of ones home town and play Travel Guide. Our town is tiny – hamlet might be a better word for it – but we do have a lovely old Hall, recently upgraded with nice new toilets and a storeroom, which houses a collection of photos of district pioneers.
I was walking down that dusty road this afternoon when I noticed that the neighbours were out and about at the bottom of the lane. There were two kookaburras also, but by the time I’d hurried home and back with a camera, there was only one.
For seven long years we were without a shop, and had to remember what we needed in Ararat, or do without. Now we have it back, and it has transformed into a cafe with excellent coffee and above average food. The deck was built several years ago, and I for one have been waiting (as patiently as possible…) for the Saturday morning when I could walk a couple of blocks for coffee and the paper out there, overlooking the oval and the passing traffic.
Science tells us that coffee taken before exercise is a good thing, and if you are going to the Gramps, obviously you’ll be taking a walk or two, maybe climbing some rocks. So, if you are on your way through here to Halls Gap and the Grampians, I advise you to stop at our shop (Moyston General Store) and enjoy a leisurely coffee first, for your own good.
I haven’t posted a poem for ages, but I’m back for today, at least. I’ve been asked (several times) where my antecedents came from, as if it mattered to who I am. But I don’t believe it matters very much where a great great grandparent was born. What matters is how you love.
I am born of earth.
I am human,
Made of stardust and love.
I don’t care
where you or your forebears
we are all out of Africa and ash.
I care about
Peace Love Empathy
Freedom and Joy.
I respect the compassionate.
My heart bleeds for the withered hearts
that only know hatred and fear.
I am bodhisattva;
I am of earth
to earth I shall return.
Appropriate, considering my long silence this week – yet another almost over before I get to making a post. It’s been hot, which I find very enervating, and no rain for ages, so every evening is spent outside watering in an effort to keep the garden going. There are gangs of cockatoos around, so it’s not absolutely quiet, but it’s very pleasant to be out under the sky and out of earshot of the doom, gloom and nonsense spouted by the tv…
I had thought of looking for some nice weathered timber for this challenge, but I’m going with landscape, after visiting this wind-swept lake recently. Time and the elements have ground down the mountains in the background, and filled the shallow lake with whatever it is that water birds like to eat. It was the brolgas we were looking for (they weren’t so keen to see us), but there are Black swans, pelicans, spoonbills, sandpipers, stilts, marsh harriers, marsh terns, both glossy and white ibis and various ducks.
There are windturbines on the hills nearby, taking advantage of the winds that sweep across the plains east of the Grampians – known locally as Pleurisy Plains because that wind can be bitter and unrelenting in winter. Even in summer, it was pretty chilly with the wind off the lake!
We are just into the new year, which seems a good time to focus on growth.
Growing things is the whole point of gardening. Growing things to eat is great, but I also love flowers for their own sake.
As for the cactus garden (more of a wilderness at present…), which my eldest son planted as an 11 year old 30 or so years ago, rain at the right time plus lack of management means that the cacti have grown upwards and outwards, obliterating the central pathway that is supposed to allow access for weeding…Since Simon assures me that there are bound to be tiger snakes in there, I think it can wait until winter!
Our grand daughter Tilly will be two on Christmas Eve – she loves to ascend anything climbable at every opportunity whether it’s meant to be climbed or not. Two Christmas’s ago she was a serene little sleep champion who didn’t even wake up for a hearing test, let alone her heel prick. How things change!
So sweet! Now look at her – still sweet, but with more than a touch of spice (chili, not nutmeg). In the first three she was prancing around on a stone table top, feeling triumphant, while the adults sitting around it were on high alert in case she fell…
In the second pair of photos, she is watching the flames and ash ascending from uncle Alex’s latest bonfire. Thankfully she is more wary of fire than she is of climbing !
Matilda has yet to meet her new(ish) cousin Banjo. I’m looking forward to “Family Christmas” in about six months, when our kids and their kids will all get together for a few days. It’s a fairly rare event, thanks to the long distances between us, but social media keeps everyone in touch in a way that would astonish my grandparents.
Here are the other two grand kids, Juniper and Banjo, photo by their mum, via social media. They were wearing their Christmas outfits from me – I made the shorts and bought matching t-shirts, which delighted Juni, fortunately.
I don’t know what happened, but I’ve missed a couple of weeks…Cheeky is a word often used of toddlers generally, and for our grand daughter Matilda in particular. They are endlessly curious and keen to try things we’d rather they didn’t – like pushing the button on the side of a brick public barbecue…She was so delighted by the cloud of smelly smoke that resulted – us not so much! And those things, so easy to turn on that a toddler can do it, have no off switch…
We went to the coast – Port Fairy and Killarney Beach, then the park at Koroit for hot chips and potato cakes (no BBQ) – because a hot day was forecast, and generally, the coast is cooler…But not always, and we chose one of the Hot On The Coast days, alas.