Category Archives: Musings

Countryside Collection – Belgium

The cattle are fat and muscular. They are full, like sacks at bursting point, like part-time weightlifters who have over-dosed on energy drinks.

Australian cows are bony. They are skin draped across skeletons with racks for hips, their flanks not hollowed so much as cavernous. Yet their bellies are often round and their coats glossy.

Continue reading

A Flight To Impossible Places

I am a villain.
While I could be watching the nation below me                                                                  – knobbled and streaked, dappled and scratched –                                                            I am asleep, imagining these things.

flying, Australia

Australia

There is something in me that feels sleeping on a plane is the waste of a precious gift. Continue reading

We Are All Undertakers

Moving house and country is outside the normal sphere of events and requires a certain constellation of people to effect a departure.

The final weeks are stuffed with gatherings of friends and family which in turn are stuffed with photos and presents and special meals and trying to make the most of every moment while dealing with matters from that other space one occupies – the tiny intersection between life in one country and life in another. I feel like I’m in a Diana Wynne-Jones novel where the worlds have overlapped for a brief period and I’m briefly occupying that transparent sliver before the worlds move apart again and I find that I have slid off with the new one.

And then there’s something else entirely. Continue reading

What Are We Leaving?

“Why are we leaving?”

The BB’s question was, this time, spurred by a conversation about the logistics of getting our goods moved from Australia to England.

As any mover will know, the timing of such a project is fraught. If your household effects go too early, you have to sleep on the floor of your empty house like a cave person; or acquire, then dispose of, sleeping apparatus; or commute to work from distant friends or family; or find a hotel. Going before your goods, is bravery or foolishness as you entrust the removal and everything else to others.

beer, Old Speckled Hen, English ale

When confronted with the what-are-we-doing question, I have a variety of responses. Continue reading

Memories, Attics, Books and Forests

I’m packing up the things in the attic, going through documents and files. I sort into ‘coming with me’ and ‘staying in storage’.

After a while the redistribution reveals an old writing folder. It is then I have to look at how I am sorting. What have I been doing?

The folder straddles the groups. I may not find any ideas in here that I want to work on but it may make interesting reading for it takes me on a path back to who I was. It is like wending through a forest then standing at the edge of a glade and peeping in upon my past self toiling and playing and dreaming and planning. To see oneself so far away is a curious thing. There were so many future selves and lives then. The gap between then and now is the path of the one I lived. Continue reading

Beginnings

Last night as I sat in bed, I held 2013 in my hands. It was a sphere, thrumming with promise. It felt familiar, akin to my days contemplated most mornings between dreaming and waking. We have so many beginnings.

leaf

I used not to bother making anything of the yearly changeover but I increasingly see it as an opportunity (albeit a randomly human-assigned one) for reflection, a hinge between times that invites a pause. Continue reading

The Great Sheepyards of Life

Sometimes you end up in places you didn’t expect.

You’re in the great sheepyards of life, ambling or trotting down the race (the chute) with your eye on the pen at the end – your destination. Suddenly the drafting gate swings across and you’re siphoned off into a side pen you didn’t even know was there or that you thought did not apply to you. Continue reading