An alpine birthday

Now on this day we celebrate your day of birth 

And we wish you a good and happy life on earth!

(Alternative birthday ditty)        The traditional pancake breakfast substitutes for a cake when we are camping. Lush toppings, fresh berries, cream, yoghurt and maple syrup. I eat renegade savoury pancakes first, gruyere cheese and pesto.

  Craved farm animals from Werner reifentiere. Found at Pastorini in Zurich. Up up up on the cable car from Falkenberg to Oeschin. Summer tobogganing.       The ausblick/outlook is enthralling.     Postcard moments. Oeschinersee. The lake is turquoise. Crispy clear and cold, it is fed by the snow melt and glaciers.       I am enchanted by the alpine flowers and the children hunt out wild strawberries and raspberries. It keeps them busy and happy for an hour and I can soak up the incredible environment at 1500 or so metres above sea level. We are blessed with mostly sunshine and wonderful cloud pictures being sucked on by the peaks.       Another gift was a junior Opinel whittling knife . The end is round so not quite as perilous but just as sharp. There are sticks of softest pine to be found in the woods. This fellow hiked up with his alphorn! I opened conversation as we had all been guessing what was in his pack, and he willingly took it out and played for Us some folk tunes. The harmonic singing of the horn was beautiful to me. It seemed so fitting in this environment. I couldn’t have imagined a better spot to hear it for the first time since childhood.   The sound carried across the water and the long tones needed the space. Magic.   There are many carving and sculptures along the lakeside path. Cedar played his own little birthday Sansula and enchanted us.  

     

 The folk art and carvings on the buildings continuously impress me in Switzerland. I have been guessing they are winter arts to keep hands creative when indoors for much of the year. Strong traditions. The little model house had a barn full of cows like Cedars birthday cow Tulip.  

  Jesse dared to leave the signed pathway (incredibly practical signs for Wanderweg/walkway with distances and times, everywhere in Switzerland. I love the walking culture. This has been a focus of our trip) and despite our resistance ( I’m imagining lost on the mountain in the dark with hungry tired little people) found us a gorgeous place to have a fire for our traditional Swiss sausage roasting. 

  

   

Who loves chocolate and hazelnuts in fire cooked banana s? Have you tried this? Wait  until you have a bed of embers then lay upon it bananas with their side split and chocolate stuffed in. Yum.      Walking down the mountain is not always easier! I think the grade was about 16%. Sore knees and ankles. 

So happy to get to the playground at the bottom! We walked back to camp at 9 pm via the restaurant for slices of cake and warm milks. I took candles and we had a mini birthday celebration there. A super special family day! Hooray Cedar!

To you we sing

And happiness we bring

To celebrate your birth

An angel here on earth. 

Thanks to friends for this song

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The walk

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I am drawn out with the soft grey dawn, awakening bird songs lure me into the day. The wind softly guides me up the ridge line walk. I am cocooned in layers of wool like paperbark and I soon enter a walking meditation, every rhythmic step the goal of my experience.
Each footfall quiet and attentive.
my awareness extends, to touch bird melodies and leaf whispers, though I think I am quiet, a walkaby at 50 metres scampers away through the rasping grass.
my soft steps continue the meandering morning path. Pale light and muted colours.
There are fewer melodies up here now. I am dreamily passing blood woods and casuarinas, the old ones, bladed grasses and fallen limbs.
I’m leaving the rumble and play of the creek noises and entering a quieter hillock. I’m present to the sensations of my walking body, swaying limbs as branches and sound chasing.

Until I find myself thinking about journalling my experiences and story.
A chuckle for myself.

This morn I’ve risen chirpy like a wee yellow breasted wren. Nothing will dim my song. My quiet escape fills me with glee.

The landspace subtly shifts and now I have a view over the ridge to the cascading forest across the valley. Each bunch of grey/orange/blue/greenery swaying its own direction. Spun and waltzed by this buffeting wind. Ah this wind! it lifts me high into its embrace,
my face turns and smiles into it like a happy farm dog on the tray of a ute.
Joyous in the face of windy thrills.
my senses open once more and slowly i step along. Observing all the sheoak saplings culled by the last burn off.
I note some of the soft leaved branches will help our fire start this drizzly day. I step over the exposed roots of a large blood wood giving honour as one of the sentinels of the woods. There aren’t many left up here.
Ahh my heart sours, a treasure of fairy pink by my foot print. A solitary pink fairy orchid offers me rain drops from her petals. I delicately catch them and pray with this tiny gift of bush magic. We commune until I am beckoned on, where a forming balga spear has immature flower heads adorning the top foot or so. It is smooth and strong and a wondrous display of natures contrasts. The slender pointy leaves forming a protective cushion below.
I read recently, look under the green growth on wet days, there one can find a cache of dry tinder. I note this also for my fire efforts.
It’s only on my return I notice the balgas grow on the higher ground and I’ve unwittingly left their domain. I’m too hungry to turn back.
I feel drawn on until I can view the little mountain adorned by turtle head rock. Its clear I’m not to wander there this day. The wind tugs and swirls around me. I am expansive and generous in my exchange.
Up here I notice the diverse bird song again, the open woodland carpeted with grasses and granite beds. The balgas grow more prolifically.
I wish I could translate their tunes and calls, but I am not yet a devoted bird nerd.
The day has brightened and my mood with it. This spontaneous solitude nourishing and adding to my collection of stories. I run.
My body fairly hovers downhill pausing only for tinder collecting and slurping rain drops from sheoak fronds as i pass their domain. I run my mouth along a bundle of new growth and catch a small mouthful of plant gathered sky juice.
I return with my happy heart anticipating the smokey perfume and family shawl I shall wear this day.

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Coconut Palm Weaving {dilly bag, fruit bowl, taro basket}

Here are some long promised  coconut palm weaving processes

first The Dilly Bag

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and next The Fruit Bowl or Calabash

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the beautiful serpent like weave on the headband was taught after my teacher had been with some weavers from Vanuatu. The ladies wear them for dancing and ceremony and he also said they make the flowers below and stitch them around the band. how beautiful and if you chance to see the vibrant green against some unruly dark curls you will see the island regality! Lily made plenty of these to sell in Port Douglas market and to give to friends. we all ended up using them to keep our hair back.

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and for the advanced lesson, The Taro basket/backpack in New Guinea style as far as I know.

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ok that was fun! now i will scramble my brain and make a double size Taro Basket! {it took hours upon hours} but the result is magnificent and brings a lot of amusement! What an achievement. thankyou to my teacher Aaron. i hope we have many more days weaving at the beautiful Davies Creek! Aaron related to me the islanders can whip one of these up so quickly make straps, sling it on for taro harvesting and when done, toss it into the forest once more! I would love to go there one day for weaving…IMG_0131 IMG_0134 IMG_0129 IMG_0133 IMG_0139 IMG_0140 IMG_0142 IMG_0147 IMG_0148 IMG_0157 IMG_0162 IMG_0183 IMG_0175 IMG_0166 IMG_0168 IMG_0169 IMG_0176 IMG_0167 here you can see the creation of a few days. Note the coconut palm mat which it’s all modelled on… not my work. something to aspire to next year! on the front right is a square bottomed basket. see if you can work that one out!! IMG_0195Weaving coconut palm brings me a lot of splendid happiness!

and now the large Taro basket looks golden and strong in it’s dry form some months later.

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what are you weaving into your life at the moment?  would you like to do a Coconut Palm Weaving Workshop with me next year in Queensland?

 

 

Chillagoe Queensland

 

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we seek a new adventure in the West country 200km  from Cairns, some warm and dry and open bush. dry out our lungs and explore the limestone caves in the Chillagoe Mungana national park. 

 A retrospective post.

Remembering Chillagoe region, inland, tablelands, North Queensland; August 2013

castles of stone

caves, crevices, dust, marble bones

choking dust

bleak heat

dreamtime vista

turquoise mineral spring bathing sancturary

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there are long bumpy stretches of dirt road which we have to take at 10-20km an hour as we are heavily loaded with extra timber, 100lt water and 80 ltr of fuel, never mind the brain splitting rattling of our 4 tonne home… it’s torturous for me as driver on this hot hot day, and i rage internally {and a little externally} and finally retreat to the bed with sunglasses on as Jesse takes over the wheel. it is my least favorite endurance of this adventurous life. hot travel with no swimming respite in sight, cranky tired hot and bothered children… {be forewarned, i am going to bang on alot about how hot this trip was!}IMG_2422

gathering firewood roadside on the trip in. I am stunned by the dry midday heat, the starkness of sky and and bleached colors after weeks in the lush coastal regions. it is familiar from my childhood in WA and a little part of me also relishes the crackle of crisped leaves and bark underfoot and the open bush and ant trails. epic sky and thin shade kissed by eucalypt breeze

we fill the floor space with perfect dry hardwood for campfires, it’s awkward sweaty hauling but we focus on the enjoyment of fire gazing and cooking. Jesse finds some perfect straight Mulga for making rhythm sticks.

and then we are arriving into tiny Chillagoe township looking for the Eco Lodge as we hear it boasts a small observatory and resident astronomer {part of our attraction to come to this open sky country} a population of about 250. with fluctuating tourism nodded to by the 4 campgrounds. there is a more private camp ground on a property right on the creek near the airport, but the caretaker is ill.

we are simply  heat shocked and wondering what the hell we are doing here!

im ecstatic to here there’s a swimming hole near town.

turns out to be a lovely shady deep spring fed hole. phew. everyone is refreshed quickly and it all seems worthwhile and copeable. is that a word? the rocks are amazing!

IMG_2414 IMG_2413the swimming hole becomes our base for half of each day we spend in the area. i sit by the water and understand how the indigenous mob survived out here, in the shade by water is the only place to be in a lot of Australia on the hot days. if there’s water…

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we visit some caves and do some short walks. we skip the guided tours in to the deeper caves. {i’m quietly glad the children give me the excuse for this as it frightens me just a little} finding ourselves alone in some huge caverns, sitting on besmoothed stones and watching captured sunlight glittering the dust moats is surprising and awe-some. singing and didging and echoing in the tumbled caves, it’s good to be together in a cave. a new experience.

the rock formations and the self guided caves are striking enough to fulfill our rocky quest.

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i awake on the second day better adapted to the climate and find gradually heating with the rising sun easier than driving into the hot midday from the coast.

we monkey around at the old train station near the campground in the twilight. there are great mobs of wallabies. this was a rare campground stay. we usually find independant camping or stay on properties. we want to experience the astronomy session in the evening however, and it’s simply so appealing to have access to water. we claim the little patch of grass out the front of the Eco lodge. Cedar declares the sprinkler his truck wash.

the session at the observatory is inspirational and full of facts and numbers and anecdotes. i saw Saturn and it’s rings! and two of it’s twenty something moons! it really does look like those funny colour drawings from school books! it sparks many wonder-full conversations about life, other life, gallaxies, stars, moons, space travel, wonderment, constellations, feeling small, feeling big, feeling like a speck, how time and space move and are measured….

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Have you ever roasted a whole pumpkin in the coals?IMG_0009

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before you go to bed, make a nest in the coals and ashes and plop in a really great pumpkin; cover it with a good blanket of ash and coals and you’re all ready for bed; uncover your golden treasure in the morning! we used a Japanese variety here; the more ripe and good your pumpkin the better caramelized result you will have!

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Enjoy your roast pumpkin in many attitudes; here a savory delight but previously it’s been breakfast on pancakes with maple syrup and cream! decadence!

and here is a proof I’m not some super unrealistic lady who can’t do wrong. {just in case anyone wondered; as Jesse pointed out it’s easy to falsely represent myself here on an edited blog}  burnt food is one of my occasional talents! i am a bit dreamy{creative} at times and become absorbed in other activities, than watching the meal cook!! oops. still good. just cut off the charcoal…. I have been banned from using the toaster and cooking rice in a previous life…IMG_0024

Lily spent the first morning engaged in making a flower fairy palace from bark, sticks, marble chunks and flowers. unfortunately she built her house on the sand {the mat} and it had to go down with the packup tide. rebuilt in the bushes and a learning about how to choose a safe site to build…IMG_0022

our last night, we left the township of Chillagoe and visited a more secluded cave with relatively intact Indigenous paintings. The energy of this place was strong and beautiful. We spent the afternoon and gloaming in the cave watching the changing light and dreaming of life as a tribe in the caves, in this remarkable landscape.

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Discussing how and where and what and why was a rich experience. The children chose their rock beds and imagined where the fire was and how we would use the cave and how many people would share it and so on. I realised how little i know of the nomadic tribal culture in Australia, how disconnected i feel at times from the cultural history of this land I was born in. Sadness arising for what is lost now. the questions i’ll never know answers to.  noticing the discomfort i can experience when I am in company of people of culture because i don’t have many reference points. and ultimately I’m a white fella and there is a massive burden of racism and tragedy between us. at other times it just naturally is and I’m connecting with ease and humour. often the children break the ice and connecting through play is a gift.IMG_0090

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the open verandah effect of the cave creates an empowering view over vast land. a safe standpoint.IMG_0094 IMG_0109 IMG_0102 IMG_0113

i awoke to didgeridoo echoes across the land from the cave above at sunrise. when i return from my solo adventure to the cave i am met by singing and music. thankyou Jesse you bring melody to my life.IMG_0133

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there are many old marble quarries in the Chillagoe area. many massive blocks have been lifted out and left on the red dust like a giant’s play blocks. We stop at one of the quarries on the way back East. {some conspiracy about bleeding away private money…} we met an epic conspir-ollogist our here! wowzers.IMG_0156 IMG_0153 IMG_0175 IMG_0166

the bush is open with tall ironbarks and malga among the trees. their thin canopy offers little shade in the oven hot morning. with termite mounds being the bush furniture. the spindly crisp grasses remind me of country up near Katherine and Darwin.
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quirky old machine installations IMG_0181i certainly left with a puzzled feeling from Chillagoe, its been great to reflect on it from my midnight table here in Bellingen.

i hope you enjoyed the story and the photographs.

Roselinde

Right now

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Right now
enjoying a creek bed picnic. Spring creek outside of port douglas. We’ve been staying nearby and cycled down. Fun to be on a bike and feel the wind whipping my hair. ( nice cliche?)
I make Fire. Lily crushes ochre of varied colors.
Cedar carries sticks and stones. Jesse swims then basks lizard like in the sun
Toasted haloumi cheese marshmallows coming up. Mmm

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What are you doing?

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glimpses of Queensland so far…

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forgive me. i have been so negligent here at RosaLindenTree. {gotta change the name one day, too long, any suggestions?}

so here i am banished out of the bus today for being too grumpy and crotchety {yes it’s not all love and coconuts.}

and i find happy refuge with a friends internet connection! yay. hours and hours of electricity. not a bad punishment.

so here comes a massive catch up with lots of photos and words! awesome.

get yourself a cuppa it’s really loooong…. but good!

a day after flying into Cairns, we are guided to Stoney Creek just north of the city, a beautiful cool place to land and have my first QLD freshwater dunk for the year and then take quiet grounding time to balance stones and add to the growing collection in the creek bed. i am so happy, jesse is so happy, the children are so happy scrambling about and crushing ochre stones. it feels good it feels right and i remember exactly why i am committed to this crazy lifestyle! and i am quickly recovering from my ten day solo pack up and leave Bellingen stint while sick and overwhelmed. thankyou dear friends who helped us and fed and housed us… right back to happy…

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another favorite camp north of Port Douglas, we often come to the creek here for swimming and picnics, today a good ole spaghetti ragu with local produce for lush salad… maybe a week into the trip and we are still all getting on!! yay
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and then another day beaching at Four mile Beach in Port Douglas, if you head to the central or southern end you can completely avoid the holiday crowd…IMG_0259 IMG_0257

ah my boy, IMG_0255

ah my girl,

i think the above two shots could qualify for  the 52 week portraits (a year of portraits of my children

from Che & Fidel)

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the colours of coconut palm and sky

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Lily begins to find her old favorite trees…

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The best forest bath at our friends home…

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happiness! look at the patch of dirt he has worn clear from spinning…

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Our gorgeous friends from Sacred Oz have their incredible Message Stick Vehicle at home this week. I love closely looking at all the diverse Indigenous artworks from all around Australia and often find myself with heart swelling tears. Look here to find out more about this remarkable icon of Australian Reconciliation


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a very rare photograph of Jesse and I {thankyou Michael} and it’s even a genuine joy moment! hooray

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and then to Davies Creek for a week of camping. it was trully blissful even though we arrived on a monday like last year, even though we postphoned the mondayitis to saturdayitis when we left the camp, even though it rained pretty constantly all week, even though i didn’t sleep so well by the rushing water, even though even though… these precious times i hold fast to as reminders of what is possible to experience in our family, remember this Rosi when the reality is far removed from this, remember to connect, remember to have hope, remember that it is not always so, remember to have gratitude, remember to give those little ones lots of hugs… remember, renember, rember, ember

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when we arrive, Jesse gets the fire on and smokes the whole camping area for us. The children get straight into the game of foxes they played here last year… note Lily’s long blue ears and their stripey fur…

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the trees, the creek, the stones, the hairyman in the forest with a hollow stick…IMG_0122

serious rain business to dress up for, making channels for the smaller streams, floating things dowstream, splashing and getting the hangof the balance bike… and getting nearly all your clothes wet numerous times a day! aaarh IMG_0143 IMG_0170

above you see a variety of phases of coconut, in the silver bowl fresh water from a yellow nut as on the left. on the far right an opened young yellow nut with jelly flesh, above an older brown nut whose thick white meat we grate as you can see in the centre and the empty shell can be used as a handy vessel.. mmmm below you see a young nut with a drinking hole deftly cut open…{not my work, i am more savage…}IMG_0162 IMG_0156

monkeying around with slippery coconut jelly meatIMG_0031 IMG_0077

campfire buckwheat pancakes… mmm

here i used buckwheat flour, but my favorite recipe using whole groats is from my friend Carly over at

What Baby (and Boy) AteIMG_0178

noticing i didn’t photograph the rain moments so it looks so dry and fun…

we cope by making delicious food, playing games, reading, letting the kids play in the mud and water, eating something else yummy, going walking and splashing and adventuring, being patient, keeping the interior of the bus as tidy as possible while it’s a laundry site, allowing space and solo moments despite being so confined, making a bush treasure hint, crafting, knitting, writing, sleeping, listening to the water, singing…IMG_0173

had a little coconut frond weaving and made up this little flag fan… ahh it’s soooo hot… not, but it will be soon.IMG_0056

and this beautiful fruit bowl. more on weaving soon… maybe even a tutorialIMG_0190

inside crafting… the discovery of the one dot holepunch brings hours of amusement. poor deprived kids.IMG_0071

then this bear gets completely re outfitted by Lily lovingly.. IMG_0142

Just before departure we finalised this upstairs canvas cot for Lily, we had been dreaming it up for years and now it’s manifest and is awesome! keeps the floor space clear and Cedar has Lily’s up front bed  even though his little old cot was so cute…. Thankyou Marty for the help. It is two bamboo poles with a canvas cot slung between them. clever. good. smart. simpleIMG_0138 IMG_0174 IMG_0175

i’ve had a jaffle maker for a few years and finally christened it! yum. childhood goodness. {basically took so long because i am so uptight i refused to buy square sliced bread! i let go a little when i found some organic spelt loaf.. so neurotic. but admitting it freely xxx {i trully don’t care if you eat square sliced bread by the way, i will eat it with you happily i just love love love sturdy loaves of bread with hard crusts and chewy centres! i also have a few ridiculously stupid high expectations on myself}  ahhh liberation it was soooo yummy!IMG_0136

more good camp food. Babaganusch {spelling?} guacamole, vegies and roast spuds!

can you tell we kept our spirits up by focusing on the meals all week….IMG_0191 IMG_0193

Lily’s early birthday present appeared one morning… a slack line which has brought alot of fun and challenge to us all!!



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a very rare portrait of your’s trully
xxx
well that’s enough blogging to last you a few weeks
see you later
roast potaytas

What Katie requested.

a recurring theme of my year so far has been the gift of friendship

again and again i am overcome with gratitude to these unique people who have time and space and words and ears for me and vice versa and the precious and mundane moments we share, the interest in each others lives, from the deep processes and vulnerable sharing to, how are you handling the lice on your children?

one of my dear friends is Katie

What she did is varied and inspirational

Loving motherhood, wise partnership, humorous perspective, deep knowledge, inspirational blogging at Obaitori, gentle guide in yoga and yogic studies, creative attentive mumsy, phone a friend availability and more and more….

anyway, we rarely have time together but

during our last visit in March, Katie requested this recipe

presented just like this {authentic glimpse into my bookshelf}

so here it is dear on the original kookaburra note paper

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it has nothing to do with the River Cottage {though there are lots of good recipes in there}

i found it in a backwater town in highland Qld in an old camp cookbook

It is simply

Pour 1c Arborio rice or medium grain white rice into a deep baking dish/camp oven

cover with

approx 4c liquid {milk/water blend to your taste}

add a diced apple or two

dot with butter

cover tightly with a lid or foil

bake at 180’c about 40 minutes or til liquid mostly absorbed and rice cooked

easy

serve with whatever yummy toppings

honey, maple, chopped nuts, fruit, berry sauce, ice cream….

variation

add 1 tspn cinnamon and 1/2 c sultanas or black currants to the mix

endless variety or simplicity

xxx

thanks for being my friend

when we are old ladies we can take endless beach walks with a thermos and our knitting…

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Ship rock falls

After Dancing Ground
Bodies limber
And weary
After dancing and stretching
And expanding in happiness
And connection
Plans change suddenly
A double obstacle
And I am lost
Internally inflexible
The flow is gone from me
Decision becomes distant
Anxiety arises
Partnership confuses things
We argue mildly
I am tired and back in the big world after festival cosseting and catering
It’s inescapably hot
I don’t know this area or where to find a swim
It’s overwhelming as we try to lead our family with no reference point
We chase a train and find some shade
Hooray a patch of green ground
Jesse takes Cedar walking
I lay with my back on the cool earth
Old tree shade covers me
Air becomes cooler
Temper becomes cooler
Priorities become more clear
The panic abates as fast as she arose
Go gently
Transition kindly
Find water and shade and food and sweetness
Is it really so simple?
For today for me it is

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Later there is Ship Rock falls
A screaming step too close to a tiger snake who also wants the damp shade
A joyful explore of granite bouldery mossy water roaring tree ferny banksia woods with little man
A digestive coma after delicious orreciette with pesto olives salmon capers parmesano basil goat fetta more
Music echoes through the trees
I improve School Polka number 2 on the button Accordian
Children accompany
The world is right again

Later there is Kurth Kiln
rain howls and thunder blows
A safe camp to sleep in misty forest green
A playful morning
Road river races
Water churning exploring
Lily wants to eat the swollen river froth
Dripping ferns and bird songs and our songs
Cedar is the leader
Heart skipping with the scent of freshness and cool
How quickly the wheel turns
The sun rises the clouds part
Or how quickly my moods evacuate…
Hmmm

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Oatlands

On our travels up and down the Midland Highway

we pass through Oatlands

an historical village set about an hour North of Hobart

we are lured by fresh Organic Stoneground Woodfired Sourdough bread

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glimpses in the bakery

glimpses in the bakery

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mmmm that ticks all the bread boxes doesn’t it

and not to mention local grains milled in the recently restored mill!

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Lily and I dress in vintage clothing and go on a date to peruse the gardens, heritage buildings and main street

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beautiful dry stone walls abound in this area

beautiful dry stone walls abound in this area

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we play and pose for each other and giggle alot and smell roses and lavender hedges and accidently knock an unripe apple down

There is a free camping spot on the lake front {where you can glimpse Thylacine on the far bank}

and there are many birds and topiary hedges to prune…IMG_1015 IMG_1009 IMG_0021 IMG_0014 IMG_0016 IMG_0036 IMG_0029

 

or you can park up next to the playground which boasts a giant didgeridoo tree with

whimsical native animal carvings and you can pick wild tiny tart plums….

IMG_1013 IMG_1010we feast on giant cherries and smile alot

and are blessed with spectacular broad sky sunsets

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giant cherries grow round ere...

giant cherries grow round ere…

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