The Princess and the Bug

Bugs. Life is full of them. The good ones…

bee pollenAnd the bad ones…

DSC_2697One bug’s not so bad. Thousands…? Not so good. Excuse me while I have a little itch just thinking about them.

Bugs are the bane of my summer living. I should be acclimatised by now, swiping them off my fevered brow without a second thought, but quite honestly, the feeling of one bug on my skin is magnified 20 times so that I begin to imagine I have stepped into some kind of Hitchcock horror movie, where I am eventually devoured. Yes, in terms of bugs, I am a little like the Princess and the Pea Bug. Continue reading


Summer’s Story

“Out on the patio we’d sit,
And the humidity we’d breathe,
We’d watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think that this is Australia”

Sounds of Then (This is Australia), GANGgajang, written by M. Callaghan, released 1985

I love this song. To me it encapsulates the feeling of summer in Australia. That refrain particularly. I can’t articulate why or how, but when I hear it, images flash across my mind, fleeting yet intense, all hot and sultry. Cotton, sweat beading on skin, heat that means you can’t move, the click of a ceiling fan in motion, icey drinks. For me, it’s evocative and takes me some place else. Continue reading

Sundried Linen and Living Flora

bec's verandahI was talking with a friend yesterday, as we sat outside my house on the verandah in soaring 30 degree temperatures (yes, I realise this photo isn’t actually my verandah but is Bec H’s and that’s her in the foreground, but it’s so good I just had to use it anyway. Photographer: Dougal), and she mentioned having seen an ad for a bed and breakfast up north, promoting none other than ‘Sundried Linen’.

Of course, I almost choked on my iced water. “Sundried Linen”?!! Continue reading


It started raining last Sunday, at about 3.08pm.

I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was. The tanks were nearly empty, the grass was dry, brown and crackled beneath your feet. The dam levels were dropping. Everything and everyone looked parched.

It was beautiful, steady, soaking rain. Torrential rain when things were so dry and dusty would have been destructive, but the rain we got was just absorbed into the landscape. Within 48 hours there was a happy, fresh green tinge to the paddocks. Even the eucalyptus which usually cope so well with dry conditions, perked up.

Initially as the first run-off from our roof started pouring into the tanks, you could hear the echoey splashing deep down in the cavernous belly of the tanks. We’d come so close to running out, and with a month-long wait on water delivery, it would have been a long, hot and very dry December. Continue reading

A Hot Topic

We don’t have a garbage bin with a green lid for green waste. In fact, I count myself lucky to have any bins at all. Still in range of the council garbage pickup, the line is however, drawn at green waste – which is really fair enough – after all, we have 50 acres to dispense of it ourselves.

So bizarrely one of the first things to greet you when you arrive at our front gate is a massive pile of ‘green’ rubbish. You’d think, with 50 acres, we might have chosen a less ‘in your face’ dumping spot. I mean, what a welcome. But in this case, convenience was the key, and that’s where the chopping occurred, so that’s where it got dumped.

And like alpaca poo (who all poo in the same spot in a paddock. I know this because my neighbours have alpacas), over a period of several months that pile has grown and grown into something quite fearsome.

So a month ago, we decided it was time for it to go. It was time for a bonfire. After all, did we really want to be looking at it during the fire ban over the next 6 months, every time we drove through the gate? Continue reading

Rats Tales

Something has been eating the fruit in the fruitbowl, and it’s not me. In fact, it’s not any us. Well, no human, at any rate…

fruit bowl 2But I think I’ve said it somewhere before: a rodent doesn’t seem quite so bad, if you put the word ‘native’ in front of it. Even so, there is a fine line of acceptability, and it’s generally respected until we go away for several days at a time. And then presto – it’s open house (oh, the joys of living in an old house with gaps). Continue reading