Kangaroo on a hot, tin roof


I was making my breakfast about 5.30am, when there arose such a clatter on the roof.

Dashing outside, I caught sight of a young kangaroo  hopping down our drive, not three metres from the house. He/She paused, giving me a backward glance, and then bounded through the garden and back into bushland.

Further investigation, utilising my best CSI skills, showed that said kangaroo  had bounded out of the bushland, through Son’s melon and corn plot, across the terrace garden, then onto the roof of the small carport attached to the  house. The carport’s roof is the same height as the top of the terrace area’s stone retaining wall. From the carport roof, the kangaroo must have bounded into the garden running from the terrace down to ground level, parallel to the driveway. It had landed on the drive way by the time I had made it through the front door, ready to eye ball me from the drive.

After giving me the once over in my pink stripe pyjamas, it retreated back into the bush.

Welcome to the country, Australian style!


Mind it, now

I am about four weeks into my online meditation course. Maybe it is a placebo, but I do feel different. I actually find myself slowing down, and experience actual moments of pure contentment and calm. Mindfulness is bringing me peace, calm and a weird kind of confidence, and dare I say, a new kind of happiness?

It hasn’t been easy. I meditate at night and sometimes I am just so tired that I would rather sleep. However, except for two nights I have kept to my schedule, but  the nights I didn’t meditate I did something radical – I forgave myself.

Just like a dieter falling off the carrot wagon and into the chocolate fountain, I got up and got right back on the meditation chair. I am kind – to myself. Heck, who is perfect, anyway?

If, after getting up at 5am and driving 40minutes to open the school library by about 7.15, then working an entire school day, often with a couple ten minute breaks to gobble food; as well as attending after school meetings and driving 40 minutes home, I find I need to sleep rather than meditate, then I am going to sleep. I am going to do what my body wants.

No guilt, and this lack of guilt means that next day I am more eager to return to my meditation schedule. No anxiety.

As I start to meditate, I tell myself that I am doing this for me, then I spread that out to my family, and my students. I meditate for all the people in my life. If I am a calmer, less anxious, more contented and confident person, then hey, that is got to be a bonus for them too, right?

A couple times, recently, I have found myself using the breathing techniques during the day. Soft focus, breathe in, breath out. Calm, let go. The letting go and telling myself to live just that moment, and to know that I can work through whatever it is, has been an enormous benefit to how I am coping with life’s issues.

So, four weeks in, I am sticking with the plan. I like to imagine areas of my brain firing, and reconnecting, renewing. Like, I said, it may all be a placebo, but heck, give me that sugar pill any time!


who is a pretty one, then?

A magical moment when I was gifted with the precious experience of observing this lovely creature taking the early morning sun on our front lawn.

Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi) or Pretty Faced Wallaby

Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi) or Pretty Faced Wallaby

It was no more than 10 metres from the house. The fence is the edge of Augie Dog’s patch which adjoins the patio. The wallaby looks a little further away that it was as it is just over the drop of the hill upon which our house sits. It was just a perfect moment in paradise.

This is an official photo from the Queensland Museum that gives a clearer picture. More facts, clear here.


No doubt when it is feasting on our vegetable patch in a couple of weeks I won’t think so highly of it, but for now, it was my jewel in the crown for the day.

going someplace nice, without going anywhere in particular



What a gift it is to have a friend of many years standing. To be gifted with two such friends is entirely priceless! Lunch time found me at a local restaurant with two of my Ladies who Lunch. It was a three hour lunch with the obligatory glass of chardonnay, which this time went straight to my head.

Sometimes, I imbue my one glass and not notice any inebriation, but today, that glass, sipped slowly through lunch, went straight to my head. It did not hinder holding up my end of the gossip with humorous and intelligent witticisms however.

One of the ladies has a son in law who is a pilot and is with the Australian forces newly arrived in Iraq. Her daughter is moving house next week, and so friend has to shoulder to the grindstone to assist daughter. Mothers never cease being mothers, do they?

Speaking of mothers, after our lunch I visited my sister who is laid up with a fractured toe. She fought the corner of the shower cubicle and the shower won! I gathered together a pile of books to occupy her while she takes it easy for a few days. This week would have been her husband, BIL’s  birthday, the first without him, so a bit of a sad week for her, and I hope a bit of light reading will take her mind to another place for a few hours.

Her daughter was also visiting, and she had her lovely  baby girl with her. I mentioned her birth in June when the baby was born at just 29 weeks weighing 820grams. Well, four months along, baby weighs just over 8 pounds. She is a beautiful little girl who sleeps her day away, and spent sometime asleep on my shoulder or in my arms. A change of pace after Petite Fille this week, and it brought back to me how fast time passes.

I had left home at 11.30 and arrived back just before 6pm, a long time of being nice, especially for me, but what a lovely way to end the holidays.

I am going to sleep tomorrow, though. Oh yes, indeed, very late; very, very late.

sleep black

the black trunk and the story it held within

theatre couple

Mr FD and I drove to the city to attend the theatre. Daughter2 had given us tickets to the Lion King which opened recently in Brisbane. It was a matinee, because we no longer pretend that we enjoy going out at night, especially as we now live an hour drive from the city.

theatre lunch

We arrived early enough to have a lovely lunch. I had pumpkin gnocchi with confit mushroom, thyme butter sauce and Pecorino Romano, while Mr FD partook of the seafood and saffron risotto with salmon, calamari, prawn, clams and lemon infused olive oil; both were delicious.

A joint decision was made that we would visit the bathroom before finding our seats. Mr FD of course waltzed right in, while I joined the tail end of the ladies’ line. I was still four from the front of the line when he reemerged. It was only as one reached the front of the line that a sign could be read: “There are only two toilets here. There are 9 on the next floor and 22 on the floor above that.” It would have been nice to have the sign where one commenced standing on line, not as one walked into the toilet!

Our seats were 14 and 15. The issue was that the seats went 14, 13, 16… It was wisely decided that as long as we were all happy a seat was a seat.

I adored the costume design, and the incredible voices. At times so much was happening on stage that I didn’t know where to look!  Incredible puppetry by the actors too.

As it was school holidays and a matinee, there were a large number of children present, naturally. During the performance, when Simba tries to wake his father  Mufasa, who has just died, he calls out, “Daddy!” and a small voice was heard from the audience echoing, “Daddy!” It was such perfect timing, a star was born!

After the performance, we sat out the car park rush with a coffee, before our trip back to the country. The barista, who had served us our lunch, remembered me as I ordered coffee and welcomed me back.  Of course he remembered me, I am unforgettable!


They wouldn’t allow cameras during the performance, so I have photos of the Brisbane CBD skyline to share. Blue sky, spring day.

Brisbane CBD skyline

Brisbane CBD skyline


Brisbane CBD skyline 2


This is the parkland, adjacent to the theatre, QPAC, Brisbane

This is the parkland, adjacent to the theatre, QPAC, Brisbane


“I AM the current curator of the black trunk and the stories it holds within.”
― Hope Barrett, Discovering Oscar

pat cake, pat a cake, baker woman

muffin apple

Quite the Country Domestic Flamingo Dancer, today. I ordered heritage vegetable seeds online, with visions of supplying our table and Daughter1’s family as well, thanks to Son.

I was also the Country Chef, baking ham and cheese muffins, then apple muffins, as well as cooking a double batch of vegetable fritters, to restock my frozen school lunch supplies. The apple sauce had been sitting in the back of the pantry for awhile so it was a great to use it at last in the muffins.

Mr FD and Son taste tested all, but I whisked the food into labelled freezer bags and into the refrigerator before they came back for seconds. It is nice to have something for those days when I feel that I physically and mentally cannot cope with making one more decision; or I am running late. I hope to find the time and energy to make a couple more recipes before Tuesday, but if not, at least I have something to start with!

What is it about home baking that makes one feel so superior and in control of  one’s life?

home appeal

Just imagine our veg garden like this but with no plants and chicken wire, and in Australia, and oh just better all around.

Just imagine our veg garden like this but with no plants and chicken wire, and in Australia, and oh just better all around.

I have pried the play dough from beneath my fingernails. breathed deeply of the fresh country air and reclaimed ownership of my side of the bed.

The three men, Mr FD, Son and Augie Dog, acquitted themselves very well in my absence. The dishes were washing in the dishwasher (I didn’t ask how many days worth of dishes they were), the floors had been cleaned, and while the sheets hadn’t been changed, the bed had at least been made!


The loveliest gift is the vegetable garden Son has grafted from our forest floor. This one is ringed by chicken wire in the hope of keeping out kangaroos and hares. He has planted tomatoes, beans and corn so far. There are raised gardens to accommodate at least a dozen different vegetables. Son has also arranged a number of large pots that my father made many years ago from cement, for our herbs. One already contains a capsicum plant. His grandfather would be so proud of his only grandson! He has even installed a watering system, which knowing him will soon be time activated.

I am scared to ask how his university studies are going in light of the time and effort he has spent on the garden, but he is an adult and so we won’t go there! I guess it is his third degree, he should know how to pace himself by now!

I feel energised from my time away from home, which is odd, I know, as I am physically tired. I think that just the change of place has made me see my home with fresh eyes. Sadly, school starts back next Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean a few little projects can’t still be accomplished. And I need to remember that it will only be 10 weeks until we have our 6 weeks of Christmas holidays.

Just 10 weeks, just 10 weeks…may the strength be with me!