Golly, it’s been a while since I was on here, mostly due to the fact that I’ve been trying to be good and work on the book instead.
So now that it’s heading off to the editor, it’s time for a rendezvous with my old friend, Blog.
Ah, November, Compared to your predecessor, you were merciful indeed. No injuries, no nasty surprises, just the balmy haze of late spring and a frantic school year winding to a close.
November/December is a wonderful time to be a teacher or parent, with a frenzy of performances, plays, music exams, sporting events, graduation ceremonies. Without fail, they storm in one after the other at a frantic pace, all the while hinting that the prospect of glorious sleep-ins and dusty lunch boxes is just around the corner. As everyone runs full-steam ahead in the quest to tick off the plethora of early December to-do lists, the whirlwind finally runs out of puff and school sighs to a close, seemingly when no one was looking.
“Is that it? Is it really holidays now?”, children cry excitedly, almost in disbelief.
Exhausted, teachers drag themselves home and sleep until Christmas, not knowing quite what to do with themselves thereafter. Mothers relish these mornings when no missing sock is being hunted, no last minute excursion forms to complete all aflap. No, December is lazy pancake breakfasts and a chance to reclaim the home, hearth and their own children. Other mothers draw in a deep breath and glance anxiously at the calendar, wondering how they will ever survive the next six weeks.
So yes, the holidays have arrived, and with them a chance to get more fiddling done on The Never-ending Story. But as for November, it was all about:
The Albany Show
November is Albany Show month, and this year Zaydee decided to go all out, entering a bunch of stuff in the Craft and Cookery section. She was pretty stoked to get first place in the junior ‘One person’s work’ and third place for her knitted Harry Potter ‘Ravenclaw’ bag.
After weeks of bandaging, things are looking up! Wound dressings are off off and with Peaches for company, Fly is back in the (small) paddock. My hear did a little leap of joy when I saw him break into a trot a whle ago. It was Fly’s trot- full of swagger and pizazz, with no sign of crippled lameness or cautious hesitancy. Although it’ll still be a while before Fly can head out for rides, it feels good to have him back to his normal self, albeit with a few battle scars to show for it.
With Magic gone, Peaches still essentially unbroken to saddle, and Fly’s recent injury, we have gone from having two highly ride-able horses of our own to none. So with no steed of my own to venture out with, I headed out to climb Mount Lindesay early one morning. It’s a pretty chilled 10km walk, so I decided to challenge myself to see how quickly I could get up there and back. Although I’m not much of a runner, I love walking fast, especially if I’m on my own and don’t have to worry about waiting for anyone- donkeys, children, unassuming mothers. If only there was some kind of career path where one could be handsomely paid for walking fast all day long. Lunch Runner? Pamphlet delivery? Elite level race walking perhaps?
Our first month with Peaches was delightful. The whole business of starting my first horse has been a bit like a rollercoaster- nothing like the terrifying, death defying sort though. More like the scaled down version you find in the kiddy sideshows. Pleasant enough, full of giggles, exciting enough to keep you alert, with a little downhill dip once or twice to keep things interesting.
Peaches is such a smart and sensitive little pony that I just wanna keep her forever. Now if only she’d grow enough to catch up with Zaydee…
Walking the Six-Foot Track
I recently had to fly to Sydney for a work seminar, much to the sympathy of my family.
“Uggghh, Sydney“, a country-loving friend groaned. “At least it’s only for a week.”
But although I do all I can to steer clear of the CBD, I’d take Sydney over Melbourne or Perth any day.
Answer: The BUSH!
There is a plethora of magical places within a few hours drive of the city, most of which are largely ignored, underrated and undisturbed. Take, for instance, the Gardens of Stone National Park. Had it not been for our travels on the Bicentennial National Trail, I would have remained totally unaware of its existence. But the stone pagodas, caves and gorges and dramatic sandstone escarpments left me awestruck.
Unfortunately, according to the Colong Wilderness Campaign, about 40,000 hectares of this unique pagoda bush garden is unprotected and exposed to continuous threats from mining. Several coal mines in the region have already degraded the rivers and swamps of the Gardens of Stone, and if business out here continues as usual, it is only a matter of time before the damage is beyond redemption.
Although I couldn’t spare the time for another trek up to this little bite of heaven, I couldn’t go all the way to Sydney without squeezing in a sneaky bushwalk. So, Six-foot Track, here I come!