Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Jacaranda evening

I have been accused recently of frightening people away from Queensland with tales of snakes, floods and assorted wildlife. Here is my apology.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The back paddock

Prism in my kitchen splitting light
Bright sunshine on the hills

Jacaranda blending into the late afternoon sky

Terrible howling in the gully

No child this

Young woman crying over her horse

Jagged words run together


Bulldozer edges over sodden ground

Sudden tilt on the dam wall then a slide to the edge

Ten minutes and the burial is done

Angry boy kicking grass in bare feet

"I'm gonna leave this godforsaken fucking place."

All I can think, "Didn't your mum tell you to wear shoes in the long grass?"

Looking over the lush hills I count

Tiny guinea pig mound here

Horse here

Cow beneath that tree

Another horse there

Crows picking over the newly turned earth

Now I know why the back paddock is so green

Friday, 15 October 2010

And then it rained

Black Snake Creek Festival was held on a cold, damp and windy day in October. The brightest thing was the bunting on our stall (made by my talented sister-in-law), although this comes close.

And then it started to rain. It rained all night. It rained most of the next day. It rained some of the following day. The ground was already damp and the dams nearly full. After the dams filled, the valley started to fill.

Then the creek filled...

And overflowed in various places...

And the children got a day off school. End of story. Except that more rain is predicted for tomorrow.

Credits: all the water photos were taken by Blithe Girl. The bunting can be made to order and I will happily pass on your contact details to Sister-in-law Blithe.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Some things they don't tell you in grad school

Or maybe they do and you just don't listen. A few thoughts from a long day.

1. 8am is not too early to be at a meeting.

2. An alarm going off as late as 7am is a luxury.

3. A PhD is not the hardest thing that you will do in your life.

4. You will lose an argument to an 11 year old.

5. Academia is not particularly child friendly.

6. Being overweight and unfit is not a sign of moral failure.

7. Sometimes being smart is not enough.

8. Often being smart is not enough.

9. You will still be wondering what to do with your life ten years after graduation.

10. Your [insert trade job here] will earn more than you.

11. Your [insert trade job here] may well have a better perspective on life than you do.

12. It's not just faculty meetings that will drive you to the edge of reason. Life is littered with meetings that will test your sanity.

13. No-one will care about your grasp of of critical cultural studies.

14. You won't care about your grasp of critical cultural studies as long as you have a cup of coffee and know where the restroom is.

15. You will forget most of what your dissertation was about.

16. You won't be unhappy about most of the above.

Friday, 8 October 2010


I didn't even realise until this morning that I hadn't written anything in October yet. Tomorrow is the Black Snake Creek Festival at which Folly's Antidote will have a stall. Next week I have a draft report due with the final report due within weeks.

I have been running a small-scale cottage industry in the early hours of the morning here on Blithe Hill. Children have been pressed into service (if only because they are fascinated by what I am doing and can't be kept away.) Early mornings are scheduled for design and production, "regular" morning for such plebeian things as breakfast and getting the children to their respective schools. School hours are report writing and after school may see some more production. Evenings are split between panic over not writing reports or producing stuff and keeping everyday things running.

I have loads of wet laundry waiting to be hung out and a mountain of laundry to be done. I won't even discuss the state of the rest of the house, other than to say that I think Thomas the Tank Engine may well have staged a coup.

But the end is in sight. Whatever happens tomorrow will happen. And report deadlines come and go. My wish is for the two things not to coincide too often.