*Title of post based on an iconic Australian tourism ad.*
Have you noticed I haven’t been round for a few days? You’re supposed to chorus with relieved tones: ‘Yes, where the b****y hell’ve you been?’
Inspired by The Pillowbook of Sei Shonagon.
Things that I hate:
Living in the city. Traffic lights and lines of traffic. Tarmac paths. Crowds. Being away from the city in a quiet village and finding that some selfish little 20-something has decided to have a party with boom-boom music which he feels obliged to have at full volume. No doubt he is from the city and is returning to the city on Sunday. I wanted so much to have the peace of wind, waves and nightbirds this evening. (Perhaps it will rain, driving the Spoilers and Soilers inside.) Realising its getting a little chilly to wear red shorts. The smell of garlic the next day. Autumn leaves. Missing my husband. Having no daylight saving. Having to go back to the city tomorrow and leaving House. Black clothing.
Sometimes just a change is all one needs ro refresh and gird one’s loins for the next of life’s little challenges.
We’ve just had a three month change. OH (recently departed from a corporate life) and I decided we would live away from our permanent home for three months. This is in lieu of the overseas holidays that others take annually by way of a change.
Historically, Australia was said to have derived its burgeoning economy from the sheep’s back. Our history is marked by the introduction of Saxon merino sheep to the colonies in 1804. Farming wool became iconic and superfine Australian wool became world-renowned, beloved everywhere for its softness and purity.
‘I come from a land down under’ as various biographical notes might indicate. Today’s the twenty sixth of January and is our national day, Australia Day. I woke at 6.30 to an archtypical summer day’s – blue skies forever and the promise of beaches
Sometime ago, way back in October 2010, I wrote a quick post about it being . . . ‘almost summer.’ I love the song by Billy Thorpe and I swore it would become my anthem.
Well it did indeed become my song! Here I am at the little beachside cottage and I’m revelling in the sun and the sound of waves and walking through the water with the dogs. Tonight we’re having a BBQ with friends who also live by the beach and we contributing all the fresh stuff we’ve grown from the garden: snowpeas, fresh peas, Kipfler potatoes, mint, baby carrots. We’ll throw red and white wine into the basket, and beer and shall sit around their wood-fired BBQ into the darkling hours and chat about this and that.
Sounds. My world is made of sounds. I sit with my eyes closed and I listen. I hear the waves chuckling along the shore in a breeze-driven chop. I hear the sea-breeze shivering the leaves of the silver birch, maples and willows; a silvery sound.
Occasionally, Sei Shonagon would veer into a more detailed journal entry instead of her sharp little vignettes. They could be four or five pages long and invited the reader deep into her life – details of speech, mannerisms and settings all wrapped up in her sometimes gentle, often acerbic point of view. This latest Pillow Book of Prudence will depart from the norm and journey into a longer journal entry in deference to Sei Shonagon.