All writers will agree that a significant part of their time when they’re not writing, is quietly observing the human condition. The seasonal holiday gives one the greatest chance to do that as the jigsaw of characters falls across one’s path.
As Ernest Hemingway said in Death in the Afternoon:
Oh, crikey! I’ve observed the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
As Fred has said, this will probably be the last SoS from some of us because of Christmas at the end of the week. Just a bit busy…
Let’s start with a broader shot.
It’s been an horrendous couple of weeks with the seasonal equinoxial gales. We live at 42 degrees south latitude, commonly known as the Roaring Forties, so gardening has been something we’ve done only if we really really have to. Best to stay indoors or find a stretch of the coast under the shelter of cliff.
Our house painter says the winds make him melancholy, the teachers all say the pupils develop a kind of madness; our Jack Russell certainly does. I have a balance issue and so the sound-buffeting and the visual disturbance of trees waving and gyrating can bring on an attack of vertigo. But the gales are abating now and I’m in clean-up mode. Masses of whippy branches from the two willows, cossetting the gardens with as much water as possible and starting to shovel mulch all around after much water, so that summer doesn’t dry everything out.
Here’s my lot for this week:
Reliquary has taken an age to write.
Reading, researching, the passing away of my much-respected researcher, family issues, the farm, the gardens, the pandemic.
Ah yes, the pandemic…
Life has a way of intruding upon one’s best intentions.
Sometimes, like birthdays and babysitting, those occasions are craved and enjoyed. Or farm and garden times, when the seasons demand one’s presence.
But then there are other times.
What is tradition?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it’s apparently, ‘…a way of acting that people have… continued to follow…’ through time.
The way I celebrate my birthday has become one such.
Not long after we moved back to Tasmania from the mainland, I thought how wonderful it might be to celebrate my birthday with a trip to Maria Island. The island has played a huge part in my life. Through my childhood, before it became a national park and World Heritage site, it was our playground. We would play in the tumbledown houses, swim in glass-like water. Simply, we would live Swallows and Amazons.