… as one of the 99% on the planet I am very rich indeed…



hot and warm this sun Day

cloud and rain swept over us yesterday

still following a template of rain and sunshine with a bit more emphasis on the grey side of the deck.

seeds planted appear very quickly and gardens are flourishing here on the south coast though some gardeners have been heard to moan about mould.

our  garden enclosure has been a wild teaming mass of  self sowers and stalwarts rhubarb chives sorrel and marigolds in a thick carpet of borage and rocket .

along the journey of weeding this luxuriant growth I have uncovered a couple of tomato plants a few beans a cucumber climbing and a bed of potatoes. the potatoes have benefited by having the weeds mulched  in around them.

I didn’t get around to putting in the spring/summer garden this year – no excuses – just how it was.

when we returned  from camping glenda who was staying with us  moved into the garden cleared a small patch and put in parsnip seeds.  in the early mornings while the day is fresh and new I clear the ground and plant. I am not certain the parsnips are up as they are unfairly advantaged taking as long as they do the weeds beat them to it and take over but fingers crossed. the yellow robins love me in the garden and call to me to stop so they can dive in and grab a worm.

I am adding what I can for the month of february though who knows what the season has yet to say to us. carrots beetroot endive mizuna , marcos lettuce,  silverbeet  – all tipping the soil and nodding at the world .

I have a snipper that comes into the enclosure long after I have gone to my bed – some creature prowls and plucks …snipping my parsley the beans a taste here a nibble there.

who are you? perhaps  a possum that finds a way thru our fishing net roof – could be birds – bower birds someone says , what about slugs? or how about bush rats ?

I am betting possum and am going to try out the live trap one night and see if it wants to go on a holiday. Possums are protected in this country , we may neither kill them nor eat them nor relocate them. well over the years one gets to try all sorts of things and eating one caught in the house one night proved to be very delicious. I hope you wont tattle on me and if your ears are offended by this admission then  find one of my kinder stories to read. 

this is their homeland this forest and I am the interloper so we try to come to some sort of agreement – they take their cut  and I place guards around plants I don’t want them to eat.

While eating them is an obvious answer to our too many of them problem we are at this stage of our evolution not able to go there. The only time it did happen was a bit of a fluke.

in NZ to which  they are not native being  shipped over from Oz they are considered a menace  and 1080 is the commonly used means of eradication. shame as they a great food source and the skin is a worthy piece of leather . there is an industry of sorts over there and they are making uncommonly good money by spinning the possum fur and making clothes – hats gloves cardigans combined with  wool it becomes a very fine garment.

once rabbits were considered a worthy food source and an entire felt industry owed them thanks but  then they  became  ‘pest’ and ‘noxious’  which led to a big problem . In 1950 the CSIRO found a solution and released myxomatosis ( a virus) which killed  99.8% of the then rabbit population . This was the first biological control of a pest mammal in the world. Since then rabbits have adapted  the virus has mutated and they are prolific as they ever were.

In 1995 there was an accidental release of calicivirus ( rabbit haemorraghic disease virus) that initially seemed promising ( not for the bunnies ) and it wanders blithely around  jumping species but totally safe to humans of course. The rabbits are still winning to such an extent that people don’t eat them anymore nor are their fur and skins valued products.

The news is that there is a new strain of calicivirus that is going to be introduced to deal with this problem . and so it goes on…


For some reason I am reminded of something I read the other day 

Recent figures show that if current trends continue, the wealthiest 1% of people will own more than the remaining 99% of the world’s population by the year 2016.”


stats like this are hard to grasp difficult to imagine and almost impossible to counter.

the bunny the possum the weed are all useful in their own right . one wonders how useful the 1% are -whether they plant lettuce or watch a cloud scooting about on a windy day.

when we want to get rid of something  generally it is because we don’t know what else to do. we are oftentimes afraid of the lateral thought, the glinting possibility that we could think outside the box and utilise this situation in another way. it is certainly taxing me to consider the 1% wealthy situation and how this can be shared out a bit more evenly. what helps is knowing that wealth is a fabrication a substitute for the real thing  and that sunshine sky possum rain and veges are real products. So this leads me to consider that as one of the 99% on the planet I am very rich indeed.

I return my attention to living with rabbits and possums – the rabbits have gradually moved from the surrounding farmland into our forest so I guess the snipper could be a bunny. hadn’t given that much consideration and while I do look for scats it is difficult when the last manure placed upon our garden was camel poo .

I try not to get grumpy when they polish off the grapes on our verandah and or get woken up to hear them playing chasing on our roof . I try to believe  that we are an ark and that this is their safe haven – a place where they can be wild and free from pursuit – well at least until some thing crosses my line and I feel bound to defend.

I have to live with paradox with inconsistency with hypocrisy even – otherwise I would go totally mad. 

 I have to live with not knowing  and learning stats that frighten the stuffing out of me.

it helps that I am part of a global community that cares deeply and shares gladly 

oh well I guess I’ll go and pick a bit of rocket and basil some sorrel a few borage flowers some lettuce and have lunch.



“I don’t want to wash the salt out of my hair “

what a strange summer so far climate speaking that is.
early in January we go camping leaving home on a day that topples 37 degrees putting up our tents in a forest beside the ocean.  

         this place is also the home of the yellow tailed black cockatoo – it is here that they roost each evening – wheeling in squawking loudly to land in the branches of the spotty gums above us . every evening around dusk they return and every morning at dawn they wake us with their clatter and chatter before departing  for their days wanderings.

of course it had to be  the bird man rob that found the yellow and black feather near his tent.

the wee king tears  around under  the spotty gums and leaving his training wheels behind he launches into a world of bike riding.              a milestone moment for sure.  
we swim daily  after a long walk thru the spotty gum forest camp site to a bay fringed with rocks 
where dogs children kites balls picnics boogie boards laughter coconut oil and towels laze around on hot white sand.

Kingston floats happily alongside us in his ring of air kicking little legs and laughing when waves break over his face.
it is picture perfect postcard and only $14.00 per night per person.

only !!!             good god we say its gone up how horrid.  we discuss it with the caretaker – a shrug you want to stay you pay the price.
cold showers and long drop toilets are the only ‘services’ supplied
it is one of the few remaining ‘wild’ bastions of camping available to us along  this coast
don’t get me started on ownership and paved walkways, on poisoned logs making rectangle bays to camp in, on millions of acres inaccessible to a camper or a hiker or a picnicker.

of course the real gifts  offered are priceless treasures – salty water and spotty gums, sand and shells 
freshly caught fish rock pools anemones and  urchins ,sea lettuce and crabs ,giant strands of kelp and Neptune’s necklaces move between sea and beach according to tidal flows.   happy campers sharing and cooking over fires and playing together boats and boards and games time off   time to be .


living on the ground on the earth 

crawling into and out of a tent

about as  low as you can get

on your knees 

a supplicant to the mother                                                                                                                                                                            

 humbling and gratifying.


a tarp is rigged up to cater for our outdoor kitchen our card table and nightly scrabble games our shelter from rain
one card table becomes two as our numbers swell  with more family and friends joining in.
friends of the elemental sort also move in .
always rains here when we come  grumbles one of our mob.
actually ever since I returned from New Zealand it has been a wet season – Dad says ever since I left it has been dry over there.
initially we got a few hot lazy summery days and then it cut loose with torrential rain lightning and thunder .

oh and then the new tent leaked the stitching not quite up to standard.
a pattern developed of patches of sun and grey clouds  building to storms in the afternoon and evenings.

fantastic weather really -very dramatic very  changeable -sunshowers and rainbows interspersed with black as skies.  so we dug drains around our tents and made our selves as proof as possible in an outdoor wild setting . increasingly the surf got wilder and our bodies relished the pummeling.

by the third week we were adding blankets to our beds ,beanies to our heads, socks and boots to our feet and asking what  has happened to summer ? and they say there isn’t climate change remarked the elder koori woman camped next to us. we have been coming here for years she says and never seen anything like this as they packed up and headed home. we would get a storm for sure and that would be that not this …..

however it was not the least bit miserable indeed it was as always a totally delightful exhilarating experience but it did seem to contain more rain than sun more cold then heat .
after 3 weeks going into our 4th we listened to the weather forecast and decided home was the place to go to.
much easier to pack up when the weather is on the unfriendly campers scale.
our verandahs quickly filled up with eskies cast irons pots  dirty tea towels jars and wet clothing  , chairs and life jackets and  wet tents and tarps as we unstitched ourselves from camping mode.
and then before I could blink everyone had departed for the new year for the other world
the holiday was over and the house returned to its deep quiet and the noisy chatter of a small boy remains as a  memory.
do not despair – I hold on to holy- days – as much as – as long as -as hard as I can.
I know this is not very Buddhist of me but sometimes  holding a  space means not letting it go not letting it be lost  and this is one space that definitely needs to be supported.
the space of sun and ocean and sand – of long days without end without doing without clock or tv or newspaper.

days of  listening to the sough of wind and surf

of hearing feeling raindrops 

of watching  sea eagles glide and clouds build up

of laughing around cups of tea and earnest conversations. 
the space of  letting go dropping defences and burdens  

of forgetting yesterday and not bothering with  tomorrows.

“I don’t want to wash the salt out of my hair”  says Jess several days after coming home from the beach.
she will – we have to rejoin the world
it is not a bad thing , it is just how it is.
but still as I sit and write from  my forest eyrie where the continuous wet season has transported us into jungle territory and the ticks are as small as a full stop where the wallabies are fat and the leeches are on the prowl 

I am once again reminded how very fortunate I am to live in a space where holy days are a normal and natural part of my cycle and for this I give thanks.