Journeys Short and Long

View through a brick tunnel onto a beach, sea is wild and green

26/2/22 Saturday
Last night we all had baths; Mr first, he likes the water hot, then me, then Dog, who protests the idea but settles in the warmth in spite of herself. Her ear fur was shampooed and conditioned, on account of all the undergrowth that needs combing out of it. She has her own towels, one for drying, one for putting on her bed to soak up the extra drips hiding in her thick coat. It’s surprising how much laundry Dog contributes to the household pile.
At lunchtime, all clean and glowy, I go for a walk to Charlestown. Wave spume coats the harbour walls, the sea is stirred up, opalesque and green.
27/2/22 Sunday
Coffee in bed with land plans- then up and walking the lanes- cut through the fields to see the old fallen oak down by the stream. It is bare and smooth and big, against a blue sky- a sky that is all the heavens, all the universes: infinity. The stream runs clear, noisy. Birds scoot through the scrub. It’s a close-your-eyes-and-step sort of a day, full of good faith, at least here in our small world.
Fuel gauge dips on my commute: I have to try 5 garages before finding diesel- deliveries are backed up from Storm Eunice, and people are war-spooked so panic buying has ensued. (No shortage of fuel, says a weary forecourt worker, unfortunately there is no shortage of idiots either.) Instead of huffing I buy myself an ice cream. There are worse forces at play- I need not list them here, only mention that I favour a world of cooperatively shared resources and attempt to live accordingly.
(No one is eyeing up my ice cream so I eat it all.) 

28/2/22 Monday
Arrive at work early so my coworker can go on a diesel hunt, with success.
Rain is steady. I have my yellow coat and blue overtrousers to go walking in, like an upside-down Ukrainian flag.

1/3/22 Shrove Tuesday
In the morning, Mr is stirring- I go: ‘pinch punch 1st of the month no returns, ha!’ 
Coffee follows, and writing lists.
Mr goes to shop.
I locate seed packets, heat mat, seed tray, and compost- 
but first-
Hang up laundry, clear out ash from wood burner, start a new fire.
But then-
Cleaning up the table because I spilled water and compost. 
But then-
Seeds planted. Shopping supplies acquired.
Time to write.

2/3/22 Wednesday
Open the door of my parents’ cottage to step into my sister’s hug. I don’t know how long it’s been, it doesn’t matter. Words spill out, we’re laughing. We are sitting at the kitchen table, laughing. Her friend has travelled with her, she too is laughing. Stories pile up in precarious tiers: crocodiles, dangerous pasta, magpie playtime, bullish bull sharks, piranha bites, blowfish; and this also is the first meeting of the Kangaroo Island and Paddock Garden twinning association.

Two stunning ladies pulling silly faces

3/3/22 Thursday
Whizz out to Paddock Garden where Grandchildren 6 & 7 and two exuberant labradors, under the supervision of Youngest Son, are opening up the stable. All the little ones come running up to greet us.
Old Dog is fairly tolerant of our canine visitors, due to them tearing off to play and leaving her alone. People-family interactions are welcome. She dawdles in the stable with us as rain rattles on the tin roof.
We challenge ourselves to put the Rayburn back together, (mostly Youngest Son does this, lying on the dirt floor, phone torch shining into the rusty gloom) and get it lit. No chimney as yet, and the rope seals need replacing- we have to keep the stable doors open to vent the smoke. It is an impractical, celebratory thing, much like the little ones’ attempts to run through the sloppy mud in the middle gateway. 
After a hearty slug of soup, we went on a jolly to the aggregate yard. With permission, we took Gs 6 & 7 on a tour of the premises (after a hurried nappy change for G7, because that smell turned out to be his) - a good excuse for us who also love walking around the heaps of stones, gravel and sand, viewing the capacious buckets of tractors, the novelty of the yellow weighing bridge. G7 is unnerved by the proximity of the tractor that scoops up the poor man’s granite into his Uncle’s trailer, G6 loves it. 
After a steady heavy drive back, they help unload it by sliding down the tipped trailer, then we risk letting them loose with rakes to flatten it out. No injuries are sustained! 

4/3/22 Friday
Warm enough by day that the polytunnel needs water. Primrose, dead nettle, strawberries, lime tree, and daisies are in flower under its cover. The rogue broccoli tree gets pollarded, providing a tub full of good greens with pink-purple stems. From the garden sage and rosemary are snipped to make herb butter, to dress the steamed purple-greens we will eat later with a bowl of roasted vegetable curry. 
While that cooks I tut at the laundry pile; it ignores my hints so I fetch the basket myself.

Two small children sit atop a tipped trailer full of gravel, while Granded attempts to rake the gravel out


Steve Cromwell said…
Always good to have enthusiastic kids to help with the work! And great photo with that tunnel framing the rough harbor. Is that part of a fort?
Lisa Southard said…
The tunnel is part of the harbour at Charlestown, leading from the inner harbour to the beach. Very picturesque place!

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