Monday, June 9, 2014

Outside all day

A perfect Melbourne winter weekend. Crisp, clear-skied, warming sunshine, windless, long weekend. Happy Birthday Lizzie (Is it the Queen's birthday today really? What does she do on her birthday? Sleep in? Order pizza with her best friend? Drink wine with the family? Get a bit tiddly?......), thanks for the day off.
I love weekends where we go inside only to get another bowl, or meal ingredient, or to add or remove a layer of clothing. Yesterday we went to market, bought veges and croissants, then went home and ate breakfast outside in the sun. Then we dug in the garden, played soccer, cricket, made a fire, read books, knitted, chatted to our neighbour who arrived on his 'donkey' to throw us chocolates. The radio was on in the back shed; the football commentary. Just like our childhoods. To a tee.

All the backyard activity did us no end of good. We sleep better, unwind. Life has become so busy, so much running about, so little time spent in the sun, on the grass. How did that happen? So for the last two days we have barely been inside. Last night we pulled the outdoor table into the shed near the fire and ate dinner out there, prolonging the day, before coming inside for baths, books, sleep....

 And today, out in the bushlands just outside the city, close to home, with the roos, frogs and the cockatoos, ducks and kookaburras. One or two other people riding by but for the rest just us, in the roo flattened grass perched on a ridge overlooking bush and damn and green hills. Watching the kids romping in nature, investigating rocks, mud, tree, slopes; climbing, rolling, whittling, sloshing, running, cackling. Abuelo and I leaning back with cups of tea, casting 'This-is-pretty-f*****-good isn't it' looks at each other.

I felt momentarily a little afraid of all the roos out there, so many of them, watching us, then leaping away ahead of us. Enormous creatures some of them. Muscles like weight lifters. So many of them and just four of us. Walking quietly out of their way so as not to scare them!

We have a few favourite spots. Just as our parents did. Days spent in the bush, with a few snacks, binoculars, pocket knives, magnifying glass,  pencils, paper, the newspaper, a fire if the location allows....walking along tracks, listening, discovering. I hope our kids remember these things and choose to share them with their kids. I hope there are plenty of places like that around for them; vast, quiet, clean, respected, safe, close at hand.
Salami and olives; home-grown.
On a sock roll. Apparently I knit things in threes or fours...
Citrus trees = great satisfaction.
Winter greens.
A man and his donkey bearing chocolates.
The author wishes to state that Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines have been temporarily amended....
That winter sun.

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