Rest Ice Compression Elevate


my main mode of transport at the moment is hobbling

sometimes with crutches and other times using the limping method

either gets me from one end of the house to the other and both are equally restrictive.


each day the pain factor lessens , the swelling reduces and the colouring of the foot changes the ouch palette of things wronged beneath the surface.

it had started as an OK  day, a meeting at Chalk and Cheese to discuss our workshop program

and then a skip across the street for a good-sized bag of dried fruits, nuts and grains from Sweet Home.

me and the little king clutching a black dolly and his lime green handbag full of cars , a tractor and a ride on mower and his Mum.

he is often quiet when we are out, looking away when people address him

nobly ignoring their advances.

they think oh, how shy , isn’t he cute  ?  and then as soon as we hit home base he is a terror byte running around loudly demonstrating and arranging our world ; he is currently into testing his power by bossing us,

and it works , at least with me.

with finger-pointing he tells me in the kitchen today to  STOP and again the finger .. STOP and again the finger .. STOP … and gesturing at the chair says  sit,

and I do because he screams when thwarted and who wants that aggravation?


after Sweet Home we went in different directions me   back to Chalk and Cheese to have a cuppa with Rosemary while Jess and Kingston went to visit Shelley.

it was on leaving the cafe that calamity struck me and I still cannot say for sure how it happened except that as I walked down the steps my left ankle did a twist and a roll and I went down to the pavement where I sat moaning and groaning .

Rosemary was a little way up the street hugging Ken and they came back wondering  what I was doing?

beside me at a table was an ambulance officer waiting for his take away coffee on route back to Bermagui base,

he stood over me in his blue uniform and dark shades telling me to take it easy and not move,

not a problem I thought  movement seemed to live in another universe.

before two minutes was up I was surrounded by coaches.

Rosemary said  it ‘s ok to make noise which was good because silence was not an option.

Ken asked would I like to go to his place for some frozen peas?

I must admit I was hungry but I declined.

Diresha  (a nurse) arrived to meet Ken and offered – probably a sprain but   if the pain persists  see a doctor and get an x-ray,

not bloody likely I thought.

Elizabeth the community nurse on her lunch break explained the treatment for sprains was  RICE   -Rest   Ice   Compression   Elevate   –  and  offered a crepe bandage from her kit bag.

ice ,what a joke I thought when we don’t have the fridge on.

At some stage the whimpers ceased and they moved me into a chair.

the coaches wandered off about their busy ness and I thanked them all for their support. I waited for Jess  with my ankle  compressed covered in  a teatowel of ice  and elevated on a chair.

If nothing they were all very diligent.

The chef brought me water , the barista the teatowel of ice and then all I had to do was explain to everyone passing what had happened and how I was.

I found arnica and started taking it.

it was all good and it hurt like hell

though what my experience of hell is I’m not sure.


I must say I am challenged to be so restricted and have had to endure a few tellings off by people that have my best interests at heart and seem to think they know best how my foot feels and what will make it better but I am not naming names and no amount of arm twisting will get me to divulge.

on the way home Jess raced into the IGA and came out with a packet of  frozen peas ( couldn’t get away from them) and home we went where Greg and John insisted on carrying me into the house .

eventually the peas defrosted and we moved onto  finely grated comfrey root  which is the el supremo healer of  all things sprained broken and damaged.

I have been hanging around ever since reading resting elevating  and watching a vampire  series.


I know Elsie will be so proud of me that at last I have succumbed to a vamp show and lets face it she  supplied us with this one.

frankly I find myself  morbidly fascinated by it even though it is probably quite dreadful.

consider it research , to understand  this attraction seemingly normal young women have with this new genre of erotic bloodsucking.

is it a myth or a dark desire of humanity to extend fangs and suck each others blood.

I will watch a few more episodes and get back to you on that one .

Once it was the era of  the cowboy hero, now it is the  do gooder vampire  so I suppose in some respects nothing has changed .



if only a family can eat their breakfast without fear striking them

the rain teamed down

the earth opened.

thru the legs of the mother the seminal fluid of the father poured.

blessings showered and dripped into the forest

and we all filled up at the fountain of love.


I light a candle at the altar for the people of Palestine, for the people of Israel,

for the families

and I know not what to say.

I pray , I feel deeply.

I care,

as I do about earth and tree and turtle,

as I do about you.


I wish this was not so but it is

there is an  insatiable machine of war that slices and dices with human lives

that rearranges the geography of place and leaves behind a chemical DUI poisonous  nightmare to be suffered by generations to come.

if they come

if  in our fury we  don’t end it all now,

if we can not possibly stem the greed, the nationalistic pride, the my god is better than your god   ‘dick’   kind of talking

what will be left seven generations from now?

if only a family can eat their breakfast without fear striking them.


some say the renaissance of love returns to planet earth in 2012

some say we are that love and if we are,

where is it hiding in those with war in their minds  and when will they allow it to emerge, take them over and befriend it ???


the tip of the mullein bends sideways with the weight of water

the puddles hold and the roof water falls into the  tank.

the day is cool and a cardy is needed

a break in the rain comes and the sun attempts to enter but the cloud is holding firm

even so the morning lightens and all things green shine with an ecstasy we would do well to emulate.


there is great thankfulness in my heart,

I eat my breakfast without fear

and when I watch the skies, it is because I am following the flight of the eagle,

and when I hear a loud bang, it is a tree returning to the earth to decompose and enrich life,

and when I drive to town there is no one with guns, no armoured tanks, no soldiers, no hostility.

it is as far as you can get from the streets of war.


the wind gathers strength now and sets the chimes ringing.

I am sitting on the verandah gazing,

literally watching the garden grow,

literally watching life explode  into being as it is meant to do,

if only we human can get out of the way

if only we human could take up the offer to be  co- creator instead of  bully

then the world  could be a better place for all.

even Kingston has had a turn of Shelley


it is daring I will admit

when every other morning we discover fresh assaults on  the garden,

but Shelley , an osteopath who practices from her home on Verona Road offered me some berry canes .

She is a self confessed mad food grower committed to growing every sort of food plant imaginable.

She is also  farms  hundreds of goats,  cows and  assorted breeds of chooks..

How does she do it we often ask?

And those hands that love the soil so much can take on a twisted body , unravell the kinks until the breath comes easier and you feel taller straighter and lighter.

pure magic!  but I hear there is a science behind it.

even kingston has had a turn of Shelley,

his knee he cried, knee.. sore.. especially at night when we all want to dream but also any other  time .

so off he went with his mama and sure enough Shelley discovered an ankle had rolled over at some point and set things out of kelter as well as a fall that had tilted a hip in the wrong direction .

would he actually let Shelley touch him was what Jess wondered?

And that very day just minutes before the appointment Shelley got a call from Quaama school to come and pick up her son who felt sick.

I think he  wanted  a day at home was his Mums comment .

So six year old Connor who loves succulents like his mum loves food plants and has his very own succulent garden sat and held Kingstons hand thruout the manipulation.

Shelley said to me the universe was looking after Kingston because I have no doubt that I would not have been able to touch him without Connor being there.

last year  she gave us strawberry runners and they started in a garden bed, did alright  for a while and then got lost among  other stuff, were weeded , loved up a bit and then wallaby took them out.

so Jess produced  a very large purple pot which she put at the bottom of the kitchen steps, the idea being closer to the house equals safer.

what do you know, they got snipped .I draped some  fishing net around a few sticks,  they recovered and moved into production mode.

everyday watching them change from a little blush to more red.

did I spell it up talking about them that evening?  ready in another day or two I said imagining Kingston picking his first ripe  strawberry .

the next morning blinking in the grey dawn out the kitchen window I did a long deep groan as I realised the net had been breached and all leaves were missing.

I was able to rescue one berry  and  when John came into the kitchen I burst into tears.

I know I know.  what a big suke,

and while I am sure it is character building  I did want to ring the neck of that young wallaby.

yes I immediately apportioned blame

it is the teenagers,

they have no respect not that their parents are innocent but they take it to another level.

the other day I picked up raspberry, youngberry, slyvanberry, boysenberry canes  from Shelley where I noticed they grow  unfenced and predator free.

I squashed down my jealousy because it really isn’t cool and constructed a  netted garden. Jess finished it off today and we moved the berries in.

as I said it is a daring move because while they waited in pots to be planted out and I had them in a safe place, a possum took a shine to a few of them .

too many of them too many of them.

I am beginning to understand overpopulation now,

and so far my only answer is to keep planting while I have the will,

and when that fades or I retire defeated ,

I will hopefully content myself with the thought that I provided for a lot of happy and well established colonies of wallabies , possums, bush rats

and birds





… everything half price ….

On Saturday 10 November I had a stall at the community garage sale  in Squatters Rights Square in Cobargo.

The gnomes who have been holding the space on behalf of the community have been freshly painted.

The little tin tricycle that supports the ‘squatters rights ‘sign gave an old lady an excuse to tell me a story about the same trike that she had  as a child and passed on to the next four  generations. Now it sits in her garden supporting a pot plant.

I didn’t get very far when I left the house around 7.30, a large tree had fallen in the night and laid tangled in vines across the track. I had to walk back and enlist the family. John cut the trunk up into sections which Greg and Jess hauled off the road.

Next seasons firewood. I snipped at the vines releasing them from the branches and went on my way.

There were surprisingly few stalls when I pulled into the co-op car park but already an air of market  trading prevailed.

The sun had returned hot into a clear field of cobalt blue after a week of rain grey and cloud.

I unpacked the card table and set up in between Linda selling off her life since the death of her partner Alan and two of the Gosch girls behind a table laden with bric a brac.

I laid out my big pile of New Internationalist magazines, a few read novels, a set of blue cups and saucers that Ro no longer wanted and neither did I, a few of Kingston’s toys and books that were no longer essential plus  a couple of aluminum baking trays and a grater.

I had already chosen my theme ‘everything half price’ not that anything was priced , it was probably all give away.

John just shook his head when I told him.

I went over to the girls next to me  and found two cups I fancied . How much I asked ?

The older girl looked at me coolly and said how much do you want to pay?

ouch, that’s usually my line and it ‘s not so good hearing it from over here.

how about $1 for both of them?.

This met with approval and the younger girl accepted the money .

Back at my stall I encouraged  everyone to take a magazine home with them . What the hell am I supposed to do with them? Well Thumbed Books  has refused them, maybe the high school will want them , suggested Linda.

The youngest Gosch girl sidled over and picked up the gaudy rabbit with the yellow floppy ears and asked how much?.

You can have it, I said. She quietly turned  it over in her hands and privately I am thinking  that  she is a weeny bit old for it.

But how much would you sell it for?.

Well, if I was going to sell it  and not give it away I would charge fifty cents. She slides the zip open on her purse. Are you sure you can’t just take it,? I ask. A tiny shake of the head and she hands over 50 cent.


The three year old that was interested in the maccas tractor was easy .  I just pressed it and another  plastic car in his fists and he  wandered off happy . he would have taken them anyway and this way he wasn’t stealing.

A lot of people seem taken aback to be offered something for nothing and I had to listen to all manner of excuses why they couldn’t help me out. Even  when I brought out the big guns of landfill they were able to desist.

I have so much to read at the moment some said, well they won’t go off, I replied.

Bec turned up and zoomed in on the grater. She had spotted it in my t’o sell pile’ at home the other day and said she wanted it. You will have to wait for the market, I said ,it is an integral part of my merchandise.

I browsed thru the other stalls buying so much that my car filled up. A vinyl red chair that used to live at Linda’s grandparents house in Bondi Beach has taken up most of my boot and back seat, the other red chair went into Jess and Greg’s boot. Linda’s  grandmother lived to 106 so I figured these chairs have good juju.

Then there was a sweet little blue jacket from Doris who bought it in Singapore and gave it to me for $3, a collapsible stepping stool for Kingston at $2 and the black over the shoulder leather bag so perfect for back of the bike another $2.

What could I do?   They were bargains.

oh god shoot me ,all this  after I have waxed lyrical about hoarding and my mothers predilection towards it, here I am, unable to resist.

I give myself a little pep talk quietly in my head but I have to say  lest I have led anyone astray that I am a whizz at cleaning up at garage sales.

thank the lord  they only happen  here in the main street every six weeks.

a friend who I hadn’t seen for a long time gathered up about 10 or so magazines and tried to give me money .

just take them .

the argument continued until I ignored her and  she wandered away with a threat to me along the lines that she will do same to me when she has a stall next.

oh dear what am I getting myself into?.

why? asked some one else, why free?

because, I say ,

it is an act of rebellion, a  scoff in the face of the money world and a shake up of our expectations.

Of course the real reason is that I want to have  fun and can’t come up with anything to sell..

hysteria has set in and we all hop on for a ride


Last week John and Greg set out to derat the roof.

Tomato stakes  bought from Hedgy on County Boundary Road which is the same place we get our eggs and next door to Becs  were used with bird wire  to fill the gap between the mud wall and the corrugated iron roof .

They worked  most mornings measuring cutting and stapling until with the exception of the glasshouse they had been all the way around the house.

John’s hands were shot to pieces from the wire and a crick or three in the neck but what followed was a lot of high fiving and back slapping along with a general air of hallelujah  that compelled us into the car and off to Bermi to celebrate.

If you have neighbours like this you will understand our euphoria. They are horribly noisy and though there is usually a python in residence up there they remain unashamedly active with wild squealing sex and we know what that leads to …a lot of babies.

Bec met up with us on the verandah of the pub and we all signed up for a round or two of James Squire.

The fresh ocean wind ruffled our curls and goose bumped our arms, an abrupt change from the solid days heat of the valley.  The mountain loomed  over Horseshoe Bay as it does and provided a  thick blue backdrop to the white-capped waves.

We went  next door and ate in the dining room , the original  part of the hotel with its old  black and white photographs of heroes like  Zane Grey  holding up huge marlins.

The glasshouse will be get done  another day but for now we are rat roof free. Mostly I have been trapping them using bread and marmalade before taking  them on a permanent holiday to somewhere else.

It is a heavy responsibility and I feel bound to defend myself.

So I say , this house is mine, out there is yours, cross the line and I will come after you .

Even so they flood over the line like refugees bailing a leaky boat. Last week a pregnant rat sat by the woodpile at the front door making eye contact with me. She kept turning up all over the place and the middle of the day would find her eating crumbs on the verandah that are put out for the superb blue wrens .

I cannot help you I tell her, you have to leave.

eventually she wandered into the trap drawn by the smell of sweet limes . I wish her and her offspring well, just not here.

The roof  quietened  but coming out to the kitchen one morning I found the  lid off the tall tin that houses our saos.

and again the next morning and this went on until John discovered a chewed up sao still in the tin. beats me how that worked . the tin did not get knocked over and the traps I set remained set.

so the other night when I woke to hear the lid clang onto the slate floor  I decided to have a squizz.

By the time I got to the pantry and flicked the light on it is quiet.

I  put the sao tin up on the bench out of harms way .

Back to bed and just getting comfy when we hear another clatter.

it is 2.20 a.m  I note on my  return to the kitchen to find the  the ryvita tin under seige so up onto the bench it goes.

There is no scurrying  not even a whisper.

Back to bed and crash clatter bang.

Give me the torch, says John.

He does a stealth mission and glimpses  a brief movement diving off the shelf and disappearing down onto the floor behind the food bins.


We pull the bins out and look for the cubby but there is nothing to be found.

except pushed right at the back of the shelf a forgotten tin of  pastry shells  that has the lid off and evidence of scoffing.

How do they get the lids off ? asks Jess .

clever  I guess and totally committed to surviving.


I send Bec a text   ‘beans n’polenta for tea if you want’ . She wants and turns up after her afternoon shift at the gallery.

We enjoy a beer on the verandah watching the garden  the birds and the little king play.

Greg says, is that a lid? and goes to investigate.

We find him broom in hand welding the pointy end  behind the bins hunting the intruder .

Pulling one of their storage boxes out, Greg decides to tape it up in case it is the bolthole.

We checked it this morning , I say .

In the moment of stretching the tape onto the carton Greg shrieks (he may deny this ).

And the squeals reverberate around the kitchen. The rat ran down my calf , he says.

It ran straight at me, yells  Bec   jumping up and down outside the pantry as if by lifting her feet off the ground she will be safe.

It ran behind the stove, screams Jess waving the flipper in her hand.

I start squealing then  and have to  climb onto a chair  while they  sort things out. Kingston clamors onto the chair next to me and  adds his screeches .

hysteria has set in and we all hop on for a ride. the broom  pokes into  the woodpile  and apparently the rat  is seen tearing  off  under the blue cupboard. It is huge , someone yells.

So far I haven’t seen a thing but I  am laughing  so hard I wished I had taken the time to relieve my bladder .

I hold on and we pursue it into the lounge room with our torches shining under chairs and cupboards and come up empty handed.

We could hope that our laughter has  sent it running for the bush where no screeching loonies exist.

Things settle down, we dry our eyes  and  eat the  beans n’ polenta with a ‘pig in the garden’ Shiraz from Cowra.


that laughter that rocked our kitchen that night came right out of a bottle of pure fun, a tidal wave of family love.

the best laugh I have had all week, said Bec before she headed back home to her Figtree studio.

And we have a bush rat to thank for that.

A bush rat that we  haven’t seen or heard anything of  since.



that putting away for a rainy day has a lot to answer for



I am not really into hoarding

at least that is what I tell my self

but all around me  stuff gathers

every cupboard,table , shelf , room, every verandah.

I wonder if that is why they invented verandahs and sheds,

just to hold more things.

actually clutter makes me feel a bit queasy

and I have to get rid of stuff to feel better

doesn’t really matter what , anything will do

just to give it away and breathe into the space created.


And so I started on  a little spring clean in the pantry

a few mucky shelves of herbs spices pickles vinegars and sauces.

I ask Jess, what about this one?

I’m afraid to smell it, she says,

look mum the lid is rusty,

out it goes.

Kingston helps me,

the old jar of fennel seeds that have been taking up space right at the back for donkey years  had to go.

he tips it out into the compost bucket

tip, he says.

he helps me give the jars a wipe  before they go back onto the shelf.

he carefully carries  jars over to the sink for washing up .

it is a team effort and he takes it seriously

Done , he says.

favourite word even if the thing isn’t done, even if he hasn’t finished his food or had his nap or cleaned up his toys

he will pretend and with a huge smile pronounce it  DONE.

when I go up  the ladder to the top shelves he is right behind me

ever helpful.


Mum was an awesome hoarder

and  a collector of kitchen appliances,clothes, shoes ,food, plants and knick knacks.

what is the difference between hoarding and collecting apart from that these days hoarding has been given the status of a mental illness.

and collectors are seen to be people of repute?

is it just a matter of perspective?


Mum  had a zillion  shoe boxes  behind the dining room door

because no more would fit in the wardrobes upstairs.

all labelled ; white sandal, beige heel, blue flat ,black suede heel

there were matching handbags gloves and scarves

all kept in plastic bags, also labelled.

scarf seems too bulky a word for what Mum placed around her neck,

they were flimsy see thru  affairs that  came in all the colours of the rainbow.

she was a real lady  Mum , like the queen

indeed I think she probably modelled herself on Elizabeth R. without  the servants and the income.

She plucked her eyebrows and reapplied a thick line of  pencil,

using a  powder  puff she dusted on  powder then  rouge with thick lashings of red lipstick that stayed on all day.

her earrings and brooches always matched her outfit

and a hanky was available in every handbag.

She used to tell me that I would be a lady when I grew up but so far I have resisted the temptation.

Her other shoe collection was ornamental and there were  hundreds of them,

from the tiny limoge slipper to a gold sparkly boots,

in diverse mediums wedgewood pottery wood plastic and crochet.

for years we supported this habit until finally Mum said no more

I have no more room for them

half of them already packed away under the beds.

dad made cabinets that he fixed onto the wall with a light in them to show off a few of them,

what happens to them now?

I don’t want them

dust makers

takers  of space .

She loved them and that means something I guess.


And then there was the soaps, the hundred and one cakes of soap I found in every drawer every cupboard wardrobe linen press.

to keep the moths at bay even though she had been a great one for moth balls

a smell that still makes me shudder

after a childhood spent wearing garments impregnated with that odour.


how much of our hoarding arrives at landfill?

every plastic bag that came into the house was washed pegged on the line and placed in cupboards to be reused.

great idea except they were still incoming .

she saved magazines ,bits of chalk crayon, bottle caps, pen lids, corks , bits of rubber,   newspapers,   old keys and plugs that didn’t have a home,

clothing no one wore and towels that were theadbare.

washed out tins, containers and broken odds and sods.

everything had a purpose and could possibly find a use again another day.

she was right my mum,

reuse recycle reduce.

uh  oh  that is where she met her nemesis

that word  reduce.

Mum hitched a front row seat on the super highway to consumer heaven and

became a hoarder.

that putting away for a rainy day has a lot to answer for.

so here am I

trying not to be that, trying not to do that, trying to live another idea and still clutter finds me.

still it adheres to my space and hangs on.

it is s good thing that I  have a love of chucking stuff out even If I think I might want it.