Friday, 27 November 2009

Got Milk

I woke early thinking about milk today. Perhaps because it looked like our neighbourhood had been dunked in a big glass of it. And perhaps because I had arranged to get some fresh milk today from a cow who's weaning her calf.

I had wanted to find the cow to thank her and snap a pic, but she couldn't be found in the fog. Here is H who looks after the cow, filling my bottle in her kitchen.

Over on PJ's blog, he has a discussion going about the ethics of food that has got me thinking a bit more about what we eat (and drink) and why.

We buy a litre of organic milk a week and I assume that that's good enough. But is it? It comes in a carton from Bendigo, 45 minutes (by car) away, which isn't so bad, although I'm sure a lot of energy is used in the production of that humble litre.

Did you know that due to health regulations it's illegal to buy and sell milk that hasn't been pasteurised? People get around the laws by selling it as 'bath milk'. I don't know the laws in other countries but in Australia, this is the case.

I put the bath milk in my tea today, and can happily say I look forward to meeting Elly the cow next week when I stop by for my litre.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Collective Nouns

My sister Kate from Fox's Lane is this week's theme queen for My Place and Yours. The theme she has chosen is My Collection.

Whenever I think about collections, a line of comedian Steven Wright's comes to mind: 'You can't have everything. Where would you put it?' Which is why I just collect red things; it narrows it down some.

I have been waving my red flag high for the past ten years, during which time I have accrued a lot of great treasures. Here are some of them:

Thank you Kate for the great theme!

Now, I'm going to put the kettle on for a nice hot cuppa while I drop by Meet Me At Mike's to see what everyone else is collecting.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Do Nothing

For the first time in a long time I have started to read a book that's on PJ's reading list and not mine: The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka.

I have loved each passage PJ has read out to me, and then when he blogged this quote yesterday I just knew that I had to read the whole book myself:
The more people do, the more society develops, the more problems arise. The increasing desolation of nature, the exhaustion of resources, the uneasiness and disintegration of the human spirit, all have been brought about by humanity's trying to accomplish something. Originally there was no reason to progress, and nothing that had to be done. We have come to the point at which there is no other way than to bring about a "movement" not to bring anything about.
Fukuoka's solution is called Do Nothing Farming. It's not entirely Do Nothing, but is more concerned with nature playing the starring role and not people, pesticides or machinery.

I live in the country because I love the lack of hustle and bustle, but feel that my desire to create, accomplish and be productive has gotten in the way of my ability to be quiet with myself. I have forgotten how to do nothing.

And so, I have decided to start Do Nothing Blogging, where I will blog according to the season of my mood, and not every single day as I have been doing with gusto for the last year and a half.

This has been a big decision that's been coming for a while. It feels good to actually make it.

So stay tuned, and thanks for visiting us here in the Land of Meg.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Sharing Food

It's my niece Indigo's 9th birthday today and to celebrate she had some friends over for a slumber party last night. I went over to hang out with them for a while. What a great age 9 is — so mature yet still so gorgeously unselfconscious.

For dinner they each dressed half a homemade pizza base with their favourite toppings. Unfortunately I couldn't stick around for the eating as I had my own dinner to get home to.

It was my turn to cook, and on the way home from the party I was busy planning what I was going to make. But it turned out all I made were ooh and aah sounds as PJ had surprised me with this delicious home grown, home caught, home cooked meal.

The greens are all from our garden — silverbeet, spinach, broccoli, snow peas, sugar snap peas, spring onion, spearmint, wild rocket, broad bean leaves, oregano and parsley. The Redfin (English Perch) was caught by yours truly in the local lake the day before, and the lemon was gifted by some friends.

I like what David Graeber says in his book Possibilities:
Sexual relations, after all, need not be represented as a matter of one partner consuming the other; they can also be imagined as two people sharing food.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Run DC

This is my mum's friend, Declan, at her book launch on Thursday night wearing a rip off of the Run DMC t-shirt, featuring Obama.

And here is a whole bunch of other people who were there, imitating the US president imitating the East Coast Hip Hop stars:

It seems everybody's getting in the mood, including this lovely softie I saw over at Handmade Romance:

Hope you are having a great weekend, too!

Friday, 13 November 2009

So Proud

First Mum's editor spoke, then one of her past lecturers from the professional writing and editing course she completed recently and then the author took centre stage. Here she is, my mum.

Nicola, Mum's editor started her speech by telling us about when Mum delivered the first draft of her book to the Scribe Publishing HQ. She gave Nicola the manuscript and a jar of her End of First Draft Blackberry Jam. 'Vivienne is the kind of person who gives you homemade jam,' she said. And she is. I just love that about you, Mum. You put your own touch on every single thing you do. Your book is just another way that you touch the world with your you-ness. And it is a really wonderful thing.

You make us all so proud.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Book Launch

If you are in Melbourne tonight, why not come along to the launch of my mum's book, Alzheimer's: A Love Story.

It's at Readings in Carlton (309 Lygon Street) at 6:30pm.

The book is about my grandparents' (above) love for one another, from when they met over six decades ago to when my grandmother died from Alzheimer's earlier this year.

Just in case my mum's signing pen runs out, you'd better bring your own.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Rednesday: Say Cheese!

Our camera that has been holidaying at the repair centre in Newcastle has come home to us. Although we have been making do with our phone cameras, we welcome you back with much excitement, dear little camera.

Perhaps because we live in a house with very little storage space, I am a collector of photos of things, rather than the things themselves. But I'd say more so, it is because I am a writer, an observer, that I want to document the incidentals of my life.

I thought that not having my camera for a while might be good for me; that it would force me to be more inside my words and rely less on the images. And maybe it did do that, but I didn't like it.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

An Inheritance

I don't really consider myself overly sentimental, but I always thought I would inherit a sewing kit from a grandmother or from my mum. I felt a bit sad when I realised that if I wanted one I'd have to create my own.

But then something happened. As I mentioned last week, the lovely Steph very kindly made me one of her softies that I turned into a pin cushion.

And then something else happened. Leonie from Raglan Guld, read the post where I talked about starting my own sewing kit, then she very generously sent me a package stuffed full of sewing goodies and beautiful fabric to start me off on my way.

I have had to rethink my definition of inheritance. Because I have inherited my kit, just not in the way I thought it would come.

So thank you again, Steph and thank you Leonie. And thank you to you too, Chunky Chooky Cath, for my lovely bag that also arrived in today's post that I tore at in the post office like a pre-schooler on her birthday.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Green Porno

Season three is now available to watch online.

Thanks for the tip, Larisa!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

We Danced

We danced last night. At Z's school's family disco. There are 17 kids in the whole school, and we like the parents of all of them. Talking with them and dancing with them.

Z was there with his mum and it was an odd feeling for PJ and I to be off duty parents. But I must say, that when I saw Z eating all that chocolate at suppertime, I felt happy that he was going home with his mum and not us.

Can you guess which plate is ours??

Hope you are having a great weekend, too.

Friday, 6 November 2009

I'm Sorry, Lauren

I'm sorry that we killed you, Lauren James. I'm sorry that we forced you to have liposuction on your legs and bottom when you were only 26.

When I read in the paper that you died three days after the elective surgery, I blamed you and thought you foolish. Then I blamed your parents. Then I blamed your surgeon. Then I blamed your boyfriend for not telling you often enough how beautiful he thought you were. And then I realised who really is at fault.

At first I couldn't understand why you did it when you weighed 65kg and were 169cm tall, but it doesn't really matter does it, how much you weigh or where exactly you sit on the body mass index.

You had your breasts enlarged when you were 21. Although that surgery didn't kill you, I'm sorry we made you do that to yourself as well. We told you you'd be happy. We told you you'd feel fulfilled when you looked in the mirror and saw what we'd created. We didn't lie to you. We weren't trying to fool you. We love you! And we thought that what we love and value is what you could love and value as well.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Breaking with Tradition

I read somewhere recently how odd a thing it is that the laws of our nation's future are created according to a constitution created over 100 years ago.

Walking up the stairs of our local town hall yesterday to get to the boardroom, I really felt the heaviness of that tradition.

In 2005, our local council established the Women’s Honour Roll to pay tribute to women in the Shire whose contribution, courage and example have led to significant social change. For the last 4 years, the award ceremony has been held on March 8, International Women's Day. But this year it was held 2 months late, because the usual March date didn't fit in with Council's schedule.

There was much community uproar that the local event was not held on International Women's Day, a day that has been commemorated since the early 1900s, the world over. And so I volunteered to be on the Honour Roll committee, to ensure that this year's ceremony was held on or close to, International Women's Day.

This is the food that sat in the middle of the boardroom table the committee sat around:

This is the mantlepiece I sat across from as I thought about my own contradictions:

On one hand I couldn't believe how stuffy and outdated the town hall was, while on the other hand, I was only there to uphold a tradition that had been broken.