life

The sun on your knees, a view of birds and bush… who’d want an indoor loo? This sketch and extract is from The Woman on the Mountain, Chapter 14, ‘The Simple Life’. ‘Contrary to popular mythology, the simple life is not found in the country but in the city, where you simply pay your bills […]

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This drawing was meant for Chapter 12 of The Woman the Mountain, ‘While the woman’s away…’ which is mainly about the wildlife moving in and taking over when I wasn’t there. Here’s the relevant extract about one of the ultimately futile attempts to keep them out… When the rain finally stopped, I began fortifying the […]

Few modern parents would allow their children to take the risks that I frequently did to get to school in weather; well, perhaps they still would in the country… From The Woman on the Mountain, Chapter 13: Wet and Wild By the time I was thirteen I was used to our farm creek flooding, when […]

This sketch was intended for Chapter two: ‘Getting out of jail’, of The Woman on the Mountain. We lived here, in a village of 200 people, for 10 years before we went bush; both my children were born while here. ‘It would be hard to imagine a more extreme downsizing to a 3 x 4-metre […]

The time has come for me to leave another beautiful mountain area. After only two and a half years here, I am not embedded in the country as I was at my Mountain, which owned me for 36 years. I still grieve for the loss of the Mountain. I had thought four acres would be […]

When you step out of your ute in a Macdonalds carpark (yes, I confess: a rare last resort!) you don’t expect to be eye-to-eye with a prehistoric creature like this. It was most uncomfortably perched on top of a harshly pruned hedge, as spiky as itself. I think it’s a water dragon but there was […]

Back in my old Mountain home, the verandah grew a living green blind each summer, blazed red and pink in autumn, and leaflessly let in the sunshine all winter. Naturally, I took cuttings of this Ornamental Grape to bring with me. They survived the trip and the transplant and here they are flagging their first […]

As you see, I have moved from what was my mountain and its range to a new set of mountains. This is what I woke up to the very first morning. So I (and you) can look forward to many good sunrises. I am tucked into the side of the hill in this mountain-ringed narrow […]

On my last day here on this mountain, nature is turning it all on for me. A little glimpse of the things that symbolise what I love most here. Wallabies and their joeys were all around, the camellias and bulbs were still in flower, and the bush beyond was glistening with sunshine and dew. The […]

As my last week here begins with sunshine — for a change — I have been snapping the wallaby mums and joeys as they feed their way over the ‘lawn’. I shall miss them. This very leggy young one (above) was unsteady out of the pouch, but nibbling along beside mum in beween ducking its […]

As I pack and move out 36 years’ worth of my magpie collection, the cabin is far emptier than ever since it was built. I am appreciating the texture of the more revealed expanse of mud walls, freshly emphasised with the repainting (with natural paints of course). I am admiring each treasure before I pack […]

Failing knees (OK, old age) mean I can no longer manage here without help, so, regretfully, I am seeking a new carer for my Mountain and its creatures. Readers will know how much I love living here, but it’s time to make a move. I need to relocate closer to family, to a more accessible small […]

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