Thursday, September 8, 2011


A turquoise swell, the Southern Ocean swinging around the point just part Seal Rock, into Fisherman's Bay, the beach, more orange lichen covered granite rocks.

The dog and I still, watch, she waiting for my next move. We've walked up from Horseshoe Bay in Port Elliot, along the beach, up ther rocks, the winding path down to Crockery Bay, then up the coastal way, the wind easy, light just right, the sea ambitious, swollen with tide.

Three surfers slide into the waves on their boards, past the lone seal, head out a few hundred meters to Frenchman's Rock where the waves swell and break long. They chat as they start off in the cold waters, joking about how warm it is. I'm annoyed, wanting the place to myself. Soon another walker appears with two dogs.

I move off, past them, stop again to watch the waves crash against more rocks, the spume high and proud.

The dog runs ahead, happier to be returning to the beach. I hear her barking with joy as she races along the shoreline.

I follow enjoying the lunge of the sea, the swish of its return, the roll of the stones and shells in the sudden surf, smile as the dog runs back up to me. I go to pat her, but she's too excited, runs off again.

She's getting old. I treasure these moments

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sea Days

This morning the 'sea breeze' app on my IPad said the wind was NNW and the day 'calm'. No breeze to speak of. We can see the ocean from here, not a huge arc of it but enough to please the heart. Enough too, to witness the changing colours, the different swells and moods of the sea.

When there's a line of breakers close to Granite island then the surf will be up further south at Middleton and Chiton Rocks off Port Elliot.

Sometimes the colour of the sea is a dulled white; at others, deep blue. Some days, rainy days, there's no horizon. Sea and sky merge.

But if it was calm outside is was action inside. Our twenty month old grandson, this old wise very young fellow,, loves games. And so we chased each around the sitting room, me shuffling slowly but noisily, matching his small steps, our slippers chatty with the floorboards, our movements interrputed only by a break for early lunch, the invention of new and crazier games. He picks up on my change of game instantly, knows what's going on. So our morning became one of flow, laughter, the humbling, ennobling expression of presence.

I'm still humming.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday Noises

Earlier in the day - a warm sunny morning, hint of a cool breeze - I was listening to the sound of sparrows and blackbirds and honey eaters in the garden. They were all busy with their conversations, their scratching around the soil, flicking up bits and pieces that will annoy my wife when she returns from Adelaide.Look at the mess they made, she'll say, and grab the broom.

As I contemplate circumventing her future dismay by getting the broom myself and sweeping, the neighbour starts up his lawnmower, and then the trimmer. The buzzing sounds joins in with the drone and ratlle of his immortal washing machine, parked at the back end of his house, nearest our side. It's there, unprotected, in rain and shine, yet still works - and well, judging by the brilliance of the white overalls, the vivid brightness of the orange sweater and beanie...........

Ah, now the trimmer again. Oops, that reminds me: time to exercise.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chilly Nights

Chilly nights. We have the wood heater going. The addition of another room last year has meant the house doesn't quite heat up the way it once did. Those days we'd have to open the door or window to let in cooler air! It's nice to be so cosy.

What makes for comfort?


We keep hearing here that the GFC is over, but really, it seems to me it's still here. One of the areas it's showing up is in journals. A number are putting out requests for donations on top of subscriptions.

Journals, magazines, online publications, all keep writing alive- as well as the many, many blogs.
And its great diversity.

Perhaps it is one of those times, like the Depression in the 1930's, of enforcing a re-evaluation of what's most important in our lives.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Being Busy

Being busy these days. It's so easy.

Some days it's overwhelming; email, texts, blogs, social networking; catching up.

But like the slow food campaigns, today I'm going slow, and enjoying that; the sun slants in, the dog's in her basket near my feet, my wife's preparing another wedding. That makes for a good day. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drop in days

A quiet walk along the beach just past the yacht club at Victor Harbor. A cool day, just right, enough sun to feel at ease, the sounds of the waves loud. No wonder we hear the sea at night from where we are.
The Hindmarsh river flowing at last out to sea, rippling, calling sand to drop in to the flow.

Drop in days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The First fires

It's cold here this morning, bursts of rain, wind sweeping in from the sea. I'm sitting in front of our wood combustion stove. Watching the wood burn, the trembling glow as heat quivers on a piece especially thick but now almost resinous with heat.

I think of the first families huddled together in the dark, the first discovery of making a fire, the first inventions, the many quick changes of our world now.

The world, made closer by technology, can have us sitting far apart, alone in front of a computer or iPad and tablet. Words drifting across the world like the foam from waves on a wilder beach.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Poems in Translation

 Fantastic book of poetry by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, A History of Clouds, remarkably well translated from the German into English by Martin Chalmers and Esther Kinsky. What skills : the poems are succinct, often poignant and funny. Love them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Land

I've been reading a chapter by Linda Hogan called 'Creations'. It's part of a book called The Heart of the Land : Essays on Last great Places, edited by Joseph Barbato and Lisa Weinerman. The book came out in the 1990's but it still has great relevance today, perhaps even more so

Linda Hogan writes with astonishing beauty and love about the connection between the land and people, all living beings. Her words are a call to memory, renewal, the sacredness of life

.'We remember our ancestors and their lives deep in our bodily cells', just as turtles she describes return to the beach where they were born. The deep mystery of it all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Holiday time. The population here in Victor Harbor doubles, sometimes trebles when there's a long weekend. Nothing by British standards when small towns like Penzance have long lines of cars weaving through the town. Nonetheless, more people means more cars, more queues. Locals get disgruntled, unless they're storekeepers or retail managers.

It's an especially poignant time now. Tomorrow is ANZAC day and commemorates those who've fought and fallen and those who've survived the overseas wars that have traversed Australian history.

Nearby is Port Elliot, where servicemen and servicewomen came for recreation. A memorial garden, the type found in many an Australian and New Zealand town, has pine trees dedicated to the memory of those who perished. It's a sobering place, sad, and yet beautiful too, with the sweep of Horseshoe Bay below the gardens.

People often marry in the Gardens, ourselves included, and so the cycles of life are lived, shared and remembered in this special place.

Autumn Days

Autumn days here, warm with that cool breeze cutting in from the sea. A BBQ day in England, that sort of temperature, the low 20's centigrade. I've just lit the fire, not for a BBQ but the indoor wood combustion stove. It gets cool here quickly in the late afternoon, and this house can get cold. The stove's brilliant for slow cooking. We often cook ahead, preparing meals for the week, sometimes only for tomorrow's breakfast. I like it, it's light cooking, even. More natural. Perhaps it's the tending of the fire, not too quiet, not too active. The waft of the food as it cooks, gentles its way down the corridor to here where I type. The sun's slanting in too. The dog waits patient in her little basket. She knows dinner for her is soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Art of Procrastination

One of my mother's laments about me was that I was 'a procrastinator'. I'm not unique in that.

I'd be interested in hearing people's ways of putting things off.

I've discovered I'm almost a compulsive shopper. Again, nothing unique. But notice I said 'almost'. Is that more procrastination in another form, an indecisiveness? Oops, better do the washing now, or look for that other book, or sigh with relief when our son and grandson arrive...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It's going to be warm today, that pleasant high 20's centigrade warmth. A day to spend some time by the sea, around Seal Rock- now that the holiday makers have gone - with that meditative quiet sensing that comes over one every now and then, unbidden but so welcome.