Tuesday, 26 February 2013

sharing the love

For the last couple of years, inspired by these lovely folk and the beautiful Ruth, I have been putting together a cd of songs that we loved during the year that has just passed. Music, as you all know, is a huge presence in our lives, we sing, we play, we dance, we write songs, we take photos of all this and we also get to spend time with many talented musicians as they pass in and out of our lives.

It is lovely looking back and seeing how each track conjures the memories, the moments and emotions of the year. This 'mixtape' has affectionately been labelled 'Songs that got us through 2-0-1-2', I thought I would share the love with you all by linking the tracks. Hope you enjoy and find some new favourites.

2. City Of Refuge   Abigail Washburn
3. I'll Take The Blame Agnes Kain
4. All Wash Out Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
5. Ho Hey The Lumineers
6. Mr Polite The Jungle Giants
7. Parlez-Nous A Boire Nadine Landry and Stephen 'Sammy' Lind
8.  Hello Stranger Whitetop Mountaineers
9.  Man on Fire Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
10. Down in the River I go Nadine Landry and Stephen 'Sammy' Lind
11. Me oh my The Perch Creek Family Jug Band
12. I'll find a way Spirit Family Reunion
13. How do you ruin me? Black Prarie
14. Hold On Alabama Shakes
15. Diving Duck Blues Taj Mahal
16. The Drifter Josh Mackenzie
17. Katie Cruel Karen Dalton
18. Heartbeat Kopecky Family Band
19. Green Rocky Road Spirit Family Reunion
20. Flowers in your hair The Lumineers
21. God of Abram Caleb Groh
22. To Just Grow Away The Tallest Man on Earth
23. Architects Tim Hart
24. Devine Bell Abigail Washburn

Saturday, 23 February 2013

the wind blows and the water rises...again

Yesterday and last night we experienced wild winds and lots of rain, the above picture shows a 40ft tree that landed on our house yesterday afternoon, it was pretty dramatic and a little scary, luckily nobody was hurt but we do have an impressive leak in our kitchen due to a few broken roof tiles and the back awning is looking slightly precarious. It didn't, however stop us from going to a curry night by candlelight at Woo and Eno's delicious and wildly fun, wildly due largely to the weather conditions, but some of the topics of conversations, whoa!
The flood, which you can check out here, is the largest a lot of people have seen, reaching 9.2 metres overnight, it has been made especially impressive due to a lot of the smaller creeks flooding. The town is cut off, with the road leading to Dorrigo looking like a lake and the road leading to Coffs looking very similar. In town lots of people are checking out the Bellinger River, discussing the rain to come, fallen trees, rescue stories and marvelling at the power of Mother Nature. We have stocked up on food, although currently Kombu and IGA remain open and boiled a few pots of water, as instructed by a local, who has seen many floods, and only one bigger than this one. 
We have heard varying reports, some saying things will start to clear today, other predicting a whole lot more rain, it has currently stopped raining, which meant we could borrow a chainsaw and get our winter firewood sorted and air things out a bit. We will also be housing a parent and two teenagers for the next night or so who have been left stranded on this side of the bridge and have been staying at the backpackers. Will keep you posted but here's hoping for clear skies and change in direction for the expected rain. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

beautiful ...... mess

The rain seems to have become reacquainted, yet again, with our little town, as the little rivers start to rise, we struggle with keeping things dry and anticipate another possible flood. But there is a beauty and acceptance, an understanding and ways to manage. Yesterday we lit a fire in our fireplace, no it wasn't cold and yes it is summer and yes it did become more than rather toasty but it and the open windows circulating air, definitely aided in drying things out a bit. It's something we have learnt since being here, that and the importance of not leaving anything that is faintly damp unattended as the mould encroaches as soon as you turn your back, not even your back, if an eye is turned, you best watch out. This here is fertile land. 

Before the rain or the drizzle returned, we set ourselves out and about a little further afield. The Mid North headed up to Grafton for a concert to support the protestors that were in court after being arrested for protecting property that had been earmarked for Coal Seam Gas exploration. It was emotional being part of something like this (as it is with any protest, gathering of people power), so beautiful seeing people getting together to make a difference. It was encouraging to see the news today to see a little bit of progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go. CSG just boggles my mind, I know it is ultimately all about money and power, but it breaks my heart that despite overwhelming evidence on how widespread it's destruction of the natural environment is, it is still being pushed ahead and hailed as the answer to our addiction to dirty coal, yet there remains little to no support for one of the cleanest energy providers, the sun. Okay, obviously this could go on for ages, but I will stop...soon, as we were leaving the concert Ilo said with a bit of satisfaction and 'job well done' in his voice, "Ah, so does that mean that those people are not going to put gas in water anymore?", oh darling, if only it were that easy. 

We are thoroughly enjoying our Wednesday beach dinners, this time we had the pleasure of Nic, Amy and Alia's company, the wind was whipping about and we all had a layer of salt covering us but again it was so delightful. We ran, we found two very similar pieces of sea glass (hooray) and ate delicious homemade wraps with an assortment of grilled vegetables, crunchy tofu, feta, jalapeno pickles, homemade dips and our staple, caramelised onions.

On the way to the beach, Poe was saying how he has seen all that Ilo has seen because he is older, I was clarifying saying that Poe had seen all that Poe had seen and Ilo had seen all that Ilo had seen, somehow we got to when Ilo was a star in the sky before he was born and how he could see lots from up there. Ilo pipes in, ' I could see the whole world and I could see Australia, then I could see Manu (Ilo's uncle) standing on the roof with his arms stretched out and he was reaching and reaching for me and then he got me and he brought me down and he was so happy and I was so happy". 
Oh that mind, so scrumptious and wonderful. I love being taken inside his mind, into his little journeys. 

From this, emerges these. 

More amazing bird creations by the immensely talented and beautiful Nick Warfield. We did a bit of huddling and lots of chatting on our rainy day market. Such a gorgeous and quite amusing day. We did end up leaving early after a crazy downpour led to the surrounding creeks (within metres of our stall) started to encroach and rivers of mud started to intimidate our stall. Strangely it was totally great and fun. Oh and those who are interested and let's face it, if you are drooling at all those gorgeous bit and pieces, who wouldn't be. Nick is making a,... wait for it .... awesome cabin out of these birds, yes, when he sells birds he uses the money to add an extra little bit to the cabin (which is kind of being built within the walls of a shed, that just has a roof and two side walls). I promise I will take photos and include you all on his very exciting journey.

And just to continue with the cabin theme that has been wafting around here of late. Scott and I were in pure heaven last night, those of you out there in TV land are probably all over this but we found on iview, Man Made Home, yes Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs, is making his own cabin out of timber from his land and by using recycled objects. It is drool worthy and heart warming and totally worth lusting over. Seriously, he makes his own glass (!!), super strong glue out of rabbit skins and urine, oak chip Ale and so much more. Ah, sigh. That kind of stuff, absolutely floats my boat. 

Should I mention now that I have just eaten two desserts combined. Does that make things a bit clearer? Not two huge slabs, just a little bit of my pear crumble and a little bit Scott's rice pudding (it is late after all and it would be good to keep this good thing going). I know some of you out there have an aversion to mixing things up like this and prefer there food with space around it but the combination of the two of these was quite groundbreaking.The softness of the rice pudding combined with the crunchiness of the crumble and the texture of the pear. I must say it's also pretty exciting to be eating such deliciousness in a really quiet home (all I can hear are the frogs outside), drinking tea and updating all of you out there. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

one billion rising

Today we met at the Memorial Hall in town, a bunch of dancers, a bunch of drummers and we danced and drummed as part of  One Billion Rising , an event organised around the world for today, the largest day of mass action ever to stop violence against women and girls. Today was an opportunity for 'men and women to express their outrage and to strike, dance and RISE to support an end to violence against women once and for all'.  It was really special way to protest, it was very sweaty and fun and was a wonderful community event. Check out the One Billion Rising website for all the events held in over 204 countries.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

here and there

This post is a bit erratic, you may feel a little seasick as I lurch from one subject to another without even a semblance of connection. This isn't really reflective of my mind or our lives at the moment, strangely my head and racing mind is a lot calmer than it was last year or any year prior to that, I feel like I am floating through things without getting caught up in the craziness of externals. Does that make sense? I hope so, it is nice and a lot more relaxing than my previous train of thought but I also feel like I am waiting, waiting for ........... okay, I am stopping there because I think this needs more time, but will let you know how things are going, for those who may still have both eyes open whilst reading.
Anyway back to, er, um the erratic nature of this post. Have I mentioned before that these posts are usually just a let's see what comes kind of thing?
Last Wednesday, Scott and I decided to take our pasta dinner to the beach, it's not that far, 15 mins or so, it was a brilliant idea. Both Poe and Ilo were gorgeous to watch, they rolled, paddled, ran, sang, muttered wonderful things, giggled delightfully and simply stood and watched the ocean with a calmness in their eyes. It was a wonderful and refreshing thing to do mid school week, we headed home with a couple of tiny bits of shell in our treasure bags, with sated smiles and that beautiful exhausted feeling you can only get from some time by the sea.

The next day I had the pleasure of photographing the stunning Nic, Amy and Alia, it was fun and relaxed and an honour to see these three wonderful humans totally in love with each other.

Speaking of awesome humans, Nicole, our dear friend who moved to Bangalow, came and spent the weekend with us, she also brought her crazy little friend Louie, who looks like a Pug but is really some funny little muppet that I just cannot bring myself to think of as a dog. Poe and Ilo, fell in love big time, they have spent a bit of time with Louie before, but a whole weekend, was such a special treat. Scott and I, aren't really dog people or pet people for that matter, yes, we are happy and can't wait to have chickens again one day as pets and providers but that's it, yet somehow even we were smitten, not to the extent that we would ever get a dog, but we get the bonus of having awesome time with Louie, every couple of months. Come on, how can this face, oh and the snore and the fun that this little critter brings to anyone that crosses his path, can not make you just grin like crazy,

I haven't made this in years, but it was as delicious as I remembered. It is from Matthew Kenney's 'Everyday Raw' and is a Tomata Torta and Macadamia Pesto, it is raw, superb and filling. It has a great texture and is quite easy to make.  You can find the recipe here but the book is a good one if you are interested in raw food, it is simple and accessible. We have made a few recipes but not heaps, mainly because we don't eat a whole lot of 'raw food' as such. But when we do it is fun and delicious.

More bits and pieces:
  • Scott and I have been quite busy planning the 'O Brother Where Art Thou', show, planning, set design, clothing, rehearsals, catering, advertising, songbooks, etc. It is fun and consuming but really exciting.
  • In between all this planning we have been loving watching Season 2 of Girls, it is cringe worthy, hilarious, wonderfully rich and refreshing and totally addictive. 
  • And if you are into that sort of thing, there is a pretty cool giveaway at one of my new favourite places to visit. Yes Amber at Mindfully Green is giving away, as in for free, a pretty awesome book all about sweet, sweet, delicious bread. Go, check it out, who knows, you might get lucky!
  • A last minute entry is a very important blog post from my lovely friend Nikki, all about how to support a grieving loved one. Unfortunately Nikki has a lot of personal experience with this but fortunately for us the advice she gives is just wonderful. Such an important post. 
  • On Sunday we ventured into the depths of the mysterious Kalang valley, looking for cabins for a photo shoot and a film clip, will post some cool cabin shots soon but to tide you over, you should peer into Cabin Porn. Sorry to disappoint some people, but very little flesh is shown. Cabin Porn is a beautiful blog full of drool worthy photos of cabins from all over the place. Cabin Porn is put together by a 'the folks at Beaver Brook' another very intriguing blog to visit, not sure what is going on over there but it looks fun. Enjoy but be warned, you may be there for a while. Here are a couple of my favourites:
  • Image from Cabin Porn
    Image from Cabin Porn

Saturday, 9 February 2013

first week first year

On Monday morning, Poe's first day back at school I heard him wake Ilo excitedly by announcing he was going to school today, Ilo promptly burst into big sobbing tears, Poe, being Poe quickly tried to placate him; "It's okay Ilo, we will play all afternoon, we still get to sleep together and you can play with Sophie (Poe's doll he has had since he was one) when I am at school". Ilo, gulping back his sobs managed to agree to this but as I came in and looked at his tear streaked face I could feel his misery.
We were all going to miss Poe, holidays, as I may have mentioned before, have been delicious, a delight and so relaxing, bordering at times on laziness, yes it's true. We will miss the chatter between Poe and Ilo (and Lara) as they busy themselves creating all sorts of games, we will miss Poe's hugs and regular "I love you's", we will miss that wondrous laugh of his but will probably be kind of glad to not hear that occasional whiney voice that somehow manages to make heads hurt and ears bleed.
We were all very excited as we drove him up to school and visited his new classroom and greeted his schoolmates and teacher, the wonder and the excitement buzzing amongst the children was a delight to behold. 
This first week back as a big Year One student has been big, tiring but pretty fun by all accounts, Poe comes home with stories each day, his face alight with tales and songs that have been told, games played and lessons learnt. And then on Friday afternoon, Poe sits down at his craft table/desk and gets out an empty drawing book and declares that he will draw every picture that he drew at school that week in this book, so we know what he has been doing and so he does and it is heartbreakingly beautiful, he tells us about each drawing and why it was drawn in class; learning about patterns, James telling a story about a crystal ball, a mountain, a castle. 
And now, today Poe has set up classrooms for Ilo and Lara, he has crayons for them, dolls for students, blackboards (yes it is a Steiner school, so no fancy whiteboards for us) and a bell to ring. He has played school, many a time, but this is different, it is so detailed, so passionate, so clear with intent. 
We are enjoying the slowness of the weekend, time to enjoy each other, space to be alone, the absence of rush. 
Hope you are all having pleasant back to school experiences. 

Lunchbox for day one: 2 x falafels, almond butter wrap, boiled egg with smiley face (not shown), hummus, capsicum and carrot sticks, 2 x plums, 4 cherry tomatoes, a mango to share and three bliss balls. Bliss balls contained dried apricot, tahini, sesame seeds, sunflowers seeds, cashews, spirulina, coconut and cinnamon.
During the week Poe also had some corn chips with guacamole, spinach rolls, purple carrot, yoghurt and tahini, banana and coconut, a wrap with grated cheese, carrot, capsicum and alfalfa sprouts, grapes, apples and a small slice of Jude's apple and berry cake (but I used plums, peaches and nectarines).