Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tasty Little Morsels












Dehydrated mouse brains*
are not my favourite snack.
Not my type
of party food
I’m likely to
turn up my nose
and swiftly give them back.

Even if they’re salted
I cannot stand the taste
so giving me these tidbits
will only be a waste

The fact that they’ve
been extricated
from a rodent’s head
only makes them worse
you see
to know a mouse is dead
in order to provide me
with this morsel
of good health.
I’ll never touch them,
No not me
I’ll use my meagre wealth
to dine on things
deemed more nutritious
and definitely
less suspicious
than these bitter,
bumpy, crunchy lumps
which I’ll leave behind
for other chumps.

If inadvertently devoured
one’s mouth is
permanently soured.
But worse than that
I’ve come to find
these little brains
seep into yours
and infiltrate your
point of view and
unsuspecting mind.

If you don’t believe me
try if you dare
for I know you’ll succumb
to a terrible scare
when you waken
after a turbulent night
to see cats and cheese
in a whole new light.



*aka…walnuts!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Remembrance Day

Struggling to make headway writing anything other than indecipherable scribble in my journal on the bus trip to Hobart yesterday due to the constant bumping and thumping, I decided to have a break and take in the scenery instead. It was a rather opportune moment, as the bus had just pulled off the highway to let a passenger off in Ross. Not until we headed off again did I realise what the time was, so on this day when the faithful had taken time out to remember those who had left this little country town and not returned, I couldn’t let the moment pass.

Remembrance Day

No minute’s silence
as the bus passes
the handful gathered
with bowed heads
at the cenotaph
in the heart of town.

No respect
for those long dead.
No time
to spare a thought.
No pause
in the race from
here to there.
Disregarding
all but the schedule.

The passenger
had walked the aisle
at two minutes to eleven,
stepped off
and just as quickly
the bus sucked in its door,
cocooning us
at one minute to,
pulled away from the kerb
and dared to disturb
the reverence
as it brushed past the diggers
with medalled chests
right on eleven.

No minute’s silence
No respect
for those long dead
No pause
in the race
from here to there.





Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Grinning Mountain

Don’t you just love the quirkiness of Nature? I’m sure there are moments when Nature conspires to take us by surprise when we’re least expecting it. Put up the blind this morning after a yucky rainy day yesterday to see the mountain covered in snow. Hadn’t realised it was that cold, I mean we are into the last month of Spring after all, but then again this is Tasmania, so with camera in hand thought I’d head out to see if I could get a decent shot.

Didn’t have to go far. Heading for the bush, there staring down at me, taking me completely off guard, was the biggest, craziest grin. Cracked me up. I was tossing up whether the mountain was laughing at us mere mortals below who’ve been wondering when Spring would really show itself and give us a bit more warmth, or whether it was beckoning us to come and play.


By the sound of the steady stream of cars heading up the mountain, I think many must have forsaken their normal routine and responded to the call, a good choice I reckon.

Whether an untimely fall of snow, spectacular sunrise or sunset, invigorating bushwalk, cascading waterfall, the beautiful aroma as I mow under the lemon scented eucalypt, the greeting of a blue wren on my window sill while having my morning cuppa, an echidna who’s ventured far off course and is exploring my backyard, these things and countless more bring a smile to my face.

They take me out of my rigid little world of seemingly important things that insist on being done, and remind me there is a crazy creator out there who delights in giving us pleasure, who wants us to relate to him, and if he has to smile down at me from the mountain to get my attention, well, I guess that’s just the way he’s going to do it.





Sunday, September 29, 2013

Picking up the Rhythm

 It’s amazing what a plastic barrel, rusting table frame, metal and plastic pipes, odd shaped pieces of metal and a few bits of wire can produce when seen in a new context. Discarded objects can become ‘found’ objects, and many such items have worked their way into installation art pieces over the years, sometimes to the bemusement of onlookers, but also with great appreciation by others.
 This assortment of unrelated objects, fashioned at one time or another for a specific purpose, had since outlived their usefulness, but instead of heading for landfill were given the chance to become something entirely different in a fifteen minute pop up performance just before sunset in the centre of our village.

Assembled in a few minutes, and looking nothing like a musical instrument, that’s what it became. Brandishing a collection of sticks picked up off the ground the construction came to life as percussionists aplenty let loose. From toddlers to sixty somethings, inhibitions were quickly set aside as the tapping, banging, and scraping gathered momentum and a syncopated rhythm took hold from what started as a seemingly meaningless noise.

The inevitable foot tapping, jigging, dancing and running couldn’t be denied as the somewhat primal activity built to a crescendo and ended with a cheer. It really doesn’t take much to create a moment which has the possibility to build community within a group of people, no matter how diverse. Too often we forget how to have fun and simply enjoy each other’s company.

The experience got me thinking about breathing new life into the old, not in terms of recycling man made materials, but in terms of my own purpose. My interpretation of the purpose for my existence on this planet has determined the direction I’ve taken, and the decisions I’ve made as to how to care for my body, soul and spirit, and how to use the things within my control to achieve that purpose.

As the decades pass you can tend to spend more time looking back than looking forward, assessing your life and whether you’ve done the best with whatever you had at your disposal. We all go through many stages where we fulfil different roles. In my adult life I’ve been a teacher, a wife and mother, as well as taken on several different jobs, and as those roles have changed I’ve learned to put aside parts of who I am as a new me has evolved.

Not that those things have lost their usefulness, they’ve simply become part of the fabric of who I am, to be drawn on when needed, maybe not in the way they once were, but in new ways in new situations, making room for new possibilities. The years might be passing, too quickly it feels at times, but to consider there is still much to look forward to if I apply my life experiences creatively to the next lot of changes or challenges in store, gives me hope.

The future doesn’t have to be constantly reinvented, no matter how much what we once did has been replaced or superceded by the newer, better, brighter. Even if no one else likes the fact I prefer writing things down with a pen on paper instead of an ipad, doesn’t mean I’m past my use by date. And despite the fact I’m part of the technologically challenged generation which was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, bamboozled by electronic gizmos, believe it or not, I can still be useful.

I might not be fulfilling the purpose I had in the past, but my life still has purpose. It might be at a slower pace, but hey, if the tune and the rhythm are unfamiliar, it could just be the start of something new.





Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fire and Ice

Interesting that at a time when I’m attempting and producing very little writing, my mind is actually in a much more creative space than usual. I seem to be heading down a different road at the moment though. For years I’ve been taking my camera with me almost everywhere I go, clicking away at images which capture my attention or imagination, but as they mount up in their files on the computer, and the occasional one turns itself into a framed enlargement, I still wonder what to do with them all.

Gone are the days of filling photo albums, and my snaps are not good enough to turn into a photography career, but there seems to be little point in accumulating them ad infinitum, other than going back to look at them, reminding myself of that moment when I stood in wonder at what was before me. Actually, I guess that is the point.

Such was a morning last month, definitely not one during August as we’ve broken all rainfall records here and seen very few sunny days. I woke just a little later than I would have liked, to the most brilliant sunrise. It was a freezing winter morning, but as soon as I dragged myself out of bed I was kicking myself for not doing so about ten minutes earlier. The sky was on fire, every shade of orange you could think of, but of course in the few minutes it took me to get dressed and race out of the house to my usual sunrise photo taking spot, all had changed. The sun was already peeping over the horizon, the brilliance had dissipated and the moment was gone, so I trekked off on my usual morning walk.

 
All was not lost though, for as I headed through the centre of the village I was treated with a rare sight. Our massive gnarly old Village Green tree made up for what I had missed by turning on its own light show, bathed in the vibrant morning sun. The sheer beauty of it stopped me in my tracks, I’ve lived here more than eighteen years and I’ve never witnessed it before, but its transformation blew me away.

Not to be outdone, my early morning walk also offered up a mob of deer leisurely wandering along the street before heading back into the bush for the day, and then another surprise, one befitting the freezing temperature. I came across a couple of frozen puddles, one with ice so thick it was almost white. Like a molten glass sculpture, it just begged to be noticed. It never ceases to amaze me how the most simple and unassuming things, especially in nature, can provide images so stunning that you can’t help but stand in awe. Well, I can’t anyway.
 
And it is this more visual journey I find myself on of late, wondering how to combine my growing collection of photos with my writing in some sort of creative way. Still working that one out, but having the brain ticking over thinking of possible projects is an enjoyable process.

I’m forever fluctuating between my own fire and ice moments, times when I’m fired up, my imagination is engaged and I’m actually producing something, and those long drawn out bleak periods when it feels like another creative thought is never going to emerge from the recesses of my brain.

What I can do in those moments though, is to continue observing, absorbing, and reflecting on the world around me, capturing moments with the camera if necessary, for in doing so I’m storing up a wealth of images, memories and emotional responses which will simply have to find expression in some form or other. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Heck of a Wend!

Well, where do I even begin to debrief the past week. After looking on from the sidelines for some seventeen years as friends and visiting artists of diverse varieties gathered here for Faith and the Arts summer schools, and for the past few years for the mid year Artists Retreats, my time had finally come. From Friday evening through the next four days, affectionately dubbed our ‘wend’ for want of a better name as it was a longer than long weekend, a bunch of dancers, painters, drawers, poets, writers, singers, musos, weavers, performers brushed up against each other, bounced off each other, embraced each other, encouraged, collaborated, cheered, cried and laughed together.

Seeing what the process had released in others in the past in terms of their inner creative journey, and the expression and output that had produced, the fidgeting on my office chair reached a point where the urge to take the plunge into the creative pool just had to be obeyed. With no specific plan in mind of what I wanted to achieve with my writing, the possibilities were both non existent and limitless.

What I wasn’t expecting, was that the sharing from other artists of their own stories set off something inside me, evoking responses which took on poetic form of a style I hadn’t played with much before. The somewhat misguided desire when writing is to say something big and profound and so meaningful that everyone will hang off your every word and proclaim you to be the genius you always knew you were (slight delusion but we can all dream!). What resonates with me though as I read and is so obvious anyway, the most profound images whether visual, written in prose, poetry or song, are usually the most simple, those drawn from our own everyday experiences.

Taking those everyday images and situations, seeing them from a different angle, presenting them in a way maybe not considered before, highlighting the little details, that’s when they have the potential to take on new meaning and the power to affect us deeply.

One poem produced during the retreat came out of what one artist shared of how we tend to compartmentalise our lives, seeing each part separate and to be dealt with in isolation, rather than allowing all the parts to interact and influence each other in a more holistic way. Entitled Boxed it ended up turning into a 3 metre long poem installation utilizing boxes of various shapes and sizes, something I would never have contemplated before, other than simply presenting poetry in written or spoken form. It's a bit hard to read in picture form, so you'll have to make do with just the verse.

Life of many
disparate parts
each one a part of
each one apart from
the whole.

Separated

Four walls
a top and bottom
neat and tidy.

A box for work
and family
and one that says
I get my way
with home and kids
and TV box
school box, tool box
car and let’s go far box
on our frantic holiday

In that teeny tiny box
left over just for play.

Kick aside the sick box
with its soggy
cardboard sides.
Hide it behind the well box
with the faith box
and the doubt box
and the money box
which empties out
far quicker
than it should.

The reject box
looms large
but the friends box
settles in the midst
to remind us
life is good.

Boxes lined up
row on row
easy to handle
one by one
but hard to carry
stacked one
on one on one on one.

Buried under heavy boxes
cracking under pressure boxes
really isn’t very wise
try not to
Compartmentalise.

Lift the lid
and you might find
your opened boxes
spill their guts
and dare
to even open up
your mind.

Intertwine

Let the parts combine

Let tentacles
reach out
to places where they’ve never been
Let them touch
forbidden territory
Seek out
hidden truths
Discover waiting sights
as yet unseen.

Take apart the boxes
those rigid
separate boxes
and let their
tangled contents
make you whole.











Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Look the Other Way

I’ve lived in two old houses with pink and grey bathrooms, not the greatest interior decorating statement, and I wondered at the time what inspired such a colour combination to be foisted on countless tenants over the decades who had to groan daily at being surrounded by such a drab d├ęcor.

My answer arrived one day some years later. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before, and I saw it again this morning. Those exact shades of pink and grey can be found in many a sunrise or sunset. In the sky they are beautiful. In a bathroom they are not.

I have copious amounts of sunrise and sunset photos, those forays at the start and end of the day trying to capture the quintessential moment of the sky in all its glory. The attraction is natural. We are drawn to these short lived spectacles of beauty, some bold and awe inspiring, others diffused in subdued pastels which greet the day or say goodnight softly and gently.

Today was such a morning. Not a breath of wind, the only sound the chirping of birds and the occasional vehicle heading up or down the mountain on the main road. With a complete cover of grey cloud the only evidence of the sun’s appearance was the faintest sliver of molten gold and pink. Heading away from the sun on my walk the grey clouds were tinged with the palest pink, a deft touch but enough to soften and warm the steely grey.

This morning’s sunrise may have been soft and mellow, but yesterday’s revealed another gem when I took the time to look in the opposite direction. The usually dark mountain range was awash with coloured light, even the stately gum’s mottled trunk was picking up the reflected light to great effect.

Which turned my thoughts to another moment captured last week as I headed home just as the sun was setting. The western sky was aglow, but what grabbed my attention was the colour reflected in the eastern sky, highlighting the remnant of a rainbow on the horizon. I was fascinated. Rarely had I seen such a beautiful sight when looking away from the main attraction.

It was a reminder to me that sometimes the source of light, both physical and metaphorical, as attractive as it might be, is not all there is to see. Focus on it alone and you can find yourself stumbling blindly along as the details around you are lost. Instead, see it as a way of illuminating your surroundings and the response can be very different. Suddenly you can see where you’re going.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday


Amazing the places your mind can travel to in the space of an hour or so. Poatina’s Good Friday service began at the village monument, revisiting the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest, mockery of a trial and sentencing. We followed the cross slowly up the hill, flanked by eucalypts and then the prominence of the mountain as we climbed higher, until the cross and all the pain it represents stood out in stark contrast to the beautiful autumn morning sunshine.

Arriving at last at a bare patch of ground on the bluff overlooking the valley, we stood in the warmth or sat on tree stumps as the events of the Easter story unfolded. Through readings, music, a moving re-enactment of Mary Magdalene’s grief, a poignant drama depicting the enormous impact of individual forgiveness, and sharing the symbols of bread dipped in wine, a whole range of feelings were experienced.

We were asked to reflect on what we were thinking as we followed the cross up the hill. I sent myself back two centuries to imagine what I might have done on that day, and it was interesting to admit that I think I would have been cowering in the shadows of the doorways as the crucifixion procession slowly wound its way through the city and up Golgotha’s hill. The very nature of the spectacle and the mob mentality would have been a magnetic drawcard, but I wonder if I would have had the courage to identify with his followers, for I think fear would have been my predominant emotion.

Knowing the sequence of events that led to this historical moment is one thing, but to reflect on its impact on a personal level and feel blessed, confronted, thankful, and humbled in such a short space of time brought back the reality of the story on a human level.

The enriching time together as a small community made the gathering for tea and coffee and hot cross buns afterwards that much sweeter.







Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Spider & the Fly


Amazing the silly things I can get up to on a rainy day when I don't have to go to work. The immortalised spider and fly greeted me as I went to do the dishes the other night so I just had to respond in some way.

The Spider and the Fly

She’s coming right toward us
Said the spider to the fly
I think she means to kill us
I really don’t know why

We wouldn’t even be here
If the door had been shut tight
We were happy on the outside
But attracted to the light

We had to sneak our way inside
To check out if our mates
Had also come this way before
And here had met their fate

Whoever had gone in this house
Had never once returned
We thought they’d stayed to have some fun
But now my stomach churned

Hey fly you’ll have to help me
I’m all exposed out here
She’s coming at me with a stick
I’m downright froze with fear

I’ll head her off so you can run
Across the window ledge
I’ll hover here just out of reach
And then we’ll have the edge

I’ll land on all her dishes
Spread on the kitchen sink
Then buzz around her fuzzy head
Now that will make her blink

Oh dear, the room has all gone dark
Quick, make your getaway
But look, another light is on
Showing me the way

Do I dare to go towards the light
My mind is full of doubt
The lady with the stick might come
But I do want to get out

Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Is what my Mum once said
So here I go with trembling heart
Hope I don’t end up dead

Now this light’s gone, I’m in the dark
What has she done this for?
But now a new light beckons me
And look, an open door

She wasn’t trying to kill me
I knew it all along
She gave me back my freedom
Oh I do feel big and strong

Just wait till I go back and tell
The story of this night
When courage won out over fear
With the help of a little light






Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Unnatural Selection

 Interesting walk in the bush this morning. Disturbed a wallaby who scurried off quick smart, a deer appeared on the track, stared straight at me then literally BARKED at me in obvious indignation before taking off, an echidna waddled through the undergrowth quite unperturbed until he spotted me and hid his face in the hope that because he couldn’t see me, I couldn’t see him. Butterflies followed me wherever I went, a lovely experience, and then there was this.


Now, I would’ve thought it would be deeply ingrained in each seed pod’s DNA that from the moment it makes its momentous once in a lifetime descent from the place of its birth to that of its death, it would know what to do.

Maybe not, for this Mummy Wattle was working overtime and flagrantly disregarding all laws of nature. Either she was being somewhat over protective or over controlling, but whatever it was she was going all out to ensure her progeny were to be the chosen ones who would rise to the top of the heap and carry on the species.

Today the bush, tomorrow the world!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Serendipity?...Nah,,just a Scam


Just when I’d finally got myself geared up for a week off, what should arrive in the mail but a lovely glossy brochure from Cherry Tourism advertising holidays in Asia. Not just advertising though, but included with the brochure were two scratch and win tickets for a holiday promotion detailed inside, and lo and behold, what had I won? 2nd prize of $160,000!

Now, did I get excited? Of course not. Smelt a rat straight away, even though it was a well disguised rat. The breakdown of the promotion stated there were two 2nd prizes to that value, and guess who got the other one? My daughter in law Melanie!! Now what are the odds of that happening? About a zillion to one I reckon, probably the same number of other recipients in however many countries who’ve just received the same piece of mail from somewhere in Malaysia.

I didn’t even bother to check out how they intended to squeeze the dollars out of me, but Glen thought he’d see what their devious little plan was, and apparently you had to send $7000 for them to release the funds, but in their favour they were prepared to be oh so generous and cover half of that so all you had to send was $3500 to receive your wonderful prize. Isn’t that nice of them.

Makes me wonder what makes these people tick, but then I guess I’ve never really understood the criminal mind that has such complete disregard for the honesty and vulnerability of others. If they’ve gone to such trouble to devise such a plan, supposedly covering their tracks sufficiently that they won’t get caught, then surely someone somewhere in their ranks of shady characters should have some actual skills to set up a legitimate business that makes money legally instead of preying on the unsuspecting ones who get sucked in by such schemes. I guess in my naivety that’s asking too much.

With the endless emails from Nigeria over the years fooling people out of their well earned savings, at least it was interesting to actually receive something in the mail which I can now pass on to the ACCC who can add them to their list of scam schemes to investigate.

$160,000 would’ve been rather nice though, could’ve had a doozy of a holiday with that.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surviving the Challenge


 After two years of giving Jack Jumper ants a wide berth, killing off their nests, stomping on them, squooshing them, grinding them into the concrete, anything to avoid another sting which could give me a repeat anaphylactic episode, what should I do but submit myself to a sting challenge with my arch enemies.

Having been receiving desensitization treatment at the Jack Jumper Allergy Clinic in Hobart for just over a year, and with four years to go, this was the acid test to see if the treatment was working. Out he came to do his thing, and do it he did, not just some quick sting mind you, but the little bitey blighter had to attach for sixty seconds, something you’d never let them do if they attacked you in the backyard.

Thirty minutes later I was still in the land of the living so out came Ant No 2 to see if he could outdo his mate. He decided to let go after about thirty seconds so had to be encouraged to reattach and whoopee, did he ever do so with a vengeance. With the only reaction being a local one producing a nice big fat red forearm that resembled Popeye after downing his magical spinach, I then had to go back the next day for my usual treatment of a jab in the upper arm. Being one of the most toxic ants on the planet, it was most gratifying to know everything’s on track and that an accidental sting won’t cause a life or death incident in the future.

Which is just as well, for I stopped on top of the Great Western Tiers not far from home to check out the area burnt out by the bushfire before Christmas to take a few photos. Alpine bush is never particularly lush, but the landscape has taken on a much starker appearance, with rocks exposed even more than usual as all ground vegetation has gone. Our beautiful natural environment has many challenges of its own to meet, and the fact that a mere three months on it is showing its resilience and sending out shoots of new life to reclaim what has been lost is testament to its inbuilt survival mechanisms.

While standing amidst the strangely quiet blackened trees and charred rocks I had to chuckle, for there trekking down my shirt was a Jack Jumper, think he launched himself off the tree I was standing under. I could’ve stopped anywhere to take my photos, but it had to be that spot didn’t it. I’m convinced I send out pheromones that attract them from far and wide, for I found two new nests in the backyard when I did the mowing the other day. Can spot the blighters from 50 paces, though I think they can also do the same with me, but now I have the upper hand.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Benevolent Boaz


Farmer Bill down the road came up to the village the other day to offer anyone who so desired access to one of his paddocks to pick his remaining crop of peas the harvesters had left behind. They had their quota, so his generous offer was taken up by quite a few during the next couple of days. Toting my buckets, off I went after work with a couple of others, picking first in the patches by the track before heading for the main patch, as most on the edge had been squashed by the machinery and thistles were getting in the way.

About a hectare of luscious peas awaited us, and no matter how long we stayed we didn’t even make a dent. Such a treat to have fresh peas, plus the bonus of being able to share bagfuls with family and friends who were unable to get there was just as enjoyable. Only a handful have made it to the cooking stage so far, I love eating them straight from the pod tossed in salads or as a snack while watching telly.

Little did Farmer Bill know, his offer was actually a very biblical thing to do. In biblical times it was customary for landowners to leave a portion of their crop behind after harvesting so widows and orphans, and the poor and needy could come in to glean what they needed so they wouldn’t go hungry.

The book of Ruth in the Old Testament relates such a story, where Ruth left her own family and country behind after being widowed, and journeyed with her mother in law Naomi to resettle back in Naomi’s homeland. Also widowed, and with both sons having died, Naomi had no one to care for her, so Ruth offered to gather grain for them in the hope of finding work. Quite by chance she ended up in Boaz’s field, where she was treated especially well and given protection and permission from Boaz to pick grain with his workers. Unbeknown to her, Boaz was a close relative of Naomi’s, and therefore responsible to care for his relative’s family.

Naomi started the wheels turning on her plan of action which, if successful, would secure a future for both of them, and through their eventual marriage, Ruth and Boaz became part of the ancestral line that led to the birth of Jesus some thirty generations later.

On my hands and knees picking peas I felt my age and wondered how the travelling backpacking pickers do it for weeks or months on end. An hour was enough for me, but Ruth’s story came to mind as I filled my buckets. I wasn’t looking round for a Boaz, but was thankful for Farmer Bill’s generosity.

We’ve become accustomed to witnessing incredible community response in times of natural disaster such as we’ve seen lately with the fires and floods. Help comes from all quarters to support those who have suffered such devastating loss. It seems to take a dramatic event to bring out the best in us to respond to the needs of others, but I find it encouraging that not only in times of such terrible upheaval, that same community spirit can be equally evident.

Groups such as SecondBite who source surplus food from wholesalers, farmers, supermarkets and the like and distribute it to food programs which support those in need, don’t wait for disaster to strike. They are aware of the daily struggle many have to simply provide the basics of life, so through their diligence and efficiency food which once would have been wasted goes to those who really need it.

It’s encouraging to know the principle and value which was so much a part of Boaz’s culture several centuries ago is still alive and well.








Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Something to Crow about


There are two crows I often come across on my morning walk, and I think it would be safe to say they’re the same pair every time. Parked in front of the glass double doors to the golf club, well not exactly parked, for they are always screeching and squawking, hopping up and down in a mad frenzy battering at the doors with their beaks. Not sure if they’re really that keen on getting in, think it’s more to do with standing their ground against the two crows on the inside and staking out their territory.

They’re obviously not too bright, seeing as all they’re doing is getting uptight with their own reflections, and they remind me of the two crows from the movie Charlotte’s Web. Perched up on the telegraph pole, looking out over the vast field of corn, they grumble and groan about their hunger, egg each other on, attempt to rustle up some bravado, and plan strategies for the attack that will reap them the reward they so desire.

But one thing stands in their way. The scarecrow.

There he stands, every day, a barrier to their prize. Their forays into the field are quickly aborted each time the scarecrow does his job, but it is only when they eventually face the scarecrow and discover their fears were unfounded do they get the opportunity to finally take their fill.

While Christmas shopping I found this note book, and the timing couldn’t have been better, so bought it for myself. With my writing seemingly going nowhere it was a reminder that although the scarecrow is there, every day, wanting to foil my attempts however feeble, I can stare him in the face if I want and take away the intimidation he wields.

So, if I find something to crow about this year, it’ll begin here, in this note book.