Keeping an eye out for shiny things

One of the things I like about language is how it can become specialised. Last year I learned (a little) of the language of archery. This year,  I am learning something of the language quilters use (interestingly it is very American, even though quilts predate the US of A). The other day I attended the formally titled Melbourne Pen Show at the equally grand Malvern Town Hall. It’s not that I am a collector of writing implements, but I was not surprised to learn there is a specific language for fountain pens, along with various debates regarding history and quality.

Beneath this dome all the pensive people gathered

There was a stage when I was growing up (and it still might exist) where almost every girl was gifted a calligraphy set of some kind. I know I was.  Not sure why, but regardless of whatever skill (or lack there of) I possessed, it sparked something I still feel when looking at codices or incunabula. I like the frisson of the history with these items, the weight of time on them, and how, with learning the secret languages of their creation, they become more familiar. I recommend following the Rare Trades Facebook group if you want a dose of this.


My practice

It is more than helpful to at least attempt to understand the language of these arts if you want to base a narrative around archery, or swimming, or paper cutting, or the vellum making process, or, for that matter, the use of a Aeromatic Parker pen. Just saying.  In fact I have a short story involving early book making I am yet to find a home for. And I work up this morning from a dream about a quest involving a pen…that will  hopefully become another story.

And I met some lovely members of here

What was my point? Not sure, but I’ve noticed how some of these specialty languages enter into modern parlance. And I don’t mean bulls eye – that was not a thing in the archery tradition I was taught. What you want is to hit the Gold. But I feel like a bower bird, attracted by the new glittering words I can use, without really being gifted the enthusiasm to continue any particular past time.

More practice innit

Perhaps that is my passion? Collecting glowy specialty phrases to sprinkle through stories?

This expedition certainly reminded me about the value of enthusiasms. Pen collectors knew their stuff, held friendly debates, and told how they funded their work and retirements with the discovery and trade of precious writing utensils. They spoke about what made pens beautiful, and also valuable.  And yes, I was reminded that I’ve heard this same passion before. I’ve seen the insider smiles, the knowing glances, and the happy recognition of shared interests. I saw it with the archers, I saw it with these pen people. Members move comfortably in their in-group, with their language and implements. I’ve circled their crowds, admiring their dedication, but from the outer I am but a witness to camaraderie I am not a part of.

Good hey. But not my work.

These days I am pondering what I am passionate about, and what if anything, I should do about it. What should my future look like if I do realise I am a true enthusiast of…..any number of things I have always liked a bit. Can I just join the in group of art or archaeology or history, calligraphy, or culture, architecture, old books, or art, or TV or writing about any or all of these?


Intellectually, I can tell passion requires and provokes boldness and effort, yet I’ve lacked the single-minded focus required to spend a life looking for writing tools or shooting bits of wood and metal into hay bales. Increasingly, I agree with Tim Minchin’s speech where he recommended:

passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you… you never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.

As a bower bird, flitting about all the shiny things, I am certainly on the look out.

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In deep

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. – Heraclitus

I am getting to understand that in the swimming pool, the volume of the water bears you up as much as it weighs you down.

One week I swore it was the deep end that was hard going for my free style, and the next, I slogged through the shallows while that deeper water bore me up, as I ploughed through, a stroke at a time.

While the water may go through minor adjustments, the experience of it is mine and that changes. I am different every time I climb down into it, duck under the buoyed lane lines, and begin my laps.

Nothing but surface tension

Even when learning a new skill, we get too used to doing things the same way.  It’s how our brains work, building neural networks. Which is why I like learning to swim: each class changes me, and as I improve, I adjust my breath and arms, and hands, how I kick, and how I tilt my head.  They are little things, but for every lesson, I notice.

Doing laps is not a cross, because the water bears me up

Some lessons I am tired, or determined, talkative or quiet. Some lessons feel easier than others. Some evenings the wavelets slapping faintly at the tiles feel like they are cliffs, “fall/Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.” With some classes my muscles anticipate the fatigue and ache, and for others afterwards, not at all.

Each week I notice more about the water: how there is  warm current in the middle, how sounds and movement propagate across the water. I listen for how the pitch alters with the depth, and watch how the light and colour moves upon the surface. I keep going. Making new pathways. Experimenting with stroke patterns. Taking on advice, adjusting my body to see how fast I move.

And I do move, but backstroke feels easier. I can breathe more naturally, with less concern. There is more thinking time too, which is a blessing and a curse.

Trusting my path, no matter how crooked the way looks

I like the contrast between how my mind rushes, but my stokes feel slow.  Thoughts cascade, and fall over themselves in all tangents, while I resolutely head up and then down the middle of lane four. Facing an imagined sky, I watch. I glimpse my arms go back, fingers flicking drops away. I watch for splashes, watch the blue ceiling, keeping myself aligned with patterns above me. And I lean back to see the flags telling me I am nearly home, safe.  All the while I am writing a blog post in my head, listing things, mulling over all I want to do, and have to check, in the next few weeks.

I keep going.

Stroke for arcing stroke, I push worry away, again and again, like the wall I launch myself from at the end of the pool.

Worry has me lapped these days, and I can barely keep up.

After so long doing the same thing, the same way, I have a couple of weeks at my job left. Occasionally, since the announcement, I find myself flailing. Like I’ve learned nothing, and I need my teacher to tell me to not to labour my breath. I work hard to recover. And I do.

It should feel easy, he says.

I keep going.

I never noticed the life saver

Each day is a flag that tells me the end of an era is closing in. The future is a vast and open, not a pool, with its refracted lines and limits, but open water. An ocean. Where there was once a regular and familiar pattern of movement and exchange is the unknown, free style in any direction, no guides lines.

Golden light falls on the water, everything is OK

The deep end is cooler and darker than usual but it’s just a matter of perception. I’ll adjust…because I can swim now. I am swimming.

There is so much to do, as I keep my head above the water.

I imagine heading out. Catching a larger tide.

Seems these lessons this year were never about learning back stroke or free style, as I take one breath after another, stretching out my hands, but never hitting the wall, pacing myself.




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I wasted a day

I wasted my Saturday talking to friends and thinking about fear and the  future.

I wasted a day in the city

It was wasted preparing for Sunday, when I helped sew my quilt.

When everyone took pictures of the dome, I pondered what he knew

I wasted it wandering through a gallery looking at art.

Paper colossus colour

I dallied over my lunch in the city as I people-watched.

Eye watching me, as I watch others

For this wasted day I marveled at the exhibition of big, old books at the State Library.

Just a big old book

I wasted my day running through the rushing water during a down poor, not wishing for my umbrella.

I wandered & wondered about paper rockets

Sodden, I faced the sky and laughed in the rain as others sheltered under eaves.

I wasted minutes staring into the depths

I listened to the thunder crack overhead and kept going.

I stopped to smell the tomes but they were behind glass

I wasted my day.


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Review: Much Adoing around the Globe

On a bright, increasing warm afternoon, I attended a matinée showing of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Pop Up Globe. The crowd was in a good humour and the performances were cheeky and energetic.

This joint is monumental. Corrugated iron sure, but big.

It’s been ages since I’ve seen a play, for real, in the flesh and I picked a good un. Despite it’s antipodean location, and for all of its corrugated iron, scaffolding, and temporary floor for the groundlings, the Pop Up Globe achieved something akin to what a rowdy Elizabethan crowd would have experienced. Maybe. At least I like to think so. There were spitakes, audience participation, knowing asides, ad-libbing, and the entire theatre was included as the performance space. Even if the quarters allotted (for the plebs) were smaller than an economy airliner to sit comfortably, it helped to create a ‘all in this together’ kind of a camaraderie.

So much pop up scaff

Any physical discomfort, and even having to ‘see through’ the scaffolding, was forgotten as we all became wound up in the plight of Hero and her judgmental suitor, and Beatrice and her ‘Bernard’ (as I heard one audience member call him after the performance), despite all of Shakespeare’s (Benedick) jokes.

This is not like being there.

Messina as an island located somewhere between the US and New Zealand was interesting. The Haka marriage ceremony was cool and the costumes that played on Pacific themes. And the Maori vibe suited the soldiers.

Fact: Shakespeare loved scaffolding.

It struck me that the Prince is the type of character who is usually the star of the show, given his seniority an organisational skills. Yet, as a comedy, this play is all about what the rest of the characters get up to when there is merely a minor tragedy, soon resolved, going on.

Benedick’s levity & a sax playing priest.

This Benedick plays up to the audience, and he is a buffoon, but you know it is love when he accepts Beatrice’s command to take action on behalf of Hero. He is capable of being serious. And for Beatrice’s part, her frustration at the social mores that mean she can’t take direct revenge is palpable, and deeply felt, at least by me.

Big exterior, but it is a womby feeling inside.

Then again, this play feels current, not just because of the supportive same-sex marriage mentions via Dogberry and Verges, although they got all the cheers. It just feels like all roads head to Rome in stories at the moment, in that this narrative dwells on the reputational damage women suffer at the machinations of men, and especially how that the testimony of a woman is worth less than a man. Even her father Leonato disavows Beatrice, but that’s a patriarch for  you. And that’s the thing with this amid all the banter about marriage and men, it takes a team and a miraculous ‘death’ and resurrection to restore Hero’s honour. Yep, women literally have to be martyrs and goddesses to successfully defend themselves. It might be hilarious if this wasn’t still a thing 400 years later.

Look you, this brave o’er hanging firmament, this majestical roof

If Don John’s mustache twirling villain and his willing lackeys don’t immediately stand out as recalling certain current Hollywood industry members in the limelight for their behaviour, then perhaps you have missed the incessant news about this. And while I was previously familiar with this play, right now, these themes are as loud and showy as the surprise fireworks.

If you go, take a hat, sunglasses, a rain coat (because this is Melbourne), water (although there are food vans), and be ready for a good time.

Surprise fireworks

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Review: Ragnarok-ing the boat

This is the usual warning: spoilers be ‘ere.

Yes, of course I saw Thor: Ragnarök. And it’s everything all the reviews are saying. It is funny, and effervescently bright with a taste of somethings 80s, like a good-humoured summer time advertisement for a soft drink, but with an immortal Jeff Goldblum instead of teenagers.

Still waiting for Sleipnir though

It was thus, a stylistic departure for the franchise, but it worked. Everyone acknowledges that Marvel has its own plot trajectory across years of films to get characters from one place and point to another for the Infinity Stone arc. Yet, in between we can have a talking raccoon, a Strange floating surgical wizard, and an android called Vision. If we can have all that we can certainly have an Asgardian god and his (adopted) brother who both keep coming back to deal out and take the punishment. Most of the time, the best aspect of the Thor series is how their fraught relationship is explored and sometimes mocked, and this remains the case with Ragnarök.

Many reviewers have praised this more light-hearted tone. But I see this as a double-edged sword. While Chris Hemsworth loosens up, and becomes less wooden as Thor, the film is still about the destruction of Asgard, and regardless of how this comes about, the joking at times point ill-suits the mood.

At other times, the humour is pushed too far. It is ok to make fun of Thor, especially via Tom Hiddleston’s devilish Loki, but it is questionable making Thor look the fool too often. Sure, he has weaknesses and must under go an arc to rediscover who he really is, but on balance, there were perhaps one too many prat falls milking Hemsworth’s comic timing.

While the new directorial style adds in fresh style and theme layers, the plot also strips away much of what is familiar to those who follow the films. It will be no surprise to find no Eric Selvig, no Jane Foster, and even more lamentable, no Darcy in the film at all. In fact, Earth is more of an abstract destination than a setting this time. Except for the Dr Strange set piece, which was entertaining, but again, a little heavy on Thor being made the fool. Although Loki’s treatment in this sequence is a treat.

Cate Blanchette ate every scene she was in. She clearly reveled in her role as Hela, the heretofore un-mentioned older sister of Thor and Loki. While I liked her back story, I would have preferred more. Best of all were the moments all the siblings explored their similarities even as they fought. As the Big Bad, she could have been provided further dimensions. I mean as the Goddess of Death I would have presumed she wasn’t always about war, and often would have been welcomed. But there was none of that. In Marvel’s Asgard, War is somehow glorious, but Death is definitely evil.

I was expecting Hela to be powerful, but she could have been more macabre.

Given her limitations, Hela can be seen as both Loki and Thor – powerful, ambitious, but also something more. And, despite the destruction, I appreciated Thor’s solution to the dilemma she presents.

What I missed and noticed, was the under-used Warrior’s Three and the complete absence of Lady Sif, or if she wasn’t absent, I must have blinked and missed her. At least Heimdall gets a good gig. In place of Sif, Jane and Darcy, we get a complex Valkyrie on a redemption arc with a backstory conveniently involving Hela (what are the chances hey?).  Don’t get me wrong, she develops reasonably complex relationship with Hulk, Banner and Thor, and gets to fight and talk, but Darcy was the perfect comic foil. There is even Tumblr  fan fiction dedicated to getting Loki and Darcy together. Somehow that makes more sense to me than Jane and Thor. I do love Hulk/Banner in this though.

At first I thought Mjølnir’s story would frankly ruin Thor and therefore the film. However, as much as Mjølnir has become a character, (see Darcy and Mjølnir scenes together in previous films) it was also literally propping up characters (including Thor) who only understood its wielder through it. Odin correctly explains the hammer is but a channel for Thor’s innate qualities, not his only expression of them.

Shoutout to Luke Hemsworth playing an actor as Thor, but I loved every New Zealander in this. Everyone keeps saying how Aussie the film is, and sure, while it features Australians and was shot here, the humour and talent is largely due to the skills of the likes of Sam Neill, in his cameo as an actor playing Odin, as well as the minor characters of Sakaar, including the Grandmaster’s dour side kick, and the gladiators. Of course, NZ director Taika Waititi is responsible for this film, but as Korg he also steals all his scenes, while somehow at times reminding me of Red Dwarf.

Korg: Well, I tried to start a revolution, but didn’t print enough pamphlets so hardly anyone turned up. Except for my mum and her boyfriend, who I hate….Bit of a promotional disaster that one…

This film is a succession of big scene stealers, including Goldblum’s ridiculous and larger than life Grandmaster. I don’t know if I enjoyed the outrageous good times so many are having, or lament this as jarring to the central point of the narrative. The stakes are high, as made stark (no pun intended) by the separate missions of Heimdall and Thor. Yes, it is about personal survival as always. But this story is should not just be understood as a series of wow moments exploring various rivalries amid epic problems of succession planning, but of Ragnarök: the destruction of Asgard. This film didn’t dwell quite enough this. It thus seems a little light on emotionally, especially compared to Age of Ultron, where the destruction of Sarkovia is a subplot, but at least the locals are motivated by the trauma of war, and as Avengers get to emote about the destruction of their home.

I suppose I am thankful Marvel didn’t take the road of DC with its overly serious, humourless and decidedly doomy lighting palette it over-commits to in its Batman and Superman franchises. However, the difference is more than one of tone and set dressing. Thor struggles and begrudgingly accepts he has weaknesses, and there are beings stronger than him or to rival his intellect, but internal struggles like this in some DC films basically mean Supes and Bat Dude are pouting and sitting in the dark thinking about their childhoods. As a style, I prefer the more active and entertainingly petty brotherly rivalries of the Avengers dynamic. Thor maybe unique, but he is never a loner and that’s the problem with most of the DC cast. The only time it really worked is with Deadpool, who possesses the power of self-reflective sarcasm.

Any who,  back to Ragnarök. I’ve heard everyone’s favourite line (the most highly featured one in the advertising at least) was suggested by a Make a Wish Foundation kid during a set visit. As a writer, this makes me a little glum, but also hopeful.  It bodes well for the future of Marvel if they keep using and finding people like Waititi, who seems to bother to seek inspiration even from the most unlikely of sources, and recognises talent where ever it comes from. It’s the type of news the film making industry needs to make it seem more interesting and creative, especially when all the other news (out of Hollywood) these days is indicates the sector is hopeless, abusive, and exploitative.

So, Thor: Ragnarök is up there with the best Marvel films so far. And having seen Much Ado About Nothing by the Pop Up Globe recently, I can attest to how Marvel remains as Shakespearean as ever. This includes right down to poor dick jokes, rousing good humour, characters playing to the audience, plenty of physical comedy, and relationship issues of import to entire nations.

Go see both, if you can.

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Review: Evolution, the art of Roma McLaughlin

Across Victoria right now there is much to do and take part in. You can barely sneeze without having to apologise to some sort of pop-up festival or annual event or show. Yet, it is not all about Melbourne’s CBD, it’s about regional Victoria, and the suburbs as well.

Hence I visited the Whitehorse Artspace to see Evolution: Roma McLaughlin. It is an exhibition inspired by McLaughlin’s home suburb, (Box Hill): its history, population and built environment. And obviously, as the title suggest, how it has been transformed.

The design makes a picture, while shadows, & colour add texture & tone.

McLaughlin works with paper cutting, but also with acrylics on canvas, screen printing, books, and paper sculptures. The paper cut works are delicate, complex and intriguing. It is easy to marvel at their detail and their pleasing and often formal symmetry, but it was an additional satisfaction to read them as discussion pieces about my (almost) every day, environment, and fusion of cultural influences upon the population and its buildings.

Traditional domestic backyards amid busy modern apartment building.

It is one thing to think about art mythologising ancient or distant rural landscapes, or art celebrating remarkable architecture. It is completely another thing to see what can be a fairly mundane and utterly familiar locale become the locus of the same treatment.

I liked it. I was seeing my world anew.

Tis perhaps worth knowing a little of Box Hill first. It was post-war suburban growth area, and now is strongly influenced by the Chinese community. Once, it was mainly quarter acre blocks with weatherboard and brick houses. Now, apartment blocks are replacing many of the older free-standing California bungalows. In the shopping precinct, mirrored high rises are rising even higher, even to dwarf the blue stone cathedral. Thankfully, the old town hall and the high school with their neo-classical columns, are not yet crowded out.

Twas a stark & moody day at Box Hill Town Hall.

The suburb, like McLaughlin’s practice, is a combination of influences competing for space. A 1920s weatherboard with its garden is depicted wedged between new apartment towers. This artist’s intricate paper cuts physically replicate the contrasts between urban exteriors and domestic interiors.

Her works were immediately familiar as a (nearby) local, but also recognisable in other ways – with the use of symbolism for instance. Thus, her practice was enjoyable for me to ‘decode.’ I have to thank the delightful staff member who took the time to chat about the works too.

One picture was particularly successful and summed up the show. It was acrylic on canvas, of a kitchen scene, looking out into a garden, beyond which is an apartment building. The kitchen is framed by a red door way that could both be Chinese and Victorian, and the entire picture is framed Celtic-inspired knot work of entwined eggplants.

Sacred space.

The colour choices and patterns evoke a sense that this is a page out of an antipodean Lindisfarne Gospel. The outermost frame designates the interior scene as a sacred space. To cross into this space we leave our shoes outside the door, and then cross the red threshold.

Before entering the temple/kitchen, leave your shoes at the door.

Inside the kitchen, the eggplant appears again. To Chinese viewers it may symbolise officialdom, or a promotion, or perhaps it is about the security the hearth offers. Outside, an eggplant trellis is almost tree like and sits beneath a distant electricity pole in the form of a cross. Thus this domestic sanctity is extended to the backyard across cultures.

What I liked about this was how the detailed patterns had a formal resemblance to the Art Deco carpets of the Town Hall foyer:

With some local art, everything seems to resemble everything else.

After the exhibition I attended a paper cutting class run by McLaughlin. It turns out there are few mysteries to paper cutting, excepting: spend the time to look, photograph, draw, then design. Then cut with an extremely sharp, good quality blade. And course practice, practice, practice. And practice. Change blade. Pick good quality paper. Practice. Don’t forget which bit is left and which bit is cut out. Practice. Change blade. Be inspired.

Bec’s first paper cut. Change blade. 

After the exhibition, I left the Box Hill Town Hall’s interior, musing on the connection between art and the every day, what with the imposing formal portrait of a past Councillor overlooking what can only be described as a stairwell.

Nonetheless, a stairwell.

A nice one, but a stairwell none the less. Thinking about all this, I emerged into the torrid afternoon as students made their way home. Girls in school dresses and ribbon bedecked straw hats skirted the Mini Field of Women installation for the Breast Cancer Network Australia. The girls, against the dark sky, were out of a Charles Blackman painting, except for their backpacks, and excepting it was a contemporary, outer suburban part of Melbourne.

Local students are like this, but less like inner-city industrial wasteland waifs.

This moment summed up art, purpose, the environment, history and this ever-changing, ever the same city, perfectly.

McLaughlin’s exhibition is free and ends November 11. Do take the time if you can.

The moment passed, but these sentinels remain. 

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One invisible story

Indulge me for a moment as I present these facts.

  • Women make half the food and fibre in the world. The entire freaking world.
  • Up until 23 years ago any Australian woman filling in the Census could not be categorised as a farmer. Women could be ‘farmer’s wives’ or ‘help meets’ but even if they were sole property owners, they were not considered actual farmers.
  • This very day, if you search Google Images for farmers you’ll mostly see older blokes in hats.

I already knew the first fact, but I wasn’t aware of the Census bias until listening to an ABC Radio Melbourne interview about the Invisible Farmer Project. This is and was an initiative by Museums Victoria and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to get the stories of women in agriculture out into the world. ABC Open don’t seem to be taking stories any more, but it doesn’t mean they can’t still be told.

This is mine.

Before I tell it, I want to say it feels mostly unremarkable to me. I mean I was there. But then I remember I live in the second most urbanised nation on earth (yeah behind Belgium – but this might have changed).  I grew up in a state with maybe about one million people now – and most of them live in the capital city. So maybe I’m more remarkable than most, simply because I am rare.

Now I can begin.

I can’t say that I am or was a ‘woman in agriculture’. But I was a kid and a teen who lived and also very much worked on rural properties. I suppose I was the ‘invisible farm girl.’ Sometimes, I was doing stereotypical ‘farm wife’ things like baking cakes and making cups of tea for shearers, tooling around in the ute or on my bike transporting food. I was also boiling milk from the gorgeous Jersey cow we had for a while. Occasionally, I read the Stock Journal.

A lot of farming looks like this.

Then again, I recall occasions when I painted the entire shearing shed with linseed oil. I also raked wool, fed the dogs and chickens, herded animals through dips and runs, cobalted sheep, did all sorts of ill-advised gardening, helped with fencing and with the birthing (that would be ‘pulling’ calves in Dad-speak). In other words some of the more physically involved bits of farming traditionally ascribed to men.

But unpaid farm work was not recorded on the Census, and isn’t now. Unpaid work is not a thing the Census or any one much cares about, no matter what family business you are in or how old you are.

Yet this was the way it was. Or at least from the age of four, when I was responsible for steering the truck while Dad threw hay to the sheep. Truly, I only steered into a tree once.

Totally crashed that truck behind me. 

This kind of work, which, to be fair was shared out between my brothers and me, occurred until I was 19 and had my first and last paid agricultural gig. Yep, the first summer back from university I was employed in a vineyard for a few weeks of hot and un-romantically named ‘shoot bashing,’ (aka pruning).

And now? I can’t say I miss any of it too much, even if sometimes I get a hankering for a rural aspect out the window. At those times, I do want the starred night sky, the willy wagtails flitting about the bracken, the wedge tail eagles circling above, the emus on the edge of the paddock. Instead of my neighbours I want to hear the bulls lo from the paddock near the wetland, and to listen for the thump of kangaroos as they leave off predawn grazing on the lawn beside the house.

But all that’s the window dressing of a country life in Australia, not the main gig. I lack the  physical fitness I had, and the business acumen needed if I wanted to go back. Then I always dreaded the fire dangers, real and imagined, and never fancied the uncertainty of weather and market forces. Making a go of a farm is really close to nigh on impossible.

I did say good views.

Thus, here I am at the keyboard, listening to the steady hum of the traffic thinking about how no one back then ever suggested a farming life for me. Not my parents, nor my careers adviser, not any one of my friends, many of whom also lived on farms. It just didn’t seem like an option for *girls*.  Eventually, some of my peers did go on to have a career in agriculture, but I only remember one student who was passionate about it. He didn’t have a farming background at all. But it was what he wanted. I hope he got it.

Yeah, the trees.

The advice I got about work consisted of my school bus driver advocating learning to type so I could be a secretary. My English teacher thought I could be a journalist. I worked in my mother’s shop for a bit (also unpaid). The only thing I wanted was to attend university. And I did.

Then, at times rural life looks like this.

Thus, that is the extent of my farming career, as far as I can remember. It was  formative I suppose, however, I wouldn’t have thought to *tell* it directly, if not for that ABC interview. So while people are beginning to acknowledge the role of women on the land, I suggest we need to remember the girls and the boys too. Then, and now.

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