Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Town Mouse, Country Mouse


It's getting closer to full moon and the magpies have started carolling through the night. I live out of town now. It's country to cows, alpacas and green, green paddocks. It is what is quaintly termed 'semi-rural', which means that as the town spread, the dairy/sheep holdings on the edges of town were sold off and split up into manageable lots for families who didn't want to farm ... but sort of did. To this day they are trying to find a shearer who will do a dozen sheep, the bloke who will contain their three heifers within a decent electric fence.
The bandicoots and possums that inhabited my old digs are not here. I blame the foxes. In town, the native marsupials live in fruit trees, road side burrows and under the floorboards. Town (and especially Bob's house) thrives with the critters.

However, I've had a few bonfires in town but they have been generally met with a neighbourly grumpiness about washing, flying embers or that the ferals are taking over.
On a few acres, you can invite the neighbours, crack open the kerosene and party, while the piled-up eucalyptus remnants of the year's storms crank their fire fairies into the sky.


16 comments:

  1. Go on, admit it, you are a pyromaniac.

    You and the neighbours. You don't really drink kerosene, do you?

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  2. ok ok we have to have to come visit in this place where locals drink kero, feral fire fairies splash into space and clothes are so well smoked you can slice them up for aperitifs....

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    1. I can see I'm gonna have to change my words about Jo.
      Damn, next time I'll invite you!

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  3. I don't expect you dare do that in the summer, after last year? Bonfires are banned in this town - all year round.

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  4. Excellent pics. Yes, Sarah Toa is a bit of a pyromaniac! I watched her firestick twirling near tinder dry grass in the middle of town. I was freaking out, she was having a great time!

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  5. Bonfires in Brizzy are of a time long gone. I did enjoy stoking a 'smokin' fire in a firepalce this last country weekend soujourn. Nothing like the outdoor version though.

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    1. We've got nice wet paddocks in the wintertime Mr Hat. Much fun.

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  6. Hey Sarah
    Ive just stumbled into your wonderful world by tracing some of my roots. Bob Howard's blog led me hither. My family (many writers) are found in Kayang and me.
    I'm a Ravensthorpe boy from generations past too many to remember. Worked a small gold show at Kundip when I was a teenager in the ealy 70s and happily my 2 daughters were born on ancestral boodjar.
    The campfire prompted me to share that in Noongar culture, the fire is a beacon which draws our maamungat ancestors to us, they inhabit our conversations and assist our dreaming.
    Cheers Greg Cream (Think Coleman)

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    1. Hello Greg, how lovely to meet you in the ether, through country as earthy and real as east of here.
      Kayang is probably my favourite of Kim's books. Coleman ey?
      Speaking of fires ... I've had some lovely and strange experiences, sitting alone around a Kundip fire. I told Kim about one and he said, "Well, you lucky thing!"

      Have you come across Bob's website of Daisy Bates' genealogies of folk from that area? Pretty useful.
      http://spencercollins.byethost7.com/bobhoward/bates/index.html
      A mutual friend rebuilt it in 2009 and it has just come in useful, as Bob's site seems to have crashed about a month ago.

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  7. Thanks Sarah, yes I was aware of the Daisy Bates breadcrumbs. Ive also dug in and found handwritten documents at the Battye Library.
    Kim and I share a Grandmother Harriet Coleman. Seeing him on Saturday will pass on your regards. My Grandfather was Bill Coleman or Will to others or WP.

    Key name for us is Binian (Binnean according to Bates). You have a pic on one of your posts of the grave yard on Moir Rd. Binian and her husband John (Ben) Mason are possibly buried there together.

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  8. Okay, was about to ask you about those graves ... seems you already been there.

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    1. Is Binian Fanny Winnery, Greg? My son's half bro is related to her ...

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  9. Hi Sarah, yes, Binian is Fanny Winnery married twice 1st husband Aboriginal and 2nd my GG Grandfather John Mason
    Binian had 2 daughters and a surviving son
    Harriet Dinah and John
    Harriet and Dinah married the Coleman Brothers Daniel and Patrick
    Harriet is Kim and my Granny

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