Sunday, 21 June 2015


A day home from school. A new knitted hat. Puddles to jump in. A lizard in the palm of your hand. Dinosaur bones and snakes and kangaroos. A drum to beat. Lunch by the lake. Freddo Frogs and honey and chocolate cake. An afternoon nap snuggled in bed with your little sister, rain drumming down on the roof. LEGO and Star Wars. A wooden bush knife to rub sticks with and Aesops' Fables to read at night. My baby boy at five.

apples and winter rain

We picked the apples a month or so ago. Three big basketfuls this year, including a wicker washing basket full of Granny Smiths I neglected to photograph. We have been slowly munching our way through the harvest, baking many an apple crumble along the way. I abandoned the idea of storing our crop in the cellar after it proved too damp for last year's harvest and I lost a fair few to rot. I toyed with the idea of wrapping them in newspaper or burying them in straw or sawdust, but it all seemed too hard, and I worry about the rats finding them and moving on in. Sitting on the laundry bench, out of reach of hungry toddlers except when she is feeling particularly adventurous, seems to have worked just fine.

We are having fun together in the garden, me and my girl. Digging and planting, weeding and dreaming about next summer as we tuck herbs and flowers and native shrubs amongst the rambling nasturtiums, gradually filling in the gaps. We climb up the rusty old ladder to sit in the treehouse and spot chickens through our binoculars, and lie on the trampoline in the winter sunshine while Thea runs happy rings around my prostrate body.

Another term nearly over, we are in the thick of the birthday season here. There are special friends sleeping over, favourite cakes to bake and presents squirrelled away under the house. Lewis turns ten next week and has asked to climb a mountain to celebrate reaching double figures. So we are heading up the biggest one we can find. The boys are hoping it will snow while we are there, as it is the only place in Western Australia that gets cold enough to have a light dusting on the coldest day of each year. We might pack some apples for the climb.