This fragile life

Life is so very fragile, isn’t it? We realize that so powerfully when we hold a newborn in our arms.  This tiny life is so fragile, so dependent, so precious and so alive with wonder. We want to protect that child from all harm forever. We also realize how fragile...

A puzzle for our times

I’ve been drawn into the word-game ‘Wordle’, which is a simple five-letter puzzle. Each day players  have the chance to attempt to guess a mystery word. The twist is that there are ‘no clues’ and players have to guess the word in just six tries. After each guess, the...

Tightening the belt

I’ve been losing weight. A fair bit of weight actually. So much so that people who haven’t seen me for a while often don’t recognise me at first. Some people are reluctant to mention it, fearing that my weight loss might be caused by severe illness. Others cautiously...

Something Fishy

Through a combination of prior planning and neglect I’ve discovered that I have fish in my dam. Not just fish but many, sizable Silver Perch. It must have been about 4 years ago I bought a bag of 100 fingerlings at the Epsom Field Days. I released them into the...

All that is gold does not glitter

“I feel very rich.” So wrote my sister Beth when relating the story of her “new” second-hand fridge. Beth is a writer and poet. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that in Australia that is a euphemism for being poor. Beth could have been anything. She was Dux of...

An Obsession with Mountains and Plains

I’ve spent a week following the footsteps of Major Thomas Mitchell when he explored Victoria in 1836. The Major Mitchell trail was a Bi-Centennial project. I’ve seen the signs to it for over 30 years, but the signs always seem to point at right angles to the way I’m...

Celebrating Weeds

I’ve been reflecting a lot on weeds for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been out on my morning walk. I stay on the backtracks so the roadsides have been left pretty much to themselves for many years. I’ve been struck by the wide variety of weeds that survive and...

I saw the light

I am the youngest of four brothers and grew up on a dairy farm at Yarra Glen. There were six children in our family, but the two girls were spared from farm work. As the youngest brother, I was assigned the most menial tasks. My older brothers on the other hand took...

Small and Significant

We bought a new fermenter. It was big, and bright, being made of shiny, stainless steel. Three times as large as our existing fermenters, we expected it to significantly increase production. And it almost worked! The brewers were very keen to begin using this new...

Orphan Lambs

I’ve been hand-rearing a couple of lambs. One of the lambs is an orphan, the other rejected by its mother. They are cute looking little beasts, Merino/Suffolk crosses with black markings on their heads and legs. I’m going to give you the long version of how  I came to...