Friday, February 29, 2008

Woolly Weather and the Holden Whisperer is missed.

It's February and we have the heater on and I am knitting scarves. We'll be making gender non-specific snow persons next.

I have been making this....

A double batch of granola, my favourite cereal. (the cup of Black Adder Licorice Tea is for consuming on the side)

For the regular batch;
75g dates (stoned and chopped)
75g sultanas or raisins
50g blanched or chopped almonds
50g raw cashews
50g macadamia nuts roughly chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup pear juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 150C combine mix fruit and put aside. Combine nuts and oats separately and set aside. Heat oil and pear juice concentrate in a saucepan til simmering then pour over the nut/oats mixture and mix well. Put into baking dish and press down to about 3 cm. Bake for an hour, stirring now and then until golden brown throughout. Cool in baking dish and then stir in the fruit and store in an air tight container.
This is my version of a recipe in Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion. You can use honey. I prefer the concentrate because it's low glucose. You can add other nuts or dried fruit of course. For me this is sweet enough in fact you could probably leave out honey/concentrate all together and just use dried fruit.

I have also been here.
To purchase this.

It was very difficult to leave the establishment due to all the yummy, affordable, desirable, colourful woolly stuff. In Borders today I tossed up between '400 Knitting Stitches' and 'The Knitter's Handbook', eventually choosing the latter for it's broader content, but seriously people 400 DIFFERENT STITCHES!!!! ??? I have to have that book. It shall be mine oh yes it shall. (I'm a gonner aren't I......)

Did I mention that Beau is out of nappies and off the boob?? I do believe I did. Sorry, repeating myself. Baby number two is knocking on my reproductive door and my heart simultaneously.

We are currently car hunting. (she said quickly deleting all posts raving about the joys of car-less life) Station wagon lovers that we are, and who wouldn't be with kids, dog, Camberwell Market booty storage needs.....My father has been working on cars, trucks, boats, bikes anything with wheels and a motor for most of his life and while all my other mates were buying; trashing and pumping money into mysterious new cars as teenagers, I drove around in a small green Mazda 1300 that Dad and his TAFE Automotive engineering class built from the ground up. They built it, cleaned, it spray painted it and primed it for me and it went on and on and on and on. And when on the rare occasion anything did come loose (it was usually from neglect on my behalf) Dad was there to fix it. So Consequently I have Trust Issues with Mechanics. Thankfully we now have one who is of Dad's ilk. My brother and I call Dad the Holden Whisperer because for example, K and I bought our last car here in Melbourne on the basis of Dad listening to the engine on his mobile phone in WA. Say no more.

What was my point here....?? I'll move on. Just to clarify the whole car free thing.....Beau is now of a weight that coupled with my lack of fitness, makes carrying him around on the back of the bike a dangerous sport. But more importantly the Big Move is nigh. Foggy though the details may be, the act is inevitable and you won't see me riding around dirt country roads on the way to the shop with a new born baby and a toddler in tow. I do still prefer to walk, ride or train/tram/bus it whenever possible because the irony of it all is that I do hate traffic.

K and Icurrently in the midst of Detox. Not that there's a lot of Tox in my body to De so it's a bit of a break from daily cake really. I do feel rather light and good and pious as if the Lord is watching me and He is pleased. This is part of Preparation for Conception of a Baby and makes us sound like a pair of Control Freaks when actually we are a pair of hippies who generally leave everything up to the Universe. Given that we're officially in our 40's, a bit of conscious effort won't go astray.

OK I'm going now. K is 1 meter away from me at his computer. It's a disturbing picture. Aint no babies gonna come from this kind of an evening...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What is Posting this?

These are some of the things I'm loving about living in this little house right now.

the wildly animated greenery at the bottom of the garden

back door

Passion Flowers on the banana passion fruit vine that smells divine

the beautiful Still Lives that randomly appear.

Even though I still feel like I'm in a loopy limbo betwixt West and East I do verily appreciate this home that has been created with love and warmth and a particular aesthetic that involves many, many books, beautiful old pieces of furniture, over-stuffed couches, wonderful small paintings, rambling gardens, comfortable beds, white floor boards, quirky corners and intimate mementos dotted about. It's the kind of home I would create for us after many years in the one place and so it is very easy to be here and we are so fortunate for the opportunity, thanks to our friend and her daughter who are off on their adventure for some months.

One of my and K's favourite night time pursuits at the moment is snuggling up in bed with the lap top listening to/watching the teachings of Mooji whose site I've linked to the right here. He was a student of Ramana Maharshi, and now lives in Brixton, London and teaches all around Europe and Asia. His teachings, like Ramana Maharshi's and the Dzogchen teachings of our own teacher Chogyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, and the teachings of many others, go straight to the essence of the state of pure awareness. These teachings are the stuff that holds K and I together as individuals and as a couple. Even whilst we are distractedly sailing through daily life they cut through often enough to keep us on track. Despite it being of greatest importance to my life than anything else, my spirituality is the thing I talk about the least, especially here. It's an intimate relationship for me and I need to be in receptive company to talk freely about it. And then over the last few nights it has occured to me that someone might love to find a blog by a woman with a family, who lives in the suburbs, who goes about the rhythm of her day like everyone else, but quietly devoted to asking 'What Am I' and watching Satsang late into the night when she could be catching up on sleep! We have some wonderful friends who we met on retreat and who later became family for us when we all came back to Melbourne. They too have young children and busy lives and distractions and do what they can to keep focused on their spiritual paths, as I'm sure you do in your own way too.

I have times where I could talk about the teachings from sun up to sun down and feel glimpses of my own naked awareness shining beyond all the talk of it, and then most of the time I am thinking and dreaming, and talking and planning, and cooking and experiencing the grey scale between Joyously Happy and Down Right Depressed. I marvel at how fickle the mind is and how distracted and how committed I generally am to sense gratification, and yet how bit by bit the moments of clarity infiltrate a little more often for a little longer. We are told that it's all right here, nothing to attain, that 'awakening' can happen in an instant under the right conditions (does that include prostrate on the couch with tea and knitting?), that we must just discipline our minds. If one of us can be in that experience then so can the rest. When I really contemplate the possibility of living beyond duality with NO suffering; exuding endless natural compassion and love; going about daily life with quiet, un-earthshattering but unshakable joy; and deep clarity and wisdom; this emotional roller coaster feels more like a carefree Sunday drive and I can find a way to not mind so much when the birds poo all over my clean white sheets out there on the line for the second time on the same day. The birds are me. Their poo is my poo. And what is this me thinking about poo anyway?

P.S. Apparently there is no answer to this question, just the question itself is important, so I won't be offended if none of you try earnestly to help me find myself.....(who just said that?)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We are back a week now still tanned still caught in the bliss of long beach days and balmy nights, Fremantle Doctor and South West landscape beauty. Can you believe in the west they still use SPRINKLERS! And hand wash their cars as if 'drought ' were the subject of a fairy tale. The mining industry is booming and house prices are outrageous and everyone is beautiful and tanned and hardly any one seems to know about gluten free and the only people found knitting on the beach are those from Melbourne....and the roads are quiet and the city is a country town and the train line follows the glorious coast line and the river is enormous and the sky is big and blue and the air smells like the sea. Blessed by dear friends and sea breezes and Dad's oasis down south and daily swims we survived the heat. Whilst there the idea of staying was tantalising. Now 'home' we feel the bonds to our people here and they are strong ties and we are no clearer as to making The Big Move or not. It helps to be happy wherever one is and to also feel free to do what one wants to do when the time is right so we will enjoy our little Melbourne cottage and our dear community of fellow Time Travellers and wait for the signs to spin the Tardis off into the void again.

I have been feeling inert since arriving home a day late (missed our flight because I apparently cannot register 24 hour time) via the midnight horror flight. I think it's because we had only just moved here and then flew off to the west, had a brilliant relaxed family holiday and now must negotiate the busy avenues of Responsibility and Routine which, once I recover my inner map- making skills, I'm sure will again be the bedrock of this Melbourne Life.

For anyone planning to fly Tiger Airways across this land I say with affection that the landings were superb and the service was comical; on return the same guy who took our luggage at check in was still cleaning the plane when we queued bleary eyed at the gate miles along the tarmac. He ran about with rubbish bags and ropes flustered but smiling and then, we imagined, slipped into the cockpit to fly us home. Had he been the one to come around with the tea trolley an hour later, we would not have been at all surprised. It will have us chuckling for a long time.

Beau had a wonderful time reacquainting himself with the Family Elders down south who bought him icecream and rolled about on the floor endlessly with him, dancing naked with us tipsy adults (clothed) on a hot Freo evening, learning to summersault, submerging his hands in Toby and Ryonens' fish tank, driving proudly about in 'Felicicy's car',being buried in cool sand at the beach, being loved and flung about by the gorgeous Jim and Anna, feeding lamas and watching and listening to Dimity and co. sing opera under the stars in Balingup, hearing the story of our aeroplane journey over and over before bed, and discovering finally that Kookaburras 'are laughing because one of them always farts', hence overcoming his mortal fear of said bird. He was pleased to come home to our new old house (god we have completely confused the child), to his train set and to Flash our faithful hound, and to his friends and to swims at the pool and to a good night's sleep. Out of nappies and almost off the boobie.

Whilst away the sensational Amber taught me to knit (between glasses of Sav Blanc and witty and philosophical conversation). At last I understand the fuss, the addiction, the blissful hours on the couch, the hunt for the perfect ball of wool and the benefit of wooden needles. I am planning a luxury solo mission to the Yarn Barn at earliest opportunity and anywhere else you can recommend to find such goodly gear. I haven't made any thing in particular but have been happily knitting and pearling and seeding and casting on and 'frogging' (!) and casting on again and experimenting and seeing how neat I can be. Honeymoon stage.

I too feel enormously hopeful and emotional after reading the PM's compassionate Sorry speech (I didn't hear it as we were in transit at the time) and any cynicism that may be lurking within has moved aside to make room for the possibility of healing and change. May it be so.