Sunday, 30 March 2008

A quiet day by the fire

Today the rain and wind are keeping us in by the fire, One of the things that strikes me about the weather here is that you can actually hear the wind coming before it arrives, like a train approaching. The sun can be shining one minute then torrential rain can have you diving for cover, On one hand being so intimately involved with the elements is exhilarating, on the other it feels very humbling as I am reminded that, outside of the controlled environment of a city, we are very small and insignificant indeed.

Tasks of daily life with I might usually take for granted like turning on a light switch or making a piece of toast will involve numerous enabling activities to lead up to such a simple act. Every time I come here is an education in remembering my place in the world. The irony is that up against this simplicity is the fact that I have flown half was around the world to experience it and that I am able to share it with anyone who cares to read my words through the power of the Internet. Life is full of conundrums and contradictions.

Over the last few days my education has expanded to include coastal vegetation . We went to take a look at McLaughlin's Beach and I learned of the Marina Abyssinia or Grey Mangrove. I am fascinated by how what remnants of natural vegetation exist here can be so different and perfectly adapted to their setting and that in the matter of half an hour's drive I can go from temperate rain forest to mangrove swamp. So little of these rich and fascinating ecosystems remain and once lost, they are so complex that even the most skilled and experienced environmentalist can only hope to help nature regain a small fraction of its biodiversity.

So, a quiet day by the fire is a good opportunity to reflect and to think about how to take the things that I have learned back into my daily life and how it can inspire my knitting and spinning. Yesterday we held a a barbecue for neighbours, family and friends. It is wonderful to catch up with people that I have got to know over the years and to make new friends too. Apparently, I am to expect a delivery of some raw alpaca fleece and the loan of a spinning wheel at some point this week - I'll let you know how I get on... I have also agreed to teach Leon's granddaughter to knit socks so will be going down the road for an overnight stay with her. I like to do my bit to spread sock love!

I have made a start on the garlic lovers socks which need to be toe up so that the 'cloves' point in the right direction. The absence of any of my reference books means that I had to improvise a toe which I am actually quite pleased with. It is a sort of asymmetric spiral which, purely accidentally suits the design concept quite well. I think I will have a bit of a go at setting the pattern up today while it is quiet.

I have also made a start on Leon's reserve hat with yarn that I have in stash here (did I mention that I have yarn stash on two continents?). Don't tell him, but I am making it a little better fitting than the last one so that he can be seen in public with it without the knitters craft being ridiculed but I will assure him that it will ease up with wear...


stash haus said...

Thanks so much for sharing this experience. I love to read about this area of the world I might not ever get the chance to see with my own eyes - but it's wonderful to get a view through yours. Can't wait to see the pictures.

Queen of the froggers said...

I am really enjoying reading your Australian posts, takes me back (although we didn't live in the middle of the bush!)I hope you get on well with the fleece.

Auntie Noo said...

I'm loving reading this - thanks for taking the time to share! - and how lovely to get alpaca fleece.....mmmmmm

Mrs J said...

Awesome -I have just caught up with your 'Australian' posts & found them facinating. As a 'geography geek' I cannot help but be sucked right in. I hope there are pictures soon! I can't quite work out where you are though!