This week

By Vita Forest

Queensland Bottle Tree, Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney


This week I have been

READING 

  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (finished at last).
  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (highly recommended by Sui-Sui, I have just started).
  • The Art of Frugal Hedonism by Annie Raser-Rolland and Adam Grubb (now I know what to call myself!)

SKETCHING a Queensland Bottle tree at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Succulents at the Royal Botanical Gardens


VISITING The Powerhouse Museum with my class (great fun!! My little group just loved revisiting their early childhood in The Wiggles exhibition). 

MAKING an astronaut/aviatrix costume (my sewing machine and table are covered in silver glitter – looks like Tinkerbell has been for a visit).


EATING Belgian Chocolate gelato in Chatswood with my kids – sensational!

WALKING with my kids on a gelato expedition and later in the brisk winter air with Vastra and Saskia.

FINDING that our dance performance group is “all coming together”.

DIRECTING a little play with my class and watching them shine!

This week

By Vita Forest

Fig tree on the way to Bush Bank Steam Mill, Kiama


This week I have been

READING

  • reports!
  • and Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (nearly finished)

WRITING

VISITING

  • Vivid in Sydney
  • Gerroa with Sui-Sui and Alessandro and

REVISITING

Bombo headland

  • Bombo Headland
  • Kiama

Dry stone walls, Kiama

  • Gerringong (for a mighty fine burger – thanks Betty and Bob for the tip!)
  • Minnamurra Rainforest and

Suspension bridge at Minnamurra Rainforest

    DISCOVERING a new place in Kiama (my children were most surprised such a place exists)  – the ruin of the Bush Bank Steam Mill

    Bush Bank Steam Mill ruin

    SEEING lots of wildlife including

    • two lots of whales off the coast!  (From Gerringong and Bombo)
    • Fairy wrens at Bombo

    Jenny wren at Bombo Beach

    • Lyrebirds at Minnamurra Rainforest
    • Cows at Kiama (maybe not so wild)

    Cows with a view, Kiama

    • Wattlebirds, lorrikeets, king parrots, rosellas and more

    EATING lots of delicious cooking at the holiday home in Gerroa

    RELAXING after some very busy times at school

    Drowned World

    By Vita Forest

    In our own worlds

    Looking at the hidden worlds in the water 

    In the pools left by the sea.

    Balancing, bending, picking, choosing, rubbing rocks through finger tips

    Standing in a field of shells

    Speckling sand

    Shards of glass rubbed smooth by the sea

    The helmet of a crab 

    The tail of a lobster

    Beads of seaweed 

    Chunks of golden sponge

    Hefted lightly in my hand.

    Pockets percussive with clattering collections

    Watching monumental molluscs move

    Millimetre by millimetre

    Twisting paths over black boulders 

    Water winking in the indents of rocks

    Reflecting the sky, the clouds, the light, the face peering down to the flash of opalescence deep down amongst the dark 


    A row of molluscs huddled in a crevice

    Warrigal greens sprawling over black stones 

    Balls of raindrops rolling on the leaves of nasturtiums 

    Looking back at the rearing hill with its indents of cow hoofs and the chatter of hidden birds


    Through eyes, through camera lenses, through words shouted into the wind and the muttered impressions in my mind

    Saving them, holding them til I reach pen and paper, like a handful of sea-smooth stones.

    New and Old

    By Vita Forest

     

    The old ones arrive

    dragging feet and

    bags full of books and

    clothes and shoes and

    heavy hearts and

    guilt for the heaviness

    which makes them lean

    even further

    into themselves.

     

    Up the new stairs

    to the new room

    the worst room

    the room left over when

    the other ones were taken

    by the new ones

    new and shiny

    and pretty

    and docile

    and compliant.

    Everything the old are not.

     

    You will do this, he says

    hands them a broom, a brush, a spade

    always some job to fill in the time

    while he lies back in his chair in the sun

    scratching the dog

    under her chin.

     

    The new, the pretty watch

    offer to help

    No, he thunders

    Do you know how much I pay?

    How much they cost?

    They will work.

    The new stare

    while the old slog away

    and wish away the time

    and wish they were not wishing it away.

    This week

    By Vita Forest

    Winter banksia flowers near The Coal Loader


    This week I have been

    READING school reports!

    WRITING school reports!

    WATCHING 

    •  War on Waste on ABC
    • Mary Poppins with young Lucy singing and dancing
    • Wicked at Chatswood Concourse

    MAKING 

    • Winter soup
    • Silver space silhouettes for a dance costume 

    SKETCHING at The Coal Loader at Waverton with my good ol sketch pals

      CELEBRATING some good news for Saskia

      DANCING around the living room with Lucy choosing songs to use in my  class play

      FEELING rather exhausted 

      Near The Coal Loader

      This week

      By Vita Forest

      From Clive Park

      This week I have been

      WRITING Lex and Ruby

      READING Lucy’s assignment pitching a movie based on the life of Lin Manuel Miranda – very entertaining!

      MARKING mountains of assessments… (it’s report time)

      WALKING as a break from all the marking

      MAKING bacon, eggs, mushrooms and toast for Sunday brunch

      VISITING Clive Park in Northbridge again to show my kids this lovely spot


      TRYING to decide who to cast in my class play.  Decisions!  Decisions!

       

      Lex and Ruby

      By Vita Forest

       

      Springing from the sandstone

      Slicing into the water

      Fingers first

      Feet last

      The water cold and clear and shocking.

      He pushes it behind him in great armfuls

      Hears the pop and fizz of fish chanting in the shadows

      The quiet burble of water filling his ears.

       

      He erupts from the water

      And she watches from the window

      Sipping tea, spying.

      Enjoying the water streaming off his shoulders

      The flick of his head sending the hair off his face

      The spout of water he spits from his mouth

      Returning it to the harbour.

       

      She watches as he strokes off towards the zoo

      The spirals of steam stroking her face

      Like his hands did

      Not long ago.

       

      He swims

      His eyes at the level of the water

      Now above, now below

      Rising and dipping

      In, out

      Air, water

      Alternating clarity with blur.

       

      Then he sees it

      Spinning across the surface

      A bobbing brown bulb

      A traveller

      That fits in the palm of his hand.

       

      He sweeps it before him

      Bats it, flings it

      A ball, a toy, a message in a bottle

      A promise.

       

      Back on land

      Scrambling over mossy rocks in bare feet

      Cradling the bulb

      Slick and shiny in his fingers

      Until under a fall of scarlet crescents

      he sees the dark soil.

       

      Searching for a stick and

      Digs, scrapes, turns up the earth

      Pushes in the bulb

      Finding it a home.

       

      Not knowing what he has sown

      A plant, a garden, a love, a tribe, a story

      All there

      beneath the warm earth.