This week

By Vita Forest

Clifftop walk at South Curl Curl


This week I have been

WRITING

READING About Grace by Anthony Doerr (Man oh man, I nearly stopped reading and skim-read the last part.  The main character really irritated me…)

VISITING

  • a cafe by the river with some teaching buddies.
  • the Northern Beaches for a walk and then a swim in the pool at South Curl Curl.  I enjoyed it, the kids not so much…

North Curl Curl

  • the harbour for a picnic afternoon tea with Lucy.
  • Lane Cove River Park for a walk with Briony and my parents.
  • Barangaroo for some sketching and where I was

LISTENING to Alice Chance’s Aurora Eora in The Cutaway – a sublime soundtrack which turned the empty space into a cathedral.

Barangaroo


WATCHING Hidden Figures with my friend Diana.

This week

By Vita Forest

Spit to Manly walk, Sydney


This week I have been 

WRITING She should be

READING the lovely poems of Misuko Kaneko (Are you n Echo?)


GETTING back to the gym after missing it for about 10 days (all those parent teacher interviews…) My mental and physical health is much improved.

HOSTING Bookclub and 

EATING slow cooker pulled pork (mmm mmm).


PLANNING programs and units of work for next term.

FINISHING Term 1

SKETCHING again after all the rain, at the truly delightful Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour.


CATCHING up with Fleur and having a cuppa and a laugh.

WALKING the iconic Spit to Manly walk with Vastra and Saskia then

SWIMMING at Shelly Beach at Manly – a weekend can’t get much better than that!

Crow

By Vita Forest (based on a story of Pemulwuy’s escape)


He came out of the forest, across the river to fight them.  They were taking his land.  They were killing his country.  They had tried to kill him.  One time.  Two times.  And though the muskets had filled his leg with lead (they had seen it) he had gone back into country and re-emerged.  Alive.

But now he was locked in their dark cold cave.  The iron bands around his feet.  The iron bands around his hands.  Trapped.  They had him now.

He stared coldly into their hooting faces.  He turned himself inside.  And waited.

The cave got colder, the night got darker, the iron on his wrists, cutting into his skin.  They had his death in their minds.  They were hungry for it.  They wanted it like nothing else.  But they would wait for the morning, for the sun to rise and flood the valley with its light.  For the whole world to be full of light.  Illuminated.  They wanted to show everyone his broken body, his broken spirit.  They wanted to show his people he was gone.

He closed his eyes and turned himself inside.  Made himself part of the darkness.  The blackest black, the deepest crevice between the stones.  He called up his totem animal, buried into it, danced its dance, sang its song.  Whispered its name.

He snapped his beak, clawed at the gritty ground.  He breathed and blew the air down through his bones, down to his fingers, flattening, stretching, flicking them into shards of feathers.  He jerked his neck and shook out the collar of black across his skull, across his back, drew his claws in, slipped out of the circles of iron.  Folded back his wings, rattled out of the chains at his wrists.  Unrestrained.    

He swivelled his eye, cocked his head, listened to the snoring sentry and the whispered secrets of the moths at the lantern, the crying bats in the fig trees beyond.  The world was alive out there.  Waiting for him.  Waiting for him to leave this place. 

With a spring, he was up on the ledge, slipping through the bars, gripping the wall with his claws.  The world outside flooded him.  He drank it in, breathed it.  Rolled back his shoulders and was gone, back into the world, into the night.

Gone.

A stroll at twilight

By Vita Forest


Tonight we took a walk.  Lucy and I strolled down the road at twilight with Max click-edy clacking away and back on his skateboard.  We soon turned off the main road and headed up the hill through the quieter streets.  Max scooted ahead until it was flat and swerved along a car-less road.  Our suburb is full of walking tracks and pathways between apartment blocks and we followed him down one such track into the cool damp shade within.  There were brush turkeys scratching about between some trees, but they soon dashed out of the way when the sound of the rolling wheels grinding over concrete alerted them to Max’s presence.   I was suddenly aware of the gradients of the path, the hills, the jutting cracks in the footpath.  Having a fourteen year old on a skateboard will do that to you.

We walked through another track to a park hidden between an apartment block.  Someone had personalised the pathway to their door with ferns and potted palms and a few pink Impatients for colour.  Further on we glanced up at “the hoarder’s house” a balcony we had noticed on another visit, I don’t know what the inside of the apartment is like, but the balcony is overflowing with “useful items” – a microwave oven, an ironing board, piles of chairs and more chairs, a rusting electric fan, a folded banana lounge and boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff.  Makes me feel ill just thinking about it.  Max was pleased with the deserted day care centre area that backed onto the park and was “available to the public” at this after hours hour.  There were gentle slopes, steep inclines and different levels to roar across.  I inspected the rocky course for the water pump and the tiny veggie garden with its neat row of brightly coloured watering cans.  Max and Lucy peeled off their shoes and pulled themselves up to the top of the climbing frame, laying back and looking up at the fading blue of the sky.  Max relaxed into the ropes but Lucy kept a firm grip on the edge.  I lay back on a convenient chair and looked up at the sunset.

Later, Lucy and I inspected the “house” – a part of the park with the outline of a building mapped out with some low walls, some empty window frames and a welcoming wooden door frame.  Inside the “rooms” there are tables, chairs (some moveable) and even a wooden chaise longue.  Every table is decorated with brightly coloured pottery and doily inserts.  It’s very homey.

While waiting for Max to reappear from one of his skating jaunts, Lucy and I were calming watching a couple of brush turkeys pecking around in the damp earth of the park.  Suddenly another, crazier one appeared.  It dashed across the lawn to one of its friends, then proceeded to chase it up into a tree.  Lucy and I watched as they branch-hopped, jump-flew their way up the tree then we scattered as the chas-ee took flight (very badly) and heaved across over our heads before landing on the grass and running off again.  They are not the most graceful flyers.

We walked past the oval, past the grunting footy players on the astro-turf, and turned for home as the light dimmed.  The clouds were chiaroscuro mountains in pink, orange and dazzling gold.  The world smelled fresh and alive after all the rain and our clattering heads had calmed.

Walking does that to you.

This week

By Vita Forest

Sunday sunrise at Curl Curl


This week I have been

READING

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  • Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit

WRITING

  • At Bombo
  • Programs for school including one on Poetry incorporating David Chapelle’s short film of Sergei Poluntin dancing to Take me to Church by Hozier.  I am excited!

EXPERIENCING Sydney’s extreme weather this week – storms and heavy rain on Tuesday, crazy-high temperatures on Friday and Saturday.

VISITING the water to cool off on the weekend… Murray Rose/Redleaf Pool in Woollahra and Curl Curl Beach.

WALKING AND TALKING with Saskia at Curl Curl after a swim.

BUMPING into an old student and family at Curl Curl (it was all happening at Curl Curl…)

MISSING outdoor sketching due to the extreme temperatures.

MAKING

  • time to relax.
  • time for yoga.

Saturday morning at Refleaf pool, Woollahra

     

     

     

     

    This week

    By Vita Forest

    Lotus pond at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney

    This week I have been

    READING Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 

    WRITING Neptune’s Son

    GETTING to know my new Year 4 class!

    TRYING to sleep in very hot humid weather

    VISITING the Royal Botanical Gardens to do some sketching

    COVERING lots of school books for Max and Lucy

    HEARING all about their first week at school (Lucy’s first week of high school)

    A Lotus flower

    This week

    By Vita Forest

    Gardens at Vaucluse House (can you spot the bird?)

    This week I have been

    READING 

    • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah 
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
    • Policy documents for school

    WRITING Distracted

    MOVING classrooms and

    PREPARING for the new school year

    VISITING

    • The White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale for Vile Bodies
    • Vaucluse House for some barefoot, lounging about under a tree kind of sketching 

    WATCHING

    • The Shawshank Redemption and The Princess Bride with my kids
    • Lion with Briony and friend 

    DISCUSSING with my kids why Australia Day is hurtful/offensive to parts of our population 

    BUYING school shoes for Lucy for her first year at high school…

    MAKING a week’s supply of Jamie Oliver’s Black Rice pudding with mango, lime, passionfruit and coconut. Mmm

    Plant stand at Vaucluse House