Verandas baked with musky sleep,
Mulberry faces dozing deep,
And dogs that lick the sunlight up
Like paste of gold
These lines from Kenneth Slessor's poem Country Towns remind me of January in Australia.
As you may almost certainly have noticed, I gave myself a blog holiday after Christmas. Relaxing at Noosa with family members was just so ... well... relaxing, it seemed almost too much effort to drag myself to the laptop. The weather was fine and hot, the surf gorgeous and frothy as sparkling wine and the board games were as much fun as ever.
But now I'm back in the north, and driven by a New Year and conversations with my daughter, I'm in the middle of a detox. Gosh, have you ever tried giving up caffeine? I was shocked by how hard and painful it was. I had no idea that my habit of frequent cups of tea had such a strong hold on my body. It was like the worst kind of debilitating hangover. Why do we do these things to ourselves in January?
Anyway, I'm now having one or two cups a day again (have had a weekend of serial visitors and how do you manage that without cups of tea? or glasses of wine for that matter?), but am trying very hard not to let the number of cuppas creep back up to... well... to where they were.
We've been doing the entertaining during a maintenance run to Tarzali and in between visitors we have been working hard, cutting grass, planting trees, watching over the guineas. There's a new clutch of eggs, which Elliot's talking about taking back to Townsville to hatch. The mother sits out in long grass in the rain (this is the wet season and we've had massive downpours) would you believe? And because she's not a good mother, the babies' chances of surviving once they're hatched are v low.
And as we head back to T'ville today, (possibly with a cargo of eggs) I'll be thinking hard about the book I have to start writing. This is the longest break I've had from writing. Usually I feel twitchy and as if something's missing in my life, but I must say that this break has been good for me. I feel refreshed, re-invigorated and all things beginning with "re."
Happy New Year!