BUT WHAT SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT?

It seems nowadays that one is endlessly being asked that dreaded and depressing question ‘what do you do?’ If one responds with ‘I am a writer’ the second question, almost as predictable as the first, will be ‘what do you write about?’

I imagine many feel called to write, feel compelled to get down in words something wonderful and significant. Perhaps they even know their message, have a statement they want to put out into the world with eloquence and conviction. But that one question stops them before they have even started: what will I write about?

Hemmingway would have us believe that to have something to write about one must  go to Spain and fight a bull, fight a man or a woman, even fight a war, and then you will have something to write about. While there may be truth in the idea that adventure brings with it new stories, the fact is that all that traveling and the resulting fighting can be rather tiring and time consuming, and for those of us hoping to be both writers and not tragically killed overseas, it seems like an unnecessarily dangerous approach.

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I JUST MISS YOU EVERY NIGHT

I lay down next to you, knowing we don’t have long, murmuring something and moving close to hold you. Unbelievably you are already gone, your body unresponsive, your breathing soft and low so that only a shadow remains.

If only I could fight for you, shake you out of it. Or square up to him and tell him to back off, she’s mine; don’t take her, not yet. But you are long gone and there is no point in calling you back.

For you are probably riding a unicorn playing table tennis wearing peacock feathers. Or swimming with white dolphins that are guiding you to a lobster disco party.

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HISTORY’S KEEPERS

Some great men of history were into  bees; Aristotle, Tolstoy, Sir Edmund Hillary. I am also into bees. Still working on the great man of history bit…   But until that day, I thought I would take a look at what these guys took from the bees.

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It is not clear whether Aristotle himself was a bee keeper, but his writing indicates he was a keen observer of bees.  Continue reading HISTORY’S KEEPERS

EPONYMOUS

Think of Prince Albert piercings, Bowie knives and Mt Everest. These wonderful things will forever be synonymous with the men they’re named after. While no doubt Freud would have something complicated to say about this kind of thing, it cannot be denied that having the worlds highest mountain named after you would be great for the ego!

The eponym is one of language’s great phenomenon’s: when a persons name gives rise to the name of a people, place or thing. I thought it would be good to take a look at some  Australian men of the modern era and the eponyms they inspired.

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ADVENTURES WITH A BREAD MAKING MACHINE: HOT CROSS BUNS

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Well it’s been a little while since I’ve given an update on my bread making efforts.  It would be fair to say that the machine is getting quite a bit of use.  Probably 90% of the bread we eat comes from the machine (we live across the road from Sonoma so it’s hard to resist sometimes).

It’s really nice waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread.  Basically, it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

With Good Friday approaching we are all about the Hot Cross Buns in our house.  I can’t get enough of the things.  Slathered in butter, warmed up slightly accompanied by a cup of coffee in the morning.

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THE ROLE OF RADIO IN THE RWANDAN GENOCIDE

Rwanda recently commemorated 20 years since the genocide that tore the country apart in 1994. Now as back then, people want to try and understand how this could have happened. Cultural, historical and political explanations are offered as inadequate attempts to account for the horror and destruction of that time.

But since I first learnt about the Rwandan genocide there has been one particular element of its development that I found particularly interesting. The role of radio.

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GREEN BABIES!

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As you might know, we have a veggie patch.  We started it late in the season as we only moved into our new place in January.  We currently have chillies, capsicums, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, kale, lettuce, strawberries and herbs all on the go.  As of last week we finally started to get new vegetables, reaching for life for the very first time.  I felt like a proud mother.

I read somewhere that it is a good idea to cut off the first green fruit of capsicum and chillies because it stimulates growth.  So this evening, I went around to all my plants and took off the first fruit.  It felt like the wrong thing to do, but I have faith!  Anyway, when I was holding them in my hands I couldn’t help but feel that they look so cute, like baby vegetables.  Hope your summer gardening has been a success!  PV

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HOW TO BUILD A CHICKEN COOP FROM SCRATCH

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Chickens, they’re so hot right now. Who doesn’t want a couple of these feathered friends in the backyard, laying eggs and making everything feel a little more quaint?!

I wanted chickens bad. I was like a man possessed, possessed with some kind of chicken obsession. However the deal was signed when I discovered this retro play equipment in the backyard of our new place. It is really too dangerous for little kids to actually play on… but it didn’t even matter, all I could see was the greatest chicken coop I had never imagined.

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GARDENING 101: DESTROY TO REBUILD

It seems like usually if you want to build something, you first have to clear the way. You have to till the land before you can plant the seeds. Just one of the many gems of wisdom that gardening has to offer!

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We have recently moved in to an ‘intentional community’ with some friends from church. The five of us, and others in nearby houses, have decided to try and live together for the greater purpose of loving our community. The place we are living is nice and big with plenty of great garden space. But when we arrived, things had got a little out of control. Continue reading GARDENING 101: DESTROY TO REBUILD

GETTING SOME COUNTRY AIR

Since we’ve got back to Sydney i’ve been missing the wide spaces and fresh air we had enjoyed on the farms. As well as that, we want to start putting into practice some of what we learned while we were traveling.

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So, for the second time since we’ve got back, we packed the car and headed out to Rylstone, in country NSW.

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