It was a leap of faith – one of those spontaneous decisions that could have ended in disaster. In the summer of 2018, I agreed to farm-sit for a couple I’d never met, in a location I’d never been, almost 1700 km from my home base. Continue reading
When this twentieth century of ours became obsessed with a passion for mere size, what was lost sight of was the ancient wisdom that the emotions have their own standards of judgement and their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic; a fine phrase is as good as an epic, and a small brook in the quiet of a wood can have its say with a voice more profound than the thunder of any cataract. – Henry Beston, Northern Farm
“It was tragic how life had sucked her down to the bones, all her spontaneity, her laughter and freedom had vanished. I knew then that I didn’t ever want to be like that. Whatever happened, life was something too precious to give up on so easily.”
– Belinda Jeffrey, One Long Thread
I must acknowledge the role of cheese and potatoes in the writing of this post. What do these foods have to do with a hike? Well, as soon as the chilly nights arrive my body which was naturally reed-like in my 20s suddenly craves potatoes and cheese in vast quantities. If I waited until I could find a walking partner available to fit in with my odd schedule, by springtime I’d have to be lifted out of my house with a crane. Death by lack of exercise is riskier than death by murder in my case. Having now defended solo hiking let’s get down to what actually happened on what I have dubbed The Unplanned Hike. Continue reading
Recently, I went searching for a railway museum but all I found was a dead peacock. On the same day I visited a cemetery to photograph one plaque and ended up spending an hour fascinated by lichen-decorated headstones. Yesterday, I hoped to catch sight of an elusive platypus. Instead, I came face to face with the biggest spider I’ve ever seen. I often head out searching for one thing only to discover something entirely different. I’m a planner by nature but over the years I have come to accept that life is often unpredictable. I think I am finally starting to embrace these surprises – well, at least some of the time!
This week I’m taking you on a little journey involving life and death. The main setting will be Tallegalla cemetery near Rosewood in Queensland. My first visit to this location involved quite a few surprises. Continue reading