I was drowning but Kindly

I’m coming to this story arse end up. All the girls looked beautiful and I was 16 and thought perhaps, if I could explain why they were so beautiful then perhaps I’d be beautiful too. And also, maybe, because I couldn’t explain  why, I was ugly and would be forever. 

In those days though, I never felt beautiful , or really, if I’m truthful, ugly either. 

In fact, fair to say, I never noticed or felt anything  concerning myself … one way or the other … well maybe clumsy which was what my father  called me. Maybe having no opinion either way was why they hated me, except for my sister, but she was seven and didn’t count. 

So, I’m standing at a dance in the Richmond School of Arts which naturally enough is in Richmond, and the women, girls, for that is what people call them – women and girls – I don’t know why. I’ve never seen anything quite like them l before – are all so beautiful; every one of them… so beautiful! 

It’s Friday night and warm and I can smell the mown grass from the oval across the road. And also large dollops of honey, deep glassy golden honey, are dripping down from the oak beams. It’s an old hall built in 1842 says the plaque and perhaps that’s why the honey is coagulating into halos, fastened around the heads of these beautiful girls/women and glimmering so their hair shimmers, like the blue sky  causes a swimming pool to shimmer, all the way down to the bottom, so there’s no bottom. And I straight away I dive straight in.

where I live 

It’s November and my pool is turning green and leaves are drifting from the trees. The days have a slight chill but the sun is strong and the days are warm and clear. On the mountains snow shines against the fragile blue of the sky. 

People here live a simple existence, close to the earth, very communal, very dependent on each other. It’s one of the poorest regions of the country but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels rich and varied, loaded with sociality, events, customs and colour. 

A month ago in my village they had pressing day. People were invited to bring their fruit and have it pressed into juice for the winter. The owner of the press came with it loaded on a trailer behind his car. He parked it behind the town hall in a square full of sunlight and white gravel. The area around him became covered in boxes of apples, pears and quinces. They sold bottles and apples in wooden boxes. First they tipped the apples into a pulping machine, then, one by one, by hand, they packed the pulp into square wooden frames about two inches high already loaded with a large piece of chamois. They packed the pulp on the chamois up to the edge of the frame, then they folded the edges of the chamois together in triangles from each side like a pastry. When nine of these were stacked one on top of each other, they turned on the press. The apple juice ran down the sides shining deep brown in the sunlight like honey. Then they pasteurised it in a silver vat and pumped it via five nozzles into bottles. 

The entire process took about four hours. I went away I came back. Local people stood around all day, helping occasionally, talking, watching. At lunchtime they all had a meal at a long table sharing cheese and bread and wine. I brought 15 bottles of apple juice for 13 euros. It tastes like honey and I’ll be drinking it all winter. ‘bring back the bottles next year’ said the young woman as I was going.

hi --welcome!  

Its taken me a while to get a site together -- partly because I'm lazy about this stuff, partly because I'm fearful of technology and doubtful of its bold claims and part because I'm just too busy - in the next few weeks I'll post stuff, hopefully on a daily basis stuff, which interests me basically and hopefully might interest anyone else --  anyway to kick it off I've put up one of my favorite tracks from my entire time in Sydney a piece of true brilliance which defies all the sterotypes about sydney and sydney music    --hope you like it

Feel free to explore my site --I hope you like it as much as I liked building it