So I updated my Australian Litjournals page, as you do when Christmas is approaching and you've decided to duck down the coast to miss the rush.
And I was surprised and delighted to find that Southerly mag now has an online archive called, rather appropriately, the Long Paddock, bringing to mind that splendid collaborative piece of Lee Kernaghan's and Slim Dusty's:
Leave him out there in the long yard, do not rush him,
Leave him out there with his mate, the baldy bay;
With his mates that he can graze and he can laze with,
Leave him there and we will turn him out today.
(It is a Slim Dusty tune, apparently. Recorded here.)
We have had four of the six birthdays in our little family here, all within sixteen days. As well as Christmas.
Which is why lists like these make me long for a St Hubert's 2006 Merlot and a good lie down. Or this, which I haven't finished watching yet. Perhaps I need to be out in the long yard too.
I have been simultaneously horrified and thankful over the holiday period that I am not required to be as alert and alarmed as Bernice of Viminalis, though, whose fire-blogging posts have been riveting reading. It is still not quite clear if there will be a definitive change up there at Bundanoon soon.
Do check in: regrettably she has not tagged all posts FIRE (this link has most of them in a line, though). But I guess she has more important things on her mind (this from eleven days ago):
More raking, and a friend returned my call, a friend who is a RFS
member in the Blue Mountains. She kindly answered my inane questions
for about 45 minutes, til we both reached the likely conclusions the
fire was not likely to pose a significant threat to my location, but
but but if it did, I would have very little warning it was running up
the gully behind me, and would be best therefore to ride the fire front
out by staying in the house, rather than trying a last minute escape by
So tomorrow promises a bit more raking, a last bit of mowing and a lot more waiting. I'll use the time to write a submission to the state planning authority, demanding that the standards for gutters needs to be revised. Particularly in fire-prone areas. Do not, dear reader, assume that gutter guards work. They do not and in fact cause a whole lot of problems much more difficult to fix than arming yourself with a banister brush, ladder, bucket and hat-enclosed head to clean the damn things regularly. And the view from the roof is fantastic.