There’s something intrinsically comforting about waking to the view over the valley in Bellevue at seven in the morning.
My first task for the day was to put on the kettle, walk onto the verandah, roll a gasper and survey the said view and it never ceases to inspire. God, I’m lucky to be here.
The distant call of Jeffrey the pig is a gentle, soothing reminder that not everyone is enjoying what I am. The porker is hungry … OK, he’s never not hungry … and I return to the kitchen to grab his bowl, laden with the excesses of last night’s meal, which was a cracker.
It’s a beautiful feeling, that grass under the feet, the sweetness of the warm, humid air as I walked to Jeffrey’s pen with his bounty … he kinda jumps up, both front legs extended, against the mesh that keeps him prisoner, chatting all the time and saying what I imagine in pigspeak equates to “C’mon you slow bastard. Make good with the food.”
This porcine vacuum cleaner moves around the bits and pieces … pigs obviously have a priority for what tastes good first up in the day. Ah, fruit … that’s a good palate cleanser. Perhaps he’s just arranging it into courses. Who knows how a pig thinks.
Back to the kitchen to rinse the bowl and make a cuppa.
Sitting at the table on the verandah, cuppa at the ready, rolling the second smoke and then …
What’s this then? Involuntary movement. I started gently to move this way, then that. Am I pissed from the night before? Surely not. No, I was sober(ish) when I went to bed.
Nah, the involuntary movement is not only affecting me, the cars to my left are gently swaying like palms in a gentle breeze.
Well, well, it’s my first earthquake. It lasted for about five, maybe seven seconds. What a bizarre feeling … not altogether unpleasant, a little bit exciting. Maybe it’s the anticipation that it may last longer. Dunno, but it was a great, and certainly different, way to start the day.
Yesterday was a cruising sort of day, lounging around … Liam resited the water tank, played guitar for a while, whatever, until later in the day when it was time to take the kids into town for a swim, get some food for the night’s meal and replenish the beer supply.
Everyone piled into the ute and we made a beeline for the Chantilly resort. We commandeered a table not too far from the pool and ordered some drinks. I got the impression that Liam and Dan go here a bit because Liam was undecided about what to drink. The barman said “come back here and have a look”. Not necessary because he was already halfway there.
While Dan and Em swam, we just kicked back and solved a few more of the world’s problems and then we decamped, dropped Dan at her office to pick up some stuff and then we hit Bon Marche.
Suitably armed with all the necessaries (including travellers for the trip home) for the night’s dinner and beyond, we headed home and hit the kitchen.
While my pastry was defrosting (I was cooking a lemon tart) I was the designated potato peeler. Pretty soon, the pastry was in the oven, the curd mix was ready and waiting and it was beer o’clock again.
Em got busy creating shapes (she got a cooking set for Christmas) with the leftover pastry until she had a tray of them ready for the oven.
Finally Patto and Virginia arrive in time for a feed of baked yellowfin tuna, wasabi mash and a humungous salad of fruit, veg and whatever else looked good i.e. everything.
Dinner was a cracker, the lemon tart too. So too the conversation and laughter that followed the feed. All too soon, it was time for some zeds to prepare to get on a roll for the next day.
I just didn’t realise that the roll would come in the form it did.
Yep, the Earth moved for me.
Tomorrow we're doing a lap of the island.
ME IN A NUTSHELL
- G’day, I’m Michael and I have two fantastic grown-up kids. I’m a jeans and singlet/T-shirt, cowboy boot, tattoos sort of fella, who knows a bit about this and sometimes a lot about that. I'll have a crack at most things, although having a relationship? ... well that ship has sailed. I'm past my use-by date anyway, so I'm gonna make it all about me and surviving life as I know it ... or make it.