I am still alive, but have been slogging away at my two uni subjects. The first trimester is now finished, hence the title. Still six more units until I finish first year, so it’s slow going, but at least I can do units during Summer, which I am looking forward to. For now though, it’s time for a break.

Here in Victoria, the weather is a mixed bag of joyous Spring sunshine, and wild wind and rain, so we never quite know where we are. I’m a bit jealous of Sydney friends who post pictures of themselves immersed in salt-water at beautiful beaches, and it reminds me of what seemed like endless Summer, the few years that I lived in Bondi. I imagine myself walking down Curlewis St, the world feeling simple and free (though that is probably filtered a bit by hindsight) and seeing the happy, glittery expanse of Bondi Beach coming into view. It was such a charmed interlude.

We have been in the Victorian countryside, which is alight with yellow daisies, enough to elicit lines of poetry from me as we drive through the bucolic patchwork of yellow and green.

 

In early Spring yellow

everywhere beginning with the glow of canola

and bell shaped blooms of  sour-grass, the wattle on

the other hand

it ended,

everywhere

with the black hearted daisies that took the land from there to here,

in all directions,

yellow.

 

Lady has been collecting scraggly fistfuls of stolen flowers everywhere that we go, in the spirit of Spring, and I have little vases filled all over the place.

Lady's flowers

I have all kinds of plans for the four or five weeks until the next trimester begins, and they include some blogging, some reading (to slowly finish the David Malouf poetry and to read Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and maybe, if I order it, Anna Spargo-Ryan’s The Paper House, which I hear so many good things about).

My heart is made restless for faraway places that I long to see, by reading Zanni Louise’s meandering tales of European travels in the sunshine. Visit her blog to see where your imagination goes when you read of their long days of gypsy wandering.

I want to work on a long poem that I have conceived, after spending the last five weeks working on an epic poem for uni. I have loved many of the academic readings, and to immerse myself in the critical literature and other peoples work has been the greatest pleasure. My biggest, most outlandish idea coming from it all is to finish the first draft of my book by the end of this year. I have barely touched it since I began uni, as I have needed the time to do the necessary readings and work for my units, but now I think, 30-40 thousand words more is not so very much, especially when I am not editing yet, just letting it all out.

Here is the smallest excerpt, that I am working on at the moment:

 

She turned from Clara, striding fluidly to the open door and down the hallway, into Clara’s room. Her eyes fell on the empty cradle and her eyebrows rose in confusion. Clara looked again, to see if she could believe her eyes. Maggie was still gone. She took Christina’s hand, imploring,

“Where’s Ed?”,

and Christina shrugged her shoulders, mystified,

“I don’t know?”, her face illuminated, “Oh surely they’re just in the kitchen. What time is it? Is it morning already?”.

Clara gave a small cry,

“They’re not in the kitchen, Christina! It’s freezing outside. He can’t have taken her to milk the cows!”.

She ran to the kitchen, looked at her mother’s clock on top of the mantelpiece. It read twenty minutes past two. Christina followed, peering at the time. Vivian nuzzled into her, already asleep again. The women stared at each other in the dim light. Clara grabbed Christina’s arm, and cried urgently,

“Oh God, Christina. What has he done?”

 

Oh, and by the way, the winner of this years Richell Prize was announced a few days ago, and you can read the first chapter of the winning entry here. I have some work to do to match the sparse beauty of her prose. Well done to her! I can’t wait to see the finished book on the shelves of my local bookshop.

 

PS Check out Eat My Street to read about the lovely and talented Collette from the Morning Drum, and try the chocolate brownies that are Collette’s favourite recipe. I cooked them this afternoon in celebration of uni break and they are very special indeed!

Linking up with #IBOT