Our seasons are weird, as I said before. Anyhow, the first six are: three banksias and three Acacia species.
Many Sydney people will be off to the coast, or inland, or anywhere, queuing in bumper-to-bumper traffic for hours, just to escape the crowds. We who stay here say nothing about how Sydney at Easter can be very quiet indeed, for most of the remaining locals gather in just a few crowded venues.
|In a research plot, fenced from rabbits,|
the flannel flowers and wattle do well.
|Here is a flannel flower or Actinotus,|
called by that name from the feel of the petals.
|Epacris longiflora, long known also|
as Native Fuchsia
In Canberra, and in the mountains west of Sydney, and in the more pretentious suburbs, their foreign deciduous trees are turning to autumn colours and losing their leaves. Elsewhere, people grow sensible Australian trees which are never bare, except after a bushfire.
|Glycine, a delicate member of the pea family|
|Grevillea buxifolia, the grey spider flower,|
is around for most of each year,
My wife and I found a whole new series of rock engravings two weeks ago on an isolated ridge. We will work our way slowly along the ridge, following the fine smooth sandstone bed that attracted the artists.
|Hakea or needle bush|
I go to ‘the Show’ about once in ten years, and always come away swearing I will never do it again. It looked for a while as if we would be going this year, and I found myself looking contemplatively at places I might fall from, breaking a leg as I land. That would have saved me, but strategically placed rain did the job instead. Now the crowds will be too large.
|Woollsia pungens commemorates an early Australian botanist,|
William Woolls. Like Grevillea buxifolia, it flowers all the
Instead, I am at home, doing a last listen to the mp3 files version of my next book, a massive Australian history, as big as three normal paperbacks, which will be called Not Your Usual Australian Tales.
I will have more to say about that in a week or so, but here's an anecdote from the end of my foreword:
On a personal note, I have another reason for doubting paper records: I was born in Queensland in the latter days of World War II. When my father, who was in the RAAF, moved north into “the islands”, my mother flew to Sydney with me as a babe in arms on an Air Force Catalina.
The RAAF was subject to inflexible regulations, and the number of passengers allowed on a Catalina was restricted. An Air Commodore on the flight ordered that I be embarked as a Gladstone bag, and that was how I appeared on the manifest, so anybody would seek in vain who sought evidence of my travels on faded, curled, foolscap sheets.
I am grateful to the Air Commodore, but according to my mother, not the most reliable of witnesses, I showed my gratitude at the time by throwing up on him. I tend to believe this, because I have always been a bit of an anarchist at heart, but posthumously (so far as he is concerned), I express my thanks to that kindly and probably slightly smelly Air Commodore.
Still, neither my travel nor the arc allegedly described by my stomach contents appear anywhere in any surviving record. There is a lesson there for us all.