As you grow, some old shoots must wither

While writing to an Australian friend this morning, I found myself tempted to describe a planned hike as a bushwalk. I immediately checked myself, as expats so often do, and realized that I had not used the term bushwalk is so many years that it had been lost from my vocabulary. It made me so sad to think that there were parts of my speech, perhaps even parts of my Australianness, that were slipping away.

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Hands at ten and two, how I fell in love with bush driving

I’m a city girl. I love live music, good coffee and public transport. I don’t like driving in the city – there are too many people with too many destinations and too much else on their mind.

In the country, it’s different. Though I have often traveled with my loved ones, driving is a solitary activity. It’s just you, the road and your thoughts; but you can’t get too engrossed in them because your mind is on the road. It’s a bit like meditation: your thoughts come up like signposts and you recognize them as you’re moving on. Read More

Hello, possums!

Common ringtail possum. Image: Glen Fergus, creative commons.

Common ringtail possum. Image: Glen Fergus, creative commons.

How does a quick trip to the shops end with me returning home two hours late, covered in possum excrement and having had my brand new phone stolen? Welcome to the wacky world of Lyndal Cairns, professional bleeding heart and occasional wildlife rescuer.

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Swamp Parliament

Swamp Parliament by Lyndal Cairns

This poem was written in two parts, both in the Tropics. The idea of a ‘swamp parliament’ came to me in Kakadu National Park but the final stanza is very much located in Cairns, where the fig trees near the inner-city library are famous for their massive flying fox colonies.

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