Jericho

Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 2.00.53 pm As a songwriter, sometimes you write a song that is difficult to share. All artists experience this, no matter what their media of choice is, and it can be hard to know whether the art you’ve made is really meant for others to see or if it’s just too personal.

I’ve had a few of these moments myself, but this song I’m sharing today has been the hardest yet – I’ve sat on it for a year, too unsure to share it. As I’ll explain, this song is very personal and emotional for me, but I decided the issues it deals with are so universal that sharing it might actually do some good. If something that started out as an exercise in personal therapy helps someone else, then it will have been a worthwhile exercise.

So let’s back up a little bit…

I’ve always wanted to write a song called ‘Jericho’, I’m not quite sure why. I’m not at all religious, so why should a Biblical story resonate so much with me? Hmm.

For those who don’t know, the story is about Joshua leading the Israelites, on a mission from God, to destroy the Canaan city of Jericho. After being told by God to walk around the walls of the city each day for six days, on the seventh day God tells Joshua to walk around it seven times, then blow their trumpets and shout, and the walls of the city will tumble. Joshua follows God’s instructions, with extreme patience, and everything comes to pass as God predicted (surprise, surprise).

This story was most familiar to me through the African-American gospel song ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho’, which I knew as a child. Then, in my early teens, I heard a song sung by Hilary Duff called ‘Jericho’, which was an utterly rubbish song, but really got me thinking about Jericho as a metaphor.

The Biblical message of Joshua and Jericho is to have faith, and patience, in God’s work. And that, through this faith, your obstacles will be overcome. As I’m not a Christian, I don’t share that precise interpretation, but I do believe it can be a useful metaphor for our struggles in life.

We all have our own personal Jericho. Something we have to overcome that is stopping us from achieving our goals. For many of us, it’s just the voice in our own head telling us we’re not good enough.

A year ago, I had a very close family friend take his own life. It was a shock for all that knew him, even though he had struggled with depression for many years and had previously talked about ending his life. But we weren’t expecting it. He was such a wonderful person, who had been like an honorary uncle to me when I was growing up, and his absence was felt deeply by all his friends and family.

I was miserable for the first week after it happened. I couldn’t concentrate on anything properly. I’d walk to the supermarket and then completely forget what I was there to buy. I was upset and shocked and angry and numb all at the same time. Of course, we all had the thought along the lines of ‘Could I have done something?’ Could any of us have actually changed the course of events he had set out for himself?

The sad reality is that we probably couldn’t have. He made some bad choices which left him struggling financially, and he had too much pride to accept charity. Friends tried to help him, but he refused all offers of help. His sense of self-worth was so low that possibly he felt like he didn’t deserve it, but he also couldn’t see how much he was going to be missed. Everyone who knew him could see all the gifts he had to offer the world and he enriched the lives of all of us. It is such a shame that he couldn’t see this himself.

He was always particularly generous and kind to me, as I was growing up. As I became an adult, he always wanted to know what I was up to and my mum kept him well informed. A thought that upset me a lot after he passed away, was that he was no longer going to witness important moments in my life. We all have people that we expect will be there to see good things happen in our lives. After he was gone, I realised he wasn’t going to see a lot of things I’d hoped he would see. Like the rest of my extended family and close friends, I’d expected him to be around to see me finish my degree, settle into a proper job, get married and have kids…and realising I wasn’t going to be able to share any of that with him still makes me very sad.

About a week after he died, I started writing songs about him. I needed to process my emotions somehow, and songwriting is the best way I know how to do that. I wasn’t intending the songs to be for anyone else to hear, but when I wrote ‘Jericho’ I felt that maybe I’d made something worth sharing. It was one of those songs that just wrote itself, requiring very little effort on my part. All the years I’d been thinking about Jericho as a song led up to this, and I think it was worth the wait.

Today marks a year since I lost a bright star from my life, so it seemed like an appropriate time to share this song. I’ve been hesitant to share it at all, simply because my emotional connection to it is so intense, but in the end I decided that those are the songs you should share.

Everyone goes through tough times, but when you’re going through them remember that there is always – ALWAYS – someone who cares about you and wants to help. And if you see someone else struggling, say something. Offer to help, offer to listen. We all need to look after each other.

Your Jericho might be all in your mind but, because of that, it is always in your power to send the walls tumbling down.

So don’t ever give up.

Because there will always be someone who’ll be sad if you do.

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The F Word

There is a word that has developed a bit of a bad reputation. Yes, I’m talking about feminism.

I don’t call myself a feminist (even though I am), because there are people out there who misunderstand what that word means. Do I believe in women’s rights? Of course I do. Do I think male privilege exists? Of course it does. Do I believe there is inbuilt gender bias in our society? You’re damn right I do. Would I like to wave a magic wand and change all this? You bet. By definition, I am a feminist.

Just for clarification, here is the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ‘feminism’:

“The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

Okay? Are we all agreed on that? Alright, moving on.

And yet, I choose not to identify myself using that word. Why? Because I’m concerned that if I do, there are people who won’t take me seriously.

The sad reality is that the debate on gender inequality has long been centered around the issue of ‘man-hating feminists’. All feminists are lumped together under the one umbrella, and the F word has become something that even women who believe in feminist ideas don’t want to be associated with.

I’m not trying to play the blame game here. Feminists are often angry (and rightly so) about the inequalities women face. In turn, men come across this anger, feel it is directed at them, and lash out in response. Well, that’s productive… Issues like this tend to polarise people, so of course there are going to be opposing sides of the debate. But this kind of us vs. them/’I hate you, you hate me’ debate gets us nowhere.

Gender inequality is much more accurate name for this issue than ‘feminism’, because there are inequalities on both sides. Unfortunately, these are not distributed evenly and women tend to bear the heavier side of the scales.

As a young, white, Australian woman, from a small, middle-class family, I have privileges. Both my parents obtained university degrees and used them to good effect. My dad was the main bread-winner, while my mum stayed home looking after me and doing part time work. She was lucky that she had this option, as many women do not. But do you not think that my dad would have jumped at the chance to be home all day with us too? Unfortunately, someone had to support the family financially. My dad had (and still has) a well paying job, which meant that my mum was not forced into the workforce and I was not forced into childcare. My mum did not have to fight for adequate maternity leave and risk not having a job to come back to. As my years steadily advance, I am faced with the prospect that someday I will want to start a family of my own. And, when that happens, what will become of my career?

As of right now, I have very little career to speak of. Due to health issues I’ve had in the past, I can’t work and simultaneously study full-time. So, here I am, at 24, finally studying a degree in a subject I’m passionate about, with the goal of then getting a job that uses those skills – a job that pays well, and that will provide me with choices when the time comes to have kids.

Anti-feminists argue that having a child is the woman’s choice. Which is (mostly) true. They argue that if a woman chooses to have a child she knows what the deal is, so she shouldn’t complain when she’s forced to take time off work. However it is not our choice that we are the only gender of our species who can bear children. And it’s not men’s choice either. It’s just biology. So why is it that women are often forced to choose between their career and their family, while men are not? There are plenty of stay-at-home dads out there, and I think that’s fantastic. But the reality is that women are the ones expected to become the main carers for their children, while men are expected to provide for their family. This separation of gender roles is one thing that really irks me. Our culture has been this way for so long, that it’s not going to change overnight. But so many women accept their position in society without asking why. This inbuilt gender bias is something that all people experience and perpetuate, sometimes unknowingly.

Another anti-feminist argument that annoys me is the one that goes something like “Men and women are different and have different needs so gender equality is impossible”. True, I have different needs to my male counterparts. But the issue is that my needs, as a female, are often not taken into account as much as a man’s. The best example of this is the ‘tampon tax’. In Australia, sanitary products such as tampons and pads are taxed. Condoms are subsidised and therefore cheaper than they would be if they faced the same tax as sanitary products. Condoms are important. Let’s just get that out of the way. If you’re having sex, you should use them (unless you’re trying to get pregnant, obviously). But sex is optional (again, unless you’re trying to have kids…), it’s a choice. Periods are not a choice. Trust me, if they were optional most of us women would choose not to have them!! They’re a pain (literally). They’re uncomfortable and unpleasant and a hassle. But we put up with them because we have to. What’s crazy is that the products we need to manage our periods safely are not subsidised. We pay what they cost because we don’t have a choice. But how great would it be if each month your period didn’t cost you the best part of $20?

There are many other ways in which women are disadvantaged over men. Why is that? Because the people who have the power to change these inequalities are predominately men. Now, before you put me in the ‘man-hating’ box, let me just say this – men are great. To quote Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid”. There are many men in my life that I love and respect – my father, my brother, my boyfriend, my grandfathers, my friends, and my nephew (still a boy, but will be a man before too long!) – and their rights mean just as much to me as my own. I’m a lover, not a hater. I don’t hate on individuals. That’s mean. What I hate are ideas and ideologies that are illogical, make no sense, and are founded on fallacies. And anyone who argues that male privilege doesn’t exist, that women have everything they need and should stop whining, is making an illogical argument. Yes, there are issues that affect men more than women. More men are homeless, more men take their own life, and many men feel they cannot be open about their feelings for fear of not being ‘manly’ enough and being judged accordingly. But these issues are seperate to that of women’s rights and should not be bartered against each other. The ‘feminism’ issue gets clouded by ‘men’s rights’ groups which are mostly arrogant white men with privileges complaining that they can’t express their feelings, therefore they are underprivileged. In my mind, these groups just reaffirm the idea of male privilege and make it harder for gender equality to make progress.

As far as I’m concerned, regardless of what gender you are, if you don’t support women’s rights, you’re sexist. If you buy into gender stereotypes, and think a woman’s place is in the home, you’re sexist. If someone mentions the statistics on domestic violence against women and you find yourself retorting with stats on men’s suicide rates, you’re sexist. If you don’t think feminism is a good thing, you’re sexist.

You don’t have to agree with someone’s methods to agree with their ideas.

I have to be a feminist. Because, if I wasn’t, I’d be sexist.

There’s no grey area on this one.

Don’t be an idiot. Be a feminist.

 

But maybe a ‘small f’ feminist for now, until the f word loses some of its power…

 

 

Sometimes (I think I’m over you)

I’m sure everyone single one of you can relate to the process of trying to get over someone.

Process is definitely the right word.

It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not always permanent.

When you first lose someone you care about it hurts. No matter how it happens. But then, after a while you suddenly realise it’s 4 in the afternoon and you haven’t thought about them yet today. And soon you can go the whole day without them entering your thoughts at all. But, inevitably, they’ll be back before too long. You can be enjoying your day, going about your business, and then you see someone across the street that looks like them or their favourite song comes on the radio.

I know in my case, I find it takes a really really long time to fully get over somebody. And I’m talking months, if not years. That’s my personal experience and I know everyone is different. But it’s incredibly tough when the other person moves on before you, no matter how long it’s been since you were together.

I wrote this song quite a few months ago, about this very situation. About the moment when you’ve got enough distance from everything to realise that maybe the other person is not entirely to blame for what happened. About the feeling of loving and hating them at the same time. And about those times when you really miss them, but you know they’re never coming back.

Just to clarify, I am now completely over said person. And writing this song actually helped me work that out. This isn’t an unusual step in the songwriting process for me and it’s one of the reasons why I love it. The song is definitely more about me than about the other person.

We all get our hearts broken at some point or another. That’s just a fact of life. But it doesn’t make it any easier to live through.

But we do get through it.

We all come out the other side.

Eventually we stop thinking about them all the time, and only think about them sometimes. And then you reach the point where, when you do think of them, it doesn’t hurt anymore.

 

(One benefit of getting my heart broken over and over again is I get plenty of songwriting material! 😛 Listen to ‘Sometimes’ and my many other songs on similar topics any time you like on my Soundcloud page.)

Sometimes

It’s been a while since I heard from you
It’s been a while since you heard from me too
But lately you’ve been on my mind
I can’t explain it, so don’t ask why

Sometimes I think I’m over us
That all the memories have turned to dust
But then you enter my thoughts and I can’t make you leave
Just like I couldn’t make you stay with me

[chorus]
Sometimes your eyes
Make me fall or make me fly
Sometimes your voice
Makes me scream or just forget all the noise

I had a dream about you last night
I met your girlfriend and we had a fight
She thought I was trying to win you back
I said “Honey, don’t worry – I’ve never had the knack”

Coz guys come around but they never wanna stay
I don’t know why they all walk away
I think sometimes I hold on too tight
Or I let them walk away when I should put up a fight

[chorus]

Why did I let you treat me this way?
Why did I hold back everything I wanted to say?
Why did I let you walk away?
Why did I never once ask you to stay?

It’s been a while since I heard from you
It’s been a while since you heard from me too
But I had a dream about you last night
And I missed you so much that it made me cry

[chorus x2]

The Summer of ’44

Any songwriter knows good songs don’t always come easy. They also don’t always turn out right the first time.

There have been a few of my songs where the original idea has been good, but my execution was a bit below par. In some cases I’ve given up at this point, but in others I’ve come back to the song months or even years later and tried to make it the song it could be.

The song I’d like to share with you today is in exactly that category.

I first had the idea for “The Summer of ’44” when I was about sixteen. I had a bash at writing it but was never very happy with it. So it’s sat there for at least six years, just waiting for me to be ready to come back to it again. Tonight was that moment.

I’m not going to talk too much about what the song is about, because it’s pretty self explanatory and I don’t believe in spoilers. The audio quality of my recording is pretty terrible, so the lyrics are below if you can’t make them out at times.

Hope you like it! 🙂

The Summer of ’44

You sit down to write him a letter
Wishing life would get a little better
But maybe the war will end soon
And bring him home to you

The nights are long and the days are slow
And your rations always seem to be low
Five months is far too long
To be apart from someone you love

You don’t know how you’re gonna get
From one day to the next
But you do know that you’ll never forget
The summer of forty four

[chorus]
Always waiting for the letter telling you he’s coming home
Always hoping things will get better each day you turn on the radio
You listen for the words “the war is over”
Children hunt for four-leaf-clover
You hope that they’ll remember life before
The summer of forty four

Now the water supply is going down
And the fields on the farm are brown
Tom gets sick and you can’t afford the doctor
Money is running lower than the water

You don’t know how you’re gonna get
From one day to the next
You wonder if anyone will ever forget
The summer of forty four

[chorus]
Always waiting for the letter telling you he’s coming home
Always hoping things will get better each day you turn on the radio
You listen for the words “the war is over”
Children hunt for four-leaf-clover
You wish you could remember life before
The summer of forty four

You remember the death of your baby brother
You remember the day you became a mother
And you remember too well the day he left
There are some things you can never forget

One day there comes a letter
But this one won’t make anything better
You know what it says before you read it
But you just don’t want to hear it

Now you know you’ll never get
From one day to the next
And you pray to God to help you forget
The summer of forty four

[chorus]
Always re-reading the letter telling you of the final blow
Remembering when you were together, knowing he’s never coming home
Sometimes you think it must be a dream
The children ask you if it’s real
You wish they didn’t have to endure
The summer of forty four

Oh, the summer of forty four

Let Yourself Be Colourful

I’ve always tried to live my life without regret. I know I will make mistakes along the way, because everyone does, but I’ve always planned to just learn from them and move on.

The reality is that I’ve made a lot of mistakes and a lot I haven’t learnt from. And I often dwell on these mistakes and wonder how I could have avoided them.

In my relationships with other people I’ve often made choices that haven’t worked out for the best in the long run. I’ve lost relationships, I’ve lost friendships and, in some cases, both.

Recently I realised that one of my more common mistakes is to play down how I feel. It’s probably due to all my years of theatre classes, but I got very good at covering up how I really feel so that everyone around me thinks I’m an incredibly laid back, chilled out, happy person. If I were to put this bluntly I’d say I’m good at hiding my feelings. When I’m upset I pretend everything’s fine. When I’m overjoyed to the point where I feel like I’ll burst, I act all casual. I’m that annoying female who says “I’m fine.” when I’m really not. This makes romantic relationships problematic, and I think that this has been my downfall in the past.

We’re all afraid of being hurt. Human frailty is a part of who we are. But sometimes we can take it too far. Sometimes in our scramble to avoid getting hurt by others, we end up hurting ourselves.

I started this pattern at a young age. As a child I was extremely badly bullied in school, and I learnt very quickly that getting upset in front of the other kids just led to more teasing. I was told not to react, so that the bullies would think they weren’t hurting me and give up. So I desperately tried not to show how hurt I was every time someone made a joke at my expense. I taught myself not to cry when no one wanted to play with me at lunchtime. If I couldn’t contain my emotions I hid in the playground somewhere until I could.

In the last twelve odd years, not much has changed.

When I’m on my own, my emotions are like a roller coaster. I can feel elated, crushed, embarrassed, excited, overjoyed and pissed off all in one afternoon. If I’m around other people, I doubt anyone else would notice the changes in how I feel.

What this means is that people don’t realise when they hurt me, or when they make me happy. I can feign indifference, then come home and cry all evening or dance around my bedroom (depending on which way it went).

As a teenager, when I liked a guy, I would constantly write in my diary something like “But I can’t do [such-and-such], because then he might realise I like him!” – guess what! I still behave like that! When I really like someone I work overtime to be cool as a cucumber. I don’t drop hints, I don’t obviously hang around him all the time… I might watch him subtly from the other side of the room but that’s about it. And then I wonder why I’m still single…

I’ve been single for three years now, with a little blip half way through which didn’t amount to anything. I used to think it was because the guy met another girl he liked more, so he dated her instead of me. But now I’m not so sure. Now I wonder if it wasn’t my fault all along. I was pretty casual when I was with this guy, especially when our mutual friends were around. I let him make most of the moves and when he stopped talking to me I didn’t ask him why. I tried so hard not to be the clingy, desperate girl that I think I went too far the other way. I went so far the other way that he thought I wasn’t that interested.

This is where I let us both down. Because I was interested. I was really interested. I didn’t just like the guy, I really liked the guy. But I didn’t want to be too forward or too pushy, or basically do anything that might drive him away. And what happened? He left.

So here comes the moral of the story – don’t always stay in the grey emotions. Sometimes let yourself be black or white. Or silver or orange or purple! Let yourself have colour. Let your emotions show sometimes, bring them out when they really matter. Don’t let people you care about think you don’t care at all. Don’t lose them because of something you didn’t say.

But also know when to put on the “everything’s okay” face, because sometimes it’s useful!

You have to open up, to let people see who you really are and what you really feel.

Meet a nice guy? Tell him how nice he is. See a pretty girl at the bus station? Compliment her scarf or her eyes. Your boyfriend of two months dumps you in a cafe and says it’s because things are getting “too serious”? Tip his coffee in his lap and walk out.

Okay, so maybe don’t make a habit out of dumping coffee on people – only use that one when necessary!!

The main thing is, don’t be grey. Don’t stay in the safe zone. You may think no one can hurt you there, but that’s only because no one can reach you.

Let people reach you. Let yourself be a person people will want to reach. Be a person who has colour, who has light and shade.

And, most importantly, be you.

Because, let’s face it, you’re pretty awesome!

Kodak Moments

This week I wrote a song called ‘Kodak Moments’.

It was one of those songs that just happened, as if it was writing itself. I didn’t even realise what I was trying to say until I’d completed it.

You can listen to it at the bottom of this post, but please read it through first.

 

Life is made up of moments.

Whether we want to forget or remember them, a moment is just that – a moment. Once it’s gone you can’t get it back. The world keeps spinning around the sun and, even when bad things happen, life goes on. People are born, people die. But, somewhere, life always goes on.

Lately it seems has been a lot of tragedy around the world. A few weeks ago 50 people were killed, and 50 more injured, in a mass shooting at an Orlando LGBT nightclub. Last Sunday saw the worst terrorist attack carried out by Islamic State, which left nearly 300 Iraqis dead on the streets of Baghdad. In the last few days we have seen 2 black American men unnecessarily killed by police, which sparked a surge of posts online sporting the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, and protests all over the USA. At one of these protests 4 gunmen tried to take justice in their own hands and shot at white police officers who were standing by in case they were needed. 12 officers were shot, 5 fatally.

Looking at these incidents of violence, you’d have to be a pretty callus person not to feel some sadness.

 

But please don’t feel hate. Hate is not a productive response. Feel upset, sad, sympathetic, empathetic, even angry. But don’t feel hate. Don’t fight hate with hate, don’t fight guns with guns.

Do you want to see a change in the way we, as humans, coexist with each other? Then work to achieve harmony. Harmony means working together to find a solution. Harmony means all sides pulling together for the greater good. It doesn’t mean shooting at each other or discriminating against a particular religion, race or gender. It means offering each other a helping hand when things go wrong.

Because things do go wrong.

We’re human. We all make mistakes. Some of us make bigger mistakes than others. But we can also all make amends.

You only get a certain number of moments alive. And you never know exactly when your quota is going to run out. So make them count. Don’t spend your moments hating each other. Let’s move forward together, not divided.

Do #BlackLivesMatter? Of course they do.

But #AllLivesMatter.

#YourLifeMatters.

So make it full of great moments. Meaningful moments.

Your moments.

Kodak Moments

My life fit into a dozen boxes
I was only seventeen
Birthday cards and broken hearts
And everything in between

I tried to stop the earth from spinning
I tried to slow it down
But now I know that’s the way it goes
It keeps going around

[chorus]
This great big world keeps us moving
What great big dreams are you pursuing?
It’s time to start a brand new chapter
Of the Kodak moments we try to capture

We fit into a million moments
A million miles away
I’m so far from where you are
And I can’t seem to find a way to stay

I wonder if we’ll meet again
In another time and place
I wonder why I feel like I
Am always losing the race

[chorus]
This great big world keeps us moving
What great big dreams are you pursuing?
It’s time to start a brand new chapter
Of the Kodak moments we try to capture

The years roll on and the years roll fast
Nothing stays the same and nothing lasts
We make mistakes and we make amends
Things begin and then they end

My life fit into a dozen
And my hand fit into yours
A memory under lock and key
Where secrets are stored

And even though you were just a boy
And I was just a girl
I’ll never forget the time we spent
Spinning around with the world

[chorus]
This great big world that keeps us moving
And the great big dreams we were pursuing
It’s time to start a brand new chapter
Of the Kodak moments we try to capture

[chorus]
This great big world keeps us moving
What great big dreams are you pursuing?
It’s time to start a brand new chapter
Of the Kodak moments we try to capture

The Kodak moments we try to capture

The Tale of a Canberra Garden: Winter

Today was one of those spectacular Canberra winter days, where it was absolutely freezing but there was not a cloud in the sky.

Garden web-1

These are the days I remember from my childhood here. I have memories of dancing on a frosty lawn before school, seeing how much of the ice crystals I could crush before our bright red Toyota Camry station wagon left the garage. We had a large tree stump in our backyard and I used to jump off it to see how precise I could make the impressions of my shoes on the icy grass.

I wasn’t doing anything like that this morning (in fact, I spent the entire morning in bed finishing the book I was reading) but, while I made my morning cup of peppermint tea, I stood at the kitchen window admiring the crystals on the ground and the crystal clear blue sky.

The last few weeks have had a lot more rain than usual for the time of year, so it’s a relief to see my beloved winter weather coming back. I don’t much enjoy numb fingers (which are just a fact of life here in the winter) but I can cope with anything as long as the sun shines.

When I lived in New Zealand as a teenager, the weather used to get me down – it just rained. All year round. In winter we could go for weeks without seeing the sun and I used to sit in my room, watching water droplets run down my window, missing the Canberra frosts and fog.

This afternoon I hummed to myself (and to my cat, who was lurking in the bushes), as I hung out the washing. I admired my broad bean seedlings that are growing rapidly after all the rain we’ve had.

Garden web-2

I also noticed that, by some freak of nature, the hibiscus in our pool house (which acts like a glasshouse) are still flowering. They haven’t noticed the frosty nights and are carrying on with their gay blooms as if it was mid-summer. The irony of this is that we’ve spent five summers trying to coax them to flower and this year they finally got the hang of it – it seems that now they’ve started they can’t stop.

Garden web-3

As I headed inside I had to walk up the steps onto the deck, which leads to the back door. The deck is surrounded by the bare tendrils of our wisteria. Bare apart from its velvety seed pods, which I can’t help fingering on my way past.

Garden web-5

In spring the vines will be covered in giant sprigs of glorious purple flowers. Bees will be everywhere. Soon after the flowers drop, green shoots will appear and in a few weeks the entire deck will be encased in a lush green hedge. We’ll eat our summer evening meals out there, swatting away mosquitoes. But soon enough autumn will come around again and the leaves will turn yellow and fall. Mandy (the cat) will make her usual autumn bed in them.

I looked around the backyard before I went back into the warm house and my eyes were caught by the ornamental Manchurian Pears, with their branches covered in buds ready to burst in a few short weeks. Already other trees around town have started to blossom and we even have some jonquils out in our garden too.

Garden web-4

It’s an encouraging sign of the next season, just around the corner.

Canberra winters always seem short to me. I just get used to the cold and I suddenly notice it’s getting warmer. It won’t be long now before I stop needing to wear my woollen coat every time I leave the house. That won’t be happening this week though – on the weekend we saw the first snow on the Brindabella ranges to the west. I watched it falling from our kitchen window on Friday afternoon. It had melted by lunchtime the following day, but it’s made the last few days extra cold.

So, for now, I’ll huddle into my cosy bed every night and try to avoid spending too much time out of doors during the day. But when I do step out and look at the blue sky with a smile on my face.

Life is good, whenever the sun shines 🙂

And if all else fails I just listen to this song: