Sunday, May 17, 2009

flotsam & jetsam

Over summer, it is a weekend ritual to have morning tea with Tom’s parents and stretch our grey matter with the Saturday Weekend Liftout “Wordsmith”: a box with nine letters, from which can be made one nine-letter word and a number of smaller words. Tom’s mum presented us with an envelope full of wordsmith sheets to be rationed at one per week over the season. With brain matter stimulated, we sustain ourselves on almond milk chocolate smoothies for one blissful day of blending. It is Mother’s Day in Aus, but the phone tower is broken so we can’t send love messages to the mums at home.

There are only four private cars in the village, with regular transport by foot, bicycle, or scooter. We walk or ride our pushies everywhere, so it is exciting to join friends, Cath and Les, on an outing in their rented ute. The mission is to gather driftwood and cow shit from the south coast, both of which I plan to use to enhance to garden. Our previous driftwood hunts have been by bicycle, and there in lies the limiting factor of what can be salvaged.
Over the headland, the coast bares the full brunt of the onshore trade winds and I revel in the wild and salt laden air. We find a plastic tub with the words “Helinika Broome” and a phone number printed on it. We imagine ringing them to ask if they would like to come and retrieve their tub from the flotsam. The beach is littered with driftwood and my eyes dance like a kid in Toyworld; the creative potential is endless – chair, sculpture, plant holder, mobile, towel rail – every piece screams to be collected. The cow shit is not so vocal or enticing. Cath is collecting thongs for a collage. She fills two cement bags with multicoloured rubber in varying degrees of decay. Tom has a crazy idea about using the thong bounty as roof insulation. I will file that one away for Armageddon.

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thanks for taking the time

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