Lazuli Green Island Mama

Lazuli Green Island Mama

Monday, December 20, 2010

Island traffic

Boys and boats

Four boats deep at the commuter wharf

a nice spot for a Friday evening picnic

Some might think that an inability to see over the steering wheel would present a problem when driving a boat. We like to think that we're open-minded.

A 7 yr old heart, singing.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

another arrival

It is the season of the arrival.

Last week it was the girls. O how nicely they have settled in. They are getting bigger by the day and now have three extra friends to play with! Crayon, Chalkey and Fumee arrived at the Chook Coop Co-op last weekend. Today the girls pecked away through the woodpile termites and nasturtiums and managed to avoid the lawn mower. They were all snuggled together when I checked on them this evening.

This week's arrival is... another barbeque! How many barbeques does one family need? Let's hope it's not the same number as fishing rods. To be fair to the Zimbabwean, this barbeque was delivered free with something else. It will be sworn in to Island life tomorrow. I'm hopeful that even I could use this one! And one of the old bbq's has retired to the back-yard to become my potting table. That brings us back down to 3.

So.. the other (very exciting) arrival this week was the new boat. Ah... little, white boat... How we have waited for you! Some have been pondering you for as many as four long months. Others have heard nothing but ponderings about you. But we are all so happy you are here. Such new freedom and hope for discovery! Such personal humiliation as we learn to navigate you without crashing - rather unceremoniously - into the public wharf, only to then take half an hour to tie you securely to the jetty.

You will get used to the jostling (ok, more like clunking), little white boat. Soon you won't mind that you're becoming scratched and beaten. You'll be just like Noddy's little red car and "parp parp" when we approach, eager to take us safely wherever we'd like to go. You'll become accustomed to the clambering up your ladder. We'll learn to tie you with the twist of a wrist and a wriggle of a finger. Johnno must already be your favourite, as he's doing very well at the parking and driving bit already.

The little white boat has made this weekend feel as fresh and exciting as our first weekend on the island. Last night at dusk, the four of us were sitting in her, just drifting, on the edge of the national park, smiling hearts opening up to the evening sounds coming from the bush. The boys love her and have both already taken great pride in driving her, tying up their body boards to her railings, jumping off her stern into the water and tying her ropes to the jetty. The learning curve is steep for Johnno and I. With the added stresses pertaining to child safety, we sometimes forget to take a breath, sit back and watch the boys' faces.

But there will be time. We did all sit on the jetty today, dripping wet, sharing snacks with new friends, sun shining on our faces. The new friends followed us home, stayed for dinner, and beers, and tea. We'll see more of them tomorrow whilst at the community café. We have so much to learn and explore together.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Calling for girlie reinforcements

Despite my bad moods of late, something quite exciting arrived here yesterday...

our first three chickens!

What a grumpy grumpy mama I've been. Can't think why. Perhaps it's because each time I turn around those two naughty little boyks are up to something: waggling naked body parts off the top deck of our house to passing traffic; breaking my key ring and scattering my keys around the house without telling me; stealing chocolate chip cookies before I've even gotten out of bed in the morning.

Or perhaps it was the disrobing of raincoats and gumboots whilst still actually out in the rain so that everything became wet inside and out and muddy all over. It could have been the way they scattered various precious family christmas decorations over the floor; waking me in the middle of the night to tell me their bed is wet; demanding food all day. Or perhaps it was their refusal to cease jumping in and out of other people's boats, untying ropes, hauling in anchors and letting boats drift around in the water!

I feel like I'm a crazy woman. The rain looks beautiful, it really does. The water and bush surrounding us is glistening. But our water tanks are actually overflowing (what does one do when one's water tank overflows??) and when the boys play outside I despair at the croup that may descend on us at midnight. Ha! That's it! Tomorrow I'll fill the bath (and it's a BIG bath!) and let them play in that. It may not be as satisfying as the boats down at the jetty but it might just buy me half an hour of peace. Ahhhh.

Where was I? O, yes. The chookies. So, you see, I think to be a truly crazy woman - but also deeply satisfied - a woman needs chooks. Just as my house was made complete with a big timber table for craft, my backyard is almost complete with the addition of chooks.

We bought our chooks from a delightful local nursery [New Leaf in Elanora Heights] which even had a notice board for chook natural remedies. Then off we set for the ferry - a crazy woman armed with a cat cage holding our 3 new precious girls, 3 bags of feed, a feeder, 2 children who won't listen to a word I say when it comes to boating and ferry safety, 2 school bags and a life jacket. And it was raining. O and I was also carrying a pot of flowers. Did I mention "craaaaazy woman"?

I'm not an expert on the psychology of chooks (yet) so I'm peering into the chook pen every now and then, clucking away, trying to bond with my girls - make them feel at home. I've added garlic to their drinking water (to boost their immune systems), generously thrown in some rice porridge and peaches and homemade multigrain bread. I've lovingly tied a tarp' over their pen, just to ensure that they don't get too soggy. And I've discovered that Noah and Chooch already know how to handle chooks, much better than I. My 4 year old gave me a lesson (he's been talking to chooks for a year already, Noah for 4!). As annoying as I'm finding them today, those boys still warm my heart when they have a chook tucked under their arm (or when they do breast-stroke at swimming).

Noah has named his girl Mercedes, after his favourite girl in 6th class.
Choochie named his Charlotte (possibly a reference to Charlotte's web?).
And the third? Well, the Zimbabwean and I have named her Ruby Tuesday Nandos. There's something comforting in that name for me. Perhaps it's just putting a name to the kind of crazy I'm feeling this week. When I call her ["here Bokbokbok... Ruby Tuesday Nandos chook chook chookieeeee!"] I really do feel like I'm letting my freak flag fly.

(I promise there will be photos soon)