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I dislike unfinished business, so here are a few updates: what happened next, or what got left out.

 

The cria – courtesy of my daughter's Facebook page

Lots of noise in the yard, and when I go to investigate, the cria is rounding up the chooks, with some enjoyment … S/he s very cute, and lets me catch him/her every morning for eye drops and a cuddle.This one, I say in my delusions, will be halter trained.

 

The twins

They began preschool at the beginning of September. My daughter posted a very brief, sad blog on their first day

How to feel like the biggest traitor. Ever. Take your kids to pre-school. Leave them there.

 

A week later she says

In this week, they seem to have grown up. After the first day, we are in the playground. Maja is complaining that a big boy is ruining her sand-bear that she is building. I tell him once to leave it alone, and afterwards say that it's up to her. When I look up again, I see her standing there, arm over her sandbear, looking the destroyer square in the eye and saying Don't TOUCH it. It's MINE. Janek is standing beside her in solidarity.

 

And at the end of two weeks she writes in a post called “Respect”

This is what I am starting to feel for my children as I watch them handling preschool …They are serious small people, dealing with a situation they don't always find easy with all the ingenuity in their power. I give them a stuffed possum each and tell them that when they feel sad they can hug it … I hear Maja repeating this to herself in the mornings, her little voice saying over and over again 'when I sad, I gunna hug my possum' as we approach the preschool. I see the triumph and elation in them after the first morning – it's clear as day that they are relieved, and proud of surviving. For the first week, Janek hugs Maja while she cries. The second week, Maja tackles Janek and wraps her arms around him while he heads for the door. They struggle with the concept of bravery (I no brave, Mummy. I cry) and can't wait to report back if they avoid tears.

Buying the land

For those of you who were onlookers when my son and his family were agonising over buying a bit of wilderness, settlement for 580 acres of Bundjalung land with a river frontage of 1.8 kilometres took place on September 11th at 1500 hours.

 

Photography: a memoir

I mentioned in my photography memoir the huge number of pre-digital real-world photo albums lining my bookshelf. In the radical study-purge I've been undertaking, I've been stunned by the appalling quality of most of the photos I've kept, and I've been chucking out blurs, compositional nonentities, what-the-heck-was-that-supposed-to-bes, and multiples of sub-standard shots. However there were a few pluses: I see the genesis of many current photographic passions such as rock patterns, bark, reflections, architectural detail and flowers; I recognise how much my photography has improved, thanks to experience, new knowledge, and the quality of my cameras; and I find two crisp $100 notes between photos, presumably part of a stash I hid during the GFC when banks looked as dodgy as my photography. Here's the pile of rejects, a few centimetres deep, nearly a shopping bag full. They have just gone into the garbage bin.

 

 

Swimming: a memoir

When I wrote the swimming post I failed to mention two books that have given me watery pleasure. One is Roger Deakin's Waterlog, which documents his adventures swimming across England via many waterways. The other is Blue mind by Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, who draws on neuroscience, environmental psychology, philosophy, poetry and experience to explain the attraction and the psychological effects of water.

 

Dargue's mine

In a recent post I mentioned the potential threat to many aspects of life along the Deua River and out to sea from gold-processing in the headwaters. For once there's good environmental news. After community submissions, support from the local state parliamentarian, and strong objections from two local councils, gold-processing on the site will not go ahead.