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My stamina for focused reading has dropped right off, although I can devour a lightweight detective story in three gulps. So I discipline myself to sit for a solid hour with notebook, pen and Kindle, as I read “The years of extermination: Nazi German and the Jews 1939-1945” by Saul Friedländer. I recharge the iPad in another room so I can’t flick it on to check this and that. By the time I’ve finished, I’ve learnt more than my heart wants to know.

After lunch walk struggles with doze. Walk wins. Along my street past a cluster of mushrooms, the big-as-a-dinner-plate ones, pushing through the loose soil on the verge, some smaller and creamy-brown, one with a peeling browned-meringue top. Up the board stairs, watching my footing carefully, and down on to Jemisons Beach, high sandcliffs a legacy of heavy seas. 



I find a sand-shelf just the right height for sitting and let the sun, the breeze, and the sound of the sea relax me. My companions are a swathe of sea-weed and a white crab claw. I watch the waves crashing on the rocks, counting to seven as I wait for the next big one. 

When I’m sufficiently soothed I head towards the track behind the dunes and discover freshgoldenred seaweed, traces of the ocean far beyond what I thought was its reach. Along the track, more fungi: beige spots and stripes, rich velvety brown, orange, and brilliant red. 


There are tiny flowers, even wattle with its fist-buds, and in my front yard minute red mushrooms lurking under the creeping foliage of scurvy weed.

Oh and near home, traces of the hobbit among the casuarinas.