Written 15 June,2020
Returning to the river, GG and I, with our hearts singing but also in our mouths. Singing because my heart is in our bay. Worried, because K has become very dependent on us, and we on her, I suppose. It happens so quickly, when a grow-up child returns home, it’s so comfy to slip into becoming a child again, having your meals cooked, your washing done, that nest of warmth and love. And GG and I are addicted nest-builders. A dangerous combination. We’re come away for just two nights, to measure and photograph trees, to fix the flying fox that broke down as we left, to begin the job of moving the solar system out to the pontoon, to check on my veggie garden and fill the grey water tank. We’re leaving K with old Marg, to look after each other. Marg is happy with this but K isn’t, though they like each other very much. I cook chicken casseroles and make salads so they can eat while we’re away as if they’re feasting on take-aways. I organise Eseta, K’s wonderful carer from the NDIS, to drive her to the doctor tomorrow. Public transport is still a worry. They say don’t use if if you can avoid it.
Two nights if everything doesn’t go wrong. As it so often does, at the river.
At the boatyard where we berth, DB good-heartedly helps us with our boxes and shopping – commenting that without K, we travel lightly- and thank goodness for him because we’re travelling not traveling lightly but with a brand new generator to replace the one that caught fire. 21 kilos, but he’s the sort of man who slings it on his shoulder. Almost.
It’s a mauve and pink dusk when we pull in to our jetty and the flying fox just needs a kick and it’s going again! And in the veggie garden, some lettuces, though strangely not all, are half-way up my shins! Thyme strands waggle in the breeze, recovered from K’s constant ravaging- she uses it as medicine – the sorrel has grown back green and perkylike rabbits’ ears but the spinach seedlings still look like under nourished seedlings. Ad’s chimney puffs smoke, as does my old lost friend’s, and Dy’s. I gather kindling and logs for the fire in the last of the light, and then throw together a quick meal of gf noodles and parmesan and fresh leaves from the garden and pan-fried barramundi (not fresh, but so well frozen from Aldi you wouldn’t guess) while GG lights the fire. And that’s when trouble strikes. The kindling won’t light. Not even crumpled newspaper will light. Something’s stuck up the chimney.
Might be a dead possum, says GG.
Too dark to find out. We’ll get through the night in the cabin, where there’s a little pot-belly stove. I remember that great boon, the electric blanket and, asking GG to light my way, haul it down the 40 steps, strip the bed and re-make it with the blanket in place while the dinner waits. I turn the blanket on. Gg’s brought what’s left of the kindling down, and sets the fire.
We go back to the frigid main house for our rapidly cooling dinner and have barely finished when Dy appears on the deck with his torch and his cute dog in his arms. Too many gin and tonics while he catches us up with the news of the bay, and the usual matters here- solar power – whose has worked and the speculation of why – generators- whose has worked and why- fishing, crabbing- who’s caught both and how many, and mud, always mud. Dy accepts what’s left over of our noodles as an entree, though he must be as cold as ice. He and his little dog leave. Then a quick scramble through a black black night down the steps, light the fire, and the snuggling into a warmed bed. Heaven. So far.