We have just enjoyed a long Easter weekend, followed by ANZAC Day here in Australia, so blogging has had to wait. This has worked out well, as it has given me a few days to sort out my ideas, and to take some photographs.


Before today, I had been struggling with what I wanted to say and to whom I wanted to say it. Realistically, this is a non-issue because, as far as I can tell, Sandra and I are the only people in the world currently reading our blog; nevertheless, it is available to the public so there is always a chance that strangers might come across it and we would want them to enjoy their stay.


But I cannot orient myself to writing for some hypothetical others that may eventually form our readership. So for now, I write these posts as letters to only one person and that is my best friend, Sandra, who started this blog back in 2008. Since she lives on the other side of the world from me, we cannot meet up at Starbucks for a chat and a cappuccino, but we can meet here, and share our lives with each other.


We are happy to have friendly visitors join us from anywhere in the Universe. So, for Sandra and any strangers or extraterrestrials out there who stumble across / crash into our blog here’s my Post-Easter Weekend Show & Tell …

One of several cute and friendly ducks who live at a nearby pond.

One of several cute and friendly ducks who live at a nearby pond.

Robin and I spent the weekend on our friends’ farm in Grenville. Sunday, our friends took us to a weekend farmers’ market in Ballarat, where we bought fresh fruits and vegetables and some obscure second hand books. We ate most of the produce but you can see the books here.

This book was a fortunate find, as I have a few outstanding existential queries that confound me. Apparently, this 1978 Reader’s Digest resolves The World’s Last Mysteries. Why has no one told me this before? And why is this not a best seller?

The Truth about Witchcraft is currently being revealed to me through the pages of this yellowed paperback. Hans Holzer (of Ghost Hunters fame) interviewed several members of modern covens in the late sixties and this is his summary of what he learnt. I suspect I will learn the disappointing truth that these witches are not supernatural in any way, but simply practitioners of a very old form of pre-Christian ritualistic worship. I am steeling myself for the inevitable let-down, yet still holding out hope for at least one fantastical, magical witch!

Despite my fascination with the subject, I do not practice any kind of witchery; but as a proud owner of a crystal ball, a recently absconded orb weaver spider named Doris Night, and a genuine Artemisia absenthium, I have to admit to enjoying some of their props.

My Artemisia absenthium

My Artemisia absenthium

I purchased an excellent copy of The Illustrated Golden Bough which has been brilliantly edited from the original 12-volume text by Sir James Frazier into a manageable 250 pages. It has wonderful illustrations in it and I am learning many things about Saturnalia, fire festivals, divine kings, tree spirits, ritual sacrifice, eating gods and other perils of the human soul.

from The Illustrated Golden Bough

from The Illustrated Golden Bough

Poems of Spirit and Action which I found on a jumble table at the market, contains many gems, such as this poem from from Denis Glover:

Yesterday afternoon was devoted to baking chocolate cupcakes. These were a big hit here at home, as they are tasty but not too heavy.

Today we walked to our local duck pond where an assortment of ducks and dusky moorhens live in harmony with a pair of swans and one renegade pigeon.

Australian Swans are black. They are lovely creatures and you can sometimes see them in great flocks as I did once on the West Coast of Tasmania. Only one pair live here and they are calm and not overly aggressive. I was once bit by a swan that resented sharing bread with its mates, so approach with caution!


Text and photos by td Whittle