Thursday, 29 January 2009

Neighbourhood: Bleak heat

Green and blue reflections, originally uploaded by Baysidemama.

Early this morning the men with their chainsaws were up at dawn across the road, tearing down a magnificent gum tree. When I wandered over to find out why, it appears it is yet another victim of this terrible drought - dried out and ready to fall.

This searing heat - 43 degrees again today - always makes me feel bleak about what we have done to our land. The lack of shade in the suburbs and such poorly designed homes mean we are a country dependent on air con.

Last night, before it was even dark, I found the ringtail possums desperately trying to drink from the pool.

I urge any locals to leave some bowls of water - both low and high - out for our wildlife today and tonight. I figure if we razor their habitat as we have as a people, at least we can offer them a drink.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Neighbourhood: Red Hot Heat

Red, originally uploaded by Baysidemama.

Heat is the word.

Summer has kept its full wrath hidden these past few weeks and now it's here with full velocity. Searing heat as red as this flower. It's going to be reaching 40 degrees here all week and talk is all about will our ageing power grid cope with a city hooked on air con?

I can still well remember when the whole city's gas supply went down a few years ago now.

That was during late summer heat and modern civilised life hinged on an electric wok and a plastic solar shower bag.

Let's see how the infrastructure goes this week.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

What mama thinks: The 'housewife' returns....but is she welcome

I recently interviewed Stacey Murray of the Sheeps Clothing blog for a piece I did for the Herald Sun newspaper on the rise in popularity of the domestic crafts among women.

I argued in a related opinion piece in the same paper that this was very much about women proudly reclaiming the personal realm, as opposed to earlier incarnations of feminism which roundly rejected the domestic sphere.

As Stacey points out on her blog, the pieces have incited much debate - such as this piece by Adelaide columnist Clementine Ford and heated reaction. It is intriguing as I believe Ford and many of the online comments have misunderstood my argument - that embracing the domestic realm is a sign of moving forward for women - that they finally have the voice to reclaim this space.

Anyway, take a look at what Stacey has to say over at her blog, and by all means, feel free to add your thoughts.

There are also active discussions on this article going on in Adelaide here, in Brisbane here and in Maryland, USA here, and in Oakland County, California, USA here.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Home & Hearth: Green tomatoes

Green tomatoes, originally uploaded by Baysidemama.

I am ridiculously proud of these little babies. My first batch in a couple of years and they are growing nicely. So easily in fact that I don't know why I didn't get to planting more this season. However the herb patch is booming, with rosemary, basil, chives and mint in copious supply. These will taste great with some lovely mango chutney that has proved a daily summer staple in our household.