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Southern Cross Creations

An Australian Woman's Journal
about life in remote, rural
Far North Queensland


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Southern Cross Creations

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Journal Archive: December 2002

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9 December 2002

When I became an immigrant in Australia in 1987, I found myself confused by the seasons in this land and my sense of direction fell to pieces. When it rained, I put on extra clothes, expecting to feel cold, only to throw them off when I got sweaty instead. I listened to the TV newscasters and couldn't understand what they were saying, even though it almost sounded like English. Cooking a Christmas dinner in tropical heat almost finished me.

Jerry and I chose to live here in remote, rural Far North Queensland and isolation was no surprise. But there is no way to measure and prepare for the impact of leaving behind relatives, friends, a shared past, redwoods and hummingbirds, Mexican food and Thanksgiving....

hawk moth's body is almost 4cm longI've learned to enjoy the solitude of the Bush, in the company of my good husband. And there are signs that we have put down roots. I recognise constellations in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere. A laughing kookaburra wakes me at dawn and makes me smile. Jerry rescues a hawk moth from the window on a summer evening and releases it outside to hover over flowers and sip nectar.

Bark shed from a lemon-scented gum tree The first rain of the Wet Season brings the exquisite scent of lemon-scented gums and the urge to throw off clothing and delight in the downpour. I notice a frilled neck lizard outside the front door, he stands up on his two back legs and runs away. I bring along a plate of food to share with fellow fibrecrafters at our last meeting of the year and the table is laden with just the right amount of savories and sweets, though no one knew what anyone else was bringing.

Email and the world wide web make an enormous difference in our lives. We've been able to establish and maintain communication with a far-flung community of friendly folks. What a difference it makes to get a quick email response, compared to the four week turn-around (assuming the person responded immediately) for snailmail between Australia and the USA in 1987! How happy I feel to be alive during these times, in this place.

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December 6
No rain in November and we conserved water as we watched the river drop. Very, very dry conditions meant persistent bushfires and pervasive smokey air.

leaf sculpture after first rain of the season

Thankfully, yesterday brought two inches of rain in two hours while lightning flashed and jittered to booms of thunder. The dog and I jumped at close strikes while Jerry beamed in exhilaration. This deluge created lots of run-off, yet we later discovered no great damage from erosion. Even the road held up quite well, perhaps a tribute to the good work done just hours before by the Shire's road workers with a grader and packer. I enjoy the leaf sculptures left in the driveway after the season's first good rain.

This respite from the dry conditions is welcome as we wait for the Wet Season to develop.


Betty Davies spinning mohair


This time of year is packed with end-of-the-year parties, like the Tableland gathering at Lake Eachem of members of the Cairns & FNQ Spinners, Weavers & Fibrecrafters Inc. Besides spinning, inkle loom weaving and knitting, some went for a swim in the lake before we shared a wonderful feast of spicy chicken, beetroot jelly, pumpkin scones, heavenly mince tarts, a wicked cheesecake and more!




Shazadi and Razi

Jerry and I also attended a hafla party given by Beaches Belly Dance in Cairns where Redbird was one of the many dancers costumed in a dazzle of beads, sequins and shimmering fringe. Audience participation included a belly dance contest amongst men from the audience and Bear won! I came away with renewed appreciation of the womanly essence in all its ages and forms...and for the belly dance moves of a 67 year old male who has had double bypass heart surgery!

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