The day is gloomy. The wind is cold and the sun is covered by clouds. But we are happy. There is at least 10mm of rain in the guage and there is a puddle in our driveway. There is water running into the rainwater tank. The wet roof is still leaking and water is pooling on the jarrah floorboards in the school area of our house. One year after lock up and we still can't get it watertight. The house vibrates in the wind, but every now and then the sunlight finds its way past the clouds and illuminates the honey coloured wood. A cat sits on a pile of books where the light is, grinning as she purrs and watches from her vantage point. Another lies draped over an aging dresser, oblivious to all around him as he defies gravity and remains in place even though more of him is hanging over the edge than is on the horizontal surface.
Outside, I see the tiny clover plants unfolding from their clenched position; they have been clutching on to life, soaking up every drop of morning dew. They respond immediately to this May rain. It isn't much, but it is enough to keep them going. Feral carrots grow in garden paths and the patch is messy. Self-sown seedlings run riot like naughty children, playing hide and seek among the plants that are deliberately placed in rows and order as if thumbing their noses at the authoritarian dictates of the overseeing gardener: "This is what we can do, even without rain," they shout.
The life that abounds despite the dry is cheering. The only thing separating joy from depression as the puddles dry and the sky turns blue again. We are resisting the urge to plant with gay abandon until the "follow up" rains arrive, but the list of seeds to go in is long: cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, broad beans...visions of soups and dahls, curry and casseroles now fill my head as I think of the winter weeks ahead...rain, rain, come again!
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To eat meat or not eat meat, that is the question. People have different reasons for eating the way they do: culture, taste and habit are all contributors. Sometimes we understand one another more if we just ask why people have made the choices they make. Some people may not eat meat because of the impact livestock production is having on the planet, others because they are concerned about animal welfare, and others for health reasons...or because they simply don't like it! My friend Asta simply likes animals too much to eat them.
Efforts to save tonnes of strawberries from being dumped in the wake of the needle scare, including the sharing of strawberry recipes on social media and strawberry picking outings to pick your own farms, show that we can use our power as consumers to great effect. But this is not the first time we have used our clout to save something we value, as the SPC Ardomona story reveals.