Reverb 10 – Days 1 to 4

I signed up to get daily prompts during December from Reverb 10 (an “online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next”), as I thought it might be an opportunity to write a bit more, despite the words “manifest” and “reverberate” making me wince a little. But I’m not that good at actually writing in response to daily prompts, particularly during December, so here’s a couple of responses all in one post.

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

The ‘one word for the year’ is a bit of a thing among those vaguely new-agey self-improvement circles online – and it depends on my mood as to whether I think this is a valuable or pointless idea. I actually did choose a word for this year, back in January, which was “rhythm” – it connected with a couple of goals of mine, such as playing more music and being more organised. And while I did play a lot more music (and learnt to play a new instrument) this year, the more organised thing didn’t really happen. I still put things off far too long – if anything, this year has kind of carried me along with it. So if I was going to select a word for it – let’s go with “floating”. And a word for next year? Summit. As in, climbing towards it. I’d like to be less carried by the current.

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

My writing is so sporadic that I don’t think it even deserves the term “my writing”. And as for what doesn’t contribute to it – I don’t contribute to it, by not devoting enough time to it. See above tendency to put things off.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

The way I review my year is my scrolling through the 2010 folder on my photo hardrive, each folder within that one labelled with the date and vague descriptions that drive the husband insane. (“What the hell is ‘pumpkins, self portraits, cake’?” he says in exasperated tones. Why, exactly what it says.)

One of my most vivid alive moments this year was playing at the world record attempt at the Cairns Ukulele Festival – being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of other people strumming and singing and smiling, the press of people who loved music and the instrument. My fingers hurting from playing 7 minutes of the same chords over and over. The bloke on stage singing the verses of Achey Breakey Heart over and over again in a relentlessly cheerful way. And it was a fantastic moment nevertheless – a great vibe.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Walking towards our house at night and looking up to see the stars and the moon spread out through the dark silhouettes of the trees.  Singing gospel. Getting out of my comfort zone and seeing new things – amazing musicians, and very intense sci-fi fans.  Capturing little bits of life with my camera.


The weather was a little damp for camping this weekend, but we still had a lot of fun.

I found a bees’ nest. And jammed on the ukulele. And read Ellen Kushner’s The Privilege of the Sword.

And when we got home, we found the biggest group of king parrots we’ve seen feeding on some seed we had left out on the verandah. One female and four males, being occasionally harassed by a couple of lorikeets. They’re such pretty birds, I love seeing them around the house.


We went walking today at Venman Bushland National Park, intending to do the long circuit walk around the park. We did that successfully, but then we tried to do a small additional circuit while in the depths of the park and got lost for a little while. Not so lost that we weren’t on a path, but it wasn’t the path that we intended to be on. Venman is part of several parks that intersect, and at a few times we seemed to be heading in entirely the wrong direction. The signage leaves a bit to be desired.

We found this little echidna trotting through the bush, and promptly galloped after him with, I’m sure, terrifyingly loud thumping steps. He scuttled to a dead tree when he heard us, curling up firmly and waited for us to go away. We stood for a while quietly hoping he would head off again, but he didn’t seem to be fooled, particularly by my loud whispering, and eventually we left him be.

We found the correct path again, after walking around in circles for a little while, and headed back on the last part of the circuit.

This little wallaby dashed across the path in front of us, easily slipping through a barbed wire fence. I think it’s probably a red necked wallaby, as they’re common in the park. We see them around our place too, although over winter it’s too dark in the mornings to identify them – I just hear the thumping in the morning as they move through the bush behind the house.

Our goal next time we head to Venman is to manage to complete the walk we start off doing, without heading off on unintended detours.


Succulent plants always make me think of jellyfish and underwater things – all globulous and cool under the fingers.

The garden has been terribly neglected of late, as I’ve been preoccupied with other projects – photography, “running” (more on that later), and curling up with the latest stack of library books.  And it’s been cold and dry, and nothing is particularly flourishing without my help, which is not very encouraging.  I must do the rounds this weekend and spend a bit of quality time with the garden hose.

Yellow rose

Despite the chilly weather, there were still quite a few flowers blooming in the Mt Tamborine Botanical Gardens – this yellow rose, in the rose arbour, was surrounded by quite a few other varieties. I have always loved roses, but have never tried to grow them myself – my garden efforts are so hit and miss that I don’t think roses would stand a chance.


The previous owners (I should really think up a snappy nickname for them so I don’t have to keep calling them that) planted a lot of spiky things around this house. I’m not a big fan of them – I don’t know that they go so well with the rest of the bush aesthetic – but I like the shapes they make in photos.

Red droplets

I had thought that this ugly looking plant was a weed, and have been yanking it out all over the place, until I discovered these lovely drop-like red flowers on it this morning. I think it probably still is a horrible weed, and it looks awful when it’s not flowering, so I’ll continue to eradicate it – but not today. It looks too pretty today.

(And yes, I realise I’m just giving it the opportunity to propogate. I know. But it’s pretty!)


Lovely little tendrils of fern-like leaves growing from this tree trunk in Lamington National Park. One of the few shots from that day that worked out, given that I decided to use manual focus in the shaded rainforest. Not such a great idea.