Mum has always loved gardens. She used to stop and knock on our neighbours’ doors when their gardens had plants with brilliant potential cuttings. Then she would ask ‘Do you mind if I take a cutting?’
She came equipped with her own garden gloves, shears and buckets. I wonder what the neighbours thought of her as she harvested their gardens. I remember being embarrassed, but she did do it with everyone’s blessing. I don’t remember anyone ever saying no to her.
Mum loved to try and grow tropical plants in Tasmania to remind her of her original home in Papua New Guinea. She had immense pride when she had success with her hibiscus. She has always been a determined lady in both her garden and other parts of her life.
When we were little Mum clearly told us to stay away from her garden flowers – ’Look, don’t touch.’
ABC Open will be archived and no longer available at its current spaces after June 30th. They kindly wrote us an email to give us a chance to make sure we had all our stories backed up (which is good practice to do anyway). I am sharing my favourite ABC Open contributions on my memoir blog. If you look up the category ABC Open they will appear there. Not sure if I can save a copy of the documentary on our After Yasi experience done by the ABC, but will see what can be done.
When we were young, Dad told us bed time stories. They were always silly with us in starring roles.
Dad liked Spike Milligan and AA Milne. Sometimes he’d recite his favourite poems and direct them to one of us. Snatches of AA Milne come back to me at the oddest times, with his poetry of children whose parents run away and cautionary tales to not step on the cracks in the footpath.
Dad’s stories were funny and satirical but sometimes we protested about the way he portrayed us. We were unruly characters, tiny divas, jostling for bigger and more complimentary roles. We directed our storytelling Dad just so.
Our favourite thing was Dad giving us magical powers. We told him the names we wanted and what we should be doing.
‘No I wouldn’t do that.’
‘I should be taller’
‘I need to run faster’
‘I’d jump to … the moon’
‘I was delighted to attend Dr June Perkins’s short poetry workshop at Ink of Light, the Baha’i Writers Festival held in Brisbane this year. June’s passion and love of this art form was infectious as she led us through an historical overview of poetry featuring beautiful and significant works from different eras.
Titled The Power of Poetry, her workshop highlighted how poetry can be an act of worship (holding up what is worthy); how it can convey the inexpressible and how it can be used in community building.
June used a fun group activity that had all of us composing lines of poetry in response to a visual stimulus. The end result surprised us all, especially those of us who previously thought we could not write poetry. I look forward to attending a more in-depth and longer poetry workshop with this gifted teacher.
The 42nd ALEA Meanjin – Brisbane area – Australian Literacy Educators’ Association Young Writers’ Festival (for students from Years 5 to 10) is being held on Thursday 4 July at Griffith University Mt Gravatt Campus.
Featuring a Keynote from Morris Gleitzman and four workshops with a wonderful line up of authors, poets and illustrators – Candice Lemon-Scott; Gregg Dreise; June Perkins and Katrin Dreiling.