As I come home in the evenings now Orion, my favourite constellation, is visible in the south-westerly sky, very bright, with his belt oriented vertically in front of me as I drive up North Boambee Road and then bounce up the dirt track towards our block of land. I like Orion, partly because it was the first constellation I could find for myself in the night sky, partly because I can still see it in the southern hemisphere having grown up looking at it in English skies, and partly because its stars have such cool names: Betelgeuse, Rigel and Bellatrix, to name but a few.
The days are getting noticeably shorter and the evenings and early mornings are cool. Well, comparatively cool. I realise that 20 degrees celcius probably doesn't count as cool in the UK but that's the temperature of my bedroom right now and I'll be taking a hot water bottle to bed tonight!
I love the light of dusk - if I'm not trying to do anything that requires seeing clearly, at any rate. It's a calm light, and silvered the mackerel clouds this evening. There's a southerly change coming and I just hope it won't bring rain at the weekend because that will affect the number of people who turn up to the opening of my show on Sunday afternoon.
This morning I took Toby to the beach for a run, and exercised my arm and shoulder muscles throwing the ball for him. It was a morning of great gifts from the sea: many turban shells and trap doors which will, eventually, become part of something. My collection is growing and once I've located all the bags and boxes in the shed I'm sure I'll be inspired! But there were other treasures today as well, including a hand-sized abalone shell, a beautiful smoky piece of coral with gorgeously detailed shapes indented into it, and halves of shells that I aspire to turn into clasps for books. Eventually.
I can't go to the local hardware store without buying plants or bulbs or something to do with gardening... I love home-grown tomatoes (even though the lady in the bookshop yesterday asked me - rhetorically - what was the point in growing tomatoes here when they're sold everywhere? My answer was, of course, that they taste better from your own garden). Right now I've got a list as long as your arm of things to do in the garden, ranging from "complete weed matting" to "plant all the trees and shrubs" to "create the citrus orchard". Henceforth these seedlings shall be known as The Tomatoes of Optimism.