My across-the-road neighbour has olive trees. A few years ago, I asked if I could join her next time she was picking/pickling. I was curious to see how the magic happened, and happy to help pick the fruit.
The last couple of years had produced very poor crops and it wasn't until this year that there was an opportunity to help. On Tuesday, we checked out the fruit.
On Friday, it was pickin' time. We picked all we could reach from the ground and from a standard ladder. Buckets full.
Then came the corker. All that we'd picked - probably three full 10 litre buckets full, were for me. She refused to keep any. She already had some pickling and there were plenty more in the higher reaches that her sons would pick for her. So my, I'd like to help you, became her gift to me. Hmm. Not quite the plan. Tricksy people these neighbours!
After coffee and divine syrup cake with walnuts, I lugged my load home. (oh okay, she helped me with that too). I delved into the deep, dark spidery recesses of our shed for the pickling and preserving jars that I knew I'd hidden in there more than a decade ago. And after I'd cleaned, boiled and filled them, there were still two full buckets and this large bottle full. Since then I've shared a few with friends, but am hoping to share a few more. Any takers?
Yesterday, I caught the train to Woodend for the launch of Lorraine Marwood's new poetry collection, Guinea Pig Town and other animal poems (Walker Books).
The launch was organised by the Goldfields Library and was held in Bendigo and then Woodend.
The weather was just about perfect. Actually, scratch that. It WAS perfect, a glorious mild still autumn day.
There was a great turn out, with many families.
Lorraine read some of her poems, competing at times with quite loud truck noise.
Anyone who is anyone was there, including cats,
guinea pigs of course
and there was even a 'wedding', complete with kiss!
In the train on the way home I read Guinea Pig town, entranced by poems about dogs, cows,cheetahs, narwhals and many many more. After a bit of a poem drought, it was lovely to read some of Lorraine's work (which I love) and it inspired me to begin three new poems of my own.