43 degree and climbing

It has been said that this was and still is the hottest day in New South Wales for a very long time. Bush fires are erupting, firemen are on a high alert, electricity supply can be cut off or in some areas it may have been. So, no one is outside. Even Nimbin Artists Gallery where I do some voluntary work has shut down for the afternoon. Not a soul in the village apparently.

What a better time to sit down and finally scribble a few words.I had not done so for quite a while, but the hot weather is almost forcing me…well, sort of, to sit down in the quiet of the home. I do say quiet. The bird songs are almost inaudible. A few crows around as usual probably spying on the egg situation in the chicken run. All is quite still as the sun pounds hard on the earth. Its rays ferociously harsh on the plants. Where to hide? In the coolest place in front of the fan where everyone has assembled. Dogs, cats and humans are all enjoying the coolness of the room.

But this did not stop me from baking bread today!


So, here I am rambling about the weather. How mundane?  For a long time I have been delaying to put pen to paper choosing instead to read. But given the present situation what a better time to finally sit down and start and meander through the year that was.

Last year we had the visit of my cousin on my mother’s side. he only relative that came and stayed with us for a few days. My son Sulma and his lady Tum, were among us and it was the first time that Claude and him met. They did have a few days together in Nimes when they were 4 and 5. Both played and fought according to my aunt Georgette. The reunion was just brilliant.  Many friends came to join us for a BBQ and a chat. It was a very pleasant afternoon. Claude and I remained in the study for a while to catch up on family matters. Just before they left to fly back to Paris, we were all invited to visit them in Aix en Provence this year. We are all going. My aunt will be absolutely delighted .

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Tickets have been bought, houses rented, and itinerary worked out. We can’t wait!

Then, later in the year, we traveled to Thailand and stayed with Sulma and Tum. My oldest girl friend Elizabeth, came from Frejus and spent 2 weeks with us all. It was just so pleasurable to be all together.

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We flew to Phnom Penh where we met some very old friends, enjoyed the city again and I went for a checkup at my old dentist. Still there after 20 years  and enjoying the life in Cambodia.http://www.eurodentalcambodia.com/ Elizabeth took a short trip to Siem Reap and loved it, while Peter and I feasted on some delicious Italian food and French gourmet chain .http://maison-kayser-cambodia.asia/our-story-and-mission/. We scoured Russian Market again, Psah Thmey and our favourite jeweler, M. Kim Seng and his family where we splashed yet again.  We were received like old friends and exchanged news of our respective families.

Relaxed in the pool at the hotel and took short trip to around the town showing El the sites and meandering through the busy streets. And not to forget the fabulous cocktails Mai Thai at the hotel we stayed at called “Le 252”

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The most important part of the trip was the meeting with of our Khmer family if I may call it that. Hoeun, Panha and M. Kit. All used to share our home where we lived in Phnom Penh. Diners, lunches and trips around Phnom Penh on their motor bikes. The good old days! We all spent delicious moments together.

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Well, till next time!

Life on the farm 

It is hot, very hot. One of the hottest summer we experienced in this region for a very longtime. It is not really possible to go out in the garden and work. All the garden works are done pretty early in the day between 7am and 10am.

That gives  me enough time to do some watering and weeding, as well as looking after our new brood of chickens. 7 of them  all pretty famished and keen to jump onto any scraps that you may give them. Mum, is so protective that she will attack any other hens that come too close. She is quite fierce and relentless. But we have noticed that a huge Python is marauding around the house as well as the crows and buzzers that abound around here. Hence vigilance is of the order.

In the last few weeks we managed to ward off about 5 crows and their youngs who were hanging around. For weeks we had no eggs and did not cotton on the patterns that was occurring. But after a while, when we were hearing the hens cackling….eggs were being laid, we thought, yes they are laying but when we went to the coop to collect them… no eggs.

We decided to keep the hens in the coop the whole morning. Crows were still around but soon after they dissipated. Hahaha! We thought that is it! They were stealing the eggs. So, we kept the hens for 3 weeks inside. Crows were still around but they less inclined to hang around. Yes, the hens were cackling but they could not get to steal our little bounty. 

  1. After a while the crows disappeared and we let the chickens out, the patterns have been disturbed. They are not hanging around anymore. We won that round. 

But we are still weary of the python. They hear the baby chooks and are obviously attracted by them. Will it eat them all? Will it find them? So, at night we lock them in a python proof little coop. We are waiting to see when it will come around if it does!

The dogs and cats are not too happy with the heat and beg to come in and breathe some cool air inside the house. They lay sprawling on their bedding asking for nothing more. Mind you our ginger cat is in the habit to take the whole sofa to stretch its whole length and when we come to have a rest a rest in the afternoon it is a squeeze. The sofas are not that long and the cat takes virtually all of it. So we try to lay next to him, asking him the share, but he refuses. We persist till he decides to go on the floor. At last the sofa is mine…or Peter’s. The other one is the same…Marco has taken on so bat habits!

The vegetable garden is not as productive this year. After planting zucchini and melons we hardly got anything. But the eggplants have been quite good and managed to make a Parmigiana for dinner.

The cows seem contented with the grass growing profusely given the rains that we had a couple of weeks ago.


Letter to friend with a grievance.

Hi T.It is with great reluctance that I am sending you this note. But my heart tells me so.

P. and I  can see that we have been relegated to the leper’s colony. You might chuckle at this. But this is how we feel, dumped like we never existed in your life.

What I wanted to say to you as an ex VERY GOOD friend for the time being is that you are in the habit of doing that sort of it to many people and this is not a very healthy pattern.

It causes all sorts of psychological angst and frustration without counting the sleepless nights that you may endure. Remember Lucia the hurt that she caused you. You talked about it for days on end. Obviously you did not like it and you felt cheated and deeply hurt after all that you had done for her. You tasted there your own medicine. No?

Well, T. we feel the same. The way you are treating us. Why this sudden change? What did we do to cause so much aversion and fear in you ?

This pattern that you developed is so pronounced…10 people that we know of that you did this sort of thing

But this stemmed from a deeply disturbed upbringing Your dad rejected you…inflicted pain on you, never said a word to you because you were different from the others…That suffering and pain and rejection you felt really never healed from it and you are inflicting the same patterns on others who have ever been kind to you and took you the way you are.  One word the wrong way and it is total rejection. You want to take revenge the same way your dad did. You want to hurt people the same way your father did. Dump them. Really ? to what aim?

Is this the way real friends behave? Is this the way to cherish and love the people who have been kind to you and with whom you share so many good times, warmth, travels, food and company?

I am sure that deep inside you wish to God that you were not like that and wish also from the depth of your heart that you’d behave in a different way. But, I don’t think you know how and that is why you just dump people tho you like them. You do not know how to forgive because you father NEVER FORGAVE you. One bears those scars for a lifetime in a very unconscious way.

This has been and still is a great burden for you and causes enormous suffering. I am very aware of this from you. You want to feel loved, you want to feel accepted, you want to be part of a family, you want so much to belong, surrounded by good friends. You strive to please, to be nice. Then comes the rejection with no explanation and that makes you feel STRONG. But it doesn’t it weakens you because you feel pain and suffer. In that state one is not strong at all but miserable and forlorn.

But you see T. relationship is give and take. No one is perfect….and we accepted you the way you are. You deeply offended us on 2 occasions. But we thought about it for a long time and for the sake of friendship we passed. Because that is what friendship is all about…pass, forgive, and enjoy the warmth and attention that the others may offer. Relationships are complex and fraught with unknown…bad things…good things, anger, frustration, rage, but also a deep camaraderie and understanding. Tell me who is perfect? We don’t pretend to and when we have issues we try to work them out. This is the best way to go about it. Hiding them just makes it worse.

I will therefore ask you very sincerely to rethink your position and we are ready to offer you an olive branch. Because this is so silly don’t you think so?…..avoiding each other, ignoring each other, pretending to each other with this horrible feeling hanging in the air every time we see each other…which we are bound to do in the village and the gallery. Not very pleasant for either of us.

Think about it. Take your time… If we don’t hear from you and decide to terminate our friendship that is OK and we’ll understand…. If you feel deep in your heart that you would like to renew the friendship all is forgiven and let’s have a coffee together and chat. It is not very hard. I can assure you because we like you.

This would be the T. we know. Bubbly, helpful, funny and ready to land a hand, warm and friendly. That is what you really are!

Your friends …. still …maybe .… PG