To begin with, I love the countryside.
I grew up in the high country, that narrow strip between the coast and plains that runs along Australia's east coast. Most of the visual images of Australia that you will see are coastal or, alternatively, inland or outback. That wasn't my country, although I have absorbed the iconic images of parts elsewhere. I have also absorbed the sounds and especially the smells of the Australian bush. This is the start of my current book project:
Dalwood House stands on a rise. From the side verandah, mown grass runs down to the old vineyard. The Hunter River lies beyond, hidden within its high banks. It was hot and still, the silence broken only by the distant sound of a crow. Even the working properties on the hills on the other side of the river were still, remote in the faint heat haze.I love just wandering, sitting and absorbing. It gives me enormous pleasure. I also love the country life. the patterns, although I fear that my earlier desire to become a farmer was, with certainty, very unwise. It wouldn't have worked. I'm just not that way.
I love the diversity of Australian life. Australian life has always been diverse, more so than most Australians realise. Australians now are stay at home folk who travel along limited tracks for business or pleasure. They don't see or, more often, comprehend the differences. As we all do, they see their current life as the norm. However, the reality is very different. There are many norms.
This is a "burqini", a swim suit designed to allow Muslim women to swim in public. Perhaps only in Australia?