The Old Boy, the Wonder Dog and I are on holidays. We’re in a cottage/cabin/thing in the middle of cow and sheep country, about 20 minutes as the crow flies from the sea and in the foothills of a national park. (Spoiler alert to all burglars: our house is being minded.)

We’ve been here before so, for all my long-term readers, you will remember me rabbitting on about the frogs in the dam and the goats in the paddock next door. The big billy-goat isn’t there any more so the others get a better look-in with the food. There are still yabbies (for the Americans think crawfish/crayfish/crawdad) in the dam and the yabbie net still remains unused, hanging on the cabin/thing/cottage wall. If I had to actually kill anything myself, to eat, I’d definitely be a vegetarian.

I’ve noticed that the cows do most of their mooing in the middle of the night. I’ve given this some serious thought and the only reason I can come up with is so that they can find their way around in the dark.

“Where are you, Maisie?”

“Over here.”


“Here. And watch where you’re walking. Daisie’s got the runs again.”

“Just keep saying my name until I find you, okay?”


A lot of creatures make strange noises in the middle of the night. Possums growl and hiss. Frogs go, “Bong. Bong.” Weird birds call out. (I expect they’re night birds because the normal ones – the day birds – sound pretty, and the night ones are just too odd to get a daytime gig.) Then there’s the ever-present sound of someone feeding a wood-chipper. He says I’m making it up but I’m not. One day I’m going to record it and play it back to him, preferably around 2am.

The beauty of being out here is that the world seems lush and green and peaceful and just plain nice. If we leave the television off (except for the football) we can pretend that the whole planet is like this. People are writing books and poetry and painting landscapes and planting vegetables and fruit trees. No one’s beating anyone else up. No one’s oppressing anyone. No one’s killing someone else because of their gender, or confusion about their gender, or their colour, or their political persuasion or their belief systems. No one’s being a Grade-A JERK!

I know we’ll eventually have to return to reality but for now I’m happy to pretend I’m in Green Gables country and any minute now Gilbert’s going to pop round. (Had a huge crush on him when I was in primary school.)

For now, if you have any bad news, save it until we get back and then only tell me if it’s absolutely necessary. As for now – lalalalalalalalaaaaaa – I’m not listening.