Monthly Archives: August 2011

Spidery, Bribery and Corruption…

31st August 2011

It seemed like many forces were trying to prevent me from leaving home this morning to come into the Café.   My children laughed and exclaimed as we walked out the front door “Look at this Mum!”

A very ambitious spider had spun huge lines of web across the garden path, back and forth from a tree, to the gate, and across to the garden.   There was no intricate web, just these “do not cross” lines of strong white web, that glistened and sparkled with dew drops in the early morning.   The clever thing had even strung them over to my car and locked that down.    If the web had been striped with red it would have looked like a crime scene or danger zone!

We had to laugh at the ingenuity of it ….I wonder if she thought she would stop anyone leaving and feast slowly on us all before we could escape!  We saw no sign of the spider responsible, but I can only imagine it was a big one!

Nature is so fascinating.   When I walk on these early winter mornings, the webs adorn fences and trees and bushes like many precious jewels, glistening with the raindrops or dew.   It seems like at certain times of the years, the bush and native areas, as well as farm fences are literally splattered with diamonds and pearls……  I love winter!

In at the café, the verandah is empty due to the street works, it looks very quiet, but don’t let that fool you!   A room in the art gallery has been set up so café patrons can sit inside and continue to enjoy the food and beverages away from the dust and noise of the renovations outside.  And the green couch is still there too.



If of thy worldly goods thou art bereft,

And in thy slender store two loaves alone are left,

Sell one, and with the dole,

By (sic) hyacinths to feed they soul.

For Brenda – Welcome Back

(from Sarah Roisin and Ianto)


Treats For Two

 I came in for a bite to eat.

I looked around and chose two seats.

It was a special day for her and I,

To sit and chat and enjoy some pie.

She is a special girl to me,

She is my daughter, now you see!!


(Now I can relate to this lovely image….)

Sometimes we just get the most random lines left on the notepads and yet, they are always thought provoking, if not interesting…


All have sinned

And NICE too….



I wonder if the sin involved eating too much?  (smiles)




Don’t be afraid to try something new…

Amateurs built the ark –

But professionals built the Titanic!



For quite some time now, I have been wanting to generate some interest in Haiku here at the café.  The Haiku is one of my favourite genres of poetry – to me they are like an exquisite, polished jewel… a tiny cameo image of a personal gift from the natural world, or from our own journey through it.



the sun gently rests

a warm hand on my  shoulder.

I am not alone







These eyes filled with clouds

‘Til the sadness overflowed

and began to rain.







A little blue bird

sings till the sky shatters and

lets his heart fly free





My children love Wednesdays, and coming to the café after school to meet me.   They love sitting at the table and having a cake of their choice brought to them on a pure white plate with a flower beside it and a bowl of cream on the side.   Maya’s favourite is the Pear Frangipani, Sol’s is the Chocolate Brownie.   Their newest favourite is Brenda’s Chocolate and Beetroot cake.  I will vouch for that – it is to die for!

Their eyes glaze over as they eat. 

“Please Mum, ask for the recipe” they say, wiping their mouths.  But I inform them that a good cook or baker does not share their special recipes, and this is never more true than here at the Cafe.   Brenda’s recipes are priceless and precious, and can only be “tasted”, never seen. 

But the cake is so good it not only inspires a loss of table manners (the plates just HAD to be licked!   Ahem!) but also a bit of bribery and corruption.

“Offer her money” says my son.  “Bribe her for the recipe for Chocolate cake!”

“Distract her!” says my daughter….. “You distract her Mum, while I sneak up and steal the recipe!”

Brenda and I fall apart laughing.   Good luck with that kids!   The recipe remains private and confidential and any more of that behaviour and you do time in the gaol cells!   This is an old courthouse and police station you know!   LOL


Owls and Interesting Lives …

24th August, 2011

As you go through life – there will always be something interesting happening!    So says one lady in the tearooms today and I could not help but agree.   She had an earring stuck against the side of her face, unable to remove it without the assistance of a jeweler.  (A small earring would not have been a problem obviously but this was an elaborate sculptured piece that looked pretty sharp!) She had put it in this morning, as she had been doing for many years,  the only difference being that she did it in a rush and the catch got jammed.   So she stood at the counter laughing about her embarrassment and sharing a smile with the staff and customers.   

There definitely is always something happening in the Tearooms!   And hopefully something that if not interesting, can at least be turned into laughter and a humorous story to share.   These days there is a constant stream of events turning life on its edges, in one way or another.  Don’t you agree?  Some are sad, some are painful, some are stressful, most are very confronting…..  while some are very exciting.  As you go through life, how invigorating it is to have interesting things happen….  Things that change the way you think or feel, things that challenge you to alter your perceptions, to change what you do every day, events which may not be cataclysmic, may not be bad, or even good, but simply interesting and thought provoking.  Be honest!  It’s better to have a little of the unexpected, the inspiring, the challenging,  even the disturbing, than become stagnant, bored, steeped in the mundane, colourless monotony of “a rut” !    I definitely prefer life to be interesting, don’t you?   And even if you think your life is uninteresting, perhaps all you need is a fresh set of eyes and a good long look around.  You might just find that spark of interest where you have been overlooking for years!

It’s business as usual at the Café this week.  Everyone is home from their well earned breaks, and back in the kitchen cooking up delightful treats and planning the new spring menu. 

Well, ALMOST business as usual!  Outside in the street, things are heating up with workers tearing the road apart in readiness for the new cultural precinct.   The old bitumen is being cut and removed to be replaced by cobblestone paving as part of an upgrade that will see the street outside the café become a hub of activity and entertainment.   New light poles are already in place, and the old buildings across the road are being deconstructed as I write.   In the future the street can be closed off for public performances and events, or used as a general mall when required.   Future festivals and events in this town will certainly benefit from the changed appearance and energy of the street and cultural surrounds.  It will be a major improvement for the art galleries and the tearooms and the general feel of the area.

So today there is heavy machinery outside the old windows, they are digging up the old bitumen road, and removing paving.  There are jackhammers and power tools grating on the ears and shattering the peaceful feeling of the tearooms.   The sounds are juxtaposed against the old world music trying hard to be heard in the café…. Somehow it reminds me of the old movies of the war era, where the forties music plays relentlessly over radios while the planes are bombing the streets outside…. There seems something unsettling about such a juxtaposition of the sweet human sentiments and monotonous melody of music against the background of potential death and destruction.  It isn’t easy chilling out today, but everyone knows it’s not permanent, not life threatening (I hope!) and is certainly for good cause.  

I think you can overcome most annoyances or grievances if you can find the bright side of the situation, or see a bigger picture.  Brenda has the most beautifully simple way to handle such things.   With the calm and wisdom befitting a Buddhist monk she faces a constant stream of all nature of events and people with their own share of issues, many of whom turn their issues against the staff or Brenda herself.   She deals with such matters that would annoy, upset or enrage other people, in the most admirable way.

“Compassion” she says with a zen like smile.
“Enormous amounts of compassion and when all else fails – a good belly laugh!”

For me, if things get too much, I try to make something different happen…. Remove myself from the rut and go somewhere out of the ordinary, or where I can be reminded that life is not all about stress and hardship or people and their issues, but simply LIFE.

  Last week, I took such a drive down to Margaret River to Eagles Heritage, to meet up with a little friend of mine.   Echo the Barn Owl is, as the name suggests, a Barn Owl, and the most quaint and lovely little fellow you could ever hope to meet.   He and his carer/handler Nancy were doing the free flight display and talk at Eagles Heritage, and as I have photographed Echo many times over the past few years, I thought I would visit the raptor sanctuary and catch up with them both again.

I always enjoy being out in nature and seeing wildlife, and even though many of the raptors at Eagles Heritage are in cages, they are only there for a reason.   They have either been rescued after illness or injury, in which case they are cared for and then carefully released back into the wild, or if their injuries would place their lives at risk if released, they are cared for indefinitely.  In some cases, where they become accustomed to handling and human presence, they can become ambassadors and education birds, used to promote the care, preservation and wellbeing of not just raptors but all wildlife.    Any birds that spend the whole of their lives in cages are only there because to be free would spell certain death for them.   

Judging by the stories of, and the actual birds themselves, that return once released, to visit, show off babies or mates, or cadge a free feed during a flight display, they do appreciate their caregivers and their lives in proximity to humans, and certainly do not forget.  

Some birds have been born in captivity, from parents who live at the park or at one of the other raptor centres or zoos aroundAustralia.   Birds bred in captivity are supposedly not allowed to be released back into the wild, for environmental and health reasons.   During my visit I got to meet one such baby – a lesser sooty owlet.   As yet unnamed, this tiny, fluffy baby was hatched from an egg produced by the two lesser sooty owls at the raptor park, and was being raised by humans.    All eyes and beak, he was almost grotesque, looking more like a little vulture than an owl, yet like the ugly duckling, it would only be a matter of time before he was a magnificent bird, though an owl not a swan.  

Speaking of magnificent, I also got to see one of the baby owl’s older siblings from a previous hatching – a female lesser sooty called Chip. She was the most exquisite bird – with pure white plumage.   She put on a display of aggression towards me as I looked into her enclosure, and it seemed as if she was afraid, so I backed away feeling rather sad for disturbing her.  However I was told by her carer that she was not at all bothered by humans, as she had been hand-reared, and was perfectly friendly – her only issue was that she was annoyed at being transferred to the raptor park enclosure after a life in a human household and had become a grumpy bum!  

Echo was his usual charismatic self, sitting up proudly for the free flight talk, allowing people to photograph him, or hold him on a gloved arm, all the while looking around with great interest, or staring rather intently at the speaker box over our heads, and attempting to fly at it.  (It turns out that the box was emitting a humming sound that we could not detect, but he could.)   Many times during the talk he directed his gaze intensely at the roof above our heads and made as if to attack.   It gave me a bit of an idea of how it might feel to be a mouse on the ground with an owl scouting above.   The intensity of the eyes in the seconds before he took flight was something to see!

I always enjoy meeting the people and birds at Eagles Heritage.  Immersing myself in a place that honours and cares for wildlife, and our magnificent Australian raptors, where people are doing good rather than harm and endeavoring to make a difference on this planet, is one of the uplifting and interesting things I can do to turn a bad day into a good one!

So what do you do at times like this?

More Blue Birds and a short Break…

3rd August 2011

It seems the blue bird theme continues to fly through my café poet days.

Following on from last week, I play Christina Perri’s album “Lovestrong” ( she really is a talented young woman, so take a listen for yourself) and her song “Bluebird” catches my attention.    My daughter tells me this is her favourite song because it reminds her of “Blue”…



How the hell does a broken heart
Get back together when it’s torn apart
Teach itself to start
Beating again

This little Bluebird came looking for you
Said that I hadn’t seen you in quite some time
This little Bluebird, she came looking again
I said we weren’t even friends she could have you

Don’t you think it was hard?
I didn’t even say that you died
But it wouldn’t have been such a lie
Cuz’ then I started to cry
This little Bluebird sure won’t give it a rest
She swears that she may be better than all the rest
I said no-ohhhh
You’ve got it all wrong
If he was something special, I wouldn’t have this song

This little bluebird don’t come ’round here anymore
So I went looking for her
And I found…


Then a visitor at the café sits down and shares a story with me from her journal.   The journal is an exquisite treasure, a gift to her from a friend, hand made paper bound in a cleverly crafted, layered cover with a citrine inset.   It is a work of art.  From it’s much loved pages flow words of great meaning and heartfelt memories. 

She opens the journal to a page and there in her own hand is the poem “Bluebird of Happiness” – a quote given to her by her Mother and lovingly written in her special book.   I feel the synchronicity of blue birds winging their way through my day yet again… reminding me of the simple joys of living…  And touching not only myself but so many others with their magic.

 This small book of treasures, belonging to my friend, inspires me.   What a beautiful way to collect and keep the memories and moments that come to us along the way.    These short cameo stories and poems, even one line inspirations, form a collection that speaks not only of the depths of the person who holds the book, but also those who she has been inspired by.   I want to have such a book, instead of losing my one liners and memories on various slips of paper and old dog eared exercise books.    Perhaps for me, the most difficult thing would be to limit those inspirations to just one line or one page!   Or even one book!


Homely touches are inspiring to me

Chipped pretty teacups

Worn wooden edges

Mismatched fabric pieces

These things touch the heart.


Warm,  cosy atmosphere,

Tasty food

Relaxing environment.

Lovely experience

(Kay, Melbourne)




I really like the mosaics. 
I think there (sic) really cool!
Miah (age eight)
I love the food too!



The Old Post Office and Tearooms,

What a great find,

The staff and décor’s simply sublime,

Savouries and cakes are to die for

Wanting us to return for more and more



Work for the driver

Especially francaise

Even harder when

He’s lost ‘is way.


Filthy four letter words in Oz –




(signed: a well know Greek woman)




Tannin waters running in sunlight

Cascading over river rocks

Glistening like flame

Mahogany gemstones

Suspended under water

Watching the river’s journey to the sea.




Here we sit brokenhearted

Paid a penny…

But had great coffee.


(I am glad about that!)

This is the last week for the Café for a short while.   The Staff are taking a break, and so the tearooms will be closed for two weeks.  I think I will have withdrawals!!


I will have to take my café musings back to the birds and the bush, where I always found the space in the past … there just won’t be coffee and cake and good conversation!

And instead of snippets of inspiration from the table tops, I will have to find it in the fresh rain washed air and the song of native birds.

To change the world,

You have to be part of the change…


 and so it is ….