It’s been a big month of discoveries and adventures. Here we go!
A lot happened in November. It was a busy month at work capped off by six days away on pydarerme country (the Tasman Peninsula). I spent the first four days on the Three Capes Track, then had two extra days to explore the area further. I had the best time. Every day on the Three Capes Track, I saw new wildlife and wildflowers, was struck by the beauty of the scenery and enjoyed deep conversations with the people I met along the tracks / in the cabins. Every day was the best day yet!
In 6 days, I probably hiked about 90km. It felt so good to be moving my body like this and I could sense my fitness increasing as I hiked. If I get a chance, I will write some more about my time away and share it with you in a separate post.
Here are some photo highlights:
All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton
I can only imagine the pressure Dalton must have felt to get his second novel right after the roaring success of his first novel Boy Swallows Universe. Masterful storyteller that he is, All Our Shimmering Skies is another wonderful novel starring a strong young protagonist, Molly Hook. Set in Darwin and the Northern Territory during World War II, this is a book about survival against the odds and the humanity within us, with Dalton’s signature magical, mysterious touches thrown in.
No Big Deal and Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter
Both of these are young adult novels with fat protagonists, something which shouldn’t be revolutionary but kind of is. To be honest, I can’t recall ever reading a young adult novel with a fat protagonist as a teenager. These are novels about loving and accepting yourself no matter how the world tells you you should look, be or behave. As many works of young adult fiction, these are books about friendship and young love with gloriously strong female protagonists. Highly recommended, even if you are not a young adult.
Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson
This novel covers a lot of territory within its 400 pages. Spanning multiple generations of the Billymil family, Song of the Crocodile is a story of racism and violence (from outside the family), but also love and resilience (from within the family). Woven through the narrative are the Yuwaalaraay language, and the observations and machinations of spirits ancestral and recently deceased, giving this novel a shimmering, magical quality. For me, as someone who’s studied and read quite a lot about Indigenous Australians, the narrative was at once familiar and yet utterly unique and compelling.
Terra Nullius by Claire G Coleman (reread)
I read this novel just over a year ago and wrote about it in my October/November Favourites (2019). Having reread it, I still think this book is genius because it takes the colonisation of Australia and twists it into a new form, creating a narrative which is simultaneously new and all too familiar. Coleman also has an incredible knack for writing seemingly disconnected strands of narrative and then weaving them all together, something I find supremely satisfying as a reader. You go from wondering “where is this going?” to aha moment, “I see where this is going”.
My wonderful new psychologist here in Hobart recommended both of these podcasts to me following our discussion at our last session about intuitive eating. I love both of them – they are making such a big difference to my thinking about food, weight and my body. In tandem with my conversations with my new psychologist, they are helping me to cross a new frontier in my eating disorder recovery journey.
Hosted by dietitian Christy Harrison, this is a podcast about intuitive eating, Health at Every Size and body liberation. I love that these are not just interviews with experts, these are interviews in which guests share their own experiences.
Hosted by nutritionist Laura Thomas from the London Centre for Intuitive Eating, this podcast covers similar themes to Food Psych and is also more than just interviews with experts.
On a post-work evening with a desire to watch something, I stumbled upon this documentary about Australian singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko on ABC iview. Narrated by Blasko herself and including interviews with long-term musical collaborators and her dad, this was a fascinating look at the novel approach Blasko took to writing her 2018 album Depth of Field. Craving the feeling of being on stage and performing, the songs on the album were conceived at the Campbelltown Arts Centre through a two week artist residency.
Watching the aforementioned documentary got me onto Sarah Blasko’s 2018 album Depth of Field. The whole album is fantastic, making it very hard to pick a favourite song or songs. Here are two to get you started:
I love the way this song is put together – the synths, the drums, the vocals, the way it ebbs and flows. It is also an important reminder to live in the moment and enjoy what life offers us now, a reminder we all need.
Read My Mind
I recommend listening closely to the lyrics of this one because it is a beautiful song about the singer’s child and experience of being mother.
Stopping and taking it all in, breathing, savouring. Whether this be while walking, hiking or doing yoga, I’ve been giving myself permission to stop and finding so much value in the pauses. As a person who is typically very goal oriented and somewhat averse to slowing down, this is a good challenge and one which has been really good for me.
That’s it for November. It’s hard to believe next month I’ll be writing up my 2020 Favourites.
Love, hope and peace from Emma.