Remember Australia's own Germaine Greer?
Fearless feminist and academic, who challenged us all back in 1970 when she launched The Female Eunuch onto a startled world?
I have read many of her subsequent books, and had to have the latest, White Beech: The Rainforest Years.
One night back in 2000, my sister and I enjoyed a great night at a fund-raiser for a struggling women's health centre south of Brisbane, with Germaine as a fantastic guest speaker. She charged nothing to come, donating her time generously.
Germaine had been seeking to purchase land in Australia to regenerate for future generations, and had been looking for several years.
The day after the fund-raiser, local organisers took her to see an abandoned dairy farm, formerly rainforest, in the mountainous corner of south-east Queensland, specifically in The Numinbah Valley.
Germaine was smitten, and purchased the property, Cave Creek, using her life's savings. White Beech tells the story of her project, turning her 60 hectares of scrubland back into the original Godwana rainforest.
The title White Beech refers to a stupendous tree which can grow to 40 metres, mostly cut down and exported over the past 150 years, and local to this area. The book tells of her attempts to propagate this and many other threatened local species. She traces the history of her land, both by colonial settlers and the area's Aboriginal history.
Germaine did a lot of the work herself, in between her commitments as Professor Emerita of English Literature and Comparative Studies at the University of Warwick, England. The project is now a registered charity, and known as The Cave Creek Rainforest Rehabilitation Scheme.
I grew up in the same general area, and enjoyed reading familiar stories, names and places mentioned in the book. Today we took my Dad (93, and getting frail now), on a drive to Beechmont, named for the white beech and on the next mountain ridge from Cave Creek.
It is very pretty farming country, but far removed from its original rainforest state. Alas, we see no white beech trees these days.
Eventually we found a little cafe tucked away in a rustic but refreshing green garden. Up here in the mountains it is cooler and they do get more rain than Brisbane. Where our gardens are dead or dying from the hottest summer on record, they have camellias blossoming:
Oh, please let it rain soon!
This week I sent off the blog's giveaway parcel, to Kristie in Canada..
Here's a little preview, Kristie...
Australia's own Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, has been photographed in a pale pink gown by Australia's own Carla Zampatti...
Well done at every level, Mary.
Michelle Obama is visiting China with her mother and daughters.
Red seems the perfect colour choice, doesn't it?
I read that Michelle is personally writing a blog as she travels.
But I have not been successful in locating it.
Anyone found it?
My clever friend V pointed out that my white-bird-on-a-tree is actually a bud vase.
Sometimes my lack of comprehension really frightens me...
Wishing you all a delightful week, dear readers.