Callistemon summer; that’s what I’m calling it. I know it’s not officially the start of summer until 1 December. Indulge me. The abundance of blooms in my street is quite a sight. The weight of the flowers is breaking branches. There are so many different colours and sizes. Who knew bottlebrush came in mauves and pinks?

Things I always forget about summer: The heat is tiring. There are lots of flies. I need to buy t-shirts before it starts. Some years I get really bad hay fever. Unfortunately, this is one of those years. So this tired, hot person in an old t-shirt is rubbing her itchy eyes and taking stock of where things are at right now. Here we go.

Wishing: That the dog would just drink her water instead of snorkelling and paddling in it. There’s a permanent pattern of muddy paw prints on the floor. A bowl of water is very fun, apparently.

Wondering: When I’ll be able to start making this beautiful shawl: Puppy+crochet hook+ball of yarn=asking for trouble.

Feeling: Sooo tired. It’s the heat. It’s the year. It’s the fact that I’ve technically resigned but will still be working full time until March. Sigh. Plod on, tired person. The end is in sight.

Reading: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. Really enjoyed the first half but found the second half disappointing. Tidelands by Philippa Gregory, which was a great read and I’m excited that she’s going to continue those characters.

Also reading: A Vera book by Ann Cleeves. Can’t remember the title. I gave in and picked it from the groaning shelves of whodunnits in our little community library then surprised myself by enjoying it. My current read is Without Reservations, a travel memoir by Alice Steinbach, parts of which I really like. She quotes a great line from an Elizabeth Bishop poem:

Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?

Which is basically how I feel a lot of the time when I’m travelling overseas and can’t find anything gluten free to eat.

Eating: Mountains of slaw with a vaguely Asian dressing of fish sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil and mayo. Chuck in some cashews and golden raisins as well. Add lots of coriander and mint. Put some protein on top and call it dinner. No cooking required. Super tasty and crunchy.

Planting: Tarragon, sage, lemon thyme, basil, coriander and salad veg. (Again.) I’m either an idiot or an optimist. The possums ate the lot last year.

Painting: The deck and the back windows. They look very smart. Haven’t quite finished but I’ve run out of paint.

Enrolling: In Beth Kempton’s free online writing course, Winter Sanctuary. We’ve only just come out of winter but I’m already having trouble imagining it. If I can just scratch something out once a day then that’ll do for now. It was nice to get positive feedback when I posted something to the group. It also showed how differently people can interpret the same piece of writing. I was blown away by that.

Walking: SO much, with the indefatigable Miss Daisy dog. I, on the other hand, am highly fatigable. There’s still lots to explore in the neighbourhood. Today we found a fabulous house, in the style of the Sydney School, flat-roofed with big cedar windows looking out into surprise courtyard and garden areas. If money falls from the sky some day soon, I’ll take it straight round and ask to buy that house.

Remembering: The bushfires that started outside Canberra last November, the smoke that covered the region till February.

Hoping: For more rain and a safe summer. May it be so.