The Adventures of Euca – Gaia Reading Challenge

It’s nearing Easter so I am preparing parcels to post to the Little People in my life.

“No chocolate, Mo. No sugar for this Little One”. This from a lass whose paternal grandfather fed her so many chocolate eggs for her 2nd Easter that she was as sick as a dog. Whilst I was quietly fuming – and cleaning – said child’s grandfather instilled his lifelong mantra : ” You’ve not had a good time till you’ve been sick”.

Thank goodness the maternal grandfather had a different outlook on life. A child of the Depression he did not believe in waste, so he lived by “everything in moderation”. Except fish. Fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner but that’s another story.

So that is why my Little People will be gifted something other than chocolate this Easter. Well, maybe a little Darrell Lea chocolate bilby but their main present will be a lovely little book called The Adventures of Euca : A Baby Leaf’s Big World.

Debut author Jennifer Howard is a nature lover who is “passionate about the environment, and about educating future generations on sustainability and the magic of the world we all live in.”

We meet Euca, a baby gum leaf, who lives on the very top of the tree, ” closest to the big golden sun whose lovely warm rays will help me to grow big and strong”.

Eucla takes us through his job role as a leaf to “help freshen the air for the whole wide world” as well as some of the native fauna who use the leaf coverage as home. He is close to his Grandpa Crinkle, an old wrinkled leaf further down the tree branches, and the life lesson is that at some stage the old leaf ” with a strong gust of wind” will fall to the ground and a new leaf will be born.

The illustrations by M K Perring are colourful and easily discernible to young eyes and this story is a gentle introduction to nature and the environment for our Little People.

I purchased my copies through Shawline Publishing Group. Always happy to support the independent author ( who have been known to become my all time favourites.)

Easter 2021 Favourites.

Brisbane emerged from a shotgun Lockdown to an Easter of rain. And it’s still raining. Apologies to all those (un)happy campers out there but I’ve loved it. Rain, as well as being good for the garden, slows you down. It limits your activity options. Yay.

And the garden is thriving. Pumpkins and rockmelons galore.

Read Daniel Keighran’s autobiography for Bookclub, Courage Under Fire. Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the Australian honours system, “ For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril at Derapet, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, as part of the Mentoring Task Force One on Operation SLIPPER” on 24 August 2010.”

This young man is only a few years older than my daughters. The message I took from his story is that despite being brought up in abject poverty within a dysfunctional family – and we’re talking with a capital D – he was able to make something of himself to ensure a better life. 

The book is dedicated to his grandfather who was a softly spoken, self contained gentleman who served in WW2 and provided gentle guidance in young Dan’s life. He passed away only months before notification of the award. 

Based on a true story, the movie 0n Wings Of Eagles takes up where Chariots of Fire left off with Scottish athlete Eric Liddell having won gold for Britain at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Liddell, played by Joseph Fiennes, returns to his birthplace, China, to follow in the footsteps of his missionary parents. As World War 2 looms the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 brings great hardship to the locals and Liddell sends his family off to Canada to safety whilst he continues to minister at a school and is imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp. Enduring dreadful conditions Liddell remains a leader of men, providing lessons to the children in camp, and by his patient endurance.

Released in 2016  this movie is often bleak though there are also moments of great beauty. Fiennes has never been on my radar because of the “hungry look” about him. I’ve always thought he could do with some of my Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pud. It works well for him here.

Frohe Ostern!

My plans for Easter are simple: spending time in the garden. I’m no Green Thumb though I do enjoy home grown produce if minimal effort is involved. The sun on the old bod is therapeutic and I enjoy getting the hands dirty. It’s a nurturing thing. At the moment there are pumpkins, passion fruit, pineapples, paw paw, tomatoes, cabbages and an assortment of herbs flourishing. Not bad for a handkerchief sized piece of land.

My property backs onto Native bushland so I recently attended a Workshop about indigenous native plants that attract birds and bees. I’ve been propagating Natives and planting them along the edge of the scrub. The next step is building a Bee Motel. A girl has to have a project after all.

My neighbours on both sides hate the kookaburras, magpies, drongos, lorikeets, wallabies and possums that come to the back fence. The Bearded Dragons disturb the dogs and the Bandicoots steal the dog biscuits. (Errrr, feed the dogs indoors, dipstick. How hard is it?) They all hate the possum box – the Bees just might send them over the edge…….

I’ll also be immersing myself in music, music that is way out of my comfort zone. A friend’s son will be visiting in a few months. An Opera Singer in Europe he is bringing his German bride home to meet the fam and apparently we’ll be attending the Baroque Festival in Victoria. No comment.

I realise that the bride will have a good grasp of the English language but thought it important to learn a few phrases of German before her arrival. So I’m now attending weekly German classes and have also downloaded the Duolingo App. I’m not at all confident. They tell me my German accent is very Bogan Oz and I sound like “Kath and Kim”.

Before I travelled to Italy I undertook a six month intensive language course just to be able to order a wine and a meal etc. Never used a word of it : five years of school girl French from thirty five years beforehand came spewing out.

If the weather remains glorious I may just set up the air mattress and mosquito net and go glamping in the back yard. That would at least put me out of hearing range of the stereo. All this edu-mac-ation is doing my head in!

As we’ve just been reminded, nothing is infinite. Enjoy your Easter, whatever it entails.

My head does not connect to my hands. A craft project for the Little Library