As I procrastinated away this morning I found myself thinking that I probably needed a little more greenery in my study, so I brought in a pot from the backyard for an indoors holiday. After I'd settled it in place I realised that the tableau I had created pretty much summed up a lot of my life.
Greenery, writing tools and mementos of travel and family.
Any Australian writer will recognise the dictionary and style manual.
The poster I bought when I was about 14 and Mum and I went to France together. It was meant to be a family holiday but my brother ended up having to stay in Australia and Dad had to stay with him, so it was just the two of us. It was a pretty incredible holiday, although I can't believe Mum bothered to take a moody teenager with her. We were both learning French at the time, and she had to put up with me thinking it was mortifying that she was trying to practice her French on the locals: 'I can't believe you Mum, you are SO embarrassing, you keep speaking FRENCH' (said as though speaking French were comparable to picking one's nose or something). Not only did she put up with such brattiness, she also did all the driving (and on the wrong side of the road) which is why this poster in particular brings back memories. She drove the nine hour roundtrip to the lavender fields in Provence twice, because the first day hadn't been particularly sunny, so the lavender looked pretty grey. The second time was incredible though, and we have the most beautiful photos of bright purple fields.
The gourd I bought in Peru from a woman probably my own age. She told me she carves them during the low tourist season, and then brings them into town when us gringos are around. She cut the lid off it for me when I bought it and finished hollowing it out, and all the while her young daughter who was tied to her back, baby-chattering away. Definitely a different way of being a working mother.
And then the turtle belonged to my grandmother. It's something I really strongly remember from her house, so i always like to keep it somewhere where it can watch over me as I sleep or study.