|This looks like a place for morning Yoga|
I had set off yesterday morning, expecting to arrive at Bandusia's Permaculture Design Course in time for lunch. It would be garden-grown luxury lunch, with all the creative international people who were certain to be there, getting into each others dreams and projects and more.
A series of navigational errors and distractions had my car and I miss lunch, miss dinner, and now we were going to miss breakfast too.
We had made a midnight decision to return to the river bank, re-cross on the ferry, and curl up for the night on the correct river bank. There would be a leisurely breakfast for me, and a big tank of petrol for the Japanese car. We could then get lost to our hearts content.
A PDC is after all a 2 week course.
It was warm when I awoke, and peered out the window from the back seat. A beautiful day! I had just set a record: eight hours in the car and not one navigational mistake.
My morning yoga was on the grass, with river-washed air, in dappled sunshine. It set me up for a day of great expectations, a day where mistakes wouldn't even matter.
I wandered into town, seeking a pleasant spot for breakfast. Passing through a quirky little arcade, I noticed an unusual poster.
This poster that made me realize, people here at Wisemans are different.
The Cat Raffle
I could just imagine it
"Honey, we won the cat raffle!"
"Luv, we've already got 16 cats"
Looking closely, I learn the prize was a painting. The model is Reg, one of the handsome arcade cats, painted by a local artist
Take a look at the photo - its young Reg himself, inspecting his portrait.
The ear is back, a dismissing gesture.
He's not impressed.
Maybe he's getting a premonition of what the prize will be for him and his girlfriends - a community-supported desexing.
Sorry mate, but its got to be done.
I am impressed with this community.
Walking on, and who comes and greets me?
Reg the cat.
He stops me in my tracks. I drop everything. He makes out with my handbag.
Charming, radiant with health, and letting it out on the world.
Another little cat appears, hurls herself at him.
So things have turned out rather well for the cats of the Cat Raffle.
Behind me a lady with keys is opening the Local Gallery Co-op.
I start chatting, and get the whole story.
Reg and Rita are the direct descendents of the original ferry cats, looked after by the whole town.
I love this story.
I love that the townspeople didn't just moan about the bloody kitten problem, nor did they ignore it and let the cats get hard and mean and many.
Neither did they leave it to the usual saintly people, who get landed with paying to fix it.
A kind of tax on virtue.
In a generative, fun way, the cats got what they needed, the artist got some fame, and the main cat lady, whoever she is, got some food money.
Its all rather wonderful, and very permacultural.
I handed her few coins to pop into the catfood fund.
I've slept here, so now its my town too, and my cats.
|Cecilia takes breakfast on the Hawksbury river|
On my way back, who do I see?
Its the cat lady.
Mired in a frenzy of miaowing, as she tries to open her antique store. Reg's head office.
|Karlene of Wiseman’s Ferry Vintage and Collectables|
Here is Karlene, coming to work with her arms full of home-grown roses, and her ankles full of ginger cats.
She is enjoying her life and her work. Check this out - a whole bookshelf of Marylin Monroe, a shrine to the beauty of one little lady.
"I taught a whole month of Marylin Monroe-themed English Classes, in Tokyo" I tell her.
We beauty addicts know, if you have to go to work, there is no reason why you can't make it lovely.
I like everything in her shop. Victorian fish-serving platter-knives, lacy. Coal-fueled bedwarming pans.
Back in Melbourne is an Aladdin's cave storage unit filled with things just as quirky and lovely, things I'm already in a relationship with. Things who are waiting for me to get my next house.
I'm not tempted at all.
But I am in need of a pretty cup and saucer for my morning tea.
This one is mine.
|Very, very old pub. It smells wonderful inside, suggesting|
centuries of roast dinners, wainscoting, and fireside conversations.
|Cecilia at Bandusia driveway, Photo Penny Pyett|