Continued…..Dead Penguin Diaries Part 1
LAST NIGHT, ME ‘N NICK…..After dinner in town at the classy new Bull and Mouth Restaurant, came home…
got into reminiscing…..it’s almost always ridiculous things that happened to our family, or, our family, doing things ridiculous enough to be worth remembering.
Various pertinent changes were happening back in Circa 1993. We were all living in Melbourne, Dylan and Nick in a share house in Richmond….Grace and I in a rented California Bungalow in Heidelberg, when my father died and I came into some money. Enough to buy property, but not in Melbourne.
I found a beautiful small farm with old house in Harcourt and our story begins on moving day.
Some background is necessary here, to explain the various tracks each of our lives were taking. I was a struggling single Mother, working 2 sometimes 3 jobs to put Grace through a Steiner Education….so menial stuff, ironing, housework for Agencies, packing dried flowers for a Floristry Business in a factory, market stalls at weekends. My escape from exhaustion, the oppression of the daily grind, was studying Native American Mythology, whilst also doing a Correspondence Course in Herbal Medicine. I was fascinated with personal Totems, Symbolism, Herbalism, Ritual.
On a weekend visit to my sister-in-law, while walking along the wilds of Fairhaven Surf Beach, we came upon a Fairy Penguin…..lying dead, at the water’s edge. Perfect. Unmarked. Beautiful.
I got it into my head to preserve it….like the Egyptians did, with human bodies, with their idolised cats.
I brought it home, purchased about 10k’s of salt, plus a multitude of small packets of Cinnamon and Cloves, found a huge aluminium preserving pan (the kind our mother’s and grandmothers made jam in), and slowly filled it to halfway with the salt/cinnamon/clove mix, laid the dead fairy penguin in the middle, then filled the pan to the brim with the rest…..covering the small creature entirely.
Left it to “preserve”, in the garden shed.
MA ©️. Winter 2018
To be continued…..
Nick arrives, hot, tired from a hard day’s slog