You know how when travelling you often dream of home? My dreams lately have been populated by New Zealand family and friends but the setting is usually in oversized white stone buildings like Brisbane's Southbank.
I spent a couple of afternoons wandering around Southbank when I first landed in Aussie three weeks ago (and I spent a memorable week at a conference there about five years ago) which was obviously enough to impress the the architecture on my psyche. I wonder too, if their empty white spaciousness is appearing in my dreams because I have been staying in a little farmhouse that is chock full of things. It is a lovely and facinating home, with museum-like displays of antiques interspersed with delightful objects collected on travels in Asia and Europe plus all the usual bits and pieces that accumulate in a lifetime of being interested and creative.
Continuing my bookshelves documentary project here are some photographs from around the Hill's home. This morning I dreamed that my friend Helen, the New Zealander I stayed with when I first arrived in Brisbane, had organised a huge gathering of parents and their preschool children. They crowded into a steep stepped ampitheatre of white stone, creating a chaotic cacophony.
I stood up on my step to give the opening speech of the event, having absolutely no idea what I was going to say and was surprised to hear myself boldly starting with 'Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoua. Nau mai haere mai. Ko Meliors toku ingoa*'. The crowd of children and their adults fell into an instant hush except for a whisper of 'more more more' from someone nearby. But then I suddenly realised I was speaking Maori and lost my confidence so totally that I woke up!
Tomorrow I move on from the Hill's farm where I will have spent two and a half weeks. I'm catching the train to Cairns which is a 30 hour journey! I expect that once I am staying in the rainforest, I will start dreaming about the rolling farmland of the Sunshine Coast and this cosy house.
* Rough translation: greetings everybody, welcome to our place, my name is Meliors.