I am offensively happy. I often catch myself singing in public (should probably stop that), my beauty babe Helena and I are posting each other cake diaries and I throw myself into every body of water I come across, swimming costume or no swimming costume. The highlights of my inner Selkie (half seal, half human hybrid: I’m not elegant enough to be a mermaid) include Massage Ponds in Eungella where you can couch in the cascades and let the falling water take your shoulder tensions downstream and Wottamolla which is a cove, lagoon AND beach. At Massage Ponds I came across a floating log scattered with blue and green Terrapins and I lost my pants and my earrings at Wottamolla after throwing myself off a 9m high rock into the lagoon. From there you can swim across the river to the beach and walk your way down to the sea.
It’s a good job I love water- I got flooded out of my tent in the rainforest twice. It rained so consistently the first week that my hair didn’t dry for 5 days straight and I think I became my own eco-system; the second time came in the form of hurricane Debbie and she was a persistent bitch. Thankfully nothing can persuade my appetite that it’s not the most important thing in the universe, and the Temple Kitchens were a beautiful source of respite.
The Hare Krishna Organic Farm is settled in the middle of an extinct volcano in the New South Wales subtropical rainforest. Breakfast and dinner are served in the Temple at the tip top of the hill, you eat together on matts on the floor and are served ladlefuls of rice, dals, curries and many other splendid things out of buckets. Before you are allowed to cook in the kitchens, you must mediate to dispel bad energy and purify yourself with fire so that you don’t cook any negativity into the food: eating together is an act of sharing and community not to be ruined by my rampant PMT.
Spirituality is one thing, but silly rules are another. In the spirit of abstinence, physical contact is mostly disallowed. A friend was confronted with this argument after having hugged someone: ‘What if they’d just been for a shit?’. Based on such strong and reasoned evidence, I’m certain he’ll never be hugging anyone ever again.
In other news, my farm partner Jo and I found and bought a van we’ve christened Tough Little Nugget. Jo and I share the exact same birth date in 1993 and we arrived in Melbourne to the same hostel on the same day. As a pair are 3/4 British and 1/4 German, this meant regulated spontaneity with results. In the three weeks we spent travelling together, we managed to dreadlock her waist length head of hair and kit out the van with a mattress and double bed for less than $30, many allen keys, saws and swear words were involved. She’s still at the farm and I’ve journeyed to Sydney for 10 days before loping back to Melbourne where much recipe testing and writing awaits, there’s some really exciting things to come … (I’m building my own recipe site and there’s talk of a book…).