Snakes alive! I'm standing on Broken Head Beach with a young woman I've only just met, and I'm wringing my wet sarong out, flinging the water as far as possible so it will reach its destination – a sea-snake, stuck on the sand with the tide out.
"Blame it on my bucket list, an ever-lengthening compendium of inexplicable desires," wrote Nancy Moreland in The Seattle Times of her decision to test her fear of flying by not just flying in but actually piloting a sea-plane. (Which seems a bit extreme to me, but whatever floats your boat, or your sea-plane in this case.)
I was looking up other people's bucket lists, because at the moment I'm trying to work out a way to tick an item off mine – namely to visit Wyoming. The reason? Because ever since I read My Friend Flicka as a child (and its endless sequels) I've wanted to go there.”
My father is single-handedly chopping down a tree, and simultaneously building a pergola. He's multi-tasking; running races with his children; furiously whisking vinaigrette. My mother recognises the danger signs. "Oh dear," she says, mildly, "your father's forgotten to take his hectic pills." Later that night there will be sobbing hysteria. He will beat his head against the wall over and over before driving off into the night threatening suicide.
"Richard Avedon once said he thought all his pictures were simply pictures of himself," photographer Juno Gemes is saying as we sit in her studio, overlooking the Hawkesbury River, "and I've often thought that was true. We photograph who we love, who we are committed to making visible. Our photographs reflect our concerns, perceptions and emotions – who we really are."
It’s been nearly two years since their 17-year-old daughter Olivia, a talented horse rider, was killed in a fall. As they push for greater safety in eventing, Arthur and Charlotte Inglis are also involved in an historic rebirth: the relocation and expansion of Australia’s most prestigious thoroughbred auction business.
Of all the stories in Susanna Forrest’s book The Age of the Horse: An equine journey through human history, the vignette that, perhaps, lingers most in the memory takes only a page or two to tell. Yet in many ways it defines the infinitely complex relationship that exists between man and the genus Equus. It involves mankind’s continuing attempts to domesticate one of the breeds of pure wild horse, the Tarpan, once common in the Ukraine.
“To begin with I took a personal approach to this poem. I’d spent a lot of my life in London and Sydney, but I’d also lived my formative years in the country and these days I live in the hills behind Byron Bay surrounded by Macadamia Forests – green tree frogs are a small but constant presence in my life.”