I’m house- and dog-sitting for the next week and a bit while my parents are on a ski trip in Japan. There’s a heatwave here, and as I swelter in togs, dipping my feet in the dog’s plastic kiddie pool and cooling myself occasionally with the garden hose (I’m desperate), my phone’s pinging with pictures of my mum and dad rugged up in jackets and beanies with snowflakes blurring around them and mountain peaks dusted in snow behind them. Luckily, I’m not the jealous type…

It’s just me and three dogs here, which sounds difficult enough on its own, but one’s also a puppy — not yet one year old. To say he’s energetic would be an understatement; tiring him out takes at least three long walks daily and a decent session of fetch in the shaded dam at the bottom of the property. Unfortunately, I can’t swim in this one with him.

Even still, it seems almost every time I look at him he’s either staring back expectantly, waiting for me to provide his next bout of entertainment, or chewing on something he shouldn’t be. I found one of my socks lying soaked and glum on its lonesome in the garden the other day, when I swear I left it together with its pair on the bench outside.

The weather is beautiful despite the heat, as it always is. I still marvel at the view whenever I’m up here: the tumbling green pastures, trees huddled in the mountain troughs and blanketing the arms of the hills behind, a few (slightly out-of-place) tropical palms, a sprinkling of rust-coloured barn roofs, the dash of white from houses peeking out of the dense green and the inky smear of the Cedar Pocket dam in the distance (can’t swim in this one either). The cicadas are unrelenting in their monotone choir and my washing lies thick, still and warm in the sun on the clotheshorse on the balcony.

I have ten or so days to fill here on my lonesome, and I must admit I’m feeling overwhelmed as to what do to first. Obviously, I have to work and entertain pets, but what else? I did bring a camera with me, so I hope this post is filled with photos, which, thanks to my being a complete beginner in all things photography, I think are good. Beginner’s brain is fun — with no knowledge of how things ‘should’ be, there’s no pressure to be anything other than what you are.

So there’s that. I would also like to write more. I’ve been wondering lately what sort of writer I am and want to be, and I don’t know if I’ve found my voice or style yet. Sometimes I think my writing sounds too forced — too pompous even? I guess all I can do is keep writing and hitting publish on things even if I don’t necessarily like them and even if there are a few too many “of which-es” or “therefores” in them. Ha. It’s not that I have to be rigid in a certain style, but I think I’d like to get comfortable in just writing something that’s somehwat effortless and not outstanding or relevatory, but which helps me to remember things: small things, beautiful things, the way things smelled or looked or tasted, or made me laugh. I think it helps when I focus more on what I’m writing, rather than how I’m writing it.

So, a bit of writing, a bit of photography. What else? I’m planning on driving to Noosa today, to the ocean where I can swim. The journey from here involves winding country lanes, so the drive itself is beautiful. Of course, I’ll have three animals in tow, so we’ll see how that goes. Future Erin’s edit: not well.

I’ve also brought my sewing machine and a half-finished pair of pleated shorts with me. I’ve been putting off this little project of mine because my next step involves undoing several of the last steps I messed up. I’ll have to get comfortable in a chair with my unpicker. At least I have the time, right?

Hope you’re well!

Until next time.

E. x

These two photos I took with my phone — the one above with a paw on top of the other I had to snap in the moment, and the below sunset I tried to capture with my actual camera, but its battery was too low! As a friend said to me, the life of the photographer is full of “should-have-had-my-camera” moments! (Or, in my case, “should-have-charged-my-camera”…)