top of page

Cakes, wombats and wonders


The oven is full of five Christmas cakes, with another five waiting on the bench; the big boiler on top of the stove has one large and two tiny puddings cooking, four waiting to be boiled and four that have had their first boiling and await their second…and I am wondering yet again why I am incapable of making only one pudding and cake; or maybe three, because my Mum and nephew want one too; or make that four, as Robyn next door (i.e. 6 km down the road) donated the newspapers and deserves a cake or pudding in return. I always bake fruit cakes on a thick wad of wet newspapers to stop them getting crusty, and this year we have read our newspapers online: excellent for skimming many items of news fast; no use whatsoever for cooking cakes.

The scent is glorious. Spices, candied apricot, whisky, rum (the fruit is marinated for 48 hours) home made lime cordial which is not secret at all now ingredient that gives tartness to balance the sweetness of the fruit. And to anyone who thinks they do not like fruit cake…have you ever eaten one that is so thick with fruit you need a serrated knife to cut it and even then it won’t be neat and is nothing, absolutely nothing, like any cake or pudding you can buy?


The garden smells of wombats. Mating wombats. If I can smell wombat, instead of 130 apples trees blooming, jasmine, and about half an acre of perfumed roses, then any wombat in 5 square kilometres can smell it, which is probably the general idea. The night is fill with snarls, shrieks, thumps, yips and other signals of wombat courtship. In between they scratch their backs on the floor under our bedroom. We did try insulating the floor but the wombats took offence an ripped everything away to get their scratching post back.

There are arguments you can win, and then there are arguments with wombats. Don’t bother.


Last week we had a taste of Diary of a Wombat: the play, which will open at darling harbour next year with the stupendous Monkey Baa Theatre for Young people and then tour Australia.

And in 2018, the world….which is when Josephine wants to dance: the Musical will open in Australia.

Diary of a Wombat is… I have no words. Nor even breath, the first time I saw it. It’s is hilarious. It’s genius. It’s so different from any other theatric event that I cant describe it, because Monkey Baa want it to burst upon the world. Yet at the same time it is deeply, incredibly accessible to even tiny kids and also magic for anyone, any age. Monkey Baa is incapable of creating ‘just for kids’. Brilliance is brilliant for any age.

By the way, Bruce and I did not deliberately dress in matching colors. Make the most of the symmetry as you probably won’t see it again. If we both look both joyous and stunned, it’s because we were. Also I’d just had an expresso ice-cream, and watermelon birthday cake, and just seen a slice of Bryan and my lives from 20 years ago, incredibly, extraordinary created on the stage, with a wombat I reacted to so deeply that I kept trying to scratch her, pat her, or ask them to take a break in rehearsals as she might be tired.

It is amazing. In every literal sense of the word.

Bruce and I outside Monkey Baa


The Red Letter Day winners were announced this week. Dyslexic kids- and one dyslexic adult, me- wrote uncorrected letters explaining what it is like t be dyslexic. This is Emily’s diagram, which is so utterly just like it is I stared at it for five minutes the wept. Though I was already weeping from the others.

Yes, sometimes I’ve wish my mind was straight line too. But the scramble leads to some fascinating conclusions. These days i.e. the last 56 years, I wouldn’t change it if I could.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page