Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Voices from the deep.

And now – just as at this time last year (scroll down) – we can’t walk on the grass again, because of the consistent rain, now the highest for fourteen or fifteen years.

But now there’s something else. Now, the lawn is talking. You can hear it at night if you creep outside in the cold air and lower your head to the ground. A thousand faint trickling noises. It’s not in one spot; it comes from the whole lawn. Trickling busily, like water in an underground stream. It’s not water sinking into the lawn, because it might not have rained for a day or two.

That second last sentence might be the answer. This house sits on the banks of a tributary to the Merri Creek, on a north-sloping block that also falls away to the east. It seems we might also be over the top of an old sub-tributary, flowing south-north.

Evidence? The lawn on this block never died during the drought. Green as ... well, green as grass throughout the entire drought, as if it were tapping a subterranean water source. People used to pass by and peer at the lawn’s seemingly unnatural greenness and suspect, sometimes verbally, that I was clandestinely watering it. Or even openly watering it. That was in the days when the government made it a crime to open your hose pipe, while it squandered billions on an ill-fated desalination plant, declaring it would never rain again.

But I wasn’t, and it did. Now, the ground water level is rising. Trickle, trickle, trickle; late at night. It sounds like crickets gargling. No, the house isn’t going to sink. That happens where water pools. When it’s moving, your house rides it, taking on a pontoon effect. We’re an island in the stream!

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