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Marli's play list, a manifold menorah and the construction of the Marshman mega-screen

Posted by Trevor Flinn

The dust has finally, and quite literally, settled following the second and final TWIG event out at the Marshman’s place, some 28 kilometers or so east of Grass Patch. So it is now time for me to sit down and bang out a bit of an account of the final, and I believe, most significant TWIG so far.

But before I launch into a blow-by-blow account of the incredible Sunday night gathering at the Marshman farm, I would like to share with you a little bit of what took place in the lead-up to the big night. What follows is a transcription of some rushed notes jotted in my journal on the Sunday morning.

The page is headed: ‘Marli’s Play List’ and under this is written: ‘Rainbow Connection’, the song made famous by a banjo playing frog called Ketmit.

Frogs, by the way, seemed to be a bit of a recurring motif during my stay with the Marshmans. During the afternoon of day two at the Marshman’s, I rescued one that the dogs had been playing with. He or she (let's call him Kermit) didn't look to be in very good shape but after I splashed a bit of water over Kermit and released him into the sancturary that is Aneka’s shaded and raised veggie garden, Kermit seemed to transform. So much so that a day later I discovered the exact same frog (or at least his identical twin brother) nestled into the fold of my multi-coloured bed sheet, which I had left in a heap outside my front door.

Trevor painting Ben's uteTrevor painting Ben's ute

But anyway, back to Marli's set list. Unfortunately I quickly learned that Marli didn't know the words or music to Rainbow Connection, and given that I only gave her a day or so to prepare, she suggested a Sesame Street song about the moon, as performed by Ernie. Brilliant I thought! How perfect, especially given that last night (the 20th of September) was the monthly moon no-show event.

My notes continue with a sub-heading followed by an elaborate synopsis and then a more wordy account of Sunday morning:

Sunday morning: Marshman TWIG Event ... in which Jack’s House speaks, Marli arrives with Banjo and a Uke, I discover a manifold menorah, the Marshman Mega-screen is constructed, and why you should never hang out clothes out to dry on a barbed-wire fence ... Plus a simple recipe for chicken soup.

I pulled myself out of bed at 6am, two hours after going to bed (due to late night video editing dramas), and got on the road for a run with my jogging companions Delta and Ditti.This morning I thought I would pause briefly at the graves of Ailsa and Reuben (two of the Marshman’s dearly departed dogs) and reflect on the important place dogs have in my own life, and the lives of people around me. Delta  and Ditti weren’t quite as respectful; they just wanted to hit the road. Delta even attempted to defecate in a spot right next to the graves so I gently persuaded her to pick a different spot.

After we had all composed ourselves we set off to the end of the drive.

On the way I reflected on what had been achieved so far and what work still needed to be done in order to complete the vision I that was still growing and flowering merrily insidemy brain-box. I found a quiet, sheltered sandy spot and did approximately 20 minutes of yoga practice. If you are into yoga I can suggest no better way of starting the day than getting outside at dawn and saluting the sun – which I did ten times.

On my way back to the house and to another delicious meal of eggs on toast and a hot cup of tea courtesy of Elliot and Aneka, I felt compelled to pause beside the leaning tower of Babel (four rolls of hay on top of each other – a joint effort by Aneka and Elliot) and collect some flowering grasses from along the roadside. Weeds, escaped canola and possibly even a few native varieties completed the posey. This, I thought, could be the first of a number of thank-you gifts that I thought might be nice to give to my hosts at the end of the evening.

As I neared the house I remembered the rusty manifold I found the previous day at the Marshman scrap heap. I thought it bore an uncanny resemblance to a menorah (Jewish candelabra) so I figured it would make a perfect table decoration once activated by burning candles.

The journal entry ends with a list:

  • Thank-you gifts: flowers, cake, mallee roots, geranium in beer can, DVDs to come for Les and Vernon and Ivan
  • Paint ute dots
  • Paint grader wheels (diagram) yellow/grey
  • Bake cake chocolate
  • Move 1/4 44 gallon drum for Marli's fire
  • Feathers in bush
  • Beer for...

If this list makes little sense to you I'm not surprised. All will be revealed in the next blog post.

Thank you for reading.


Trevor Flinn

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