Campfire Cuppas - Pot on the stove

I remember as a young child spending school holidays at my Grandparents house, in Robinvale, Victoria. Their house was outside of town, about a 8 minute drive but longer when we forgot something & was told it was to late to turn back.

The first thing I would do when we would get to Nan and Pops, was run up to the big eucalyptus trees at the front of their house, grab a handful of leaves, rub them together and then smell the wonderful scents of eucalyptus!

Little did we know how beneficial it was for our respiratory system. The leaves from those same trees are used to create our eucalyptus smudge sticks, they were planted by my Grandfather and represented his first 5 grandchildren.

We would spend all school holidays out bush. In the morning we would hear the birds singing to us, letting us know it was time to wake up. We knew if you would wake up to early, playing near the fire, you would be told to get straight back to bed. We would spend our days swimming in the Murray river, playing games like pretending to be life guards & saving each other. We would swim all day until our skin would wrinkle, and even then we would refuse to get out.

Us kids would take turns fishing, just as long as someone put the worm on the hook for me, because you couldn't pay me touch them slimy things. If we weren't fishing, we were making our own tracks in the bush. We would make our own paths, which led to our own 'cubby houses' decorated with a roof made of leaves & a fire that we may have tried to light if we could just sneak a lighter. Of course you couldn't enter unless you knew the password, sesame street.

We were allowed to stay up late when we were out bush, as long as we weren't loud incase the Featherfoot or Hairy Man would get you. If that didn't scare you, the Beka woman would. The Beka woman was a woman (obviously) who wondered around the bush trying to find little kids to take & feed with her titty milk. 

Of course we were more scared of the Beka woman & her titties.

Whilst staying at my Grandparents, I would stay up late to find my Nan in the kitchen boiling bark in a pot on the stove to produce a bitter tasting remedy to treat a sore belly (of course it was just any bark, it was special bush medicine). If it wasn’t the smell of boiling bark filling the air, it was the smell of Nans duck egg liniment, used for sore muscles, aches & pains. All of which I never forgot and will cherish those early memories and the beginning of my love of bush medicines.

My mother also had her own cures, remedies, bush medicines she liked to conjure up in the kitchen. One time on our way traveling up to Melbourne, we had pulled over and my Mother had come back to the car, carrying a big bunch of leaves saying ‘look at all this bush medicine around us’. My mother is an open book of rich cultural knowledge with a big heart!

So when I heard the to 'Because of Her, I Can' it's the stories like these, the memories, the laughs, the days swimming in the river under the hot sun, are all little moments, added up, that made me who I am today.