In the cool piriyitja mornings the flowers are full of honey. Even at the height of the day the flowers cover your fingertips with abundant syrup if you touch them. They are bracingly delicious. The Anangu kids call them lolly flowers.
I tried to change my mind about Tuesday. I did not succeed. In fact, I’ve given up trying for now. I like where I live and work and I like my routine, except for that lumpy bit at the beginning of the week.
Insidiously, the work undermines a caregiver’s self-trust and self-love. This is a danger inherent in the work itself — you have to deny your own needs and desires twenty times (or a thousand times) a day.
If a ball of lava is coming towards you, you focus on it and watch its trajectory, then move sideways, that is, not down the mountain or into the volcano, so that you can avoid it. I have missed catching so many balls in my life that I figured I’d be fine.
"One of Mary’s eyes became permanently closed thanks to that common disease that afflicts long-living dolls treated roughly by toddlers. I did have to take her head off once or twice to see how she was made inside."
Next time an Australian with fair skin reveals their Aboriginality, whether by their clothes or jewelry, their tattoos or their story, let your heart swell with gratitude that the web of Aboriginal cultures continues to be woven.
Some of the Aboriginal babies she cared for were thin and irritable, with watery diarrhoea and scalded nappy rashes. They were diagnosed with Failure to Thrive — a diagnosis which puts a child’s parenting directly under the spotlight. Their mothers seemed powerless. Health workers wondered what was going on in these babies’ homes? But Christine wondered if it could be something else.