Listen while you read. This is the diary and personal essay of a woman’s personal journey of self-discovery and self-revelation in nature that leads her from the brink of domestic abuse and back to the safe harbour of liberated literatist. Grab a cup of coffee as this is very long. The essay follows after the diary. We were asked to write an essay about the current zeitgeist and domestic violence has become quite a problem in Australia along with the other things mentioned. Please note that the truth of the situation is only ever nuanced until the very end when the woman finally finds her voice, literally. This is intentional to impress my Uni Prof. I’ve used other subtle literary techniques too. See if you notice them. Thanks for reading 🙂
We would take whatever nature offered us and turn it into something magnificent. No matter how simple, how commonplace, together we could make it magic. It wasn’t that we were particularly brilliant as two separate units but that together we could make the words come to life – we knew how to finish each other’s sentences. My travel companion would often give me a poem opening line …
A ten thousand kilometer journey is no mean feat, especially when you are doing it by car. Of course, we had no idea that we would be doing that many kilometers or how it would feel at any given moment. All my travel companion (herein referred to as TC) and I knew was that we wanted to see Western Australia, had longed for it as long as we could remember, in fact. But nothing prepared us for how changed we would be upon our return.
The journey began with us sleeping through the alarm; it had sounded and we had both promptly fallen back to sleep. I dreamt that I was trying to rouse him in many different ways and yet continued to slumber. The tedium of dressing, breakfasting, packing and exiting my Tiny Home and the excitement of the coming journey finally started to dawn right at dawn 🙂 How can I explain the pink and orange sunrise behind us and the spiralling, vertical cloud formation straight ahead? Some moments are supposed to be cherished only and not written about while others are so filling that they rest there inside of you bloating you and causing indigestion until the pen is picked up once more.
The landscape changes with rain and deep, intimate conversation. A cathartic cleansing takes place and I begin to wonder if we do live our lives in close communion to nature without ever really knowing it; the cycles, the rhythms all held within us.
The road sweeps upwards and is made pretty by green lines of trees either side. We have this view hundreds of times across the outback mallee country and yet each time another tree-line hill road presents itself, we wait with almost bated breath to see what’s waiting for us on the other side. Sometimes we are presented with new scenery, but often it’s just more of the same.
It seems so odd at first to be away from the world of kids, work, bills, housework, errands but then the idea of being back there is what seems alien. Touring the countryside, getting through a set series of kilometres for the day, living from bags, stopping where we want on a whim, making new daily – sometimes hourly – discoveries, eating when we want to, sitting together through hours of boring tedium where words are useless and silence is golden alternated with spurts of active conversation seems like second nature to us now. That other life is in a parallel dimension a long way from here. This could easily become a lifestyle for us. It’s the open road for us!
The ‘grum grum’ (mist) rolled in just as we took the first selfie or ‘ussie’ of our holiday together. The first of many. It represented a new start and was eerily reminiscent of what you might see across the moors of Scotland. It was so thick in parts that we felt we were encased in a white sheet and it had the appearance of shooting straight up from the ground, like hot springs.
Then we drove on to see a never-ending rock wall to the right, the mirage straight ahead, the sheer cliffs dropping off to the left, the cascading layers of clouds in the blue, gridlocked sky. We saw wallabies, emus and kangaroos bounding alongside our car and were both thrilled to see a wedgetail eagle just off the road hovering over his prey (over there if anyone says “wedgie!”, everyone looks up 🙂
We took a lot of photos at the Eucla Telegraph Station which is sometimes visible when the sand hasn’t completely blown over it from the sea storms. I want to know how a man/woman could have manned it, as remote and isolated as it is. What a fabulous job! The terrain there is untamed and untainted and I declare that the more time went on, the more I felt I don’t belong in Melbourne. I could hear birds whose call sounded like a kind of spiralling, sweet melody. A whipper-will?
I have to tell you about the Nullabour Roadhouse: the sign on the public toilet door warned patrons about snakes. One conjures up images in their mind of snakes slumbering curled up around cisterns. I looked around me: the people in the roadhouse were all travellers, all passing through just like us. A lot of them have a look of reserve and some of quiet desperation – on the run maybe – but almost everyone had an aura of strength, inner toughness and a steely core that seemed to say “life keeps testing me and I pass with flying colours every time. Life will continue to test me and I am not afraid.”
You have to be a certain kind of person to do this. It’s not just YOLO, it’s a deep determination, a conviction that there’s a better life out there for us all – out there in the middle of nowhere. It’s a divine intervention that speaks to our souls of a new way, a breaking of the old order, a making of new traditions and memories, a moment in time that could indeed – with hindsight – become the best of your entire life. A brand new lifestyle. We fitted in there. We’re starting to imagine ourselves as digital nomads, gypsies, wanderers, roamers, rovers.
There is the occassional burst of pungent odour from the decaying carcass of a kangaroo. Lots of roadkill out here so that you don’t notice it after a while. Everything becomes combined out here: the road doubles as a RFDS airstrip which also doubles as a camping ground. The petrol station doubles as a restaurant, cafe, milkbar, motel and auto shop.
We’re beastly careless about the time out here and I mean that quite literally: the clocks go back an hour or two as we cross the country but we don’t bother winding them back because we don’t care about time and don’t have a schedule to speak of or deadlines – moment to moment anyway.
Some would consider this place a wasteland but we only see the razzle dazzle. The beauty of this arid land lies in the fact that it is completely uninhabitable and vast and cannot sustain life other than the wild. It speaks of the tyranny of distance and yet is glorious in its unending continuity.
We had a talk about drugs, addictions, death and loss and just then the landscape changed to spindly, white, barren, ghost gums. The timing is not lost on me. It’s art (the landscape) imitating life (our conversation) yet again. I see beauty in imperfection and even with the scrubby sage coloured button shaped plants that I’ve seen by the trillions out here, that are possibly some kind of noxious weed and the only thing the hard, hot ground can produce, there’s a part of my mind that’s fantasising that they are some kind of stunted bush lavender that are thriving in the red soil. Maybe it’s because I’ve trained myself to try to always see the silver lining.
Imagine a day without driving. When did this begin anyway? When was the starting point of this, of us? What day is it? What will we do when we wake up to a day of no travel? How do we transform ourselves from this to the new us? Everything so far is a blur: a blur of sleep gotten in snatches, eating on the run, showering and toileting in public, strangers wanting to inform you of their life story, quad bikers who fished but came home empty-handed, barking dogs, fellow travellers who are fascinated with our mode of transport and our home. The closer we get to Esperance the more we become lost in our own, individual thoughts. It’s not lost on me that the moment I had this thought we passed through an area called The Dead Forest. Very creepy! Right now I’m on the lookout for Brumbies as per the sign back there.
“Those insects with castanets on their feet!” 🙂
Camp is mostly set up here in Esperance and our happiness level progressed from eratic and fleeting to sublime. Oh to wake up and not have to pack and travel again. We awoke to the warbling – for want of a better word – of two magpies calling from opposite sides of the park. The birdsong is almost continuous here with parrots really making their presence felt although right now, 9pm, all is quiet.
The coastal scenery west of Esperance is absolutely stunning. Pristine white sands and turquoise beaches with cut and polished cliffs all completely untouched but looking as though it took some kind of human intervention to present it all as perfectly as it had been.
There’s something really magical about being up before the entire park and I used the time to truly reflect on the issues I have that turn me into a chaotic person. I know this about myself because he has reminded me several times. I wonder at why I’ve become self-protective! As for Himself, there seem to be no problems at all – or none admitted to anyway. It is tiring setting up and then packing up camp every day and some days of arduous travel, that’s all I have the energy for.
We were completely underwhelmed by Albany but Bridgetown was just lovely: mountainous and leafy like Warrandyte and then volcanic like Yea. I know it was time-consuming crossing the Nullabour instead of flying but I will never forget our lovely night in Cocklebiddy. It was our first official night with the camper set up and we were both relishing it. Cocklebiddy is quite literally a one-horse town in the middle of nowhere but the feeling we got as we sat in the tiny dinette was quite something – almost an out-of-body experience.
Our days are mostly filled with laughter and fun but we have had our tense moments too. We are both strong-willed people who like to be in control and who are used to doing things a certain way and like to have our own way (well, he does anyway!) and we can both be broody and at the mercy of our moods so it can make for some muddled up times. Being thrown together for such a great length of time at such close quarters really makes a person aware of their own and the other person’s faults and I felt I was being made constantly aware of mine. I’m not going to tell you about the health issues I had while away, the fact we couldn’t get the annex up, the way the porta-loo overflowed (gross!), the fact I had a Uni assignment due that had not even been started but I will tell you this…
“The willow leaves tap danced on the canvas of the annex
roof as the breeze took them and we remained snug inside
in our mutual bliss…” 🙂
What I will take away from all of this was the moment we finally got the annex up and that night there were gale force winds and he had popped out for a smoke and was listening to me singing to John Denver inside the annex and pottering around and he came in and expressed his pleasure by dancing me around the kitchen. The roof felt it was about to blow away and what were we doing – dancing 🙂
I have this fantasy that I will make the 100 km walk from Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste through the Naturaliste National Park one day. I swing between imagining myself out there with a tiny tent toughing it out against the elements OR completely indulging myself by staying in luxury accommodation instead. Maybe a happy compromise. Margaret River is wine country and where all of the hippies and alternative people hang out. Just picture Warrandyte crossed with Palm Cove on the coast and you have an idea of what it’s like.
Tempers flare and sometimes things get said just to break the monotony and ease the dreadful feeling that we have to trek all the way back across and we are both so tired of driving. But we had a pinnacle moment at The Pinnacles 🙂
The people of Western Australia are made up of wind, salt and white sanded turquoise beaches. Just like the Pinnacles, some are quite tall and others are shorter. There’s a healthy ruggedness to them as they are shaped by their landscape – aren’t we all? The turquoise ocean of their eyes, the red sand of sunburnt skin, the white salt of pale skin and the wind has made course and craggy outer layers. They have become their landscape. Their landscape becomes them. Which came first. I did. I became THIS! I came here not knowing a thing and I became it and will leave completely changed, forever. And I will be back!
There’s nothing arrogant, conceited or malicious about the people of W.A. Virtually everywhere you go people will immediately open up to you and start to tell you about their lives. They aren’t doing this to be silly or annoying or nosey but as an invitation to open up yourself and share. I once thought that W.A. was made up of red sand and ugliness – how wrong could I have been!? Everyone wants to share their travel story and tell you where to go, quite literally. And we’ve become quite savvy at this camping thing: we drive through the heat of the day and don’t bother having accom booked ahead of time anymore unless we know we will be getting tired soon; we have a big feed in the mid-afternoon so we don’t have to worry about pulling out the camp kitchen and cooking and then cleaning up; we keep the jobs down to a minimum so we can hop straight into bed after camp’s set up because we know we’ll be tired after a day of driving; we don’t unhitch and drive to town for anything because it takes too much time to get it all back together the next day; sometimes we grab food and eat where we are if we know we have a big drive coming up, to stave off hunger later on; we ration out chores and time too; don’t bring in the big bags from the ute, just wear the same clothes the next day; don’t bother getting dressed up to dine out (we actually arrived looking like beach bums to a 5 star restaurant in North Beach called Clarkes – very funny); lay the towells out over the back seat to dry as we drive; wash panties in the shower at night and leave them to dry so they are ready to wear next morning; don’t stress if the exact food and drinks desired aren’t forthcoming at the usual times, just wait a while; fill water bottles wherever free rather than buying new ones; know and keep track of where things are – ALWAYS put things back where they belong – which saves time looking for lost items; don’t drink too much while travelling or else more pee stops; double check the camper before folding it up for wallets, sunglasses, keys etc; fold up the camper steps before folding the camper up; don’t put the air conditioner on in the car unless you absolutely have to, it uses more petrol; motel rooms are an absolute necessity for when you feel fed up with it all and just want a little luxury (although I miss the smell of the canvas on those nights). So far we have indulged twice.
It’s such an odd feeling stepping from the outdoors for hours or even days at a time to be back indoors or in the car. The constant wind is quite harrowing at times but the full package is just so rewarding. It’s not just the serenity of the quiet places, sometimes the sound of trucks rolling down the highway has its own kind of beauty and there is so much more than that besides. The clouds, stars, moon, plant-life and the birds. The birds … where do I begin? I’m watching them to see where they’ll go and what they’ll do. I get into the car and wind the window up and feel sad that I have to leave them – the stunning birdsong of a particular bird to a particular area and sometimes the look of them too, like the purple headed Cowarra parrot in Margaret River. As I close the door of the room or the car I wonder if they are watching me too. Will they think of me and miss me too or perhaps that’s just my egocentricity. It’s a lonesome feeling without them.
Looking back, we felt like we were stalling at Margaret River. We stopped there for five days because we thought we needed the break but looking back we were missing not having new scenery every day or at least that’s how I console myself.
We’ve been to a lot of tourist destinations in the south west of W.A. In hindsight, there was only a tiny part of me that was enjoying those places and the photo taking that took place. I really can’t understand why except to say, I’d rather be in nature than in crowds and queues. Here’s a list of all of the places we went to. You decide for yourself whether or not they are … noteworthy:
Paddling with stingrays (TC only)
Augusta Lighthouse guided tour
Longest Jetty train ride and underwater observatory – Busselton
The Pinnacles (actually this place really captured my imagination. It’s intriguing as no-one knows how they came to be there but we like the theory that it is a petrified forest and there was a feeling it was placed on a whole bunch of lay lines – something deeply mystical and spiritual about it).
Wave Rock, Haydn National Park – I could live one hundred lives under this rock and write one thousand poems. Even the wind sounds strange; it’s like it’s coming through a tunnel even though I know it’s actually making its way to me through the trees.
Head of Bight – this is where the whale watching takes place from May to September every year as the mothers come into shore to birth their calves. How could I have ever thought of a landscape without mountains as being hideous? The desert offers me so much. The coastal region of the Great Australian Bight has captured our hearts even though mine was already given to Esperance and the Naturaliste National Park. Leaving W.A. gives me a feeling of heaviness. When can I come back? We were foolish to think three weeks was enough. There’s so much we haven’t seen.
And then we’re back to the wheat country – alternating rows of oaten gold and honey treacled crispbread hues. My hair is dirty and so are my clothes. My heels are thick and discoloured and my facial hair has reappeared but all I can think about is how during a nice cuddly moment, I snotted on TC 🙂 He picked me a purple wildflower in Eucla – so simple and yet stunningly beautiful and magnificent, wild and surviving against all odds and bent toward freedom, growing happily in the desert without a care in the world, not needing or asking for much and yet with a full and meaningful existence.
I can still see the faces of all of the people I’ve met on this journey and my only regret is that I didn’t take photos of them all as a keepsake. Even last night at Poochera, there were four men at the bar in the pub/restaurant/campground office who looked like they’d been sitting there for twenty years and the publican and his wife who welcomed us with “oh so you are the hungry people looking for a bed” as we had phoned ahead. And they all talked to us as if they had known us all of our lives and then all of the stories started to roll out. The movie Red Dog really is an accurate depiction of country hotels – the people really are that friendly 🙂
How am I going to sleep in my big king size bed within walls of plaster without the sound of the wind coming for us through the trees and blowing up the canvas and zips? Just how? I still can’t believe the change that’s taken place inside of me on this trip: why did I ever believe it was important to dye my eyebrows, wear foundation, curl my eyelashes, wear high heel shoes? Why – just why?
We just crossed the border back into Victoria…
Diary entries 27th January 2017 – 15th February 2018
A Personal Essay
14th March, 2018
I went into the desert with a guy I hardly knew and by the time I emerged I was not the same. I wish I could tell you that it was him, that he improved me somehow, but that’s not the way the story goes. It was it, the desert – I won’t refer to it as “him” or “her” because it’s ridiculous to give a place or a thing a gender. It changed me, although he certainly had his part to play as well.
So, after curling my eyelashes and applying a French manicure and while watching the sparkling diamonds of the jewellery he’d bought me as a gift, I decided to ignore the many people I knew who grabbed my arm and hissed “stay safe”, or “be careful” as they shot him a dark eyed, sidelong, suspicious glance. The writing was on the wall, but I was too distracted to read it.
A ten-thousand-kilometre journey is no mean feat, especially when you’re doing it by car. Of course, neither of us knew at the start how we would be feeling from moment to moment, as they ticked by. I took it as a sign that the first sunrise of our trip the sky was awash with pink and orange behind us while the sky ahead was brimming with spiralling, vertical, white clouds. Some moments are supposed to be cherished only and not written about while others are so filling that they rest there inside of you, bloating you with ideas, until the pen is picked up once more.
The landscape changes with rain and deep intimate conversation. A cathartic cleansing takes place and I begin to wonder if we do live our lives in close communion to nature without ever really knowing it; the cycles, the rhythms all held deeply within us. I thought of what Camille T Dungy1 had said about this: “I am never not thinking about nature because I don’t understand a way we can be honest about who we are without understanding that we ARE nature.”
“Of course, if you want to be with me, those male friends you were just talking about have to go!” he muttered after a couple of hours of silence.
I’d made the mistake of telling him about the male friends I had who I was very fond of. It was day two of our trip and there was three weeks left. The high pitched, girly laugh that I’d heard emanating from myself vanished. The smile on my face froze, shattered, slid down to my throat and didn’t return. Had there been something about my attitude, my behaviour that had made him think this kind of conversation was okay?
The road that leads out to the desert sweeps upwards at times and is made pretty by the lines of green trees either side. We have this view hundreds of times across the outback mallee country and yet each time another hill presents itself, I wait with baited breath to see what’s on the other side. Sometimes, I’m presented with new scenery but more often than not it’s just more of the same.
I played him my favourite song and he commented that one day, when we get married, we would use it as our wedding song. It was a wonderfully romantic moment. He picked me a flower and I pressed it between the pages of my writing journal in tissue paper.
It’s hard to remember that there is a world of kids, bills, work, housework, errands when you see wallabies and emus bounding along beside the car. I also saw a Wedgetail eagle hovering over it’s prey right at the side of the road. He was so graceful and very obviously at the top of his food chain.
On the night that we finally got the camper trailer fully set up there were high gale force winds and it felt as though the canvas roof would blow off at any moment. He came inside, tired and hungry, and seemed to be listening to me singing along to John Denver – Country Road. He looked as though he would cry and then he took me and twirled me around and we danced together in the kitchen of the annexe while outside the world was coming apart.
Our travel talk turned to drugs, addictions, death and loss just as the landscape changed to spindly, white, barren ghost gums. The timing is not lost on me: it’s art (nature) imitating life yet again. I see beauty in imperfection and even with the scrubby sage coloured button shaped plants that I’ve seen by the trillions out here, that are possibly some kind of noxious weed and the only thing that the hot, hard ground can produce, there’s a part of my mind that’s pretending that they are just some kind of stunted lavender bush that can thrive in red soil; he is still deserving of my love.
“If you come and live with me, you won’t need money,” he said, he knows I’m a student. We talked often about money; if I whipped out my purse to pay for anything, he became quite angry.
It’s such an odd feeling stepping from the outdoors for hours or even days at a time to indoors or in the car. The constant wind is quite harrowing at times, but the full package is so rewarding. It’s not just the serenity of the quiet places; sometimes the sound of the trucks rumbling down the highway has its own kind of beauty. The clouds, stars, moon, plant life and the birds. The birds; I’m watching them to see where they’ll go and what they’ll do. I get into the car and wind the window up and feel sad that I have to leave them. As I close the door of the room or car, I wonder if they have been watching me too. A kind of companion to ease my aloneness. Will they think of me and miss me when I’m gone or perhaps that’s my egocentricity talking?
“Why are you always studying and writing?” he asked. “We’ve missed out on so much sightseeing because you have your head in your books!” I smiled absently and looked out of the window to watch the passing desert.
People think of the desert as a wasteland, but I only see the razzle dazzle. Alison Hawthorne Deming2 knew what she was talking about when she said “what it takes to dazzle us, masters of dazzle, all of us here together at the top of the world, is a night without neon or mercury lamps.” The beauty of this arid land lies in the fact that it is completely uninhabitable and vast and can not sustain life other than the wild. It speaks of the tyranny of distance and yet is glorious in the reliability of its seemingly unending continuity. You have to be a certain kind of person to like the desert. The people I’ve met on the Nullabor have a look of quiet reserve, inner toughness, a steely core. There’s something about them that makes you wonder at their choice of living in the middle of nowhere. Were they hoping for a breaking of the old order? A brand-new lifestyle with better traditions and memories? I began to imagine myself as one of them. I began to feel as though I could fit in. I began to see the truth of myself – a gypsy, nomad, roamer – stavaigin3; going back to my people, back to the dreamtime.
“How are those meaty thighs going?” he asked, jokingly. I glanced down at my thighs then with a frown. I’d always considered them to be slim.
“And what are we going to do about this?” he asked as he grabbed the layer of fat on my stomach. “It’s getting bigger!”
I ignored him to google the tree in Western Australia called the Christmas tree. It’s like the peacock of the tree family – vibrantly strutting its stuff. It is also a parasite; it attaches itself to other healthy plants and sucks water and nutrients from them. He is beautiful and yet so deceiving.
The people of Western Australia are made up of wind, red soil, salt and white turquoised beaches. Just like the Pinnacles, some are quite tall and others are shorter. There’s a healthy ruggedness to them as they are shaped by their landscape – aren’t we all? They have become their landscape. Their landscape becomes them. Which came first? I did. I became this! I came here not knowing a thing and I became it and will be forever changed. How could I have ever thought of a landscape without mountains as being hideous? I am determined to return in May, by myself, when the mother whales birth their calves at the Head of Bight.
“Why do you keep wearing those same old shoes?” he asked which made me pay attention to them then. They were getting quite dirty but traipsing through the outback made you forget about trivial things. He also asked why I was becoming distant, as if holding back.
I looked out across the desert and realised I was home. It was everything I was always trying to find words for and I understood Robyn Davidson4 then when she said, “the self in a desert, becomes more like a desert.” And also,
“…the paradox was I was as remote from the rest of humanity that it is possible to be and yet had never felt as connected and indeed as existentially at home…it was the antithesis to loneliness if you like.” Dry and sparse but also free from: settlement; civilization; patriarchy; religion; sexism; misogyny; agriculture; industry; consumerism; farm factories; fast food; politics; news; media; marketing; advertising; money; devices; screens; distractions; addictions; corruption; greed; the vulgarity of celebrity; narcissism; the unfair distribution of wealth; opulence; human drones & robots who seek riches, fame and personal success at any cost; war – notwithstanding the holocaust.
It was powerful but not proud; breath-taking in its beauty without conceit; a sanctuary for seekers of solitude and solace; a wilderness like my soul – open, kind, loving, unending; a fantasy; a myth; a story; uncomplicated yet layered; unliveable; isolated; unlabelled; ever present yet fading into the background; unassuming and not wanting to steal the limelight; self-deprecating.
I may have been born before but this was my beginning and will be my end. I am not a gender, a sexual orientation, a sexual object to be kept at home, a particular relationship, a profession, a race, a creed, a colour and I am no man’s property. Yes, I am a romantic, a sensual; full of desire, not lust. But like the desert, like her, I am also simple, basic, simultaneously fragile and strong, unfenced, uncaged, wild and free.
I just am. Take nothing away from me and add nothing to me. No artificial additives – boundaryless – leave me plain. I am the people I love as they reside in me piece by piece and have made me who I am but above and beyond that just a lover of the natural world and more than that the wilderness is my home. The dreamtime of the people infuses my soul.
“Of course, if you come to live with me, I only have two bedrooms and the house is small so we’ll have to get rid of all of your stuff,” he said, quite casually. It occurred to me then that I wouldn’t have a study and in the words of Virginia Woolf5, a room of one’s own.
The desert has a kind of cruelty too, all of its own. It can be cold, unyielding, formidable, a force to be reckoned with. She had to learn to be strong and resilient, with a mind of her own, to stand on her own two feet.
“Goodbye,” I said into his stunned silence when he dropped me back to my home in the suburbs.
“So, you’re home?” my daughter smiled as she watched me spread out the armful of loose papers and journals from the trip onto my study floor.
“Wow, mum, you stink of rotten feet. Have you been eating meat?” I grinned up at her.
“I ate Subway, McDonalds and bacon. I breathed his cigarette smoke every day and drank three alcoholic drinks.” She looked on sympathetically.
“Never mind, mum,” she said as she rubbed my arm affectionately. “Tomorrow’s a new day and for what it’s worth, I’m glad to have you back!”
“I’m glad to be back,” I replied, knowing that no-one in the world, except the desert of course, knew that it was a half lie and half truth and that sometimes a lie sounds like the truth. I picked up my pen to write about her and because she had changed me so irrevocably, for once had no trouble finding my (her) voice.
She’s calling me back…
1Dungy, Camille T, 09/01/2018, Women Writing About Wild – 25 essential books, Outside Online,
2Deming, Alison Hawthorne, 09/01/2018, Women Writing About Wild – 25 essential books, Outside Online,
3Stavaigin is a Scottish word meaning wanderer as quoted about Nan Shepherd in Women Writing About the Wild – 25 essential authors
4Davidson, Robyn, 09/12/2017, Tracks Author Robyn Davidson Reflects on a Changing Australia 40 Years After Her Desert Trek, ABC News,
5Woolf, Virginia, 24/10/1929, A Room of One’s Own, Bloomsbury Publishing, England.
1st August, 2018 – As a response to your recent email TC, sorry but the answer is still no. I hope this helps you to understand and gives you the “clarity” you so desperately seek. LMM.