July 2022

seedtodust

Any garden belongs to everyone who sees it – it is like a book and everybody who visits it will find different things.
Marc Hamer has designed and nurtured 12 acres of garden for over two decades. It is rarely visited so he is the only person who fully knows its secrets; but it is not his own. His relationship with the garden’s owner is both distant and curiously intimate, steeped in the mysterious connection which exists between two people who inhabit the same space in very different ways.

In this life-enhancing book Marc takes us month-by-month through his experiences both working in the garden and outside it, as the seasons’ changes bring new plants and wildlife to the fore and lead him to reflect on his past and future. Through his peaceful and meditative prose we learn about gardening folklore and wisdom, the joys of manual labour, his path from solitary homelessness to family contentment and the cycle of growth and decay that runs through both the garden’s life and our own.

Seed to Dust is a moving and restorative account of a life lived in harmony with nature.
You’ve seen gates like that at the side of the road, you’ve wondered what’s behind them. They really are the entrance to the wonders you imagined
He is adamant that his gardening the 12 acres belonging to an elderly widow, Miss Cashmere, is “work”. But through his salaried labour comes an almanac of meditations or parables or thoughts-for-the-day, got from dandelions and roses, lawnmowers and secateurs, dead-heading and mulching.

Hamer writes his plants well but finds knowledge awkward. His flower biographies (a striking number are poisonous) include the species’ scientific name, but he resists any other book learning and repeatedly says he knows very little – “I like my head to be clean and empty”
We are always in or nearby the garden but Seed to Dust also references Hamer’s hardscrabble “Old North” childhood and early-adult “vagrancy” (a rootlessness felt acutely by the gardener), his love for poetry (“the language of the birds”) that got him bullied and mocked, his discovery of his own creativity after decades of outdoors work silently communing with non-talking existence. And then, more recent and calmer adjuncts to his main narrative, we learn of his writerly life with his writer wife, his dandyish interest in dressing well, a heart health scare, his love for whisky and for his “Buddha” cat: he is a life-hardened man who has made himself soft, we are to understand, a man who has come through. With acknowledgement to The Guardian
Our members enjoyed this book which has ‘a lovely glow to it’ as well as the rhythm and contentment in simplicity, a gentle and healing read.
Ratings: Jenny 4.5, Cheryl, Pauline and Viv 4, Jen and Patrick 3.5, Margie 3.

Due to the venue being painted in the early days of August, our next meeting will be Tuesday 16/08/2022 at 6:30pm at the QCWA Mermaid Beach Centre located in 43 Ventura Rd, Mermaid Beach.

Come and join us to discuss The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood by Charlotte Wood. Hope to see you there and Happy Reading!

The 2022 Reading List can be found here.

About Us

We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.

QCWAhouse We normally meet at the QCWA Mermaid Centre at 43 Ventura Rd Mermaid Beach on the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them at the first meeting attended.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist for 2022 and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device at the bottom of the page.

CONTACT DETAILS

Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.
 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save