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  • Writer's pictureAmy Minichiello

Moments of Nothingness & a Weekend Away

The dimpled skin of the chicken in the oven is turning the palest shade of gold. Meanwhile, my skin, immersed in a basting liquid of Dew of the sea milk, is exhaling and relaxing in the claw foot bathtub, in a room that implores one to sink into the nothingness - of doing nothing. Of not needing to be anywhere. Of not being needed by anyone.

Slipping between the floral bedsheets, upon a cloud-like mattress, as the chorus of bells from the neighbouring sheep sing their tune upon the ink-blank canvas of nightfall, I can feel myself breathe. I can hear myself breathe.

The warm glow of the fire burns rhythmically. The country air feels crisp. I inhale the greenness. My chest undulates with the rise and fall of the surrounding hills. There are layers of melodies, everything awakens, and a new day reaches out. My eyes lay upon the horses in the next paddock. Their breath circling in front of their muzzles, I can feel the softness against the palm of my hand, even as I stand on the long verandah. The wind, strong and known, blasts through my whole being - windblown. Blow away the cobwebs, everything that need not be there disappears.

I wrap my hands around the floral china cup and hug my knee into my chest. Sitting at the kitchen table, its perfectly, imperfect rustic beauty inviting me in. I sit, I read. I crunch down on freshly toasted buttered bread, spread with jewels of marmalade.

Time does not need to be kept. There is nowhere to be. Except I have a chook turning a burnished shade of deep gold that requires my attention. Caramelized fennel, creamy potatoes and wedges of heirloom pumpkin doused in olive oil and sea salt flakes will accompany vibrant green beans and squares of fluffy focaccia studded with blistered cherry tomatoes (leftover from the night before) to mop up the pools of lemon butter infused with the warming notes of fennel fronds.

I will relish in the moment of cooking for two of the people in my life whom my heart has so much love for, my mum and my sister-in-law, and share with them the love I have for a good roast chook*.


*You can find the recipe for the roast chook here

We spent the most delightful two nights at Marge's Cottage, a rural retreat in Poowong East, Victoria. Hosted by Cheryl, the kindest, most welcoming lady who has created a place that instantly makes you feel at home.


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