19 April 2020

Barb is putting her pulley to good use.


What’s been surprising about all this time spent at home?

I never knew I’d turn into my grandmother.


How so?

Well I’m baking the entire CWA cookbook – I’ll run out of freezer space soon. On the upside, I’m all good for string, used paper bags, expired tea bags, and containers with one tablespoon of rice in them. I’m totally keeping everything. You never know when there’s a Depression coming. Except when you do.


What else are you doing differently?

Crafting. I’ve excavated some old fabric and thread and whipped up a few things. I stitched and embroidered a calico shopping tote that’s become my go-to accessory.


What’s it like?

Magic! It just has the words RUBY PRINCESS emblazoned across both sides, but whenever I take it to my local supermarket the shopping experience is really seamless. Everyone clears out when I arrive. Jammy timing, I guess.


I think you could sell those totes. Any other genius ideas?

Well it’s old school, but my downstairs neighbour and I have rigged up a nifty basket-and-pulley system between our balconies. We use it to share cake, herb seedlings, hand sanitiser and grog – all the essentials.


How do you know when there’s a package coming?

Part of the design is a length of string with an empty two-fruits tin attached to each end, so we can talk to each other in an analogue way. We could text, I suppose, but we’re both trying to limit our screen time.


What else do you chat about?

Turns out we both have a fondness for haiku. There’s some absolute gold standard poetry being exchanged via the tin can walkie talkies.


Can you share some?



I’m all out of eggs

A baker’s embarrassment

Can you spare a few?



So over omelettes

Can’t face one more toast soldier

Yank the pulley now



You’re a life saver

Stand by for treacle pudding

And hey, what’s your name?