By KATE HUNTER
Gosh I hope this rain clears up soon.
My washing’s been on the line for a week!
Let’s talk about conversation: Primarily, conversation topics. What’s allowed and what’s not. Because the menu seems getting smaller all the time. Sometimes it seems weather is all that’s left.
It struck me last week, driving home from our camping trip, how much I love conversation.
If I had to say I had a hobby, talking with people would be it. It’s my favourite way to spend time. And there’s nothing like a camping trip with other families to get conversation going.
Picture it – four women the same age, but with different jobs, marriages, kids, upbringings and and social networks. We weren’t catching up for coffee – we were effectively living together; eating, drinking, walking, washing up and queuing together for composting toilets.
We did not shut up. Except to listen to each other.
When I think about what we talked of, it was all about people – family, friends, colleagues, politicians, celebrities. A fair part could have been construed as, ‘judgey’ – but is that necessarily a bad thing? And is it anything new?
I imagine our female ancestors used to sit around digging yams, nattering to each other, ‘So, I heard that new family the third cave from the waterhole lets their girls go bison hunting!’
‘Well, it doesn’t surprise me. Have you seen the length of their mother’s deer-hide?’
‘Shocking. She’s asking for trouble. And have you noticed she never gives her kids berries? No wonder they’re so bad-tempered. I wonder if she’s had them assessed …’
Gossip is what we do. I believe we’re hard-wired for it. Men went hunting – which didn’t allow for much conversation, ‘Geez! Man, I really don’t want to hear about how she messed up your cave paintings, I’m trying to spear me a mammoth.”