Monday, October 27, 2008


Experiencing knitting learning curve despite urge to unravel the entire documentation pending final decision.

Green Day at a local farm.

My elephant.

Beau's Island

There's a definite rhythm to life out here now for which I am very grateful and which seems to satisfy the three of us. It's always obvious how much happier Beau is when he can count on a big portion of daily/weekly activities being familiar. When he knows what's coming he gets such a sense of confidence and cooperation and calm. That's not to say that spontaneity doesn't work. K and I wouldn't be ourselves if that disappeared from our life but as a family we all feel the peace and flow that comes from rhythm and dare I say it some good ol' fashion routine. All the more important for us because we have moved around so much and so there are some daily 'rituals 'that we would go collectively insane without. The dinner to bedtime routine for Beau for example never changes except for the location, our mornings and the way we interact with nature and the neighbours now we are here.

Beau's (almost four year old)increasing ability to stay with an activity for an extended period of time is a pleasure for us all. Whether it be wood carving or chopping veges or painting or clay modeling etc, finally we are all getting our teeth stuck into things parents must let go of in the presence of young toddlers with short attention spans . It gives me some insight into the potential for homeschooling which feels to be the right thing for our family. We have started researching and it seems there is a good network in our area. This has been the main issue for us, that Beau would have access to other home schooled kids and shared activities and that we would have support as home schooling parents. I'm so inspired by Amanda,
Blue Yonder and many others whom I have come across in the blogosphere who have chosen to school at home.
We are excited at the idea that home life, play, spiritual practice and education can be integrated, especially now that we are living in the country (Oh how I love to say that; We Live In The Country).

At long last w can say that we are closer to the lifestyle that we have often dreamed of. That in fact I have dreamed of for as long as I can remember. (on parallel with international Jazz Diva which is not of course out of the question either, but is really more about the frocks) Our home life is simplified and slowed down, our working lives are in line with our creative passions, we spend a great deal of time together as a family, we have a stronger sense of community, we are giving our relationship some much needed attention, and we are researching the other ways in which we can create a more simple, sustainable, self-sufficient and communal life style.

The next step for us is to find land, incurring the smallest possible (if not non-existent) mortgage; ideally with two or three other families. We are researching alternative building techniques(in particular Cob) and drinking up any literature about self-sufficiency and simple living; one reason why I'm so glad I found Linda's Blog and book, and so happy for runs and re runs during my child hood of Felicity Kendal and The Good Life.

To some of our friends and family we probably seem very idealistic. It may be so, but we have spent so many years trying to 'fit in', to consume and conform and control, on our own, on others' terms and felt so little satisfaction and much confusion that this year has been about following our hearts and stripping back enough to see what we really need and what we can live without. We find ourselves now in a tiny studio, on a tiny income, with minimal possessions and a lot of time. This has been made possible with years of dreaming and periods of hard slog, a small ($11,000) financial loan from family, a short spell as mortgagees, the reduction of our relationship to a series of practical instructions at the end of a day, a timely and profitable house sale, a bloody enormous amount of letting go, the paying off of all debts, a small but nevertheless very helpful nest egg that is ours, the generosity of beloved friends and the determination to prove to ourselves and each other that we can really truly live as we choose.

The suffering of our relationship over the past 5 years has been in part due to external pressures but mostly due to our respective experience of them. We have coexisted as housemates and managed the day to day living with some ease. We have been parenting with a shared passion for the well being of our child. We have experienced the 'Ships in the Night' passing that can completely wipe out the possibility for intimacy. We have felt that our visions for the future have been completely at odds with each other. We have come face to face with our own feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction to the point where the idea of not being together was mentioned far too many times. Then we pulled the pin on what seemed to be the only real shared plan of action, consequently threw ourselves into complete chaos and confusion, got Very Stressed and Very Pissed Off until we landed here with enough time and space to get back to being nice to each other and patient and, lo and behold, to finding that what we envisage from here on is increasingly the same.

We have a way to go but thanks to the 'C' word ('counseling' just before you get too carried away) which, neither of us had ever had up until three weeks ago, and about which both of us have been dubious ("Oh look, we can sort it out can't we anyway it's YOUR fault...")but for which we are now very thankful because eventually slogging it out on your own can get rather boring, exhausting and just generally no where.

I will spare you any further details about our personal life. I think I've managed to Share the important bits without dragging you into domestic drama. I'm sure you all have/had your own share. Good bloody on you if not!

Suffice to say we have managed not to scar Beau emotionally along the way, though maybe counseling somewhere down the line in his own adult life may reveal otherwise. Let us hope that we may be evolving and parenting in such a way that our kids might be spared the need.

My 45 minutes appear to be up. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kings and Queens

We had these beautiful visitors yesterday and today, so tame, the King Parrot stayed a long while to eat sunflower seeds and pose for photos. Today he flew up to the window twice to get my attention. The echidna is still sitting in the garden with its nose snuffling for ants....I love it that these things are part of our day to day. And Henrik, it is with you most clearly in my mind that I post these pictures; some bits of Australia that I know you love so well! Enjoy my friend xx

Monday has become a very communal day for T and I and our boys. We usually spend the whole day together walking, talking, sharing chores, and preparing meals. I have earned the honourable title of 'Kitchen B****'to Kitchen Queen T. It's all about Superfood and chocolate and all things good and green from our local vege co-op. We think we should have our own TV show, baby in sling and all.....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

small things for wee people

we've all been making one thing or another this week, some things finished, some in progress. I love seeing Beau out there with his Dad and some tools, carving and drilling and sanding. I love seeing K finally having the time to get his teeth stuck into a creative project. The first one was a gift that he and Beau conceived and made together for C's 4th birthday, this wonderful sword. Beau has been fascinated with swords lately and I remembered reading in a Steiner Book that at this age children will find great strength and courage in the story of St George and the Dragon, where of course George rescues the princess from the dragon with his mighty sword. Fortunately no dragons have yet been harmed since the making of this sword (nor have any small people who seemed somehow to understand the symbolism with which the gift was bequeathed).

The knitting of a little vest for the wee neighbour is coming along after many unravellings. It is my first attempt at decreasing, shaping, sewing together...very exciting and I feel like the knitting world will be my oyster thereafter.

... speaking of little things for wee people, I found this beautiful dress in a local op shop whilst trawling for dress ups. It's so fine and delicate that I can't imagine who might wear it (a doll perhaps).

...and Beau and I made a fairy house today at the bottom of the garden which seemed the obvious place. It has a view over the trees, open fire and a hand knitted blanket. Available for weekend stay with optional breakfast. Sorry no pets.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

a birthday and a warm sunday

We had a small birthday party last night, for K. good friends, kids, fire, fire twirling, music and food, all the right things.

Today was the first really warm day which was spent recovering from a late night, making things and being still by the river, slowing down time.

and the littlest neighbour grows and smiles....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

this week....

Two luscious Libran friends had birthday picnics (with excellent cakes...)

It rained some and it was warm some...

Beau did some painting...

We visited Uncle Gaz and Aunty Dee.

Beau got to play with his dearest friends.

I got to sing murder ballads and gospel songs with the lovely Teresa, K had his first book stall, and the beautiful Salvador (5weeks old)got bigger and cuter while his mama got through a long hard week, slightly scathed but still beautiful and smiling. Why I have not taken photos of them as yet I do not know, so lovely they all are...I've had the fortune to hold the wee babe many, many times these last three weeks. Delicious.