As you can see I'm trying to squeeze in a bit more blogging. I don't have a Facebook profile, nor Instagram, nor Twitter and there are times when I wonder why I blog. But I get so much inspiration from other blogs that I figure if I just keep it up, someone somewhere will find something good here and if nothing else my own creativity may blossom!
We had a beautiful week with the kids. Lots of swimming for them. There was much floating on the river on Wednesday, a favourite summer activity.
Yesterday Beau and I went to visit our dear friends in the bush, with whom we lived 6 years ago. T and I used to walk a lot, sometimes a long way, down the gravel lanes, past horses, sheep, kangaroos, echidnas, willy wag tails. Last night we walked with the boys and then played records and had a Michael Jackson dance off. When I woke up this morning, Abuelo brought a mysterious bundle into the kitchen - M had sneakily stashed his old turn table in the back of my car before I left! I can't wait to get speakers and amp and put the needle on the record.
Today is my first day to myself for a couple of weeks. The kids have gone to their other parents. Abuelo has gone fishing. The family visits have come to an end.
There are lots of things I could do - clean, wash our clothes, weed the vege patch, bake....but really I want to write and ponder or maybe alter this.....
or draw something with these.......
or start reading this....
or even curl and and nap, which I hardly ever do. Maybe before the sun goes down I'll have done a little of each.
After tea and musical plans with our lovely neighbour, my wee laddie and I wandered home. I went out to pick greens for dinner. What a happy sight - a lush vege patch and one red tomato...what atomato....the kind we wait all year for and then eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After home made pizza, the kids and I went walking, and rose sniffing, chatting about our days as well as more worldly subjects while the sun went down in a balmy orange glow. That's the best part of summer holidays. No rush. No routine.
How are your holidays shaping up? Are you slowing down?
What are you reading, knitting, picking from the garden?
Remember when you were a kid, swimming, despite the cold wind and chilly water, in the ocean for what seems like hours, until your lips went blue and you crawled up the shore shivering and exhausted and happy. Remember the bliss of a hot shower and a good book afterwards? Maybe you have done that very thing recently, as a Grown Up. Then I say you are braver than me, for these days my ear drums alone cannot brave those waves for more than 10 minutes at a time. I could however, were I back in the Indian Ocean, (oh warm blue place of my youth) regain that enthusiasm. Nowadays I rely upon Tim Winton to take me there, rough fishing holidays, hot tin shacks, scrubby bush, crusty characters and all.
We took Grandma to destination number three (6 children in three states)upon an unusually windy coast; ate and talked and laughed and rolled home before the sun went down.
I hope your first few days of this new year have been delightful and that you feel enthusiastic if not excited about what lies ahead!
I love that Melbourne is like a country town this time of year; so quiet out on the streets, so peaceful. I saw fireworks outside our bedroom window last night (not so peaceful but splendid). Our New Year's Eve was traditionally low key and as was likely the case for all of Melbourne, we were weary at the end of a very, very warm 39 degree Celsius day, which was spent in the city keeping Visiting Grandma as cool as possible.
Today, blissfully cool and lazy, we had our family Christmas gift giving. Every second year our Christmas is a bit all over the place but in some ways pleasantly spread out. Such is the way it rolls in some blended families with the children heading off to their other families, and returning sleepy and happy, all loved up and ready for more.
Here is my beautiful handmade glasses case from Abuelo. It's the perfect size and feels lovely.
Here are the four of us this New Year's Day; what a lovely bunch (shame about the plastic bag on the line overhead...)- me sacrificing a potential glamour shot for the sake of a guinea pig on my head. Truffles is his name and Caramello down there in Bella's hands is his hot date for the month in hope that they may make sweet babies.
With Christmas postponed this year until Grandma and both children are with us on Friday, I've had a little extra time to finish Beau's viking costume. We declared a hand made Christmas earlier in the year, with the very best intentions but not quite enough time in the end to make it happen. Me thinks we ought to start NOW for next year. I would love to make the children a quilt each, and they alone may be a year in the making. Abuelo is making my gift - a beautiful glasses case out of leather and felt. The kids have plenty of skills to offer - knitting, crochet, woodwork, copper shaping, baking, felting, drawing.... I will try to get organised with some regular craft sessions over the year.
In general I have so many ideas for our home life, that I need to tackle them one by one, put some ideas in motion. One thing I am determined to do is change the way we shop - for food in particular. More and more I feel my heart sink when I enter the supermarket. I would like very much to never have to set foot in one again. I'm talking about the big chains particularly. Mostly I shop at our local organic store, whose owner and staff I have known for years, and the produce is fresh and lovingly tended. I am determined to reduce our consumerism to the most minimum amount of packaging.
Of course the best part of all this is contemplating how to grow more, produce more on our 1/4 acre block. We have plenty of fruit that with netting, will give us a bigger harvest. Our vege garden is rockin' this summer and we have only just reached the end of our year's supply of honey. The salami will have lasted 6 months, so a double quantity should technically cover us and allow for gifting! We have lots of big jars of preserved olives left, and 4 new beautiful bantam chickens. The last team meeting out in the chook run should surely result a one for one egg count!
We borrowed our friends' dehydrator, which despite debatable energy issues, has allowed us to dry 50% of our apricots (the ones the birds and bats graciously left us!). The other half we preserved, thanks to the wonderful gift of not one but two Fowlers Kits, from a like-minded work mate. Given we have apples and pears and plums to come, a dehydrator would be a great investment. Where we shall store it all I do not know. Perhaps a second fridge. IS it worth the power cost? There are quite a few things to consider. Were this our place we could consider a cold larder under the house.
KNITTING - I haven't been knitting as much as I normally would this time of year. Really we have only just gone on holiday as of this week. I love knitting in Summer - for the obvious reason that everything is ready for where by winter! I finished another Milo vest for little Rosa, from a stash of wool that my sweet sister-in-law brought to me a few months ago.
READING - This beautiful book by Kara Rosenlund, which for a family who are deep in the search for a little plot of their own, is the perfect feast of inspiration. I also received My Brilliant Friend for Christmas, by Elena Ferrante and am already half way through, content in the knowledge that three more books follow in the story.
I don't do New Year resolutions because I'm a Sagittarian and it's my God-given right not to follow through, but there are a few things I would like to bring into 2016, like more writing and drawing which are good for my soul. On the cusp of the New Year I am mostly giving thanks for what has essentially been a very good one, and looking forward to the next.