an ordinary life

An ordinary life… but a good life. Albeit -after 2 and a half years- still sans the routine and spare time I anticipated went hand-in-hand with tree-seachange lifestyle.

Our ordinary encompasses variously the housekeeping of life: mundane – the G.O. continues to wrangle osteoarthritis; necessary – assisting my MiL to live independently; and inevitable – ongoing concern around my Dad’s ill-health.

Too much time away from the blogosphere brings with it overthinking and inevitable crisis of confidence… is this ordinary life too simple to translate into a blog post, of little interest to those who already do what I do & know what I am only just learning, of no interest to others who never will, too irregular in its missives to appeal? 

And yet my fingers yearn to tap a keyboard and my mind constructs narratives, some of which find themselves accompanying my ad hoc day-to-day offerings via the convenience of Instagram.

There, perhaps, lies a possibility of sorts, laid out in snapshots which although intersowed with continuing horticultural studies evidence a focus on food. Allowed the opportunity, kitchen witchery has become an avocation… fulfilment of an urge to apply the fascination of alchemy to the everyday, augmenting our philosophy of live simple home made grown local creative better.

A philosophy which has crafted an extraordinary everyday that bears little resemblance to the retirement for which it is all too often misconstrued. It is, in fact, a full-time endeavour but wondrously rewarding.

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“And while it takes courage to achieve greatness, it takes more courage to find fulfillment in being ordinary. For the joys that last have little relationship to achievement, to standing one step higher on the victory platform. What is the adventure in being ordinary? It is daring to love just for the pleasure of giving it away. It is venturing to give new life and to nurture it to maturity. It is working hard for the pure joy of being tired at the end of the day. It is caring and sharing and giving and loving…” ~ Marilyn Thomsen


24 thoughts on “an ordinary life

  1. I know those sock savers!
    Your guava jelly is the most fantastic colour – did it gel or was it a glaze in the end?
    Funny how life never turns out how we expect it to. Sometimes it’s harder, but the rewards are great… Looking at your photos, I’d say the rewards side of the scale was well loaded!


    1. So many people comment on those sock savers… several have asked where I bought them. An untapped market, perhaps!
      The guava jelly jelled. Yay 😃
      We’re very grateful that our leap of faith has delivered all we hoped for… and more.


  2. Hi Dale, and welcome back. I have missed you as I haven’t got into Instagram. Your ‘ordinary’ life is far from it. Making this change is a huge adjustment in thinking and it is indeed hard work. There is always too much to do, make, grow, and swap as well as fulfilling all those family obligations along the way.I too often have that crisis in confidence about posting, but then, some little voice inside me says ‘ stuff it’ and get on with it. I love your posts and hope to see more along the way.


      1. -grin- It’s all relative! I kind of imagine your village as being this idyllic little pocket of Australia. I know it’s probably not, or at least no more so than anywhere else, but it’s nice imagining. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, hello there Dale! Great to see and read news of your dull, boring, utterly enviable life! I daresay there are many downsides but what a gorgeous run of visuals. Since it’s been a while I hope you won’t mind a long set of comments… I know I could follow Instagram but I simply can’t face one more login to add to my day. Maybe I’ll give up on Twitter…
    I love the words you choose to use (making me realise I use too many) , especially – no surprises here – alchemy and witchery.
    Misconstrued as retirement – oh, how many times, I know, I know!
    The photos – I too am dispensing old ones to young ones with explanations – hoping one day they will find them of interest – or at least quaint – and may look at them with some affection. Sadly all my older generation – such as it was – went long ago, before I thought to ask all the questions to which I will now never know the answers.
    Horticulture – don’t you think it’s the ultimate creative endeavour? (Well, set aside having children which I presume, not having any, is pretty creative.) As well as recreational and functional and altruistic too.
    What do you do with sun dried rose petals? I love crystallised petals, especially violet – occasionally sneak one from its jar and crunch on it. Violet has to be one of the most beautiful scents and tastes. Up there with roses of course.And here I lodge a complaint, I wasn’t feeling at all hungry till I read this… now I want bread and tomato sauce and violets and…
    I’m glad you have time for strolling through trees, it’s trees that make life worthwhile, methinks. They’re the spirit of Nature. Along with the winds – especially the westerly.
    Now to lower the tone. That guava jelly – wow what a wild colour! Do you recall a song that had a line something like ‘come rub upon my belly like guava jelly’?
    And what are sock savers? Is that those colourful things around your ankles?

    Right, I think I’ve caught up! Hope to see and read more when you;re ready. But I’ll bring a piece of sourdough toast with me when next I sit down to read.


    1. I just realised I didn’t reply your question via our last email chat asking if I regretted the move. I hope this suffices as a response… Not at all!
      I doubt we’ll ever really retire in the true sense of it. The more time we have the more we find to do. Simple, joyful things like scanning old family photos, lead from one task to a multitude of others.
      I get it, social media economy of scale… If not much else I’ll work at posting a series of Insta collections in the form of blog posts.
      Horticulture stretches my brain and my body, a perfect antidote for too many years of corporate life. I particularly love the walk up to our hort block. A good thing as sometimes we make it 3 times in a day. I still pinch myself every now & then to check I’m really there, not day dreaming at my office desk.
      My main use for the rose petals is tea, and blended up into sugar as a subtle touch to a plain cake, and occasionally icing/ganache. Our classic old red rose is such a beauty, I hate to waste the spent flowers.
      There is small patch of violets in our garden, perhaps I’ll try crystallising some… there I go… it’s that easy to send me off on a foodie/witchery/alchemical tangent. But it’s a useful pastime, we eat well.
      I’ve never before heard the guava jelly song… And now to sock savers 😎 We call them chaps/chappies… they stop stuff getting into your boots/sox. My super-talented friend Kate made them.
      Thank you for the lovely long comment. I’m happy you found much of interest ♡

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve known you before and after, and sharing in your daily joy in the after is wonderful! So excited that horticulture is offering you a new road to explore. All the best to the G.O. – achey joints are no fun. I hope that fabulous aspirin cream you put me onto all those years ago is helping! Much love xxx


    1. It’s wonderful to have you along for the ride, your inspiration crosses time & space. So much of what I do is informed & influenced by you and our blog/Insta community. And yes, that Aspirin & Arnica cream is still a go-to ♡


  5. This post resonates so strongly with me. It is very hard work learning to go with the flow and focus on the the things we cherish rather than ‘should do’. But as we both know, how rewarding are the outcomes! Those brush strokes of the starter on the SS look beautiful. Such a contrast of soft and hard.


    1. I think when prep & plans are in place the process of life changing is much easier but there is still much that can only be negotiated once you’ve done it. I’m so grateful we did it sooner rather than later, and to be here living the life we hoped for. It’s always lovely to see the wonderful things you are doing without the inconvenience of living in different states being much of a consideration. You’re an inspiration for taking a life leap of faith ♡


  6. These are great pictures, Dale. I’m definitely going to attempt to make the sourdough focacchia – it looks sensational! It’s good to see you here again xxxx


    1. Hello! It’s lovely to hear from you. I commented to the G.O. that one of the best things about cobbling together a blog post is reconnecting with old friends.
      Do make that focaccia… when we have visitors it’s always well received. I don’t have a regular baking schedule -I wish- so I have taken to making a double batch and freezing some.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh how lovely to read your poetic words, and to know that your life is all you have dreamed, and more. As you know I follow you on Instagram, and love reading your posts, but somehow, your post here fleshes out those snapshots of your life. Please don’t think that we wouldn’t be interested in your ‘ordinary’ life (just look at how everyone is pleased to hear from you!). Your writing goes beyond the mundane, showing us the thoughts that underpin your sustainable life. I hope your Dad is okay. xxx


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