it’s oh so quiet . . .

How have your months of Coronavirus iso been going?

Little has changed for the G.O. and me; at the best of times we are not social butterflies. Our own company and day-to-day finds us engaged sufficiently with the contentment that comes from living our #LiveSimpleHomeMadeGrownLocalCreativeBetter way of life… it’s like we’ve been practising for years for such a lockdown eventuality.

The G.O. continues his usual weekly excursions to visit with, shop, pay bills, fix things around the house, troubleshoot… for his 87 year old mum.

I have been going to town less than ever. My usual fortnightly grocery and errands run became five then six weekly, strictly business, no dallying and browsing. I hate slathering on hand sanitiser… useful in these #covid19 times but I think it’s nasty stuff and the smell invariably gives me a headache.

Far easier to stay home in my safe bubble.

After our lockdown restrictions were lifted somewhat, allowing limited visits to other households, the G.O. and I attended our neighbour’s small lunchtime birthday celebration. I felt trepidation at the thought of proximity  with 3 other couples but it was fine, there was lots of hand sanitiser and we all enjoyed the distanced social interaction.

A recent necessary visit to our regional centre Coffs Harbour was quite a different experience, I had to navigate the large central shopping precinct where although most stores required use of hand sanitiser or disposable gloves, some were conducting their trade as shop fronts, and cafes had no or limited seating, there were many mingling people behaving quite as they would usually.

On the home front I’ve just now completed 90% of the Certificate IV Permaculture via Tafe NSW and the National Environment Centre flexible online learning course I began last July. Much of what I’ve been delivering is analysis centric to our property here in the village and its bioregion so I made a judgment call that the details would be of little interest to the blog world in general.

However, studying permaculture and applying an urban design process to our property has been worthwhile if a little testing of my time management on occasion… focus on deadlines tends to suck the joy out of even the best of things.

I’ve enjoyed the course immensely but I’m looking forward to getting my life back. Study has taken up more time that I envisaged and was indicated by the course prerequisites, nor do I have the necessary drafting or CAD drawing skills, inclination or time to develop them as became apparent I needed for the latest and one of the biggest tasks; creating the final design, report and corresponding supporting documents.

Collage Final Design
Permaculture final design and ground truthing… aka placing rope on the ground to mark out design elements…

Our life in the village is oh so quiet… I have managed just two recent Insta #gratitude posts. For I am so very grateful to be here.

Collage gratitude 4
“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.” Alice Walker
#stayhome #gratitude #4@welshy055 unearthed this old birdbath pedestal in a neighbour’s garden and offered to rehome it. After adding a pot saucer to the top, it seemed to me a perfect altar for flower tributes… giving dropped blooms another life ~ 29 April 2020


Collage gratitude 5
“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness — just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues
#stayhome #gratitude #5 #onmyverandah ~ 7 May 2020

In my garden:

Collage in my garden
Almost winter… the last of the eggplant, chillies and peppers from the long hot summer. Garlic, sweet peas, self-seeded tomatoes and leafy greens in the wicking beds are coming along ~ 30 May 2020

Listening to:

Spotify playlists. On Saturdays… All Out 60s. On Sundays… All Out 70s.
The soundtrack of my childhood.

“It’s oh so quiet
Shh shh
It’s oh so still
Shh shh
You’re all alone
Shh shh
And so peaceful until…”
~ Bjork

16 thoughts on “it’s oh so quiet . . .

  1. I like you am not a social butterfly and have really enjoyed the excuse of avoiding many things. The missing out on family was really the only thing I didn’t welcome. I certainly am not entertaining throwing myself back into the big wide world in a hurry, a class n the 28th is about all I’m prepared to consider at the moment. The design is looking wonderful! We had a landscape design business for years back pre computers and internet and Geoff would spend hours manually drawing all the components and I got the job of colouring in and doing the plant lists. He loves all that ‘stuff’ but I just don’t have the patience.
    Looks like you’ve added loads more since we saw it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Slowly slowly I think… We’d love to do some family/social catch ups… and we miss walks on the beach but right now is not the time. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t have the patience… might be doable if I was working in A3 not A4 and with more time. When we saw you it had been a dry winter, since then we’ve added a few wicking beds and figured if not much else over summer we’d try growing eggplant, chillies and peppers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do so understand the reluctance to rejoin the rest of our germy race. I had to go to the big shopping centre in town for the first time since the beginning of March. It was horrible. I kept flinching away from people getting too close, not caring, intent on their own selfish purpose and blind to the needs of others. And today I was due to gather with the ladies of the Days for Girls sewing group, all carefully spaced and sanitised, with our own chairs and coffees, outside at the Botanic Gardens. I still wasn’t comfortable. I have come to appreciate my isolation.
    On another note, I may need to ask for your help as your time allows. We are slowly crawling towards a conversion of our back yard from mostly grass/shrubs/decorative stuff to something more useful. I need guidance on location, sun, slope, siting, etc. But no hurry, just a general discussion sometime…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isolation is less effort… I can sneeze, cough and rub my face… in the safety of my own home. Coffs Central felt and looked very alien since we were last there, happily drinking coffee with you at the Happy Frog.
      Your backyard plans sound exciting… my interest in permaculture will continue but not via formal studies so it will be good to workshop the conversion with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had the very same thoughts going through my head this week, it’s as if I’ve been preparing to live like this all my life! It’s Sunday and I was at the grocery by 7.30am and home by 8am, with minimal encounters. Don was telling me that the golf club (reopened two weeks ago) is chokka block full and no social distancing taking place, which is very annoying. To have drinks after golf you also have to order food and they are charging $12 for a bowl of chips, so he’s just giving it all a miss at the moment, and I’m glad. I started using hand sanitiser back in November and I’ll tell you why. There started to be very, very congested gatherings of indigenous people in the grocery store areas. They are notoriously unhygienic and there was no way you could avoid some contact. Likewise, the groceries had gotten lax in their supply of sanitising wipes for the trolley handles. So I had a small bottle in my purse, and I had bought a bottle for each sink area here at home. It was just intuitively what I felt was called for. I found an unscented one that was perfect, after having to throw two in the bin that were so heavily perfumed they made me sick. The brand is Balnea and I bought it from Woolies, but have not been able to find it in recent months. I still have some and was gifted a smelly one by my daughter, which is ok but I still prefer the unscented one and will keep looking for it. As with the other comments, I still prefer my own home bubble. Your wicking beds and garden produce is very impressive. I’m digging out my old herb garden at the moment to start from scratch as the yield was very poor. Very best to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fair and sensible reason for using hand sanitiser. We have always carried small hand sanitiser gels but I stopped with the wipes as they dry out in the packets so easily. When the supermarkets rolls of trolley wipes are empty I always ask… and wait… for them to be replenished. Before I travelled to Sydney in early February I stocked up, and found a pump pack handbag size of Thank you hand and surface sanitiser than has only a light fragrance. The antibacterial gel in the bank and shopping centre was the worst… anyone with sensitivity should byo. I’ll keep an eye out for Balnea. I have heard of and seen some interesting interpretations of restricted activities such as Don reports. We’re giving it all a miss too. Wicking beds would be perfect for your climate… I wish we were closer, I know someone who would build them for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely to hear what you are doing. So glad you are able to enjoy your garden studies. I too am loving the lockdown. Treating it all as a wonderful holiday. Quietly doing all the things I like to do. Our son and daughter- in- law delivers our groceries and other essentials to the front gate. Everything else comes by post. We only go out of the front gate for medical appointments. So quiet and relaxing. The family keeps in touch by phone.
    We are rebuilding all our gardens. No grand plans but simpler layouts with raised beds. Gradually potting up lots of bulbs, seeds, and cuttings to put out in Spring. We also want to share lots of new native trees and flowers with bees. The drought, fires, and then floods have taken their toll and we are trying to help neighbours build up their hives. Everyone really loving life here and very grateful for the wonderful family and friends who make us feel very safe and fulfilled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know iso doesn’t suit everyone’s circumstances but I love hearing when and how it does. There’s a lot we can learn from this period of slow life, and I hope at least some of it will be retained. I read a recent article that people who have gardens and spend time in them are happier during the lockdown. Makes sense to me… we derive a great deal of satisfaction from not only the garden but the birds, bees, butterflies, lizards, etc for which it is habitat. What you’re doing is so worthwhile.


  5. The Offspring and I feel as if we’ve been practising for this virus as well. We’d already pared our needs down to the essentials, and neither of us socialise much, so we’ve settled into isolation quite happily. And here we’ll stay until a vaccine is found. I’m eternally grateful that this pandemic waited until we have a digital universe to retreat to. I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling if my only contact with the outside world were the TV. There are always silver linings if you look hard enough.

    Stay well. 🙂


    1. One needs a sense of irony when seeing, hearing comments about how tough people are doing it under coronavirus lockdown when there were so many doing tough before coronavirus lockdown… how much household resilience has been factored in plays a big part in how we are doing now. The digital universe was my lifeline way before coronavirus… I take old friends such as yourself with me wherever I go. There are lots of silver linings, I hope their shine continues long after what we did for our #covid19 lockdown becomes a story we tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so right about household resilience. We stopped wasting food, money and everything else, years ago, because we had to. Definitely cushioned the lockdown shock, although I really don’t want to have to worry about cat meat and TP ever again. I do feel sorry for those who had to reach that point virtually overnight though. I just hope they found something positive in the lockdown before they were set ‘free’ again.
        As a sci-fi nut I spend a lot of time trying to imagine the future, but I have to admit I never seriously imagined /this/. Just goes to show how little we really control our own lives.


  6. I always love to pour over your photographs. It takes time to incorporate so many of those in a post, and I appreciate your effort. Your creative side in everything is showcased in these images.

    The pandemic hasn’t changed much for me. I still live a reclusive life here, really only interacting with a few neighbors to sell eggs. Most of our family is out-of-state so we make the usual phone calls. Trips to the store are even less often than before, mostly because the garden is flourishing and we have plenty to eat from that. But if I do go, it’s early when the stores open and I’m out quickly. I don’t make judgement on other’s as to why they do or don’t take precautions – I do what feels right for me. That is all I can do.

    Ultimately, I feel we get every experience we are supposed to in this life. For me, this pandemic situation hasn’t been so bad. It’s just taken me a little deeper into nature and appreciating what I can manage on my own. There are silver linings and gifts in every experience if we are open to finding them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. So many wise sentiments expressed in one short comment! “Do what feels right for me” and “that is all I can do” is good enough while pausing to appreciate the silver linings and value the experiences and gifts they provide, and to see opportunity for creativity… I think I can do this, both now while our life continues quietly monitoring the pandemic situation, and even after that resolves.

      Liked by 1 person

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