dear friends…

Once upon a time many years ago when I first began blogging a curious non-blogger friend asked “is blogging like being a pen pal?” At that time in early 2012 I was launching missives into an electronic ether… so my bemused answer was “not quite”.

Not long afterwards I commented and followed and made my first blogger friend, followed some of their blogger friends who followed me, risked commenting on and following other new bloggers who returned the follow and comments… and here a decade or more later as much as in my youth I eagerly awaited the postman popping an envelope from a pen pal into the mailbox at my front gate I look forward to seeing in my Inbox the latest blog posts from my dear friends. And moreso in these physically distanced #covid19 times which we continue to navigate together but apart… I can’t shake the feeling we’re living the prequel to a post-apocalyptic narrative.

Since my last blog post in May and completing my Permaculture course in early June –yes, I did it!– too many #covidiso days have flown by.

Better a selection of snapshots to catch them up rather than the too many words it would otherwise entail.

Greetings from the other side… with a big smile and small celebration. This afternoon I submitted my last #permaculture assignment for #certificate4permaculture via #nationalenvironmentcentre and #tafensw #distancelearning … a month and a day before the due date… It’s been fabulous but I really need to get my life back… 11 months driven by deadlines, and a lot of time at a computer. That said… I’ve learned so much, and I’d happily recommend it. And of course a big thank you to @welshy055 (aka the G.O.) for his support ♡ ~ 12 June 2020

Staying in touch: As well as phone & video calls and Messenger chats, wonderful are these texts from and to my 5 year-old niece; snail mail from an interstate cousin-friend; and listening to Braiding Sweetgrass, an Audible gift from my sister who lives interstate, which she correctly predicted would resonate with me but with the narration by the author even more deeply than I ever imagined.

In my garden: My new Sloggers garden shoes, winter leaves & flowers, and the promise of spring.

In my kitchen: My domestic joys are of much comfort to me… but for a while have felt irrelevant even frivolous in these deep and dark times and I have not shared as such on social media. However, today as I picked herbs from the garden and made a simple pearl barley risotto from fridge, freezer and pantry staples the lack of honouring the joy, and all those unshared moments made less sense. To fight the darkness we need to be keepers of the light, and remember Mother Teresa’s words… “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies” ~ 8 June 2020; kimchi; it’s been a good season for coriander/cilantro pesto; homegrown tomatoes, herbs, chillies and kaffir lime leaves; homemade dried mushrooms, bread dough, roasted yellow beetroot and red peppers.

Keeping it fresh: Nicole with local produce from Dolly’s Run at the weekly Taylors Arm Fresh Produce Pick up, and Dolly the Kelpie.

Chooks: It was a close call… In March the start of the #coronacrisis coincided with our #backyardeggcrisis… the old chooks had all but stopped laying so we joined the other hen hopefuls on a waitlist, got 4 new chooks in April, in June were almost at the moot point of buying chook eggs as well as chook food… but the young’ns have come good and the remaining oldies have upped their game.

Lifestyle Director: Our four-legged mental health coach prescribes walks around the Taylors Arm Reserve, social dog tennis in the churchyard, strolls along the closest dog-friendly Swimming Creek Beach, ball games and plenty of rest.

Sewing machine

Tidying up loose ends: Just as I began anticipating some post-study time to myself my MiL decided it was time to Swedish Death Clean her house. The G.O. lugged home several ute loads of unsorted photos and albums, stamp albums, papers, bric-à-brac, plant pots… which were fortunately assuaged by the presence of her treadle sewing machine similar to that which I was barely tall enough to peddle with my Nanna in the early 70’s.

Moon

Dear friends, I’ll close with this… recollection of a quote by Katrina Mayer “No matter what our differences we all look at the same moon”… prompted by a recent Insta post from @amosthemagicdog of the waxing crescent moon at the same time I snapped this one from my front verandah looking west, along with the timely realisation sometimes our perspectives mean we see not only the same moon and life events differently… but also that my amplified anxiety about how others in different circumstances or places to me were responding to #coronavirus was unproductive.

Wishing you Peace, Love & Happiness ♡

#wereinthistogether


26 thoughts on “dear friends…

  1. I’ve only just met you via this gadgetry and it looks like a “whole lot of little things” have made your time (@now) add up to a life worth living…I know that recently another blog friend was talking about the “little things” often that don’t get into in to the limelight and then they arrive…

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  2. A quiet life is often one lived most richly and intensely. Love your photos; failing the in-person catch up we’ve had to abandon in October because covid, I enjoy your life vicariously through pictures and words, and I wish you more time to show them to us. The time we’d set aside for the trip is now to be spend getting things done around here, with perhaps a small foray up north. I’m hoping we’ll end up with a chook run, vegie plot and possibly a carport at the end of it, but I may be over-optimistic!

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    1. As I enjoy yours… wonderful isn’t it. Oh I had great plans for social media and blog posts… but you know what they say about plans… gotta roll with life as it happens… however I remain resolute on the value of optimism and plans including those for a February celebration with you… and maybe some travelling later next year and the year after. If not, then similarly will be focussing on living our best life in situ and my plans for the garden will be fast-tracked.

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      1. Our original long break in October is now the subject of all sorts of debate and speculation. I’d like to think we’d actually achieve some if not all of our goals, but realistically, we may be lucky to get one or two done… With the gift of extra time and comparative freedom to use it, I feel a certain pressure to use it wisely!

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  3. Reading your post while eating a ‘Samosa’ & remembering the afternoon we all spent together…. seems like eons ago albeit a few months !!!!
    Your pictures don’t need words and I love reading what you write.
    We feel very alien 👽 at the moment due to recent circumstances in Melbourne but life is life and we live with whatever is thrown at us. Social media is the bees knees as far as I’m concerned as it brings us all so much closer together 🤩
    We have taken this ‘time out’ to do a fair few Reno’s as we are actually here and not on the road 😄
    Everything crossed 🤞 that we get to do our trip in feb to celebrate Kate’s birthday 🎁

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    1. Our day together is a highlight of my year… but wow, how unwittingly fine we cut it before the impact and extent of Covid unfolded. I feel alien with you despite being north of your border… I think it is only a matter of time before NSW follows suit. We’re doing likewise… a little like packing wet weather gear on the bike on a sunny day, 2 sets of plans is wise… hope for the best, prepare for something else all together.

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  4. How lovely to see you – literally! And all your wonderful real life context. It’s been a very strange time and continues strangely. Congrats on the permaculture qualification, hooray, you can help save the world, one step at a time. As to that moon perspective, I do think it’s interesting – when I was first in the southern hemisphere it looked very different to me – but we know it is still the same old lady effortlessly shifting the tides around on her bff planet. Great to see you, Dale, sending thoughts of trees and stars and blackcurrant jam.

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    1. Thank you. I’m grateful to have permaculture as part of my life toolkit and focussing on study was wonderfully normal during the early days of Covid. Social media on the upside has been useful throughout these strange times in particular, to open our #togetherbutapart lives up to each other… the downside I do not wish to discuss! Lovely to hear from you, I updated those pics so they open individually…

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  5. And have become silenced and and bludgeoned by it. I felt, from your very first sentence, that you were working through a similar emotion, a similar anger or annoyance. Your conclusion is sensible and logical and I hope I get there too. Not yet though. In the meantime, it was great to see your wonderful productivity. Beautiful colours of a warmer place. Take care my friend.

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    1. When the anxiety started feeding rage I knew I had to stop feeling responsible for things I cannot control. I knew you would understand, as I do even though north of the border we aren’t quite under the same pressure – yet – only a matter of time I believe. Deeply grateful to have likeminded people to sit this out with.

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  6. Congratulations! Getting through the course must have been pretty full on but there was never any doubt that you’d make it. Now you can rest for a bit.
    I find I yo yo between anger at the madness of the world and delight at little things, like a loaf that comes out of the oven the way it should, or the way the animals come out with me for our evening pee walk, and then we all race back in again coz it’s so cold. 🙂 There’s a bit of envy too. I looked at your pics of produce and wished I had some growing too. Got a bit of lettuce but it’s too cold for much else.
    Take care, stay well and enjoy the good things, coz they’re what life is about.

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    1. Thank you, studying at home, I was fortunate that there was minimal Covid disruption to my schedule… to anything really, and this winter has been kind to the vege garden… plus a mixture of learning what grows and a bit of luck. Not much rest… too many interests not enough time, and like you I enjoy a good loaf and making a nice homemade meal.

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      1. lol – you’ve just made me realise something! I haven’t been bored the entire time we’ve been self-isolating. Not that I’m often bored anyway, but it just hit me how /much/ there has been to do.

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  7. I’m so glad to read that you, too, are a ‘keeper of the light’. My good friend here in Alice, and I have decided we are also ‘keepers of light’ and that we must do what we can to keep the light alive. The iso has not seriously bothered either of us and listening to the news of things we are powerless to change only dampens the light. This is not to say we are without compassion, we are not, but perhaps feel it too intensely to do anyone good. I’m glad, also, that the moon exercise resonated with you. Such a simple, small thing but it struck a chord with many. Small things are the ‘way’. My sincere congratulations to the completion of your goal. Cheers! xxx

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    1. Thank you… knowing I’m in good ‘keeper of the light’ company is of comfort to me. You have expressed it perfectly… for compassion and commonsense I’m grateful, as I am for my quiet life full of small things that give me much satisfaction.

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    1. Thank you. The old shoes which the new garden shoes replaced had earned their keep and it was well past time. Pictures are important I think… looking through other people’s windows is always interesting but even more now in these iso times.

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