If you keep a thing seven years…

“If you keep a thing seven years, you are sure to find a use for it”, Walter Scott wrote these words back in 1826 way before popular culture got its hands on the notion of seven years as a significant milestone.

We quietly celebrated our seven-year anniversary of living at Taylors Arm last December, and I’ve been musing upon some of the things that are different from our life in the city; the phrase seven-year itch becoming seven-year switch in my head.

We swapped a drawer full of takeaway menus for a substantial stash of recycled jars and reusable plastic food storage containers, a well-stocked pantry and two sizeable freezers.

Our house has no dishwasher but there are three slow cookers, two food processors, two stick blenders, a goodly variety of kitchen knives, baking dishes, saucepans, frypans, chopping boards, bowls, glasses, crockery, cutlery and sundry kitchenalia.

#inmykitchen collage
In my kitchen L to R from top: Potato gem topped sourdough focaccia; a shared birthday meal… my focaccia with Dolly’s Run corn and snags; slow cooker tomato soup homegrown ingredients; baked beans from the pantry stash; baked beans ready for the freezer in reusable plastic tubs… we call this Taylors Arm takeaway; Dolly’s Run corn chowder; sausage lasagne for dinner and freezer stash; sourdough pancakes for Shrove Tuesday; leafy greens ready to make green goddess dip.

We’re less inclined to go out for a meal these days, more appreciative of our homemade and homegrown food and similar which likeminded dining companions bring with them to share. Ironic that throughout the pandemic we thought we missed eating out. What we missed was getting together.

My City of Sydney library card finally expired, and I joined the local Nambucca Valley library. Surely, it’s a step closer to being a local.

I eschewed nail polish and makeup after I left the city but last week I went shopping because I wanted the magic that happens when I wear a special outfit with a bit of mascara, lippy and a lick of toenail polish. No point in applying it to my nails… I can’t keep my hands out of the soil.

I dismissed the memory of my fruitless efforts to grow anything on a dusty city apartment balcony and finally took up membership offered by the Australian Institute of Horticulture when I completed Certificate 3 Horticulture at the end of 2017 (also going on to do Certificate 2 Horticulture, Certificate 3 Production Horticulture and Certificate 4 Permaculture between 2018 and 2020) because I figured out my efforts were worth more than the membership fee I hesitated to spend.

“When you grow your own garden, it grows you.” ― T.F. Hodge

I have fallen in love with my garden. We’ve had good summer garden weather, and the fruits and vegetables of our labours are evident, literally. I constantly think about it, spend time in its leafy encirclement, tend to its needs and gratefully eat what it offers me.

#inmygarden collage
In my garden L to R from top: Embraced by green inside the cage garden; summer bounty; baby choko; Wellington Wonder climbing green beans; Malayasian guava; fig leaves; peppers; tomatoes; cucumbers.

Despite not being able to quite shake hesitancy I acquired during pandemic years dogged with disappointment, much postponed and long-awaited arrangements for get-togethers with family and friends actually happened and yielded yet more budding plans for future catchups and trips.

Family and friends gather at Lifeboat Seafood on the Hawkesbury River for Dad’s 80th birthday…
…and the beetroot chocolate birthday cake I made and transported 450 kilometres for dessert.

I mentally apply the hashtag #theluckiestpersonintheworld at every opportunity.

The last Sunday of summer
The last Sunday of summer.

I enjoy the company of visitors, especially those who are interested in the eclectic character of our 1930’s house, wander the garden, and linger on the verandah to exchange stories.

A gathering of bloggers and Instagrammers
A gathering of bloggers and Instagrammers from far… North Queensland and Melbourne… not so far, and nearby.

Seven years after leaving the city, I’m finding this life very useful.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” ~ Steve Jobs

#inmygarden flowers collage
“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” Walter Hagen.
Diesel eats and sleeps food
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” ~ William Morris

18 thoughts on “If you keep a thing seven years…

  1. What a lyrical post of gratitude, supported by the best life has to offer. I like ‘seven year itch’ being swapped with ‘seven year switch’ too! And that vintage formica table top goes right to the heartfelt memories of my childhood home. It’s so good to see people who identify their life goals and have the courage and tenacity to go for them. Well done, and well lived, Dale. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lyrical! Very kind descriptor indeed. Especially given the wrangling of thoughts to keyboard. I’m grateful too that you recognised my intent. The G.O. rescued that old table from a lunchroom in a factory about to be demolished… it continues to be a real gathering place.


  2. What a beautiful post. Congratulations, may you enjoy many more sevens. I felt good just reading it, here on a cold February morning as blue tits dangle from weeping birches – spring is sneaking up on us. Sending you lots of overdue waves from the other side of the world 🙋🙋🙋 Mary


    1. Thank you for the lovely comment. So pleased you popped in to the blog and enjoyed my February snapshot of our life in the village. I often think of you, and it’s wonderful that your comment conveys so beautifully the image of place and time xx


  3. That table has heard some fascinating conversations, shared recipes, recounted tales and hand-crafted brags. I’m so glad the same faces are gathering around it again next year. I have the dates inked in and the deposit paid, J’s leave is approved, and the caravan will be hitched. What’s a great day without a repeat event?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pandemic hiatus was doable to focus on homelife but it’s really nice to be hosting lunches-dinners-visitors, making plans and getting back to the kind of social life we like to live… I hadn’t realised how much I was figuratively holding my breath waiting for that to happen.


  4. I like the mobile boot guard Dale.Congratulations on 7 years. I remember whhe you were both in the city working and making your plan of escape, just waiting for the right time to arrive, I’m glad it did.
    Huge Hugs


    1. Thank you for popping in and the lovely comment. It’s nice to have the continuity of the blogging community keeping us company… quite the relief when we passed the one year mark but now 7 years, proves it can be done. The mobile boot guard was more interested in guarding his dinner bowl while he had a snooze in case there might be more…


  5. A beautiful post. Love the thought that it was people you missed rather than the eating out during the pandemic. My experience during that time was so different to others due to house moves and husband’s ill health it barely impacted us. Your last seven years sound truly idyllic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. That’s the thing about the pandemic, everyone had to juggle it as well as the status quo… sometimes for better sometimes for worse, and every day we were appreciative that we were well settled here in the village. So much worse for you and others dealing with intractable issues.


  6. I started following you when you were living in Sydney and dreaming of this life. Thank you for taking me with you! The peace and contentment for your life comes shining through your post….and the gratitude too. I am looking forward to following your adventures for the next 7 years! ~hugs~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you are still along for the ride, it’s impossible to convey how much my blogging community means to me, so wonderful that after all these years we’re still popping into each other’s blogs and/or Insta and sometimes we manage to get together irl. I’m grateful for that too.


  7. I’ve been envious of your veggies for a very long time, but this year we’ve been blessed with real bounty thanks to the Offspring’s efforts. We have more tomatoes than we know what to do with, spinach that keeps growing, pumpkins that have taken over and are getting bigger every day, and even one, small baby capsicum. I bought the capsicum as one of my birthday treats despite thinking it would be eaten by snails and slugs within days. But lo! Broken eggs shells around the base of the plant have kept it thriving!
    We’ve also had snow peas, sweet corn [I had no idea we could grow those] and a ton of continental parsley. About the only thing we haven’t had in abundance is fruit. The rain and cold either stopped the fruit from setting or made it drop while tiny. The fruit that survived was mostly eaten green by the possums and birds. But you can’t have everything, and we will have a few apples and [hopefully] a good crop of fejoias.
    Warrandyte has been very good to us, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m so glad Taylors Arms has lived up to your expectations and become /home/. -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy your vegetable garden has also enjoyed this summer. From what I’ve seen in my own garden and been hearing, it’s been a mixed bag, so you have done very well. The most important garden lessons I’ve learned: each garden has its own nature which takes time to develop and growing stuff that likes to grow in your garden gets easier as you go along if you pay attention; you need to show up most days; things don’t always go to plan. Not much fruit here either, our fruit trees mostly are young, and strawberries prefer cooler weather. It’s better to love where you live… disgruntlement saps the spirit and relocating is expensive!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. -grin- yes, we’ve learned the hard way what likes it here and what doesn’t. Whenever a particular plant thrives in our conditions, I save its seeds and use them the next year. I figure the ones best suited to our conditions will always be the ones that deserve to reproduce. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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