Hello dear reader, how are you?
I'm afraid that it's been so long since my last blog ramble that I don't know where to start.
In the past month since I've popped in here we've harvested hundreds of crates of fruit and vegetables, we've preserved jars and shelves and cupboards full for winter, we've pulled crops out and put more crops in, we've weeded and irrigated and forked and fenced. We've felt elated with our successes and grieved our failures. We've felt proud of our beautiful produce and I've cried when I've lost the fight with the birds over the spinach and cabbage.
We've put a lot of stuff off but we're getting there.
We've thought and talked a lot about what being certified organic means to us, the future directions of Daylesford Organics, farming and living an even more sustainable life, an environmental building project, passing on our passions, more ways to be generous, our eating habits and ways we can grow as a family, as a couple, and as individuals.
In the past month since I've been here we've driven hundreds of kilometres back and forth to the girls' new school. Although the school days are much too long for my liking, our girls are thriving and growing and being inspired and challenged and I feel so happy with that decision.
Although at times it felt exhausting learning the culture of a new school, dealing with difficult personalities, too much homework and not enough time with Pepper, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I often tell people that I feel like our girls have been switched on. That their minds have been opened and that they are looking at and engaging with the world in a whole new way.
Over the summer when we were making what felt like an enormous decision to rip our girls out of their community and send them to school almost an hour away I kept saying that I'd make my mind up for sure after one term. Sitting here now 10 weeks in I am relieved to discover that there is no question.
In the past month (and a half) since I've blogged I've read and loved Ilka Tampke's Skin. I got so swept up in the story and Ailia's journey that I didn't really think about how complicated it must be to write historical fiction until I'd finished it. Researching and then keeping the languages, the culture, the religions, the traditions, the stories and the costumes accurate for the time in history makes my brain hurt.
After that I started Lauren Groff's Fates and Furies but got interrupted when my Mum leant me her library copy of Tegan Bennett Daylight's Six Bedrooms that had to be returned by the Friday.
Next I read Olga Lorenzo's The Light on The Water which I read quickly and liked a lot. I mostly gobble up those stories that offer me a what if version of my own life. What if I lost one of my own precious girls? What sort of mother would I be to a child with autism? How would I deal with living alone? Divorce? Parenting a uni student? Gaol?
After that I started the John Marsden's Tomorrow When The War Began series and this morning I opened the sixth book. I seriously cannot stop reading them. Many times I've made excuses to go into my bedroom to get a jumper or put something away, only to return 50 pages later with no jumper and no memory of what I'd gone in there for. I'm not a great lover of short stories because I love getting to know characters intensely and follow them through their stories slowly, it makes me happy to know that I've still got another book after this in the series and then two more in The Ellie Chronicles.
Deep inside these books I am looking at the world a bit differently at the moment too. Last week I saw a story about a petrol tanker spill in the news and couldn't help but think it might be the work of Ellie and Homer and the gang, and I must admit that I do have a tiny freak out for a second every time a chopper goes overhead. I also feel like our girls need to learn to drive lots of different vehicles, and survival techniques, because you never know....
And most of all I really, really hope that my girls get to learn story writing from John in the years to come, what a genius story teller.
I'm afraid that even after all your brilliant, generous and thoughtful messages on my spinning post, I haven't had another go. Crazy Autumn just doesn't feel like the right time for me to learn this new skill. So I've given my borrowed wheel back and I hope to have another go when the days turn cold and wet and windy and sitting by the fire turning a handful of fleece into yarn is the only place in the world I have to be.
I haven't really knitted much either. I finished my Bracken sweater but haven't had a chance to photograph it properly yet. And I'm up to the cuff ribbing on a looooooooooong pair of socks for my farmer boy.
And other than that I've been waiting patiently for this very moment that is now. The big girls are on holidays and doing their own thing, Farmer Bren is outside carving a spoon, Miss Pepper is at school and I'm sitting here on the couch for a bit, typing these words to stop the little voice in my head that's been telling me that the longer I neglect my blog the harder it will be to get back to it. And it's right of course.
The days are getting shorter but I can feel that the season is slowing down and it's time for me to get going on some of the things that I've been putting off for so long.
I've missed you my friends and it's so very gorgeous to be back.
I hope you've had a great month, what have you been up to?
Hopefully I'll see you SOON!
Love Kate x
PS I just realised this was my 1,000th post!!