Hello honey bunches - here we are again.
The whole of January I wondered if I was doing the right thing by sticking to the Friday Foxs Lane, rather than blogging every day the way I had for the previous two years. Every now and then I'd pop back into my archives to remind me of what we were doing on the same date a year ago and I'd love the connection to the seasons, the summer rhythm, and our past.
Our summers look so dreamy in blog posts. They're filled with fruit picking, girls in floral dresses with messy braids, vegetable pickling and long sunny days spent together as a family.
But on the last day of this January, just a few days ago when it was waaaay too late to change my mind, I decided that I'd made the right decision after all. It was a warm early evening on the day before the summer holidays ended. We'd eaten dinner, the girls had laid out their clothes for the next day and packed their school bags but we still had a few hours before bed time. Indi announced that she wanted to head down to the front of the farm and pick some flowers for her friend and Pepper and I decided to join her. We pulled our boots on, grabbed some secateurs and a bucket for blackberries and headed out the door. Only once we had well and truly left did it occur to me to bring my camera along too. Just in case the light was just right and I felt like snapping some pictures. So I went back and picked it up.
On the way down, I asked the girls if they remembered the previous January and what it had been like when I was blogging every day. Mostly they remembered my 7pm panic and inevitable hustle of everyone out the door to go and check on the quinces, or go and pick the plums, or get the eggs, or do any other family activity that I could photograph and then blog about that night.
They both agreed that this year was so much better and thinking back over the last thirty one days I tended to agree. Without the constant blogging at the back of my mind and my camera slung over my shoulder, life felt smoother. We probably ended up doing all those same activities, but they happened when the time was right, and I got to be part of them rather than shooting them from the outside. And while the phone camera in my pocket still gets quite the workout, it doesn't feel like it leads me along, it's just there for the pretty bits.
We all agreed that last year it felt like I was making the moment, whereas this year with only the Friday blogs it felt like I was capturing it.
So while in January 2015 I posted 31 blogs, in January 2016 I posted 28 blogs, this past January 2017 I only posted six blogs, and I'm happy about it.
At the end of the conversation Indi suggested me that I should write about the capturing versus the creating thing for this Friday blog and because I'm such a good and obedient mum (haha), I am.
But just incase you were wondering about the rest of our January, here's a bit more of the picture.
We ate cucumbers, lettuce, beans, peas, plums, strawberries, blackberries, beetroot, rocket, broccoli, cabbage, currants, eggs and gooseberries from our farm.
I read Music And Freedom by Zoe Morrison which I liked, The Healing Party by Micheline Lee which I found interesting, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner which I read because Indi is studying it in class but which I struggled with, Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane which I could not put down and ended up reading in one night and feeling quite distressed by, A Long Way From Verona by Jane Gardam which I loved, Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offil which I LOVED!!! and most of Wedding Bush Road by David Francis, which took me a while to commit to but then I did.
I listened to hours and hours and hours of the StartUp podcast by Gimlet Media. I'm not sure why I stuck to the one, instead of listening to all the other podcasts I usually subscribe to, but I've really enjoyed every episode, so why not.
I went to the movies once and saw La La Land which I enjoyed.
I knitted two pairs of socks, one blogged here and one to be blogged soon, and I sewed a top.
We hung out with the girls, with family and with friends, we did farm work and a lot of work in the garden, we went to the beach, we spent a night in hospital, we cleaned out my grandparents' apartment, we celebrated our farmer boy's birthday and swam at his beach and caught and raced yabbies, and celebrated my Mum's birthday too and we had a girl in our forest.
We discussed: leaving our farm (we're not), leaving the description 'farmers' (we feel stuck) and finding ways to make it easier on ourselves around here (fencing, sheep, help). We discussed separating the feelings of failure from that of disappointment, ways to lead a more creative life, and changes we can put in place and projects we can take on to make sure we are always feeding our souls. We spoke a lot about getting the kid/farm/us balance right too. It's a work in progress, I guess it always will be.
And while we're talking about January, I do have to make note of the fact that so many people wrote to me and pulled me up in the street to let me know that they've switched over to natural deodorant too after reading my January First post, yay team! I love that we're in this together.
And just like that we're into the school year. Years, 11, eight and four. Fingers crossed for a year filled with inspiration, interest, celebration, light bulb moments, friends, work, passion and fun - for us and for you too.
As much as I'd never want to go back to school myself, I do love the thought of sitting with a group of people analyzing books. Maybe I should have done literature when I was at school.
That's it for me this week.
Please feel free to share any books, podcasts, movies, series that you're loving.
Oh and we're trying to cut down on processed sugar this term so please share any family favourite unsweetened recipes too.
See ya's next Friday!
Love Kate x