Friday, December 16, 2016

my week in ten

Hello lovely people,

Welcome back to the Friday edition of Foxs Lane.

It's been a week since I've sat in the plump green chair in the corner of our office/studio/second-bedroom with my laptop on my knees and written in this space. And despite the chaos that is my house right now, I'm pleased that I've decided that blogging on Fridays is a thing, and I'm honouring that.

So here goes. This is a list of little stories and things that have happened in my small world since last we met.

one - blog

Obviously I haven't solved all of the issues of my last blog, but I can't tell you how much blogging them has made a difference to my mental state.

I listened to a podcast interview with Colm Toibin the author recently, in which he spoke of the fear that being stranded on a desert island meant that no-one would be able to read his work. At the time that really surprised me. I had thought that a writer wrote for the love of the words, and the story, and because he/she couldn't not write. I hadn't understood that the reader was such an important part of the process. Later that day it occurred to me that blogging is exactly the same. You reading my words is part of my process. Otherwise this may as well be a private journal. I guess it also explains how the mere act of writing and publishing helps me so much with the process of growing and changing.

Reading your responses and suggestions and just knowing that I am not alone in all of this is ridiculously helpful and reassuring too. Thank you xx

So in the last week I have decided that I need to write more, I could study photography; I don't want to do anything that involves writing an essay ever again in my life; I'd love to draw and paint, and I need to work on my confidence in all of the above. It seems like I've been standing behind my girls, pushing them forward for so long that I've forgotten that I can get out there myself.

It's a process though, and if blogging it was the first step, then I'm determined to take the next few steps before I lose the momentum.

two - school

Our big girls finished their first year at their new school. And what a year it has been: from learning the culture of this new school, making new friends, hikes, bikes-rides, a six-week trip to Greece, dealing with a bully, realising that car-pooling doesn't work for our family, spending a few days each week in winter in a local Airbnb, performances, creations, subject decisions and work.

I won't lie, the fact that the school is close to an hour away has been difficult at times. The fact that their friends live so far away has meant that we have often found ourselves driving through the mountain ranges not just on weekdays, but on the weekends too. Over winter the drive was at times dangerous with frosty roads, low visibility, rain, hail, sleet and snow. The days were long and tiring.

But I have to say that often those drives felt like a gift: when the sunlight streamed through the forest, when we hit upon a great Spotify play list, when we had uninterrupted time to really talk, when the podcasts spoke directly to us, or when the world seemed too big and hard and our car felt like the safest place to be.

I'm really happy to have our girls home for the holidays, but I'm also incredibly pleased that we've found a school that encourages creativity and individuality and hard work.

three - anniversary

Last Monday my farmer boy and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. 17!!! I looked it up and the gift for 17 years of marriage is furniture! How romantic.

We celebrated by leaving the girls at home alone and eating dinner on the balcony in the forest at a restaurant nearby. It was gorgeous and delicious and romantic.

four - books

I finished reading The Sisters Antipodes, which I loved, and Goodreads sent me an email to let me know that I've read 42 books this year, 13,273 pages and one book that 2,090,390 people have also read - The Catcher In The Rye, crazy. But there are still a few weeks left, so I'm hoping to get that tally up at least two more notches.

five - knitting socks

I've slowly been knitting away at my fair isle socks and am hoping to have them off my needles by the end of this weekend. I'm so excited to show them to you.

six - Tom

Last Saturday I went to buy some ceramics from some local ceramicists who were having a stall outside the supermarket in town. While I was there, as well as buying some GORGEOUS pieces, I had a long chat with a woman who is friends with the couple we bought our farm from. I told her I'd been thinking about them often while we were renovating and she told me that the woman had died and the man was devastated. Of course he was. She told me that she would send our love but she thought it would be too painful for him to ever visit us again.

Last Tuesday he showed up. He drove in, introduced himself and came in for a cup of coffee and a tour. He was so open and honest and sweet with us that it just about broke my heart. He said his visit had just been spur of the moment and he hadn't known how he would feel being in his old home again, the home he had built and shared with his wife, but surprisingly he liked it. He loved what we've done and walked from room to room admiring the details. He left with a dozen eggs and promised to come again soon, hopefully in apple season, to help with the harvest.

Bren says that it's very Celestine Prophecy, the way he showed up just after I was talking about him. I think I'm just happy he came at the end of the renovation rather than the bomb site stage in the middle. And I'm pleased he felt comfortable here and that he'll come again.

seven - garden 

After suffering too many heartbreaks, and crying too many tears in the market garden thanks to the birds and animals helping themselves to our crops, my farmer boy built me a massive cage from star stakes, pipe and orchard netting. I'm hoping to get a fencer in early next year to build a more permanent version, but until then this is brilliant! So far I've planted my corn in there, with loads more to come this weekend.

eight - spoon

We celebrated the last day of school with dinner and drinks around the fire. Pepper cooked strawberry concoctions, Jazzy came out of her room to visit, Indi played with some Waifs songs, I knitted my socks and my farmer boy carved a double-ended spoon for the mother of a baby who had told us that spoons were silly because babies poked themselves with the wrong ends.

nine - firewood

For the next four days, starting tomorrow, we'll be working on our firewood for next year and the year after. Bob is coming with his chainsaw to cut down a few trees that are a bit close to the house and then we'll use his hydraulic splitter to cut them to size and then make stacks for the winters to come.

I love that I have my blog as a record of the last time we did this so I can remember and prepare for this time.


I can't think of what number 10 should be and I'm in a bit of a rush to finish this off and get dressed to go out to a party, so I think I'll dedicate it to anyone out there who is having a tough time at the moment. I hope your troubles ease, I hope you find comfort and feel supported, and I hope by this time next week when I write my blog your world looks a little rosier.

Until then, tell me a thing, or 10, about you.
What are you thinking about? How are you feeling? What are you growing/mending/baking?
I'd love to hear all about it.

Big love,



  1. So much to love about this post Kate, and so much to relate too. Mostly that Jazzy came to visit. X

  2. I love your Friday posts - maybe you should make this a regular thing where we can link our own too. Sometimes I think my life is so boring and humdrum compared to yours. My teenage daughter spends a lot of time in her room too.
    Happy holidays to your girls and happy weekending to you.

    1. I can't for the life of me remember how to do one of those link up things but if you do happen to blog on a friday please let me know and I'll pop in and say hi. x

  3. Thank you so much for your blog. I love it and resonate with so much of your writing. Hope you keen writing. Xxx

  4. Oh thank you for your blog and for sharing your life here! I just love it. Actually I sort of devour it really and you know what? I thought that's why bloggers and writers wrote as well! And then I too realised I could be more diary like and just be me and it really is as simple as that! I love that the man came to visit, the double ended spoon will make that woman laugh and to answer your question I have been making Christmas gifts which you can see on my blog and now they're finally done I can carry on with things for me! SO loving that right now.

  5. Thank you for number 10. This has been a tough week with my little's but you're right - it will ease and stress heading is not helping. Have a lovely weekend x

  6. So love reading your update!! Feel as if we've just had a cuppa together, so now my chance to chat too.
    Let's see, have been busy buying Christmas presents, all online this year, more choice and less stress. Researching, deciding and buying presents for 11 kids takes days though, don't think I save anytime.
    After Christmas (when old trampoline becomes redundant ;-) I'm planning on turning it over, lining the legs with chicken wire and starting a garden inside the base. You can take credit for that, you've enthused about gardening so passionately that after all this time you've finally worn me down ;-) I'm going to see if my former black thumb may be capable of becoming green.

  7. I so love reading your posts Kate. I really, really love the beautiful pictures that you take.


  8. Love reading the update! I inherited a stack of plants and a bird bath from someone downsizing and I got to watch two adolescent currawongs bathe and then one settled on our balcony for a very thorough grooming session attempting to remove it's baby downy feathers - but resulting in turning itself into a ball of fluff instead! I retaught myself how to knit this week and am attempting a simple seed stitch scarf at my mothers request. My girls are I have been planting many annual flower seeds and willing our corns to grow taller.

  9. I love that you are writing again Kate. I am living in limbo between the end of our year on the road, and now living at my parents hoping our plans for a new tree-change life all come together in time for the new school year! When I finish this post I'm going to grab a peppermint tea and crochet a decoration for the tree :)

  10. Lovely to read your blog as it is so refreshing and natural.
    Loved the part about the previous owner coming by and with a promise of more visits.
    What you wrote about thinking of those who may be doing it tough...reminds me of two mothers who are new grandmothers themselves now telling me that they remember what I told them once many moons ago. They had large happy families but were busy. ...I had told them to cherish those little years as they go all too quickly. Those hard tired days will be but a brief memory.
    Kate your photography is beautiful as is your property..a sumptuous backdrop and setting changing with the seasons.
    What am I doing? Mulched the garden during the heat wave, soaked it and then of course in true Australian summer it has rained for two days. So now I drink my peppermint tea which seems to be the flavour in these comments:) . Then a wind down as cases packed for some weeks in the Phillipines ....a first time visit for me which no doubt will be an eye opener.
    Take care Kate x

  11. I so love reading your posts, Kate! My man and I just celebrated our 17th too! We spent our day at a beautiful, romantic nordic spa during the first snowfall of the year - it was perfect! XX

  12. Kate you sound so much in your head well done to you. Tell your farmer boy that his double ended spoon is wonderful he needs to patent that and market it it's a wonderful idea. We are getting ready to spend the season with our son and his family. It's so lovely but also so strange as we always do the season here. Love to see your fair isle socks I fancy a go sometime next year. Meanwhile we are impatiently waiting for relatives to come and visit us with their two girlies for a couple of days.

  13. So beautifully written as always Kate. I'm about to visit my 91yo friend for a lovely patchwork day together - we do this every 2-3 weeks :)

  14. A few things.... 1. Reading about Tom brought a tear to my eye. I've got bad memories of visiting old houses (just nostalgia related, never traumatic!), so it just felt really bloody brave of him to visit under those circumstances. 2. Double-ended spoon - genius! 3. If Indi takes Waifs requests I'd love to hear her sing Sunflower Man :)

  15. Thank you for sharing, beautiful photos and stories. I love your blog.
    cheers Kate

  16. My feed reader did something weird to my comment, trying again - sorry if it appears twice...
    So lovely Kate, I always enjoy reading your work. What have I been doing? Blogging too, returning to it after a biggish break as well - I’m a cooking blogger so I’ve been putting a few things up that will be on our Christmas menu this year. Right now I’m listening to my 16 month old grizzling in her bed, trying to leave her long enough to fall asleep - she’s going through a sudden rough patch getting to sleep, it’s pretty hard but we’ll get through it.

  17. I love the double headed spoon! My 10 month old loves spoons but pokes himself all of the time. So clever!
    I also love reading your words and stories Kate. I live in the leafy burbs but dream of farms and the forest. Thank you for adding detail to my dreams.

  18. I find blogging to be wonderful for sorting out my thoughts, and making me find out how I actually feel about something - even the more personal, ranty ones that I never publish. Writing has almost become part of my thought process. Either that or a LOT of talking :-)

    I think that mama is going to be chuffed with that spoon - and the fact that someone was listening and did something about it!

    I'm so glad you're blogging again. I hope you're having a good weekend. It'll be nearly Christmas next time you blog - eek!

    Sarah x

  19. PS Congratulations on your anniversary! xx

  20. Thank you for sharing your photos and stories. It's always a blessing to read your posts. Happy anniversary.

  21. It is just so comforting to know you are out there in the world Kate. It is even better when you write about it x

  22. 1)I am so glad you are finding your blogging groove again 2)I may have wept a little when I handed on our Foxs Lane dress in the same bag as the handmade Christmas pinafore I made the year Hannah was three, and the Cherry Dress that both my girls have worn, 3) I am hoping to make blogging more of a "thing" in 2017 too 4) I have just returned from a Qld Christmas where I had a baby niece to cuddle with each arm - baby cuddles don't get better than that 5) we didn't quite expect the wild weather welcome on our return but I found myself smiling that knitting and spinning and scrapbooking require no power so the 14 hour blackout didn't bother me 6) I hope you know the joy your blog brings to others 7) So glad about your igloo - I am scared to check my vege patch since the weather has made everything go to seed and the weed rebellion is ridiculous 8) sitting here with a baileys and counting my blessings tonight 9)don't you just love the days between Christmas and New Years that just seem to fall off the calendar? I think they may very well be my favourite days of the year 10) Happy New Years to you and your beautiful family - happy blogging in 2017!


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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