Saturday, July 8, 2017

the afternoon after

Last night when we were in Melbourne picking up Pepper I bumped into an old friend. He asked how I was and then I asked him. We both answered really good without even really thinking. But then I took a breath all the way in and noticed all the parts of my body that had been stuck sitting inside the car for the past two hours. I'm on a bit of a mission to get out of my head and into my body more often these days. And I noticed my aching shoulder and I added that I am actually feeling great because just this past week I smashed a goal that I'd set myself close to a year ago.

Working with our trainer at gym twice a week, she'd often talk about a particular fitness class she runs. The group who turn up a few times a week to take this class are at peak fitness. They pick up the choreography quickly, they move to the beat, they are strong and they work together to achieve this amazing feeling of strength and joy that has them sweaty and cheering by the end of the class. 

For months every time I bumped into a friend of mine who goes she'd encourage me to come and list all the benefits, and I'd tell her that one day I would. One day.

Then on Tuesday our trainer told me I was ready and she thought I should come to that night's class. As she ran through some of the trickier moves with me we discussed the importance of learning new things as an adult, about the fact that being bad at something is not a waste of time, about the importance of goals and challenges and about doing something for myself.

That night I left my warm house and went out into the cold and the dark. After working with our trainer for a year and a half I trust that she knows me well enough to know what I'm capable of so I wasn't nervous, I didn't expect much of myself though.

And like she'd said, the people were lovely and very serious about it. I stood at the back and watched in awe as they punched and jumped and kicked and lunged, in time, and again and again and again.

And you know what? I did too! Of course I found it tricky and stumbled and tripped often, I sweated my head off and there were many times when I wondered if the end of the song would ever come. But I kept up. And apart from the knee push ups that killed my knees, I managed every single exercise. They might have even clapped me at the end.

The few days since have been an anatomy lesson in muscle groups of pain, but gosh I feel great. And proud. And strong.

The friend I told this to last night made all the right noises and told me about his own goal that he'd smashed recently. I don't want to betray his confidence so I'm not going to write about his part of the conversation, but just know that I asked and listened as well as spoke.

He then asked me about the girls, how are they are and what they're up to? It's funny, I told him. So often there's something going on with one of them being extra needy or demanding. But right now they all three seem to be doing things they love and they're happy. School holidays are tricky with the big two now that their friends live an hour away, but we're managing.

And Bren? He's really great too. The farm is slowly going to sleep for the winter which gives him the time to express himself creatively. He's got a few projects going on and he's learning and loving working on them.

He had a difficult time during the week when we had yet another plumber out to try and fix the hydronics on the wood stove that have never worked properly in the five years we've had it. He questioned himself and his decisions and whether it was worth persevering at all. But after a good night's sleep and a discussion with the plumber who is confident that he can come back and fix it and get it running properly, he's feeling cautiously optimistic again.

It's horrible watching the person you love really struggling. My first impulse is always to try and fix it and take the hurt away. But over the years I've learnt that it's more important to support them. To listen carefully, to offer my thoughts if needed and to sit with them through the process without getting impatient or suggesting certain solutions.

Fingers crossed this week will see the cooker fixed and the end to a very long five years of problems.

Then he asked about the apples. It's funny that no matter the time or season, people always do. And the chooks and the dogs? All good.

We then spoke of country living versus city living and how I could never go back. We spoke of all the changes we've made to our house since they last visited and when they can come back.

He didn't ask me about my crochet or knitting, surprise-surprise. But incase you were wondering I'm darning in the ends of my crochet blanket and knitting squares onto my scrappy sock blanket. My farmer boy needs a new beanie next.

And I'm reading Abby's advance copy of The Lucky Ones. I started reading it a couple of weeks ago when I was feeling crappy but put it down after I realised it was pretty heavy in places. Now that I'm reading it in a better frame of mind I'm loving it.

Set during the peak of Columbia's drug fuelled conflict, The Lucky Ones is one of those books where each chapter stands alone as a short story and also fits in as a part of the intertwining bigger picture. Set over a 20 year period, the interconnecting bits between the stories are sometimes so surprising that they feel like bits of a jigsaw puzzle clicking in together. Told from the perspective of high school students, teachers, guerrilla fighters, parents and prisoners, The Lucky Ones capture a period of time so vividly but so far seem anything but what the name of the book suggests.

I thought you'd like to see this picture of our Pepper and her friend Drew taken by local photographer Juanita Broderick for the Tripwire Theatre production of Hollow recently. Pepper played Thomas Graham, one of three young boys who left their Daylesford homes 150 years ago to play in the forest and never returned home. The play told the story of the events that surrounded their disappearance.  

And that's me in my point in time. It's funny but when I sat down to write my blog this afternoon my brain didn't want to. It was like because I'd kind of done it yesterday, it didn't want to do it again today. So I got distracted and found a heap of other things to do instead. In the end, looking for a way to trick myself into it I remembered how often you guys leave comments telling me that my blog is just like catching up with a good friend. So I started there. And my brain cooperated. Thank goodness.

Which makes me wonder about your side of the story.
How are you going?
How's your family?
Your animals?
Have you made or smashed any goals lately?
Are you making anything cool?
I'd love to know.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Love Kate



  1. Kate and Bren, I LOVE your glasshouse. It's a work of art, a place where time spent will be golden. Take care and look after your muscles. xx

    1. Thank you Rhonda, that means a lot to me. I can't wait til the weather warms up a bit and we can spend some serious time in there planting. And just so you know I haven't forgotten your offer of swapping the 13 year olds for the scottie. xxxx

  2. I'm happy that you posted this week Kate. I used to read lots of blogs but yours is really the only one that I still love reading :) We are adjusting to life with our first dog. We have had him nearly 5months now. He is a Maremma x Border Collie growing very big but settling down in his mouthing and jumping on the kids thankfully! :) I am working on my first yarn bombing project for our local Bonfire Night. I'm making lots of colourful circles and hoping to join them up around a tree trunk! I bought 2x raspberry canes today and am really hoping I can get them grow some delicious berries!!

    1. Ahhhhh Laura a Maremma x Border Collie sounds like so much fun!! We need to spend some more time with our two year old Maremma because he still jumps up on me and pushes me over. They're such gorgeous dogs though. And I love the thought of the colourful circles around a tree. I hope it ends up looking exactly as you want it to. x

  3. Hello Kate. I am reading your blog after my three children are tucked into bed and sleeping soundly. I appreciate the prompts you gave at the end of your post - after a day that had its own share of angst it is nice to bring my thoughts back to a place of quiet. At the moment I am loving planning my Spring garden. This year I am being a little more adventurous with what I intend to plant, rather than simply what I know will grow (and yes, your glasshouse is gorgeous).

    1. Oh Michelle you take me back to a time when my kids went to sleep before me and we had time to sit in the quiet. Ahhhhh exhausted bliss. And I love the thought of being more adventurous in the garden. I need to do a bit of that too. I hope you have a gorgeous week. xx

  4. You crochet & read fast Kate!!
    I am going good. Most days I feel like my head & body are in the best place they've been in a long time. But then I'll start overthinking something & realise it's something I'll always have to work on. I like your " out of my head & into my body " thing. I wonder if you were doing body combat? That used to be my favourite class when I went to the gym...
    My fam are good- equally maddening & hilarious.
    My chooks have started laying again- YAY!-, dogs are driving me mad ( escaping down the road), cat has been missing for almost 3 weeks ( her longest stint yet which makes me worry she's never coming home).
    Goa wise, I don't think I've smashed anything but I can finally say I make the most amazing sourdough. More than 2 years have passed since I began trying & it's only been the last few months that I feel
    Like my bread is better than anything I can buy. Big call but true.
    Crocheting lots but I still feel like an ametuer. It doesn't come easy but I love it nonetheless.
    See you here next week xx

    1. Youve consistently gotten out of bed to exercise - i think that's called goal smashing...

    2. You are right! Getting up on these freezing cold mornings & hitting the treadmill is a goal smashed! Thanks for always being my cheerleader, listening to me moan about my old, slow body & being my inspiration xx

    3. I always think that YOU read so fast Reannon. Every time I log into goodreads you've added a bunch of books. It's been fun chatting with you in almost real time over on insta. I really hope your cat comes home soon. And I completely agree with Honae, being self motivated to exercise, especially in winter, is most certainly a goal smashed. xx

  5. Hi Kate, I agree that it is important to keep learning new things. Can't say that I've done that recently. Love the perspective that being bad at something is not a waste of time. Thanks for that inspiration!

    1. Thanks Melanie. I'm still not there yet though. I bought a spinning wheel about a year ago and still haven't put aside the time to learn to spin because it'll take time away from other things I can already do. I think it'll be great for my brain though. I hope you try something new someday too. x

    2. Kate you totally have to learn to spin. It is the easiest way I know to quieten my mind. Closest thing to meditation for me. I just love it.

  6. Coming to your blog each week has been like a refreshing glass of water. I live in the city for now but aspire to have my own farm one day. I've especially enjoyed seeing your greenhouse being built. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

    1. Thank you so much Audry, I hope you have a great week. xx

  7. I look forward to your blog each week too Kate. It's the only one I read without fail. This week I've been unwell for the second time in a month and I'm sure its my body telling me it's needing to stop a moment. At first I was really worried about missing work and letting people down but then I gave into it and indulged in wonderful podcasts, watched Cleverman on iview and have almost completed a vest I've been knitting my partner for her birthday. Today I pruned my fruit trees and mulched my garlic and it felt so good to be in the garden on this beautiful cold winter day. I also spent a lot of time thinking and yearning about my moving to the country plans for one day too far away and wondering if it was just about being overwhelmed, and if maybe its possible to create the same space for yourself staying in the city but changing how you live.

  8. It is like catching up with an old friend each week when I read your blog. I live in the US on the East Coast and we are enjoying summer here but I love reading about your winter and the farm going to bed. Our week was exciting. We just became foster parents for the first time and we are taking care of a 2 yr old girl. It's been an adventure and a challenge integrating her into life with my wife and our daughter. Curious to see where the journey takes all of us.

  9. How are you going? Truthfully, lately I've been struggling. I'm not sure of my role any more, everything is changing so fast around me and I'm having a hard time keeping up. I'm not sure who I am any more, maybe I never really knew I was just so busy growing up a family that I didn't have time for anything else.
    How's your family? The family are great, 1 is in Melbourne holidaying with mates, the middle 2 are in Nz holidaying and the baby is home on school holidays.
    Your animals? Crazy as every. Can't wait for my chooks to start laying
    Have you made or smashed any goals lately? No I don't think I have maybe that is the solution to my feeling lost I need something to work towards.
    Are you making anything cool? I'm attempting to knit myself a jumper, it's been a long time between garments. It has a few mistakes that I've decided to leave in there as ripping it back was too heart breaking.
    I'm intrigued about the story of the missing boys, I think I shall have to see if I can learn more about it.
    I love your blog.

  10. Im about 80%. Which i consider a pretty good place to be. Feeling a little frumpy at the moment and i know it's because of my own indulging and i need to get a handle on it... My little guy has recently broken his arm, had a cast on and off only to get chicken pox 3 days later!! Poor kid. But - youth and the fact that he's immunised seem to be on his side because 3 days after noticing spots they've stopped multiplying and already looking dried out. Yay. The husband always has many things on his mind. Like you, i want to fix it all but im getting better at supporting rather than instructing. Tricky for me. Im a fixer.

    My dog, Fergus has a grand old life. So loved. Finding pockets of sunshine around the house. Keeping an eye on the neighbours cats. Sniffing every bloody tree and post when we go walking.

    I have made a huge list of goals, actually. 40 things to do before i turn 40. Ive got 305 days left and slowly making my way through it. One of the biggest things on the list is a marathon. Exciting but terrifying!!!

    Im making some decorations for a Christmas in July dinner im hosting in a few weeks and honestly, there are so many half done projects around the house I need another room just to house them all. Drives my husband bonkers :)

  11. It is always lovely to visit with you and catch up, a big thank you for continuing when so many cyber friends are leaving. Love the greenhouse and the picture of Pepper!
    My youngest is hundreds of miles away and soon to even be in another country, a summer holiday away with friends, which I'm happy for her and the new experiences, but my chest will be tight till she's home again, and I wonder where the time has gone.
    For myself I'm still recovering from a fall last year so every little bit of improvement is celebrated.
    Trying to stay ahead of the weeds in our (wet) garden, cooked our fist harvest of summer squash for dinner last night, and keeping an eye on those tomatoes for the first blush of color.
    We lost half of our hives this season, just so wet and an influx in wax moths. We acquired some new hens (Game variety) to has loose on the place to help with the mosquitos and scorpion population.
    I tried my hand at two at a time magic loop socks, but find I prefer them one at a time on my dpn's. (Always good to try something new though.)Working on fishing all my old WIP's crochet and knitted alike.
    Have a lovely season!

  12. Good on you for smashing those goals Kate. It has reminded me that I probably should get more serious about some exercise...sigh. I am still loving your glass house, I imagine myself dropping in and sharing a coffee and a chat with you behind those gorgeous windows. I am finishing the clean-up after our Fire and Flour day and enjoying the break in the school routine. I actually wonder how we fit school in? Love x

  13. I love your blog! It is hands-down my favourite spot on the internet :)

    Well done you for smashing out a goal! I used to think I really liked instant gratification, but I've learned that what I really like is setting myself a task and sticking though all the way to the end. But also having the heart to recognise when it just isn't working and letting things go graciously.

    Already looking forward to your next blog :)

  14. Love the greenhouse roof! And that your onions grew. I'd knit a hummingbird on my cozy hovering over some flowers. Enjoy the wool!



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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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