Friday, April 27, 2018

a slice of my life

Hello lovely ones,

How are you feeling? How's your week been?

I'm sitting on the couch in our new sun room. It's quiet except for the sound of the birds and of Jo-Jo snoring next to me. Bren is away, the girls are at school and although I looked forward to this time all week and felt excited at the thought of having the house to myself, now that I'm here I'm finding it hard to sit still and focus.

It's funny, even though everyone who knows me understands that I struggle with the cold, wet and grey, I'm finding this crazy long growing season that we're having exhausting. We still haven't had the Autumn break, the first frost, or any decent rainfall, so we're frantically busy with all of the late summer/early autumn jobs. We're still picking tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, apples, beetroots and carrots, we're still picking and dead-heading the flowers, we're still planting and weeding and preserving and collecting seeds. And in between all of that we're making the most of the sunshine and stacking firewood, watering the garden and wondering if the seeds we plant out now will have any chance of growing.

And that's all great, especially the fact that the days are brilliantly sunshiney and warm BUT usually by now things are starting to slow down, the summer crops are beginning the next part of their cycle as they rot into compost and there's time for catching up on the indoors jobs, for crafting on the couch, and for introspection. Instead we're still working outside from first thing in the morning until dark, our list of things to do feels like endless, and I'm feeling overwhelmed and stretched, and tired.

Our garden is full of frantic looking bees at the moment, buzzing between the flowers, desperately trying to  collect all the nectar to make honey stores for winter and I can relate to them. I also feel a bit buzzy and frantic going from job to job trying to be everywhere at once. I don't wish for the season to be over, not at all, but I would love a little break. A little slow down. A little knitting time on the couch.

Oh gosh, when winter does come closing in I'm going to regret those words, aren't I.

So what else have we been doing?

I listened to and loved The Habitat podcast

I've been eating cut up granny smith apple, with muesli, and nuts, and seeds for at least one but mostly two meals a day.

We sold apples, garlic, flowers and tomatoes at the farmer's market and loads of apples from the farm gate stall.

When Bren went away for a few days we were asked to present him with one gift, and we gave him three. Pepper knotted him a bracelet using his favourite colours. I knitted him a love heart to represent the place he holds in our hearts, how much we adore him and all that squishy stuff. And we gave him a rusty nail that I found in the garden while I was digging up the potatoes. The nail represented our land and the food we grow, those who passed through here generations ago on their hunt for gold, and his new skills as a builder.

That bag of sunflower seeds that we found at the back of a drawer and took a gamble on and planted waaaaay too late in the season, grew taller than me and started to open up their beautiful faces and stare at the sun. The birds have started nibbling at them so I'm going to have to be quick if I want to pick some bunches, but what a way to end the flower season.

I filled up my last pot and started the hunt for some more.

My farmer boy ploughed me up a long strip of ground to plant my bulbs in, but now I can't decide if I should mix all the colours and varieties up like a field of wild flowers, or if I should grow type with type and colour with colour.

We picked the four pumpkins we grew this year. I don't eat pumpkins but I love growing them so it was a struggle to hold myself back to one plant but hopefully this lot will be eaten by our two pumpkin eaters in the next few months and there'll be no mouldy puddles of orange disgustingness for us to deal with as there have been in other years when I didn't hold back.

We bought this framed print at our friend Leah's garage sale and hung it on the wall of the sunroom.

I thought a lot about trying to grow potted colour in the sunroom through winter and whether or not that's even possible.

I started thinking about the best way to teach sock knitting to my class at Soul Craft Festival, (which is only six weeks away YIKES!!)

We picked so many tomatoes.

One of us suffered a broken heart and felt it so deeply that it made the rest of us weep.

One of us learnt how to use a tricky maths formula that had been elusive for quite some time and then just stuck.

One of us read a book about playing chess from cover to cover in one afternoon.

I finished Eliza Henry Jones' new YA novel P is for Pearl. I am such a big fan of everything Eliza writes and have been so curious to read this book that she actually wrote as a teenager and put away in a drawer thinking it wasn't good enough. It most certainly is good enough and I'm so happy that she was convinced to pull it out and publish it.

It's a beautiful and also terribly sad story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her family's history while trying to find her place in the present and plan for her future. Eliza writes characters and relationships so well that even though there are no big events in her book, I still couldn't put it down.

I feel like the themes of mental illness, blended families, teenagers planning for their futures, small towns and friendships are so relevant in the world we live in and this story deals with them all so well. I  really look forward to discussing it with my girls after they've read it. I'd also love to ask Eliza at some stage about the changes she had to make to bring it up to date after it languished in her drawer for 10 years; was there outdated language, gadgets, trends? So interesting.

Bren and Jobbo dug the holes and laid the foundations for my studio. I know it doesn't look like much now, but if all goes to plan, there'll be a floor on those stumps by this time next week.

I learnt that at the very end of their season, dahlias pop their centres as they open to encourage the bees to pollinate them, and their stems become weak and bendy. I keep holding myself back from dead heading them so I can collect some seed to grow some different ones next year

There was this one day, maybe it was yesterday, when I felt ridiculously emotional and unable to focus so I took myself into the garden and dug up the last row of potatoes. It was so great to work hard, to get out of my head and into my body and to let the dirt drugs do their thing.

And that's my blog for this week. I don't know why it was such a hard one to write but it was. I feel like I've used every single procrastination tool in my tool box and still I'm sitting here at 5.30, my girls are about to get home and I haven't even thought about dinner.

Have you?

Have you had a nice day? Have you got something to look forward to on the weekend? Are you reading a good book? Growing something new to you? Feeling grumpy, or overwhelmed, or inspired?
Do you have a link for something cool on the internet? I've been trying to work out how to post that video of Princess Charlotte waving at the the media just before going in to meet her new baby brother but I can't work out how. In any case, it's pretty sweet.

See you next week.

Love, Kate xx


  1. It's a beautifully real blog, Kate. As yours always are. I've had a topsy turvy month where things haven't gone to wish or plan at all. A friend said something offhand about making little steps; small choices and decisions and how that grows into the big things that seem so overwhelming. Of course I know this, but it's been a real eye opener how an active practice of small has made me feel a little more settled. I'm still working on some big stuff, but I feel a lot calmer. Visiting here each Friday definitely helps. I hope you have an ace weekend and delightful first week of May xx

    1. I love that too! Thank you for sharing it with me. I hope your past week has been easier on you. xx

  2. Gosh Kate, your blog is always so beautiful and moving for me.
    I've had a week of really big emotions, just my own and it's been hard and uncomfortable and I haven't liked it one bit. I hope your broken hearted one soon moves through this very difficult time.
    I love the gifts you gave to your farmer boy.
    Your studio, how very exciting for you.
    The bulbs, I would go for a jumbled up sea of flowers, because while I like neat and tidy really I'm more of a wild messy mixed up kind of gal.
    I never ate pumpkin for years, still don't like it but others do so I eat it because it's easier to make one meal.
    Those sunflowers are so beautiful. I grew some once, my youngest started the seeds at family day care, and when she brought them home we planted them out and they were divine. I've never managed to grow them again.
    I've said enough now, passing the talking stick to the next commenter.
    Have a fab weekend.
    Be kind to yourself
    Cheers Kate

    1. Hello lovely Kate, I do hope this week has been kinder and easier on you. I've been thinking and hoping for good things for you all week. xx

  3. The bloom in your first photograph is exquisite, such delicious colours. There is nothing worse than seeing a loved one’s heart broken and I hope they are soon out of the acutely painful stage. I love the site for your new workroom, in among the trees - what a great spot. We’ve been able to get on our allotment and start planting and I totally agree with the ‘dirt drugs’ working, they work wonders for me. Oh, and you reminded me to plant my sunflowers, something that had slipped my mind, thanks.

  4. Those sunflowers look amazing...I have a packet of sunflower seeds with a use by date 2015 which I am now inspired to throw around the garden and see if anything pops up !! I look forward to seeing your studio pop up. x

    1. Yes!! Chuck them in! I love mine so much more because they were a gamble and so out of season. x

  5. Thanks Kate, for pressing on when you didn't feel like writing. Your blog is the best part of Friday. Love seeing what's growing in your garden, as not much is growing in mine.

  6. Los viernes son especiales,me ilusiona encontrar una de tus entradas en la pantalla del ordenador.
    Los viernes me da alegría, como un rayo de sol que sale entre las nubes un día de primavera.
    He plantado dalias en el huerto, he sembrado zinnias en el jardín. Me inspiran tus fotografías, hay mucha belleza a tu alrededor y en tu interior.
    Es agradable entrar en tu blog, como un bálsamo y hoy he querido que lo supieras.

  7. I too grow pumpkins ( VERY unsuccessfully ) and the only way I like to eat them is soup. I did manage to grow about 12 spaghetti squash, which I know you aren’t fond of either, but I am bloody delighted! They are better than any I’ve bought at the shop & have loved eating some.
    Do you still have chooks and sell eggs?
    I am feeling all the feels today. I have t seen my biggest kid for almost 2 weeks & ive no clue when I’ll see him next. It’s beyond hard having grown kids! One of my dearest friends had some horrifically tragic news today & I feel heartbroken for the whole family. And finally I am unsure if I am ready for my baby to turn 4 next week or if we are ready for the longest footy season ever or to go back to school/Tafe. Life doesn’t feel very slow or productive right now which is a bit annoying but such are our days.
    Enjoy your weekend Kate xx

    1. Hello love! I'm bloody thrilled about your spaghetti squash too!
      And we only have about ten chooks now and hardly any eggs. In fact I've been swapping eggs for apples at market. One day we'll love chickens again, I just think we had too many and they were a business instead of animals in their own rights. Sending you loads of love honey, thanks for popping in and letting me know what you're thinking and how you're feeling. xx

  8. Hi Kate, well your blog certainly doesn’t read as if it was difficult to write,it was an absolute delight to read. Love all the colour changes in your world and photos, so glad to hear that the local farmers market is doing well. I would just plant a riot of colour in your bulb planting area trying to keep the tall ones at the back/or middle depending on whether you want to view it from both sides. Have a good week.

  9. Hi Kate - enjoy every week reading your blog. This weekend I am finishing samples for the macrame workshop I teach in two weeks - yikkkkess I agree! Then I need to prepare a plan for the term after that - double yikes right!

  10. Hi Kate, isn't it weird how emotions get the better of you at times?...I seem to be going along quite nicely, and then BANG!!....right out of the blue I feel like I can't cope with much. Luckily I have a little dog, so I take myself (and him) out for a walk, come rain or shine...sorry to hear about your girlies heartbreak, and hope she feels better soon. Your blog is always so heartwarming, and filled with lots of beautiful things too. Have a great week xx

  11. I always look forward to your Friday posts. I hate the cold wet grey days of winter too, I'm very much a summer and early autumn girl. Your flowers have been a delight to see this year. Happy weekending to you.

  12. I too planted out some extra sunflower seeds late thinking I was pushing my luck, but this long summer/late autumn weather gave it life. Your photo's and writing really take me there to your little patch. Its really beautiful. Thank you.

  13. Hi Kate,
    Do you think there's any way that you could video your sock making workshop and upload to you tube? It would be so great to learn from you.... Just a thought.
    Reges. x

    1. Oh goodness, you definitely have more confidence in me than I have in myself. hopefully by this time next month I'll be able to consider it, but until then...yikes!!

    2. I really do have faith in you Kate!!!

  14. Good luck teaching sock knitting xxx I have never tried socks two at a time, maybe one day. Dahlia's are beautiful xxx Oh and those sunflowers rock xxx

  15. lobelias, violas, primulas I have success with in the winter xx

  16. Those sunflowers are glorious! Have you ever tried pumpkin brownie? A great way to sneak pumpkin into something delicious and fairly low in sugar xx


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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