Home Sweet Home

Easter is on its last legs and I can honestly say that I am feeling much refreshed having done very little. Sometimes doing nothing is every bit as important as doing something.

The idea of downsizing nearly eighteen months ago came from continuously having my hand in my pocket for home maintenance and just not being physically able to maintain my third of an acre block.

My new home is on a piece of land the size of a handkerchief. Despite its lack of area, I have fruit trees, a flourishing vegetable garden, and an assortment of wildlife that regularly visits. This is my Go To book when someone, or something, new visits.

AE79DBE0-3B07-461E-8C49-871B17D1CC08

Like to meet some of my regular guests?

My weekly shopping includes additional fruit for the possums that visit on a nightly basis, guinea pig food for the wallabies, bird seed for the parrots, and a kilo of meat for the kookaburras, magpies, butcher birds, and Percy the Water Dragon. Oh, yes, they all have names……

The possums are currently carrying their babies on their backs and the little ones climb off and crawl through the fence where they can eat without any threat from the adults, before returning to mum for a ride home.

The Scrub Turkeys, Rosie and Willemena,  have gone walkabout so I assume they are sitting on eggs somewhere.

Yes, there is the occasional ……..* ssssshhhh, keep your voice to a whisper ……….snake. Probably wise not to mention what happens to them.

Who needs to go away for Easter when you can go Glamping in your own back yard?

4623A81F-3A5F-4154-A6F1-3EB346C8D3AF.jpeg

The Latest Trend In Book Shelf Placements. Yes or No?

Angela Mollard is an Australian journalist and social commentator. My youngest daughter alerted me to an article written by Mollard in the weekend paper.

The article opens with:

“LAST year when I planned to sell my house I had some stylists come in to make it look, well, stylish.
The first thing they did was pull all the books off my floor-to-ceiling shelves and stack them, with ruthless efficiency, in colour-coded piles.
Then they put them back on the shelves in little collections of colours with some of the books standing upright and others stacked horizontally.On top of the books they placed things from round the house — a globe, some colourful tiles from Mexico, a vintage camera, a photo of a sycamore pod and a bird’s nest I’d found under a tree in the front garden”.

058A6B99-C011-4E48-87E3-84C6B13A519D

My youngest daughter is working her way through the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die List. Many of the books on the List are quite old and hard to come by. One of her greatest joys is ruffling through antiquarian book shops where she will happily lose an hour in pursuit of a title. Most of these books she keeps where they find their “forever home” on her bookshelves. Some, upon reading, go elsewhere.

My youngest is in the process of relocating and is currently living in a state of fear. You see, her elder sister, the semi professional renovator and lover of all things minimalist, is determined to run with the interior decoration of the new abode. I am ashamed to admit that she is a huge fan of colour coordinated book spines.

Mollard warns us that “ a British interior designer called Lauren Coleman recently stacked her books backwards with the spines to the wall in order to keep the colour palette of her living room “neutral”.

21AEC7E7-5310-4029-B702-AE5414628B23

What the heck?

I always thought you purchased a property on the basis of three things :

0. Position. Position. Position
0. Daggiest house in the best street
0. And It’s all about the “bones” of a house
0. Must be close to a variety of eateries and a decent dress shop.

So, I fibbed about that last one, but I do not lie when I share with you that no financial advisor ever told me to colour coordinate my book spines in order to pocket a little extra of the folding stuff in a sale.

Talk about a First World problem.

I am aware that my feet are firmly planted in another era, when indoor plants and macrame planters were on trend. What, they are back, did I hear you say?

That at least gives me hope that a bookshelf full of individuality and much loved reads will be back in favour in the not too distant future.

Today’s Pop Quiz:

Yes or No. Do you colour coordinate your book spines?

 

 

Welcome To The She-Shack.

 

With downsizing as a part of my transition to (my second) retirement, I have claimed a room in the new house as my own. Entry is by invitation only. Please sit whilst I pour the tea.

It’s not decorated according to Home Beautiful nor is it filled with girlie bits and pieces from the renovation shows on the TV.  Never cared about that stuff, you see.

9BB8F39D-B95E-4F73-B474-1B15F3E7698C.jpeg

Downsizing, remember. My daughters have made it quite clear what will be going to the dump when I’m dead so I beat them to it. Boxes went to charity stores, others went to friends with an appreciation for same.

There are a few indoor plants currently suffering from the heat, a candle, and a few memories from places I have visited along the way. When the temperature drops I will invest in fresh flowers on a weekly basis. More importantly, I am surrounded by my music, books, and my favourite movies.

C00981CC-D562-4FB5-81DA-AC6FF88AF778

It is a pleasant room. A comfortable room. A light and airy room. Nothing flash, but it is my space. It’s the very first time I’ve had my own space and boy, have I earned it!

The view out the window is lovely at night as the fairy lights are trained up the palm tree. Sometimes you can spot the odd possum on his way to the fruit trees and blossoms down the back. The plants are another of my interests : they are grown mostly from cuttings and when they have taken and are strong, I hope to sell them at the local monthly market to raise funds to help our service personnel transition back into civilian life. Not an easy task for some.

9C425C1D-6557-4629-ABF2-A4796477F2BB

 

I have two books on the go at the moment. Both are proving challenging, but I’m not giving in.

Hellfire by Cameron Forbes tells the story of Australian POWs at Hellfire Pass on the Thai – Burma Railway during WW2. It includes many personal anecdotes and was written at the time of the 60th anniversary when a group of veterans returned to the site of their imprisonment, spreading the ashes of their revered leader from the time, Edward (Weary) Dunlop. I’m finding the author’s writing style a bit “ other worldly”.  May be it’s just me, maybe it’s the ghosts of so many……..

Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is definitely “out there”. Lots of talk about Psychology and Jungian Theory. OMG. I’m still trying to get my head around it, though the exercise in that alone is worthwhile.

0251DB1F-9549-4E04-9D8A-243136CCC750

It was recommended by an Australian author who writes Chook Lit for women ( romantic fiction based in a rural environment), who claims the book gave her strength. Interestingly, in real life with a farming background and working on the family property, after her divorce she left the farm whilst the son in law ( with minimal farm skills) was asked to stay on. Good old patriarchy. I’de be so bitter and bloody twisted. Not this lass. She has moved on and is bringing marvellous new environmental concepts to farming communities. Way to go, girlfriend! That’s the way to beat’em!

The plan was that most of my projects could be completed in here without disruption. Not all things go to plan though, do they?

Sometimes, this is where I come to do nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is more important than doing something.

Across the corridor is also the coffee machine and the bar fridge, which you may read as meaning that I’m never without sustenance nor inspiration.

What about you. Do you have a space to call your own?

EA144C70-6E65-4B74-9ADC-EE9C4E5E9BB1

 

 

 

 

 

Possum Magic By Mem Fox (& Hot Cross Buns)

Woke up feeling joyous. Why? First day since Christmas Eve that I have been inclined to turn the ceiling fans off. The fans do a reasonable job maintaining the house at a comfortable temperature but for a few days there I felt like I was living next door to a helicopter launching pad as the fans were going at full bore.

Whilst on holidays I’ve completed ten books and watched even more movies. My home has been rearranged and decluttered, I have spent time in the garden and have another twenty Rosemary plants potted to raise funds for my charity. Even more exciting, the Christmas ham is at last finished, gone, kaput. Thank goodness for that! Now to start cooking the Ham and Vegetable Soup, so thick a spoon will stand up in it, for freezing for the winter months.

So sharing the happiness : I just devoured my first Hot Cross Bun for 2018. My parents would be turning in their graves as they instilled in me that these were Easter treats only. It wasn’t that they were particularly tasty as they lacked any hint of spice or fruit. It was my first act of rebellion for the year and one that doesn’t  mean eternal damnation.

@427AABED-CDBE-410C-8C5C-99BB5FD90E9F

With all the tidying I came across this purchase I made some months ago.  Typical Gemini, it had been misplaced with numerous other items, such as Xmas gifts that I only located on Boxing Day.

9749F7BB-3A69-4266-A794-6E678D1DD8E1

Inspired by Australia’s top-selling children’s book of all time, the Royal Australian Mint’s 2017 Possum Magic 8-Coin Set, was released mid 2017.

Mem Fox’s charming Possum Magic has been capturing the hearts of the young (and the young at heart!) for over three decades. The book tells the story of Hush and Grandma Poss, with the tale brought to life by Julie Vivas’ iconic watercolour illustrations. Indeed, it is those incredible illustrations that have now been enshrined in Australian legal tender.

66547689-7B16-43EB-98C5-1A0C35FCFB55

The two main characters are Grandma Poss and Hush. Hush has been made invisible by Grandma to protect her from Australian bush dangers. The story details the duo’s adventures as they tour Australia searching for the secret to Hush’s visibility. It is a rhythmical story of Australia’s varied landscapes and the animals in them.

This is a really lovely book for Little People and it has been well read in our home. I’ll be purchasing a couple more copies for some Imminent Emminents soon.