It's our last afternoon on the island. I'm hoping that these photos will tell their own stories of our week away so I can go and spend the last precious moments outside rather than in the air-conditioning tapping away on my computer.
It's been magical.
See you next week with stories from back on the farm.
PS. If you have any tips for easy reentry I'd love to hear them. I hear it's cold and wintry back home.
I just counted and this is the 22nd blog post I've written since I started posting regularly on Fridays late last year. 22!! That's practically half a year's worth. But this post feel like a weird one. You see right now I am so far from Foxs Lane that I am in another time zone. I'm so far from Foxs Lane that when I look out of my window all I can see are airport buildings and planes taking off. So far from Foxs Lane that I didn't even pack my work overalls. And so far from Foxs Lane that my mind and thoughts are out of the forest and the orchards and the gardens, and are instead in a world that is humid and filled with travel and swimming and family.
We've cleaned up, handed our place over to the house minders and traveled a little way across the world to celebrate Bren's parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Traveling along with me and Bren and his parents are his sister and her husband and our six girls. What fun! What a lot of giggling.
So you can probably understand that writing a blog about farmey, homey, seasonal living wouldn't feel quite right while we're so far away from it. And writing about our time away doesn't feel all that doable when so far we've only been traveling.
So I'm going to keep this one short and sweet.
Firstly, last stormy Sunday night a big tree fell down across our driveway. We're really lucky that we have other ways to get in and out, lucky that it didn't land on anything that mattered or cause any damage, lucky that farmer Bren is super qualified with a chain saw and lucky that our firewood for 2019 got a nice top up. But when your week is neatly ordered into jobs that need to be done before you hand over the farm for a week, spending a chunk of time cutting a big tree takes a bit of rearranging.
And I'm super lucky that The Bulldogs won the first game of football the new socks were worn to so now they are undisputed 'lucky socks'. Yay!
Just before we left I finished reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, which I highly recommend. After a few really disappointing books, I couldn't put The Mothers down. It is intelligent, emotional, topical, sad, and hopeful. I think it's a book whose characters will continue to travel through my life with me for a little while longer. I loved it.
And then on the plane I started Walkaway which Harper Collins so kindly sent me. Honestly I have never read anything quite like this 'techno thriller' but am completely fascinated by the futuristic tale and where it will take me.
A 500 page book to read, a new pair of just cast on socks to knit, so many of my favourite people to hang with and a week away from home in a most gorgeous spot feels a bit heavenly.
And that's it! Short and sweet.
I hope you have a heavenly weekend.
Have you got anything planned?
Are you reading, knitting, cooking or growing anything exciting?
Is the sun shining there?
It's early April, one month into autumn, and the first day of the school holidays. Bren and Pepper have gone camping, Indi and Jazzy are in the other room listening to Cat Stevens and after my initial panic at remembering that it's blog day, I've settled in with my lap-top and I'm ready to go.
So these are the ten photos that I've taken over the past week. Ten autumnal pictures about what my life looks like right now. And because ten is such a nice even number, I think I'll stick with that and write 10 bunches of words about life to go with them.
Sound good? Good.
Thing one - I've decided that I'd quite like to be a flower farmer when I grow up. For most of the time we have been farming here we have concentrated primarily on growing edible things, but over the past few years we've given over rows and beds to flowers. For the bees, for picking bunches of, and because they add colour and just look so glorious showing off their sweet blossom smelling faces to the world. Next season I want to grow twice as many as we grew this season and then even more than that. I think I'd better start researching eh.
Thing two - Miss Pepper put together these posies to present to Indi and Jazzy the other night after their singing performances in their school's soiree. The big girls loved them but they were pretty wilted by the time they got to them, I told you I needed to do some research.
Thing three - We're at that funny part of the season where too much is too much. Every spare space in our house is filled with crates and boxes and baskets of produce waiting to be preserved. Beans, quinces, apples, tomatoes, pears, cucumbers, beetroot, grapes, cabbages, basil and nashis, all ready to bottle and boil and dehydrate and stew and ferment and freeze. The house smells like overripe fruit and to be honest I think I'm almost at that point when I can seriously say that I'll be happy not to eat another raw tomato until next year. I'm definitely at that point where I'm sick of reaching for something only to find it mushy and mouldy on the inside. Better hop to it and slice and dice quicker.
Thing four - As the days have been slowly growing colder and shorter and darker, I've been compiling a list in my head of things that I love about Autumn and one of those is definitely lighting bonfires. Standing around a pile of burning logs with a steaming hot cup of tea warming my hands makes me as happy, as happy as can be.
Thing five - Watching Bren as he refines his tools, develops muscle memory, gets into his flow and makes the most beautiful bowls from wood off our farm makes me pretty happy too. We've been talking about setting up an undercover space with a wood heater for when the weather turns nasty soon, complete with a comfy arm chair for a knitting companion. Hopefully we've got a few weeks of mild outdoor days before then though.
Thing six - While Bren's been making wooden bowls on his lathe, Miss Pepper has been carving little wooden beads from his offcuts. I'll have to remember to get a photo of them all strung onto her necklace when she gets home.
Thing seven - I finally finished Emily's Bulldogs socks. A quick soak in some wool wash, a nice block, a photo on a daughter's feet and then I'll be handing them over.
Thing eight - Whenever I finish a knitting project I reward myself with knitting a few extra squares onto my memory blanket. Unfortunately the red, white and blue from the footy socks don't exactly work in the blanket's colour palette, so I'm using scraps from socks past this time.
Thing nine - My blog and clever author friend Zanni Louise sent me the sweetest package this week. A copy of her latest book Archie and The Bear, some brown wool, a crochet hook and the pattern to make an adorable bear hat. It really is a gorgeous book and I am so proud of Zanni and excited to think of little bears all over the world cuddling up to read her wise words and turn her pretty pages.
Thing ten - I just started this book last night so I don't have much to say about it yet other than how different it is to the last three Australian books I read. I find myself constantly rejigging the pictures in my head, the geography, the religousness, the culture, the way the people look and the foods that they eat - it's all so very unfamiliar and foreign - but I guess that's one of the things I love best about books and reading. I have loved the first 88 pages and look forward to the rest.
Thing ten.one - I want to thank you all so very much for your responses to my last blog post. Thank you as always for your kindness and encouragement, it means the world to me. I am very slowly going through them all and thinking about how you read my words, look at my pictures and where to go from here. I'm most interested in the regular Friday posting and how many of you said you look for my blog now rather than have it delivered to you. I like to think of it as part of your Friday routine. And I'm pretty happy with how it's working from my side too. Making me want to commit and be reliable and dependable. It's good.
Thing ten.two - (Ugh, I never was any good at maths.) Somehow with all the long days of hard farm work we've been doing over the past week I've sprained my right wrist. I'm happy to take a day off today to rest it and hang out with my big girls. I was relieved to find that I could still type these words. But I'm upset that it hurts to knit. After all, what good is sitting still without knitting?
Okay, time to stop, the girls want to watch a episode of 13 Reasons Why.
So how about you, have you read anything, watched anything, listened to anything good lately?
I hope you've had a lovely last week and are looking forward to something fun on the weekend.