Monday, December 1, 2014

1 December 2014 ... Moving Day

My calendar has a big red ring around Monday 1st December. In black writing it says Moving Day!!!

The house when we first bought it almost 5 years ago. Tenants certainly took their toll on the lawn.

This date was selected 11 months ago, in our driveway, on our way to work. Why this date? Neither of us know, it was just a date, far into the future, that would cement the coveted prize of living on our beloved property, rather than a long line of tenants. The planets were coming into alignment. Tenants had given notice, all thoughts of selling WG had been dashed by a stagnant real estate market, especially acreage such as this, other factors had come into line.

This day was 4 years, 9 months in an exercise in waiting. 

This day was the day that kept me going, kept me getting out of bed each day, kept me working in a basement with no light, gave me hope that one day it would all work out.

Except this day, today, happened two weeks ago. 

We time traveled into the future. 

So today, Moving Day, has been and gone. 

Today is for settling in, unpacking boxes, building wardrobes and hanging clothes, finding homes for all the stuff that makes up our lives. All the million and one little jobs that come after the moving day.

It is not a complete house move. We are leaving the old place mostly furnished so it will look better for selling. I think they call this Staged!  I am hoping it sells fast as I want my furniture in my farmhouse. My dresser and dining table that my Dad made, our well lived in leather couch, the sofa for our bedroom, bookcases. 

But for now, we are comfortable .. and happy.

Contentment is not far away.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A daily routine begins to form

I have a natural aversion to routines, but deep down they have a way of balancing the equilibrium of our mostly hectic life. I waver from being a rebellious fan of spontaneity to closet craving a structured routine determined by the clock.

The clock in its new home .. the kitchen. 

At WG, Animals are determining that a routine shapes me, not by a clock but by the hours of daylight, and I must say I am starting to enjoy it.

It's light(ish) here at 4.30am, although the official sunrise is not until 5am (or 5:03am according to the ABC weather - I always love their unwavering optimism "The sun will rise at 5:03am ..."). Tom Dog tiptoes into my bedroom at first light, he shoves his wet, cold nose into my warm blankets and the minute I acknowledge him, two black and white paws launch onto the sheets for excessive pats. When I say enough, he click, clicks on the wooden floor, around the other side of the bed to sniff and poke the princess dog, Minty. She is less of a morning person than I, greeting him with a growl. He eventually flops down on the rug beside my bed, with a melodramatic, teenage sigh and goes back to sleep until 5:30.

I get up, dress, and head on out to let the girls out of their house. I have them locked up at night for the moment, just until I can trust their yard to be fox proof. Tom races to the chook pen whilst I am still putting on my shoes, sniffing about for any night time intruders scent. I can hear the girls all clucking and telling me off for taking so long to release them. Once I open the door, four bossy black hens coming racing out, down the step and into the yard. Poor Daphne, the lone Light Sussex, comes out last, keeping well out of the way of the matriarch Daisy.

The first view that greets me in the morning on the way to the girls

Back to the house to feed Tom Dog, the princess will sleep in for another 30 minutes. He is eating and I make my coffee and empty the dishwasher. We sit on the veranda and enjoy the 'quiet' of the early morning. I say quiet, but what I really mean is the quiet of nature. Magpies with demanding offspring, Mudlarks, Ring Neck Parrots, Red Tail and Carneby Cockies, Galahs, ducks, Rosella's, Wattle Birds ... as my mum says, it sounds like a bird park!

Almost to the bottom of my coffee cup, and there is the short, sharp yap of her majesty. She is blind and old but certainly not quiet and easily forgotten. I carry her to breakfast, and while she eats, I make my bed and put on a load of washing. Its all about multitasking.  She is finished her breaky so we head back out to the garden for her morning constitutional and my chance to potter about while I watch her. 

I am enjoying the watering for now, seeing new seeds sprout, new leaves unfurl, flowers opening. The girls watch me for any sign I might have food, or even better I might open the gate and let them free. They get a few hours each evening, to minimise their enthusiastic harvesting of anything green.

There is always a job to do, or a walk out to the paddocks, or up the drive. I can not think of a better way to start my day. Even sleeping in holds no appeal, not when there is so much to do, so much to smile about.

By 8am, I am ready for the second cup of coffee, a bowl of muesli and a chance to read or write. I like the writing mornings, words and ideas hit me while I water, or potter, and I can't wait to get them down.

If this is routine, then I am liking it very much.

Laundry with a View

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Girls House

'Jodie's Girls'
The girls house was one of the first things we build before the move. We had to have a safe home for them to come to live in, and only the best for the divas would do. What started as an idea for a lean-to henhouse became a fully lined house fit for humans!

The Floor going in with Tom Dog supervising. Mr K is digging the post holes for the yard

The foxes are pretty bad around here, neighbours on either side of us said they didn't keep chooks because of this. This worried me, but I figured we could build a substantial chook house that would thwart the smartest of foxes.

The frame going up. Built from the old fence posts that we pulled out - solid, old jarrah

Dad and Mum came up to stay and this was to be our weekend project. Except it took a whole week, plus another few days to make the yard. Built up on stumps, it has a solid floor, jarrah stud frame, and clad in (brand new) weatherboard. The weatherboard extravagance was born from two needs - one was aesthetics, we can see the hen house from the house and all the outdoor sitting areas and two, this was the lining we were considering for the house extensions and we could have a trial run and see if we like it. I think we do!

Weatherboard cladding and a half painted door

The roof matches Mr K's shed, the doors were from a salvage yard and modified by Dad to have some ventilation. Its roomy and comfortable for some very spoilt hens.

The potting shed was built at the same time to match, the little window is in the girls pen

The yard is pine poles with two layers of wire. One had been dug down into the ground with a trench lined in wire too. Then a second layer of chook wire that goes up to the top of the poles. We have also put a wire roof over the yard to stop the crows and maggies getting in.

The yard ... we captured a little dog!

Next installment, I will recount the turmoil of the girls moving house and having their country sisters come to live with them. All was not well in the hen house!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bring it on ..

Bring it on ... the last words on the last post. Did I really challenge the universe with that?

Swapped my office at Basso to a nook at WG ... so much nicer

Well I did, and I got what I asked for. 

Today is the first day in months that I feel I can lift my head and see the progress we have made. (as in we have been head down, bum up working for what seems like an eternity). Remember that move in date we had? 1st December if you forgot. Well it kinda got shunted forward by a month and I am typing this from the desk in the corner of my lounge room at WG. 

Yep. We are IN!  I could just now say that the Journey to Contentment is over, we are living in our little bit of paradise and all will end happily ever after.

Except, we all know that life is not like that.

There is always more to the story. 

The move began as a temporary measure when we had painters come to paint the granny flat and persuaded us to paint the rest of the house as well. Wow, as I write this I realise there are so many things that have happened which all need an explanation. Now that I have time and energy and a desk I can go back and write the posts that will explain all the happenings.

So, painters invading the house, the WG house is now empty of tenants and my folks had booked it as holiday accommodation for 10 days. We gatecrashed their party and wickedly put them to work helping us to move. Small price to pay for a free holiday!  Not a full house move, just enough to live and be comfortable. The idea being that Basso house will be left mostly furnished so that it can be 'staged' to sell. We have the very great indulgence of no time limits other than those we self impose. 

In a way its an annoying way to move house, in dribs and drabs, but I guess its not nearly as bad as trying to live in a house while its being painted. The other advantage of moving bit by bit is that it gives you a chance to find homes for all the stuff as you go. The logistics are that we are moving from a 5 bedroom 3 bathroom house to a 3 bedroom farm house. The name of this game is Decluttering.  We go to Basso, fill up a car or a trailer with stuff and come home and locate homes for it. 

Being an old house, there are no built in robes or linen cupboards at all. We have purloined one whole bedroom (just as well we have no kids at home anymore) as a walkin robe. Wall to wall IKEA has created the ultimate in wardrobes. (When I walk in there I feel like some rich mans wife with a whole room to store her frocks!)

My girls in their new home ... happy hens

The chooks have moved in, the doggies have their beds, I call this place home now. It still makes me smile during little moments - looking out to the trees as the sun comes up, watching the ducks and their ducklings on the stream, the kookaburra's that come at dusk and laugh hysterically, cleaning the beautiful jarrah floor - even pegging clothes on the line makes me smile.

This is still a journey, I guess life is like that. Contentment is still not 100% but it is certainly closer than it was last week. 

So yep, Bring. It. On.

Minty has found her contented spot.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lost sight of the point of the this blog.

When I started this blog in April 2010, it was because a few desires needed to be filled. One was the (seemingly) unbearable frustration and heartbreak at not being able to live the life I craved and needed to. Time has shown me that I did bear it, and dreams can come true ...  as clich├ęd as that sounds. So I thought that writing about my journey to this contentment would help me, and maybe, hopefully, help others in a similar situation.

The second reason was because I could not find anything to read about other peoples journeys into the tree change. I found only two books written in Australia on the subject, and both had very peculiar bents (peak oil and living for a year with no money). Both interesting books, but not relating to whet we were doing. Still not able to find any books on the subject.

The third reason was to share my suburban life with my family and show them in words and pictures the dream unfolding.

And I did achieve all these objectives in the beginning.

What I didn't expect was the journey to take so long and take such a toll on my health and mental wellbeing. Its hard to keep the enthusiasm going - the rollercoaster has taken me on more ups and downs than I care to recount. We bought the property on 10th March 2010.

We finally have a move in date. Set. In. Stone. 1 December 2014. Almost 5 years later. 

However, the journey is not almost over, oh no. This has just been the first phase. The fun part is about to begin.

There are sheds to build, extensions to the house, refurbishment of the pool and surrounding area, a chook pen and yard to build, a potager garden, water tanks to install, an orchard to rejuvenate and enlarge, a carport and driveway to put in, gardens to establish, stables to paint, a workshop to be built. And many, many more projects. 

Bring it on.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The weekend that was.

Today, I get to work from home. Its just as well as uni starts again in two weeks and I really need to get prepared and back into a study routine. This next unit is one I am really excited about - The Making of Australia - at Macquarie Uni. It's a history unit, my other passion, a nice juxtaposition.

I have missed my little home office. Its been months since I had the bliss of being able to work from home. When I say 'work' I mean sitting at my desk, ready and able to answer phones and emails but in reality I am writing, or doing uni work. Its a great indulgence which I relish and have missed.  I have started to daydream about what my new office will look like ... hmmm might have to start a Pinterest board ...

The book has taken a seat at the very back of the bus at this present time, although I still collect snippets of information and ideas as I see them. And I guess the events of late have been adding fodder to the story. Dealing with a ageing person who needs to be cared for, physically working on the land, trying to juggle - life, not balls.

This last weekend was a pearler! (This word just cost me 30 minutes and $45 - I had to check if the spelling was correct for an Aussie colloquialism, only to find that it was not recorded as such in my normal dictionary. I found it on the Macquarie Dictionary, but had to get a full subscription to get details - which I didn't mind as it was a online dictionary that I needed anyway.) Now you can see how time just erodes away.

Saturday - we wandered out to WG to meet potential new neighbours (see post) and to start getting ready for the bonfire night. A staff member wanted to bring his brother and their sons to have a 'boy' day and let city kids run about and be allowed to be boys. They had the best time - moving a huge pile of branches to make a bonfire, playing in the stream without a mother in sight, lighting fires, using a blower vac to make the fire rage, riding on the mini digger and getting to make the bucket move, riding in the back of the Ute, playing with the dog, drinking coke and eating chips and Timtams for lunch. When they left, they thanked us profusely - they thanked US - for letting them move a pile of tree branches and stumps that would have taken Mr K and I, all day to move. 

Mr K and I reckon we are onto something here - get city parents to PAY us to bring their kids for a fun day out doing work and a taste of the 'old days' when kids had to earn their keep.

Sunday - Son#2 turned 25 today. We let him sleep in for a little while, then I woke him with his very own apple pie straight from the oven. Its become a family tradition and despite it also being Mothers Day, I didn't mind doing it - a day in my kitchen is a day of bliss for me. 

Midmorning - Back out to WG as we were meeting with the architect plus to mow the lawns and tidy up for next weekend. Any excuse to just be there suits me, even washing the dishes is a treat. The kitchen sink looks out over my white fences and green paddocks. The stream is running, the grass is greening up, the cockys being galahs, the dogs in doggy heaven - its a wrench to leave each night.

Soon ...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Planning that gets stuck at the Planning Department

My last post was about the thrill of planning, this one is about the pain.

Bureaucracy is the bottle neck to all progress. I understand why we have to have it, but this understanding does not alleviate the annoyance. 

I wonder if this shed got planning?

There we were, Mr K and I, all excited and full of wild ideas and verbalising our imaginations when Big Brother, aka Government in all its forms, Local, State, Federal, stepped in to be the spoilsport parent. Apparently, you have to get permission to even think about building, let alone the doing part.

I do agree and get the whole planning permission thing. I know it's for my safety that the construction is safe and engineered, but to take 3 months just to approve a shed is beyond my comprehension. A prefabricated machinery shed, one that is put together by professional shed builders, on a concrete slab, on rural land, takes 3+ months to get permission to erect. I bet the old boys who built pole and corrugated iron sheds that still stand 150 years later would roll in their graves if they heard this.

But, we are no exception, so we must comply with the law. Plans have to be submitted to the Shire, the fee paid and the waiting done.

We want to build a good sized shed that will house all the toys machinery Mr K is accumulating, as well as a dry, lockable place to store building materials when the time comes to build the extension. 

Kind of the shed we want ... except it will have 3 roller doors, and will be off white

It will be constructed right next to my dressage arena, so it needs to look nice and match my lovely white (well once white, now ever so slightly bore stained yellow) fences. I have a red geranium that I saved a cutting from a horse property I admired a few years back that will be the icing on the cake for this area.

In an ideal world my dressage arena would have these as markers!

The dreaming hasn't stopped while we wait for the shed permission. Last weekend we were out there with my folks and Mr K's dad, overflow accommodation for the country people up in the city for my sons engagement. It was wonderful to share with the special people in our lives, our enthusiasm and dreams for this property. Even more wonderful that they share our belief that this is truly a magical place and they all love to stoke fires!

The stump burning fire ... the fire you have when you haven't got permission from the shire to have a fire.  We had this stump in the middle of the driveway that had to go, officer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Again, with the planning.

Planning is always at the heart of every great endeavor. I love this stage. It's exciting and thrilling and all possibilities are open and without constraints. Your imagination is the only limitation.

So it sounds a bit contradictory to list and organise every tiny detail into a closed schedule, that would seemingly impose constraints.

But just because you plan, does not mean you can't be creative and think big.

Even an artist plans.

Planning is how I cope with the stress that will inevitably come with such a large project.  Planning is the thing that gives you a long list of delicious check-boxes to tick.

So, what am I planning you ask?

Two weeks ago, I would have replied that I was planning our move to live at WG. Planning to pack up the current house, get it ready to rent out, find a good agent and then tenants. I would say I was planning how we will fit all the furniture in the new house, how we will manage the dogs, chooks, cars, gardens at WG. How to resettle Mr K's mum and pack all her things and store them.

Today, I have all this to plan and one tiny detail more.

The 'one day' extensions to WG house, the ones we thought we would wait until we had lived there a few years and get a feel for the house and how we live in it, have just suddenly and surprisingly time traveled back in a giant leap into the present.

How did this all happen? It started innocently enough. Mr K had some reservations about the move to WG, not that he didn't want it to happen, but rather he needed a few 'essentials' done before it seemed to him that we were moving forward instead of backward. The house at WG is pretty basic. It's a three bedroom, 1960's farmhouse. It has been very nicely done up in places, like polished jarrah floorboards, and lovely wooden window and door frames. However, other things are just very basic, like the shower is just a painted cubicle, the bedrooms are pretty tiny, there are no WIR at all and one basic linen cupboard. All things I can merrily live with, but Mr K is giving up a very big and suburban house to go-a-farming with me.

The kitchen was renovated 10 years ago, and will be ok as it is, for a while anyway!

All of which was fine, he was happy to move, until it came to his Precious. A pot-holed, gravel driveway and no carport or garage is no way to treat a pedigree Jaguar. To have her constantly covered in red dirt and live outside in the elements is too much to bear for this highly bred beast. Mr K said the compromise was to bitumise the driveway and build a carport, both things I was in agreeance with as I secretly didn't like the idea of my lovely new white car getting the same treatment.

The gravel driveway and nowhere to house a pedigree.

The problem was, where to build the carport so that it fitted in with future plans for extensions. Also, where to stop the driveway so that it didn't have to be dug up at a later time when we had finalised the plans. Solution? Get an architect to draw up some concept plans for an extension now, so we know exactly where the carport and driveway will go.

So that's what we did. Which if course was where the whole train derailed and ran away with us. Mr K and I have always had in our hearts and minds a 'one day' ideal house. We agree almost 99% of what this looks like. And WG was blossoming as a building site to build this dream home. It had all the elements. So when Mr Architect arrived to view the location, and his face lit up and he started getting all animated and sketching things on his pad ... well we too let go of all constraints and got excited, silently both making the decision to plan and build now, not two years from now.

We justified it to each other on the way home. It will be much better to build now than to be living on a building site. It will be cheaper to do all the land clearing at once, so while we need to do groundwork for a carport, we may as well do it for the building site. We need to match the building materials for the carport and the extensions. If we are borrowing to do the driveway and carport, we may as well borrow it all in one lump sum for the building too (we really were making excuses now).

Main bedroom. Love the floors and light, but no cupboards at all.

By the time we got home, we had convinced each other that this was a no-brainer and we were now in fact going to build the new extensions now.

Jodie, get out your notebook and start making lists. We have planning to do!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Good Things come to those who wait ... and wait ... and wait ...

The title of this blog is Journey to Contentment. It started in April 2010, the same year that we bought our dream property. It was New Years Day 2010 that Mr K and I first saw it. We had been looking for a property just like it for years and we both knew we would know it when we saw it. Many a weekend was spent with a weekend real estate paper and long drives and animated plans. We traveled from Toodyay to Wandering and everywhere in between, finding little gems and letting our imaginations run wild. We came close a few times, but each opportunity had more minus's than plus's.

The Real Estate Agents picture - this is what we saw that special day.

On our way to a friends for a New Years Day BBQ 2010, we took a detour to just 'check out the area'. We both saw this house, set right back on a few acres of grass, a farmhouse nestled in trees with wide verandas and everything we both always loved. As we drove along the road frontage we excitedly said to each other that this was exactly the type of house we wanted. At the very edge of the land, near the driveway I saw this sign out of the corner of my eye

"Stop" I yelled ... It said 'For Sale'.

We discounted it. Sadly but resignedly, this area was WAY out of our price range. On the way to our friends, we dreamed and let our imaginations run wild that one day we would buy some land and build that type of house on it. We felt happy to have just seen a perfect example of what we could achieve one day. It was great Mr K and I felt the same way and had the same vision. This was enough. Of course, this didn't stop me having a little fantasy, somehow finding the money and imagining myself living there. Fantasy is what I lived on.

Closest picture I can find that represents what was in my head. Even this doesn't compare to my special place now!

At the BBQ, Mr K and I were still enamored by the vision, so of course we mentioned it to our hosts, one of which was in real estate. She said, why don't you phone up the agents and see what they are asking for it. My stomach turned over at this comment - excitement that we would ever entertain this step and dread that my fantasy would be extinguished by confirmation this was out of our league. Its the same reasoning I give when I have lotto tickets which I never check - I don't want to confirm the end of the fantasy by finding out for sure its not a winner.

But we did make that phone call, and I watched Mr K's face closely for a clue. He had his poker face on, so when he got off the phone and gave a listing price that was a lot less than I had ever hoped, I was like a eight year old just told I was going to the Royal Show with $5 pocket money! Our real estate host friend, in true fashion, then fueled and facilitated the fantasy and the rest of this story has a happy ending which I have written about before. It was also the birth of this blog.

Links to a smattering of Wattle Grove posts :

Today I can say that the waiting, at least, has an end date! 

That strange marker of all things new, Christmas* 2014, is the date we have given ourselves to have moved in by. This property has a special place, a little magic corner that everyone who goes there says the same thing ... "this would be a great place to have long, leisurely lunches."

Time for plans. And where better to share them than this blog and all the wonderful readers who have shared this journey.

Mr K and my Dad having 'lunch' by the stream after a hard days work on the stables.

strange for an atheist like me

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Talking about My Car .... My Car!

The one I fell for (well not this one exactly, but a carbon copy) ... Nissan Dualis

Sitting in the waiting room of the Nissan dealership waiting for my new car to have her first service. Have I told you lately that I love her? 

Just yesterday, I had to go do the shopping and it was so easy to park and I had a spring in my step because I had independence and freedom and my own freaking car! These little moments keep cropping up and I go wow, I have MY own car! And this sounds like I have been some little mousy downtrodden 'kept' wife who has been held in her place by not being allowed to have her own car. It's not like that at all. It was just circumstance that led to this situation. 

First we had the work cars. 3 little Micras at our beck and call to take home whenever we wanted. I could jump in one and go do errands or visit Ikea. (little constricting to go to Ikea in a Micra - I mean how do I fit in a new bookcase, doona cover, 5 packs of paper napkins, a cutlery drawer organiser, three pots and matching plants, a set of coasters ... none of which I wanted or needed until I arrived in the great hall!.) But as the business got busier and the techs needed their cars, (how rude) I found that my opportunities to escape with a Micra were less and less and then I would get a phone call to ask me how long was going to be? Huh? You cant predict that in Ikea. It takes as long as it takes people!

Then was the time I was at the hairdressers, a place I find stressful at the best of times, and I was practicing my Zen pose whilst making small talk with an Irish hairdresser I could not understand, when I had no less than 4 calls and just as many text messages asking how long was I going to be! That was it. Something needed to change.

I could have taken the 'ute' - our Nissan (see a pattern here?) Navara Dualcab ute to Ikea or the hairdressers. Sure I could have fitted an extra 2 seater sofa, matching coffee tables, a shelving system, doona and pillows to go with the cover, but at a cost of my euphoric feeling after having tried to park a huge boys ute with bullbar and winch on the front and treg hitch on the back. Not to mention putting nice things in the tray that last week had gravel and mulch and a bale of hay. And certainly not mentioning the smell of border collie in the front, or the black and white hairs flying all over the place. And how could I possibly get, all dainty like and coiffed hair, into a ute!

And yes, I hear you asking, Mr K does have a car and I can use that ... but I value my marriage and my sanity. Backing out Mr K's Jag from our very narrow, long, awkward driveway is just the start of the anxiety. Once you get on the road, there are other nut cases dong stupid things near his precious Jag. Then you get to the shops and drive right down the very back of the parking area so you can get a nice vacant space that is not next to some old clanger whose owner doesn't give a toss about banging the doors. But then you also panic cause now you have parked so far away from any other people and surveillance and some tosser might run their keys down the car and .... no, no, not on my watch. I would rather not be responsible for one little mark on the Jag thanks very much. 

So that left me carless (as opposed to careless). Well I did get offers from the MIL to take her car. Which was lovely of her but it was so OLD. Not the car, no that's a couple of years old Nissan Tiida. No, its an old ladies car INSIDE. It has a funny beaded seat cover, old shopping bags, a walking stick, and a walker in the back. A straw hat, and then you turn it on and the radio has some stuffy FM on. I felt like I was 100 years old when I drove it. 

So, that left me really, really carless! Opportunity arose when the last payment of then Navara came up and I could salary sacrifice my own car. So what did I choose? A Jag? ha-ha. Get real. Not enough Xanax in the world for that. Nope it had to be a Nissan of course. Mr K had seen this new car called a Juke. Looked pretty funky in the brochures and online. So we went for a look. Yes it did look funky but way too over the top for me. 

I'm too sexy for this car .... the Nissan Juke

I went and tried every car in he lot, the Xtrail, Pulser, Juke, and finally a Dualis. I had discounted the Dualis as the first models looked so mundane and 'soccer mummsy'. But there was this pimped up one, the sports TI with mag wheels and spoiler and leather seats and moon roof and white pearl paint and little rails on the roof. That was it. I fell for her. 

Which brings me to now. Here I sit, waiting for her to have her bits checked and okayed and we can be reunited. They wouldn't let me in the workshop to hold her steering wheel. I may have embarrassed myself by sobbing a little.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday ... should rename it to get-yourself-organised-day

Why is it that Mondays always are the days we give ourselves the good talking to? The day we start a diet. The day we will set the alarm early and get up and go for a brisk walk. The day we will make a healthy lunch at home to take to work. The day we get ready for work peacefully instead of a hideous rush and leave the house with wet hair and un-ironed shirt (it looks OK, doesn't it?  I just wont take my jacket off). The day we plan with our partner to have a date night this week. The day we eat Bircher muesli and fresh blueberries for breakfast.

By Tuesday we have fallen back into old habits, we tell ourselves that this week isn't a great week to be starting new routines.  We have a meeting with the boss, a visit to the dentist, the car needs a service and besides it's so bloody hot. Next week I will start. I promise. I will even go buy a new diary today and write myself a proper schedule.

It's like a mini New Year resolution every week. The feeling of being in control on a Monday wanes away as Friday approaches and we collapse in a  guilt-fueled, I-give-up Saturday. Sunday night, what I always call Hair Washing Night - as that's when my mother would wash our hair and make sure all our school uniforms were washed and ready and we were made to pack our school bags (often having to unpack the fish paste sandwich left there Friday) - is when we take stock of the less than satisfactory week and give ourselves a talking to, that starting Monday, things are going to change around here. (Can you hear my mother's voice here? I can!)

So what happens? Why this roller-coaster? Is it just me, or (I hope) do we all do this? We must do. I just read an article in The Australian that talks about our 5:2 lives. How we live for five days of work that leave us depleted and emptied, and try and fit another life, our social and personal life, into the two days left in the week. I see the problem as having higher and higher expectations. We don't just have friends over for dinner, we have friends over for a dinner designed by Delicious Magazine, in a house that Grand Designs inspired, with a walk around the garden modeled after Monty Don's French Gardens. Impossible standards, unless you have a maid and a chef and a gardener. And that's just a part of the weekend - there is the washing, cleaning, shopping, lawn mowing, pool cleaning, kids sports, car washing, dog washing, blower vac-ing .... and on and on it goes.

(Binge, crash: Welcome to the 5:2 lifestyle

So, never one to admit failure, I keep trying to get it 'right.'

I set my alarm this morning. I had written a plan (this was after an inspirational writing course this last weekend) to rise at 6am. Do my chores and be sitting at my desk, coffee in hand, open page and spend the next hour writing.

At 6:01am I turned off the alarm, mumbled to the dog, "I'll do it tomorrow" and went back to sleep. In my wisdom (I know myself well) I had set another alarm at 6:30am. 
6:32am - I found my phone stuffed under 3 pillows, and turned that alarm off too.

At what point do we give up completely and just get on with life?

Disclaimer - I apologise that my blog posts might sound odd and jaggered. I have spent the last few months (in blog exile) writing academic essays. I feel the need to reference everything and write a bibliography. Hopefully I will loosen up a bit as I write more!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Oh Yay!!! I got my blog back.

It got hacked. Some nasty little Malware got into my blog and it has been shut down for the last 5 months!  

I was so scared I had lost you all, and lost me with it.

So I now have protection ... should not be catching any nasties anymore!

I got so much to tell you all ... go get a bucket of coffee and a whole box of Tim Tams ..

:-)  I am just a little bit happy (well a lot happy)