Recently, one of the men who read this blog asked for an interview with Hanno to get a male viewpoint on our lives here. That interview is below - I caught him between finishing off his gardening for the day and having a hot shower. He was impatient having to sit in the chair. ;- )
It’s pretty uncomplicated. I have no worries. I enjoy it most of the time.
When Rhonda first told you her plan to give up work and live simply, what did you think?
I thought it would be too difficult to do. I needed more convincing and I wasn’t sure in the beginning if we could do it. Now I know we can, I’m confident we can do it. We are doing it!
What is your role in your home on a day-to-day basis?
I feed the animals, tend the garden, ride my pushbike over to the shop to get a paper and pick up the mail. I do most of the outside work, but when I see something in the house that needs doing I help out there as well.
What did you do today?
I worked in the garden preparing the potato beds. We are going to grow food in the front yard soon, so I pulled out the rosella bushes along the driveway and dug those beds over. I made sure there was enough food for the chooks and animals and filled the water containers. I washed the dogs beds after I fixed the outside washing machine with new brushes for the motor.
(Rhonda whispered: We have our 20 year old Asko washing machine on the back verandah plumbed up to the water tank. We wash the dogs blankets and duvets in it.)
Gardening, planning, mechanical, carpentry, plumbing.
Do you worry that you don’t have the skills you need to live as you want to?
What do you enjoy most about the way you live?
The freedom to choose what I want to do.
Is there anything you dislike?
No, it’s all good.
What advice would you give to other men who are thinking of taking that first big step into a simple life?
I'd say you need motivation and a plan. You need to have a rough idea of what’s expected of you. If you can’t fix what you have at home, look on the internet or books and learn as much as you can about repairing and building small things. I've never built laying boxes for the chooks before, but I've just built a little laying house and the chooks like it. Most things you’re afraid to do you’ll find can be worked out using common sense.
What do you think are the main problems you and Rhonda will face in the future?
The unexpected – there could be major house repairs that cost a lot of money. One of us could get sick and be unable to work as we do now. There are many things that could happen, but why worry now?
Do you have any words of advice for the men who read this?
I encourage anybody who has even the faintest hope to live as we do, to go ahead and do it. If you come up against any problems, you can usually work them out. Money is another thing – keep your eyes open to save money whenever you can. Sometimes it’s a pain and it looks like penny pinching but you really have to look after your money. And whatever you do, try to save something ever week. Even it is $5 a week, do it, and don’t spend it, be firm and keep it for your emergencies. Even if you think you have planned for everything, there will be some.
Don’t take on the impossible. For every job, make sure you can carry it out right to the end, otherwise it might cost you money to fix. I was in two minds about repairing our old washing machine. It cost $70 for the parts but it’s an investment in the future because it saves our indoor washing machine having to wash the big dirty items like the dogs beds.
Rhonda tells people to take small steps and that's good advice. You can start small just changing a few of the things you do, then when you get more confidence and know more, you can do more.
THE END - Thank you Hanno.
Following are the photos of the quark which I mixed up yesterday.
After a few days in the fridge ...
I mixed in the chopped tops of the Welsh onions, salt and pepper ...
We have about 300 mls of whey for baking during the week.