I look out the window and see Hanno digging in the front garden. He'll be tidying something up, or digging out roots or thinking about improvements that can be made. Inside, I'm looking out the window from my desk while I write, our lunch is bubbling away slowly in the oven, there are a few chores I'll do later in the day and all through the day we'll work together, satisfied to be here and thankful for the work we do on our own little piece of land. Our closed gate doesn't keep out all it should but it does symbolise to us that we are independent folk and we're capable of looking after ourselves and this land. We've created an extraordinary life here and we're free to do what we choose. That is a powerful feeling.
Still plenty of oranges on this tree.
I found Harry! This was Kerry's when he was a baby. I washed him and gave him to Jamie.
Some people would probably think no one lives like this anymore. But here on our large block of land we have more than enough to keep us busy without going out. Hanno goes out much more than I do because he does the shopping most weeks. I give him a list of what we need and he buys it. When I do go out, which might be once a month or so, it's usually so I deliberately spend time out in the world where most people think the real living happens.
But I think real life happens here. Every day we're touching soil, reading the weather signs, cooking and baking from scratch. We don't use clocks much and most of the time I don't know what day it is. We don't need to know that now and it's easy enough to find out when we do. We produce as much as we can for ourselves so we don't have to buy too much and we're happy to stay productive and active. We have everything here we need and stepping into our backyard on any afternoon gives us the best entertainment you could hope for. The chickens are a constant source of amusement, birds visit us from local forests and for a quick visit on their migratory paths. Last night there was a beautiful possum in the chicken coop. We can sit on our bench in the sun and eat raspberries, or walk inside with an apron full of oranges to make the best drink in the world.
Helping to harvest the elderberries.
Jamie came over yesterday as his parents were both working hard in the sushi shop. He's like one of us while he's here. He's just turned four but he wanders around in Hanno's slippers, he rounds up the chooks and sits with us in the sun, drinking tea. He loves helping and learning new things and we love showing him what we do. I think life will be tough in the future and it gives me a lot of pleasure knowing I'm leaving behind some books that my grand children and yours, and their children, can use as little maps to show the powerful possibilities of a simple life.