My neighbourhood

10 August 2010
When I first started blogging I felt a bit like a fish out of water. Not only was I much older than most of my fellow bloggers but I was blogging about a way of living that most people didn't seem to be interested in. Back in those early days of the blog, although there were quite a few other bloggers living their versions of a simple life, very few of them blogged about their daily lives in the way I did. Let me say quickly that is entirely appropriate - to each their own. I'm always going on about how each of us needs to express our own values through the way we live. That said, my posts on gardening, homemaking, organising cupboards and linens, budgeting and cooking from scratch were part of only a handful of similar blogs.

Most of the other simple bloggers at that time were more focused on a peak oil world and organising action against global warming. Few wrote about the importance of individual action or recognised the power of the home. I am really pleased that has changed. It is common now to see simple bloggers write about their traditional action plans or frugal living mixed generously with home hints, thoughts on baking, dressmaking, knitting and recipes. Things have changed, my friends and they've changed for the better.

Now when I look around my blog neighbourhood I see delightful home-centred posts like the perfect farm wife's dress. Sara, at Farmama, not only shows us how to tend a flock of goats and raise beautiful children in a wonderful way, she sews and bakes too. And then there is Jenna over at Cold Antler Farm. She has recently bought her own farm and takes us on the most amazing ride with her while she learns about shepherding, sheep dogs and fleece. Jenna works a regular job but she also tends her farm and livestock alone, and has regular get-togethers where she teaches banjo and an appreciation of fine mountain music. Of course, no post on simple life would be complete without my friend Jewel's Eyes of Wonder blog and Amanda's Soulemama. Both are well known but there may be some of you out there not familiar with them. They're beautiful, inspiring and gentle reads that will take you to another place altogether. Jewel's is taking a break at the moment but she'll be back and she has an incredible backlog of posts there just waiting for you.

There is also The Cottage Smallholder and her wonderful blog full of gardens and food, and Jenny at Little Jenny Wren who writes about homemaking and dolls in her Tasmanian home. EcoMILF writes about mothering, family life, cooking and the home and now she's waiting for her latest baby, you can browse through her archives while we all wait for the good news. There hundred of projects just waiting for you at The Long Thread, at the knit and crochet community Ravelry and at Whip up. And last, but by no means least, there is Julie at Towards Sustainability who I have known longer than I've been blogging. Julie has been in a bit of a funk lately so I hope that your visits will bring her back to us and her blog in a big way. She has a lot of sensible and thought provoking ideas and I hope she continues blogging for a long time to come.

In most of our real life communities, there are fewer people at home all day and it's uncommon now to share backyard produce with next door neighbours. That has been replaced for many of us by this vibrant and interesting community of bloggers who chatter via their blogs and send backyard and home made produce through the post. Just yesterday I received some sourdough starter from a friend in Victoria and last week a knitted mini-me Teddy came to me from West Australia. The blog world can be a bit scary and the internet in general can be indescribably ugly, but I have found that in our little corner of it, the women and men who write about their daily lives, do so in a generous and thoughtful way that makes this space feel like a neighbourhood. I hope you'll visit all the neighbours that I've given links to here and I hope you'll feel welcomed, inspired and revolutionised, just like I have been, by being a part of the blog neighbourhood.

ADDITION: I want to add something that Mary commented on this morning. All those people who comment here, both the seasoned readers and the new comers, are an integral part of my neighbourhood. I feel that my comments section is my back fence that we all rest on while we talk about our lives and ambitions. I apologise for leaving that out of my original post above, it's so ingrained in my mind now, I always believe it is already accepted and understood.