A baby girl and a day to remember

26 July 2012

Congratulations to my good friends Jo and Eli who welcomed their first child into the world yesterday! Sophia Rose was born at 4.30pm. Jo is my Penguin editor and during the process of writing and editing the book, and after, when we finally met, we all became firm friends. The photo above was taken on the day we met in Melbourne, earlier this year. Jo and Eli will be wonderful parents and I look forward to meeting Sophia. I'd best get a wriggle on with the cardigan I'm writing about below.

♥ ♥ ♥

The day didn't turn out quite as I expected yesterday. Hanno was supposed to have his eyes checked but before he went he  visited his son, Jens, and discovered Cathy's car had broken down on the road to Hervey Bay while she was going to visit her parents. Hanno phoned the specialist, reorganised his eye check, and helped Jens retrieve Cathy and the car. He was away all day. 

My rest day took on a life of its own.

I replied to a few emails, and please forgive me if you've written and I haven't written back. I do try my best and am working through the list. After that, I tidied my desk, shredded a some papers and made a few notes. Cup of tea time again, I sat outside in the sun with Hettie on the garden bench, felt the coldness of winter, made a few mental notes about plants and seeds, picked a Chinese cabbage and some herbs and went back indoors. I love being home alone, there are no expectations.

I picked up my knitting, hoping to get two sleeves on a baby cardigan finished, but I went to sleep in my chair and woke about an hour later with the phone ringing. That got me moving again so I cleaned up the kitchen table, wiped it down, and put on a clean table cloth. Washed up, then outside into the front garden to check out what's happening there. I picked a bunch of fragrant, pink Salvia and some gerberas and came in again. After lunch I sat down to watch about half of Downton Abby that I recorded, and knitted as I watched (poor Mr Bates!), then read more of Kate Herd's wonderful book Kitchen Gardens of Australia - specifically the part about Gay Bilson's garden in the Adelaide Hills. I wrote about Gay here In Praise of the Domestic.

Hanno made pea and ham soup on Monday night so it was wonderful knowing it was in the fridge and nothing had to be prepared for dinner. Rain on the roof, candles lit on the table, soup bubbling away on the stove with its aroma reminding me how much Hanno and I share. I wandered in and out, made more tea and sat in the sun when it came out again. The cardigan sleeves aren't quite finished but I feel I've made progress and had exactly the day I needed to have. The quietness here suits me.

What is your ideal rest day?


  1. My ideal rest day happens most Sundays...Waking later than my normal 5:45am but rather around 7:30. Lazy breakfast with the family then whatever takes my fancy in between making lunch for 6, something simple, then a long slow roast for the evening. Late afternoon a walk with a dear friend, our dogs and kids, then home for a lovely dinner, fire and no intrusions. Monday to Saturday are so busy that Sunday is such an oasis in our week.

  2. FishcakesfisherJuly 26, 2012 6:34 am

    What a lovely day you had Ronda. My ideal day.....well I had one just recently, it was so good. Woke up, had tea in bed, stayed there, read s bit, did some stuff on my iPad, had some more tea, dozed a bit and got up at 10am, showered, cooked breakfast (well brunch by that time), caught up on my emails, did some research on the net that I have wanted to do for ages and then visited my Mum for the afternoon.

    The thing I liked about it, was the slowness, the ability to think "what shall I do next"' not work pressure or deadlines (yes, I still do paid work) to think about what to prepare for dinner.....it was all about letting your brain THINK.....for a change and although each step along the way that day felt slow, all of a sudden, it was 6pm and hubby would be home soon. Can't wait to be able to have the sort of day that I want everyday.....it is called RETIREMENT. Have a good one yourself Ronda.

  3. hi rhonda, it sounds like you had a lovely day resting, just what you needed to restore your wellbeing. i dont have a blog but i love reading self sufficiency blogs and particularly about like in the lucky country. i am australian bu;t i live in north carolina, usa as my husband is american. we have been gardening this year and currently have tomotoes coming out of our ears!!! it is a lot of fun and i love going outside and harvesting. i am slowly trying to become more self sufficient and live a simpler life. your blog is very encouraging and inspiring. love manda.

  4. Similar to yours Rhonda......a day to flow from task to task as I please, some time spent stitching or knitting, reading in the sun, quiet time sitting with my cats and chickens, that slow wander of the garden to see what's growing, what needs doing, make plans, maybe pull a few weeds, a chat to a neighbour or a passerby. Although I'm retired, I wonder sometimes when that will happen...I'm involved in 2 community groups, have an elderly relative living alone, so I allow time to shop for her, and visit regularly, friends to be with, and the knitting and sewing I do for charity. I love all I do, but those days with no committments and I can please myself are special.

  5. I love that book too - my favourite garden is Armando and Maria's garden in Paradise.
    I can't remember what a quiet day is like and very much enjoyed living your vacariously :)

  6. I truly love my rare quiet days. I must confess at this stage of my life I generally sleep. But it is amazing how much can be done in 30 mins or so when other interruptions fill the time. I care for both parents, my children and dad has dementia. Some days I am just about ready to cry in frustration but being on my own for a day but that little bit of quiet time is restorative indeed.

  7. I just finished watching Downton Abbey myself - it's certainly not lacking in drama, is it? But it isn't melodrama - I loved it. And it seems that things always turn out right in the end - I hope that continues.

    Your day sounds just right to me!

  8. My ideal day is pottering around my allotments doing jobs that don't 'need'to be done but I enjoy doing them. I love spending a day ath the beach with my daughters and husband too.

  9. Your day sounds absolutely perfect Rhonda. I agree - I love days spent home alone - u can potter about in your own time without any demands or expectations.
    It doesn't happen too often (being home alone) but those are usually my best days as I get so much done yet feel do relaxed and if the phone doesn't ring it's even better. I enjoy my own company - baking, sewing, knitting, reading, bit of gardening, collecting eggs and talking to the chooks, tidying up, and maybe a tv show or little browse on the internet would be a great day.
    I love Downtown Abby too - yes, poor Mr Bates, he is a sweet man and doesn't deserve this ordeal.
    Hope you have another lovely day today Rhonda

    Sarah from Jimboomba

  10. That day sounds almost perfect to me Rhonda. I love having the house to myself as well, but it is all the sweeter knowing that my lovely man will walk through the door at night to share it with me.

  11. You certainly had a wonderful day! I spent the morning doing office work and updating my blog. Then I had some time to quickly have a go at making my own "green bag", need to do some tweeking, then the rest of the afternoon was spent in the kitchen making pumpkin chutney, bread, lemon slice, lemon cake (we have too many lemons at the moment), savoury biscuits, apple tart and a cheese and onion pie for dinner. That was the day gone!

  12. A very special day indeed. One of my girlfriends also had her first baby yesterday. The joy it brings is indescribable.
    Sounds like you had a very active day and, yes, I agree, poor Mr Bates. The final episode of Downton was fantastic.
    Have a lovely day Rhonda.

  13. What a delicious day!! I almost got up to make a pot of tea each time I read about your cuppas :) My perfect day is a mixture of reading, writing and knitting. My reading and knitting chair is in the bay window, and from there I see the potager garden where my veggies grow and the chook shed. Kind of like surveying my little kingdom, here where I live at Crabapple House.
    Enjoy the cool of winter, and all else which comes your way today.
    Dotti :)

  14. Rhonda, my ideal rest days sound a lot like yours. When the house is quiet and I'm the only one at home, I do exactly as I want. Typically, that involves some sewing and/or knitting, reading, a nap, thinking and praying. Thank you for this post - I feel more relaxed just reading it and remembering my own rest days.

  15. Sounds like a nice day, especially the rain on the roof part. We have not had rain since May and we are hurting badly.

  16. My ideal day starts with 10 minutes of yoga, and involves a walk with my baby daughter in the pram, picking up some fresh fish from the fish markets or fruit and veg from Paddy's markets (at both places the stall holders always fuss over my daughter), tea/coffee in the thermos for a break in the park, she falls to sleep on the walk home, I clean the room of the day, maybe some mending or knitting, another break with tea and homemade cake, hubby gets home from work and takes baby, I have alone time to sit and read, then make dinner and enjoy with my little family.

  17. Oh Rhonda...that sounds like a glorious day! I would love to have a day just to wander in the garden, get some planting done and read a little in the sun! Unfortunately since the twins came along that hasn't really happened!I do love to be outside in the winter sun painting and feeding the chooks with them though...and we have just started baking together which is a little stressful with 2 yr olds but worth it to see the joy on those little faces!
    I did so enjoy reading about your day, left me with a beautiful feeling...and a desire for some pea and ham soup lol!
    I have 3 episodes of Downton Abbey recorded yet to watch...and when i get the chance it shall be marvellous i know!

  18. I'm reading on various blogs that Downton Abbey has made it to Australia and America and I am so pleased that we can share this amazing UK series with you all - we absolutely love it here, and are eagerly hoping for a third series xx

  19. Your day sounds wonderful, a true simple living rest day. Mine are something similar. If there's no rush I take time with the chickens, I clean out all the water drinkers, slowly at a pace that keeps me chilled, give them treats of meal worms and extra corn and talk to the talkative ones and cuddle the ones that love a cuddle.

    Then strolling back to the house via the veggie beds I will pick what is ready, some for supper and some to blanch and freeze.

    A read or a watch of a 30 minute cookery show over lunch keeps the pace gentle and then it's a stroll to our mail box with the dogs to fetch the post and the milk, tucked into a cool dark box by the milkman earlier in the day.

    A quick wipe around and I can prepare the evening meal, getting everything ready to be popped on the stove, before a big mug of coffee and a whirl around Blog world to see what other folk are up to and what comments have been left on mine.

    A day like this calms the soul and keep things on track, lovely!

    Sue xx

  20. This lovely description of your rest day was exactly what I needed to read after the day I had at work! I feel much more relaxed now because of reading this.

    My perfect rest day? A rostered day off (weekday) when I cannot be distracted by friends because they are all working :-p I begin the day feeding my chooks and ducks, and have a late breakfast. Then I spend the morning in the garden; weeding, sowing seeds, planting out seedlings, cleaning the chooks/duck coop. I have a lunch made from the eggs from my chooks and what ever is growing in my garden. I then spend the afternoon in my sewing studio, working on my latest garment. I prepare a special dinner for my husband to come home to, then after dinner I do some spinning with whatever fleece I have on hand.

    I am booked in for heart day surgery next Friday, so following that I will have a number of rest days to enjoy! Everything has to have a perk right? Sam xox

  21. That looks so wonderful Rhonda, you have such a cozy home. Those are beautiful flowers on the table. I love lighting candles too.
    Your day sounds a lot like my ideal day, just pottering around in my own tempo ; )
    Have a wonderful day.

  22. An ideal day of rest would be spent just like one of your days, dear.
    I love the quietness around me, with no TV disturbing this peace.
    To be home alone can be very tranquil. I too tend to pick whatever I like doing that day and don`t fret over it if it doesn`t get done or completed. Quiet days at home are the best!

  23. I've loved Downton Abbey and hasn't it been a great series again! My ideal rest day would be having lots of cups of tea, knitting, reading and just having some quiet time. With 3 young children that might be a way off but I certainly try and get some sit down time somewhere in my day and a cuppa :)

  24. The warm fireplaceJuly 27, 2012 6:40 am

    I love days when i am here on my own and able to potter through the house cleaning and tidying, then sit and read or knit, or bake.

  25. I love reading about your days, it makes me feel calm and relaxed, even with my kids running around beside me :-)


  26. Sounds like a FABULOUS day - that feeling that all is right in the world.

  27. I just love the sound of your day of rest Rhonda, My favourite days are Sat ,Sun,Mon and Tues. These are the days I don't have to get up at the crack of sparrows.I don't work well not outside the home anyway except for Friday my volunteer day at the Craft Shop which is usually 10 till 3.30 . Wednesday is Chat'n'Choose day and then shopping and Thursday is my craft day with a group of friends (9) of us . Yesterday was my turn to have everyone here for M/T, Lunch,A/T and they all went home at 4pm. So by Saturday I'm ready for a rest so to speak , that is a term I use loosely as there is always something to be done. I know we only have half an acre of land and some chooks but you know how it is..... Cooking,baking,cleaning (dust if you must) weeding etc ,now I'm off to bed and so begins another day tomorrow.When my friends ask me "What do you do all day now you are retired" I say it's easier to tell them what I don't do. I was 71 on my last birthday so I reckon I don't do too bad for an old chook ...


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