Weekend reading

6 June 2014
We sat on that bench under the tree on the left. 

We had a day out yesterday. We left just after peak hour, which didn't seem to make any difference to the traffic, drove down towards the city, turned off the freeway after about 15 minutes and sailed into a small coastal town called Scarborough. The tide had just gone out, seabirds were picking over their findings on the rocks and, under a she-oak, we sat with a cup of hot tea and enjoyed the beauty of it all. It was the highlight of the day for me. 

 Lunch at the boat club.

Later we had a seafood lunch at the local boat club, picked up some stationery at Officeworks and then decided to look in at the North Lakes shopping centre.  As Jamie would say: "No good." We took a dozen steps into Target and I said to Hanno, "I can't stand this, let's go." We walked out into the centre again, sat down and had a drink which was quite horrible. I told Hanno the shopping centre was depressing, I didn't want to look at anything, there was nothing I wanted, I just wanted to go. And we did. He agreed. I must remember that shopping centres don't get any better and we're much better off outside than inside them.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.  I'll be giving a talk at one of the local libraries on Saturday morning and spending the rest of the time working on my quilt and out in the garden with Hanno and the chooks. Take care.  
- - - ♥︎ - - ♥︎ - - -

Back to Basics: Living with "Voluntary Simplicity"
How to sew on a button
Jeans repair shop
Online exhibition at Smithsonian Institute - Food, transforming the American Table 1950 - 2000
How to menu plan using veggie boxes
How to finish seams without a serger/overlocker
The rising cost of child care - Britain, Sweden, United States
10 tips from grandma for a greener home - I know this is preaching to the converted but it's good to see popular sites like Treehugger promoting these simple measures
Elderflower jelly recipe
Doughnut recipe


  1. What a lovely outing! We have a brand new granddaughter born this morning so we are quite happy and blessed!

    1. Congratulations Lana! What a wonderful day for you and your family.

  2. Those pictures are beautiful! What a great way to get some relaxation in. I'm with you on the shopping centers. No way, stay away! :) Hope you have a nice weekend!

  3. Totally agree with you Rhonda. Shopping centres make me feel overwhelmed, claustrophobic, anxious and quite frankly disgusted with our society! Sometimes there is no alternative so then I will try to purchase what I need in one hit. Rave over!

  4. Hi Rhonda - I know what you mean about shopping centres. Our local one (UK) is called Merry Hill - but we know it better as Merry Hell!! Hanno looks well in the photo. I hope you have a great, quiet weekend, just enjoying your lovely home. Chris x

  5. Im glad you both had a lovely day out Rhonda. What an interesting experience you had at the shopping centre. I consider myself lucky that i no longer crave going there where the bright lights and mirrors once used to help me feel better when i was depressed. I go occasionally now and always make a bee line for the books that are often cheaper in Target, Kmart or Big W. I look at the wool and the pet supplies too. I am much more focused when I go into these stores, I no longer meander aimlessly..... I enjoy a coffee with a friend on occasion too. I prefer to be at home chook watching or patting the dogs or goats these days and I enjoy being closer to nature at home. I think a lot of folks today forget that we are basically animals and that we are removing ourselves from our natural environment. Enjoy your quilt making on he weekend...and tell Hanno not to wear out that new mower....

  6. Hi Rhonda,
    You know, this post brought me to tears. I had the same experience a few weeks ago when a friend came to visit me and she was 'desperate' for new jeans, tops, boots and bags....I use to be right up front and centre with her going hard but I found myself sitting outside the shops waiting for her. After awhile she asked what was wrong, and I explained I didn't need a thing. I didn't say I felt sick to my stomach seeing all the 'stuff' that people 'buy' into needing. We left and we went to the beach, had a walk in the late afternoon crisp sun and talked and talked, now I was happy again.
    Warm regards,
    Jan x

  7. Rhonda, I think Scarborough is near Redcliffe isn't it? We used to spend our childhood holidays there as it was quite the place to holiday back in those days. I just love the beach but wouldn't want to to live there as I don't think I would appreciate it as much if I did. Have a relaxing weekend and I look forward to seeing photos of your quilt someday.

  8. Hi Rhonda
    We had to visit a retail park (uk) this weekend. It was packed with people that seemed to be mindlessly buying, the whole thing seemed to be going at a fast pace a hundred miles an hour. We live on a narrowboat and have done so for the past five years. Less is more. I came away from that retail park feeling tired, depressed and unsettled for the rest of the day. I truly believe that the huge amount of choice makes us ill I for one am a keep it simple kind of a girl. Enjoy reading your blog learned loads thank you

  9. Oh Rhonda what a contrast! The beauty of Scarborough and then on to North Lakes. My daughter lives there and I have watched it grow. Not my cup of tea at all!

    Cheers, Karen near Gympie

  10. Lovely day out - but I know what you mean about the big shopping centres , it is almost more than my senses can handle now.
    Loved the post you have referred people to about using the vege boxes! I always find this difficult to explain to people who aren't used to it..now I can refer them to this.

  11. Hi Rhonda, Shopping centres!!!!! yes they are awful places. Aldi is really the only big shop we visit. I love our home and as we grow most of our food and we try to follow a very simple lifestyle I don't need big shopping centres and anyway I would prefer to buy from the little shop in our town and keep them going. Thanks for keeping this in the forefront of our minds via your wonderful blog. It's so encouraging.
    Blessings Gail

  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I wish the ocean was a bit closer when I see that lovely view! Great weekend reading, I really enjoyed the Voluntary Simplicity story, and the grandma's tips - I just love to know that others enjoy living as I do!

    Have a wonderful weekend :)


  13. Your day yesterday sounds lovely with the exception of the shopping centers. The photos you shared were so beautiful!

  14. I agree with you about shopping centres, since retiring to the country I wouldn't care if I never saw another one again. Looking forward to visiting a farmers market on Sunday, that will be my outing this long weekend

  15. I feel the same way about shopping centres. They make me cringe and it's so sad to see that "going shopping" for things we don't need is now considered a hobby! Much better to be out in the fresh air, amongst nature than among thousands of shoppers; many of whom, I feel, shop to try to fill in a big hole in their depleted spirits.

  16. Lucky you didn't go into Costco at Northlakes. There is a soul crushing experience.

  17. I miss my days of living in Sandgate. Sandgate, the areas around Redcliffe and the Bayside suburbs are haunts these days. Dad's dementia is deepening and being by the water buys a little peace.

    I am also fortunate that I do not need to go to huge centres very often. I can buy most of my needs locally at smaller centres. My family and I have called Garden City, garbage city, a breath of sewer since the day it opened in the early 1970's. It was so tiny then but seemed huge. Every time I peek they seem to be adding more and more. Surely we have reached a saturation point! Thank goodness for IGA and Aldi.

  18. Hi Rhonda (and everyone!).
    I get that feeling of dread in shopping centres now. I used to spend my lunch breaks wandering around in them. Last christmas was our first 'simplified' christmas and going into the shopping centre made me want to run screaming from the building. I felt so out of place. This got me thinking about future research. I would really love to find out how simplifiers feel when they hit the shops, or meet up with friends who are at the opposite end of the consumption spectrum. It is definitely on my to do list after this year :) Have a great weekend!

  19. I did think for many years I was a rarity when it came to shopping centres. I rarely go except when I must buy some new work gear but they are really overrated and soulless places. Nothing rare or unusual - all the same shops no matter which one you go to! Really very happy to do other things.

  20. Hi Rhonda,
    As soon as I read 'North Lakes' in your post, I instantly thought - 'Oh no, I'm sure Rhonda wouldn't like that place'! What an awful contrast after your peaceful morning at Scarborough beach! North Lakes would have to be the worst of the stress-inducing shopping centres - I HATE that place, and avoid it like the plague it is! I hope it didn't ruin your otherwise lovely outing. From others' comments above, we're obviously not alone in our dislike of the awful shopping centres.
    Have a lovely weekend, Di.

  21. I agree with you, the shopping centres are a very depressing place for me as well. I usually ask my mother to shop for me (she adores shopping) if I truly need something new, otherwise I immerse myself into our huge second hand shop nearby and spend few hour browsing for gems :) Nobody disturbs me away from my thoughts there and this is kind of shopping I love the most :) I get depressed when I am exposed to many shopping assistants in "real" mall shopping and believe it or not, It really makes me cry at the end of the day so I avoid these malls as much as I can. My mother does not usually get my point :) we are all different! :)

  22. I find shopping anywhere to be depressing these days. It used to be we had huge department stores where you could find anything and the quality was very good. Nowadays, not so much.

  23. Hi Ronda,
    I really love your blog, especially the weekend readings. It brings me inspiration and motivation. I am vry glad that we in the Netherlands hardly have these shoppingmalls. I am very happy with the historic city center of Delft in the Netherlands with it's canals and historic buildings. But even then I try to avoid the weekendcrowds. But sometimes I just love to shop with my daughter, not to buy anything but just looking and enjoing being together. After last time I now wear 10 different colors of nail polish because she wanted to buy one as a present for her stephmother. She already knows it is not about buying but about giving attention to the things you do.
    Please keep on writing and inspiring.

  24. Hello Rhonda, I really enjoyed your talk at the Maroochydore Library this morning and have now discovered your blog so I feel truly enriched.

    1. Hi Annie, I enjoyed our chat after the talk. I always love meeting like-minded people. I hope you enjoy the books.

  25. I couldn't agree more about shopping malls. We try, where we can, to use the smaller, independent shops which are so much nicer and personable.

    Better still is to not go shopping at all so this weekend is revolving around our horses and our friends. A great ride out this morning, another one hopefully tomorrow followed by a picnic whilst watching a local polo match. All simple pleasures and all the better for that!

  26. I could lose myself for hours in a book under that tree! So lovely!

    When I go to gorgeous place like that I want to pop in and out of little shops with artisan goods or vintage finds-- saometimes it seems those little locally-owned places are impossible to find though.



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