Weekend Reading

18 December 2020

This will be my last blog post for a while. I'm having a break over Christmas and will come back when I'm rested and ready to go again. Next year will be my 14th year blogging about how we live. In the beginning, knowing I wanted to write about making beds, washing up, housework and budgeting, I wondered if my blog would last 14 weeks. But it's still here and so are you and for that, I'm truly grateful.


Happy holidays from Gracie!

My sister sent this photo during the week. The Down to Earth paperback in the window of a bookshop near where she lives.

My sincere thanks to everyone who bought my books this year. It's an important part of our income now and 10 per cent of what you pay for one of my books comes to us and helps us live our chosen life here. Thanks also to all the readers who continue to visit.  Without you, this blog would not be here.

My tomatoes were growing in the bush house last week. This is what happens when you don't stake them early enough and it rains for 12 hours.


Munstead Wood standard rose growing in the back garden.



This has been the strangest year I've ever lived through. We aren't locked down now but we have been in the past and I know it's difficult shopping for food, going to the doctor and taking children to and from school. Staying at home helped stop the spread of Covid here and although there's a spike in Covid in Sydney this morning, we have almost no restrictions where I live. Hanno and I are still cautious and stay at home most of the time. What frightens me is how quickly it spreads and, as Sydney is showing us now, it goes from zero to five to 17 in less than a day. And many people don't have symptoms when they're tested but they have the virus. 

If you're locked down, I get it, it's hard but so is this virus. Keep hanging on, stay at home, be safe and wear a mask when you go out. Keep hand sanitiser and masks in your car or if you usually walk or use public transport, always have a mask and hand sanitiser in your bag. 

Use the time at home to think about your life and how you want to go forward. I'm pretty sure things will change after this, I really hope our governments will lead us towards a sustainable, less commercial, pollution-free future where businesses think about the environment as well as profit margins. It's a good idea to contact your local member of parliament too and ask how they and their party intend to protect the environment while we recover from Covid. But it's up to us to make our own personal changes too and now is a very good time to think about what we can change and improve in our own spaces. I use the plural 'spaces' because as well as being at home, most of us are also in our workplace, schools, parents homes, library and various indoor venues and these spaces must be safe for you as well.

Cecile Brunner rose growing over the chook fence.

Here is the last 2020 reading list. There are some lovely links here and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 



So that's it for another year, my friends. Enjoy the holiday season, look after yourself, rest, think, play and come back ready for what might be another challenging year. Make the most of the time you have with your family in your safe haven.  

Hanno, Gracie and I send love to you across the miles. 💜


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Weekend Reading

11 December 2020

This is the first foxglove flower I've ever grown. I just love them but always thought our climate was too harsh for them to grow here. This one is in a pot in the bush house and is really healthy. Other seedlings planted in the garden are tiny and I doubt they'll produce flowers. I'll have to change my strategy next year but in the meantime, these two plants are a real joy.
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Weekend Reading

4 December 2020

This week I've been working on promoting the Down to Earth paperback on radio and writing articles for magazines and online. The weather has been dry and hot so I've had the sprinkler on the garden and thankful we have rainwater tanks to allow that to happen. I've also been gearing up to do some sewing next week so I've decided on two projects and made sure I have everything I need.  All I need now is the time to do it and I think that will happen next week.

Lace cap hydrangea.
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