Friday, May 19, 2017

autumnal


Our days have been brilliantly autumnal. Sharp, icy cold mornings that quickly lead into brilliantly bright blue skied days. We run from job to job trying to get through as many as we can before the coming winter closes in on us. As we dig, stack, shovel, plow, seed, rake, fill and fork we feel the sun's warmth spread through our clothes and we slowly strip off our layers. There are little nests of hats and jumpers and shirts all over the place. These golden hours are short and we often find ourselves stopping mid shovel to breathe them in and to have yet another discussion about how lucky we are that all of our paths and decisions have led us here, to this work and this life and these days.  

thirteenth

From when we built our studio/second bedroom last spring, all the way through summer and into the beginning of autumn, I had this little Friday ritual. As soon as the girls were all at school I'd make myself a peppermint tea, look past the breakfast dishes and the piles of laundry and make my way to the green armchair in the corner of our room. And there I'd sit  with my laptop on my lap for the next few hours making my blog until it was done. 

Where I sat felt like it was such a big part of how I blogged that it never occurred to me that it would ever need to change. But then one Friday it just got too cold to sit in there. About a month ago, or maybe before, I walked in there, picked up my computer and my card-reader and came back into the lounge room. And ever since then I've done the same. 

Now I sit on one of the brown leather couches that I grew up sitting on, the fire roars beside me, the animals asleep nearby and although I'm comfy I feel much more available to the world, not as shut off, more distracted.

And the green armchair sits there draped in knitting as I dash past, sometimes covered in piles of clothes, sometimes a book, sometimes the pillows off the bed. Always inviting me to slow down and read a couple of pages, knit a few rows, find a way to heat the room and make it more comfortable to sit in.


fourteenth

Last week Indi spent the week camping and rock climbing with her class. She told me that on the last day, while they were packing up, one of their guides asked her what she would be doing for Mother's Day. Indi told her a bit about me and how my favourite things to do are knitting and burning shit. She guessed that we'd light a huge fire somewhere on our farm and then spend the day pulling branches onto it, knitting, eating and hanging out with family. Apparently her teacher gave her a strange look and said I sounded 'hilarious', but that's exactly what we did. And it was wonderful.

We ate babka, Kate shaped cookies, and chocolate covered pretzels and we drank Baileys, Turkish coffee and fizzy water. The girls drew pictures, Bren carved, I knitted and my parents spent the afternoon with us too. 

What more could this mother ask for?

A hand carved yarn bowl as a Mother's Day present, that's what! 

So beautiful. Made from a tree on our farm that started growing in an inconvenient place, carved on his foot powered pole lathe, with his hands, for me. What a gift. 


fifteenth

On Monday construction began on our new hot-house. Three massive wooden posts from an old bridge concreted into the ground, and lots of other marking and cutting and organising done. Since then some old windows have gone in but I'm afraid you'll have to wait until next week for a photo of them.



sixteenth

On Tuesday we spent time on our 'put the farm to sleep for winter' plan. Using the walk behind tractor, we mulched and then spaded in some of the summer vegetables. It's amazing to watch the corn stalks, the tomato vines, the capsicums, cabbages and broccoli, all mown down to the ground and then put back into the soil to break down. Just a few weeks ago we were visiting this patch a few times a day to harvest different things and now it'll be planted with a green manure crop and then left until spring. 

Thank you for feeding us garden, rest well.


seventeenth

A different view of the garden and the cubby house and the pole lathe.

On the drive into town a few days ago we were discussing the fact that this year we've been having a true autumn. Most seasons it feels like summer drifts on for a lot longer than it's meant to and then all of a sudden there's a cold snap and it's winter. Just like that. But this year we've had weeks of crisp sunny days, the colours of the trees have been spectacular and it's given us time to really finish one season and prepare for the next. To tick off a lot of our jobs. And to prepare to hibernate.


eighteenth

Yesterday was one of those days where I considered turning this into a photo an hour project instead. All day long as we fed the dogs and chooks, filled up a new garden bed with rocks and then soil and then planted it with garlic, as we planted green manure in the sock garden and then covered it, weeded the carrots, picked the beetroot, filled the trailer with wood and then stacked some more wood, I couldn't help but feel like this was a life that was filled with love and meaning and beauty. It was difficult to choose just one moment to photograph.


nineteenth

Which brings us to today.

The Guernsey wrap that slowly grows.

The book, Between A Wolf And A Dog, I am reading and LOVING! A beautifully written, insightful story about family, grief, relationships, betrayal, expectations and the fragility of life. I'm hoping for a little forgiveness by the end, but I'll have to wait and see.

This is one of those moody books that haunts me like a dream. It's there in the background as I go about my days and I'm sure the rain that is forecast to fall here on the weekend will only compound that fact. This is the type of book that I can't put down. Greedily snatching extra moments with it as I brush my teeth, eat my porridge and stay up way too late at night. I dread reaching the end of it because I'm enjoying it so much and then it'll be over, and also because of the knowledge that Georgia Blain, the author, died so young late last year making the book tragically final.


And that's my week, in pictures and words. It's been such a lovely week. I've felt clear and articulate, I've spent time with three precious friends, I've felt organised, I've loved and looked after and I've felt loved and looked after. It's been good.

I hope you my beautiful friend are traveling along well.
I hope you've got a good book to read, a great project to work on and something fun to look forward to.

I hope you have a happy weekend.

Lots of love,

Kate
xx



18 comments:

  1. A beautiful life Kate 😊

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  2. "knitting & burning shit" ... chuckles .. I spend the day trying to correct "what you knitting Mumma" to "it's crochet Laney, crochet" and then when she finally manages to say "what you cwochay Mumma?", I'm knitting. Sigh. ... but at least you get to burn shit, all I burn is toast.

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  3. What a lovely week you have had Kate. As always love your photos, the picnic looked heaps of fun! I read 'Between a Wolf & a Dog' earlier this year & I agree with you it is beautifully written as well as haunting in many ways; not a bad thing, I like a book that makes you think well after you've finished it. I'm currently making quince paste, smells divine. Have a great week! 😊XSue

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  4. I feel like I say the same thing everything I comment. But thank you for sharing your beautiful life and family. I love the picture of the yard and cubby from that angle. And thanks for your book recommendations.
    Cheers Kate
    Ps I'm still smiling about the knitting and burning shit. Sounds perfect to me.

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    Replies
    1. Everytime not everything. Will I ever learn to proof read 😂

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  5. THAT book - I still think about it. Georgia wrote a book shortly after her diagnosis....The Museum of Words (out in August).

    Beautiful post as always, Kate. Have a lovely weekend x

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  6. Funny, I've become a woman who likes to burn shit too. It's something I've caught from my husband. He's a fire lover, I think it's in his genes & I can see it in my kids too. We all love to gather sticks,?leaves, honky nuts, boxes,?whatever! & get it burning! We have the hugest bonfire in the backyard just waiting to be burnt this year. It's going to be a good one :)
    And the colours in your days are just gorgeous Kate x

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  7. Your Autumn sounds lovely it's my favourite season. I simply love the colours on all the trees. Lucky girl, your yarn bowl is beautiful Farmer Bren could make a fortune with those. It sounds as if you had a lovely Mother's Day what could be nicer than all the people and things you love together even if just for a day. The Guernsey Wrap looks super is it blue or grey?

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  8. Love that photo of your husband pulling beets. So nicely composed.

    Oh, and I also am a woman who likes to "burn shit". Huzzah!!

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  9. I must "sound hilarious" also, for that sounds like a lovely time of it. lol What a beautiful treasure your Husband carved you! Can't wait to see the greenhouse progression! You're putting your garden to bed, and we're waking ours up. I've also been enjoying reading a book, for a dear friend (yet to publish) and getting lost in it for hours on end. Have a fab weekend!x

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  10. Beautiful pics as always......loved the low different perspective of the farm and the girls pic. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  11. Just beautiful Kate. Thank you for constantly reminding us all about the good things x

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  12. What a great Mother's day! I spent it gardening with my niece. We aren't "hilarious", we are extraordinary ;)

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  13. Hello Kate, I do so love your blog and your beautiful pictures. Happy Mother's Day to you. I find it so striking that you are enjoying Autumn with the beautiful light that it brings, so evident in your photos, and preparing for Winter whilst we in the UK are planting, growing and waiting for the colour and warmth that Summer brings. So interesting how our moods can often reflect those seasonal changes, that we're riding a kind of wave, but we're at different places on that wave. Not sure I've quite managed to explain that properly but I am loving hearing and seeing how you are doing Autumn. Much love, Lucy xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  14. Hi Kate i have to say finding your blog was a treat. It makes me feel good about my everyday life, you bring it out so beautifully in your words and stunning photographs. Its funny how we can take it all for granted, but taking time to read your lovely posts makes me smile at the everyday, the things that are special and to be treasured.
    Blessings Karen x

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  15. How I love your posts. I don't read any other blog that feels so real and honest. Beautiful photos. I also love the pic of Bren with the beets. I am so pleased you got your yarn bowl. It sounded like your Mother's day was perfect. We are going through spring now and into the veg growing season. It is such a relief, it's felt like a long winter here, even though it wasn't desperately cold. Have a good week, Elaine xxx

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  16. Thank you for your writing, I don't read blogs very often these days but it was so lovely to come here in my few spare moments. ANd I have a new book for my list.

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  17. I keep coming back to look at your yarn bowl, it is so beautiful

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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