The pace of life seems to have slowed since our move. Partly this is simply because we have passed through three frantic weeks of cleaning, packing and uppacking boxes, shifting furniture into new formations that suit the new spaces, and the settlement on our former home has successfully come to a close. Now we just belong in one house. Now we can catch our breath. Now we can sit down and contemplate how to live here.
A slower pace of life seems to be imposed by our new environment. We knew this would happen and this is one of the reasons for coming here in the first place. In day to day life, the way this unfolds can be subtle. For example, a walk to the mailbox now takes 5 minutes instead of 30 seconds. On the way there, I walk through the garden, watching the birds and checking for new blooms. On the way back, I stroll down to the dam and scan the surface. It’s calming, but it’s also a form of boundary checking. Just making sure everything is as it should be. Before walking back inside, I grab some wood for the fire.
Hanging out the washing also takes longer. The washing line isn’t just outside the back door – it’s a bit of a treck across the fenced yard, across the service yard which includes the turning circle for cars and behind a series of large sheds. It’s surrounded by trees, including some small fruit trees. Yesterday as I rounded the corner I was surprised by a flurry of flashing green wings – too fast to see what kind of bird, but it may have been another species of parrot. Next time I hang the washing out, I will take my binoculars with me.
Some of the slowing is more frustrating. My much welcomed two bars of internet connection mean it can take multiple attempts to see even a basic web page. Checking and sending emails takes longer as well. Some days I cannot connect to the internet at all. When I had planned to do a lot of research for projects we want to begin here, this is a huge setback. Any website with photographs of products and a shopping cart seems almost too much for our internet connection to handle. If it loads, it can take minutes for each individual page to load. Checking and comparing products seems an interminable task. One that I happily abandon (or mabe no so happily) in favour of doing more physical things. As a consequence, we have not made any progress on the greenhouse or the chickens.
The cat enclosure is still in planning as well. We have all of the materials to build this, but the fence we want to attach the cat netting to simply isn’t strong enough. We called in a fencer to give us a quote, and he was honest enough to tell us that he felt like he would be ‘ripping us off’ if he gave us a quote for something we could do more cheaply by ourselves. We just need to buy the panels. He would have to charge labour and a levy for driving out this far to do it. Kind thoughts, but finding the time to do this while moving so many boxes from one place to another has not been possible. Hopefully we will get to this in the next week or so. For while our new home is beautiful, it is not intended to provide us with an income, and we need to devote time to our business as well. Luckily, the cats don’t seem to mind being inside. They sit for hours in the lounge room, between the wood fired heater and the full length glass door which overlooks the bird feeders. Almost paradise for them in cold weather. When it’s warm, they will need their outside enclosre, so we have a few weeks up our sleeve.
In the meantime, I have found the gardening tools, and the vegetable garden needs to be tended. We have broad beans, potatoes and onions growing at the moment. There is plenty of room to plant new seeds and seedlings. By default, this will be my first project.