Tuesday, 30 March 2010

An 8km walk and a crappy lunch

Today so far we’ve, got up at 8:30, had some breakfast, potato and egg with parsley, cheese and some other ingredients that I can’t remember.
Then we did the dishes, brushed our teeth, just the usual. Then mum and dad sat down and did work on their new Macs and I did Homework on my old HP laptop, (nowhere near as good as a Mac, but I’m lucky I’ve got anything at all)
I got bored of doing homework so now I’m typing a blog (not that homework’s ever not boring)

Yesterday dad did some work in the morning so mum and I went for a walk on one of the tracks around the caravan park.
Then we drove to another walking track (all of us) and did a 8km walk!! It was agonising.
In the first half of the walk I pretended to be the tour guide, pointing out things along the way and giving instructions.  Then after we stopped to have morning tea I just listened to music and complained that my legs were sore.
There were even some obstacles on the way, like fallen over trees on the very narrow path, and piles of bark and leaves.
In some parts of the walking track it felt very dangerous.  On one side of the  - not even metre wide – path it went downhill very steeply to a rushing creek, and on the other side of the path was a very steep hill going upwards, it was almost as if they just stuck a random path on the side of a mountain.

After we had finished our walk we had lunch at a little pleasant cafe on Lake Daylesford. Although the food was very expensive and pretty crap there was a nice view.
It was very awkward when we were leaving because the lady at the counter asked how it was and we said “fine” and she said “Just fine, was it good, great, or just fine”
I think we all felt like saying “well for starters, the Turkish bread was burnt, the dips were crap, the fish was pretty gross too and all that was okay was the chips, but it’s kind of hard to go wrong with chips” instead, we said “Yeah it was good but the Turkish bread was a bit burnt”  Then the lady offered us another lot but we said no.

Then after our unsuccessful lunch we drove into town and dad worked while mum and I browsed the shops.

When we got back home we lit a fire and cooked our dinner wrapped in foil and stuck in the coals (potatoes and fresh corn) we were lucky because hardly any places these days allow you to have fires.
And I was extremely happy because after dinner I got to toast marshmallows over the fire.

Then we all went and had a shower, played a game of monopoly (the card game) then went to bed.

I liked sitting by the lake watching the ducks and mum liked taking their photo.

Another feathered friend

Monday, 29 March 2010

applying a Daylesford brake

One of the words that best described our yurting life, at least in comparison to urban living, is ‘slow’.

When we set out in November for our last foray into slow, we developed our yurting mantra;

Don’t complain,

Don’t rush,

What happens, happens.

It takes a while for the mind to change, but Daylesford on the weekend is a great ‘brake’, misspelling intentional. As we meandered through the shops today I picked up a magazine simply called Slow. My favourite photo was a group friends sitting under a backyard tree with a spread of good food and wine. The log cabin was romantic in the general sense.

Slow is an art. The Judeo Christian idea of sabbath (the principle of 1 in 7 being ‘rest’) has much going for it. As with many things in life, good sabbath-ing has as much to do with what you chose to do as what you don’t do. Its not enough to stop working; it’s more to do with choosing the activities that regenerate our souls.

I remember a few years ago ‘labeling’ weekends. One was what I called an ‘Aero weekend’: its the bubbles of nothing that make it really something.

on the road again

We live in a wide street, but I need every inch of it to get the yurt in and out. We have this routine where the day before we are due to leave, we line our cars (there are 3 of them these days) along the street on the opposite side to preserve the space. This spot-hogging move allows us to get out the next day without cars in the way.

Anyway, we got slack. So we’re all ready to head off yesterday morning and this little Suzuki is sitting right in the swing-zone. Its not good form knocking on neighbour’s doors at 9:30 on a Saturday morning, but it had come to that. Even worse when no one claimed ownership. So I had to go to plan B. Fortunately the swing to the left was clear, so thats what I had to do ... problem being we live in a dead-end street with no room to swing a rig around, so after getting into the street, loading the bikes onto the rack and last minute tinkering, I reverse the whole length of the street, Maria watches for traffic on Stewart St, and we are off ... westward around the hills to Daylesford.

"had lunch at this table"

Managed to arrive right on hungry time and my vote for a pastie got voted down by Maria and Johanna - so we end up at Gourmet Larder. After a wonderful lunch, Johanna not surprisingly announces that she likes Daylesford. On to Jubilee Lake to set up.

Dinner - chorizzo, my speciality rosti and baby beetroot, with some tomato jam that I later returned to the Gourmet Larder to get - perfect.

This morning we rose at the very civilised hour of 8. We decided to go for a walk before breakfast and a good hour and half later we had explored a few of the trails nearby - pleasant-o-metre reading very high. Breakfast was then to Maria’s order; asparagus between an English muffin with the left over tomato jam and a poached egg, mushies on the side. Who needs lunch? We certainly didn’t.

We then cycled into town and spent the morning riding around Daylesford Lake - punctuated by a long pause at the lakeside bookshop / cafe. Very Daylesford. We thought the drizzle would turn into rain so we rode back home, the last stretch of which was the biggest hill Johanna had every conquered. Not that she expressed delight at the achievement ...

With chicken soup on the menu for dinner, it was then back into town to meander up and down the street with the final stop at the supermarket to pick up the leeks, celery, herbs, chicken etc.  The slow brewing soup was a wonderful companion in the late afternoon yurt. And now all is quiet, dishes done and we’re all doing our own thing.

The kookaburras are laughing right now ... perhaps they are teasing me about having to summon the mentality to do some work tomorrow morning.

Friday, 26 March 2010


On the weekend we uncovered the caravan. For the last couple of months it has been sitting in our driveway, its protective cover making it look like a huge grey elephant. Uncovered now, it is gleaming inside and out thanks to a massive clean up effort on our return to Melbourne in late January. This week we have begun to think about yurting again, all be it for a short time - one week in Daylesford and one week in Ocean Grove. It felt good to be back inside the van, packing things into their familiar places and anticipating a return to some freedom and mobility.

The transition from urban life to yurting is so much easier than the other way around. We anticipate with joy, packing up and heading off, but it is usually with heavy hearts that we return. We were both surprised by how long it took to readjust to urban life after two months on the road. For many weeks we both lacked energy or enthusiasm for life and work. We yearned for what we had left behind.

Now, urban life is once again the norm; busy, full, energetic, fast paced.... Colin continues to travel for work (though not as much as last year thankfully), school, uni and work lives co-exist in a house that is sometimes like a train station. People come and go, eat, sleep and shower and yet in the middle of it all, live, love, laugh and learn.

It is ironic that sometimes it feels like we are too busy to really savour the anticipation of going. The packing and getting ready is scheduled in amidst the myriad of daily and weekly activities. It is not until we drive away, arrive, set up and sit on our chairs with a drink in hand that we finally breathe deeply and slow down. The first few days we tend to still 'do' lots of things until the body and mind transition from fast to slow.

It feels like two different lives and we are finding that the transition from one to the other has its challenges. We want (and need) to experience both though, so we are going to have to live through the transition time as well. I wonder if it will get easier the more we do it ?

Wherever we are, our other life seems like a dream. We cannot transpose one on the other, nor are they totally isolated and separate. We are the link, the living breathing reality present one to the other. Each experience of  life leaves an indelible 'mark'. We are shaped and changed by our experiences. We carry with us backwards and forwards, from one experience of life to another, the ever increasing 'marks' that are now a part of us.

We have 48 hours to savour going, a few days of transition, some yurting time and then another few days of transition on our return. The choice we have made to pursue yurting sometimes causes us pain, challenges us, creates unsettling periods of transition....... and allows us to feel alive. We wouldn't have it any other way.