Well, with Christmas behind us, and the New Year fast approaching, I have had a moment of panic and guilt at being an absent blogger.
With the start of the New Year, of course, comes the official start of our Year of Slow Living, so I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the changes we have been making so far.
While we moved all our stuff in nearly four weeks ago, I spent the first week sleeping on my parent's couch while I finished up at my job in the city, while Grant started his new job in Daylesford. Having now had three weeks in Kyneton, the house is beginning to look and feel like home and the boxes that are yet to be unpacked are able to be stored in rooms we don’t need to look in every day.
Our first, and perhaps most exciting, development, was the adoption of a puppy three weeks ago. Not really a puppy, Jessie is 18 months old and was abandoned before being picked up by the pound. When her owners did not come forward to collect her, she was sent to Pets Haven shelter in Woodend where we met her on 11 December. She is a Labrador/Rottweiller cross with the best of both breeds’ personalities (in our opinion!). We have had some settling-in issues, but on the whole, she is a little treasure, and has fitted in well to our new family.
Christmas was spent this year with my family at the beach, which was a great opportunity for Jessie to experience the ocean for the first time! This was also the first year since I finished my undergrad degree that I have had time to ‘properly’ prepare for Christmas. Those who know me well know that I love Christmas, and always have the most expansive plans for baking, crafting and celebrating. This year, I had two whole weeks in which to intersperse the unpacking of boxes with baking gingerbread, making chocolate truffles (two kinds!) making a fresh wreath for our front door, wrapping presents and preparing a four-course Christmas Eve extravaganza (with matching wines) for the family. And this is the first time in a very long time that I have been able to truly enjoy that whole process without getting stressed and feeling pressed for time.
In the few days since getting home post Christmas festivities we have begun preparing for 2011. We did our sale shopping this year in Bendigo – a very nice change from the manic shopping mentality of Melbourne. The stores were no more crowded than Melbourne’s on a normal shopping day – in many cases they were much less crowded! Armed with a shopping list, we made our way through in about three hours. Included in our haul was a breadmaker (our Christmas gift from Grant’s parents), a blanket for our bed, and a new down jacket for me. Even in December, we have both been surprised at how cold it gets here overnight and in the early morning.
The last two days have been dedicated to the building of raised garden beds and the planting of our vegetable garden. While our landlord has kindly allowed us to plant a vegetable garden, the soil quality is not great and much of the garden is already well established. So we have selected an area at the back of the house that was set up as a dog run by a previous tenant with fences all around. Consequently, this setup ensures that we can keep our own little Jessie OUT of the vegetable garden! I have added below my plan of the garden and what has been planted this round. The next round will be in March/April. If it all comes off, it will be a delicious bounty of fresh produce that will allow us to avoid too much reliance on the local Woolies.
Tomorrow evening, New Years’ Eve, we are planning a quiet night with some homemade pizzas cooked on the BBQ and a nice bottle of red that we have had cellared for a few years. Whatever you have planned, we send lots of warm wishes for a happy New Year, and I look forward to sharing more of our stories with you in 2011.