Dadinating the Country Side

The Trials and Tribulations of Living the Dream

Moving to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches: Our orchard

We had a dream before we moved here of an orchard. An orchard full to the brim with lush greenery sprouting fruit with fecundity and seasonal regularity. We put an orchard on the same level as Solar Panels and chickens when we plotted and eventually made our Tree Change, we wanted to grow our own fruit, make our own jams, bottle our own preserves and even dry out our own fruit leather (home-made roll-ups).

This year was the year, it was going to happen.

Finally this could be us:

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Salami day!

I am not vegetarian. I understand why people are, and that’s cool. I am not. I find meat delicious, but I have never “worked” with meat until Saturday when I tried my hand at making Salami. (Also, if you are vegetarian, this post is probably not for you as it contains photos – not gruesome, but still of meat so, fair warning!). Continue reading


Every night you gently encourage your little one to sleep. Then sometimes you cajole them. Some nights you argue with them. Some nights you raise your voice. Some nights you have to leave the room to collect yourself. Every night is different. Every night is the same result, they go to sleep. Some nights later than others, but they get there.

There are the nights when you walk up and down the house, wait for them to nod off only to have them scream at you when their head touches the cot mattress. There are the nights when they stir again and again and again. There are nights when their eyes flick open as soon as you move a muscle, and you have to start all over again. There are nights when you fall asleep before the kid does. There are the nights when (for some bizarre reason that no one can discern) they sleep perfectly well.

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Déjà vu

I am in the bathroom. A child sits in the bath splashing around and looking at the aquatic wonderland they have found themselves in. An empty bottle which once held bubble bath floats in the water. We are playing, the baby chews on the bottle and let’s it go bobbing off into the distance. I snatch it up and blow across the top of the bottle making a deep low whistling noise. I’m accomplished at making noise this way, I played the flute for a while. The baby stares at me making the noise in a kind of disbelieving wonder. My aspiration ceases and so does the sound.

The baby keeps staring, now with an air of expectation. I know this game. I hand the bottle back to the baby and they place on their lips in it as they stare at me. They voice a tiny sound into the bottle. A meek “Aaaaah”. The whole time those enormous baby globes stare deeply into mine. The sound ends then there is waiting. Anticipating. Expecting. Needing.

Their head is tilted forward so their eyes look slightly upwards as their intense gaze burrows into my soul. It shrinks the child, or maybe it enlarges me. It makes me aware of how tiny and vulnerable they are.

I know immediately what I need to do. “Well done!” I say in that universal high-pitched tone of parental praise. The bottle is handed back to me and I do it again. And again. And again.

It doesn’t matter which baby it is in this story. The Lad or The Lass, the ritual is (and was) the same. Yesterday it was The Lass’s turn, her brother didn’t need a bath as he had a shower after a swim with The Mamanator. It was just my girl and I.

“I’ve done this before. you know. I did it with your brother when he was small, same game, same rules that we improvised together, same look in different eyes.”

Odd they way they are so different. Odd the way they are so much alike. Odd the fact that it’s the second time doesn’t matter. Odd the way the fact that it’s the second time means everything.

Today she stood up and let go, and balanced herself, held up on her own legs. She stayed up for about 5 seconds before falling on her bum as she beamed a smile out across the room she’d done it. She’d cracked another code, unlocked another secret, taken another step towards independence. It is only a matter of time before she stands. Then she will walk. The she will run. Like her brother.

It doesn’t have the feel of doing all over again, just a kind of familiarity. An eerie sense that you’ve experienced it before, but you can’t quite pin it down. A sense not of repetition or of monotony, just of déjà vu.

With plenty of surprises along the way…


My son is sick. My daughter is sick. My wife and I refuse to fall off the edge of health into the abyss of sickness and waft around in the purgatory of “almost sick”.

It’s been that way forever. Forever started about 2 months ago, but hasn’t stopped since. Perhaps it never will. It bloody well better.

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