We've been at our new home one month today! Noel and I still have to pinch ourselves that we're actually here but all four of us agree it feels like much longer. Neither of us have ever seen the boys so happy - well, that's when we see them at all! As soon as they get home from school they throw their bags in the door and grab a bite to eat before they head off to meet their friends for a game of cricket. Yesterday five of them disappeared for the entire day, playing cricket, swimming and biking to the beach. 'I love weekends now!' smiled Liam. 'Every weekend feels like a holiday!'
I have to admit he's right. Ever since I've been here a song I knew back when I was little keeps on springing to mind, called 'Busy Doing Nothing'! Before, weekends were spent taking the boys here, there and everywhere, picking up and dropping off friends and spending hours cheering them on at various sports. Noel would usually go in one direction while I went in the other. If we were at home, we still hardly saw each other. I was usually stuck in inside cleaning the house and tackling giant piles of ironing while he was outside putting up fences, moving cows or fixing water leaks.
What a difference a month makes! On Saturday, Ali and Noel went fishing in the local 'Christmas Ham Tournament'. Not only did they catch enough fish to feed us three times, but Ali also won second prize and brought home an enormous ham on the bone! 'We really have provided well for the family today!' grinned Noel. It was a beautiful day so Liam and I took a picnic to the beach and just hung out there for a blissful few hours with Hubble and Minnie. Funny isn't it; when the sun is shining and there's a whole beach out there calling, all of a sudden things like ironing really don't seem important any more...
The boys went off with their friends bright and early yesterday so I thought I would walk down to the local farmer's market. It was my first visit to a farmer's market so I was very excited! It's not enormous yet but I'm sure as more tourists arrive for the summer it will grow much bigger. I picked up a lovely handmade wooden truck for my 18 month old nephew for Christmas but I have to say most other things I found to be quite expensive. I was hoping to treat myself to some fresh flowers but at the prices they were charging I left them there! I did however come home with three delicious avocados for $3, a huge bunch of fresh asparagus for $2 and two punnets of the most enormous strawberries you have ever seen for $5. Even though it was a nice way to spend a Sunday morning, I don't think I'll be frequenting it much; it's still much cheaper for Noel to pick fresh produce up straight from the farm gate on his travels.
Noel had cooked us all a scrummy breakfast of freshly caught snapper sizzled in butter, which we wolfed down between thick slices of soft, white bread. It was so good! For lunch the two of us sampled our new free ham, then we took the dogs for a leisurely walk along the beach. At least every second day Noel and I try to make sure we get a walk along the beach together. I'm not sure who enjoys it more, us or the dogs! Minnie gets so excited she literally 'sings' her way along the beach; I don't think I've ever seen anything or anyone more joyful!
We arrived back home and I immediately picked up my copy of Wendyl Nissen's new book, 'A Home Companion - my year of living like my grandmother'. In case you're not familiar with Wendyl, for years she was a hard-nosed women's magazine editor who wanted everything yesterday and was used to getting it. However one day she said 'enough' and over the years since has undergone an enormous transformation to become a 'green goddess'. Wendyl likes nothing more now than spending time with her family, tending to her chickens and making everything from scratch - and I mean everything from food to toothpaste to sunscreen. If there's something Wendyl wants to make and she doesn't know how to make it, she will find a way and work at it until it's perfected - then share it with everyone else so they can benefit! I love the way she writes and as with all her books, I haven't been able to put this one down. It's a great reminder for me that; even though many of our costs have dropped significantly or disappeared completely, there are still always more ways we can save and look after both our wallets and our health by getting back to basics. Inspiring stuff and a most enjoyable read.
So there I was, curled up in my comfy chair happily reading when the phone rang and Ali's voice sounded at the end of it. 'Um, Mum? I've been in a bit of trouble with the police and I need you to pick me up', he said. 'WHAT?' I sat bolt upright, 'What have you done?' 'Oh, a policeman caught me riding my bike in town without a helmet. He made me do 20 press-ups right there on the pavement or he said I'd have to go to jail!' I couldn't help myself and burst out laughing before telling Noel, who laughed even harder. 'Well that'll teach you! Maybe next time you'll listen when I nag you about wearing your helmet!' I cackled. Thus my peaceful weekend came to an abrupt end - but I have a feeling there will be many more!