A postcard from Penny! Apologies for the longer-than-usual gap between blog entries. Rest assured I am not resting on my laurels with this money saving lark - on the contrary, the Wise clan have hit Australian shores and I am learning the Simple Savings philosophy from the Miser Extraordinaire herself! At this very moment I am sitting in the Simple Savings office at Fiona's computer, where it all happens, as she has kindly let me pinch it to write my blog.
It's a pretty amazing place to be, hanging out with Fiona, Matt and their two beautiful children and meeting the rest of the Simple Savings team. Naomi, who many of you will know from sending in your emails is here with her adorable girls and all the children are having a ball getting to know one another. Noel, Liam and Ali are in their element down at the lake, swimming and fishing and playing cricket on the back lawn, spending some quality family time together without Noel's incessant work mobile constantly encroaching on their 'father and son time'. I had the pleasure of meeting Debbie Eustace, who many of you will have seen on television talking about Simple Savings, Steve Panozzo, the fantastic cartoonist who brought Sad Sally and Happy Hanna to life and the resident Simple Savings homeopath, Fran Sheffield.
It was wonderful to meet Fran in person, as our family has so much to thank her for. Fiona just asked me how my 'lump' has been and would you believe I had forgotten all about it? Since I had a consultation with Fran and began taking my own remedy a few weeks ago, the pain has completely disappeared and the lump has gone. I'm serious!
It was unfortunate timing that on this important day where I was due to meet all the key people behind Simple Savings, I was also nursing a hangover of catastrophic proportions, but thanks to Fiona I learned there is even a homeopathic remedy for that! Just one dose and I was back on the planet - now that stuff is priceless!
One of our first missions was to head to Aldi, which unfortunately has yet to reach New Zealand. It was certainly an experience! I couldn't believe I was trailing around one of the places I had heard and read so much about from Simple Savings and watching Australia's most famous frugal shopper at work! What I have noticed most about my visit so far is that Fiona and her family are 100% real - they don't just preach the Simple Savings philosophy, they live it. I have learned heaps from watching Fiona bake and create amazing meals from things I have never even thought of. I was delighted to find the all-important vinegar spray on top of the kitchen bench, the bicarb soda and the blender which receives all the food scraps so that Jacqui and Sam can trot out and help feed the worms. The family has no television, which I thought would be a problem when my boys came to visit, but they're so busy doing other things that they don't even notice! It's just too much fun playing outside and they look wonderfully healthy for it. The Lippey vegetable garden is thriving and the plots are all mulched (though Matt doesn't recommend using oat straw for mulching!)
Spending this time with the Simple Savings team has shown me that life really can be idyllic. We are all here enjoying the simple pleasures, living proof that life really can be amazingly simple, yet you can have everything you need and want for nothing - it really puts your everyday wants and needs into perspective. I can't wait to get back and start feeding some worms of my own!