Wednesday, 24 November 2010
The Good Life
The older I get the more I yearn for a simpler life. Perhaps this is my little mid-life foot stomp. Perhaps you finally tire of the new technology created at great expense for what seems very little benefit. Why, when authorities are crying about childhood obesity, are we pumping more and more indoor 'sports' games onto the market-place. Kids can now play tennis in front of their television screen, swing a golf club without taking a step on the green, surf without getting sand down their boardies, or worse still, kill each other with daggers and machetes. I look forward to my big, boxy television set blowing up. It won't be replaced with a flat screen, not plasma, not HD, not digital, not LCD. It quite simply won't be replaced. Many days our TV is not turned on ... at all. With longer Summer days upon us, the time spent outside of an evening is some of the most beautiful. We enjoy late dinner, rushed homework, reading time and bed, adding a fair dash of conversation to the mix. No need for children to sit transfixed in front of a screen filling them with unfiltered, inappropriate, worthless garbage.
A new work phone arrived in the mail this week for Matthew. Whilst neither of us are entirely inept, we're struggling to operate this small package of technological un-necessity. We don't need a telephone that acts as a sat-nav device, a personal trainer or a music player. In fact I'll go so far as to say the world wouldn't stop turning if mobile-phones became extinct. I'm not techno-phobic, just think people are wasting their lives in front of screens (so says I, sitting in front of my laptop). While people spend all day texting, messaging, talking on phones, they struggle to communicate with each other over the dinner table. Ironic!
So here at Rock Wallaby where we're fortunate to be semi-isolated to the point where our children have no option but to play with each other, outdoors, in the sunshine, grass underfoot, dirt under fingernails, feed dogs, chooks, pigs and horses, we're doing our little bit to 'simplify'. Starting with what fuels us. We're blessed with the ability to produce our own beef, pork and eggs. Ham, bacon and sausage manufacture all newly acquired skills. In fact I buy little to no protein in the fortnightly grocery shop, with a regular supply of barra coming from friends up the road. The occasional lamb roast finds its way home, as does a rare treat of local banana prawns. Our beautiful Jersey milker Priscilla has recently calved and is now providing us with fresh milk, saving the purchase of the gallon these rascals drink daily, and freeing up a great deal of freezer space. The kids are all keen to learn to milk, and with Christmas holidays looming, I'm happy to pass the bucket so to speak.
My vegetable gardening, whilst still in the early stages, is becoming a very enjoyable, rewarding pursuit. (Post to come). My first garden bed is filled with corn, finished flowering and now fruiting. Cherry tomato plants are also in abundance, remnant of the tomatoes we frequently threw the chooks. Cherry tomatos are in fact everywhere at the moment, lining the downhill fence of the pig paddock, obviously enjoying the washed down organic fertiliser. My second site, a little neglected due to birthday party planning and camp getaways, is now planted with a broad spectrum of carrots, celery, beetroot, eggplants, squash, cucumbers and basil. We have over 30 big beautiful pumpkins hanging off vines at present, many destined for the pig grain boiler, surplus to family requirements. And so the quest for self-sufficiency continues.
And while I won't be grinding wheat anytime soon, nor churning butter, nor giving up my airconditioned, cruise controlled vehicle, wearing an apron or home-schooling my children, I think there's a lot to be said for a simpler way of living.