Monday, August 11, 2014

A new home

Dashfield has moved!  I've been working hard on a newer, fresher home for this little blog and am excited to bring you Consider this the next chapter in the Dashfield chronicles!
Pop on over and take a peek. xx

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Phew, so Tuesday night had the three of us huddled in bed together while 145 knot winds howled through the bamboo outside.  The next morning (rather bleary eyed at 530am) we looked out of the window and saw the lawn covered in a brown blanket of autumn leaves and branches.  The power was out, the taps were groaning and empty when we tried to turn them on and the only real comfort were the embers in the fire place still glowing hot from the night before.  We huffed and puffed until the flames began to flicker again, and then sat down to a picnic style breakfast of cold leftover soup and crackers. After that everybody crawled back into bed and by lunchtime our groaning bellies finally prompted us to get dressed and treat ourselves to a Mexican lunch.  By the time dinner rolled around we were still powerless so used the excuse to treat ourselves to Japanese.  So far this power cut business wasn't as bad as it initially seemed.  Sure we hadn't showered in two days, the dishes were piling up in the sink, the toilet was... hmm yeah lets not talk about the toilet... but on the flip side we had full bellies, warm toes and without technology to distract us we actually had some damn good conversations!  Having said all that, waking up and being able to have a hot shower this morning, mmm it felt so luxurious.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The most beautiful blogs I know

 I don't have much time for reading blogs these days but there are a handful that I just can't get enough of.  They are so utterly beautiful that for a short moment I am transported out of my daily chaos and into a much calmer world!   Obviously I know that these are only small snippets of life and these women probably have the same chaotic lifestyles as I do, but they seem to capture both the tranquility and adventure so nicely.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Coatesville feels like the last little pocket of countryside around these parts.  Suburbia is suffocating this town and the beautiful old fruit tree's, roaming chickens and ramshackle farm houses are quickly being swallowed up by vast concrete jungles.  But not Coatesville, not yet.  There's not much there and that's part of the charm.   The two roadside cafes* are bustling with activity on the weekends, their carparks jam packed with shiny four wheel drives that have never had a spray of mud on them (city folk), the pony club is full of eager young riders and over the fence the chickens are scratching in the neighbours yard.  Unless you're there for the monthly Coatesville Market, you're best to settle in at the cafe for a cup of coffee, go for a wander through the paddocks and breath in that country air (faintly scented with horse poo).

*We love the Fernilea Cafe because it is super kid friendly which means you can almost drink your coffee in peace!

Saturday, May 31, 2014


I don't think I could sugar coat the past month even if I tried, it has been a rough one! A good solid year of not sleeping finally all came crashing down around our ears.  Everybody was snapping and snarling, there were plenty of tears (mainly mine), there were fantasies about stealing off into the night to go and find a hotel, unplug the phone and hang a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door just to get a few hours of shut eye.  Now that we're creeping out at the other end I realise that things had to come to a head in order for us to make some changes.  I learned that when it comes to parenthood it pays to be flexible and not have too many die hard ideas about the way things are going to be.  My house will never be tidy, dinner doesn't have to be a lavish affair, no I don't have to go back to work just yet even though everybody else is, Ayana actually prefers sleeping in her own room rather than beside her insomniac mother and yes I had always imagined that I would be breastfeeding until she is at least 2 years old but my body is exhausted and crying out for a break.  All these things are alright!  None of them make me a bad person or put my family in harms way, if anything the harm is coming from ignoring what feels right.  As always the key seems to be going with the flow... something that goes against all my virgo instincts.  Live and learn though eh!
There have been good times too though of course.  We've made an effort to go on some adventures, we've watched Ayana turn into the most incredibly little human (by god I love that kid!), there have been laughs, good food has been eaten, and more concrete travel plans discussed.
So we're definitely happy to see the tail end of May and welcome June with open arms!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

GARDEN STORY (so far...)

In the beginning...

 The books that got me thinking

Our hideously overgrown garden before Nic turned it into our vege bed

This guy worked HARD to get the patch back to a usable stateI was so impressed.

Ayana was just a wee thing back then and refused to be put down for even a second.  We couldn't have done it without the help of Thalia (despite being a nervous first time aunt!)

The sweet little seedlings ready to go out and face the big bad world.

Planting at dusk

Ayana during the second season of planting... and still non to pleased at being left on the sidelines!

 Changing seasons.  Looking back I love seeing how Ayana grows as the garden does.  These days she's wandering around with me digging in the dirt.

Having a baby does this weird thing to you, it makes you think A LOT!  It makes you think about what you're eating, what your child is going to eat, where that food comes from, how much crap is in it, how much it will cost, who has handled it along the way.  You're given this absolutely perfect new life, free from all the poisons and rubbish that we subject ourselves to everyday, and you can't help but feel that it's your duty to preserve that for as long as possible.  That's how I felt anyway!  Long before Ayana was born I found myself toddling down the musty aisles at the local library looking for books on gardening.  This makes me laugh now because the most valuable source of information on all things concerning this lived just five minutes down the road... my mum!  She has been growing her own food since I was just wee thing.  In Munich she grew carrots and lettuce on our inner city balcony and when we moved to New Zealand she created an amazing organic farm.  As these things always go I of course had no interest in it at all!  All I saw was the punishment of having to shovel goat shit for compost after school, of hiding in the back of the car in shame while she collected seaweed from the beach after a storm, of that hideous smell of rotting fish fertiliser.  I wanted to be a city kid, I wanted to eat bug free lettuce, I wanted apples without wormholes. And so I paid no attention to all the hard work that was going into the food we so much took for granted.  Oh how my mum must laugh now when I come to her begging for advice on how to stop the rabbits from eating our lettuce, or when to string up the tomatoes, or how much salt to throw into the olive brine.  We're not the finest, most dedicated gardeners Nic and I.  Between focusing on a new baby, a new career and a never ending haze of sleep deprivation our poor garden has often been left to its own devices, but we're learning, we're slowly getting there!  We've managed three seasons worth of vegetables so far and the rewards of harvesting our own food has just blown me away.  It feels SO good to eat what you've planted and encouraged to grow, and the taste is something that will never compare to the over shined supermarket lot.  Our freezer is bursting with chilli, tomato's, capsicum and cubes of basil.  The pantry now has two jars of olives, with two more bowls soaking in the kitchen.  And my pride at what we've managed to create for our little family is huge.  Of course none of it would be possible without the help of my amazing, amazing mum.  From providing us with a little plot of land, to growing extra seedlings in her glasshouse for us, to giving us a much needed kick in the backside when we're not getting things done on time!