And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. Mmm……. I’m Manda (when I get called Amanda I usually worry I’ve done something wrong LOL!!) and I have never blogged before in my life so it’s been a bit of a learning curve with the whole blogging thing (that’s my excuse for why this blog will keep changing appearance…because I will keep changing it, which if anyone reads this and then ever returns, will no doubt see !!!. I’ve kept diaries at various times in my life and so I feel OK (ish) about the writing thing… it’s the technical side I will need to play about with but here we go………….
The short intro is …Hi and Welcome…have a read and hopefully you will be interested in our little piece of somewhere and what goes on here.Part of our life is we grow our own meat, so there will be some things that are pretty graphic but that is our life……if you’re OK with that then I hope you enjoy having a read. Any ideas how we could do things more efficiently or easier then please feel free to share I’m open to anything that helps us with our way of life.~~~~
The longer version if you’d like / can be bothered, to read it…..Our Little Piece of Somewhere is about me and my family consisting of my husband T and two sons C (the eldest) and J and all the things that make up our lives…from my perspective (well it is the only one I have).Why do I want to do this?…. Well I have a reasonable memory but I don’t want to have to rely on it because I said it’s reasonable not infallible.I thought if I write things down here, then as time goes by I will have somewhere that I can come and read it and have the pictures to go with it …and when I decide to write “that book” (the book my mother-in-law and the Aunties think I should write???) it will be a place to revisit….lets face it it’s just a glorified diary but I’m hoping if it’s interesting then at some point if my boys ever decide they want to read it – it won’t bore them to death!! :)..it’s also easier to edit this than a notebook / diary.We moved from the UK to New Zealand in 2004. Always wanted to do the “Good Life” thing …OK so I didn’t have this great desire to live in Surbiton and dig up the back garden a la Barbara and Tom! (for anyone that doesn’t know what I’m talking about..this was a BBC TV programme called “The Good Life” ~ if you get the chance have a look at it…it was a comedy based on a couple who lived in suburbia but decided to downshift..and was something I loved to watch in my childhood)……
Anyway back on topic (Oh yes I’m guilty of rambling but I promise that I will always come back to the subject…. in time…. so bear with me when I do)…..what I always dreamed of was having a little piece of somewhere that I could have a go at being semi self-sufficient…..you know a veggie patch, a herb garden and a few animals.
When we first came to New Zealand we lived in Wellington in the suburbs. I did my nursing (I’m a mental health nurse) and T did his arborist thing…it wasn’t what we came to New Zealand for, wasn’t the lifestyle change we planned.
I had C who was a teenager and was very pregnant with our soon to be born son and I suppose with hormones surging into maniacal nesting mode what I wanted was our ‘Good Life”, a place where our sons could get back to the basics of living…..so we decided to move…to the South Island…yep nothing like making life complicated for yourself.
We found our little piece of somewhere and moved in when our little man was three weeks old…and we’ve never looked back.
Our aim for our lives is to get back to using the skills our parents and grandparents used…I don’t mean roughing it or making life more difficult (why would we want to do that!!!?)… What I mean is looking at what we have and only adding to it if we really need to, taking care of what we already have, making things out of other things when the need arises rather than just going out and buying something to do the job, being creative with the resources we have already on hand.
It does bother me that we live on a planet with finite resources and we have a culture that runs on linear lines…the two just don’t go together in the long term…that is a sad but true fact. So while I am here I want to try and be careful with the resources around me as much as I’m able. Now I don’t get that right all the time and I’ve got a heck of a lot to learn but I accept that as an on-going thing.
Now before you start groaning and if you’re not already thinking “Oh grief another tree hugger”….I’m not into preaching about being kind to the planet…I have my opinions about how we treat the place we live on and the resources that are here but they are my opinions. To quote something someone said just recently (and I really liked it) ……
“I may not agree with you BUT I will defend your right to the end to hold your opinion and your right to say it. As long as you respect the fact I have a right to my opinion as well”.
Fortunately my wonderful T thinks the same way (makes life so much easier!) – so on that basis we are leading our version of “The Good Life”.
There will be photos in this blog that will show dead animals – well this is about our life…we rear our own animals, we butcher our own animals where we can. We rear out own meat – we are meat eaters………..I’m not going to apologise for that to anyone by the way and I don’t want a major discussion about the morality of eating meat…we eat meat. I think the point is that we know what life, the meat that is on our plate, has had. We raise our own beef, pork and lamb and when it is time for them to move to colder climates (aka the freezer) they never have the stress of being loaded onto a truck and being shipped off, their lives and deaths begin and end here.
I will try to put a warning (if I remember)..…. If I don’t though I’m not going to apologise about it..I’m not getting arsey about it but like I said it’s my blog and if you don’t want to run the risk of seeing anything without a warning then don’t read it.
My point is we truly know where our food comes from – meat does not magically appear from the supermarket on a polystyrene tray presented in a way that makes it as unidentifiable as an animal as possible.
I thought I would write this to keep account of our journey..the successes and failures. Here’s hoping there will be lots of success and the failures will serve a lessons that we won’t forget. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s all romantic and dreamy and if we mess up I’ll own up….
It’s not the ‘easier’ life, there is a lot of hard work involved and anyone who lives this way will vouch for that.
So far though we are enjoying life as it is so we’ll keep on that less travelled road.