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Delight and Things

a little peek at what delights me

Category Archives: life

I have to apologize for my absence.

There’s no excuse for it, really, but I’ve been a bit preoccupied with other things. I’ve begun a new job at a grocery store in a town a half hour from here, which has been keeping me busy. And then I’ve also been getting all the paperwork sorted out to apply for permanent residency here in Australia so I can continue to live here with my partner. We both know that with his family business there is no option for him to come back to Canada to live with me, but I couldn’t imagine going back home without him, so the next logical option was to apply for residency. All very exciting, yes, but also very hard. Not hard as in requiring a doctorate to complete, but hard as in complex, organizationally difficult due to our location (the middle of nowhere), boring (that’s right, I said it, paperwork is boring), homesickness-inducing, and stressful. And this is all prior to even sending in the paperwork – then it’s up to 12 months of waiting to find out whether or not I’ve been approved!

And to top it all off I’ve used up my supply of real Canadian maple syrup, which was a comforting friend when combined with pancakes on a paperwork morning.

I guess the worst part of it all is that I know if I’m granted permanent residency here it means I will officially be living life on the opposite side of the world as my family, which breaks my heart a little. But I think it’s worth a shot in being happy. I guess it’s just time to apply for a credit card that’s linked to Star Alliance airlines so I can at least be getting some flight points.

So that’s what’s been taking up most of my brain space lately, and I’ll admit I find it difficult to post on the lighter side of life when all life seems to be is a big solid wall of stress. But we’re almost at the end of the paperwork tunnel, where I can send it away and let someone in an office think about it for a while instead, and I’m starting to feel calmer again. So perhaps it’s time to pick up my head and refocus. Back to the simple and fun things in life.

So, here’s an update on the country life.

It’s almost winter here on the Eyre Peninsula and that means the boys are back out on the tractors, seeding. With the business’ acquisition of a new farm last month this means looooots of work for them. The good part about Jamie and his family is that they simply love farming and are excited to get some grain in the ground. But I know that the initial excitement of seeding will wear off, so I’ll continue to bring coffees and dinners out to Jamie on the tractor and hope it makes his hours more bearable.

The nicest part of it being almost winter here is that it means rain, and that means green. Grass is shooting up quickly on the property and even the barley and wheat is starting to shoot through the earth. My evening runs have been beautiful, with the almost-setting sunlight making all that green seem extra bright. Everything in my garden is bouncing back after the hot dry summer and I’ve planted new winter veggies.

Green grass against dark brown freshly sown paddocks, flanked by the Darke Range.

It also means lambs. It’s always nice to go for a drive or a run and to watch all the tiny little lambs out in the paddock. You can’t help but think they’re cute. Although this year I feel like I haven’t had a lot to do with them, it’s actually a good thing, it means there’s been no orphans. (So far… let’s hope it stays that way!)

The winter weather means the house is cold, and we have yet to fit chopping wood into our busy schedule, but for now we know the pub has a fire going every night so we can always pop in for a quick warm up. Everyone else in the district has this in the back of their heads, as well, which usually means the pub is a busy and social place to be, which is a welcome change after the emptiness of summer!

And – an added bonus of me working in a grocery store? Fresh food, all the time. There’s never a night now where I come home wondering what we’re going to have for dinner. I’ll start sharing recipes soon. Let the cooking continue!



I took this photo a while back when I “helped” put the sheep in the yards. (And by “helped”, I mean I was mostly just taking photos. Good thing we have a working dog who can’t get enough of pushing up sheep.)

Although it’s not the greatest, sharpest, most beautifully composed photo, I couldn’t resist sharing it because I just love how the light illuminates the clouds of dust.


Just another evening on the farm – trust me to turn a sunset chore into a photo shoot instead…

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I didn’t want to believe it. But there’s no denying this:


Curious, I checked out the info on the summer photo, thinking I took it ages ago. Not so. It was only 20 days ago.

20 days. That’s the difference 20 days makes. Imagine it in another 20.

All of my friends and family back in Canada are currently getting excited at green shoots poking through melting snow. That fact coupled with my ivy photo gives me the irrational urge to throw all of my plans out the window, jump on a plane, and fly over to the Northern hemisphere to join them in their enthusiasm for all things spring.

Don’t get me wrong – I love autumn. It’s especially nice here, when we’re getting the odd spot of rain to help things green up a bit, and the temperatures have cooled down from the 40s so I can get out and enjoy running again. The dark mornings mean my boyfriend sleeps in till 7 (believe me, that’s a sleep in in our neck of the woods) but it’s still light long enough in the afternoon to get out and enjoy the evening. It’s the time when the boys are getting tractors and land ready for seeding, and ewes are getting fat in preparation for lambing. But it’s also the harbinger of winter, which means dark mornings and dark evenings, cold toes and noses, and frosts doing their best to damage my winter veggies. Which makes me anxious.

I know I should just embrace winter. Find some things I love about it. And I will try – but for a little while longer I’ll grasp on to the last remnants of summer and attempt to just enjoy the nice things that autumn has to offer. Starting with a pretty photo of the ivy displaying it’s new outfit.

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Half of the district, myself included, headed to Port Lincoln on Sunday for the annual Kimba Cup horse race. Always a popular day out for people on the Eyre Peninsula, this year marked the 100th year – so celebrations were in order.

Now, not everyone is into gambling at the races. I’m not much of a gambler myself – much to my man’s chagrin, because I’ll often pick a winner but never back it. But I still love going to the races. It’s usually just a beautiful day out with good friends, a few drinks, and fantastic people watching. The best part? Race day fashion. Usually there are gorgeous dresses, hats, and fascinators to admire and covet. Never have I experienced an event where people put so much time, effort and thought into how they appear. (This may be due to my upbringing in an adventure sports town, where the most you thought about your clothing was how well it was going to move and whether or not it was going to protect you from the rain or snow).

So in a stroke of forward-thinking genius, I recently purchased some feathers and buttons and ribbon and things to create the perfect fascinator to match my dress. See, the last few times I’ve been headwear-less due to poor planning the lack of hat shops on the farm.


Armed with my craft glue, I got to work. I used felt for the base of the fascinator, cut into a teardrop shape, and glued two pieces together and let dry on a upside down bowl to get a bit of a curve in it. Then I sewed/glued an alligator clip on. Then I got to work with the feathers – layering them based on size and colour, and sewing each one down individually. (I can’t say the back of the headpiece is very tidy!)

Once all my feathers were on, I painted a piece of lace that I had black (as my dress had a bit of black in it) and once dry, glued that onto the bottom, folding it over to cover up the fluffy bits and feather ends. Then I stuck the last of my cream feathers through the pearly buttons I had, and sewed those on, too. Voila – a fabulous fascinator that perfectly matches my dress!


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Not the classic I was hoping for…

I just read the most frustrating book. I’d only picked it up because it was passed on to me in a box of books a friend was getting rid of, and it was one of those books that looks like it’ll be a quick, easy read that would be perfect for ‘shutting off’ before going to bed. But at page 99 I still wasn’t sure what the plot line was, and the two main characters annoyed me. I kept going because I’m not one to put a book down, and I was sure that something would happen to justify the time I’d already invested in it.

No such luck. When I finally finished it, at page 247, I got grumpy. I actually asked my sleeping boyfriend, “Did I just waste the last week of my life on that?!” then chucked the book out the bedroom door. (The sleeping boyfriend woke up, confused.) The murderer was exactly who I’d expected it to be, the sexual tension between the two (maddening) main characters never went any further than a handshake, and the most developed character was a cat.

So I’ve moved on. And I’ve stopped grasping at random authors and stuck to the tried and true – the classics section. I mean, they’ve been keeping people entertained for years, so there’s a good chance I won’t finish them feeling ripped off. I chose One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest because I’ve never really been the Jane Austen type (no offence to all those people who are) and I wasn’t quite looking to commit to Tolstoy. And what can I say, I love a good book about psychiatric patients.

I’ve hardly even started, but I just wanted to say, I’ve gotten more character development in the first 10 pages than I did in the entire other book. Thank goodness for the classics.

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For some reason I’ve been on a bit of a woodland creatures kick lately – I can’t seem to get the visions of raccoons and deer and foxes out of my head.

Here are a few of the lovely shy forest creature items I’ve found to satiate my appetite.

Shy Forest Finds

1. Animal wallets by sTiCkAlot. ♥  2. Painted antler from Etsy shop Madebycassandrasmith.  ♥  3. Elk Necklace at The Oxford (ships to Aus!)  ♥  4. Mugtail Animal Mugs at Connect.  ♥  5. A lovely watercolour painting of cotton on the branch at Etsy by AnneliesClarke.  ♥  6. Badger pillow by Fluffed Animals at Etsy.  ♥  7. Fox flats by Tory Burch.  ♥  8. Fox print dress at Asos.  ♥

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I’m one of those people who will follow roadsigns that may be going totally out of my way providing there’s the promise of fresh fruit and veg at the end. “Farmers Market, 15 km in the opposite direction” – sure. “Mango Man, 3 km up an incredibly steep footpath, this way” – I could probably use the exercise. “Community Garden, around the corner” – I’ll go for a look, just to see what other people are growing.

You can imagine my delight when I came across Colton Bakery on the drive back from a fishing trip on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula over New Years. Well, to be fair, I didn’t just ‘come across it’. Most people who’ve lived on the EP for any length of time know about it, and I’ve driven past it once before when it wasn’t open. But this time, the timing was perfect – the open sign was out and I had spare change in my wallet. They had beautiful loaves and rolls in paper bags on shelves, and a small tin for money. “Everything is $4”. I left with a multigrain loaf and a bag of sticky rolls.

Colton Bakery, SA

I love the handwritten welcome sign, especially the comment “I hope the care and feeling put into the bread is reflected in the finished product” – that’s what I love about small roadside stands like this; they’re full of heart. There’s no harsh glare from fluorescent lighting, no sterile smell of plastics and cleaning products, and there’s no need to wait in a line for ten minutes to finally get served by a bored teenager who’d rather be checking Facebook. There’s just someone who likes making bread, so they make enough to cater to passers-by.

Colton Welcome

I’ll never be an amazing enough baker to have a roadside bakery. But it is one of my dreams to eventually have a little honesty box for veggies down at the bottom of my driveway. There’s one in Canada on the road to my parent’s cabin in the woods, and there’s something just so wholesome about it. I love the idea that someone’s surplus homegrown veggies could be someone else’s garden fresh dinner. I love the idea of having faith that people will leave a couple of dollars for said veggies. I love the idea of a handpainted sign and a little tin box with a hole in it for coins.

Every time I have to drive to town and back (an hour round trip) before 5:30pm in order to buy some not-so-fresh produce from the grocery store, my resolve grows stronger to become an expert veggie patcher (it’s totally legitimate to use that as a verb, right?) so I can one day help other out-of-towners like me who want a couple of fresh veggies but don’t have the hour it takes to get them. Maybe it won’t happen this year, but I’ll start designing my handpainted sign just in case.

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