When I out of the blue mentioned to Sam that I wanted to go to Australia and see my Mum he blurted out ‘Oh are you going back to work out how to divorce me?’
…. you could say that we’ve been having some marriage problems!
Rather than loving the simple life we’re creating together it’s become a daily ‘just get through it today’ battle, little or no communication between us in our marriage.
It’s been affecting me everyday, I was even medicating (for depression caused by menopause) but I know part of what we are dealing with is contributing.
I went off the medication about a month ago without telling Sam and lashed back with ‘well I don’t want to have to medicate to be able to stay in my marriage’. It just got worse from there with hurtful things flung about, lots of swearing, crying and door slamming.
All this in front of our children.
F@# we’re idiots!
So here I am in Australia spending time with my mum, and NO not looking to divorce my husband (who I LOVE very much).
We’ll work this out, we always do, absence is certainly making my heart grow fonder, ahhh communication is the key in a marriage and I am one who keeps my feelings close to my chest. I find it excruciating to have to say ‘I’m Sorry, or even I love You’….Sam on the other hand says them both and often to me, he’s always the first to make the peace.
F%$k I’m an idiot!
He thinks I want to leave him, take the kids and go back to Australia…..
Well f#@k… he’s an idiot!
I love our life in Italy, I love our life together good and bad, I love YOU Sam, I’m not going anywhere!
Just thought I’d let you know…..
A Good Life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less,
smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how lucky you are!
Oh the Good Life
Having lived now in our beautiful Valley for three years I have started to take the Good Life for granted.
Most of our fruit and vegetables are either home grown in our ‘orto’ or locally grown. They have blemishes, are eaten ripe straight from the tree, bought from our local market at the village then placed in brown paper bags.
Food tastes real here.
Making the change from the rat race to the good life hasn’t always been easy but it has totally been the best thing we could have done for our health, our children and our wellbeing.
Our neighbors keep ducks, chickens, goats, cows and sheep, and we raise rabbits which we swap with them. Our little community is thriving, a ring of the bell and Anna is giving us a tray of strawberries from her orto, our friends offer to help us with planting the potatoes, herbs are picked fresh from the garden, it’s a chef’s delight.
This year our little ‘orto’ is packed with veggies, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, a large potato patch, we also have an orchard bringing apples and cherries, and neighbors willing to swap surplus with us.
Our potatoes and apples will be stored to last through winter, our friends are busy making jams and life is busy as always.
As well as picking from our veggie patch we also go foraging along paths that lead into the mountains. It has become a daily competition for us to see how many wild strawberries and raspberries we can gather, we eat them as we walk.
Of course that first taste of a wild raspberry is something I’ll never forget, such an intense burst of flavour.
In autumn blackberries, walnuts and chestnuts will be gathered, along with wild mushrooms.
Our valley is rich in natural goodness and I can’t imagine ever returning to a suburban life in Australia.
We are just in love with the good life here in Italy.
Apples picked straight from the tree with a crisp, juicy freshness that I’ve never know before, antique varieties with a soft pink hue under the skin that are so sweet I gasp as I bite into the flesh.
The Good Life
Are we living in paradise?
That’s what it feels like, are we living the Good Life here in our Valley at the foot of the Alps, YES I know we are.
Do you yearn to live the Good Life? Are you living it already?
We’d love to hear about it ……
and the gang x
Everytime I sit down to write a post it feels like I’ve been away too long, how will I catch up, what will I share, yet like an old friend here you are. Thank you for that, the responses to the little survey I sent out were both a kick up the rear end and a reaffirmation that this is where I need to be.
Sometimes life becomes a struggle even when creating a ‘Simple Life’….. it’s been a bit like that for us lately. We seem a bit fractured, drifting away in opposite directions, every word becomes a misunderstanding. Off on a tangent.
I write about creating a Simple Life and yet I’m basically feeling burnt out and a little bit lost.
I feel a need to eat well, drink lots of water, breathe deeply, sleep well and walk in the sunshine.
I am slowly embracing a new rhythm and beginning to recreate the outline of our Simple Life and it feels good.
I have so many projects and ideas in my head, I’ve been off on a tangent learing about ‘branding’ and ‘e – courses’ and driving myself mad trying to redesign the website, create two new websites, and oh yes enjoy life, play with the kids and get myself to Tai Chi once a week.
Although I have no idea how this will all work out or which project I’ll work on first (think it’s a Gemini thing lol) my priority right now is to reconnect with my husband, enjoy the sunshine and play with my kids.
Developing the Life Mapping Italy Project has helped me realise that the most important thing is our family. Making sure we’re ok is my first priority. Everything else is a bonus.
So it’s time to take stock, look at all we’ve accomplished and set some new goals for the year. Although we didn’t get to Malta we are planning a trip in June to Venice and beyond whilst Sams parents are on a cruise (they’ve been dreaming of doing this for over 20 years) we’ll pick them up after 8 days.
We also have five new lives here in the Borgata, both Misha and Mia have had kittens so now we have 1o cats in total. If you’d like to contribute to de-sexing them then you can do so here, we have three adult girls and two adult boys and five kittens that are around three weeks old. I’m hoping we can find homes for the kittens when they are weaned.
I’ll catch you up on all that has been happening here at Borgata Malpertus over the next few weeks, I hope everything is well with you and I’m looking forward to getting back in the groove, catch ya later, with love as always…..
and the gang x
Being so far away from family as Christmas approaches is always hard, this is our third since leaving Australia and I’m feeling the Christmas Blues.
I miss my mum, our traditions, family weddings, newborns, my girlfriends, and although mum and I Skype almost daily it’s just not the same. I’d love to get home for Christmas.
Another year is coming to an end, our tree is decorated, the village is lit up with sparkling lights, the air is frosty yet no sign of snow, and we have settled into the apartment for winter. The kids are counting down the sleeps, Luca still has that sweet belief in Santa. It’s them that makes the season magical for me. A reminder of my own trips to visit Santa with my brothers.
It’s been a while since I’ve written here at the blog, I think like many others I have been engulfed in the surreal events unfolding in the world. We seem to be spinning wildly out of control, everything I once thought I knew for sure has been turned topsy turvy with no one left to trust. Still I am as always an optimist, here in our beautiful valley the world seems far away.
Even my computer is out of sorts, awaiting a new mother board. I am using a borrowed computer, and working on so many projects at once that even I don’t know where I’m heading most days.
Ahhh the Simple Life, I feel it just within my grasp only to look up and find it gone again.
It’s become about so much more than growing our food, selling our belongings and moving to Italy, now it’s our future, our family, our chosen lifestyle, and one that means I won’t see my mum anytime soon.
So here I am celebrating my Christmas Blues with you all and in the morning I’ll be back to my cheery self, I know you won’t mind, I know you’ll understand, and I wish you all much joy, peace and love though the Christmas season. Ho Ho Ho
” Grow your Life from the Heart ”
Lessons from the Orto
Do you grow your own vegetables? Up until we started growing our own food I never actually realized the lessons from the orto would make a difference. That the food would taste was so superior to any I had ever eaten.
Having just now eaten a bright red tomato from our garden I can honestly say I’ve never tasted anything like it. We picked the first three of many tomatoes and bought them into the house as if they were the most precious jewels. Sliced with a sprinkle of salt and eaten just as they came from the vine……delicious.
Being a suburban Aussie girl I didn’t grow up with a farming background like Sam did, our first veggie garden was in our backyard at Strathpine in Queensland along with six chickens, we were an oddity in our neighborhood. I still remember how excited Carina was to reach in and gather her first egg, now we take fresh eggs for granted.
Spending time in our ‘orto’ has been a learning curve, I love the lessons I am learning. To help inspire you these are my five favorites:
Lessons from the Orto – Weeding is Relaxing
I never thought I’d say this but I love the late afternoon after the rabbits and chickens are fed and I get to do some weeding in the orto. It’s my quiet time, the kids are inside helping to get dinner ready, Sam is cooking and I am happily pulling weeds.
I always think of my brother Bradley who was methodical in the garden, starting at one point and not stopping until every weed was pulled up by the roots. He would laugh at my feeble attempts and redo the section I’d done. I love that his spirit feels close to me in the veggie garden when I’m weeding.
Lessons from the Orto – Growing Vegetables is Easy
Especially when Sam is doing the digging, planting, watering, picking and cooking!! But really watching him in the garden is a joy for me, it’s his relax zone, the place where he regroups, and a real source of pride when he gathers the goodness he has grown and brings it to the table for his family to enjoy.
Everyone here grows food, even in the smallest pot, the tiniest plot of land and they make it look easy and it actually is. If you get the chance give it a try or join a community garden.
Lessons from the Orto – I’m no longer scared of picking up snails
Our very first year here in the Borgata I have to tell you I was scared to pick up snails. Just the thought had me saying Ewwwww. Now with our raised beds I don’t find many but when I do I can pick them up and I toss them down to the path below and figure it will take them a while to climb back up. I can’t bring myself to kill them, but I send them on a holiday. Now slugs are a whole different thing, no way will I pick one of those up!
Lessons from the Orto – Being Lost in the Moment.
Living a Simple Life is not always easy, it feels like we have been on the go for years without pausing. Being in the garden gives me a chance to think about nothing else. My normal routine is to feed the rabbits and chickens around five o’clock, then go to the ‘orto’ and weed for around an hour. Sam comes out and waters and usually we end up with Luca helping out and our dog Fiume and our boy cat Bello supervising.
It’s one of my favorite times of the day, a chance to see what has grown, what is ready to be picked, the time when everyone is out and about, a time where I can just forget the worries of the day and enjoy the moment with my family.
Lessons from the Orto – Vegetables come in all shapes and sizes
Well who knew that vegetables came in odd shapes, not perfectly clean, ours come with blemishes and dirt clinging to the roots. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an onion with roots. That cucumbers have tiny little prickles on the skin, that potatoes don’t need a lot of water, that one bean plant can give you kilo’s of fresh green beans.
Oh and that we’d get totally sick of zucchini, that we’d grow massive ones that we couldn’t even give away as everyone else around here grows them as well. That eggplants have the most delicate skins and cook in minutes, that our glorious tomatoes have almost no seeds and are bright red all the way through, they taste amazing by the way. That picking fresh vegetables we’ve grown ourselves could give us such a sense of pride.
Lessons from the Orto – to be in the moment, to be fearless, to create life as easy, to remove what isn’t needed, to accept life just as it is and just as it is not.
Go out and grow something!
and the gang x
When did I learn to eat my feelings, to swallow them whole before they flew from my mouth or flashed from my eyes.
We have had a tiny visitor, she is two and has no trouble expressing exactly how she feels from moment to moment.
I on the other hand have long since learned it’s easier to go with the flow, but as I am moving into my second fifty years (yep I’m going to make it past 100) I am starting to think about what I really want from life.
Currently what I want and what I am getting are way out of sync…….I have been in a funk, a blue funk.
Funnily enough I just visited a favorite blog Zen Habits and Leo happened to be talking straight to me!
Does that ever happen to you?
Having been ill, menopausal, stressed, and just last week falling like a sack of potatoes and cracking a rib, I know I need a bit of time out. Time to renew my love with my husband (whom I’ve been really really cranky with), time to sleep, to walk, to pick the wildflowers without feeling guilty that should be doing something else ‘more productive’, time to find me again.
Time to reconnect with this Simple Life that we love.
Sam has been unwell, he has gone through a number of hospital tests for allergies, guess what he’s allergic to cats (up till today we had eight, now we have six), stone fruit (we have an orchard), dust (well just don’t even go there) so he is doomed lol. He’s been told to loose weight, and I need to join him, so it’s a change of diet to come.
Carina is a teenage girl with all the drama that goes with the age. Luca is just Luca.
I am slowly going around the bend and beating myself up constantly for not being this incredible switched on blogging superwoman, for not having a perfectly clean house, or a ‘perfect’ Mum, wife, daughter, sister, friend.
So according to Leo “It’s OK to be in Funk Town now and then. We all do it, so you’re not alone at all. It’s human to go through ups and downs, to not always be on a high. We sometimes doubt ourselves, sometimes get really tired, sometimes suffer. Because of your experience in Funk Town, you’ll be stronger and wiser and ready to take on the next challenge with renewed gratitude.”
So I may be posting daily, or weekly, or even miss a week (I’ll try not to do that anymore), but I will be posting. I can’t exactly tell you where it will lead, I have no certainty from moment to moment anymore, but I am ever the optimist so I know it will all turn out okay in the end.
I am thinking of doing a Year of Leo…….because if I don’t do something soon I’m going to disappear. This is my first post in this series, “My Year of Leo”…….I’ll still be posting about Italy, our simple life and all that goes with living in a medieval renovation, but sharing the ups and downs on a personal level as well.
Hope to chat with you here, to connect on a deeper level and to share what we really deal with, to be honest with each other……..can we do that?