life imitates art

Hello friends,

All has been travelling quite smoothly with us here at Adventures in Growing. It has been just 5 weeks since we talked with Rod and Tania about moving to the farm; there’s only 6 weeks left until Michelle finishes up her career as a Psychologist, and 8 weeks until we move to the farm. So much is happening every day in preparation for this change, its hard to know what to share with you… We are largely focused on the practical aspects of getting ready to leave Byron Bay and move ourselves into our new home at the farm. And we are downsizing significantly. Neither of us have accumulated too much stuff – but still there’s more than enough stuff that just can’t come with us. We will be living in a 17 foot caravan for an unknown period of time. We have managed to secure a 20 foot shipping container in which we plan to store the personal objects we are planning to hold onto. This includes: pantry & kitchen items; essential books; art supplies; personal & business paperwork; Michelle’s record collection, record player & stereo and possibly some shelves on which to store all these items. All our furniture and other belongings need to be sold or given away to friends.

We made a start on ‘clearing out the old’ at the Lismore Car Boot Market on Sunday. We took a car load of books, CD’s, records, sports equipment, knick-knacks, electrical goods, musical equipment and even some soft furnishings. We rose early on the first day of Daylight Savings in order to be at the market by 6am. We had a great day and we certainly sold some unwanted stuff. We had a pretty busy stall most of the day and increased our existing cash flow, which will help with the purchase of the shipping container. Even more importantly we met and chatted to some wonderful folk during the day, including a feisty 71 year old chap who went home with a handful of our CD’s including Goldfrapp, Def Leppard & Flight of the Conchords. Rachel was rapt that her Def Leppard ‘Best Of’ CD found a good home. Meeting this wonderful man, who shared our passion for music and adventure, was a touching reminder that you are never too old to try something new or to seek what you love.

At the Market

You might recall, that we have been waiting for the earth moving equipment to finish a new road on the farm before it comes and clears a site for us to park our van & shipping container at the farm. Well, there has been no progress on the new road or our site because the heavy digger experienced some mechanical difficulties and all work stopped for 2 weeks. We are happy to report, that weather prevailing, work has begun again and will possibly be completed in the next 2 weeks. however if it rains, then there might be some set-backs, and this will mean that we won’t have a cleared space for the caravan when it arrives on the 19th October (less than 2 weeks away). This won’t be a major drama as we can simply pop the van somewhere else for a while, so we just have to let it go and see what happens. Michelle finally managed to take some shots of the uncleared site this week so that you can see some ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots.

Proposed caravan site (to the right of the middle of his photo)

It’s difficult to make anything of it, as it is covered in weeds right now, but Rod assures us there will be plenty of room for us once the space has been cleared. There is a small creek at the bottom of this area (down to the right of the above photo) and a dam opposite our site (off to the right bottom corner in above photo). You can see a Flame tree just starting to bloom in the centre background of this shot.

Site from above

A strange coincidence is that, just before Rachel returned home from London, Michelle painted a picture in which she symbolically represented our relationship as two Flame trees blossoming beneath the iconic Mt Warning with a small stream passing in front of the 2 trees. The painting is not based on a real scene, it is an imaginary scene representing our love for each other and for this amazing part of the world.

Mt Warning & 2 Flame Trees - by Michelle

It was only last week that we both realised that this painting, completed well before we had even met Rod & Tania, reflects all the geographic elements of our new home.

Mt Warning in the distance with veggie patch in foreground

The primary landmark in this area is Mount Warning, the remnants of an ancient Volcano which erupted and formed the Caldera which is responsible for the geography of this region. The farm is located in the township of Tyalgum which calls itself ‘The Heart of the Caldera’ because it is situated roughly in the centre of this Caldera region. Mt Warning itself is clearly visible from the veggie patch where we will be working. A large Flame tree will grow right beside us in our new home and a stream shall pass below us flowing towards Mt Warning – just like in the painting!

All this reminds us of these words by the late, great Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc, Pixar and Next, who passed away yesterday after a struggle with cancer.

“Don’t settle, don’t ever settle…if you haven’t found what you love doing, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know it when you find it…”  Steve Jobs, 2005

We both admired this man a great deal. If you haven’t watched the speech he gave at Stanford in 2005, it is deeply inspiring and we have posted the link for you here:

Steve Jobs Speech

Good night from us xx


9 thoughts on “life imitates art

  1. Wow what a lovely painting Michelle and what a fantastic blog 🙂 Great to read of your adventures and your enthusiasm. I’ll be mugging for dry weather for you guys so it will all be done in time.

    • Thanks for dropping by Wendy…It could be any day now that the site is cleared, but its all dependent on Mother Nature – thankfully we have a little time up our sleeves and a whole lot of faith it will happen at the right time. See you at school next week!

  2. thank you so very much for your inspiring insights, courage and learnings along your way…and…guess what???!!!
    YEP – we decided for sure…and now firmly treading our path back to our little piece of paradise as well…YES!!!

    • Hey Wen and Aaron, that is such fantastic news that you’re heading back to your own piece of farming paradise – we’re both really stoked for you 😉 we look forward to following your journey (no doubt you’ll blog about it – well i hope you do). we’d love to see you before you leave us for NZ, so get in touch before you choof off OK. that’s so so so great, i can just see you guys doing the simple organic life really well – yeah!

  3. Nice to see everything taking shape. I read an interesting article recently about how people aquire so much stuff, they need to pay for storage just to stash it away somewhere – things they would never use in a hundred years. Nice to see you’re able to recognise the need to let go of so many “irrelevant” things. I really love that painting by the way! 🙂

    • Should see some real progress VERY soon Charles… Re: letting go of stuff – its quite challenging even when you are open to it…i think we have been so trained to equate stuff with happiness, stuff with success, etc, its a BIG psychological hurdle for all of us to let go of it and reduce down to the essentials…I can understand those people with sheds full of things, trying in vain to secure ‘something’ that cannot be secured…have been reading The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding, who says that Capitalism basically drives this psychological need, it is hard-wired into most people – but climate change & economic crisis will force people to let go, and he hopes this will be our Great Awakening as a race, when we recognise what is truly important… His blog is here for some interesting reading. He blends science, compassion, hope and activism. I highly recommend:

  4. So inspiring to read of your adventure together and the way that your lives and love is blossoming! Wishing you both all the best! Love Bronnie and Danny

    • Thanks so much Bronnie & Danny, we are really looking forward to having you up to the farm one day soon. This journey is so much better because of the people, like you, that we are sharing it with…Much love, Michelle & Rachel

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