An unexpected break

It’s been a while and after blogging 4-5 times a week most weeks for the last three months (are fimpressed by my commitment?  I am!) I found myself at my parents place for a couple of days….. WITH NO TECHNOLOGY!  So no blogging, no reading blogs, no facebook (though I did have a quick check of that and my email on my parents insanely slow broadband… boy do they need the NBN), no texting or surfing.  It was kind of good.  I had also forgotten my purse, so it turned out to be a very cheap couple of days too.

It was nice to go ‘home’ for a mini break – funny how I still think of it as home even though I haven’t lived there for 15 years.  I wonder if that will ever change?  The girls discovered the sheer pleasure there is in a game of ‘What’s the Time Mr Wolf’, the delight of playing with my (and my sister’s) old My Little Ponies, the challenge of a good game of memory and a couple of puzzles (it was a bit wet there this morning so inside games were on the agenda).

Mum and I had a good wander around her garden which is looking better than ever thanks to some great Spring rain, intermingled with sunshine and warm days.  Her garden has been challenging given a good 13 years of severe drought and insanely hard ground during those years.  The soil isn’t great and it is BIG.  There’s still a few areas she’s struggling to find the right plants for, especially those with a bit of height, ground covers have done magnificently.  She’s used a mix of natives and non-native and is planting thickly so that weeds are crowded out making it more manageable.  Lawn has been almost impossible to maintain given the years of no rain and some huge trees around the place.  Amazingly they’ve had 21 trees removed from a fairly ordinary-sized town block.   In our wanders I got some cuttings to put into my new front garden, including some jasmine, violets, lavender and a succulent I don’t know the name of.

We spent the evenings and rainy periods inside looking through Mum’s old gardening books, including a couple given to her by aunt.  Inside the back cover is a written plan for her garden from 1942!  What a treasure.  I was madly taking notes and jotting down plants, soil and position requirements and ideas for my front garden (mostly), which I am hoping to make a cottage style, interspersed with herbs or other edibles.  I was originally going to make it quite formal with brick paths and geometric garden beds but I’ve changed my mind.  Now I think I’ll plant the whole thing out with just a path from the gate to the veranda.  I want to get plenty of variety, colour and flowers (and foliage) I can pick and bring inside….. well that is until I change my mind again and do something completely different.

I know this post would have been much better with photographs….. but I had NO TECHNOLOGY!  Next time I’m ‘home’ I’ll take some and share them with you and as I get stuck into the front yard I’ll share that as well.

After this techno-fast I’m back embracing my phone, tablet, camera and laptop.  I feel a very late night coming on as I catch up on things.  Have you ever had a break from the techno world, on purpose or otherwise?  How did you find it?

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7 Responses to An unexpected break

  1. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, I often think that the world is moving at such a pace, that it makes me feel at times that I am being left behind, and it doesn’t help that I am not exactly a huge fan of technology, maybe that is an age thing, or a hankering after the “good old days” when life appeared simpler. However, I do panic when there is no phone of any sort, and I do love to be able to communicate in the way I am presently doing with you. Lovely to have a few days with your parents, and your girls to have great fun times with their grandparents – funny how those old games still seem to rate well, with lots of giggles and good times for both age groups. “What’s the time Mr. Wolf” is an absolute favourite with a certain little granddaughter, a game Grandma taught her, which is always accompanied with lots of running and shrieking at the top of our voices – such wonderful fun, perhaps the older cousins will teach the new addition some wonderful things!!! Your parents appear to have done really well to have kept any sort of garden alive after such a long drought period – I had to rethink a couple of areas during the same period, where through natural attrition and in some cases unsuitable plants for the conditions, I replanted some areas, we also removed an above ground pool due to being unable to top up the water to be able to clean it properly, so the pool and deck had to go and a garden replaced them. A garden is definitely always a work in progress, a quick walk around other people’s gardens can start you off thinking differently, planting differently and with a fresh outlook for you own garden. Good luck with all your new ideas Barbara, I would only say that having had violets in my own garden, both the normal and native kind, they do have a tendency to take over – that said I urge you to try things for yourself and see what works for you.

    • Barbara Good says:

      My Mum’s the same on technology Jenny, but I love it. It did take me a while to get into it initially, but when I was first home with the Miss Four as a baby I felt much more connected thanks to technology. There weren’t many other at home mums (or any really) near me then, so I would have felt quite isolated without technology. Thankfully I also made some new friends with similar aged kids (some through the internet would you believe) and had real life contact too.

      Thanks for the tip about the violets, I’ll watch them closely and consider where I plant them (maybe down the side of the house where something growing rampantly would be okay).

  2. Healthy! I’ve found a break healthy. 🙂 As a technoaddict who’s ditched facebook (if I hadn’t I would have achieved a big fat ZIP around here) I know I need the break. Friends of mine have what they call ‘feral fortnight’ where they ditch all modern technology (yep, including electricity) for the fortnight, using candles to light the evenings, cooking on their wood stove and more. They allow some allowances, 1 hour a day for email and research and power for their powertools for building their house but little else. It must be a great refreshing change. 🙂
    I’m a bit obsessive about checking for keys and purse and phone leaving the house so I’ve only ever been purseless once but yes, it does tend to put a dampener on spending hey. 😉

    • Barbara Good says:

      Feral Fortnight, argh I don’t think I would cope. I do seem to have become quite attached to my devices, though I do still find time for lots of other things, including important things like feeding the children. Having said that I did enjoy not having technology on hand for a few days and the money thing didn’t bother me at all. I could have borrowed some, but in the end I didn’t need to anyway (except for some emergency money Mum insisted on giving me for the trip home… it was used to replenish the snack box half way home, the girls had eaten everything before we were out of the town!)

      • Yeah, not sure how I’d go for feral fortnight either but I did light the kero lantern (yeah I know, fossil fuels and evil smoke) the other night which appealed greatly to all including my husband. The subdued lighting was lovely to spend the evening in but I have no idea how people oped with things like sewing or knitting or reading in the low light.
        My kids are like that. Tell them they have snacks to last until we get home and they eat them in minutes and whinge for more.
        I think enforced abstinence from technology is the easiest. It always reminds us how wonderful it is when we aren’t connected 24/7 but as soon as we are back in the connected world we pull out our devices like true addicts. 😉
        I recently deleted the wordpress app from my phone. No more receiving blog comments immediately. I have to heck my email or the wordpress site and the distance has been wonderful! 😀

  3. Jan says:

    I recently spent a week away from home visiting my son in Victoria, he doesn’t have any internet at his place. It was hard the first two days but it is amazing how quickly we got used to not being connected to the world.

    • Barbara Good says:

      You’re right, not having the net is something you just adapt to isn’t it. You’re son must be in the minority these days not have any net connection. Is that his choice or because there’s no service where he is?

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