The Tao of Chaos

Hello again.

I have felt a calling back to update on what has been happening. All in all there is too much to tell really. So here is the abridged version.

We have moved. After seventeen and a half months we pretty much dumped ourselves into Tillellan over a weekend in mid January and started a rather chaotic transition into the newly renovated house. After a month now it is starting to look and feel like a home.

The backyard was resembling a war zone. So I am at a loss to describe how it appears presently – much the same, but worse. Just a complete mish mash of timber, late summer dried out garden, animal hutches and sand. Dirty, filthy, grey sand that stains the feet and hands and hibernates deep into the nose and ears. If it could ever still resemble something of a war zone then the pumpkins could be likened to landmines dotting the parched landscape.

We had losses in the move. The quail males were calling relentlessly throughout the night and being much closer to our bedroom than they were previously after about a week the whole lot were dispatched and put in the freezer. It was really messing with my head and sleep. It was not an enviable task, but it was at least part of the reason we got them. We will start again when things settle down and we can look after them properly. I also put a swift end to our three Barneveld roosters and also our last Sussex hen who was not laying and was showing a bit of a limp and slowing down. I did not break this news to the family until after the job was done.

We also lost Ben, our buck rabbit. He was looking old and his hair had started to change. I found him departed one afternoon. There was also much restlessness with the rabbits and guinea pigs and some escapes resulting in deaths. We are more or less surround by dogs and cats and as quick as the young rabbits were, on their second escape they did not return and were found further up the slope. Luna, Blackberry and one of Blackberries offspring are still with us – and safe.

Our guinea pigs also went missing. Some remains found, but otherwise just gone. Our two remaining koi also did not make the journey over, or at least, arrived but died shortly after. None of this really put me in a good space, plus we were losing plants and saplings along the way in the mid-summer heat.

It is actually raining at the moment and seems to be a reasonable shower. The last real rain was a week prior to Christmas. I’m hopeful this shower will top up the tanks a little as we have nearly come to the end of our collected rainwater.

I have often times felt very alone on this journey of transition to the new place and it is not over quite yet. I have been patching and painting the previous house and clearing out all of Pa Prof’s tools and assorted items that we had stored under the house. The garage here now is full of stuff. But we are getting down to the stuff we are likely to keep. And in my frequent moments of DIY I have been so grateful to find the tools and equipment I need.

There have been trips to the Tip Shop, Auction and Scrap Metal yard. There has been further pick-ups from the house as smaller items and pieces of furniture have been sold off. Still it seems the place is bursting at the seems, but there is a real tangible sense that this too will clear and eventually we will have some very much appreciated space.

Mrs PP asked me after dinner one night recently what I had learnt from the whole experience but I did not wish to talk about it. It has taken a lot out of me and I quite frankly feel I have wasted a lot of time just moving stuff around. The one thing that has kept me going is that the location of our new home, the house itself and the garden area are so incredibly remarkable that I have somehow managed to convince myself that the benefits will outweigh the costs. The costs however, have been many, and were we to have simply moved into another home, in another suburb, with another little patch of dirt to garden I couldn’t have talked myself into it. It has been very lonely for me, with moments of pure intolerance and frustration and anger that I am hoping a couple of weeks of meditation, beach swims and sauna will finally permit to lay to rest.

In the meantime I have returned to my practice of Chi Kung and have found it an uplifting way to start the day.

I will return to write more details of how the house is operating now that we are in it and some of the insights that have occurred.

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Tao: (in Chinese philosophy) the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behaviour, that is in harmony with the natural order.

More here.

Summer Sunflowers

petitparadis sunflower

The new garden is struggling at the moment. Bouts of hot weather and wind interspersed with showers of miniscule rain. In between other duties I have chopped and dropped some of the fat hen and other ‘weeds’ to mulch around the edibles that are fruiting.

The sunflowers are opening and in the morning sun are magnets to bees and brilliant in their colour. A simple joy. An inspiration to grow a whole heap of them next summer!

Time Out

petitparadisporongorups

We drove out to our friends farm today. We were hoping to pick up an A-Frame chicken coop but we never did.

It was way too big and wide for the trailer and was in disrepair. Unfortunately, the time needed to patch it up could be best used to build a new one. I’ve had to be really careful about how I use my time and, although we could really do with an extra coop for when we move the chooks, this project wasn’t going to cut the mustard.

It was however a good opportunity to stop and get off the merry-go round of madness for a brief moment and take a cuppa with friends while looking out over the farm. Besides, we managed to fill the trailer with boxes stored at my parents house on the way home, and shift them over to Tillellan.

The view above is of the Porongorup Range from near our friends farm.

No long post here. Just a happy little memory from our day when the Universe conspired to make good on mental health.

 

The Looming Clouds of Overwhelm

What a time. There is so much going on that The Looming Clouds of Overwhelm are deepening and darkening. Suffice to say that, being this close to Christmas, we will not be moving house until the New Year. And then some.

overwhelm    əʊvəˈwɛlm/  verb

1. bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something, especially water.
2. have a strong emotional effect on.

 

Despite The Machete of Prioritisation cutting through our projects and hobbies some six years ago now (post  early parent-hood), it has further slashed at various commitments and projects over the last few years. Having the Two Little Fellas and Gran is adequate in and of itself to keep yours truly occupied. Some years ago however, I made the decision that even if I passed up some of my hobbies* (just to keep my head above water on a daily basis) that I would at least do ONE piece of art each year for Christmas and to mark  the closing of the year. I decided also that the artwork would be a visual chronicle of the Two Little Fellas growing up over the years.

This year is the eighth work of art I have done and I have to say that the last three pieces have been an absolute struggle to do. There are simply too many other priorities that pile up in the last half of the year. I usually have the concept in my head by mid-year, if not twelve months in advance, but to capture our fast growing young boys at a particular point in time, I really only start to crank things up around October/November.

Not this year.

There has been too much going on with the renovation, school, community, work and preparing to move – whilst stripping away the backlog of material items that surround us. Too frequently now, my days at home turn up and I’m too tired to fully apply myself to anything properly. Not good.

Music!

Music, not art, has always managed to pull me through the tough times. Especially playing guitar and creating my own music, but there has been no time or space for this, so I’ve turned to listening to music – and I’ve hit it like a drug-starved addict recently**. I’ve been listening to a wide range of music that has passed me by the last couple of  years. Actually, as it turns out, according to the publishing dates of some of the music, its been decades. Who would have thought?

So, as The Looming Clouds of Overwhelm gather to hang like dust-covered chandeliers demanding attention and a good dusting off, I have music pouring into the air as I set about ticking things off my Busy List.

Oh, and the artwork? It’s nearly done ( . . . like the house ). So in anticipation of our dear pet Luna the Grey having her next lot of kits within the next week I have a snippet of this years artwork for the sharing. Voici – 

luna petitparadis

The complete piece itself is a celebration of our house here and the many wonderful years and memories it has given us. In the New Year we will depart for Tillellan so it seemed fitting to feature our petit paradise house as a prominent part of the artwork. I will post a full image when it is completed. Each year is a little different with the artwork style. I have used collage with this years artwork.

  • Actually, writing is another hobby which I have clung to by maintaining this blog,  as a matter of therapy really. . . and thankfully, a way that I can capture what is occurring – because sometimes it doesn’t happen verbally! The best way for me to detail my thoughts and experiences is with writing.

    ** Another ‘vice’ to add to the list that I didn’t realise I had. Dark Chocolate, Writing,    Listening to Music. One day I hope to add Sleep to the list. Who would have thought?!

Seasonal Observations for Nov:2017

petitparadis november trio

1 Nov – grape vine is starting to get nibbled at by tiny Vine Moth caterpillars.

4 Nov – Watercress around town in the streams continues to flower. By the end of the month the council had also slashed or mowed some of it down.

6th Nov – Native Christmas Trees begin to flower (pic above) and Albany Blue Bush is flowering.

14th – Citrus Swallowtail Butterflies are sighted more frequently.

17th Nov – further Sacred Kingfisher calls heard in various location around the town. This is not something I have noticed much in previous years.

23rd Nov – Male Musk Duck in courting/display on Lake Seppings.

27th Nov – Vine Moth caterpillars are large and conspicuous on the vines.

28th Nov – Warm breezes with scattered showers. Overcast days. Light by 4am.

30th Nov – about 40 adolescent Ravens were congregated at sundown near the mown down patch of watercress this evening. I am taking this to mean they are grouping together before moving out and finding their own territories. It is not the first time I have noticed this. Very close to the local tip where ‘food’ is plentiful and competition is less.

And so now, with the end of November we move from the Nyoongar season of Kamabarang into the hot, dry season of Birak. The Season of The Young or The First Summer.