I am sure you will all be glad to hear, we have finally moved. I honestly can’t believe how much work was involved in downsizing. I thought I would never stop cleaning and gardening and putting things in boxes.
It started with a simple idea. We would rent out our house in Perth and keep a flat instead. It turned out to be the hardest thing we have ever done. We still have boxes galore in our living room and boxes galore in the flat. There is just not enough room for everything. The flat is devoid of cupboards so the next time we are in Perth, we have to organise some. Until then, we will be surrounded by boxes.
We now officially live in Bridgetown. We have even changed our address on the electoral roll, which broke our hearts as we are in a safe National seat so our vote will be wasted.
We have been here a fortnight now. I have unpacked the boxes the contents of which we thought we could find a home for and Maus has started sorting through all the stuff in the shed that was brought down to Bridgetown to sort out later. Well it is now later.
I have made sourdough bread and scones and even a cake.
We have started cooking real food again. For the last week in Perth, we had either fish and chips or pizza for dinner except one night when a friend gave us a pile of chopped vegies and meat. All we had to do was stir fry it. Thanks, Di. The picture in the photo was the first meal I have made using my cookbooks for ages. It was nice but not post worthy.
I have also made some soap. This is the first batch this year. I cannot believe how everything has gone by the way side. I made a simple design as I didn’t want anything to go wrong. It worked perfectly so now I think I will make another lot. Before you know it, I will have soap galore again and I will be trying to work out where to sell it.
I have cleaned out the vegie patch. I did plant seeds in autumn but not many have germinated so there wasn’t much transplanting of seedlings required. We have snow peas and potatoes in and, until the seeds germinate, not much else.
The amazing thing is, we are still getting tomatoes. I have pulled out all but one of the Siberian tomatoes. It still has plenty of fruit on it so I left it. I am picking the tomatoes as soon as they begin to colour and letting them ripen inside. I must admit, they are not the best tomatoes – the one in the photo is a rare example of perfection. Most are pretty average looking.
‘And what,’ I hear you ask, ‘are those cherry tomatoes doing in the photo?’ You are right. I did say I wasn’t going to grow any cherry tomatoes last summer. I was true to my word but when we came down in autumn, after not being here most of the summer, there was one gallant cherry tomato bush and a pumpkin plant. I decided to let both grow. The cherry tomato plant is still producing tomatoes which I am ripening in the kitchen. I might even have tomatoes all year. That would be cool.
We have also picked another 185kilos of olives and this time we got some oil – 35 litres in fact. The guy also promised us 20 litres for the other 210 kilo of olives that we picked but which were in his presser when it stopped working so had to be discarded. We won’t end up with as much oil as we hoped but we will certainly have enough for the kitchen and for all my soap making.
And today we started pruning. We started on the grape vines. Next on the list are the roses.
So you could say we have settled into country life though we continue to be haunted by those boxes, the contents of which we have no room for.
Now for today’s recipe. It is from the Australian Women’s Weekly Mediterranean Cookbook – lentil soup with coriander and tomatoes. It is an old favourite of Maus’. If you replace the chicken stock cubes with vegetable stock cubes it would be vegan friendly.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 clove garlic, crushed
- ¾ cup red lentils
- 2 x 410gram cans tomatoes
- 1 litre water
- 2 small chicken stock cubes, crumbled
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- pinch ground cumin
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and garlic. Cook gently until the onions are soft and transparent.
- Stir in the lentils, undrained crushed tomatoes, water, stock cubes, parsley, coriander, turmeric, paprika and peppercorns.
- Bring to the boil, simmer for 1-2 hours or until lentils are tender.
- Served as is or blend until smooth.
- Sprinkle soup with cumin just before serving.
Please accept my sympaathy for the loss of your special sister i am going to have a gap in my life too she was the best friend anyone could have wished for most sincerely merle
I believe you had today with sandra how did that go i miss her a lot but dont get to see her much anymore cheers merle
Hi Merle. It went well. We all went to Juanita’s. San is quieter than her three sisters so she doesn’t get to say much but she participated in the conversation and enjoyed the food. Love g
Hi Glenda. New comments on an old post. I have missed your interesting posts in my feed and now know why – you’ve been caught up in every day life. I too have been pulled away from blogging because of family events and am only starting to read some posts again. Glad to see the move has finally been made. You haven’t lost your soap making skills either.
Well done my dears!
Q1: Are you sure this was the most difficult thing you’ve ever done? I seem to recall many years of endless episodes, twists and turns in that memorable saga “Building Bridgetown”.
Q2: May I suggest a new project: Online selling? Only after sorting all those boxes into Keeps, Giveaways, Good Sammys and Sells. Just a thought from a still-employed-and-ever-envious old friend! XX
Hi, Jane. I guess it is like childbirth, the pain fades after a while. I do wonder if it is worth selling some stuff on-line. A lot is too good to give to the op shop. Xxx
Phew you must be so relieved to have finally moved. Such a massive undertaking isn’t it? I dread the day we move from here, hopefully many years away. Love a lentil soup 🍜
Hi Sherry, I just kept thinking of old people who move after living in the one house for many, many years. It must break their hearts.
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Enjoy your new place. It’s always difficult to downsize but once you find a place for everything and eliminate the other things you will feel lighter in spirit. Your soap and recipes are divine.
Hiya Mary, of course, you are right. Once we have more cupboards we will tackle the boxes and decide what must go.
Enjoy your new home Glenda and Maus… I can only imagine what a task it was moving and rearranging all your stuff. So glad to see you are making your beautiful soap again and am sure it will be a big hit at markets nearby. Happy cooking and gardening 🙂
Thanks Moya, It did not take long to get back into the groove.
It sounds a mammouth task but at least now you’re cooking and soap making life will presumably fall into a natural rythm. I keep looking at all our stuff and wondering what we’ll do with some of it when we downsize. As farming families tend to move out and let the next generation move in, I’m tempted to do what my in-laws did and just leave a lot of stuff hidden in cupboards! Apparently they thought we might want it – hmmm.
The trouble is Anne, the younger generation do not want all our, and our parent’s, prized possessions. I guess it does not matter what happens to it when we are dead. It is only stuff.
We discarded tons of stuff when we left Melb and today our coffee machine went phutt. Where’s the stove top espresso pot? Gone. It’s taken almost 2 years for us to get sorted and settled. Life goes on, enjoy Bridgetown
Hi Sandra, that’s our worry, what to throw out and what may we need in a future life. Of course you can’t predict every contingency – you have to accept that you will throw out somethings you will regret.
Glad you are getting settled, Glenda. I’m sure it feels good to get back to real cooking – and soap making! Hope you enjoy the new home.
Hi Debi, it was the downsizing that was the hardest, what to throw out and what to keep.
Congrats on the move Glenda…We downsized and it is great…soup looks good and the soap good enough to eat 🙂 I love Perth and WA my daughter lives there 🙂 Enjoy your new home 🙂
Thanks Carol, All we have really done is move our residential address to our country place but it feels momumental.
It must feel so good to have the move behind you, Glenda. That soap – my first inclination would be to stuff it in my mouth! It looks wonderful and I can imagine it smells wonderful too. But the soup looks pretty good too – soup is such comforting stuff, isn’t it – it whispers “all will be well”.
Hi Jan, I just can’t believe downsizing could be so much work. During the time I often thought about elderly people who leave their family home for a small unit. It must break their heat.
Having been there similarly you have my deepest empathy. We stored all our excess in the shed. I wouldn’t have moved without that shed and 2 sets of big coolroom shelves in place. It took several rounds of sorting-culling before there was sufficient order… now I regret a quite a few things discarded in the process. Minimalism is great until you want-need that particular item you know you once had and last saw in a box being carried into an op shop…
I also recognise the joy of that first proper meal ♡
Take heart, when we moved our area was a safe National seat… but things have changed, not so safe now and I think we can tip it next election. The incumbent has certainly had to up his game at any rate!
Well done to you both, Bridgetown is nice area & locality, and I love it that I can picture you there ♡
Hi Ella, what to keep and what to discard? It is a big decision but we can discard stuff at leisure now. I just read your post. I am so glad you and the GO are happy with your move.
The ops shops will love your overflow. That’s a big move and a sensible one really. It’s hard work maintaining two properties.But I understand the importance of keeping a space in Perth too- a smaller space. Sometimes you need a little city input.
That is a very tasty soup Glenda, especially with the added herbs,
Hi Francesca, yes the local op shop and Maus are well acquainted. We also have a tip shop, where you can take bigger items. We have also sold a lot of furniture on Gumtree but still there is stuff that we worry we might need if we decide to move again.
Wow Glenda, that’s been a mammoth move for you! Glad to hear you are settling in… with time, all will be well. I’m most impressed with the soap you made. Showed it to my Peter, who is something of a soap fanatic and he said to pass on his compliments. “Great job,” he said. Best wishes for now.
Hi Liz, Thanks. I am glad Pete liked the soap. I made it with men in mind.
Happy settling in Glenda. I would battle to leave the boxes unpacked but then again it would be difficult if there aren’t any cupboards for the goodies yet.
Hope you will share pics of your new home and garden with us.
Have a glorious day.
🙂 Mandy xo
Thanks Mandy, they can stay there until we find a home for everything.