Friday 22 December 2017


It's been a while since I've written here. I guess I don't have too much more to say. I am well settled into my sober life and well settled into my lovely new home. Getting prepared for our first Christmas here and looking forward to a quiet and simple one without too much hype. I want to make Christmas far more about the connection and togetherness of family than about contributing to the endless unnessessary consumerism and waste that will mainly end up as landfill all over the world, contributing to the rapid destruction of our planet. My sister put on a lovely pre Christmas lunch for our other sister and one brother and me the other day, and it was so nice to spend that time together and eat special food and talk and laugh and share what's going on in our worlds. I loved that it wasn't about gifts. It is good that we have mostly let that part of it go. I'm looking forward to spending a relaxing Christmas day with my children and their partners. I haven't quite let the gift part of it go in their case, they'd probably shoot me!

I've been busy over here the last few months in the gardens, with help of course, creating a San Pedro cacti garden by transplanting many large ones from a little rental house I have in the city. They are in a big 33 metre planter at the base of the retaining wall, and I've planted a variety of interesting succulents at their base. The cacti seem to be thriving and have got new bits already sprouting forth all over the place and nearly all of them are budding up ready to flower, and it looks like those flowers will be blooming any day. I've been bordering other gardens with rocks, some from my garden in the city and some from the Duvauchelles quarry, and had a watering system installed which is a godsend. I have to be careful how much water I use as it is a restricted daily amount. I just realised how I sound like a boring old lady talking about her garden. Perhaps I am. I have never created one from scratch before. It was at first absolutely daunting and I completely doubted my ability to achieve it. But I am liking what I've created and I hope it will fulfil my vision of what it might look like in a few years. Simplicity is the key for me, gentle grasses billowing in the breeze, some flaxes, casual, easy, hopefully independent one day!

How I feel is mostly quite at peace. It's lovely. Being here has changed how I approach my life. It has made me appreciate my time more and use it more wisely. It has helped me to live in the moment more. If it is a beautiful still day outside, it is suddenly not urgent to be at my desk, that can wait, while I take a glass of cold water out onto the deck and sit a while appreciating the beauty of the nature around me, being truly grateful for what I have here, and for the courage I found to embark upon it, and for my son whom I couldn't have done it without, and for my daughter who lights me up with her visits. 

My business has got a new momentum of it's own too. It is going well. My dear friend Dave has left, he is nearly 76. I panicked, of course, and sold about five caravans as a knee jerk reaction and a fear that I could not do this without him. All that did was give me a pocket full of money with which to start my next project, without taking anything much away from my income as they are never all rented at once. By a chance conversation with Gloria, I have now got a fabulous new maintenance man, Nick, who is very experienced, honest, enthusiastic and capable, and loves his new job. So all is well there. However, I am very saddened to have news from Dave two days ago that he has had a heart attack and is in hospital. Then last night, news that my delivery man of many years, John, who left about 6 months ago, has had a stroke and is a bit laid up and wobbly with that. I am shocked, and not sure how to feel about it. Did they stay too long? or is that when they left things started packing up? I suspect the latter and have told them both when they are recovered they'd better come back to work! I’ve loved having these fabulous men in their seventies work for me the last 5 or 6 years, their knowledge and experience has been invaluable, and their humour has always brightened my days.

Early in the new year a new project begins, the total renovation of my humble but gorgeous wee home in Diamond Harbour, that is sadly cracked and broken still, from all the earthquakes. I got a fairly decent pay out to fix it up but it all got sucked up into this build, so I have to finance it myself now. I've got a good team on board and feel quite excited. It is all part of my master plan, and will probably be sold to help pay for this home.

I am still loving waking up each day feeling alive and happy and content and ready to achieve good things. I find continual clarity of mind the most under-rated human condition of all, I think. As when you don't have it you don't know what you are missing, or that you are missing anything at all, let alone something vital and wonderful. 

This week I passed the three and half year mark since I kicked the booze to the curb.

I can't say I have any regrets. I have just one life, one body, one heart, one mind, and one soul. 

I am going to treat my body, my heart, mind and soul as the precious gifts that they are.
I hope to do this always. 


  1. That all sounds lovely. Building a house. Designing a garden. Enjoying your business.
    I hope your friends recover quickly.
    Merry Christmas!

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