On saturday I turned twenty eight and had a lovely birthday...Read More
This August marks eight years since I started this here blog - how strange to think when I started it - in my first year of university, just eighteen years old, that I would keep it up all these years later. It has been an enormous blessing - a place at once to feel familiar, comfortable, thankful and vulnerable - when I moved house, lived overseas, missed my kin, had children, worked, convalesced, meditated. So many friends made, dialogues started, I have felt so much encouragement and validation as an artist, cook, writer, mama in being able to share here. Truly, looking back I realise how much I needed it. It's been eight years and now it's time to go...
I have always had an agreement with myself that when it seemed time to move on from here, I would. I've been mulling over this for months now - a sense of distance from this space, and a deep right feeling that it's time to close this chapter.
And as you know, in the last year Alex and I have really taken a huge leap of faith - in starting a smallholding farm business, Hand to Ground - since it's inception I've felt the need to pour more time and energy it's vital, young years - my days are overflowing with what we are trying to create, grow, sell, establish - the very full occupation of caring for my young boys, tending to a garden, selling produce and making local connections... and as much as I love reading blogs and keeping up with friends on Facebook and instagram swooning, I really do need time to carve out and call sacred - time to slow down, be mindful, nourished - offline. Not to mention the inevitable weaning that comes with such limited internet connect here in the countryside!Oh, blog - there are so many posts half written in my drafts, things I wanted to say and didn't, or couldn't find the time to put exactly how they needed to be said, or soon became too outdated and no longer relevant to the narrative of life as it moved along. Still, you've been so good to me. I not do not leave empty handed... in fact, I look forward in the next year or two to compiling a series of printed photo books with my favourite posts, odes, poems, photos, reflections, recipes...
And so, from time to time, or as often as I can - I will document my days of learning to homestead and build a nourishing life on my instagram and on our farm blog...
Finally readers, it's you I owe a great thanks -
for joining me here, going away and returning,
leaving comments, emails, or unspoken well-wishes,
supporting my crafty or poetic or wordy pursuits -
delighting in the seasons, in my loves,
and for the last time let me ask you to please comment, if you can, and tell me:
where are you reading this?
what is your favourite season?
what is your beverage of choice?
what do you like to read?
what have you liked best here?
fare thee well and adieu,
Beren Argyle Sims
born 10.01am, Wednesday April 8th
3840g (8 lbs 7 oz) 51cm
as we drove to the hospital there was a
rainbow in the sky, a promise I thought,
of what's to come
after three and half hours
of oh-so intense labouring
we met our beloved son -
just as we'd dreamed,
healthy as an ox,
and lovely in every way
The table is a recent find at a market and the chairs were spied at the back of a local café which seem to accompany the table perfectly. My favourite spot perhaps is by the sink - where I spend many moments throughout the day washing up dirty dishes - I love that I can see out into the yard and welcome in the morning light... and sometimes spy my little boy splashing in puddles, or the pots of geraniums flowering, or the herd of cows grazing in the paddock surround us. Bliss indeed.
unto us a child is born
unto us a child is given
and the government shall be on his shoulder;
and his name shall be called
wonderful, counsellor, mighty god,
prince of peace
wishing you a happy christmas
eating well, talking kindly,
making merry, thoughtfully
unwrapping and savouring
the best gifts in life -
love, kinship, peace.
To think in the past six months I have become a mama to a two-year-old, lived on a farm collecting hundreds of eggs most days, feeding chickens, miking and tending garden beds, taken full breaths of country clean air, submitted a manuscript for a children's book, soaked in summer sun, made new kindred friends, turned twenty-five, packed our belongings, crunched autumn leaves, reconnected with family and kin, prepared for (and attended) four handmade markets, read books in bed, planned for our next venture... and other things less notable, or more so, the not-so-oftens and the everydays. It has been a good year so far - hard and unknown and satisfying. So in celebration of what's been and what's to come I am offering a giveaway of recent makes -
One French style purple pleated handbag, fabric bunting card, purple cowboy toddler bib, dainty quilted pin cushion and linen bunting pin...
All you need to do is leave a comment here telling me what you loved most about the first half of 2014, and what you look forward to in the second.
I will draw a winner on the eve of June 30th.
And I'm happy to announce the winner is Jodie:
Please email me emilyclaresims[at]gmail[dot]com with your postal address - thanks!
I like my black tea with milk... how about you - what is your favourite tea? do you stop for afternoon tea?
eaten: spiced buckwheat cake + honey cream
drunk: pu'er aged black tea + full cream cows milk
read: life is a miracle by wendell berry
listened: toddler splashing, palm trees wavering, cars passing
- spiced buckwheat tea cake with honey cream -
this makes a mildly sweet tea cake - an everyday sort of cake you could have toasted for breakfast with butter or with a generous clump of freshly whipped cream in the afternoon. It is sweetened with honey and apples - a perfect treat for little ones.
1/2 cup runny honey
1/2 cup un-sweeteneed applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of milk
2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves, nutmeg each
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cups cups buckwheat
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup pure cream
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 180'c. In a blender or mixer combine all cake ingredients. Blend till smooth. Pour into a paper linen baking tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool and un-mould. Meanwhile whip pure cream until soft peaks form - fold in a tablespoon of runny honey. Spoon onto cold cake and dust with ground cinnamon.
The fabric is the softest double gauze cotton by Japanese fabric designer Nani Iro - when I bought it last year I hoped to make a garment for myself but had no pattern in mind. Then a few weeks ago I found Rae's elegant washi dress... I finished it just in time for my Aunt Cynthia's 50th birthday lunch yesterday - and did feel uncommonly luminous and flowery...
we're back from a few days at the seaside... it was so good to stay with our friends, visit my dad's family, picnic on the sand, build tall sandcastles - then jump on top of them, drink banana and yoghurt milkshakes, soak up warm autumn sun, bob in the salty waves, breathe the sea breeze in... times like these I remember why I love this country of ours - her land and sea... x