the best reminder i have of how lucky i am are my friends. the knitting community is a big one. its full of people i have one thing in common with – knitting. but that doesnt mean i like all of those people, or that i have anything else in common with them. i think sometimes as knitters we think we should automatically be friends with someone else who knits, but that one thing is never enough. for the most part, knitters can be just as annoying and frustrating and rude and mean as any other group of people who come together with only one thing in common.
so it is a source of constant surprise and pleasure to me that i have been fortunate enough to find a small group that i have more in common with than just the sticks and string. they are a diverse group, older and younger than me, more and less educated, more and less middle class. we’ve become quite close over the last few years, and they are my main form of support, my ‘where i belong’.
last year we went away together to a little house in victoria. we had such a great time we resolved to make it a yearly event, and this year we went closer to home, to a property called ‘bountiful’ in kangaroo valley, new south wales. i was sad that a few people couldnt make it this year, and we really missed them, but i really needed the break and was resolved to have a great time anyway. as if there was ever any doubt that i would!
i have lots of pictures so i’ll let them do the talking. to get there we drove through lovely, typically australian, eucalypt bushland, complete with nature warnings!
and turned in the gate
to find this amazing vista
it really took my breath away, i’d not been expecting such a gorgeous house on so much land. it was surrounded by a lovely wide verandah,
with an amazing view back over the morton national park
we saw kangaroos straight away, a big mob of greys in the paddock next door
they were flighty and we couldnt get close but the head male stood and watched us for a while and he was easily six feet tall.
everyone arrived and we chose rooms, and then picked our spots in the lounge room next to the fantastic big wood fire. this was my spot for the weekend.
then the usual sequence of events unfolded. bubbles were unleashed and knitting taken up
we cooked dinner together (beef wellington and vegies with chocolate raspberry brownies for dessert on friday night, roast lamb and veggies with sticky date pudding saturday night). then there was a bit more drinking and knitting.
we did do some exercise, various groups took turns about the park over the weekend. lyn, margaret, alison and i took off in the freezing cold wind on saturday morning,
and it was coooooold.
thank goodness for the knitwear!
we trekked through the bush a little (did someone say Miranda?)
the wattle was just starting to bloom
and we did a bit of amatuer scatology to track down some wombat lairs
(no wombats in view however). then later, alison took us through some yoga, and i was very lucky to have her spend a lot of time with me in particular to set me up with some restorative yoga poses, complete with impromptu studio!
you may have noticed i’ve been a bit stressed. some of it is external, some things i can control, some i cant. but a lot of if it is internal – anxiety, fear, a lot of ‘feelings’ about where i am in my life right now. i’ve been desperate to find a way to get a grip on them, without rationalising them away (my usual method), and as soon as al stretched me out on the floor i knew this was what i needed. i’ve done yoga before, so i know how powerful it can be, but my flexiblity and strength arent what they used to be. im hoping to get back into regular practice, and start to get some balance between mind and body, and mostly to get some time for me. i needed a reminder that its ok to slow down, to take time out to breath, that it’s possible to feel ok and not have to run on anxiety all the time.
this was really the cherry on the cake of a wonderfully restorative weekend. it wasnt just the knitting, although there was lots of that. pyjama knitting.
knitting in the sun room.
knitting at high tea.
it was the deep and meaningful conversations, the frivolous and trivial conversations, the silly giggles and the big belly laughs (having Margaret read aloud from the Guide to Practical Goat Keeping will do that to you). and at the risk of sounding wanky, it was the reconnecting with nature. there were beautiful early morning sunrises complete with mist and frost and wallabies
a little wallaby with a joey
and a drive up to fitzroy falls
it was beautiful and breathtaking
mostly though it was the people. just being around people who get each other. it reminded me what sort of person i am (strong, vulnerable, opinionated, loving), and the sort of person i’m not (wife, mother, shy, retiring) and it reminded me it was ok to be all of those things.
im lucky to have people in my life i can laugh like this with, can talk about politics and feminsim and movies and books and knitting and gossip and goats with. im lucky i have people i can talk about my past with and not feel judged, that i get advice from, can cry in front of, can be myself with.
thanks so much to all of you, and bring on next years adventure!