Sometimes just a change is all one needs ro refresh and gird one’s loins for the next of life’s little challenges.

We’ve just had a three month change. OH (recently departed from a corporate life) and I decided we would live away from our permanent home for three months. This is in lieu of the overseas holidays that others take annually by way of a change.

We have a farm and commitments to livestock and so three months far away seemed way too unlikely and really not my bent anyway. So we developed an alternate plan. Anyone who has read Mesmered for a while knows we have a little cottage by the sea. A tiny six-room house that is eccentric and odd and which I call by the name of


House and with which I have a love-love relationship.  OH, self and dogs moved to this little place after Jan 1st and have commuted to the farm as needed. (Only 30 mins away) All we required whilst there was broadband access. I’ve been able to write, research and communicate with the outside world and he has been able to run his Media Consultancy quite happily, taking conference calls and receiving emails from across the Pacific Basin. In between, we’ve farmed, gardened, boated, walked, kayaked, swum, listened to the waves, wind and birds and have barely missed anything more urban and social.

However the end of the time approaches, we’ve eaten all the supplies in the vegetable garden,

'The veggie garden that was...'

made chutney, jams, and pickles for the winter from the orchard and garden. We’ve measured, planned and costed for the winter renovation, noticed that the light nights were dark by 7.30 and that there was a crispening tang to the air. The trees have begun to change from green to dull yellows, vibrant tangerines and rich garnets and depositing their largesse on the freshly mown lawns. As I write, the last of the pear chutney bubbles on the stove, the quinces are picked and ready to be packed, and the garden refuse is heaped on the back of the ute to be run to the tip. (Refuse centre)

Our other life calls. Socialising… coffee, lunch, drinks, dinner. Shows to be seen… a ten day long arts festival, Cirque de Soleil, the movies. Voluntary work to begin again… the Dogs’ Home. Sports… tennis now that the leg is as healed as it will ever be. I’m ready to return. There’s nothing I want to achieve there that I couldn’t achieve here but there’s just this feeling that I am ready to go back. It’s a curious thing as this place above anywhere else in the world is my all-time retreat. Maybe if I lived here permanently, I wouldn’t have that Divine sense of escape… who knows?

'That Divine sense of escape...'

Least ways, tomorrow is scrubbing and cleaning day, so that things are left just the way I like to find them and so that when next I need a Change, all I need to do is unlock the door, rub the frame and say, ‘Hallo House… I’m back.’