Thursday, July 25, 2013

Reminiscing and a Lovely Handmade Card Swap.

Ten years ago, Nathan and I made our first major move as a married couple from Perth to the Pilbara mining town of Karratha, about 1500km north. It was our first year out of tertiary schooling and the beginning of our respective careers. Nath was working as a youth worker, and I was teaching. It was a fantastic experience and one I am so glad we had. We eventually left Karratha to travel around the country in a beaten up old Landcruiser but the wild Pilbara landscape still holds a place in my heart.

I was thinking the other night about how different our lives are from back then, ten years ago, when we were fresh out into the workforce. For one, I hated cooking. To me, opening a jar onto cooked pasta was 'cooking from scratch'. I spent as little time as possible in the kitchen, but I did spend hundreds thousands of dollars on Tupperware to make my cupboards look stylish!

I hated gardening, too. We had a very small yard and it was reduced to a dust bowl by the time we left. I had no idea about where my food came from, and didn't care, to be honest. I had never grown anything edible (or anything at all!) and thought people who enjoyed spending time getting dirt under their fingernails were, quite frankly, a bit mad. A friend of mine at the time started a worm farm and I remember thinking worms were a strange choice of pet!

I shopped like crazy back then. I struggled with depression and feelings of low self worth. Every time I felt low or anxious, I would go shopping. I would buy things I did not need, even things I did not particularly want. It was the first time Nath and I had earned a 'proper' wage and I went to town with it. We got into a bit of debt and it took a few years to pay off, and taught me a valuable lesson along the way. I am not great with money even now, but I now know a thing or two about avoiding debt!

The one thing that my time in the Pilbara did give me is a great respect for the environment. Without getting too political, I watched the landscape change over the years with the development of new mine sites and supporting infrastructure. Our trip back last year was bittersweet, as the change was drastic in the years since we left. The Pilbara awakened in me a dawning awareness of the impact human behaviour has on the Earth. I am so grateful that our journey has brought us to place we are now, living a more frugal and sustainable life and teaching our children a different way than we would have if we were parents back then.

In lighter news, my lovely sister-in-law Mezz is hosting a handmade card swap over at her gorgeous blog Mezz Makes Stuff. It looks like a lot of fun, and I'll be joining in! You don't have to be a blogger to join in, so why not give it a go!

One of Mezz's lovely handmade cards.
Tomorrow for us is all about getting those darn fruit trees into the ground! I am sure I am only procrastinating because I know that once they are in, I am not moving anywhere until they have been bearing fruit for a good few years!!


  1. Skipping over from Mezz's place to say hi ~ Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah, nice to meet you! Popping over to visit your blog now :)

  2. lovely post nic, it seems like a lifetime ago u guys were living up north!x

  3. Found your blog via mezz and it is inspiring!

  4. Came across from Down--To--Earth, and you've just reminded me how much I miss living in the Pilbara ('99 - '05 in Hedland). I know its changed a lot since I lived there, and I never thought I'd miss it, but I wish my kids could have the childhood and teen years that my siblings and I did.


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