MENU

Friday, February 26, 2016

Busy hands and slow moments

This week it occurred to me that whenever we make, create, cook, build or do anything with our hands it forces us to slow down.  Thankfully, there are still some things in life that cannot be sped up by gadgets, touchscreens or infuriating password controlled systems.  While life is busy, I am trying to embrace the slow things, even if those slow moments are brief. 

A gifted leg of pork that weighed in at around 9 kilograms.  This pig was raised by hand, fed and cared for by a young family of willing helpers, slaughtered by skilled hands and finally deliver to us with care, by friends.  No factory farming, no supermarket queues and no plastic wrapping, just real food and friendship.   


Our girl, winding down after school in the vegetable patch collecting celery seed.  Slow, quiet time in the shade is the perfect after school activity I think.


Our boy, using his busy hands to make his dog a water bowl, using a piece of bark he had collected just for that purpose.


On Saturday morning the catering, photography and support crew half of the family collected a few sticks, lit a fire and cooked breakfast in the paddock.  Meanwhile, the horse riding half of the family saddled up the horses and rode in to our camp just in time for a picnic breakfast of bacon sandwiches.  Fire lighting, outdoor cooking and horse riding are three things that should never be rushed. 



The specialist skills of both blacksmiths and farriers are something that has always fascinated us as a family.  This is partly due of our love of horses, partly due to an interest in metal work and partly due to a great respect for skills and tools from the past.


I couldn’t help but be impressed when a young woman, who is a farrier, recently visited our horses.  She handled the large horses, heavy tools and hot conditions with ease and a gentle touch.  It was rather inspirational to meet a young woman who is continuing to keep these very old skills alive.  I know there are a lot of women involved in the horse industry but that was the first time I had met a female farrier.  


  
Are you doing clever things with your hands that force you to slow down?

Are you keeping any skills from the past alive?

I know many of you are baking, growing, farming, sewing, crafting and taking gorgeous photos.

Happy Friday, friends x

26 comments :

  1. Those photos of the farrier and the horse took me straight back to my childhood. I so desperately wanted a horse and when our neighbours girls got horses and another of my friends also got one, well my heart was broken. But then the younger sister of the neighbouring family didn't really ride her horse or do anything with it. Luckily for me I got to ride it, feed it, groom it, love it without the expense to my family. I remember the farrier coming, I was always so amazed at how patiently the horse stood while having their feet trimmed and new shoes fitted. Now as an adult I wonder if it's kind of like having a pedicure, relaxing to have someone fuss over you and it feels better after? Not that I've ever actually had a pedicure.
    Anyway thanks for taking me down memory lane. As for the work with my hands, I love to create with yarn, that slows my head which is always good.
    cheers Kate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and your memories Kate, I hope you are enjoying your weekend x

      Delete
  2. Loved this post Jane, such a sense of calm to it. Slowing down is important, isn't it? Even "slow" things can get a hectic or rushed feel about them if you let it, I find.
    I love knitting first thing in the morning. It's a peaceful way to start the day. I only get a few rows done because Bambi insists I play frisbee with her :-)
    I love outdoor cooking, I need to do it more often.

    Enjoy that homegrown pork, it looks delicious!

    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Sarah..."slow" things can indeed get rushed! Hooray for outdoor cooking, I am planning our next expedition as we chat. x

      Delete
  3. Oh my goodness! That pork! Speaking of slowing down - I'm photographing a wedding tomorrow and my mantra is: "Take your time, slow down, enjoy the moment." I've tried to bring that mantra into my classroom as well - our lives can so much feel like we're rushing from task to task, and you can forget to enjoy it as you do it if you're not careful! (At least, that's what I'm trying to do - not always successfully!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with the wedding Naomi, I can imagine it could be quite a daunting task and responsibility. Although, your photos are always gorgeous so I am sure you are not daunted! Indeed, it is very easy to move from task to task x

      Delete
  4. Yes, you're so right, Jane. It's a gift to be able to do things that take time, and to actually have the time to do things that take time. My work is less productive but equally as pleasurable - making jewellery, baking new loaves, collecting fossils, reading books. It all sounds frivolous, but it all gives me a comforting and quiet sense of satisfaction. It's a blessing. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comfort and a sense of satisfaction is certainly not frivolous Celia. Thank you for calling in x

      Delete
  5. PS. I'm super impressed by the farrier too. That's hard yakka! And by your lovely boy's dog bowl project!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your posts are such a lovely thing on a Friday afternoon after a busy week. It's very calming x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carla, if I can bring even a tiny slice of calm to a Friday afternoon that makes me happy!

      Delete
  7. Have you heard of the Slow Movement and the book In Praise of Slow? It's all about doing things at the right pace, taking the time to savour cooking and eating, concentrating, being mindful. There's so much to be said for creating/working with our hands which forces us to concentrate on what we're doing instead of the instant, rushed, flittering culture of the mobile/tablet, etc. I love your photos, Jane. Such peace and calm here and gorgeous photos of your children concentrating. I'd love one of your bacon sandwiches! Have a good weekend xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sam...I often think about being more mindful but I find it is far easier in theory than in practice. We can only keep trying! x

      Delete
  8. Your atmospheric photos of outdoor cooking always make me wonder why we don't do it. I've taken plenty of food out to fields for the work crew but never lit a fire and cooked them something. Watching a farrier at work is fascinating, not just their skill but the sounds and smells, which haven't changed since my childhood.
    As I recently had to attend a Speed Awareness Course (wretched speed camera) I'm well aware that we need to slow down :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watch out for those annoying speed cameras Anne :)

      Delete
  9. I really enjoyed a little insight in to your horses and the female farrier (which I googled!)What a wonderful childhood you are giving your children. My mum grew up on a farm completely off the grid in Europe but we just manage the "simple life" of growing, baking, knitting and sewing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The small, simple things are the best aren't they Zena?

      Delete
  10. I'd love things to be a little slower and calmer but that is not the nature of where I live and work. Your post has reminded me to just enjoy the little pockets of calm and slow I do have though...happy weekend Jane xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kate. As you are well aware, my life isn't really slow. But, we do have the odd slow moment...I am trying to appreciate and make more time for them! x

      Delete
  11. I used to cross-stitch but my eyes couldn't cope now - but I do miss its meditative, repetitive nature. i also like to be a bit more active - so I like gardening and doing things outdoors when I can, as it is such an antidote to my office job. I don't think typing counts as working with your hands.
    wonderful to see your female farrier! do you think she was gentler or more intuitive with the horses? (or would that be lapsing into female stereotyping?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you e. To be honest I am not sure about the females being more intuitive with horses, I have seen amazing horsemen and women and equally bad examples as well. In my (limited) experience men can often be more patient riders whereas some women can be quite rough and demanding. Of course, these are generalizations.

      With regards to farriers specifically, I think to be in that line of work you need to have a natural connection with horses, regardless of gender.

      Delete
  12. Such a slow calming post Jane. I'm sure my heart slowed it's beat just a little.
    You make me think (once again!) of how much I would enjoy a trip west. I think I really do just need some red dirt on my city slicker boots once and for all.
    I really enjoyed weeding this morning, I had sweat pooling in my eyes and my arms were dead, but loved every slow paced minute of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure you would love our little part of the world Brydie, I can guarantee photo opportunities of the red dirt variety. If you plan a trip make sure you let me know x

      Delete
  13. Always a pleasure popping in to see what you've been up to Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Jane
    I love your blog and thank you for sharing. I always have something on the go whether it's knitting, crochet, patchwork, dressmaking, gardening and/or baking. I always have to do something with my hands. I received via post, some of Celia's (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) sourdough starter today so that is going to be my exciting new challenge as sourdough baking is something I have been longing to do for year! It's very generous of Celia to share.
    I look forward to more posts from you in the future as I love hearing about all of your adventures.

    ReplyDelete

Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane