“Some daddies live with there babies, hey mama?”

Yes, that’s right. Some do, some don’t. Every family is a little bit different.

“Do the daddies who don’t live with their babies… do those daddies all live in Indonesia with my daddy in a big daddy house?”

 

Antique stores, salvage yards and tip-shops are essential to the charm and beauty of living in the South-West. A landscape of human life that includes stores like this says that those communities appreciate that which went before. It helps to balance the 24 hour department stores and tourist mini-marts that crowd the town centres.

As a sixteen year old I lived in a share house in the inner city; stubborn and headstrong and completely flat broke. My bed was made of a slab of plastic milk crates, secured together with cable ties, with an old mattress thrown on top. Our couch was milk crates covered in second hand cushions. Everything else in the house was thrifted or salvaged off the side of the road. We lived that way because we had to, the same as we had to eat rice and beans from the can every night for dinner (because there just wasn’t anything else.)

Fast-forward more than 10 years and here we are, living in a regional town, a marriage, a divorce and a small child later, and we are still living in a home that is furnished solely with second hand items. The things that we use in our day-to-day lives – our clothes, our furniture, the crockery in our cupboards – were collected slowly, over time like a bowerbird hoarding its treasure. The way we live now is a choice, an ethical approach to consumption, using things that have been used before, breathing life and love back into that which was discarded. Glass and stone, clay and wood, cottons and leather shoes with scuffs – we collect only what we will use.

If someone was to ask me what my style was, I would tell you it was simplicity. Not the kind that looks like boutique chic, but the simplicity that comes from celebrating that which is imperfect. That which is unique. That which is already here.

Think of the bowl, made by hand, crafted by a local artist out of soft clay. Time and love and talent went in to the shaping, but what the owner may have seen as an imperfection, as a failure in their work – I cannot see. Sure, the bowl may be misshapen, the glaze incomplete, but there is so much beauty in it. I run my hands across the clay as we eat our evening meal and I think of the hands that made it. Along the base of the bowls you can feel the deep ridges of the names that were carved into the base of the clay;  the stamp of a local pottery kiln in Bridgetown or Dunsborough or Margaret River. On others it’s simply a first name, a student in a pottery class somewhere, someone practising their art unable perhaps to see the perfection they had made.

I run my fingers across those supposed flaws, the cracks and the chips, the wear and the tear and I see something that cannot be found in that which is mass produced. A simplicity. A beauty. Something sustainably unique. Something that was lost but now has been found again. Therein lies the key to the Japanese philosophy wabi-sabi; a philosophy we incorporate into our daily lives. It is the celebration in the truth that life is messy and imperfect and beautiful all at the same time. The acceptance that nothing living is ever complete, that change brings with it imperfection and that life brings with it shadows.

Our home is not styled, it is nothing like the pages of a magazine – but there is a lot of love in it. There are crumbs on the floor and teacups in the sink, there are paints on the table and seedlings in the window… there are signs that life lives here.

Imperfect and messy and incomplete, just like that bowl, just like the collection of the bower bird, and just the way we like it.

If you are looking for a second hand treasure in the South West take the time to check out; The Flying Wardrobe(Witchcliffe), Community House Op-shop (Nannup), St Marys (Busselton), Blue Emporium (Donnybrook), Busselton Salvage, Bunbury Salvage, Stanley Road Tip Shop (Australind), The Quirky Den and Salvage Yard (Boyanup).

*This post was first published on Kidspot as a part of the Voices of 2015 festival where Inked in Colour was named top 3 for the parenting and style category – thank you all for your continued support. So super grateful. *

  • July 29, 2015 - 6:24 am

    Rachel - Well. You know I love this concept. Your home and style are lovely.ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:48 pm

      Sash - :) You’re lovely! I love your love of wabi sabi! xReplyCancel

  • July 29, 2015 - 7:10 am

    lisa thomson - I love the wabi-sabi philosophy, Sash. You are living it with such grace.ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:48 pm

      Sash - Thanks Lisa! It’s a lovely philosophy. I’d be nuts if I thought I could do it all – but I love that this philosophy doesn’t mean I ‘have’ to… it’s an approach that I take now to life in general – and what a relief it is!ReplyCancel

There is a quote that I heard once that read, ‘the quality of our life depends entirely on the spirit of our living.’ It’s something that I’ve always tried to live by; through encouraging deep connections, strong relationships and flinging myself headfirst into little adventures whenever the opportunity arises. I used to think I was only destined for overseas escapades into exotic and forbidden places, but as I get older (and slightly more reasonable) I have developed real love for the humble road trip.

What’s better than celebrating what’s just outside your back door?

Whilst I’ve never much been one for fancy gadgets and I’ve certainly never owned a new car when Ford Australia offered me a new Kuga MKII to drive for a few weeks as a part of the #FordThinking arm of the Voices of 2015 festival; I couldn’t help but grasp that opportunity… knowing the freedom it would give us for exploring places that we’ve never been. Having a reliable car to climb into complete with creature comforts allows us to drive longer, explore deeper and venture farther than we ever have before (mostly for the fear of my old car not making it back in one piece).

It’s not unusual to see Bo and I driving down south down Bussell Highway on a Thursday morning, every week on my first day off we make a habit of going on an adventure. What’s a little more unusual these days is having my wonderful friend Lisa and her little guy along for the ride. Years ago when our kids were just babies and neither of us were back at work yet, Lisa and I used to drive south regularly – any day would do for a drive through coffee and a long open road to chat while the babies slept in the back.

Now of course things have changed. Both of us have work and responsibilities and little kids our lives have both become increasingly full over the past few years –  these days our time together tends less often and more interrupted. But last Thursday we revived a lost tradition of ours when we all piled into the Kuga on a cold Thursday morning and headed south as a car of four.

We don’t have sleepy babies anymore, we have chatty three year olds who have plenty to say to us, but thankfully more to say to each other. So I activated the adaptive cruise control (with the car cleverly adapting to the pace of the tractors ahead, slowing automatically and then returning to it’s preset speed when the road is clear again) and as this clever piece of machinery basically drove itself down the highway – Lisa and I were able to sit back and resume our age old tradition of long car chats about love and loss, motherhood and relationships… and of course food, there is always much to be said about food.

First stop was a tradition. A stop at the Yahava KoffeeWorks in Vasse for a drive through local brew before heading down the winding road past wineries and little towns. We drove straight through Margaret River township and further south than we’ve ever gone before as a foursome – into the magical Boranup Karri Forest. There is something silencing (even for three year olds) about standing in a forest of giants with nothing but the sound of the wild birds and the heady scent of earthy eucalyptus. There is something very sweet about the sweet territory of silence, even if it is only for a moment, especially when in the company of good friends.

Not far from the forest is my favourite beach in WA. Redgate Beach is just a few kilometres from the forest and the perfect spot for a bit of climbing and potential whale spotting.

We drove down and had barely parked before the kids tumbled out of the doors and onto the sand, desperate to run and play with shoes off despite the icy cold wind whipping through our hair. We watched from the comfort of shawls and warm woolens as the kids clambered up and down rocks, hunting for treasure and playing in the wild landscape of their shared imagination. I took some time to wander through the dunes on my own, collecting seaside natives for a nibble along the way.

After we were cold to our core, we pile back in the car and warm up the kids with snacks and warm drinks from the boot of the car. A short drive inland to the little town of Witchcliffe, comes a trip down memory lane in a vintage op-shop, hot cups of coffee and perfectly toasted sandwiches.

On the drive home in the late afternoon, we tucked our quiet, tired kids into their seats and as they zoned out we turned on our heated seats to warm our winter bones, activated that adaptive cruise control again, and slipped back into our conversation wherever it last left off; challenging each other, exploring new ideas, sharing the ups and downs of our lives with laughter and tears and the comfort that comes from a friend so good that you don’t have to step on eggshells even for a moment, where you adapt to the changes in each other, forever in a dance of give and take… so honest that there are always things that are unexpected but never judged.

The most honest of conversations are often had with my friends when we are on the longest of drives, the world flying by our windows, the sun set golden through the pine forests and nothing but the open road ahead – where our quality of life is always improved by the spirit of our living.

What is your favourite way to connect with your friends? Do you go on long drives?

This is my first of three posts for the #FordThinking Challenge as part of Kidspot’s Voices of 2015. We were very lucky to be given the very lovely Ford Kuga MKII from Ford Australia for six weeks to go on amazing adventures in and see corners of our little part of Australia – where our old car doesn’t dare to go.

  • July 26, 2015 - 6:28 am

    margo - Road trips are so much fun even if they aren’t very long, so much to see and do and talk about,no need to spend a lot of money.
    You never know what you will find of interest and the day could be something to remember for years.

    Please don’t use cruise control in wet weather, it is very dangerous,the wet causes incorrect speed information into the system and the car can Easily spin out or roll.

    Here’s hoping you and Bo have heaps more fun and many adventures.ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:51 pm

      Sash - I love a good day trip! Will definitely keep that in mind re: the cruise control. Thanks for the tip!ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 6:43 am

    Alicja - Now you are seriously motivating me to overcome my fear of driving. Such lovely photographs Inked in Colour! Would like to have your adventures!ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:50 pm

      Sash - Thanks Alicja!ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 8:04 am

    Shan@FortyUp - These photos are beautiful!!! We spent 10 years living in Nannup before moving back to Perth & we loved the road trips we could do while we were down there, just gorgeous!!!!ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:51 pm

      Sash - Thanks Shan. I love Nannup, it’s one of my favourite little towns down in this lovely little pocket of the world :) ReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 8:48 am

    Peggy - In my 20s I thought this great land of ours was so “boring” and escaped overseas as much as I could. Now my eyes are open to this beautiful place I am fortunate enough to call home. I love a south bound road trip and take them whenever I can. Whale watching in Augusta, the winery region of Margaret River, the southern forests in Pemberton, and my favourite, Smiths Beach in Yallingup. Oh I love a road trip. Enjoy Sash, can’t wait to see more of your Ford adventures!ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:50 pm

      Sash - Thanks Pegs! Augusta is on our list next… We are so lucky to live in this beautiful part of the world – with so much natural spectacle right at our finger tips! xoxReplyCancel

  • July 26, 2015 - 12:39 pm

    Marcia - Boranup forest is one of my favourite places to visit, such amazing beauty. We sometimes spend a couple of days in Hamlin Bay at my brother in laws holiday home and just enjoy the quiet. It’s such a stunning part of the world.ReplyCancel

    • July 30, 2015 - 7:49 pm

      Sash - Oh I LOVE Hamlin Bay! Gosh it’s such a beautiful part of the world isn’t it? We are SO lucky to live here.ReplyCancel