falling into place

Since I’ve been back from Perth, this whole living on the south coast thing has felt like it’s falling into place. Finally.

The first few days back here were a bit of an emotional blow. I was feeling isolated and cynical.

It rained that Monday, so we stayed indoors and spoke to no one outside our mother-children triad all day.

It also rained Tuesday, so we had a repeat of Monday but with slightly more resentment because Tuesday is a “play in the park” day and we were missing out because it was too wet. Cabin fever had set in. The sprogs were cranky and I was too.

Wednesday saw our spirits pick up though and we’ve been on a high since…

The sprogs and I went to the museum for the monthly mini muses program Wednesday morning. There we met an old friend who has one extra child than the last time I saw him but otherwise hasn’t changed much. I knew he lived down this way, I just didn’t know how to find him and I’d hoped we’d just run into each other eventually… we did, yay. He introduced me to his partner and we had a little chat while our sprogs ran about (excepting their littlest sprog who is just a wee baby). Knowing they’d understand my plight, I complained to these friends about my poor luck sourcing good food down here. I told them I was shopping at stupormarkets down here, and that it was destroying my soul to be doing it after so many years of doing all my food shopping at small, locally owned businesses back in Perth. They understood, like I knew they would, and they had some solutions to suggest. Hurrah! They told me about a little bulk food store down here and they told me about a biodynamic farmer that sells his meat from big chest freezers in a park! I told them about my friends who deliver fresh milk in reusable glass bottles, and we all smiled. Wednesday afternoon we went home feeling happier than we’d felt when we’d left home that morning, so we’ll call it a successful outing.

Wednesday night was my first night back at college since my trip to Perth and it was really nice to be back among lovely people and playing with nurturing essential oils. I got home to sleeping children and a clean home, how wonderful.

Thursday morning the sprogs and I decided to check out the food store our friends had recommended and it certainly impressed me. It’s small, it’s really a little too small to contain all the loveliness within, but it was still great. There were bulk dry goods and there were completed quilts hanging up too, they were for sale. It made my heart sing to see good food and beautiful quilts in such a visually appealing store. It smelled yummy and it looked unique. We bought some biodynamic flour, some organic rolled oats and a small lot of banana chips for the sprogs to munch on the walk back to the car. The woman who served us was warm and friendly, and she was interested to hear about my delight at finding the store. So much nicer than a large stupormarket!

Come Friday morning we were back at boobie club (Australian Breastfeeding Association meeting) for some good company and sunshine, our week had well and truly turned around. Friday night I got to go to a one off night time booby club, and I got to go without sprogs too. I owe Bean for that, it was nice to have a chat without having to entertain the sprogs too.

Saturday night we went to our milkman’s birthday party which was nice. Our milkman is also a carpenter and he just happened to knock up a patio to party under that day. Fabulous! The food was nice and, as always, the company was lovely. Sprout and Moe had a lovely time cruising around with other kids, getting thoroughly filthy in a big pile of black sand, and generally loving every minute of the party!

photo by www.liamwilde.com

Then, after I had a Sunday of study while Bean took the sprogs fishing, I got an email late last night from my aromatherapy lecturer. I’ve been sending her some raw food recipes and generally talking up the awesomeness of young coconuts so she invited the sprogs and I around for a play date today, so we could make some raw goodies and the sprogs could play. Her son is the same age as Sprout and they got along so well! Moe was a bit out of sorts after a rough, sleepless night, so he needed a bit of extra help today. Thankfully I was able to give it to him when he needed it because Sprout was so beautifully preoccupied playing with her new friend. Even when meeting Moe’s needs was taken into account, my friend and I still managed a remarkable amount of adult conversation, fresh juice, herbal tea, young coconut smoothie, roast veg & salad wraps, and a bit more adult conversation. It was a fabulous day and I’m feeling really great after it!

photo by www.liamwilde.com

Yes. This south coast thing is starting to work out ok.

posted by wildecrafted in journal and have Comments (3)

loyalty & thanks

I am a loyal customer.

I shop at small stores for the more personal shopping experience they provide, rather than the large, anonymous “stupormarkets” that make my head & my heart ache.

We used to buy our fresh produce in Fremantle from Mr Organic, a small business run by a beautiful family who we miss so much. We followed them when they left the Fremantle Markets, eventually moving to the E-shed Markets. Every week we’d go to buy our fresh organic produce & they’d greet us warmly. They’d ask about our week. They’d give The Bubble something fresh & yummy to eat while we shopped (a cut up apple, a small cluster of grapes) & always a cuddle as well. Shopping for our weekly supply of fresh produce was a delight. It was a task we looked forward to. Especially once Mr Organic moved to the E-shed, their stall was opposite the Fremantle Harbour. In Summer it was cool when everywhere else was hot. All year ’round the view was better than any view you’d find in a shopping mall. The air was fresh & salty. It was just… nice.

When we first moved to Albany, before I discovered a small organic shop down here I shopped a couple of times at a big supermarket. It was so, so, very stressful. Finding a parking bay in the carpark was difficult, we ended up parking quite far from the entrance. We found a dicky trolley. Is there a such thing as a not-dicky trolley?! I strapped Babyman in to the seat of the trolley & went in. My first supermarket shopping experience in a very, very long time…

The food available there was not anywhere near my standard of food (call me a snob, I don’t care! Good food makes my world go ’round!). The same amount of conventionally farmed produce from the supermarket ended up costing more than we ever paid for organic & biodynamic produce at Mr Organic anyway! Iwas totally out of my comfort zone. My heart rate increased. My breathing shallowed. My shoulders tensed. My gut churned. I spoke tersely to my children through gritted teeth,

“Don’t touch that. Put that back. Leave that alone. Come here with me. Don’t walk too far that way. We’re not going that way. Watch where you’re going, there’s someone with a trolley right behind you…”

The sproggets were overwhelmed. The supermarket was big. It was over-stimulating. It was busy. So, so busy. Trolleys everywhere. People rushing to beat other people to the checkout. People scowling. People snatching for the “specials”.

I missed our friends at the markets. I missed being served by people who know my name, who know my children’s names, whose names we know. People who smile when they see us. People who are familiar. People who came to learn what our absolute favourite produce was & put a little aside for us if we asked. You know? People who just care a little more than the underpaid, overworked folk at the large supermarkets.

Thankfully, within a week or so I found a small organic store here in Albany where we could be loyal customers.

When we shop there we speak to the same people, they greet us warmly, they are familiar. The Bubble has found a playmate in the daughter of one of the women who runs the store. We are learning to remember each others names. We’re learning to remember small details about each other.

I am so grateful to the families who run small businesses like Mr Organic & the organic store in Albany. I’m grateful for the very hard work they put in to running their businesses. I’m grateful to them for running their businesses in the face of overwhelming competition from supermarket giants. I’m grateful for the warm customer service. I’m grateful for the provision of such amazingly good food. I’m grateful for the opportunity they provide to learn about locally grown fresh produce. I’m grateful for the beautiful people they are. More than anything though, I’m just so grateful I don’t have to shop at supermarkets. I’m grateful for the chance to be a loyal customer.

posted by wildecrafted in journal and have No Comments