Tue 26th, Jun, 2012

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G’day Beach Cottage people – it is our sixth Winter here in Sydney and finally I think I am used to it…the warm, sunny clear days, the chilly late afternoon and nights…

So, we had lovely weather over the weekend and I made the most of it by getting out in the garden, it has been neglected last few months and I needed to clear out some of the beds, get some more salad leaves planted and I had bought some Agave that needed to go in…

I love it out here, it’s far from perfect and often my mind seems to swing wildly from thinking wow how much this place has come on, to that horrid whining little voice that I try so hard not to ever enter my head these days


…the one that sees the weeds, that one that is very much aware that the Summer House is indeed still surrounded by Ugly Patio area and the one that pops up in my mind saying oh yes the deck is ready for another spruce up and paint.


If there is one thing though that moving to the other side of the world and living on the beaches of Sydney has taught me, it is that the little things in life are important to me…

…and I consciously make the decision to keep that upper-most in my mind…when I can…


it’s easy to get wrapped up in cr*pola in life though isn’t it? who’s got what, who hasn’t got what, this, that and the other meaningless stuff that sometimes fills up the space between my two ears…

but when you look around and take time out, indeed there is much beauty all around..




When I was out here, kneeling down, hands in the earth, basking in the corner of the garden that gets all the Winter sun, Mr Beach Cottage was on the phone to the Middle East for work.

His business means that he speaks to a lot of English/Americans considering a move to a new life…and as I looked at my purple pepper (you might know that as a capsicum) I heard him say (and you thought I rambled) that the thing with moving Down Under, is it’s a little different to what some people expect  and that his experience from the ex-pats that have done a similar journey to us, from whatever part of the world, is that often some of the supposed ‘good life’ things are traded in… things like cars, houses and material things…but what actually happens is that the things that you thought were the good things are replaced by the things that really are the good things…

…he went on to explain, sitting in the Ugly Patio Area, under an Australian sun how, moving here, meant a drop in salary of nearly 50%  for him, and a career change that was a long way down the ladder that he had to swallow every day…

…and for all of us, a move from a very nice English house, thank-you-very-much, in a nice little English village to a cottage with a dead rat in the garden, an orange deck and a smell that can only be described as never again




…he said how here though, it just didn’t seem to matter as much, if you didn’t let it …because  it’s just that the lifestyle would be the ‘good life’ things…



and as I dug down and pulled weeds, I thought to myself how true…

for me, moving here, picking up a camera and starting a new life, has changed a lot of things…I am not the girl (twenty,thirty, forty or not) that I used to be…

it seems I see little things differently now…

oranges in my very own back garden


guys sitting up in trees ;-)

clear skies at the beach


my very own Beach Cottage strawberries, in Winter





the weeds…
find surprising flowers from a succulent



and wondering at one of these..


and with those thoughts I will leave you with your own good life things…

Hope you enjoyed my Midwinter pics


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56 Responses to “Midwinter”

  1. Glennie says:

    Ah Sarah, you have touched a piece of my heart today. In a couple of months we are moving away from the city to a country area, downsizing in monetry terms but upsizing in life terms – and I know this is exactly how we will be feeling. Bless. Glennie x

    • sarah says:

      oh I am sure you will love it Glennie! it’s’ the little things, and moving to the country, oooooh all that goodness lol x

  2. Kirsty says:

    So, so true Sarah! I have to agree with you that the older I have gotten the more content I feel with my life. I’m finally slowing down and appreciating just what I have, instead of worrying about what I don’t :)

    Love your photo’s. You have inspired me to get out there, snap away and enjoy the little things. x

  3. DeAna says:

    great post Sarah. We just down sized recently too. Nice to know that you have done it so successfully…
    you da (wo)man!

  4. Selby says:

    Beautiful reflection this morning& as always beautiful photos:)

    One of my Fave things of hanging out with mr two at home is seeing the world through his eyes & finding the extraordinary in the ordinary!:)

    Glad you’ve found your ” good life” here .


  5. Julie says:

    Beautifully said Sarah! You are so right in so many ways about what is in important in life. When we stop focusing on what we don’t have and become content with what we do have, life changes. That said I still can’t stop being envious of your Sydney sunshine and blue skies – it seems to always be so grey in Melbourne!!

    • sarah says:

      I think it’s hard to focus on the good things all the time, but trying to makes a big difference…x

  6. kt says:

    sarah! i love it as usual. i have to wonder at your description of a yucky porch area…if you were describing the one in the pic…you’re mistaken! i think it’s sweet! and i LOVE the french doors!
    i can’t wait for a kitchen reveal! you are an inspiration! i’m working on my beach cottage in the desert over here!

    • sarah says:

      actually I meant the deck on the back of the cottage, because it needs re-painting again and is looking a bit shabby..the one in the picture is the Summer House


  7. Lark says:

    Your post is very timely. I have a ton of things to do my house, but most of them have to wait. Lately I’ve been very impatient and have been thinking how now is great time to do it all. Thanks for the reminder that I need to focus on the good things that come along with carefree summer days!

  8. Susan says:

    I believe you and Mr. BC have said it very well Sarah. So easy to get caught up in the “things” of the world when all we really need is, quite simply, the beauty that surrounds us. I’m glad you found it and are enjoying it. Your photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


  9. alison says:

    “that horrid whining little voice that I try so hard not to ever enter my head these days”

    LOL. Ohh, I’ve had the above the past week because I have a decision to make and people are not going to be happy whatever I decide!

    I love reading about your life changes especially when I quietly “spat the dummy” last year and said to myself “no more of this sh*t”. I’ve had a blast the past 18 months but not that it has been all easy to get off the treadmill of life, try new things and take a look around. I’m about to re-enter the bear pit on my terms, but I know I can just tell you Sarah, I’m doing it will trepidation, hence “that horrid whining little voice”.

    Hoo roo cockatoo

    • sarah says:

      well good luck with it whatever it is – I have my own bear pits and I won’t be re-entering them, ever! x

  10. Alix says:

    The best things in life… aren’t things.
    Love your snaps and love your energy Sarah. Well done for making the tough decisions along the way that you got you to your lovely BC life. Enjoy.

  11. Stacey (harrimar) says:

    And what a wonderful message you are both passing down onto your children as well… : )

  12. mom2ashley says:

    Sarah – I love this post! Thanks for opening my eyes to appreciate the good things that we currently have although we may not always think that they’re good.

  13. Kim says:

    Sarah- Thank you. The abundence in our lives is so often over-looked in our busy lives. A garden often will remind us about that. Have a great day!!

  14. Alice says:

    That whining little voice has plagued me for the last 3 months or so… I have been battling with it and slowly beating it out… We haven’t got much… But like I said to my hubby the other day… If this is the futherst(or the most)we manage to get for ourselves in this life, we have not done too badly…It’s actually quite good… Sure… The house isn’t our ideal… We really need an extra room (even half a room would do) as hubby works many nights and weekends from home and needs somewhere to put his equipment and paperwork and somewhere quiet to speak to his clients… But I still feel pretty lucky!

    • Alice says:

      BTW that little bugger of a bug(I forgot what hey are called)like to damage your grass and I am told you should get rid of them as soon as you find them… We had(and still do) so many of those!

    • sarah says:

      I think a lot of us don’t realise what we have compared to a lot of people in the world – however, it’s hard often to keep in mind that a roof, love and food, schooling, an income etc etc are all pretty good things…

      I do the gratefuls thing when I am feeling like that…amazing how it works

      thanks for stopping by and being part of this blog Alice x

      • Alice says:

        It has been my absolute pleasure… The thanks should go to you…

        Everytime I feel like this I tend to think back on this one sermon I heard at church for mothers day a few years back… I can’t quote it word for word or the whoe thing but it went something along the lines of… be grateful that you have piles of laundry to do because it means that you have clothes to kepp you warm… Be grateful that you have piles of dirty dishes in the sink to wash because it means you have food and you will not go hungry…. be grateful that you have a messy house to clean because it means that you have a home to go to etc…It makes so much sense in a weird way….I try to think what is it that I am complaining about and try to think of the why and why that means I should be grateful… It has a way of changing my perspective and challenging that little whining voice of mine…

  15. Oh he’s such a wise man that Mr BC!! Those photos are stunning Sarah. And do the purple capsicum taste the same as the others?? I’ve never tried purple! xx

  16. Rukmini Roy says:

    Striking. And since I am reading it first thing in the morning- Inspiring. Well, in this transition phase of life, I am yet to decide my home and a place but given a choice and funds I would love to migrate to Australia or New Zealand. Have an inspired life, grow my strawberries, feel content even if it meant a drop in the usual life we are used to. I feel that stir inside of me sometimes to pack my bags and move to another country I love but it needs to wait.
    Will you please give that strawberry to me? Looks so deli, straight from the garden.

    • sarah says:

      I feel it might get damaged on route so may just have to save for myself ;-)

      • Rukmini Roy says:

        Ah, sure you have to, wont you mrs. beachcottage. Strangely, reminds me of a friend of mine from Isle of Wight. Janice. She actually dared to send a turkish delight in post- with a note: “Don’t know the fate. I hope this survives”. It 50% didn’t.

  17. You make my day Sarah! Thank you for the reminder!

  18. Kat says:

    You are a ray of sunshine Sarah.
    Looks like you get such warm wintery days in Sydney, compared to us down here in Hobart with snow on the mountain.
    Having said that, I drop my three kids at school, rug up, load Miss 3 into the pram and get out walking, as it is good for the body and soul.
    Even if the wind blows the sunshine and looking at the lovely scenery makes me feel better when I get the winter blah’s like I have this past two weeks.
    Keep bringing your sunshine to your blog, it’s a real joy and a great reminder of appreciating the little things! :)

    • sarah says:

      thanks Kat, yep I used to load my kiddos in the pram and walk for hours…I miss those days…and I miss the cold and snow sometimes, not often though hahax

  19. You make “winter” look SO good. Love every picture!


  20. Neen says:

    Midwinter photos, just what I needed. I think I am in the middle of a transition in my life, not too sure I am enjoying it, feeling left behind in some areas of my life. But I too stand in my garden and wonder at life, I grew 4 mandarines this year, just 4,( lucky we only have 4 in our family!!!!) they were delicious. So that’s what life is about…….. enjoy what we have, not what we MIGHT have had/want. BC chicken curry in oven, kids on way home from school, had friends over for a cuppa and now the evening is settling in here in central Vic, days are getting longer, aaaah life is good ;)Neen

    • sarah says:

      enjoy the curry!

      I am on a similar transition too I think…

      cuppas and kiddos are nice x

  21. Oh i’ve come over all emotional after reading that post.

    And jealous! Your winter strawberries look better than my summer ones!! :D

    • sarah says:

      I was pretty impressed, they actually seem better than the summer ones were, I have no idea how!

  22. Poppy says:

    That bug is a cockchaffer – not good for the grass. I think it is the larvae to a maybug. Just thought you’d like to know!!

  23. bec says:

    wow you had sunshine today???… up here in sunny queensland we had rain and cold..brrrrr! …the uggboots are definately out tonight.
    lovely photos!
    Bec x

  24. Rochelle says:

    Ah honey, just wanna kiss you today. Just what I needed to hear. Why do we always seem to compare our lives to those of others and then feel inadequate. Went out for a run with my youngest and felt blessed by the sea and forest and thought, I love my life even though there are a million and one things that still need fixing and doing. xx

  25. Rochelle says:

    p.s. love your pictures as always. I am currently deweeding a patch for vegetables and loving it!

  26. Surely Sarah says:

    Beautiful. I love the idea of focusing on the beautiful things you have done/created/nurtured rather than the “bad” or ugly things that remain to be done. Need to do that with my house more often!

  27. Elaine in Laguna says:

    Love this post and the attitude of gratitude! More and more I’m glad now that I chose not to chase the larger house, fancier car, extra things! I enjoy so much all that is free and beautiful. Glad you chose the same. Great photos and feelings. Continue to enjoy your family and the life changing move that found you the tatty old cottage that you brilliantly turned into a home.

  28. Motherofluvlies says:

    Thank You Sarah for the reminder.Just what was needed.xx

  29. Julie says:

    You’ve got a lovely perspective on life Sarah, I agree totally. Thank you for sharing you and your hubby’s take on things, it’s so refreshing :)