Nothing could prepare me for the move to the country and having to live with mess at times … okay all the time. From a “white on white” one bedroom apartment to 80 acres of country living. I have come to accept this as just because it’s messy doesn’t mean it’s dirty. I have to accept that you cannot do both and if you want a vegetable garden something has to give for a week or two while you prepare the beds, plant the seeds and continually deal with the kids’ glove issues. The benefits of this will endure over the coming months as you get the very important “me time” as you stand and contemplate life at the most beautiful time of the afternoon watching the sun set, with the obligatory glass of wine, as you water your new growing babies and you will be proud of your efforts and reap the rewards and the memory of the house for two weeks fades into oblivion.

I have come to terms with cycling or rotating my time rather than worrying that everything needs to be done at once and on time. Like instead of washing the kids “outside” clothes each time after they are in from playing and getting their hands dirty they leave their clothes at the back door and those are the ones that go back on the next time they go outside because in reality they really only assist you for half an hour then they get bored and move on to playing in the hose and their clothes are now wet, have cleaned themselves and just need to be hung out. This can go on for a couple of times before you need to deal with them otherwise you end up with three or four sets of clothes a day and as we are on tank water we have to use sensibly.

After the vegetable beds are laid to rest then you can deal with the growing ironing pile and put the house back in order. Well that is what you would think is going to happen and as you start setting yourself up to work indoors and you look out the window because the sun is calling you and then you see it. The “houdini” chickens who have been watching you every day meticulously planning how they can get in and sabotage your garden magically find their way in so you spend the next hour doing your fitness training running, jumping, sidestepping and bending around like a lunatic trying to remove them from your garden. Continually running around circling the fruit trees until at last the last one goes out the gate but wait I have left the gate open to chase the chickens out and now the horses are in pinching the peaches off the tree. Out they go with a smack on the backside and now guess what time it is, time for a cup of tea and a well earned rest outside in the sun that was only moments ago beckoning you outside. Housework what’s that I can do that tomorrow.

I hope you too after reading this will be satisfied with ‘messy’ and that the fact is your home doesn’t have to be perfect to be loved and lived in. This is what makes it a home and not a house and is full of memories that you can tell your city slicker friends who wonder what you do all day.