Friday, December 4, 2009

Summary of our first full year at Potato Point

We can’t believe it; we have been here for almost a full year. It has been a very busy, full, exciting and pleasurable year!! We both decided to approach our new “retired” life in very different ways. Peter joined just a few things and I joined everything!!!!!

My aim for the year was to “find my place’ in this new community. At first it was quite daunting – where do you start??? Well I joined heaps of things; Tai Chi; EFTAG (Eurobodalla Fibre Textile Artist Group); SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening in Eurobodalla); NSW Rural Fire Fighters; Book Club; Montague Choristers; Bodalla Embroiderers; Sewing with students at Narooma Primary School; volunteering at both Bodalla and Narooma Primary Schools; and YAKS (don’t know what it stands for except the Kayak bit) so we canoe as well with some people - all very diverse groups. In addition we entertained heaps of people!!

Going from a very stressful life with huge responsibilities, challenging demands and full calendar to “doing what I liked, when I liked”, meant that I lost the plot!!!! I couldn’t get myself organized, didn’t want to do much, felt too tired, forgot people’s names – it was incredibly embarrassing!!!! People would invite me to things and then ring up asking where I was, when I hadn’t turned up. My friends started to get quite worried! Then I realized what the problem was – I could no longer run just my own schedule, I had to factor Peter’s schedule in as well and I needed to keep a well-organized diary! (Just like I always had done before, but now wasn’t doing!) So back to the trusty new computer ….. YES!! A scheduling program……. And YES a contacts’ list ……. And YES a reminder program……

This year, there was supposed to have been a focus on making art!!! Some activities have gotten in the way ….. I will really have to do something about that for next year!!!??? But which ones need to go????????? However I have managed to create enough art to be involved in 2 major exhibitions and one River of Art market stall. Artistically, I feel that I have grown and have a much deeper sense of design. The first time my work was on public exhibition (at the River of Art Market stall), I was very nervous, but I sold a bowl, to be followed up by the sale of another bowl, a short time later. The latest EFTAG exhibition has resulted in the sale of 7 items. All items have been purchased by practising artists – which is hugely encouraging!

We were very fortunate to have Marianne Little come to work with the group to create paper from natural fibres. This has led me on a new tangent with hand made papers becoming very important. Basket-making and Felted vessels workshops have capped off a very satisfying and enjoyable time of learning, making new friends and fitting into a new community. What a wonderful year!!!!!!!!!!!

It was very sad to have to help our friends Brian and Warren pack up their home of 35 years to move from Potato Point to Bomaderry. It took some time and everyone was quite exhausted by the end of it all. I’m sure they learn to love their new home, which they have now made really cosy and welcoming!

We have loved having friends and family to visit – and treasure the precious time we have spent with them. Zalea and Nigel, as well as Mum and Dad and Zalea’s boyfriend, Johnny, will spend Christmas with us, which we are looking forward to immensely. Zalea is “blitzing” it at Uni with top scores in every subject. We feel very sure that she will again, in 2009, be in the elite top 15% of all university students, Australia-wide. Nigel continues to work in the gardening industry in Melbourne. Both kids have rented a small unit in Burwood East where they seem to be coping reasonably well and not getting on each other’s nerves too often.