Sunday 15 December 2013

Raglan Time

This post is a celebration because it has been a long time coming. Over three years ago, I left a beautiful little town in New Zealand reluctantly, vowing to return. It wasn't all roses over there but I felt at home and I really started to feel like myself, without having to prove it in the first place.

Raglan is a town of creatives, dreamers, doers, practical engineers and manual labourers. What set it apart for me is the connection everyone has to the town, to the place and to the sea. Anyone who knows me is aware of this tiny town on the other side of the world because I have consistently brought it up as I place I want to return to, a place I value, respect, cherish.

In May this year, after scrambling with no job, I moved back to the big smoke to make money and clear the debt once and for all. I am happy to say I did it!! With loving help and long hours at work but I did it. I surprised myself in the process with the realisation that I actually really like my job (as a teacher of English as a foreign language). As winter set in and the garden at home was further out of my reach, I removed myself from gardening, the motivation to look at my permaculture diploma or anything outdoors, sea or garden related.

Big mistake. The last few months have taught me that these are no longer mere interests in my life but essential components. I am a better human being, a happier person when these are actively present in my life everyday. I want to share the food, the growing, the learning, the fresh air and the pull of the waves with everyone but in particular, with city folk. I always thought I would live in the country and I think in time, I will. For now, it seems to vitally important to REconnect city folk with the natural world around them. It isn't enough to sit in a park in your suit on your lunch break.

The connection between food, farm and community is lost and I'm realising that for the next few years, that is my role. I also realised that I have allowed myself to become disconnected in the process. Now I feel a stranger to myself in many ways.

Where is this all going, you ask? Raglan solidified all the little ideas I had growing in my mind about food, sun, surf, community, environment and growing. So I am returning for two glorious months to reconnect with the starting ground and come back refreshed and inspired to make this part of my life truly part of who I am.
I am going to visit the permaculture farms, the local organic salad farm, the herbal dispensary, local family farms, the enviro centre, the eco hostel and talk with wonderful friends again. I am going to reconnect and fill this blog with photos of food, people, surf and sunsets.

This has all been floating in my mind for months but badly damaging my ankle last week solidified the whole concept for me.
My food blog post for today is to live in the moment, not in a hippy dippy way but in a meaningful way. Not only does it benefit you in the long-term but I think it makes you realise if you are really content where you are. If not, take my advice, change it.

Change can be something simple so on a foodie note, take some time for yourself and have a cup of tea. Enjoy those 10 minutes. Relax.

Boil some water
Take the time to pick your favourite mug or tea cup.
Even fancier, get a tea cup and a saucer
Find a quiet spot on your couch, on your bed, in a cosy chair or better yet, in the garden/balcony

If you can, get some herbs from the garden and stay clear of the tea bag
-chamomile, basil, mint, thyme, borage, lavender, whatever you like
Smell the herbs, pick the ones you want, gently, enjoy the colours in the teapot as you collect them

Enjoy walking around and picking something beautiful to fill your teapot.
Cover with hot water and infuse for at least 5 minutes
Play some music, read a book or simply sit in the silence.

Enjoy every moment of that cup of tea.

This post is dedicated to Eileen, my little herbalist fairy and Dee, my smiley lover of back gardens

If you're in Dublin, I can't recommend this magic tea place: Wall And Keogh

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