Tag Archives: technology

Back to the books

6 Mar


I am amazed at how tech reliant I have become. So much of my life seems to revolve around what I need to e-mail, research, or communicate on line. But what happens when mother nature strikes? In this case literally, and your portal to your online world is zapped?

Sydney has been experiencing some very un-summery weather, and for about a week we had some very impressive electrical storms. Unfortunately it seems that both our computer and router were fried in one of the storms, and we’ve been without them for about two weeks now. Frustrating and inconvenient? – yes! The end of the world as we know it? – no way. An opportunity to reconnect with an old school way of doing things? – Definitely!

I’ve talked about going slow before. You can refresh your memory here. The difference is that last time it was voluntary and this time it is an enforced tech-out.

I have had to come up with some creative ways to get plans finished, prepare quotes and research and select plants. I have a fantastic library of books, and the lack of computer has given me the opportunity to open the bookshelf doors and reacquaint myself with these old friends. I had actually forgotten about some of the books, so it was like a little walk down memory lane.

Some of my books were bought while I was travelling, some when I was at University, and others were gifts. It was the books that were gifts that bring back the best memories. My Mum has given me a mountain of landscape books over the years, she knows me well. She also has a great eye for books, and having been the wife of an architect and mum of a landscape architect she’s learnt a few things about design over the years. I’ve spent a bit too much time flipping through the books she brought back from the US, or the gorgeous Australian Garden Design book she gave me a couple of years ago, but it was the Collection of Australian Wildflower Illustrations that made me stop and think.


Mum and Dad (or should I say Santa) gave me this book for Christmas when I was 10. Long before I was a landscape architect, before I think I had even considered it as a career choice. I remember spending hours flicking through the pages and savouring the delicate water colour illustrations. Could it have been this book that started me down the path I’m following? Could it have sown the little seed that has grown into the garden of my life?



I’m quite enjoying my tech exile for the short term, my books are keeping me company, and reminding me of my roots, but I can’t wait to re-discover the convenience of the world at my fingertips.



The art of slow

4 Jul

The Drama Queen taking it slow

I read a blog post by Melbourne Mumma on Saturday morning.  It was about how she much prefers to lead a slow paced life despite how we’re expected to be on call and in touch every minute of every day.  And it was about how she’s torn between the desire to live simply and her innate need to strive and achieve.  I related to her summary of the Mummy / Career dilemma so well.

Having kids has completely changed the professional outlook I had.  I fall neatly into the ”career woman who earnt good money working long hours and taking work home then had kids and don’t ever want to return to my old career, but now at a crossroads” cliche.

I’ve also had a similar dilemma, how am I going to meet the two desires in my life – the desire to love and nurture my family and my desire to continually grow, achieve and improve for myself, particularly when I have no desire to return to the life or career I had before I had children?  Drawn Outdoors is my solution.  It will provide me with the ability to set the agenda and direction for my business, and give myself the opportunity to really satisfy my soul.

But the idea of living slower got me thinking.  How would I go without a mobile phone or computer for a day? I set myself a challenge, yes it was only a day, maybe I’ll try a whole weekend next time.  By the end of Sunday I’d kept strong, I hadn’t logged onto Facebook, checked my e-mail or looked at how many people had read my blog.  I didn’t surf the net for random, yet extremely useful pieces of trivia and I hadn’t sent a single text message.

I wasn’t any worse off.  I hadn’t lost anything, but had gained time to spend with the people who are important in my life.  True, we spent that time unpacking more of our mountain of stuff (which raised another question, how much stuff do we need?), but we spent it together unencumbered by the pressure technology places on our lives.

I know I’m old school in a lot of what I do and how I do it.  I cherish the hand made and home cooked, and I’m a dedicated hand drawer. There is a freedom in the link between hand and mind that I can’t recreate on a computer.  But having said that, I know I need to tech up with Drawn Outdoors to create efficiencies, to work smarter and to create more time to take it slow (oh the irony!).

At the end of Sunday I took some time out to chat with the Drama Queen about how life was when I was her age.  She was mystified with the concept that TV wasn’t always colour and that back then there was no ABC Kids.  The concept that there were no DVDs stumped her – “how did you watch movies?”  And the fact that there was no Thomas the Tank Engine, Wiggles, Woody and Buzz or Ariel was just horrifying.  When I told her that we did have Play School and Mickey Mouse she sighed and said “Oh thank goodness for that Mummy”.  It made me realise that what we consider hectic, for her will possibly be slow.

So from now I’m going to make sure we take the time to stop, look and breathe.  Slow down.  Slow food – from the source, made from scratch.  Smell the roses.  Enjoy nature.  Get our hands dirty.  Appreciate our environment.  Be Drawn Outdoors.


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