One Four Life. Week 3

__One + Four = Life

How has your week been? Good I hope.

I have been on holidays and missed two weeks of One, Four, Life with Nanjing Nian. But here I am again, refreshed and ready to go.

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There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady


I have been thinking quite a bit about the “slow” movement. Slow food, slow parenting.

I heard Carl Honore talk about the great cathedral space of a child’s imagination, and how we can help tend our children’s imaginations and development by allowing them time to just “be”.

This really struck a chord with me as there seems to have been such a dramatic change in how we raise our children, in such a short period of time. You can read a little bit more about that here at

There are lots of great benefits to the many opportunities and experiences our children have access to now, but we also must be wise in our choices as parents.

You can listen to the audio file of Carl Honore’s talk with Radio National here. I would love to know what you think.

I try to capture some of these “slow” ideas in my own daily life.

My daily tea ritual is about just that. Slowing down, taking time, being mindful, noticing what is good. Incorporating the slow, into the every day. Plus tea is delicious and good for us, so who needs a reason?

“Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

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Your descendants shall gather your fruits. Virgil


This is a small collection of my favourite treasures.

Gathering them together for an Instagram challenge was so enjoyable.

These things represent history, connection, family, kindness. Old things that have been lovingly cared for and tended too and held onto when they could have been discarded.

I try to incorporate minimalism into my life but the desire to collect is often overwhelming. My most long-standing collection is my depression era glass milk jugs. Do you have a collection that you hold dear?

Then there is this quote to consider. 🙂

“Certainly, it is more reasonable to devote one’s life to women than to postage stamps, old snuff-boxes, or even to paintings and statues.”

Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way


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“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage


What beautiful weather we are having. I enjoyed a coffee in the park in Berwick today. It has nearly been three years since I moved to Berwick and in some ways I still feel very disconnected from this community and this place. I have been reading quite a lot about the importance of connection to place. I also talk about it and write about it, a lot (sorry to all of you who get sick of listening.)

This beautiful photo represents some of what is lovely and good about the area I live in. But still I am not sure where I belong, where I would like to belong. I guess this is part of why I write this blog, to understand this place and this community. It is also why I write a lot about friendship and loneliness and making friends.

Thanks everyone for listening!

My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.

Billy Graham

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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine

hamilton islandWe took a little holiday to Queensland.

I once read a statistic that spoke about the small number of family holidays you really get to share with your children in your lifetime. One holiday per year for most of us, with the children losing interest sometime after 13.

So it becomes important to seize the day and create the memories and enjoy those  family holidays that will lay down a lifetime of memories.

We had a great time at Hamilton Island. The children and adults all equally entertained, indulged and relaxed in equal measure. What a glorious treat for us as a family!


So that has been my week.

Over to you. What is it that you collect? Any other thoughts on finding home or taking holidays?

Dani xx




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3 thoughts on “One Four Life. Week 3

  1. “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – truer words were never written! I’ve amassed a ridiculous collection of tea, and have actually been looking for AGES for a gorgeous vintage tea strainer like yours to add to my other cups and saucers and pots and what not… love it!

    And it was lovely to actually meet you last night 🙂 always wonderful to be able to put a face to the name!

  2. Lovely post Dani. Haven’t checked out the slow parenting articles yet but I agree that there is much busy-ness now – and I’m not quite sure how to slow it. My kids are right at the other end (one at uni, one in year 11) and I gave worried about them burning out over the tears – a combination of them wanting to be involved in activities (which is great and character building), what schools require them to do on an extra curricular basis and then the amount of school work they have to wade through at such a pace that I wonder how they can reflect and learn. I’m not sure how to achieve a balance. I think in the younger years you have a bit more control as a parent bug in the senior years it’s really tricky. And then when things aren’t slow for them, they’re not slow for me! And now that they are that age, we have to face the reality that we can’t be guaranteed of family holidays. We’ve never had a problem enticing them to come with us (have tried to keep the destinations enticing!) but we know that we can’t expect our older one to come anymore. He’s always welcome but we leave it up to him. Treasure them whilst you can x

  3. Hi Dani! I’m now finally catching up on some reading (and checking about the ‘what I learned at school’ blog) and I saw this post. Thank you so much for the cross reference! And I agree about the challenges achieving a slower life – it is important to consciously build measures to better achieve it, isn’t it? Holidays I think are so important, but so is feeling at home, and I hope your connections continue to strengthen (it’s so good to have the online ones, too xx)

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