Normal, but not


So here we all are, suddenly looking out at a very different world.

For us isolation is completely normal. A week can pass without us seeing anyone outside our immediate family and it is common for me to be completely alone for large chunks of the day. Right now I am grateful to have plenty of distance between us and the outside world. Of course, we will have to venture out at some point but only when necessary.

Buying supplies in bulk is also completely normal for us. The pantry is always well stocked with dry and tinned staples. The cupboard is always stocked with spare toiletries and dare I say, toilet paper. Coffee beans are also considered essential. We have frozen meat, bread, cakes and pastry as part of our everyday diet. I do favour fresh milk but always have a backup supply of UHT milk. I am confident we could survive for 2-3 weeks without shopping, no panic buying, just being resourceful.

Things that are not so normal are the disruptions to our forward planning and schooling situation. Our daughter was on the verge of returning to boarding school with her horse. Now, it is unclear how school will look going forward for human students, never mind the horses!

Almost all of the community events around us have been cancelled meaning that small outback communities are missing out on vital social interactions and much needed income.

On a more personal level I have been planning my first local sourdough workshop that I hoped would become an ongoing venture. It has taken some time for the right venue to become available but I had finally booked for early May. My friend and all round technical whiz, JJ has been getting my site set up to take online bookings and I had planned to start advertising as we speak. But, of course now is the worst possible time to be holding a communal food handling event. So, this venture will be shelved for now.

Several kind people have suggested that I set up an online workshop scenario but my vision was to showcase the outback and involve some local businesses to sit alongside the bread making. Bringing fellow bakers together in person to connect and share is something I also wanted to be part of the overall experience. But, perhaps our whole world is moving online. I truly hope this isn’t the case.

I will turn my attention back on the simple things that bring me joy; my family, our garden, cooking hearty meals, podcasts, pet goats and taking photos. Of course there is a household and a sheep station to run and we are still waiting on a decent rain. We can do all of these things with minimal human interaction, working from home is exactly what farmers have always done. I am very grateful for this.

I hope everyone is safe and staying strong and healthy in these uncertain times.

Jane x


  1. Reply

    Kerrie Wall

    March 23, 2020

    We are in exactly the same position. It is pretty standard for us to go without a town trip for two weeks.

    Feels weird though knowing that while we are carrying on as normal that the rest of the world is in chaos.

    Stay safe x

    • Reply

      Jane S

      March 24, 2020

      Thank you Kerrie, take care x

  2. Reply


    March 23, 2020

    I’ve been thinking about you Jane through all this and wondering if it made much difference. Who wouldn’t want to stay put with delicious food like yours in the photos? I hope you’ll get your sourdough workshop rescheduled when all this is over as it sounds an exciting idea.

    Luckily my pantry is always kept fairly well stocked and though there are a few gaps appearing now, it’s mostly because I’ve used up all those half started packets of things bought for a certain recipe that was only made once.

    Stay safe. Anne x

    • Reply

      Jane S

      March 24, 2020

      Hello Anne, nice to hear from you. I miss our blog chats! It is a great time for getting creative with our pantries isn’t it? I hope your world is safe and not too chaotic at this time. Despite our isolation it is still very unsettling as we watch and listen to the world changing at every minute x

  3. Reply


    March 23, 2020

    Your life is one I think many people will be dreaming of right now Jane. The isolation, self sufficiency & being able to continue in as normal, well, mostly normal, sounds bloody delightful to me.
    Take care & stay healthy xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      March 24, 2020

      Hello Reannon. Yes we are very lucky. Despite our isolation it is hard to not get caught up in the anxiety and craziness of it all. I hope you are safe too. Keep baking and stay in touch x

  4. Reply


    March 25, 2020

    Thank you for your posts and beautifull pictures.
    I say hello from Colmar in France, the COVID19 epicenter at the moment.
    We are safe, most of the time at home, as every one at the time, not too much worry, serene.
    Peace, love and good health to every one.
    Thank you.

    • Reply

      Jane S

      March 26, 2020

      Thank you Julie, take care.

  5. Reply

    Liz Posmyk

    March 28, 2020

    Hi Jane, it’s like being in a deep sleep and finding yourself in a bad dream, but no matter what you can’t seem to wake up. I’m sorry to hear that your venture has to be put on hold. Hopefully it won’t be too long before you can start planning again. We had planned a month in Budapest, from mid-May and were so looking forward to relaxing and not having to think about bushfires and evacuations.

    Being on the coast now, I too keep a well-stocked pantry and am so happy that we don’t have to venture into town to the big supermarkets. We learned a few key lessons about shortages of food, water and other supplies during and after the fires. Peter and I are staying home as much as possible, other than our morning walks on the beach with our dog, Molly. My garden brings me joy, as does the ritual of cooking lunch, which is our main meal every day.

    Thank you for continuing to share your beautiful photographs and words. Stay safe. See you on the other side. xx

    • Reply

      Jane S

      April 7, 2020

      Hello Liz, nice to hear from you as always. I hope you and Peter are staying safe. x

  6. Reply


    April 5, 2020

    We are getting used to our new “normal” here. We have days, more like moments, when everyone is ready to snap, but I think once everyone is back at school (online) and in a routine we will be better off.
    I’m hating going out to do the shopping. I usually shop fortnightly and now I’m considering every trip out the door for hours beforehand, do I need to go, what are the risks, all questions I ask myself. I’d much rather stay home and be safe.
    I hope you get to run your sourdough workshop. I’d definitely make the trip to participate!

    • Reply

      Jane S

      April 7, 2020

      Hi Kate, thinking of you, stay safe x