The last few weeks have been pretty rough. Emotionally it’s been rather challenging. I’ve let outside distractions dictate my headspace. No matter how much I try to not allow certain things to happen, there are so many things out of my control. How I deal with these situations varies, and the last few weeks I reckon I could have done a better job. I’m constantly reminded that I’m at times a weaker man than I’d like to be. Not weak as in the tough, manly stereotype but as in being a better thinker, a better do-er. I’m not sure if those past few lines make much sense to you, but they sure do to me.

As I tossed and turned last night, listening to the strong summer winds rattle the old roof, I thought long and hard about the recent events. I’ve let things get to me, and it’s not the kind of situation that I work so hard for. I want simplicity, I want to prove to myself that there is a perfectly suited way to live my life, it may not be applicable to everyone but it’s what I strive for.

I want to continue to be active in ensuring the three important things to survive are sorted out. Food. Water. Shelter.

That’s the triple threat to our survival. It’s a hard life without all three, and in this past week this threesome of survival elements has been challenged.

Some things I can’t control, but I can sort out two elements with a little hard work, and it continues to be my goal to take more responsibility for our food. In fact I’ve worked very hard these last few months preparing for the warm season crop and it’s finally here. And it’s meals like this one that represent to me the very essence of my goal – food that’s been prepared by me, made from ingredients that I’m proud to say are from my semi-self sufficient life choice. Our eggs, onion, chives, spinach. I even made the bread (sorry I can’t make my own flour). I dressed it with goats cheese which is Meredith’s…local for me.

It’s something that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s something anyone can do in their backyard. It’s a meal that represents to me what is achievable. Sure it’s basic, but it covers one of the elements of our survival triple threat. And if we get bare bones, that’s what we’re all doing. Just trying to survive.

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  • annie

    “How I deal with these situations varies, and the last few weeks I reckon I could have done a beer job”. Sometimes you just need to do a beer job. Provided it’s home-brew, of course… I’ve often thought about how your life would have changed since the book came out. Must be crazy for you… Thanks though, for weathering it. You’re such an important insporation and reminder for so many people

    • rohan

      Thanks Annie!

  • veggie mama

    We’re only human… we can all do a better job, all the time. It’s good to know that though, to take stock and evaluate and learn and do better.

  • ladyblogalot

    Dude, it sounds suspiciously like you live where you do so that the Meredith Dairy is ‘local’… awesome idea ;) I recently wrote a story for the Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine about the locavore movement, and how there’s so much stuff available in the area now from fancypants French Black Truffles to rosemary on the nature strips… there’s so, so much if you want to look for it. And that’s what makes you so awesome, you’re dedicated to doing that. Good work. and… yum.

  • Jools

    Although it is unclear what has caused you to feel that you could have done a better job in the past week, know that what does come through from each of your postings is your courage. Courage to pursue your dream, to be vulnerable, to reach for a life that truly resonates with all that matters to you. That is strength.

    I congratulate you! And wish you a better week to come!

  • Jane @ Shady Baker

    You are always an inspiration Rohan and this meals looks absolutely delicious.

  • Miss Piggy

    Life is all about trails and trying to be a better person I think. Chin up…you’re doing a tops job!

  • Simon

    Rohan – by your last tweet looks like one of those all important three is under threat – can’t help out on that score (as i live rural nsw) but i know the panic. The school house we were living in was owned by dept of teacher housing and it came under the category of “surplus to needs, too many assets on the books” and was slated for knockdown (it was a piece of crap house wise and not surprised it fell in at the bottom of the list).
    We experienced a bit of panic but negotiations with the landlords to stay a bit longer proved fruitful. We’ve now moved out but they still haven’t knocked the thing down – not sure what the urgency was about.

    Remember those three all important things go in order of importance – water, shelter, food.

    I’m sure something will come up for you – there is always a crappy farmhouse sitting empty that isn’t being used. And considering you have access to more contacts than a lot of people you should be right. Good luck.

  • Gerard Reardon

    Come down to Tassie Rohan…..Lets buy Acres and Acres and like minded people can support each other ….OFF THE GRID.

    Your doing a great job,time to start pickling and preserving for winter.


    • Dad Berry

      Yay! Bruny Island!

    • Daniel

      Hi Gerard. I’m planning to move to Tassie to get some land, build a cabin with solar and rain water. Would love to chat :-) bigdan99 at email dot com.


  • Meg

    Hi Rohan, just recently discovered your blog/website/facebook. Sounds like you’re doing it tough. Been there, done that. Just know that something will turn up when you need it. I hate platitudes and stuff so we won’t go there. Looks like you’re being proactive by asking for help. Wish I could assist
    with accommodation. Know that you’re in our thoughts. Good luck. Meg

  • Pip

    I feel your pain. I really do! Things always have a way of working out, but sometimes they have to give you a nasty kick in the ankle before they do. Often repeatedly. It’s sucky. Thinking of your lovely clan. xx

    • rohan

      xo pip!

  • Goo

    To be so self-aware is to be doing a great job already. There will always be smarter & always not so smart. I just put my blinkers on & just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Chooks that lay eggs, soil that could grow babies, sunshine, freedom …. it’s truly wonderful to be alive. Best wishes to u all.

    • rohan


  • David Ritchie

    Half the battle is recognizing that we can all do better so I reckon you’re half way there. We all try to do our best and live by our values but unfortunately sometimes life makes us compromise – seems to be you’re doing a hell of a lot better than most on that score and you are an inspiration!

    • rohan

      Thanks David!

  • Lou

    Hi Rohan,

    i heard you on the abc a week or two back – inspirational stuff ….. and its crazy that aiming for the simple life seems so ‘alternate’ these days. Good on you for trying to tread lightly upon the earth and leave it a better place for your kids to inherit. When all around is dark, the light shines brighter. Cheers

    • rohan

      Thats beautiful Lou…thanks for dropping on by.

  • Justin

    Further to Annie’s comment, I’m also guessing that it’s tough having to deal with some of the trollish stuff that’s come your way in the last month. Putting yourself out there is a double edged sword. On the one side you get to inspire people and make some kind of a difference. On the other, you inevitably attract knockers, most of whom are happy to shoot from the hip rather than offer anything remotely accurate or constructive. Bugger ‘em, I say. You’re doing work that matters mate, and doing it well!

    Hope the distractions sort themselves out, and if I can help in any way (albeit from another state!), just sing out. Maybe 2013 will go beyond survival to “thrival”.

    • rohan

      Love ya work as usual Justin!

  • Ami

    Keep at it Rohan. You’re on the right track. Be encouraged. Many folks would love to do what you’re doing but don’t have the courage to take that leap. You have. You’re stronger than you think!

    • rohan

      Thanks for the encouragement Ami!

  • i am not a celebrity

    You’re a brave man, Ro. First, for striving for a life I would prefer but find far too difficult given the contradictory nature of what I do and how I feel. And second for sharing your pain so publicly.

    I really hope you’re in better spirits. What you do is so much more than the sum of it.


  • Sharon @ Funken Wagnel

    Maybe you could’ve done things better, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that what you are doing is amazing. You may not see it though, because it’s your ‘normal’.

    I hope things get better for you though, nothing worse than being stuck like this! I hope it’s a sign of something even better for you.

  • ArchFarrago

    Long time listener. First time caller.

    Mate, remember that we’ve existed for a long time as people as a community for a reason. My tomatoes fail, my mate gives me some spinach. My corn blows over in the easterlies, my neighbour gives me some suprlus eggs.

    You don’t get a prize for doing it solo.
    I’ve been telling my 2 year old daughter, share, share share.

    What goes around comes around.

  • Selby

    Sorry to hear it’s feeling so tough- awful that just hanging in there feeling. Hope it eases for you soon.

    Your keeping on trying even when it’s really tough- & I think that takes real courage.

  • Paul – The Kind Little Blogger

    I’m in a similar predicament with shelter. Actually, no I’m not, but it’s a complicated one–in my mind–nonetheless. I live in a modern house in a capital city. We have access to a community garden in our street, so I can grow some produce at least. But I want my own space, somewhere different, away from one of the people I live with–for selfish reasons–with a small pile of dirt. This place offers security and predictability. I fear that in moving, being a renter too, the next place may not be as secure; it’s a new landlord to build a relationship with, who may have different ideas to me.

    Renting seems transient. But, that seems to be a fear one has as they rent. Most renters I know end up being in the same house for a long time, which makes the fears they had along the way kind of unfounded–to think they wasted that time and energy, being fearful.

  • Lachlan

    Saw this and thought of you.

    Same, same but different!!! Might be up your alley, just expanding your boundaries, stepping a bit further outside the comfort zone? Bringing your quiet zeal to a global audience?

    Maybe? ;)

    • Olly

      This would our lad, like a glove…..

      • Olly

        you know… fit our lad…..

  • Olly

    Mate. I know you only through this blog and the inspirational words you paste in it, however you wear your heart on your sleeve and your honesty with your words, your passion and your experience make me want to aspire to at least some of your ideals. My lifestyle is vastly different to yours, but mate, you make a difference to people’s lives. Good on you brother, good on you.

    I dont know what’s going on in your life right now but mate, you’re made of the survival stuff, pretty stern stuff. You can grow, hunt, cook and cure. You can cultivate and you can inspire not just with what you put on the plate or grow in your garden but with words as well. If life is offering you a shitfy deal now, wait a bit, it’ll get better. Shit like this is cyclic. Just ask Gant …..
    Later on when the fan shite has been cleared away, write about it as well as you do and inspire, encourage and motivate others.
    Me? I get on a big fast motorcycle and twist that futters neck until I become focused, then I take a deep breath, have a good hard talk to myself and get on with it. Works for me….but I’m an old bikie, it should work for me.

  • Jeff

    I’m late to this post, but I hope know that things are looking up for you.

    I have a question about the dish in your photo – how did you prepare the veggies? I find when making scrambles, I either overcook or undercook the veggie and then Ii’m left with unsatisfying results.

    Great stuff. Can’t wait to buy your book!

    • rohan

      I sweat out the onion, on very low heat, then add chorizo or jamon, then pop in spinach then eggs. Works every time.

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