I’m very much enjoying my holiday in Betsy. Heather and I are seeing many places In South Australia for the first time. Meeting and chatting to people on the road. With no social media to check, my phone is mostly being used to take photos and guide our way.
With a ten year old as the navigator, we’ve ended up going places I’ve not planned on visiting and driven on more dirt roads than I would of liked. Making memories for Heather and I, that will last a lifetime. She’s an incredible kid and these last few days of just her and I have been amazing and precious.
Where have we been? (The High Lights)
Saturday Night we spent at Hummocks Station, camped my a creek. Heather and I saw twin lambs being born. Had dinner with Rosemary and Alister. We chatted about the new yarn spun from Leahcim wool. I showed my latest dye results. The yarn takes dye intensely, giving a richness of colour and sheen. Alister explained it was because of the way they have bred the wool to be more rounded in structure, which changes the way the wool reflects light, giving merino a sheen similar to a long wool.
Monday we visited Moonta. I parked Betsy at the RV park and made Heather walk out to the Moonta Mines, I bribed her with lollies from the lolly shop. We had a ride on the train at the mines Museum. After all that walking we both were asleep before 10pm
Tuesday Balgowan. We booked into a Caravan park for a shower. Balgowan is stunning. Heather and I walked the beach, looking for sea glass. Of course trying to keep a ten year old out of the water wasn’t possible! Wet shoes and socks.
Wednesday We visited another little beach town Tickera, a tiny little place. This is where Heather navigated me onto a few dirt roads! We stopped Alford for the night and met Ray, the gentleman I write about below.
People we have met – social justice issue
Many of the beautiful places we have visited have been heavily populated with stunning homes with views across the ocean. Many of those homes, would be holiday homes. I don’t feel jealous for what others have, I see the bills to maintain those houses! The building of wealth for wealths sake isn’t something I admire. A friend of mine, Sister Eunice commented that we actually have it harder today than older generations. When she was growing up most people did not have so many possessions to maintain. Clothing was limited to school/ work clothes, play clothes and Sunday Best. The washing may of been done by hand but there wasn’t a mountain of it. With less possessions cleaning was similarly less time consuming. The reason I’m reflecting on this is that on my journeys I met a man in his 70s living in his car. Homeless at Seventy due to a marriage break up. Asked to leave the family home at sudden notice, with just what he was wearing and his car. With the joint bank account being closed, he had nothing. He talked about how hard it has been, he talked of the kindest of others, he talked of how he wished it had happened years ago!
He’s travelling from town to town living in his car, seeing South Australia. Talking to strangers. he told me how wonderful Centerlink was and how fast they were to get emergency funding to help him. It was good to hear a good news story about Centerlink! How the small amount of money he has isn’t enough to pay for site fees at many of the caravan parks, so he looks for Free Parking areas like here at Alford, where I’m currently staying. He talks about how generous and kind the local community here has been.
His view of the world was inspiring. He talked about the RV’s pulling into the park many being worth over $250,000, more than some peoples houses! We talked about people wanting to get out of the city and experience the regions in their mansions on wheels. Plugged in with their satellite dishes, washing machines and dishwashers. Insulated from the environment they have come to experience, like visitors to the zoo.
Having more is not better. Having more blinds us, having more ties us to possessions rather than people and our environment. Having more is tiring; cleaning more, paying more; working more; worrying more.
I’m loving being switched off. Not having social media in my pocket to distract me to the world around me. I didn’t have Facebook for many years and only opened an account again when I started the business. All the advice was that you NEED social media to publicise a business. Back on the social media I jumped, forgetting why I left the first time. I left because it had become an addiction. Social Media channels deliberately manipulate their users for this to be the case. It’s how they keep users and keep the money rolling in.
By eliminating Social media from my life I am making a choice on how I want to use the internet, rather than being manipulated by the social media businesses. Yesterday I took the step of deleting my instagram account, rather than it being only deactivated. I don’t want to go back to the scrolling and seeing images of what others are doing or have and comparing myself. I no longer want to know what the latest big controversy is or social justice fight is over. I no longer want to step into a space that is toxic to my mental health. A place where others can leave judgements of me via their comments and lack of.
But what about your business???
What about it? I’ve discovered after chatting to many visitors to the shop that there are a lot of people who are not on Social Media. Social Media makes me a lazy marketer of my business, there are more ways than Social Media to market a business. Not all online marketing is on social media. Increasing my blogging and learning to use SEO, printed flyers, email lists, supporting and getting involved in local events. Asking my suppliers to add me to their advertising in magazines. (Thanks Ashford and Australian Yarn Company) Advertising in Yarn and Felt magazines.
Where to next?
North, I think. Still lots of thinking to do. What do I really want in my life? What’s important to me? How does the shop fit into what I want, or does it? Where do I want to be in five years? Taking time to think and just be.