Mouse and her BabyMac spot

Now I have to tell you guys about just about my FAVOURITE part of the whole adventure into the outback and that was meeting Felicity aka Mouse. Here she is in all her glory when we arrived after 14 hours of travel in 42 degree heat at Barkly Homestead.

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A vision splendid with her G&T station set up complete with stylish tea towels and cloths and ICY G&Ts! It was like a gift from the Gods. In fact, Mousey may well be part angel/goddess.

Now the whole reason that any of were actually out there was due to Mouse. You see, she started reading my blog about 7 years ago now. 7! She was on the computer googling something one day when she stubbled across BabyMac. Now that’s saying something because there were definitely not that many people reading the blog back then. She had no idea what it was, or what a blog was, but she binge read all the posts for 3 days and stuck with me ever since. Committed! Then she told me how BabyMac was her dirty little secret for 3 whole years. She would sneak into that computer and read whatever was up there, keeping it secret from anyone because really, what WAS a blog? And was she a stalker? (no) and What would people think? And then finally she came out of the closet, shared the blog with a friend of hers (Miss Chardy) and the rest is history shall we say.

She lives REALLY far away. On the border of QLD/NT but right up the top with one of their boundary fences being the Gulf of Carpenteria. She got to the event on Saturday in her plane!

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And of course when I met her I fell in LOVE with her. She’s one of us, friends. Obviously as soon as she accepted my Instagram request I went deep. Like waaaay back into her feed, because that’s what you do right? Ensuring that you don’t hit like 64 weeks into their feed.

Did I say she was one of us?

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Outback vignetting of gin and Pimms. So deeply pleasing Mousey.

I had lots of chances to sit and chat with Mouse and hear her stories. She runs a tight ship that’s for sure. She loves to cook and clean and of course gets an itchy neck too if the beds aren’t made by 9am. I got to make a private video with her to send to another friend of hers, Bernadette (Hi Bernadette!) who couldn’t make it there, and we discussed important matters like what my morning schedule looks like, who helps in the garden etc.

But I have to say my favourite part of it all was when she told me about where she reads the blog. She told me how she will be busy doing her chores (in the office or home or out and about) and she will see that I have written a blog post. So she doesn’t stop, she makes sure she uses it as a treat at the end of her jobs. She makes a cuppa. She loads up the iPad with the post (rural internet SUCKS and takes forever to load) then she gets into her favourite little spot (cane couch, she showed me photos) and she sits down and reads my blog. How special is that? I LOVED hearing that so much and I just loved so much meeting Mouse and hearing her stories of resilience and hard work, and the love of a well made scone and fluffed cushion.

Got me thinking about where you guys are when you read my blog.
At a park bench while your kids play?
At home on your laptop or computer?
In the car on your phone while you wait for your kids to do something?

I’d love to know!

And I wanted to tell Mouse, when she sits down and reads this, just how much I loved meeting her in person. And to thank her for reading my blog for all these years, despite the strangeness of it all, because look where it got us? A G&T in person in the middle of nowhere!

We talked a lot on the weekend about women and connections and how that’s essentially what blogging is. Sharing our stories, feeling less alone, or just having a laugh. It’s a special thing and I am so honoured to be a part of so many peoples lives. It’s humbling. And I don’t for one second take for granted how lucky I am to be in the position that I am.

Thanks for reading. And sharing. And connecting with us all.

So tell me, whereย are you reading this blog post right now?
Couch? Car? City or Country? Where’s your BabyMac spot?

I can tell you I am writing in on my dining room table while Maggie sleeps (THANK YOU BABY CHEESES) on a sunny afternoon in Burrawang. I’m about to go get the washing off the line and start the afternoon of kids and chores and food and homework.

Comments

  1. So lovely to hear about Mouse! I read at my computer in my home office between writing my PhD and editing photos for my photography business. I share my home space during the day with my furry friend (cat) so I love to pop in and feel like I’m having some human conversation when I read BabyMac – even if the conversation is one way ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

  2. So beautifully written- as usual! I’m reading Baby Mac on my couch as bubba naps and before the afternoon craziness begins!
    I love the idea of using it as a treat- setting myself up with a cuppa! Your posts always leave a smile on my face and a little gratitude in my heart! Thanks!

  3. I’m reading at my desktop, listening to the boys banging on a shed roof.
    (PS. I bet Felicity won’t be able to wait to read this one! Hi Mouse!)
    A x

  4. @fairview_farmhouse says

    I’ve fed the kids lunch, popped one to bed, encouraging the other two to go outside while I sit on the couch and read your post (while I breastfeed the baby). But pretty much I read your posts anytime they pop up in my email or on my facebook. At swimming lessons, in the car waiting for the kids but right now, it’s mostly when I sit down to feed the baby. I look forward to your posts everyday ??

  5. Hanging out my back porch to read your post today! A few spare moments before it’s time for kinder pick up ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Currently reading at work, while taking a 5-minute mental health break *cough*

  7. I read sometimes at my work in MtKuringai but I live in Newport on the Northern Beaches, so sometimes at home, at the beach or waiting for kids sports! My sister used to live in Burrawang and her kids went to kindy and started school there but they moved into Bowral when their eldest was 7 or 8. He just turned 27! Jeepers, didn’t realise it was that long ago! I took my now hubby straight down there after our 1st night cos of course I was desperate to know what my sis thought of him! Poor guy, overnight sleepover with the new family, 2nd night in… Good Old Mouse and her G&T’s – nothing better after travelling for that long in THAT heat. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I always read in bed! I’ve got a chronic illness so I spend 16-24 hours per day there. You’re one of the blogs and websites that keeps me from going insane!

  9. OMG, Mouse is going to … going to … ummmm cream her cream bun when she reads this!!!! The Super Fan!!! Love this story Beth, just love it. Warms my heart. God it was a good weekend, thank you so much for coming up!!!! So glad Mouse finally got to meet you!!!

  10. PS: I am reading this on my laptop at my kitchen bench… as I cook myself a #notafatmoleforchristmas friendly BLT lettuce cup arrangement for lunch. xx

  11. i love that! … thanks for sharing nice vibes beth!
    hello mouse, lovely to meet you! … love a bit of vignetting for sure!
    I started reading abeachcottage and didn’t read other blogs! because i’m older and what was a blog? none of my friends were doing it! …
    then I moved over to styling you and felt I needed to make an introduction! and the rest is history!
    I came in from my gardening in the sun!!! with cool easterly! … Goolwa so mouse knows!
    clever girl with her plane!
    I plonked onto my couch with laptop and sparkling mineral water with lemon peel shavings!
    a good day for whatever! much love m:)X

  12. Doha, Qatar. In my jim jams, 7.25am – kids are off to school and this is my little treat before starting work at 8. I have no vignettes or fluffed cushions, seriously, a couple of my cushions are like pancakes and you’ve really made me re-assess the cushion situation this morning! I need to try harder I think. I love Felicity and have bonded with Ms Chards and her crew over boarding school blog posts and the fact that I’m originally a country girl. I LOVE these women – there is a direct correlation to outback and expat life – the same isolation and the same comraiderie between women. Very special. Loved watching your trip from afar xx

  13. Sitting under the caravan awning on the beachfront at Port Broughton on Yorke Peninsula,SA…..enjoying a lime and soda today ?

  14. I’m reading this standing next to the stove stirring pasta sauce so it’s ready for when we get back from swimming lessons at 6.15pm. Gah. Sorry do not special, but still enjoy reading!!!!

  15. Hi Beth! I’ve read this post on the train home from work in Sydney. I always make sure I save anything you/Mrs Woog/Nikki have written to read when I can take a moment to read it properly. On my non-work days I’ll also make a cup of tea and sit down to catch up on what you’ve all been sharing with us.

  16. You are like my crack – I use your posts as a special treat after I have finished my chores and the kids are napping/having quiet time. Sometimes I haven’t been on your site in a while and I binge read and I love reading all the comments {and I think about replying/starting convos with people – but then wonder if that’s okay/too stalkerish/weird}. Meeting you in person has been like one of the highlights of my year and I want to meet up with so many more of the people that I follow online.

  17. What a fabulous thing to meet such a long time, initially secret reader. Yay for Mouse!

    I read your blog in bed, or on the couch, usually on my iPad, or on my phone if I just MUST get my fix and am out and about.

    And every time I read it Beth, it makes me smile, and thank the baby cheeses for this blogging caper, which helps all of us, city mouse and country mouse, feel connected in this big old world.

  18. Cheekiechops says

    Mostly I read at my desk in the family room at the end of evening- you, Mrs Woog, Nikki and a few of my US faves and sometimes I sneak a look during my working hours between clients as I am driving around, mostly i get prompted by your IG pics.
    Bring back the podcasts, I love listening to podcasts when I visit clients (as in patients ) in the evenings.

  19. Yes – this…

    I loved loved loved this little series of blog posts from you and Mrs Woog & Nikki and Miss Chardy.

    and you know what – good women, just like that, are everywhere in Australia if we just make connections..

    xx

  20. This is so gorgeous to read. BabyMac blog has been my savior when my eyes feel like they’ll cross permanently as I try and calm my two wee boys. As a stay at home mum by the seaside on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, I read your gorgeously hilarious posts whenever I get that 10minutes of ‘I’ve so got this totally under control and can tune out now’. I’ve read you at the park, on the beach or in the backyard. I’ve just read this now post dinner with a pre-kids bed G + T.
    I love reading of your blog friendship with Mrs Woog and Styling You (who I must admits I discovered first of all you three).
    Thanks for the laughs, those wee
    Minutes of sanity and for letting us feel like we would be locals if we went for a meal at Burrawang Pub.

  21. On the desktop. You and Woogsworld are my transition time. Home from work, cuppa, read your blogs then on to creating dinner. Thank you

  22. I usually read while I’m having a coffee after I get home from my morning walk, at the desk in the corner of the lounge. I like to imagine that you and your commenters are my friends and we all hanging together to share a cuppa and a snippet of our lives. Sometimes I read on my phone when I’m out and about and have some waiting time.
    cheers Kate

  23. I always read at 7.50am, husband just left for work, girls still in bed or already at work, before I have to get my Mom up who has Alzheimers. You are my start to the day and particularly at the moment after having spent 3 weeks in Australia visiting my son who lives there, I am really missing him and your wonderful country. So thank you for making me feel a little bit closer to him via your blog. keep up the good work. xx

  24. I’ve been a loyal reader of your for a few years now Beth. I read it whenever I find a moment. This morning it was on the way home from the school run in the 17th arrondisment in Paris. You’re blog is a breath of fresh air and keeps me connected with home. You also inspired me to write my blog!

  25. Reading this over my morning cup of tea in an air bnb in sunny but chilly England! I found you via instagram late last year and followed straight away because at that stage we were planning to buy a property in the Highlands around spring 2016. Well, life and all that, here we are, semi-newly arrived in Blighty, doing a stint in the UK, searching for a cute little cottage in a cute little village to move to. I follow along on your blog and insta because a little place in the Southern Highlands is “end goal” for me. One day I will live there. It’s my happy place. Until then I live vicariously through people who do live there, like you, and my mum!

  26. I read in my lunch break at work teaching so a little adult oasis in a sea of children’s lives .I love it thanks a Beth .In the holidays it usually involves a pimms or gin .

  27. Ann Caldicott says

    I am sitting on my lounge reading your Blog enjoying the last hours of my birthday. I am so happy to have found you Beth.

  28. I am currently sitting on a lounge chair relaxing in noosa on holidays. Usually I read it in Sydney in between screams from the kids.

    I love blogging and how reading one blog leads to you another. I started with retromummy and from there found you & others

    I also love that looking at other commenters in this post I follow many of them on socials & blogs

  29. Lovely post Beth! The connections made via blogging can bring us together wherever we are! I started reading your blog (along with Mrs W & Styling You) 6 years ago. Getting to meet you was fun too! You did a cooking the sausage rolls demo at Bondi one Saturday with Penny Webb.. ages ago! I read your blog as I am now, on the phone! Sometimes in bed as now.. other times during the day. This retirement gig lends itself to lots more time to choose what I do! The stories from Barkly Women’s Day have made me go back down memory lane from our decades ago gig in remote NSW! I loved it all. Thank you!

  30. Well I dunno how long we’ve been ‘friends’ now ?? I’ve just celebrated by 4th year anniversary of being retired, so maybe it’s four years? Because I’m retired, I have the luxury of time to read, cry and laugh with your blog whenever it takes my fancy. But, being retired doesn’t mean you have all the time in the world to do what you like. Everyone thinks, well you’ve got heaps of time, you should do this.. and that .. and before you know it, you’re just as busy as when you were working WITHOUT BEING PAID ha ha haaaa – how funny is that ?

  31. Hi Beth! Like Mouse, I also save mine for a ”treat”. I read it religiously whilst breastfeeding my son to sleep at home in the Blue Mountains. As a chronically exhausted mama, reading your blog and scrolling Instagram keeps me interested enough to not fall asleep. And then I get to make a cup of tea and have some ”me” time on the couch reading. Great efforts you went to in your trip – well done!

  32. Lisa Aherne says

    I love your blogs and today read them early morning in my chemise on the couch, and tonight in a more mundame nightie, back on the couch! With lots of other action in between. Xx

  33. Great story Beth…this is certainly what blogging is all the about. These are the best bits! x

  34. Today I am reading your blog on the bedroom floor (only carpeted room in the house) doing lower back exercises – sucking in my pelvic floor and engaging my lower tummy – my back has been sore for weeks and this is what the physio recommended. I’m a good gal so I’m doing what I’m told;-) Your blog fits into my life wherever I am! And you sometimes makes me feel like it’s ok to be bad ie eat too much cake, shout at the kids (I’m working on not doing this!)… Thanks BabyMac.

  35. I read your blog from Singapore.

  36. At my dining table/desk looking out the window at the grey Hamburg sky wishing it was Spring/Summer instead of freaking winter. The outback Pimms and Gins look pretty good to me right about now.

  37. I was in the middle of planning what to do and where to go in New York when we fly out in a couple of weeks with my 6 & 8 year old when I saw your post! Had to stop and read it:)… love reading your blog – it makes me feel “normal” as a Mum….and just confirms we are all going through the same stuff at various times – thank you…

  38. Really enjoyed this post. I live in Western Queensland not as isolated as the ladies you visited but 100km to the nearest small town, 300km to the airport in Longreach, teach the kids via Distance Education. When I read that you and your fellow bloggers were planning on visiting the NT (I wanted to drive there as well, and get in on the action!) I thought it was great in bridging the gap between city and country but after thinking about it I realised the gap is not so wide. How we go about our daily chores is very different from city to bush (no shops, different way of schooling) but we still all have so much in common. No matter where we live we are all doing the best we can for our kids, feeling guilty over things, putting ourselves last, trying to exercise more and eat better. We are all women giving it our all even though we live in different parts of the Country and that’s to be celebrated and shared.

  39. Just dropped my daughter to school and I’m on the tram heading to Melbourne CBD for work. It fun knowing what other people are doing while reading the same thing!

  40. I start each morning with a ‘blog sweep’ of my favorites. Yours is definitely one of those. Generally read at my desk in my office in regional NSW.

  41. I live in Alice Springs NT and I read your blog at work every morning. Its part of my work routine that I must do every day.Have been reading it for a number of years but don’t comment to much.

  42. Reading at my desk between projects. I like to sneak a little blog reading in where I can, although these days I am such a silent reader. Not like me at all. Hi Beth! So nice to meet Mouse. x

  43. Oh what an amazing lady Mousey is! I read your blog while feeding in the middle of the night mostly:) At the moment I’ve got a very cute little lady on me who’s finally asleep after a rough morning of screaming and vomiting… needless to say I’m also under a good layer of vom! But reading your blogs always brightens my day and makes me laugh and forget about the bodily fluids I’m covered in. X

  44. Oh! I have just LOVED hearing about my fellow readers!
    Thankyou for your very kind words Beth, but I really am just a ‘plain old Mouse’! X

  45. Hi Beth! I love your blog too! And it keeps me sane when I am reading it, up with my boy who thinks sleeping is overrated at 12am, 2am, 4am etc ? (And during boring work meetings) x

  46. Usually read lying in bed with my cat. Chronic illness means I spend a lot of time here between playing with my 2 girls when I can and boob feeding the youngest (17months). Luckily have the husband looking after them in all the other times.
    Weirdly I’d read you on and off but never looked at the About section, and it was only after seeing you comment on one of Kayte’s posts on facebook that I clicked on who you were. So now it’s nice to see what a school friend is up to ๐Ÿ™‚

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