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Dear curious reader, 

This comes from a place of worry. That perhaps with the lack of updates might mean that I’ve abandoned the way I use to document our progress. Then I remember that the pressure to finish is one that we instil on ourselves. That really, we ought to enjoy the process more. And that we are free to update whenever we want to. However we want. Years from now, when I look back, I wouldn’t scrutinise the time periods between posts. Instead, appreciate that there’s evidence that this actually happened. So I exhale. 

I present the kitchen. It’s been 7 weeks of on and off. Start, pause, start, pause and then a mad dash to close. Biggest reason why we chose to make everything ourselves is purely functional. When you’ve hit a certain age, doing dishes does something to your back. To combat that, the height of the sink had to be higher than normal. Plywood gets all the credit for base structure. Then comes the massive concrete terrazzo counter. Infused with bricks to match the colours of our terracotta tiles. Black lighting choices. A counter that will overlook the forest once we get round to replacing the windows with clear glass. It stems from the idea that we could have a breakfast nook. A grid shelf for all the kitchen equipment Sean is excited to get his hands on. Living in Japan means extreme attention to recycling, so a space big enough for 5 bins. Excessive? Most definitely. But we do it because we can. 

Parallel to the kitchen, we also decided to tackle our toddler’s room with murals. With the influx of creativity coming through isle of dreams, let’s lean into that and see what comes up. To Jasmine, it’s a cat. A cat with blue eyes, wearing an electric blue scarf with mittens and socks while chasing butterflies in the garden. For me, a non-artist, I just wanted to show my kid that pink (her conclusion that it is the superior colour) comes in various shades. So it’s a cosmic inspired wallpaper with pinwheels that look like they are constantly rotating. Well aware that our kid could get sick of it within the next six months, we still went for it. Walls are meant to be painted. 

We are leaving tomorrow. Another chapter closed. Winter 2023/2024 parked. This stint felt like a blur. We had returning residents, to which we’ve presented them a key. Working on the house as often as they have means this is their home, as much as it is ours. We had new residents, who are already planning their next trip up. 

The active group chat are peppered with pictures of the garden through different seasons. Of sunshine on a good day. Of fresh strawberries from the farmers market. Of meals we share at the dining table. Excited by the mundanity of it all. My favourite part? How each resident has fallen in love with the house. There was no intention to. But so god-damn beautiful to watch it happen anyway. 


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