From carb & alcohol fuelled Europe to the anxiety of exam week…I kept calm & carried on gardening

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Elsewhere | 16 Comments

What really sucks is coming home from a month holiday in Europe to a fast approaching exam week. Having jet lag and catching up on weeks of law subjects is like some kind of never ending nightmare. My last exam involved taking in over 200 pages of notes and the 3000 page QLD Criminal Code. Good times. Hence no post last month. The garden held up well when we were away thanks to the timer drip irrigation system. It really is the most efficient watering system you can have in your garden. The best part is that it waters plants at the roots, not the leaves. Please don’t make this mistake…aim for the roots not the leaves! The leaves do not need water!

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As my uni fuelled anxiety was at an all time high, I needed to manage my stress. So I went outside to garden. Why? GARDENING REDUCES STRESS. Thankfully this is a growing area of research (no pun intended). Several studies have shown that gardening can actually lower the stress hormone cortisol. Just sitting in your garden promotes relaxation and reduces stress! Gardening gets us outside in the fresh air and sunshine which helps our body produce essential Vitamin D. It also provides low impact physical activity, increases energy levels and feelings of vitality. It is proven that people who spend more time outside in nature have better mental health and a more positive outlook on life. A Netherlands study actually found that gardening is one of the most potent stress-relieving activities you can do. So do it!

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Speaking of mental wellness, here are a few happy snaps of our time travelling through France, Switzerland and Italy (and trusty stopover Dubai). Some of my favourite bits were touring the wine regions of Champagne, Burgundy and Chianti. Also the amazing food of Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse (indoor food markets in Lyon) and a food crawl we did in Rome with lots of eating in the Jewish Ghetto. Furthermore, it was difficult to endure long European style lunches with bottles of wine and eating food so good it was like an emotional experience EVERYDAY. I can barely make it through the day without a drink now. One highlight (permaculture related of course) was a visit to Fattoria Poggio Alloro, an organic family farm in Tuscany that produces wheat, wine, saffron and extra-virgin olive oil. As well as Chianina cattle, chickens and bees. We had lunch there, eating homemade pasta and tuscan meats, washed down with Chianti Classico and a view of San Gimignano. A lifetime away from exam week. Jem x

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16 Comments

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    November 27, 2016

    Haha at “I can barely make it through the day without a drink now”. So true! Good luck with your exams Jem!! 😀

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      November 27, 2016

      Thanks Lorraine! Exams make me want to drink even more lol.

      Reply
  2. sherry MacKay
    November 27, 2016

    Oh Jem you are making me drool with envy re the food, wine and travel photos. It looks like such a glorious trip. Wishing you much luck with the exams. EEk! so many years since i did any thank goodness. good idea about getting out and about in the garden to de-stress. i always feel better walking in the mountains or on the beach. so good.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      November 27, 2016

      Thanks so much Sherry. I got through exams, EEK is right! We all feel better getting out in nature, I just don’t think we do it enough. Especially in this technological age…we need to walk away from it more often.

      Reply
  3. Tandy I Lavender and Lime
    November 28, 2016

    Loved your photos of Europe, especially the ones of places I’ve been to. Good luck with your exams. We are in such a severe drought we cannot even use irrigation. I will be in Rome next year and a visit back to the Jewish quarter might be in order.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      November 28, 2016

      Thanks Tandy. I needed the luck with being behind that’s for sure. In Australia, we also know what drought and water restrictions can mean. Fortunately, we do not have strict guidelines at the moment. I love the fact drip irrigation is also very water efficient. The Jewish quarter in Rome was fantastic…the food…

      Reply
  4. w / dig in hobart
    November 28, 2016

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH i wish i were there! i really want to return to italy… you’ve re-fired my dreams.
    i have to say, gardening only de-stresses when the gardening itself is not a stressful task!
    i hope you went well in your exams.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      November 28, 2016

      I completely agree! Gardening can actually be quite stressful at times as well. Like the seedlings I planted the other day did not survive a mini heat wave…aaarrrggghhh!!! Being back in Italy sounds pretty good right now 😁

      Reply
  5. Sam Rutherford
    November 30, 2016

    Wow! Just love these pics Jem. Sounds like a trip of a lifetime to me. My list of places is too long, I really need to get going. Also think I need to be in the garden to reduce stress. Maybe that’s the 1st place to go hehe.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      November 30, 2016

      Thanks Sam, we had such a great break. Then reality bites lol. Thank god for gardening! Although I’m dreading the predicted week long heatwave we are about to experience… 🙁

      Reply
  6. Function 9
    December 8, 2016

    Ahhh eating in Italy!

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      December 8, 2016

      Oh my god YES! Italy and Japan. Hands down the two best eating places in the world. Except you come back from Japan healthier lol.

      Reply
  7. Agness
    December 15, 2016

    That’s a real food porn, girl! Hope you enjoyed your trip and yummy food :)x

    Reply
  8. David
    August 23, 2017

    Wah! I can’t imagine coming from a great experience to hitting the books right away, must be tough. Looks you had one hell of a time.

    Reply

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