About me

Me. 2013

In no particular order of importance, then…

Design graduate; former design consultancy project manager; former Brit, current Aussie; married early 2013; breast cancer survivor; formerly of London, Melbourne, Dorrigo NSW, Coffs Harbour NSW and now living in tropical north QLD; quilt maker; enjoyer of expensive book and fabric stash habits; gardener and vegie grower; enthusiastic cook and baker; no children, but I’m an aunt 16 times (I’m one of 7 children). I have family in Australia, the UK, France and the Netherlands. ‘Parent’ of a retired black greyhound. I love to write, so this is going to be one busy blog.

I was brought up in the country, lived and worked in major cities for 25 years in England and Australia, and then had enough. I threw in the corporate life and headed for a tiny country mountain town in northern NSW. I had ¾ acre, sheep, chickens, rabbits, a large vegie garden, and a drastically simplified lifestyle. It’s perfectly possible and even easy to get by without gadgets, electronics, shoes, handbags and tall full fat double shot lattes to go. But you know, I did it too late. I was too old to cope with the physical labour involved, and the large distances I had to travel to get paying work and you can’t pay the rates or the phone bill with eggs and vegies. So I downscaled yet again to somewhere with less mowing, weeding, chainsaw action and home butchering, and moved to a seaside town. And there I discovered I had breast cancer, got over that, met my future husband in a blog, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now I live in the tropics: Wet season. Dry season. Cyclones, palm trees, fruit bats, orchids, bougainvillea. Shady hats, linen pants and sandals all year round. Sounds good? It is, except the challenge of growing anything here (what the hell is that enormous bug?), the humidity, and soil leaching caused by weeks of heavy rains. Some of my posts will be adventures in gardening for beauty, or travelling around this beautiful state. Some will be trying to grow food. Some will be general thoughts, lots of sewing, some photography. I refuse to be categorised.

57 thoughts on “About me

  1. lostnchina says:

    Met future husband in a BLOG? How wonderful. At least in blogs people are usually not fictional. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, really truly. He Liked something I wrote, commented, emailed me, and the rest, as they say, is history. Once I’d read your Freshly Pressed post I couldn’t resist the rest of it. I’m especially enjoying the Poo-related stuff… Because my mother was ‘foreign’, I have some tiny inkling of how difference causes terminal sighing and eye-rolling. Not on your scale, but it resonated. Think I probably need to Follow to get a regular dose.

  2. Kate, I have just nominated you for The Liebster Award. Follow this link to see what to to next: http://thebelmontrooster.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/the-liebster-award/
    Congradulations and good luck!

    • katechiconi says:

      Eeek! I’ve just been reading about how much work you’ve put into it… But I like the idea that you can change the rules a bit if you don’t like them. Watch this space. K

      • Well, you don’t necessarily have to do that much work… It isn’t hard at all, I am just a little crazy. I am keeping an eye on you, but if you need help, just shoot me an email.

  3. Lynda says:

    Glad I found you! Your writing is fun and you’re a gardener and quilter too. Love it! Question: What has happened to all of your photos in your older posts?

  4. I was so happy to see your comments on my blog this morning. Thank you so much for following. I have really enjoyed visiting your blog and when I read how much we had in common, of course just had to follow you! I have a lot of admiration for the way you have made so many new starts – more radical than mine I think. Look forward to seeing more 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I write something almost every day, so we won’t be short of conversation! Mostly it’s quilting, but there are frequent garden and poetry interludes, and occasional bouts of gluten free recipes. I’m so pleased you’re a “commenting” blogger; the ones who “like and leave” are frustrating because I always want to talk!

  5. dayphoto says:

    You live where everything grows all the time! Lucky you!

    ♬♬♬ Happy Saint Patrick’s Day ♬♬♬

    • katechiconi says:

      Very true, but we have the pests and bugs all year round too. I’m fighting a losing battle with grasshoppers, sooty mould and blossom end rot! But I do know how lucky I am when the sun shines and plants that you’d have to grow in the house riot all over my garden.

  6. narf77 says:

    Kudos on refusing to be catagorised (and for spelling it in Australese!) I am bowing down to your crafting majesty ma’am. I came sniffing from The Great Snail of Happiness to see what you were up to. You were “up to Queensland”. I am “down to” Tasmania. Can’t get much more opposite than that but you know what? I think I like this blog. It feels comfortable and well worn and has a nice chunky bolshie edge to it that makes me feel at home and enough gardening to balance out that (terrifyingly complex) craftiness and I think I might stick around and see where all this gorgeous craftiness is leading if you don’t mind. See you the next time I managed to clear out my RSS Feed Reader 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      Welcome! The craftiness is terrifying only because I’m just the smallest (OK, largest) bit obsessive, but everything is approached with humour and a healthy dose of self mockery. The sewing is in abeyance today, and humping rocks and digging up turf are to the fore. Soon, there will be huge gloating because finally, FINALLY, I managed to get a vegie garden going. What part of Tassie are you in? I know the Hobart, Cygnet, Franklin, Geeveston area a little, love the place, but enjoy the warmth up here!

      • narf77 says:

        Nope…you are not close with the southern part of Tassie, I am right up the top on the Tamar River pointing in a defiant manner at Victoria. I am on the tail end of my gardening at the moment but am hoping to get some broad beans, potato onions and garlic in ASAP. Self mockery is important for we Aussies (of which you have been here long enough now to be one 😉 ) desire for maintaining the status quo with the tall poppy syndrome. Your quilts are stunning to say the least. I will be watching closely for other signs of craft…might learn something (like how to knit collars and cuffs for last century jumpers…) 🙂 I come from Western Australia and am LOVING the cooler weather here in Tassie. Wouldn’t swap it for quids and wish that the rain and the cool went all year round

  7. mihrank says:

    we have something in common, you made me cry!

  8. Hi Kate, I just saw your comment on Jule’s blog about joining the SAL. You can join us any time with any project 🙂 We agree to post our progress update and link to each other every third Sunday.That’s it! So get choosing a project or WIP and hop aboard. We have four or five stages left in this SAL. As soon as one project finishes, we start again. Let’s make our group of four into a five 🙂 Any questions, just email me, Avis x

    • katechiconi says:

      Sounds like fun! I’m just over halfway through my Wedding Sampler cross stitch project (only a year and a half late…), and this will give me the motivation to pick it up again; it’s been rather neglected recently.

  9. […] talltalesfromchiconia – “living in tropical Mackay QLD; gardener and vegie grower; quilt maker; enjoyer of expensive book and fabric stash habits; gluten free cook”. […]

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you for the link! I also eat better in the country than I did in the city, and now rather than formerly because I make pretty much everything from scratch. Slow, but delicious.

  10. bluebunny01 says:

    Love your blog and your quilts are amazing – so intricate and beautiful.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, that’s really kind! I have a lot of fun both writing and producing, whether it’s quilts or vegetables, poetry or photos. Do visit again, there’s always something going on in Chiconia.

  11. Just read your comment on Celie’s blog and wanted to send you positive vibes and hugs. Wishing you well ASAP

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh Viv, that’s so kind. I’m sure I’ll emerge from the blur of fear and confusion soon, and realise that probability is with me and probably it’s nothing to worry about. I’m in a lot of pain, but maybe a cortisone shot will take care of everything…

  12. Nanster says:

    By way of introduction I am Nanster on Celi’s blog and wanted to jump over to your spot to say my fingers, toes and even eyes are crossed for you!! The blur of fear , as you so well describe is such an energy zapper. Glad to read your blog and will be following you!!! Take care, remember to breathe !

    • katechiconi says:

      Hello, how kind of you to take the time to offer support to a relative stranger (even if we’re all family on the Farmy). I’ve had such a wave of kindness and support from people, it’s really helped to boost my morale.

  13. Ooh I’m going to enjoy following you – we have so many little things in common!

  14. Good Woman says:

    I found your blog through links from Avis, Carole, Claire and LucyAnn and other members in your group. I get so much motivation and inspiration from seeing others’ work. Cross stitch is my passion but I also have quilted and hope to do more of it. Beautiful work.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you, and welcome to Chiconia! I blog about many different things, not just stitching and quilting, so there’ll be times when you wonder why you’re here, but stick with it, it’ll be entertaining if nothing else!

      • Good Woman says:

        I am absolutely fine with that. My blog too is random. Much as I love cross stitch and crafting I would be bored if that is all there is.

  15. pamsyarns says:

    What an amazing story you have to tell. Just happened on your blog and can’t wait to read more from the other side of the world from me (UK)

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you! Life has a way of being stranger than fiction sometimes, and if you’d told me I’d go from living and working in London to pottering around a tropical garden, zooming around on a motorbike and devoting many happy hours to quilting, I’d have found it hard to believe….

  16. Birdybrain says:

    Hi Kate,
    I just popped over from the “Farmy” I like the way you write, you’re funny and multi talented. It will be fun to read your blog also. I’m not crazy about FB so I’m glad I have found the world of blogging, I’m a newbie only a year in, but have learned so much about everything. I’m so looking forward to it.

    • katechiconi says:

      Welcome to Chiconia, how lovely to have you visit! I’m not at all interested in FB, but blogging is heaps of fun, and you meet so many new friends. I hope you’ll find plenty to keep you amused here and among my blogging friends. Kate x

  17. irmi says:

    Dear Kate,
    it is a while now that I have been visiting your Blog… I even tried your Tuscan Bean Soup, liked it…:-) – I came over from Celi’s kitchengarden, what I like very much. I read all the comments daily and finally I got curious who the person is behind ‘katechiconi’, that writes so lovely comments. I was a little bit ashamed to leave a comment here, so I left with my words unsaid. – Really I enjoy everyone of your words and comments, they are all so well expressed, so thoughtful and meaningful and (I want say) tender. I’m nearly envious, because I will never be able to use such an excellent English (I’m German).
    Yes, I am glad to get to know you a little bit more via your Blog.
    And: Today I’ve read at Celi’s that you got / won a prize for your Quilting! Congratulations, dear Kate! It must be a great feeling after having done so much work, isn’t it?
    I also wanted to tell you all my best wishes and appreciation for your step of leaving your home Country for marriage (even if it’s a couple of years now) against and despite all of the warning whispers of people you left behind. It is a great and a heavy decision but when the heart calls, one has to follow, isn’t it? I married twice to a stranger. I did not follow them into their contries, And oh, it did not last (both of them). We had very hard times together each but I never ever regretted to have done it. It was just necessary and I felt that necessity for / in my life deep in my heart. – So congratulations again, here in this matter, too – I wish you happy and prosperous years along with your Hubby. Enjoy every second of your life! What you do for sure – I saw and can see it on your Blog. It’s visible.
    With love, Irmi 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Dear Irmi, welcome to Chiconia, I’ve found many new friends through Celi’s blog, and all are most welcome! But I must correct a wrong impression: I did not leave England to marry my Husband, I left alone 10 years ago because I wanted to start a new life and because I fell totally in love with Australia! I did meet and marry my Husband very quickly nearly 3 years ago, though, against the advice of some of my family, but we are happy to have proved them wrong! So twice I have done what my heart told me to do, and both times I have not been sorry! Again, welcome, and I hope you will visit again often. Kate xx

      • irmi says:

        Thank you for your kind response! Your night has ended and mine just begins (I have to go to bed now!).
        Have a good start into a lovely day, Kate!

        P.S.: Sorry, I don’t have a blog … I’m not a blogger, have nothing to share so far… 😉

  18. Lovely blog you have here! And you are the first person of whom I know to have met her husband via a blog!!! I look forward to more! Cheers from Ohio, Johanna

    • katechiconi says:

      I surely cannot be alone! But three years on, we’re still happy, and still so glad we took the plunge and got married. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the blog and have decided to follow. Welcome to Chiconia!

  19. OldCountryGirl says:

    I just discovered your blog … you have very interesting “things” on it and we share a couple of interests … I have to read more of it though! Also, we share our habits to live on different sides of this world! I just changed the tropical weather for snow in Maine 😉 And you are correct: very hard to grow veggies in a tropical climate. I have never been able to do it!

    • katechiconi says:

      Hi, and welcome to Chiconia! I’m not sure I’d be able to live anywhere that wasn’t at least sub-tropical any more; it’s a lot more comfortable for arthritic hands and feet. As for the veggies; beans and tomatoes, herbs and tropical greens like Ceylon spinach seem to do OK so long as you can give them some shade and plenty of water.

      • OldCountryGirl says:

        Hi Kate. Thank you so much and your are welcome! I see that you found your ways and “positives” and that is really great for you! As for myself: I`m exited to see the very first “bog” snow 😉

  20. M. L. Kappa says:

    Hello Kate! I’ve only ever made a single quilt in my entire life, for my first baby – and it was a pretty basic one, just squares, made out of bits in my mother’s sewing bag, hence lots of memories. But – it was passed on from one child to the other and is now used for my grandchildren! I love the things! Your blog is lovely, pleased to meet you, Marina

  21. What fun to read your story. And you met your husband blogging! Oh, that delights me to no end, having met dear friends the same way.

  22. irmi says:

    Good Morning, Kate!
    It’s your birthday today! Let me congratulate you from my heart and wish you all the best for the upcoming year! We all in all the world feel that it will not be an easy one officially but maybe your private life will be a good one, a happy, a lovely and a prosperous year!
    Hugs from me and kisses from the other side of the world!

  23. Sartenada says:

    What a lovely About-me-page. I always read those persons About-pages, which I visit. Yours is gorgeous. Thank You.

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