Charlotte Dallison is a freelance writer and vintage shop owner, based in Melbourne, Australia. In a past life she was also an interior designer.
I remember that summer near Golden Bay so vividly. We were staying in an old cottage as the guests of family friends. It was so picturesque, a sweet little weatherboard house on a sprawling grapefruit orchard. My younger sisters, our family friend’s children, and I spent the days playing outside in the summer heat whilst our parents looked on. They were so relaxed. We bought mounds of soil covered vegetables via the local “honesty box”, plucked blackberries from the garden which would stain our hands pink, and licked slices of the sour grapefruit which grew so abundantly around us.
Some Notes on Love for the Recently Heartbroken
So I may have mentioned that I’ve recently had my heart broken. Shattered actually, crushed, obliterated. I had been in a romantic relationship with someone for three and a half years. He was and is a lovely person. Kind, gentle, warm, always doing everything “right” (actually this was to his detriment). We had a wonderful relationship and were best friends. We lived together and were planning a future as a duo. We also fought sometimes - I could be argumentative, he could be uncommunicative - but overall things were fab and I was smugly, blissfully in love. Until, out of the blue, he ended things abruptly and ran away. Leaving me to pick up the pieces of what had been our life.
The best advice always comes from nature. The best advice, the best guidance, the best protection. I was travelling around South America after my recent, dreadful, break up, determined to forget him and to discover the part of the world that’s famed for its sensuality. I’d never been anywhere so far flung. Though I had spent time on the opposite side of the world in London, along with travelling around Europe with London-based friends, that was simply a rite of passage for any typical kiwi girl, and not a proper adventure.
2021, Year of the Tribe
At the beginning of this year I was going for a walk with my sister and her partner in Brisbane. It was the end of the summer hols and I’d flitted up north to quickly see them after over a year apart (little did we know that plenty more lockdown was to come - for me anyway!). We were discussing new years resolutions as at the time we were less than a week out from January 1st. They are both very “Queensland”, my sister and her man. Both very much into the world of wellness and self development, perhaps not always in the most grounded way, but in a way that encourages a lot more optimism than the average neurotic Melburnian. It was in this setting that I felt comfortable to share my new-age approach to the new year (because I too am very much into the world of self development and wellness, as much as I’m into reading The Age and discussing Dan Andrews with my barista who prepares my proper morning coffee).
Lessons from a 1930’s Budgeting Book
During these unprecedented times one needs to get up to scratch on how to Make Things Work. The current crisis has impacted our physical and mental health whilst also emptying our bank accounts. As a freelance creative and a small business owner, I feel particularly affected by the ongoing lockdowns we’re experiencing in Australia, as well as the coronavirus pandemic at large. So when I was gathering a few books to keep me company during Melbourne’s sixth lockdown I couldn’t resist adding Orchids On Your Budget to cart. There’s something especially drab about having to read any kind of budgeting book, but reading one with the glimmer of the late 30s involved felt a little more palatable. Orchids On Your Budget was published on the tail end of the depression, not long before the second a world war, certainly extremely tough times for so many, but really was that financial situation all that different from the one we are facing now?