or Reality Week as I like to call it.
I guess the bubble had to burst in one way or another and it’s not that I didn’t expect ‘The Country’ to assert itself sooner or later but I wasn’t prepared. I sauntered out into our garden last Wednesday morning to let our chooks out, calling out to them, thinking how happy they would be to get out into the yard and then promptly discovered one of them dead on the floor of the pen. Such a shock, we had only had them 6 days and I felt responsible for it. She died on my watch. Of course Wayne was away and here I was – the ex-vegetarian who hadn’t so much as touched any of the chickens yet – alone and unsure and UPSET!
In true girly style I lost the plot and went straight to my next door neighbours. Pat and Jeanette are the local landowners/ex dairy farmers and the nicest most down to earth people you could wish to meet. They were so lovely and understanding and (outwardly anyway) unfazed by my need for them to come and look and see what, if anything, was obvious about the death. Pat assured me that these things happen quite often and for no particular reason and then he took her away to ‘dispose’ of her. Quite a wake up call for this little city girl. Strangely enough I had only named 5 of them….spooky!
So, in some ways, I was slightly more prepared when we found a dead hare on our driveway one morning. The biggest issue this time was that we had been sitting on the front veranda the night before watching it dash around having the time of it’s life. We were playing some music and it seemed to love it – inching closer and closer and just sitting in the middle of the lawn as if it was listening. We found it all rather endearing – until the next morning.
I can see why people say not to name any of your animals…..
Sunset over the chook shed….
In other developments the house is becoming a little more lived in as Shane – the wunder-kid hanger of paintings and mirrors – spent a whole day with us bringing the place to life with the combined treasures of our lives. Paintings that we have had in storage for nearly 10 years are finally back on our walls. They tell a story of our past 30 years and it’s as if some old friends have come to stay! We are gradually breathing life back into this old house and adding to it’s history.
Starting to feel like home
Last week when I was pottering around the shops in Berry I met a lady that knew our house and she told me that in the old days, when the house wasn’t lived in for a while, they used our living room and main bedroom to store hay for the dairy farm! We also heard that the main living room was used to hold the local dances back in the day and I can imagine the women with their long dresses swirling around, enjoying some rare downtime with their beaus, where we now watch TV!!
It’s testimony to the way they built the house back in 1896 that it has stood the test of time (and the odd use as a farm shed) to stand unscathed today! If only the floorboards could talk………
The garden is where the majority of our work is centered at the moment and some days we feel like it’s a full time job. It has fallen to Wayne to do most of the hard physical work although I have spent hours mulching, weeding and planting. It is the sort of work that needs to be done once and then hopefully it will all become a little easier to maintain. We bought a huge 300 kg bale of hay from a local farmer to mulch the side of our house and some lucerne to build up the beds in the veggie patch. Some turf from a nearby turf farm has given us a quick fix on the driveway where we pulled out an old scraggly flower bed and should give us the nice curve we require!
Our bale of hay looking quite at home.
The roses have been neglected but once winter comes we will heavily prune them in time for next spring. In the meantime despite their rather bedraggled appearance they are producing beautiful flowers. They are mostly David Austin roses and worth looking after. I cut some for my first little vase of flowers and got great pleasure from them – smiling in a rather stupid fashion every time I passed them. Easily pleased I am…