Things are settling into a nice rhythm here in the lane and really starting to feel like home. We almost feel sad when we have to lock up and go back to Sydney for a day or two and visibly relax when we get back to the green of the Shoalhaven. That being said I really enjoy the big smoke when I’m there and manage to pack loads of things in, mainly because I know exactly where to go for all the various things I need as opposed to down here where I have less choice of suppliers. We are about to start creating our ensuite and dressing room and I have been given the task of buying all the fittings, tiles etc so that the builders have no hold up on the build and things are coming together nicely. Our builder is the cousin of our mates in Milton and he has a great love of houses of our era so I feel we are in good hands. Watch this space…..
We have a few new additions to the family. I’m going to leave my favourite to last and start with our brand new shiny ride on mower. Cammo has been using our existing ride on mower that our friend Dean gave us a couple of years ago for our tenants to use when we had the property rented out and it was taking him about 3-4 hours to mow which was starting to become a bit of a chore. We also have loads of trees and we were informed by our neighbours that you need a mower with a “zero turn” to be able to mow around them. After a few weeks of enviously watching our neighbours in the lane zooming up and down and around their properties in no time he bit the bullet and bought a beautiful new model (which comes with a drinks holder and a large comfy seat).
We bought it from a lovely local dealer Noel, who has been very patient teaching Cam all the ins and outs of mowing. He makes a valid point that often when people move down here from the city they are initially very excited about a ride on mower but it can quickly become a chore without the correct equipment and it takes the shine off their new country life. Our lawn is now looking much better even after one mow and Cam is enjoying it much more….win win!!
Our little lane is very busy at the moment. We live on a no through dirt road surrounded by a 300 acre dairy farm and as we drive out of the lane we pass a few paddocks that are obviously the “mother and baby clinic”. The obviously very pregnant cows are separated from the herd and hang out in this lush paddock with extra feed until they give birth and we have seen a good half dozen calves being born in the past couple of weeks. I have to pinch myself when I drive past and see a little calf just struggling to its feet straight after being born and taking its first steps – just magic!
Our veggie patch is going from strength to strength and we are really enjoying all our fresh produce. Our snow peas are so sweet they are often eaten straight from the plant and don’t always make it to the kitchen. We have loads of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, I just hope there is enough sun left before Autumn arrives to ripen them. We have some sort of crazy ladybird that is eating our eggplant. I thought all ladybirds were good but apparently not and I have been told this 28 point ladybird is to be squished with glee every time I see one. Tomato dust deters them and is apparently allowed even in organic gardens so I have given it a go. Our cucumbers grew almost overnight and as we are inundated with them I think I shall have to make some bread and butter cucumbers or similar to make the most of the crop.
Last week I left Cam alone for just one night on a quick trip to Sydney and returned to find we had a couple of new residents in the chook house. He had always wanted a few more but I had read that any new chickens introduced into the pen are often attacked by the first lot – they are literally hen pecked – and it can sometimes be quite savage. He bought a couple of leghorns and so far they have survived despite being chased and pecked by the others. One of them has taken to roosting on a higher level from the others to get some peace and quiet. Miraculously on the very first morning there was an egg on the floor. It was very small but it was an egg!! She may have laid it out of pure fear?? The original batch still have not produced any eggs but they are becoming more chicken like and spend most of the day outside pecking around so hopefully it wont be too long now before we get some. I have very optimistically been collecting egg boxes in which to store our bounty…..
And last but definitely not least I would like to introduce our latest family member – Bailey. She is the cutest little bundle of love you could ever wish to meet! We made the 1.5 hour car trip to meet her last weekend prior to picking her up in a couple of weeks. The breeder had a litter of 7 to choose from and I had no idea how I was going to choose but as we approached the little group of puppies one broke away and waddled over to me and promptly sat on my feet and the deed was done!! She is 6 weeks old here and appears to have a curious but loving nature. Some of the others were knocking over the water bowls and getting into everyone’s bags but this little one was more interested in meeting everyone and snuggling up for a cuddle! All my fears about getting a dog disappeared and we are really looking forward to having her in our life. Lots of our friends think we’re mad. The kids are finally gone and independent and here we are tying ourselves down with a dog! We figure that if we train her well she will be easy to loan out to various friends when we go on holiday and my kids are champing at the bit to meet her so I’m pretty sure they will volunteer to babysit too!
We now have a couple of weeks to get the garden dog friendly. We have a little nook at the side of the house where there is a little room attached to our veranda and she can be warm/cool and dry there in all weather. The first week or so she will probably be in our laundry until she gets used to the geography of the land. I have different concerns here to a city house. Our house is raised up on sandstone pillars and I’m worried she will go under the house and stay there or meet a snake under there (despite the fact we haven’t seen one it doesn’t mean there aren’t any). Hopefully she will stay pretty close to us at the beginning and we can teach her as we go along. We also have cattle grids at the front and electric fences at the back so lets hope she’s not TOO adventurous to start with!
When meeting Bailey, we were so close to our friends Nifty and Sue we carried on to spend the night with them at their 100 acre property near Moruya. We love nothing more than catching up with them and enjoying happy hour in the back paddock with a fire watching the horses graze. As there are no city lights out here some nights you just feel totally engulfed by the amazing stars. You look up at the sprinkling of the Milky Way in between literally thousands of stars and it makes you feel like a little ant as you contemplate the enormity of the solar system and our part in it. Other nights the moon plays hide and seek through the swirling clouds……
The amazing moon A paddock full of kangaroos