When we bought this house I used to daydream on a daily basis about what I was gong to do once I got down here. I bought every “country style” magazine that is published in Australia AND the UK. I had pinterest boards coming out of my ears. I had organic gardening books and books on how to raise chickens. I went to the vintage markets every weekend for the past 12 months where I collected vintage teacups and saucers for afternoon tea on my new veranda and I went to the auctions and invested in some unusual pieces of furniture for the new dream house…..All of that was very worthwhile and amazingly everything fits into the new house beautifully, but the reality is somewhat different from my imaginings. I am yet to have anything other than a mug of tea or a glass of wine on that veranda (although a recent birthday prezzy from my sister and a gorgeous tray from Tina would make it VERY easy to enjoy a proper afternoon tea and the Davie girls gifts of the most beautiful cake platters also make me think I should be baking every weekend!!)
This week has seen a more practical version of life in the country….
Firstly we noticed one of the new chooks was limping and standing with one foot in the air all the time. It was also the one being left out the most – not part of the gang at all. When Wayne finally managed to catch it (it was MOST unimpressed) we could see that one of its toes or claws had snapped and was at a horrible angle making it impossible for it to walk and uncomfortable to roost. I raced inside to get our first aid kit and managed to use a band aid to straighten it and provide some stability for it while it healed. Wayne wanted me to pour disinfectant over it but this chicken had a cranky glint in it’s eye and I ‘chickened out’ and ended up using a fancy band aid that had a silver antibiotic lining instead! Nothing but the best for our chookies! I am pleased to report that she is walking much better every day and is starting to join in the action with the others. However…..WE STILL HAVE NO EGGS. These chickens are just taking their sweet time to start laying. So far just the one tiny ‘fear driven’ egg has arrived at number 80.
Our next reality check came in the form of a bat. I got up one night at 3am for a drink of water and when I put the light on in the bathroom a huge flapping shadow absolutely freaked me out. I thought it was a giant moth or similar and fell like a drunk against the bathroom door jamb whilst hysterically brushing the air to make sure it didn’t come near me. I have an amazing rainbow of bruises on my right side to show for it. Amazingly I completely forgot to tell Wayne about it the next day and it wasn’t until we were about to take our first mouthful of our delicious roast dinner that night and the ‘moth’ returned flying round and round our lounge room that I realised it was a bat. Luckily not one of the ginormous ones that are eating all my fruit trees but a smaller one that we think must be living in the eaves of the veranda. Goodness knows how it got in – hopefully it just snuck in when we had the door open one night and doesn’t have a direct entry visa into our house. We turned off all the lights and shut all the bedroom doors and it eventually accepted our open door invitation to leave the building, flying straight out the front door.
The final reality check that I am now in the ‘real’ country came yesterday when we were attempting to finish our huge mulching job in the garden. We place newspapers over the ground and then put the hay thickly on top to prevent any oxygen and sunlight getting through. It has to be watered in at all stages to prevent it all blowing away. The hose was spluttering and not performing and we thought it had a kink in it or something but the fact of the matter was that we had run out of water in our rain tank!!!!! Being city folk we just turned on the tap and presumed we had a limitless supply of water not realising that most of the outside taps were connected to the rainwater tank. We have had hardly any rain in the 2 months we’ve been her and of course with all the work we are doing in the garden we have been using copious quantities of it. Now we are reduced to fetching watering cans of water from the ‘town water tap’ about an acre away from the veggie patch which is arduous to say the least.
Seriously contemplating doing a rain dance tomorrow………