After two weeks of huge downpours and thunderstorms the surrounding countryside is looking lush and green, more like Ireland than Australia. The price we are paying for that is a lake in our front garden and some very squishy ground underfoot. Our neighbours bogged their ride on mower a few days ago so we didn’t even try to get ours down to the low lying areas. The trouble is if the grass stays too long the sun can’t dry it at the roots and it dies off. With just over 5 weeks to our garden wedding this is NOT ideal. The silver lining is of course that all the cows and horses have some very lush feed and milk production is up and everyone’s water tanks are full or overflowing. Our poor gutters and downpipes struggle to cope with the volume of water that seems to fall every few hours but luckily in between deluges the sun comes out and the sea breeze tries it’s best to dry things out a bit. The cows don’t seem to mind the murky drizzly weather though….
Of course this whole wet weather episode started the day our painter arrived to finish painting the old part of the house to match in with the new section. He has a strong link to this house and was the last person to paint it 17 years ago so you can imagine how desperate it was for some new paint protection. You could just touch the veranda posts and the paint would fall off. Anyway thanks to the wonders of a wrap around veranda he has managed to continue working whilst the heavens open all around him and the garage has come in very handy too.
Last weekend saw the arrival of some very helpful friends for a working bee, painting the chook shed and some tidying up of the garden. After a week of rain the sun came out for 2 days allowing us to get stuff done which was wonderful. We had little breaks for “smoko” and knocked off at 5pm daily for Happy Hour and some nice food and lots of laughs. Thanks so much to them for their hard yakka on their weekend off from work! They tell me the hardest part of the whole weekend was getting out of Sydney on the Friday night!
As the wedding looms it seems I have a ‘to do list’ a mile long every day to complete but I am very keen to have everything dotted and crossed by the end of this week as my lovely Mum arrives from the UK next week and I want to be free to show her around. Coming 12000 miles at 80 years of age is no mean feat and I’m glad we can offer her some relaxing corners for her to enjoy the parrots and the country views whilst overcoming any jetlag she may get. Her last trip to Oz we were living in the Inner West of Sydney within spitting distance of the CBD and with a pub or cafe on every corner so this will be decidedly different! It will be lovely to have her here for the wedding and to be part of all the preparations. The house is filling up with wedding paraphernalia and I can’t wait for the Bride to arrive and see it all. Hopefully she will love it as she only gets here one week prior to her Big Day.
We used to have so many fairy wrens when we moved in as well as finches and other small birds that lived in our hedges. When the builders arrived with their heavy machinery and the garden became a building site they flew away and I haven’t seen them since so I was VERY happy to see this little fellow the other day.Maybe he was sussing out the potential of our garden to raise his next family? Fingers crossed they come back as I used to love hearing their song and see them flitting in and out of the bushes.
A ray of heavenly light over the chook shed marked the passing of Henrietta last week. She was the only chook we had named as the others looked so alike we couldn’t tell the difference. While all the other chooks had bare red patches where their feather should be Henrietta sported a dark glossy full feathered coat making her the chief suspect in the denuding of the others. In the pecking order she was the Bossy Boots, the Matriarch and I thought she would be the last chook standing. So it was doubly confounding to find her one morning in the nesting box dead as a dodo. She had been segregating herself from the others during the past week and I thought she was just being snooty and standoffish but maybe she knew something was wrong. It’s always sad when you lose an animal no matter how small and you always wonder if there was something you could have done to save them. Funnily enough she died on the day of Lauren’s Hen Party which seems appropriate somehow. I thought the others may have grieved for her in their own chickeny way but they seem as happy as ever, clucking and pecking away, now just 6 of them. Life goes on in the chook yard…..
So as we steamroll through March and Autumn is now upon us, I find myself quite reflective. A few people very dear to us are sick and it makes me realise how fragile life is and how easy it is to get caught up in the day to day crap and forget to look around you, enjoy the simple things and make the effort to appreciate every day. While we are planning a happy wedding others are going through hell and you never really know what is going on behind closed doors for people. That’s why we should all try and be kind to each other and make every day count in one way or another. Smell the roses, roll in the fresh grass, walk alongside the ocean sunny or not, eat the cake, buy the shoes, save for that big trip, dream BIG and always be grateful for what you have even if it doesn’t always feel perfect. There are always so many people doing it harder.
Some wise words…..