The Quiet Country Life

Well, it’s been a few weeks between drinks.

Events conspired against us, and we’ve just come through a very busy three week period. Two 2-day work trips to Sydney, a 2-day work trip to Brisbane, a girls weekend away, a 5th Birthday for my little man, a 5th Birthday party with 15 kids (never doing that again.. what was I thinking?), a visit from my in-laws (to coincide with the birthday celebrations), a husband also traveling for work, my Mum flying back into Sydney after nearly 5 months overseas with her sister, a good friend’s 30th birthday celebrations (Sydney again) and all this on top of the normal weekly routine.

Birthday Cup Cakes

What am I complaining about? Well, you see, part of our move to the country was about choosing a quieter life, a slower pace and less stress. These last few weeks have reminded us of that choice, and they’ve confirmed for me, that I definitely want the quieter life.

We returned home on Sunday afternoon, Mum having been collected from Sydney airport. It wasn’t quite the Welcome Back we had planned. Just before reaching home, on the highway that heads up the east coast of Australia, we drove into a mini-cyclone, or at least that’s what it felt like. As we approached the storm, I fancied myself as one of those storm-chasers in America. While the rain hadn’t yet hit, the amount of debris circling above us was amazing. The sky was that menacing grey-green colour. As we drove up our road, we realised just how forceful the storm had been. Large trees lay across the road and many fences were down. Neighbours rallied to chainsaw through the trunks and clear the road.

As we approached our place, I was surprised (and The Kid was gutted) to see that our trampoline had travelled some 200 metres, smashing into the shed, taking out a post from the vegie patch fence, dislodging the pipework that takes water from the shed roof into a tank and breaking an electric fence on its way. The trampoline is wrapped around our cattle yards, a sorry sight indeed.

Thankfully, aside from outdoor furniture strewn across the garden and verandah, and a worm farm knocked over, there was no other damage. The only inconvenience was the loss of power which lasted nearly 24 hours.

At Bec C’s place, where they have a power line down in one of their paddocks, they are still, 2 days later, without power and water. Bec and her family came over last night for dinner and the kids had a bath. They headed home to bed down by candlelight. Their dirty dishes are piling up.

Yesterday morning, The Kid and I helped Mum and Dad clear all the fallen eucalyptus branches at their place. Dad and I fixed the roof of the dog run which had blown off in the storm and we did what jobs we could when you don’t have any electricity or water. I’ve still got a couple of fences to mend, as does Dad so we’ll do those together tomorrow. Of course, Hubs in away this week – he always is when adventure strikes.

I came home from Sydney, relieved to be at the end of a busy patch, relishing the quiet week ahead. So far it’s not quite living up to expectations! But it’s so good to be home and to be back to normal(-ish).

At least one of us has still managed to find time to kick back in the midst of the craziness.

Jones in the sand pit

Taking a breath yesterday afternoon, I considered what else needs to be done this week. Saturday is the Nabiac Show!! The Kid still has one more Lego spaceship to make for his display. I need to put the finishing touches on Jack the Dog’s costume for the Pet Show and The Kid wants to enter Chocolate Brownies. These need to be made by him, and him only, so we’ll see how we go with that one. Unfortunately because of the dry summer I have very little to enter in the Show this year. I suspect the Produce Shed could be looking a little sad. My rhubarb, which last year won a first, is looking pitiful, but some of my herbs have made a come-back since the rain started so perhaps I’ll submit some of them. Oh, and I also need to remove that trampoline from the cattle yards as we’ll be needing the yards next Monday (more on that in another blog post). I think I’ll be calling in some help to get that done.

So, taking a leaf out of How to Relax by Jones the Dog, before I get stuck into my list of ‘chores’, I am now going to sit, for 5 minutes, in this spot and read a few pages of The Book Thief, in readiness for Book Club next Wednesday. And as I’m doing it, I’m going to be thankful for running water and electricity.

Bec C, the washing machine’s here if you need it.

The Book Thief

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15 thoughts on “The Quiet Country Life

  1. Well Bec, I can sympathise. We had a cracker of a storm the other week in Mittagong and it’s hail effectively put holes through every leaf on every plant in my newly established garden… and they were all going so well! 44mm in ~30 minutes. The hydrangeas look like Swiss cheese. The crab apple looks like a torn pair of garters. The jacarandas had their sprightly new growth cruelled. The manchurian pear is shredded. Even the agapanthus got hammered. Lament. Now the walk around the yard is akin to a visit of a casualty ward where I tick off each patient’s recovery. They have been given seasol to aid their recovery and I am sure it will be fine. One thing is for sure though, I don’t think I could ever be a farmer. Imagine a good crop ruined in 30 minutes. That would be dreadful. How awesome is the atmosphere though, ay.

    • Oh Jay, I feel your pain! While things like trampoline’s can be replaced, plant growth just simply takes time – it’s almost impossible to replace. Do you remember the huge jacaranda out the back of Bec C’s place? Well it copped a flogging in the storm. The SES have been in to assess it and Bec is trying desperately to save it from having to be chopped down altogether. That’s 20+ years of growth. So upsetting. I can’t wait to see your garden, it sounds fantastic, wounds n’ all!

    • HI Gray – come and visit soon! Have been cooking our steak just as you showed me… Hope the restaurant business is going well…

  2. Oh Bec what a shock to come home to. Nothing nearly like that in Nth Queensland this year thankfully. Wow you have been busy & seems like you still have a good list. Love the part about the hubby being away & missing the excitement!
    Thinking of you xx

    • Hi Tashy, nothing like what you’re used to in your neck of the woods, but it does give you the slightest inkling of how devastating Mother Nature can be. Thanks for reading x

  3. I was caught in the storm travelling from Bayview (where JJ is learning to sail) on our way home to the NS.Was very scary. Many trees uprooted and strewn across the road – lots of debris. As we approached home, there was little to no evidence of the storm. Bizarre. Hope you are finding some time to chill after the storm. Sometimes just doing something different is enough to help you chill out. Change of routine is good! M x

  4. What a stressful journey home from Sydney, Bec. So relieved you made it O.K. But sad to read of the devastation on the road and your property. We had all the threatening signs in Manly but not even a drop of rain in Manly.

    • Thanks Ellie. It’s amazing that the damage in the area wasn’t worse. There are so many stories of trees that fell, luckily, away from houses / stable blocks / sheds, etc. I think there were many close encounters. Glad you weren’t affected in beautiful Manly!

  5. Well, power’s back on, water is running, dishes are washed, clothes are being washed, I am being washed, and the jacaranda branches on the lawn are providing excellent playtime material for the kids. Except for those branches still hanging on by a thread precariously high, over the power line! Ugh – won’t think of those. Arborist is returning. Still, whilst I tried to harness my inner pioneer woman with not much success, I emerge reasonably impressed with our emergency services. 100s of lines down and up again in 1 to 3 days was a pretty good effort.What an incredible invention electricity is!!

    Needless to say, it was an exciting storm to behold. Everything was a-tingling. Could have beeen worse – at least I wasn’t the woman sheltering in her toilet, who suddenly found herself hiding with no roof!

    • Well Bec, I am so sorry to hear about the damage to your Jacaranda. My three small ones got hit by a hail storm. Decimated, and it hurt – but nothing like it would if you lost the majestic specimen you have. All the best with it.

    • The woman sheltering in her toilet with no roof? Where was she? And I hope she wasn’t actually IN the toilet? Ew, messy.

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