Sunday, 23 April 2017

Bucolic pleasantries

I mentioned in my last post that we recently bought an acre of land in the country, so I feel that I should introduce it to you!

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Towards the end of last year we were thinking of moving to the island of Tasmania.

We spent a couple of wonderful holidays in Tasmania.  We motored around the island, checking out the lay of the land, considering our options, and deciding upon possibilities.  It is a lovely part of the world and Mr. A. has close links to it as some of his ancestors went there as free settlers in the 1810s, but when we considered all the angles we realised that, alas, it would not be feasible to move to Tasmania at our time of life.  There is not a lot of work to be had, especially in our chosen fields, and it would be difficult for our family and friends to come visiting.  Reluctantly, we shelved the idea.

We then decided to look in our own back garden: the fabulous state of Victoria.  What a wonderful part of the world it is.  We checked the real estate web sites and discussed the possibilities of the various regions, eventually deciding that we wanted somewhere that had a high elevation, high rainfall, the sorts of things that we like (good food, nice countryside, civilised activities etc).  After visiting a couple of properties we decided that rather than buy an old house and renovate it, we would buy land and build our own. 

It was then that we came across the perfect piece of land upon which to establish our ‘estate’.  Mr. A. put in an offer to the owner on the very same day, and that is why we are now the proud owners of a block of land in the Daylesford-Macedon region. 

Here it is:

The above photo shows the line of Spanish Chestnut trees.  The tree closest to the camera is a walnut tree.
On the other side of the Chestnut trees there is a long meadow:

 And at the end of the meadow one walks into a small forest of Chestnut trees.

The trees are somewhat spindly, but we like them.  They will need some care and attention.  We have big plans for this little copse.

Within the copse is a well:
As you can see it is somewhat primitive, being nothing more than a hole in the ground with a pump attached, but we have had plans drawn up to have it beautified with a proper well head.  Mr. McGregor (the builder) is in charge of that and we shall see what we shall see...
I rigged up a bucket and rope system for drawing up the water, which after testing is deliciously drinkable!   This is good because there is no running water to the property (and no gas either)  At least there is an electricity supply!!

The land itself is part of an old dairy farm which was subdivided some time ago.  Apart form the well, our block contains an old, ramshackle cow shed which is used to store fire wood, and a rather characterful hut that has 'possibilities':

Mr McGregor's wife informed me that the hut was used in the 1940s as a potato pickers hut.  I like that.  The cowshed (which is on the right in this photo) will have to go, but the hut is going to become our very own dacha of sorts.
Those are hazelnut bushes surrounding the buildings and the old water tank,.  So what with chestnuts, and walnut trees, we should be quite okay for nuts!!!  

I hope that you enjoyed this rather rushed trip around our new purchase.  Last week was Easter and social commitments here and there made it difficult to find the time to visit my blog, but here is a simnel cake that I made to celebrate that special time.  
Do help yourself and while you are at it you can look at this website which show what the Daylesford Macedon region has to offer!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Awakening from our slumbers

We’re back. 


Although I made a couple of earlier attempts, the past two years have proven to be far too difficult (and there has been far too much going on) to properly think about, and concentrate on this, my bijou blog, and I’ve missed it. 

But now, with Autumn slowly gathering momentum in this part of the world (and life becoming much more sedate), I feel the time is right to unlock the doors, through open the windows, take the dust covers off the furniture and chandeliers, lay out the cups, saucers, cakes and tea things,;and make sure that all is in readiness to receive visitors once more.  

Sit back (please help yourself to a cake) whilst I acquaint you with what's been going on.  To be honest with you, such a lot has happened in the interim that it’s hard to know where to start - but I’ll do my best.

* * * * * *

I think that you would agree that moving from one house to another is a big undertaking.  

Moving from one town to another is tiring.    

Moving from one country to another is stressful and time consuming.    

Moving from one side of the globe to the other is enough to give one a permanent attack of the vapours!!!!

* * * * * * 
On the 31st of December 2014, Mr. A and I went to the airport to catch our flight for Australia.  We arrived in Melbourne on the 1st of January 2015.  Our minds were filled with all sorts of plans, but there were foundations to be laid before we could even think about putting anything in to action.

Apart from our suitcases, all of our possessions were packed in boxes, somewhere in England, awaiting shipment.

We had no jobs to go to and our old life was left far behind

Ahead of us lay a certain degree of uncertainty.

What we did have however was determination, and so we moved in to the house we own with my mother, Madame O, and started to readjust to life on the opposite side of the world.

It took a while but we found work.

We bought George – our car.

We welcomed Miss Angelica in to our lives.

(Miss Angelica in true aristo pose.)

It was hard to leave our old jet-setting life behind - we had enjoyed it a lot - but we knew that we needed to think of the future and if we didn't set our plans in motion now, then we never would. 

We slowly settled in and settled down.

* * * * * *

Moving forward to March 2017 and we are happily ensconced at ‘the Grove’. 

(Part of the garden at the Grove - at the beginning of last summer)

Our possessions are all here (albeit in storage) and Madame O having recently purchased a new house for herself (which she is as present renovating), we will soon have the Grove entirely to ourselves.

We have also bought ourselves an acre of land about an hour's drive from Melbourne.  Here we intend to build a house, settle down, and potter about doing the sorts of things we enjoy.  

We are in no hurry as we intend to take our time so everything 

I do hope that you will come and visit to see how we are progressing!!

Now it is time to sally forth and visit other blogs that I used to enjoy reading so much.  We have been gone for such a long time that I doubt anyone will even remember us!