Our to do list is so long. There’s decades worth of work on it. Sometimes Julian feels a bit frustrated by not having the time (he still works full time from home) or a bottomless pit of money to simply throw at all the essential bits. Need thousands of metres of fencing? Poof! Here it is! Need a lovely big dam? Poof! Here it is! Need the perfect timber framed barn with hay loft and milking stands? Poof! Here it is. And how ’bout we just click our fingers to make that beautiful boundary of deciduous trees appear. Then we’ll click our heels and there’ll be both an orchard of fruit trees, and one of oaks and hazelnuts. Ah … it’s the stuff fairy tales are made of, huh :-)
So Friday evenings are usually spent pondering the list of what we should tackle over the weekend. And come sunup on Saturday it’s game on. Everything has to be done on a strict budget so we are always scouring the dump shops for supplies and coming up with new ways of building things. We’ve almost finished our Duck and Geese Mansion – built at the bottom of the garden out of hardwood pallets a lovely local nursery gave us. Now all it needs is the door – which Julian is building out of old hardwood fence palings we found at the dumpshop. It’s definitely our cheapest build yet – and looks fab! Julian’s been tempting the ducks and geese into it this week – Hansel and Gretel style – trails of scratchmix down the garden to the pallet built ramp, onto the pallet built landing and into the pallet built house. They are totally up with it :-)
This Saturday we needed a fresh trailer load of supplies so headed north to Narooma. On the way we stopped in our local village – Cobargo – for travelling supplies. They have little street stalls on a Saturday morning – our favourite’s the Cobargo Baking Buddies! Their stall is stacked high with wonderful cakes and slices and biscuits and buns and chutneys and jams – reminds me so much of the stall my Nanny used to run for the local church at the saleyards in her small town. We picked up a date and walnut roll, cinnamon scrolls and a jar of mustard pickles. Yum! This weekend there was even a banjo and piano player busking – I could have cheerfully plonked down on the footpath and listened for the rest of the morning!
Then it was onto the hardware store – an absolute rabbit warren of a place that’s tucked away down near the beach and cemetery. It has everything we can think of – sleepers, besser blocks, marine ply, garden hose fittings, bathroom fittings, paint, nails … all our favourite stuff – and really helpful nice staff. We filled the trailer – even bought a new set of basin taps and mixer for our bathroom – ours is precariously held together with globs of silicon (the previous owner’s answer to everything) and if we turn on the tap too hard, the mixer flies off and we get a torrent of water to the face – yay! We headed back to the highway and Julian asked me what the next stop was.
And I said …. “The beach.” Yup. It was a glorious day – ridiculously warm for the 3rd week in May, with a rich blue sky and lashings of sun – the perfect day for the beach. That to do list will always be there. In fact, it will only grow. And we will always be able to think up a myriad of ways to toil away the hours on our little farm. But we live in such a gorgeous corner of the world – gosh, we moved here just because it is so beautiful and we wanted to call this coastline, these valleys home. Thus, it is practically our duty to soak it up as often as we can ;-)
So, heading home, we turned off at Mystery Bay. Oh it was exquisite. We strolled from one end to the other. Sloshing through the almost balmy, crystal clear water, our trousers rolled up to our knees, quiet and dreamy. We watched the sea birds, mused about just which rocky nook would be the loveliest for swimming, and looked carefully along the tidemark to see what treasures the ocean was washing up today. I ooohed and ahhhed over the rich lichens – Julian admired the dramatic rock formations – some look like ancient rusted shipwrecks, others like shards of roof slate a tip truck let slide out onto the sand – and declared he had to read up on his geology.
It was bliss. Utter bliss. And so absolutely essential to making the most of Wombat Hill Farm – yes?!?
Finally we were back to where we started. So, trousers wet, legs bare and sticky with salt, and feet caked with sand, we turned back to the highway. Shortly after, we turned off again to Tilba Tilba – we needed a serious stock up on Erica’s fabulous South Coast cheese and milk – our favourites are the 3 Year Vintage and the Vintage Blue. But we still had that laden trailer so we had to park up the top of Tilba in the caravan section and then trot on down to the cheese factory – our trousers still wet, our legs still bare, our feet still sandy – we felt like such locals :-)
By the time we were home, you know, there weren’t too many hours left to work. Julian cut some grass. I planted some veggie seedlings (to replace the ones the rats ate – and now the rabbits are eating these ones – ARGH!) and a row of echinacea in a bed that’s turning into a bit of a medieval herbal selection – so far I have elder, echinacea, calendula and verbena – the chickens are very fond of this lot so I’ve had to fence it off – using little panels of mesh we found … at the dump shop of course!
So not much was ticked off the to do list at all. But that’s okay. Because when we are old and grey and wobbly of memory, I don’t want to only be able to list all the chores we completed, year in year out. I want to be able to laugh with happiness and tell stories about all the lovely adventures we took, all the times we stopped on the way home, and all the hours we spent just soaking it up.
That’s what will make living here at Wombat Hill truly special.