The call of Bridgewater Bay came loudly this week, and so Fred and I responded and spent a very happy time out there. While Fred practised his Yoga movements, I practised my photography. Winners all round 🙂
The Walrus and the Carpenter is a ‘non-sense poem’ by Lewis Carroll. Somehow it seems appropriate to begin with it…..
Regular readers of this blog would have noticed that I’ve not been as regular in my postings this year. Now it’s time to explain the situation. Or at least try to…..
When I moved to my current place in February of this year, it was to a small cottage on a dairy farm run at much less than capacity. Some would say neglected. I was happy with that state. My lease is with the Corporation who owns the property, and not with the manager of the dairy farm. Shortly after moving here, I found out that all was not happy between those two parties, and weeks later, it came to light that a new manager was being sought. Around the same time, a spokesperson for the Corporation, knocked on my door, and informed me that my lease would not be renewed as the new manager would require the cottage for a farm worker. Yes I had a 12 month lease, but had hoped to stay put for a while longer than that, after all the changes I’ve endured recently. It was most upsetting. It also gave rise to a change in thinking about how and where I live, to avoid this all too familiar scenario as a renter. (By the by, I’ve always had great references from any landlord so no faults found there)
Eventually I was able to discuss the matter with the Agent handling the lease, and was assured the visit I’d received was out of line, and she’d be dealing with it and not to be too concerned. My fears were slightly reduced but I kept on doing some research just in case.
The new manager duly arrived, and he and his family are friendly and definitely caring of their livestock. Not only dairy cows, but horses and most recently pigs! 🙂 And he didn’t require me to move out.
However…… in the process of bringing the property up to scratch, last week he brought in the contractor to spray the weeds. Hmm….. it’s now confession time to you about me.
At the time I was self-employed as a gardener, and needless to say, I had to eventually give that up and accept a disability pension. I won’t go into all the details, other than to say it completely changed my life. Over the years, I’ve spent thousands of dollars in my search for wellness, or at least, some painfree days. To that end, I have been reasonably successful, and can now at least live semi normally some of the time. With care.
It then followed, I needed to move close to the coast in order to get air that was less polluted with chemicals. On a limited budget I did the best I could, always weighing up the physical benefits with the social/psychological aspects. Four years later or so, here I am, once again faced with chemical onslaught. This past week I had to evacuate from my home at short notice. Luckily I had a friend in the region to stay with. Once a day I’ve come back to look after the cats who have been shut inside the cottage, as I felt it less disruptive for them that way, while my dog is with me. Due to wintry weather, the spraying has been disrupted, and not all of it has been completed. The spray unit is parked within smelling distance of my place despite my request it be moved further away. So even though the air coming off the paddocks are now less unsafe for me, I still cannot walk around outside without concerns of contamination. Even with a face mask. Sadly, it’s not going to be one-off event, and so my time here is now limited. I shall be applying to have my lease cancelled without penalty once I’ve set-up my next step. Which will be life on the road. I cannot face this constant search for a safe home any longer, so I’ll be a tortoise and take my home with me. (On a side note, I have Moon in my Fourth House, and according to some, it has the effect of this constant shifting of where I live, so now I’ll just give in to it and stop fighting the inevitable. My whole life has been one of shifting…..and not generally of my choosing.)
What I’d like to purchase is something like this little bus. The reality of my finances depleted by the costs of previous moves, is more like this, which I’d have to refit to my requirements – no toxic materials in the interior. Squeezing the two cats and dog and myself into it will need some very creative thinking 🙂 By the way, I do have two tents, one very good, from my camping days, and equipment, so that’s always a fallback scenario.
Meanwhile, I’m taking it one day at a time. Today, I’m able to be inside my home longer than previously, but won’t take the chance of sleeping here – not while the spray unit is in sight. For some years now, I’ve been calling myself an Environmental Refugee, even though it doesn’t yet fit with the current definitions – but given the massive market in extremely harmfull chemicals, more people are finding themselves in a similar situation and speaking up about it. One active group in raising awareness is March Against Monsanto.
So there, in a rather large nutshell, is the situation. I’ll just have to keep looking forward and trust…….
We’re getting out across the farm more now that I’ve found out the bulls have been removed from the property, and the new stock are very curious and slowly getting to know us. Moooo 🙂
In case you were wondering, I’m doing ok, just taking life a lot slower these days, after a hectic…. um… two years actually! And I feel it’s just a respite, so I’ve been making the most of it. The future looks unsettled…. but more on that another time.
It’s winter, and so far there have been gales, fog, frosts, rain, and this weekend snow could fall in the mountains. As you can imagine, I’m very grateful for a small cottage that is quite cozy especially if there’s some sun about to stream in the sitting room windows.
For now, please enjoy shots of Fred and the cats Frank and Pixel, and the various calves on the property. It is so very very nice to be able to walk out again with my furry friends and not have to worry about traffic – and at this time of year, the snakes are less likely to be active. 🙂
Yes, it’s now just over two months since I moved onto the dairy property near to Port Fairy, and I can’t believe how the time has flown. Many times I’ve had to change my plans to stay home and relax as one thing after another has landed on my lap, leading me away. Finally though, I’m settling into some sort of a routine.
Each morning Fred and I walk up my driveway to the top of the hill, and beyond to the grid at the main road, and then back again. It takes about 15 mins of brisk walking. The cats usually come only part of the way, and rejoin Fred and I as we return. I collect kindling for the cottage from the gum trees on the side of the drive to build up a supply for the coming winter. So far, I’ve only had one fire, more to check that all was working properly as much as anything. I get plenty of sunlight into the cottage during the day from the northern windows and that’s a real bonus of this place.
Earlier this month my piano finally had its tuning and now everything is working smoothly and it sounds lovely – when I get a chance to play that is! The piano tuner placed its date around 1905, so she’s doing very well. He remembered tuning her once before, several years ago, when in Portland.
There’s been welcome rains recently, and fungi are popping up about the place. While on a recent road trip, I stopped to examine one that grew around the gum trees. It was enormous! And it had plenty of family members around the same size not far away. On that same trip, I found an unrestored vehicle that I’d love to own – a Citroen 2CV has been on my wish list for years now and suddenly there it was! Entirely impractical for my needs, but one can always dream 🙂
Last weekend Sheepdog Trials were held at Port Fairy and I watched some dogs (and owners) go through their paces. It’s always great to see a good working dog in action – and even those who are still learning how to deal with not so helpful sheep 🙂 These dogs were happy in their work and their partnership with the owner was most obvious. Nice.