At last!

Today the sun is shining – in various ways!

Finally I can sit at my own laptop, using WiFi at the council library – in this instance it is at Portland Vic library.  It has taken many deviations to get here, and I’m still not convinced it will be without glitches, but fingers crossed it all goes well.  🙂

For the past ten days I’ve been at Portland, housesitting for friends, who are now on their way back from a family gathering in N.Z.  Before that the Mob and I spent a week doing proper life-on-the-road stuff.  It was full of moments ranging from THIS IS WHY I’M DOING THIS, to OH DEAR NOW WHAT!  Overall though it felt good, despite some freezing cold mornings where waiting for the kettle to boil felt like forever!

The cats and I have developed a routine that is working reasonably well at present.  At first light I let them out of the van, and they can scamper about and explore and attend to toileting  while the rest of the world is still asleep.  Then they are content mostly to spent time in the van, either in their travelling boxes if we’re on the move, or sitting on the bed or their cushion by the window.  At end of day, it’s similar, although not quite as good as the mornings.  I always try to find the quietest campsite, whether that be in a free campspot or in a formal caravan park.  It evolves…..     This week I upgraded their litter tray….. Pixel is inclined to send litter over more than her tray…. and this new one has a lid and a cat flap.  Hmmm…… still getting them used to going thru the flap…. but we’ll get there 🙂  Of course, adjustments have to be made to fit into the small space of the camper, this added piece of equipment………  and constantly I’m doing reshuffling trying to find the most economical use of space.

Next week an overhead shelf will be installed, along with a central roof vent.  That will change things again and I’ll spent a few days making further adjustments.  I’ll be staying in the Port Fairy region while that takes place, and am making hazy plans for heading to a warmer clime now that winter is about to break.  We’ll see……

I’ve been spending far too much time in the past fortnight dealing with tedious issues that took most of my patience and brain power, and celebrated with the conclusion of all that (which I’ll discuss later) by taking off to Fred’s and mine favourite beach in this area on Friday.  Weather was perfect and we had a great time.  Haven’t downloaded images yet but will show them in due course.

Here’s the view from our first morning on the road.

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It was teeming with bird life especially ducks and swans.  Lots of fish too apparently.

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The area we were exploring is volcanic and has many craters full of water and I found it utterly fascinating.  Definitely an area I’ll spend more time in along the way.  Today I won’t go into details, just some images……..

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So far I’ve hardly had time to look at the photos myself, so this is just a quick edit while I’m online.  However, as I say, hopefully all the tedious must-do’s have been done, and now we can all get on with enjoying our new way of life! 🙂

Preparations

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Days then weeks go by, and still I haven’t posted any updates….. sorry.  So here’s a very brief one.  Things are progressing on all fronts.  Slower than I’d have liked, but still, progressing.  Going through all my personal things, deciding what to keep, what to dispose of, it all takes time to do it thoroughly and with care.  But I’m getting there…. where-ever “there” is!

Changes happening to the van also.  Some cannot take place until January, but at least they are in the pipeline now.  Other small jobs done today and more on Sunday planned.  Once some basic refits are done, I want to do short trips to trial it and then adjust as necessary.

I’m beginning to dream of getting back into taking my photos again – so I can once more share with you the magic of the natural world and all its bounty.  🙂

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Meeting the neighbours

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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 🙂

 

And now it is winter…..

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. 🙂

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Autumn

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 🙂

Stability

This week I was reading Pat’s blog post on Courage and the New Year and she finished by asking what word speaks strongly for this new year.  The word that quickly arose for me was “stability”.  It’s not that I’m against change, it’s simply that for the past year I’ve been constantly packing bags and travelling back and forth, living in two places.  My home, and another’s.  And neither feels like the home I wish to have.  My cats and dog have adapted extremely well to the situation, to the extent that now when the travelling crate comes out, Pixel goes in immediately and settles down.  Frank is slightly more reluctant and always voices his disapproval at the beginning of the trip, but overall he’s pretty good.  Fred, well, he’s a dog and a terrier, so he’s always up for a trip in the car.

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The road much travelled

It’s me who’s feeling weary of it.  Seeking solutions.  Seeking stability.  I still want to work on my friend’s garden as I find bringing it into order a very satisfying experience.  But it’s too far from my place for a quick half day visit, and so entails packing and unpacking…….

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Front view

When I moved to my beach cottage last year, I initially only took out a six month lease as I wasn’t sure how I’d adapt to no longer living in the middle of a very very large cow paddock.  Well, it has been tough as even though I’m not crammed into a suburban block as such but look out onto the ocean in front and a paddock out back, I’ve still got to contend with road traffic….and Fred spends far too much time on a leash.  Not what we are used to, and now I don’t think what we can get used to….. I’m too old a dog myself to learn that new trick.

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We want to be wandering paddocks like this again…..

Find some gold again

And find some gold……

I’ve extended my lease for another three months while I continue the search for something to fits our needs better, and gives me that much needed sense of stability.  Or else I’ll simply hit the road……….