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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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 🙂

Light on the horizon

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Rising Light

A month ago I sent out a plea for some stability in my life.  That plea has been answered.  Before the end of this month, I’ll be moving onto a dairy farm property, close to Port Fairy.  Of course, it does mean lots of sorting and packing once more, but I consider it worth the effort.  The cabin is well away from the main highway, and I have some lovely views of the rural scenes, which will compensate for the lack of sea views.  Mind you, I’ll still not be far from the ocean, and will be able to hear it talking at night.

I’m very grateful 🙂

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Thank you.

Sheepish dogs

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.

Ahoy there!

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Sea Fever

John Masefield (from Salt-Water Ballads, 1902)
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

 

I’d always enjoyed this poem, but it wasn’t until last month that I really understood it.  It all changed for me when the Enterprize ( An 1830’s replica) visited Portland, and I was able to take a trip on her. My first experience of being on the water under sail – and I was well and truly hooked!  Alas, the trip lasted less than an hour, and only part of that was under sail, but those times of eyes closed, listening to the water and feeling the wind on my face were total enchantment.

Here’s just a small selection of the many photos I took, but I hope it conveys a little of the magic.

Tall ship

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I’d love to sail some more, and if I lived closer to Melbourne I could possibly join the volunteer program…. and maybe if I was younger, and maybe if….. but for now I’ll just dream……

Today it is the summer solstice, and a friend and I went out for lunch at a cafe overlooking the Portland Harbour.  A beautiful day in a beautiful place.

Season’s greetings to everyone, may your holidays be full of joy and goodness and blessings. xx

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