A bit of a natter

It's been incredibly dry this spring. There is very little grass, the bush is crispy and we are having to supplement feed the animals. Our creek is down to a couple of rapidly diminishing spring-fed water holes. People around us are having to buy water by the tankerload which is costing them approximately $600/10,000L. The average Australian uses 270L/day, so you can imagine just how quickly these costs would add up for a family, even if they are extremely frugal with their water usage. 

This is not good news for my new garden, I'm keeping it alive with careful watering, but nothing has taken off yet and I'm hesitant to plant more until it rains. However, it remains a place of joy and peace for me and I find myself drawn out there constantly. 

The cats are loving the new garden, especially Sooty who has always preferred to be inside. She loves the pond. 

Sinking a bore has quickly gone to the top of the priority list. Unfortunately, it's expensive. I think it will be around 10-20k.

Grant has been working massive days fire fighting in the state forests for work. It seems arsonists are keeping busy already and everyone is bracing for a disastrous fire season. We are all hoping the wet season breaks soon and that the long-range forecasts are wrong. What we wouldn't give for a good long soaking downpour! Thankfully the boys are all getting older and more are more capable at farm work. Without them, it would be very difficult. 

I don't know if the arson is worse this year than other years, but it certainly seems like it. What causes people to deliberately light fires and put people, homes, livestock and nature at risk? Is it worse since COVID? Years of social distancing, an uncertain economic climate and an endlessly rising cost of living certainly doesn't help people feel like they have a place in this world or like they are connected to their community. 

But amongst the lack of rain and bushfires, there are good things happening on our farm. First and foremost William turned 16. Where have the years gone? He is growing into a lovely young man. He works hard, is kind and protective over those he loves and he loves the farm. We are very proud of him and it is a blessing to be his mother. Will is excited to get his Learner's licence and begin to learn to drive, he is utterly car-mad. I don't write a lot about the bigger children these days, especially Will as their stories have become their own and they don't always want me to share photos of them online. But they don't mind the odd one. 

Will requested a double-layer chocolate cake, covered in his favourite lollies. For the life of me, I couldn't find the birthday candles, so we settled with one giant one. Of course, I found the candles later, exactly where they always are. Ha!

Grant turns 40 in a few days. I remember when we got together, just a month or so before my 21st birthday. Grant being Grant doesn't want anything special for his birthday, though he commented he would like some comfy work shorts and some new hankies. I'm sure a pub meal and a chocolate cake wouldn't go astray either. All the things he wants are huge and farm-related like fencing materials, a slasher and a bore dug. Perhaps I should buy him a lotto ticket! I would so love to buy him those things, perhaps one day it will be possible. 

It got me thinking back to when I first started blogging and how little the boys were. Henry was just a babe on my back. Oh, how times have changed. Here is the very first post I did back in 2015 A Simple Living Journey. Blogging was different then, it was a kind of long-hand version of Instagram. My writing was terrible, my spelling worse and my grammar? Well, let's not go there. However, it was something I enjoyed and it brought much-needed structure and connection to my days.

As I was poking back through old posts, I wondered how past me would react if she could see us now? Would she be shocked? Excited? Daunted? Life is a funny thing. There are so many paths to explore with endless opportunities. I can't wonder where we will be in another 8 years. The boys will be grown, having finished their schooling and hopefully working or studying in an industry they enjoy. Will we even still be on the farm? I imagine so, but who knows what the future holds. The last 8 years have been full of changes. It has seemed at times that change is the only constant we have had. Aside from each other of course! I do hope the next 8 are a little slower, steadier and involve continuing to put down roots in our community. 

School holidays are upon us and I am pleased for the rest. The boys were quite run down this term, especially towards the end. Grant has booked a few days off and he wants to get cracking on the fencing for a secure dairy goat overnight pen and the permanent deep litter chicken yard. Sadly, our chook numbers are down due to a murderous steer that when given half a chance, chases the chickens and stomps on them. Our last rooster was a dud, so we will be on the lookout for some nice Australorps to purchase in a few weeks. The guinea fowl are less trusting of the steers as well as more agile, so we will have to settle with them for tick control around the house paddock until the grumpy steer is sold or put in the freezer. 

My parents are coming for a visit this school holidays which will be nice. They are staying in Port Macquarie and will do day trips out here and we will go into town too. We might even get some beach time in and the kids are hoping to go to the cinema. We always enjoy a bit of civilised town time! 

Well, that's about all from us for now. I had best finish hanging the clean washing on the line, tackle the dishes and lay some mulch on the garden. 

I hope this finds you well, sending much love and blessings to you and yours. 
Emma xx


  1. Lovely to see the photo of all the children. Gosh I miss you guys. If only you were not so far away. Every now and then I drive past the house in Hamley Bridge to see what changes are being made. Hope it rains soon for you, not only for your water supply but to dampen the bush as well. Keep smiling. Regards Rodney

    1. We all miss you too Rodney! Hopefully when we visit SA later this year we can all catch up. I googled the Hamley Bridge house the other day, I miss that sweet old house. I'm a sucker for the old stone buildings in South Australia. A lot of the old buildings here were made from timber and have since burnt down with one bush fire or another. How are the plains looking? Much love from us all. xx

  2. Will 16th?? Wow! Many blessings to him and the rest of the family. You had just begun your blogging journey when I discovered your blog. I have enjoyed getting to know you, learn with you, and be a part of this dream you and Grant are pursuing. Be well .

    1. I appreciate you following along and being an encouragement all these years Patricia! I can't believe he is 16 either. He is really shaping up to become a lovely young man. He loves anything country. Country music, Ariat boots, jeans and his Akubra or a country brand cap, which he buys with his own money. He would love a horse given half a chance but they are not a cheap animal to keep unfortunately for him! Sending love to you and yours. xx


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