More on our first seachange year
This outfit, was bought at an old-fashioned craft shop. We have enjoyed buying things from it. I have bought things for international forum swaps, a cute present for Christmas last year that was just the ticket, things for the house, and the children bought me some things for Mother's Day. Mostly though it surprised us with special plants.
A craft shop is where people can sell homegrown plants, and their sewing and jams, knitted items.
During the first year we bought our wood. A nice man stacked it here for us. Eventually we bought another second hand chainsaw, though ours was good. The newer chainsaw is lighter, because at one stage we were collecting wood in this most gorgeous high place and to access the fallen trees hubby had to scale steep banks, yes, the chainsaw had to go up too. That is why the trees were left there and not cut up already.
Our electronic washing machine never made it past the first move to the farmhouse. It wasn't the same after that. I have a 7kg washing machine rather than a 5kg one. So in our first year we bought one the same, a Fisher & Paykel. Setting yourself up, someone called it. I suppose it has been nice not to have to worry about servicing the machine. As far as we know that doesn't quite happen here, but heard lately that they do do basic fixes. The question is how basic and how do you organise it? I suppose if you were doing a proper slowdown, you would have the time to find out.
We put a surge breaker I think on the new washing machine because of the electronics. We get such surges that we cannot have normal light globes, eventually we replaced them all.
We were given lots of plants we wouldn't have bought ourselves. We bought some nice trees, and I had to just stop buying plants, mind you I didn't really start. It adds up quickly but is a shame. As usually happens with a new house, you need the time to get furniture etc. sorted out, but twice, or rather three times now we have spent a lot of time on the garden. The last time I enjoyed it, the other two times I think I was stressed.
So in the first year, we planted osmanthus hedges, standard roses, put in bulbs and those new non-fruiting pear trees.
We only had the one house by then so had money for the odd car trip. The little one had never been to a zoo, so we went to a country zoo. I particularly loved the Shakespeare garden. We also went to the snow. Our son got involved in a country tradition called a Deb Ball. It was similar to this one. There was a dance? version of a Shannon Noll song I think that was really special. The dance teacher was young and had some great ideas. She actually was very welcoming to us when we first came and I don't know what I would have done without her. She reminded me of that new song Chic Ute Kind Of Thing. I love it.
It is funny, I wouldn't buy a ute, but I do have a CB aerial. Yes, I chose the car. I saw it in the paper, tried it out with eldest son and the little toddler and organised the paperwork.
At the Deb Ball we had our family portrait taken. It is the best one we have had done. So we didn't have to travel anywhere to get that done.
There were Welcome Packages availabe when we came. I got mine after awhile. The lady there quizzed me about how I came to be here, or had I been here before possibly. A few people got told the story of how I used to come here as a girl. Yes, it is true, and also when I was first married, or on the way to the beach. There is a photo of me when I was 6 drinking out of an anodised cup on top of the mountain. There are lots of connections to our hometown one was a boarding school that some of the ladies my Mum's age attended then.
She was asking what I liked or something, I suppose some of the things I have mentioned here on the blog got quoted, and then she said "What is here for you?" or something like that. I didn't think it was relevant really.
The springs here go on forever, just like in the farmhouse in our "practise" year. I find that the hardest I think. In our hometown, you had winter, spring and summer clothes. When the summer ones were out, there was no way you needed the winter ones, and probably the spring ones were put away too. The weather was that predictable.
I am not sure when I found online food shopping. But our fruit, vege and bread is shipped 1 1/2 hours in a refrigerated truck! I still think it is great. The bakery here stopped making standard sandwich bread at some point. We actually found some tins at the tip, and we have them if ever we wish to make more than 2 loaves.
The tip is lovely. Because of lack of electrical servicing we find some great things, collectibles, all sorts of things. Yes, you can still do that. We used to do that years ago, at some point we were embarassed, but not here, I think it is great.
Food is expensive. I buy mostly the cheapest items, some homebrands, and try not to memorise the prices. I can get bin items from the F&V shop as fruit is the most expensive thing to buy for families.
I must add that since I didn't watch the first year of Australian Idol, I vowed not to miss it the next year, after hearing the deb ball music. I am glad because I didn't miss this moment, or this one. Nor this.