[Help from the fire brigade]

Help from the fire brigade

[photograph] [photograph] [Bathroom, Before]

Bathroom, Before

[Bathroom, after]

Bathroom, after

[Taps, before]

Taps, before

[Taps, after]

Taps, after

[Sink, before]

Sink, before

[Sink, after]

Sink, after

[Kitchen cupboards before]

Kitchen cupboards before

[and after]

and after

[Guest room before]

Guest room before

[Guest room after]

Guest room after

[Water tank before]

Water tank before

[Water tank after]

Water tank after

[Rubbish all around the house before]

Rubbish all around the house before

[Same spot, after]

Same spot, after

[Old greenhouse site, before]

Old greenhouse site, before

[Now an archery range]

Now an archery range

June 13, 2015

This blog entry is rather photo heavy, but bear with me.

Last weekend was my 1 year anniversary of living at Wild Rose Cottage. Itís been a few weeks of inner reflection and navel-gazing as I look back on the roller-coaster that has been the last 12 months. My divorce is under way, and Peter has advised he too is leaving Sydney to be with someone he has met. I wish him every happiness, he deserves it.

How have things changed for me ? Well, I love living Ďaloneí (Iím not alone I have a house full of cats and a farmyard of chooks, ponies and sheep), but I enjoy being able to do my own thing and be as anticocial (or social) as I want.

I am really lucky in that I have my family next door so they are a fantastic safety net, and there are things you just canít do alone (like moving furniture) or hanging farm gates.

I still battle with mental illness and had a couple of bad episodes, but I was able to get to the local hospital and get really good quality help fast, much better service than in Sydney. Which is good for me but bad for Armidale. With very high unemployment, drought, and youth drug problems there seems to be a much higher percentage of mental heath, charity, outreach, counselling and other such social services up here. But I was happy and proud of myself because I knew I had to go and get help and got it. Yay ! One point to me !

I have learnt to be frugal with my money, by the fact of not having money to spend. If I want to go to Tamwoth for a horse event I have to weigh up the fact that what used to seem to be a Ďfreeí day out in fact costs me $60 in diesel, so some events I go to and some I donít. I have sold 2 of my ponies, and currently have Sunny and Jerry out on free agistment having a spell, so my feed bills are reduced. No more impulse buying of super expensive RM Williams handbags, the one Iíve got is starting to get tatty, but so what ? In fact, I am no longer the RM Williams brand slave that I was, now Iím living the country lifestyle I donít need to dress the country lifestyle. Yes, Iíve spent a bit on archery gear but that was funded by the proceeds of selling one of my carriages, so I had to make a sacrifice to get it. I buy a lot of stuff second hand Ė I just bought a bed for my guest bedroom (in the hope that one day I get a guest) for a whopping $20. Itís as good as new and very comfortable.
Yay ! Two points to me !

Iím fitter (though not much) than what I was. Although I still have a job where I am chained to my desk, just the general work I need to do around the farm such as carrying bags of feed, feeding animals, etc, has made me fitter. And the field archery is great, you donít realise how much walking you do on a shoot. Iím still fat and unfit, but it is improving. Yay ! Three Points to me !

Iím getting more confident in asking for help. When I first moved here I was trying to burn off a pile of wood loppings, and burnt my face (like a bad sunburn) and almost burnt down the neighbourhood. Guess what ? When I asked the local fire brigade, they came out and did the burn-off for me. It was free, they had 2 fire engines at my place on standby and they used it as a training exercise so it was a win-win. And If I donít burn down Invergowrie that must be a good thing. Yay ! 4 points to me !

I am making friends and getting involved in the community. I helped out at a Bunnings BBQ today Ė me, yes me ! Upon saying that my first customers were my family (thanks Alan, Libby, Barb, Hamish and Georgia) , and I cannot add up without a calculator so my BBQ buddy Estelle had to count for me, but I was doing my little bit and that made me happy. Yay ! 5 points to me !

The downsides to moving to Invergowrie ? Well, money is always a worry, but that is because I have never had to stand on my own two feet before, I just took money off my parents or Peter. Mum and Dad are still having to help me to a certain extent, which I hate. My egg business appears to have fizzled so I am keeping an eye out for other opportunities, maybe I could card and spin fleeces for people but given I havenít had a chance to card or spin my the fleece from my 2 sheep from last year. And I already work every second Saturday as it is.

On the cat scene Skizuka died, waiting at the door on the one night I stayed in Armidale rather than coming straight home to Invergowrie. As you can imagine I was wracked with guilt, but at least he died in his sleep as I soon had to make the decision to put him down. In the meantime I have got Hunter (abandoned with the house Ė how awful) , Tama (an unwanted Christmas Present given up for free on Facebook) , and Princess (posted on the RSPCA website by a work colleague who manages the web site, she bore a resemblance to my all time favourite cat that I had nicknamed Princess) . 6 Cats is my limit, so all vacancies are filed.

The carriage driving hasnít taken off like Iíd hoped. Iím down to a pair now, I have never once regretted giving up the team, but as I said although I love my friends and driving at Tamworth it does cost me more than half a dayís wages in diesel. I was hoping Iíd be a bit more active with the carriage drivers in Armidale, and we did have one fantastic day at Uralla, so hopefully there will be more of those to come.

I feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that still needs to be done to the property. The house is badly in need of painting. I love itís tatty look but the reality is that the paint is there to protect from rot. But paint is so expensive. I think I will just have to do a ĎHarbour Bridgeí and paint it little bit by little bit, the go back and start again. And I desperately need to fence and subdivide the property so I can get some sustainable grazing practices in place.

This is why Iíve done a little Ďbefore and afterí photo session here, to show that I have made progress we are slowly improving the place (I have to say we as my parents have paid for a lot of this and my brother has done a lot of the work) But I have done my bit, mainly in the form of picking up ute load after ute load of rubbish and taking t to the tip.

Posted by Amanda on June 13, 2015 05:17 PM