Published: July 19th 2009July 18th 2009
The 'old' kitchen..
A pantry in the corner??!! Yak.. that soon came out..
It’s now been 17 months, since we left UK to start a new life in Australia... 17 months!! It has gone so fast...
In that short space of time we have;
Gone through a strict selection criteria for a house and subsequently entered into a rather large mortgage.....bought a car, exchanged the car, renovated more than 1/2 of the house, including building an interior wall and knocking down another 3..bought a 2nd car, completely changed the landscape of our land, raised 2 delinquent dogs, bought and sheared 2 alpaca, gone from owning 3 goats to just the 1 rather grumpy billy, then selected a further 6 (pregnant) angora goats, purchased a new pet - details to follow below……had a Christmas in the sun, 2 Easters, seen the kids more than we use to when we were in UK, passed through a winter and managed to get through a (very hot) summer ....hard as it was guys :-) 45 degrees in the shade at some points ...
We've seen HBOS get sold to Lloyds, Bankwest bought by CBA and a global financial crisis sweep over us all, and we have survived so far....
Work is busy, challenging and stressful at
Oh... pantry gone..
With a few hard hits
times, we’ve got a few more grey hairs (or less hair for one of us) than we had when we got here, but I guess that’s Project Management for you.
It takes a while to understand and blend into the way of life out here, it’s very laid back and use of the phrase ‘that’s just how it is’ is used on more occasions than it should be.. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a great way of life, just different. We love each and every day, from the variety of animals up in the hills to those we see on the train on the way into the city...
The daily train ride in……
So, there’s a young chap who boards the train on occasions, who is slightly autistic and makes a normal mundane train ride into an absolute pleasure. For one he walks through each carriage of the train making bird noises and repeats the train announcements to passengers before we depart the station. He has recorded sounds on his mobile that mimics the chimes seconds before the doors close, which has passengers jumping on and off rather quickly.
He sometimes speaks into his sleeve, as if he is
Tom gets physical
AFter knocking the walls down comes the moving of rubble ..
a FBI agent reporting on the types of people aboard “ Rather large lady boarding carriage 3, about to take a seat next to the feral (Aussie for Wild) looking small bald man”
He always tries to get a seat next to a pretty girl as it appears to make him feel less threatened. An extremely pleasant and polite chap who always has a mischievous grin when he uses the recorded sounds which he knows makes people laugh.
Then there is the blonde girl, always on her mobile, very loud, very brash and we have learnt most of her life story while travelling.
We quite often have ‘names’ for some of the regulars, mainly based on who they remind us of, we have a ‘Sophie Ellis Bexter’ a ‘Doctor Snuggles’ Hero, Boganella, a scary Pete Burns and a ‘Real Mr Chocolate face’
On some days, we get the school kids in the same carriage, the whole of their conversation revolves around ‘Like’.
“Mom woke me up at like 7 o clock, and it was so like so unfair, because like, I only got to bed at like midnight and couldn’t like get to sleep til like 2”
It’s like so amazing!
On a rare occasion we get the drugged up or drunken local superstar.. one of whom decided to have a go at a couple of quiet passengers before turning his attention to Oggy.. a brief moment of ‘nose touching’ stare out before he realised that Oggy wasn’t going to back down.. Lets say it almost came to a brief altercation!
The train ride is great, always entertaining and we now know the station stops by heart and who gets on and off where...
There are many things that we have experienced within our first year or so in Australia, some of the ‘firsts’ we have had over the past few months are….
• both have an Aussie driving licence
• our 1st speeding fine (we being Oggy)
• our 1st parking ticket (again we being Oggy)
• Our photo in the state farming newspaper - fame at last..
• 1st win on the Oz lotto ($32) not enough to retire on
• Our very 1st Pig.. (YES a PIG!! Again more on that later!)
• 1st Herb n Veg patch (nearly a patch, more like a trench at the moment)
• 51st Ant bite..!! The
The Og-Rob family...
Growing by the day..
little blighters bite at every opportunity and it hurts! More like a sting really, the skin around the bite starts with a burning sensation, followed by a deep itching desire to rip your skin off which develops a hard under skin lump.
Hopefully now summer is over, the ants will go underground for awhile.
Autumn was calm and warm and we are now creeping into the winter months, when we say winter, most days (so far) have been as warm as 24 degrees, the rain comes mainly at night and our land no longer looks like the Sahara desert but more like a green velvet cloth..
We have had to put the duvet back on the bed though as it gets down to about 12 degrees at night now - yes I can hear what you are all saying.. but I guess we have become acclimatized and 12 degrees is cold to us! But as we said, most days its still mid 20's with the occasional shower and a cool breeze, which is always nice.
So, its now July and we have had a few eventful months since our last Blog update.
Tom came out to stay with
Tom out and about on the land with the quad
us in February for a 3 month stint, he got a bit of sunburn, made some new BMX mates and turned 18 years of age, no wild party (well not here..) but we did all go out for dinner and a few drinks down in the city.
He spent time learning to master the quad bike out on the land and then went off to the sand dunes at Lancellin to 'throw it around' a bit (he even looks really cool on the pics) he had several driving lessons and we let him drive 'Barry the Barina' down to Mundaring (with us in the car) and to be honest, it wasn't as scary as first thought...!
We think he enjoyed it all the same and we are hoping to see him come back on a 12 month working visa so he can enjoy a working life out and about meeting new people and gaining new experiences.
Carli graduated in July after a 3 year stretch at DMU.. turns 21 years of age in August and hopefully comes to Oz on a working visa for a year in September.. that way she can spend a few months picking fruit
This little piggy went to market...
This little piggy is coming home...
or rounding up cattle before going out into the 'full on working world'
Poppie has secured a place at nursing college and left school after turning 16 in March and will hopefully come out towards Christmas for a visit.. How old do we feel...?
all 3 'children' hitting major milestones within 6 months of each other...
Now earlier we mentioned, as one of our ‘1st’s’ .... a pig… yes its true.. she was 12 week old when we bought her (5 weeks or so ago)
After years of wanting one, Ang now has a little pig, a girl and very sweet she is too.. You have probably got a vision of a little clean, pink, fat, bacon smelling cutie with a curly tail and little pink nose..
Well, sort of…
She is about the size of a Jack Russell (overweight Jack Russell) weighs approx 12kilo, has a cute pink nose, when its not covered in mud or yogurt, her tail is curly when she happy or eating (shes always happy when eating) and I am sure she is pink under her hair..
She is hairy, black with white socks, grunts and squeals with delight when she sees
The herb patch
Oggy working away on the land at the side of the garden, creating a space for the herbs n veg...
We really are getting like Tom & Margo.....
a bread wrapper or hears the fridge open, she follows both of us around like one of the dogs, wanting to be part of everything we do and in the time she has been living with us, has turned most of the back paddock over by digging with her not so clean and pink nose..
We have called her ‘Stinky’
Stinky has bonded with Lulu - the min pin, but at first was not so sure of Kat - the Doberman.
Kat must have thought we had brought her a new toy that squeaked so she chased Stinky round the garden area trying to play..and when Stinky had breakfast out on the patio area with us on Sunday morning, breakfast by the way for a 12 week old piglet is a mixture of 4 weetabix made with powdered milk and a small helping of natural yogurt, rather messy but she thinks its yummy..
Kat tried to ‘share’ some of it and got a bit of a shock when Stinky ‘saw her off’
Nobody comes between a pig and her food, regardless of size.
Needless to say, Kat has not chased her around as much since but has been ‘allowed’
The changing landscape
The driveway after we spent most of summer digging it out and creating a 'roundabout'
to go into the paddock area and into Stinkys pen, but only under supervision.
Mouse (the cat) isn’t as keen to bond with the pig, and often just stays out of snout reach by sitting higher than it. Pigs are pretty poor at looking up above their head height, as they have such fat necks - imagine someone with a crick neck trying to look up - it looks comical……
The pig is probably more obedient than the dogs. She will follow you anywhere, even if you run. She stays at heel and wont stray too far, as she starts to panic if you manage to move out of her line of sight. All in all its a cute little thing, and the friendliest critter you could ever meet.
More on the Angora Goats - They are much like a Poodle crossed with a Goat. They look like curly haired sheep but a lot smaller. They are all female and possibly pregnant All have names:
Poodle, Stroodle, Doodle, Roodle, Toodle and Alice (Unfortunately the last one had a name already).
Alice is the friendliest and will come when called. She is the smallest and the most inquisitive, with
Tom with bike (2) ...
What else would Tom have wanted to do when he got here??
This one was the one he built until he got another one for his 18th birthday!
an appetite to be proud of.
That’s about all for now, as the nights draw in fast and we don’t get the chance to do anything outside when we get home. Apart from ripping out the kitchen and all but finishing off the new one, we are pretty much too tired to start anything new.
But once the kitchen is finished, I know we will start the bathrooms...!!!
Take care all of you, hope to see you soon
For those of you who read the last blog... we added a few pics of Ang, CJ and Matt at the Coldplay concert.. and Tracey, Yes.. it was fantastic..!!
There are more photos below