Life in a country town – 3 quirky things I love

There’s no doubt about small country towns. They can be quirky places. This might be a consequence of history, circumstance, or the unique characters who live there. Or perhaps all 3. Here are 3 quirky things I love about my new town.

1. First on the list is Gerald, the cat. Gerald lives at the real estate agent’s, so we came to know him when we were searching for land and then securing a rental. Gerald has his own cat door at the back of the building. But as cats do, he gets around. He can sometimes be found promenading on the main street where passers-by greet him by name. He gets lots of pats and loves the attention.

I’m starving!
Where’s brekkie?
Waiting…..
Hmmph.

Now he’s possibly not the only cat who has been adopted by a local business. There’s a missing cat notice in one of the shop windows, advising that it is ‘not Continue reading    

Life in a country town – 2 months on

Well doesn’t 2 months go quickly! It was an eventful move and a very memorable first few days in our new country town. Now it’s 2 months on and time for an update on life in our new environs. So what have I been doing?

1. I joined the gym. It has a wide range of classes that cater for all ages. Like everywhere else we go around here the people are very friendly. It’s so nice to be addressed by name when you go there. Like when I got the timetable mixed up Continue reading    

Overwhelmed by photos? 5 tips to get on top

Photo overwhelm is more of a problem today than ever before. Prior to digital technology the only way you could see your photos was to get them developed. So that’s what we all did! For many, like me, those photos went straight into an album where they could be enjoyed by all. Others stashed them into a shoe box to sort out ‘one day’. These days we see photos instantly so there is not the same motivation to get them printed. Large numbers of photos can be stored electronically and so more and more accumulate. I can understand how this happens. In the first 8 weeks of my new phone’s life I already had 116 photos on Continue reading    

Smart phones: today’s shoebox of hoarded photos

Do you take photos on a smart phone? What do you do with the photos? Could your phone be turning into that future shoebox of unidentifiable photos that some have in a hidden corner of the cupboard? If you are hoarding photos on your phone and perhaps in other places, and wondering what to do with them, read on.

Cameras and photos have been important to me since I was a child. My brother gave me my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, when I was about 10. It had a cartridge style film with 24 exposures, and an attachable flashcube which exploded whenever a flash photo was taken. That was the fun part! Prior to a special event a new cartridge would be loaded into the camera with the hope that you would have enough shots to cover the occasion. The exposed film would then be put in at the chemist and sent away for developing. Oh the anticipation of Continue reading    

NEWSFLASH: Small town population increases by 2

In the last couple of weeks we have increased the population of a small rural town by 2. And what a lovely introduction to that town we have experienced! The first night we ordered some pizzas from a recently opened business. It had been a big day packing those final boxes, going behind the removalists room by room to clean, and filling our cars to the brim between downpours. After the drive out and near-disaster of the move, it was definitely going to be a bottle of wine night. So as our pizzas cooked we walked up to the bottle shop. The roller door was shut so we wandered into the pub to ask about opening hours. The young woman advised us she had only just closed, and could reopen for us if we had cash. With that, she extracts the cash drawer from the register and we follow her down the driveway. Balancing the drawer in one hand, she unlocks the side door, lets us in, and Continue reading    

Moving day woes

Moving house is not easy at the best of times. It’s good to be a minimalist when you have less than 4 weeks to pack the house up and you are working full time. Even so, I soon discovered we still have a lot of stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing worse than moving on a sunny day is moving on a rainy day. Yes, it was a day of intermittent torrential rain as the truck was packed.

But the worst was still to come. At our destination, the truck backed a wheel off the driveway. It sunk into the ground and dug in further when the driver tried to drive out it out. It leaned over at a treacherous angle, with all of our ‘stuff’ inside, Continue reading    

It’s time to move on

When we moved to the fringe of the city it felt like we were going a fair way out. Especially after living in the heart of things for decades. But the city started moving out to us. So we decided it was time to move on. (No) thanks to a  pro-development council, more and more of the natural envionment has been destroyed to build housing estates. Habitat for koalas and other wildlife has been lost forever. The strong push for growth has seen the subdivision of acreage areas that many of us bought in order to escape close neighbours and high density living. There’s a pond in the way? You know, one of those water holes that kangaroos and wallabies drink from, and that supports several species of ducks and other water birds? No problem, just fill it in so another house can be built.

 

 

 

 

 

Attracting more people to the area has added to existing traffic congestion. The M1 no longer has a peak hour. It can be choked at any time of day. The photo below was taken at 1.30 pm. Even walking at 6 am, the clicking of frogs in the ponds after rain is drowned out by the rush of traffic on a secondary road. Continue reading    

The hidden costs of earning money

Have you ever noticed that is costs money to earn money? My usual job is part-time. But due to some changes in the team this year I put my hand up to work full time for 6 months. I describe this to others as ‘falling on my sword’! But in reality I really don’t mind because I’m one of those increasingly rare people who loves their work (most of the time anyway!)

What I have learned during this time is that the more money you earn the more you spend. Some of this is choice and some is necessity. Spending on clothes and food goes up. There are increased costs to run a car, and more is spent on parking. My petrol costs have gone way up.

Many people comment about the extra money they spend on daily takeaway coffees and buying rather than bringing lunch. It’s an effort to plan meals for the week, organise lunch, and prepare something after a tiring day at work. Eating out or getting takeaways at Continue reading    

Want to help the environment? Visit an op shop first!

Awareness of the environmental impact of our consumption-driven society is slowly increasing. Whether we are talking about clothes or other goods, every new item we purchase has cost the environment in some way. The raw materials used have come from the earth. Equipment has been manufactured to craft the products, is run on electricity and requires maintenance and parts. Once made, products are packaged in plastic, paper and cardboard. More resources like oil and fuel are used in their transportation, often from overseas. Then there is the human cost. People are very often exploited in factories and sweat shops, and work under poor and sometimes dangerous conditions for very little pay.

Too often, items are purchased, briefly used and enjoyed, and discarded. Little thought is given to the environmental and human resources that have gone into their making.

There are 3 things we can all do to help. Continue reading    

Cumquat Jam

My brother lives in Toowoomba and can therefore grow anything! Last time I saw him, he presented me with a 2 kg bag of cumquats from his tree. I asked what I was going to do with so many, and he suggested I could make jam. I’ve never made jam before, but thought ‘why not?’

I divided the bag into two 1 kg lots, fearing that I might ruin my first attempt and need a back up for a second try. Even with just a kilo, it took me 2 nights to make the jam. I’ve said it before – it’s a bugger when full time work gets in the way of one’s hobbies and interests!

 

 

 

 

You would not believe how long it takes to wash, cut, and squeeze the pips out of Continue reading    

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