Country Life Archives - Jo Simply Will

My stories and thoughts about country life, the importance of supporting rural communities, and our move from the city to the country.

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?

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    

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 Country Show – adventures in show cooking

Last week I shared my reflections on the country show, and my personal history of show-going from infancy. Country shows are just so important in keeping traditional skills alive. I love watching the woodchop, and the Mudgeeraba show also has displays of blacksmithing, beekeeping, and the young farmers’ challenge.





The skills of cooking, patchwork, sewing, knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, and craft are also kept alive through the challenge of the exhibitors pavilion.





I’ve needed little encouragement to enter exhibits in the Mudgeeraba Show for each of the last 6 years. Every year I eagerly await the release of the pavilion Continue reading    

The Country Show

I was raised in a rural area, and the local agricultural show was a highlight of the year’s social calendar. My love of a country show started in infancy. Here I am, aged about 18 months, all dressed up at the Innisfail Show.

The show is an event that brings the community together. It’s a chance to showcase skills, talent, and creativity. We see it in the woodchop and equestrian events, livestock showing, dance and band performances, cooking, spinning and weaving, photography, quilt making and more.

My family moved to Brisbane when I was 14. The tradition of going to the show was replaced with an annual trek to the Ekka. The focus shifted to rides and sideshow alley, though I remember still loving to visit the pavilions.

I moved away from Brisbane when I started work, and my show-going tradition ceased. That was until we moved to the fringe of town. Then I discovered the Mudgeeraba Show. The charm of the country show from my childhood was Continue reading    

Supporting rural Australia

Greetings from Goondiwindi in western Queensland! We are visiting this picturesque town for a few days, and I’ve been saving up both my dollars and also items for my shopping list. I once heard someone say that one of the best things you can do after an area has been hit by a natural disaster, like a fire or flood, is to go and spend money in the area. I think the same principle could be applied to rural Australia, much of which is often experiencing a disaster of a different sort, that of drought. So I have made the oddest assortment of purchases today.  Mostly they are things I could have very easily bought at home, but if I’m going to buy them anyway, why not wait? Buying them from a small town will help support itsIMG_1177 local economy. Here’s a list of my purchases:

1.Goondiwindi has its own brand of clothing Goondiwindi Cotton from which the mauve jumper was purchased. Whilst in the store I also bought their Cottonseed Oil hand and body lotion. The clothes are now made off-shore, but the lotion is made in Australia.

2.I bought a few pairs of Humphrey Law socks – Humphrey Law is an Australian owned company and their socks are still made in Australia.

Continue reading    

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