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 the butcher cat’. Is Gerald actually the ‘butcher cat’ whose primary place of residence is the real estate office? Either way he is a lucky boy, because the 2 businesses are next door to each other!

2. I love that most of the shops are closed by 5pm weekdays, midday on Saturday, and all day Sunday. This is just like the ‘old days’ in the city, before the advent of Thursday night shopping, then all day Saturday shopping, Sunday trading, and extended hours weekdays. And yet we have people who still can’t get enough of shopping and want them open 24 hours a day prior to Christmas! Closing businesses for most of the weekend enables workers to enjoy the break they deserve. It forces families to design some activities to do together rather than schlepping around the shops for entertainment, with their children in tow. And it means we all need to be just that bit better organised to get the things we need done before most things close down. I wonder if it also subtly shifts the focus away from consumerism and reduces the impact of marketing? Impulse buys, feelings of dissatisfaction with what we already have, and the search for that buzz that comes with buying something new are not likely to occur if the shops are closed!

3. Finally, the Christmas activities are quirky and great fun! The Christmas street parade was of a magnitude we would not have thought possible in a place with a population of 3000. The street was crowded with spectators and most community groups and businesses had a ‘float’. The purpose of some of the farm machinery that squeezed down that main street was a mystery to us. And the old cars and tractors were a real treat.















Christmas Day brought another quirky surprise. A decorated ute, complete with Santa on the back, went up and down every street throwing out lollies for the children to pick up. Apparently the family has been doing it for years. It’s a good way to meet the neighbours!







Do you live in a country town that has some quirky characteristics that you love?

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  • Maree says:

    Great story Jo. And so true. We dont need shops open till all hours.

  • Jo says:

    I love these quirky things about country towns. I haven’t lived in one for so many years, but this is exactly the types of things that I miss…having said that, I’m still getting used to even the slightly reduced shopping hours here on the Sunshine Coast compared to what we were used to in Sydney…

  • Lovely to hear you’re settling into your new town. So many new experiences. The ute delivering lollies on Christmas Day is such a beautiful tradition.

    SSG xxx

  • Perth where we are living now, in parts is a lot like a big country town. I grew up in country towns and loved the community.

  • leannelc says:

    We are in a country ‘suburb’ and there are similarities – the santa in the ute made me smile. Our volunteer firebrigade do this every year and it always goes down a treat. I think small town living has such a lovely vibe to it doesn’t it?

  • Jo says:

    I grew up in country towns & loved them for these reasons. Surprisingly though, the Rural Fire Service used to send a Santa in a ute down our street in suburban Sydney. It was one of the best things they could do each year for awareness. Love the pics – & can feel the vibe from here. #TEamlovinlife

  • Deborah says:

    I live in a regional town, rather than a country town. Hervey Bay – where I live on the Fraser Coast has about 70,000-80,000 people. Nearby Maryborough – my childhood hometown has 20,000. But I know what you mean about shops closing early etc… It’s funny as weeknights can seem so deserted around town. I tend to think of it as a bad thing, but it is kinda nice to think about everyone being home and going about their business…. #teamlovinlife

    • Jo says:

      I didn’t realise Hervey Bay had become so big Deb. Must be all those southern retirees who’ve headed up there….

      • Deborah says:

        Yes, I worked in the local Council in Mbro in 1992ish before the two merged (to become Fraser Coast Council) and our population then was about 20-23K and Hervey Bay had just overtaken us with 30K. It continued to grow. Mbro didn’t! It’s a sore point for old Maryborough-ites who won’t accept that ALL of the services are now in Hervey Bay rather than Mbro – whereas it was once the opposite. The Bay was the satellite city.

  • I grew up in a country town, and there’s just something special about the atmosphere. I totally agree that shops don’t need to be open 24/7 or past 12 noon on Saturdays – everyone deserves time off! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  • betty - NZ says:

    I love places like this! One of the interesting things in ‘town’ is just before Christmas, the fire trucks–along with some vintage ones and some police cars–drive up and down the residential streets with sirens and horns and ‘runners’ to collect goods for the local food bank.

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