BRE - Before Rollick Era

 

Hi, I'm Miss C. Partner in this rollicking adventure. 

I guess that Adam and I always had a predisposition to this whole living in a rural location caper. Upon his move to Canberra around 2009, our weekends were filled with parties and indulgence, but somehow no sooner were our bleary eyes adjusting to the harsh light of a Sunday morning, we were piling into the deathstar,* hurtling down Brindabella rd and before you could say, ‘Holy hangover Batman!’ we’d be halfway up Mt Gingera, among the snowgums and the tufty alpine grass. This was the place we loved to be, high on a mountain, being blasted by the alpine air, watching the clouds make shadows on the landscape below.

I distinctly remember the moment I realised that I just felt different having reached a certain elevation above sea level. I was driving to Mt Hotham to pick up Adam after a particularly formative walk from Walhalla. I had been listening the the Eels and Bob Dylan at volume and winding my way up to my destination, and at a particularly sharp hairpin turn I caught a glimpse of Mt Feathertop and the positively eye watering topography that surrounds it. It took serious effort to watch the road. We’d always loved bushwalking, especially around the tree line where the snowgums morph into twisted gigantic bonsai. And that was the moment it clicked.

Snow Gum, Mt Gingerra

Snow Gum, Mt Gingerra

We have since been lucky enough to spend multiple trips touring the high country, exploring interesting tracks and places of sublime beauty. Most recently we were at Mt Lovicks (probably the most beautiful of them all) where we decided we’d either have to never leave or find our own freaking mountain.

These adventures and the others that followed could have been enough to keep us happy had our home been a more peaceful place to inhabit. But after a year and a half of arriving at a home that was no longer a place we’d chose to be, and having no control over how long this would continue, the urge to jettison ourselves from the situation became overwhelming and the point at which we could exist happily in suburbia passed.

This may seem like a strange conclusion to arrive at. The making of satisfying decisions is not purely a rational process, especially when it comes to decisions like where you live. Now that we're about to embark on this move, I can explain it thusly: while our current house is really small, too small to have a dining table - it was a great place to live while we were making it better and changing it so that it worked better for us. Enter deck and shedstension. When we were no longer able to make changes to our place, it became an uninspiring place to be. We just felt kind of stagnant. Us humans can exist in all sorts of situations, but  this sense of working towards something and improving your lot is something that seems to drive us no matter where we are.

So the decision to buy rollick farm was arrived at. I think the main drawcard for us is that it will require work. We want to be in a place we have made our own, with our ideas and our hands. It has enough of what we need to be comfortable: the two bedroom cottage is cute enough for me, and functional enough for both of us as well as a shed that’s maybe twice the size of our current house for Adam.

Big fire in a small backyard

Big fire in a small backyard

There’s enough cleared land to be able to grow all the walnut trees my heart desires, and the mountain range to the rear of the house has the topography and nature that provides us with our own version of national park, for mountain bike trails and hunting. Most importantly, there are snowgums, boulders and tufty alpine grass at 1350 metres above sea level. Yes, that means we’ll get snow up the back in winter, on our own mountain [drool].

As well as having the bones of the things we want, it’s also enough of a blank canvas to provide us project after project. In the first two weeks, we hope to have added filters and a pump to the house water supply, replaced a missing door on the shed, replaced the asbestos rope seal on the wood stove, painted the two bedrooms, among others.

Within the next 6 months or so, we’ll have hopefully sorted out shelving or storage for the living room and spare bedroom, built a bench height dining table, an outdoor kitchen and replaced the inside kitchen as well as done enough soil improvement and observation to start setting up the gardens so that they’ll one day be a permaculture paradise.

Yeah, I know, aren’t we the optimists? But it’s the most exciting thing to go from having no projects to as many as we can think of.

*the adventure starlet, which has seen more dirt than your average SUV.

- Miss C.