Do you Appreciate Rain?

We met my sister and her farm (and her big black pig!) a few posts ago. I asked Jenny to write something about farm-life … and she got her inspiration in a downpour. Here is her amusing take on rainfall: Rain? Don’t Complain! Take it away Jenny 🙂

Here I am, water dripping down my face, off my chin, down my back, and into my wellingtons. I’m outside, in a downpour. But I’m not complaining.


Not that long ago I expected water to come out of the tap when I turned it. I was living in the city then, the whole idea of turning a tap handle and no water flowing was preposterous! Then, I moved to the country. Ahhh the serenity. Bliss. Another bonus – no water bills. The stuff falls from the sky in abundance. It fills the rainwater tanks. In fact they overflow. I can’t believe I used to pay good money for it! Well, that’s how it was during my first idyllic months in the country. My first Summer shocked me to the bone. I turned the tap handle and, you guessed it, nothing came out. Who could I call? No water company, no plumber.  Just no water.

Who drank, flushed, washed in, or otherwise wasted MY water? Made no difference really. The main tank was empty. But all was not lost, we had a small back-up tank, and at the current rate of consumption (add this, multiply by that, divide by 22.76) we should be OK for another three weeks. Shame there was still another eight weeks of Summer to go.
A new house rule was implemented, ‘if it’s yellow, it’s mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down’ and applied to basic ablutions. Trees, plants, and the vegetable garden were all watered via bucket from second hand bath water. Yep – that’s right. I watered my veggies with a human consommé. Water from the washing machine was pumped out into the closest paddock in the hope of providing a square metre of grass for the hungry ruminants.

I think I spent the whole Summer carrying buckets, dragging hoses and looking up at every cloud with a pathetic but hopeful look on my face. It’s been 3 or 4 years now and I’ve got my own little farm. I moved in not long before Summer began. The dam was full. The vegetation was lush.


By the end of (would you believe) the driest Spring, Summer, Autumn in ages – my dam was just a smelly mud hole, the vegetation was crunchy underfoot and I was stressed to the eyeballs from constant threats from nearby bush-fires. It was about that time I solemnly swore to never, ever, complain about the rain again.

So here I am, outside, in a downpour.


It’s 12 days into (would you believe) the wettest start to a Winter in ages. The tanks are already overflowing. I’m watching the water gush out of the overflow. I can’t waste it! So I am dragging heavy hoses to try and divert the water 100 metres down to the dam.

Waste not. Want not! The damn is slightly less muddy, and the way things are going it will be a lake soon.

Thank you Jenny, for providing the words and the photos 🙂

What is your relationship with rain? I like jumping in puddles … as long as I have dry clothes to change into 😛

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Have you lain awake at night and felt someone or something watching you? Walked into an empty room and seen flickers of black spots at the corners of your eyes? Felt an unexplained coldness cut to your core? There could be a perfectly sane scientific explanation. Or you could have experienced something we don’t really understand.

Do ghosts really exist?


I think they might.

My grandfather died when I was five years old. I was deemed too young to go to his funeral and he was whisked away by adults who spoke in whispers and pushed me out of the room. But I never forgot him, he had taught me to read and cuddled me while I read haltingly from my Children’s Bible almost every evening.

Once, I was about seven or eight years old, I fought with my mother and ran away from home. It wasn’t a well-planned escape, I had no money and only the shorts and T-shirt I was wearing. At dusk I became disoriented and realised I was lost. I pressed myself into a doorway and slumped to my knees. How would I ever get home? And what would my mother do to me when I did?

It felt hopeless. I had no idea which way to walk. But as I sat in that doorway I heard my grandfather’s voice calling me. I followed the sound to the end of the alleyway, then along the street and across the road. At the busy intersection I didn’t know what to do, until an elderly man crossed the road and turned into another street. As he disappeared around the corner, he lifted his cap and turned to smile at me. I sped after my grandfather; of course he wasn’t at the corner when I got there. But the road to my house was.

Had Grandpa come to help me get home? My mother didn’t believe me. But I don’t know how I would have got home otherwise. How about you? Do you believe in ghosts?

Paulie Pig

I love staying with my sister on her small farm in rural Victoria. We are city born but Jenny has set deep roots in the country. She lives in a magical place surrounded by tall trees at the end of a 4km dirt driveway. Alpacas, sheep, chickens, dogs, a pig and a cat share her home; wallabies and koalas visit every day. Bright red parrots eat the fruit from her trees before it ripens, but she doesn’t care, they carry little pieces of magic on their glorious wings.

Did I tell you about the pig? He is called Paulie, is big, black and a little scary.


Well I am a scared of him anyway! He behaves like a dog, and sulks like a toddler. Jenny assures me he can always be distracted with fruit … That may be the case but I prefer to throw it from a distance 🙂

The first time we visited, Jenny showed us around the farm – including the old farmhouse, barn and dairy – with the dogs and Paulie the pig in tow. While I was across the other side of the barn, Paulie nudged my oldest dog Ellie and sent her flying over in a commando roll. I vaulted over bales of hay to get to Ellie; she picked herself up, shook herself and carried on snuffling farm smells as if she tripped over a tree root. The pig grunted. My sister bent double laughing.

In her defence Jenny did make sure Ellie was okay first … But then she doubled up laughing. Apparently me flying across a barn yelling ‘bad pig’ is somewhat amusing.

Of course you can only take the fruit protection so far. If you walk around with it in your pockets he sniffs it out and starts snuffling …

Do you like short stays in the country?  Or do you have your roots firmly in rural soil?

5 Good Things About Chronic Fatigue

I haven’t always associated chronic fatigue with good things, but whoever said sensible people play the hand they are dealt … knew a thing or two about resilience. Actually I told a teeny lie about 5 good things, I am working on the rest 🙂 – but here is one to start the list!

Wrapped in my favorite throw rug and cuddling with my dog for a guilt free afternoon nap.


Actually this is my dog Billie sticking a wet cold nose into my face to wake me up. Does she fear I might sleep through her dinner time? It’s never happened but who knows how a dog thinks!  She does give me a lovely cuddle too when I need one – like when I collapse for an afternoon nap…