The Cackleberry Farmer Goes to Town
The Very First Article in the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer Series
- The Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer (July 2015 Edition)
One description of a piece of land 50 acres or smaller is a "hobby farm" because you don't earn enough money from livestock or crops to make a living. On our farm the main produce is "cackleberries."
Goodbye Cackleberry Farm. Hello Lamb Street.
Well, the time finally came to bid adieu to the Cackleberry Farm. It was sad to say goodbye to what we once called our little piece of Heaven on Earth. But leaving one part of your life behind makes way for a new chapter to begin, so I am looking ahead with a positive and optimistic attitude.
It is two weeks now since the last trailer filled with our goods and shackles left Ballogie for the small South Burnett town of Murgon, the location of our new home. "New home" is not really an accurate term to use in this instance, as the house we bought is estimated to be around 90 years old (built sometime between WWI and WW2).
The house is high set with a gable roof, two bedrooms, study, sleepout, sunroom, rear deck, two car accommodation, and workroom (man cave) underneath. All this and set on 1/4 acre block, right in town..the main street in fact.
In actual fact, the house is quite large but lacks the storage area of the one we left at the Cackleberry Farm, as well as the open spaces for the animals and chickens to roam.
To Move or Not to Move? That Was the Question.
Why would anyone even contemplate moving from a 40-acre rural paradise to a 1/4 acre block in the main street of a small town?
Well, we had to consider the future and that neither my wife nor I are getting any younger. Due to her bad back (and more recent knee injury), Kathy was restricted in what she could do on the farm and she couldn't enjoy it to the fullest. I was also finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the house and land as well as care for the animals on my own.
Add to that the fact that it was a 100km round trip to town at least twice a week which was deadly on the fuel bill. Here in Murgon, we have all amenities close. Doctor, hospital, shops, bank, mechanic, restaurants, vet, hotels, bowls club etc are all within walking distance.
Difficulties of Moving House
Moving home is never fun, and the older you get the more difficult it gets. I must admit though, after two months of moving I have lost six kilos, gained muscle, and am feeling the fittest I have in years.
- Loading and unloading everything was hard. Finding a way to fit all our accumulated "stuff" into the new house is proving even harder.
- Building an escape proof cat enclosure, and chicken pen/run had to be done before we could move them to town.
- Acclimatising the dogs, cats, and chickens to life in town (something none of them had ever experienced) was also an experience and is ongoing.
- Having to get rid of all five of our roosters, as none are allowed in town.
- Renovating the Murgon house (new kitchen sink, washing machine, clothes dryer, refrigerator etc) before we could move in.
- Transferring the electricity, phone, and Internet to the new location, and changing address and phone numbers for all contacts, billers etc.
- Maintaining the house and property at the Cackleberry Farm until we could move out completely was also a challenge.
Fortunately, we have a couple of dear friends who offered to stay at the Cackleberry Farm and care for our animals until we had built the necessary enclosures to accommodate them in town. They also helped us with the moving which was greatly appreciated.
An RV Friendly Town
As you drive into Murgon you are greeted by signs saying "Welcome to Murgon, an RV Friendly Town." It has a free overnight caravan/RV site etc. However, our new property at 38 Lamb Street does not exactly live up to that motto.
Followers of the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer series will be aware that we recently purchased a Toyota Coaster Bus/RV/ Motorhome (which I call Busby) to enable us to spend a little time travelling around the country. The move has taken priority but after we have settled in we should have some time for an occasional getaway.
Anyway, Busby's first visit to the new address was not a happy one. There is a power pole located immediately outside and just a little to the right of our front gate. No, I didn't run into it! However, on approaching the gateway the pole is intimidating and caused me to give it a wider berth than necessary.
Busby is also longer than I thought, and I am not yet an experienced bus driver (like fellow hubber Lawrence Hebb). The front gate post was also unwilling to move to accommodate the bus. I won't go into details here but if you'd like to read what happened please read the poem I wrote about the incident at The Creative Exiles. It's called "Devilgate Drive: The Gate Post From Hell."
The Lamb Street Chronicles
Well, that is all I will share for now without boring you, my dear readers. It also leaves me with enough material about my new location for another instalment in the near future.
Now, that we are no longer at The Cackleberry Farm, I have decided to change the name of the series to "The Lamb Street Chronicles." I hope you continue to follow my day to day adventures. I assure you they won't be boring. If they are you can have your money back :)