Updated date:

The Cackleberry Farmer Goes to Town

We have had up to four roosters and fifteen hens. Have since downsized since moving to town but still have a few chickens.

Lamb Street, Murgon

Lamb Street, Murgon

A small section of our garden

A small section of our garden

The Very First Article in the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer Series

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.

Our House

Our House

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.

The Rear Deck and Cat Enclosure

The Rear Deck and Cat Enclosure

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.

A view of the new chicken pen

A view of the new chicken pen

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."

Busby, a little worse for wear

Busby, a little worse for wear

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 :)

The desk in my new study

The desk in my new study


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 19, 2017:

I like our new home too, Shauna. It need some work but it certainly has character and the garden is wonderful. There should be another "Lamb Street Chronicles" coming soon....minus resident snake :)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 19, 2017:

I love your new home, John. It's got so much character! I hope you left your resident snake back at the Cackleberry farm.

I very much look forward to The Lamb Street Chronicles. Glad you haven't given up the series, just gave it a new "face".

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 17, 2017:

Haha, thanks Lawrence. I needed that pep talk. Hopefully, we'll go on a little excursion in Busby very soon.

Lawrence Hebb on June 16, 2017:


A work colleague once told me "you're not a real bus driver until you've had an accident, and 'Wing mirrors' don't count!"

I think gate posts do though, so take heart, these things happen, and I'm sure 'Busby' has already forgiven you, or he will as soon as you get him on the open road

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 27, 2017:

It certainly has been an adventure, Ruby. Glad I could portray that. We have already discovered some benefits of moving and I know it will be best in the long run.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 27, 2017:

You made moving an adventure and I enjoyed it. I downsized to a smaller house two years ago and vowed I'd never move again. I know you will enjoy your new home. Take care and keep on writing.....

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 24, 2017:

Sorry this made you think about your own future circumstances, Jo. In many ways I am already missing the Cackleberry Farm, but I am trying to focus on the positives as much as possible. I hope you don't have to move for many years.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on May 24, 2017:

This is a little sad for me to read. We have our little piece of paradise here in Tennessee, but know that we will not always be able to maintain this lifestyle. I want to stay here as long as we are able and hope I can have as positive an attitude as you do if we ever have to leave. Good luck in your new home.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 21, 2017:

Good luck to you and Kathy and all the animals, John. I hope you enjoy life in your new home and community.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2017:

Thanks, Larry. You do what you need to do, not always what you want. It will work out.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2017:

Thank you, Mike. It was a massive task, and yes, that is what we plan to do. Cheers.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 19, 2017:

Hello John - What a monster of a task. Yet, you accomplished it and in good spirits. It looks like you can accommodate at least the bulk of your former lifestyle. Now once some dust settles, you can get out on the open road and explore.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2017:

Thanks, Larry. I appreciate that.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 19, 2017:

Sorry to hear you had to move to town:-/ Viva las cackleberry farm.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2017:

Thanks for continuing to follow this series, MsDora, and for your well wishes. Now things have settled down it should all start to get easier.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2017:

Eric, I darn well know why it's been seven years since my last move. It certainly wouldn't be anyone's idea of fun. The cats and dogs seem to have adjusted OK to life in town with it's restrictions, as have the hen's although they have stopped laying. Hopefully that is only temporary.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 19, 2017:

I was quite pleased reading this as it was you and not me. Heck I whine if I have to move a chair from one room to another.

I will be interested to hear how your animals adjust to town life.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 19, 2017:

Your move is a life changer, but you've counted the cost and agreed that this is what you need, so Good Move! Hope everything else will fall into place. You helped us weigh the pros and cons with you; that's helpful.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2017:

Thank you for reading, Dave. I am sure all will be fine. I hope you don't have to make that move for many years.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 19, 2017:

Glad you've had a break, John. Sometimes that's the hardest thing to get round to!


David Edward Lynch from Port Elizabeth, South Africa on May 19, 2017:

Hope it goes well in your new (old) house in town Jodah. Sometimes we just have to move and you have good reason to. I moved to a flat about four years ago and don't want to move for a long time if possible, but someday I may have to look at moving to old age home, not yet, heaven forbid.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Thanks for reading, Terrie Lynn. It was a difficult undertaking and will be ongoing for some time. We will adapt however and make the most of it. Yes, markets are great.

Terrie Lynn from Canada on May 18, 2017:

Wow, that's not an easy task. we live on 90 acres. I couldn't imagine taking on that move. hope you are both happy and enjoy the change. I love markets. There az few I want to travel into the states to see. I'll have to bring a moving van with me to get it all home, lol. It could be fun.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Hello Linda, I am sure it will work out for the best. We are starting to settle in and take in our new surroundings at last. Everything is close here and Kathy bought me a fold up bicycle, so we have been riding around town to the Sunday markets, to lunch at a cafe etc (her on a mobility scooter and me on the bike). It is fun and we get out and about together to see what Murgon has to offer. One of my friends bought a house within a block of a cemetery. He joked that he was only moving once more and it wouldn't be far. Thank you for following this series into the future.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 18, 2017:

John - I wish you and Kathy best of luck in your new home. I believe your choice was a wise one, one that will allow you to age in your own home. I have moved several times in our 36 years of marriage, and have joked that the next move it the kids putting us in a retirement community.

Of course I will continue to follow your series, no matter what you name it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Thank you for saying you feel we have made the right decision, Chitrangada. I feel it is as well even if it wasn't really what was in our hearts. We moved quite often when I was a child and I never enjoyed it. It is good to be able to relax and work at our own pace now the move is complete.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Wow, John.. Over 100 times! It would be interesting to have moved all over the world and I am sure never boring. After living in the country (bush as we call it) I said I would never live in town again..but that is where I find myself. I guess there is a reason for everything and we will make the best of it. I have never lived in or near a jungle but I am sure it would be wonderful.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Thank you, Venkat. Lucky you having only had to move once. I think we have moved 15 times in over thirty years since we have been married.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Same here, Flourish. Our animals are family, so we had to accommodate them. It was actually hard letting the roosters go, but it was one sacrifice we had to make.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Thank you, Buildreps. Yes, thankfully the back injury was temporary thanks to some alternative therapy I had. I don' know how I would have got through the move otherwise. Feeling great now.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

It certainly has been a challenge to find time to write, Manatita. It was also getting very stressful at times during the move so thankfully that part is behind us. Now we can concentrate on getting settled in our new home.

manatita44 from london on May 18, 2017:

A lot in here to give any man much stress and grey hairs. No wonder you lost weight! I'm surprised that you were still able to visit HP during such a huge undertaking. So happy that you now seem to be in control.

Good and very sensible rationale for moving. One has to take a logical look at things sometimes. Glad that you had some small support

Buildreps from Europe on May 18, 2017:

It's great to see you've been able to move your home without the problems of your late back injury. Wish you all the best in your new home, John!

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 18, 2017:

I'm so glad you took your animals and cared so much about their adjustment to the new digs. My cats are my family and I couldn't imagine moving to a place where I couldn't accommodate their needs. Enjoy your new place!

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on May 18, 2017:

I have gone through only one episode of your Cackleberry Farm and it was very interesting and informative. Now, this episode is an exciting story with new life and new hopes. Wish you all the best in your new place, John.

John Ward on May 18, 2017:

I can empathize with you having moved more than a hundred times over the last halfr century and more. That is around the world and back and forth across and around Canada. It is one thing that one never gets used to doing. I will say that I prefer the Jungle, rather than any town. there is the peace and the music of nature in testimony to a higher power. In a town I see only the Hustle and Bustle of energy wasted on items unneeded and life rushed away. The Lamb Street Chronicles will be followed in anticipation and no doubt some joy and glee. Keep 'em coming Partner. Your following will continue to increase. John W

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 18, 2017:

Interesting read and I never imagined that this could be a topic of a hub! I think anyone can relate to this.

We have shifted or changed cities many times due to my husband's transferable job. I can understand how one gets attached to a place and the people around. It is always painful to move, to load -unload , rearrange etc. But human nature is so adjusting that very soon we adjust in another new place. And your new home and surroundings sounds very good and comfortable. The reasons that you have given for moving over is quite genuine and I believe it's a right decision.

Wish you and your family all the best!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Thank you for reading this, Praveen, and for your kind well wishes and prayers for my wife's health. I do miss the Cackleberry Farm, but know the move will work out for the best.

MICKEY MOUSE from our World on May 18, 2017:

I see you miss your CackleBerry Farm very much. It is very interesting to know you are moving to a house built some 90 years ago. I am really crazy about old buildings they look beautiful and we feel some sort of positive energy inside old buildings. I pray for your wife's fragile health. I understand how painful it is for you to shift from one place to another. But in the end whatever choice you have made is for the best. My good wishes for your new home and all your pet animals. :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Thanks, Bill. Things have already started to settle down at last. Kathy and I spent the best part of the last two days in the garden here and are pleased with our progress so far. I would have preferred to have moved to another smaller acreage.. Like five acres, but this house presented itself at the right price so I can't change that now. I am liking being closer to amenities I must admit. At least you are already in an urban area.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 18, 2017:

Glad you are now able to relax, Ann. We are slowing down now that we do not have to drive back and forth. We can concentrate on doing work needed here. Took a three-day break to visit daughter and spend two days relaxing at a resort. Thanks for reading this.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 18, 2017:

Well I wish you well in your new home. I suspect Bev and I will have to make a similar decision in the near future. Age has a way of forcing us to face that which we would rather ignore. Thanks for the tour...I like it!

Ann Carr from SW England on May 18, 2017:

I have not yet caught up with all your Cackleberry Farm episodes but it's great that you're carrying on your life chronicles, albeit in a new location. I wish you the best of luck in your new home.

I think you're both very wise to consider the future and move in time to enjoy the benefits of being closer to amenities whilst still having enough room to swing the cat! It must have been really heart-wrenching though. I sympathise with you; it was hard to leave our French home, even though that was only a holiday place.

How great that you have kind friends to help you out with the animals and the move.

Yes house-moving is always stressful. We're now relaxing and recharging batteries, still doing the required jobs but within our own time frame and physical limitations. Take your time and don't overdo it, John!

The house looks great - I love verandas.


Related Articles