Welcome to the first blog post of Raukawa Cottage… I hope you will enjoy my story of my city escape and first hand country exposure. While writing this first post I have been able to reflect on the amount of lessons I have learnt up here and the personal growth I have attained just from our first 8 months up here in the country. This story is full of hope and sadness, pain, and glimpse of hope. A community coming together and a new creative journey of self discovery and the birth of Raukawa Cottage.
The idea of moving to the country has always been a huge part of my future dream. The idea of living on property, with space, with home grown produce fresh air happy family life and a simple richer existence had me sold on the idea. Late January 2017 we made the move.. Goodbye Sydney..
I packed up my unit in Sydney heavily pregnant and with a 7 year old and organised the move to rural Queensland. Having no idea what I was truly getting into, but a dream a vision a passion and a desire for a new simpler life. Sydney life was too much for me, stressful, expensive and suffocating. It took us 2 days to get here with a car full of things and a spirit full of hope.
We arrived safely to our new little home, however the car navigator took us on a dirt track through the forest 2hrs of dirt road was not the ideal way to finish the 2 day trip. Not knowing if we were on the right track, we finally hit the road and it was the initial adventure we didn;t need. I thought is this what I am in for!
Arriving at our little white low laying Queenslander I took a big breath and thought right time to create our home. There were no flyscreens on the windows and it was hot, there were bugs there was a broken water tank and whole lot of love was needed, I knew work had to be done, and I am not shy of hard work.
We started to unpack the boxes, only to find the kitchen and bathroom had not been cleaned, so I was on my hands and knees 30 weeks pregnant cleaning the shelves the frog poo and anything else that was left to clean up. I thought shit what the hell have I done. The romance of country living was quickly dissolved.
My friend had dropped some basic food over and had connected the fridge earlier so it was all cold and ready to go. We had a quick shower and headed off to the main shopping area to get some basic supplies. Walking into the town everything was different there was nothing that was familiar to me, faces, shops, even number plates and the heat was insane.
We moved up in one of the hottest summers ever reaching at times 43 and without aircon and no fly screens the house was unbearable. The ground was brown the trees looked sad and the land was just so dry. It was so different from the lush bush area I had come from.. here there was no shade, no hiding from the harsh elements of the land.
Our first night went ok, but started to realise that there was something strange with the water, it was bubbling, I called a friend who said it could have just been bubbles in the pipe and not to worry to much. In the morning we all had showers, but still wasn’t too sure on the water situation. I am now becoming more confident with the water situation and with the normal buzz of conversation on rain and water tanks in the country it has all become second nature. I look back now and realise I knew nothing and was so naive.
On the evening of the second day we realised there was no water. We had to turn the pump off not as to burn it out and wash ourselves down with the minimual water we had.One of the tanks was runied it was crushed on the topfull of stale water and a breeeding ground fro mosquitos and had no idea if the water inside was contaminated, so we refused to even go near this. I later got to witness the new tank arrive the tracktor and digger and the transfer of water from one tank to the other what and ordeal1.
Now I know how to transfer water from one tank to the other, how to check water levels, make sure the water actually gets into the tank and only recently have had to have water ordered for the tank, it is almost like Christmas when the water truck arrives. The things city folk take for granted, up here water is gold and precious and not to be wasted. We live for rain and are so grateful when it finally comes, it has been an incredibly humbling experience and a real eye opener how consuming our society has become with things always being so available.
The following day we all decided to go to the pool to have showers.The pool being in town 15km away, however here we drive 100 so the time is sweet with no traffic. Turning up with our bags not for a swim but for showers we introduced ourselves as the new people in town and could we please have a shower as we have no water. With smiles we were welcomed and finally we could cool off.
Driving my partner back to the airport not knowing that this would be the first of many trips back and forth from the coast picking up and dropping off. We had no idea what lay ahead but all I knew is that I had a house to make a home and a new life that was about to kick into full mode.
And the journey begins….