When I first arrived at the place a month ago it was to find thieves believed they had a better use for items like the generator, the only power source, and water pump plus whatever they could carry off. They left the gas cylinders, fortunately so I’m not completely without creature comforts and don’t object to working my day around available light or enjoying the solitude of the stars.
So there are few real hardships, many fascinating features and lots of work to be done with a few basic tools. With the bush fires, in February this year, still fresh in everyone’s minds the first task has been to clear the tall spring grass from around the house; with the promise of an old slasher mower suggesting a good bit more clearing. The fires menaced the surrounding area, but were not as bad as elsewhere in the state. I believe I will be supplied with some cans of paint, so the picture of the cottage can be regarded as a ‘before’ shot for now.
The picture of the historic Mia Mia iron lattice bridge just shows the start of the property in the top left hand corner. Mia Mia and Redesdale are what might be called ‘non-nucleated hamlets’. That is they are mainly farms with Redesdale at least having a shop/service station and the historic pub. As far as I know Mia Mia has a recreation hall and little else.
The cottage is near the old Burke and Wills trail, with a number of consequent historic features. On this small property, for example, are the remains of
The pub, of course, has it’s own colourful past – and present. The young (by my measure)
owner, James, is doing a great job turning the old bluestone structure into a delightful oasis. Jamesis very much a family man, a fact reflected in the way the Redesdale Tavern is run. The bar area is quite small, but big enough to boast a visit from Ned Kelly. Apparently Ned charmed the locals in the bar, buying them drinks, then stole a couple of horses tethered outside.
It is a 25 minute walk to the pub, up a hill, so any temptation is moderated be the effort of getting there. Still, on some days when the temperature has hit 40c, despite the heat the call of a cold beer was strong. Most of the ‘locals’ seem to be ‘blow ins’ like me but a genuine local character I met is Peter Rabbit, one of the countries last professional rabbiters.
It made me muse that my mother use to pay 2/6d for a pair of bunnies hanging skun and naked in the open air. Peter says his pairs must be prepared in approved conditions and hermetically sealed a chilled. Sort of takes the ‘romance’ out of the old trade, but then the restaurants pay far for than my mother did for a pair, even considering inflation. Now I know I often hear Peter’s .22 during the night and early morning.
Joys of isolation
Knowing there would be no power, at least until the insurance replace the generator, and against all my prejudices, I invested in a cell phone. Even if I could plug my computer in there is little hope of connecting to the internet. At the same time I rejected the so called comfort of a battery radio; the idea of that inane chatter breaking the peace was far too much to contemplate.
The thought occurs, at times, that the world could end and I wouldn’t hear about it unless someone sent an SMS. In fact my son did send a couple of messages regarding the Federal Liberal Party antics this week so I wandered to the pub to get the story. It was almost a joy to find that no one there knew or cared about the political circus.
I occasionally miss the ability to blog at will, and often don’t have the energy or even story when I get back to