BEEN a while now since we made the move down from the hills of Jeetho West to the lowlands of Wonthaggi. The words from Mark Knopfler’s song Brothers in Arms keep resounding in my ears, though the line “These mist covered mountains are a home now for me, but my home’s in the lowlands and always will be” will need some rejigging to fit our situation.
There will always be regrets for things we inevitably have to leave behind. Looking out over the surrounding dairy lands we were captivated by the colourful display of the changing seasons. The closing off of paddocks for the grass to grow for next year’s hay, the movement of the herds as cows were dried off and rested and the parade of heavy machinery coming together for the harvest. Yes, we miss that hustle and bustle and the lowing of cows and bellowing of bulls.
Then there was the magic of watching the moon’s journey throughout the year from our bedroom window as it navigated its way across the sky following the paths set down by the laws of the universe. Those heavy fogs that would roll in, blanketing our world. We almost lost a friend who stayed overnight. Curly was a cattle breeder and bushman from the high plains who insisted on going out to buy the morning paper. As he went down the drive through the morning fog, he slowly vanished like a ghost and I felt a twinge of concern. By the time he found his way back the morning news was no longer new. But true bush men don’t have any time for those GPS gadgets.
Our new place retains that feel of open country as it backs onto the fairways of the golf course and we are within a good tee shot from the wetlands. A feature that is not lost on Charlie, our small and adventurous dog. Mobs of kangaroos come right up to our back fence but he now ignores their visits. Which is just as well as they never took any notice of him anyway.
We do miss the variety of birds that visited us at Jeetho West where we recorded over 50 species. Here we are down to about 15 which are mostly imports. I do hope that doesn’t sound racist for we are grateful for the company. Having planted a bed of grevilleas along the drive we hope to attract some of the smaller honeyeaters in time but for now it is a popular meeting place for rowdy wattle birds.
Another important change we are slowly getting a hold on is the waste collection with those brightly coloured bins. A welcome relief from the monthly trailer load carted off to the Grantville tip. I like to put our bins out early so as to give the neighbours some guidance. Why, only last week as I approached home there was our yellow lid shining like a beacon amongst all the red. Oh no, I thought they’ve got it wrong again.
Still I think we are settling in to this new phase of our life. The apple trees planted last year are looking healthy and leafy and the manageable vegetable garden is showing promise and is crowded with herbs, silver beet and too much garlic. I have a good feeling we are going to be OK.