For many years I have been committed to trying to grow and cook as much food as possible without the need to utilise the supermarkets. In fact when our children were little we had almost reached a state of self-sufficiency apart from meat and dairy products, all of this on a slightly larger than normal block. It is not easy though, the time it takes and the committment to maintaining is never-ending. It was mainly due to financial restraints that I was so determined, but my strong belief that food is your fuel and if you put inferior fuel in you get inferior performance just as it is with vehicles won out. I cannot be convinced that over processed, over packaged, over priced goods whose main qualities are the clever marketing campaigns associated with them can be replaced by whole foods that have not been adulterated past the point of recognition. For a few years now I have been working full-time, the kids are not dependant and I feel I have fallen into the trap of taking the easy way out and not grown or made as much as I should (although the list is quite extensive when I jotted it down!). Time to recommit and by developing the vegetable garden at the house we have purchased is a great opportunity to do so.
We have lived in our post war weatherboard home for 22 years and after deciding it would be too expensive to go through the process of relocating we decided to renovate. The garden is sensational, trees, greenhouse, fruit trees, water tanks, pizza oven I built from scratch (well before they were trendy!), lovely outside entertaining area but the interior lacked a few basics we wanted. I have a Diploma of Sustainability and am very conscious of the value of capturing the northern sun, none of which was entering our home. We had designs drawn up, renovated (completely re-did)the bathroom and were content that we would just stay put. Then I went to ‘THE AUCTION’!!!!!
The New Old House
There are very few homes of historical significance in our town and what we have always considered to be the ‘Cream of The Crop’ was listed for sale. This home also had a special attraction as we considered its former owner to be a quite amazing lady responsible for establishing many facilities and services in a rural setting that would normally only be available to city residents. We jokingly said ‘lets buy Sheila’s’ totally unaware of what would follow.
I normally go to a cello lesson on a Saturday morning and this Saturday I had the opportunity to go to breakfast with my son so declined going to my lesson. After breakfast I noticed there were people doing an open house inspection prior to the auction. I said to my son, you head home and tell dad I’m just going to buy Sheila’s. After bidding opened I sent my husband a text message and told him he should get down here ASAP as I was about to bid. He arrived, I bid, auction passed in, we negotiated. At this point I asked the agent if my husband could take a look at the house which was pointless as we both knew we would buy it. So there we were, committed to another mortgage (hadn’t even checked with the bank first) on a house that we knew nothing about. I was going through Rescue Remedy in buckets! To top it off, about six weeks after settlement we discovered that I am directly related to the family that has lived there for 60 years. Now that’s spooky!