Saturday, 9 December 2017

The crazy season.

It's the crazy season, with only a couple of weeks to Christmas.

Everyone is finishing up school, projects, sport and clubs for the year. The pressure is on to tick off the Christmas list and check store trading hours. Music and school concerts are on. Work breakups to be attended. Preparation for school holidays. Hams, puddings and prawns to be planned. Tinsel to hang, Christmas lights to see, etcetera, etcetera, so on and so forth.

Definitely NOT the time to start building a house. That would be DUMB.

And yet.......
It appears we like to do things the hard way.

The good news is that it actually looks like Santa is going to deliver us a shiny new concrete slab for Christmas.
Three weeks in and everything is marked out, plumbers have started and my favourite sparky dusted off his tools and managed to put the sub mains in. It's hot, dusty and muddy all at once right now but things are happening.

There might not be any diamonds under the tree for me this Christmas but I'll take the foundations of my own home anytime.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

On your marks, get set...

Can you spot the monster in this picture? No, NOT my daughter - although she has her moments! - but the big digger in the background.

The significance is that only a couple of days ago we signed our building contract.

After two years of planning we are finally going to see some action, beginning tomorrow. We can't believe that it's really happening, that our house is going to move from paper to actual bricks and timber.

Today we spent some time soaking in what we have, before it transforms - with some regret as I do love it just as an old cow paddock - into a pile of dirt ready for a slab by Christmas.

It definitely pains me that we are infringing on our environment in this way but we've agreed to do the best we can to do right by the land we own. We've already planted about 50 trees with plans for many more. We plan to preserve our little bush grove and plant in all the understorey that generations of cattle have grazed out. And we welcome every kangaroo, echidna, goanna and bird that wants to call our patch 'home' with us. The brown snakes?.....they need to keep their visits very brief!

This also starts the chapter of our lives where we go back to frugality as we carefully make our way through that awful period of paying for rent and building a house at the same time. Unfortunate timing being just before Christmas but we have to forge ahead, save everything, tighten our belts even more and cancel some plans which we now can't justify. I hate to be a slave to the bank but hopefully it will be worth it.

So for us, for now, 'staycations' at the Hill of Hello are all the rage. And if we keep having days like this then I don't mind a bit.

Thursday, 19 May 2016


You found me! And I found you. It's great to meet you and I hope we can be friends.

Here's the backstory:

I'm a girl from a town in Northeast Victoria, Australia. After finishing school, I left my hometown for the big smoke, spent some years at uni and enjoy my singlehood, finally settled down with a good job, bought a flat and met a top bloke. Eventually we found a house together in a great part of Melbourne and got married. Then we knocked the house down and built a new one. It was an exciting experience and we ended up with a lovely house to call home.

Then we were blessed with a little boy, and a few years later, a little girl. Life was good. When we were given the opportunity to live in a beautiful part of the Pacific Ocean for a few years we thought all our dreams had come true. It didn't take much to convince us that we wanted an adventure to grow and test ourselves, plus the excuse to learn a bit of French, so off to New Caledonia we went.

After more than 3 fantastic years of living the expat life, it was time to return to Australia. And here we are, 45 minutes from my hometown, on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.

It's been a couple of years since our return from New Caledonia. For a long time I felt like we were just on an extended family visit, about to return to our sleepy ville in Provence Nord. But now, wistfully, I've come to realise that the French tropical chapter of our lives is over, fading into the past, but bound to us through with a pile of photos, unique memories and a group of extremely special friends who I will never forget.

Last year we bought a little plot of land outside our new town. It is on the side of a small hill and overlooks the local town. The view stretches across the Murray River and into the majestic hills of New South Wales. We have trees, grass, lots of birds, echidnas and kangaroos and more space than we've ever had before. Soon we will build a house there. It will be the official roots that we finally put down in our new community. It will be our spot to say hello from. 

Our Hill of Hello.