Tuesday, 31 January 2012

31 Jan 2012 Stan Allen Reserve, VIC

Although we weren’t planning on travelling far the first day, we still left relatively early (for us anyway).  About 09:30 was the mark, and it was kinda sad saying good-bye to the chooks, dogs, sheep etc and especially to Gilly, Darryl, Angus and Gracie.  They had arrived home the previous night, just in time for a late BBQ tea.  Then they hit the sack.  They were all very tired puppies – it’s a long day flying from WA to Melbourne, and then driving a further 1.5 hours out to Glenlyon.
We stayed at the Stan Allen Reserve in Oxley that night.  The free camp reserve is really quite pretty, on the banks of the river. A little noisy during the day, but quiet enough overnight. We knew that the drive up the Hume Highway was going to be boring, so we planned to get the most entertainment we could.  One of our first coffee stops was at one of the most interest highway rest areas I’ve ever seen.  The roadside furniture was a work of art!

Grass Tree Rest AreaGrass Tree Rest AreaStan Allen Reserve, Oxley

Monday, 30 January 2012

11 Dec 2011 to 30 Jan 2012–Glenlyon, Victoria–Adsum Farmhouse


Adsum Farmhouse

Adsum Farmhouse

As predicted, this has been a very interesting and entertaining house-sit.  It was a toss-up between the dogs and the chooks as to which kept us most amused.  Gilly and Darryl have 2 dogs: Hamish – a very elderly yellow Labrador and Charlie – a young and VERY peppy Fox Terrier x Jack Russell.  Both dogs have lovely natures and are very easy to get along with.  Hamish unfortunately has a problem with the nerves in his back end, and his legs have a habit of collapsing under him.  He staggers about quite a bit when he walks (a bit like me really!!) and the poor lamb can’t walk too far at all.  Charlie needed a wee bit of Hamish and Charliere-education in personal boundaries, and when, and when not to, bark.  She spent a couple of nights in the shed before getting THAT particular message.  Possums and strange noises tend to set her off, and she has a rather loud and high-pitched bark.




Jack the Bantam Rooster

The chooks were an absolute scream.  Five Isa Brown hens (quite large birds) and 1 young Bantam rooster named Jack.  One guess as to who ruled in the chook yard!!  To say that Jack was under the thumb is under-stating the story.  On the other hand, he might have been smaller than the ladies, but he was grown-up enough to do his duty by them!  Early in the sit, we were getting between 3 and 5 eggs daily.  Gave heaps away, and even froze some.  But, by the time the end of January came around, the eggs had slowed to a trickle.  Not a bad thing – we were both a little bit over eggs by then.



Gilly and Darryl left us with a thriving veggie garden and quite a few fruit trees on the property:  Spinach, Lettuce, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Strawberries, Mulberries, Plums – and the tomatoes were Fresh fruit & veg!!!just starting to come ripe when we left.  Unfortunately, the birds (mostly Sulphur-Crested and White-Tailed Black Cockatoos) got most of the fruit, but there’s not really a lot we could do about it.  Black cockatoo - such an innocent faceWe got enough though, and it was just lovely.




The house was home to a large collection of Huntsman spiders.  Now – anyone who _IGP4401knows me, knows of my loathing for these horrible little beasts!!!  And they weren’t small either – oh no, not at all.  Buggers were just HUGE.  As fast as we (that’s the non-royal we – Rick had to do the job) got rid of one, two more appeared in it’s place……..


We also ended up releasing a tiny bat from the house.  No idea where it was living or how it got there in the first place, but it was having great fun flying up and down the main corridor at night, catching insects and mosquitos no doubt.  After a little fancy footwork with the doors and lights, we managed to shoo it out of the front door – never to be seen again.

The Glenlyon community is quite small, and appears to be a close knit one.  We were temporarily adopted, and invited to some really interesting local events.  On Christmas Day, Bob – the unofficial Mayor of Glenlyon, opens his house and his heart to the locals.  People drift in, have some eggs and bacon (complete with champagne etc) and drift out again, to carry on for the rest of Christmas Day.  Very civilised way to start the day, I think.  On New Year’s Day, Glenlyon holds a Sports Day.  This is a traditional event and has been held every year since 1857.

The following is an extract from the Glenlyon Community web-site.

New Year's Mixed Sports Day

Glenlyon Cup

This is another great day in Glenlyon; join us New Year's Day for a fun-filled old-fashioned sports day.  The event is held at the picturesque Glenlyon Recreation Reserve (Dysart St).

This tradition started in 1857, and offers a range of activities which include:

  • professional wood chopping
  • pony races
  • ladies' gumboot throwing and nail drive
  • children's races
  • world championship bullboar** eating and mineral water drinking competitions!

© 2011 Glenlyon Progress Association

**For those not in the know, bullboar is a sausage / patty type of concoction, based on beef and heavily flavoured with garlic and chilli.  It is not the type of sausage / patty that goes down the throat quietly and easily – and that’s all I’m going to say about that!!!

Needless to say, a great time was had by all.  It was a lovely day, and the big green Oak(?) My personal favourite!trees helped keep the summer heat away.

Beatifully restored Valiant






Australia Day brought yet another community event at the Recreation Reserve – the classic Aussie BBQ, speeches from local dignitaries and then every-one present stood and Pledged their Commitment to Australia.

”From this time forward, under God,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose democratic beliefs I share,
whose rights and liberties I respect, and
whose laws I will uphold and obey.”

The whole ceremony was very moving, and quite thought-provoking.  Altogether a very memorable day.