Tuesday, 31 January 2012
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!
Monday, 30 January 2012
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 re-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.
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 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. We got enough though, and it was just lovely.
The house was home to a large collection of Huntsman spiders. Now – anyone who knows 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
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!!!
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.
The whole ceremony was very moving, and quite thought-provoking. Altogether a very memorable day.