Escape to the country
It's time to take life easier
Life in a city of any size is becoming more and more 'full-on' in New South Wales (Australia).
Too much traffic, burglaries, noise, people...
We are both in our mid-sixties and felt it was time to have a quiter, more relaxed lifestyle.
Why not move to a quieter location, where people still say hello with their whole face, not just their mouth?
In this picture you can see our next door neighbour's house in our city area. Eight feet away!
Where will we go?
Seaside, or countryside?
We searched for more than two years, from the snow country near the Southern Alps, to the large country town where my father was born in the Upper Hunter Valley.
We made an offer on a shopfront in Nimmitabel, (near Cooma, which is close to Mt Kosciosko), but decided the house part was way too small for us.
How did we decide?
By accident, really...
We went to visit Bob's youngest son and his family, who had moved to Rylstone for work.
His partner was born there, and they had gone to be closer to some of her relatives.
On about our third visit we said to each other that we thought that Rylstone was such a pretty town, and that the people were very friendly.
We drove down and stayed in the tiny caravan park while we did some house hunting.
We made another offer
On a really old house
This charming little house was so quaint, and had a delightful cottage garden.
It was the first house built in Rylstone and I fell in love with it.
Unfortunately it was not the right house for us, after all.
(Image Capertee Real Estate)
We were outbid on this one - It, too, was pretty
Image Peter Druitt Real Estate
This is the one - We bought ourselves a country home
Image Peter Druitt Real Estate
See the overgrown conifers?
What a job to remove them
It was so overgrown, the trees almost reached the verandahs which are eight feet away. All the plantings underneath were smothered, and few survived.
Thirteen ute loads to the local tip for recycling as mulch later, we had a nice space to garden in.
A view of the massive trees - Pear tree, apple trees, flowering plums, conifers...
Image courtesy onthehouse.com.au
Some images from the real estate brochureClick thumbnail to view full-size
Here it is with the front cleared - A view from across the street
You can see our armchair and chaise longue where we sit in the sun (when it's out) and have coffee.
We've planted lots more trees and flowering shrubs. Unfortunately, the three severe frosts in three days have killed off many of them.
But we will search out frost tolerant plants...
That's what the mirrored plaque says
The house has had several owners, and lastly was owned by a prominent local family who named it "Yarrington Manor" which is proudly attached to the front of the house.
The Yarringtons had the local newsagency amongst other shops in the town, and this was the last place 'old Mrs Yarrington' lived in, and where she brought up her four daughters. One grand-daughter still works in the town's newsagency.
Glimpses of the Police Station - Across the road are reflected in the mirrored house name
The village has several sandstone cottages from the 19th century.
We walk to church
Down the main street
St Malachy's historic Catholic church had some restoration done in recent years.
It is so pretty inside as well as out.
Mass is only every second Sunday, and in Kandos (seven kilometres away) alternate weeks.
Everyone talks to us as they go by
Our house is at the end of the main street, so as we sit on the side verandah having coffee in the mornings, many townspeople walk down to the shops to get their daily needs.
They all greet us and say how much they like what we are doing to the yard.
Sammi (our mini foxie) thinks she owns Rylstone, so we had to teach her who was good so she didn't bark at the nice people!
In a city environment,people are always in such a hurry, they don't take the time to be chatty. They can also be a bit suspicious. Sad isn't it?
Downsizing is difficult
Or it can be
We moved from a spacious five bedroom house, with a small kitchen, a large family room, and a good sized lounge and dining room. The house also boasted a huge studio on the western side for my quiltmaking, and teaching.The garden was fairly compact, but pretty.
The new house has three average sized bedrooms, a large bathroom, a decent sized kitchen and a tiny loungeroom.
How to fit the contents into a much smaller house
Start by deleting. Delete anything that you haven't looked at for years.
- Sell it.
- Give it away.
- Donate it.
- Chuck it.
We did all that and still had to have a storage shed for extras until we got organised.
Bob told the moving men it was like fitting the contents of a shoebox into a matchbox.
One country boy's view on outback Queensland's lifestyle
There are a few drawbacks!
We found the beautiful fireplace not at all efficient, so we replaced it with a built-in combustion fire, and as the temperature one day in May was -10 C, we need to keep the fire going so the cottage stays warm.
The temperature is mostly about -1 to -3 on winter days, and the frosts are horrendous. (Another story here!)
So we buy firewood (you need a licence to collect it) and keep some stacked on the back verandah to keep it dry. It's so cosy in the lounge.
Delightful touches - Like this original Victorian fireplace
The new fire - and restyled mantlepiece
The wood's cut - we'll be warm now!
Read about Rylstone - on these web pages
- Wikipedia of Rylstone
Historical and other information
© 2011 Jan T Urquhart Baillie