The Lamb Street Chronicles: Volume 3
Country to City: Not All Sunshine and Roses
In the last edition of the Lamb Street Chronicles, I said: "Our decision to move from our 40-acre block at Ballogie to the town of Murgon was not an easy one but after weighing the pros and cons we are confident it was the right one."
Well, after one year here in Murgon I may have to rethink that. Let's go back over what has occurred since I last wrote in August last 2017.
Do the Maths: Addition and Subraction
In edition two I also stated, "We still have the three dogs, five cats, and eight hens." This is also no longer the case, as not long after I wrote that stray dogs (a mother and four half grown pups) invaded our yard and killed all but one hen (subtract 7.)
That hen, fortunately for her, was the only one able to fly. She managed to save herself by flying into a tree.
Since that time, our black male toy poodle Jackson passed away. He was getting old at 13 and suffering from epilepsy, so it was probably a relief that he went painlessly in his sleep (subtract 1.)
The the next door neighbours moved out. They failed to take their pet black cat with them, subsequently him needing a home and company, he adopted us. Chairman Meow has become part of our family menagerie (add 1.)
If you do your sums you will see we now have 2 dogs, 6 cats, and 1 hen. This is at time of writing and is subject to change at any time without notice.
The majority of people live in the towns and cities because that is where most of the work, facilities, entertainment and opportunity lies. Country living is considered the domain of farmers or retirees looking for a treechange.
Well, we had enjoyed the peace and quiet of rural living for around ten years. Living among the flora and fauna and enjoying almost every aspect of it (including the challenges.)
We were always prepared, however, that the time may come when we considered it beneficial for us to move into or close to a town to save on travelling costs and to be closer to facilities such as doctors, hospitals, and stores etc.
For the most part, this has been the case. The convenience of everything makes many aspects of life easier. Easier, however, comes with its own set of hidden challenges attached.
10 Common Challenges Living in Town or City
- More crime: risk of burglary (having to keep the doors locked)
- More noise: close neighbours, traffic, dogs barking
- Less open space and privacy
- Less connection with nature
- Less freedom: restrictions on the number of animals you can keep etc.
- Temptation to buy more: as shops are easy to access
- Temptation for fast food: fast food outlets close by
- Almost unlimited Internet: means you spend more time on the computer and less outdoors in healthier activities
- An older affordable home: more frequent maintenance and repairs
- Higher payments for Council Rates, insurances etc.
Major Events at Lamb Street: August 2017 to May 2018
- Seven hens slaughter by stray dogs (only one hen survived)
- Jackson the male toy poodle passed away at 13 years (old age and epilepsy)
- Toyota Rav 4 stolen and completely trashed
- Ginger the female toy poodle was stolen (missing for five days but later found)
- A major freelance writing gig cancelled without notice and anticipated income lost
As I stated earlier a mother dog and four half-grown pups came into our yard one night and slaughtered all but one of our hens. I heard a commotion on the back deck where we have built a cat cage to keep our cats in until they got used to life in town. I went to check about midnight and found these strange dogs there and cats hanging from all parts of the wire enclosure. At the sight of me the dogs ran off, and other than shutting the gate, I thought nothing more of it until I went to feed the hens the next day.
That is when I discovered carcasses strewn throughout the chicken coup and beyond. We had only recently built a coup and foul run so that we could bring our poultry in from the Cackleberry Farm to town. Obviously, I had been a little complacent and not secured the gate firmly enough to prevent dogs from forcing their way in.
One red hen, who can fly, had escaped by flying into a nearby tree.
Then, Jackson began having the occasional epileptic fit, where his body would stiffen and contort and shake. He would usually get over this in five or ten minutes and be ok. One morning, however, he just didn't wake up. He and Ginger had been together since pups but as she is now deaf and blind it is hard to say if she actually missed his companionship. Though with dogs their sense of smell is the most acute, so possibly she still did.
The next, and most traumatic event, was having our Rav4 stolen and written-off. This happened at midnight on a Saturday, and we were alerted by a neighbour when he heard and saw a car speeding off out of our driveway.
The police found the car and caught the offenders, but that wasn't much relief to us as the car had been rolled, had every panel damaged, rear axle snapped and front and rear windscreens were broken. Over $1500 worth of equipment and accessories were stolen out of the vehicle, and our keys never recovered (house key, post office box key, and bus keys included.)
The insurance company since paid out and we now have to find a replacement vehicle.
One day, on returning from a days shopping and attending a doctor's appointment, we arrived home to notice our other toy poodle, Ginger, was missing.
Now, due to being blind and deaf, Ginger is not normally allowed out of the house without supervision. However, on this occasion, she must have wandered out when we were getting ready for town and we failed to notice.
We walked the street, asked neighbours, and three days later phoned the pound and RSPCA to no avail. They advised us to advertise in the Missing Dog Register on Facebook which we did.
The next morning we received a phone call from a school teacher saying a young girl had turned up at school with a scared dog under her arm that matched our description and photo. We offered to go and collect her, but the woman kindly offered to bring the dog to us at home.. which she did, and we were happily reunited with Ginger.
The latest occurrence, that was more annoying for me than "major' was that I had been hired to write a series of ten poems for children themed around visiting a marketplace. In terms of monetary reward this was quite a lucrative contract and because it was a returning buyer who had been happy with my work previously, I had no qualms about providing poems progressively as I completed them.
I had completed eight of the required ten poems (with two weeks remaining until the deadline) when I received an email from the organisation I provide my services through, that the order had been cancelled and the money refunded to the buyer.
I contacted customer service and was told that that particular buyer was no longer registered with them and therefore the order had to be cancelled. too bad for the work I had put in and provided. I guess this is another learning experience. Don't take anything for granted.
2018 hasn't started out well here at Lamb Street. Murgon. However, let's look on the bright side and think everything can only get better. If the year had started on a high it probably would have been all downhill from there.
I did have a doctor's check-up and found that I am extremely healthy for my age and need no medication for any condition so that is a positive. If we have good health, everything else is just a bonus.
So, that said, let's get on with the rest of the year and see what challenges and experiences it can throw our way. Until next time, happy hubbing.
© 2018 John Hansen