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The Lamb Street Chronicles: Volume 3

Updated on May 12, 2018
Jodah profile image

We have had up to four roosters and fifteen hens. Have since downsized since moving to town but still have a few chickens.

Lamb Street, Murgon
Lamb Street, Murgon | Source

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.

Nike and Chairman Meow
Nike and Chairman Meow | Source

Town Living

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

  1. More crime: risk of burglary (having to keep the doors locked)
  2. More noise: close neighbours, traffic, dogs barking
  3. Less open space and privacy
  4. Less connection with nature
  5. Less freedom: restrictions on the number of animals you can keep etc.
  6. Temptation to buy more: as shops are easy to access
  7. Temptation for fast food: fast food outlets close by
  8. Almost unlimited Internet: means you spend more time on the computer and less outdoors in healthier activities
  9. An older affordable home: more frequent maintenance and repairs
  10. Higher payments for Council Rates, insurances etc.


Our Home, Lamb Street
Our Home, Lamb Street | Source

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.

What was our Toyota Rav4
What was our Toyota Rav4 | Source

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.

Conclusion

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

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Shauna I am relieved. It all worked out in the end.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      John, that's awesome news about the gig! It would be wonderful if you could somehow work out an agreement directly with them. Glad to hear the wonderful news. I'm sure you're relieved.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Shauna, Yes we have been through a lot this year. No dogs are not supposed to free but there are always a few strays or escapees.

      Yes, we were home when our behicle was stolen and were alerted by a neighbour. Apparently the keys may have been stolen the previous day while we were outside gardening with the door open. There has been a spate of car theft in the area.

      As for my writing gig, yes I work through Fiverr. The client has since contacted me and said their account was closed by the company for no reason and appologised. They have rejoined under a new name and offerered to pay me for the work received as well as ordered more work. So,all is good there.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, you've been through a lot in a short period of time, John!

      Are dogs permitted to run free in your area? Or were they street dogs?

      Were you home when your truck was stolen? I just don't understand why people do things like that.

      As far as your lost gig, it sounds like you get the work through a content house. I used to work for CopyPress and had repeat campaigns assigned to me because the client liked my work. When you said the client for whom you were writing the poems was no longer affiliated with the company through which the word streams, it came to mind that you don't work directly with and for the clients. What really sucks is you'd already turned over eight of the ten poems. You got the shaft and the client got the goods for free. Not cool at all!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks, heaps Lawrence. Yes, we are staying positive. Prayers are always most welcome.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      So sorry that the move to town got off to such a disastrous start!

      As you said, "Things can only improve from here" and I'll be praying they do.

      Lawrence

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks, MsDora, much appreciated as always.

    • CaribTales profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I love the attitude of gratitude in the midst of some things turning sour. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Jo, yes it is an unfortunate reality that one day you will probably need to be closer to facilities as with us. Just continue to enjoy your country living to the fullest while you can. Here is a link to the first chapter of the Lamb Street Chronicles.https://letterpile.com/serializations/The-Cacklebe...

      The transition from the Cackleberry Farmer could probably have been handled a little better by me. The 2nd one was called "On the Road With the Cackleberry farmer 2."

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      3 years ago from Tennessee

      I read this with great interest, John. My husband and I have lived in the country for about 15 years now. We just love our life here and building this place has been a labor of love. Like you, however, we are facing the fact that we may have to move to a more convenient location as we age.

      I love reading your posts about your life there, city or country. I see this is the third volume and looked for no. 1 but couldn't find it.

      Good luck with your transition.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      I guess that's one way of looking at it John.. things can only get better... lets cross our fingers... thank you for sharing your adventure.. or misadventures.. my friend and I'll say a prayer...:)

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading this Venkat. Yes, you have to weigh up the pros and cons of anywhere you choose to live. Nowhere is perfect but you need to make the most of every situation. Thanks for the well wishes too.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Genna, thanks for the kind and encouraging comment. I am also sure the rest of the year will turn around for the better, I am keeping positive, and so far things have been good since.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Li-Jen, I am glad there was a lesson to be learned in this article. The original series "the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer" was mostly positive whereas this tended to be quite the opposite. However, I wanted to show that even when life serves you lemons you should just stop and make lemonade.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very sorry to know about your losses at the new place within one year.

      City life comes with all these problems even though it has some alluring attractions. To live with family, one has to choose this option of living in the city to save travel cost and to be nearer to their children. But, there are all those 10 problems listed by you. Need to manage those issues prudently.

      Wish you all the best.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Nike and Chairman Meow (I still love that name) are adorable, pictured above. And..."retirees looking for a treechange" is just precious.

      Lamb Street certainly has presented challenges, sadness and troubles. I'm pleased that the police caught the ones responsible for stealing your Rav4. (Thank goodness for insurance.) It is sad to hear of Jackson's passing. But as you noted, Math counts upward for us all in years, and he is now in a place unfettered by illness. How fortunate that a kind teacher spotted Ginger, and she was returned to you unharmed. The wonderful children poems you have written you still have, and can use any way you wish. And having good health and a loving family is beyond price and a blessing all its own, as is your positive outlook on life.

      The remaining months of 2018 will bring you far better times and rewards. I am sure of this. :-)

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      3 years ago

      Hi Jodah...Wow, a lot of losses and challenges. Sorry for that. I've learnt from this that some things are unexpected and beyond our control. How we cope with it, that's hard to say or can be something positive. Thank you for sharing..."keep calm and carry on".

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Flourish, thanks for the positive thoughts..they certainly won't be wasted. Much appreciated.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      So sorry that life pissed all over you. The loss of chickens and your dog are sad events (although we should all be so lucky to die in our sleep). The car and dog napping are just plain mean. I wouldn’t take the writing thing personally. Thank goodness Chairman Meow (LOVE the name! Beautiful photos!) has kindhearted people like you to depend on. I’m sending the most positive thoughts to you and your family for a better second half of the year. Gotta get better from here!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John - The universe always returns to a balance. You are in for a great second half of 2018.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Mike, Yes, re-reading this I see there aren't a lot of positives. I am sure if I look I can find a few to add. Got to stay positive that things will improve though. Cheers.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John - I found this tough to read. It sounded like you and yours are under siege. Being near medical facilities is important. It does sound like the trade-off cost you and yours your peace of mind. Hoping the balance of 2018 improves for you.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you so much, Sean. I'm staying positive.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks' Shyron. The Rav4 was my favourite out of all the cars I have owned so far. Come Monday I start looking for a replacement. Appreciate the blessings.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Linda, thanks for reading and for the wish for good luck for the rest of the year.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, you summed it up well "heaven to hell." We just have to make it as comfortable as possible.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      3 years ago from Greece, Almyros

      I am happy for the:

      "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."

      All others are lessons, some very tough ones but you can still Love and Smile!

      My best wishes for the rest of 2018!

      Sean

      "The truth is very problematic. It ruins my illusions!"

      — Sean Dragon

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Thumbs up on your health John, sad about your pets and poultry. It makes me angry about the damage to your Rav, I have a Rav and love it. I don't know what I would do if someone stole mine.

      Blessings always my friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm sorry about the loss of your pets, John. It's good that you're healthy, though. Good luck for the rest of 2018.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great news on your health....and you have a loving family...you got it made in the shade, John! I do have to agree that moving from the country to the city would be a major culture shock...like moving from heaven to hell, basically. lol

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Mary, thanks for confirming it will be all uphill from now on. You are right too that both places have their advantages. Thanks for reading.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Val. Life certainly is amazing and rarely boring.

      I find being able to write about situations helps me analyse and deal with them better than I otherwise would. Challenges need to be seen as something positive to make us stronger and more complete people. It will be good to look back on these in a few years time from a totally different perspective. Thank you for reading and the kind comment.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You are right. It will be uphill from now on as it has not been really an easy transfer. At our age, health issues take prominence. Both places have its own advantages.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Val Karas 

      3 years ago from Canada

      John---Isn't life amazing? Especially for us who write stories about it, in a retrospect all those ups and downs look like an enrichment to our life story---once the challenge is gone and we can afford to see it that way.

      For someone who has lived in his life in more than dozen places including some countries, your moving looks so reminding with the challenges of it, although missing the animal and rural life part.

      I am sure, my friend, once when all settles down, it will be nice to remember all details---now seen with eyes of a story writer.

      I like the way you described everything.

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