One of my (many)shameful guilty pleasures is listening to Macca on a Sunday morning. I like to think that I listen to it ironically because I’m not really into jingoistic patriotism and all things ‘Orstrayan’. I love that he is the stereotypical ‘Aussie bloke’ – loves the country, outback, farmin’, campin’, playin’ music, livin’ off the land, talking about a bloke that he knows, or waxing lyrical about Blaze Aid, etc etc etc all from the comfort of his inner city studio. But – he has a segment called “I’ll tell you why I live where I live…” where people write their letters in about why they live where they do and I thought I’d do my own version.
If my cool as eff, Doc Marten wearing, pink and blue hair-dying, thumbnail piercing self knew that when I was 30 I’d be living in a tiny little town, she’d be mortified. But here I am, and I must say, I quite like it.
To cut a really long story short, I did a bit of a 1950s thing and was a teacher who moved across the state to live on a farm…(after eight years, but it’s best not to rush these things). And to be honest, it took me a long time to like the place.
I can’t pinpoint a time when I thought ‘yep, this is home’ but somewhere along the way, the wild-west weaseled its way into my heart and now when I drive into town and see the blueish tinge of the Little Desert, I do think it’s pretty special.
My first stop in the Wimmera was the farm at Jeparit and then we made the big move into Dimboola, some 34 kilometres away.
When I talk about where I live I often refer to it as ‘over here’ or ‘out here’ because it still seems to me like a new frontier. When I first moved to the farm during a drought, there was not a blade of grass to be seen and we were frequently hit with dust storms shifting the top soil from the paddocks to our kitchen table, floor, window sills, bathroom etc. I used to hang the washing on the line and think to myself that I could really empathise with the pioneer women due to the hostile conditions I was enduring.
But one day it did rain and keep raining and rain and eventually there was water in Lake Hindmarsh and the town came alive and Shane could finally say ‘I told you so’. We thought it was such a good omen we decided to get married that year.
Here are some things that I love about where I live:
I love that I can have 10 acres to keep my tribe yet still be able to walk to the supermarket, which is plastic bag free. Yay!
I love that I live right on the railway line because it’s provided countless hours of entertainment for the boys.
I love that we are on the highway between Adelaide and Melbourne because it reminds me of our place in the world. I love that when Richmond were on roll and made it to the finals in 2014 Dimboola showed its support with posters and streamers for all the diehards making the trek. A little while ago I saw a convoy of fire trucks heading back to Melbourne. They’d been helping at the fires in South Australia. It’s those little things, that are actually pretty big, that sometimes bring a lump to my throat as I realize how great people are.
I love our local pool. Even though we have our own (how fancy!), I sometimes prefer to head to the local. There’s an ace toddler’s pool so the boys can frolic to their heart’s content while we get to listen to some vintage tunes on the wireless that is beamed across the lush green surrounds and forget about life for a while.
I love the people here, even the ones I don’t know. Every single person I have met here has been so lovely. There’s always a smile, a nod, a kind word. Everyone always has the time of day. And I love that.
I love the services that we have access to here. I’ve lived in a few places in my time and seen a few doctors but hands down the best doctors I’ve ever had have been here. I was so very lucky to have the maternal and child health nurse come to the house to visit for the first 6 weeks or so after the boys were born. She was, and is, such an excellent support and resource and not having to navigate my way to the centre in those early days made life that tiny bit easier. And playgroup – the best little playgroup ever.
I love that when we go for a walk we can see all manner of things – goats, sheep, a turkey, trains, horses, chooks and the other day an enormous header type thing was filling up with fuel which was pretty exciting for two 1.5 year olds.
I’m pretty lucky to live in such a beaut little town!
Upon hearing that we lived in Dimboola, a chap once said ‘I could never live there because of all the birds’. I thought then and I still think now, it is one of the oddest things I’ve ever heard. I’d never noticed the birds but now I do and I can’t see (0r hear) a problem with them – I don’t need the soundtracks that Macca puts on because I’ve got it in real life.