Travelling in Gumboots : an essay.

There’s not much else I can set the title of this post as. I have no photos to show and rather than put up random photos that mean nothing, I am going to break my own (silent) rule and have a blog post with no pictures. Please try not to fall asleep on me.

I mainly wanted to touch base with everybody on how it has been for me on my crazy adventure to move into the country. It’s been awhile since the last Travelling in Gumboots post and some of you might have noticed the lack of regularity in my blog posts. If there’s one thing I regret from my move, is that my blog has fallen into the sidelines somewhat. And I thought I’d have that much more time to work on it, how wrong was I.

I’ve lost count on what week this is since the move. It could be week 5, or week 6 or week 10 for all I care. It’s not really that important. What is more important, is how I’ve been settling in.

Moving anywhere new is scary. Let alone going from a big city to a small country town that houses 200+ within its town boundaries and another 100 or so in the surrounding farmlands. Recently a friend asked me how many there were in the town over a yumcha session.

“350″, I replied.

“350 thousand, you mean?” came the query to clarify.

“No, 350. Period.”

“That’s…. about how many there is in this room!”

Yup. My town houses as many people as there were having yumcha at that one restaurant that Sunday morning. It may be small, but let me tell you it sure has its perks. Going down our (one and only!) street and being able to greet and know almost everybody you meet on the street gives you a sense of belonging like no other. I have lived so many years in Melbourne and never have I felt like such a part of the community like I do in Murrayville. It is amazing.

One of my major concerns with moving to the country was whether or not I’d be lonely. I am a social creature, I cannot live without company of my friends but at the same time, I am horrendously shy and awkward with strangers. Not a great combination, if you ask me! In such a small town, this issue was really a non-issue. Even if you weren’t acquainted today, you will be tomorrow. You are welcomed with open arms and not made to feel like an outsider. I hosted my first dinner party just a week ago, and looking at the beaming faces, I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. Ask me a year ago if this was going to be possible, I’d have said no. Lonely? No time to be lonely in this town!

I’ve always loved the country. I escaped to the country whenever I could in the last few years. But there’s a difference between holidaying in the country and living there. My other major concern was whether or not my urge to live in the country was a built-up fairy tale in my head or that I really wanted to be out here. So in quick dot points, I’m going to state a few things I’ve learnt over the past month or so:

  • Bugs, they are everywhere.
  • If you are surrounded by grain farming, you gotta learn to be cozy with the mice.
  • If you have bugs phobia (like me), you eventually learn to get over it. As long as you have that tin of mortein.
  • Farmer markets in the city has better fresh produce than what the country folks get
  • Country living does not necessarily mean beautiful green rolling hills and blooming flowers.
  • Desert doesn’t necessarily mean all sand and occasional cactus.
  • You learn to live with a lot less than you would in the city.
  • The beauty of picking fresh fruit off a tree!!!
  • The weather is of even more fascination to us up here in the Mallee than Melbourne city dwellers.
  • Mice, they eat plastic too.
  • Crickets, they bloody get into your house then die.
  • Sand flies: their bites hurt.
  • BBQ rules.
  • Import beers? What import beers?
  • Tea means dinner, Dinner means lunch, Vicky means Victoria.

I made my first jam the other day. Fig jam, with figs off my colleague’s tree and a pot borrowed from a neighbour. It’s not perfect by any means (I think I let it boil for too long), but you know what made it that tiny bit sweeter? The fact that I was living the life that I’ve always wanted, (ever since reading books and books on country living), and making jam with freshly picked fruits and that the whole process was made possible with the generosity of my neighbours.

It may not be the rolling green hills that Daylesford have to offer, or the beautiful scenaries that Bright has, but this is my own little slice of (bug filled) heaven. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. At least not right now. Right now, I’m contented.


  1. [New Post] Travelling in Gumboots : an essay.

  2. Awesome girl! There are pros and cons but I guess it is all about the experience and what you learn from it :) see you back in melbs
    penny aka jeroxie recently posted..SBS Food Journey 2011

  3. dinner means lunch?! what the! haha
    id love to pick my own fruit and make jams too!!
    i hope you’ll settle down even more sooon! what an adventure!
    Vivienne recently posted..Pork and Shrimp Balls with Glutinous Rice

  4. I am a social creature, I cannot live without company of my friends but at the same time, I am horrendously shy and awkward with strangers.

    You know what, we might just be on the same side of the coin.

  5. Too funny – I invariably have a dinner/tea/lunch confusion moment with my Dad every time I head up north to visit my parents.

    Mice, I’m ok with. Bugs, I’m mostly kinda sorta ok with. Spiders, not so much. I hope your eight legged friends are few and far between.
    Conor @ Hold the Beef recently posted..Eat Drink Perth for the Digestively Challenged

    • As long as they are on the outside of my house, I’m fine with them. But dear god, please don’t let them be inside.

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