Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the move

Farmdoc and I are on the move. Well, not exactly yet, but the decision has been made. Onemilebridge is officially on the market. Note I didn't say, 'for sale,' but used the euphemism, 'on the market'. I guess that expresses my ambivalence about the whole thing.

We've been in Tasmania for about 20 years now, the last nine here in Onemilebridge. We've built up a whole life in Mole Creek - friends who feel like family, community, a landscape that has entrenched itself inside us. We built this house, established a vegetable garden and orchard, fenced paddocks, released wombats, raised generations of goats and sheep.

I've done the best writing of my life here. We've hosted house guests from Tasmania, the mainland and abroad. We've welcomed visitors in good times and in bad. This has been a home with all that implies.

Often when we've driven down the driveway and I've looked across at the majestic Great Western Tiers, I've found myself humming that song from Camelot, 'If ever I would leave you.' Each season we say to each other, 'Oh this is the best time of year here.' When I know I'm returning to the mainland for a length of time, I try hard to fix the beauty of the place in my mind, to keep it there while I'm gone. I'm not sure it really works.

Now I think to myself all the time, we'll never again live in such solitude, silence and beauty. And it's true. It's just a fact.

But the time has come. Farmdoc's cardiac disease has shaken us and now we are moving to live close to family. Very close. A twenty-acre block  that is across the road from Daughter Number One and a short drive (or a long walk) from Daughter Number Two. What we lose in privacy we will gain in closeness to our daughters and their families. We will be able to help them in their lives and be involved with our grandchildren. I will be a train ride from my father; and my brothers and Farmdoc's sister will be able to go for a Sunday drive and drop in for lunch. We have plans for volunteer work in the community and to continue farming on a miniature scale. We'll build a new house modelled on this one.

Onemilebridge now has her own web presence so she can strut her stuff for potential buyers.

It's an exciting time. Really it is. Really...


  1. It just looks hideous!! It looks like it will be hard to leave and if I showed my Mr he would be keen, if I showedlittle that wombat picture their would be squealing for sure... But you get to live near those organic farmers and the one I met was pretty ace.

    Can you guarantee that rainbow?

  2. I know, My Bearded Pigeon, the attraction the other side's pretty strong!
    And funnily enough we can guarantee rainbows. Must be something to do with being so close to the mountains. There are always rainbows over Mole Creek - sometimes even two at a time. We always say we struck the pot of gold when we moved here.

  3. Oh what a gorgeous place! The kitchen is fantastic, I love that wheely bench.

    Good luck with the move!

  4. I am sorry that I cannot purchase it. I would keep it as you have done, never mind my heart condition. It is a fine place, and you are right to be proud of it.

    Keep the blog, just change the name of it. Don't let Ross stop writing. Writing is vital intellectual and creative expression. The mind needs exercise as much as one's body.

    Don't let the farm be the cause of your best writing; your remark suggests that you are leaving more than the farm behind you.

    I read everything you write here. Your finest work follows your grammar. Really, I hate to harp, but you ought to ignore advice that says it is fine to take creative liberties with it. You have the skill to re-craft a sentence, to apply your best understanding of grammar and sentence structure; it makes your writing truly eloquent. You find the right cadence which makes the story grip and flow.

    Please, don't let the loss of the farm be the loss of such fine writing. You will find new inspiration.

  5. You will be moving from one beautiful place to another..and being close to your family will be a lovely bonus!

    You have had an eventful year Vivienne...I wish you everything wonderful!

    P.S thankyou for your kind comment!:)

  6. Happy moving, it's always a massive change, especially interstate!!
    Kate tells me great things about your book on Alzheimer's, my mother has it, is just about to go into a dementia unit, my darling father is incredible at holding it all together, as it's heartbreaking, truly cruel.
    We're moving from Canberra to the countryside (well MORE countryside) soon onto our own farm lifestyle, i can't wait, with 4 children let loose on 100+ acres, it will be amazing, love Posie

  7. My family are from Caveside and some of my earliest memories are of playing bush rangers on the steps of those beautiful Western Tiers. 30 years on and the impression left on me from that place is as strong as ever. It broke my mothers heart to have to leave, I can only imagine how torn you must feel. BUT, onwards and upwards as they say.

  8. I found these comments so lovely, so heartfelt and so supportive that I have felt overwhelmed, and unable to reply to them. Often I'd think, I'm going to just do it, and then I'd read them again and the same feeling would wash over me.

    How do you respond to this kind of thoughtfulness and generosity? I guess by saying thank you for a start. Which I say now: thank you all so much. your words have meant more than I can say.

    Geoffrey, if ever I thought of stopping writing, I'd think of your encouragement and that would be enough to spur me on! I think my greatest fear is that when we move into a less isolated place finding the time I need will be a struggle. But I am determined to try.

    Thanks, Michelle. We love the kitchen too, especially cooking together in it. The bench, by the way, is made out of sycamore from our property, which makes it even more special to us.

    Judith, thanks for your kind wishes. You're right about living close to our daughters and their families. Being involved on a daily basis with them will be so rewarding.

    Posie Patchwork, I feel for you. Alzheimer's is truly a cruel disease that will break your heart over and over again. I wish you and your father strength and courage for the journey. My book, by the way, is in all the libraries. You might find it helpful. And maybe your dad might too - though it will be upsetting too, I'm sure. I wish you well for your exciting move too!

    Estelle, I can imagine how your mother felt leaving Caveside. And I can imagine how the place would have left its mark on her and you. My dad grew up in the WA wheat belt and that wide brown landscape is still imprinted inside me.