This is why I live where I live…. now.

We’re exactly one week into our tree change and so far I’ve learnt a few things.

1. I have a friend who has lived in Ballarat for 14 years.  She read my last two blog posts and questioned the whole ‘tree change’ term.  I think her comment went something along the lines of ‘You know this is a city don’t you?’  And she’s right, at close to one hundred thousand people, it’s not like we’ve moved to the back of Burke.  So is it a tree change, well it’s not Melbourne and there are LOTS of trees (gorgeous, big, deciduous trees that look stunning all bare and wintry).  But perhaps this is more of a lifestyle change than a tree change per se.

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2. Having a bigger, more open garden with lots of grass and not so much concrete has an undeniable appeal to the girls and they have been living outside.  This means the house stays cleaner and quieter and I get to enjoy LOTS more hot cups of tea!  It’s heaven!  And best yet, I can see the whole yard from the kitchen and dining/play room.

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3.  I can fit FOUR loads of washing on my hills hoist.  Which is a lot more than the load and a half I could fit on my last clothesline.  Unfortunately the weather isn’t warm and sunny enough to get it all dry in a day (and it gets wet/damp overnight) so finding somewhere to hang it all inside to finish off drying is something of a challenge.

4.  The slow cooker is the perfect appliance for a cold climate, it keeps the kitchen just a little warmer, the smell fills the house in a comforting way and the food that comes out of it is rich and unctuous – perfect for warming up from the inside out.  I whipped up this absolutely delicious Beef Goulash tonight and it might possibly be my favourite slow cooker recipe to date (I did play with the cooking method a bit though, coating the meat in seasoned flour and browning it in the pan first, instead of putting the meat straight in.  This added flavour and thickened up the sauce a bit – hope you don’t mind Wendy!)

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5. The girls think we live surrounded by castles.  The church below (sorry about the poor quality photo) especially, but also any of the bigger houses in our area, and they’re are quite a lot of them.

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6.  Ballarat people seem to love their gardens, I’ve never seen so many absolutely stunning and immaculately kept gardens in one place in my life before – and that’s in the middle of winter.  I could have taken dozens of photos (and would have had I a) not had the girls with me on all my walks and b) actually remembered my camera instead of just my phone), but this one especially caught my eye (actually my sister saw it first).  It’s just a couple of doors down from my place and they’re growing rainbow chard on their nature strip… sounds like my kind of people!  I really should go and introduce myself.  I’ve also learnt that July is the month to prune roses (hopefully the start of August is okay too) and I have a bunch out the front that look like they haven’t seen a pair of secateurs in years.  A job for the weekend I think (though I’ll have to You Tube how to prune roses first).

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7.  Even when the sun is shining and the backyard seems quite pleasant the park is FREEZING!  I need to train myself to always add a warm jacket and scarf to my outfit before heading out the door.  Of course the girls seem completely  oblivious to the cold and want to run around barefoot and with just a t-shirt on, brrrrrr.  For my benefit if nothing else, I make the rug up a bit more than that.

They had a ball while a froze.

They had a ball while I froze.

8.  I think I might just have moved to the MOST beautiful town in Australia.  I’m happy to be corrected but it would have to be pretty amazing to beat this place.  Having said that I did just move from one of the daggiest parts of the daggiest northern suburbs of Melbourne.  It was definitely the wrong side of the tracks, but because of that it was incredibly diverse and did have a few charming parts to it. What I’m getting at it the ascetic difference is quite stark.

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8 Responses to This is why I live where I live…. now.

  1. Andrea says:

    Your week seems to have just flown by………… your new family home looks lovely and I can see many post in the future all about your new projects ! I’d be itching to open up old fireplaces and repaint rooms, purple ceilings……what were they thinking? I like having all the rooms painted in the one color or different strengths of the one color and then you can always move around furniture and pictures etc , a bedroom can easily become a sitting room. LOVE your new kitchen, what bliss having all that cupboard space, lucky Mr Good he is going to be enjoying new menus in no time…. Now talking of Mr Good what about his beloved footy games ? Maybe he will have to switch to Geelong as their much closer now, Ha Ha!!!
    Great pic of the girls playing in the park they look very happy, I had quite a laugh when you said it was “Freezing” we never leave for Ballarat without our coats, hats and scarves……….We visit quite often as its one of the bigger towns close to us( the other being Bendigo) with our favourite shops
    Bunnings & Aldi and hubby likes some of the timber/building stores. If you love Pizza you must visit “The Forge” in Armstrong st ! we only discovered it a month ago and its a great café with great service and fantastic pizzas !!! Or if you just want to have a coffee grab the table by the fire !!
    We have sold our Farmhouse and are frantically cleaning out 1 Barn, 3 sheds and 2 haysheds of furniture, building materials, horse gear, sheep, cows and miniature ponies………..with only 5 weeks to go there’s not much time for anything else….. having a garage sale in a couple of weeks with the left overs! (We have nearly filled a forty foot container already) Todays job is a tip run with old wire and more weeding of the garden beds………..
    PS love that bunting too!! X

    • Barbara Good says:

      What? Wait, you’re selling the farm house? Wow, I really need to catch up on your news. Where are you moving to? And boy I bet you garage sale is going to be big! Good luck with it all, it’s quite job with just a smallish townhouse, I can’t imagine how much harder it would be with so much more stuff.

      Oh and we found the Forge on the second night here – when we were still child-free. Love!

      Don’t worry about Mr Good he’s still planning on going to the footy (as long as it doesn’t interfere with his new love…. golf). Taking the girls with him on the train sometimes too I hope!

      I too like the idea of the whole house being basically the same colour (probably white), though some of my front rooms feel quite cavernous with the high ceilings, so I’m not thinking a slightly darker colour might reign in that feeling a bit more. Having said that I’m holding myself back for now instead of getting stuck straight into the renos. I think I need to live here a little while and work out how I want it all to look and what should be our top priorities (not having endless funds).

  2. wendyblume says:

    not bothered that you’re tweaking my recipes at all – especially browning the meat, which is really just giving the dish a whole lotta more love. x

    • Barbara Good says:

      Thanks Wendy, it was a GREAT recipe, even my finicky girls ate it. Miss Two licked the plate clean. I’m taking the left overs to a friend in need this afternoon too.

  3. Glenn Finlay says:

    I have found myself smiling reading your blogs since the move Barbara. Well done to all of you. It really sounds like you are embracing it all and living life!! Going to try the beef tomorrow. Glenn.

  4. Tania says:

    Glad you hear you are enjoying your new life and surrounds Barbara. Looks like a pretty place to settle down. You sound very happy 🙂
    Thank you for sharing the goulash recipe, I am always on the hunt for yummy slow cooker ones 🙂

    • Barbara Good says:

      Thanks Tania, yes I feel very happy. I’ve been waiting to move from the city for a decade probably. Just took Mr Good a while to catch up with me.

      As for the recipe, I can’t take credit, it’s all Wendy’s work. Check out the rest of her website when you click on the link – it’s fabulous if you have kids that are tricky to feed (or a husband for that matter).

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