Monday, November 5, 2007


Finally got round to updating the blog. Weather has been rather grim ( as I am sure all those back home will be delighted to hear!), cold and wet.

We decamped from the farmyesterday and headed to Richmond to see Mary, Nick & kids. They have found an amazing house and are hoping to be in by Christmas. They have kindly had the foresight to buy a property on several acres with a heritage guest cottage, so we can upgrade our freeloading from campervan in the practice car park to luxuries such as full-sized beds and non-plastic toilets with sewerage facilities.

Nick has been forced to get the veterinary tomes out of storage and have a crash course in goat medicine, after seeing one last week. Over dinner last night Mary and I recounted simultaneously our single goat fact: namely 'cloudburst' , when a goat post mating shows all the signs of pregnancy ( distended abdomen, lactation etc ) but passes full term without producing progeny, only to 'give birth' to several litres of fluid at a later date.
Nick, who has not been qualified as long as us, decided to file this wisdom in the ' old git useless and probably fabricated veterinary facts' folder, and disregard it immediately.
This morning his first patient was a supposedly pregnant goat who was overdue to give birth and appeared to have an abdomen full of fluid.
There must be a moral there somewhere.

We are now at our first campsite- provided by the RV centre who are doing the alterations on the Winnie tomorrow. So glad we are not paying for it- row upon row of caravans and campers, over 240 pitches, pissing down with rain, and toilets and showers which are reminiscent of school field trips as a teenager. Feels like a bank holiday in Clacton-on-Sea.

Still not decided about Fragrant Farm- second visit clarified a few issues and clouded a few more. According to the council, our plans would come under the auspices of a 'trailer park', and would only be granted if there was no objection from the neighbours ( ie the 2 properties you can see without the aid of binoculars ).

Q. Fancy a trailer park next door mate?
A. No thanks

Tim the estate agent did tell us 'off the record' that the guy selling the place was not well liked by the local community. We were not unduly surprised, he really is a miserable old bastard, and a man who could not be less well suited to the hospitality industry. Tim reckoned that if we proposed a supercasino, with naked transvestite cabarets hourly throughout the night, they would embrace it as long as there was a change of ownership. Not sure we share the sentiment, and bottom line is that we could break even by renting the properties, but cannot make a go of it without 10-15 camper pitches.

Plan B would be a farm shop and chilli farm, which is rather woolly and ambitious. Now researching growing chillies in NSW- there appear to be several good reasons why people do not!

Meanwhile we will sit here in Clacton listening to the rain on the roof of the camper and watching Neighbours- Oh Brave New World!

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