Tatong Tattler Post – April 2013 – The Molyullah Easter Sports Day Poem

Molyullah Easter Sports Day,
what a fabulous affair.
People came from far and wide
to see Molyullah’s wares.
At 8 o’clock the horn did sound
to welcome one and all
and give the Gardner family
their morning wake-up call!
Tractor engines throbbed and thrummed
and very soon, the smell of diesel engines
wafted through our door.

A leisurely stroll up to the gate
we wandered in, a little late
only three hours after the starters call.
We sauntered in, checked out the rides and food
– those most important things!
The jumping castle, that was the ride for our middle son
(‘twas the only reason that he’d come)
while our youngest one
tried his hand at Crash the Rat
and bounced that little ball.
We looked at the pole, the sheep
and the large hay bale
but to guess the height of one
and the weight of two,
we were sadly without a clue.

By now it was time to eat,
you can’t put hungry boys off for long,
so chips and meat it was,
with cans of soft drink too.
The meat was very yummy and scrummy,
but it was the chips that won our hearts –
whoever did cook those carvery chips,
the job they did it was superb
their chips a lovely golden brown
crisp and crunchy on the outside
but on the inside soft and fluffy –
the perfect chip to feed our family!

We watched the old tractors pull and pull
that heavy weight along the sandy track;
we saw the men chopping wood,
heard piggies squeal in the petting farm,
and children shout and scream
as we watched them ride that twisting, bucking bull.
The horse events went on all day
with showjumping and novelty events.
The bending, flag and barrel races
brought back memories
as I watched ‘Strike’ and ‘Invaders Girl’
battle it out head to head,
as they weaved their way through the poles
as fast as they could without knocking them down
then galloped down the straight so fast
it looked like they might miss.

And all the while
engines throbbed and thrummed –
spinning, churning,
clanking, whirring;
blue clouds of smoke and diesel fumes
strong upon the air.
The spinning wheel and jumble sale
were popular indeed,
and as I passed on through the crowd
I heard an older lady say
to an older gent,
‘I remember this when I was a girl,’
and his response,
‘And back then it was on the back of a truck.’

And now the day is over,
we’ve all gone home footsore and pleasantly tired;
the grounds are all empty and quiet
as everything’s packed up.
All that is left, the only evidence of
the Molyullah Easter Sports Day
are the 31 bins out the front!

Carla G.
April 2013


For as long as I can remember it has been my dream to live on acreage and have our own sustainable farm. Finally we are doing it, and although our acreage is only the grand total of two, we are surrounded by farms in North East Victoria, and it is as good a place as any to start living those dreams.

Although greatly inspired by Matthew Evans in the first series of ‘Gourmet Farmer’ we won’t be moving anywhere near as fast! Us Gardners live life at a much slower pace – with two kids on the Autism Spectrum and a chronically ill husband, we don’t move fast, quite simply, we can’t. And although like Matthew Evans we love eating good food and enjoy cooking, we’re not trained chefs, nor do we have a European background, so unfortunately, we won’t be making our own prosciutto or chorizo sausages and other exotic food products for a while.

We bought the ‘Gourmet Farmer’ DVD series recently – we finally managed to sit down and watch the last episode of the last series and Xav said after watching it, “I want to do that.” I’m not sure I quite want to do what Matthew Evans is doing to that degree, but there were certainly a great many aspects of it that appealed. So now we are working our way slowly through the ‘Gourmet Farmer’ DVDs and being greatly inspired. Matthew is doing what we are setting out to do, although on a significantly larger scale. He has 17 acres, we have 2!

One of the reasons we moved to the country was to grow our own food and to live a more sustainable lifestyle. True, we could have just as easily done this in the suburbs, as others have done and are doing already, except for us there were other reasons, including mental and physical health. ‘The Good Life’ is another television series that inspired us, especially the very first episode when Tom realised how dissatisfied he was with his current life. We so know that feeling. We knew that living int he suburbs was slowly sucking the life from us, suffocating us and strangling us and we knew that we were not living the life we so much wanted to be living.

There are some major differences between us, Matthew Evans and Tom and Barbara. They have no kids, more money, lotsa contacts and the chef skill for a start! While we have three boys aged 7, 10 and 12 and needed a loan from Tim’s mum to be able to buy our own place. Then there’s the definite lack of chef skill, knowledge of all things preserving or the equipment to do it with – thank goodness for recipe books and the internet! And we’ve moved to a place where we know no-one, so we have no contacts, no mates or friends. Guess we’re just gonna have to get off our butts and make some new ones. Then there’s the boys on the Autism Spectrum and the chronically ill husband. Hmmmm. As if life wasn’t interesting enough!

So as much as both ‘Gourmet Farmer’ and ‘The Good Life’ have inspired, and even helped, we aren’t them. Our journey will be different, just as everybody’s is. I just hope that in some way, we’ll be able to inspire others as we muddle our way through to achieving our dreams on a limited budget, with limited time and energy and a whole lot of new skills to learn. What an amazing life we have!

Blogging Again

All right, I’m gonna start blogging again! Maybe this time I’ll keep at it. At least there’ll be no moving house again for a while now that we’ve bought our own little piece of paradise. I will be moving all my ‘Eve’s Daughter’ posts and poetry onto ‘A Twist Of Lemon’ some time in the future, but for now I’ll just blog away and see what happens. I’m hoping to do this about once a week, maybe only once a fortnight – I’m not planning on becoming a slave to our blog. Life, the universe and everything should just about cover all the possible topics I’ll write about 🙂 But mostly this is a blog about living and learning with a chronically ill husband and boys on the Autism Spectrum while we turn our almost 2 acres into a permaculture delight! With lotsa other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure. To begin with, I’ve got a few posts to add – they’ve been sitting in my word doc and now I’ve finally got a few moments to pop them in, so although they’ll have today’s date on them, they were actually written in May.



Ice in the Bird Bath at Half Past Two!

It was a cold night last night, possibly the coldest we’ve had – the overnight low was at 7:55am and had got down to minus 2.7! I’m glad we had a lie in today 🙂

While eating a late lunch we noticed what appeared to be patches of ice on the concrete outside in the backyard. Naturally we all went outside to check it out, and yes, there were large patches of thin ice all over the concrete.

Kael stepped on it in his bare feet leaving footprints. After seeing ‘Home Alone’ recently where the Kevin hoses down the steps to create ice for the bungling bad guys to fall on, he wanted to see how slippery it was; fortunately there were none of those kinds of accidents.

Out of curiousity we looked in the bird bath and discovered it was still icey and lifted out a large chunk of bird bath shaped ice at half past two in the afternoon! Obviously that patch of backyard doesn’t see much sun in winter! No wonder the kangaroos spent the morning sunning themselves by the shed, they need to thaw out their frozen toes!

And then there were two

Large grey moths have been hatching from cocoons sticking out of the ground and congregating around our back windows.

When I went out this morning there were seven all sitting on the toilet window ledge. And then, when I came out a couple of hours later, there were two.

A magpie sitting on the blackboard, conveniently located under the window, gave me a look before flying off. I think I’d disturbed his mid morning buffet!

There have been two distinct types. The larger of the two is mottled grey like the bark of a gumtree with a dark reddish brown head. When it sat in my hand it was almost the length of it, about 14cm.

The other type was slightly smaller, maybe 10-12cm, mottled grey with two jagged white stripes on each wing.

I am still researching in an effort to discover exactly what kind of moths these are. I’ve been told they are bogongs, but from my brief research I am not so sure.

I am continually amazed at how amazing and stupid these massive insects are. Xavier and I have played with them on the back verandah flapping and crawling on our arms and backs and dive bombing us with their crazy uncontrolled flight.

I don’t know how long they are living as the magpies are eating before they die of natural attrition!

One Man Band

Kael found the box of musical instruments under the bed and came outside with a kazoo in his mouth, bells strapped to his wrist, a saucepan lid and drumstick in one hand and bells on a stick in the other, proclaiming himself as a one man band.

It wasn’t long before I’d been conscripted and given the saucepan lid and drumstick to play. We were now a two man band.

And then Xavier joined in too, so we became a three man band, or as Kael said, “a two man, one woman band”.

Outside on the sun warmed concrete we banged, clanged, jingled, jangled, tinkled, rattled and clashed as we played xylophones, finger cymbals, marraccas, bells, shakers, bells, rhythm sticks, a triangle, and of course, our saucepan lid.

Kael found some lose bells and took them on the trampoline, making music as he bounced up and down which he thought was a brilliant way to make music.

We had a great time as music was played very enthusiastically so well that, even the crimson rosellas joined in; although next time I’m wearing ear plugs!

Gunfight at a tea party

Carla got out the plastic play tea set the other day, and Kael and Xavier were sitting on the floor playing with it.

“Would you like some tea?”

“Yes please”

And so on with that sort of thing. You know, the usual “tea party” kind of game.

I kind of tuned out for a bit until a few minutes later when the somehow the cups were machine guns and there was a massive gun battle going on!

Boys will be boys!


The Reliance on Non-Renewable Resources Problem

I can think of one significant way of reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources which reduces the effect on our hip pocket and the environment all at the same time!

We need to radically rethink the way we plan and site our homes. If our homes are sited correctly we can heat, cool and even light our homes with little monetry cost to ourselves or harm to the environment. The only ones who lose out are the power suppliers and personally I don’t think that’s a bad thing!

I wonder why our Aussie Government hasn’t seriously considered encouraging sustainable home building and rennovations in the suburbs.

I am bitterly disappointed to see more and more farmland going under concrete and glass as we build more and more unsustainable energy guzzling dwellings in our outer suburbs!

It’s pretty easy to build a sustainable house sited correctly – it just requires some research and intelligence.

I rekon if there were sustainable display homes in the display home villages to show house buyers that they can still build a wonderful home that suits all their needs, but reduces environmental harm and costs less to run than a “traditional” Aussie house, there would be a lot more correctly sited, sustainable homes in our suburbs.

The Future of Australia

Well, well, well, well…sounds like the start of the Madagascar Penguins when they meet Dr. Blowhole, which has absolutely nothing at all to do with this post 🙂

The idea for this poem was inspired by watching QnA on the ABC with Liberal leader Tony Abbott taking questions from the audience and my husband making the comment that this election has only really been about who can manage this country better, rather than who can lead this country well.

Obviously I’d hoped to have this poem up before the election, but that was just not to be…however, I think that the results so far from this election make it very plain that I am not the only one who is disillusioned with Australia’s two major political parties and their leaders. Perhaps I can write a part two?

Click on The Future of Australia to open the poem in a new window.

The poem is in Adobe Acrobat format. If you can’t open the poem, then you can download a free reader.