This visit to the farm is unlike any others to date. On previous visits we have enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the natural landscape, the calm felt being around the sheep and cattle have got in and worked wherever there was the need.
A little while ago we made the decision to put the farm on the market and we have recently had an offer made that we have decided to accept. Retaining the farm, regardless of how much we love it, without living on site is not viable. The running costs, and workload during sporadic visits have seen us reassess the impact on how we live and work. Perhaps if we were able to consider retirement and could move here permanently things would be different, but we can't and therein lies the challenge.
A decision has been made and now we need to follow through. This has seen the focus for our Christmas visit become the packing up and disposal of a houseful of furniture, bits and pieces and memories. It is a bitter sweet experience. Most times when you pack up your home and sell up it is in order to relocate to another property. As such, the sadness is tinged with excitement as you plan where you will move on to and the packing is balanced with unpacking. Without this valve I am struggling a little. It is an immense task, there is a limited timeframe in which to work and the way forward is not clear. That said, this is not a one man job, as such my ability to help makes a difference.
The challenge is balancing disposal of items while deciding what should be retained, then working out the logistics of getting those items home to Brisbane. We are working on one car load of items for retention. As such the packing process is one step short of ruthless. For someone like me who takes pleasure in the history of items this is a hard one, but it is balanced by the fact that the bulk of memories tied up in the farm belong to someone else. As such I am able to take a step back and do what is required - for the most part.
Little clues suggest that I am finding the process emotional. The need to trap and dispose of a feral cat and her kittens is doing my head in. The logic of knowing the impact she inflicts on the environment is hard to balance when so far she hunts pests like rabbits and starlings to feed her family. I am yet to see the justification of the need to dispose of the cats. Perhaps now that I no longer need to be a "farm girl" I am taking a step back from what can sometimes see justification of tough decision making processes a necessity of life.
As for the final farm clearance - this is scheduled to take place 18 January 2014. A time for new beginnings with a family of five children getting set to move in. For me, the thought that we have access to a beautiful 1870 Georgian heritage listed farm house for a holiday base and a guaranteed support for return visits will see me able to walk away smiling. I would not like to think that our leaving the farm equates to our leaving this small community.