Irony – written by our neighbour and Tunbridge friend; Wishes Goodearth (received today).

Well it’s that close to twelve years, living here at Tunbridge that we won’t split hairs. In all of that time it’s been a constant battle to keep the place alive, what with living on the dole all of those years, and finding the water unaffordable, I’ve tried to accommodate local species and water tolerant plants, I find succulents thrive, and fruit trees survive once established, not that they put on too much weight without the water. Then there’s the ever present wind, and the unbelievable frosts, then of course there’s the wrenched borer that has decimated most of the black woods and is now trashing the gums. For a poor old girl that’s not much of a gardener to start with, it’s been a challenge of considerable effort, and not a real lot to show for all the strain.

I thought I’d overcome the problem by erecting hot houses, and then a green house, well the green house was by far the better thing to do, frosts struck right through the hot house idea, but most things love the green house, and seem to thrive most of the year.

O.K we’ll fix the water, hang second-hand tanks, in all kinds of disrepair, off every roof we have, then drop 44 gallon drums off those, yer now how to run all that poly pipe around, and get water to the right places -lucky I’m determined, but I’m defiantly not a plumber.

Well the Mother rings, the Step Father passed away, she’s ill and under the weather, and could I come?

It’s July, and for once in a long time were we’re having rain, in fact it’s been raining for over a month. Now normally I mow the lawn [for lack of a better word] twice a year, and truthfully that’s all is needed, when I left there were a few patches that could have had a hair cut, but at it’s normal growth there wasn’t much to worry about.

Happy to get away from the cold and unusual wet weather, and call in on some people who are far ahead of my new solution, AQUAPONICS, I left with about half of the new project finished, three tanks from Tassal in position, six old spa baths, three in position . . . the plumbing was baffling, but I took photos and hoped that someone would help me fathom out the concept.

I truly had a good time, caught up with much loved family and friends, including my new aquaponic pals, but every time I caught the weather Tassi was looking wet, and of course we could never believe the rain we had, the most in 103 years.

This will be the first week since returning at the end of September, that I can transport myself, to my one day a week job. My employer has had to navigate us through very high water, in a very high four wheel drive all this time.

To come to the main point of all this irony, my large block of land is finally thriving. It’s the healthiest it has ever been and I love it, there are finally bees, things I haven’t seen in a few years, they’re native and a few different species, and all sorts of other bugs and flying glory of wonder and tasty morsels for a lot of birds I’ve never encountered in my realm before, yes REALM I’m feeling like a goddess as I peruse my long and luscious grasses, they are at lease four feet high, it’s a pleasure and a delight to travel through this wondrous kingdom of greenery, so many grasses and of course weeds [God’s plants that don’t suit man] but best of all is the fantastic health of all my plantings, they have never been so happy, they are exuding radiant colors, and are full of moisture, WHAT I don’t have to worry about water, (for awhile at least), they have grown to outrageous sizes and every thing in my kingdom is alive with the joy of living a proper and succulent life, A NATURAL LIFE.

Enter the fear mongers, snakes came first, as if the poor buggers didn’t have a right to live. Well I’ve news for you, there’s been a copperhead here for years, and getting bigger every time I find his skin, oh! blue tongues shed their skins too, a fact and skin I only found last year, but beware all you poor blueies that tread the tar – they love to kill you fearsome creatures in this town!

Next came the moralist, what about the fire hazard, “we’ll have firemen and council come around and extinguish your REALM of abhorrent nature”, are they so far away from nature they can’t know it when they see it? SO SAD, the saddest of all is that I have to kill off my splendor and magnificence, I cry and cry. The irony of it all.

But never forget in twelve years here in Tunbridge, the four buildings that have smoked and burnt to the ground – not one was ever saved . . . no matter how short their kingdom.

Wishes Goodearth

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malE’s shot of a sculpture in Wishes’ front garden, all her own work – a self portrait for sure. The top photo is a shot of Wishes’ house from our place, down past the stables at the end of the paddock. The links are all our shots taken at Tunbridge.

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