Grease and Oil Change

We’re putting on a little wellness workshop out Trundle way on Thursday March 17, and ya’ll are invited. You don’t need to be from Trundle, you don’t need to be crook and you don’t need to pay.

This idea for a health kick came about after last October’s Mental As initiative, which was all over the ABC radio and television. I particularly loved the Saturday Night Crack Up – a comedy gala which so sensitively took the Mickey out of mental ill health. It got me thinking about the people nearest and dearest to me and how we are all often just keeping our heads above water – myself included.

And let’s face it, rural areas aren’t always privy to the best of services. We are an isolated bunch and while the community health groups and powers that be seem to be doing their best to help us out, sometimes you just have to bring the peeps to your place.

So from a simple idea (I was thinking a couple of hours, with a couple of guest speakers) we now have a cracking line up of professionals (and some not so professionals) and damn fine folk, coming all the way out to Trundle to share their ideas of how to get your mind and body in the best possible shape.

I really hope lots of people come (you know when you organise something, which in your head is a fantastic idea, and then as it looms closer you start to have doubts and imagine it’ll be just you and your mum and dad sitting up there in the audience?! That’s where I am at today)

So fill up the fuel tank and come on out to the Trundle Golfie. If nothing else you will get a chance to say hi to my mum and dad.

Grease&OilChange copy

PS, Sorry for the sales pitch.





When 3 friends leave.

Yes, it’s true that 3 of my friends have all up and left within the space of a month. And I am mourning the loss. I don’t tend have a lot of close friends – it’s a case of quality rather than quantity – so when 3 lovely ladies pack up and leave town, well it’s rough.

One was a predicted move but the other two came out of the blue (for me, not them clearly.) And all I could do when both of these girls told me they were moving was punch them fair in the arm. I am not sure what to make of that reaction but I think a psychologist would say that I was experiencing a sense of loss, betrayal (a bit harsh) and sadness. Well yes, you are right on all counts.

My idea is that life becomes a bit more stable when you hit your 40’s. And people are in for the long haul. Back in the day, of uni and my early teaching jobs, it was the norm for friends & acquaintances to up and leave after a few years. I did it myself. I made sure I didn’t get too attached (see previous comment about quality rather than quantity) and wished everyone well as we headed off on our next adventure. I was always (and still am, sadly) one of those types who promised that I would keep in touch, but I often knew that our best friendship days were over.

There are the odd cases of when I fell into a deep and long lasting friendship, (I can imagine a couple of girlfriends thinking ‘what about me?’) but sadly many have fallen by the wayside. I blame it on my inability to use the phone for actual phone calls – I prefer texting…oh & checking in to see what Sarah Wilson is up to. It’s a shame as I have some long lost acquaintances, that I think of fondly, but just haven’t got the gumption (now there’s a word) to dial their number, even though I’ve had it in my phone since 1999. (I definitely had a blue flip phone in 2000 and boy did I think I was the business. But clearly not enough of the business to use it.)

I will admit that I still have some lovely friends that don’t live in my town of Forbes – but I put that down to their dogged persistence and patience in single handedly pursuing our friendship. I am hoping that the 3 lovely ladies that have left the 2871 postcode will persevere, subtly stalking me in the hope that I might one day return their call.

This moving business also brings up all sorts of emotions, because it is just not easy to move. And I can imagine that it would be even more difficult with small children. The practical aspects of packing and unpacking, selling, cleaning and closing the door on a house full of memories…I’m starting to get teary…are all part of the deal. And what about when you get to a new place? It’s like starting year 7 all over again. It’s lucky that every single one of these 3 friends are some of the kindest and friendliest people going around. Maybe that’s why they moved – to share some of that beautiful spirit with a whole new bunch of people.

So I wish them well, but I also want them to know that it’s not easy for those of us left behind either. We are sad and will miss them terribly.

Oh and I will keep in touch…just call me.



Action Jackson

Yes, it’s all happening in the final stages of the putting together of Northcote.

And yes, I am about 2 months behind on blog posts.

So how about we just pretend time has stood still, and the Bakers haven’t actually moved in yet. And the painting isn’t done and the floors haven’t been finished, and that moving is still to come.

It’s been a flurry of tradies over the past few weeks (at least that part is true.) The main things to finish off have been carpeting of two bedrooms, hooking up of the solar, building the front steps and the amazing deck – complete with water views – and the sanding, polishing & staining of the floorboards.

Oh and boy the floorboards are delicious! So delicious you could eat (off) them. Well, some of our friends pretty much did. And you know how the first meal in a new house is often an occasion to celebrate… well look closely friends.


Yes, leftover pizza. Classy.

It’s been a flurry of packing, and the following image says it all. At least someone was smiling.


Siddy Boy was lucky to make it out of the laundry alive.

Oh, and we’re running another competition and all you need to do is name one of the hobbies represented in this picture…I’ll start; netball, welding, holepunching (soon to be recognised as an Olympic sport) lantern hanging…

Just leave your contributions in the comments section.

Talk soon


Guys, we need a plan

It’s all well and good to say ‘we’ll just work out the furniture when we move in’ but in the case of most houses, there needs to be a bit of a plan. Where does the TV go – without becoming the centre of attention? We do have one sibling whose family doesn’t actually own a television – there are only three of us, so I’ll let you do the maths – so let’s just say that a TV is never going to be a dominant feature.

But still, everything needs a plug or a powerpoint so you do need to give these things some thought.

These decisions – where the fire will go, the power points, the light switches, the lounges, seats, rugs etc – need to be done pretty early on. Well before the house looks anything like completed. WB called on her social media expertise (we knew those hours of googling would eventually pay off) and gathered as much inspiration as she could before launching into the plan. And a shopping list.

But like many new home owners find, the pennies to spend on pretties just don’t seem to be as forthcoming as when the whole project began. So Uncle Mike’s green lounge might still make the move out to Northcote. Although I am pretty sure CB will chain himself to the couch rather than seeing it at a new location. That lounge has served its purpose.

The practical aspect of pulling these ideas together meant going out to Northcote and laying a few plans in place. This was in the form of a paper tablecloth roll – cut up into the sizes of a lounge, a rug, a coffee table – as well as a beer, a bin and a baby and lots of imagination.


I think the island bench will be ‘this wide’

One of my fave ideas from the interweb experts was to bring in a couple of arm chairs for the bay window in the open plan living room, rather than building an actual seat – which could reduce the feeling of space and make the window seem a bit ‘boxy.’


Nothing a tape measure can’t solve…



Oh these chairs are SO comfortable.

Move in date is looking a lot like the end of Jan. Yikes! That’s only two weeks away. We can time it for the Australia Day public holiday, if that suits the majority. We will have a sign up form, where you can put your name down for a shift that suits you best, in an upcoming post.

And how could we resist another pic of this little fella. Siddy Boy is growing up. He’s on solids, sleeping through (in a fashion) blows bubbles with his dribble and is starting to form words, that sound a lot like animal noises. His parents are so proud.

Siddy Boy

Despite his parents being on the move, Siddy Boy still finds time to moonlight as a model.

Our friends at Woolerina are launching their new range for 2015 so called on a few friends to show off their wares.

Siddy and the kids

…and doesn’t mind sharing the limelight with his cute little friends.

Too cute.



What HAVE you guys been up to?!

Yes, yes. It’s been a long time between drinks. But there are some great excuses that I have been concocting (perhaps my time may have better spent on actually writing a blog post, rather than dreaming up excuses as to why there hasn’t been one for about 100 years.)

I am going to blame it on the builders. Yep, that sounds fair enough. They have been off galavanting about the place and have only just recently returned to the mighty River Road. So that means it’s all action stations and there will be some serious updates rolling out of this computer.

Since we last met, young Sidney Baker has come along in leaps and bounds. He is able to differentiate between odd and even numbers, eat whole foods – we’re talking kale and chia seeds, and all in all his progress could be termed ‘phenomenal’. In terms of cuteness stakes, he is off the charts.


But back at the ranch is where the action is really starting to take off and in wise Wendy’s words “It’s really starting to look like a house!” (which of course is the general idea)

Here’s what has been going down since we last chatted:

– Local bobcat expert Kevvy Asimus levelled out the dirt pad around the house – so it looks more like it’s on a sloping mound rather than the top of Mt Kosciusko. Lots of people stop me in the street and ask how high above the ground the actual house is…well it happened once… and I wasn’t really stopped, more like text messaged… anyways the house has to meet council regulations (“Yes” Mr Council Inspector, “No” Mr Council Inspector) and it needs to be so many millimetres above a 1 in 300 year flood.


Kevvy 2

– Prior to that, CB built a retaining wall around the legs of the house, so the dirt stays out. And if flood water ever gets that high (heaven forbid) it can be pumped out. All very neat and tidy (and I can’t wait till Sid gets under the house and makes a massive bike track in there)


– The dirt has come from all manner of places including road works around Forbes, a mate’s dam that needed enlarging and anywhere that looked like it needed levelling.

– Wiring has taken place – which meant serious decisions about where power points and light switches are going. Enter Mark Webb Electrical.


And here is the builder – ahem – liaising with the customer about cornices and rosettes. Sid looks positively blown away by all of the excitement.


CB and WB are keen to keep much of the look of the original house – from what they saw of it in Melbourne – and what wasn’t covered in mattresses, two minute noodle packets and drug taking paraphernalia. In its former life, this house was a breeding ground for the more desperate and destitute university students of greater Melbourne. Let’s hope that they too are reinventing themselves, just like their old digs.

Oh and in some sad news, poor Wally died. The biggest most loveable labrador has gone to the big kennel in the sky. RIP Wally.

But we never like to end on a downer, so in keeping with the positive theme, everything is on track for Sidney Baker’s 1st birthday party to be held in the new house. And you’re all invited.


Welcome Master Sidney Quade Baker

Right, where were we?

Oh yes, that’s right the baby…he has arrived! And yes, he was early. About 5 weeks early.

Little Sid’s mum started getting itchy feet (as well as hands, arms, shoulders and every other part of her body covered in skin) and it turns out that her ‘situation’ was known as Obstetric Cholestasis (amazing what you can find on google.) She got herself to the Orange Base Hospital in double quick time – with her reliable driver/ husband at the wheel. He was en route to work in Condobolin at the time he received the SOS call. And may or may not have been driving with haste, overtaking several (read 20 or so) cars, only to receive a rather urgent phone call from the mother to be, and promptly turn around and pass them all coming in the opposite direction. Gotta love Telstra kicking in 2 k’s from Condo.

Anyway Sidney arrived safely, albeit early, and after a couple of weeks in hospital getting his feeding sorted (and giving his mother a good old fashioned rest) he arrived home – not to Northcote, but to the ‘town house’.


He’s doing extremely well. So well in fact that he’s had time to feature in an online magazine. He’ll be needing his own agent before long. You can check him out in Tiny Tribe Magazine. It’s free.


Subtle that.

As for the house, which you are all dying to find out where it’s at (well several people have asked lately) it’s coming along. Things have been put a bit on hold with old ‘Buggalugs’ arrival but they are due to get into full swing again soon. That’s if Sid’s mother and father can spare some time to make some bricks and mortar decisions, when they’re not ogling at the small fry.

More to come…I promise.



The adventurous types…

…well one of them certainly is adventurous – he’s the one with the stubby.

The other one is completely confident in her husband’s ability to hire professionals to get the house to a liveable (and magnificent) standard.


The home owners

Here they are standing in their lounge room, in front of the space that their big beautiful bay window will reside in. It’s looking out to the north and the Lachlan River is off to the left.

Oops…she didn’t want her joggers in the photo…


The northern side of the house

And this is the outside shot of the same bay window space – to the right. Won’t it be magic.