Sunday, December 2, 2007

First Weekend in 'The Crow'

This past weekend we had our first visit to our block as owners. It was quite a nervous start to the journey, with our car playing up and a quick visit to the friendly mechanic on the way up. Way to boost the confidence when you have a 2 hour drive and a mountain climb ahead of you. Luckily, we recently joined RACQ with these soon-to-be-more-frequent trips in mind so off we confidently traveled.

Only to become lost. Yes it is possible for two adult professionals to become lost while driving along two major motorways, that are very well signposted. We got an up close view of the Amberley Air Force Base, but not too close I hope! and then we were back on track and heading for 'home'.

Here is the road between Toowoomba and Crows Nest:

And my pink dashboard monkey! A beautiful treelined road draws you into town, via Highfields. We stopped off to see if we could shake hands with Geoff, our local friendly real estate agent but couldn't track him down so headed out for the ceremonial shed opening!

The road between Crows Nest and our block is a weaving, winding, climbing, dropping, sometimes gravel, sometimes bitumen road with the most glorious views (and some cows) for about15 minutes:

And to prove that we didn't just snaffle those pics from the web:

We turned the final corner and arrived at Our Place! First impression was, 'Wow this is bigger than we remember!'. We clambered through the fence past the friendly sign left by the previous owner:

and spent a while just wandering around, soaking up the serenity and dodging the dozens of locusts (!) that sprung up into the air with every step. First lesson learned - don't walk into the wind while locusts are trying to flee you, unless you like locust-in-the-face. We tried the various views on for size as to where the house would go, visualised the rows of garden beds dutifully providing us with food and well being and then came the time to open the shed! With our keys in hand (hastily couriered down to us on Friday as the solicitor 'forgot' to post them to us....) it was time to bypass yet another friendly sign:

and to our great surprise we found not an empty shed full of spiders and webs but a shed full of things and spiders and webs!
It would appear that the previous, friendly sign-writing owner had intended to fit out the shed for living. Inside, seen through the webs and spiders and if you avoided looking at the mutant, three and half legged-huntsman on the basin top (no - he wasn't dead, he just faked like he was until we started moving things around, and then he proved that three and a half legs are better than none!) were a bathroom basin, sideboard full of plates and cups, baking trays and a plastic bag full of matchbooks! Also, a shower base and fittings, miscellaneous containers, lots of water containers, mirrors, windows, chairs and an umbrella!

So we are now the proud owners of a lot of 'things'!

After exploring the shed a little, with one eye on Mr Mutant in his 'i'm dead therefore I am harmless charade' we went back out to take some photos:

And there it is! Once we realised there really wasn't much else that we could do, we made our way back to town and dropped in to visit the world famous Salt's Antiques, the most incredible antique shop I have ever been too, and future source, I would think, of a number of our prized pieces!

Across the road to The Grand Old Crow for a 'pint' was next and ten minutes were spent evenly divided by being stared at and ignored by the locals as we downed our bevies in solitude.

Then it was off to the Crows Nest Motel, where the friendly owner hooked us up with a room and we relaxed until dinner, back at the Old Crow for a delicious steak and choose your own vegies, followed by a game of pool.

We also checked out the Crows Nest National Park camping area, but saved the walks for one of our spare days some time in the rest of our life!

Sunday morning, we awoke, enjoyed our breakfast, thanks to the friendly motel owner once again, and made our way to the once-a-month markets in the showgrounds. We started a chat with a local nursery man, his array of berry vines and fruit trees was enough to get Dominic started, and made a new local friend. Dom is now comfortably happy that his dream of bowls of fresh berries for breakfast will be a reality.

We headed home from there, and managed to get back without any sidetracks. Home again now and at least five degrees hotter! Missing the silence and the sense of belonging, but motivated to get started on research and planning and some more research. There is so much ahead of us, the scope of what we have planned to do is now visible, and somewhat frightening. But do-able.

We would appreciate any comments, questions, advice that you would like to provide, and plan to update here when things happen, or when we have an inspiration or when we are screaming in frustration. Hope you enjoy the ride!

See you at the Crow!

Katrina and Dominic



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