Ever since we’ve moved I’ve battled with being a city girl in the country. I didn’t want to be fake. I love that I grew up in the city. I love the city. I love the restaurants, the shopping, the museums and galleries… I could go on. But growing up in Sydney is so different now from when I was growing up. When I grew up, we just had one rule – be home by dark. As children we roamed the streets in our bare feet, we knew all our neighbours, we lived in fear of the haunted house and the dog you had to outrun if it caught you near its house. We got up to all kinds of mischief. If it sounds idyllic, it sort of was. But the reality is, we couldn’t give our children the same experience we had. Well not in Sydney. So for that, and for many other reasons, we moved to the country.
Our children are growing up as country kids and they seem to love it. Who wouldn’t? They have a massive backyard, a 130m driveway to ride their bikes on and as we meet and make new friends, our life is only getting better. But yet I feel like an imposter. We live in an area where we are surrounded by massive farms. We are surrounded by real farmers. Yet here we are, city folk trying to be farmers. Well sort of. We still have our day jobs in the city!
I think things will feel more real when we actually have animals. At the moment we can’t even manage to keep the trees we’ve planted on our property alive! We’ve figured killing quite a few trees is one thing, but if we kill an animal we want it to be intentional (i.e. for our table) rather than we didn’t have the time to attend to it. So we’re taking it slow.
I read a quote the other day by author Kellie Ellmore, “Puttin’ on a cowboy hat and a pair of boots doesn’t make you country; Like puttin’ on a ball gown and glass heels won’t make me Cinderella.” That sums up how I feel quite well. I’m not a country girl and I don’t pretend to be, so I don’t want to come across as some try-hard faker… but at the same time, in order to do what we need to do to run our 23 acres, we do have to find some middle ground. Last year it started with buying Akubra hats. They really are so practical. They fit nice and tight in the wind, they keep the sun and rain off your face and they wear so well. This week we bought Western boots. Yup. Western boots. I contemplated buying them last year but it just felt like we were being try hards. But now we are on our own property and needing to walk around the paddocks to do work… well my tall gumboots just don’t cut it. I do have some shorter Blundstone boots, but various weeds and things slip under my jeans, scratching my legs and forever embedding themselves in my socks. The taller sides of a Western boot are great for stopping all that. I wrestled for a few months with looking like a ‘fake’ until I caved. A few days of thorny thistles in your socks and paranoia about getting bitten by snakes makes for great reasons to buy taller boots. Now the kids and I have Western boots. Like the Akubra, they are so practical. And oh my goodness – these boots are so comfortable! So now we continue to work out that fine line, between what we need to live on our little plot of land, and not being something we’re not. Oh, and did I mention, my sons boots have cool blue flashing lights in the heels when he walks. How cool is that!