Apologies for my non-existent blogging in the last few weeks. It's been a crazy time. My dear great uncle, Eric, passed away last week after a thankfully short battle with cancer.
Some of you may not be aware, but country men are damn stubborn. Uncle Eric was possible the toughest cookie I've ever known. He'd lived all his life on his farm outside Geelong, Vic. We think that during a 56 year period in his life, he never spent a night away from the farm. He never had a holiday, never married, and the only time he spent away was when he was in hospital.
Late last year, we found out he'd been living with a hernia for the past 6 years. Yes, that's right, SIX years. That became the least of his worries when he soon after suffered his first massive heart attack, shortly followed by another. His time spent at home became less and less, and once his throat and lung cancer was found, it was a short decline.
We said goodbye to Eric yesterday, with plenty of friends and family present. My dad and cousin wrote the eulogy, and Dad did a damn fine job considering. I was my usual emotional wreck, and even J shed a tear during the slide show (seriously, show me one person who doesn't cry during the slide show). Now he's taking his long-overdue holiday at the Bannockburn cemetery. RIP Uncle Eric, we miss you.
Anyway, there is happy news to come from such sad news. Uncle Eric left my dad his property in his will. And my parents are generously giving us the farmhouse to live in rent free (well, we have to pay the rates) in exchange for looking after the farm. And it's not as if we'll have to give up our jobs to be full-time farmers - we'll need to feed the 40 cows every day, and feed the 17 chooks and collect their eggs. Easy!
So we're both very excited. We'll be living in a much nicer house (although smaller) in a much nicer location (the bottom of an almost deserted gorgeous valley). A fair bit of work needs to be done to get the house ready - painting inside and out, extensive weeding, new deck, new stove, remove some dead trees etc, but that should be done before we have to move in in late June. Dad is putting in a huge vegie patch so we should be able to grow enough vegies and herbs for both J and I, and for my parents too. Plus free-range eggs (and if we want, fresh milk... however I know I'm not getting up at 5am to milk the cows before going to work!)
Overall, I'm just super excited!