No such thing as a simple life on my one acre in Tasmania with my two dogs.I try to grow food, wrangle chickens and the native and non native wildlife share the land I call home. Life with CPTSD and ADHD not been easy so I share about it all. Low income, a bit frugal, real life My Life.
I am not sure how others who might read my (rather irregular of late) posts are doing with Covid 19. We here in Tasmania only have one case and that is someone in quarantine returned from overseas. Melbourne has been in full lock down again as the second wave hit them. (seemingly from poor education given on hygiene to security guards employed to keep an eye on and support those in hotel isolation).
I can not imagine what returning to full quarantine after a period of relative freedom must be like for so many people.
Tasmania has the advantage of being an island. Our Premier recently announced our boarders will be closed (essential workers exempted) until the 1st December. You can imagine what some people will feel especially those with businesses reliant on tourism. My heart aches for all being hit by loss of family, friends, health. Also for those whose loss of income, their business and perhaps their home. I can not imagine how hard this time is for you.
My Government has been giving those of us on unemployment an extra payment each fortnight which for me basically doubles my income. $250 a week to a bit over $500 a week now.
I am still being as frugal as I can. I have paid all my yearly bills in full rather than monthly and have savings for the first time in almost five years.
Of course life throws up things that will cost me quite a bit as in trees requiring removal, plumbing, some windows need to be fixed and I am really working on where the leak (that I paid to have fixed but it was made worse even after three visits the guy gave up)!
Here in Tasmania we are being encouraged to visit locations and support businesses, hospitality accommodation, wineries, tourist venues I guess things often you do not necessarily do because they are always here.
My attitude is to support my local shops, cafes and I rarely go further a field for shopping unless I can not get what I need in my region. I also do not see the extra money as spending money on things that are not essential to me. I have purchased some things for the garden but most of what I have is old, second hand or I have acquired for free.
I am still being frugal with my shopping and what I do purchase.
Which is why I headed to Hobart recently for a tip shop run. I had an appointment so I decided to see if I could purchase a second hand CD player. The new ones that I was looking at were so cheaply made I did not have a lot of faith in them.
Off I went with my dogs and we had a pleasant time out. The tip shops here sadly are becoming businesses, with paid employees, and all that this entails. So the ‘free’ rubbish that is dropped off at these facilities is sometimes more expensive than new items. Especially building items and some cooking items that are trendy.
The following photos are a display on the walls, apparently this tip shop offers tours for school groups and other interested groups. They also have really interesting sculptures made by someone who works there and others who I assume do it as a paid work. I always ask them what is the best price and happily explain I am on a very low income. I always get a better price especially if items have been there for a long time.
A pause for lunch at The Pollen Tea Room Battery Point, dog friendly , great food, it is vegetarian/vegan I am not but so delicious I love it for its ambiance lovely staff , and wonderful teas and coffee. Tiny friendly resonable prices.
My dogs had been so patient and it is really lovely to go for a walk around Battery Point which is a very pretty suburb right next to Salamanca Wharf and Hobart City it has quite early built houses
I came across this
The first photo is mine and I pondered how much this little house would have sold for. Ummm not so little but…
My research shows it is not such a little house and it sold for a lot!
Prices in Tasmania have gone through the roof in the last six or so years. As have rental prices. Mind you this is a very desirable location and with water views from upstairs. (main bedroom only). You might see the water from the little front garden but I doubt it would be seen from the front windows.
My dogs had a joyous time at a dog park at Battery point with water access.
The dogs went into the boat yard under the fence where work had been happening. I apologised to the owner who had come out he laughed and said it was OK. It was a new place for us and Miss Treacle and Busby loved it. We all slept really well that nights. Oh and I did get a second hand CD player with tape deck and radio, speakers for $40 (it works) solid and a nice system with speakers. Much better than the crappy one I saw brand new at Big W for over $50 that was so light and all plastic. I guess time will tell on my second hand one.
It was simply a stunning morning along the Huon River as you can see, and not a breath of air and the tide was just sitting still too. ( I have no idea what that is). I will often say to people that Autumn is a lovely time to visit the Huon Valley.
Raneleagh is a tiny town, well it is really a suburb of Huonville as it is only about 5km/3miles from the Huonville Post Office.
It is bordered by the Huon River and Mountain River, though from the town ship you can not see either of the rivers easily, and there is little public access to either. Though the Caravan Park (privately owned ) is situated on the river.
There is a really special wood fired bakery/ cafe called Summer Kitchen which does stunning sour dough breads using many grains, delectable pies meat,vegetarian, and vegan, in individual and some in family sizes. Sweet pastries and cakes. Almost forgot their stunning flavoured cream/custard filled donughts. Todays was banana maple cream. Seasonal fruit is used to flavour the filling. Soups in Autumn and winter served with their sour dough bread, along with salads that are unusual, a terrific side for a pie or sausage roll. If you want something cool they have sandwiches made with their sour dough bread. YUMMO! Plus the coffee is so good.
They have a great courtyard as you can see in the photographs, with out side under trees or under a roof patio area. It is Dog Friendly of course dogs must be socialised an on leads.
Be warned the pies bread and many other items will run out There is indoor seating, in wintertime they have an open wood fire for warmth.
John and Marie the owners have built this business up, with John doing most of the building work of the courtyard and unique tables and benches under the trees himself. It has certainly been a lot of hard work, love and passion to get this business as successful and popular as it is today.
Photo below was my mug of cappuccino, and a passionfruit curd tart OH MY I LURVED ThIS! Tangy and not too sweet. Fresh local passionfruits used.
My dogs love it when we go here as they know the chances are we will be going to one of their favourite places! I feel it is great value. A lovely place to meet friends or family.
My dogs were in luck we did end up going to their favourite place for a walk off lead.
It is the Raneleagh Showground. Every year around November so end of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere the Huon Valley Show is on.
Primarily an agricultural show, with exhibits for prizes cakes, art, knitting, ect. There is show jumping, a parade, dog high jumping, and some years Jack Russell Dog Races. (nothing like greyhound racing) Just family pets who go, enter on the day, and run not chasing anything, just running to their owners. You can imagine it can be quite hilarious. It sounds so simple I am sure, but it is a lovely day out (it only goes for one day and night) for most ages. There is side car alley, where rides show food drinks and the show bags can be found.
There are often Dog shows over the course of the show too. There will be Agricultural equipment on display and for sale. Along with local growers and producers with their stalls. The Grand Parade of all the winners and whom ever else wishes to join in. It is not a huge show, but is charming and a little older world perhaps than many and we are so fortunate to still have our show.
Live Stock areas, sheep, cattle, there is a poultry shed, pigs, goats, horses, alpacas, and animal nursery (not in photographs). Does not take much imagination to work out why my dogs love it here. Above are the sheep, goats and Miss Treacle is in the cattle pens.
Busby was really enjoying rolling in the grass. In the middle row the last photo I told him to go and get a drink of water. He went off and did it, there is a tap with a water bucket up at that food stall shed. In the first photograph of the same row there are port-a-pots. Not a usual item at the showgrounds. The showgrounds are used for other things too throughout the year. I have a feeling that many dog lovers will know the feeling of the final photograph and I imagine many parents too!
This weekend is the Taste of the Huon. A festival of local produce, where you can taste all sorts of food and produce that is grown, made, and cooked in the Huon Valley. Ciders, Pagan Cider Cygnet/Cradoc does a delicious Cherry cider and more traditional ones, Franks Cider at Franklin, Willie Smiths Cider is known I would like to encourage visitors to give the others a try as they are all very different. Perry which is made from pears and is similar to a cider, saffron, lavender infused foods, ice creams, smoked trout, and other smoked food, jerky, cheeses, wines, beers,
I want to say gin and whisky but I know they are both made here in Tasmania some is made in the Huon Valley. Vodka made from sheeps whey, apple brandy, goats cheeses, goat milk products skin cream soaps. Dried fruit, it is a seduction on steroids for foodies.
They have music and also other stall holders artisans, oh and wonderful sea food. You may find Churchills beer brewed in Raneleagh may be at the Taste, wineries, it really is a amazing and productive valley my home the Huon Valley. It is usually held in March so if not this year perhaps another.
This hall is interesting as most communities in Australia have a RSL club Returned Service League. For all Returned Services personnel.
Where as this piece in The Mecury Newspaper (which is still going today) The Ranelagh’s Soldiers Memorial Hall was opened on Saturday afternoon by Lieut. Colonel C.H.Elliott, D.S.O. in the presence of over 1,000 people representative of all parts of the Huon district. The Mercury (Hobart), 27th May 1924.
The only other shop/eating place in Raneleagh is just up the road from Summer Kitchen and directly opposite the Memorial Hall and is The General Store. It was for sale so I am not 100% up on if it is still a delcious buger cafe, and open for dinner some nights of the week. With a small amount of general products that locals may need. It was great when I did go there but that was a few years ago.
Raneleagh has grown in the 20 years I have lived in the valley as has everywhere really, 13,141(2001)Census 17,219 (2018)Huonvalley Council it will be very interesting to see how much the population has grown in the last two years. It feels like so many more than just under 4,000 people have moved here.
I do laugh at myself when I see how few people live here and we have five townships Southport which is the farthermost town 135 residents(2016 census), Geeveston 616 (2016 Census), Franklin 337 (2016 census), Huonville 2,714 (2016 census), Cygnet 929 (2016 census) Ranelegh 1,268;
These last 3 are small communities Grove has a petrol station general stall post office all in one. Judbury 392 (2016) Census, Cradoc 742 (2016 Census) Grove 458 (2016 Census) Of course there are many small communities such as where I live which have no shops or service centres.
With an area of 5,500 km2 (2,100 sq mi) according to updated figures from 2018 there is 0.03persons per hectare in the HuonValley. I feel overcrowded. Oh dear it is a bit too funny. I did grow up in Sydney so I do no the realities of city living.
Raneleagh has many housing developments so there are houses like in most Australian cities, built boundary to boundary almost. Sub-divisions mixed along with older homes and some rather gorgeous old buildings and homes.
There are two Churches in Raneleagh and for some reason I forgot to take photos of the Catholic Church. It is a very modern newly built church.
Raneleagh has hills as you can see about it, and the in the row 5 first and second photographs are of an Oost house. Hops were grown and dried in the Huon Valley back in In researching a little I have just discovered there is a brewery in Raneleagh.
“Church Hill Brewery, in the Huon Valley, joined the burgeoning brewery scene in early 2016, giving the popular tourist region in the south better known for apples, cider and stunning landscapes a local brewery to call its own too.
Where do you brew?
On my property at Ranelagh in the Huon Valley, Tasmania.
I have converted a secondary building on the property, which I built more than ten years ago, into the brewery.
Why do you brew?
I remember my father trying his hand at some homebrewing when I was a lad and it always fascinated me, then when I met my father-in-law he was also a keen homebrewer. I think I was always destined to take it up.
I got a homebrew kit as a present from my now wife for my 18th birthday and I have been brewing ever since. Of course, in the early days it was just kits, then kits and bits and eventually all grain as the hobby became a passion and then an obsession!
What beers have you released to date?
Salvation Golden Ale, 4.6%
Pilgrim Pale Ale, 5%
Road to Redemption Red Ale, 4.6%
Crusader IPA, 5.8%
Confessor IPA, 6.1%
There have been a few others but the above are my main beers at present
Sadly you can not try his product at his brewery,
Where can people find your beers?
I am not bottling or canning yet.
I am currently on tap at:
The Whaler – 39 Salamanca Place, Hobart
The Apple Shed – 2064 Huon Highway, Grove
Blue Eye Seafood Restaurant – 1 Castray Esplanade, Salamanca Place
This could well be at the Taste of the Huon this weekend.
I imagine looking at this old building that it would have been a shop perhaps a general store. I am just guessing here , but it does have a look of it with the wider double doors and big windows fronting the street.
Of course there is much more to this delightful village/suburb. It has a mixed demographic of young families, retirees, first home buyers and renters of course along with Government housing. A mix of many styles of homes, and just out a little bit are 5 acre properties and larger than farms.
The area has numerous B & Bs and Air BnBs.
Just on the outskirts of Raneleagh and indeed between Huonville and Raneleagh there are orchards and farming. Cherry and Apple, sheep and cattle. Alpacas, and Horse. Grapes and wineries
The dogs and I had a lovely time here at Raneleagh and it is a great way to go through to Judbury following the river back around and crossing the Huon River to join the Highway and either return to Huonville or head further south to Franklin, Geeveston, Southport or the Far South as far as you can drive to Cockle Creek where there is camping and wonderful beaches and walks. Or if you are heading back to Hobart you can take a diversion of the highway and visit either the General Store or Summer Kitchen Bakery for something to eat. Than drive by orchards, and lovely vistas joining the highway at Grove.
It was not all we did today, I had to do my grocery shopping and return library books. It was such a warm sunny day and both my dogs are asleep as I write, just gentle deep breaths from Busby and Miss Treacle occasionally dreams and chatters in her sleep. I too will begin to think about sleep soon.
Today it is all about my dogs and dogs we meet along with their families. I have said before that my dogs are the reason I am still here.
In my darker periods of depression and anxiety they give me a reason to get up in the morning and to smile. They love me its that simple, and they need me. I need them. I love them and they love me.
They go with me everywhere, as long as it is not too hot for them to be in the car, or walking on the hot cement or tarmac. We have done so much together, and they bring me happiness and are there for me. Miss Treacle is sort of a service dog, not officially but some dogs and owners just have a connection. She seems to know when I am being triggered, and will come and sit on me if she can or as close to me as possible and try to make eye contact with me. Pressing her little body into mine. Really really trying. It helps me now, I realise what she is doing and when she is there it can help so much to stop things escalating.
This was taken at Lauderdale a north eastern suburb of Hobart a year ago and at a bakery up there. We sat outside with a coffee, and watched birds and the weather. Miss Treacle Busby and I and our older dog had gone on a drive. If you look to the right of the back of the photograph you will see dark cloud forming. That is the Mount Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) the large mountain that forms part of the divide between Huon Valley, to Kingston and Hobart. My home is basically directly south behind Miss Treacle.
I tell people all the time how sweet and gentle Busby is. He is younger here and we fostered kittens and puppies along with looking after friends dogs if they needed it.
Oh my what teeth you have Miss Treacle. Scary too. I’m just yawning know need to be concerned.
Busby is trying to tell me it is time to leave. He has no one paying him any attention. Coffee at a local bakery.
Miss Treacle just hopped up here on the seat next to the gentleman(who I know fortunately) when I went inside to order my coffee. She does prefer to be off the ground.
This is Busby and one of the kittens we fostered. He was so gentle with all of them, and loved them and they him.
Here you can see how good he is with them. The other dog in the background is my gorgeous Smithfield, who died age 12 two years ago.
Miss Treacle was also great with the kittens, though her patience did wear a bit thing a times and she would put them in their place. I guess that is the roll of older members of a family who are helping to raise the youngsters.
You find the most amazing beaches in Tasmania. This beach is a dog friendly one. This is Lauderdale Beach in Austum a few years ago you can see a storm coming.
Above, Taken near Cygnet. Two dogs very well behaved as they head to town.
The dog walking group I am a member of helped with the RSPCA Million Paws walk and this was one of the dogs who he and his owner participated.
Busby above getting a drink and checking the creek near the Cygnet Dog park out. Cooling his paws on a hot day.
We met these two lovely ladies at an off lead dog walking track at Corneilian Bay in Hobart. It is a favourite place when we go to Hobart. It is a great walking track up a hill and next to the cementry. It also has a spot for the dogs to play and chase as well as have a swim in the bay.
More dogs we met that morning and their humans.
My dogs and I were heading up a mountain near where we live as snow had fallen this was later in the day. It was the first time that Busby had been near snow. It was not deep. As it had fallen overnight and this was about 2pm. You can see how interested Miss Treacle and my older dog are.
Above they had a ball. I was worried for a short while that Busby might be feeling the cold. That is until he went for a swim in the lake that was to the left in the photo above. I decided if he was swimming in the freezing water he was OK.
This is our neighbours lovely springer spaniel saying hi to Busby. He has just turned 2 and he and Busby adore each other it is a bromance of the highest order. They miss each other and oh my when its been a few days without seeing each other it is sheer joy and love.
They love to play with each other and sometimes Miss Treacle will join in. Though at 12 1/2 the young boys can get a bit rough for her.
Fortunately there are safe and comforting arms to save her. Below.
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