2016 turned into the sort of year largely best left un-mentioned. Partly sheer battle-fatigue. We did go and see Paddy and Clare in the UK and Patrick and Judith in Brittany, but something about that turned occasional tinnitus into a permanent chorus in my ears. My writing career went along swimmingly... as the man said of how things were going when his home flooded. It's still going. I'm planning on doing more self-publishing through Amazon in the future, and have started a mailing list - if you're interested you can sign up here. We did more pigs and more bacon and ham... just battering on, not losing too much ground, not gaining any really.
But in the latter half of the year we had a bit of a financial shock - the great deal we had on the present house we are tenants in got revised. Now, we're very grateful for what we'd had, and this was fair enough. But... it pushed things into a situation of instead of saving furiously and hoping we'd have the cash in hand when property prices fall (as they must, eventually. If interest rates rise, the Australian job situation worsens or the farming situation changes for the worse - Flinders will be one of the first places hurt. All those second holiday homes will, if it is a choice between paying home mortgage, or the holiday place mortgage - you know which one has to go)- to one where we felt we were going to lose ground, or take the step of buying something with what we had.
So... on Friday next Barbs and I will start the next phase of our adventure. We'll have 43 acres of rocks, bush and not very arable grazing land, about 800 meters from the beach. Oh yeah, and next to no money. So what else is new?
But somehow we're going to raise a house on it. Sheds, Veg gardens, an orchard, and eventually some fencing and livestock. It's not ever going to be commercially successful farming at that size - but we should be pretty much self-sufficient.
It's going to be tough. Make and scrape, paint it blue and make it do. But... I have done tough. And I am longing for a place of our own. I want to build... for me and mine. I want to plant trees I will see fruit and harvest from.
I want to say 'this is my land.'
And I will.