Beautiful Bonville ( preparing to leave)

Wendy Buss

The place is surrounded by Blueberry fields here in rural Bonville Everything is so green and lush here and gorgeous especially after the rains .I have spent six really lovely months here . There’s the lovely rural traverse up the hill to hippy trippy feel good Bellingen only an hour or so in one direction . The sparkling blue ocean waters of spectacular Nambucca Heads a similar distance in another direction and the lovely laid back boho cosmo-feel of Coffs Harbour half an hour away .

From the house over the back away as far as the eye can see sunhazed mountains loom silently in the distance and sit implacably as a back drop of peaceful timeless reassuring to the expansive stretches of blue berry fields next door farmed by Indians who “sell blue berries and buy gold”

The simple but very adequate little cottage here is set in the most beautiful garden which Andrew a horticulturalist has skilfully and thoughtfully s planted where something new is always in flower here and I keep coming upon something unexpected in the gardens

Last week it was bright pink matchsticks and mauve orchids and baby lemons the second batch of lemons since I have been here . I was delighted to find baby lemons protruding from the fragrant white lemon blossoms so cute perfect wholes in miniatures …..wonderful .Today I noticed wine red roses growing I’d never seen before and the white roses on the archway near the path are in full bloom

From my bedroom window I gaze across the open blueberry fields where recently planted blue berries will have their first ripening this year …. Constantly flocks of wild birds go winging their way across the wide open spaces of blue blue sky snowy white geese glide silently past a vision of purity and loveliness gangs of cheerful y galahs and noisy crowds of black yellow tailed cockatoos cawing and winging their way across that wide open stretch of blue blue sky ,
The sun dances across the Blueberry fields in a shimmering haze as I sit in the late afternoon sitting knitting and drinking tea permeated with sunlight and suffused with love and grief and wonder and gratitude deep gratitude and almost amazement at the incredible beauty of the place …..

Earlier this year heavily laden mandarin trees with lots of fruit to give away . I enjoyed the pleasure of finding warm eggs s freshly laid for omelettes and parsley straight from the garden fresh each day .The pleasure of keeping chickens . 3 chooks were assigned to my care .Gentleman Jack the rooster and two Isa browns Amy and Beth ……

Early on on my birthday it rained heavily rushing water poured in torrents through the storm drain and flattened the grass and the chook house got flooded out and the chooks were running around in water up to their little bums so I rang Andrew in Perth to alert him of impending catastrophe and he told me to let them out into the garden .They thought all their Christmases had come at once and headed straight to the Veg patch to decimate the cherry tomatoes.I wasn’t able to get out on my birthday but at least the chooks had a good time celebrating it for me
Jack the rooster is silent and stoic I never know what he is thinking and well mannered except for his 4.30 am regular as clock work wake up calls…….The first time he did that in a very irate humour I went out to the chook pen in my dressing gown and thwacked him with a mop he just clucked at me indignantly as if to say what’s your problem ?
Then poor flustered harried Amy always fussin . Sadly I think she has relationship problems and has become the third wheel to Jack and the inscrutable Beth’s romantic tryst .At night it seems they command the coup as their private boudoir and poor old Amy feels she is not welcome

Like a discarded and disconsolate mistress Amy leaves the lovers to their coup and perches precariously to sleep up in the bamboo or on the wicker chair on the front porch or near the back door and I pick her up as evening falls and she dozes off all soft and docile and uncomplaining as a sleeping child and return her to the chook pen

Then the incorrigible Beth after wooing and winning the only rooster in the hen house decides she doesn’t like being a chook after all and wants instead to be a person .She takes on a decidedly bolshy persona and has taken to strutting through the houses mine and the neighbour Muriels . Unbelievably she was found to have gone into Muriels bedroom and climbed upon the dresser and whilst she was there presumably trying on earrings and lipstick she did the unspeakable thing of pooping on Muriels jewellery box .It was beyond the pale .Muriels note advising of the crime read left on my backstep read …”Something has got to be done about the foul” ……….I put a humorous notice up on the notice boards in Bellingen and Jenny advertised her free to give away on Gumtree . We received heaps of offers for people to take her off my hands.

Sadly she had to go .The last I saw of Beth was a brown hessian sack jumping up and down on the seat of Kevin’s ute as her whisked her away to a new home.She did pretty well too went to a farm where she was allowed to run free range .The other chooks eventually had to leave as well left as well as the chook house in a lamentable state of repair wouldn’t contain them anymore and they ran amok. Jack and Beth also went to a good home where they got to run free range and gentleman Jack will hopefully live out the rest of his days surrounded by a bevy of beautiful Isa Browns .

The profusion of beautiful bird life here is astonishing honey eaters finches the sombre moorhens plodding about in the blueberry fields. One morning a tiny bird flew into the bedroom window tiny and exquisite in bright colours reds greens and blues like something I had never seen before as if it had flown of the easel of some heavenly artists studio and landed on earth just to cheer me up some sort of finch perhaps .It really lifted my spirts to see that beautiful bird .

A tiny little strange sort of hopping mouse dropped by one day.A liitle bush rodent .At first I thought it was a common mouse but it didn’t move like a mouse .it didn’t slink or run to hide .It circled the length of the entire house and then would keep running boldly out into the centre of the floor sniffing at the carpet expectantly looking for food.If its back was to me I was able to creep right up on it because it didn’t seem to have much peripheral vision …. It was very cute .Eventually though I startled it when I tried to catch it and it disappeared never to be seen again.

The pleasure of mowing lawns for the first time in my life. Feeling permeated with sun and satisfaction as I mowed except for the day I feel into a ditch whilst I was mowing and the mower nearly fell on top of me .
The only trouble with this succulent fertile soil is that the weeds spring up rapaciously and it would be a full time job trying to keep up with them …. So I pretend a lot of them are flowers and let them pass under the radar

The beautiful perfume from the jasmine planted in the window boxes right outside the bedroom window which permeates the air as the soft warm spring breezes blow is decadent and luxurious

I can lie in bed and gaze across the sunlit blue berry fields feeling that soft perfumed warm breeze on my cheek …….dazzled by the flocks of birds which glide past overhead

Fireflies the first time I have ever seen them in my life. One I at first I mistake for a smoke detector alarm I never knew I had seeing this bright lime green light flashing madly on and off .The other two float across my eye line of view in the darkened room while I am watching TV like gracefull jolly lime green tear drops …magical awesome amazing …….hard to believe their possible unless you see them for yourself ……

The adventure of travelling on busways Buses ,the lovely friendly drivers who stopped to pick me up right at the door and who take good care of their charges and treat us all like precious cargo.The friendly camaraderie and warmth of the regular passengers .Nigel bus traveller extraordinaire who tells me his guilty pleasure is bussing ………He is on the bus travelling most days…Usually sits up the front .Just enjoys the trip and the friendliness of the drivers ……His guilty pleasure only costs him $22.50 a fortnight ..We joke it’s not the most expensive vice in the world less expensive than smoking or drinking or drugs.

Alan kind and thoughtful who when I left my purse on the bus came to the house to return it to me (That would never happen in Sydney )Kevin the ultra loud loud bus driver who regales us with tales of his purchases so that eveyrbody on the bus knows his business.Last week it was a nutribullet he picked up for 15.00 at the garage sale ..This week it was elastic socks for only 4.95 at the TV sales shop..he shows them off proudly .Thanks Kev .Not sure when I’ll be in the market for a pair myself but glad their working for you .

Entertaining Alan the Bus driver with our Abba impersonations I’m Freda and that mad Elaine who works at the Urunga Library is the blond haired one. Elaine sometimes helps convene a babies music group up at the Urunga Library …and she has enlisted me as a guest performer and we are practising possibilities to sing with the babies . Élaine wants me to sing Never smile at a crocodile and Come on Babies do the locomotion I never realized. I was gonna come out of retirement as a music teacher to take my career to such dizzying new heights……….sigh……

The 360 M Nambucca bus trundles pleasantly along what soon will become the old highway alongside it a new grey serpent is rising up sleek and grey and built for speed . s As the construction gaffer and barriers are peeled back she is revealed .The new highway…… grey and sleek wide and imposing .You can almost feel the energy and the throb and the hum vibration of the surging traffic whizzing along transforming the landscape that will be unsettled from the tranquil idyll it has probably enjoyed for eons and forever changed .

There is even danger and drama in Bonville too which seems unthinkable in this sleepy little township. The week the little church burnt down This beautiful 100 year old lttle country church one of only about 3 public buildings in Bonville such a shameful senseless waste that anyone would want to see it destroyed. Luckily I took some photos only weeks before ….

And then the beautiful Clancy coming up the drive way to meet me when the bus comes in most afternoons My friend and alley and devoted companion funny, quirky, iconoclastic. His own man Sometimes downright bossy as men can be.Pernickety and fussy re what he likes to eat bloody hell I do try …… and heaven forbid if the food should sit there for more than 2 days but after much experimentation I know he likes tuna in spring water and those dried biscuits ….and he prefers it fresh every day.I have tried the “If you were a cat in India you’d be grateful speech” but he just yawns at me ……….

Clancy’s little rituals The flying leap from the bed to the lounge room in a single bound . Waking to find him perched seductively on top of me like a purring sphinx or as he comes in through the bedroom window after a night out on the prowl getting up to God knows what out there and burying down under the covers to curl up next to me and I can feel his cold little paws pressing into my leg. Such a scalliwag like a bloke going home to his missus after a night out on the booze leaps onto the bed .

I found the most amazing pics of him Jenny and Andrew had taken when he was a little tucker .Up to all sorts of mischief one with him tangled up in printer paper another with his head down the toilet another vehemently stalking a dragonfly …soooo cute .Wish I knew him then as well..The thought of leaving him is breaking my heart….We bonded that pussy cat and me and the thought of leaving him smotes my heart but I know he will soon be scooped up in the loving arms of Jenny who is hanging out to see him again so he won’t be short of a cuddle .That much I know.

A big thankyou to Jenny and Andrew for sharing with me and allowing me to enjoy the pleasures of living in this s beautiful little rural paradise ……..I feel blessed and deeply appreciatiave .

Thankyou guys



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