Although I have long connection and deep roots when it comes to the town, and have indeed lived here off and on for my whole life, I have also travelled a fair bit and lived in many other places. We always had ‘our house’ here, it was owned by my Grandmother and we could use it whenever we pleased but we didn’t really feel any sense of ownership so nothing really got done. The only thing we did when we were living here once previously (just after we got married) was put up the fence, other than that.. it just sat and did not much except perhaps fall into further disrepair.
After we had our son in 2010 we decided to purchase the property from my Grandma to encourage us to do something more with it. This really worked! in mid 2011 we were in Thailand for three months while my husband did a volunteer assignment and had no fixed address back in Australia so when planning our return we decided to move back to Beltana. I was instantly energised! This is very good because there was, and still is, much to be done.
The following are photos taken in 2009 which illustrate pretty clearly our starting point. It certainly doesn’t look like much, but I knew what was possible – having local friends 7 years ahead of us in this type of project really helps to reassure you when you are looking at a dust bowl with the green of trees in your heart.
We moved back officially on our return to Australia at the start of October 2011 and began the long process of creating our own oasis…