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Hello from Tabulam!

It’s been an interesting 2 weeks with no internet or television and very limited mobile reception but I’m happy to announce, we now have internet access and I can update you on our move to Tabulam. I must admit that it hasn’t been easy, there have been a few tears but it’s getting easier each day. As inconvenient as it has been being isolated from the world and not knowing what is going on with family and friends, I’ve quite enjoyed the peace and quiet. Tabulam certainly is quiet and I’ve felt relaxed and peaceful more often than stressed and anxious.

The girls are settling in really well and seem to be enjoying their new school and house. Lucy especially loves all the animals we have seen. It’s been a huge relief to see them smile and enjoy going for bike rides, walks down to the river and seeing cows and calves up close.

Their school is a 20 minute drive through lots of paddocks and some days we have to stop to let cows cross the road which the girls think is lots of fun. We also have to look out for turtles crossing the road and the occasional kangaroo. Yesterday we tried them on the bus home and they seemed to enjoy the trip. The lovely driver has even said he’ll pick them up and drop them back right near the house, rather than having to walk up to the bus stop. That’s country hospitality for you!

There are around 55 students in K-6. Alice and Lucy are both in the 2/3 class which is the biggest class and mostly girls. I went in to help out in the classroom yesterday and counted 6 boys to 20 girls!! All the kids seem really friendly and at lunchtime all the years play together. They usually play Bullrush, handball or play on the playground equipment. Their class is going on an overnight excursion to Coffs Harbour adventure camp next week which sounds like lots of fun.

Our house is a beautiful old house with huge rooms and keeps really cool in the hot weather. We have a small backyard which needs a bit of work to make it look pretty but luckily I have a husband who loves to potter in the garden. The locals have been telling us we have the best house in Tabulam. Across the road are the little shops. We have a small supermarket, a café, a co-op which sells lots of lovely local produce and a post office. There’s also a pub across the road. I’m actually finding it really lovely to be able to walk across the road and pick up some milk, bread or eggs if I’ve run out.

The main industries around here seem to be cattle (both dairy and beef), wheat fields and blueberry farms (we’ve been buying blueberries for $5.50 a kilo!!!!).

Each Saturday, we drive to Lismore (one hour drive) for the girls to do a gymnastics class and do the weekly grocery shopping. We’ve found an awesome Council run library that has a huge range of DVDs and even jigsaw puzzles. These have been a lifesaver since having no TV.

I think I’ve given you a brief look into our new life in Tabulam, I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve seen so far. Until next time!


October 25, 2016 - 2:15 pm

Amber - Hey
Can you please send a mailing address
Sounds like you are settling in
Look forward to hearing more updates x

October 25, 2016 - 8:53 pm

Kaz - It sounds amazing! I feel relaxed just reading your post and looking at your beautiful pictures xx

October 26, 2016 - 9:51 am

admin - It’s certainly different to our old home. Miss you my friend x

October 26, 2016 - 11:09 am

Andrew - Hey Kathryn and Lyndon, great to read your ‘bucolic’ adventure. If bucolic was indeed a disease, as it sounds like, you guys have ‘got it well and truly’. The trip to Lismore sounds fabulous and hopefully breaks for school holidays and discovering alternate routes will prevent the monotony of a repeated journey into the future. Let me know when you discover the local cheese manufacturer! No TV is my idea of heaven. As for Your fortune in Lyndon’s ‘garden potterage’ I refer to the defunct Red Green Show for which I will post some reading material on fb for homework!!! The quote, ‘if the women don’t find you handsome at least they’ll find you handy.’ I live by this motto and the man’s prayer. They are truly helpful, Lyndon might see them that way too!

A Fresh Start

I remember talking to my husband early on in our relationship and we joked around saying how nice it would be to move to the country and experience a different part of Australia for a while. I never in my wildest dreams thought it would become reality. A couple of months back he was stressed at work and that stress filtered into our home. The four of us were always rushing from one place to another after school or on the weekends, never really enjoying time together. Tempers were short and none of us seemed happy.

Something had to change and when he came home and said he’d found a great opportunity for a transfer with work to a small country town, we thought – why not? The girls are still young, it’s only 3 years so if we really don’t like it, we can come back to our home. He applied for the position not believing he would be successful but maybe it was being in the right place at the right time he was offered the position the next week. He visited Tabulam to see if it would suit us and came home to paint a beautiful picture of country life and how we would love it. We could rent a residence right next to his workplace so no more commuting to Sydney for him. The house is an old country house that is bigger than our current home. There are cows at the back fence and a river to explore and swim is only a short bike ride away. The town is between Tenterfield and Casino and only a couple of hours drive back to the Coast at Ballina. It sounded too good to be true but he has accepted the position and in less than a week, we will be living our very own “Tree Change”.

I’ve decided to write a regular Blog of our adventures so family and friends can keep in touch and see what we are up to and I’ll be sure to add lots of photos from our new home. I thought the title “A Fresh Start” was a good name for the Blog. Not only are we having a Fresh Start in the Country but I plan on making some personal changes too. I’ve always found myself distancing myself from social situations and have lost many friends over the years. I’m hoping that I can reinvent myself and start fresh with making friends and hopefully keeping them. I hope to be less negative, less paranoid, less jealous. I don’t want to be like this, but my thoughts get in the way and I end up becoming a bit hermit like.

Having lived in one part of Australia for the past 45 years, it’s very daunting for me to move to a town where I know not one person other than my family. I’m hoping I can overcome my mental barriers and make some new friends and learn new things. It will be difficult for me to find work straight away so I plan on studying, writing my Blog, spending more time with my family and hopefully becoming fit again.

Our girls are scared about moving and leaving their friends, moving to a new school and having to make new friends but I’m hoping they both adjust easily and embrace the change. I’m sure we are making the right decision for us all.

We’ve had so many people tell us that they would love to have a change like this but are either too scared or it would be too hard to find work, housing etc. We are so lucky that my husband’s work has given us the opportunity and as much as we will miss family and friends, we thought we couldn’t not try it.

So this time next week we will be driving north to our new home and hopefully having a wonderful adventure for at least the next three years. I think country life may just suit us. I’ve even asked Santa for a hammock and good book for Christmas.

See you in Tabulam!


October 5, 2016 - 4:36 pm

Mel - All the best to you & your family, Kathryn, it all sounds wonderful & I am genuinely excited for you! And Im so glad youre doing this blog so we can still say g’day & see how you are all going. I hope you all find immense happiness in your Treechange, lots of love to you! X x x

October 5, 2016 - 4:43 pm

admin - Thanks for your kind words and love Mel xx

October 5, 2016 - 4:58 pm

Jodi - Sounds like a wonderful adventure Kathryn and I am actually jealous, though admit I would have a lot of the feelings that you do 🙂

It sounds like you will have a little time on your hands to start with. I highly recommend this, it was recommended to me and I love the positive messages:

Enjoy the change and embrace the learning experience xx

October 5, 2016 - 5:39 pm

Janelle Tyson - Congratulations and best wishes to you all. It’s scary but kids are very resilient and adapt well and as adults, we need to get out of our comfort zone to experience life. Face your fears, soak up every moment, enjoy the stress-free life style and be ready for lots of visitors who want to “have what you’re having”. You will have no regrets. Cheers,

October 5, 2016 - 11:15 pm

wendy - Fresh starts are always scary no matter how old we are! I’m excited for you all for all the possibilities, new adventures, growth and connections you will make. Seems like as a family you are following your hearts so Spirit will continue to provide the right opportunities at the right time. Relax into it, you are so being taken care of. When I was 13, our fam moved to to Tokyo (where noone spoke English!) then Hong Kong. A four year adventure that forever shaped me. Blessings to you all and I can’t wait to follow the journey!
Lots of love!

October 7, 2016 - 3:26 pm

admin - Thanks for your kind words Wendy, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment x

October 7, 2016 - 3:26 pm

admin - Thanks Janelle definitely no regrets!

October 7, 2016 - 3:27 pm

admin - Awesome thanks Jodi, I’ll check out the link when we settle in! It sounds perfect.

NSW Central Coast Photographer – ANNOUNCEMENT

ANNOUNCEMENT! – A new adventure for my family. We have decided to try out country life for a while and will be leaving the Coast in mid October for a few years. A scary but exciting move which I’m sure will be good for us all. A little town between Casino and Tenterfield on the Clarence River. So many new places to explore and new friends to meet.


NSW Central Coast Photographer – Avoca Beachside Markets

It was another stunning Autumn day today at Avoca Beachside Markets with some amazingly talented stallholders. I love these markets so much, there’s always something new to look at and admire. The vibe is always bright and happy with some incredible musicians to entertain you and delicious food to taste.  The markets are held on the 4th Sunday of every month at Heazlett Park, Avoca from 9am – 2pm.  The next market will be 26 June 2016 so don’t miss out. Remember parking is hard to come by so the free shuttle bus from Avoca Hotel is a perfect way to get there. It was lovely to meet so many happy, friendly shoppers and stallholders today. Here is just a small sample of what you will find.

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NSW Central Coast Photographer – ANZAC recipe


1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup desiccated coconut
150g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda


  1. Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter and golden syrup together in a small saucepan.
  3. Mix boiling water and bicarb soda together. Blend into butter mixture. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Place spoonfuls of mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper, allow room for spreading.
  5. Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes or until golden. Loosen while warm. Cool on trays. Transfer on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
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