Tuesday 7 April 2020

Community Connections

I love that I get to work
along side my best friend
Hi everyone, just a quick warning this is quite a lengthy post.  I started off covering the topic of "Community" and what that means to me. Hmm, then I went down a rabbit hole, and started to writing about my little community and what makes it so special, then one thing rolled into another and I ended up with an epically long post. I had to include all the activities and groups we have within our community, and what make it so great to live here, but I had to stop or I'd never have got it finished.  There was so much more I wanted to cover and share with you, but that will have to be another post.  So sit back make yourself a cuppa or a stiff drink (you might need it to get through this) and have a read about my about my special little part of the world.

This has been home for 11 years Hubby manages a large scale
cropping, cotton, and grazing property in Far West NSW

Living on a property in an isolated region of Australia is absolutely  awesome (well I think so) but what makes it so special and unique  is the community and  the people that live within it.  The one thing you have to realise is, that living in a small isolated community you see the same people all the time.  You go to the shops, you see the same people, you go to a function, you see the same people, you go to the pub, you see the same people, I could go on, school, meetings, birthdays, committees. But  what you have to realise is that you have to get along, regardless of your differences  (you have to leave them at the front gate) you have to respect everyone's opinions, because it makes life bloody difficult if you don't.

Isolation is the norm for me, the closest town for me is the little village of Carinda, Walgett is 85km away and our regional hub is Dubbo 3 hours away. I know most of my neighbours within a 200klm radius maybe further going East, and I never take for grated that  I could call on many if I needed help. But unfortunately this doesn't happen in the city's, some people can live next to their neighbours for years and not know them or speak to them. If one good thing that does come out of Covid-19 is the importance of "Community" and the role it plays in our lives and neighbourhoods.

This is the village of Carinda
 Population 30 on a good day
 If this Virus has shown you snippets of things you've  loved experiencing or witnessing, people helping and looking out for each other (especially the elderly) neighbour helping neighbour then don't let these things disappear once we resume our normal lives. Don't loose this opportunity that has presented itself, start  now to cultivate and nourish your "Community Connections" you don't have to live in the bush to have an awesome community.

Craft mornings are great and a fun way of bring a community
together, this was a Rope Bag course we organised.

Why not take the initiative and find some
likeminded friends or neighbours who live in your community and think of things that would like to see implemented once this crazy time is over. Maybe just start with a meet a greet once the virus is over and people are allowed to leave their home and congregate in groups. Hold it  in your community hall (I'm sure everyone would be keen for chat after months of isolation ). Maybe put a flyer a mailbox drop explain what you are wanting for your community and see if others have a similar interest ask for feed back gauge your communities interest. I know with the restrictions at the moment you wont be able to implement any of these things, but you can start to lay down the foundations of the community you
 would love to build.

Upholstery Courses are a fantastic
 community activity
we hold them twice a year
 Craft mornings are a great way to include and meet people in your community. You can always find someone qualified to will run a multitude of  courses in many fields. We do upholstery, millinery, and art just to name a few. Its a fantastic way to have some time off the farm and be creative at the same time. Maybe start off small with a learn to crochet morning, you might even have an elderly lady within your community who would love to share this skill (winter month are coming perfect project). Just  organise your teacher put a flyer around your neighbourhood, explain what you are doing how much each it costs what bring, we always ask everyone to bring something to share for morning tea or lunch. Just start off small, and remember " Rome wasn't built in a day" it takes time to cultivate and grow great  communities.

Our Hall is the
Hub of our Community
                   Things I do That Help Me

I suppose I'm pretty luckily, I never get board and I love my own company, and somedays there never seems enough hours in the day for me to tick off all the things I want to achieve, but I do love my community, and try to give, and do as much as I can for it. 

My kitchen doubles as the office for
our local paper

I'm on numerous committee's which keeps me busy, from Sewing Groups, Hall Committees, Local Newspaper, and our Music Festival "Lets Dance Carinda"  www.letsdancecarinda.com  Also a friend and I produce a quarterly local newspaper, which circulates in our local area which keeps everyone  up-to-date with local news and happenings, and is such an important publications to have in a remote area.

Sewing Group

I'm involved in a wonderful sewing group, there are 10 ladies who meet once a month  in our local hall, we sew, or do some form of activity, eat, have little drink or two, chat and catchup with each other.  Its so good for your mental health, sanity and fills up our tanks being around positive likeminded women. On these days we also hatch ideas for fundraising, like the" Beach to Bush' Calendar we did with the help from Anita from Sequins and Sands which raised over $10,000 for drought related charity's, also "Pamper Days" for the women and the men in our district. Then there's the numerous catering jobs we do for functions and Car Rally's that descend on our little community.

The Sewing Girls Beach to Bush Calendar

We also have the "Hat Mobile"
Millinery Workshops

Wine and Watercolours taught by
local artist Jill Kelly

This was my last creation at
the Millinery workshop

One of our many Community

Another Art Class conducted by the
"Strutt Sister"
Where very inclusive young or old the more the

Kirsty our local beautician at
our Ladies Pamper day


My Personal Interest

I've always been a creative soul, and dabble in a lot of different things, thanks to my late mum "Peggy" who was the most amazing talented artisan (as many are from Broken Hill) she nurtured and encouraged all of her four daughters to exercise their creative side, whether that be "China Painting" (can still remember the smell of mixing the powdered paints), leather work, knitting crocheting and instilled in us the joy of creativity.  I love to spend time in the  garden,  and enjoy writing (even though I'm not very good at it) but these things keep me sane, content and happy. I also  love my Instagram page and the tribe that has grown from this space,  and how it also allows me to express other sides of my creativity and passions. I’m also a passionate ambassador for www.cossieconfidence.com.au for the last three years. Its the brainchild of Anita from Sequins & Sand www.sequinsandsand.com.au . and love to help women feel confident in wearing swimwear and living their best summers with family and friends.  But my family will always come first, and triumphs over any of my creative pursuits, and I so blessed that all my  grandchildren, live close to home.

Things you can do if your struggling

Be warned its addictive, but its a wealth of inspiration and easy DIY tutorials. There are so many great ideas to get your creative juices flowing from craft to organising your photos, too many things to list but take this advice from a seasoned Pinner start off with something easy don't bite off a huge project.
I love audio books and have the Audible  app and find I  listen  to them when I'm at home sewing or in the car, its  a great way to nourish your mind and soul, and because of the vast distances I travel out here I can finish a book in a couple of day.  I'm not a fiction reader, I love books that grow and expand my mind and my latest book is Gabrielle Bernstein "Super Attractor", absolutely loving it.
Why not finally put together that family cookbook, there are so many platforms that make the process so easy www.createmycookbook.com/  is fantastic and have an arsenal of family favourites that will go into mine.
With the prices of vegetable at the moment why not start your own veggie garden, again great inexpensive ideas can be found on Pinterest, and you don’t need a lot space to have a productive garden. Why not organise with your friends or better still neighbours to plant different varieties and share them between your families and neighbours (which is what I'm doing this year).  Someone plant Broccoli, onions, spinach  etc, and then someone else plant carrots and cabbages an so on, and before you know it you'll have an abundance of veggies to feed all your families and save a few dollars in the process. It’s gestures and activities like this that remind me so much of my childhood, I have fond memories of going to our neighbours houses for some ingredient that mum didn’t have.  

I hope some you've enjoyed this post about my little community that’s very dear to my heart, and how we live and get along out here in the bush. I also hope it has given you some ideas and suggestions on how you could create a similar environment where you live, and some tips if your struggling with your isolation.
Also many of you would know that this old “Bush Chook” is a bit technically challenged and I tried and tried to move the photos around so they were perfectly positioned through the post, but after spending 3 hours and nearly deleting the whole post I gave up and said my fav words or wisdom from the movies “Babe” “that’ll Do Pig”.

Maz xx

We may only be small but we can do great things


  1. You’re such an inspiration Maz - you seem to get so much done in a day. I’ve got some fabrics ready to start my first quilt tomorrow when the kids are on holidays. I also love audible and podcasts - they’re my escapes. Thanks for sharing your tips xxxxx Jose

    1. Thanks Jose I’m glad you enjoyed the post , how exciting I remember my first quilt still love it. Yes the audible app is fantastic and use it a lot. Let me know how you get on with your quilt
      Love Maz xx