This post is long overdue.
Mid 2019 we started fulfilling our dream of building our own mud brick house on some land that we could farm and utilise to become as self sufficiently as possible.
Our Development Application passed and we were granted our Building Certificate.
Mid November 2019 the site was excavated and our slab was poured. The steel frame was being fabricated and due to arrive soon after, ready to be put up before Christmas. We ordered our roof to coincide so it could all be done.
Then the frame was delayed, and delayed. It finally arrived just before Christmas, however with no time to be put up. The roof arrived too.
We headed to Sydney for Christmas as planned, managing to get through as the roads had been closed due to major bushfires everywhere. They hadn’t reached our area and although ember attack was being predicted, we’d had a few bushfires very close before and had been safe. We lived close to the village surrounded by dairy farms – not next to the bush.
It happened though. History repeated. There was a fire that wiped out almost the entire district 70 years ago. It started as a “normal” bushfire however the weather and the wind – in less than hours it had spread hundreds of kms and wiped out entire villages. It was insane. And on New Year’s Eve 2019, it happened all over again. The same path, the same wind, the same destruction.
Where we lived with Kel’s parents was completely decimated in minutes, the neighbour watched as a fireball leapt from the old Quaama tip and swallowed up the property.
We lost practically everything. Our home, our possessions, our business, and our history. We were devastated.
The property we were building on was impacted too however not nearly as ferociously as Kel’s parents.
The fire went around the slab. It burnt over the steel frame, which had been sitting in the grass. Had it been built and standing as hoped, it would have crumpled and warped, potentially cracking the slab with it. We are deeply aware of how the delay was indeed a true blessing. We realise now even in the midst of tragedy and trauma, we were still being looked out for, looked after.
The roof was gone. It didn’t really have a hope. We were generously donated funds from people all over, setting us up to purchase a new one.
Over the next month we stayed with family and friends and in emergency accommodation. However we decided it was only right to live on our block. It would be rough to begin with however we wanted to be there. We wanted somewhere that was ours and that was permanent. We also knew that if we didn’t live onsite, the build would not progress.
This is where our Instagram @living_in_mud was born. It’s been over a year now that we’ve been posting on it every day. One to update family and friends and also as a memory diary – one day we can look back and see our journey.
We haven’t blogged in almost two years and I don’t see that changing, however our original dream and purpose for starting the blog has not changed –
“Our dream is to live self sufficiently on our own land; rearing our own animals for meat, dairy and eggs, growing all of our own fruit and vegetables and providing a place for people needing regeneration and a new lease on life. With this dream in our hearts and the start of our adventure upon us, we have decided to record it all through videos, pictures and words on this blog.”
I feel the chapter on Chef and the Waitress has closed. That’s not really who we are anymore. It’s where we began, who we were. Although we are on the same path as before, our journey is evolving.
This isn’t how we imagined ourselves in ten years. Although it’s kind of exactly where we hoped we would be – just minus the traumatic bit and the grief of losing everything. It’s weird how life works.
We’d love for you to follow along if you’re interested @living_in_mud both on Facebook and Instagram. We also want to thank all those once again, who generously donated funds, needed items, time and more. We never would have been able to get to where we are now without you all. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.