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Some years back, while visiting a guest farm located on the Lesotho /South African border,  I read a journal written in 1900 by an 18 years old girl. She was the child of the farming family that lived on and operated that farm all those years ago. She had kept a diary documenting the events and her thoughts during the Anglo Boer War which was raging around her. In fact it was on a nearby  riverflat where the Boers finally  surrendered to the British forces. The author and her siblings rode on horseback to watch the proceedings from a nearby ridge.  We all know that history is written by the victors. What you read is not necessarily exactly the way it happened. Here was a precious document, which in my mind aught to be in a museum, not recalling past events, but recording in real time a moment in history. Just the events,  chronicled on a day by day bases, as seen through the eyes of a young woman.

My reason for creating this website was to document my experiences as they affected our family. I wanted to make a record for my children and grandchildren of an adventure taken by their grandparents. I wanted them to learn from it that life is what you make of it. Dreams are not only for the young. This was a dream to create a central hub for our growing family.  Over the years I have added one page per year. This is my third transcript this year. Much is happening, not the least being our decision to sell Dunblane and "take it easy"

When I began on Dunblane I had no idea of where this would go. I just knew it was something we had never done before. It involved risk. It promised reward. It was exciting and frightening at the same time.  Most people retire from their "40 year 9 to 5", downsize and "take it easy"  To most people, what we were doing just made no sense.

Back to the present: Covid19.

On Dunblane we are pretty immune to the risks. Farmers live in social isolation anway. We get on with our daily chores and very often don't see any other people for weeks on end. So, on a day to day basis, this massive global shutdown has had no impact on our lives. It's normal for us to keep our pantry and deep freeze stocked. When this pandemic first hit, everybody rushed to the stores to "stock up".  Not so us. My point being, that while so many were filled with anxiety that they might either contract the virus or run out of food, we were totally relaxed. For us it was business as usual. We spend our days out in the sunshine, working the land. Not so our children. Some have had to close their businesses, thereby ending their income. Others are  forced to work from home, not sure of how long their jobs would last. All are fearful of the effects Covid19 might have on their children.

In 1985  we emigrated from South Africa and made Australia home. One of the things I found enchanting was the delightful Australian slang. One saying that springs to mind as I try to articulate my thoughts about Covid19 is "you wouldn't read about it". In South Africa, and presumably other English speaking countries, that doesn't really make much sense. To an Aussie it makes all the sense in the world. 

Here we are in May, 2020. We have just survived three years of crippling drought, then the devastating bush fires and now a viral pandemic. The big concern is the need to stop the rapid person to person spread globally. All but essential businesses are closed as are schools. Families are required to remain at home. If for some reason we need  to interact in society, there are strict guidelines known as "social distancing" Thereby avoiding physical contact.  Attention is paid to sanitising all surfaces, washing our hands, wearing face masks and rubber gloves.

Daily we receive TV and radio updates. Computers generate models predicting the outcome. Data is tracked and transcribed onto graphs which accompany the TV broadcasts. This is a new virus that has its origins in the Chinese city of Wuhan. For that reason, there is no "herd immunity" so the spread is rapid and the clinical presentation is very severe. Those who experience the full impact of this Covid19 illness, if left unchecked, are very ill indeed. The natural progression leads to organ failure. Emergency services can be overwhelmed. Many Covid19 sufferers end up in ICU needing assisted respiration. Sadly most die. This Covid19 is a very serious problem.

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Latest comments

31.07 | 16:36

Hi Peter, exciting indeed. Suggest you contact a Rory O'Leary at BVSC. He is the economic development officer. Big focus on Eden Another farmersnet@fscla.org.au

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31.07 | 12:48

Sounds exciting! I'd like to discuss how this might fit in with some other opportunities for the Port of Eden.

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22.11 | 23:11

I read all the way through again. Well done, Paddy - super proud of you.

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15.11 | 16:01

Paddy, I have very much enjoyed reading this page. I look forward to exploring the other posts. Thanks to you and Liz for your wonderful hospitality.

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