A Sheep Station named Camelot...

spring lambs

"We've decided that we want to be farmers, and we think we'll buy a sheep station called Camelot," announced my parents, fairly casually, one sunny day when I was 11 years old. To a city girl, this was a bit of a shocking statement, but a rather intriguing one...images of rolling hills with smiling animals immediately came to mind...a rather romanticised version of country life...and it would mean I could probably get a horse of my own...yes this could be good...

"Um, how about school?" I pondered, wondering how long the bus ride to my beloved private school would now be. "Oh, it's 300 kilometres from Adelaide...in fact, it's a 20 minute drive to the letter box and a 45 minute drive to the nearest town, so you'll have to do Correspondence School." Visions of School of the Air danced in my head....this could be rather fun...lessons by radio...I'd read about such things in history books, never thinking it would still be done.

"But you better come and have a look this weekend, see if you like it, before we buy it" they added...although it sounded like they were already smitten with the idea.

So off we went to explore this huge parcel of land, in the south east of south australia...called (by somebody who either had a dream or was ridiculously romantically inclined) "Camelot". There was no castle. But there was a house, a shearing shed and 12,000 acres of land, of which only about a third had been cleared into pastured rolling hills, upon which stood the pre-requisite fluffy sheep. As beautiful as that was, it was the uncleared land, the native shrub, which I discovered to be my own version of Camelot. For here were tall trees covered from head to toe with golden banksia flowers, tiny little purple orchids, ferns, scented wattle trees and majestic eucalyptus trees...and animals which were so unused to humans they had no need to scurry out of the way...wombats, emus, kangaroos, wallabies...while overhead huge eagles soared in the light breezes...this place was like having one's own nature park, free to explore, and to my mind, it was a dream indeed...

"Yes, I think I like the idea," I tentatively announced to my eagerly anxious parents. And with that, they pounced. They gave up their city life, where my father was an economist and my mother a midwife, and swapped it for Wellingtons and RM Williams and tractors. Swapped the season opera and theatre tickets for the daily symphony of wild ducks calling at sunrise. They knew pretty much nothing about being farmers, but that didn't stop them for one moment. Not even buying such an enormous property daunted their enthusiasm.

Their dream was to turn the farm into an organic one, run on biodynamic principles, back in the mid 1970s when nobody in the agriculture sector took it seriously. Because taking a chance and going for it was their way of living the dream....and isn't that what the notion of Camelot is all about??? Living one's own dream, and realising it.

******

This is part of the fabulous By Invitation Only series, which is a group of bloggers from all over the place who write on a given topic each month...As you can probably guess, today's theme was "Camelot". To read the other lovely stories, pop over to the girl who has dreams and reality all nicely sorted in her wise way ...the inimitable Marsha at Splenderosa.

******

Oh, and as for how this little story turned out...after a year of correspondence school I was packed back off to the Big Smoke to attend boarding school...because I was spending far too much time riding my horse and not enough time doing maths....funny that...but the farm was a great success and my parents were amongst the very first to supply organic meats to the restaurant industry in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide...