For all of the people out there who have ever considered owning an accommodation property or a farm stay it may come as a shock to you that yes we do actually work long days, every day of the year. 10 hour days, 7 days a week and 365 days a year we are open.
While we may not do back breaking farm work like fencing or drenching or fetching and stacking hay bales every day, or even every month we are still essentially on call. Guests can arrive late, guests can check out early, guests need assistance, directions, ideas for day trips, extra linen or they just want to chat with you. Potential guests ring or email all throughout the day, Monday through until Sunday. Animals need feeding every day, sometimes twice a day and if I’m bottle feeding a lamb sometimes four times a day and once at night.
Maintenance is an ever constant, ever growing list and the lawn needs mowing regularly and the gardens need pruning. Cottages need cleaning, paperwork needs doing, FaceBook needs updating and Blogs need to be written. Accounts need to be paid, bookings need to be processed and paperwork needs filing. The list of chores can seem never ending at times.
Some days can be flat out, where others come at a much slower pace. But don’t let all of this put you off. For all of the above I have one of the best offices in the world and I wouldn’t change it for the anything. Every morning we do the animal feed but this is definitely not a chore. In Autumn and Winter we get to see the mist coming off the dam, the sun’s rays rising over the hill making the magnificent Karri trees, that line the dam, glow gold. The air is crisp and fresh with the colours of Autumn, reds, oranges and yellows, changing to winter greens.
In Spring the air is warmer and the native birds are abundant with their bright colours and their mating dances. We see Silvereyes, New Holland Honeyeaters, Splendid Wrens, Red Breasted Robins, Magpies, Parrots, Lorikeets and many more. Our ducklings and chicks are hatching, the lambs are due and the whole farm is coming back to life. Even the wild swans from next door have little cygnets to show me.
Of an evening, just prior to dusk, we put the ducks and animals to bed and I can often watch the sun as it slips below the hill turning the sky red, or the moon rising across the neighbours dam. The air is still, most days the wind has dropped and quiet comes to the farm. Guests are indoors cooking dinner, children showering getting ready for bed, the quietness occasionally broken by a cow mooing, ducks quacking or a donkey braying. The dam becomes like a mirror, a perfect reflection of the sky, the trees and our windmill. Wild ducks are finding a nest for the night and I have time for some quiet reflection or to take a few photographs as I make my way around checking all the animals.
I take time to give the heifer a scratch under the chin, to pat our rabbits, to talk to our pigs. It all makes me smile. Yes, we do work hard and sometimes the days are long but I really do have one of the best offices in the world.