Highlights from my Sanctuary

Last week I decided I needed some R&R… and sometimes the one thing you need to truly relax is to be near your family. So I (largely) switched off from the social media world, got on me wellies and headed to my parents beautiful hobby farm for a mini-holiday. Here are some highlights!

This is my parents cottage. It is in a very small town in South West Australia called Boyup Brook. It is made of granite and is encased in vines which change from green to red throughout the year. Staring out the windows is always magic.

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The perfect reading chair!
The perfect reading chair!

Every morning started like this…

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The wonder in Lucy’s eyes when I would part the curtain and reveal this leafy world with crazy guinea fowl running around, was amazing.

Then we would go and get breakfast…

From my Instagram profile - @oliveonblonde
From my Instagram profile – @oliveonblonde

Mum and Dad truly love their animals and have unintentionally created their own farm sanctuary. Every sheep and goat that they have on their farm was rescued by them; from the countless lambs that were found alone and shivering to death in a paddock to the ‘dud’ goat that they bought after seeing it chained, unwanted and about 2 days away from a stove top. They now have a hilarious and mismatched collection of 6 goats, 13 alpacas and about 30 sheep – each has a name and most come when they are called. Here is a photo from 3 years ago… the start of their mad family. All but one of these sheepy’s is still around and Dufus is the leader of the flock.

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What happened when I took Lucy to introduce her to the them all is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. I walked into the paddock and sat on top of the hill looking down on all the goats and sheep. They turned and looked at me and then from every direction started walking towards us – such a funny sight to see over 30 animals all making an executive decision to come say hello. Then when they arrived they almost lined up and took turns coming up and very gently sniffing on Lucy’s face and mouthing her nose. She could not stop giggling and they had no problems at all with her reaching out and running her hands over their wool. It was amazing. Later when I told mum about it she said that that is what they do when they are introducing a new lamb into their flock. Heart officially melted.

What a funny face
What a funny face

These are not pictures of that exact experience, but they reacted much the same. Especially my darling Charlie who is everyone’s favourite sheep. My dad cannot count the number of times that he has been gardening or fixing a fence and felt something fuzzy on his face to find Charlie giving him smooches. He will happily sit with you for hours asking for a face tickle.

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This is Sherman.

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He is the ‘dud’ I mentioned before. He has mixed up man bits and is technically known as a Cryptorchid. Basically – commercially speaking – he is useless. He is lucky he met mum and dad who scooped him up for a life of wandering paddocks.  He is also without a doubt the strangest animal I have ever met. He is slightly vacant but is also really funny. He has bulbous eyes that aren’t a regular characteristic of his breed. His horns grow like a mohawk down the centre of his head. And he stinks. He stinks to high heaven. Lucy and I were sitting alone in a paddock and all of a sudden this ungodly stench punched me in the nose. I was looking around to try and figure out what was causing this smell which is when I spied Sherman plodding across the paddock to say hello. Strange, lovely, stinky little man.

And here are some of the other cheeky buggers…

Lady Fallon
Lady Fallon
Springer... a spoilt but delightful lad!
Springer… a spoilt but delightful lad!
Fallon welcoming Lucy Goosey
Fallon welcoming Lucy Goosey
A very self-satisfied Stompy
A very self-satisfied Stompy
Gorgeous Elsabee
Gorgeous Elsabee

Photo-bombing goat…

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Allen being cheeky!
Allen being cheeky!

And of course no trip would be complete without the disobedient little arsehole…

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My parents are amazing. My mum is a feeder. If anything is wrong in life the solution starts with a meal… the bigger, the better. So when I asked for a very light, very small plant-based meal I couldn’t help but laugh when she produced this…

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You may not be able to tell from the photo … that veggies stacked weighed about 4 kilos! It was absolutely delicious even though I could barely finish a quarter of it.

I also found this little book in my Dad’s bookshelves.

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Made my heart burst a bit when I remember how nervous he was before giving the speech at my wedding. What cute little muffins they are.

I came back feeling loved, rested and content. Must be true that home is where the heart is.

Where is your special place?

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