A wave of sadness is sweeping over me today. The removalists have arrived to pack up the remainder of what we have not been able to pack. They will then come back on Wednesday and load up the trucks, then the drive south to Carlotta will be on Thursday. So from today onwards we will be camping here. We have put our sleeping bags and folding mattress aside ready. It takes me back to when we first moved here 25+ years ago - we camped here then for the first three months until our things arrived from the UK. Lara was three months old when our things arrived. Now Lara has a three month old babe and living in a home of her own as we prepare to camp our last days here at Katandra. This is such a beautiful part of the world, and I am so sad to be leaving it. The anxiety has welled in my belly again – are we doing the right thing, will be enjoy Carlotta, will we be as happy there as we have been here??? I assume these are all normal feelings when you have loved a place as much as we have loved Katandra and lived somewhere as long as we have lived here. I am looking forward to the new journey at Carlotta and I am looking forward to learning how to farm and how to grow and market chestnuts. But it is this departure anxiety that is forefront at the moment and the sadness at leaving this beautiful piece of paradise.
I think it is time to go public and announce that John and I have sold our beloved Katandra in Piesse Brook. It has not been an easy decision for us as we have put a lot of love into our property for over 25 years and raised our family here. The girls initially were pretty horrified at the thought of Katandra going into someone else’s hands, but we have explained to them that this should be viewed as the beginning of a new journey for us. We have put an offer on a 70 acre chestnut orchard 3 hours south of here in a lovely little farming community called Carlotta. It will be a completely new direction and a lot of learning to do about chestnut farming. John will continue with his consultancy and conference speaking and I will run the farm. John’s stipulation prior to purchase of the Chestnut Farm was that wherever we went it could not be more than 3 hours from the international airport. Carlotta is almost exactly 3 hours from the airport. We have a steep learning curve ahead of us and the family are now as excited as we are and are very keen to come down and experience the chestnut farm. I have been collecting chestnut recipes and now have quite an extensive collection – and am still collecting.