The Journey To Moving In Day
A farmhouse on a beautiful and scenic 54 hectare (135 acre) remote rural property. In the picturesque Central Tablelands of NSW.
For parts unknown.
Victor, is an architect. And has never lived in a house he designed.
And he now wants to.
There comes a point. When. You draw a line in the sand. And make the decision.
Now is the perfect time to look for greener pastures.
Victor’s mother. Margarita. The catalyst for our Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover.
Dies in 2014.
She comes to our rural property in 2001. To live in a house Victor designs for her. After Victor’s father dies.
Because she needs us to look after her.
Upon Margarita’s death. Her home becomes our guest house.
The very beautiful. And popular.
Meadow House Getaway.
We have mixed feelings about being the proprietors of a guest house.
We don’t want tenants in her house. But the house needs to be used. So a getaway to a remote rural property is the ideal solution for us.
We decide to leave all of Margarita’s beautiful possessions in the house. For our guests to appreciate.
But some appreciate them too much.
One. By. One. They disappear.
The 1940’s cast iron hand grinder for coffee beans goes first.
Then her top of the range chefs knives.
One. At. A. Time.
Books from the library go home with guests. As do CD’s. And many vinyl records from her 60 year old record collection disappear.
Which starts to affect our attitude to our guests.
The last straw is when two guests. Sisters. Take the sheets off one bed. And take the set home with them.
As well as.
Breaking bottles of wine in the fridge. And leaving the broken glass. And the wine that pools in the bottom of the fridge. For Victor to clean up.
Our desire to continue to be hosts dies in that moment.
We sell our 54 hectare property in 10 days. At a time when rural properties in our area stay on the market for years.
And make no decision as to where we will land next.
The only criteria being.
Spectacular views. Equivalent to. Or better than. The sensational views on our property in Ilford.
Cooler temperatures. 45°+ on a summer day is beginning to wear thin.
We are told by our real estate agent in NSW. That. We will look long and hard. To find views to match what we just passed on to someone else.
Two months later. We find a property that totally eclipses our expectations.
We now live on the top of a mountain. On a 100 acre. Very. Steep. Remote rural property.
In Swifts Creek.
A small alpine village in the High Country of East Gippsland, Victoria. At the foothills of Mount Hotham.
We are 37 stories above road level. And our views are nothing short of spectacular.
It’s a 360°. Panorama vista. Of the surrounding mountain range. And the valley below.
It’s been a tortuous journey to get here.
On 12th February 2019. We sign on the dotted line. To purchase our mountain.
We rent a house in close by Omeo Victoria.
And expect to only rent for 12 months.
We plan to be in our new home by December 2019.
But. There are obstacles we do not anticipate.
The first obstacle is The Country Fire Authority (CFA). Who will not even contemplate approving us living 37 stories above road level.
All of rural Victoria is declared a bushfire zone.
And the CFA is still smarting from the massive loss of 175 lives on Black Saturday. In
We hire an independent town planner. Richard. Who negotiates with the CFA on our behalf.
And 9 months later. In November 2019. We have our approval.
Our jubilation is short lived.
10 days later. The ferocious fires along the Great Alpine Road in East Gippsland. Decimate 55 kilometres of bush. From Bruthen to Ensay.
And came perilously close to our property in Swifts Creek.
Omeo. Where we are renting. Is evacuated twice. In January 2020. From the fires coming down from Mount Hotham.
We are sandwiched between two fire fronts.
The Great Alpine Road is our only way in. And out of. Swifts Creek.
And is closed to traffic from November to January.
Vehicles are allowed on the road only by special permit.
Which affects the delivery of building materials for our house.
Thankfully. The fires are extinguished at the end of February 2020.
Again. Our jubilation is short lived.
Covid-19 arrives two weeks later. In mid-March.
Closing businesses. Including businesses we need to get building materials from.
Add to that.
No tradespeople want to work on a small project like a house. In a remote location.
So the delays keep piling up.
One by one. Victor. An owner/builder. Works through the obstacles.
In July 2020. The house is at lock up stage. With the help of Chris. An outstanding carpenter. Who has worked with Victor since Day 1. But he can’t commit to further work.
After getting no response from tradespeople to quote on interior work. Victor decides to finish building the house himself.
On December 17, 2020. Two years. And 3 days. After we leave Ilford.
We move into our house on top of the mountain.
The removalists bring the last load at 7pm. Leave at 8pm.
And we are. At last. Going to spend our first night ‘at home’.
Was it worth the wait?
This is the sunset that greets us on our first night. In our forever home.
And so begins our ‘Life At The Top Of The Mountain’.
Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤️
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Who am I?
I am an ex-New Yorker. Who happily calls Australia home. I am also a daughter. A younger sister. A long-standing partner of a significant other. A businesswoman. With a quirky view of how business should be done. I am addicted to my computer. Am a software junkie. LOVE technology. But rarely use a mobile phone. I can sew. Embroider. Knit. Crochet. I’m also an experienced DIYer. Who owns my own power tools. And a toolbox full of the best gadgets a gal can have for getting the job done. I’m an adventurous cook. A keen gardener living in a challenging environment. An amateur photographer of landscapes and wildlife. A perennial student. An avid reader of everything from War and Peace. To trash and trivia. I’m outspoken. Yet discreet. I’m both tolerant. And intolerant. I’m known to not turn the other cheek. Or a blind eye. Life is never dull with my canine and feline menagerie. I’m a huge lover of birds. And all the wildlife that visit me every day on my 100-acre rural property. And I’m also a semi-hermit. Because I absolutely revel in my life of solitude ~ at the top of my mountain.
In 1994. Me and my partner, Victor Pleshev, an architect. Did what everyone said we couldn’t do. Poor as church mice from the 1992 ‘recession we had to have’. We built a worldwide business from broke. Long before the internet and email came to our rural village. It took a massive amount of hard work. And equal amounts of sacrifice. Combined with a mindset that everything is a can-do. The reward? 500,000 one-on-one customers. In 30 countries. The icing on the cake? Every product is made with love and care in rural Australia by our super-heroes. Men and women who have a disability.
You can read Our Story here.
These are my stories. In no particular order.
Designers & makers in RURAL Australia of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover, Log Lugger, Roadworks Apron, Travel Bug Shoe Bag, Mr Chin’s Laundry Bag, Sweet Shoo.
Every product is a joy to use.
Made with love and care in rural Australia by men and women who have a disability. They’re our super heroes.
They put their heart and soul into everything they do. And it shows.