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2-238 (Original)

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addressee author,female,Drysdale, Anne,48
Narrative Discourse
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Private Written
Clarke, 1992
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August 9th [1841], 'On Monday, Miss Newcomb, Jane, & I took up our residence at Boronggoop. We found Armstrong & Owens digging the garden, which is fenced. This is Thursday night, & every thing is now nearly arranged in the house; we have also got a number of garden & flower seeds put in the ground.
Miss Newcomb, who is my partner, I hope for life, is the best & most clever person I have ever met with; there seems to be magic in her touch, every thing she does is done so well & so quickly. Our arrangement for the day is as follows: rise at 7 O'clock, break fast at 8 (previously to which we have prayers, at which Miss N. presides, & prays extempore very beautifully), dinner at 2 (& excellent dinners we have, as Vere, Armstrong's wife, turns out to be a good cook), at 1/2 past 6 tea, prayers at 8, & to bed at 10. [36]
Saturday, 14th [August]...
We have got a good number of live stock to begin with. Miss Newcomb bought a mare some years since, which had 2 fillies - the eldest probably in foal, the youngest 7 months. I have 2 mares, Constance & Venus, both we hope in foal: the names of Miss N's, Diana, Silvia, & Bessy. She has fine cows, Patch & Logie, with heifer calves, & is to have a 3d in a few months. We have a pair of turkeys, the cock from Mrs Thomson, the hen from Mrs Fisher; a pair of geese from Mrs Thomson; a flock of pigs, which Miss N. brought up by hand: we have besides nearly 2 Dozn of fine fowls. the pigs here graze like horses, & do no mischief: the horses cost nothing for keeping, except tether ropes for those wanted to ride; the others roam at thier pleasure.
The hut, or rather cottage, is now very comfortable & nice. It consists of a parlour, bed room, & dressing, & a small bed room for strangers; a kitchen & bed room behind, & a store room; also a little passage between the kitchen & parlour. We have got a tolerably good Piano, 9 American chairs, & the floors covered with Indian matting; the walls are all covered with bagging, white washed, & the wood painted. All this, with the zink cottage windows, looks very nice, & I think, with the blessing of God, we have every prospect of being very happy.
Saturday, Augt 27th...
Today the storm continued, but Dr Thomson came down to take Jane home - he brought a schedule for me to fill up, in which there must be an exact account given of the number of stock, people employed, stations & quantity of land, &c. The return given in would amuse the commissioners: 1,400 sheep - the majority of these have lambs by their side, but being not weaned are not mentioned; 10 head of cattle, 5 mares; for this small number of stock the names of labourers amounted to 12, including the six children of Armstrong; 10,000 acres occupied, & 1 acre in cultivation! Capt Pollock, a friend of Dr Thomson's, a settler about 40 miles up the country, called; he has brought me a pair of Emu's eggs, & a shell. Miss N. has been very unwell all this day.
Saturday, 18th Sept
At 2 O'clock yesterdy morng we were awoke by a loud coo-ey (the sound always employed here to be heard at a distance): on listening, we perceived the bleating of the lambs was no longer to be heard; they had knocked down the hurdles & got out. All the men ran, nearly without cloaths, & in about an hour they were all safe again ... [37]
Wednesday, 22d...
... on Monday about 4 O'clock the ploughing began. The place we fixed on is in the Marsh, close to the river. The potatoes are put into the ground every 3d turn of the plough. No previous working! no dung! we shall see the result. This day about 2 O'clock the ploughing was finished; it looks about 11/2 Acres. The rest of this day, Mr Read's Blks & our own were employed drawing wood for a brush fence.
8th Octr, Friday:
Yesterday the wool shed was finished. It looks very well 30 feet in length, by 14 wide; a skilling or verandah along one side, under which some sheep are to be placed all night, that they may be ready to shear in the morning, otherwise they would be so wet with dew that men could not begin till 9 or 10. We yesterday hired 4 shearers; they are to have £1 Per Hand, & 5/- Per day to assist in washing & making a washing place; the men are drawing logs for this, & the shearers come on Monday.
We yesterday transplanted 30 young almond trees. After dinner today, Miss N. rode to Corio. We are all well, & quite happy. We find the days two [sic] short for all we have to do, which is proof we do not weary.
Tuesday, 12th Octr
All the shearers arrived in the morning, & were engaged the whole day making a washing place, which consists of long logs or spars put out in the river between 2 trees; the spars form 2 pens, into the first of which the sheep are flung & allowed to swim awhile; they are then pushed by a forked stick under the middle spar, & men with flat sticks rub off the dirt, after which they swim out by an approach, & go dripping & exhausted to join their companions...
Monday, Novr 11
... all last week the shearing has been going on nicely. . . the sheep are found to be quite clean & free from a single spot of scab, a rare occurrance in this colony...
This is indeed a very happy, quiet life, & I have nothing left to wish for. How much cause have I to be grateful to God for having placed me in such a situation, & for having given me such an excellent, pious, & kind friend. Sir George Gipps, the Governor of New S. Wales, paid a visit to Geelong some days since, but as he only remained 3 and 1/2 hours, he could not see much of the place; but he was much pleased with what he saw.
Thursday, 18th [November]
Yesterday, the 17th, at day break, Miss N. went to see Venus & brought me the intelligence that she had a foal. I went out & saw it, a colt; [38] but a fine, large boned fellow, bay, with a star on the forehead. To day, while we were at dinner, Jamima [Jemima Scott Armstrong] announced that Di, Miss N.'s mare, had a foal; we all left our dinner & ran out - a beautiful bay filly. We expect Constance to follow in a few days...
Thursday, Decm 2d
On Saturday night the wind blew so violently that we could not sleep: the sheep yards were blown down, & both the flocks which are at home got out; but all the men were got out, & soon put all right again. On Sunday it was so stormy, we did not attempt to go to church.
...On Teusday [sic] we marked some of the bales of wool, & yesterday Armstrong took the first load, five, to Corio: he brought a box from Kirkcaldy, with Marmalade, all run out, leaving at the bottom of each jar only the orange skins; but there are some cases of preserved meat, & a little lambs' wool & worsted for knitting, which is a great pleasure.
We have had a good deal of rain last night & to day, which was much wanted, as the grass begins to look brown. We transplanted a number of lettuces, cabbages & cauliflowers. We have now plenty of peas & cabbages, &c.