Despite the grey, the place is spectacular. In fact, the grey may even make it more spectacular. The mountains tower above us like ancient giants and the quiet is interrupted only by the hundreds of weaver birds who are building nests in the pepper tree in front of the verandah, their other birdie friends and the “hee-haw” of Milly, Tilly and Violet, the three donkeys who amble about the valley, wherever they like. Truly free-range.
The house is 150-years old and overlooks an apricot orchard, beyond which the mountain towers. Behind it, the second range reaches even higher into the sky, their tops shrouded in cloud. There are raptors here that nest in the crags and soar through the crisp, clear, fresh air. Idyllic.
The baby boys love it. They run and look and explore, dragging Grandpa behind them, running to tell Mummy, Granny, me, G, what they saw – water, mountains, donkeys, piggies, sheep, the list seems endless. They, and we, sleep like babies, in the oh-so-dark night, undisturbed by any lights from the city. The isolation is blissfully complete.