Friday, October 28, 2011

Dirranbandi - A Nice Place To Live, Or Even Just Visit For A Day

I was reading our little school newsletter today. My eldest is in year 1 now, and they are doing some amazing things in her class. They have been designing brochures advertising our teeny tiny little community. This week they have been working on 'slogans'.

Olivia came up with:

 "Dirranbandi - A Nice Place To Live, Or Even Just Visit For A Day."

And I've been giggling about it all afternoon!

It got me wondering... is it a nice place to live? Or is it better to visit for a day? Here are my arguments for both sides.

Main St, Dirranbandi. Blink and you'll miss it!

1. A Nice Place To Live -
  • The people are very friendly. I even know 'grey nomads' who have ended up moving here after making friends during their initial visit to Dirranbandi. If you're looking for directions, or someone (anyone!) local who can do hair and nails, everyone will happily point you in the right direction. Yesterday I was driving into town when a man stepped out of a semi trailer, flagged me down, and asked me if I knew on which property a Mr X lived. I recognised Mr X's name, but couldn't recall the property name off the top of my head, but I happily gave him the phone number of the local post office, who would be able to help him out for sure. Service with a smile!
  • It's very social. Technically speaking, I don't live in town, which means I can be more selective about who I see and when, but generally speaking, there is almost ALWAYS something social to do on weekends, or at times, even throughout the week. Book clubs, meetings, fundraisers, BBQs, social tennis, fishing, parties etc. Not to mention the annual Show and Rodeo, Spring Fling and Quiz Night!
  • The community bands together. If someone loses a house to fire or flood, or suffers a personal tragedy, or needs support in one form or another (in my case it's emergency child care!), there is help on the way before you even need to ask.
  • Best of both worlds. We all still get to the city. We get our fix of shopping and movies and beaches, if that's what we want. We also get a first hand look at the backbone of Australian society.
2. A Nice Place To Visit For A Day -
  • We have fishing... and a park or two. And apparently an historic kind of trail with memorial stones detailing significant people and places in Dirranbandi history. At least I think that's what I learned at the last Quiz Night... My point is that you could easily cover Dirranbandi in a car in one day...hour. Whatever. BUT...
  • You would miss out on all the awesome personalities this town has on offer! Admittedly, all towns and suburbs have their local celebrities. We have stacks out here. My point, is that - for the most part - the people are lovely.
  • If I don't know what I am supposed to be doing, somebody else will know for sure. Small town syndrome. Everyone knows everyone else's business. Even if it is inaccurate and untrue. Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story and all that... You don't learn all that, however, on a drive THROUGH town.
  • It's actually very pretty out here. The colours are amazing. The deep oranges, reds, the many shades of green and brown. The blue hues of the sky, and the white, fluffy clouds, contrasting the earthy tones you only find out west. Of course, we get to enjoy those colours all year round.

It's not for everyone. And yet, some people have never left here. It takes all kinds.

I recently received an email from a girl in Canada. She is a city girl who has met a farmer, and she isn't sure if she will be able to make a life in the country. She asked me what I thought. I told her that only she knows the answer to that. I told her that you have to make a conscious decision to make the country your life. You have to commit to the people and the lifestyle. You have to embed yourself in the community. It can be lonely if you don't. I told her that it isn't for everyone. If someone had told me ten years ago that this is where I would be living, I wouldn't have believed them for a second. I didn't think it could be for me. And yet it is a life I love.

And there are still people who are cynical about my life in the bush. And cynical about my life on a farm. I am by no means a country girl. I have never professed to be a country girl. But I sincerely love it out here. This is my home. And not just for a day.