Irresistable bargains

The Goulburn Post is our local newspaper. We get three paid editions a week, and a free community weekly.

It takes a lot of content to fill these newspapers, so they print anything. A twenty-first birthday or a wedding will get you a double-page colour spread. Once there was a fellow whose sister visited from Queensland, and that was worth half a page of story and a colour photo.

We’re launching our Goulburn medieval club next month, and will be shamelessly exploiting the local paper. We’ll send them lots of short articles with an interesting photo, perfect for filling a gap, on things like archery and weaving and armouring, with a local person in the photo. They won’t be able to resist.

Anyway, in Saturday’s local paper there were a couple of clearing sales. When somebody sells a farm, they sell off all the crap that has accumulated over the years. For the bigger sales, they get an auction firm in to flog it all off.

(My Dad used to love clearing sales. After he died, we had one ourselves, and all his gear got recycled to his fellow bargain-hunters. Kind of like the Circle of Life.)

Saturday’s clearing sale was only five minutes from our farm. With my son Owen, we headed out in a virtual blizzard, and checked their offerings. We got a big pie oven for $20, really useful for the larger medieval feasts, and a heap of scaffolding for $100, which we can turn into a temporary toilet block for medieval events on the farm. Also some tools and a big lump of railway line, useful for armouring. Many thanks to wwoofer Silvan, who came back in the bad weather to retrieve the heavier items: we were soaked to the skin.

On Sunday we headed to Murrumbateman (45 minutes away) for an enormous sale. However, as I overheard one fellow on the mobile phone to his mate, “you’ve never seen so much shit in your life…” Usually there is quite a bit of good stuff in the mix, but this time there were acres of carefully sorted rubbish. We did spend $15 on odds and ends like feed bins and animal cages, but then made a quick exit. The rain was mostly gone, but the howling wind was miserable.

There is another clearing sale next weekend, in Goulburn.

Back on the farm, we now have some silkie bantam chickens, seven tiny little balls of fluff. Nellie the duck has been sighted very occasionally, and we presume she has a clutch somewhere which must be about to hatch. No muscovy ducklings yet either — this duck sat last year with no results, so hopefully something will happen soon or Nicky the Drake will be dinner.

In Australia, Spring starts officially on 1 September. Excepting this weekend, August was mostly Spring weather, hence the furious egg-laying. Nice weather has been promised for this week.

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