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Whilst we were house sitting for our friends in Dunkeld we found ourselves living next door to a family with an even larger zoo than ours.  The neighbour’s menagerie held a deep fascination for Storm our new Kelpie pup especially their enormous stroppy turkey who we nicknamed “Christmas”.  Christmas is quite the ugliest looking fowl you have ever seen and standing at least 4ft high.  His home is a large tin water tank turned on its side with a perch on the front where he sleeps. 


Christmas’s House

Every morning in the early gloom of dawn I took all four dogs for a walk.  Walking past Christmas’s house, I usually managed to distract Storm from her obsession with turkey’s leaving Christmas to snooze on, undisturbed on his perch.  Except for this particular Wednesday morning.  Storm could bear it no longer and chased poor Christmas off his perch, over the fence and across the road to the Footy Oval.  There was a hell of a commotion with me yelling at Storm who was barking at Christmas who was making frantic gobbledy gobbledy hoots and our three other dogs on the verge of giving chase as well.  Christmas made it to the Footy Oval fence where he got stuck. 

Making my way through Christmas’s huge flapping wings bravely ignoring his ear splitting protestations I extracted him from the fence.  However in my haste I made the huge mistake of not securing Storm first.  Now free from the fence Christmas took off across the football pitch at high speed with Storm flat out after him.  I set after them as fast as my be-wellied legs would carry me yelling like a banshee, the din would have been enough to wake the entire population of the normally peaceful Dunkeld .   

It was still not quite light enough to see very far ahead and by the time I reached the other side of the footy pitch there was no sign of Christmas or Storm.  I grabbed my phone from my pocket and called the Kiwi.  He was not amused, in fact there was a complete sense of humour failure.  

I yelled and yelled for Storm but of course she was far too busy thinking she was in for an early Christmas dinner.  I could hear her barking and it seemed to be coming from the Football ground’s public conveniences.  As I got closer to the noise I realised that the barking was coming from the Ladies Loos.  I ventured in and found that Storm had cornered her prey in the far end cubicle.  On closer inspection I found Christmas perched on the cistern with Storm trying her hardest to jump up onto the loo seat in order to get at the poor panic stricken turkey.  Thankfully Storm was finding the loo pan rather an “inconvenience” as she couldn’t get a purchase on the shiny slippery seat without falling down the pan.

The long and short of it was that Christmas lived on to gobble another day and Storm stays firmly on the lead until we have passed any temptation for a return match.  I suppose Storm was only living up to her namesake “Stormy Daniels” who is also known to chase large turkeys.


Home Sweet Home

For the gazillionth time we were on the move again only this time it was into our own home.  Over the course of a long weekend we shifted out of our house sitting arrangement and moved just some of our gear out of our storage containers and into our new Shangri La.   


Spot Friday in her new home

We are absolutely thrilled with our new abode which is set in 10 acres of beautiful gum trees and pasture with a large lake which has been named as “Lake Camilla”.  It’s as if Capability Brown went to Australia.  The house is modern and open plan and from above resembles a boomerang with a central living area with two bedroom wings.   It’s small but perfectly formed and will suit us very well.  Situated on the outskirts of Hamilton, I find that I can get home at lunchtime to let the girls out and it’s a joy to be able to have my lunch sitting on the verandah looking out onto our small patch of Australia.  

It was not just us moving home but the zoo was coming with us too.  Fearing that Phil the gargantuan sheep, his six girlfriends and Friday the calf might dig their toes in and refuse to budge from their current home worried us no end, added to which we didn’t have access to the necessary stock loading ramp to get them all onto a trailer.  In the end we needn’t have stressed.  We hired a small trailer with a crate, backed it up to the gate and made a corral from some wire mesh. 

I called Phil and the girls over to the trailer enticing them with a bucket of Friday’s muesli.   The temptation of some muesli sprinkled on the floor of the trailer was hard to ignore and our little flock hopped aboard without hesitation.  The next problem was how to get Friday loaded.  Friday is a dear girl but she has grown quite feisty and has the tendency to buck.  Lucky for us she is also very nosey and couldn’t resist trotting over to see what was going on.  Somehow she just knew that if she didn’t jump aboard the little trailer she would be left behind and with very little persuasion from me she did just that. 

By now the weather had turned foul with the rain coming down in sideways torrents.  We couldn’t bear to think of our precious flock being buffeted by the wind and rain on their 25kms journey to their new home so the Kiwi secure a “tarp” over them and we set off for pastures new. 


Friday and the sheep on the move

Most Australians would have thought us barking mad as by now we had on board, 7 sheep, a cow, four dogs, five chickens and two homo sapiens. 



Daphne, Margot and Friday

Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying my new job at the law practice with my role having been changed from Receptionist to Accounts Manager.  Working full time has its challenges but now that I can get home at lunchtime the domestic wheels may be able to keep turning unhindered if only it wasn’t for my long held obsession with the soap Neighbours.  I use my lunch hour to catch up on the latest episode, how sad am I.


10 comments on “There’s a Turkey in the Toilet!

  1. Caroline Forrest says:

    Hi Camilla, As always I enjoy reading your blog. I’m so pleased that you finally got a proper base that you can call home. I know you will make it absolutely beautiful. So lovely to have all the animals around you much better than many people! As you can see from the Instagram photos Betty she has a new field shelter, Finally finished yesterday has got the kickboards up and the guttering , cow mattress, looks like rubber matting, but isn’t etc so all done and looking really good. Trouble is she has made best friends with the two sheep the RAM called Boy !who is absolutely enormous and the castrated orphan boy Patch , they live in a pig arc, she spends her time trying to get in there with them and cutting her head. She is covered in bloody wounds from the metal…..Which attracts flies they have been absolutely terrible all this year… despite spraying her with everything I can find. her head seems to be covered in about 300 flies , especially around her eyes it’s horrible I’ve tried it a fly mask but they seem to get underneath it and then drive her crazy. Anyway the weather had really cooled down now and it’s really feeling autumnal. I must say is that it’s quite nice to wear a jumper again. We are going to move the pig arc next to her field shelter today…hoping she will actually use her new luxury pad! So she can be near her friends 🐏🐑.

    I am still in shock about Louis all happened so suddenly …. He had been missing for a couple of days, which is most unusual, as he loved his food twice a day….I was getting worried . I got up early him at about 5 am went searching for him and found him slumped behind the stable, he obviously managed to get hisself home, but his breathing was very laboured and he was dragging his back leg. My Immediate reaction was that he had been hit by a car….I took him to the vet and they said he had hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy & water on the lungs which is a sign of heart disease which apparently is very prevalent in Maine Coons apparently 30% have this genetic mutation ! They said they could drain the fluid off and I could give him medication to 3 times a day , in the form of a pill for the rest of his life…which would have been quite difficult, since he was free range, would have meant every time I saw him I would’ve had to shove a pill down his neck…to stressful for us both, he would have ended up hating me! Bad enough getting a wormer down him…So decided the best thing to put him to sleep; he could have gone on struggling but his end was peaceful without the struggle ….very sad as such a beautiful boy. My memory is going…the beautiful ginger one I fell in love with one that you had, was he called Marmalade or Marmaduke… did he have the same problem? I remember he went suddenly too…??? I am off to the Lake District with Mum and a friend of hers on 9th September, we are staying in my uncles holiday cottage, can’t wait to walk Mouse up there, he will love it… Next weekend we are off to Burghley next weekend…love the shopping!!, Anyway I must get up now and get on with my chores…apparently it’s going to chuck it down later…dog walk first….need to run down his batteries a bit! Had some friends from Perth staying for a few days end of June, beginning of July, which was lovely, he is a judge and she works for a newspaper, doing property news…with 3 grownup gorgeous children….it was so nice to see them , it all went too quick! I’ve got to do jury service soon October/ November , in Ipswich ….a bit of a pain! But hopefully interesting case! Sorry a bit of a jumbled email….just wanted to touch base…I often think of you ….SO HAPPY you have a lovely home.

    Love to you both and your menagerie . Caroline xxxx 🤗😘



    1. Andrrew Rodwell says:

      It all sounds very exciting well done mum & dad


  2. Brian Hermann says:

    Whacko indeed, Camilla. You truly are a trouper and a half! You’v probably also noticed their snappy little dog who barks up a storm whenever a dog passes, but doesn’t actually have the nerve to come and meet the invader.

    But as with all your blogs, while they are obviously true and completely believable to us locals, your (Pommie) friends in UK will continue to think you are living in the grounds of a lunatic asylum. Which is, come to think of it, not all that far from the truth.

    We are, on the contrary, living the life of Riley up here.

    Every morning we have a leisurely (and of course healthy) breakfast on our veranda beside the pool before the 15 minute drive to a stunning beach with Bill, who

    doesn’t swim, but runs continuously for as long as we can be bothered to stay.

    But to the point: we plan to be back around the 20th September, and I wonder if we might ring the day before we expect to arrive and ask Chris to switch on the central heating on his way home.

    The shock of arriving in Dunkeld’s temperatures after the daily 28-30 here will be severe enough without a chilly welcome from the house.

    We look forward keenly to seeing your new residence, and hope the menagerie -and you – have settled in happily.

    See you next month,

    Love, Jules and Brian.



  3. peakaboot says:

    AlwYs enjoy reading of your latest adventures. You manage to paint a fabulously wonderful picture that clearly rivals and exceeds the 70’s sitcom, the Good Life. Keep going; it’s always a good day when I see there’s another episode… David and Ilze, and now Isla (dob: 20/8/18).


  4. theleahouse says:

    Hello Milla We laughed and laughed at your drama with the turkey and Skie!! So like life at Long Barn years ago…..Lucy spaniel eating all the neighbours special chickens, George Labrador falling off a cliff in Eastbourne etc etc and etc! Your new house looks lovely, very Aussie! And fantastic to have a lake too, you must be thrilled! All well here – I finish being captain of Rye GC in October, not long now – it’s been fun but time consuming- Amanda Ollie and Zoe arrive for 2 weeks at the end of September, sooo grown up now and Zoe is a very keen gymnast and so is Rosanna so that’s perfect for the cousins. Annabel’s new house is v nice but still masses to do especially in the garden but there is a tennis court, so she’s very happy about that….. Love to you both and all the team – have you given up on puppies? Aunt SaraXX

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Kate D says:

    Milla, very exciting to move in and be surrounded by Your menagerie and a lake of your own. Glad you are still watching neighbors which I am sure you made me watch daily 32 years ago!!! I wonder how far ahead you are in Oz to us. I still love it.


  6. fi campbell fraser says:

    what a wonderful life Camilla and such a far cry from over crowded England. one day I must venture over and see you, it has been high on my list of things I so want to do. keep up the blogs they are


  7. Sarah Macmillan says:

    Glad you have now got your own property, it looks great.
    Love your updates. xx


  8. Sandi Keane says:

    What a joy to read! And love the house – so bright, light and airy.


  9. Theresa Hodges says:

    Thrilled by your news of new own home and menagerie intact. Just spent a lot of time moving sheep between Devon and Hampshire although no turkeys at the moment everything else has bred quite well this year: poultry, dogs, sheep. Keep the stories coming and KKO – keep kicking on. Sprog xxx


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