Cheers to holding court in true country style

ACTING SOCIAL: Margot Tesch on the court.
ACTING SOCIAL: Margot Tesch on the court. Contributed

IN OUR river city apartment, we lived in close proximity to other people. There is something about living so close together within our city culture … we ignore each other. This seemed quite natural and normal to me at the time.

Coming to live in the bush has been a whole new, and rather unexpected, experience.

I'd heard anecdotally over the years that people in the bush were cliquey and unwelcoming to newcomers, that you had to be living in the district for centuries to be really considered a "local".

My experience in moving to the Traprock couldn't have been further removed from this misconception. The community welcomed us with open arms and, while I've come to appreciate the deep bonds forged between generations in local families, we have a true sense of belonging and have begun to develop solid new friendships.

Once a month, a family within the community takes turn to host the tennis club. Looking back, I think this simple social opportunity was pivotal to us settling in. Everyone arrives with a plate to share and their own drinks. A few games of social tennis are played followed by a lot of drinking. It was tough in the beginning to turn up when you didn't know anyone. I'm glad we persevered though, as now these events are looked for each month on the calendar.

Then came the Warwick picnic races. Back in the day, the races were an opportunity for everyone to dress up, get together and have a great time. It was also an opportunity for graziers to race their best stockhorses. Only thoroughbreds race these days however the deep seated cultural importance of the day endures.

The preparation starts with a few of the girls organising a shopping trip to ensure we all have the "right" outfit.

Then the day unfolds with a sumptuous array of nibbles, drinks and social activities followed by a long night of drinking.

Perhaps this is one phenomenon the corporate world and the bush share. We all love a drink and this has helped us feel very much at home.

Topics:  columns margot tesch rural lifestyle rural women tree change

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