Longevue Hall

Longevue Hall    Bundanoon

             Set in an landscaped grounds , and backing on to farm land and National Parks the setting is quiet, peaceful and serene, ideal for retirement after a hectic life of business.

The garden was decimated by drought of 2007. Now years on it has recovered after lots of attentive care by Angela seen here enjoying a Sunday dram in the Highlands.

A dram in the Highlands

 

Now after passion and dung, the azeleas, rhodendrons, daffs and a multitude of bulbs have transformed the garden to a glory of colour all year round. Mostly white and yellow in the Winter [ May, June, July ]   White , purple , yellow and blue in Spring [ August , September , October .]   Roses , azaleas, dahlias and floors in Summer [ November , December , January. ] and then spectacular colour in the trees during Autumn [ February , March , April. ] In Australia drought is a huge challenge so  the rain water from all the roof goes into our tank. 1 mm of rain puts 450 litres intae the tank.

When I lived in Schofields, I was doing an englobo land subdivision in Glendenning. I had time on my hands. My working day started at 5:30 and finished about 9:00 am. The aim was to be onsite early to check measure the work done yesterday and discuss the days work with the subcontracters. After that , they wanted to start work,  so I buggered off round other sites and then home for coffee and payment time so I was finished afore denner  [ lunch ] time. I got this notion into my heid that compared wi’ ithers I had lead a charmed life, not havin’ been called to fight in a war; I wanted tae pit a bit back. So after considering a few ventures I decided to register as a puppy raiser wi’ the guide dogs of NSW. That done, and after a home inspection, I was told I might get a pup in roon aboot six weeks. That Friday, a phone call told me my pup wid be delivered on Saturday. He wis a strong, Golden Labrador , six weeks old. Stamford came wi’ athing. Bed, bowl, food, collar and lead. Food wis dry food to get the dog used to simple feeding. Clients find it easy to ration oot a meal. Not too much wakkin at first to tyre oot young bones. Every Wednesday we had tae attend training at a park nearby. I wis quick tae realise ‘at iss training wis tae train the puppy raisers an nae the pups. Niver min’ we a’ got on like a hoose on fire.

Angela Wright a very guid freen o’ mine , lived in Dural and as a longterm dog lover she did a lot o’ the walkin’ and soft voice training. The guide dog training manual was excellent and by following that, Stamford became gentle an’ strong, weel manered and attentive. I often think if mithers wid use the guide dog manual tae train their kids , society wid be better off. I hiv suggested ‘at tae mony a new mither bit they aye look at me as though I wis daft. Mony folk are short of nouse. If ye see a badly behaved dog , look at the failed owner. If ye see a badly behaved child, look at the failed parent. Nae iffs or butts , it aye holds good. Stamford hid seven brithers an sisters. The Guide Dog folk name the litter by the next letter so a’ Stamfords siblings names started wi s. My doonside wis nae spewin’ when it came tae ‘pickup’. Angela could dee it fine. Stamford had to be trained tae dee “quick, quick ” in his gairden on a defined area. I could pick up at hame wi’ a shovel, bit oot on a walk ye hid tae pick up wi a plastic bag.

The Sydney Harbour Brig’ hid an anniversary an’ a parade wis tae gang ower the brig’ in honour o’ the occasion. Schofields is an ‘oor fae the Brig by train. Stamford wis perfect on the train. We were early so Angela, Stamford and me sat on a wee wa’ waiting for the start. Along came a blind kid , nae much higher than the dog. ” Mister, can I pat your dog” was the request. ” Aye go on ” silence;  ” Do you think I might get a dog like your one?” Those twa sentences fae a wee loon made it very hard to speak. On the ither han’ that showed me the worth in the twelve months o’ training. Now the rule is the one holdin’ the lead, picks up. [ well ‘ats my rule ] Angela had done a lot o’ the training so I felt it fitting she wid hae the lead for the first half o the walk ower the brig. Sure tae happen, Stamford did a big dump on the first half o’ the brig, and I escaped the plastic bag.

Stamford wis a big strong dog. While we walked along George Street, the Guide Dog instructor noticed that pedestrians moved oot o the wye and the dog walked in a straight line. So Stamford was destined to go to a client that hid a busy outdoor life in commerce or production. He went tae a client in the Hunter Valley. The client attended college during the day and played in a band at night. When they came for Stamford the warning was short, the separation severe. Angela and I felt it badly.  The next time we saw Stamford he wis on the stage wee his minder performing in some ‘ Australia’s most talented show’.  I think Stamford won that act.         Its gran’ tae gie a bit back.

William oor best friend since he wis a pup

Angela and I did a joint venture an’ bought Longevue in 2008. Soon after a dog was on the list. I contacted the Guide Dogs and they had a Golden Retriever named Logan. We made an appointment tae see the dog, bit when we got there Logan was packed wi his blankets, food and accoutrements. The decision wis made. William was in the truck and back tae Longevue. He trained well and has a beautiful nature and disposition.

He is better known in Bundanoon than either Angela or Me.

William in the Guy Gordons

He loves to travel and is always enthusiastic for a party when friends visit for a dram , a ceilidh or drop intae say ‘fit like.’  As we are gettin’ aul an’ deen we are hain’ less an’ less organised supper parties . Denner [ lunch ] is mair oor timing for entertaining. Bit sometimes we kick up oor heels an’ thro’ something. Like a Burn’s Supper complete wie kilts an haggis, neeps an whisky. On ‘iss occasion Angela and I demonstrated the Guy Gordons and nae tae be oot dun , oor frien’ was in the action.

He wis born on Australia Day 26th January 2008. We got him a few months later. We are fortunate tae hae friends across the road who also like dogs. When we have gone overseas or jist on holiday he is very happy billiting wi’ them. Much better than kennels.

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